Saturday, February 7, 2009

Book Review: Ceremonial Magic

In this posting, I will be discussing a book about ceremonial magic, specifically the calling forth of spirit beings. I don't do this, and I don't think you should either. There is plenty of less dangerous work to do.

So why am I reviewing a book about it? First, some of you reading this may decide to try it anyway, without the support and safeguards offered by a suitable mystery school. The results of a mistake from this type of operation can be annoying at best, and life-threatening at worst. If anyone is really intent on trying it despite the dangers, Ceremonial Magic & the Power of Evocation by Joseph C. LIsiewski, Ph.D., will at least give them the tools they need. Another reason is the "subjective synthesis" that Dr. Lisiewski mentions in all of his books. Also, the graphic descriptions of what he calls the "slingshot effect" may just convince some of the readers that ceremonial magic is not for the faint of heart, and shouldn't be tried without proper training and preparation, and probably not even then.

There is one thing to be said for this approach, however. Lon Milo Duquette indicated in his Chicken Qabalah that these spirits are actually parts of our minds, and if we don't learn to control them, they will ruin our lives anyway. That is a good point: we don't really know how big our minds are, therefore we can't be sure that these spirits have an independent existence as opposed to being parts of us. And if they are parts of us, learning to control them is of paramount importance. But the method given in Dr. Lisiewski's book seems to me like swatting a fly with a sledgehammer. The proper use of Tarot will serve the same purpose, and without any slingshot effects.

1 comment:

The Seeker said...

I applaud you for reviewing books you don't necessarily "agree" with. Like you seem to, I like to learn a vast variety of subjects, and I agree that it is best if one knows what they are getting themselves into (in anything). I haven't been reading much lately, but I am glad to see that you still are and are reviewing some great books :)