I don’t know Anita Kraft personally, even though she spent a fair amount of time in my backyard, so to speak. I am, as most of you know, a proud Hoosier, and Ms. Kraft attended Indiana University and, according to the Introduction in her magnificent work, The Qabalah Workbook for Magicians, attended her first Gnostic Mass in Indianapolis. About this same time I was spending a fair amount of mine in Indy as well, consuming hallucinogens while kicking back metaphysically in a sensory-deprivation tank. Small world.
Now, if you were paying attention, you’d have noticed that I described Ms. Kraft’s recent Weiser Books release as magnificent. That is not hyperbole. As a near lifelong student of esoterica, I know a thing or two about Hermetic Qabalah. It was never a passionate focus of mine, but I cut my teeth there and did the work. While I appreciated the song and I learned all the notes, it just wasn’t one that I wanted to add to my set list. But a working understanding of Hermetic Qabalah is vital to the development of any practical magician and that’s why I loved Anita Kraft’s approach in The Qabalah Workbook.
This work is a must-have for any beginning student, in my opinion, but even more so, the ideas found within its pages are fresh and compelling for those of us a little longer in the tooth.
Thelemites will find the material quite comfortable, as the works of Aleister Crowley are quite dominant throughout. Not a Crowley fan? Don’t let that scare you off, there is plenty here to sink your teeth into. But be aware, this book is most likely the first in a series. Kraft covers the Sephiroth more than adequately, but the paths, where most modern magicians hang their proverbial wizard’s cap, are not. Don’t fret it. Plenty of work to be done here.
And that’s what I like best about The Qabalah Workbook. It is what it says it is — a workbook. I have little doubt that if you do the work as presented, you’ll be a better magician once you get to the other side, and that’s why I am more than happy to recommend this book to you, whether you ‘re a seasoned esotericist or someone eager to take their first steps into this magical world.
As to the physical book itself, I simply love the cover featuring Kircher’s Tree of Life. The interior fonts and illustrations are easy on the eyes and the off-white pages mean no unsightly glare. That goes a long way with me.
The Qabalah Workbook for Magicians: A Guide to the Sephiroth is available wherever books are sold, but here’s a link to Weiser Books’ online store. Feed the bear and maybe it won’t eat you.
Now, why don’t you join me over at Freeman Presson’s blog so we can read his review of this very same book. I’m curious to see if he found it as enlightening as I did.