I Hate Mondays (Reviews of Esoteric Books to Avoid)

After a momentous weekend which saw a spectacular paranormal exploration with far reaching consequence, a journey back in time to the War of 1812, and a joyous celebration of my son’s 10th year on this planet, I settle back into the steady march toward Samhain as I continue to embrace this Witching Season.

Today I would like to turn your attention to some weighty tomes I had the (dis)pleasure of devouring as I wrap my head around the preternatural, invoking the spirit of the season and the gods who wear the autumn cloak. I hate writing negative reviews, but I guess it comes with the territory. Let’s get through this as quick and painlessly as possible.

First, a few words on one that I simply cannot recommend for serious students of Thelema, particularly of the vein addressed by the late and talented Kenneth Grant. The Dark Lord: H.P. Lovecraft, Kenneth Grant, and the Typhonian Tradition in Magic by Peter Levenda is a farce and wholly disappointing. A longtime admire of Levenda’s writings, I found his examination of the Typhonian Tradition and of Lovecraft’s legacy to be disingenuous at best. The true history of the Simon Necronomicon is ignored, with the old lie propagated anew, and at no time was serious attention given to Grant’s work, highlighted by no inclusion of any note from the Typhonian community. Avoid this like the proverbial plague. You’ll find little of worth here, I am sorry to say.

Even worse was Do It Yourself Akashic Wisdom: Access the Library of your Soul by Jacki Smith and Patty Shaw. If you enjoy New Age drivel, then by all means, dive right in to this one. This was the sort of thing literally filling the bookshelves of every esoteric brick and mortar in the 1980s. I know, I worked in my fair share of them. I thought, or at least hoped we were beyond this sort of speculative consciousness affirmation grab bag. Obviously I was mistaken.

Another book that left a bad taste in my mouth was David Robinson Simon’s Meatonomics. Now this is a subject near and dear to my heart. I have a son with severe food allergies and our house is a veritable temple to healthy cuisine. We are gluten and dairy free, for the most part, and my wife and I have devoted ourselves to learning all we can, turning toward non-preservative and free-range foods. Meatonomics is mostly wrong-headed, in my opinion. It certainly doesn’t hold true in our household. While you may be able to get something from this book, there’s enough misinformation inside to make navigating the dark waters of nutrition a rougher journey than it need be.

Thankfully I’ve sampled several other books recently much more to my liking… and I think better suited for your edification. We’ll take a look at some of them tomorrow, such as the latest Witches’ Almanac, classic esoterica in the form of Horns of Honor by Frederick Thomas Elworthy and Varla Ventura’s Banshees Werewolves Vampires and Other Creatures of the Night, and the rerelease of Steve Richards’ Invisibility, and more.

See you then.

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