Archive for June, 2019

My thoughts on Grimoire of Aleister Crowley by Rodney Orpheus

Posted in Magick by Trial & Error on June 28, 2019 by Occult Detective

grimoireofacIn many ways, Rodney Orpheus has delivered what can best be described as the past, present, and future of Thelema in his latest work, Grimoire of Aleister Crowley: Group Magick Rituals.

Orpheus writes with confidence, presenting these rites in all their complex glory, while dissecting them and making them palpable for both beginners and those more seasoned alike.

More importantly, he takes rituals nearly a century old and breathes new life into them, dragging them into the modern age while respecting their core essence.

The past and present merge seamlessly together, creating a template for Thelema going forward.

Image result for rodney orpheusPractical and pragmatic, Grimoire is a testament to Orpheus’ erudite understanding of ritual and the importance of the group dynamic. Every role is carefully defined. Every instrument detailed. Every action and every word, deliberate, reasoned, and evocative.

I would be hard pressed to single out a more important book for the esoterically inclined. Grimoire expands the works of the Great Beast and in doing so they work intimately in unison with the author’s original rites to create a firm foundation sure to inspire your own work, whether as an instrument of Crowley’s vision, or for someone who walks a different path.

Grimoire of Aleister Crowley by Rodney Orpheus is available wherever books are sold and worth every penny of its cover price. If you’ve shelves of occult texts, know that they are incomplete without this book residing there alongside the rest. My only regret is it not being released in leather-bound hardcover.

My Thoughts on Tarot and the Archetypal Journey & Living Runes

Posted in Magick by Trial & Error on June 13, 2019 by Occult Detective

Two quick “reviews” for the price of one? As both are reprints, the internet is overflowing with reviews of both, so rather than dissect them it feels more appropriate to give my overall impressions instead. Let’s start with the better of the two.

Tarot and the Archetypal Journey: The Jungian Path from Darkness to Light by Sallie Nichols was originally published by Weiser Books in 1980. I still have the copy I bought as a teen from Waldenbooks. This new edition is largely unchanged from the original, though Mary K. Greer’s foreword is a wonderful addition and a compliment to the introduction by Laurens van der Postis.

I remember liking the book quite a lot, though its overtly Christian bias was a bit of a turn-off. Now, all these years later, the book reads far differently. I am, after all, considerably older and less impressionable.

Nichols tends to ramble, drifting off on tangents, and it’s clear that she is a bit of a novice when it comes to the occult world. The book is very much of its time, hearkening largely to the seventies in its sensibilities. It comes across rather charming and nostalgic. All that being said, I stand by my twitter review — “It’s a meaty book. Nearly 400 pages with small print. It’s a classic for a reason. Insightful, Nichols leaves no stone unturned. Certainly a “must-read” for tarot enthusiasts.”

Of course, my biggest complaint regarding the book is the print size. Strange that 6pt type wasn’t an issue 39 years ago.

If you’re into tarot, this book needs to be on your shelf, without a doubt.

It is available wherever books are sold. Support the publisher by buying directly from the source. Click HERE.

Living Runes: Theory and Practice of Norse Divination by Galina Krasskova was originally published by New Page Books in 2009 as Runes: Theory and Practice. And yes, that’s another book I have on my shelf. This edition has a much more attractive cover, though the text within is seemingly unchanged, at least from memory. I did not do a side by side analysis.

I have a long history of problems with Krasskova because she has a tendency to state things matter-of-factly, like she is an undisputed authority on Norse Culture and Religion when the majority of her writings are merely redressed Wicca, conjecture, and/or wishful thinking. Calling one’s self a priest of Odin or Northern Tradition shaman is easy enough, backing it up is another matter altogether.

I have reviewed her works in the past. Here are my reviews of Exploring the Northern Tradition and Northern Tradition for the Solitary Practitioner. My thoughts have not changed in the slightest.

There is a wealth of books on the runes on the market. I recently reviewed Edred Thorsson’s The Big Book of Runes and Rune Magic, for instance, and gave it high marks. I also would recommend checking out my review of Diana Paxson’s Odin: Ecstacy, Runes, & Norse Magic.

I did not care for this book the first time around. My second reading of it did not change my opinion.

Still, that being said, there are insights to be found. Things that spur thoughts in different directions. And sometimes it’s good to read differing opinions. If you’re one of those, like me, you can pick up an inexpensive copy of Living Runes from Amazon HERE.

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