Archive for Lon Milo DuQuette

The 2014 Occult Detective Awards: Fiction

Posted in Occult Detective Awards with tags , , , , , on January 2, 2015 by Occult Detective

5thawardsDay two of the 5th Annual Occult Detective Awards finds us looking into the senses-shattering world of horror fiction. I tend to read a lot. Not as much as some, but a helluva lot more than most. I made it through more than 80 works this year (fiction and non-fiction combined) but picking out the best of the lot is never easy. You’ll recognize some familiar names in the following list. Why? Because when you do right by me, I revisit the well. Great storytellers are hard to come by. Write a story that captures my imagination and I’ll be back for more.

Best Novel
Revival by Stephen King

King releases his inner Lovecraft in this superb tale of loss and madness. Disquieting, there is an almost infinite sadness in Revival that bears down on you. King is a master of character and you’ll find a rich tapestry of such within. As for the story itself, well, it certainly went places I wasn’t expecting, especially in the novel’s final pages.

Best Novella
The Last of the Albatwitches by Brian Keene

I am unabashedly a huge fan of Keene’s Levi Stoltzfus. Invoking the spirit of the late, great Manly Wade Wellman, Keene has delivered another tense thriller featuring everyone’s favorite ex-Amish occult detective by taking a local folk tradition and dialing it up to 11. Why? Because that’s what Keene does and he does it well.

Best Collection
The Nickronomicon by Nick Mamatas

One of the things I love about Mamatas is that he’s a literary chameleon and with this collection of Mythos tales he gets to showcase this talent in strange, perverse, and subversive ways. Mamatas is always fresh and innovative, and The Nickronomicon finds him at his neoteric finest. With a knack for seeing not only the man behind the curtain, but also the ghost inside the machine, Mamatas is able to take the reader on a surrealistic ride through chimerical and apocryphal nightmares like few others.

Best Anthology
The Weiser Book of Horror and the Occult, edited by Lon Milo DuQuette

You’d be hard-pressed to find a better assemblage  of esoteric tales. Featuring 15 masterpieces of occult fiction from such notable authors as M.R. James, H.P. Lovecraft, Aleister Crowley, Arthur Machen, and more, this is an anthology I’ve already earmarked to be a Hallowe’en staple.

Best Short Story
“Bedlam in Yellow” by William Meikle (In the Court of the Yellow King, edited by Glynn Owen Barrass)

In the Court of the Yellow King is a brilliant Mythos anthology, but “Bedlam in Yellow” shines just a little bit brighter because Meikle does the unthinkable by writing a Carnacki tale that rivals Hodgson’s original stories. A neo-pulpist, Meikle is a consistent and reliable storyteller, regardless of genre, but he really sings when he delves into occult detective thrillers.

My 3 Word Review of The Best of the Equinox Vol. 2: Dramatic Ritual by Aleister Crowley

Posted in Archive with tags , , , on March 25, 2013 by Occult Detective

dracMy three word review: BUY THIS BOOK.

There — that was short, sweet, and to the point, no?

Look, chances are you already own Crowley’s Equinox, right? If not, this four volume series is tailor made just for you. Weiser’s doing the heavy lifting for you, having the honorable Baba Lon assemble the very best that the Equinox has to offer. The first volume covered Enochian Magick. Volume two tackles Dramatic Ritual and nobody, and I do mean nobody does dramatic ritual like Uncle Al.

Now how about those of you who already have the Equinox steadfastly weighing your overwrought bookshelves down? Why, oh why, if you’re a devoted Crowley aficionado, would you dare to drop your hard earned coin on a second helping of these delectable treats? Because of the aforementioned Lon Milo DuQuette, whose introductions are worth their weight in gold — that’s why.

I could go on and on about the intricacies of the rituals within, about the poetic and sublime poetics, and the mind-shatteringly beautiful and rapturous words, lovingly crafted and fulfilling the title’s promise… but I won’t. Because you know it already. Why would you even hesitate?

Here there be magick.

Buy the ticket. Take the ride. Thank me later.

The Best of the Equinox Volume 2: Dramatic Ritual by Aleister Crowley is available wherever books are sold. Let you fingers do their little dance on the keyboard and order your copy today.

My Review of Enochian Magick by Aleister Crowley

Posted in Archive with tags , , , on October 30, 2012 by Occult Detective

If you’ve spent any time at all around the occult sciences then you are most likely at least passingly familiar with the bullet points of Enochian Magic. It is, after all, regarded by many to be the pinnacle of the Western Mystery Tradition, the culmination of more than seven years of painstaking work by the renowned scholar Dr. John Dee and his cohort and magical ally, the rogue Edward Kelley. Beyond the initial dictations as chronicled by Dee and Kelley, such noted magicians as MacGregor Mathers, Dr. William Wynn Westcott, and Thomas Rudd added to that which came to be known as Enochian, but it was one devoted student who perhaps more than any other solidified Dee and Kelley’s legacy, revealing it to be a viable and working system of ceremonial magic. That man was Aleister Crowley.

Weiser Books have turned to the venerable Lon Milo DuQuette in an effort to release four volumes of quintessential writings by Aleister Crowley on the subject of Enochian Magick, culled from The Equinox, Crowley’s magnificent magical journal that was originally published between 1909-1919. Having had the chance to read (and reread) the first volume of The Best of the Equinox: Enochian Magick , I can assure you, this is as important a work on ceremonial magic as you are apt to find.

DuQuette’s two introductions, as the noted author has included the 1992 intro written for the Magickal Childe edition of Liber LXXXIV, are worth the price of admission alone. Baba Lon is an insightful and visionary wordsmith and, in addition to this edited volume, I highly recommend his sublime treatise on the subject, Enochian Vision Magick.

As to this volume, which reproduces Crowley’s vel Chanokh and The Vision and the Voice, you will find an inspiring and practical examination of Dee and Kelley’s masterwork. The Beast is in his element, to be sure. Beautiful and sublime, Crowley’s writing while exploring this system is unparalleled and haunting.

The cover art and formatting are more than pleasing and you will find the print large and comfortable on the eyes, which is, in itself, Heaven sent. I still, after having read the work numerous times over the past thirty years or so, find it hard to put down. It’s so easy to get caught up in the language and fervor of this chimerical work.

That being said, tread carefully. It’s easy to lose oneself, not only in the writing, but in the work itself.

The Best of the Equinox — Enochian Magick: Volume One by Aleister Crowley and introduced by Lon Milo DuQuette is essential reading. Available wherever books are sold or downloaded, if you only buy one metaphysical book this year, make it Enochian Magick.

My Review of The Book of Enoch the Prophet

Posted in Archive with tags , , , , on June 12, 2012 by Occult Detective

Ah, the Book of Enoch. As I read through this newly released edition from Weiser Books I was taken back to 1986. I was a junior at Ball State University at that time, majoring in Anthropology and Ancient Studies, with an emphasis on Witchcraft, Magic, and Religion. My adviser was  Professor Enya Flores-Meiser, who I had (and have) a great deal of respect for. She was very supportive of my Independent Study and guided my instruction into areas I most likely would have never ventured. Her greatest gift, however, was getting me into the Library Archives and access to a wealth of rare books and manuscripts. It was here that I first read Crowley’s White Stains and Konx Om Pax, where I discovered The Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage and The Key of Solomon. And it is where I first was able to read from The Book of Enoch.

“And Azâzêl taught men to make swords, and knives, and shields, and breastplates, and made known to them the metals of the earth and the art of working them, and bracelets, and ornaments, and the use of antimony, and the beautifying of the eyelids, and all kinds of costly stones, and all coloring tinctures. And there arose much godlessness, and they committed fornication, and they were led astray, and became corrupt in all their ways. Semjâzâ taught enchantments, and root-cuttings, Armârôs the resolving of enchantments, Barâqîjâ taught astrology, Kôkabêl the constellations, Ezêqêêl the knowledge of the clouds, Araqiêl the signs of the earth, Shamsiêl the signs of the sun, and Sariêl the course of the moon. And as men perished, they cried, and their cry went up to heaven . . .”

This was some heady, eye-opening stuff, believe me. I saw immediately how this book, though discarded from official canon, had influenced so much that came after. This work is the very definition of “Apocrypha” — a sacred text meant for the eyes of holy men alone as the exalted nature of the secrets within were deemed too great for those of the general public. And why not? Here be angels and demons, giants and dragons, and a heaven and hell writ large on a cosmic scale. Its shadow is far-reaching and was certainly on the minds of the writers of the New Testament just as its fingerprints are all over the grimoires that poured out of the Middle Ages.

Weiser Books is to be commended for releasing this new edition of The Book of Enoch the Prophet. Its importance to students of esoterica cannot be overstated and the addition of a superb introduction by the esteemed Lon Milo DuQuette, to compliment the brilliant preface of noted occult scholar R.A. Gilbert, is worth the price of admission in and of itself.

Any library that neglects the inclusion of The Book of Enoch the Prophet is a poor one indeed. If you’ve not a copy on your shelf, correct that oversight with all due haste. You can conjure up a copy directly from the good folk at Weiser Books with a few simple keystrokes.

Review: Enochian Vision Magick

Posted in Archive with tags , , , on November 15, 2010 by Occult Detective

I’m not going to understate this — Enochian Vision Magick: An Introduction and Practical Guide to the Magick of Dr. John Dee and Edward Kelley by Lon Milo DuQuette is the most important occult work of the modern era. How’s that for an endorsement? Yes, I know it’s a bold statement, but if you’re a student of the magical arts then this book will be an indispensable addition to your library, plain and simple.

It’s a fact that the Golden Dawn Magicians and Aleister Crowley did groundbreaking work with the limited access they had to Dee and Kelley’s inspired system of magic, but in the decades since new and exciting revelations have come to light. We now have a more complete access to John Dee’s writings, and thus we have a far more complete understanding of the phenomenal work he and his partner in crime divined.

DuQuette has given us a book that reintroduces us to the wonders of Enochian Magick, whether you’re a Dee purist or someone who has integrated it into their own belief system. One thing is for certain, Enochian Vision Magick is a manual for practitioners. The author’s writing style is modern, but the underlying mysteries that are revealed are timeless.

This book is an excellent companion to Geoffrey James’ Enochian Evocation of Dr. John Dee.

Lon Milo DuQuette has given us a great gift and I look forward to returning to this volume again and again as I continue my quest for communion with the unseen forces that fill the multiverse we share.

Enochian Vision Magick can be purchased through Red Wheel/Weiser.

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