Archive for RA Gilbert

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.

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