I actually finished this book a few months ago. I read it with a friend and we had weekly discussions after finishing each section where we shared our thoughts and experiences as we worked through the exercises and digested the information.
The book is a great resource for individuals who are interested in magick, especially Enochian. Echols provides a thorough list of angels and archangels, and provides the angelic correspondences to the kabbalistic tree, tarot cards, elements, and zodiac. The beauty of this text is its simplicity. While there are texts out there with more detailed tables of correspondences, this one will not make the novice feel overwhelmed. And if you are a more advanced practitioner, it is always good to refresh with the basics.
As far as the rituals go, Echols includes some of the basics, such as the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. He does, though, offer some suggestions on augmenting these to enhance the effect. I personally found these suggestions interesting and have incorporated some in my daily practice.
As a whole, I enjoyed the book and found it useful. That said, it kind of ended on a sour note for me. Echols concludes his study with a rather harsh attack on the traditions that have kept these practices alive over the generations.
That being said, as the current spread throughout the Middle East and Europe (by way of the Knights Templar), its outward forms became increasingly diluted, much like in the game known as Chinese whispers or telephone, in which the first person whispers something into a person’s ear, and that person whispers what they heard into another person’s ear, and so on and so on. And so it was with magick. The mangled result of centuries of dilution is the magickal system presented by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.
I cannot help but wonder, if the Golden Dawn had not existed, would Damien Echols ever have learned the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram? Anyway, aside from that, the book is worth reading, especially if you are interested in practicing magick.
Thanks for stopping by, and may you and yours be blessed.
As far as symbols go, the cross also predates Christianity and is found in one form or another in cultures around the world. Magicians have used the cross for centuries to stand for complete balance of all aspects of our psyche. When we’re in perfect balance, forces outside of us—human or otherwise—will have a much more difficult time implanting suggestions into our mind stream or otherwise influencing our energy field.
Quantum physics asserts that we exist in a unified matrix of energy, and one of the primary laws of this matrix is quantum entanglement. Quantum entanglement stipulates that all things that have been physically linked remain connected on an energetic level, even if they become separated by vast distances. Prior to the big bang, all matter, space, and time were condensed into an infinitely small, dense point—it wasn’t just that everything was in direct contact with everything else; nothing was separate. This means that the atoms composing the molecules involved in the neurotransmitters associated with the thoughts you’re having right now as you read this are in immediate contact with the tiniest particles in stars trillions of light years away. When it comes right down to it, we are all stars—
Most of the world’s economy is based on the appetites of the ego, and nowhere is this more starkly pronounced than in spiritual communities. People truly believe that spending hundreds of dollars for yoga pants, meditation cushions, malas, retreats, and crystals—or just putting lots of cash on the donation plate—is somehow correlated with increased spirituality. They believe they can actually buy their way into becoming a better person. Of course, this is just another ploy of the ego, which very much wants you to think of yourself as a better person. The magick community isn’t exempt from this way of thinking. Most people who claim to practice magick are only going through the motions; it’s just a fashion statement on their part, a way to rebel against their constrained, traditional upbringing. They’re far more concerned with how witchy their clothes and jewelry look than they are in developing self-discipline and wisdom.
Enlightenment (or awakening) means to emerge from a state of unconsciousness—a state of ignorance. The world isn’t anything like what most people think it is, and nearly everything we perceive on this side of the abyss is an illusion—or, more accurately, layers upon layers of illusion. Some of that perception is due to the limitations of our physical senses, but much of it is based on lies and misdirection crafted by people with vested interest in keeping humanity unaware or even unconscious. When we cross the abyss, we see through all of this and look upon reality with the clear sight of our infinite, true nature. It’s not an intellectual process. It’s not something we can get by reading or thinking about it. We experience enlightenment directly, and only because we have completely refined our consciousness.
The more you advance in the practice of magick, the more you see that it’s actually all about transcending our enslavement to the ego and ultimately freeing ourselves from the endless cycles of incarnation.
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