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Homemade Magick: The Musings & Mischief of a Do-It-Yourself Magus Kindle Edition
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|Length: 240 pages|
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Top Customer Reviews
As someone who appreciates that the mere subject of magick and occult initiation is enough to make even the most committed spiritual journeymans' eyes glaze over he has presented his system of self-initiation here in a thoroughly engaging way.
Avoiding the dogma and authoriative posturing of most arch-maguses he has has presented his ideas in a way that anyone starting off in magick can understand.
In addition the book is also full of personal recollections and fascinating anecdotes which makes this a terrific read in its own right.
I'd thoroughly recommend it to any one treading, or about to tread, on the occult path of self-initiation.
Please note: This independent review was based upon a copy kindly supplied by PGUK, London.
Comprising a very good introduction to the basics of the Thelemic system (and interplay from Qabbalah and other traditions too), an easy to follow self initiation process and guidelines on building a selection of magical tools, and a lighthearted look at living in a magick houshold, this book provides a strong start point for any magi taking their first steps.
While maybe not aimed at the more advanced practitioner, the book does provide a good introduction to magick and would serve as a primer for new students admirably.
This was my introduction to Lon Milo DuQuette, and his writing is easy and fast - short chapters that get straight to the point.
I look forward to reading more of Lon Milo's work.
If you are new to this author, a better starting place might be “My Life with the Spirits” or “Low Magick”, but if you’ve already read his earlier works and are looking for more, then this is well worth reading. I speak as a tourist rather than as a serious student of magick and the occult, but I’m certain that even a practising mage will find that there is much to be gained in revisiting the first steps outlined herein.
What I really savour is the way he brings common sense and everyday nous into a tradition that, to an outsider such as myself, can seem somewhat pompous and self-obsessed. I particularly enjoyed the brief account of how he came to lose weight successfully, but that is just one example of his refreshing take on life, in which the spirit of irreverence has its own personal chaise longue in the sacred living room.
Yes, I enjoyed this book. If truth be told, I enjoyed some of his earlier books more, but it’s just great to have another one to read.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Things I got from this book that I was not previously aware of - Constance, his wife, is an equal partner in the magick, and that includes the mad science magick, and the ritual theatre; their Household is the base and launching pad for his writing and travelling. His qualifications for writing/speaking about magick are ones he has never lied about, trumped up, or magnified, though they are in themselves impressive- a Lifetime ( since the 60's)of DOING magick. His Household has the longest continuously existing OTO chapter in the US, and they host it from their House,
Of use to people who want to know how to get started NOW with magick, he has several sections on how to DO things (Choosing a Magickal motto, Collecting magickal Tools, all with practicality and humor) the quick easy, non-convolutedly explained way.. He is also Very encouraging. His attitude through out was really like "I did these things, and here's how you can, too". It really rather reminded me of "Wicca for the Solitary Practitioner" by Scott Cunningham in that reguard, except for Magickians. Very warm and Encouraging.
For those of you just now getting into western ceremonial magick and want to have the most SOLID foundation from which to start out with, this is an essential book for you to have! All of LMD's books are recommended by me but this one is a must!
Over the past twenty years or so DuQuette has carved out for himself a very particular niche in the world of practical Western esotericism, and that seems to be mainly to do with his strong grasp of the principles of practical inner work, highly accessible writing style and very developed sense of humor. The only other recent popular author involved with Western esotericism who had a comparable sense of humor (and accessible writing style) would perhaps be Robert Anton Wilson. 'RAW' as he was affectionately known, actually toured the continent doing stand up routines during which he often invoked material from the occult or farther out conspiratorial matters. One senses that DuQuette could do something similar if he wanted.
The significance of humor in esoteric traditions of inner work bears looking at, if only because organized religion (of whatever tradition) has typically presented itself in grave and ponderous tones. Even G.I. Gurdjieff, the important early 20th century Greek-Armenian magus, was critical of conventional humor -- he pointed out that there is no indication in the gospels of Christ ever laughing -- but that this was so only because laughter relieves us of excess energy deriving from paradox (yes and no in tension with each other) and that great sages do not suffer from such excess energy because they have resolved all paradox (that is, they see all as One). I always thought that Gurdjieff's views there are ironic because he himself had a great sense of humor. Audio tapes of him on YouTube can be heard telling tales while his surrounding students are provoked into gales of laughter.
A particular problem for those who get practically involved in Western esoteric or occult traditions has sometimes been related to antinomianism, a term used by Martin Luther in the 16th century to describe a type of rebellion against established norms ('antinomian' literally means 'against the law'). This perhaps reached its peak in the late 19th century, when Romanticism and the idea of rehabilitating the 'rejected knowledge' of esotericism contributed to the occult renaissance of that time. When breaking out in such a fashion, however, it is easy to acquire a serious disposition. After all, establishing yourself as distinct from the great masses who all appear to be going in a different direction (and frowning at the direction you've chosen) does not usually encourage humor and laughter. Hence the self-important, serious disposition of many antinomian rebels and artists throughout history, not to mention esotericists or occultists.
DuQuette is a welcome antidote to this culture of seriousness often found within the Western esoteric tradition. One of his gifts is to present esotericism as 'ordinary' -- not in the sense of being mediocre, but rather in the sense of it being both natural and accessible. The word 'homemade' in the title of his book speaks to this. DuQuette's writings help not just to bring needed levity to potentially weighty ideas, but to dispel fear-based conditioning in those interested in the esoteric traditions but still hesitating to learn owing to lingering religious programming that warns against such matters. One has only to listen to no less a figure than Christopher Lee (he of Dracula and Saruman the White fame) on YouTube gravely cautioning university students to avoid the occult at all costs unless 'you wish to lose both your mind and your soul'.
Regarding accessibility, the only other writer on Western magic who has DuQuette's personal touch is probably Poke Runyon, but DuQuette is more prolific and Runyon is more specialized (his 'Secrets of the Golden Dawn Cypher Manuscript' is a great read). Don Kraig (recently passed on) also had the fine gift of accessibility, but DuQuette is probably a more concise writer. Superb scholars on Western esoterica now abound -- Antoine Faivre, Joscelyn Godwin, Wouter Hanegraaff, Stuart Clark, Richard Kieckhefer, Richard Smoley, just to mention a few -- but these are really for the historically and theoretically minded. DuQuette has the touch that allows for one who actually wishes to practice to take particular steps without succumbing to self-importance or self-sabotaging religious conditioning. He also has a clear grasp of theoretical principles.
The other thing I'll say here about DuQuette is I appreciate the fact that the majority of his books seem to have been written in his 50s and 60s. While I've always admired the precocious writers in the Western esoteric field -- examples being Agrippa's 'Three Books of Occult Philosophy', Israel Regardie's 'The Tree of Life' and Manley Palmer Hall's 'The Secret Teachings of All Ages', all written when their authors were in their early 20s -- I've often wondered about the effect of life experience (or lack thereof) on the actual wisdom being offered. DuQuette uses his life experience, the very human tales of struggle and foible that came with his years, as a frequent basis on which to apply the esoteric teachings. It's this very human quality that makes his works, and especially 'Homemade Magick', such a pleasure to read.
Starting off with an introduction of a young California kid forced to move away from paradise to a boring backwater Nebraska, he teels about adjusting to new climes and meeting his future wife Candace. His description of himself I meant to inform us that only she could deal with a man like him. Baba Lon sure has a sense of humor. His life story goes through the sixties, his college life and musical career and tells about his initiation into the OTO.
The first chapter or section gets the new practitioner initiated and makes the newbie ask some very essential questions about who they are. There is a lesson about coming up with your own magical motto. Now who we are is always changing, we are constantly being reinitiated and we will always come up with new magical mottos.
The book then moves into telling the magician how to get his magical weapon and how to consecrate them. You know the chalice, wand, sword, club and pentacle. To make them Lon’s way is the best and easiest way and for someone like me who is not that hands on and is a bit lazy this is the way to go.
Lon then goes on to tell the neophyte how to turn his home into a lodge and how to make your own set of Tarot cards. THE best way to learn magic is to teach magic according to the master. He tells you some great books and then you have to read the stuff and learn it. There is no room for ego and always accept that you can be wrong. In making a magical household there is away the challenge of raising the children. Of course they should be included to the extend that they can handle it and things should not be kept hidden or spooky. I like the way he tells the reader how to use the tarot card to make a magic circle. A bit detailed and will have to be read over. Take good note.
Getting started in magic is difficult and things are not always what they seem. But getting the essentials and simplifying down to the important stuff eases the transition into magic. This is one book that I will use. Even if I do not use everything there are lots of things I will pull out and use. For example at the end he gives over Eliphas Levi’s invocation to the four directions. I will use that in may faerie workings. The Morning-Afternoon-evening salutions to the Egyptian deities is simple and easy to use. I plan on using it. His rites to Demeter are useful even if I end up modifying it to meet my own needs.
Let me leave off with a few final things and maybe two. As a husband you know everything but your wife is always right. You know how tough marriages can be, especially between two magicians. Demons in human form who disrespect you for your flagrant flaws can really end up saving your life.