I think that Occult Traditions is a brilliant collection of essays that will appeal to both the curious and the knowledgeable. It has many very well known contributors like david rankine. It is also very accessible and economic, the editor and contributor is an Academic, the topics range from a detailed analysis of the greek magical papyri to the key of solomon and much more besides. It is also finely presented. It is my opinion that it is a must have for The Ceremonial Magician.
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Occult Traditions has a wide variety of well-written and researched papers that will interest a spectrum of readers. Academics, practitioners, and the curious will find something new and exciting to enjoy. There are fantastic insights into the history, philosophy, and rituals of these traditions and ideas, particularly the Greek Magical Papyri, Neoplatonism, the grimoire tradition, Icelandic magic, sex and religion in Wicca, and Evolian sex magic. Editor and contributing author, Damon Lycourinos, compiled a great selection of papers from respected practitioners and rising academics who have keen knowledge about the myriad of occult traditions.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A Rich and Rewarding Forray into the Occult Paths!30 Jun. 2012
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An engaging and comprehensive introduction to the vast and frequently unwieldy subject of the Occult. Editor, Damon Lycourinos skillfully maintains a difficult balance between thorough, professional scholarship and vivid, enriching accounts of the practice of the magical arts and the quest for gnosis. This book will prove useful to scholars, students, practitioners and all others who have an interest in the topic. You will find yourself enriched, enthralled and informed!
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Occult Traditions19 Sept. 2012
- Published on Amazon.com
When I found out about the future publication of this book I was really looking forward to it, this was mainly because the list of topics by the contributing authors (some of which are well known in the occult world) looked rather intriguing. I did have some hesitation though which stemmed from a couple of previous occult books I have purchased of a compilation of different authors, which were not as good as I had hoped. This was mainly because some of the chapters in these previous compilations have ended too soon, therefore, not containing enough information to grip hold of my attention and whet the appetite for more. That was not the case with this book though! From start to finish my attention was captivated by the knowledge, skill and scholarly depth of insight that this book gives from all the different authors. That is right; ALL the different authors!
The book's first two chapters are conjured up by Damon Zacharias Lycourinos, and these are : "Conjuring Magical Assistants in the Greek Magical Papyri", and: "The Spell of Pnouthis as a Mystery Rite in the Greek Magical Papyri." These two chapters are bursting forth with information that will form links with the reader's own ideas, and help to illuminate them to new levels of understanding within his or her own field of magical knowledge. For example on page 35-36 Damon (through his knowledge of the Greek Magical Papyri) notes "the magicians of the PGM did not distinguish between magic and mystery cults." He explains this by showing that the magician refers to himself as an 'initiate' while those who are not are called 'uninitiated'. Damon then goes on to say: "This clearly shows that the magicians of the Greek Magical Papyri, in various parts of the body of texts, magic and the mysteries belonged to the same sphere of ideas and operations." This is just one of the thirteen notes I took from just these two chapters, because this point that Damon makes lends more supportive weight to my own ideas that the the mystery cults' teachings which were taught in allegory and analogy, are the principles that are used as a foundation for the magician of the PGM to know how to work magic!
Most of the book was full of little gems like this for me, especially the other chapter to do with the PGM by Aaron Cheak called: "Waters Animating and Annihilating Apopheosis by Drowning in the Greek Magical Papyri" This is a most intriguing chapter that contains so much information that I don't have the time or space to go into here. But, it was great to see that this author used less well known books to quote from that are part of my own occult library. Like one of my favourites 'Fulcanelli' "Le Mystere des Cathedrales." Yet again, this was another chapter containing many bits of information that I will find useful to quote for my own writings.
The next few chapters move on from these previous ones in a kind of time line fashion. Starting with Christopher A. Plaisance' "The Hierarchical Cosmos Occult Theology as a Direct Continuation of Neoplatonism." This was a lucidly explained chapter giving excellent analogies to explain what can be seen as difficult concepts to comprehend. Such as using the simple idea of a brown horse running across a field to explain in an easy to understand way the emanative process of Neoplatonism.
After this chapter, we are given an informative look at the history of the grimoire tradition, by David Rankine, which is another brilliantly written chapter taking us from the beginning to the end of the grimoire period. This is followed by more on grimoires from Ioannis Marathakis, who delves into the source of the Key of Solomon. The chapter after this was a lovely surprise about a late-eighteen century Icelandic Galdrabok that I have not come across before. This is a type of grimoire that uses runes for everyday wants and desires, including spells to make someone fart a lot! LOL. Then, there is yet another excellent chapter by Christopher A. Plaisance who shows very aptly the similarity of purpose between Agrippian magic, medieval magic and Iamblichus' ideas that all pertain to the spiritual development of the soul.
Do not think that all this book is about academic knowledge and history, for you would be greatly mistaken. The other chapters contain much useful information too, even for someone who wants to try things out on a practical level. For example in one of Gwendolyn Toynton' chapters called "Wizards at War Buddhism and the Occult in Thailand" there is to be found a practice called 'Wong Dai Sai' 'Encircling with Holy Thread' this is a technique using cotton that is fixed to a Buddha and then stretched out around the place to be protected, and then wound back in. This practice could easily be adapted by the innovative magician with their own choice of deity. In another chapter by Ioannis Marathakis about 'incenses' he gives a useful comparative table of grimoire planetary incenses, as well as an excellent short glossary of incense substances.
The books last four chapters contain rituals of a Eucharistic Feast of Agathodaimon, A Rite of Solar and Lunar Mysteries of Eros for the Consecration of the Talismans of Helios and Selene, a further two other rituals of adoration and invocation. Plus, there are a couple of chapters on Wicca, one by Melissa Harrington giving forth a detailed account of a Wiccan ceremony, while another chapter by Sorita d'Este eliminates the misconceptions that have been built up around The Wiccan Great Rite. I actually found this rather interesting, which pleasantly surprised me because I don't have much interest in Wicca, but my attention was well and truly gripped by Sorita's enchanted way of writing!
This book is a gold mine of information and knowledge, containing things that I have not even heard of before, (which, if we are honest is quite difficult to come by now in this day and age) such as information on an Indian esoteric text from the fourteenth century that uses dogs for divination! You will also find a fascinating account of a Canaanite view of death and necromancy, by Tes Dawson. There is much more to be read within these chapters, and for an all-rounder on occult traditions, I can see this book taking a prominent place on the bookshelf of many an occultist library. This was a very enjoyable and illuminative read, and I can't recommend this title enough!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Exciting and Original19 Sept. 2012
The Lesser Beast
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Finally we have something new in the Occult scene! Within weeks of publication this book sent waves through the Occult world - excellent reviews and attacks from embittered old fossils in the occult world. It is refreshing breath of air after years of nothing to read but recycled Crowley and Wicca.
This book is a real eye opener to people who think we have 'progressed' spiritually. The text here reveals a vibrant magical history in the ancient world, including Greece and Egypt - and in these two areas the authors depth of knowledge is truly inspiring. Other highlights include the ever enjoyable work of David Rankine and Sorita D'Este along with the astonishing debut of Aaron Cheak and his extremely high knowledge of alchemy.
It is highly unusual for an unknown publisher to produce a work of such quality, which is undoubtedly the reason why we have so many wounded egos in the Occult world. New ideas frighten the old fossils and this book does to them what Crowley did to Victor Neuburg!
We look forward to seeing more original works and less magical regurgitations in the occult world and hope Thoth blesses us with a second volume.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
This is THE definitive occult anthology19 Jun. 2012
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When I first picked up Occult Traditions, I was not sure what to expect - I had high hopes that this would not be yet another publication on the same material which is rife in the field of Esoteric/Occult Studies.
I was pleasantly surprised; the content of Occult Traditions went far above and beyond my initial expectations. Finally we have here a collection of works which has surpassed the precedents set by Crowley and contemporary witchcraft to present a new and in depth approach to the Occult. The manner in which topics are approached is both mature and fresh, offering opinions which are useful to both scholars and practitioners alike.
Of special interest to the reader is the editor/author Damon Lycourinos's approach to the whole topic. The way in which magick is addressed is from a Traditional standpoint in the regard that he has chosen to write from within the perspective of an established Occult Tradition, but has also successfully thrown new and fresh ingredients into his work to create a strong and intoxicating literary potion.
Those who have an interest in sex magick will be astounded to see Lycourinos address this topic in a new and scholastic manner without recourse to authors such as Crowley and Gardner (the founder of Wicca). This could well lead to a new and revolutionary approach to the problems of an old topic. His in-depth treatise of the Greek Magical Papyri is also of importance.
Other notable articles within the collection are Aaron Cheak's article on alchemy, Gwendolyn Toynton's piece on the history of augury, and Ionnis Marathakis works on incenses and the Grimoires. Christopher A. Smith's essay on Icelandic magic is also worth noting, and is of special interest to those who enjoy the Northern Traditions.
Overall, this is a fascinating assembly of different topics, written by experts in their respective fields. The depth of content even surpasses that of Evola's anthology on magic based on the workings the UR Group and that of Crowley's Equinox.
If there is one book which promised success in the arcane arts, Occult Traditions is it and it is the `must have' book for the library of every serious student of magic.
If you buy one occult book this year, make sure it is this one. I have seen the future of magic in the western world, and this is it.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Conjuring Magical Assistants in the Greek Magical Papyri - Damon Zacharias Lycourinos
The Spell of Pnouthis as a Mystery Rite in the Greek Magical Papyri - Damon Zacharias Lycourinos
Waters Animating and Annihilating Apotheosis by Drowning in the Greek Magical Papyri - Aaron Cheak
The Hierarchical Cosmos Occult Theology as a Direct Continuation of Neoplatonism - Christopher A. Plaisance
From Roots to Fruits: A History of the Grimoire Tradition - David Rankine
A Source of the Key of Solomon- The Magic Treatise or Hygromancy, or Epistle to Rehoboam - Ioannis Marathakis
The Icelandic Tradition of Magic: Analysis of a Late-Eighteenth Century Icelandic Galdrabók - Christopher A. Smith
From Conjuror to Philosopher: A Comparative Analysis of Medieval and Renaissance Angel Magic - Christopher A. Plaisance
Dining with the Dead: A Canaanite View of Death and Necromancy - Tess Dawson
Composite Incenses and Incense Attributions: A Historical Survey - Ioannis Marathakis
The Science of Omens: Divining the Will of the Gods - Gwendolyn Toynton
Seth, the Red One of Chaos and Equilibrium - Damon Zacharias Lycourinos
Evolian Sex, Magic, and Power - Damon Zacharias Lycourinos
Wizards at War: Buddhism and the Occult in Thailand - Gwendolyn Toynton
Woman was the Altar: The Wiccan Great Rite: Sex, Tea, and Religion - Sorita d'Este
Treading the Spiral Maze: Changing Consciousness in Wiccan Ritual - Melissa Harrington
Akephalos Being an Attempted Restoration of the Rite of the Headless One, according to the Stele of Jeu the Hieroglyphist - Matthew Levi Stevens
The Holy Guardian Angel: A Golden Thread in the Tapestry of Being and Becoming - Companion Abraxas
The Eucharistic Feast of Agathodaimon - Companion Abraxas
The Rite of the Solar and Lunar Mysteries of the Altar of Eros for the Consecration of the Talismans of Helios and Selene (this needs to be moved so it is aligned with `The Rite')
The Calling and Adoration of Aion, and the Spell of the Mystic Flame
The Hymnic Adoration and Invocation of Thoth''
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Great depth in each essay7 Jun. 2015
Julio Cesar Ody
- Published on Amazon.com
Superbly well-written. Great depth in each essay. Excellent background provided for anyone interested in practical hermetics.