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The Foundations of High Magick: The Magical Philosophy Hardcover – 1 Jun 2001


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 326 pages
  • Publisher: Castle Books,US; New edition edition (1 Jun 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785811931
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785811930
  • Product Dimensions: 23.7 x 16.5 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,102,061 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 Mar 2001
The authors of this work are well respected within the esoteric community, and the reason for this is well demonstrated by this book, which gives the reader a solid foundation from which to build. Order Aurum Solis (the order from which this book originates) is a magickal order which dates back to the 1800's, not just some 'new age' movement. And as such is an excellent 'point of entry' into the world of Western Occultism. But the experienced Occultist will also benefit from the fact that A.S. offer an alternative to the better known Rosicrutcian orders (Golden Dawn, O.T.O. etc) with their own Ogdoadic system.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 11 reviews
47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
The most treasured in my library! 19 July 2000
By EquesNiger - Published on Amazon.com
Actually, one of the three most treasured, the others being the "Sword and the Serpent" and "Mysteria Magica", representing the (hopefully) forthcoming volumes 2 and 3 of the "Magical Philosophy" series of which this is the first.
Almost everything concievable is explained thoroughly in these books, and the first volume is perhaps the most illuminating. Unlike other texts which simply say "this is so", Denning and Phillips literally walk you through the reasons behind various magical correspondences on the Tree of Life (the theories presented here are basically Kabalistic ones, with just a light amount of Enochian). Ever wonder why the astrological signs are associated with certain paths on the Tree, and certian Tarot cards associated with the signs/paths, as well? Denning and Phillips lay it out for you, step by step, so that you come away with an understanding that won't fade as time goes by.
When I first purchased these volumes back in 1991, I had almost no background in magick whatsoever. While the latter two volumes may indeed be a bit advanced, the first should be required reading for any magickal study (or even a simple mystical study of the Tree of Life). By the end of the first volume, the latter two will no longer be out of the reach of your comprehension.
Highly, highly recommended works. For that matter, everything by either author meets a similarly high standard. If it's by Denning and Phillips, read it!
52 of 58 people found the following review helpful
The Best Book of Hermetic Philosophy Available 28 July 2000
By "quantanephilim" - Published on Amazon.com
There are many books availiable for those who wish to learn the way of ritual magick- but few books for those who wish to learn the philosophy behind it, without having to contend with the opinions of often overbearing (Crowley), dogmatic (Fortune), muddle-headed (Regardie), or overly cautious (Kraig) writers. This book not only teaches pure Qabalistic and Hermetic thought, but insightfully and lucidly ties in connections to Oriental, Native American, and even the often overlooked ideas of those anomalous American Transcendentalists, such as Emerson and Whitman. There's no strange yoga, badly-translated words of mystic power, or misunderstood mythology- only the finest piece of magical literature availiable today. If you're a psychologist interested in exploring the transpersonal realms, a layperson wanting to explore spirituality beyond the confines of exoteric religion, a pagan interested in exploring a more reason-oriented spirituality, or even a chaos mage (like myself) searching for answers- this book is for you. Buy it and see for yourself.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
An Outstanding Summary of Occult Philosophy 19 Feb 2007
By Jon - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This book is quite simply the most concise and insightful summary of the Western mystical philosophy that you're going to find out there. "Foundations of High Magick" explains the symbolism, correspondences, and theory behind mystical self-development in a way that the entire library of Llwelyn and other Golden Dawn-inspired books cannot begin to approach. For those of us that have struggled to find a simple, logical explanation of the theory behind the mystical systems, this book does so in an unparalleled fashion. If anyone has ever tried to sort through the Chokmah in Binah of Assiah (and other such mysteriously muddle-some correspondences upon correspondences ad nauseum) for any length of time, Denning and Phillips have provided a welcome relief! This book doesn't just present the symbols and correspondences: it literally takes the reader on a fascinating tour of these strange new worlds. The authors are knowledgeable guides throughout, spinning an amazing tale that seamlessly combines history, psychology and legend.

Readers who have tried and failed to make sense of Regardie and Crowley's muddled exposition of these ideas will be very grateful to Denning and Phillips for this clear-headed account. The prospective reader should note that this is a theoretical volume, and specific rituals are discussed in the later two volumes of this series. However, I would not necessarily recommend those volumes, because the rituals Denning and Phillips outline are quite similar to those of the Golden Dawn, which can be found elsewhere. In fact, insofar as the Golden Dawn rituals are not literally written in Greek, I find them to be far more comprehensible and useful. But this volume is definitely a solid investment.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
For The Novice in magick 26 Dec 2002
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
This is a great primer for those who are just beginning their studies in magick. This book explains a lot. I have benn a magickal person for over 15 years and I enjoyed this book. Be aware this book is not on the hermetics or Thelema it is on the ogdodic tradition. I would recommend this book to anyone on any path of magick. Unlike some authers Denning and Phillips do not mess with the readers head. Instead they make things as clear as possible. Its mostly a lecture book so if you are looking for loads and loads of rituals you wont find it in here. But nevertheless it is a serious book, one that will help you understand the powers of magick more better. Also the book is also great since there is no useless dribble.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The "other" pillar of western mysticism 15 Jan 2011
By Walter G. Lock - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Ever since Regardie published "The Golden Dawn" various groups, offshoots, and descendants have formed orders based on it, and have kept the name prominent in occultism ever since.

Aurum Solis is a separate tradition, not as widely known (possibly because many read Aurum Solis and think it means "Golden Dawn"). They share many similarities, both being based largely on Qabalist symbolism, but quite a few differences as well. Aurum Solis teachings focus on "The Way of Return" much more than the Golden Dawn works do, empasizing personal growth and awareness.

To me though, the big difference is organization. Denning and Phillips worked very hard to present a complete system in these volumes (of which this book is the first - or first two in the original five). This book lays out the foundation and basic symbolism, the Sword and the Serpent deals with the Qabalah and the Way of Return, and Mysteria Magica deals with other practical applications of the knowledge in the prior volumes.

You can find most, if not all of this information in the Golden Dawn system as well, but it is not nearly as organized, being contained in various knowledge lectures, rituals, cipher manuscripts and teaching spread across many authors and many books - more than a few with intentional omissions and "blinds".

Personally I think this series is the best stuff Llewellyn ever published. Understand that it is NOT the Golden Dawn. There are significant differences between the two orders. But the knowledge presented here (and in the following works) is usable by any student of the occult.
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