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Not in His Image: Gnostic Vision, Sacred Ecology, and the Future of Belief
Not in His Image: Gnostic Vision, Sacred Ecology, and the Future of Belief
by John Lamb Lash
Edition: Paperback
Price: £17.99

8 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Distorted by Polemics, 12 May 2013
I bought this book with significant expectations. Being a critic of the influence of the Christian church over the last 2000 years as well as an interested reader and practitioner of Gnostic teachings I was hoping to find a truly intriguing and new perspective on the subject. Mr.Lamb Lash certainly had the opportunity to provide this - given his depth of knowledge and contextual references.

Unfortunately what made him waste this opportunity completely are (1) his own emotional bias against the Church and for what he believes to be Paganism and (2) his hugely polemic and un-objective approach to the subject. Bring these two together and the result is a book that is distorting its subject to a degree where it becomes useless to the interested reader. Subsequently Mr. Lamb Lash falls into the same trap the early Church Fathers fell into already, only in reverse: Instead of painting the new Christian faith as the path of salvation he evokes the impression that the ancient European Pagan life-style was heaven on earth producing "sexual and sensual pleasure" as "natural by-products of love and reverence felt for the earth." (p.44).

Instead of wasting one's time and money on this book that over-simplifies historic facts - or leaves them away completely - in order to support the personal vendetta against the Christian church, I recommend the following books as much more balanced alternatives. For the interested reader on Gnosticism I recommend R.A.Gilbert's new book on the subject; for the reader interested on a justified and objective critic of the damage 2000 years of Christian church have done to European culture I recommend Karlheinz Deschner's complete works - especially his history of Christian church "Abermals krähte der Hahn".
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 5, 2016 4:48 AM BST

Magical Knowledge III: Contacts of the Adepts
Magical Knowledge III: Contacts of the Adepts
by Josephine McCarthy
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A single book worth an entire library., 18 Feb. 2013
I never thought a single book could contain an entire library. I never thought a single book could contain the actual workload, the depth of practical guidance that easily fills an entire lifetime as a magical adept. With the final part of Josephine McCarthy's Magical Knowledge trilogy, however, this is exactly what you are holding in your hands.

For the traditional ritual magician the first two books of this liminal series opened gateways to a completely new type of magical technique and powerful practice. Step by step the ritual magician could learn how to move beyond the narrow confines of the magical circle and to engage with spiritual beings directly, stripped free of superficial structure and man-made overlays. Personally they taught me more than all of my magical practice during more of a decade before. Most of all, the first two books in the Magical Knowledge series taught me to rediscover and use my magical senses as the most powerful tools life or divinity had ever offered me.

Having said this, I cannot see a way you will be able to successfully work with or personally benefit from the third volume of the series without going deep and spending a substantial amount of time with the first two volumes in advance. I guess, it would be like pushing a baby into a wetsuit and pulling them 200 feet under the sea - without allowing them time to grow up first, to get to know the cold waters, to learn how to dive, to hold your breath, to appreciate the tides and to encounter all the beings that live in them.

Here are a few places `Contact of the Adepts' will take you to as you embark on its many journeys:
- It will allow you to travel into the secret cave in the middle of the earth from where all volcanic power emerges and where it flows back into one.
- It will take you down into the Abyss where you will encounter the dwellings of many powerful beings sealed away by angels and ancestors.
- It will allow you to walk alongside the wondrous Metatron-Cube through a long stretched desert while power is veiled into shape as it flows downwards into Malkuth.
- It will help you climb the Jacob's ladder and into the spheres of planetary beings where fate is formed and souls are beginning their journeys into life.
- It will put you at the threshold of the Abyss and show you the invisible bridge that is the angel Metatron - over which you can walk and pass into the mists of the Archon and the Aeon beyond.

Basically each place of the many this book will take you to traditionally is veiled in secrecy for good reasons: These are the places adepts used to visit for centuries in silence without leaving tracks; and now the doors are open. (...)

You can find my full review of the book here: [...]

I Called it Magic
I Called it Magic
by Gareth Knight
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful journey into magic and life., 9 Sept. 2012
This review is from: I Called it Magic (Paperback)
Enjoy the stories of one of the magicians that has revived our Western Occult lore like few others. Even though his name is still much less known than Crowley, Fortune, etc. - often it's the people standing in the shadows doing the hardest work. I learned a lot from Mr.Knight about the way true magic is working, how it is blent into real life and how much humbleness and trial and error it takes to bring it through. This book is a good friend and teacher of mine.

The Work of the Hierophant
The Work of the Hierophant
by Josephine McCarthy
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.95

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing stuff., 9 Sept. 2012
This is for the advanced magician only. Work your way through the three volumes of the Magical Knowledge series first to get read for the techniques and practices shared in this book. I own a whole library on English and German magical books. This one is by far the most advanced I have come across to date - full of techniques normally never shared outside of small, practically working magical groups.

The Exorcist's Handbook
The Exorcist's Handbook
by Josephine McCarthy
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.95

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A glance behind the curtain..., 9 Sept. 2012
If you have a practical interest in magic then I'd recommend to study all three volumes of the Magical Knowledge series first - then move on to the Exorcist's Handbook. The money invested on the four books is worth a library spent on traditional 'grimoire' or GD type of books on ritual magic. If, however, your interest is mainly historical or theoretical and you aim to just peak behind the veil of what is really going on during an Exorcism - then go on and take a look. There is no better book out there than this.

Magical Knowledge  Book I Foundations/ The Lone Practitioner
Magical Knowledge Book I Foundations/ The Lone Practitioner
by Josephine McCarthy
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bringing visionary & ritual magic back together, 7 Jan. 2012
For the full book review follow this link: {...]

(...) Magical Knowledge I aims to help magicians bringing the two worlds of visionary & ritual magic back together again. In its core it is a book that teaches how to create and open doors between the spirit and the material realms. In order to do so it strips down the ritual magical process to its bare bones: a room, a candle, a bowl of water or a stone and complete silence. From there onwards it's all about the magician traveling out into the realms of the spirit and bringing back contacts, their influence and presence into the material realm. Essential, raw, hard and beautiful work.

So instead of summoning gatekeepers this book teaches you how to become one. The most essential ingredients on this journey, however, aren't the magical skills you are taught in most occult orders or training books. Your ability to create, open and watch these doors between realms depends on very different things - and certainly not on a lionskin-belt or a carved ivory wand. What will define, cripple or expand your skills and works as a magician are the natural interfaces through which we all continuously communicate with the spirit realm - without training or telephone calls that is. These interfaces are your true intent, your heart's emotions as well as your everyday state of mind.

The book is the first in a trilogy and its subtitle is called 'foundations'. I guess, that's a pretty accurate description of the point one should have reached on their magical and general life's path to start the type of work laid out in it... Before any foundations can be build a single fixed point is needed. The very first step in building any temple of the ancients was to find the place where it should come through. Often this place was shown to the priests by the gods. In our case it won't be that easy. We need to find out ourselves if and when we are ready to commit, to lay the first stone of our own foundation in working with the inner contacts.

Each door opened, each ritual conducted in a contacted way comes with no uncertain level of personal responsibility. It's the responsibility for one's own intent, for one's body and mind that will be affected in no ambiguous terms, but also for the contacts we work with and the land and the others we affect in this work. The time has to be right for you to embark on this journey.

Magical Knowledge I teaches how to cut a door into the wall for the magician to step through into the inner realms and encounter the spirits face to face. Yet, it also lays the foundation for a completely different level of magical work. One where the focus of the work isn't on the wishes and desires of the mage, one where magic isn't used as a delivery service for the magician's needs. But one where the magician steps back into the ancient chain of beings - connecting spirits, demons, angels and humans alike - and starts to work unconditionally in supporting not his work but the work that has to be done.

So this book will be a precious gift to you if you are ready to let go of your own magical agenda. If you are ready to ultimately turn into a magical tool on the altar of some larger beings than we can image, if you are ready to trust. If you aren't ready, however, take your time. 'Cause otherwise its techniques could give you a smooth ride on a road along the coast of the spirit realms - that leads right down to self-ruin.

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