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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An impressive publication
I actually bought the "limited edition" version of the book for my partner. Personally, I regard this subject with what I would describe as a "healthy" degree a skepticism.

That all said, the book is possibly one of the most impressive volumes that I have ever held in my hands. It's large by any normal publication standards, and is bound appropriately. Upon...
Published on 30 Dec 2008 by *-[ROB]-*

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3.0 out of 5 stars Wotta Lotta Book
I am fortunate enough to own the first edition of this which was essentially a slightly revised amalgamation of the previous two volume set which was, in turn, actually a rebinding of the original four volume set as vols 1&2 in one physical volume and 2&3 in the other. This makes for one final physical volume which has the presence of a whole pile of telephone...
Published 2 months ago by Ivan


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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An impressive publication, 30 Dec 2008
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I actually bought the "limited edition" version of the book for my partner. Personally, I regard this subject with what I would describe as a "healthy" degree a skepticism.

That all said, the book is possibly one of the most impressive volumes that I have ever held in my hands. It's large by any normal publication standards, and is bound appropriately. Upon opening the first few pages, you are graced with Dr. Hyatt's real signature and handwritten best wishes. What is also immediately striking is the quality of the diagrams distributed throughout this book.

From what I tell, the structure and quality of writing is at the same level as any serious scientific reference. Clearly, irrespective of my personal reservations regarding the subject, I can see that Regardie at least knew what he was doing when he wrote this epic tomb.

Strictly speaking, the only thing differentiating this book from (say) a physics journal is the lack of listed references. Presumably, the material that was used in the compilation of this book cannot be sourced from any conventional form of literature anyway.

In terms of value for money, it would be hard for me to quantify this without more knowledge on the subject. However, what I can say is that I do possess several similarly "sort after" books on scientific subjects that cost me around the same amount of money.

On that basis, if you are in search of some kind of ultimate resource on the occult, my guess would be that this is it.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book on difficult subject, 9 Dec 2003
By A Customer
Taking the job as Alleister Crowley's secretary to be as close to magic as possible, Regardie was an eager student of the occult. Taught by Crowley himself, his first-hand knowledge of the material is striking.
Israel Regardie is - for no obvious reason at all - seldom mentioned when one recognises the most influential occult writers of modern time. Regardie's work are outstanding, and allthough his earliest works did not receive a very warm welcome, Dion Fortune was quick to put Isrel and his book, "The Tree of Life", under her wings. She claimed that his works would become classics, invaluable to any following occultist.
So they have. Allthough written in the early 20th century, and though some claim it is written in code, the subjects mentioned become accessible and understandable in Regardie's tounge.
All works by Israel Regardie should be obtained or at least read by all serious students of occultism. Go get!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Wotta Lotta Book, 10 July 2014
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I am fortunate enough to own the first edition of this which was essentially a slightly revised amalgamation of the previous two volume set which was, in turn, actually a rebinding of the original four volume set as vols 1&2 in one physical volume and 2&3 in the other. This makes for one final physical volume which has the presence of a whole pile of telephone directories. It is a large book. The printing is pretty good, as is the paper and the binding is proper binding; mine is still going strong after many years and I would expect it to outlast the next generation at least.

My main problem with this unusual work is that of Regardie's exposition. Doubtless he is competent in terms of acquired knowledge but his writing style is so turgid and obfuscatory that one begins to wonder if his publishing of this work was designed to be ONLY an aide-memoire to the choir rather than assistance to any treader on the path of exoteric knowledge. I have read and re-read this book in its many forms over the past forty-odd years and have come to the conclusion that he never had any intention of "revealing secrets" but sought only to provide a reference material for initiates with some background in either freemasonry or alchemy. Unfortunately he is also totally in awe of Crowley who had some interesting academic ideas but who also tended to distort GD teachings through some Thelemite dark glass and there seems to be some implicit fanboying going on in the editing. Regardie was accused of this by many, and I seem to remember him protesting in his later years that though he found Thelema interesting, he would remain, first and last a GD man. Sorry, this is purely from memory so please forgive the inexact unreferenced quote. Crowley's influence is never explicit, but it is certainly there.
To avoid this slant one might be better reading work by S.L. Mathers who was doubtless the real genius behind the working GD though of course there are political issues aplenty here. Mathers was not a founder but was a bright chap with a flair for translation and organisation and Crowley obviously saw him as an obstacle to his own career. I would also suggest anything by Gareth Knight with the caveat that his early works were overshadowed by a fondness for scientological "processing," something which he was almost embarrassed about years later. Srill a good read, though. Avoid anything by Mounhi Sadhu (?? spelling) as he has jumbled all his chapter headings and content, doubtless in some attempt to remain "Occult," turning out what is to all intents and purposes nothing more than a pack of lies.

I am presuming that anyone interested in acquiring this work would be unlikely a "novice" or casual aficienado of matters occult so I do not feel duty-bound to de-jargon my thoughts with a glossary and if you are indeed unfamiliar with Crowley, Thelema and the broad outlines of hermeticism, I would strongly advise that you look elsewhere, with apologies if I seem to be overly-elitist.

The Enochian section is fairly useless without accompanying material, though it is bizarrely thorough and chunks of it were reprinted verbatim in Crowley's monographs, particulary - if I remember correctly as I have not seen it since the early 70s, - "A Symbolic Representation Of The Universe" which was part of a beautifully-printed set of works which were more ornamental than instructional. Maybe if one wished to spend the rest of one's life learning the niceties of Enochian Chess...?

Worth owning for completeness and absolutely essential if you are a scholar of any note but don't expect an easy or useful read otherwise.
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The Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic.
The Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic. by Israel Regardie (Hardcover - Sep 1984)
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