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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Challenging and Different
I can see why someone would feel uncomfortable with this book. It is a strange combination of essays showing different perspectives on angels, demons and other winged beings. The contributors range from being very well known and respected occultists, to magicians and mystics I have not heard of at all. But then, surely those of us seeking knowledge and understanding...
Published on 10 Oct 2010 by Scarlet River

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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Both sides of Heaven is a book of readings, containing a number of pieces by some of the most prominent modern occult writers of today.

I must confess I was highly disappointed with the book. As a student of the vast and convoluted subjects of Angel and Demonology I was full of expectations that this book would contain some insight and convey some treasures...
Published on 15 July 2009 by Paolo Sammut


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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 15 July 2009
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Paolo Sammut - See all my reviews
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This review is from: BOTH SIDES OF HEAVEN - A COLLECTION OF ESSAYS EXPLORING THE ORIGINS, HISTORY, NATURE AND MAGICAL PRACTICES OF ANGELS, FALLEN ANGELS AND DEMONS (Paperback)
Both sides of Heaven is a book of readings, containing a number of pieces by some of the most prominent modern occult writers of today.

I must confess I was highly disappointed with the book. As a student of the vast and convoluted subjects of Angel and Demonology I was full of expectations that this book would contain some insight and convey some treasures from the writers years of experience.

Sadly this was not the case, my biggest problem with the book is that each essay is so short. It seems that no sooner had the writer got into their stride when they were having to round things up with a summary. This is highly disappointing and I suspect due to an editorial constraint. I feel that at least 20-30 pages should have been allocated to each essay rather than limiting things to an average of 10-12 pages.

I do realise that book publishing is a complex business and that there are all sorts of constraints with regards to book length, number of pages etc this book is not particularly big at 208 pages including an index. When you consider that the font is quite large and we have 18 authors clamouring for attention, the book becomes very sparse and doesn't have the space it needs to go into the depth this subject desperately deserves.

Having said that there are some absolute wonders in this book. The essays by Emily Carding, Jake Stratton-Kent and Charlotte Rodgers simply glowed with insight and experience and I would certainly look out for more work by these writers.

Emily's essay "The Salvation of the Sidhe" radiated such vision that it has left me aching to see her full "Tarot of the Sidhe" when it is published. Jake's essay on grimoires was also fascinating and I think that his ideas focusing on the classical underpinnings of entity contact were well argued and presented and certainly an avenue for much further research on my part. Finally, Charlotte's essay simply bled hard won experience. But all these essays are far too short and needed much more space.

There are other gems here too. Michael Howard's excellent essay on "the myth of the fallen ones" makes an excellent introduction to his highly recommended books "The Book of Fallen Angels" and (co-authored with Nigel Jackson) "The Pillars of Tubal Cain".

Sadly these are balanced by some abysmally dire essays. Luckily the worst was only two pages, three if you count the "childrens" art which accompanied this one. Others smacked of being written by a 17th year old.

I wish I could rave more about the other essays but sadly I cannot and I wish the writers had been given the space to come into their own making the end product much better.

Having said that the book is not expensive and worth buying simply because it will present a number of views and the reader is almost certainly going to resonate with some of them. Speaking for myself however I live in hope that a publisher such as Scarlet Imprint would produce a similarly themed book which would treat the subject with a lot more verve, respect, depth and insight.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Challenging and Different, 10 Oct 2010
This review is from: BOTH SIDES OF HEAVEN - A COLLECTION OF ESSAYS EXPLORING THE ORIGINS, HISTORY, NATURE AND MAGICAL PRACTICES OF ANGELS, FALLEN ANGELS AND DEMONS (Paperback)
I can see why someone would feel uncomfortable with this book. It is a strange combination of essays showing different perspectives on angels, demons and other winged beings. The contributors range from being very well known and respected occultists, to magicians and mystics I have not heard of at all. But then, surely those of us seeking knowledge and understanding should be interested in more than the obvious!

This is what I love about this book! Like the other anthologies compiled by the author and esoteric researcher Sorita d'Este it seeks to go beyond the obvious. So if you are expecting a bunch of essays with big words saying very little, this is not the book for you. However, if you want a good modern perspective on the different ways in which angels, demons and other winged beings are seen through history into today, then this book is going to provide you with many starting points for your own research.

I commend the editor and the contributors for pushing the boundaries in their work, in what I believe to be a challenging and different way. And I recommend the book to everyone with an interest in Angels, or Demons, Faeries or other winged spiritual beings. Whichever side of Heaven you think you are, there is something here for you that you will enjoy, and something which will push your buttons. Its about growth!
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