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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond awesome. A balanced, safe and sane guide for magicians written by an experienced magician, 31 Aug 2012
By 
Paolo Sammut - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Magical Knowledge Book I Foundations/ The Lone Practitioner (Paperback)
The Magical Knowledge series by Josephine McCarthy is awesome and I wish that I had copies of these books when I was first properly starting out on the path. I feel that her work builds upon the writings of occultists such as WE Butler who place an emphasis on "work" and "service" rather than treat the occult as a joyride. Sadly today we are seeing a rise of alleged "black magic" books which are telling students that they can act as they please. Happily books such as this by Josephine McCarthy act as a sane counter to such misguided nonsense.

Book One: Foundations, is broken into two parts a more theoretical first part and then a more practical second part which really gives one all the lone practitioner (or small group) need to get going. Both sections are well written in a practical down to earth way which puts you at your ease straight away. Josephine comes across as an experienced no-nonsense writer who has years of hard one experience and this is exactly the attitude needed when on the path.
Part one is vital and does more than just "set the scene" regarding walking the magical path. It goes deeply into how the occult fits into society today, helping the student to avoid the pitfalls and skirt around the fads which shape any practice. However these initial chapters go deeper than this and also introduce the reader to concepts such as inner work, the inner library and contacts.

The second part really jumps in with some practical exercises. Josephine's approach revolves around vision magic so we start early on with the vision of the void which is very much the heart of the practice. From here one can retreat into the void to ground and balance oneself, as a jumping off point to other locations such as the desert etc. The exercise is simple but will repay dividends a million fold for anyone taking the trouble to practice it.

This section then goes into each of the tools used by a magician such as the altar, sword, shield etc. Discussing what they are used for and how they work. We then go through the consecration method to use with these implements making them ready for the work. This moves naturally on to creating a consecrated space and then bringing in the contacts, which really are key to this work. From here in theory one has all the information one needs to get going - although there is plenty to learn and it is easier to follow a good well written book such as this (and subsequent volumes) to gain a rich picture of working as a practical magician.

A lot of information in Josephine's books has never before been published and whilst it can be argued that this information is dangerous and so should not be published, I disagree with that view - in this day and age there are students who work alone and really need this information to help them open their inner perception. It is actually very difficult to harm yourself using occult means unless you have been developed enough to be able to make it work - ie learned to meditate, have reasonably clear inner vision etc. Anyone at this point should really have learned enough common sense to not do stupid things.

Finally there are a number of appendices which go into tarot reading, consecration of salt and water and making a talisman. These serve perfectly to round off the starter who having worked with the book needs a few basic skills in readiness for the next step.

The Magical Knowledge series of books are sane, balanced and brilliant. I would be happy to place a bet that 100 years from now these will be occult classics standing rightfully next to works by WE Butler and Dion Fortune as guides along the path which will enrich and help generations of students to come. I shall be placing reviews of the subsequent books here on Amazon as they become available.

I really cannot recommend this book highly enough and reiterate that I wish so much that I had this book in my hands years ago when I was starting. From reading this I have come to realise that whilst I still had so much to learn I am lucky that experienced magicians such as Josephine have written such works which are invaluable to starters and more experienced people alike.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bringing visionary & ritual magic back together, 7 Jan 2012
This review is from: Magical Knowledge Book I Foundations/ The Lone Practitioner (Paperback)
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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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Look no further..., 10 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Magical Knowledge Book I Foundations/ The Lone Practitioner (Paperback)
I can't stress enough how practical and engaging Josephine has made this book. If, like myself, you have been looking for an accessible and honest guide to understanding and working with the underlying powers of our universe (magic), then you should find the best 'launchpad' introduction right here. I've read a fair amount of books that offer a path of knowledge, but these have all suggested years of blind ritual, constant reading and the opinion that the results will only be for the very few who are honoured with the illustrious grades bestowed upon them.

As a beginner, this book has de-mystified so much that had until now remained a source of dogma, contradiction and frustration. Magic is for all, and can be worked with and understood at the pace of the practitioner. There is enough to occupy the 'neophyte' for quite a while, yet I suspect anyone with a bit of experience in esoteric matters will glean even more. Thank you Josephine, for writing a book that deserves to enter and effect the lives of many people to come..
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last a fresh and honest book, 7 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Magical Knowledge Book I Foundations/ The Lone Practitioner (Paperback)
This book is gonna shake the dust off your magical practice. Guaranteed. First of all, Ms.McCarhty's style alone makes this book invaluable. She shares a huge amount of knowledge in an extremely honest way, something that's really hard to find in other books on the subject. Secondly, it will really take a lifetime to master all the wisdom she's put on the paper and another one to discover all the pearls that only a serious practice will reveal between the lines.
In brief, five stars aren't enough, do yourselves a favor and buy this book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical Knowledge Books, 14 Mar 2012
By 
Don Ainsworth "Don Ainsworth" (Todmorden, Lancs United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Magical Knowledge Book I Foundations/ The Lone Practitioner (Paperback)
Can`t say much more than said by others, but can say, if your in a group,or work alone, this, and all Josephine`s books are a treasure chest of knowledge, overflowing with information and advice and practical magic. A book can only offer so much....., experience is the key to unlock doors.
Outright `beginners` I personally feel, would be better finding a good group to work with. this will appear when you are ready.
Whatever your situation, you could do far worse than starting here. Would be Adepts may learn a thing or two also. I did.

Highly recommended.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars magical knowledge book 1, 29 May 2013
The description for books 1&2'are mixed up confusing . Have scored in what both books have said . But still makes you want to read
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Magical Knowledge  Book I Foundations/ The Lone Practitioner
Magical Knowledge Book I Foundations/ The Lone Practitioner by Josephine McCarthy (Paperback - 1 Jan 2012)
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