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By Names and Images: Bringing the Golden Dawn to Life
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 April 2015
Very grounded help for students. Peregrin manages to make complex subjects much easier to absorb through his clear writing. This is really an essential companion for anyone studying Magick, Hermeticism, Qabbalah, Tarot and the Golden Dawn. Cannot sing the praises high enough for this book.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 23 August 2012
This book has really rounded out, or in fact fertilised, my understanding of Golden Dawn practises. Since applying the inner work described in Pergrin Wildoak's book to the rituals he describes, the transformative power of my daily devotions has increased greatly.

I found the book an easy and absorbing read start-to-finish: something I cannot say about certain other wonderful and necessary tomes for this path, such as Regardie's Golden Dawn. Names and Images works extremely well for me when used in conjunction with those sorts of books: it truly brings the Golden Dawn to life.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 13 August 2013
Peregrin Wildoak undertakes a remarkable effort to bring some aspects of the Golden Dawn system of magick down to earth and make it palatable for interested persons without over-simplifying it. Thus he tries to fill in some background to more comprehensive works (see below) which is laudable and would have filled a really existing need had he succeeded - which unfortunately, though, he has not.

Wildoak falls way short of his intentions and pretenses. He delivers a very uneven product that reads more like an unfinished draft manuscript than a finished publication. While it begins quite pleasantly in terms of literary style, the text soon degenerates to rather sketchy notes and incomplete information. Obviously, the text did not profit from review by an editor other than Wildoak himself. While the book begins seemingly well-structured, in its later parts it completely loses form and focus, and gets disorganized into fragmentary notes that lack cohesion. Thus his descriptions of rituals and ceremonies become so incomplete that for practical purposes as he expressly intended them, they are virtually useless for a student without prior knowledge - and such a student would not need them at all.

Sure, there are some quite elegant and polished parts of the text in the earlier sections of the book that make it that much more obvious that in later parts the language appears extremely clumsy, adding to the impression that one is reading unfinished and incomplete notes that in this form could certainly not have been intended for publication. Also very annoying are the author's largely futile efforts at gender-neutral language which apart from inconsistency often border on - and sometimes cross over into - the ridiculous, e.g. when explaining the formula of the Kabbalistic Cross on page 86: "Here we are addressing the unnamable ONE Being und placing our life in THEIR hands ... to be guided and moved by HIM, to serve HIS ends ... to serve GODDESS." (emphasis by all-caps mine).

Also, the reader should be aware that there are a great many mistakes in the Hebrew itself as well as in its transliteration and translation or etymology; obviously these Hebrew parts have just been copied from other publications without any understanding of the language, including the errors resulting from this, and there has been no consultation with a native Hebrew speaker for correcting language points or a Jewish Kabbalist or Rabbi for correcting dogmatic points (e.g. he is completely wrong and thus misleading the reader regarding "Amen" and seems not even to know about its notarikon on which any practicing Jew could have enlightened him because it is contained in the traditional Siddur).

From reading his book I got the impression that Peregrin Wildoak is a self-taught and widely read practicing magician of great ambition and talent who nevertheless lacks in experience in terms of his Magick as well as in terms of the requirements of a publication such as he intended this one to be. There are much better works available that succeed much better in highlighting the importance of the inner workings that make the Golden Dawn rituals and ceremonies operate effectively, and that offer the reader/student a real workable curriculum (such as Donald Michael Kraig Modern Magick: Twelve Lessons in the High Magickal Arts (in this respect unsurpassed in its scope and usefulness), or Thomas Christopher Kabbalah, Magic & the Great Work of Self Transformation: A Complete Course, Chic and Sandra Tabatha Cicero Self-Initiation Into the Golden Dawn Tradition: A Complete Curriculum of Study for Both the Solitary Magician and the Working Magical Group, and, of course, as a compendium Israel Regardie The Golden Dawn: The Original Account of the Teachings, Rites & Ceremonies of the Hermetic Order (Llewellyn's Golden Dawn Series), and even the Temple of Witchcraft series by Christopher Penczak, particularly his The Temple of High Witchcraft: Ceremonies, Spheres and The Witches' Qabalah (Penczak Temple Series), who is unjustly neglected by parts of the more "serious" magickal community).

Overall, the book is disappointing; it seems rushed into publication in an unfinished and immature state, does a great disservice to the Golden Dawn system of magick, and thus is not fit being added to one's magickal library. It grieves me that I have to say that ultimately I found this book a waste of money, reading time, and shelf space.
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