Most Helpful First | Newest First
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning guide to the realms of magic,
"Magic of the North gate" is in my opinion Josephine McCarthy's best book yet. It describes the magical world starting with ones body and arching out into wider and wider realms, the home, the environment etc. It shows how one, as a magician, can step out of the training circles and lodge-rooms and work with the vibrant magical world which is out there, interacting with its powers, principalities and currents. Perhaps more importantly it shows you the impact this type of work will have on your body as you work with these powers and show you how to avoid blowing yourself up.
This really is a book which magicians have been needing for a long time. Here we won't see the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram or Middle Pillar repeated (as practically every other book does). Instead we see how a world-class magician has lived and worked for many years and is sharing the knowledge learned from hard experience. I really feel that from such a respected magician it is important to pay attention to this sort of material since in many ways this much of this has never really been disseminated before, making it one of the final genuine mysteries which needed to be revealed.
The book is broken into the following chapters each of which focus on a different magical realm.
The first chapter "The body and magic" is in my view the most important chapter within the book. As far as I know all this information is new and has hardly been discussed in print before, which is odd since this chapter directly relates to the effects magical work has upon our bodies. This is vital, keeps us healthy and stops us going bonkers. There can really be no shortcuts where our very well-being and health are concerned and speaking for myself I have learned a lot on how magic and the endocrine system relate, how magicians experience heightened sensitivity and how we can manage these effects in our work.
The book then expands the premise from magically looking at our bodies to looking at our homes and temple spaces in "Living Magically - Home and Temple". This chapter discusses how as we develop, we cease going to a space to practice, but rather learn to be there all the time. The book then discusses how to magically protect a home, work with a house deity and how to deal with intruding entities.
The next three chapters "Magic and the land" then discuss various features of the natural world around us, starting with the powers in the environment and many of the different entities such as fairies and elementals that it is possible to encounter when we go there. This includes mentioning how important it is to understand local features such as rivers, folklore and geology. This section then goes on to discuss how weather and different types of tidal forces (not just the oceans) can affect things both personally and on a larger scale.
The next chapter then discusses the tamed wilderness, garden and groves. Here we read how to directly and magically work with the land and the local flora, how to tap into power zones and how to build structures which are intended to be more persistent and long lasting.
The third and final chapter in this section then discusses shines, local spirits and bringing these into ones working spaces and literally making friends. This chapter is important since it clearly moves away from any grimoiric nonsense regarding binding such entities but clearly respects their existence and space and teaches us to intelligently work with such entities.
We then move on to "working with the magical elements" which will probably be the most familiar to many magicians since it starts by discussing the magical elements. However even this chapter is important and tempered with Josephine's knowledge and experience. Here we are not taught to slavishly always associate East with air etc but rather look around us and fit our personal elemental model onto our local surroundings, to really feel and interact with this power rather than just look at it in an intellectual but ultimately barren way. Within this chapter there are important implications of working with each element so we learn about seething in the South, the connexions between the north and the underworld and the impact of combining elements.
The next chapter "Divine Power and its containers" launches us out further. As noted above, this book is very much structured so that starting with our selves, our bodies we step out into the home, the environment and now to a wider circle of power, that realm dominated by deity and the primal forces of creation. This section also covers related artefacts such as the qlippoth and how to work with them as parts of creation.
The final realm discussed is that of "The dead, the living and the living dead". Here we can learn much more about working with the dead and the pathway taken by people as they pass from the living to the dead realms. Here we also touch upon hauntings, sleepers aka the ancient dead and also burial sites.
Finally, the last chapter "Weaving power into form" takes all this and forms the crowning summit of this book. We learn about fate and how to work with it, how in fact to perceive and interact with the underpinning patterns of creation as a worker.
This book is destined to become an important classic and will launch a new generation of magicians out into the world. The book has a number of visions throughout and a lot of technique is described within its pages, all written in Josephine's readable and unpretentious style. Absolutely a brilliant read and a book I'll be keeping close to since I'll have a lot to learn and practice from it for many years to come. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yet another winning contribution from a master of Magick!,
Having read Josepione McCarthy's other books on Magick I was left wondering if she had anything new to say on the subject of Magick. As it turns out she does.
In many senses she has clearly established her writing and presentation style as a writer on the occult and so there are no surprises here - however, it is her personal insights and sheer depth of knowledge of Magick that is so astounding - book after book.
Where things go right in her Magickal operations she recalls her experiences with humility - when they go wrong she is equally magnanimous and equally prepared to reveal her mistakes. This depth of honesty and integrity is SO refreshing as indeed is her sometimes unorthodox methodology. This has rarely been equaled by many other practicing female occultists other than perhaps Dion Fortune and Murry Hope. Certainly the men with their love of pomp and ceremony, ritual and self-aggrandisationment (move over Golden Dawn, Rosicruscians and Freemasons!) sure ain't gonna understand Jospehine McCarthys grounded and very leveled headed approach to Magick but if you find traditional Magickal theory and practice to be too dry limiting and academic then I thoroughly recommend that you give Josephine McCarthys work a look at.
I am certainly very glad that I did for I have learned so much about Magick as a result. Great stuff!
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Book,
This is a really serious book and designed mainly for practitioners of the art. I have thousands of books written by hundreds of authors regarding this subject but this is definitely my favourite book. Truly wonderful
Most Helpful First | Newest First
Magic of the Northgate by McCarthy Josephine