Portable Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic Paperback – 30 Jun 2014
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The portable edition of The Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic, by Israel Regardie, edited with a Foreword by David Cherubim. There is new material in the book by Israel Regardie from the archives of the Israel Regardie Foundation, as well as material by Chic and Tabatha Cicero, Lon Milo DuQuette, Jack Willis, and S. Jason Black. The Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic was Israel Regardie's last book, his Magnum Opus, and the final token of his True Will. Through this book he bequeathed to us the means to carry on the Great Work of the Golden Dawn.
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1. The Golden Dawn: first published by Aries Press in 1937 in 4 volumes. This book contains the Stella Matutina rituals and papers, and is therefore a later modified version of the original Golden Dawn rituals and papers. This edition was later published by Llewellyn in the 1970s and has stayed in print ever since. It has a number of typos. Hereafter called the Llewellyn book.
2. The Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic: first published in 1984 by Falcon Press. This book is Regardie's attempt at perfecting his earlier Golden Dawn Book. I've read the whole book and typos are kept to a minimum as far as I could tell. In this book Regardie gives the student a bit of a guiding hand throughout the text.
3. The Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic: a new edition of the earlier Falcon Press edition published sometime after 2000. This book is published by New Falcon and is expanded with new essays.
4. The Portable Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic: published in 2014 by New Falcon. This edition is a reprint of 3. It's in a smaller format and in paperback. Unfortunately it has lots of typos, which I find distracting. But the price is significantly lower. If typos don't bother your concentration, it's still a better buy than the Llewellyn book due to it's completeness.
My favorite edition of these books is number 2, the 1984 first edition. This book has the rituals and papers for the original Golden Dawn, as opposed to the Llewellyn book with the later Stella Matutina rituals and grade papers. Although the material is very similar, it does make a difference. The original Golden Dawn rituals are a bit longer, and some of the Stella Matutina material is a bit more stripped down. The 1984 edition has a much better layout than the Llewellyn book. You can read it straight through and it makes sense, something the Llewellyn book doesn't quite have going for it. Regardie gives the student more guidance in 1984 edition, as opposed to the Llewellyn book which includes the similar material but very little to guide the reader. Regardie worked hard on The Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic at the end of his life and it shows. Fittingly, it is his crowning achievement.
The 1984 book is a vibrant red with a bright yellow dust jacket. The paper is on the thin side and yet it is still quite a large volume. This book could keep you busy for years. The edition is signed with a dedication by Israel Regardie. But beware that this is a facsimile signature and it appears on every book in this edition. As far as I know there are no copies with Regardie's handwritten signature, aside from perhaps a few select copies for friends. Regardie died within a year after the book was released so signed copies are surely rare. Don't buy the book thinking you're getting Regardie's signature.
If your cultural/magickal milieu is Rosicrucianism, Freemasonry, and European occultism in general then this is an important volume. So much of what happened in 20th century esotericism was influenced by the Golden Dawn and by extension Aleister Crowley, who published lots of Golden Dawn material years before Regardie.
If you keep an eye out for this edition you can purchase it significantly cheaper than the expanded New Falcon edition. I have seen it go for as cheap as $70 to $100. I have read the added essays in the recent New Falcon edition and they are good, but hardly timeless like everything in the Regardie approved first edition.
-Good quality paper, (Thick white paper)
-High contrast printing.(Dark black ink)
Better than I expected for the price. I don't know the other, more expensive editions.
-Only black&white print, no colored pages. (Althought the text gives referance to color plates, there are only B/W plates)
-While each volume has its own page numbering, no general numbering is given.
-A lot of typhos (e.g. '1' instead of 'I', 'thr' instead of 'the')
I recommend this edition. For the color plates, you can find them on the net. For the page numbering, on top of each page you can easily read the volume number. So instead of using a general page number it is possible to use the given page number together with the volume number.