on 10 March 2011
This is the new edition of Kraig's classic course on high magick of the western tradition. Here you will an excellent primer to get you going on the path particularly if you are interested in Golden Dawn Traditions and Thelema (although does not cover Thelemic rituals), although the course does contain a section detailing modern Wicca and Tantric material.
The new edition is much larger than the previous edition and includes some much better larger photos and diagrams, plus helpful summary sheets. New material is also inserted into the text at various points with Kraig's anecdotes, tips and updates on matters since the previous editions. At times these are insightful, witty and perhaps a little annoying but overall make for an updated better text than the original.
The New Chapter making this '12 lessons' includes Kraigs Synopsis of NLP, Chaos Magick and 'Post Modern Magick/Linguistics' ideas of Patrick Dunn. Personally, I found the section on NLP to be rather too brief to be of much value other than to just point the interested reader in the right direction. At a guess I might say there is 20% new material included in the book at the very most, comprised mostly of the new 12th chapter.
Overall an excellent buy, even if you have the old edition.
on 5 September 2015
I have read this book a number of times over the years and bought the latest edition when it was released a few years ago. The latest edition has a number of new chapters and expanded sections in it, in addition to a new layout. The height of the book has increased somewhat to around A4 size and there is a lot of material in the book.
This is a really good book if you wish to learn Golden Dawn style magic. However it is unsuitable if you wish learn and practice traditional high magical arts as found in recently published medieval manuscripts or modern grimoires. I feel the book could have been better titled to reflect its Golden Dawn leanings. In saying that, this book has probably been the single most effective recruitment tool for the many Golden Dawn organisations in years. It is worth remembering you do not need to be a member of Golden Dawn, a self initiate of its astral temple, or need to create any of its magic tools to perform high magic (a common misconception to those new to magic).
The Golden Dawn system fails on many levels, particularly with regard to correspondences and the erroneous usage of Enochain and Egyptian deity. The book itself is littered with historical inaccuracies, particularly when for example it mentions Jews and Witches hiding in the hills during the inquisition and Jews teach witches the Kabbalah. I mentioned this frequently during the 1st edition on various forums, but the errors are still there in the new edition. It would be helpful if there were references to information mentioned so the beginner knows exactly where the author's information comes form. The book frequently instructs beginners to do things without fully explaining why or what the words mean. Lastly there is a chapter on sex magic, which does not fit in at all with high magic.
If you would like to learn modern high magic I would recommend 'Techniques of High Magic' by Skinner and King in addition to 'The Secrets of High Magic: Vintage Edition', by Francis Melville.
on 6 December 2010
I purchased the first edition many years ago but recently failed to find my copy - so I ordered the latest edition. Wow, what an improvement. The original presentation was good, but the current edition is excellent. The format is much larger, and the images are great. As for the text, it captures much of the teaching of GD, and the later hermetic groups BOTA and SIL. This is a very clear and practical text that will engage the readers for years. A must purchase for anyone interested in the western mystery tradition.
on 19 February 2014
This is not the easiest book to read from cover to cover and was not really designed to be read in that way. It is a lesson book, but sometimes i found you had to constantly jump forwards and backwards to reference stuff, fortunealy this was on my kindle which makes it so much easier rather to do.
on 18 November 2012
If your interests lie within the Golden Dawn order, and in the early stage of acquiring knowledge, I "FIRMLY" advise Modern Magick as a "MUST" read. Not only does it teach you "ALL" you need to know to kick start your esoteric endeavors but, in a very "SAFE" fashion!! With the Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram and the Banishing Ritual of the Hexagram you can be sure you'll be safe upon your magical journey; (an issue that's overlooked in most occult literature).
The book comprises of over four hundred page's "so reading will take some time," if reading is all you intend to do? For myself, about 11 days was needed to complete the book (just reading, no practical), reading for at least five hours daily. "It's no quick breeze through!" So, if you wish to become a productive Ceremonial Kabbalistic Magician, depending on your current knowledge, then, a few months of practical work is needed "at least!"
Modern Magick has an excellent section on Talismanic magick (the only section pertaining unto the performing of real magick), bringing to light the difference between low Talismanic magick and high talismanic magick.
Influenced by Crowley, Kaballah and the Golden Dawn order, along with references from the key of Solomon among other sources, this book makes interesting reading.
Credit due to Mr Kraig for his enlightening aspect regarding "NO" spirit will be bought to visible "physical" appearance in the "triangle of art." which, Mr Mathers in "The Key Of Solomon" advocates without due diligence to educate the reader otherwise. Thanks Mr Kraig... (Evocation, seer, in the mirror. "Okay, I got it").
Sex magick, "oh boy," totally not my cup of tea. Read a few pages but then proceeded to skip the entire section due to the disturbing knowledge I was "unwillingly" being fed (then I "willingly" bypassed to the next chapter). Personally, I do not see the need in having sex simultaneously while casting a spell, whats the point? If you want to have sex, well, have sex!! And, if you want to do magick, well, do magick!! I don't see the need for doing both simultaneously, especially if the ritual comprises of mixing "sexual fluids" with wine and drinking it!!! NOT FOR ME, SORRY...
Mr Kraig's habit to afresh the reader, be it true or "more so" overstated, regarding individual jewish intellectual contribution and crucial historical events linked to individuals of jewish origins were at times seemingly a little braggadocio for my appetite.
It is also teeming with "deliberate" error's. For example, page 113, look at the picture of the Golden Dawn Pentacle, observe the last symbol (VII Aretz), now look at the following page and compare the Hebrew transliteration!!!
Kraig "and other famed occultists" consistently advise the student that the path of a true magician is one of investigation, and not to blindly follow others. "beware"
Overall, this book is excellent for the novice and well worth the read. You are furnished with knowledge which spreads from making ritual tools to banishing rituals to talismanic magick. This book, if studied profoundly, will give the novice all he requires to start practicing. But beware, you must study, and practice the material well to gain any real benefit.
Money well spent...
on 13 April 2012
Finally! This book alone is worth the dozen or so hefty magickal classics written by the 'greats'.
It's a little like 'self-help' meets magick. It gets you out of the habit of just reading, and into actually DOING.
In a few short weeks, thanks to its lucid explanations and wonderfully clear and genial tone, I have progressed further in real magickal pratice than I have in the last few years of reading. This book encourages the reader (over and over again) to physically put the book down, get up and actually practice what is being taught. And that's when the magick happens.
The book's lesson format reminds me of the two similarly designed works of Paul Foster Case (which are equally worth while, by the way), and are very cumulative indeed. And as long as you progress through it in a sequential manner, with patience and due diligence, you will find that the knowledge presented along the way sinks in edffortlessly. And mind you, it covers the easy stuff, but quickly moves onto some pretty serious work. Also worth noting are the little indications that the author has been a practitioner and advanced teacher for many years, as he presents handfuls of practical, modern-day solutions and tips (and personal anecdotes) for getting the most out of techniques and rituals.
It becomes apparent within the first few pages that this is a carefully constructed book, condensing many years of practical knowledge (and I must emphasise PRACTICAL, in several senses of the word), and is presented to the entire spectrum of spiritual seekers in a way that satisfies readers of all levels. It's a great achievement, and I feel very fortunate to have stumbled across its path. (And yes; it DOES work - there are real, tangible results within a week or two!)
If I could keep just one book on magick, I honestly wouldnt think twice about this one (and I am considering the ilke of Regardie, Crowley, Case and Cicero). It's one-of-a-kind, and I wish there were more like it. It's the book that self-initiates have always been looking for. Don't be fooled by a pretty cover that suggests superficial work - this is a serious, and incredibly worthwhile collection of true knowledge - gained through experience. Once you've worked through it, you'll begin to wonder why it isnt sold at three times its price!
on 4 October 2011
Excellent manual for anyone wishing to study the occult. Unlike many authors I have read, Mr Kraig not only explains the workings of a ritual in detail, he also explains why to do them in the first place - this is important. So many students these days copy ritual work for the sake of copying, with little understanding of why they are performing them, and hence stifle their own development.
Everything you need is in this book, and a great bonus is the fact that if you get stuck you can email Mr Kraig and he does get back to you (quite quickly too! Check out his profile on the llewellyn website)
Clear, concise, good format.