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on 3 August 1999
Lon Milo DuQuette's MY LIFE WITH THE SPIRITS is certainly a remarkable book in several ways: first it is an autobiographical account from that rarest and strangest of humans, a real, live wizard. Second: it is written in such an accessible and friendly style that anyone can enjoy it, and learn from it. Third: Lon does not distort the technical and philosophical requirements of his Art to please a credulous public, nor does he seek to overawe us with his mastery of the subject. Actually I think this book could be very successful in the main-stream spiritual book market (Celestine Prophecy, etc.) if it can break out of its Ceremonial Magick genre confines. It deserves to be widely read as the finest testament yet written on what it is really like to be a Western magician in modern urban America. This is certainly as important as knowing what it is like to be a shaman in a South American Jungle (and we never get that firsthand). This book is a treasure, and the man who wrote it (and lived it) is a National Resource.
Poke Runyon, Editor - The Seventh Ray
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on 16 May 1999
I recently attended the 1999 Book Expo America in Los Angeles and was fortunate enough to pick up an advance review copy of Lon Milo DuQuette's MY LIFE WITH THE SPIRITS - The Adventures of a Modern Magician.
Critics have called DuQuette the most entertaining author in the field of ceremonial magick and Western esotericism. His newest offering is an autobiography and is without question worthy of a permanent and honored place in the library of American spiritual literature.
Each chapter is superbly crafted - a magical jewel of spiritual insight, ruthless self-examination and sidesplitting humor. There is nothing like it. I hesitate to invoke the name Mark Twain when talking about an author of the occult but the temptation is nearly irresistible. DuQuette is a master storyteller and spins his tale with disarming ease and homely charm. Parts read like "Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn Conjure Demons."
DuQuette has the artist's ability to see the magick in countless seemingly unmagical events in his life. Most remarkably he appears to be able to bestow that same gift upon anyone who is ready to examine their own Life with the Spirits.
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on 28 July 1999
Far and away, Duquette's best book yet. "My Life with the Spirits" documents this authors incredible and oft times hilarious exploits through the realms of modern ceremonial magick. Duquette takes the air out of much of the pomp and mystery surrounding the occult by allowing us a very personal an intimate view into the often chaotic world of the initiate. By offering us such a candid look into the successes as well as the mishaps encountered upon the Path of his magical career, Duquette opens his heart and bares his soul to us with a self-effacing wit and humor that allows each reader a private glimpse behind the veil of the mysteries.
Extremely accessible and an incredibly easy read. (I couldn't put it down and finished it in about 4 hours). This book will have you belly laughing uncontrollably while simultaneously providing you with practical insights into the methodology and practices of such arcane subjects as Enochian and Goetic Magick, Exorcism, and esoteric transformational psychology.
A "must have" for the modern occultist.
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on 13 April 2005
This book is an autobiography. But it differs from most as it is also a teaching tool, with the focus being magic. It is about personal responsibility and personal growth. It is a book of inspiration as well as failure. It's about being human, becoming a holy man and dealing with the divine. It is a book about the student who becomes the teacher. Sounds interesting but confused? Let me back up and explain.
Amongst his many practices, Lon Milo DuQuette is a Qabalahist, one who studies and practices the Qabalah. No, he is not Jewish. Not everyone who studies the Qabalah is Jewish. He is a magician, in the truest sense of the word.
Mr. DuQuette starts out by giving us his background, his youth, and explains how his parents choices of a spiritual path failed to meet his special, personal needs. Born in time to grow up in the 50s and 60s on the West Coast, he had the opportunity to seek out the spiritual path that made the most sense to him, and allowed him to explore it to the fullest.
Mr. Duquette has a way about him, of looking at a situation, in retrospect, and finding the "meat and potatoes" of why he chose a particular path or project, and making it into hash. We all had adventures at that time. Mr. Duquette had some whoppers. And he admits to them and tells us all about them in a most charming way.
That is what makes this book unique. This is not another dry and dull autobiography by some Ceremonial Magician that becomes an ego trip for the magical and famous. This is a real person exploring magic. He has some spectacular successes on his chosen path, and some stupendous flops. We all learn from our mistakes, and Mr. Duquette is not afraid to admit to his share of a few. He never takes anything so seriously that he forgets to laugh. And he shares this with the reader to our delight.
Each success and each failure becomes a learning experience he shares with the reader, passing on his own brand of validation of experience.
He also shares some of his knowledge in a way that almost anyone can understand. You don't have to be a Qabalahist to follow what he is talking about or doing. Mr. DuQuette lays it out for you in the simplest form, and you may even come away with some understanding of what the Qabalah is all about, without even realizing it. We see the beginnings of a person who will become an excellent teacher.
This is a wonderful book about one person's journey along a magical path. It is a book of exploration, a book of learning and a book to make you realize that we are all human and we are all magical. It is about finding one's path and making the most of our lives. It is full of positive affirmations about life, and is inspiration for those looking at what magic is about.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone considering the path of magic in their lives, be it High Magic or kitchen witchery. And I recommend this to anyone who knows someone on the magical path and wants to know what it is all about. While it is very specific to Mr. DuQuette, I couldn't think of a better teacher for what magic is and is not for those not familiar with magic.
And for those who already walk the path of magic, I recommend this book as an essential part of our learning. We can all use a reminder that we are but human, no matter how much we tend to think we are something more. Thanks, Mr. DuQuette, for that lesson.
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VINE VOICEon 9 July 2004
Saint DuQuette does it again. In this astonishing frank account of his magickal life, Lon Milo discusses the various trials and tribulations an aspiring mage must go through to achieve adepthood.
Some bits are fascinating - the Enochian Experiments for example and Lon Milo's approach strips a lot of the superstition and needless fear which has been installed on the system by certain schools and writers. Sure, like any working magical system it can be dangerous but it certainly is not loaded to zap any magician willing to sensibly experiment and learn. I am sure (well fairly sure) that there are no Enochian demons hanging over me waiting until I die to drag my screaming soul down into the infernal abyss for all eternity.
The account of the Goetic summoning is hillarious and gripping, Lon raising a demon in his infant sons bedroom teaches us many things not least of which is be sure of your banishings. Again showing that all systems have a validity and need to be treated with respect
Simply the best magical autobiography since Aleister Crowleys Confessions - and much more truthful.
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on 10 August 1999
I've read Duquette's other books and have enjoyed them, and I wasn't disappointed with this one. It's a slim volume that's easy to read and hard to put down, and I found the accounts of his rituals absorbing and humorous. Duquette doesn't take himself too seriously, which is a plus in my books--there's too much pompous self-righteousness in modern occultism.
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on 17 May 1999
I received my advance copy of this wonderful little book directly from the hands of the author, my teacher, Lon. I promptly devoured it. Unlike many autobiographers, Lon gives us just enough information his early life so that we can understand what his origins are, but not so much that we get bored by the petty details of childhood. Lon manages, in his own unique style, to describe his extraordinary magickal career with out recourse to pomposity or gratuitous name-dropping. He does indeed have to drop some rather famous names in later 20th century Magick, simply because he has in fact made their acquaintance. Yet Lon is the first to point out how fleeting these associations were. He is also quite forthright about his relationship to and with the most famous of all magickal orders. Lon's magickal career has indeed been truly magickal and reading about it is also a magickal experience.
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VINE VOICEon 28 November 2003
I am inclined to think that the personal record of a magician - such as Duquette's autobiography here - is far more revealing when it comes to the occult than many of the ponderous tomes written on the subject. For the latter give the theory: but the former show how real people have put it into practice.
In writing his autobiography, Duquette succeeds in making the occult an approachable subject - because the overall impression is "here is Magick being worked someone who is essentially ordinary - an Everyman figure". That is to say, he starts as an ordinary man, but becomes Extraordinary through his remarkable persistence to the work.
Moreover, by giving details of his early life, he gives a perfect example of how the psychedelic era of the 60s caused a whole generation of young people to seek meaning in alternative belief systems - in Duquette's case, in ceremonial magick.
This book will mainly be enjoyed by all those who appreciate Crowley, the Golden Dawn, etc, and especially those interested in Enochian Magick and the Goetia. The impression I got from reading this, is not that Duquette has done too little, but he has done far more than can be put into a book intended for popular consumption. He therefore has put the selected highlights into his book, i.e. the examples which will be of most help to other practising magicians, and which are by the far the most interesting. Do not be fooled by the humour: but be thankful that Duquette is a man who knows his stuff and writes about it in a sympathetic and engaging manner.
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on 26 May 1999
Lon's latest book, My Life with the Spirits, is a read that becomes a magical encounter. The everyday people and everywhere places are seen to be not so ordinary. Lon shows us a universe percolating with life, intelligence, and a wicked sense of humor. Beings from beyond our conscious awareness visit us, guide us, endure us, wrec havoc in our lives, and play subtle jokes...if you're discerning enough to catch on. And Lon Milo Duquette catches on in a big way. He shows us a spirituality that is full of wonder but also funny as hell. The irony of Lon's spirituality is that he goes deeper by being down to earth; he makes your ordinary reading of a book into a stargate. Watch out for the beasties!
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on 3 August 1999
I couldn't put Duquette's book down. It was riveting. It is a rolicking tale that reminds me of Mark Twain. I am very interested in Magick and so I was intrigued by his description of the Magicakal art but the book stands on its own as an autobiography. The descriptions of his childhood are priceless.
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