Finally, an advanced book of magick! So much of what we get from the publishers today are works for beginners. In Lon Milo DuQuette's Angels, Demons, and Gods of the New Millennium we are fortunate to receive a work written for those who have more than a passing knowledge of Kabbalah, sorcery, and other arts of magick. Here is a book written with the authority of experience, yet without the overbearing weight of received truth. DuQuette speaks to us as if we were guests in his home who share his love of magick. Knowing the groundwork is already covered, he shares the fruit of long thought about, and experience of, magickal practice. DuQuette writes with a different voice from those of the greater lights of early in this century. His style has the personal qualities of Israel Regardie's but in the '90s it is just not possible to speak with such certainty. Instead DuQuette writes from experience, from successes and failures. He digests all this down to what he feels is important, even if the outcome doesn't fit the usual interpretations. For example, DuQuette plays with both conceptions of the AA (Argenteum Astrum): the group of people who worked with Aleister Crowley and his students on the one hand, and, on the other, the body of initiates that has been guiding humanity towards enlightenment since time immemorial. DuQuette raises the logical point that if this organization has been present "since the dawn of consciousness" and has been embodied in such great souls as Lao-Tse, the Buddha, and Pythagoras, then how can access to it be limited to those with pieces of paper signed by Crowley and his heirs? DuQuette moves the AA to a more immediate plane, where any student with right aspiration can find herself in the great chain of initiates. DuQuette's chapter on the Kabbalah is more basic than most others in this book, but it is pithy enough to give anyone a leg up on the study and practice of the discipline. He avoids the usual formulaic definitions of the sefirot and other components of this tradition by speaking from the distilled essence of his experience. One excellent display of his skill is his presentation of the Shem ha-Mephorash, the 72-fold divided Name of God from which a series of spirit names are generated. DuQuette boils down the abundance of turgid writing on this subject to a few pages accompanied by a chart, which Weiser obligingly prints in color in a foldout sheet. This, combined with the methodology presented in the later chapter "Demons Are Our Friends," provides a sufficient, though sparse, basis for sorcery, the practice of spirit conjuring. A practice more common in theology than in magick is textual exegesis. DuQuette engages this discipline by explicating the Emerald Tablet of Hermes in light of the doctrine of the Holy Guardian Angel, the practice of seeking contact with the divine through a personal source, one's own angel. In his analysis DuQuette interprets the alchemical process of the Tablet as a way of attaining to knowledge and conversation with the Holy Guardian Angel - a key component of Crowley's magick. Such analyses are a necessary step in the evolution of magickal thought and practice. We can only improve on our methods by engaging with classical texts and practices in the light of our own experience; doing so illuminates the depths that we have intuited in these sources. Having no formal academy in which to share our insights, we are aided by DuQuette's book. He has moved our understanding of magick forward. Reviewed by Sam Webster, GNOSIS MAGAZINE
This book by Lon Milo DuQuette surprised me. Not because it is well written - I'd heard Lon's presentation at the Denver ATA in 1998 and had experienced the eloquence and energy he commands (whether aided by unnamed entities or not I do not know). What surprised me is that for the first time the Qabalah came alive for me. I had read parts of the major works on it before - Waite, Knight, Fortune and others - but it has always seemed a dry, over-elaborate, even disembodied, system to me. My study and practice, except for Tarot has been in Eastern systems. I am still not a Qabalist but now I am able to understand the appeal the Qabalah holds for others. Lon explains the methods of Qabalistic scriptural exegesis - system for transforming words into other words - in a way that brings out their spiritual power. The text derived by these methods is not necessarily more profound than the exoteric one. What is important is that the process reveals a universe rich in interconnections which increase the more one seeks them. The value of the method is the process of seeking and finding these interconnections. This was an important insight for me because it does away with the objection that the correlation's found are arbitrary. They may seem arbitrary but the divine becomes present in the act of finding these correlation's. What starts out seeming to the random if found unexpectedly to reveal the cosmic order. Although Lon does not discuss Tarot, something like this occurs in Tarot divination. Suppose the spread includes the 4 of swords. Somehow a piece of cardboard with a peculiar picture connects to a late twentieth century person's need for respite from conflict. This is the miracle of divine intelligence operating in our lives and Lon's book made me able to see for the first time how Qabalah manifests this. His way of using Qabalah also resembles Tarot reading in that it is an active process, not simply study. Lon wears his extensive learning lightly in contrast with too many books on Qabalah which are ponderous, humorless and inflated. It could be said that the combines the authority of the Hierophant with the skill of the Magician and the playful charm of the Fool. Buddhism divides students into those of superior, average and inferior ability. With respect to Qabalah, I must acknowledge that I fall into the last category. This book's achievement is that it can reach even students like myself. I recommend it highly to anyone curious about Qabalah. Review by Geoffrey Redmond, CTR From The ATA Newsletter A publication of the American Tarot Association Vol. IV NO. 1 Winter, 1999
Welcome to the magical mind of Lon Milo DuQuette. He is at once brilliant, profound, folksy, irreverent, terrifying, funny, erudite and blasphemous. From the Emerald Tablet of Hermes to the Egyptian Book of the Dead - from the Holy Qabalah to why Demons Are Our Friends - this little book is a crash course in the Western spiritual traditions, and includes a full-color fold-out chart that will delight anyone even remotely interested in the Hebrew Qabalah. I read the entire chapter on Hypatia of Alexandria aloud to my wife and daughter.
Lon Milo Duquette has done it again! He's given us another straight-ahead and witty exposition of several key topics in the occult sciences, a field traditionally shrouded by obscurity or cloaked by enigmatic double-talk that requires astute cryptographic skill to decipher. In his earlier landmark work, THE MAGICK OF THELEMA; A HANDBOOK OF THE RITUALS OF ALEISTER CROWLEY, Duquette presented the material in such a clear and user-friendly fashion that it opened the door for many an aspiring ritualist to start a program of practical work. ANGELS, DEMONS & GODS OF THE NEW MILLENNIUM belongs to the same body of work, continuing a common sense approach to a very convoluted field of endeavor, only now with a much broader platform. Though confessing up front to a Thelemic bias, Duquette doesn't confine himself to this point of view, bringing his considerable magickal and life experience to the subjects at hand. His adroit humor which sometimes has a cutting sarcastic edge to it and the liberal use of personal anecdotes has the effect of making this material extremely relevant to everyday life. Essentially this book is about raising consciousness. "The Great Work of the initiate/magician is overcoming imbalances and imperfections in his or her being, thereby achieving exalted states of consciousness." It also has the added effect of gently debunking some common superstitions, among them demons, viewing them as portions of our own brain which we project upon the world. It is interesting to see how Duquette utilizes these demons in his account of goetic magic though I personally don't recommend that kind of work. Other subjects include Qabalah, The Emerald Tablet of Hermes, The Precession of the Equinoxes, Egyptology and The Book of the Dead, and more. Having been a student of esoteric literature for over 15 years I've encountered these topics in a variety of forms, yet I received many fresh insights from these musings. I consider this book to be a valuable and necessary addition to any esoteric library. Oz Fritz Inner Journeys, The Independent Press Book Review Vol. VII, issue 3 Spring/Summer, 1998
I have to admit, I am a fan of Lon Milo Duquette. His 1993 THE MAGICK OF THELEMA is unquestionably the best introduction to the work of Aleister Crowley ever written. My only complaint is that he didn't write it ten years earlier. He not only filled in countless gaps in my magical education he did it with an easy-going manner that made this complex and serious subject seem more than interesting...he actually made it fun.
Now, to my absolute delight, in his new book ANGELS, DEMONS & GODS OF THE NEW MILLENNIUM, Lon Milo Duquette surpasses all his earlier efforts and unleashes his wit and insight on the most fundamental elements of modern magick and the spiritual significance of the New Age. The publisher, Samuel Weiser, calls it a "liberal arts education in Wester Hermeticism." That is not an exaggeration, However, ANGELS, DEMONS, etc., is much more. It is a magical experience in and of itself.
Is the Hebrew Qabalah the Zen of the West? What are angels and demons? Why on earth would a sane person want to deal with them? What makes the New Age the "New Age?" With disarming charm Duquette gently draws you into the introspective world of the modern magician, tickles you with hilarious observations and self-effacing confessions, then (often in the same paragraph) he slams you in the heart with breathtaking profundities.
The book is fully illustrated with charts and timelines including a magnificant full color fold out diagram of the angels of the Shem ha-mephorash, Goetic demons and their place in the zodiac and the tarot.
I have no doubts ANGELS, DEMONS & GODS OF THE NEW MILLENNIUM (like THE MAGICK OF THELEMA) will become a classic. There is nothing in the field of esoteric literature quite like it...Perhaps because there are no modern magical writers quite like Lon Milo DuQuette.
Although Angels, Demons, and Gods of the New Millenium is not directly about the classical Golden Dawn System, it is none-the-less a valuable book for the student of Western Magic to have. And while the author is a Thelemite, the material in this book is not presented in an overtly Thelemic fashion. Lon Milo DuQuette has been practicing magic for over 30 years, currently heads the Heru-Ra-Ha O.T.O. temple in Southern California, and has vast insights and experience with the Qabalah, Enochian Magic, and techniques of magical evocation.
As the subtitle of the book, "Musings on Modern Magick" suggests, this is actually a collection of essays on a variety of magical subjects including Qabalah, the Emerald Tablet of Hermes, the Procession of the Equinoxes, the pantheons of the Astrological Ages, Initiation, and the Goetic system of evocation. These essays are very easy to read because while Mr. Duquette takes these subjects very seriously, he does not take himself seriously. His light-hearted and self-effacing style is a welcome relief in a world of dauntingly deep and difficult texts on magic.
Along with the essays in the book are a number of illustrations, tables, and diagrams. Most notable among these is a full-color fold-out diagram of the 72 Angels of the Shemhamporesch and the 72 Demons of the Goetia. This diagram shows their correlation in a way that is suitable for creating practical workings and is worth the price of the book alone.
Mr. DuQuette's book is also very insightful in that it provides a glimpse into the creation and growth of a magician. His journey is presented in such a way that it is not over the head of a Neophyte, yet is filled with enough magical knowledge to keep the seasoned magician interested. Overall, Angels, Demons, and Gods of the New Millenium is a thoroughly enjoyable and enlightening look at the world of a true magician.
I hate to see this book limited to New Age categories, if for no other reason that it narrowcasts its appeal. Of course, Magick has little to do with "New Age" moralizing and everything to do with the timeless science of consciousness expansion. FEW, appreciate this more than Lon Milo DuQuette. His essays, "Demons Are Our Friends" and "The Emerald Tablet of Hermes" must be considered amongst the finest and funniest ever written on the subject.
This book has re-ignited a flame that had grown dull and complacent from the stresses of modern life. LMD's books have struck a chord which other author's less accesible but more detailed works have begun to resonate to - this book is one of those rare works which truly lights the path brighter.