Book Review: Archangels of Magick

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CRAPBOOKI want to talk about this book.

First of all, and this is directed to the entire occult community: you did not invent Judaism. You did not discover, or rediscover Judaism. You can’t take Jewish mysticism, make a few tweaks and changes, and pretend like it now belongs to you.  

This book 100% falls into the category of Columbusing Jewish tradition.

It is badly researched. It has no bibliography, despite the fact that there is no shortage of texts about Archangels which have been translated into English by reputable scholars. It is evident from reading it that the author has no grounding in certain foundational mystical texts which would have helped him to understand what he was writing about.

Also, unless you are an archeologist, don’t give me a line about how your system of magic is based upon “never before published secrets” related to Jewish tradition. Just own the fact that you made it up.

THAT SAID. This book contains a genius idea. I interpolate it loosely: if there is a new type of magical work you want to accomplish, you should first acquire words of power with which to prepare the space that are specific to that type of work and no other.

That is to say, rather that doing an opening which is recreating the universe in small, or establishing a set of forces which the magician can draw on (utilizing names of power which correspond to those forces), that one could have a set of power words for divination, a different one for invocation, a third one for evocation, another for spell work , one for necromancy, and one for journey work.

Hebrew is such a great language for generating words of power because there is no way that a combination of letters will be unpronounceable together, owing to the system of nikkudot. Basically, vowels are inferred from context, or notated above and/or below actual letters, rather than being letters in their own right. The “inferred from context”   allows one to do things like “I’m going to take the first 42 letters of this passage and make it a new word of power.” It’s a little harder to do that with the Latin or Greek alphabet.

Still, I might try taking an acrostic from some ancient Greek poetry, and see where that gets me.





One comment

  1. If you ever feel inspired to make a theological and/or magical post about how to fit angels into a non-strictly-monotheist paradigm, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts. (And thanks for calling out the bad research in this book; seriously, if a book’s occult material is a result of personal Gnosis then that doesn’t make it Less Legit, and I’d still be interested if the author would just own up to it.)

    Anyway. I’ve been getting more and more angel action in my spiritual life, and this has brought up a lot of questions about how they fit into a non-Abrahamic practice. You are one of the few writers I trust; if you ever feel inspired to blog on this idea, I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts!

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