Grimoire Of Aleister Crowley
Group Rituals in the Age of Thelema
by Rodney Orpheus
|Publisher:||Abrahadabra Press (2012)|
Reviewed by Frater U.I.F.
With equal parts creativity, focused intent, and daring, Rodney Orpheus has composed a worthy new edition to the Thelemic canon. The result is both unique and entirely pragmatic and useful to any body or group interested in Thelemic or Western esotericism in general. The uiniqueness of this work lies primarily in the fact that rather than producing another standard solitary ritual tome, the author has chosen to use the book to provide structure for Thelemic ritual in a group setting. This choice is one that manages to bring new life to esoteric bodies, providing fodder for the enhancement of communal Magick and contributes greately to the brotherhood and sisterhood of the O.T.O. as well as other magical traditions. Additionally the materials provided in this work are comprised of uncommon and some previously unfinished source materials, The work done to restore and clarify these original documents serves to expand the resources of these available to these organizations.
The format of the book is outstanding both physically and editorially. The hardcover production, design, and wonderful illustrations provided by Cahthryn Orchard result in a volume that would meet or exceed the standards of any long time publishing house. This in itself is a major accomplishment for Abrahadabra Press, a relatively new player in esoteric publishing. Beyond the physical, the book is exceptionally written, engaging, and organizes it's content in such as way as to leave the reader and without question or issue as far as how the rituals are to be performed. For those of us who read and then re-read, perform and then slowly perfect rituals from other sources, Grimoire of Aleister Crowley immediately gives one the keys to an already finely tuned vehicle rather than dropping a jalopy at our front door and Grimoire of Aleister Crowley requiring us to get it running. So much of typical pre-recorded ritual is at least assumptive, unclear and disorganized. In stark contrast This Grimoire clearly presents each ritual in such a way as to take all of the guess work out of performance and have the practitioners up and out of the armchair, focusing on actual performance immediately.
The opening of the book consists of general information and a simple discussion of basic safety. We proceed from there directly into the bulk of the work being a wide and varied selection of rituals. Each ritual follows a standard format consisting of an introduction, a list of requirements and needed illustrations, and then the actual ritual scrript itself. Each ritul introduction consists of information about the history of the ritual itself, it's uses and intention, source materials, modifications or enhancements from the author and comments as to the details of it's performance. In particular the illustrations of temple layout, god forms and the list of ritual requirements are immensely helpful.
One of the major accomplishments of this work is in the wide range of ritual selection presented. Within the assemblage is contained practices of Thelemic, Enochian, Goetic, Invocatory and Eucharistic rites. The span and richness of the pantheon and methodologies do credit to ecclectic magicians everywhere, and allow those who are more exclusive to broaded their ritual horizons with clear direction. Those coming from a primarily Thelemic background which most readers do, will be well met by the first two rituals in this volumne. "The Ritual of the Mark of The Beast" leads the trove of workings followed by "The Invocation of Horus." From here, thirteen further rituals are presented with a wide range of intention and method a selection of which are: "A Rite of Isis", "The Bacchanal", A Goetic Evocation, "The Brazen Head" and "The Mass of Babalon". Rodney Orpheus and those who have contributed to the project have made an immense contribution to the O.T.O., the individuals who constitute it's ranks, and other groups of occult practitioners of all stripes. The clarity and attention to detail in the work makes it an oustamding model of modern esoteric instruction which is recommeneded most highly to any practioners of modern Magick.