Thursday, March 8, 2012

Mastering the Mystical Heptarchy Review Roundup

Up until now I've been posting reviews of my latest book over on my author web site, but for those of you who haven't had a chance to check my other site out, Mastering the Mystical Heptarchy is continuing to be well-reviewed across the blogosphere. If you're interested in the sort of magick that I actually practice, Heptarchy represents the first published portion of a system I have been working with since the mid-1990's. It's powerful and effective, and a lot less complex than the Golden Dawn Enochian system that frustrated me and eventually drove me back to working with the original source materials.

One of my main goals in writing the book the way that I did is so that it would appeal to practitioners of both Enochian and traditional grimoire magick, as I am of the opinion that the original Enochian system of John Dee and Edward Kelley in fact has a lot in common with the latter system. It incorporates similar tools, similar conjuration structures, and so forth to the grimoire methodology of the sixteenth century, and is heavily influenced by the works of Henry Cornelius Agrippa and contemporary grimoires such as the Almadel. If you go through the Dee diaries themselves this structure is fairly obvious, and as long as it's followed you don't need to work with Enochian Chess or truncated pyramids or even scrying to get solid, practical results.

Here's a collection of the reviews that the book has received so far. To all of you who took the time to review my work, you have my thanks. I've been very pleased with the response the book has received.

The first thing that impressed me about the book was to be found in the first page following the table of contents, (always a good sign when you find yourself agreeing with the author before the third paragraph) and that is that Scott differentiates between Ceremonial and Ritual Magick, which is something he and I have in common, and also where we diverge from the majority. Though out definitions are different, I like that he too makes the distinction where most just lump both practices together and use the terms interchangeably.

Another point of convergence between Scott's beliefs and my own is in the correct pronunciation of the Enochian tongue. As I've mentioned before, I am no Enochian scholar or adept and defer gladly to most of the authors who've written on the subject, but I just can't agree with the elongated Golden Dawn style pronunciation.

The rites he presents herein are easy to follow and, much to my liking, do not require one to have attained the understanding of the Enochian system that accompanies lifelong study. Part of what has stopped me from delving into this system despite its power is that it is overwhelmingly complex and I simply lack the time to study it in depth. This is a book that will enable those interested in the field of Magick to dive on in, and do so in a far more logical and true manner that works such as Schueler's, bringing us one step closer to the Magick OF John Dee, as opposed to the modern adaptations which bear little resemblance.

- Michael Cecchetelli, author of "Crossed Keys" and "Mardukite Magick", from The Lion's Den.

Scott Stenwick has given us a worthy addition to the contemporary Enochian corpus in "Mastering the Mystical Heptarchy." The first book to outline a system of practice for working with the Planetary system of Dr. John Dee and Sir Edward Kelley, the "Heptarchy" is both a succinct explanation of the source material and a clear outline of how it can be used by Enochian research groups today. Author Stenwick's eclectic style reflects an approach to spirituality that is in wide use among contemporary Enochian magicians, bringing together practices dating back to the sixteenth century and earlier, and twenty-first century approaches that have grown out of the work of late modern esotericists like the Golden Dawn and Aleister Crowley. At the same time, Stenwick is careful to make clear which parts of his book postdate the work of Dee and Kelley, and to offer suggestions for practitioners who prefer to work in a more traditional methodology.

Although there are a few rough spots--the book would benefit from the services of a careful editor to fix the odd typo and massage the occasional weak phrasing--these are minor matters. This is, after all, intended to be used as a contemporary grimoire, not an academic opus.

In fact, such lapses are few and easily ignored, and are very much outweighed by the book's many strong points. This book belongs on the shelf of anyone interested in Enochian, next to those of Lon Milo Duquette, Colin Campbell, Aleister Crowley, Joseph Peterson, Aaron Leitch, Teresa Burns, and others.

- R. Christopher Feldman, author of "A Question of Authorship: John Dee, Edward Kelley, and the 'Angelic Conversations.'" from Amazon Reviews.

First off, I received a copy of Scott Stenwick’s newest book “Mastering the Mystical Heptarchy,” (Pendraig Publishing 2011) and I have looked it over. This looks like a really interesting and useful book, which will give the Enochian magician an important complete system of planetary magick to add to the already existing and well documented systems of Elemental and Talismanic Elemental magick. Scott takes two approaches to this more obscure Enochian material, and these two paths will satisfy the adherent using the Golden Dawn methodology of magick as well as the grimoire afficionado who wants to work magick as it would have been worked by Dee himself.

I can say that both approaches are satisfactorily documented, making this book a lot more valuable than it might be if one approach was chosen over the other. Scott is an excellent writer and has made this book quite accessible to the average occultist, so it shouldn’t be difficult for anyone who seeks to master this system of magick to be able to do so. As a friend and magickal associate, Scott is one of those remarkable men that I have had the honor to know and talk with from time to time. So I am recommending that if you have any interest in Enochian magick, this book is an important addition to your library of magickal books.

- Frater Barrabbas, author of The Disciple's Guide to Ritual Magick, the Mastering the Art of Ritual Magick series of books, from Talking About Ritual Magick.

If you read Augoeides, you’re probably familiar with his “magick in pop culture” posts on witchdoctors, teens who think they’re vampires and the like. This book is totally different. It’s a technical guide to Enochian ritual magick, with a tone like his posts on changing the direction of the symbols in the LBRP / LIRH.

I’m not done with the book yet, but I’m going to blog as I read it, when sections catch my eye. So far, it’s been a great intro to Enochian, and an interesting window into how Scott thinks about magick, which is worth reading in itself. It’s not the sort of book I’d normally buy, and I was secretly worried I might not like it, but so far it’s been great, and I’m glad I got it.

- Mike Sententia, from Magick of Thought.

The Heptarchia Mystica is a section of Dee and Kelly’s work that is often overlooked and separate from the Great Table. It is also closer in structure and usage to the grimoires of the time. If you’re a grimoiric/Solomonic magickian (like me) some of the mainstream Enochian system can see a bit much to get into, but the Heptarchia Mystica is more accessible and familiar in many ways. It gives a collection of planetary Kings and Princes, as well as the evocations for each figure, and how to work with them, in a style far closer to what you get from the Lesser Key than from most Enochian texts.

This book is more than just printing of the oft ignored text, but also a general book on how to work with it. It was written with the “intention that you as an aspiring magician should be able to pick up this book and begin working magick right away” (53). If not for the fact that it requires specific ritual items like rings and lamens, this goal seems to be hit.

- Kalagni, from Blue Flame Magick.

Thanks once more to all of you for your kind words. I'm glad to know that the book is proving to be interesting and useful. A sequel is currently in the works, Mastering the Great Table, which will apply the same methodology found in Heptarchy to the Great Table itself, where much of the last century's Enochian work has been focused.

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