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Israel Regardie wrote The Tree of Life, a book many consider his magnum opus, in 1932. It has continued to sell for decades. And no wonder. Up until the time this book was published, very little information about true high magic was available to the public. In this book, Regardie reveals the secrets of real magic. He begins with an explanation of what magic is and, just as Israel Regardie wrote The Tree of Life, a book many consider his magnum opus, in 1932. It has continued to sell for decades. And no wonder. Up until the time this book was published, very little information about true high magic was available to the public. In this book, Regardie reveals the secrets of real magic. He begins with an explanation of what magic is and, just as importantly, what magic is not. He explains that it is a spiritual study and practice which, along with forms of yoga, forms the two branches of the tree that is mysticism. Magic is not being a medium or a psychic. Then he explains the tools of the magician, what they mean, and how to use them. He explains the techniques of evocation and invocation, skrying, and astral travel. He shows how the Qabalah unites everything. He even gives a description of the secrets of sexual magick. All of this is in a clear, lucid writing style. This book is simply a must for anyone who is, or aspires to be, a real magician. Although Chic and Sandra Tabatha Cicero were friends of Regardie and are Senior Adepts of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, what changes could they have made to this classic book? Well, they did change the spelling from British style to American. And they did change his transliterations of Hebrew into the more popular style he used in his later books. But nothing vital was changed or removed. Everything else they added was complementary to the text that was there. And what incredible additions they are! Extensive annotations throughout every chapter; over 100 illustrations; more descriptive contents pages; a glossary, a bibliography and an index. They've even added a biographical note on Regardie and the importance of this book to him and to the occult world. This book contains some of the finest occult writing that has ever been produced. And with the new material by the Ciceros, it becomes a must-have for any magician!


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Israel Regardie wrote The Tree of Life, a book many consider his magnum opus, in 1932. It has continued to sell for decades. And no wonder. Up until the time this book was published, very little information about true high magic was available to the public. In this book, Regardie reveals the secrets of real magic. He begins with an explanation of what magic is and, just as Israel Regardie wrote The Tree of Life, a book many consider his magnum opus, in 1932. It has continued to sell for decades. And no wonder. Up until the time this book was published, very little information about true high magic was available to the public. In this book, Regardie reveals the secrets of real magic. He begins with an explanation of what magic is and, just as importantly, what magic is not. He explains that it is a spiritual study and practice which, along with forms of yoga, forms the two branches of the tree that is mysticism. Magic is not being a medium or a psychic. Then he explains the tools of the magician, what they mean, and how to use them. He explains the techniques of evocation and invocation, skrying, and astral travel. He shows how the Qabalah unites everything. He even gives a description of the secrets of sexual magick. All of this is in a clear, lucid writing style. This book is simply a must for anyone who is, or aspires to be, a real magician. Although Chic and Sandra Tabatha Cicero were friends of Regardie and are Senior Adepts of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, what changes could they have made to this classic book? Well, they did change the spelling from British style to American. And they did change his transliterations of Hebrew into the more popular style he used in his later books. But nothing vital was changed or removed. Everything else they added was complementary to the text that was there. And what incredible additions they are! Extensive annotations throughout every chapter; over 100 illustrations; more descriptive contents pages; a glossary, a bibliography and an index. They've even added a biographical note on Regardie and the importance of this book to him and to the occult world. This book contains some of the finest occult writing that has ever been produced. And with the new material by the Ciceros, it becomes a must-have for any magician!

30 review for The Tree of Life: An Illustrated Study in Magic

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

    One of the first books I ever read dealing with the practical side of ritual practice and construction. It proved to be a highly influential and important read for me. I should preface, the early version of the work, before the Ciscero's got a hold of Regardie's materials. I've seen what they've done with his other writings, but not this. I am thankful for that fact. There is a treasure house of information that can be gleamed from this work, though the language and style will make you work for One of the first books I ever read dealing with the practical side of ritual practice and construction. It proved to be a highly influential and important read for me. I should preface, the early version of the work, before the Ciscero's got a hold of Regardie's materials. I've seen what they've done with his other writings, but not this. I am thankful for that fact. There is a treasure house of information that can be gleamed from this work, though the language and style will make you work for it. Regardie is sadly styling his writings on the 19th century style of Esoteric literature, similar to that found with Levi as well as Meade and the Theosophists. The greatest benifit that I drew from this work is the attention to detail that the good dr shows in referring us back to the forerunners of the magical tradition he inherited and the interest he piqued in me to go back further than his writings and to start reading the sources like Iamblichus and Porphry and building up that foundation of knowledge that would help me build my understanding of Western mysteries.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Josh Anderson

    A pretty big elephant whose outline is described quite clearly yet never actually addressed directly is: the power of the Catholic Church comes from very ancient techniques of magic. Theurgy is divine union by way of following instruction given in revelation, like say, the instructions God gave to Moses about the tabernacle. In fact, the Old Testament describes theurgical practice extremely well in Exodus 36-39. The Hermetic system written about here, however, is based on more ancient Gods, such A pretty big elephant whose outline is described quite clearly yet never actually addressed directly is: the power of the Catholic Church comes from very ancient techniques of magic. Theurgy is divine union by way of following instruction given in revelation, like say, the instructions God gave to Moses about the tabernacle. In fact, the Old Testament describes theurgical practice extremely well in Exodus 36-39. The Hermetic system written about here, however, is based on more ancient Gods, such as the ones that Moses learned about when he was a child. The meat of this book is Regardie's defense of the Egyptian Faith and the description of St. Ignatius' intense imaginative system. Here's a trick: do you want something to go really well? An event, or question you need to ask your boss? Put your will into it. Think about what this means. Think about what it means to be alive (this may require you getting up before sunrise.) If you are up early, draw a symbol that you feel adequately describes the situation going well for you. This may be an abstract feeling, or an actual formula or recipe of words you want to hear from the other person or from your own mouth. Create this symbol as if it were putting that situation into itself, becoming a microcosm of the event. There's a bunch of hogwash out there on what to do next, but the very act of you focusing your will and intent on this symbol will direct your energy to the event, and it will seem supernatural. Are you a Christian? Be a better one by living with Christ and His suffering the way St. Ignatius dares us to. The imagination and the will are just as mysterious as ever, and this book can really inspire one to a system such as Yoga or Magic. I believe that Regardie is trying to remain faithful to his one time employer, but that at heart he is ultimately a Christian, something I don't think Crowley would ever let anyone know of, if it were true about himself as well. The significance of Christ should be made more apparent through studying this book, as a transformational tool rather then dried up dogma. If you don't like the ring of that "Judeo Christian" hullaballoo, there are plenty of options including just invoking the ideas of numbers themselves, which Pythagoreans practiced as communing with the Divine. I believe that Regardie sees the Osiris cycle as being an antitype to Christ, as the historicity of Osiris is never spoken of, the idea of God becoming a man, to die the death of a God-king should speak for itself. I think he sees Egyptian religion as having the flexibility of a pantheon to which the poets can be inspired like the Greeks, but with more intuitive beauty. Also, it's worth noting here that Egyptian religion in ancient times could mean theurgic devotion, initiation, crop rituals, and just downright superstition. Which is a great mirror for our western world as well and how we treat the spiritual world. I would say aside from a few things, like trying to describe the Enochian system of John Dee in a short chapter, this book is a triumph. I've tried to read Barrett's Magus, and Bardon's IIH, and Lord, even some Levi myself. Regardie's style and voice is a lot of AE Waite, Manly Hall, with a little bit of The 666 thrown in for lineage's sake, I guess. I heard C and R had a falling out, in which C berates R for adding the Catholic name of Francis to the beginning of Israel. A decision he made as an adept, no doubt. One in which C treats with his usual anti-church attitude, telling R that he must have done it because he's ashamed to be Jewish. That's not the only story I've heard about The 666 being a total asshole, so I tend to believe the he was an ego- and megalomaniac. Nevertheless, Regardie had nothing but kind words to say about the man who taught him about Yoga and Hermetics, calling him a great poet at times, and a completely misunderstood genius for a new age. Whatever you views are on the infamously diabolical Aleister Crowley, this book is completely outside of that sphere. There is nothing Thelemic about this book. This is a system of getting in touch with your higher self by making your world sacred, calling to the universe's deep history for guidance, and asking them/it/He/She to aide you in The Great Work of Art. It's also not Thelemic in the sense that this system is ascetic at times, and is about detachment from this sub-lunary world, in order to commune with the divine, not about some drug induced vision to write a new Holy Book for a New Aeon. Why don't more adepts make great works of art and make a lot of money? Regardie asks, and his response is, because these people have tasted the divine gift and they don't want to spoil it for themselves with distractions such as money. They want to make their entire life a work of art that is not marketable, but increases the goodness in this world by the value bestowed through each interaction and encounter one has with the adept who has tasted the sweet ecstasy of letting go, but chooses to stay here for his fellow man, and for the higher Will. It is a true Socratic stance to pop the emptiness of false ego's bubble, and I believe that Regardie was in the lineage of Socrates or St. Paul rather than the Great Beast he's usually associated with.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Octavian

    Written in a delightfully anachronistic style, specifically the plodding & oververbose brand of English that prompted George Orwell to write a hate rant around the same time period. Within these chapters you'll find lots of phrases like "the adept may find himself swirling in the empyrean, not unlike a spirit himself in appearance", or "this practice is not altogether without efficacy". Lots of description by negation of the opposite - kind of quaint really, I'm a sucker for such charms. Anyway, Written in a delightfully anachronistic style, specifically the plodding & oververbose brand of English that prompted George Orwell to write a hate rant around the same time period. Within these chapters you'll find lots of phrases like "the adept may find himself swirling in the empyrean, not unlike a spirit himself in appearance", or "this practice is not altogether without efficacy". Lots of description by negation of the opposite - kind of quaint really, I'm a sucker for such charms. Anyway, on to the meat of the book: This is a very clear picture of the Western Mystery tradition & forms a steady-handed introduction to the practice of that brand of magic. The editors Mrs & Mr. Cicero, especially, have provided helpfully verbose footnotes at the end of each chapter, which are a must read for those struggling to figure out what all this occult claptrap is all about. All of the basics are covered here, the Tree of Life, the Sephiroth, various consensus interpretations of their organization and meanings, Solomon, Eliphas Levi quoted heavily, Dee, Pentagram rituals, a whole chapter devoted to the work of Abramelin the Mage, elementals, the weapons of the magician, pretty much all of those things you may have heard about the Western alchemists. Of significant note is the level of depth and emphasis in the presentation of the Egyptian roots of magic. Often this is a subject that bores me and turns me away, but here for the first time I've encountered a very reasonable set of arguments for investigating the Egyptian root of the practice with a renewed fervor. There seem to be precious few works in this canon which are respectable and worthy of being read cover to cover, this is one of them.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mack Hayden

    This year, I've been pretty intrigued with western esotericism, so I figured picking up this overview of occult practice by Aleister Crowley's secretary might be a good warm up before delving into the work of the Great Beast himself. That is if I ever get around to it without being afraid I'm going to get possessed or something. Regardie's prose is really overwrought and dry—something he admits to in his own introduction to the book, blaming it on his youth. But there's still plenty of worthwhil This year, I've been pretty intrigued with western esotericism, so I figured picking up this overview of occult practice by Aleister Crowley's secretary might be a good warm up before delving into the work of the Great Beast himself. That is if I ever get around to it without being afraid I'm going to get possessed or something. Regardie's prose is really overwrought and dry—something he admits to in his own introduction to the book, blaming it on his youth. But there's still plenty of worthwhile and interesting info about hermeticism, Qabalah, ritual practice, Will, and whatnot here. As for me, I'm still pretty much on the "this is all BS but at least it's fun to learn about" train when it comes to magick itself. It seems like a way for adults to use their imaginations powerfully and not much more, but maybe that's all it has to be. With that said, if you disagree, please don't hex me.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Laura Marx

    I was about 17 when I read this. I had been floating around different texts from Crowley and Eliphas Levi and different websites here and there for a few years before my guitar teacher, of all people (who was, coincidentally, a member of the O.T.O.), found out about my interest in the occult and gave me this book. I went from being totally lost to, well, still being lost (no book is gonna help you with that one, I guess!), but having a clear view of what I was actually trying to do. As Regardie I was about 17 when I read this. I had been floating around different texts from Crowley and Eliphas Levi and different websites here and there for a few years before my guitar teacher, of all people (who was, coincidentally, a member of the O.T.O.), found out about my interest in the occult and gave me this book. I went from being totally lost to, well, still being lost (no book is gonna help you with that one, I guess!), but having a clear view of what I was actually trying to do. As Regardie says somewhere, this was really one of the first (perhaps the first) book on magic intended for ordinary people. Regardie's supreme struggle, to de-mystify the mysteries! It presents itself very clearly, introduces all of the ideas non-doctrinally, etc. - encourages the student to approach the subject at their own pace, in a self-directed way. Regardie is so down to earth its a breath of fresh air after all the usual occultist hand-waving. He is like someone you might actually meet in your day-to-day life, and explains the philosophy and practice in a very clean and plainspoken way. And ah, suddenly it all falls into place! I think this is definitely the best introduction to the subject in general. And Regardie's writing is charming, as well - it's super formal in an endearing way, he even calls himself 'the author'! That's his real name, too. Israel Regardie. (Well, 'Regurdy'). Some people were born to be magicians I guess. I bet old Edward Alexander Crowley (you pronounce 'Crow' like the bird, by the way) felt a little embarassed. (I bet he didn't really.) There are a few little things - Regardie is very keen to differentiate this oh-so-serious white, divine magic, the art of "theurgy", from despicable witchcraft or reckless spiritism! We're magicians but we're the "good" magicians! The distinction is artificial; its all the same thing. But you couldn't say that if you wanted ordinary people to read your book, at least in the 30s. It's not really a bad thing - even Agrippa wanted people to believe that his "occult philosophy" wasn't "really" magic, etc. There is also some fossilization of that Enlightenment thinking that so infected Crowley, that we will pretend magicians are really scientists [rolls eyes] (Marxism suffers the same problem, btw!) - and yet, at the same time, wants to ground itself in total idealism and sincere mysticism, and so attempts to appropriate the entire Enlightenment under one dogma, and also lay claim to all pre-enlightenment revelation, and to the revelations of all non-western cultures, in all eras. Such is the outlook of the occult - which articulates itself as the 'key to the mysteries' - the 'secret philosophy of all ages'. In other words, it shows its old age (and privileged social positioning) in parts, but only in parts. Take its universalising with a pinch of salt, but take the rest seriously. Anyway, it covers all the important topics a 'study in magic' should: its philosophical bases, its history, its mythology, and so on, in addition to a great number of practical subjects: Yoga, Kabbalah (under that ridiculous spelling, 'Qabalah'), correspondences, appropriate magical tools, exercises in training the will, mantras and magical names, skrying and astral projection, godforms, the knowledge and conversation of the holy guardian angel, the use of old grimoires, evocation, initiation, alchemy, and finally a series of historical prayers and invocations. It introduces the subjects very rigorously, but not so much that it functions as a manual or grimoire of its own - only enough to provide an understanding of how to learn more about practicing them. The book is a jumping off point for most areas of occult practice, but not a full curriculum in-and-of-itself, and shouldn't be approached that way. It references not only recent teachers like Crowley, Waite and Levi, but also the teaching of the tradition's founders themselves - Agrippa, Abremelin, Iamblichus, Hermes himself, the Chaldean Oracles, and so on, as well as introducing captivating figures from other traditions, like the wide-eyed Saint Ignatius or the famous Swami Vivekananda, and particularly the Irish poet A.E. Almost more useful than the book itself is the extensive suggested reading section at the end, pointing towards more advanced works or works on more particular topics. Following only on from the suggestions in this book one would find themselves a well-read and well-developed practitioner! Anyway, as the author always says: invoke often! Inflame thyself with prayer!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    A must-read for new adepts.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Justin

    Not for me

  8. 4 out of 5

    dp

    Finally finished this big beast after wrestling with it for a few months! The Tree of Life is a great historical/theoretical reference book of the Western magical tradition, but its verbosity and antiquated ideas weigh it down occasionally. The gems within it shine brightly, but you can find them elsewhere in better packaged boxes.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Linda Maddocks

    A bit torturous but worthwhile if only for the sense of accomplishment in finishing, lol.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    The florid writing aside, this really did feel like a great intro into the world of the western ceremonial tradition. It’s worth the read for the historic importance of the work, but Regardie isn’t the best at really taking the time to connect his threads. Definitely not useful when it comes to actual practical application!

  11. 4 out of 5

    N.E. Johnson

    What a slog. Some credit should be given that this is basically the book that founded a genre, but any book you read since then on the subject will probably convey more information in 1/10th the words.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    Reading this now. Regardie is more accessible and easier to understand than Crowley. He was his secretary and has really organized the systems for us. Pure Golden Dawn stuff.

  13. 4 out of 5

    .dora

    have to read this one several times... in life

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sam Davidson

    Very good resource on magic(k), incorporating Qabbalah with Crowley, by Crowley's secretary Regardie. A little hard to read at times and lacking in a sense of humour - partly understandable in that it was written by a young zealot - but comes into its own in the final chapter, on invocations. Here are numerous beautiful and powerful pieces of sacred poetry, often calling on the gods of ancient Egypt, and quoting the Book of the Dead. Worth reading if only for this and contains a useful bibliograp Very good resource on magic(k), incorporating Qabbalah with Crowley, by Crowley's secretary Regardie. A little hard to read at times and lacking in a sense of humour - partly understandable in that it was written by a young zealot - but comes into its own in the final chapter, on invocations. Here are numerous beautiful and powerful pieces of sacred poetry, often calling on the gods of ancient Egypt, and quoting the Book of the Dead. Worth reading if only for this and contains a useful bibliography pointing you on to further works of reference on matters magical. I read this spurred on by Illuminatus to do more reading into western occultism. Next, or soon, I plan to revisit Crowley, since this is very much an offshoot of his work, and he remains the undisputed master. His poem, quoted in the section above praised, is the most beautiful part of this well-composed grimoire. I am, paranthetically, glad that Leary and Wilson showed up to inject a little humour into magick, else likely the practise would not have survived the hilaritas of the '60s.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Malini Chaudhri

    Very valuable teachings on spiritual elevation and practises towards attainment for theurgists. Differentiation between good and bad magic, evil in the heirarchial tree, as opposed to mastery and adeptness of genuine methodolgy for god people. Rites and rituals, their associated experiences during the upward elevation of the spirit from dense form to radiant form, is remarkably communicated in this work. This document must be read several times. Those in the system of yoga and salvation, who wish Very valuable teachings on spiritual elevation and practises towards attainment for theurgists. Differentiation between good and bad magic, evil in the heirarchial tree, as opposed to mastery and adeptness of genuine methodolgy for god people. Rites and rituals, their associated experiences during the upward elevation of the spirit from dense form to radiant form, is remarkably communicated in this work. This document must be read several times. Those in the system of yoga and salvation, who wish to become adepts through mantra, commitment, sustained prayer and spiritual merit, may benefit from the lessons it offers.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ton

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book is a must read for anyone at all interested in the occult and ceremonial magick. It’s straightforward, beautifully written, and honest. The illustrations and footnotes were by far the most helpful. In the chapter on evocations, Regardie has a lengthy section on spirits of goetia. Most aspiring mystics that I’ve come across in online boards work the goetia regardless of the dangers. They deem it necessary. BUT, the footnotes refer you to focusing on the spirits in Regardies book “The Gol This book is a must read for anyone at all interested in the occult and ceremonial magick. It’s straightforward, beautifully written, and honest. The illustrations and footnotes were by far the most helpful. In the chapter on evocations, Regardie has a lengthy section on spirits of goetia. Most aspiring mystics that I’ve come across in online boards work the goetia regardless of the dangers. They deem it necessary. BUT, the footnotes refer you to focusing on the spirits in Regardies book “The Golden Dawn,” as they are more pure and not trying to fxxx you up. Onto the next book!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Dave Migman

    I read this for research purposes and actually enjoyed parts. It's a little antiquated in language, and refers to the Judo-Christian branch of magic for the most part, but there are some valuable insights. I'm struck by the psychological aspect of magical practice, and the strengthening of the imagination. I read this for research purposes and actually enjoyed parts. It's a little antiquated in language, and refers to the Judo-Christian branch of magic for the most part, but there are some valuable insights. I'm struck by the psychological aspect of magical practice, and the strengthening of the imagination.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lukas

    Anything by Regardie is great if you're a western occultist. I wish the Cicero's would not have messed with some of the text, but the majority of the original text is here. Regardie can be difficult to get through, but all of his works are worth it, this one in particular. Anything by Regardie is great if you're a western occultist. I wish the Cicero's would not have messed with some of the text, but the majority of the original text is here. Regardie can be difficult to get through, but all of his works are worth it, this one in particular.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Brendan

    A broad study of high magic that manages to be also readable and approachable is a rare find. Fascinating.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Farseer Kaizen

    Great introduction to the way of kabbalah and magick as part of the path to enlightenment.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Craig

    Outstanding, particularly when cross referenced to source material and other 'thinkers' such as Ouspensky and a pack of Tarot cards for visualisation. Outstanding, particularly when cross referenced to source material and other 'thinkers' such as Ouspensky and a pack of Tarot cards for visualisation.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Elliott Rollins

    Excellent introduction to magic, relatively easy to read as a layman

  23. 5 out of 5

    Dharia Scarab

    Going through the Non-Fiction on my shelf, It was interesting enough to hold on to, but it's been so long I don't remember the details. Going through the Non-Fiction on my shelf, It was interesting enough to hold on to, but it's been so long I don't remember the details.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    Published in the early 20th century, years before joining then publishing the secrets of the Stella Matutina, an offshoot of the Golden Dawn, Regardie's "The Tree of Life" is one of the first books which disclosed publicly the fundamental theories and practices of the western esoteric tradition. Covering everything from Egyptian mythology to the Abramelin ritual, this book is one of the most influential pieces on magick ever written. Having come to admire Regardie after reading "The Middle Pilla Published in the early 20th century, years before joining then publishing the secrets of the Stella Matutina, an offshoot of the Golden Dawn, Regardie's "The Tree of Life" is one of the first books which disclosed publicly the fundamental theories and practices of the western esoteric tradition. Covering everything from Egyptian mythology to the Abramelin ritual, this book is one of the most influential pieces on magick ever written. Having come to admire Regardie after reading "The Middle Pillar," this book only further cemented my love for him as an author and as an occultist. While not as refined as the former, here as well Regardie puts occult secrets into comprehensive (for the most part) language. Where he is too vague, or where he is incorrect, the footnotes provided by the Ciceros help to clarify things. Overall, in this book I didn't learn too many new things, but I think that fact in and of itself says less about the datedness of the book, and more about it had on all occult literature that followed it.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

    First let me start off by saying that I consider myself a spiritual atheist and I have a strong interest in the occult. I practice no rituals and worship nothing. This was really my first reading of an occult book that was easy to read and comprehend and while there are many points in this book that I can very well agree upon and that have certainly changed my view on life in general overall I was disappointed in many other ways. It seems so odd to me that a religion such as this that is put down First let me start off by saying that I consider myself a spiritual atheist and I have a strong interest in the occult. I practice no rituals and worship nothing. This was really my first reading of an occult book that was easy to read and comprehend and while there are many points in this book that I can very well agree upon and that have certainly changed my view on life in general overall I was disappointed in many other ways. It seems so odd to me that a religion such as this that is put down by many Christians as evil and such is actually based off of the bible quite a bit. This was shocking to me since the bible is an incomplete book that has been translated so many times by so many different people at different times I don't see how anyone can base anything off of it in the slightest. For this book to claim illumination and knowledge from something that shuns that idea is very off to me. I was hoping for something very different and overall it's like any other religion to me however I can appreciate Regardies style and simplicity in the subjects that set him apart from his peers and predecessors.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Kneif

    I can say for sure that of all the books I own, this is the one that I am most likely to re-read over and over again. When I first had the pleasure about six or seven years ago, I could only understand very little, and I was able to memorise even less. There was however something heartwarming about Regardie's style of writing which kept me captivated, and it soon became obvious that subsequent revisits would yield new insights into the material contained within, after absorbing for a while what I can say for sure that of all the books I own, this is the one that I am most likely to re-read over and over again. When I first had the pleasure about six or seven years ago, I could only understand very little, and I was able to memorise even less. There was however something heartwarming about Regardie's style of writing which kept me captivated, and it soon became obvious that subsequent revisits would yield new insights into the material contained within, after absorbing for a while what had consciously and subconsciously stuck in my mind. While a lot of the language might seem old-fashioned and convoluted by today's standards, this is one of the points which to me give this volume its special charm. The charismatic character of Regardie becomes particularly apparent through his choice of words, and every paragraph has its particular purpose. Anyone searching for an introduction to the philosophy underlying Western esotericism, will find the perfect starting point in this book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    This book is pure magic. As an introduction to whatever mystic or occult tradition (or non-traditional approach), this book totally delivers. The treatises on mythical origins of the theurgic practices and traditions are great, mostly the topic on egyptian mythology. The similarities and connections between the different traditions (including christian myth) are established and addressed in a very direct and illustrating manner. The advices on exalting the will are most valuable when not intimid This book is pure magic. As an introduction to whatever mystic or occult tradition (or non-traditional approach), this book totally delivers. The treatises on mythical origins of the theurgic practices and traditions are great, mostly the topic on egyptian mythology. The similarities and connections between the different traditions (including christian myth) are established and addressed in a very direct and illustrating manner. The advices on exalting the will are most valuable when not intimidating. Yes, the writing style may not be as light and proficient as that from modern books, but it definetly is unique to Regardie's work. In general a very recommended book for anyone who is interested in introducing themselves in the world of the occult or is interested in the origins of the different traditions and currents therein.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Äsruþr Cyneaþsson

    I must admit, I once purchased this work, read it and then sold it. I have since moved beyond the inability to see beyond my own terminology and have now rediscovered the work. Regardie here masterfully presents an intense study into many aspects of magic. The views on ritual format and meaning perhaps lead into a Franz Bardon approach that sees initiates engaged with autohypnotic occupation of the consciousness in order to access the greater power of the mind and initiate the self. Regardie wea I must admit, I once purchased this work, read it and then sold it. I have since moved beyond the inability to see beyond my own terminology and have now rediscovered the work. Regardie here masterfully presents an intense study into many aspects of magic. The views on ritual format and meaning perhaps lead into a Franz Bardon approach that sees initiates engaged with autohypnotic occupation of the consciousness in order to access the greater power of the mind and initiate the self. Regardie weaves greater wisdom into the spaces between words than is at first apparent. The work is a symbol from which many interpretations and much value may be reaped. It is a work to which I shall continue to return over the years.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Shane

    Read this decades ago along with anything else by Israel Regardie. It's very informative and very much a product of it's time. Nothing new to me here but is always worth the read as a kind of revision exercise. Good. Read this decades ago along with anything else by Israel Regardie. It's very informative and very much a product of it's time. Nothing new to me here but is always worth the read as a kind of revision exercise. Good.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sara Judice

    A complete collection of all things metaphysical including history/origins and explanations!

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