8 September 2015

More Hermeticism

So I recently finished Tony Mierzwicki's Graeco-Egyptian Magick. Now, I love Michael Cecchetelli's The Book of Abrasax, which I stumbled upon when I was on a bit of a Nephilim Press binge earlier in the year, but the book is absolutely tailored to those who are already familiar with the PGM, Hermetic philosophy, and so on. There are no citations for cross-referencing and the text launches you into the rites immediately with no padding—something which I imagine would be helpful for those who have been working with the PGM for some time and just want to get to experimenting and actual work at once (though the lack of citations might still be bothersome). At the time when I read it I had no choice but to treat it as a standalone text until I learned more, and now as I delve deeper into Hermeticism in general when I go back to it the style, techniques, words of power, and so on all make a lot more sense.

Mierzwicki's book is one I probably should have read beforehand, but I only found out about it recently. As it serves my needs now and given my current level of understanding, it seems to be a solid introduction along the lines of Stephen Flowers' Hermetic Magic (though as much as I like it I've heard... interesting things about Flowers' scholarship, so I'll probably go back to it in the future once I have an even broader foundation). I really liked how Mierzwicki just puts everything out there for you; there were so many tables, examples, and cross-analyses to hammer everything in. The rituals themselves really echo memories of Rufus Opus' Seven Spheres because of the structure and the obvious end-goal of attaining initiation into the planetary currents, so it's a really neat book to read after going through the rites described in Spheres. One thing I thought was really interesting was that after going through each planet Mierzwicki added sections on examples of what people in his workshops experienced regarding the presence/quality of energy, physical/non-physical senses, visions, messages received, and astral influences. It's not something that's often provided in most books of this nature (Ashen Chassan's Gateways has something similar though, too!) but I really appreciated it. It would be interesting to go through the seven planets again, though this time using Mierzwicki's book and by extension, the Greek gods as opposed to Judeo-Christian archangels, and see what really feels different fundamentally, if anything. It's something to consider trying out in the future.

Ziia's inspired me to do the Calling of the Sevenths every day—a simple rite which I've discovered over the past little while has a lot of variations—and this book has given me some ideas on what to try out next. I'm glad I came across it.

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