June 15, 2004
The Tree of Life: An Illustrated Study in Magic
By Israel Regardie
Publisher: Llewellyn Publications (Third edition, 2003)
Pages: 513 - Price: $19.95
A Garden of Pomegranates: Skrying on the Tree of Life
By Israel Regardie
Publisher: Llewellyn Publications (Third edition, 2004)
Pages: 520 - Price: $17.95
Review by Lee Prosser - firstname.lastname@example.org
Such is the importance of both books, they are being reviewed together. Many writers of the supernatural, occult, and magick, have stated that without the writings of Israel Regardie (1907 - 1985) there would have been no rebirth of occult ceremonial magick. These two books reveal the genius of Regardie, and it is a distinct credit to Llewellyn for their efforts in seeing these massive books are in print for the readers.
The Tree of Life was originally published in 1932 and set forth common links between actual practice and magical theory. In this addition, the Askenazic Hebrew material is translated to common Sephardic for ease of reference, and use. There are two parts to the book. Part One contains six chapters covering such detailed topics as mysticism, magic, and yoga, magic as a key to creativity, Eliphas Levi and the Heavenly Man, Magic has no relation to Witchcraft and is not psychism, the Qabalah, the astral light, the Gods. Part Two concerns the application of theory and practice techniques.
The Tree of Life contains a total of seventeen chapters. Skrying and astral protection are covered, as is a long and lengthy discussion of the sacred magic of Abramelin the Mage. Other topics include grimoires and magical evocation, the Goetia, the magical system of the Key of Solomon the King, the Book of the Angel Ratziel, initiation rituals, how to employ pentagram symbols, how to employ Rose Cross symbols, the Eucharist, among other topics. A glossary with appendix one and two is included.
The Tree of Life offers many fascinating topics for reading, and understanding. Chapter Sixteen is "Alchemy and the Mass of the Holy Ghost" and Chapter Seventeen is "Prayers, Hymns, and Invocations." The Tree of Life is a classic study and one well worth your time to study.
Regardie's second book, A Garden of Pomegranates, is one of the finest books available to introduce serious readers to the Qabalah for Magicians. In contemporary times, the word magician has evolved into the word magickian, and true magick. The word magick has replaced the word magic. Magic is for bunnies jumping out of a hat. Magick is the real thing that makes permanent changes.
A Garden of Pomegranates is Regardie's definite text for a practical manual for Qabalistic magick. Pathworkings for the thirty-two paths of wisdom are included, and exploring different Qabalistic worlds is covered in depth. Meditations and rituals are discussed. The Sephiroth is examined. Illustrations covering variations in sigils, the Archangels, Malkuth in Kether, the grades, the paths, and other valuable information is revealed.
Taken together, these excellent nonfiction books will reveal much information and insights. Highly recommended reading, and an enjoyable learning experience. Congratulations to Llewellyn for keeping these two fine books in print.
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