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The Angel & The Abyss: The Inward Journey, Books II & III Hardcover – October 1, 2014

4.9 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

J. Daniel Gunther is a life-long student of esotericism, mythology, and religion. For over thirty years a member of A...A..., the teaching Order established by Aleister Crowley, he is considered one of the foremost authorities in the field, and serves on the editorial board of The Equinox, and as a consultant and advisor for numerous occult publications. He is the author of the Ibis Press title, Initiation in the Aeon of the Child, now available in paperback, and has lectured worldwide on the doctrines of Thelema.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ibis Press (October 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 089254211X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892542116
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.3 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #290,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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As the second and third parts to The Inward Journey, J. Daniel Gunther continues his exhaustive research into the nature of the religion established by Aleister Crowley in 1904 known as Thelema. It could be easily stated that, in this book Gunther has exceeded his efforts in Book I, entitled Initiation in the Aeon of the Child, with The Angel and the Abyss numbering over 300 pages in text of the latter to approximately 170 in the former. Additionally, the Angel and the Abyss contains an extensive index, which is something that Book I did not have. Along with its impressive bibliography of scholarly sources, appendices, and extensions of qabalistic tables, anyone who has interest in Thelema and how it is being systematically applied in contemporary times should undoubtedly get insight from this text.

The book is divided into two parts, consisting of twelve chapters. Continuing with the theme of Initiation in the Aeon of the Child, each chapter bears a title and is attributed one of the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet. This helps to provide the reader with some insight into the nature of what each chapter examines with regard to the initiatory path of Thelema. For example, chapter one is entitled “The Self-Slain” and is attributed to the Hebrew letter, Nun which in the occulist milieu is associated with the tarot card, “Death.” Chapter one, then examines the various perspectives of death throughout religious traditions of the past and how it may be interpreted within the tradition of Thelema from a theological and philosophical perspective. Each chapter in Book II posits arguments which are then supported by source materials in their original languages along with extensive footnotes and references.
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Here follows a mini-review in three short points of The Angel & the Abyss:

i. It is refreshing to have something that for once contributes something novel to our mythos that has its feeet firmly placed in our doctrines, removes what has clearly been demonstrated as false by modern science, and is not the result of "logic" but rather the kind of synthetic genius that you expect from someone who has internalized the subject matter and attained. Of all the people who were in the Golden Dawn, Crowley was the only one who managed to do that. Now we have someone who has managed to do that within Thelema. I think that promises great things for the future of Thelema.

ii. Go figure, he made me appreciate Carl G. Jung. I still do think that Jung must be regarded as a metaphysical system of religious metaphor, not actual psychology. But I have come to realize through these books and people I have known with little or no in depth knowledge about Thelema, that Jung serves as a sort of new aeon qabalah that allows people of different systems understand each other. The book utlize Jung in a manner that is highly creative, erudite and effective in order to explore and get across his new ideas.

iii. Like the first book, the second and third book (published in one volume) gets people talking. Not since Crowley have we heard the occult community talking as much about new materials. Love him or hate him, J. D. Gunther is not possible to ignore and this more than anything else shows that he is doing something right. He is setting our community on fire!

So go out and buy and read the book. Good or bad, I promise that it will set you on fire too!
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If you have read Book I you might/should have an idea of what to expect within the boards of Books II & III, aptly titled "The Angel & The Abyss". Having said that, it might not appear as a follow on in a series, rather as an exposition of Book I.To me, Book I is a brief but fairly detailed overview of Initiation in this Aeon(of the Child), within the framework of the A .'. A .'. system of Magick. So it follows that "The Angel & The Abyss" digs somewhat deeper into the subject, with surprising lucidity, and a Universal appeal. The author has expounded on a very misunderstood Spiritual System, which no doubt attests to his courage & his faith in the The Law, Thelema, Love under Will, "The next step" for the Spiritual Evolution of humanity,& I do believe the survival of our race. The author writes of the first whispers of Ones Angel,followed by the Knowledge of Ones Angel(a knowing of your Angels existence & name),after which follows Conversation proper. This is described as a Marriage in Tiphareth,(The City of the Sun),between the Aspirant(Princess/Bride) & the Angel(Prince/Bridegroom),Further ahead One has a major decision to make,to cross The Abyss or no. This is described as a complete remodelling of Oneself. The stages of Alchemy are correlated to the stages of Ones progress.Ones instincts,nature & personal elements must be balanced for starters(in Malkuth,the Daughter),as without a firm base & sound mind progress may be futile. Once ready to proceed the Angel(the Prince),may whisper sweet words of encouragement(& maybe perplexing words too),as at this stage One usually doesn't Know Ones Angel.
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