36 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on September 29, 2005
I have read and followed Konstantinos work for years. Some people attribute to him the same kind of clout as Silver Ravenwolf, for good or ill, and has a similar reputation. They both are very successful authors, and so come under the worst scrutiny.
I have not, in any area of the book, heard him call this black magick. It is not black magick. I have labeled his brand of magick as dark magick. Dark Magick in the sense that it is not inherently evil, but something that alot of the contemporary wiccans would shun. So if you are looking for black magick, you will disappointed. Which is why I think the other reviewers wrote as they did.
His magick is usable, and is indeed different than modern magick. I do not consider this a weakness. There are Elements in these rites if you know what you are looking at. However, death, darkness and such are chaotic. Hence the chaotic way of forming the circle. Those who understand the balance of nature also understand that light=order and dark=chaos. These rites were refreshing, and interesting to read. Some people claim he is making his own kind of magick...but is that not we all do when we write our own spells and such? Some claim he is pandering to goth mentality. Well, I suppose you could say that any other wiccan or ceremonialist is pandering to the fluffy bunny mentality also. It is a matter of perspective. :)
Konstantinos is not the only mage to use drugs or substances for magick. Aliester Crowley was reknown for it. He uses substances that although are not illegal, they skirt the edge of it. Really I see no difference in using Absinthe which has a myriad of herbs as well as Chartreuse. Herbs have chemical components or drugs if you will, and shaman of old had used these forumlas into antiquity. The law makes them illegal and wrong, but they can be used for altering perception and that is his whole point in this. Tantrics and those who use sex magick (which is not unheard of in ceremonial magick) use another way of altering the perception and senses of the magician. Part of magick is physical whether people recognize that or not.
What my beef with the text is near the end. His whole subject utitlizing the Necronomicon by Simon just seems like he is trying to cash in on the darkness, fear and horror of Lovecraft. Yes the Necronomicon can be used, but relying on other works and such for comparison seems like money grabbing. For this reason alone I give it 3 stars. I am sure you can use his rituals at the end to better use the Necronomicon, but then that requires that you buy it also. It just gives a lack of credibility when you add something like that to your work.
In summary, these rites can be used, and I think with some good results, but it also requires you to be adult about the subject. It is more like something someone over 21 should buy, in my opinion, because of the information that is in it. I think that was his intended audience anyway. All in all I think it is a good book, but I would say you should read his Nocturnal Magick and Gothic Grimoire first.
69 of 90 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2005
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Once again, Konstantinos has created a book on Goth culture that has little, if anything, to do with traditional occult themes. Readers expecting to find detailed, practical rituals will be sorely disappointed: instead of providing such information, Konstantinos fills this book with musings drawn from his obsessive interest in the Necronomicon and his reprobate New York City lifestyle. Furthermore, I doubt that many readers will have the time or resources available to attempt many of these stunts: rituals frequently call for the use of alcohol, drugs, Gothic sex partners, long, dark hallways, deserted beaches, basements to simulate a descent into Hades, etc. How Konstantinos' target audience of teenage/adolescent Goths are supposed to obtain such things is beyond me.
It is standard fare for a book on the occult to begin with circle casting techniques and basic methods of raising energy. Oddly, Konstantinos has discarded the techniques outlined in his previous books and devised weird new rituals to replace them. These involve lying down in the black of night, imagining a swirling mist of specters surrounding you, whispering at you, inhaling the vapors of said "whisperers," and trying to self-induce terror at the thought of suffocating on this mist. The circle casting that follows is then composed of little more than "pushing out" against the "whisperers" in the shadows. Interestingly, at each of the respective quarters Konstantinos has his readers alternately breathe against the outer edge of the circle, warm their hands and press, lick their fingertips and press, and fall upon their knees, but nowhere in the text does he explain the obvious elemental association of these acts as invoking (or attempting to invoke) air, fire, water and earth. The lack of such basic explanation puzzles me: Konstantinos surely must realize that his failure to explain the symbolism of the ritual to his readers will make the motions ineffective.
Now to the heart of the material: The first chapter of this book contains standard-issue, largely plagiarized material from Austin Osman Spare on sigil magick (to his credit Konstantinos makes a rare acknowledgement of the derivative nature of this section). Nothing new here, and this section seems strangely out of place for the rest of the book. Readers will be thankful, however, for its inclusion, because it is one of the few rituals that most anyone can perform successfully. The next chapter describes a standard-issue method of sex magick (repeating a commanding phrase to oneself at the height of orgasm). Nothing particularly new here, except that Konstantinos insists (contrary to his earlier Gothic Grimoire work) that one should perform this sort of work with a partner (which seems like a strange thing to concentrate on in the midst of shared passion, but therein lies the mind of Konstantinos).
Then the book goes straight downhill: Konstantinos advocates the use of alcohol, absinthe (illegal in the U.S.), and psychodelic drugs (illegal in the U.S. and most everywhere else) to aid in the performance of rituals. He follows this up with "Hadetic" magick, which is a fancy name for Greek psychodrama about a vision quest to Hades that seems lifted from Bulfinch's Mythology. Divination material is copied from his other texts (themselves copied from Cunningham's materials) on different forms of scrying, except Konstantinos also recommends use of blood in the scrying dish. Yuck. Then the most disturbing part of the book: a dance with a Gothic partner who pretends to be a corpse (which Konstantinos calls his "Dance of the Dead"). I kid you not! He even strongly suggests that sex should follow the Dance... very disturbing. Then he discusses random conversations he had with Lucifer while he was suffering from a BRAIN INJURY (I highly suspect that explains a lot of this book). Oh yeah, Lucifer is a great and brilliant guy, by the way, although the author will not share with the poor reader, Lucifer's brilliance (apparently the wisdom is just too personal, and potentially marketable for another title).
To wrap it all up, Konstantinos spends fully the last half of the book pontificating on the glories of the Necronomicon, and how it's been so wildly successful (the version he referenced was published in the 1970s) that it's created the very entities that Lovecraft invented out of his sick imagination seventy years ago. Oh, and this includes a Call to Cthulu ritual, the alien god creature bent on destroying the earth. Anyhow, I suppose this section is harmless enough, since everyone knows Lovecraft spun these monsters out of whole cloth. It's mainly filler material, and mainly demonstrates how nostalgic for his 1970s sci-fi youth Konstantinos was feeling when he wrote this part. All in all, I think this book is mostly devoid of new thoughts about the occult, generally reflects a disturbed worldview and mindset, and becomes vividly uninteresting in the last half. But on the bright side, it is an interesting psychological portrait of Konstantinos. Not worth the price of admission, but since it's the only thing to admire about the book, puts it slightly above the one star minimum.
22 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on January 27, 2006
New York-based occult author Konstantinos (and yes, that is his real name) is a famous name within the darker aspects of the occult. Over the years he's published a total of six books with Llewellyn - books that are all aimed at and written for Nightkind; that is, creatures of the night, people with a somewhat darker (but not necessary evil) view of magickal workings and who prefer the darkness of the night to the light of the day. He's also written numerous articles and appeared on many different TV-shows. In other words, he knows what he's talking about.
And in Nocturnicon he talks about magick being done at night. As with other books of the same category (not necessarily about darker aspects of the occult, but definitely about magick), this is not a book written in an attempt to convince skeptics that magick does indeed work. And it's not some sort of summary about the history of magick and the occult, even though historical references does pop up from time to time. No, this is instead a manual for the believer, a tool that you can use to summon the dark forces that are hidden somewhere in the dark and the infinite universe that surrounds this planet of ours.
Many books about magick contain rituals that are very difficult to do, demands years and years of practice, and include accessories that aren't always very easy to find. Nocturnicon is, however, nothing like that. The rituals and exercises described here are easy to do, don't require any bizarre and impossible demands of preparation, and if you do them correct you'll see the results in no time. Konstantinos is an honest author. He discusses how the use of absinthe (not the legal stuff but rather the old, traditional version) can affect the imagination in great ways, he doesn't deny that illegal substances that help in opening up new aspects of your consciousness, and sex magick isn't too taboo to write about.
Still, please note that it's NOT a "pro-drugs book" or kinky anthology about sleazy sex. Far from it.
If you're a diehard skeptic who doesn't believe in anything that has to do with the occult and magick, then Nocturnicon is probably one of the worst books you'll ever buy. However, if you're open to new possibilities and perhaps even feel instinctively that the darkness of the night affects you in a very special way, then there's really no reason for why you shouldn't run as fast as you can to your nearest bookstore and get a copy of Konstantino's latest work.
He actually succeeds in being amusing, thorough, controversial, funny, and serious, all at the same time, and if you add the fact that the book itself if extremely pleasing to the eye you'll realize that Nocturnicon - Calling Dark Forces and Powers is a book you cannot afford to miss.
Note to the reader of this review: I usually don't give 5 stars to a book, since most books have at least a few flaws that lowers the grade, but occasionally it does happen. This time it did, but rest assure that Konstantinos' latest is worth every single one of the five stars.
I give you my reviewer's word on it.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 4, 2011
I always enjoy reading the works of Konstantinos. I enjoy it so much that I tend to read it in a day and then I am sorry the ride ended so quickly. With this book you will find that he has written down some pretty potent magic and it is very comprehensible. Magick, especially in this book is about getting results. No baloney morality here...techniques to get results.
Having some familiarity with Chaos Magick this book takes many of those techniques from Chaos magick, especially the Sigils. Well of course there is the last part on Lovecraftian mythos...definitely comprehensible Chaos magick.
Konstantinos wrote this book when he was undergoing a severe medical crisis that medical doctors could not ameliorate. There was a deformed vein in his brain thaat was causing parts of his body to go numb. He used chaos magick to assist in the healing and apparently it worked. I can relate to Konstantinos on many levels. I believe darkness can be very empowering and the primary purpose of magic is results. Enlightenment can come later. I myself have suffered a stroke and have an aneurysm on my aorta. I would like tom make it go away.
I found a lot of stuff in this book that is useful. The rest very effective but not something I see my self using. Most useful was the material found at the beginning of the book. There are two methods for "Drawing in the Darkness" Let me explain. First you find a patch of nightime sky with not too many stars. Just gaze into the darkness. Feel yourself sinking into the bed or whatever you are lying upon. you should feel yourself sinking in and the darkness pressing upon you. The earth is cool and damp. There are shadowing figures around you whispering. they turn to mist and swirl about you in a counter clockwise motion. This mist is like a tornado that you breath in. It fills your entire body. the second method is almost the same except it is shorter. You just breath in the dark Plasma.
A sphere in the Cosmos
You begin by standing in one place with your eyes open.Use shuffling step and start off slow. When you stop which ever direction you face will bee the direction you are doing your work. Breathe in deeply and visualize a purple glowing sphere. the purple sphere grows larger and pushes out the dark matter with in. It creates an oval roughly double your size and double your height in diameter. next you choose a quarter, randomly and feel the purple sphere crackle. You exhale feeling the charged air go into space. Go clockwise to the next quarter and exhale this time feel the purple energy going into your hands. It radiates out from your hands into the universe. The next quarter you exhale but this time you wet your right finger tip and feel the energy pass through your right finger tips out into the universe. Finally you go to the fourth quarter breath in hit your knees and exhale feel the energy hit the ground before going off into the universe. From this point you can meditate, do a magical working or go on to the next step.
Sigils are my my favorite as they are simple to use. Konstantinos has tweeked it somewhat but magic is about finding what works. Basically you choose your intent. Let us say "New Car" Write it down and cross out all the repeating letters. Your phrase is ANEWCR. From this you make up a new word like "WRCENA" Next you take the letters and combine them to make a picture. Save this. Next move variates from traditional Chaos Magick in that yoou can make a glowing sigil or a Blazing Sigil. With the blazing sigil you get a black block and with glue you make the design of your sigil. On that you sprinkle some flash powder. Imagine the purple sphere glowing and touch your right hand over the sigil. Exhale thirteen time and visualize your energy entering into the sigil. Then light it. The burned image is imprinted on your retina. Stare out into the sky and watch if fade away. Your ritual is down there is no banishing ritual. Now forget about the magical action and do something else.
The glowing sigil involves the rites as before but this time you paint the sigil on black paper using white paint. Crash around 11 pm Look at your sigil place your right hand over it and give it your energy. then switch on your black light. Your alarm should awaken you at 3 am. you will look at your sigil and let it imprint.as it fades your wish is sent out into the universe. Now dispose of the paper without looking at it and forget the spell.
The section on Sex Magick I found useful. As it involved taking your intent statement and made up word and during an exciting time with your partner say that word to your self. As you reach the climax and you stay focused on the goal. After ward you can take some of the fluid and annoint your sigil. Then in a fews days you burn it in a ritual.
The section Hadetian rituals was interesting but of non use to me. I will not draw blood for scrying or any ritual purposes. Nor will I contact dead family members...just too many issues . Plus some of them require a multiple room dwelling.
Egregores are thought forms that are given energy by individuals and groups and they eventually take on a life of their own. These can be deities that we work with or even demon and other entities. Often times demons are just thought forms created from our negative energy and thoughts. Daemon are something altogether different. It was believed that Daemons were designed to guide us and protect us. Chaos magick believes that we created them to protect and guide us and they can be used to both protect and guide us.
Finally the book discussed Egregore from Lovecraftian mthos. Now Love craft was a fiction writer. So nothing he wrote was truly real, none the less peoople seriously believed in his mythos and they believed that a forbidden tome called the "Necronimican" was really out there. This created alot of power to be tapped into. Which is why people have found the ritual in the necronomican effective. their are evocations for the deities and instruction on how to work with them, But for that I will let you read the book. I am saving this for my own book of shadow.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 27, 2007
Konstantinos certainly seems to have decided that goth atmosphere is more potent for him, personally, than the trappings of traditional magick. He makes some remarkable claims in this little personal grimoire, including powerful personal healing resulting from the techniques he suggests. I see no theoretical reason why this might not have happened, and big results often lead magicians to publish the strange stuff that they did to get there. That's what this seems to be, if Konstantinos is telling the truth.
The book consists of a series of exercises that draw on classic motifs of dangerous or evil occultism - drugs, demons, sex with corpses, etc. In each case we are taught how to imitate some of the atmosphere of those experiences in ways that are, relatively, safe and sane. Of course, the author takes pains to explain why these things are just edgy, not evil - and the instructions are careful to avoid harm.
An effort is made to present entirely new framing rituals, openings and closings that replace 'circle castings' or other temple openings. I think the author sacrifices the baby with the bathwater here, presenting things that are simply not as cool or useful as traditional rites.
Personally, I'm too much of a Lovecraft fan to take Necronomicon occultism at all seriously, though the author explores the idea of the Dream Grimoire nicely. Some time is spent in a simple overview of early 20th century german occultism, and a fairly cool electro-occult rite is offered.
If you dig the notion of the Black Arts, and already have a solid ritual system that you can work in, you might find some inspiration in the Nocturnicon.
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
This book is good on the darker aspects of conventional imagination - what most people think the occult to be - but it misses the point.
Sure, drugs can be a shortcut behind the veil, but the experience isn't lasting, and is quite dangerous for a good percentage of the population, especially when undertaken alone.
This book is a lot of things - if you want to imagine occultism as being easy - like it is in the movies - ok, but this book in not for a serious occultist. They will find it laughable.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on September 29, 2005
Konstantinos' "Nocturnicon" is sure to ignite a firestorm of controversy among magickal circles. This is not for "armchair occultists" afraid to try anything new, nor for anyone afraid of the Dark. Indeed, this ground-breaking tome embraces the darkness.
This book was a workbook of methods that saved the author's own life under dire circumstances, a highly personal and introspective time that he's sharing with readers. The Hadetic magickal path developed here steps out of the safety of magickally-cast circles, makes liberal use of psychodrama, and defiantly treads onto paths not covered by other occult books. Dark forces and dark powers are conjured that may be uncomfortable to some, downright frightening to others, or even exhilarating to the daring.
Previously taboo subjects are put into a candid spotlight, including altered states, sex magick, death magick, the alchemical history of Chartreuse, an in-depth look at H.P. Lovecraft's Chtulu mythos, and other mysteries. "Nocturnicon" brings occult elements that have been available from, say, ancient Greece and everything since, and kicks the knowledge, abilities, and techniques into the future. The absolute highlight of the book is the author's personal encounter with the misunderstood Light Bearer himself!
This book is a fresh, new metaphysical journey. Even if the reader chooses not to experiment with any of the rituals or methods in this book, it still makes one Hell of a fascinating read! Explore these pages - if you dare!
18 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2005
"With the Dark Magicks that fill these pages" two types of cult could be founded: the cult of Kon-stantinos, or a cult of complete cynicism. As someone who cherishes his spiritual and magickal beliefs, I do not know which would be worse.
The author's insincerity is self-evident in every concept, and as usual he urges us to read on like we are about to encounter something earth-shattering...his tone is always "prescient" and always patronizing. The pseudo-goth aspect to Kon's writing is wearing seriously thin now and besides, any serious spiritual seeker will find the trappings insulting. His obsession with "naughty" alcohols such as the illegal absinthe is seriously sad.
His spiritual perspective is the same: he plays with a safe "bad boy" boy image but never has the balls to wrap it in anything but the "essentially I'm not so bad" image. The impression he gives to the intelligent seeker after spiritual inroads is that they do not sensibly exist in a modern and very contrived book such as this.
My one star I rate for "Nocturnicon" comes from the book cover, which is far better than the book deserves, and from the fact that he is quite a good technical writer. I have seen much worse get into print, including with his own publishing house, Llewellyn Publications. However if I was a cynic about occult arts, I would use this book to demonstrate why. As a reader I get the feeling that Kon-stantinos feels the same. He's looking to sell a concept, any concept. Here he happens to have fallen on one of the more questionable sets of references anyway - the Necromonicon - and in this case 1+1 = minus 5.
It seems that he is trying to mess us all up with that "little ****er" (he mentions in the intro) in his head. Either that or his misleading of the (mainly young deluded goth) public is incidental to his need for some kind of publicity. Which makes him a true Kon-man.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
one of my absolute favorite authors. I love having this book in digital form. GREAT read!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 5, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
i found this work to be quite informative and very humorous, in a dark sort of way. Konstantinos approach is practical and witty, and i found it refreshing, not at all stiff and longwinded, like some works on the subject i have read in the past. Highly Recommended.