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SSOTBME Revised - an essay on magic Paperback – April 1, 2002


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Product Details

  • Series: Essay on Magic
  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: The Mouse That Spins; 3rd edition (April 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0904311082
  • ISBN-13: 978-0904311082
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #730,045 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

A classic.. -- Li Greiner in Gnosis

Anyone considering beginning, continuing, or terminating an interest in magic(k) should ... read this book several times over. -- Pete Carroll, author of Liber Null Psychonaut etc, from his website

As well as a deep look into magical theory the book also teaches you how to be a Magician. -- Barry Walker, White Dragon magazine, Beltane 2002

Great, funny, a Grimoire disguised as an essay... -- Fireclown's Basic Booklist from the Internet

Quite simply the best introduction to magic I've ever read... Rightly hailed as one of the ur-texts of Chaos Magic. -- Phil Hine, author Prime Chaos, Condensed Chaos etc, from his website

From the Publisher

SSOTBME was originally commissioned as an essay for a semi-academic collection of essays on comparative religion. That project never happened, but the material was expanded into a small book published by the author in 1974.

The book was an immediate success with a new wave of practicing magicians in the UK, including Pete Carroll, Ray Sherwin and other members of what was to become the Chaos Magic movement. Further editions were printed including a German, two Polish and a US edition.

This new edition, published in 2002, is considerably revised, expanded and brought right up to date

There's much food for thought here, whether you're just starting in on magic or consider yourself an old hand. If you've got friends,lovers, bosses, etc. wondering what all this weird stuff is about and you want to steer them towards an intelligent intro to magic - look no further than S.S.O.T.B.M.E..


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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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I've never come across a book on Magick quite like this one.
Jason
I am embarking on a quest to read every book this author has ever published.
Diogenes DogSnack
Much is covered in this book, but the thought it provokes is even more.
A. McDonald

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Dunn on May 2, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have begun carrying this around in my briefcase, so when people ask what my opinion is of the relationship between science and magic, I can wave it at them. Okay, not really. But I do quote it at them. And I have to say that the revision of this classic essay is thrilling. Other reviewers mention things like using TVs as crystal balls . . . and that's all interesting. But the serious magician will find much of interest in this slim volume beyond mere technique. I've been looking for a "magical method" that can compete with the scientific method. SSOTBME lays much of the groundwork for that method -- and if you read it back in 1974 I'd humbly recommend rereading this new edition. Now that it's back in print, this baby is on my "mandatory reading" list.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Michael Herman on December 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
Have you ever considered using the static on a TV screen as a crystal ball, staring until the chaotic noise morphs into sensible and suggestive shapes? Would you be inclined to use tarot cards as inspiration for bedtime stories while tucking a child away at night?

If so, or if not, you should definitely read SSOTBME. Ramsey Dukes writing style is consistently thought provoking and hilarious, a combination that makes me eager to keep turning pages and to see what unfolds in each of his books. This book is essentially about occult philosophy, and considers the characteristics of different worldviews (magic, science, religion, and art). As with the other Ramsey Dukes work I have read so far, the book has very clear thesis and subject... yet, it is almost impossible to pin down the one main thing the book is "about", because the core subject of the book seems to be used as a starting point from which countless interesting anecdotes and ideas spin off.

The most amazing thing about this book was the way it sucked me into reading further and further. After the first chapter, I had my doubts. But soon enough I couldn't put it down, and couldn't stop myself from pestering my girlfriend by relaying little bits of the book to her. She found them weird, and probably found me weirder for it, but also seemed to have found me even more endearing as a result. So, this is the type of book that is packed with one interesting thing after another, and will give you loads of thoughts to digest. I am definitely looking forward to rereading it. Occasionally I pick it up and read a random page, and have been guaranteed to find something interesting. After reading it, I could very clearly feel why this book has become an influential classic, particularly in the development of chaos magic.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Robert G. Hill on June 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
As Mr. Dunn says in the review below, there is more to this volume than technique. SSOTBME is primarily a book concerning magickal philosophy, which differentiates it from almost all other works in the genre. Whithin it are no formulas or rituals or fantastic visions from the "Other World". What you will find is vastly more useful: Dukes' clear, easy-going language that proposes the idea that a Magickal world-view is actually healthy, even useful(!), in modern society.

Even though it's not bound in frog skin or covered in ominous sigils, no other book has proven as valuable in my own personal practice. This little volume is a great promoter of individual practice and innovation, as opposed to a model to emmulated. Even my Grandma thought it was an impressive read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Diogenes DogSnack on April 21, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a scientist, programmer, and dabbler in various magical, shamanic and mythological studies I found this book the equivalent of the missing link. It is utterly mind blowing and has enabled me to fully integrate the disparate fonts of knowledge I have pursued. From revolutionary discussions of virtual reality, brilliant elucidations of Crowley's work, to mind expanding view points on the Art, Religion, Science and Magick and their interplay this book has no equal. It deserves the highest praise I can deliver and it should be read by anyone with inclinations to magical thinking. I am embarking on a quest to read every book this author has ever published.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. McDonald on August 24, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has been out there for quite some time and still remains a staple. And for good reason, the information is presented in a manner which just flows. Much is covered in this book, but the thought it provokes is even more. Excellent, recommended!
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