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Walking the Twilight Path: A Gothic Book of the Dead Paperback – October 8, 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

A star on television's Paranormal State, Michelle Belanger wears many creative hats. Other media appearances include the History Channel's Vampire Secrets, Monsterquest, CNN Headline News, HBO's True Bloodlines, Fox, MTV.com, Marvel's AR Morbius #1, and most recently, Monsters and Mysteries in America. The author of over two dozen books on supernatural topics, her Dictionary of Demons is in its sixth printing and has served as a resource for multiple shows, university courses, and books. A talented singer-songwriter, she has performed on CDs with Nox Arcana, URN, and Xyla. Her urban fantasy series debuts with Conspiracy of Angels through Titan Books this October. More information can be found at www.michellebelanger.com.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Llewellyn Publications (October 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738713236
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738713236
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #848,647 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michelle Belanger is most widely recognized for her work on television's Paranormal State, where she explored abandoned prisons and haunted houses while blindfolded and in high heels. A leading authority on psychic and supernatural topics, her non-fiction research in books like The Dictionary of Demons and The Psychic Vampire Codex has been sourced in television shows, university courses, and numerous publications around the world. She has worked as a media liaison for fringe communities in the occult and paranormal world, performed with gothic and metal bands, and designed immersive live action gaming events for companies such as Wizards of the Coast. Her thrilling paranormal fiction series is published through Titan Books and begins with Conspiracy of Angels. Michelle resides near Cleveland, Ohio. More information on Michelle and her work can be found at www.michellebelanger.com. She is active on Twitter as @sethanikeem.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Death is a subject hidden behind fear and ignorance, and our society at once strives to glorify death and shield use from its truth, but some believe death should be embraced. This book opens the way for readers to walk "The Twilight Path", a path accepting of the truth, nature and inevitability of death. Death is not an end, but a point of transformation, from the moment we are born, we are dying, and transforming, the most profound transformation occurring when you give yourself up to death and the otherside. This book leads you, gradually to begin the Twilight Path, something easily integrated into any spiritual tradition that does not deny life after death, through a sacrifice of yourself, creating Sacred Space for Death in your life, spirit work, and cemetery work, all of it culminating into an initiation death/rebirth ritual.

This book treats death respectfully without being a "Dark Book of Darketty Darkness", yet treats it natural and with gentle humour without denying its gravity. The book draws heavily on Michelle's personal experience with death and dying, and the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, as well as Egyptian, Greek and Shamanic traditions. The book contains a good selection of thoughtful journal questions to help you think through your connection with death, as well as a very detailed and visual description of what happens as your body decays (it took me a lot of reading to find that out a few years ago, this would have been much easier), and even interesting tidbits like interesting epitaphs of famous people. A thought provoking read, with a lot of good suggestions, rituals, journals and information, highly recommended to anyone who isn't going to shy away from a bit of corpse and death.
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Format: Paperback
As much as I may respect the author for her Psychic Vampire Codex, this did not impress me much at all. It seems like Belanger has been bitten by the Llewellyn Cultural Appropriation and fluff bug, much to my disappointment. While some attention in this work was paid to various different burial traditions, these were then mashed together with little regard to cultural seperation.

The idea of the visualizations where the practicioner's body is destroyed in different ways is interesting, and I have to admire Belanger's creativity there. However it is a very poor idea for a Left Hand Path practicioner of a school of magic such as Ordo Sekhemu to even consider such a ritual, unless they do so in order to overcome such decay and destruction. The meditation wherein one imagines one's face decaying too could have very negative effects on someone with a low self image, such as many teens who may be drawn to this book.

I could also do without Belanger constantly talking about how unique she is for having had near death experiences as a child. Just because you have heart problems does not make you automatically an expert on the Otherworlds. I think that a bit more of a neutral and critical approach would have made this a great deal more readable.

In my opinion, this work would have been much better if you didn't have watered down versions of the Tibetan Book of the Dead next to a "medicine bag" of items from a graveyard. I also personally feel that shamanic initiation should involve some kind of actual risk or challenge, not just a visualization. The destruction of the Heart Scarab at the end of the final rite also worries me from a magical perspective, as that could cause damage to the practicioner if taken to to great an extreme.

In all, I would classify this on the same page as Konstantinos's fluffy dark wicca books. Honestly I regret buying this one new and wish I had waited to read more of it before spending the money.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Walking the Twilight Path is that special kind of book, that rare kind of book in the Occult world, which opens more doors than it closes. Not that it closes any doors at all, mind you, instead it throws the doors between this world and the next world wide open, while beckoning the magician onward into ever deeper contact, research, and success.

While I may be partial to Michelle Belanger's works (because I think she is the "real thing"), Walking the Twilight Path really stands out from her other works and also from about every other book which pretends to be informed on this subject. This is a real landmark kind of book in the field of Occult studies, especially of the Darker paths. Right from the start, the book engages you with a very real and very sincere engagement with the land of the Dead, allowing the reader to reach through and connect with the forces beyond them.

What I found most comforting in this book (if the subject of death can be said to be comforting) was that there was no pseudo-Gothic romantic longings or quasi-theorizing on how cool death would be. From each step the reader takes through this book, one engages the land of the dead, the practices of the dead, and the tools with which to engage them, in a very factual, face-to-face, and confidant kind of way: this is real magick for real practitioners who want to really explore worlds beyond their imagination.

I must worn you though, this book works. If you are looking for books more out of a sense of how they affirm your inner Darkness, more because they look cool on your bookshelf next to your books on serial killers and vampires, there are other books out there that look equally cool in many ways.
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