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Luciferian Witchcraft: Book of the Serpent Paperback – August 20, 2009
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1. The ideas of Lilith, Shaitan, Cain, Iblees, Azazel and others are explained but should have been explained more clearly because that is what I thought the writer is trying to do.
2. The writer has mentioned every personality from Aliester Crowley to Anton Lavey that he can think of for no significant purpose.
3. He writes Kitab-el-Jelwa instead of Kitab Al Jilwa, his use of the words like, Az-Zabbat, Dhulqarnen, Al-Dhamme and not mentions anything about pronunciation. It makes a big difference in languages like Farsi, Hebrew and Arabic because he has used words from all three languages in his spells and invocations. How can invocation be accomplished if I can't even pronounce the name right?
4. Some reverse Arabic prayers are written in reverse English. The writer should atleast mention where he comes up with these things so that the reader can look it up. Maybe his Melek Tauus told him about them. The name is Melek Taus not Melek Tauus. Tauus and Taus is not the same when written/read in Farsi or Arabic.
5. His reference of words Kabbalah and the Zohar like it is some form of Jewish Sorcery. Kabbalah is an integral part of Jewish Mysticism and the Zohar is a written text that tries to explain the place Kabbalah has in Jewish mystical thought. The writings of Abraham are named, Sefer Yetzirah(The Book Of Creation). The mentioning of Kabbalah and Zohar in reference to Abraham shows how unaware the writer is on these topics.
6. The introduction just tells you not to take this book seriously. At the end of the introduction, Nathaniel J. Harris writes, "So many supposed 'Left Hand Pathers' turn out to be sex fearing introverts who cannot even look you in the eye when they talk to you, much less 'overlook' or cast any real spells. Michael Ford, however is the life and soul of any party, and is (like me) constantly in the company of beautiful women as any true Magister should be. What more proof of power need there be? Genuine power is sexy. Crap magicians do not get laid. ". Really? I didn't know we can tell the authenticity of a magician by how many times he gets laid.
I can just keep going. Read it like a novel. Its a good read for the beginner. This book has a lot of information haphazardly put together. Approach this book as if sitting in a lecture hall where the speaker is trying to cram a lot of knowledge in your head in very little time. You'll be using your laptop a lot during this lecture.
However, what the book lacks is cohesion. Michael Ford creates his interpretations of old mythos and makes it fit his style of the Left Hand Path. So, it's not really something legitimate to everyone. To him, it's very real, but to others, it's very lacking. I don't want someone to outline everything for me, I want to find out stuff along the way, or draw my own conclusions.
Towards the end of the book, it just seems like he added stuff haphazardly. They were just thrown in to make the book bigger. The beginning of the book is about Lucifer and (Michael's) Lucifer mythos. Then it goes to the study of the Zoroastrianism, then bounces a bit, then lands on him talking about Crowley's system of Thelema (for about a page or so). That isn't great focus. It could have been pieced together so much better. It's also just a collection of stuff already available online to study. I knew most of the mythos by heart from studying hours and hours online with the original texts from the religions in question. So this was more of a retread. However, Michael does try to speak for Lucifer and say what "He" was really doing in that situation. Good or bad (to voicing from a human's perspective of Lucifer), I'll let the reader decide.
Now, the artwork inside is pretty spectacular. I even wanted a few of them as tattoos. However, now it seems the art is the only real gems of the book.
I would only recommend this book to those who are starting their Path and -only- under the statement that this isn't meant to be "the way" of LHP. It's someone else's view of it. So don't make this your main stance, see it as an interesting view and go off of it.
I've had it with me since, but it's in some box buried deep in storage and I don't really care to pull it out and dust it off. After reading other authors, I found this book completely bland. It was a good starting point, though.
Not something spectacular, but for someone who may be new to the Left Hand Path, it could be monumental in starting their journey.
So the choice is up to you, dear reader. I would recommend glancing at it first, or read something else entirely.
However, let me add one final note: The foreword of this book bothered me even back when I first bought this. I take my magick seriously, and to see these words as their "goal" shows the direction of time wasted:
"So many supposed 'Left Hand Pathers' turn out to be sex fearing introverts who cannot even look you in the eye when they talk to you, much less 'overlook' or cast any real spells. Michael Ford, however, is the life and soul of any party, and is (like me) constantly in the company of beautiful women as any true Magister should be. What more proof of power need there be? Genuine power is sexy. Crap magicians do not get laid. Towards the end of this volume, you will find rites and rituals of a decisively sexual nature. Enough said?"
Seriously? While it is true that sex is glorious, it shouldn't be made the whole aim of the magick. So they are trying to aim this introduction at people wanting to "have power to compel women to have sex with them", and that is pathetic.
If you want to read a grimoire, it might be helpful to read it from someone who can actually PERFORM magick