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The Rites of Magick

4.1 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

This is a feature length documentary on the rites, ceremonies and meditative practices of America's oldest continually operating Magical tradition: The Order of the Temple of Astarte in Southern California. The O.T.A. is the religious-fraternal order of The Church of the Hermetic Sciences, incorporated in 1971. This production was filmed and video-recorded in temples, outdoor henges, and retreats. It is divided into six chapters: Hermetic Yoga, Pathworkings, Seasonal Ceremonies, The Magical Eucharist, Enochian Watchtowers, and includes a surrealist Alchemical Fantasy from Eric Bossick.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Poke Runyon
  • Directors: Poke Runyon
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Reality Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: February 22, 2011
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004FHCHAK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #125,140 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
By Lon Milo DuQuette -- It is extremely difficult to properly address the highly esoteric aspects of ceremonial magick in a documentary film format. Perhaps that is why there are so few videos and DVDs currently available on the topic. There are several obvious reasons for this. First of all, the number of authorities qualified to comment upon the subject is exceedingly small. Secondly, among those who are qualified there are almost none who are able, willing or blessed with the talent and sense of audacious showmanship required to produce such projects. There is no question that Poke Runyon possesses in abundance that rare and magical combination of qualities, or that the world of the Hermetic arts and sciences is immeasurably enriched by his willingness to share so generously his knowledge, wisdom, and personality through the medium of sight and sound.

However, Runyon's newest offering, The Rites of Magick, is more than a visual textbook of magical theories and techniques (although there is a wealth of that in this DVD - so much in fact that the viewer will wish to review it several times to glean its precious jewels). It is quite literally an historic document - a record of real magick dramatically celebrated at the dawn of the late 20th century neo-pagan explosion. This window on magical history, in and of itself, makes this documentary a unique treasure.

Although I'm not a member of the Order of the Temple of Astarte, or the Church of Hermetic Sciences, Inc., I've admired Poke and his work for over 30 years. Like all pioneers of vision and genius he attracts his share of critics and detractors. This is to be expected, even welcomed by a man of Runyon's stature. In my opinion, The Rites of Magick is a beautiful and profound testament to the art of western magick, and perhaps the finest DVD of its kind ever produced.
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This is one of those videos worthy of pulling out at group meetings, or to show new initiates just so they can get a taste of a wide variety of ritual. Or to spark discussion of ritual worship and/or magickal work. For those who have been practicing awhile, it's my belief this video may inspire you in your own work and ritual. I know it did me. The Communion of the Elements ceremony was lovely as were the other rituals presented. I personally would highly recommend it.
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"Poke" Runyon is an interesting man. Former Green Beret who began seriously practicing magic and trance-work as a way to alleviate stomach ulcers.

This video is eerie, fun, and essential viewing for the macabre and ceremonial magician types out there. Here you will see his order perform a very interesting Tantric version of the GD Middle Pillar exercise, a group repast/celebration, a detailed pathworking, a variety of different shots of LBRP, some ceremonies, and a very ominous Opening by Watchtower. I've personally watched that Watchtower ceremony many times, and it gets a little eerier each time...perhaps due to Runyon's introductory description of the Enochian angels (they sound more like demons to me). I know I might get torched for that remark, but it's true...apocalyptic is too much for me.

Overall, I'd have given it 5 stars if it had a little less OTA specific ceremonies and more general info about things like sacred tools, invoking versus evoking, and the like. Still, a very watchable piece.
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Its the basic overview of the OTAs other rituals and beliefs. There's only 20 or so minutes on each topic and its very introductory. It doesn't get deep into anything. Compared to The Magic of Solomon which was beginning to end. And unlike the magic of Solomon there wasn't anything as innovative as say how to use the magic mirror. The ritual was well done. It had the feel of a brochure video selling the OTA rather then a learning tool. The quality of the video is OK.
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Format: DVD
I thought this DVD was a good first step into the rituals and beliefs of the OTAs. I would recommend this video as a stepping stone to get a good overview.
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Format: DVD
With "The Rites of Magick", we have what is undoubtedly the best documentary on this subject to be made. It contains a wealth of useful information, inspiring artwork, and surprising material--surprising because such things are usually reserved for the initiated. I can only surmise that this is an example of an "open secret", where no matter how public something is, only those who have already spent time searching will recognize it. Kudos to the author for covering so much territory with drama and style.
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Well thought out and informative of what this one group does. I don't exactly agree with everything said, but they have a right to their beliefs. I was disappointed to not see or hear more from Fredrick Adams as he is why I purchased the film in the first place.
This is a good primer for students in letting them see that are different ways and interpretations. Not a favorite, but will use with newbies.
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This was an interesting movie and if you watch "closely" to what they are doing and saying you can learn a lot, however, what you can learn isn't presented as a "hey look what you can learn".
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