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Customer Review

70 of 76 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Three-fourths scholarly, one-fourth loony., August 13, 2000
This review is from: Enochian Magic for Beginners: The Original System of Angel Magic (For Beginners (Llewellyn's)) (Paperback)
For the greater part, Tyson's book is a reasonably accurate review of the material in Dee's diaries. So long as you are using it solely as a reference for the basic elements of the system, you won't go wrong. However, he tends to "interpret" unresolvable ambiguities in the material according to his own view without ever noting that there are ambiguities. He also selectively quotes the original material to support his views; a substantially different sense of what was said sometimes arises when the material itself is studied. Where Tyson really crashes and burns is in his association of the Enochian material with the apocalypse, particularly in his belief that the Calls are meant to bring about the end of the world. Here he combines Christian fundamentalist myth with elements of H.P. Lovecraft's fictional horror universes; there is nothing in the original to support his ideas.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 6, 2007, 3:27:59 PM PDT
Occult literature is full of interpretations and theories and commentaries by various authors. Were this not the case, Crowley wouldn't have had much to write about. We can take or leave these theories, but we should also remember that the Enochian system of magick has at its core a Christian understanding of mysticism and angelic mythology. It is certainly not orthodox Christianity, but Christian nonetheless. The same can be said of much of the magick we see as authoritative today: based in the Judaeo-Christian worlds of the old grimoires.
I am not a Christian and I do not agree with Tyson's theories about the Apocalypse, but Tyson is a quality author and knows his stuff (see the work he did with Agrippa's Three Books of Occult Philosophy as well as his own books). Therefore, I found his writing in this book extremely interesting and thought-provoking.
We needn't accept normative Christianity in order to find aspects of the Christian mythology interesting or helpful to our ritual practices.

In reply to an earlier post on May 20, 2012, 5:44:39 PM PDT
Well said. I've read many of Donald Tyson's books and they are very well written. I also don't agree with some of Tyson's ideas, but over all he is a very provocative and interesting author. I find he is an excellent authority on anything to do with the Occult and magic. He certainly does a lot of research on anything he writes about.
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