Music Reviews

Author: Konstantinos
Title: Gothic Grimoire
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Llewellyn Publications
Rated: *****

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This book continues where Nocturnal Witchcraft left off. It begins with a self-initiation to the Nocturnal "Tradition" as well as some notes on choosing a solitary practice or a coven. By most of this his suggestion seems to be that the hopes are that his accounts and records of his own inspiration in Dark Paganism will likely raise a new style of Craft and while similar practices have always been with us like Wicca it will continue to be a 'living' tradition based on personal experiences and growth as there is no 'true' historical accounts of witchcraft that we can use to go by strictly by the book so to speak. I believe that overall this is a good thing and it is nice to see Dark Pagans come 'out of the shadows' as it were and into the open as many modern witches have. The dark broom closet seems to be a bit deeper than the typical one and it's not always easy for Dark Pagans to be understood by their own 'witchy' kind let alone the rest of the world. He also continues the first section with an account of the Nocturnal perspective of the pagan sabbats. In continuing from the first book, Nocturnal Witchcraft, we get an expanded version of Mind Dowsing. I must say I've practices some of this myself and I've so far noted that amazing as it may seem it is rather easy to 'pick' certain thoughts from a small group of variables from someone that you are already in tune with such as a spouse or close friend and it is easier at night (the later the better) because of the lessened psychic activity of society in general. I was amazed that you really can 'read thought' as if it were nearly a tangible thing and this has given me new perspective of The Craft and magick in general. Anyone who learns these basics and gets in deeper touch with thier own intuition will find that they will likely have more effective spiritual and magickal practices. Another point of interest in section two is the Nocturnal Tarot spread which I also like very much. It somehow seems more natural than the standard methods such as the Celtic Cross though that one is good too. In part three we begin discussing such things as Astral Travel and his techniques seem very sound to me. Guess I need to put those into practice and reclaim some of my own magick as well. In the previous book under the section Dark Mystique, Magnetism and Suggestion Konstantinos introduces things that you can do to influence how others perceive you and even touched on psychic invisibility (as I call it). In this book he actually explains his technique to achieving this as well as other effects in Master of Mystique, Mistress of Illusion. In the fourth part he instructs us on mastering our thoughts and these are basicly advanced meditation techniques similar to cleansing meditations with more focus and purpose. We learn how to construct a Nocturnal Servant which is very similar to Poppet magick only with more detail and purpose as well as a much better focus on using intellect, will, and control to not let something like this get 'out of hand'. I like Konstantinos' version of this much better than the standard methods and his are more sound and logical as well. Now the only section in this entire book that did not sit well with me was that on exorcism. However, he does make clear that this is really a banishment of negativity and for that purpose it does seem like it could be effective for the practitioner but I do not honestly see how this could be done to benefit another - especially if they believe themselves to actually be possessed. However, he does say that some would probably only benefit from the actions of a priest from their own faith but the simple association of this type of banishment with exorcisms just didn't bode well with me personally. You may have other opinions. Next is what Konstantinos calls the Nocturnicon which is sort of a codex of Nocturnal magick from his own book of shadows, well actually most of this book is from his own book of shadows. Anyway, it includes such spells that are useful especially for those of us of nightkind who suffer from things like depression or addiction. Of course as the author suggests some may still require professional help but for those of us capable of going it alone and overcoming our own dark shadow this can be a useful tool. Next is the Bag of Night spell which is used to create an item of power for those who require night energy during the day. Useful for some but possibly silly to most but the spell itself sounds very interesting and fun. Maybe I'll just have to try it once and see what I think about it then. Lastly there is a section on Strange Powers such as increasing night vision and sex magick followed by an Inanna ritual for opening the gates of the Underworld. For anyone unfamiliar with such symbolic rituals these are used for recognizing your own traits and characteristics to help enhance your own personal growth and is not anything done with evil intent. It is like meeting your own shadow or dark half and encountering your true self so that you can alter your actions/reactions and better yourself. There is also information on communing with the dead and the ritual is excellent in incorporating information directly from the Inanna myths to create a very strong sense of symbolic ritualism. While I like Konstantinos writings on Nocturnal Witchcraft I think that there are a few areas of the Gothic Grimoire where it gets a bit hokey but overall I think the foundation is set in the first book and the second is just his personal elaborations. As with any book on magick or witchcraft the reader is always encouraged to do their own explorations, modifications, or even complete rewritings of rituals and practices to what suits them best and follows thier own intuition. With this in mind I think there are some excellent ideas and creative/logical thinking in both books that will drastically aide anyone interested in the Nocturnal path either in full or in part.

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