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The Middle Pillar | Israel Regardie

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‘The Middle Pillar – The Balance Between Mind and Magic’

Published: 1938

3rd Edition: 1970

 

This book puts a lot of emphasis on the meaning of magick, similar to Crowley’s theory from Book 4, and how our bodies and minds need to be clear of clutter in order to manipulate it at its best. Regardie goes into detail about psychology, fads within the world of magick and how to avoid them as a student and lots practical tips to start the process of allowing the body to start afresh, and connect with the divine. Before you learn how to perform the Middle Pillar exercise, he takes you through a few rituals and methods so you can really appreciate the ritual itself.

This book became personal for me, especially within the first few chapters of part one titled, ‘The Middle Pillar’, where I actually started questioning what I believe and what I hope to gain as a student. I have spoken to others who own the book and they have told me how good it is too. Mr. Vamp recommended this title to me and I must say how much I cherish it. Another friend told me has bought three copies in total as his precious two copies don’t look very neat anymore; a well loved book. Now, this book deals with the psychological aspects of magick, especially with Jung’s theories, and that can seem daunting to folks who aren’t familiar with these theories, but one friend did say she read this book and got the gist early on, even though I recommended this book to her back in January.

Regardie manages to be on point, honest and very blunt about his ideas, which leads you to questioning your beliefs and the systems available, even today; clearly a book written well ahead of its time.

My rating: ★★★★☆

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The One Year Manual | Israel Regardie

‘The One Year Manual – Twelve Steps to Spiritual Enlightenment’

Published: 1976

1st Edition: Weiser pub. 1981 (my copy 1992 third printing)

One Year Manual

One Year Manual

This book opened me up to the many ways that would keep me focused on my journey. One part I loved most were the Four Adorations, a tiny variant of Liber Resh, without the strict time keeping which is perfect for me as a newbie. The adorations themselves have only this week been part of my weekly regime. Many of the exercises included in the book are easy to learn, once practiced they are also very quick. Each lesson is supposed to take a month each, as you develop through the year. Considering how quickly I read this book (two hours) I can really see it as a top recommendation to anyone who needs a fresh take at some of the meditations required of any magickal practitioner and Thelemite. I have only just got my hands on this book, even though I was recommended it quite a few months back, and it is an amazing companion to building a regime to follow for a year.

The development side will be incredible; especially the discipline and structure. The Four Adorations are fast becoming a way of life for me. The fluidity of the language is easy to grasp, and really brings a smile to your face, or at least it did me. Regardie really paid a lot of attention to detail with the upmost care and love. In the beginning of the book Regardie details the feelings and troubles he had when he wrote the manuscript in the first place, and I found that quite moving. The One Year Manual is a small and concise book with a lot of punch.

My rating: ★★★★★


8 Comments

Book Reviews | Israel Regardie

Israel Regardie

Israel Regardie

Israel Regardie, is slowly becoming a beacon within the world of publishing and magick again. I couldn’t tell you how valuable his essays have been for my development within the last year, and even more so as the genius himself died in 1985. Like many writers, he is one those rare lights’ that doesn’t quite go out, and even years after they pass into the otherworld they still help to ignite their readers’ inner flame. I guess from my own understanding, and partly due to being introduced to him years back, and partly picking up his books last year for the first time, I felt he was a severely underrated writer and magician. A friend and student of Crowley for many years, one friendship I have recently discovered to be one of paramount respect and tension (like any true friendship is, at least in my world), Regardie went about teaching outsiders about magick, Qabalah and mysticism – sometimes with support, other times not so much (publication of the Golden Dawn series was a step too far according to Mathers). I love Regardie, and I often find his thoughts run parallel with my ‘yet-to-be-trained’ mind. It’s nice to know, my old ideas and theories have already been solidified thanks to his works – he comes from a line of distinguished magicians, similar to my training as a witch, and that has helped me pull on the most important aspects of my past to a head. The post of my theory of black magick (two or three posts back) actually stemmed from my old journals and his Tree of Life, and boy did it cause issue – to be fair, a lot of the feedback I got, especially on Tumblr was incredibly positive, so it stays.

I have recommended Regardie to a lot of my friends and followers from all paths, whether they are pagans, occultists, witches, Qabalists’, yogis or atheists etc. Most of them have come back to me and said how wonderful his teachings are, simple, mind blowing and practical. I couldn’t agree more. A few have been honest and said they only took aspects of his theories whilst disregarding the rest of the titles, stating they don’t think he is their cup of tea as far as their magick is concerned. He is open, honest and straight talking – maybe that’s just the Londoner in him, we don’t keep unnecessary shit. Some of his theories and claims can shake the reader, but in a beautifully crafted and positive manner. They way he writes can be exhausting to those who don’t have a great use of wider vocabulary, but you should be able to get the gist once you start reading. He has helped me see the world differently as a practitioner.

Now, I’m not sure what other people think of him, that is down to them and their reasoning’s, but I have been cornered a few times about my ideas, theories and practices by strangers and folks close to me, but if there is one thing that has kept my backbone strong it’s magicians like Regardie, Valiente, Mathers and Crowley who have taught me a lot. If their magick and theories worked for them, they may work for me too. They weren’t considered controversial or thought provoking for nothing! Clearly.

Over the next few days I will publish short reviews of the titles I have, the first one ‘Garden of Pomegranates’ will be published within an hour or so. Enjoy =]