This review for Ritual Magic comes from Rob Phoenix, a Christian magician and practitioner of Pennsylvania Dutch Braucherei or Powwow. Rob’s a mighty fine scholar in his own right, as you can see for yourself by clicking on his name in his paragraph.
Here’s what Rob has to say:
As a practitioner of Pennsylvania German powwow, and a dabbler in the realm of ritualized magic, I was very excited to see this book come into creation, and I am definitely not disappointed! Modern Christianity leaves much behind as it becomes more and more a venue for self-help and feel-good socio-politics, which denies the rich magical tradition that is very much at the heart of Christianity. And so those of us with more esoteric leanings, or even those who crave a little more ‘meat’ from religious tradition, are often left in the cold feeling unfulfilled. For me personally, the answer was the practice of powwowing. However, even that falls short on occasion and this book, Ritual Magic for Conservative Christians, fills in the gaps nicely.
Ritual magic is really a personal means of celebrating your own spirituality and deeper connection to God. It is a method by which the practitioner can feel more in tune with the Holy Spirit and work with that power to manifest positive change in your life. It is a way for you to literally be in control of how you experience God and bring God’s power into the world. Rather than being content to sit as a member of the audience once a week, ritual magic puts you in charge every single day. I believe the practice of ritualized religion and magic can give deeper appreciation to the Mysteries that are sometimes only briefly touched upon during church services, and over time this practice would allow you to see that deeper Mystery beneath the sermons and hymns and gain a greater and more fulfilling experience of your local favored denomination.
The book does not favor one denomination over another, rather it extracts the commonalities that are across the board for most of the major denominations, such as views on the Holy Trinity, the bestowment of Grace, and so forth. I like the author’s discussion of theology in the beginning of the book as it helps lay the foundation of the magical and ritual practice that is to follow.
The idea of ceremonial magic can seem daunting to those who are just beginning, but this book lays it out nicely, in a very reader-friendly format. Many of the topics, such as astrology and talismanic magic, are only briefly introduced, which makes sense because entire tomes can be written on these subjects alone. I got the feeling that the author did this intentionally in order to give just enough information to get the reader started without feeling overwhelmed and hopeless about it. There are recommendations throughout the book for further study and research on your own.
The ritual forms introduced in this book are authentic to Christian tradition and nothing oversteps the boundaries of what might be considered ‘acceptable’ within your denomination’s teachings. This is a very Christ-centered approach at magic, one that I believe is both powerful and necessary if we are to keep the Mystery and power of Christian tradition truly alive.
If you haven’t yet, have a look at Rob’s website: Pennsylvania Dutch Powwowing. His site contains lots of good material and the quality of research is stunning. You won’t be disappointed!