22 Paths of Imperfection

22 Paths of Imperfection (a flight manual for single winged angels) by Matt Laws

Hadean Press

This is a small format book with 119 pages. It’s perfect for dropping in a bag or stuffing in the back pocket of your jeans. Initially I wasn’t so sure of the small format as the binding is quite tight and I had to forcibly fold the pages back. After a few sections though it grew on me quickly and its actually perfect for what Matt intended with this book. After all a flight manual should be carried with you and used. Not left on a bookshelf.

cover    back

This book starts with a very personnel forward about the problems the author has faced in life. As somebody who considered suicide at least once a week for over 30 years this hit a chord with me and I instantly felt connected the the book and the author.

I can see myself constantly referring to this book every time I’ve got 10 or 15 minutes spare. Read about 1 card, refresh my memory on it and contemplate the story Matt presented. Perfect for the bus, train, stuck in traffic etc… This is exactly the book I’ve been needing on Tarot, though, this book just covers the major arcana. I hope there will be a follow up soon covering the minor arcana.

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Each card is presented over a couple of pages though some cover more than others, such as the High Priestess which is 7 pages long. Initially you have a story on the card and its path on the Tree of life, then the Hebrew letter associated with that path and further discussion on the symbolism and and how one mingles with the other. It works brilliantly for me, I remember things better if there is a tale associated with the information. For example, Matt describes the High Priestess a bit like a rollercoaster ride. It can be fun or terrifying yet at the end everything is okay. The Hebrew letter Gimel is associated with the High Priestess. Gimel is the Camel, and a Camel travels from one good place to another, often through harsh conditions and terrain. However, the Camel has his built in water supply so he can survive the journey and face the hardships along the way. This use of allegory just hits the spot triggering all the right synapses in my brain to help me remember.

I was expecting to read this book in one sitting however the information is presented in such a way that I’ve found myself reading about each card and then putting the book down while I digest it.

I can’t rate this book highly enough. I’ve 5 books on Tarot here but none of them have really helped me in the way this one has. Sure I’ve learnt something from each of them but at times it was a dry hard slog. This little book is a gem and one that will never find a home on my bookshelf. If its not on my desk, it’ll be in my handbag.

The Hermetic Tablet, Journal of Ritual Magic

The Hermetic Tablet, Lulu 2014/15

Journal of Western Ritual Magic

Edited by Nick Farrell

A different review, this is of a bi-annual journal. To date there has been 4 issues of this journal. The first being published at the Autumn Equinox 2014. Subsequent issues roughly follow the solstices (Winter 2014, Summer and Winter 2015). The journal is available in paperback or hardcover.

Covers

Writers and articles in Volume 1…

Jake Stratton-Kent – The Conjuration of Nebiros
Mike Magee – Kenneth Grant and the Serpent of Fire
Sandra Tabatha Cicero – Beloved Isis: Invoking the divine famine in the Golden Dawn
Aaron Leitch – Michael Workings
Christine Zalewski – Ritual timing and preparation
Nick Farrell – Theurgy
Jayne Gibson – A Ritual evocation of Isis and Nephthys and the 19th path on the tree of life
Harry Wendrich – Manipura and the opening of the third eye
Alex Sumner – Non-divinatory uses of the Tarot
Carman Lawrick – Cerberus: Guard dog from Hell
Steve Nichols – TSAKLI – the totemic Tibetan Tarot
Cynthia Caton – What is done cannot be undone
Jorge Quinones – Commentary on the lesser banishing ritual of the pentagram
Dr Alfonso Rica – An ancient Hittite ritual for abundance


Writers and articles in Volume 2…

Jake Stratton-Kent – What is Goetia?
Mike Magee – How Western magic went wrong with Tantra
Chic & Sandra Tabatha Cicero – Consecration of a Mercury talisman
Aaron Leitch – Magical offerings in Western Occultism
Christine Zalewski – Beyond the Grave
Nick Farrell – Dark Gods
Jayne Gibson – The four elements and their implements
Samuel Scarborough – Ars Suffimentum: The art of Incense
Harry Wendrich – Anahata: The investigation of perfection
Michael Straw – Kernunnos: The horned one
Cynthia Caton – Profile Josephine McCarthy
Angela Seraphim – Online occultism: Social media and secrecy
Eric V. Sisco – The Alpha et Omega ceremony of consecration of a temple and Ceremony of installation of the chiefs


Writers and articles in Volume 3…

Jake Stratton-Kent – Other magicians and the Goetia
Mike Magee – The beginnings of AMOOKOS
Chic & Sandra Tabatha Cicero – Consecration of a Venus talisman
Aaron Leitch – Restoring the Enochian heptarchia
Nick Farrell – The return of the fates
Jayne Gibson – Consecration of a Cabalistic Talisman
Tony Toneatto – Hekate: Compassionate goddess of the highest mind
Michael Straw – Traditional Wicca as a spiritual path
Samuel Scarborough – A Golden Dawn healing ritual: the Rosicrucian art of healing
Tony Fuller – Golden Dawn a small part of a solution
Wynn Westcott – An essay on the ancient mysteries
Ina Cüsters-Van Bergen – The shield of Heracles: The spiritual task of the ego
Morgan Drake Eckstein – Evocation of the four sons of Horus
Carman Lawrick – The lesser banishing ritual of the pentagram and the great work
Christine Zalewski – Calvary crosses and their influences within the Enochian tablets


Writers and articles in Volume 4…

Jake Stratton-Kent – Necromancy
Mike Magee – House Gods
Chic & Sandra Tabatha Cicero – Found perfect before the gods: Osiris and the Golden Dawn
Aaron Leitch – The Holy Guardian Angel
Nick Farrell – Following the dawn: The magical life of Christine Zalewski
Jayne Gibson – Through the power of the sun with a winter solstice ceremony
Tony Toneatto – Athena: Goddess of Hermatic gnosis
Tony Fuller – A small Golden Dawn war
Wynn Westcott – The Devil and evil spirits according to the Bible and ancient Hebrew Rabbis
Ina Cüsters-Van Bergen – Spiritual developments of paranormal talents
Morgan Drake Eckstein – The four royal stars
Cynthia Caton – Death is for the living
João Pedro Feliciano – Hermetic liturgies: Agathodaimon
David Nez – Familiar Spirits
Christine Zalewski – Jack Taylor: The colourful Magus


Sample page 3

As can be seen just from the list of authors and articles it is very varied with many leading occultist’s and a range of topic’s. Each edition is 250+ pages, often many more. Several editions also contain reviews of recent books. I just couldn’t do just to the 1095 pages (yes, I counted them) of excellent writing in 1000 words (over half of that listing the contents, so I’ll stick to just basic’s. I have many favourite authors in the list, such as Aaron Leitch, Jake Stratton-Kent, Nick Farrell, the Cicero’s etc… but I also discover new authors with each edition.

Paper

The quality of Lulu’s hardbacks (perhaps somebody else with the paperback editions could comments on the binding?) is good with the journals being solidly put together and feel like they will last many years. From the image you can see however that the paper stock used does vary quite a bit. Normally its a cream/ off white coloured paper but one edition I received has a bright white paper.

Sample page 1

 

The typography and layout is typical of Nick’s books with a flair for decoration similar to books from the late Victorian period. For the subject matter at hand I think it suits the work. There is many diagrams and illustrations throughout the editions that the authors have included with their articles, whether it’s describing a layout of a working, images of deity’s to work with or diagrams of tools used etc…

A recent article that I enjoyed was by Samuel Scarborough on the art of making incense. Samuel included tables with his article and an extensive bibliography. Also, Tony Toneatto’s article on Hekate, a Goddess that I’m very interested in. However, there is many more articles that I’ve enjoyed. The Hermetic Tablet is something I pick up again and again. I deliberately do not read each edition through but pick out articles that interest me, read them, probably read them again, this time taking notes and then notice other topics that have piqued my interest and schedule a quite hour to go through them. Reading the journals this way keeps me going back to all 4 of the journals and discovering gems a new or rediscovering one’s to reread and new practices to incorporate into my daily practice.

Sample page 5 Sample page 4

I’m sure you can see that I highly value the work of the authors along with Nick and Paola for editing and creating each volume. If your savvy you’ll wait for a good discount code from Lulu but even without that I’d buy these journals.