Scarlet Imprint, London; Winter Solstice, 2008; limited edition of 814 copies.
This is not a book about dark deities, or a volume of ready-made incantations and rituals. So many occult volumes published these days continue to be instruction manuals, rehashing of established systems or new ones created from whole cloth. At best, we are treated to a few anecdotal stories from the authors if they have in fact worked the systems they write about. All in all, the magick books of the 21st Century are cast from the same mold that was used a century ago.
This book is different: it throbs with passion, blood and divine intoxication. It is personal... even intimate, because it is essentially a collection of lovers' diaries. The Beloved, in this case, is the goddess or god that has chosen each of the 14 writers to be hir suitor. This is bhakti yoga, the path of Devotion, in action. Here are the piquant fruits that come after all the theory and practice, after long years of penetrating a Mystery.
Evocation is one thing, invocation is another. Evocation is calling in Merry Maids to tidy up your house and then sending them on their way; invocation is inviting one woman or man to move into your house and become your partner -- devotion. Invocation involves surrender, and trust, and the willingness to share one's darkest dreams, fears and desires with the Other. It is an opening of the heart and the shedding of blood and essence. A relationship always requires sacrifice, and in the case of the God/esses, the sacrifice is all-encompassing: body, mind, and heart.
Some of the devotees in this volume do risk their health and sanity in the name of Love. Skin is flayed, pierced and tattoed. Poisons are injected. Possession is invited. The sense of separate self -- obliterated. Risking All "for love's sake; for the chance of union." None of the writers express regret or disappointment for their efforts; all feel they have been richly rewarded, and that the relationship and rewards will only grow.
Subscribers to Babalon.nu will find much of value in this book, I think; its focus is mostly on the Dark Goddess, whether in the form of Ishtar, Babalon, Lilith, the Yoginis, Tiamat or Hecate. The re-arising of the Sacred Feminine is well represented. But Dionysos, Loki, the Lwa and the spirits of the Goetia are here as well.