Wednesday, October 16, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: "Mansions of the Moon" by Frater V.L.

Introduction by David Griffin

If one only listens to the gutter press in the Golden Dawn Blogosphere, you can easily get the misimpression the G.D. is more about leaders bumping egos than it is about magical work.

Except for the professional tabloid journalists among us posing as "myth-busting" iconoclasts (who thrive on subtle put downs of other G.D. orders and their leaders), the vast majority of Golden Dawn initiates, Adepts, and leaders are hard working people dedicated to helping others and working on their own spiritual growth.

Take, for example, the excellent new book written by Alpha Omega member, Frater V.L. 

The following review of this important book first appeared on the Lux Veritatis (The Light of Truth) blog (HERE), written by solitary practitioner and independent GD magician, Frater A.T.L.V. I am reblogging the review in its entirety, as follows:

BOOK REVIEW: "Mansions of the Moon" by Frater V.L.

by Frater A.T.L.V.

This is a GREAT book! This is a book that all ceremonial and ritual magicians, Golden Dawn or otherwise, should not ignore.  I have been working with it for some time now and it has produced great results.  It deals with a Lunar system of astrological magick, rarely ever discussed, that is completely unique compared to the Solar based planetary day and hour system and corresponding astrological magick we are all so used to. It is written by a very wise man, trained in both the Magical and Mystical aspects of the Rosicrucian and Hermetic Western Mystery Traditions.  An intelligent, intuitive, and brutally honest fellow true Rosicrucian and Hermeticist, Frater V.L., who's blog you can visit at fratervl.blogspot.com HERE 

You may purchase the paperback HERE. There is also a PDF version you can purchase by following the link from his blog listed above.

Review

"Mansions of the Moon" is a book of great value for the magician, and deals with Lunar astrological Magic, a topic which is rarely dealt with in any detail beyond the construction and use of Talismans, as it is in "The Picatrix".  This book is rather a practical manual for the invocation of the 28 presidential Angels that rule their respective 28 Mansions of the Moon.
  
The Mansion system is a system based on the passage of the Moon through the zodiacal Wheel, rather than the more common system which is based on the passage of the Sun through the zodiacal Wheel.  It uses the Tropical zodiac system, which is more suitable in this case as the system is based on observing the movement of the Moon through the zodiac from the Earth's perspective.  Because of this, it does not take into account the variations in the movement of the Sun as does the Sidereal system, and all of the 28 mansions occupy a fixed space in the zodiacal Wheel.

The purpose of the book is not to simply make and consecrate Talismans to these 28 presidential Angels of the 28 Mansions of the Moon, but rather to directly invoke them, just as one does with the Angels of the Elements, Solar zodiacal Planes, Planetary, and Sephirothic Forces, in traditional Golden Dawn Magic, with one major difference.  Timing.

The Mansions of the Moon is by its own right an independent system which works directly with the Zodiac in relation to the Moon, rather than the Sun.  Because of this fact, the timing of the rituals are determined in a different way than the traditional planetary day and hour system.

Since there are twelve zodiacal Signs, and 28 Mansions, naturally, each Mansion does not have a direct correspondence with a just one specific zodiac Sign. Rather, each Mansion occupies a certain number of Degrees and Minutes of the zodiacal Wheel, with overlap in the Signs that they occupy. This gives each Mansion a unique set of properties based on its position within the zodiacal Wheel which the Moon is passing through, which are colored by the properties of the different Signs it occupies.

The current Mansion is determined by the position of the Moon within the zodiacal Wheel, which means that only one Mansion is able to be worked with during a given period of time.  Here a huge difference lies in comparison to the systems of magic based on the position of the Sun in the zodiac, and the use of the planetary hours.  As long as the Moon is in a specific Mansion, you may work with the Rite of that Mansion and its Angel during any time of day or night, without regard to the hours.  You may work with only the Mansion in which the Moon currently resides in, and no other.

The book's Rites are based on a Golden Dawn ritual framework, but can be adapted to fit nearly any ceremonial magician's needs. It is similar in a way to Enochian Magic and Solomonic Magic, in that it uses an altar with a Tablet of Practice along with a scrying medium.  It also makes use of a Lamen that must be constructed for each Angel, similar to the Seals in the "Clavicula Salomonis".  It gives very detailed instructions on how to create everything necessary to work the system effectively.

The book gives precise information on the locations of the 28 Mansions, in table form, for easy identification of the current Mansion, the degrees and minutes it occupies, the name of the Mansion, and its presidential Angel.  It goes into further detail with a page on each Mansion, its Seal or Lamen, which contains its Sigil, and for what purposes its Angel can be invoked.

It also contains a section that describes in detail the tools necessary to perform the invocations, and has clear diagrams that make it easy for the magician to be sure they have everything set up correctly. It is very user friendly, and serves mainly as a practical guide for these specific invocations of the 28 Angels of the Mansions, without a lot of theoretical material.

In this sense it is a very valuable book for the magician that knows how to perform invocations, and is looking to work with the energies of the Moon in more depth than just the usual Golden Dawn Luna invocation in which one invokes the Archangel Gabriel and the full hierarchy of the Moon. 

The part of the book that deals with the actual ritual instructions contains valuable commentary that will really help the beginner to understand the component parts of the greater ritual.  It is clear and concise and to the point.  As I said earlier, it is presented in a Golden Dawn ritual framework, but the instructions are given in a way where the magician can omit the Golden Dawn parts of the ritual to suit their own needs if they so desire.

There is also an appendix at the end of the book that gives ritual instructions for the Qabalistic Cross, Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, and Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Hexagram.  These rituals are used when doing the invocation in the Golden Dawn format, and these additional ritual instructions will be very helpful to those who are not familiar with the basic rites of the Golden Dawn.

Mansions of the Moon, by Frater V.L., is a great book and invaluable resource for both beginning students and advanced magicians alike.  Working with the different Mansions and their ruling Angels brings much insight into the Lunar forces, and is a wonderful tool for the practical magician.  With 28 Mansions and Angels at your disposal, all with their own correspondences and abilities, there is little you can not accomplish with this book when working sincerely with the system.

I personally have had some pretty profound results working with the system, and since starting to incorporate it into my routine, I have been regularly working with it, always discovering new things as I continue to work it.  It has also given me much insight into Lunar energy in general and its various Angels, along with all that they have to offer the magician.

I highly recommend this book to any ceremonial magician, Golden Dawn or otherwise, that is looking for a practical manual for working with Lunar astrological magic, or simply to expand upon the more common rituals that one practices in the Golden Dawn Tradition.
Thank you Frater V.L., for a wonderful and extremely useful book that will no doubt produce endless results and revelations for magicians everywhere. It certainly has for this magician!

Sincerely and Fraternally in L.V.X.,

Frater A.T.L.V.

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