Gothic Grimoire Review

I received this book a long time ago before I began studying Correllian Wicca.  Prior to that time my interests leaned more toward a left hand path instead of the center line I now try to balance on.

            If you are drawn more to the twilight hours then Gothic Grimoire by Konstantinos may be right up your alley.  From beginning to end the author shares his love and respect of the night mysteries with such poignant passion that it is almost tangible.  As this book is somewhat of a “Volume II” to his title Nocturnal Witchcraft: Magick After Dark it bypasses the basics and takes you right into advanced techniques and concepts.  Everything from self-initiation to advanced conjuring is covered with a healthy dose of mythology and lore sprinkled in.

            Overall I felt as though I were learning information from a capable and qualified source.  The subject matter, while I am sure is uncomfortable for some, was fascinating to me.  His personal experiences and indeed his personal Grimoire are right there in the text, exposed to the reader.  He did not shy away from delicate topics and where appropriate included words of warning and disclaimers. 

            Upon completing the book I was definitely compelled to not only attempt some of the techniques therein but also to read its companion novel, Nocturnal Witchcraft: Magick After Dark, which I did.   Konstantinos was able to express his values and beliefs without sounding condescending or superior in any way. 
            Had I been the author of this manuscript I would have included a chapter discussing some of the more popular “Dark” deities and their properties/origins.  He makes a lot of reference to God/Goddess but does not include any appreciable examples of them, choosing instead to refer to them as Dark Gods or Dark Ones.  Energies raised by invoking the Norse Hel would be quite different than working with the Egyptian Set and I feel the differences should have been discussed and carefully noted.

            Though the book is written as an advanced guide to nocturnal magick he includes basic rites for each of the eight Sabbaths which I found to be very helpful in understanding the night witch’s connection to not only the wheel of the year but the cycle of existence as well.  “Celebrating the Wheel of the Year is how a Witch strengthens his or her link with the magickal currents that flow through our world.” (Konstantinos, pg.25)  He goes on to explain that the rites contained in the chapter are his own versions and that they can be adapted and changed as much as necessary so long as the Sabbaths are honored. 

            In an attempt to gain as much from the text as possible I opted to attempt one of the rituals it contained.  I chose the Nocturnal Servant as described in Chapter 11.  The rite reminded me of a story I had read from Hebrew folklore where a Jewish craftsman convinced his rabbi to teach him how to bring a clay golem to life through faith and magick.  The spell outlined by Konstantinos was a bit more modern and of course contained a well-placed warning.  “Your servant’s actions are, for all the universe knows, your actions.  Use this being for evil, and evil will come to you.” (Konstantinos, pg.116)

            Rather than go into great detail I will simply state that, while the spell allows for a complete moon cycle, the tasks I set my servant to completing were completed within a week. 

            I learned through internet research that Konstantinos lives in New York where he has been a paranormal researcher for the last fifteen years.  He has a bachelor’s degree in English and technical writing, both of which show in the ease of which his texts are read and comprehended. 

            I would recommend this book to a select few, as I could see it frightening some and giving others (who may purposefully ignore the warnings) access to dangerous information that they aren't ready to respect.  But for those who can use it in a mature manner I believe it is a wonderful book for not only understanding the “darker” side of magick but also to help in understanding that you cannot have one without the other: light without the dark, dark without the light.  Both paths must tread together, whether or not they choose to acknowledge one another.

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