Lucifer: Princeps

Lucifer: Princeps

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Peter Grey
 

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Paperback; isbn 978-0-9574492-4-4
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8vo (240 × 156 mm)
224 pp

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Précis

Lucifer: Princeps is a seminal study on the origins of the Lucifer mythos by Peter Grey. It is the first in a two volume work; the companion volume, Praxis, being an exposition of ritual actions, is due to be published in 2016.

The fall of Lucifer, and that of the rebel angels who descended upon the daughters of men, comprise the foundation myth of the Western occult tradition. Lucifer: Princeps is a study of origins, a portrait of the first ancestor of witchcraft and magic. In tracing the genealogy of our patron and prince, the principles that underlie the ritual forms that have come down to us, through the grimoires and folk practices, are elucidated. The study draws on the extensive literature of history, religion and archaeology, engaging with the vital discoveries and advances of recent scholarship, which render previous works on Lucifer, however well intentioned, out of date. A concomitant exegesis of the core texts conjures the terrain and koine of the Ancient Near East, the cradle cultures and language of his nascence. Of critical importance are the effaced cultures and cults that lie behind the Old Testament polemics, viz. those of Assyria, Ugarit and Canaan, as well as Sumeria, Egypt and Greece; they provide the context that give meaning to what would otherwise be an isolated brooding figure, one who makes no sense without being encountered in the landscape.

Intended to be the definitive text on Lucifer for the witch, magician and student of the grimoires, Princeps spans wingtip to wingtip from the original flood myth and legends of divine teachers to the Church Fathers, notably Augustine, Origen and Tertullian. The tales of the Garden of Eden, the Nephilim, of the fall of Helel ben Šahar and the Prince of Tyre, the nature of Azazel, and the creation of the Satan are drawn beneath the shadow of these wings into a narrative that binds Genesis and Revelation via the Enochian tradition. The story of the Serpent in the Garden and that of Lucifer are revealed to be a singular myth whose true significance had been lost and can now be restored. It illuminates the path to apotheosis, and the role of the goddess as the transforming initiatrix who bestows the crown.

Contents

A History of Error
Formulation of the Curse
The Dawn Breakers
The Shining One
Holy Mountain
Scorched Heavens, Burned Earth
A King in Search of a Crown
The Invisible God
A Goat for Azazel
The Serpent in the Garden
Fall and Flood
The Key
A Mass of Blood and Feathers
Children of Enoch
The Cloven Hoof
Appendix: The Principate of Fallen Angels

Excerpt

A History of Error

It is proper to begin by quoting scripture, in particular the perilous lines of Isaiah 14:12. This may seem well trodden ground, but all exegesis starts with Isaiah, and all subsequent errors have, in a sense, coalesced around this ill-fated pronouncement. The story of Lucifer can be read as the history of the falsehoods, myths, hopes, hatreds and dreams that this one line has engendered. It is the centre point of the web, only made visible by the patient work crafted about it. The majesty is best conveyed in the King James Version of the Bible, a masterpiece in its own right, which throngs with satyrs, witches, sorcerers and dragons. It proclaims:

How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

We should take the time to allow these words to resound in our deepest depths, as they have a weight to them that drops us vertically into a shrouded stillness. We respond to their magnetic mass. Before we make pronouncement on this doomed figure of fallen light, we need to sense the gravity of the parabolic descent, and the sense that we too are part of it. Our inclination is to sympathise with this romantic figure, to project ourselves down from the heights. It is, in truth, these mysterious words that have exerted their fascination upon us. Having achieved this moment of silent memory, of loss, we can hold this fulcrum steady in the gimbal of our pitching hearts.

The architecture of this vision and vault is buttressed by a history that cannot be sensibly neglected if we are to produce work of any meaningful significance. My task is to examine the context of this evocative slur rather than plucking it from history as a pretty bauble with which to adorn our post-modern motley. I will quote chapter and verse, as it is from the recovery of this myth that we will ultimately draw the form of the ritual which is performed in the subsequent volume Lucifer: Praxis. There will be time enough for revelation, but first the hard graft of exegesis is required. Fortunately, there is a wealth of specialist scholarly work available without which the task would be insurmountable. Lest this be considered a fool’s coat, made from the offcuts of others’ cloth, I will add that this material has not been approached in this way before, and it is tailored for a specific practical purpose. So it begins.

Isaiah is the named author of this crafted curse in what is a great litany of tumbling curses. But, as with Solomon being ascribed authorship of the grimoires, this is a convenient fiction. The chronology of Isaiah spans from the Assyrian occupation to the post-exilic period, encompassing the Babylonian exile, and is delivered as if it were the words of a single prophetic author. There is, however, enough context to date the Lucifer verses; this, at least, seems likely to have been written not by the prophet Isaiah but by Isaiah, son of Amoz, in the mid eighth century BCE.

These lines have been extracted from a highly political text, written in a time of war and disorder, when Israel had been defeated and absorbed into the Assyrian Empire. The context is critical; our author has a radically conservative agenda. His railing against paganism makes the text a repository of heresies. Yet the main thrust of the attack is aimed squarely at the Jewish people, who have turned away from Yahweh, and, in critiquing them, simultaneously appeals to a special inner group of the orthodox:

Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the Lord hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.

The rebellion takes a specific form: the opposing of divine order, by acceding to the conquering Assyrians and their vassals. To this failing is bound the immoral worship of supposedly foreign gods. Heaped upon the sins of idolatry and sacrifice are attacks on women, such as the scandalous, adorned beauty of the daughters of Zion, who are reviled for inciting God’s anger. In this regard it is not superfluous to quote Isaiah 3:16–24, the exquisite detail of the description creates a locket that contains, on one face, the hatred of the prophet, and on the other paradoxically preserves what would have been a lost vision of beauty. The text is forensic in detail, and precise in its measuring out of retribution, characteristics that will enable us to get closer to Lucifer than we could have dared to hope when we come to consider his fate:

Moreover the Lord saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet: Therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the Lord will discover their secret parts. In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet, and their cauls, and their round tires like the moon, The chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers, The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the earrings, The rings, and nose jewels, The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins; The glasses (mirrors), and the fine linen, and the hoods, and the vails. And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; and burning instead of beauty.

It is women who are so often attacked in scripture as the weak point through which heresy enters, and it is this susceptibility which flourishes into a wilful embrace that becomes a key element of the medieval witch hunts. Adornment, that is, the celebration and enhancement of female sexuality on its own terms, is anathema. The demonisation of carnality – often expressed as the worship of female divinities erroneously glossed as foreign – emerges centuries later in the form of the witch hunting manuals. One reason to study texts such as Isaiah is that the history of ideas is best understood as a churning ocean that dredges up treasures from the depths and deposits them wet and gleaming on the shore before it drags them under again. What is important about this passage is that it highlights how the fate of the transgressors is matched to their supposed crimes, a technique of symmetrical inversion that Isaiah specialises in. An understanding of Lucifer is predicated upon recognising his origins in this process. Rebellion is the sign of an internal corruption which has led to the fall of the nation to a foreign enemy, in this case Assyria. Elsewhere in Isaiah the enemy is Babylon, as it is in Revelation and other apocalyptic works that do not cite Kittim or Egypt. This sense of an inner enemy weakening the state has been a constant political trope: the motif of a ‘fifth column’ re-emerged with the witch hunts in the early modern period; more recently we find the argument used in Weimar Germany by the nascent Nazi party, expressed in disproved notions of race and blood; by McCarthy, whose agents fingered Jack Parsons; and currently by the security state whose search is ultimately for ideological heresy.

It is essential to understand the idea of rebellion in its traditional sense, rather than the glamourised or romanticised sense it has come to hold in our culture. The blind imposition of values is one of the most common errors made in reading the past. Rebellion, in particular, has come to be associated with the privileging of a particular pre-verbal emotional state, one that many are heavily invested in. The all too frequent identification with the emotional response to the idea of rebellion prevents us reading history as it was written. We cannot begin to read the past without first acknowledging that these modern prejudices lead us to overwrite the past, or construct histories that flatter us. My aim is to be effective in sorcery, rather than be ensorcelled. Rebellion has become a marketing device designed to exploit the developmental stage of sexual awakening and differentiation in modern teenagers, who have no formal initiation ritual into adulthood. It is part of a deliberate strategy to create consumers, subverting the drives of social and sexual dissatisfaction by channelling them into brand loyalty and consumption, rather than questioning the values of the corporate state. It avoids the crisis of initiation to keep the population dependent and uncertain in an extended ‘kidulthood,’ whilst simultaneously breaking social cohesion in favour of the individual – by which is meant the individual as production/consumption unit rather than as sovereign. Rebellion is therefore employed as a key element in commodification. ‘Individuals’ are simultaneously hyper-sexualised and de-eroticised. Marcuse wrote eloquently on this, and it is not necessary to embrace his entire Marxist theology to utilise such incisive tools of critique. Put simply, most modern rebellion is not rebellion at all; neither is it harmless: it is actively beneficial to the corporate culture and values it purports to reject. The rebel is rendered impotent by their consumption, whether of pornography or possessions, caught by their own reflection from breaking free into the possibilities of experiences not mediated by constant reference to the screen ideal. Rebellion has, through these and other methods, been very neatly transformed into a tool that creates self-slavery.

In traditional societies, rebellion is understood in a very different sense: namely, opposition to the cosmic order defined by the gods and flowing down through all social relationships. It is a potentially catastrophic event on every plane. We will examine this further when we discuss the antecedents of Isaiah and the coded records of stellar events in our mythic heritage. Rebellion is not a posture of that modern invention of affluence, ‘the teenager,’ but a crisis that threatens the cosmic fabric.

In Isaiah, the inner corruption of the Jewish people is divined by the prophet, despite their outward demonstrations of piety; a pernicious idea that opens the way for anyone to be accused of heresy, irrespective of their deeds. It is the impossible hunt for purity that societies often embark upon in moments of duress, and one which demands an enemy be found, invented or re-baptised. In Isaiah 1:13–15, Yahweh berates his people:

Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.

The turning ‘backwards’ to the trappings of paganism is ultimately proposed as the only explanation as to why their almighty god has abandoned them. Yahweh represents the legitimate cosmic and political order, whose power cascades down into king, priesthood, state and designates woman as the (sexual) property of man. Witchcraft, and the figure of Lucifer, is seen as standing in opposition to this hierarchy. The appeal to an earlier state of purity is common in apocalyptic literature. So, too, is the condemnation of seemingly virtuous acts as containing some hidden deviance or heretical inflection. As well as being an exoteric method of spreading religious terror, practitioners can exploit this deviant potential in every orthodoxy to invert, or return, the virtue of prayer and ritual in clandestine fashion. The verses of Isaiah 1:13–15 are a superstitious and magical reaction to a state of interminable crisis and failure. The expectation is that a new golden age of justice will occur after a period of tribulation, but only if the proper rules, dictated from on high, are strictly observed. At times the transformation is said to be the result of the intercession of a Messiah; see, for example, Isaiah 7:14, 9:6. The later sword-tongued Christ of Revelation 1:16, who engages in a combat with a dragon or monster, is perhaps inherited from Isaiah, with Jerusalem as the site of manifest destiny and Babylon as the dragonish enemy. The combat myth is a theme in Canaanite mythology which has clearly influenced both the Old and New Testaments, and though of tangential interest, is not the central theme of our study. Its connections with the development of the ‘Son of Man’ iconography are a highly contested area of scholarship that we must leave to one side. What I must necessarily do is define Apocalypse, and here, like many scholars in the field, by deferring to J.  J. Collins. His definition, given in The Encyclopedia of Apocalypticism, is this:

‘Apocalypse’ is a genre of revelatory literature with a narrative framework in which a revelation is mediated by an otherworldly being to a human recipient, disclosing a transcendent reality which is both temporal, in so far as it envisages eschatological salvation, and spatial in so far as it involves another, supernatural world.

The sources upon which this definition is built are Enoch, Daniel, 4 Ezra, Revelation and 2 Baruch. What Collins’ definition lacks is that salvation is most often envisaged for a select group of people, though that does not imply that apocalypticism is the preserve of marginal groups. It engulfs whole cultures as often as it produces the seeming aberration of a Jonestown or Heaven’s Gate.

The apocalyptic myth structure can indeed be read in movements as diverse as Marxism, Capitalism, Rosicrucianism, Wahhabi Islam and the New Age. It is worth being familiar with this myth and its variants, as it undergoes spasmodic resurgences and has returned with a vengeance in our war torn times. On the grand stage it seems inevitable that Islam will be used for such an end in our century, but as luxury becomes scarcity, it is inevitable that many others will also find themselves demonised.

Often the idea of apocalypse is ascribed solely to the Judeo-Christian tradition, a troubling legacy that can therefore be safely excluded from our consideration whether as secular, or pagan, moderns. Contrary to this, the mytheme of apocalypse is one of the fundamental elements of the human story. It cannot be traced and confined to the Qumran community or its Zoroastrian precursors, though these must be accounted for if we are to understand Christianity in general and Revelation in particular. Apocalypse, as a myth, has been dated to the Paleolithic in the monumental work of E.J. Michael Witzel. He has utilised the tools of comparative linguistics, genetic data and archaeological evidence to unearth the ur-tales and demonstrated how they have endured throughout the common history of humanity and been forged into a single narrative. This remarkable persistence can be attributed, in part, to the story arising from, and being tethered to, our lifecycle. Thus, if we are to remove the idea of apocalypse, we effectively remove both the initial achievement of consciousness and our inevitable death from the script. Yet these two events are insoluble, our end is found in our beginning. Arguing for a truncated narrative reveals the screens that we have erected to preserve us from the moment of excarnation; it is a thoroughly modern conceit. In apocalypse denial, the spark of life itself is lost, as Lucifer, who represents the promise of the continuity of consciousness, is snuffed out.

Reviews

A review by Jake Stratton-Kent

Peter Grey’s works are consistently challenging. His first, The Red Goddess, threw a perceptive light on possibly the only ‘home grown’ folk goddess in modern magic; Babalon. Her presence reaches far beyond organised Thelema, and a coherent ‘back story’ was long overdue and a great boon to the community. Passionate in conception and execution, appropriately, this work was well received and rightly so. Apocalyptic Witchcraft excited more controversy and would not have achieved its objective without doing so. Apparently exploring another aspect of modern magic entirely, the implicit continuity was visible to some. So too the author’s increasing mastery of his craft could be seen, and even more so in the current work. For, while independent of both, Lucifer: Princeps is an inevitable development of what has preceded it.

Grey’s Apocalyptic Witchcraft eschewed footnotes, justifiably considering that his telegraphed allusions to well known contemporary sources were common knowledge where it mattered and secondary where it did not. Although the bibliography covered all the necessary ground, and the flow of the book and its polemical tone was best served without, this was fairly widely criticised. With Lucifer: Princeps the subject matter requires and receives greater precision; since the erudition is of a different order of magnitude, notes are smoothly and helpfully provided. As we might expect, this is achieved without foregoing poetic and mythic priorities. Grey makes this look effortless, we may be certain it was not. A huge subject is opened with penetrating clarity; that it is a matter dear to his heart need not be doubted.

The topic is very well served, clearly presented and elucidated. The thesis makes a world of sense to me, and will certainly be well received in some parts of the community. Peter and Scarlet Imprint’s growing reputation should ensure a wider reading. This is well, for the title is his best yet, and its audience less ‘ready made’ than the two previous. Let there be no doubt, this book deserves to be considered far more widely than in grimoire and ‘Sabbatic’ niches alone. Yet I fear, when the legend of Lucifer and his fall is described as the foundation myth of Western Magic, incredulous eyebrows will probably be raised in some quarters. Grey’s overview of magic and its cultural role is visionary and ahead of the curve. Niche neo-paganisms and clunky scientific magical models have yet to respond to major reappraisals at the cutting edge. The central importance of mythic mechanisms in ritual magic is rarely discussed even by the savants. The very existence of a central myth in Western magic may very well seem alien to some.

This is what Grey’s greatest work to date addresses. Key themes are drawn out, their significance delineated. The fluidity of the text makes accessible a mythic narrative that is truly arcane; archaic yet timeless and potent. This is a dangerous book presenting a clear overview of what was formerly a difficult subject; clarifying its relevance to the very development of magic. The ‘spirit model’, of increasing importance to the community, clearly requires such a book. The head of the spirit hierarchy, whether in the grimoires, in folklore or culture shaping legend, is a figure we all need to understand extremely well. This the author achieves; a book both timely and ahead of its time. I await the promised sequel, Praxis with anticipation and impatience!


A review by Gordon White on Rune Soup

This has been a challenging review to write for all the best reasons. Most notably, I do not want to spoil the experience of having your personal conceptions unwound and rewound as you read through the book. Taking some of the more compelling, nay, astounding insights out of context risks doing precisely that.

So I read it. Then I thought about it. Then I contextualised some of the book’s assertions into my regular spirit work. Then I read it through again. And as I wrote when entreating you to come to the launch (and was subsequently word-for-word plagiarised)… you cannot unread this book.

One way or another, we all have a relationship with this form, Lucifer. It may be, as seems to be the case for the most stringently devotionalist of pagans, an echo ported over from your days in happy clappy mega-churches. It may be because you studied literature. Or it may be your muddled memories of Victorian folklorists. And then there is… rebellion itself.

Rebellion is a sign of the internal corruption which has led to the fall of the nation to a foreign enemy, in this case Assyria. Elsewhere in Isiah, the enemy is Babylon, as it is in Revelation and other apocalyptic works… This sense of an inner enemy weakening the state has been a constant political trope: the motif of the ‘fifth column’ re-emerged with the witch hunts in the early modern period; more recently we find the argument used in Weimar Germany by the nascent Nazi party, expressed in disproved notions of race and blood; by McCarthy, whose agents fingered Jack Parsons; and currently by the security state whose search is ultimately for ideological heresy.

It is essential to understand the idea of rebellion in its traditional sense, rather than the glamourised or romanticised sense it has come to hold in our culture. The blind imposition of values is one of the most common errors made in reading the past. Rebellion, in particular, has come to be associated with the privileging of a particular pre-verbal emotional state, one that many are heavily invested in… Rebellion has become a marketing device designed to exploit the developmental stage of sexual awakening and differentiation in modern teenagers… It is part of a deliberate strategy to create consumers.

The connecting behavioural thread running back from Lucifer: Princeps through Peter’s previous two books is witchcraft, magic, as oppositional to the teetering, paranoid, violent edifice of monoculture. Prior to reading this book, my primary relationship with Lucifer was along these lines…. as a sort of cosmic storehouse of the forbidden and even hidden or occulted. In a ritual sense, this manifested along Parzifal lines pertaining to the return of hermetics and esoteric astrology into European culture. (There is actually a lot more to my story with the Old Master, heading off in a crossroads direction, but for that you’ll have to wait for the book.)

What I had not realised before reading this book is the ‘forbidden storehouse’ function of Lucifer recurs backward through history. Peter traces it to the Ugaritic and even Sumerian levels, where it was already likely to be covered with the dust of ages, but is now lost to historical view.

For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

Lucifer is styled as an upstart who seeks to set his throne in the place of Yahweh. This is not overthrowing order, it is an attempt to achieve parity with the divine. Apotheosis, the elevation to the status of a god, is the aim. This suggests a connection to a deeper strata of meaning, of an antecedent myth or myths.

Lucifer: Princeps will emerge as a cornerstone text in re-aligning or adjusting the contemporary practice of western magic back into its early modern Christian milieu by examining a sadly-under-explored vein of influence on the texts and beliefs that defined Europe for one and a half thousand years; encompassing the fall of the Classical World. the folkloric survival of the Dead in the Cult of the Saints, the witch trials and the grimoire tradition.

One of the angles absolutely ripe for magical exploration is the association of Lucifer -here a cipher for Dead Kings- and the Near Eastern/Eurasian concept of the Holy Mountain. Peter traces this to Zaphon, an archetypal World Mountain motif, sacred to Baal. This provides ready entry into any number of motifs that went into the creation/amalgamation that became Lucifer. It ties directly into notions of competing authority and the seizing of Kingship… as well as the role of the Dead.

Ah yes, the Dead. The Rephaim. The insights here are alone worth the cover price, and I want to tip-toe through them so as not to spoil their discovery. Peter wades into the highly polluted water of the Rephaim and the Annunaki and manages to emerge unblemished by flying saucers, reptilians, cone-headed Solutreans or any of that other jibber jabber. And the discovery which folds The Fall back into these earlier Near-Eastern ancestral practices is just so on point that I wanted to fist bump the woman sitting next to me on the bus when I read it. (You get looks when you read something with a title of Lucifer: Princeps on a bus. Especially if you are reading the big, beautiful, green hardback.)

Unfortunately, I have to leave it there because you really need to encounter the case Peter makes for yourself. But if you are in any way practically involved with angelology, ancestral spirit work or the grimoires -and I’m pretty sure that’s most of you- then read this section twice, Santa-style.

Of personal interest to me was the exploration of the scapegoat… because I am fascinated by the goat’s paranormal liminality and its status as a margin-dweller, and also because I think the magical community in general is absurdly naive when it comes to an hypothesis as to why we even have sacrifices or offerings. I think Peter is really onto something with his theories as to the origin of Azazel (as in “a goat for Azazel”). Two things fascinate me about the tribal thinking behind scapegoating. Firstly, that its earlier, shamanic origins are transparent: one cannot destroy evil or ill-fortune as it is a thing that exists in the universe and was created by God. One moves it along or sends it into liminal spaces away from the tribe. Lead never becomes gold.

Secondly, that this exact notion survives into early modern witchcraft and folklore. Recall the many apotropaic admonitions that the Devil or demon must ‘count all the leaves of all the trees’ and ‘all the grains of sand in the world’ before returning to a house or person. The existence of the Devil, of ill-fortune, is by the design of God. We cannot destroy it or even prevent it as the action of a being created by God is the will of God. We can redirect it, like the course of a river. I see the underlying Eurasian cosmology here at a time depth great enough to give the Near East this concept and the Far East Taoism. Keep digging until you find it.

To sum up, then. Reading this book is sort of like setting off a depth charge, or -more violently- dynamite fishing. It sinks into your unconscious and spectacularly rearranges what you thought was already well-arranged. I wanted to hold off on this review until I had pushed through enough spirit work to see if it materially impacted practices that predate its reading. And it does. For even the most modern of practices, a whole new context emerges -it yawns open behind your altar and fills your temple with hot winds blown down holy mountains and off forgotten deserts.

Absolutely well done. It is an Emerald in the Crown.

The original review can be read on Rune Soup



Positively Fallen: A review by Sef Salem

Negative Evil is the thrust-block of Good; the principle of resistance, of inertia, that enables Good to 'get a purchase.'

— Dion Fortune, Psychic Self-Defense

It has been a long road to escape dualism, for me. What started as a classic teenage rebellion from a High Anglican upbringing, has been accomplished at last by Peter Grey’s towering achievement, Lucifer: Princeps.

I do not say this lightly; my initial, bland understanding of “Angels good, Demons bad” was tempered by working with both in witchcraft, grimoires of such spirits, researching biblical and Apocryphal texts, heavy amounts of meditation, pathworking, and experimentation; but still I was unable to free myself from the core concept of a Fallen Angel being in the wrong.

The understanding had been politely excused like a racist elderly relative, as if it were itself a necessary evil of working in such traditions, much as the quote from Violet above provides her own context for accepting evil entities. I have had the privilege of working with magicians from practices both within and without this mindset, from qabalist sorcerers to platonic hermeticists, witches and shamans of all stripes, yogis and chaos magicians, and of course Thelemites who eschew the idea of duality but for many it is still embedded in their secret centres.

The brave and no doubt harrowing process which Peter has put himself through for this work is to go back to the source material which many of us expect to be familiar with, but without context or koine as Peter puts it, cannot grasp fully. The temptation with any unfamiliar language is to accept that you’ll only hit every third or fourth word, but expect that to carry you and allow you to move on. This painstaking series of exegesis is thorough in a way that occult authors have seldom been - Stratton-Kent, Leitch, and a few others notwithstanding - and finally gives the most clear outline of the important figure of Lucifer, its origins in the earlier praxis and mythemes of more ancient civilisations than the Abrahamic Traditions, and how much relevance this still has to magical praxis today.

This cannot be stressed enough: Lucifer: Princeps is not a book which requires its next volume, Praxis, to commence your own workings from its material. Purely by reading and applying the most overt considerations from the text, your magick will change. Whether you are a Sabbatic witch, Luciferian High Priest, or devout angel-botherer, you will have a different apprehension of core texts in the foundations of the Western Mystery Tradition.

My own feelings on the matter are sealed; I wrote a longer and more personally-focussed consideration on how this will impact my praxis, but it disappeared into the aether. Suffice it to say, I will happily communicate my understanding face-to-face; but I can tell you that the key impact is the removal of duality from my basic programming, and without good and evil, the concept in the above quote does not lose impact, but gain it.

The angels which rebelled acted not out of duty to do the dirty work of Yahweh, but out of a desire to lead, teach, and ultimately inspire, regardless of the danger to themselves. Perhaps they were the first boddhisatvas. Even if we feel personally unable to work with them, they have earned our respect, and we have a need to honour them and include them in our praxis when we are ready.

Peter Grey has reconnected the current from this original gesture by brave angels, and it has always been there to flow through those who commit to magick. Lucifer has never been some arch-fiend, but an arch-angel, and his message is potent, puissant, and perfect. Read this book, and listen for the signal.

The original review can be read at the Visible College.