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While there are many works that concern the Saturnian current at the astrological level, Kirkebride is one of the few to bring it to an Earthly level. The title uses familiar occult concepts and a personal narrative to bring Saturnian aspects into a ritual practice. The author offers readers a flexible way to approach practice by using familiar concepts like varied correspondences, altar construction, and invocations. Throughout the text, there are references to influential occult authors, allowing for a broader understanding and a traceable lineage of Kirkebride’s ideas. No revolutionary material exists within either book, but Kirkebride provides a solid base to build a wider practice from. Aeon Sophia Press did an excellent job in producing the book itself. While lengthy, the book is comfortable to read with quality paper and an easy-to-read typeface. Suggested Further Reading/Practices: “The Cult of the Black Cube” Arthur Moros, “Liber Falxifer: The Book of the Left-Handed Reaper” N.A-A.218, “Holy Daimon” Frater Archer, “The Fraternitas Saturni” Stephen Flowers. Constuction of Saturn astrological talismans and review of personal natal chart involving Saturn.
I have been searching for the standard hardcover edition of IAO: Ophite Iconography for almost 3 months, and found it on Miskatonic Books! Despite of being out of stock at the moment I found it, the “Notify Me” feature from the website never disappoints. Once it’s available, the notification email was sent to me and by clicking the link provided within the email, the book in question was automatically added to the cart. I checked out without even thinking much and voila, it was delivered to me with thoughtful packaging.
The book’s ‘Paradise’ Black & Green Fine Italian Bookcloth is gorgeous, despite it being a standard edition. The shades of green and black sheen shine interchangeably when the light of the environment hits it when you look at it from different angles. I already own the collector’s edition of the book but from my point of view this standard edition stands out more in terms of clean and minimalistic design. The quality of the paper – Strathmore Cambric Platinum White 200M was definitely the right choice for bringing the colour of the author’s artworks to pop.
The artwork and content of the book reflect the gnostic worldview of the Ophites, and the author nailed it. Since there hasn’t been any iconography attach to gnostic teachings of the Ophites (and other sects as a whole), Jose Sabogal has done a fantastic job by interpreting them in detailed explanation and illustrated with his masterful skills of art.
The contents of the Hekataeon are truly wonderful, groundbreaking, and the new additions to the text are well written, the art is stimulating, and the work overall is a true modern mark of the advancement of magick as an art; but this rating of 3 starts is not a reflection of the actual work, but rather of the construction of the book itself. For 95 dollars, I received a book that; although having a beautiful cover and good text/image quality; the actual construction of both this edition and the previous 3rd edition leave much to be desired at the cost of 95 dollars. I’d even argue it has regressed from its already underwhelming previous edition (which sported creasing on the spine, a flimsy unraveling bookmark, and a crooked, edge-is-already-peeling sticker as a centerpiece to the cover: all upon arrival.) The cover edges on my edition are not even, as one protrudes out further then the other, and therefore slumps along the text block- of which said cover appears; truthfully if not harshly; slapped on with some glue, giving little thought for the cover’s need to hug and secure the text block. The spine wiggles, and every time I pick up the book, it makes a very loud and concerning clicking sound. The spine, as a result, is constantly getting mushed and contorted while in use. The edges of the text block leave a visible and unfortunate mark of where the machine cut the pages during its manufacturing. When open, the block is more or less splitting at a 90 degree angle, in a way that is more unsettling than it is functional. I’ve even noticed a seem or two already showing ware after only a few openings of the book. This doesn’t strike me as a tome that can take a beating, or as advertised “altar worthy” as I’m concerned for its longevity. Considering there’ve been occult hardcover books constructed far better for a price point that is at least 10, if not 20, dollars cheaper, it left me feeling rather disappointed. Again, this is not a reflection of the contents, and said contents are in-fact a big reason I’m giving this review 3 stars and not 2, or if I was callous, even a 1 in some regards. Because it’s not just about the contents, it’s also about the presentation and quality of the product itself, of which one wouldn’t be out of their mind to say this specific presentation is unacceptable at this price point. I’m also wondering that, hopefully, I may have just gotten a bad egg in the batch. Regardless, here’s hoping for better quality control on the next publication.
Unlike the other two reviews, I found my copy of Jack Grayle’s The Hekataeon to be quite sound. I could feel the Energy of this tome through the packaging. As I have made my way through this offering to new and seasoned Hekate Devotees, as well as those who are just begun their journeys with Hekate upon answering her Call, I have felt a sense of awe, reverence and inspiration with every page. I do not regret this purchase and have purchased another copy just to have as a backup. In terms of this edition being able to “take a beating”, quite honestly books (especially rare ones) are not there to take beatings. They are offerings by their authors (who are all Priest/ess/rix in their own right), to provide knowledge, guidance, and support for those whose desire to learn and gain new experiences and wisdom about deities and Magick through the practices and rituals presented within them. I have had to learn the hard way that you should treat your books well and not try to test their mettle through poor transport and storage, especially if they are rare books. I encourage anyone who is truly interested in Jack Grayle’s The Hekataeon to purchase a copy for themselves and be immersed within its fine prose, poetry, and praxis.
Martin Duffy has done an impeccable job with this book. Researching & Presenting his work on malevolent & petty petitions to god within Christianity itself. One perfect example being from the very start, where a young Jesus, although still the son of god being simply cast as a human, yet beneath the surface something else drives what follows. A young Jesus bestowed with great power begins to curse and sanctimoniously kill those who seemingly are guilty of only trivial transgressions against him, mostly amounting to nothing more than annoying the young Jesus. Duffy cleverly lays down a simple albeit commonly overlooked thought, that being if you’re ever in any need to use baneful magic or perhaps send a curse, by just calling upon the Christian faith it will be done in a truly spectacular fashion.
For me this book throws shade in the right way, and calls out the common and quite glaring hypocrisies within the Abrahamic religions. 8/10
—Doctor Satan PhD