Just a few short years ago, there was no definitive work on the Magick of the PGM in print. A few authors had touched on it briefly, recognizing the limitless untapped potential of this most ancient and venerable of systems, and others incorporated bits and pieces of it into their own work, albeit with a Thelemic or Golden Dawn flavoring to suit their own worldview; but for the aspirant seeking not to "use" the odd bit or piece of the system, or who wasn't content to simply throw some of the voces magicae contained exclusively in the PGM into their own rites and actually wanted to practice THE Magick of our forefathers, not as part of another system but AS the system it was and is, there was no definitive "Go To" book. Betz' translation, while great for the academician for presenting the unaltered text as it appears, is all but unusable from a practical perspective. Flowers' "Hermetic Magic" was about the best of the bunch, and certainly provided one of the stepping stones and points of reference when I set out to build, or rather rebuild, a whole and complete system of Magick from the PGM, but beyond this volume and perhaps Seven Faces of Darkness (which in and of itself was heavily flavored to the authors LHP taste), there was nothing even resembling a practical, workable manual from which one could actually LEARN Graeco-Egyptian Magick, and the aspirant was left to fend for themselves in a noble but lofty quest to make something of the scholarly works available. For this reason, many turned from this path, electing to pursue a field more "user friendly", or for which such instructional materials abound.
In 2012 I had the honor of releasing what was immediately touted as THE definitive work on the PGM and related Papyrii for the practicing magician, and which has remained the "go-to" guide for anyone interested in the genre of Magick to this day. Much to my surprise, The Book of Abrasax was accepted by even my critics. Hell even those who find me personally rather unsavory, lacking the social graces, sensitivities and formal group training a right and proper magician must surely have, committing frequently the sins of telling my contemporaries and fellow authors when their work just plain sucks instead of calling it innovative and groundbreaking, not being born a Brit, etc., even THEY had to admit Abrasax was a classic. But I digress...
While I have loved the warm reception The Book of Abrasax continues to receive, and moreso the now 167 success stories I've received from its readers, those of you familiar with the work will recall that in my introduction I said that chief among my motivations was the hope that the readers would be inspired to continue building upon its framework, and my gdeepest wish was for one of those greater than I to take on the task and supersede my book, producing an even deeper treatise than anything I would be capable of.
Today I am quite pleased to report that the latter has indeed occurred, and the business of making a practical, workable, credible and formidable system and a veritable manual of training for it has indeed been taken up by one who I look up to in the same way a student of military strategy and war might look up to Sun Tzu. While I don't presume to think he was in anyway inspired or motivated to take on this task by my work with the PGM or The Book of Abrasax, (or for that matter even aware of its existence). And NO, I'm not a fucking groupie, I'm just that rare bird who actually appreciates QUALITY over horseshit bound in gnome scrotum and sold for $300 a copy, the pages of which are useful only if one unfortunately runs out of toilet paper, and to any serious student or practitioner who intends to USE the material, one of this gent's old titles in user $5 paperback from Amazon is immeasurably more valuable than a specialty press' deluxe $400 "Order of Astaroths Unholy Assrabbits Edition"
I am happy to surrender The Book of Abrasax' Crown to Stephen Skinner, who has just announced the release of Techniques of Graeco-Egyptian Magic later this month. While I have yet to read the book, I am perhaps more familiar with Stephen's books than my own, and I can say in all honesty and without a shred of doubt, 390 pages of his caliber of work on the subject of the PGM will be the best book of the year, bar none, and if it is in the aspirant's budget too by only one book, look diirectly past my Book of Abrasax and GET THIS ONE. I will be doing a full review of the book as soon as it is released to discuss it in more detail, and as always I will be dead on honest, but I can say truthfully that I fully expect this title to be a classic.
Disclaimer - Lest ye, oh skeptical reader, begin to think this review is less than objective, let me state emphatically that I have NO acquaintance with Stephen Skinner. I have him as a Facebook friend, along with 600 other people I don't know, but the only time I have ever spoken to him one on one was to say "I would love to review this book. I have a blog with a very large following, most of whom are highly interested in the PGM having found me and the blog after reading my own "Book of Abrasax" which is on the same subject, and I'm quite sure they'd be precisely the type you want hearing about your book", to which he replied "Sure. Let me have your address and I will send you a reviewers copy. By the way, "Frater MC", whats the MC stand for?"