Reviewed by Mike Gleason
True Magick: 15th Anniversary Edition
by Amber K
Published 2006 by Llewellyn
Paperback 369 pages
More Information on this Book from Amazon
This is a revision 0f one of the "standards" in the field. Amber shares a great deal of background with me. We both came into the Craft in the 1970s through the Temple of the Pagan Way in Chicago; neither of us claims an ancestral tradition; and we both believe in cutting through the "mystic, trystic b.s..."
This edition contains six new chapters and many new exercises. Most of the chapters end with "Exercises Towards Mastery," and recommended books, the only exception being the first chapter which lays out some of the background of magick.
Once the actual magickal work is started, Amber is wont to use the KISS principle (Keep It Simple, Seeker). Her approach is minimalist (obtain only what you need, when you need it); trust your own instincts; and don't believe everything you read since no one author (even her!) has all the answers.
She shows the relationships between science and magick (and I'm not talking alchemy/chemistry or astrology/astronomy, here - I'm talking quantum physics/magick). She challenges many dominant perceptions in our society.
This book is designed to be used by magicians of all levels of experience. While the novice will be exposed to new concepts and ways of thinking and acting, the more experienced practitioner will have the opportunity to examine (and re-examine) the foundations of their work. It will not answer all you questions, but it will inspire you to search for the answers.
Reading through this book took me back to my earliest days of magick working, including the symbols (invoking and banishing pentagrams), restrictions (God invoked by the Priest and Goddess invoked by the Priestess), as well as general guideline. As my magickal working has evolved, some of these basics have changed, but they worked to give me a solid foundation.
The appendices are as valuable as the rest of the book, including a Glossary of terms (which covers 20 pages); a 1 page chart of Elemental Correspondences (which can serve as a format for a more extensive personal chart of correspondences); and a recommended reading list arranged by topics.
Although this is an archetypal "101" book, it is not a run-of-the-mill book. Amber's writing style is down-to-earth, as is the information she conveys. Her exercises are, if not necessarily easy to complete, at least easy to understand. Her recommendations for reading material are, for the most part, still in print and fairly easy to obtain.
There may be better books on the topic in print, but I haven't come across them lately. The original edition sold over 200,000 copies. I have no doubt this edition will do as well. If you want to learn magick, this book needs
to be in your library.