Author: Kala Trobe
Paperback, 232 pages
Publication date: November 2001
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Invoke the Gods is a companion volume to the author's earlier work, Invoke the Goddess. Kala Trobe is an occultist in the Western Magickal Tradition and approaches the deities through this world view. Her deities are archetypes: different aspects of a single deity. One can call upon the energies of specific godforms to manifest their energies in one's own life.
After a short introduction explaining the purpose of the book, Trobe moves directly to the meat of the volume, chapters on 15 Gods: five Hindu deities (Krishna, Ganesh, Siva, Hanuman, and Brahma), five Egyptian deities (Thoth, Khephri, Ra, Horus, and Anubis), and five Greek Gods (Pan, Apollo, Hermes, Zeus, and Dionysus). Each chapter contains information on the mythology associated with the deity, a section on contacting the deity, a visualization exercise drawing on the deity designed to improve some aspect of the person doing the visualization, and information on the mundane side of the archetype. Finally, the Tarot cards associated with the deity are listed.
Judging by the information on the Greek deities, the mythological information in Invoke the Gods seems to be based on fairly solid research in popular mythology combined with some material from the Western Magickal Tradition. The Greek mythology given in the book, for example, while not likely to impress a Greek Reconstructionist, is unlikely to make him want to throw the book across the room. Original sources are mentioned. The author does not constantly confuse Greek and Roman versions of the deities, a failing of many books on the "New Age/Pagan" shelf in bookstores. Your reviewer is not familiar enough with Hindu or Egyptian mythology to comment, but the fact that Greek mythology was handled fairly well is probably a good sign.
Those who view deities as archetypes or as faces of one God, the way Wicca and the Western Magickal Tradition generally do, will find this book an interesting and readable introduction to the masculine side of deity. Hard polytheists and reconstructionists, however, will find little of interest in this book. While I don't think this book is a "must buy," a part of me is tempted to buy a few copies to give to those people I occasionally encounter who think the masculine deities are next to useless compared to the feminine deities.
Reviewed by Randall