By Jason Miller (Inominandum)
New Page Books, 2006 $14.95 US
Review by Daven
I have to be honest here, this is an interesting book. A lot of what is in here is needed and of use to many people but I have some objections to the content.
Mr. Miller starts out by reversing the position that many magickians and spell casters, indeed many Pagans, have taken over the years by stating baldly that curses and hexes do happen all the time. While this is correct in essence, the devil is in the details with this statement.
He is generous in this book with stating that most likely the ill-wishing that does happen and isn’t truly done maliciously, but that in most cases it happens incidentally, as part of simple life. Having a falling out with a friend, wishing someone dead, hoping they get exactly what they deserve and so on are all examples of a curse, along with such esoteric things as a fully ritualized spell to curse someone. But things snowball and the situation can get out of hand rapidly with such accidental curses.
I’m going to have to depart from some of my standard format for these reviews to intermix the good and the bad as I comment on them, since it is so mixed in this book. So with that in mind, I’m going to move to the bad in this first section.
I’ll state right out that my personal bias is that do not credit psychic attack and spiritual or magickal attack as happening as often as the author says it does. But I will credit him in that he believes it happens that often. It is my personal experience in 20 years of paranormal and psychic research and active magickal practice that I have only come across four genuine cases of psychic or magickal attack that I can recall. All the rest were creations and phantoms of the mind that should have been treated with psychology, not parapsychology. Suggestion is a very powerful tool, and this book suggests a lot.
Given that, however, the author states this kind of attack happens with frightening regularity, both intentional and as an accident. He says that he sees it all the time and that he has been successful in solving those cases when they are brought to his attention. He felt that it was his destiny to start working to find ways to solve this problem.
Toward this end he studied a lot of different traditions and magickal ways and their means of uncrossing and reversing hexes and spells. It would be a long course of study.
I really have to give the author a major series of props here, he knows his stuff. The book is about as complete in the aspects of protection and reversal magicks as you want to get. It is not written for those who are just starting in a magickal path, but once you get past studying the basics and are ready to move on, it is very good book to pick up to continue with.
But in many cases this approach is scattered. While you can definitely see the author’s expertise, there is a mix and match aspect that bothers me. It is more cultural appropriation and I really don’t like that. Esoteric words and phrases, without saying where they came from, use of deities from different pantheons together in one ritual all make me nervous.
I want to state this clearly; the beginning of this book is a treasure trove of information and knowledge and should NOT be skipped even if you think you know what is in there. I found myself nodding in agreement and grinning in revelation during that section.
Later chapters however start falling down. Spells to uncross, spells to protect, spells to send bad vibes back. While the rituals and spells ARE of use and are appropriate, I think the book as a whole would have been better served if the author described the principles and confined himself to the the theory rather than turning this into a spellbook.
Totally lacking in this book, and glaring in its absence, is a discussion of basic shielding or place wards. One of my biggest objections to many different Pop Media shows is that there are very powerful magickians shown on TV who have no protections on their own homes. This was an opportunity to address that lack, and it’s missing as well. There are spells to send those negative influences out once they are present, but no spells or even a discussion of how to prevent them from occurring in the first place.
In future editions of this book, I pray that the author includes phonetic pronunciations of some of these words he uses in the rituals. It’s not good to be in the middle of a spell and start stumbling over “May all manner of Specter, Phantoms, and Krakodaemon… Bind it in the names of Aktiophis, Ereshkial, Nebotosoualeth,” as in one ritual.
I’ve thought long and hard on this rating. I’m giving this a provisional 3 1/2 stars out of 5. My first impulse was to simply give it three stars, but understanding that there is a lot of good info in here has made me revise this upward somewhat. It could be improved upon immensely and there is so much more that could be in it that isn’t, but since this is the only work of it’s kind out there, I’m giving it a slightly inflated rating.