Book Review: Qabalah, Qliphoth and Goetic Magic

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Thomas Karlsson is a Swedish occultist and founder of the order Dragon Rouge. Qabalah, Qliphoth and Goetic Magic is an informative, interesting and easily read book aimed at students interested in knowledge of the left hand path.

A large part of the book is written from the perspective of an Qabalistic exploration of evil, an analysis of how it came into being and why it exists. The aim and method of the left hand path is illuminated throughout. The tree of life before and after the fall of Lucifer, Lilith and the opening of the Abyss are all presented here.

Karlsson does a fine job of presenting a well-rounded view according to the thinking of the most influential Qabalistic scholars. Where viewpoints among scholars differ, Karlsson is careful to present the alternative interpretations equally and with quotes from various works where necessary. There is also relatively little injection of the author’s own personal views. I was left feeling that this was an excellent distillation of knowledge from the most authoritative and accepted Qabalistic scholars and Jewish mystics.

There is also an in-depth analysis of the backside of the Tree of Life and its ten Qliphotic spheres and a thorough exposition of the spirits that rule them, together with invocations and sigils.
The latter part of the book is left for an exploration of Goetic magic with introductions and commentary on some of the more famous Goetic grimoires, supplemented with descriptions and sigils of the 72 demons of the Goetia.

You will also find a short but fascinating section at the back of the book where several experiences of Dragon Rouge students have been reproduced with instruction on relatively simple Goetic meditations. Although I would certainly heed the various warnings throughout the book;

“Experiences of Goetic magic can be both frightening and dangerous for a person who is not properly trained or is psychically unstable”.

The entire book is well researched and Karlsson does a superb job of breaking down some very complicated topics into easy to understand language relevant for the modern day magician. Even though you will find the section on Goetic magic is largely reproduced and easily found elsewhere. Personally, I found the most value in the Qabalistic analysis of the backside of the Tree of Life, the Qliphotic spheres, the analysis of evil and the aims and methods of the left hand path.

Authoritative sources of information on the left hand path are rare indeed. Qabalah, Qliphoth and Goetic Magic’s presentation of the left hand path, by going back to the original sources of ancient Jewish mysticism, is an extremely refreshing perspective. The information this book imparts and the logical style of it’s presentation is outstanding. If you’re wondering what the left hand path is all about or looking for an authoritative reference on the subject, you will find this a valuable addition to your library.

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