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The Theban Oracle, by Greg Jenkins

Reviewed by Freeman Presson

There are effectively three books within The Theban Oracle: an introduction to what the author calls “Medieval Metaphysics,” including the few references to the Theban alphabet; a method for divination using the alphabet and correspondences created by the author, which requires the reader to make a casting set using the instructions included; and examples of spell-casting with the support of the Theban letters.

The divination material occupies about two thirds of the book, so I will address it first. The 24 letter-stones (for which I now coin the term grammatoliths) of the Theban alphabet, plus a blank, are associated with various figures from the history of magick and spirituality. The divinatory meanings of each grammatolith are drawn from major aspects of the corresponding personality, whether from the importance of their known work or their place in history. To name a few, we have Trithemius, Agrippa, Dee, Paracelsus, Hypatia, and Imhotep, along with others in the Western Esoteric Tradition, and then Lao Tzu as the sole Far Eastern figure. One might be able to suggest a pre-Socratic philosopher to use instead (Empedocles leaps to mind), but I suppose they are not well-known enough today, and it’s important that the diviner be able to relate to the given figures.

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