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Ancestors of the Craft, by Christopher Penczak (ed.)

The Lives and Lessons of our Magickal Elders

Reviewed in Living Traditions

I have always believed we stand on the shoulders of giants and sadly it seems so many young magicians of all shades seem intent of reinventing the wheel. The beauty of understanding those who have gone before us is we can appreciate what they learnt, the mistakes their made and get differing perspectives on our craft. Ancestors of the Craft offers an anthology of essays by many different authors, edited by Christopher Penczak, on a wide and diverse range of individuals who are important to those who have written about them and of interest to the wider craft and occult community. They have been well selected covering early light bearers, founders of what we understand as western magick, those who development the modern craft and very fascinating those who have proved personally inspirational to those involved in the book. The book is divided into these four sections and is quite comprehensive at over 350 pages. It has a superb cover which really grabs your attention designed by Kala Trobe and has illustrations throughout.

Madame Blavatsky and Alice Bailey are not immediately seen connected to the craft, but so many of the concepts in modern occultism were introduced in their works. When we analyze modern Witchcraft we can see the continuation of so many forms of esoteric knowledge, many which at first glance we would not consider.

The founders of magick looks at a diverse range of important figures in western magic from Crowley to Dion Fortune, from Franz Bardon to Kenneth Grant. Each essay considers the uniqueness of each teacher and what they have transmitted to us as modern practitioners. These are not simply biographies but discussions of what we can learn from each of these teachers.

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