The Gates of Witchcraft by Christopher Penczak
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Inner change must precede outer world change. The secret to magic is entering that state of mind called Gnosis or entering a trance state. The power lies within and Mr. Penczack teaches you how to enter that trance state to get the power. Gerald Gardner in his Book of Shadows detailed 8 different ways to access the Gnosis or trance state. Mr. Penczak has added a few more more. Drawing from a rich multitude of traditions like Ceremonial Magick,Wicca, British Witchcraft,and Shamanism Christoper gives the reader a wide variety of choices and entrance ways into their own power.
Within us lies a certain energy or power. Some would call it Chi, Ki and some would call Prana. The techniques that are taught come in two categories. The first category is ecstatic. This involves dancing and singing and raising energy. It projects the energy out of yourself. The second set of techniques draws you into yourself. THe object is to lower your brainwave count to 1-4 hertz and get to a trance state. In Gerald Gardner's BOS the eight gates to your personal power are meditations and concentration, trance or astral projection, Rites and Chants,Incense and drugs, dance, blood and breath control, scourging and the Great Rite. Christopher Penczak changes it up a bit and gives you these meditation, breath,sound, movement, isolation, intoxication, physical relations and pain. In addition to giving an altered list of the eight paths to power Christopher has added another five and they are : Land,Time, Ritual clothing and dreams.
Wiccan philosophy does not preach power over but rather power with. It is hard work to learn how to work with nature and the flow of events. In this work you will find out how to work with the fae and other spirit forms along with some divination. As for my own personal opinion I found most of it to be useful and have taken notes on those parts. Working with the land and the important aspects of ritual clothing may be different to some in the community but no less very valuable. Working in liminal places between the wilds and society, high cliffs, caves or beaches can add lot of power to your work. Times can be taken advantage of as well. Midnight is the witching hour, the dawn and noon are good times to access as well. Our ritual clothing should be used for rituals only. Regular clothes should not be worn to ritual either. Our clothing puts us in a ritual state of mind. There are great techniques for accessing the power of our dreams.
Perhaps the most useful were the chapters on meditation, breath, sound, movement and isolation. I took extensive notes on these. I found the other stuff good for general knowledge. I must admit to being very adverse to working with fluids or blood. Drugs I do not think I will use either.
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