Esoteric Review #01: G. D. Laval - Black Magick Evocation of the Shem Ha Mephorash
G. D. Laval's "Black Magick Evocation of the Shem Ha Mephorash" is quite the exquisite modern Grimoire, which packs a complete system of Goetic magick which can be used to summon the fractured disembodied intelligences that make up the greater Shem Ha Mephorash system. The Shem Ha Mephorash itself is the supposed sacred name of god embodied within a particular passage of the Bible. Derived from the text using advanced Gematria (a Hebrew practice of using numerology to find esoteric correspondences between different words and concepts, as well as used to sharpen the mind and create complicated ciphers and hidden text such as this name itself), this name is broken into 72 three letter seals, which can be used to either invoke an angelic entity or evoke a Qliphothic one. These entities are metaphorical representations of different energetic currents which run parallel across both The Tree of Life and Tree of Death, also described in greater detail in the study of Kaballah, and have governance over particular traits or faculties of the ruling forces of the universe. This book, hence the name Black Magick Evocation, focuses predominantly on Qliphothic evocation, though it is said that the information provided within could theoretically be used to do Angelic Invocations as well with creative reworking. However, the greater symbolical meanings provided for each individual potential seal of invocation/evocation, which can often go on for several pages per individual seal, is almost exclusively pertaining to uses of Left Hand Path evocation.
G. D. Laval is probably one of the most hard working, innovative, and creative Left Hand Path writers of the modern era. Not bothering to water his material down with dark fluff, unnecessary reinterpreted mythology, or spooky aggressive language you see in much of the modern LHP material, this is a book of no-nonsense, practical, workable Goetic magick. Just measuring over 500 pages, you'd think this book would be filled with long essays, and verbose material on the nature and history of Shem Ha Mephorash. Instead you are found with a huge tome of sigils, relations, charts, and and descriptions all relating to the core workable system of Evocation which is central to the text. Leaving the historical and magickal primer research up to the reader, which the reader should have no problem doing considering the extensively provided bibliography to this wonderful text, the core of the book's contained content is descriptions of the various entities summonable, a collection of charts and references to help aid the caster in use of the system provided and of course, the usual table of contents/preface/introduction package.
A Grimoire of the truest nature, this text gives you the most basic of elements on how to actually use the text, and focuses almost entirely on the meat. A vast majority of the book is left to detailing the Shem Ha Mephorash entities. For each of the 72 names there is provided a beautifully crafted sigil which can be used as a primary focus of of meditation, or as a seal in an actual act of ritual summoning itself. These seals follow a relatively uniform fashion, with two sets of double lined circles, in between them being the English translation of the name, and resting inside the smallest circle being the sigil itself composed of a series of dots and predominantly curved lines and squiggles. All extremely aesthetically pleasing to look at, and most likely conjured out of some sort of automatic state, having personally meditated upon many of these I know they work as perfectly self-contained passageways to the aethereal realms the authors wishes you to be able to traverse. Above the sigil is provided a three letter Hebrew name, the English translation, and the planetary and elemental correspondences for the entity. Below the sigil is a breakdown of symbolically corresponding information derived through the authors research into Gematria correspondence, starting with a basic list, followed by the entities Qliphothic name, then fleshed out with a deeper breakdown of some of the more important or relevant correspondences in further detail, or information on the evoked entities particular place in a infernal hierarchy. The text on the individual seal is always finished with an example chant which the author has found useful in ritual.
The back end of the book, which starts at about 370 pages in, is filled with wonderfully laid out tables and charts which present quite concretely the many different references which can aid a magician in ritual preparation, including a complete breakdown of the Sethurian calendar, many different versions of Gematria ciphers, planetary and elemental correspondences, infernal hierarchies (which tie into his other books), and much much more. Information that could be found out by the reader himself if he read through the immense and well cataloged bibliography provided by the author at the very end of the book (following the extensive list of charts), but is instead all in one neat and tidy place, and including various specifications and corrections as discovered by the author through his thorough research. It's rather handy, making this tome of work not only useful in application for working with the system presented in this book itself, but useful in the practice of left hand path magick in general.
The book itself is bound well. I've had it for almost a year now, and it's been moved around a fair amount through reading and storage, and if done properly and carefully (as I have done so myself) the book looks as good as when I got it. The cover is ordained with a large gold printed seal, centralized around a 9 pointed star, with many different shards of light emanating from it. Inside the different elements of the star, and in between the shards of light are various Hebrew symbols, which I believe to be the various three letter names of the Shem Ha Mephorash itself. It's all plated gold, and the book itself is in a solid red cloth binding. It's pleasing to the touch, and the paper inside the book is appropriately thick. The paper's background is a very solid white, with printing done in very dark and traditional black text, all leading to a very concrete sense of legibility. Fine printing, aesthetically pleasing all around if you ask me, though I'm not a "book specialist" by any means.
Overall, this book is a fine presentation of the system that the author is looking to demonstrate, and acts as the first in a series which make up a greater esoteric system he has devised/discovered. The other books he has in personal bibliography, and which make up the currently printed aspects of system I reference, are The Explicit Name Of Lucifer, which includes a Lucifarian English Gematria, Sacerdotivm Vmbrae Mortis, a Sethurian Vampiric system of necromantic pathworking, and lastly Sefer Yeroch Ruachot, a book similiar in format to Black Magick Evocation, except it covers Satanic Lunar energies. All of these books are interlinked into a larger system, working individually, but best as a whole (providing greater context and functionality). All of said books are of a similar excellent quality in thoroughness, providing efficient presentation that gets to the point clearly, has detailed connectivity and reference to his other works and the works that which he has referenced to build his own system, and lastly but not least of all importantly, there is a high quality of book printing and formatting consistently across all of his releases. I would highly recommend any of the books in the series, starting with of course the one covered in this review.
You can find G. D. Laval's books on sale, when in stock, at Aeon Sophia Press, his Publisher and an independent printer/publisher of Left-Hand Path esoteric literature:
At the time of printing there is currently a Pre-Order going for Black Magick Evocation, which can be found here:
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