Esoteric Review #02: A. D. Mercer - Liber Coronzom
Enochian magick is one of those elusive things that has been written on many times, but who's actual working mechanics have always been shifty. Many have had their crack at interpretation, but an actual pathworking guiding you through it in a workable system isn't something you'll find easy. Works that have attempted to do such things in the past, usually either are heavy handed on history and academia, draw far to strongly from the Golden Dawn, Thelema and/or elaborate and connect to strongly with their own personal theorems on the nature of magick and it's practice throughout history. While these may all be useful, and engaging, something a bit more stripped down and concrete in it's transition through the various stages of it's working is something we have yet to have. Until now at least.
A. D. Mercer's Liber Coronzom does exactly what many have been searching for, for a very long time: a rather in-depth (dare I say complete!) synthesis of the Enochian works condensed into a useful format which can be used as a mental-spiritual journey which will eventually lead the practitioner across the stages of the abyss to confront Coronzom himself. Though not a "beginners" book in the sense that it doesn't provide in depth reference to all the symbolic baggage one would associate with the process of initiation, it doesn't really make a great deal of reliance on any of said symbolic baggage one would expect in a modern book of magick. Instead of worrying on trying to balance this system to Kabbalah or the Golden Dawn, or really any other form of magickal outlook, the author takes a much more original and authentic approach and goes for a rather particularly pure synthesis and approach towards the Aeonic workings. With the most modern magickal additions to the system being the Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram and the concept of the Holy Guardian Angel, Mercer rather primarily focuses on the rawest elements as described by Dee and Kelly, keeping the whole system focused on the Enochian and not as I mentioned before attempting to draw to many layers of parallel to modern esoterica interpretation. Instead the author's own particular twist he adds to the Enochian brand focuses more on a psychological approach, one in particular of that of Carl Jung, and this he even does rather light handily. Jung's many theories on the mind and spirit, which are far more accepted now then they were during their inception, have played an important role in the understanding of the fundamental hidden forces that guide the human mind and his works clearly play a key influence in the way the author has constructed the book. And though the author doesn't make it apparent verbally until the end of the book that there are connections between this Enochian grimoire and Jungian analysis, upon further re-reading of the book it makes a lot of sense in it's overall presentation and structure. But more on that later.
The book itself is divided into three sections. The first section does contain that rudimentary information which any potential practitioner needs to understand to make greater use of the rest of the depth of the book. It has some basic things like mental and ritual preparations, a discussion on the Holy Guardian Angel, and some invocations which all serve as a great primer to the later workings of the text. For anyone who's already a practitioner of any somewhat well known form of Western esotericism most of this will come across as simple review, you're already probably doing some form of the things he mentions. For someone who has no understanding of magick what-so-ever it might come across as a bit underwhelming of importance. However, this section is less about fleshing out all the what's and how's of magick, and is simply showing the fundamentals of what is essential to the system that author has presented. And in that regard it does it's job well. For those that have no background there's enough to make practical use of the book, and all of the concepts are presented in such a working description that it would be easy enough in this digital age to find further information on any of the processes, and for those that do have a background in magick already it does quite concisely show what's relevant to this book in particular, so it's not a waste of time in the sense that it helps build mental refinement.
The second and third sections of the book is where things get a bit more juicy, and here we will find some content you may not already be aware of. We get some history on John Dee and the Enochian language, specific information on tools for Enochian workings, description on banishing Enochian entities, and most importantly a set of sigils and guided meditations, as well as thorough descriptions and essays on their use and significance. I can't get into to much without ruining the book, but to put it lightly the work is substantial including all major elements you will expect to find in Enochian literature, from the language, to the sigils and entities, to the castles and watchtowers, etc. And they have all been laid out in a sequential order, packed with working ritual-meditations to go along with them to help guide you through the system in such a way that forms a natural progression within the psyche. That's been one of the greatest difficulties with the Enochian system, is that it hasn't really been as much of a system as it has a series of notes and ideas based around an unpublished system used by Dee and Kelly. How close this is to the way it was originally done and practiced is unknown, however the way it is presented is logical and makes for a natural spiritual journey.
Though I'm not particularly schooled in the fields of Jungian psychology, I do have a basic understanding of some of the core principles such as the concepts of the ego and id, the shadow self, and archetypes, and my basic raw understanding of such concepts was enough in my opinion to make use of the psychological aspects of this book. Though I'm sure someone with a deeper understanding of such fields could make use of the book on a greater level, however purely on a practical experiential level I could see as I was going through the various guided meditations how I was pushing through the realms of my subconscious to confront both the inner pillars of self that make up the archetypes, to the hidden elements of self that make up my shadow self. The friction between the more easily seen interplaying elements of self, and that which tried to remain hidden or suppressed, revealed itself to be a primary factor in the challenges and glory of going through these ritualistic processes. Such a journey provides the mental workings which help the mind and spirit rise to the ecstatic state that is so essential for greater ritual work to have the impact in your life that one desires. The bridge between the mental and the spiritual can be converged in many a way, and this particular set of instructions is an effective way of doing so.
I have an earlier version of the book, the first edition. My version is of particular high quality in traditional Aeon Sophia Press quality. Even the standard cloth bound editions that I purchased has a beautiful gold magickal sigil and it's title printed upon the, in this case blue, cover. The book is thick, but light, and the paper is of exceptional quality. The book arrived in perfect condition, and with careful handling (nothing special like gloves, just holding it nicely) has remained in the same condition. The new edition that is currently available for pre-order has an amazing full painting cover done by Henry Gillard Glidoni, which is a real beauty to look at. Overall great presentation, though at this point I'm starting to expect no less from this excellent publisher.
You can find an interview with the author further clarifying his inspirations and opinions also on our blog, at the following link:
You can find a revised version of the book at Aeon Sophia Press' website:
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