Esoteric Review #4: Patrick J. Larabee - Whisperings From The Void
"Whisperings From The Void" by Patrick J. Larabee is as much a meditative experience through a multitude of forms of media as it is a book of literature. A trifecta of prose, poetry, and art, interlaced within each other to create an reading experience which is enveloping to say the least. The book is internally divided into three major sections. The first (entitled Book I: Hermitus Pathos) is a series of essays approaching the subject of perception through a multitude of different lens: physical, mental, and spiritual. Obviously with an esoteric minded reader in mind, he describes the various facets of both our internal perceptionary existence, as well as our connection to a greater cosmological interplay of divine forces, begging the reader to question one’s basic preconceptions of not only the way one views there own place in the world, but also how one views the existence in which we inhabit. Truly illuminating through a process of providing greater depth to certain foundational concepts we may have taken for granted, Larabee defines the boundaries of self, the limits of perception, and provides the beginnings of gnosis towards the forces which guide the more mysterious elements of reality, all while unveiling to the reader the immense potential within ourselves, as well as the near unlimited power that can be taken from the universe around us (for those who are looking).
The second section (entitled Book II: In Libri de Sanguine) eschews much of the introductory definitory tone instead focusing on a much deeper elaboration of Larabee’s views on the spiritual world, ritual, and the divine. Providing a personal exposition on some of the more specifics of magick, he does so in a way that acts as more of a philosophical explanation of his views rather then a practical one. Connecting all of the concepts defined in previous essays, and bringing them into a cohesive whole, the final essays of this book really weave all the threads presented throughout the book into a final complete tapestry of gnostic exposition. I remember the first time I read this book I came out of it with a feeling of wonder and inspiration, having had concepts I was well familiar with on their own discussed together in a way that feels tangible and personally connective.
Jam packed throughout the book, and even I dare say making up a bulk of the work, is an excellent collection of esoterically charged poetry, invocations, and artwork. Whether this is up to your taste or not is up to the individual. Some people like there books mostly with essay meat, and to be honest there is a fair amount of that here, but others like me do enjoy a good amount of greater exposition to the personal elements of the work, and that will be found here aplenty. For a work as intimate and grimoiric as this, I highly welcome this exploration of the authors personal praxis and gnosis gained in a variety of different mediums. The artwork is notably dark and has a macabre feel to it, prominently featuring menacing figures (both masculine and feminine), many with daemonic or skeletal appearance, surrounded by various esoteric symbolic imagery. The poetry and invocations are as varied (if not more) then the essays in topics, blending the subject presented in prose in a more cryptic and memetic way perfect for the subconscious to digest.
The last section, “The Book Of Divine Emanations”, which is technically part of “Book II” but truly stands out on its own, is a series of potent guided mini-rituals and invocations which can be used to help forge bonds with a variety of spiritual entities. Acting as one of the most practical sections of the book, quite ironically all without getting overly descriptive into lots of specific physical practice, focusing instead mostly on the symbolic imagery one needs to subject themselves to bridge spiritual contact with these dark currents. Overall, this book is not a book of “how to” do magick, but a book that illuminates what magick means to the author, while providing some examples of how the author personally connects with the higher forces he has discovered. While not “advanced” in a way you’ll have to have some “inner circle information” to make sense of the work, if you have never done a ceremonial ritual then some further reading is recommended. However, if one has even a foundational idea of how to engage in ritual activity, then this book goes from philosophical and symbolically engaging, to extremely practical.
Overall, much like pretty much everything I’ve encounter from Aeon Sophia Press, this book is highly recommended. Even for one who is far down the pathway of their own personal gnosis the book would be enjoyable, because as I mentioned above this book is a meditative experience, one to be appreciated for the art that it is. Between the invocations, to the way in which the essays are presented (soft in tone, personal in nature), to the beautiful & unique artwork presentation, the whole thing is truly an voyage, one in which even as an owner of the book for the last several years (I own a copy of the 2nd edition) I repeatedly find myself retaking.
The book is currently Out Of Stock at Aeon Sophia Press, but check back frequently as they often replenish their supplies:
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