Esoteric Review #5: G. D. Laval - Sacerdotium Umbrae Mortis & The Explicit Name Of Lucifer

G. D. Laval's, who you may be familiar with through my previous review for his excellent Grimoire "Black Magick Evocation Of The Shem Ha Mephorash", has several other books that he has had published (also through Aeon Sophia Press) that act as both solo grimoires and companion volumes to Black Magick Evocation (BME). They contain a great deal of workable information that can be used on their own, with each book having it's own full system of workable magic and entities to conjure up, but they are companions in the sense that the way in which the information was gathered and is used by the author is highly synergistic with that in BME. There are three other books in this "series" of Sethurian left hand path grimoires, and of the three, I own two of them: "Sacerdotium Umbrae Mortis" & "The Explicit Name Of Lucifer". As The Explicit Name Of Lucifer is a smaller book, and the information contained in both books is highly complimentary, I will be reviewing the books together.

Sacerdotium Umbrae Mortis

In Sacerdotium Umbrae Mortis (SUM) the author presents a graded system of initiation into a deathcult priesthood that utilizes Necromantic Shades as their source of power. Understanding of these Necromantic Shades can be found hidden in the passages of the Bible and using gematria to understand the relationship between the names of people and arrangements of certain passages relating predominantly to Canaan. The eleven sons of Canaan each are related to a particular genus of vampiric shade, and each of those genus' are related to a particular sphere in the Qliphoth. Laval connects it all to his Sethurian philosophy that all magick is inherently Satanic in general, with the name Sethurian relating to Sethur the divine angel sent to spy on the pagan and witchcraft abiding tribes of Canaan.

Of mention, before the book even gets into the details of the graded ritual system, it presents the authors revisions to the commonly accepted attributes and names of the Qliphothic system, based around a more modern understanding of Hebrew. These improvements/clarifications I would consider essential to anyone wishing to work with Qliphothic magick to it's fullest potency, and so this in itself makes this book a valuable one. Once the book pushes into the details of the core content of the text, we are quickly led down a trail of gematria correspondences derived from the passages Genesis 10:15 - 10:18, which describe Canaan, and his children's tribes. Without revealing anything about the core information of the text, the least I can say he makes a credible argument for the importance of the Canaanite tribes and their relationship to witchcraft and necromancy.

Once we get to the workings of the graded system, things quickly get extremely hands on. Don't go into this system unprepared as it's for the light hearted, the weak minded, or those who don't come into with adequate research. This is an advanced tome of black magick that draws from a large variety of sources, not only synthesizing the best elements from all of them, but also adding unique elements that the author has derived from his own practice. Everything has been meticulously organized and related to each other with a great deal of numerological and symbolical inter-connectivity, meaning if you feel like you want to adapt this information to your own system or modify this system with your own practices, makes sure you have an understanding of what every component actually means and how it relates to the others. Warnings aside, everything presented within the text to someone who is well versed in esoteric texts will feel familiar and onpoint, very workable indeed.

There are four stages of initiation, getting progressively more metaphysical as you move along the rites. They are categorized into the stages of Infection, Death, Descent, and Revenence. The first stage involves an incantation to numerous Qliphothic Dark energies inviting them to assist the calling of necromantic forces to rip apart your essence, which you must do willingly. The next stage involves sensory deprivation. The third communion with spirits. And the last magical travel. Once you have completed the stages of initiation the book brings you through a lengthy breakdown of the various implements, garbs, and seals associated with magickal working within the Sethurian system, as well as the appropriate steps of their consecration. Packed within the descriptions of the various tools of practices are some elaborate pictures of sigils and seals that will be important to your working, as well as extensive justifications for the gematria correspondences within the system. The Sethurian altar is described with equally thorough detail, giving you the final piece to a complete system of working physical magical materials.

Once you have crafted your working implements and altar, memorized your seals and sigils, fully understood the correspondences important to the Sethurian system of magic, and completed through the graded ritual initiation successfully, then you can consider yourself fully initiated into the inner workings of the system. Once initiated you can continue to work through a series of further grades, each one requiring more and more dedication from the practitioner. Making the backbone of the graded initiations is a great deal of study and memorization of the Sethurian system, as well as working with clearly detailed evocative conjuration which is meant to be used to access the eleven vampiric necromantic intelligences that are laid out in the final parts of the book. The ritual is straight forward and very familiar to anyone who's engaged in evocation before, just tailored to the author's specific's system.

The final main part of the book is a series of seals, descriptions, and tables relating to the eleven vampiric energies that act as the ruling patron spirits of the system. Containing planetary and elementary,and gematria correspondences, as well as description of the demon's functions, his ruling exarch, where to face in the conjuration circle when interacting with them, any sort of offerings required/beneficial to summoning them, as well as general information on how to evoke or revoke the entity, you won't find much missing except what can only be gleaned through personal experience with the entities themselves; very thorough, and accurate from my experimentation with the system. Completing the book is a series of appendices which include the planetary and elemental calendar the Sethurian system is based upon (for months, days, and hours), Hebrew