Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Magic Machine by Nick Farrell (book review)

One of the things that amuses me is the occasional outpouring of "secrets must be kept" when someone dares to publish something that is already well past its "keep secret until" date. Today, the source of my amusement was the debate on whether or not, Nick Farrell should have published pictures of the walls of the Vault of the Adepts.

My own position...well let's see...

Venus Vault Wall Study.
...I first published a set of Vault wall studies on this blog starting in June 2009, shortly after the Book of the Tomb was open-sourced by Nick Farrell. And I have kicked around actually doing some Vault wall merchandise...something that I may still do. After all, a quick image search on Google will yield dozens of hits, and there are some crass people already doing Rose Cross lamen merchandise (all seem to be using the same picture to boot). So I really think that secrecy on this particular subject has flown the coop. It is now time to start making sure that people are getting it right. Now that my position on secrecy and much of it still apllies to the Vault walls is out of the way, let's move on to reviewing the book in question.

As I have already said, secrecy has flown the coop on this one--it is time to make sure that people are getting it right. And this is what The Magic Machine--The Golden Dawn Vault in Colour by Nick Farrell is about, helping people get the vault colors right.

The most valuable piece of this book is the eight colored plates showing the general key to the background color of the Vault walls, and the individual planetary Vault walls. And while I prefer mixed pigments over pixels, I wish I would had this book earlier in my occult career when I was preparing to build a Vault of the Adepts.

(Before you ask, the project never got past the study stage, due to the sudden vacating of anyone who might have needed to be vaulted by the current lodge that I belong to...it was a strange summer that year.)

Comparing my first study and later ones (I have done several over the years) to the plates in The Magic Machine, I am comforted to see that I am in the general ballpark, not exactly the same colors as Farrell is using, but close enough when one accounts for the difference in methods used. It was also comforting to read that someone else stumbled upon the problem with the Vault's ceiling--something that drives me a little batty.

Now I imagine that some people in the Golden Dawn tradition will claim that he is wrong about how the colors are created. Of course, if he is wrong, then so am I--and I was initially working from the texts published by Regardie and some misc. unpublished notes from a modern Order, and not directly from the Book of the Tomb. Then again, I just shake my head about how the critics have done their own Vaults--it is like they are working from a completely different set of instructions that have nothing to do with any actual Golden Dawn material.

Besides the meat of the book, Farrell does give hints on how to use the pictures, general information about the Vault of the Adepts, and a nice set of planetary deity calls to key your work with the Vault walls to.

I recommend getting this book if you ever think that you might need to build a Vault or work with one.

Five out of five stars.

The Magic Machine--The Golden Dawn Vault in Colour is a limited edition hard-cover book available from Lulu. 

[Required FTC disclosure: This review was based on a low res electronic copy of the book given to the reviewer to ensure a timely review of the book.]

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