Gini Graham Scott, Ph.D.
A strange little book about practitioners of so-called “Black” and “White” magic. The book is divided into two sections: one in which the author joins a “black magic” group and the other in which the author joins a sort of wiccan coven. The book attempts to keep the practitioner’s anonymous, but sometime soon after publication it became known that the black magic practitioner’s was the Temple of Set, the strange offshoot of the Church of Satan which attempts to takes the practice of black magic seriously.
To the extent that anyone reads this book* they read it for the coverage of the Temple of Set. Set was founded in 1975 by early Church of Satan member Michael A. Aquino. Aquino was disillusioned with what he saw as Anton Levey’s carney shtick and wanted to practice a more serious form of “left hand” magic. Meaning, he wanted a group where people really thought they could develop their magical abilities to effect the world around them and control their own (and other people’s) destinies. The group has long been viewed as leaders in the serious wing of the black magic world.** Here, they come off like a group of sad sacks, attempting to create in their pretend world of pylons and grand masters a sense of superiority and fulfilment that escapes them in the real world.
Scott writes like what she is likely is – an academic. The prose is direct, and clear, but flat. Absolutely insane shit (like magic rituals in redwood forests, possible hallucinations, paranoid fears of the temple’s leaders) are all presented like they’re no big deal. It makes for a curious read. I don’t know if I can recommend this to even a black magic enthusiast**. It basically just affirms what any normal person already knows – people who want to be grand masters in a secret magic order are probably losers.
Recommended for the enthusiast (maybe?)
*Frankly, few people probably do, the book maybe be self-published, I can’t tell. Either way, the font is an awful 197-s style typewriter font and the lay out is poor). Reading it is, physically, not easy.
** Did I just write that? What the fuck is wrong with me.