Nocturnal Witchcraft -Book Review

Ok firstly, it is going to be hard reviewing this objectively as I really do not like Konstantinos. After having read three of his books, one of which put me off entirely and cemented his place in my mind as a not-so-savoury character, I have come to the conclusion that indeed what one thinks of an author can put a spin on their work. Silver Ravenwolf for instance still holds a place in my heart even though her work can be described as somewhat fluffy.

My boyfriend spotted this two-book special (with Gothic Grimoire- which I’m reading now for the next review in January), I was excited to find a book that did not focus solely on the light and that promised advanced techniques. The first time I read this book, I was a tad disappointed that the author was a bit arrogant and the way he simplifies things that are waaay to complex to simplify and claims things that are Truth that are merely HIS Truth.

A lovely cover with bare trees in silver against a black background with an alluring pentacle, this book satisfied my aesthetic appeal as an artist of the gothic persuasion, being a goth, I knew and know these books are targeted for us, something I was happy with at the time but now I find a bit distasteful as I now see it as not a love for our subculture or those affiliated with us, but rather a money making- marketing platform for his own egotism.

Brutal statements to make, and I’m sure some people will think I’m being unfair, and that is ok. Feel free to write your own review after reading this book, its companion and Nocturnicon, and if you still feel I am unfair after that third book, well we will agree to disagree. Of course there are positives to the book but I find wading through all his arrogance to be quite task third time round.

As I wrote my notes on different papers and I’ve lost some (and now I’ll go back to my old reviewing style of making postit notes in the book), I may leave some stuff out. Also my reviews tend to be long, but will vary in length depending on the amount of notes I’ve taken, and in this case found, or my level of interest or dislike for an authors sentiments.

Contents

Introduction

Part 1:The Craft of NightKind

1 Embracing Darkness

2 Wicca by Night

3 Reaching the Dark Divine

4  Circles of Night and Lunar Light

Part 2: Mind powers after dark

5  The Inner Quiet

6  Divining by Night

7 Mind Reading by Touch

8 Reading Minds Through the Ether

Part 3:Nocturnal magick

9 Altering Reality

10 Dreaming for Change

11 Advanced Thoughtforms

12 Dark Mystique, Magnetism and Suggestion

13 Death His/Her mysteries

Conclusion

Appendix A (Gods)

Appendix B (Herbs)

Suggested Reading

Index

His introduction is very appealing and describes somewhat of a goth aesthetic and outlook (Black clothes, silver jewellery, liking the dark and feeling of being left out of traditional wiccan texts) This places his books as squarely marketing to darker subcultures which in itself is not bad (Brenda Knight, Raven Digitalis for examples- Although I haven’t gotten any of Ravens books I’ve read some essays and have squizzed through some books that I haven’t had money for), they can cater toward a niche, which of course there is. Many Goths have an interest in the occult, and some Goths are even Wiccans and/or Witches.

Chapter 1- He has a pole of good/evil- light/dark in which he simplifies humans into being from one of four categories Evil light/Evil Dark/Good Light/Good Dark. He places his reader in the last category.

My opinion is that even the categories of good/evil and light/dark are overtly Manichean albeit in a different way. Good and evil are dependent on our own morals and what to me is “evil” is not evil to someone else as Lestat of Anne Rice’s novels claims “Evil is a point of view”, a view I concur with.

He does attempt an understanding of neutrality or what I would term balance, but according to him, my need for balance means I’m reaching adepthood, something I do not believe nor am I at all interested in, all I’m doing is trying to achieve balance in my life, being as close to nature as I am it is important for me to BE NATURE. I do not believe that anyone who wants the title witch could practice Konstantinos’ stuff only and forever and feel balanced(something very important that I’ll talk about in another post) and whole.

Personally I feel his 4 soul types are too simplistic and not only that but really inaccurate as he describes greedy televangelists as EVIL LIGHT. Greed does not make one evil, just unbalanced. Greed as sin is a Christian concept.

Earthdragon who practices quite differently from me agrees with me.

He doesn’t want to label his readers in stereotypical fashions, which is great.

He states that Reincarnation becomes the only concept of the afterlife that makes sense which I disagree with. It does not make sense to all occultists or witches and I’ve come across many online who don’t believe in it at all.

Although his theory on what happens after we die is interesting it is only a theory and should not be claimed as Truth or fact which he does claim but in a sly way ” This is a good time to point out that I’ll never ask you take my word for anything I write in this book (or any other). Nocturnal Witchcraft must be experienced. The concepts and techniques in these pages are real and awaiting your personal interaction with them. I’m ready to let you prove to yourself that what I say is true” p 11

He literalises the law of three, something that pisses me off every time the more that I see someone say that it will come back in such an unbalanced way. Karma is an eastern concept and the westernisation of it in Wicca and New-Age Spirituality is just ignorant and offensive. Also how unbalanced do people think the universe really is? Coming back to you WORSE, and sometimes even 10 times worse? I’ve heard much better explanations of the rule of three(body/mind/soul) than what is supplied in this book and others.

K (as I’ll call him from now on) justifies his sense of night being more magical than daytime, due to mundane tasks being performed at daytime. I obviously disagree as I really do love the daytime as much as the nighttime. And I’m a GOTH. You cannot see the beauty of black dragon(Black mondo grass) at night. I love plants and nature, and connecting at daytime to them is just as wonderful as connecting to them at night.

I lost my pages for chapter 2 and 3 so this won’t be as in-depth…

Chapter 2- K talks about the Sabbats and how they can be viewed by the “nocturnal witch” but doesn’t go into detail as that is part of the next book. He also talks about the Esbats and working with the dark moon- a nice inclusion as many books discourage working on the dark moon, something I find ridiculous!

He talks in this chapter about how to set up a Nocturnal altar and tools that are required or not required.

Chapter 3- K is a soft polytheist and that is how he expresses his notion of divinity, which is obviously different to my hard polytheist views, so I found this hard to relate to. Contrary to soft polytheism he believes in “True Invocation” which is essentially possession. This True invocation is a godform assumption common in Egyptian and Wiccan(Drawing down the moon) practice, as well as other cultures and religions. He refers to it as wearing an outfit which may be easier for a newcomer to understand (as it is not covered in other books) he does not make it clear that others (like me) see it as the deity wearing you and not the other way around this is probably due to him being a soft polytheist.

He shows a respect for deities in that he says to not dismiss them, something I really cannot understand about some Wiccans- how can you think a god will like being told to leave? How in fact can deity leave when deity is present within everything? Gladly K understands that principle.

Chapter 4- He has an interesting banishing /cleansing rite, that did work, but not as well as my prefered method, so I have not continued with K’s banishing ritual. The same is true for his circle casting, dedication of tools, and his dedication to the night.

He also includes a dark and full moon rite, also although I’ve done them, they did not resonate with me, so I never practiced them again.

I feel Brenda Knight’s rituals, as they are more poetic in their structure and words, are far more appealing to me as an artist and poet than K’s.

Chapter 5-He talks about psychic quiet time which is interesting as there is less psychic interference at night, something which I’ve experienced myself.

He includes common relaxation techniques.

I take issue with his “shortcuts” as magic takes work, so do some of these techniques and frankly shortcuts scream of shoddy witchcraft to me. He does this throughout the chapter… jump-starting psychic vision etc, which is just hype.

His animated tarot is a nice technique to try to help develop the psychic senses but it really will not “jumpstart” or shortcut” your way to psychic power.

Chapter 6- carries on with his lovely arrogant assertions “…I’ve come up with the following technique that is likely to get you an initial skrying vision faster than any other I’ve seen published. But again, don’t take my word for it. Just do the following , omitting not a single step” p103

This chapter is about scrying (or as he spells it “Skrying”), so all the techniques and workings in here are to develop that.

Chapter 7- Mind reading…. The experiments are interesting and worth a try.

Chapter 8- I really find mind reading to this degree murky waters and I really dislike his technique for it. I find that naturally sometimes thoughts of others come to me and vice versa and that is all I can handle and all I’m ethically comfortable with. But this is up to each practitioner o decide.

Chapter 9- Offers an understanding of how spells work. I feel that godform assumption is really not right for spells, as to me it is a way in which to connect with the divine rather than use their power, it is a spiritual union rather than a spell technique. I will however occasionally ask my gods for help in a spell if it is required. K however feels otherwise.

Chapter 10- A nice dreaming magic technique but if you struggle with lucid dreaming working on the astral plane in your astral temple will work just as well.

He has a nice technique for dream incubation.

Chapter 11- “You are about to move into an area of study and practice that transcends all manner of spell and ritual you have ever encountered” More and more, as with his “Three minute spell” (read three minute abs). This books sounds like a bad glomail ad. Thoughtforms are spoken about often online between ceremonialists, not to mention I have come across this before when I was about 14 and reading one of Earthdragon’s “course books” on witchcraft.

He offers techniques on how to create a thoughtform and how to “check-up” on it.

Chapter 12- K talks about mystique and magnetism which can be very helpful in some situations but again carries on with glomail talk ” 10 seconds to magnetism” Some might like this and think I’m being too serious but I could never quite put my finger on why this book just seemed “fluffy” to me, and reading it the third time round, this is one of the reasons.

His casting illusions is very much what other Witches describe as a glamour, which is also useful in certain situations.

He then gets into the sticky arena of suggestion, which depends on the practitioner to decide whether it is ethical or not. I’m not opposed to it myself but feel it really shouldn’t be done for selfish reasons.

Chapter 13- K talks about Death, a topic which gets me quite excited. The experience he relates is quite interesting, where Death warned him, by making his presence known. He talks about what happens when we die, but I really think that this is unknowable and therefore conjecture rather than fact.

“Think of Death as being a gatekeeper. The Ancients didn’t quite have it right when the referred to Death(Gods) as being a sort of Lord or Lady of the Underworld” (Parenthesis mine) p198.

Um Ok, King K knows ALL apparently. Earthdragon also thought this was a ridiculous statement.

He talks about freedom from Karma, an Eastern (Hindu/Buddhist) belief, which is only a theory and one I don’t believe in myself.

“We already said that you should not invoke Underworld deities- Death godforms-for just any magickal rite. These beings can only help with contacting the dead or getting more information about the afterlife. Okay, maybe “can only help” isn’t doing these Gods and Goddesses Justice! No small feats, these aforementioned ones.” p201 on p46 he says the same thing about these death deities “As we’ll see these beings should not be invoked for just any magickal rite. These energies can only be applied for workings that deal with the afterlife” So laughs a Priestess of Anubis, who has held many a rite which had bugger-all to do with death for my lovely Jackal headed Lord.
His Rite to Anubis is not bad, and I would encourage others to try it as well.

Appendix A- Calls Hekate part of the crone aspect but is “Greek” himself with a love of Greek mythology.

Pasht is mentioned but obviously K did not do his research.

Appendix B- A list of Nocturnal herbs and Lunar herbs. This could have benefited from some more explanation and detail as cinnamon as a nocturnal herb got mine and Earthdragon’s eyebrows raised.

Ok, so basically This isn’t a completely awful book like Edain McCoy’s* “Ostara” so I’ll rate it 2 1/2 stars our of 5. He offers some worthwhile techniques, but blows his own horn a  bit too much. As he claims his techniques are true and you’ll see it when you try them, and he uses glomail speech it really soured the book a bit in my eyes. Of course, since this is after I read Nocturnicon, I see these books with different eyes and may have come across as a bit mean. I would not classify this as an advanced book  although it talks about techniques that Wicca and Witchcraft 101 books don’t. It is more of an beginner-intermediate.

Amazon has many positive reviews of this book for a different perspective than mine. Feel free to check them out, and the book has a preview if you are interested! )Link given above.

*I had originally stated that this was DJ Conway, I apologise to her and my readers, The book is in fact by Edain McCoy!

 

All blog content is Copyright © 2011 of Nightshade thepurplebroom.wordpress.com unless otherwise stated

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One thought on “Nocturnal Witchcraft -Book Review

  1. I had a chance to borrow this book from a friend of mine. I been trying to find my balance within the craft most of my 18 years practicing I forced out the darkness quit honoring dark goddesses due to all the fluffy pagan books. Reading this book to me K thinks he all knowing. I almost purchased this book and I am glad I did’nt.

    I really feel he should have explained things better.

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