Friday, October 21, 2011

1000 Turns and a Broken Branch

or Hadean Press Chapbook Review #2

I grabbed this chapbook (hoodoo’s love chapbooks, yo!) because Frimost fascinates me and Vanessa and I owe this daemon a special debt.  For it was to Frimost we turned to empower our first sex ritual together many years ago.  Jake Stratton-Kent doesn’t disappoint.

I think perhaps most compelling is his argument for the conflation of Frimost to the chthonic Dionysus and of Klepoth as Frimost’s counterpart to the Lamia/Mania who accompanied Dionysus.  I find it difficult to get behind JSK’s assertion that we should not regard this permutation of the chthonic Dionysus as a procurer or pimp figure (a recent anthrolopogical study done in Canada has shown that ancient Greek pimps identified themselves with this very figure almost exclusively, and the working girls themselves to the Mania and Lamia who were his mythological companions), doubly so in light of Klepoth’s associations to harlotry.  Nonetheless, this difference in perspective by no means distracts from the value of the brief text itself which I found wonderfully educational.

Regardless of whether you approach your work from one of the more traditional western ceremonial angles or from the New World methodologies JSK provides you with literally everything you need to establish a functional communication with these engaging daemons.  Finally, the brief anecdote provided regarding the possession of a ritual participant (several actually) by Klepoth and the blanket necessity which arose to treat the spirit as one might honor and sacrifice to the Mysteries of the New World animist creoles was truly fascinating and again makes me wonder if the Old World karcist’s will ever examine the possibility that the grimoire tradition of Europe not only influenced the development of the New World creoles but was perhaps an attempt to understand or even control them on the part of the European clerical establishment.  Hermetic magical exchanges are rarely (if ever) one-dimensional.  Seriously, think about it.

To you N. Americans out there practicing demonaltry, seriously you could not go wrong with this text!  My singular recommendation is to grab yourselves a copy of JSK’s Grimoirum Verum as well for a more thorough comparative history and his collection of excellent amended conjurations.

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