Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Opening Books

or Hadean Press Chapbook Review #3

I am developing a great appreciation for Hadean Press and the philosophy which underlay their humble chapbooks.  This day, I have added 'Opening the Book of Lambspring' to my rapidly growing collection.  I met the author of this text in the early part of this year and we became quick friends.  The fusion of simple home-spun hoodoo which punctuates so much of his practice always seemed a bit out of place with his deep dedication to the processes and ritual of classical alchemy.  Now it doesn't.

In my own defence (which I am always quick to jump to), that is perhaps because there is no single occult subject as deeply shrouded in obtuse lore and misdirection as that of the old wise men.  So most of what I understood of the alchemical process was either badly cobbled together out of unverifiable sources or whatever my imagination happened to make out of the romantic obfuscations the discipline has been shrouded in for so long.  I was pleased to learn that what ones imagination makes out of the romantic obfuscations is a part of the process so I got that at least.

The idea here that with a little exposition the Book of Lambspring might function as a sort of alchemical primer, was in fact intended to be so, is wonderfully illuminating.  This is especially true since it wouldn't necessarily seem so to the unfamiliar, yet in Christophers hands this seemingly indecipherable (for the uneducated at least) text becomes a simple and logical picture-book primer.  Its most practical use to me however, is the simple demystification of the basic alchemical processes which allows the little text to serve as a touchstone which makes meaningful penetration of the more elaborate alchemical texts possible. 

Like really actually possible.