Review | Success Magick: The Hidden Power of Enochian Rituals, by Damon Brand

This book challenges a great deal of the conventional wisdom surrounding Enochian magick. I’ll start by listing some of the proposed changes, then evaluating the relative justification of these changes. Along the way, I will evaluate the practical usefulness.

One of the first modifications made by is the proposed working order to the Aethyrs. As author Damon Brand admits, this is quite controversial for practitioners, where the bottom-up, Numbers 30 to 1 approach is the norm.

The justification that Brand offers is a dubious one: that this is the order that Dee received them in. However, this ignores an obvious reason as to why the angels presented the Aethyrs to Dee in this order: the Angels, looking at the highest Aethyr—it being closest to God—start there (they are messengers from God, after all) and then work their way to the farthest Aethyr.

Furthermore, having scried all 30 Aethyrs (from the bottom up) and also having scried some Aethyrs out of order before having done all 30, I can emphatically state that the energy of this Aethyr is quite intense. Readers of this book, introduced to this energy of LIL without prior experience, would either have to manage such energy without any experience with it, or would get a limited version of it.

For practical and theoretical reasons, this is not an approach I endorse. Regarding the sigils for the Aethyrs, they seem plausible enough (the outer circle uses the initial text of the call to each Aethyr), but using them as means for “success” without touching on the depth of the energy at play was disappointing. I’ve no doubt that the Aethyrs can provide a means for success, but the practitioner may get far more than bargained for, not in the sense of a “monkey’s paw,” but rather in the sense of perhaps being set upon a path to do advanced work that was not necessarily chosen. While I personally value the soul-unfolding nature of this work, novice readers may not yet share such a value.

Additional changes of note to the restored Enochian system are the changes made the watchtowers. The watchtower tablets are modified into sigils so as to include god names and three angels for each sigil. Why, for a 7-based system, the three additional god names that are also used in the ritual to call upon these angels weren’t included as part of the sigil is strange. Indeed, these angels and the additional three god names themselves already appear on the watchtower tablet, so their inclusion in a standalone sigil seems superfluous and redundant. Furthermore the main god names from the black cross can be incorporated into the watchtowers without issue: the watchtowers themselves are sufficient.

The effectiveness of such watchtower-derived rituals seems likely, but the rationale for them is unclear; angels are intelligent beings who can indeed be called upon via derived rituals, without calls, but it seems strange that a method to sidestep the means of communication–namely, the Enochian calls–that the angels themselves transmitted. This strikes me as the celestial equivalent of calling a friend during work hours who asks that you text them. Sure, they’ll kindly reply, but is this really how you want to treat them?

Ultimately, I give this book 3.5/5 stars. It’s likely to have some effectiveness, but not as much as the means offered in other works on Enochian. Unfortunately, it does not seem to be a good introduction into the system. One line in particular I take issue with: “[T]he angels…urged us to stop fretting over the nature of the magick, to stop worrying about the details, and stop obsessing over what it all means.” I dare say that most who have studied and practiced this system magick know better.

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