First, it needs to be understood what this book is and what it is not.
It is not an instructional book in the sense of a workbook or instructional guide on how to do magic. There are no exercises, there’s a bibliography but it isn’t annotated and not heavily referenced from the text, most rituals are described in only fairly loose terms, and the style is conversational as opposed to, say, Modern Magick‘s more instructional tone.
On the other hand, it would be a mistake to think that there is nothing to learn from reading this book. This is a book of stories, and the author starts out by saying that:
Next to silence, stories are the most divine form of communication. Stories are alive. Stories are holy. Stories are gods that create universes and the creatures and characters that populate them. Stories bring to life all the triumphs and tragedies imagination and experience can summon to the mind. Stories speak directly to our souls.
Stories are magick.
The wisdom and power of this book isn’t in the chapter headings. It isn’t in the bare detail of the experiences that Lon Milo DuQuette chooses to relate here. It is in the essence of the stories as he tells them. It is in the offhand comments that he makes about his experiences, delivered so casually. It is in DuQuette’s ability as a storyteller and his skill in conveying these experiences in a way that carries meaning. It is in his ability to weave this meaning into stories about quiche and singing the name “Ganesha” to the tune of “pop goes the weasel!”
So this isn’t a book of theory (per se), nor is it an instructional book (except when it is), but rather something more. It is a collection of reflections of a modern magician, looking back on fifty years of magical practice. It manages to combine wit and humor with very serious and profound insights. It does this all through stories.
When I picked up this book, I thought it was a followup to My Life With the Spirits–another book I recommend every occultist of any stripe read–but it isn’t, really.
It is something much greater.