I’d recommend The Keys to the Temple for mid-level to advanced students of the Qabalah. As simple as the authors have made it, they still assume that you know the worlds, paths and general theory. If you haven’t studied The Mystical Qabalah, this won’t make any sense at all.
If you have the background and the interest, The Keys to the Temple may be of great interest to you. This book contains one of the clearest explanations of the path of the spiritual journey that I have ever read.
Let’s start from the top. What is the Qabalah? “The Qabalah is a spiritual system that has been practiced secretly in Europe since at least the 12th century though it draws on deep roots within Judeo Christian tradition. loc 3117.
The Mystical Qabalah and Israel Regardie’s classic A Garden of Pomegranates: Skrying on the Tree of Life were my stepping stones into another way of viewing reality.
I have read criticisms of the books, that they’re too cerebral or dry theory. “However when most people encounter the book they are confronted by a dense-seeming text with long lists of apparently unrelated facts: the idea that this is linked with the vivid imagery and dynamism of the novels can be difficult to understand.” loc 172. I agree that it is “dense” but since it was my introduction to the stuff, I didn’t know any better.
Dion Fortune went a step further and wrote fictional novels to put Qabalistic theory into the real world. The Keys to the Temple takes these books apart by plot, character, theory and then gives practical exercises for personal meditation on the works.
That last part, the practical exercises, is the most important in my mind. It’s like learning to ride a bike. You can read books about it and watch other people riding bikes or talk about riding bikes. But, it’s not until you ride yourself that you get the experience and thrill of it.
With this book, the authors have handed you a bike and shown you the door of the garage. It’s just up to you to ride out there. “Anyone can read this book, but only those who do the work will gain anything from it. The secret of magic is that it is experiential.” loc 2374.
Fortune was also deep into Jungian psychology. “She came to significant conclusions when contrasting psychological and magical approaches in prompting change. Fortune was a forward thinker, and the first to acknowledge that ideas and theories could develop for the better. Her stories seem almost to anticipate the direction psychology would travel, into area that might now be described as spiritual psychology.” loc 3117. And this was in the early part of the 19th century. She truly was a woman ahead of her time.
I’m excited about this book and its potential. The Western Mystery tradition never gets its own shelf in the book stores. The new textbooks, what few there are, are mixed in with the New Age/New Thought works. But, that’s not quite right. It’s truly a category all of its own.
I think the time has come for these practices to be re-introduced to the world. The Keys to the Temple is a step in the right direction.
Thank you to NetGalley and Llewellyn Publications for a free digital copy of this book.
Thanks for reading!