Positively Fallen - A Review of Lucifer: Princeps

Negative Evil is the thrust-block of Good; the principle of resistance, of inertia, that enables Good to “get a purchase.”
— Dion Fortune, Psychic Self-Defense

It has been a long road to escape dualism, for me. What started as a classic teenage rebellion from a High Anglican upbringing, has been accomplished at last by Peter Grey's towering achievement, Lucifer: Princeps

I do not say this lightly; my initial, bland understanding of "Angels good, Demons bad" was tempered by working with both in witchcraft, grimoires of such spirits, researching Biblical and Apocryphal texts, heavy amounts of meditation, pathworking, and experimentation; but still I was unable to free myself from the core concept of a Fallen Angel being in the wrong.

The understanding had been politely excused like a racist elderly relative, as if it were itself a necessary evil of working in such traditions, much as the quote from Violet above provides her own context for accepting evil entities. I have had the privilege of working with magicians from practices both within and without this mindset, from qabalist sorcerers to platonic hermeticists, witches and shamans of all stripes, yogis and chaos magicians, and of course Thelemites who eschew the idea of duality but for many it is still embedded in their secret centres.

The brave and no doubt harrowing process which Peter has put himself through for this work is to go back to the source material which many of us expect to be familiar with, but without context or koine as Peter puts it, cannot grasp fully. The temptation with any unfamiliar language is to accept that you'll only hit every third or fourth word, but expect that to carry you and allow you to move on. This painstaking series of exegesis is thorough in a way that occult authors have seldom been- Stratton-Kent, Leitch, and a few others notwithstanding -and finally gives the most clear outline of the important figure of Lucifer, its origins in the earlier praxis and mythemes of more ancient civilisations than the Abrahamic Traditions, and how much relevance this still has to magical praxis today.

This cannot be stressed enough: Lucifer: Princeps is not a book which requires its next volume, Praxis, to commence your own workings from its material. Purely by reading and applying the most overt considerations from the text, your magick will change. Whether you are a Sabbatic witch, Luciferian High Priest, or devout angel-botherer, you will have a different apprehension of core texts in the foundations of the Western Mystery Tradition.

My own feelings on the matter are sealed; I wrote a longer and more personally-focussed consideration on how this will impact my praxis, but it disappeared into the aether. Suffice it to say, I will happily communicate my understanding face-to-face; but I can tell you that the key impact is the removal of duality from my basic programming, and without good and evil, the concept in the above quote does not lose impact, but gain it.

The angels which rebelled acted not out of duty to do the dirty work of Yahweh, but out of a desire to lead, teach, and ultimately inspire, regardless of the danger to themselves. Perhaps they were the first boddhisatvas. Even if we feel personally unable to work with them, they have earned our respect, and we have a need to honour them and include them in our praxis when we are ready.

Peter Grey has reconnected the current from this original gesture by brave angels, and it has always been there to flow through those who commit to magick. Lucifer has never been some arch-fiend, but an arch-angel, and his message is potent, puissant, and perfect. Read this book, and listen for the signal.

-Sefriel