The Once and Future King's Reviews > Signs, Symbols & Omens: An Illustrated Guide to Magical & Spiritual Symbolism

Signs, Symbols & Omens by Raymond Buckland
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's review
Dec 26, 2011

it was ok

** spoiler alert ** Well I am going to be brutally honest, I question the veracity of a lot of the claims he makes here. I would have said I recommend this to beginners, but I found that even the basic information was lacking in much information.

While he did give a basic outline of Alchemy and even put fourth a few ideas as to it's origin, he also doesn't complete the information.

He makes the usual statement that Alchemy was mostly about changing metals into gold and silver, HOWEVER genuine Alchemists were concerned with natural transformations as well as the unnatural variety to make medicines. He even neglected to state that the Philosopher Stones (many stones that could be created by almost any Alchemist) could recreate all manner of magickal potions as well as the famed Elixir of Life which was the obsession of most Alchemists.

He also does not devote too much time to the chapters. At most he only writes 4 or 5 pages. I can understand the book can not be too big, but still, even short stories are longer than the chapters in this book. That is not a fair enough coverage of the facts.

I also question the veracity of the magickal systems he claims are old magick and whether or not they actually work on their own. I mean, if you have enough faith anything can work, but genuine magick can work even without a faith base. His explanation of the symbols I am very satisfied with however.

He does his best to put as much of the symbols as possible to reveal their meaning. He also put in as much of the Egyptian Alphabet as possible. His chapter on Voodoo is also very intriguing. It did have some rather interesting information and even revealed Baron Samedis other names (Ghede his true name and Baron Cimietre sorry for the misspelling of the last one) but, I find that I can not help taking a pencil to add information to the pages where I believe relevant information has been left out.

For instance, he did not explain that the belief that Hermes Trismegustes was Thoft in a human body was only a belief held by Hermetic Gnostics, he wrote it as if it were fact and a belief that is held by everyone universally.

Hermes Trismegustes was a Mage of the Hermetic Mystery school who believed as many Hermetists believe, that the Greek god Hermes and the Egyptian god Thoft were one and the same. He wrote so many books and his power was so great (on par with Merlin) that he was mistaken by many to have been Thoft/Hermes (Hermeticism is nothing more than a religious doctrine that came from the Greek Interpretation, a nationalistic view point where the Imperialist Greeks invaded other countries, and then started reinterpreting other cultures and religions based on their own.)

Hermeticism is just the last visage of Greek Interpretation from an Imperialist standpoint. Granted there are some positive things about Hermeticism, and the way they combine Thoft's energy with Hermes seems to complement them both.

But to say that they are the same, and then to claim that Hermes Trismegustes was an incarnation of these gods is not only rather insulting to those who do not believe in Hermeticism, but out right blasphemy at equating this man with gods. I do believe he held a god-like power, but I do not believe he was a god let alone Thoft or Hermes.

And if the author is going to make such claims he should put in the evidence to back it up. But those are just my two cents. I could be wrong, I could be right.

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