Book Review: Spells of the Grimoires by Arundell Overman
So I have been tossing around the idea of adding book reviews to the blog here at Goetic Impressions for a while, and decided to give it a whirl. Ideal this will be a semi-regular component of the website here and will help me to get back on track with producing some more content for all of you lovely witches and wizards.
For the first review I decided to pick up Arundell Overman’s Spells of the Grimoires, available on Amazon here. Arundell Overman has a good reputation as an experienced practitioner, who gives back to the magickal community in a number of ways. As I had not yet had the opportunity to explore his work, I felt like this would be a good place to start, in the hopes of broadening both my own horizons, as well as all of yours.
Spells of the Grimoires is a curated list of spells from several Grimoires in the European occult traditions that were originally produced between roughly 1450 and 1850. The spells are listed by purpose, with multiple spells listed for each category, except for some more obscure things like preventing dogs from barking.
Arundell Overman has added commentary to each of these spells, sometimes brief notes and sometimes more in depth analysis about the origins of the spell, preparations prior to undertaking the spell, or notes on potential substitute materials for difficult to source ingredients.
This book makes an excellent primer for a new practitioner, giving a simplified list of spells to experiment with, as well as also providing an extended reading list for more in depth research and experimentation. When starting out with occult practice it can be difficult to find your way at first, and this book, I feel, would generally help smooth that transition, as well as making some of the practical applications contained in some of the more obtuse grimoires readily accessible. As all of the spells are sourced, practitioners can easily move on to the original material when they feel comfortable doing so.
The primary drawback, in my opinion, to this book is that it is missing some of the extended preliminaries that the original grimoires contain in order to make the spells work. For instance the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage has a very large section on obtaining the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel that it lists as a necessary preliminary to working with the magickal word squares it lists later on. Arundell Overman does make a point of acknowledging these preliminaries in his commentary, which is very useful for people who have not read the original texts. However, anyone wanting to perform those spells as instructed in the original grimoire will still need to reference the source material for that specific instruction.
On the whole I feel this book is an excellent primer for a starting magician, and there is plenty of material within this book to keep such an individual occupied for quite a while. When they are ready to move on the source books are all listed to help provide avenues for further learning.
I hope to have more book reviews up in the coming weeks so stay tuned!
~Ben, from Goetic Impressions
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