by Adam Sartwell
Gateways Through Stone and Circle is an interesting book that details a magician’s work with the magical methods and practices of the grimoire traditions. It focuses on the evocation and invocation methods described in the art of drawing spirits into crystals. It is clear from reading the text that author Ashen Chassan has a deep respect for the grimoire tradition of evocation and the magical experiments of that era. The book is well-researched and presents a modern person’s attempts to recreate what is detailed in the grimoire texts. Detailed in the book are his creation of the sacred tools and instruments of this complex art.
The descriptions of making the required implements were both interesting and evocative. After reading the book, I can see that this method of magic is not one for the faint of heart or those lacking patience. All the implements are to be created in the proper time, constructed out of the proscribed materials, in the detailed ways described in these texts. This whole process of making the tools can take a long time and be costly. The author really attempted to make all the tools in an exacting manner without cutting corners, which I feel should be applauded. There are not many in the magical communities who would have the patience and dedication to make sure all was correct in the final product.
The preparation of the tools of this craft hold just as much importance in this book as the preparation of the magician doing the work. This work requires an ability to scry well enough to perceive spirits and have conversations with them. The author took two years to gain ample fluency with scrying before attempting to evoke spirits. He also speaks to how we as modern people have more of a difficulty following the strict fasting, seclusion, prayer, and meditation called for with this type of magic. He urges us in the later pages to focus on sharpening our will by using the constriction of saying no to indulgence, a practice which inspires contemplation. Through this, we gain awareness and can “order” our microcosm to prepare for this macrocosmic work.
The book itself has beautiful illustrations. The cover alone makes this book more appealing to the magician. The illustrations of the angels appropriately represent whichever angel they represent and give great detail for visual learners. The depictions of the tools of art are helpful in being able to visualize the instruments detailed in the text and create them for your own use.
Though my own evocation work has tended toward a more simplistic and modern method, I truly enjoyed reading this book. It was pure joy seeing another magician’s thoughts and concepts about this type of magical work.
Adam Sartwell is a natural intuitive, professional tarot reader, healer, and diviner. He is an ordained minister and founder of the Temple of Witchcraft. Adam is the author of Twenty-one Days of Reiki from Copper Cauldron Publishing and has been published in anthologies such as The Green Lovers, Ancestors of the Craft, and Foundations of the Temple. He is a Reiki master and psychic healer offering both healing sessions and instruction.