I feel a little duped by this book. Let me share with you the Goodreads opening description of the book:
Sharing the lessons he’s learned from over forty years as a magician and family man, Lon Milo DuQuette reveals his unique point of view about magick–its ups and downs, ins and outs, and how his family and home are the foundation of his practice. Written in Lon’s humorous style that makes learning and discovery a joy, Homemade Magick will show you that everyday life events are, in fact, true magical adventures.
This sounds like a delightful, personable biography of a magician. For me, and I suspect the vast majority of readers out there, a magician is someone who performs illusions. Penn & Teller, Harry Blackstone, Harry Anderson, Criss Angel, David Copperfield, etc.
No. This is a book by someone who practices what most in the world would consider the occult or the dark arts (though that is a misnomer). This is a book by a self-made magick-as-religion magus.
Despite very quickly realizing that this was not at all what I was expecting, I did my best to accept it for what it was and give it the benefit of the doubt and read it cover to cover. This is made more difficult because it’s not a topic I’m personally interested in (though I like to think I have an open mind and am willing to ‘listen’ to anothers’ beliefs).
As a biography, I’m not very impressed with the book. There’s very little biography here, frankly. This is more of a ‘how-to’ book. DuQuette does talk a little personal history, but only when referencing how he came by some of his magick, but as a biography, explaining his childhood and how he came to be interested in the life of magick rites and rituals? Not so much.
As a ‘how to’ book – how to perform rites and rituals and come by certain ‘powers’ without a magus in your area to teach you – this is probably a little more helpful. For those interested in this particular lifestyle (and let’s face it, it is almost more of a lifestyle than a religion) this should prove helpful. But I couldn’t help but wonder how … shall I say ‘authentic’ a rite or a ritual is when it is performed by someone using make-shift props and incantations that are spoken without proper inflections. How important are these props and rituals if such substitutions can be made? Are they needed more for the person delivering the rites, to give them a sense that there’s another power at work, than they are for actual necessity?
Not being interested in learning how to perform ‘magick,’ I grew bored with the book. there really was more of this than there was ‘biography’ and what biography there was really felt a little depressing. While DuQuette seems perfectly happy with his life and proud of what he’s accomplished (this is good! More people should have such pride) I couldn’t shake the sense that a ‘biography’ by such a person seemed really unnecessary. I’m not sure what the target market is here, though clearly it isn’t me.
Two stars to this book because it MAY be helpful to people who want to know more about how to live this life, but it’s NOT a biography, it does NOT show “that everyday life events are, in fact, true magical adventures” and it is not particularly interesting.
Looking for a good book? For the very small target audience, those interested in learning occult how-to, this might prove interesting, but otherwise it’s not particularly worthwhile.
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Homemade Magick: The Musings & Mischief of a Do-It-Yourself Magus
author: Lon Milo DuQuette
publisher: Llewellyn Publications
paperback, 240 pages