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The Secret of “Book X”

This post was written by Donald Michael Kraig
on February 19, 2010 | Comments (5)

Everyone, whether they know it or not, has certain phrases or mottoes upon which they base their behavior. If you watch the TV show NCIS, it might be: “Never apologize. It’s a sign of weakness.” If you’re like frontiersman and congressman Davy Crockett, you might favor his motto: “Be always sure you’re right. Then go ahead.”

One of my personal mottoes is: Death doesn’t begin when you stop breathing. It begins when you stop learning. I don’t know if I heard it somewhere or it came from my higher self, but I do believe it’s true.

I spent many years learning, practicing, studying and teaching before I wrote Modern Magick. However, my life didn’t stop then. For the past two decades I have continued to study, practice, and learn. As I wrote in a previous blog post, “although everything in Modern Magick is still valid and vital, it just wasn’t as modern as it was when it was first published.” I had evolved, but my book, as if caught in a time warp, had not.

After more than two decades of even further research, development, learning, practice, study, and teaching, I started working on something exciting and special. I knew that one day I wouldn’t be the only person who thought that Modern Magick wasn’t modern any more. For more than a year I worked during all my spare time trying to come up with something even better than Modern Magick. Slowly, the result that I called “Book X” grew and grew.

I virtually re-wrote everything in Modern Magick. It’s clearer, more complete without being more complex, and easier to understand. I added lots of insights and ideas that I’d gained over the years. It grew by 20%, 30% and finally by at least 40% over the original! And that was just the text.

Over the years I’ve learned photography and graphic arts. I’m tired of looking at plain line drawings. They’re cold and unexpressive. They lack passion and dimension. I submitted about 150 suggestions for new illustrations, replacing almost every current illustration in Modern Magick and adding more to them.

And there’s more. I made the contents pages more informative. The index is clearer and easier to use. The self-tests at the end of each lesson have been expanded. The glossary has been updated and expanded. The bibliographies focus on newer books that are in print. There are more personal stories.

Of course, I have added a new introduction. But there are also four new forwards. One is by famed Thelemite, author of numerous books and DVDs, and musician Lon Milo DuQette (his website). The second is by Cabalistic expert David Godwin, author of Godwin’s Cabalistic Encyclopedia. John Michael Greer, often-quoted expert and author of numerous books on occultism and the paranormal wrote the third. The fourth was written by Chic and Sandra Tabatha Cicero, true adepts of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and authors of numerous books on magick and the Golden Dawn tradition.

With “Book X” I’ve done something I always wanted to do. In order to turn what I’ve written into a full, year-long course of study, I’ve added a new lesson; a completely new chapter. This is not merely filler or fluff, but a look at three systems of magick I didn’t originally cover. One system looks at an aspect of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and shows how NLP can be used to create the future you want. The second system is Chaos Magick. Lots of people talk about it but few people define it. I describe it (including my involvement with Chaos Magick almost since it began) and show you how to use it yourself. Finally, I provide an introduction to Patrick Dunn’s unique system known as Postmodern Magick, what it means and how you can use it, and how it’s an evolution from NLP and Chaos Magick.

There is so much new material in this course that the old size of Modern Magick, 6″ x 9″, just couldn’t fit it all. As a result, this new book is going to be massive, about 8 1/2 ” x 11″ (the same as Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft). However, it’s going to be an astounding 600 pages, about 40% larger than Buckland’s excellent book.

As I wrote previously, the current edition of Modern Magick is going out of print. When Llewellyn is out of copies, it will be gone forever. If you’re like most people who have a copy filled with notes, bent pages, and coffee stains, you may want to get a pristine copy—a true collectors’ edition—before it is no more.

I can now announce, however, that “Book X” is a replacement for Modern Magick. It will have everything that Modern Magick had and lots, lots more. It will be massive in size and information, but even clearer and easier to use. And now down to details: books this big can easily cost $40, $50 or more. But in spite of the increased size and costs, when it is released in September, just before Samhain, Llewellyn is scheduled to keep the price under $30!

I’ve seen the cover art for this new book and it is absolutely spectacular. I can’t show it yet because the text on the cover hasn’t been finished, but as soon as I’m able I’ll post it here. I’m also going to be sharing more and more information (including some of my original artwork) in the coming months leading to its release.

Which leads to a final question: the title. This book is really new. It has new cover art, everything is re-written. There is a huge amount of additional information and new interior artwork. We could have called it Future Magick, a title I’ve toyed with for a long time. I could have put my name in the title (nicely feeding my ego) as Donald Michael Kraig’s Book of Magick. I thought a lot about alternate titles and subtitles, ones that were clever, clear, and concise.  But in the end, only one thing would do. That’s why, when this massively revised and enormously expanded book is released in September, what I called “Book X” for months on Facebook will simply be called:

Modern Magick

Twelve Lessons in the High Magickal Arts

Reader Comments

Written By Sunny
on February 19th, 2010 @ 4:05 pm

Your Book X sounds really intriguing and informative – I can’t wait to get my paws on it! I have always believed that magick, and the use of magick, evolves constantly. Don, congratulations on this major feat!

Written By Victor
on February 19th, 2010 @ 8:19 pm

Oh man, Don! That just made me laugh!

Written By Melissa
on February 20th, 2010 @ 10:00 am

I. Can’t. Wait.

I’ve been a fan of MODERN MAGICK since its original publication — and have gone through at least four copies.

This will have a place of esteem on my bookshelf.

Written By Athena
on February 20th, 2010 @ 12:48 pm

I like the name “Book X” actually :). But “Modern Magick” works well also, of course. Soooo does this mean in a few years we will see a twice as large Modern Sex Magick book?! Well I can only hope…

Written By Christi Plemons
on March 13th, 2010 @ 10:24 pm

I am so happy. I know that I will be reserving two copies for us. YEAH!!! I am so excited. Great Job!

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