The Pagan Book of Wisdom & Knowledge: Baphomet Lodge by Jonathan Ludd ISBN 978-0-8059-7692-2
Review by Chris Phillips
Ludd as an official of the Alka Antam in Cambridgeshire, England, Order of Baphomet (OOB) has compiled the basic introductory rites for initiation through the third degree of his Order. This manual is written with the premise, “If you tend to focus and draw upon the light forces of nature and the universe, then strictly speaking you have no place in the Baphomet Rule.” As that indicates this is dealing with Dark Arts. There is a structure and hierarchy that is well defined and used throughout the detailed rituals written here.
The use of the term “pagan” is a little misleading to a non-pagan, since this is about a specific group that is pagan in the general sense but not representative of all pagans. Ludd explains the relationships between the basic elements, fire, water, air, and earth and then elaborates with the interactions with “Gallas” which are spirit beings more commonly referred to as demons in other groups.
Ludd’s explanations of the history of the Order he belongs to is illuminating for both practitioners and students of religion. While that would suffice for many he continues by covering the steps to advance within this Order. Throughout the terms Order, craft and lodge are almost interchangeable, referring to the structure and practice of OOB. All these details are clear and precise with sufficient explanation for anyone to use the rites in practice.
Since this is a spell book or ritual manual, the structure is in dialog form with descriptions or peripheral information interspersed.
There is a glaring inconsistency that could cause a reader a few problems. Early on Ludd claims that no one should reveal these secret rites to anyone else; then he promptly fills the remainder of the book with details about those rites. Another is that he initially harangues persons claiming to understand this without the sanction of the OOB then proceeds to state that these should be adapted to the individual’s and group’s needs.
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