On the Shelf Review – The Necronomicon, Mardukite Version

Those of you who read The Necronomicon Files might remember the discussion of one Merlyn Stone, a young man who had created his own Necronomicon.  Now he’s back, writing under his given name of Joshua Free, with Mardukite Ministries, which recently released its own Necronomicon.

Initially, I had qualms about reviewing this work, largely because I thought I was the last person in the world who could give this book a fair treatment, given that Mr. Free is already jabbing at John and I in the acknowledgments.  Then I remembered John, my co-author, and realized that he was the last person in the world who could give this book a fair treatment, so I could move ahead with slightly less guilt.

What is presented here is what we might call a re-envisioning of the Simon Necronomicon.  What Mr. Free has done here is to take various passages from that work – the invocations to the gates and the Magan Text, most notably – and to present more “authentic” versions of these rituals, taken from Babylonian, and Egyptian sources, with the Mythos trappings removed.  I say that in quotes because I’m not quite certain which translations Mr. Free uses, as he never states the sources from which these derive.  Given that one of the sources he cites is Waddell, I’m somewhat skeptical on this account.  Nonetheless, there is an acknowledgment that perhaps the Simon book might not be as accurate as might be hoped.

Nonetheless,  I find myself baffled as to the exact purpose behind this.  I can understand wanting to practice the authentic ways of people from past ages, and (oddly enough) those who see the Simon book as their spiritual path.  I’m not sure, however, what appeal lies in laying accretions of older work on top of Simon’s work – which is really Mesopotamian viewed through the lenses of Lovecraftian and dualistic worldviews.  Thus, the Maqlu Text is included in Mr. Free’s book, not because of its position in Mespotamian ritual, cosmology and practice, but because Simon had a chapter dedicated to it in his Necronomicon.   Once again, it seems to me that an examination of the latest works on Sumerian translations would yield richer, and more accurate, finds more in line with the current that Mr. Free and others are attempting to access.

The book also includes sections devoted to such topics as the “end” of the Babylonian priesthood, the practice of the rituals in the Necronomicon, the Necronomicon Files, and its association with other spiritualities.  Most of these are short, which is regrettable, as they were the most interesting portions of the book for me.

(Lest it be thought I am passing over it in silence, I should address Mr. Free’s comments regarding our stances on his earlier works.  The fact is, Mr. Free was very young at the time, and these books often covered material discussed more thoroughly by other authors.   I don’t think we were ever “jealous,” as Mr. Free claims; we could have put together a work comparable in coverage and presentation in relatively short order using our libraries and the Kinko’s across the street.  Further, we had no idea as to his sales figures, so we certainly couldn’t be envious of them!  Although I do not agree with the focus of the present volume, this book is far ahead of what John and I saw previously.)

As with many of my reviews, you likely know whether you would be interested in such a book or not, and you can make your purchasing decisions accordingly.  I’ll add that Mardukite Ministries has other Necronomicon-related books as well, which I might be examining in the future.

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Published in: on March 17, 2010 at 12:03 am  Comments (1)  

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