Esoteric books based on historical documents need to tread a fine line between informing and revealing their esoteric reality. Too much towards the history, and you end up with a review of established knowledge that is only of use to the armchair occultists. Too much towards esoteric practice, and you lose the intellectual bedrock and drift into what could be just fantasy.
Amduat: The Great Awakening by Diana Kreikamp carefully walks that fine line with what is commonly called the Ancient Egyptian Book of the Hidden Chamber, an essential ancient Egyptian funerary text of the New Kingdom Egypt for Pharaohs or favoured nobles. The book is carefully researched, profusely illustrated and ensouled by Kreikamp’ s magical practice.
Firstly, this is a beautiful book. The cover design screams magical, and the text is packed full of relevant historical artwork. I do not want to labour this point, but if you journey through the landscapes of the Egyptian underworld and meet the beings there, you will need suitable forms to visualise. One of the good parts of Ancient Egyptian historical texts is that they did the work for the magician, and no modern artwork will be as accurate or do them justice. Kreikamp provides the illustrations you need, sometimes in colour.
Kreikamp takes you through the different chapters of the Book of the Hidden Chamber as a journey through the 12 hours of the night. It is a journey I have done several times, and it has been a feature of my books (Egyptian Shaman, Osiris Scrolls and Helios Unbound). I think it is essential for any magician who is serious about Egyptian themed magic. The Amduat names the underworld gods and monsters so that the magician can call upon them for help or use their name to defeat them. The point is that having met them in the underworld, you can call on them in life as the basis of a sub-lunar magical system. These beings are long forgotten even by those who follow Egyptian magic and so their re-appearance thanks to Kreikamp’s work is important.
What is intriguing is that the familiarity of the underworld landscapes between Kreikamp and my own visions. Certainly, her book is better and more clearly described than my own, being a complete approach rather than part of a component. With Amduat is all the detail you need to make a spiritual journey into the underworld and emerge changed.
What I find helpful in this book is that it opens ideas for further work and study. You find yourself saying, “I didn’t think of using that spell or prayer to do that.” It is as if Kreikamp while moving through the underworld, has stirred up the long-forgotten Egyptian magic, the ghost of which which we see reflected in the Greek Magical Papyri. I find it a relief that the post-theosophical fantasies found in many occult books on Egypt have given way to solid research and understood symbolism.
The depth of the research extends to the merging of some other Egyptian texts, such as the coffin texts, to flesh out more details. The result is that you get a complete underworld tour guide in a way that you would not understand if you read the original texts. Kreikamp also explains some of the terms, details, and theories needed to understand the New Kingdom underworld fully.
What is lacking, and I do not intend this as a criticism, is that that book assumes a practical level of magical knowledge and experience of inner techniques. I guess the argument is that if you do not know your way around pathworking or inner states already, this book will be of little use to you. However, I am not so sure. I think that journeying through the Hidden Chambers is something that can be done at any level to the best of the magician’s ability. At the same time, I also appreciate that people are finally coming out with books for advanced magicians who are not just focused on repacking the lesser ritual of the pentagram and middle pillar. In my view, Amduat is so clear, well written and detailed even a beginner would get some think from visiting the underworld, and it would have been nice to see a suggested plan of attack.
That said, this is a book for initiates or at least someone who takes Magic and Ancient Egypt very seriously, and it is good to see books of this quality and magical depth available.
Amduat: The Great Awakening Diana Kreikamp
Publisher : Mandrake of Oxford (May 11, 2021)
Language : English
Paperback : 436 pages
ISBN-10 : 1914153065
ISBN-13 : 978-1914153068
Item Weight : 1.89 pounds
Dimensions : 8 x 0.89 x 10 inches