Weiser is releasing a fairly neat little book on March 1st. The book gives a nice general overview of major figures and movements in the world’s religions and mystery traditions. The author clearly has a taste for Thelema. In his bio you sense a trace of it.
Daniel Pineda is a martial artist, practitioner of the Mystery Tradition, and a devotee of liberty. He holds Black Belts in and teaches various Eastern and Western martial disciplines, as well as Qigong. He lives in south Florida with his wife Julia. This is his first book.
The way he treats the OTO, AA, John Dee, Golden Dawn, and a few other segments also give this impression. I find this flavoring of Thelema tasty and have enjoyed decompressing and flipping through this book which was writing in the format of the other recent ‘field guide titles’.
This book would be a good gift to a person who is fresh to the occult world, and poking his head in various portals, or for the person who needs to have every book on the occult ever published. For me, only lacks citations, and depth in a few sections. I would not recommend this as a book to cite for your college or high school papers, but based on my research just about everything written about is historically accurate. I love the field guide series, and also suggest those as accessible fun books for kids and new comers.
The Book of Secrets – Esoteric Societies and Holy Orders, Luminaries and Seers, Symbols and Rituals, and the Key Concepts of Occult Sciences Through the Ages and Around the World
From the strange symbols on a one-dollar bill to the secret signs of the Knights Templar and Freemasons, invisible societies, and the world of magic and alchemy, The Book of Secrets is a comprehensive introduction to the world of secret and esoteric knowledge throughout history. It offers a doorway into the initiated secret traditions of the fascinating unseen spiritual world: its symbols, secret societies, and seers.
Key Concepts: the Great Work, the Universal Force, Polarity, the Four Elements, Magick and Mysticism, Esoteric Anatomy, Qabalah, Alchemy, Astrology, the Astral Plane, and more.
Symbolism: More than 100 secrets symbols, words, objects, including their meanings and the secret powers they invoke.
Secret Societies and Holy Orders: The gatekeepers and the transmitters of sacred knowledge: Freemasons, O.T.O., Cathars, Templars, Assassins. Pineda places them all in history and geography and explains who they are/were and what they stood for.
Luminaries and Seers: More than 200 legends and historical personages: Hermes Trismegistus, Jesus, Siddartha, Osiris, and other seers from the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the 19th and 20th centuries.