29 of 40 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
As the title of the book suggests, this is supposed to be a book about Atem. There is only one way to invoke, one ritual to perform, one incantation to call forth, and only one way to communicate with Atem. The way to Atem is rigid and inflexible.
Atem is activated simply by reading the book, but it is a very weak activation, requiring a "deeper" activation by following a ritual given at the end of the book. Philip asks us to activate Atem, but never gives any compelling reason to do so, in fact, despite the title of the book, Atem is specifically discussed very rarely in this book. Atem clearly is an entity who can communicate and think, but we are not told what Atem thinks or what Atem has ever communicated to anyone, only that Atem can think and can communicate. Atem is a very boring and generic personality.
Unlike Philip, let's be direct and honest here: In magick, Atem would be called a deity, and the purpose of Philip's deity is to act as a repository for the destruction and creation of memes. In other words, Atem is Philip's deity of memes. Yet the way Philip pawns Atem off on the reader with his "just reading this book activates Atem" demonstrates that Atem is not good, for Atem is manipulative, selfish, and has hidden agendas. Can we trust Atem? No, because we can't trust Philip and Atem is Philip's creation, not ours.
As the title of the book also suggests, this book is not about magick, but about meta-magick. What makes it "meta-"? Meta- can mean many things but it is context that determines what it means and the context here is "outside what is real or usual". This makes the title sound redundant, since magick, in and of itself, is already outside what is real or usual, but I think the real meaning here is that Philip has invented his own personal style of magick, one that is untested and with no history of success behind it.
Philips claims that his magick is based on NLP and memes, yet this is not a book about NLP or memes. For that, you would need to read other books on the topics, so clearly this is not a standalone book or reference, making it incomplete and useless for beginners of this particular style of magick. A practitioner of Philips magick style will be weak and ineffective compared to other styles, due to lack of understanding and examples of the very thing you are supposed to be evoking or invoking.
The ritual exercises are good practice for magick and that is the only good thing about this book. Rituals exercises like the ones in this book would be effective at making people feel magickal, but magick is more than about feeling, it is about understanding the magickal world, and Philip offers no understanding of the magickal world whatsoever.