Page 1 of 1

Entering the Desert

Posted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:15 pm
by Nefastos
Anyone else reading this book, "Entering the Desert" by Craig Williams? (Anathema 2017)

I buy very few new Left Hand Path books myself, but felt that this might be something to try out. In the beginning where I am (page 34/155) the book feels rational, deep, fresh, taking partly Traditionalist & partly more free & individual attitude considering the problems of quantitativeness & pseudo-spiritual consumerism. The style is intelligent & beautiful. From where I stand, it seems that some of the things that the author criticizes in the modern grimoirists have actually crept into his own language or method as well, but we shall see.

There are several reasons to open this discussion. First, so much of the attention to occult literature seems to be bibliophilic in nature, i.e. more is spoken about even (and especially) the new books' aesthetics than their actual content. Even though I confess to be a bibliophile myself, I would very much like to see more talk about the ideas presented in the books than about the books as items.

Secondly, even though a big part of our dharma in the Star of Azazel would be to connect things & uphold harmonic syncretism ("to spiritually unite forms of esotericism"), very little is actually spoken about our nearest neighbours, the other Left Hand Path societies & practioners. While I understand this might also be so in order to be polite (after all, if all the ideas of some other society would have been chosen instead of SoA, our member would be the member of the other group instead...), it can also lead to narrow-mindedness and even actual intolerance in the long run, as has happened to many other groups that are seemigly based upon universal brotherhood.

Thirdly, Entering the Desert seems to be a welcome bridge from - often severe & uncompromising - Traditionalism to more individually minded Left Hand Path esotericism. That certainly would be very close to our ideas in the theosophically, ethically oriented Left Hand Path society.

Re: Entering the Desert

Posted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:50 pm
by Ormr
Funny that I came across this thread just now, only a few minutes ago I was reading a short piece from this author's web site. Williams discussed his book on a podcast a couple of months ago. I found it very intriguing but am yet to get around to picking it up. It does seem he has a knack for addressing sociological effects in the occult context.

This serves as a reminder to check this one out, thank you for that.

Re: Entering the Desert

Posted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:27 am
by Silvaeon
I actually listened to that podcast that Ormr mentioned, and ended up purchasing the book to give it a shot as a result.
A link to the podcast if anyone else is interested: ... he-desert/

I finished reading the book towards the end of August. I'd like to give it another read-through before commenting too much on the content (thus far in my path, LHP literature seems to require at least 2 reads and some time for the ideas to sink in properly) but my overall feelings about the book were quite positive. It seemed to offer simple yet meaningful practices which anyone from any tradition could adopt. The portion about "The Cell" and creating a sacred space for practice is something I've been starting to work some more with. The other thing coming to me right now is the way he spoke about the poisons of modernity without adopting toooo much of a traditionalist approach - this resonated with me. So, overall my initial impression has been positive and hopefully I'll be able to comment some more once I give it another read.

Re: Entering the Desert

Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:40 pm
by Abhavani
I have read his previous book Cave of the Numinous, and that was sure an intresting, fresh and practical approach to vamachara tantra. For now, I have no plans to get Entering the Desert for myself, because of other interests and financial reasons. But, of course I'd be interested have a look at it at some point in the future, if someone would borrow it.

The bibliophilic phenomena is very real around modern grimoires, and I must admit I went with the craze myself for many years. Spending large sums on books that had a hot reputation for being awesome and sought after. And out of print naturally. I didn't mind and I still don't mind, because at that point I had a good monetary situation, and I thought of it as an investment (financial and practical) to collect those books when I had the chance. Lots are still unread, many I've read once and sold away, and some I want to keep. But the fascination for books as objects has since calmed down as far as I am considered, and it's sort of a relief not to be so neurotic about expensive hardbacks versus widely available cheap softcovers, that are in use. Also, carrying expensive books with me as a go, is not a problem anymore. Within my craze-days, I was very protective not to take any risks with loosing, smearing or wearing the books. Life is easier now and better in many ways, hah!

Re: Entering the Desert

Posted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 6:06 am
by Ormr
I got around to acquiring and reading this one. I like the outlining of the problems of modernity, and Williams' approach to self exploration as being necessarily uncomfortable. The pacing of the book is good for a short one, especially considering when I first received it I thought it had a slow start for such a short work.

While it is definitely firm in some principles, I found it to be very adaptable to a lot of different systems and pads. More of an approach to one's existing practice, if you will.

Re: Entering the Desert

Posted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 10:17 am
by karrengold
Where can i get that book? Is it on barnes and nobel for like ebook so i can get it?

Re: Entering the Desert

Posted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:44 pm
by Smaragd
karrengold wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 10:17 am
Where can i get that book? Is it on barnes and nobel for like ebook so i can get it?
I guess the bibliophilic attitude the publishers are on board with shuns ebooksebooks, heh.. I'd try the 'Rare Occult Books' -group in facebook. The prices tend to get ridiculous but maybe someone might part of the standart edition for a reasonable price.

Re: Entering the Desert

Posted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 6:18 pm
by Silvaeon
Did you check the Anathema website? It's still available directly from them (the publisher).

The hardcover editions sold out some time ago, but Anathema has started to experiment with softcover editions to help keep books available and keep the costs down. This is something I wish more publishers would do. Of course the hardcover editions are extremely beautiful, but ultimately the content is the most important factor in a book, and I applaud all efforts to keep costs down and content available.

Anyways, here you go.