Review: The Mighty Dead

Review: The Mighty Dead June 14, 2019

The Mighty Dead Christopher Penczak

There are so many brilliant books by Christopher Penczak that it’s hard to pick a favorite. That being said, The Mighty Dead: Communing With the Ancestors of Witchcraft is definitely one of my favorites of his. The book addresses the topic of death from the viewpoint of the witch along with what happens afterward. The central focus is on a group of spirits who were once human and have stepped off the cycle of reincarnation as spiritual masters. Gerald Gardner referred to these souls in witchcraft as The Mighty Dead. Christopher draws fascinating comparisons to similar ideas of enlightened souls that guide humanity’s spiritual progress in other traditions that have influenced modern witchcraft as we know it today.

This comparison helps us gain a better understanding of who these folks are — such as the Hidden Company, the Secret Chiefs, The Withdrawn Order, the Inner Plane Adepts, the Masters, the Bodhisattvas, and the Saints. Penczak draws from many different streams of wisdom to help put the puzzle pieces together; from Theosophy to the Golden Dawn, from Wicca to ‘Traditional Witchcraft’, from Qabalah to Sabbatical Witchcraft. He also provides information on the planes of reality and where the sanctified dead dwell in various ideologies. Not only does he present a cohesive idea of who these elder spirits are, but he shows how to connect with them to create a powerful spiritual and magickal alliance.

The Mighty Dead: Communing With the Ancestors of Witchcraft also dives into other great death-related topics such as working with ancestors, necromancy, mediumship, psychopomp work, crossing rites, and funeral rites. He explores various myths related to the witch and the dead such as the Witch’s Sabbath, the Wild Hunt, the Night Battles. The book isn’t only informative, but it’s also very hands-on with tons of incense, oils, and tea recipes as well as rituals, meditations, exercises, and even his theory and practices of soul-crafting to prepare oneself to eventually join the Mighty Dead. In my opinion, this is probably the best book written on working with the various forms of the dead that a witch can get their hands on. I feel it is definitely an important aspect of study and practice that I feel all witches who are serious about their practice should be well versed in.

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About Mat Auryn
Mat Auryn is a witch, professional psychic, and occult teacher throughout the New England. He is the author of 'Psychic Witch: A Metaphysical Guide To Meditation, Magick, and Manifestation'. He is a High Priest in the Sacred Fires Tradition of Witchcraft. As a psychic witch, Mat has had the honor and privilege of studying under some of the most prominent witchcraft teachers, elders, and witchcraft traditions. He runs the blog For Puck’s Sake on Patheos Pagan, is a content creator for Modern Witch, has a column in Witches & Pagans Magazine entitled 'Extra-Sensory Witchcraft', and a column in Horns Magazine entitled 'Queer As Folklore'. He has been featured in various magazines, radio shows, podcasts, books, anthologies, and other periodicals. You can read more about the author here.

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