A Practical Introduction to Kaula Magick
By Mogg Morgan (Sahajanath)
Published by Mandrake of Oxford
Review by Nina Lazarus for the Esoteric Book Review
“A Sadhana is an instrument that leads to a particular goal. In Tantra, it is a technical term denoting worship or spiritual practice. Tantra Sadhana is a collection of related instructional papers designed to aid the aspirant through a foundation Sadhana. Some say effective Sadhana requires an initiation (dikshi) from a qualified guru. This book is designed to act as a taster and to provide a short body of work suitable for the period of about one lunar month…”
So when I read this I decided to set about to try and use the book as it was intended, a workbook with exercises for a month. The author, Mogg Morgan writes well, but the book would have benefitted from further editing, there are minor typos (including an unfortunate one in the last paragraph on the back) but we all make typos so that is no major issue.
I have to be clear that I had no previous experience of the practices in the book prior to starting this, so my views may have become riddled with mistakes where I may have misunderstood the author. This is my journey through Tantra Sadhana:
The book starts with a Guide to Pronounciation. This is useful, though it would have been useful to have a more complete guide, though this one page guide to Sanskrit sounds did help to at least formulate the sounds in my mind and for chanting.
The Preface starts with a story about a guru taken from another book by the author “isis in india” which seeks to prove a point I believe about the interconnectedness of the world and its mystical teachings. At least that is what I got from it.
The author gives some good introduction and definitions, he explains Tantra as “traditionally applied to a group of hindu and Buddhist mystical texts which, along with numerous other topics, deal at length with the spiritual value of carnal knowledge, which taken literally means that gnosis obtained through the whole body.” He goes on to explain all the various terms which are used, such as Kaulas (I first saw this written and thought it had something to do with furry creatures in Australia!), Ganesa and also gives some ideas on Siva and Shakti, before plunging into definitions for terms such as Sadhana and Puja, Dhyana and Mudra. He also explains that the sect he is involved with AMOOKOS (which stands for Arcane and Magical Order of the Knights of Shamballa) is a sort of east meets west type group with lineage back to someone whose name I wouldnt try and say going back several hundred years. So that was the first chapter. To be honest, I thought that being a Tantric newbie I would learn more, but in fact I found that I already had a good understanding of almost all the terms used through my interest in magick in general. Here are just many more words of a Sanskrit nature which looks impressive, but at this point I was still wondering why a westerner would bother writing about the practices of a tradition which some practice since birth? The readinglist given at the end of Chapter 1 was impressive, though to be honest most of the books seemed to be self-indulgent Western magick, such as the books by Jan Fries.
However, from Chapter 2 onwards the book becomes more practical and I perservered with the prescribed practices. I am not going to give it all away, but I would recommend this book to those with an already good knowledge of Yoga (which as a qualified teacher I do) as many of the exercises given involves yogic warmups which might be difficult for those who have no previous experience. This was good to see as books on magick so often focus on head stuff, when magick is so rooted in the physical world that I often feel that the connection is completely lost to the physical world and that the astral becomes a venue for escapism.
So am I going to run off and join AMOOKOS? I doubt it, but this book did open some interesting possibilities for me to explore and I may well invest more time in studying related practices in depth. A good practical introduction to the subject for students who want to incorporate East and West.