"Angels and Archangels: The Western Path to Enlightenment" is the latest book from Damien Echols, whose story as part of the West Memphis 3 is widely known but whose story after his release from death row is a just as riveting story of enlightenment, healing, empowerment, and a sharing of the spiritual path that helped him survive while incarcerated and has allowed him to grow into his current journey.
Echols is the author of "Life After Death," "High Magick," "A Course in High Magick," and co-author of "Yours for Eternity" with his wife, Lorri. "Angels and Archangels" is essentially an expansion of the foundation that Echols laid in "High Magick," a deepened exploration of the material and a practical exploration of the angels, archangels, and actual rituals utilized in the practice of high magick. While I would love to say that I have followed Echols's journey from release, the truth is that I largely became more aware of Echols's post-release life thanks to his wonderful appearance in the Tamar Haviv music video for "The Good Has Won," an absolutely delightful song with a video I still play on an at least weekly basis if not more frequently. Following the video, I began exploring what Echols had been doing post-release. While I had not read "High Magick" prior to reading "Angels and Archangels," I have since done so and doing so is something I would definitely recommend as it lays a solid foundation for the easily accessible, informative, and enlightened information and teachings that Echols offers here.
"Angels and Archangels" may seem like a quick read as quite a few of the pages have simple descriptions of the angels and archangels, but if you are a practitioner of magick or truly interested in it then the book becomes a slower read as it's material that needs to be understood and integrated into one's daily life. As I went further into the book, I found my reading slowed down as my mind integrated the weaving together of information with ritual.
With "Angels and Archangels," Echols provides beautifully written and accessible guide to calling on the divine assistance of angelic forces to shape one's life and accelerate spiritual practice. Echols stresses that these forces are present whether we believe in them or not. In this book, Echols shares that the angelic forces respond to our calling not because we "tell" them to but because they perceive the divine within us.
The material that Echols covers includes: 1) A basic and clearly understandable guide to the angels and archangels honored throughout the history of mystical traditions including their names, element associations, tarot associations, Tree of Life Associations, and Zodiac associations. 2) Foundational practices and medications for building magick skills. 3) Clear, understandable guidance on calling on angels for blessings, protection, invocation, the creation of talismans and sigils, and for other purposes. 4) Clear, understandable guidance on advanced magick rituals, material for which it truly helps to have read "High Magick" first, including the Rose Cross, the Celestial, and the Shem Operation, 5) Clear, understandable information regarding the Holy Guardian Angel, which Echols explains to perfection. Into the fabric of "Angels and Archangels," Echols weaves his own life experiences and his own magick experiences - especially those practiced while incarcerated.
He explores the reasons for using high magick and provides what has to be one of the most clearly written, understandable, and accessible guides to the practice of high magick that has been written. Echols builds a strong foundation for the material he presents including an understanding of the history of high magick and its relationship to other faith traditions including Buddhism, Christianity, and others. He also explores the history of practices, rituals, and symbols utilized including those that carry with them negative connotations in modern times.
There's a tremendous energy that is present throughout "Angels and Archangels," a breeze of enlightenment that flows from page to page and is obviously present in Echols's words, knowledge, insights, and testimony. "Angels and Archangels" is an essential addition to any magickal library from a man who has both lived its truths and learned how to teach its truths. For those seeking a better understanding of the angels and archangels and the angelic forces and how to call upon them, "Angels and Archangels: The Western Path to Enlightenment" is a valuable resource and a most enjoyable read.