Everything You Want to Know About Magick (But Were Afraid To Ask) has a healthy balance of reason and creativity. Scanlon has presented well researched information on theory and step by step directions to preform rituals that takes the fear out of doing magick for a beginner.
This book is universal in nature, that the principles learned here can be applied to other traditions. The main sources used here are from The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Hermeticism and Qaballah to name a few. This is not a Wiccan or Pagan specific book which I think is a huge advantage because most books on Magick are aimed at wither Wiccans or Pagans with the focus on the God and Goddess (lord/lady) and other specific elements that are associated with these paths. Scanlon presents Magick as something for everyone regardless of your spirtual belief or lack of one. If you are looking to step up your magickal practice this book is a must read.
What I really enjoyed most about this book was it was packed full of really good information on the main subjects of the chapters while at the same time providing additional side information in the text or in the footnotes. Scanlon knows what he is talking about, I never doubt for a moment or questioned a think he said. All his knowledge is based on legitimate sources and traditions.
What will you learn from this book? There is a ton to learn from Scanlon. You learn about the Lesser Banishing Ritual of Pentagram which Scanlon calls “the Equilibrating Ritual of the Pentagram” for a good reason which Scanlon explains regarding the meaning of “banishing”. Your learn about the Tree of Life from Kabbalah which Scanlon explains excellently. Scanlon goes also into the 22 paths in the tree and the corresponding tarot cards, which for me being a tarot reader was an excellent learning experience. I have not found anything in the tarot material that did a good job at explaining the paths and tarot like Scanlon did. You learn how to create Talismans, how to synthesize your script, using magickal alphabets. Scanlon teaches you specific magick for wealth, healing, love and deeper subjects like demonology. In the demonology section it is very informative how Scanlon explains the true meaning of “demon” from the root Greek word “Daimons” which were the lesser divinities. Not evil in nature, but more connected to our physical world than higher beings like Angels.
Among all the material presented in the book only one thing troubled me. There is a small section on Tarot and Divination. Scanlon did present uses for tarot like meditation, rituals, path working and such which I liked that he mentioned. However when he discussed tarot as a divination tool he made a statement which did not sit well with me. “For the most part, divination is overused; mainstream occultism relies on it far too much. Fortunetelling feeds the ego and induces hesitation and doubt instead of promoting action, energy, force and success against any challenge that may arise”. Page 207. I would have to disagree 100% on this statement. Tarot is a tool that does the opposite, it does promote action for change in ones life. However I think that Scanlon is presenting here an issue that is specific for magickal practitioner who use divination before conducting a ritual of some kind and not tarot readers in general. Which in that case I understand where he is coming from however he does not make that distinction clear in his writing. People who do not have the frame of reference like myself might be mislead by what Scanlon says here.
In the end Everything You Want To Know About Magick is an excellent source of magickal knowledge. Scanlon presents all the material in again an excellent manner. He removes the “woo-woo” mystique that such a subject may carry so that people who want to learn real magick can do so with it being so abstract and esoteric. Scanlon does not dumb down magick whatsoever, this is a highly intellectual book that once you finish reading you will be wiser than before and will posses the tools needed to preform your own magick. While being intellectual Scanlon always stresses the importance of finding and using your person style and being creative when preforming magick. This is a must read for anyone in the Magickal community and for tarot readers like myself will find relative information to our practice.