REVIEW BY MARGA RET ANN LEMBO, author of Chakra A wakening and The Essential Guide to Crystals, Minerals and Stones (Llewellyn). Owner of The Crystal Garden, Boynton Beach, FL.
Dragonflame is the culmination of Lawren Leo’s decades of training in and use of the practical Qabalah, Wicca, Alchemy, Divination, High Magick, and psychic readings. Leo’s first sentence in Dragonflame epitomizes the tone found througout, “If we are to wield great magic, then let us l earn from great teachers.” The image he projects is self-effacing and respectful: he always credits his sources. Yet this is never at the expense of the confidence with which he makes this information so readily understandable and, importantly, appliable to readers from any walk of life. He emphasizes that this is a process of learning “ how to awaken potent magical forces lying dormant within you.”
His particular contribution is accomplishing this goal through a philosophy which he calls “Dragonflame.” It is based on a system composing Goal, Purpose, and Sacrifice (GPS), which runs in tandem with his helpful rituals. To allay any fears that might stem from the use of this subject matter, he sets out a caveat early on in the boo k, emphasizing the proper rules that he uses to guide readers (and users!), “All your goals can be obtained through magic as long as your purpose is pure and ultimately aimed at self-transformation.” Leo’s frank discussion of his own life experiences, despite the fact that sometimes exposes his vulnerability, is ultimately rewarding for a reader who might otherwisbe intimidated. Leo has already walked this path and is in a particularly advantageous position ooffer the reader a helping hand to traverse this oftentimes daunting territory.
The handsome presentation of Dragonflame – from the cover art to the extensive illustrations and diagrams – is as visually rewarding as the contents are fresh and engrossing. In his exceptionally smooth prose Leo effortlessly shares his innovative philosophy. The most attractive feature of this book is its guaranteed appeal to a broad audience. He has taken great measures to de-mystify what could be intimidating or overly complex subject matter; thus assuring a guaranteed appeal to newcomers.
Another attractive aspect of Dragonflame is the way it can be used for soul-searching. The rituals are at once relevant and classical. Though they may encourage some readers to go outside their “comfort zone,” they are consistently realistic in their demands. Perhaps Leo’s greatest achievement here is his successful use of multiple inroads to help the reader to achieve one single goal, self-empowerment.
One of Leo’s finest sections is the glossary. Its clarity is astounding, especially given the inherently impenetrable esoteric and occult subject matter. Following in the footsteps of the Golden Dawn and Donald Michael Kraig, it most certainly merits addition to the twenty-first century canon of studies on the practical application of magic. In Leo’s own words, “Magic is fire. This book teaches you how to dance around it, enjoy it, and respect it without getting burned.”