The Tower Of Alchemy: an advanced guide to the great work * David Goddard (isbn 1578631130)

I would probably not have known David Goddard if he wasn’t brought specifically under my attention. And still it took two missed workout weekends and a long time before I first laid my hand on a book by this Englishman. Quite by accident actually, I wasn’t looking for it, but when I saw this title in a shop in Utrecht (Netherlands). I decided to buy it and see what Goddard is all about.

Goddard is a student of several esoteric schools. After having been under the care of the Kabbalist Halevi from England (kabbalahsociety.org) and studied alchemy, hermetism, tarot, Grail legends, Keltic mythology, (vajrayana) yoga, Hinduism, Buddhism and more, he founded his own school called “The Pharos”. In close relation with his students, Goddard says to teach them the oral esoteric tradition. This is done by summercamps in England and weekends and lectures all around the world. A lot of practical instructions and teachings are given and Goddards methods include meditations and visualisations. I have never been to any of his classes, but probably still will some time.

“The Tower Of Alchemy” is Goddards best-known title. It is a practical guide divided in 17 chapters. Each chapter opens with a theoretical basis of things to follow. The book is supposed to be a step-by-step beginners book and begins fairly simple. In the theoretical parts Goddard very nicely interweaves various Western and Eastern knowledge, compares traditions and symbols and makes several very interesting links. After this follows a practical part with a meditation often involving a visualisation. After a couple of these it became clear to me that this isn’t really my cup of tea, at least not from the book. I started to skip the practical parts. After these parts you always get a ‘contemplation’ section, which is a long quote from different texts that refer to the practise you just conducted.

This book really is for people who want something else than just plain theory or absorbing information. If Goddards method appeals to you, you have the big advantage that you can easily contact ‘the master’ himself and attend a lecture or visit him in his centre in England. See www.davidgoddard.com for more information.

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