Liber HVHI by Michael W. Ford

Michael W. Ford calls himself a “Luciferian.” What this means, and how it differs from “Satanist,” is not easy to nail down. Equally difficult to answer definitively is the question: “What is Luciferianism?” Briefly, I think it is fair to say that a Luciferian is someone who finds greater relevance in the meaning of Lucifer (light-bearer) than Satan (adversary). There is certainly no evidence of a belief system of any significant scale called “Luciferianism” (despite what conspiracy theorists would assert). Furthermore, Ford’s own “Luciferian Magickal Order,” the Order of Phosphorous, is not the only contender; there is also the Ordo Luciferis, Ordo Luciferi, Temple of the Dark Sun, Neo-Luciferian Church.

The title of the book under review is an inversion (of sorts) of the Hebrew name of God in the Old Testament, rendered either as JHVH or YHWH. Y and J are the same in Hebrew, as are V and W. The language contains no vowels, so there is often some guessing required as to the correct pronunciation of words; hence we have Jehovah and Yahweh. Written backwards we get HVHJ. Where Ford comes up with HVHI is not explained, nor is any clue given as to how to pronounce this “name.”

Liber HVHI is a modern grimoire, drawing upon the myths of various past cultures, with a particular emphasis on Ahriman of Zoroastrianism. Also central to the book is the Qlippoth, a variation of the Tree of Life glyph from the Hebrew Cabala. Much of the historial material was so unfamiliar to me, and communicated with such brevity, that it was impossible to digest coherently. I also failed to grasp the reason for the importance Ford’s approach to magic. I understand myths as approximations to truth, which is why myths are always evolving over time, or outliving their usefulness. Ford’s insistence on the use of ancient myth strikes me as backward. It’s like learning astronomy, but refusing to let go of Ptolemy’s geocentric universe. In reading Liber HVHI, I was reminded of Anton LaVey’s opening statement in the preface to The Satanic Bible:

This book was written because, with very few exceptions, every tract and paper, every “secret” grimoire, all the “great works” on the subject of magic, are nothing more than sanctimonious fraud – guilt-ridden ramblings and esoteric gibberish by chroniclers of magical lore unable or unwilling to present an objective view on the subject.

And yet occasionally Liber HVHI struck a note of brilliance, as Ford communicated a rare insight, one hard to grasp by those unfamiliar to the Left-Hand Path. These flashes are what kept me reading, but they were few and far between. The material of worth in this volume would have filled a pamphlet. The book makes occasional references to a previous work of Ford’s, Luciferian Witchcraft. Perhaps I would have gained a little more out of Liber HVHI if I had started with the other one, but somehow I doubt it. There is a clarity to modern occult writers like Anton LaVey and Michael Aquino that is sadly lacking here.

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3 thoughts on “Liber HVHI by Michael W. Ford

  1. mrerrare says:

    The more he writes, the better he gets. I’ve spoken to him many times and his early writings, and the one in question, were a kind of journaling of his own private practice. His works have become more systematic, deep, and accessible as he has continued to write. People may have all kinds of opinions of his path, I assume, but he’s indeed a knowledgeable man. I have tremendous respect for him. Thanks for your post.

  2. mrerrare says:

    I should add that I don’t agree with his beliefs at all. But he’s got a unique skill set and his writing is getting better and better. His path is not mine, as my blog makes clear. Nor are his works for the casual reader. In retrospect, I might have spent time reading something more relevant to my path. I wouldn’t recommed his works or path to another, nor would I be dismissive of his improved writing ability. Have to be honest, and from this work (Liber) til Adversarial Light (and beyond), his writing style is just better for those who care to read. I’ve read enough. I do respect Mr. Ford and appreciate my dialogue with him.
    Though we don’t share much in common ideologically (excpet for maybe an implicit affinity for Nietzsche), I wish him all the best.

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