Tony Mierzwicki was present at PantheaCon, a Pagan gathering in San Jose sponsored by Ancient Ways. Mierzwicki shared wisdom from his recent book and magickal practice. In “Commerce Magick in the Ancient World,” Mierzwicki led attendants in a prosperity ritual dedicated to Hermes Agoraios (Hermes of the marketplace), a style which matched his writing.
In Graeco-Egyptian Magick, Mierzwicki provides his original ideas about ancient Greek and Egyptian religion and re-presents ancient liturgies from the Greek Magical Papyrae. Mierzwicki strongly recommends that his readers perform the rituals while reading the book. The author believes the reader will enhance the experience by doing so. For this reason, I was satisfied by Mierzwicki’s workshop at PantheaCon because he expressed consistency.
In the ritual, I learned about Mierzwicki’s passion. The rigorous information in the book hints at a genuine interest in ancient Graeco-Egyptian religion. At PantheaCon, I observed Mierzwicki adapt to his audience. As much as Mierzwicki attempts to preserve traditional rites, he is present with his current kindred, as a good liturgist should be.
For example, Mierzwicki suggested that people bring a representation of Hermes to the ritual to maximize its benefits. Although not directly stated, the suggestion implied a visit to the vendors’ room at Pantheacon. Alternative, I drew a sigil for Mercury. During the workshop, I added more because Mierzwicki told us about the Hermetic aspect we would invoke. Mierzwicki was impressed by my sigil and encouraged its use in the ritual. Mierzwicki had a particular idea in mind, but adjusted quickly to the group.
Hermes, Thoth, Isis, and Osiris are important gods in this book. If you are dedicated to any of them, you might want to add Greaco-Egyptian Magick to your library. Mierzwicki prints excerpts from Orphic and Homeric Hymns. I struggle with the amounts of Mierzwicki’s original and traditional text. On the one hand, Mierzwicki does not want to inappropriately modernize ancient literature. Yet, excessive reprinting of old material, which could be found in a translated volume, hints at a lack of originality on Mierzwicki’s part. For a compromise, I hope to see future works of Mierzwicki’s, with more of his own original writing, whether in essay, poetry, or liturgical form. For an author’s debut, Graeco-Egyptian Magick is a success.
Review by Michelle Mueller
Author: Tony Mierzwicki
Megalithica Books, 2006
pp. 237, $21.99