I am a huge fan of Madeline Montalban’s system of practical occultism and spellwork, so naturally, I have had her biography on my wish-list since it came out, but only recently was able to obtain a copy and read since it’s primary distribution from Neptune Press is from the wonderful Atlantis Bookshop in London.
What drew me to the occult works of Montalban?
I became interested in her magical order, “The Order of the Morningstar” or simply, “OMS” when I read about how she heavily worked with the Seven Archangels that correspond directly with the planets – and at one time was known as “gods” within the Chaldean magical system.
This was very much an interest of mine, because when I became a young adult and was getting involved in the Horsa Tradition, I learned about these same angels of the planets and how to call upon and invoke their assistance during the correct planetary/angelic hours. The angels are part of that spiritual mix as beings within this vast universe that we strive to understand little by little.
One particular angel that Phillips talks about in her book that was highly important to Madeline is called Lumiel. This is another interesting coincidence that lead me to Montalban’s system:
I have been attracted to the angel “Lumiel” for many years now – ever since I first read the name “Lumiel” in Sybil Leek’s book “Numerology, the Magic of Numbers.” Something kind of “rang true” for me upon seeing the name …. Something that I had once known and I am now just experiencing the deja vu of it.
When I was a young child, (6-7 years old maybe?) I had a spot beside the patio that was a space for my sandbox. I used to play there a lot. Then one day, an angel appeared to me with his blonde, crimped hair and blue eyes. I also learned at that moment looking back why angel photos always have white robes: Their bodies radiate full of light, almost as if they are the Sun in miniature. This being, I knew was the Light-bringer. (The Roman god Lucifer)
This angel played a string instrument as well.
Today as an adult, when I think back on this meeting when I was a child, I have a hard time figuring out if this experience was just a child-like fantasy of an active imagination, or if it was a real occurrence?
It wasn’t until much later into young adulthood that I knew the angelic name of Lumiel. First, seeing the word in Sybil’s book and it hitting me, and cross-checking it in another angelic volume. And just why would I know him by his Roman name, Lucifer, as a child?
Another interesting connection is that of the blue morning glory flower. Julia Phillips also writes how the blue morning glory is the flower of the school connected to Lucifer and something that I learned in my studies within OMS.
When I was in my pre-teen years, my Grandmother had such a beautiful garden. One of my favorite flowers she would plant in it was the morning glory.
I instinctively knew the flower was magical!
I then asked my Grandmother if I could plant some of my own in my own garden. So she handed me some morning glory seeds to take home and plant with the following instructions:
She told me to put the seeds in a cup of hot water (not boiling, just hot) and let them sit for at least 24 hours. The bad seeds will float and you can discard, but the good seeds will stay at the bottom. You might even notice them begin to open up a bit. Then, you can plant them in the ground and they will quickly sprout if you handle them this way. She said you would have better luck at getting them to germinate this way if you did it with this method.
She was absolutely right!
I also began, year after year, adding more string, rope and old lines from the ground to the side of the garage for them to grow up. Some years, the morning glories were massive! I also need not save the seeds and continue replanting at this point because with such massive vines, seeds dropped everywhere so they just came up on their own, year after year, and as long as they had a good length to climb, they continue to get massive in size.
I also remember in my Grandmother’s sun porch where she had germinated morning glories in a pot and they would grow up these small woven fences in the pot. This was fascinating to me and I will always remember how they looked. It was a fascinating deja vu again when I learned that Madeline and some others did this too.
To this day, blue morning glories are one of my favorites. (along with roses, of course)
Overall, Madeline’s practical occult teachings taught (or reminded me) of many, many things and I am truly grateful for them!
It is great to see this biography in print as Madeline Montalban is such an unsung hero in the world of the occult and her work lives on today within the Order of the Morningstar. Not only was she well known in her columns that were published in “Prediction” magazine, she knew occultism inside and out!
I had always wondered how this remarkable lady came into the occult knowledge that she had. This exciting biography gives some of the most clear cut answers on this and much more.
I was also very excited to read about what the folks had to say about her. She was quite a colorful character that would have been quite a pleasure to know. I am glad that at least I know her through her teachings and now also through this wonderful biography.
I think also that in America today, the impact of women in the occult is not always recognized. There were great and powerful female occultists and witches who had either world-wide fame, going on to become the best known witch in the world in her day (Sybil Leek) or even being known as one of the most respected ceremonial magicians of England (Madeline Montalban). Then you have Dion Fortune, and even more so than that: H.P. Blavatsky seemed to light the spark that would make occult wisdom and study possible again in the western world!
The women in the occult world are phenomenal, even though it seems that it is mostly men who receive a great deal of the credit in the world of witchcraft and the occult.
Now, back to the book…..
Not only does the book show many photos of Madeline that I have never seen before, she also writes about many things that would interest many witches and practitioners of the occult. For example, what was the extent of Madeline’s involvement in witchcraft or even Wicca? Julia’s biography of Montalban attempts to answer all of this and more, including giving us an understanding of the timeline of events.
An area of interest in this book is in the back – a book listing of some of the occult texts that were in Madeline Montalban’s library that could give the reader many years of additional study.
This is a wonderful book that I will cherish and re-read again as needed. Thank you Julia Phillips for remembering and honoring such a fascinating lady who has such a story to tell.