cover image The Secret History of Lucifer: Evil Angel or the Secret of Life Itself?

The Secret History of Lucifer: Evil Angel or the Secret of Life Itself?

Lynn Picknett, . . Carroll & Graf, $25 (304pp) ISBN 978-0-7867-1560-2

Though dense with research, readers interested in religious conspiracies, particularly those for which Christianity is held responsible, will find Picknett's redemption of Lucifer as "Light-bringer" and "enlightener" fascinating. Picknett, author of many conspiracy-oriented books about topics like the Turin shroud, the Templars and most recently Mary Magdalene, sets out to correct misconceptions about Lucifer, who she claims is not synonymous with the devil or Satan. Lucifer, she writes, "is emphatically not the Evil One, but the spirit of human progress, the fight to learn and grow, to be independent and proud." Divided into two parts, the first is dedicated to Lucifer's relationship with the feminine and his subsequent "fall" from morning star to bringer of hell as a result of his feminization, while the second traces Lucifer's emergence in history as Satan. Filled with ironic undertones, Picknett's exploration of Lucifer's association with womanhood is the more interesting of the two sections, offering well-researched interpretations of the Judeo-Christian creation myth, ancient goddess traditions, and pagan rituals. Picknett's depth and range of knowledge is impressive and if readers can forgive the annoying and repeated self-references to her many other works, they will encounter a thick, interesting and alternative view of an intriguing topic. (Aug.)