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THE GAME OF SATURN

Peter Mark Adams

1st 2017 320pp Scarlet Imprint h/b. Black Shantung cloth. Illus. in colour throughout. Ltd. ed. 800 copies.

The Game of Saturn is the first full length, scholarly study of the enigmatic Renaissance masterwork known as the Sola-Busca tarot. It reveals the existence of a pagan liturgical and ritual tradition active amongst members of the Renaissance elite and encoded within the deck. Beneath its beautifully decorated surface, its imagery ranges from the obscure to the grotesque; we encounter scenes of homoeroticism, wounding, immolation and decapitation redolent of hidden meanings, violent transformations and obscure rites.

For the first time in over five hundred years, the clues embedded within the cards reveal a dark Gnostic grimoire replete with pagan theurgical and astral magical rites. Careful analysis demonstrates that the presiding deity of this ‘cult object’ is none other than the Gnostic demiurge in its most archaic and violent form: the Afro-Levantine serpent-dragon, Ba’al Hammon, also known as Kronos and Saturn, though more notoriously as the biblical Moloch, the devourer of children.

Conveyed from Constantinople to Italy in the dying years of the Byzantine Empire, the pagan Platonist George Gemistos Plethon sought to ensure the survival of the living essence of Neoplatonic theurgy by transplanting it to the elite families of the Italian Renaissance. Within that violent and sorcerous milieu, Plethon’s vision of a theurgically enlightened elite mutated into its dark shadow – a Saturnian brotherhood, operating within a cosmology of predation, which sought to channel the draconian current to preserve elite wealth, power and control. This development marks the birth of an ‘illumined elite’ over three centuries before Adam Weishaupt’s ‘Illuminati.’ The deck captures the essence of this magical tradition and constitutes a Western terma whose talismanic properties may serve to establish an initiatory link with the current.

This work fully explores the historical context for the deck’s creation against the background of tense Ferrarese-Venetian diplomatic intrigue and espionage. The recovery of the deck’s encoded narratives constitutes a significant contribution to Renaissance scholarship, art history, tarot studies and the history of Western esotericism. £66.00

THE MAGITIANS DISCOVERED VOLUME 1

John Madziarczyk

1st 2016 354pp Topaz. Illus.

The Magitians Discovered Volume 1 analyzes who the authors of the anonymous material were, their worldview, and what their motivations were in compiling and adding the anonymous material as well as the cultural context of the material. It deals with topics such as how the work of John Dee was regarded by thinkers in the 17th century, antiquarian history in general, and the historical school of Swedish Gothicism, and how these were used by the anonymous authors.

It also deals with the tradition of aerial spirits used in Liber Juratis and the Heptameron, as well as with the tradition of the Shem-ha-mephoresch in magic, including an analysis of the Semiforas' in "Liber Razielis".

Other topics include Scottish fairy lore, Paracelsan medicine and metaphysics, corpse or mumial medicine, and 17th century theories on the Antediluvian world, the Prisca Theologia, the Book of Raziel, and the nature of Giants.

HARDBACK £39.99

PAPERBACK £14.99

THE MAGITIANS DISCOVERED VOLUME 2

John Madziarczyk (Ed)

1st 2016 418pp Topaz House. Illus.

The Magitians Discovered  Volume 2 consists of the anonymous material added to the 1665 edition of the Discoverie of Witchcraft, Scot's also out of print "Discourse on Devils and Spirits", along with the sections from Scot's original “Discoverie” that deal with ritual magic, talismans, and amulets. The anonymous material consists of a treatise on the nature of ghosts, elemental spirits and demons, and sympathetic magic, as well as nine chapters of ritual material. These include a ritual to summon the Wild Hunt, a ritual to summon a thunder elemental from the mountains of Norway, instructions on how to summon a personal genius, aerial spirits in general, and how to construct an imaginary magic circle. The ritual material also includes a picturesque account of a reanimation of a corpse that proved to be much used in subsequent English occult publications.

The selections from Scot's original Discoverie that are included contain instructions for summoning the demons and spirits into crystals, summoning the fairy Sibyllia, a ritual for finding treasure, rituals for calling up the spirits of the dead and binding them in crystals, sections from Johan Weyer's "Pseudomonarchia Daemonum", as well as instructions on constructing amulets for healing and protection drawn from the tradition of Christian folk magic.

This is supplemented by excerpts from two works believed to be written and translated by one of the authors of the anonymous material. The first excerpts are from a treatise on mumial or corpse medicine translated by one of the authors. These include one hundred aphorisms on natural magic, which are derived from the thought of Paracelsus, Ficino, and Robert Fludd, as well as Twelve Conclusions on the nature of the body and the soul related to the aphorisms.

The second work that is excerpted from is an antiquarian dictionary compiled by the author which has many entries with esoteric content. Dealing with Scotland and Scottish place names, the work ranges far and gives unique descriptions of Greco-Roman pagan gods in relation to the Scottish Antiquarian school of history, as well as antiquarian origin stories about the Scots. The excerpts preserve the esoteric content of the work, as well as the relevant antiquarian sections, while not including more prosaic entries.

HARDBACK £41.99

PAPERBACK £16.99

THE MAGITIANS DISCOVERED VOLUME 3

John Madziarczyk (Ed)

1st 2016 354pp Topaz House. Illus.

The Magitians Discovered Volume 3 consists of supplementary texts from outside of the “Discoverie” that shed light on the anonymous material. These include excerpts from the “Heptameron”, Agrippa's “Three Books of Occult Philosophy”, Agrippa's “Fourth Book”, Robert Burton's “Anatomy of Melancholy”, John Dee's “A True & Faithful Relation”, and Olaus Magnus' “Description of the Northern Peoples”.

The texts in volume three are a combination of excerpts from authors and texts actually referenced by the anonymous material, such as the Heptameron, Agrippa, Olaus Magnus, and John Dee, as well as authors and texts referenced by volume one. These include "Anatomy of Melancholy" by Robert Burton, "The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns, and Fairies" by Robert Kirk, and the "Danish History" of Saxo Grammaticus

The selection of John Dee's spiritual diaries from "A True & Faithful Relation" consists of the full account of the reception of the geographical correspondences of the aires, the full sections from which the demon and angel names of the anonymous material were drawn, as well as theoretical sections about the nature of the wisdom of Enoch and the aerial spirits given by the angels

The selection from the Heptameron and pseudo-Agrippa's fourth book reproduce in full sections which the anonymous authors only included in fragmentary form.

Volume three also includes the balance of the main text translated by one of the authors of the anonymous material. This deals with the practice of mumial or corpse medicine, particularly that of constructing a "magnet" from human fluids that can absorb illness. This practice is labeled "magical medicine" by the translator, and includes quite a lot of information on sympathetic magic.

HARDBACK £39.99

PAPERBACK £14.99

CLAVIS JOURNAL VOL. 4

1st 2016 11pp A4 journal. Prof. illus. Ltd. Ed. 2500 copies.

The Green Key is the central arcanum of Clavis Volume 4, contemplating the intersection of the plant world with the occult arts, and is 112 pages. Artists featured in this volume are Madeline VonFoerster, Marzena Ablewska, Robert Stephen Connett, Johnny Decker Miller, Santiago Caruso, Andrzej Masianis, Janelle McKain, Tom Allen, John Kleckner and Marlene Seven Bremner.

Articles in The Green Key include an analysis of Picatrix incense formulae by Catamara Rosarium, ‘Polyphasic Consciousness’, by Lee Morgan, Daniel A. Schulke’s ‘The Spirit Meadow’, Dale Pendell’s alchemical paean ‘Love Alchemy and Demon Work,’ Harold Roth’s article ‘Curating the Magical Garden,’ ‘The Fairy Springs’ by Radomir Ristic, ‘Old Crone Tree of the Dark Edges’ by Corinne Boyer, a new translation of a Norwegian conjuration of the Devil by Fredrik Eytzinger, ‘A Casket of Green Poyson, Newly Open’d’ by John Maplet, and a previously unpublished alchemical treatise by Ibn Umail, translated with commentary by Darius Klein. £34.99

TRUE BLACK MAGIC

La Véritable Magie Noire

Iroe Grego

Joseph Peterson (trans)

1st 2017 224pp CreateSpace p/b. Illus.

A classic grimoire, or source-work of magic. Le Véritable Magie Noire, or the book of True Black Magic, is an influential early printed grimoire, containing many interesting features. It is one of many variants of The Key of Solomon (Clavicula Salomonis), but printed as a chapbook, or example of Bibliothèque bleue. As such it was small, cheap, and easy to hide or carry as an amulet. All these were important factors that lead to its popularity and worldwide distribution. For those familiar with the edition of the Key of Solomon edited by the influential occultist S. L. Mathers, much of the content looks familiar. But it has some unique features that draw our attention. In particular, it preserves some older elements not included in the Mathers edition, including spells for love, and hindering romantic rivals. This new edition includes a new English translation, and complete French text. £11.99

LE PETIT ALBERT

2017 178pp Oroborous h/b in d/w. 30 woodcuts, charts and talismans. Ltd. ed. 1000 copies.

The ‘Little Albert’ is a grimoire and book of secrets first published in France in 1700s. The text ranks as one of the most infamous books in the grimoire corpus, though much of its infamy stems from the 18th century hucksters who populated Rural Europe with copies of their merchandise. Although the tome is criticized by the likes of Arthur Edward Waite and Eliphas Levi before him, they nonetheless mention it many times throughout their several books. As a book of ritual magic it relies heavily on other sources, namely Paracelsus and Albertus Magnus. Yet in addition to the grimoire material consisting of talismanic images, cabalistic magic and ritual perfumes, the book also features many wortcunning remedies, and alchemical recipes.

Magic squares and tables showing planetary hours are common in grimoire literature but also tend to appear in almanacks, which were also very popular. The folk remedies and recepies are drawn from that curious literary genre known as Books of Secrets. The famous alchemical bibliographer John Ferguson wrote a defining book on the subject as did William Eamon whose later text laid bare many intricacies of the tradition.

Some have classified such books as forbidden knowledge, indicating the scorn political or religious authorities placed upon these texts. Banned books always attract those with rebellious spirit or drawn by the pursuit of universal learning.

While the Petit Albert is by no means as sophisticated as other texts in the grimoire cycle (Lemegeton, Goetia, Clavicula Solomonis, Picatrix, etc.) it is perhaps the ubiquitiousness of its presence in Europe over many centuries that places it among the more famous texts of ceremonial magic. A book like the Petit Albert offers insight into the minds of rural folk magic practitioners and provides an example of the then (as now) popular practice of publishing of books of secrets. It also acts as a medium, through the spirit of the book, to open up an occult atmosphere conducive to operational praxis. The image of the magician, witch or wortcunner is almost always attended by the presence of the book of magic. It lends the practitioner the token of occult knowledge and power. Some are drawn by the promise of love, others, to gain fame or riches. Despite any claims made for the efficacy of such tomes, they nonetheless instill a sense of wonder and mystery in those who seek their pages. £39.99

THE ARRAS WITCH TREATISES

Magic in History Sourcebooks

Andrew C. Gow

2016 144pp Penn State Press trade p/b.

This is the first complete and accessible English translation of two major source texts--Tinctor's Invectives and the anonymous Recollectio--that arose from the notorious Arras witch hunts and trials in the mid-fifteenth century in France. These writings, by the "Anonymous of Arras" (believed to be the trial judge Jacques du Bois) and the intellectual Johannes Tinctor, offer valuable eyewitness perspectives on one of the very first mass trials and persecutions of alleged witches in European history. More importantly, they provide a window onto the early development of witchcraft theory and demonology in western Europe during the late medieval period--an entire generation before the infamous Witches' Hammer appeared. £19.99

UNDER THE DEVIL’S SPELL

Witches, Sorcerers and the Inquisition in Renaissance Italy

Matteo Duni

1st 2008 188pp Syracuse University Press trade p/b. Illus.

Reconstructing the activity of the ""Tribunal of the Faith"" in Italy during the period 1400-1600, this compelling book analyzes the ideology of its judges and takes a closer look at Italian witches and their clientele. For the first time, the English reader, student, and scholar alike will be offered direct access to this little-known world through a large selection of translated Inquisition trials from the rich State Archives of Modena. From the voices of the men and women who practiced the occult arts or resorted to them on a daily basis, magic and witchcraft will emerge as an integral part of social life in early modern Italy and a means for contact and communication between diverse cultural spheres. £24.99