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GRAVEYARD WANDERERS by Dr. Tom Johnson (Deluxe Leather Bound and Inlaid Copper Skeletal Hand)
Limited Edition: Limited to 180 numbered copies, this copy being #109 book is in fine unread condition
The Physical Manifestation of the Book
Printed on 180 gsm Fabriano Ingres, a real laid paper, whereby the textures are natural product of the pulp on wire mesh frames rather than being artificially embossed with a pretend texture. The covers are bound in leather cloth, a binding material that is 85% real leather and a sheet of copper, formed into skeletal hands. The Wise Ones would pay for the services of the Dead by leaving in place of the bone, a piece of metal in the form of a coin or a scraping from a church bell. Metal is an ideal vehicle for the transmission of deathliness, Coffin nails were recovered, sometimes to be entwined with horseshoe nails by a smith evoking infernal beings, and put to magical use. Needles employed to sew a corpse into its shroud were likewise sought after. Some of the charms in this book derive from the black art book of a smith, nestling amongst mundane recipes for the working of metals. But then metal is the zenith of man’s art. It’s mutability to will and permanence makes it ideal for coin, offerings to the dead, and for holding the form of skeletal hands in the binding of this book, so the reader feels the shape of dead fingers interlaced with their own. Bones are the part of us that persist after decay, and here the copper that forms their shape has been patonised, whereby the natural oxidation process is accelerated and stabilised. The result are iridescent colours, an effect referred to as the “peacock’s tail” in alchemy, where it is identified with the stage of decay in the Great Work. The patonised copper is then preserved with lacquer.
Looking at the fingers, the reader’s eye may glimpse an optical illusion. Look awry and the bony fingers appear as valleys instead of standing proud, a visual ambiguity fit for the liminal space between the worlds of the living and the Dead,a recurring aspect of the rituals. It is also resonant with the amoral path of the Wise Ones.
Whether skeletal bones or living flesh every hand is unique. The gloriously unpredictable nature of the process, the form of creases in the copper sheet and the hand contouring to the background makes ever hand, likewise, unique. This variation has been embraced, with great variation in colours of patonisation and some copies having uncontoured backgrounds. Each pair of hands are prepared together, so broadly, the boards of each book do match. The handmade nature of each copy has been reinforced by deliberately assembling the components by eye, rather than measurement. The resultant, mostly imperceptibly, variations giving each copy an organic, handmade feel.
The black cloth is lettered in white as there is a tradition within the corpus that is how a black art book should look. Curiously, the same tradition occurs regarding some talismans is found in the folk magic preserved in the French grimoires. The sense of this tradition is unclear, though an observation based on handling copies of this book is that white letters on a black background can be discerned more clearly in half-light, perhaps appropriate for night time rituals in churchyards.
The endpapers are specially commissioned, handmade decorated pastepaper. Decorated pastepaper endpapers predated and continued to be used alongside marbled paper into Victorian times, but are rarely employed now. Here the process produces amorphous, chaotic swirls which have skeletal fingers clawing through them.
Each copy is hand numbered by a calligrapher.”
The author translated 37 manuscripts books known as “Svartkonstbuchs” [ie black art book} which Scandanavian practitioner’s of folk magic were expected to possess. This work collects together all those charms and rituals dealing with spirits of the dead and human bones, with the addition of some other relevant material. What emerges is a remarkably coherent and straightforward system that can be simply described:-
- 1) Practitioners were solitary, they could be self initiated into dealings with the dead by means of performance on one of a number of rituals given here. The Dead were then entreated or conjoured, usually with payment, to serve the practitioner. They were particularly suited to certain kinds of workings:-
- 2) Being now beyond pain, the Dead were called upon relieve the living of their suffering.
- 3) Seeing beyond the physical, they could be asked to detect thieves and torment them into confession, or else set the stillness of death upon them, transfixing the miscreant. Curiously, the practitioner would not be able to punish or even berate the criminal thus held. All that can be done is to order the thief’s release, unmasking being the only permitted sanction.
- 4) The Dead could be required to communicate the stillness of death to people, or animals, the latter to assist hunting.
- 5) They might be used for hexing, communicating death, illness or insanity to the victim.
- 6) They can be instructed to protect the practitioner, their client or property.
- 7) The Dead, being beyond time, can be called upon to predict the future for the purpose of gambling. And they can influence the roll of dice etc.
- 8) They can also assist with hunting by conferring lethality to ammunition and assisting with aim.
- 9) The spirits of the Dead, being invisible, can share this power with the practitioner
- 10) A spirit of the Dead can be held in a box or bottle, or exchanged for a rune stone, so as to be handy to assist the practitioner.
- 11) By passing through Death in the form of a belt made of a corpse’s skin or sinew, the practitioner may transform into animal form
- 12) The practitioner must always return the bone, and therefore the spirit, to the churchyard.
SOLOMON’S CLAVIS Or Key to Unlock the Mysteries of Magic translated by Frederick Kockley (Half Bound in Leather Talismanic Limited Edition)
One of only 144 half bound in leather editions with a unique and original hand-drawn talisman, imbedded in the front cover, of the Jupiterian pentacle for a Game of Hazard.
“A Previously Unpublished Grimoire Available From Caduceus Books
Ebenezer Sibly, Solomon’s Clavis, or Key to Unlock the Mysteries of Magic, Society of Esoteric Endeavour 2008. 306pp of which 150pp carry text, the remaining being blanks. Every page is printed in full colour. Limited Edition of 144 copies each bearing a talisman embedded in the cover, bound in either full, half or quarter sheepskin leather, every copy is different. Page edges sprinkled.
Sibly wrote the original manuscript c.1800, translating its core from French but also writing many additions including a preface and the talisman designs. The text is entirely different from the Key of Solomon as translated and publishjed by McGregor Mathers. The occult bookseller John Denely (Mr. D. in Bulwer Lytton’s Introduction to Zanoni) sold Sibley’s manuscript for an extraordinary sum to the Duke of Wentworth but whilst in his possession he arranged for Frederick Hockley to make a copy. This copy was then sold to F. G. Irwin who placed his bookplate upon the preliminaries plus also a cut out of the catalogue description (Manuscript…copied from very rare original manuscript with diagrams exquisitely done by a professor). Whilst the scribe signs himself “R.C.” the handwriting can be confidently identified as Hockley’s. The books offered here are facsimile reproductions of Irwin’s copy, also reproducing his bookplate and the catalogue entry. It should be noted that each individual sheet of the original is reproduced, and then the book has been hand sewn in the same sections as the original. So, it is hard to tell from the pages that it is not the original manuscript. Irwin’s bookplate, plus the bookplate on the front pastedown that identifies it as a S.E.E. publication, are both printed on Griffin Mill handmade papers
As with previous S.E.E. publications there is no modern introduction or forward. A 21st viewpoint would jar with those of the original authors and scribe. The desire is to present these, bound in a manner respectful of their intents, so that the reader may establish their own relationship with the material. This relationship may range from scholarly research, and there is a great deal to investigate concerning this work, or else of practical magic.
The original 11pp preface by Sibly (or Sibley – both spellings occur) presents a passionate argument for the nobility and efficacy of magic worked through spirits. He cites Jacob Boehme as an authority.
The introduction describes how the talismans should be made, either on appropriate metals or on animal skin parchment, the animal being ritually slain and the skin specially prepared. An example of one of the talismans on animal skin vellum is embedded in the front cover of each book. The animal was not killed in the manner described however, for practical reasons the vellum was prepared in a particular fashion. Book covers receive a great deal of wear and there would normally be a worry that the design of the talisman would rub off. So a rare 18th century binding solution has been adopted. The vellum is cured to be translucent, the image, in reverse, is then placed on the side of the vellum that is against the book board, The design is clearly visible through the transparent vellum. Some modern readers will feel an understandable discomfort using an animal product in a talisman. Some of the books have the talisman printed in a conventional manner upon “vegetable vellum” which is a paper, made from natural plant products natural plant that is designed to have the same appearance as vellum. These particular copies have a “VEG” component in their order numbers.
Given the planetary natures of the talismans it was felt appropriate that the gilt decoration of the covers should show them encircled by stars. The cloth, sheepskin leather (an excellent binding material rarely used nowadays) and the textured endpapers were all chosen so as not to distract from the talisman itself. These are elegant and hauntingly executed by Hockley. They are also an important social document as to what magic Sibley was asked to do. Whilst the magic involves the respectful conjuration of noble planetary spirits there is an implied acceptance of human foibles, with talismans for the promotion of amorous affairs and games of chance. That said, none are overtly negative. There is no cursing of your neighbours to be found. The ones for good fortune in military affairs reflect the Napoleonic Wars then raging. Curiously there is one for protection against and freedom from slavery. Though some Barbary pirates kidnapped people from the West Country coast at this period, it is a surprise that people in c1800 England feared slavery. However further description of the talisman in the text makes it clear that transportation and bonded labour are also being referred to. We find that we know of these practices by their official euphemisms whilst those who had to fear them just called it slavery.`
The magic described is a curious mix The exposition of planetary hours, magic squares and so forth being quite mainstream and scholarly, whilst other aspects are of the nature of folk magic. The incenses are not, at all, vegetarian involving a curious mixture of body parts of various wild animals plus plants etc. The astrological considerations involve some star lore and occasional, apparently folkish application of lunar mansions. Also some named Jewish Cabalists are cited as an authority. Whilst the writers all consider the magic to be consistent with Christianity, and Christian powers are invoked, it is not in the Catholic, Ecclesiastical Underground tradition of the Grimoire of Pope Honorius or the Grimoire of the Spirit of the Place. In these works infernal beings are compelled to appear and obey by means of Christian powers. In Sibley’s Clavis of Solomon the powers invoked are noble spirits which are respectfully invoked.
Pomba Gira and the Quimbanda of Mbumba Nzila by de Mattos Frisvold, Nicholaj Edited by Peter Grey and Alkistis Dimech (This is a Deluxe, Quarter Bound in Leather and Silk in Custom Slipcase)
Rainha da Figueira do Inferno fine bound edition
Speckled crimson leather quarterbound, shot silk boards double marbled ends, slipcased. This is number 66 of 70.
Book is in fine condition, slipcase has some very light shelfwear else fine. Click on Images tab above for more pictures of this rare and unique item.
A significant study on the cult of Pomba Gira, this is the most comprehensive work in the English language on the Devil’s mistress, whose Brazilian cult has bewitched so many.
It is a book that those seeking congress with the current of strong female magical sexuality have long desired.
The hardback Salve Regina! edition of Pomba Gira is an octavo book of 232 pp lavishly illustrated with thirteen erotic studies in pen and ink by Enoque Zedro, and over forty of her pontos riscados. The boards are extravagantly dressed in red moire silk with a sunken letterpress panel depicting one of the Queens.
The lively typography and design capture the energy of this most feminine and coquettish of spirits. Also available in paperback and forthcoming digital editions.
A beguiling spirit, Pomba Gira gives solace to the broken hearted, vengeance for the wronged, and a fierce path for those that would take her as muse.
In Pomba Gira Frisvold gives explicit workings, baths and waters, her songs and chants. Her plant allies among the nightshades are described in a full herbarium. The attractions and dangers for both men and women who make cult to her are presented, as are her many faces. Pomba Gira has origins in the witchcraft of Portugal, the Basque Country as well as Congo and the native influences of Brazil.
The witchcraft fusion makes her cult particularly accessible to Westerners whose own traditions share much ground with Quimbanda.
Frisvold carefully unravels the skeins, revealing her origin in historical figures such as Maria Padilha, but more deeply still through archetype and myth to the very essence of her skin shedding nature.
He finds the origin of her name in Congo, the cult of divine possession amongst the slave camps of Brazil, and brings us through to her more modern manifestations and his personal work with the Queen of the Fig Tree in Hell. As an initiate and devotee, he gives an insider’s view with the same respect and experience he demonstrates in Palo Mayombe: The Garden of Blood and Bones.
We walk through the Queendoms of Lyre, Cemetery, Sepulchres, Streets, Crossroads, Wilderness, Soul, Oceanshore and Calunga.
The workings of twenty four different Pomba Giras are given, from Cigana the gypsy to the split skull face of Rosa Caveira.
Through the razor blades in honey, the cigarette smoke and the sweet anisette spilt in the graveyard, Pomba Gira takes seductive shape.
This is a first edition hardcover in fine unread condition
“A sure method must be elucidated on the matter of self-godhood and its attainment. The trickeries of sorcery and devotions of mysticism are but paths to the same palace, but ritual and prayer must be set aside and a straight line must be drawn from one point to the other.” – Ipsissimus
After providing a terrifying look into the most secret workings of the occult, and after divulging the methods by which man may have immense power over the physical world through spiritual methods, E.A. Koetting now unveils Ipsissimus: the one written work in existence which unabashedly draws the straight line between the upper and the lower, between the finite and the infinite; between man and God.
For over half a dozen years and six full-length books, Koetting has tempted his readers with the idea of Ascent – gradually and consciously developing the spiritual faculties to ever greater perfection, leading towards the realization of one’s own absolute godhood. Now, with Ipsissimus, all that has been eluded to is laid out in concise detail.
Taking his autobiographical teaching style to the extreme, Koetting presents his struggles with his own spiritual transformations, revealing the challenges that he has faced in confronting the furthest limits of human experience, and laying bare the emotional, psychological, and personal devastations and exaltations encountered on his path towards Mastery. Combined with his unique ability to make usable and practical to the average reader even the most esoteric practices, offering instructions, suggestions, and specific directions throughout, Koetting weaves Ipsissimus into both an intimate and gripping read, as well as possibly the most useful tome on the subject of spiritual transformation and Ascent.