Archive for H. P. Lovecraft

New, Rare and Interesting Items This Week at Miskatonic Books

Posted in Miskatonic Books with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 28, 2014 by miskatonicbooks

To get ordering information on any title just click on the picture.

Many of the books we carry are rare and we have a very limited quantity. All books are sold on a first come first serve basis.  All books are available for layaway.

We are always interested in buying Esoteric, Occult, Freemasonry, Alchemy, Golden Dawn, Hermetics, Ceremonial Magic, Witchcraft, Religious, Philosophy and Lovecraftian fiction. Feel free to contact us at miskatonicbooks@me.com

 

New Arrivals:

We are very happy to announce that we just received the latest publication from Nephilim Press. Like all Nephilim Press titles we don’t expect this one to be in print for very long. Just click on one of the pictures below to secure your copy.

THE BOOK OF SMOKELESS FIRE by S. Ben Qayin (Limited Edition Hardcover)

One of only 500 hand numbered cloth bound copies with sewn in ribbon bookmark and pictorial endpapers. 

Book is in new unread condition.

 

“The work that is being presented in “The Book of Smokeless Fire” is based on a very little known and overlooked Solomonic text simply known as “Miscelaneo de Salomon”, which amazingly mirrors that of Lovecraft’s, “Necronomicon” both in content and history. It is an ancient and forbidden Arabian manuscript, that seems was later evolved into the Greek “Goetia” and gives the earliest known account of King Solomon and his binding of the seventy-two sinister Djinn he sealed away in the infamous brass container. 

In “The Book of Smokeless Fire”, the ancient manuscript has now been reworked into a completely new system, utilizing revolutionary evocation technology, to again call upon the ancient and destructive Djinn, whose names have been concealed for centuries…” 

 

Author S. Ben Qayin has outdone himself with this stunning interpretation and cohesive reworking of a long lost magickal discipline. The Book of Smokeless Fire is over 190 pages of pure magickal knowledge laid out in an easy to read format that really flows. With no fluff, filler, and no nonsense, Qayin manages to take what some have dabbled in and written about in the past and open it up into a fully workable system of magick.

 

 BACK IN STOCK and in short supply!!!

Also we just received more copies of:  The Holy Guardian Angel. On the practice and experience of the Holy Guardian Angel edited by Michael Cecchetelli (Limited Edition Hardcover).  We sold out of these very quickly and expect this second order to do the same. These will go on a first come first serve basis.

 

One of only 500 hand numbered hardcover limited edition copies! Book is in new unread condition. 

From the publisher: 

We did something different with this book. We sent out digital copies for review by practicing Occultists. They asked for no compensation and they will not receive anything from us. I thought that one review in particular really captured what the book is all about so well that I decided to include it here because I couldn’t do a better job of writing it up. It’s hard to improve on someone’s honest opinion. The following is taken from the Blog: The Digital Ambler, an Occult Blog. 

” Whether you’ve already had contact with your HGA, or even already reached the grade of Ipsissimus in the Golden Dawn, or even are a newcomer to Hermetic magic generally, Fr. MC’s book “The Holy Guardian Angel” is going to be a wealth of information and practice for you. It’ll give you things to look forward to if you don’t yet have contact with your HGA, and it’ll give you plenty to chew on if you already do (or think you do). The book is one of the closest things we have to a textbook on working with the HGA especially when paired with things like the Book of Abramelin or Liber Samekh, but it’s also definitely one of the most approachable texts out there. To see the words and minds of these magicians put together in a single volume on a complicated subject is a treat, both intellectually and spiritually, and definitely a must-have for ceremonial magicians. 

The text itself is 216 pages long, beautifully typeset and well-edited, making the reading of it a pleasure all on its own. The book is broken down into four parts: the nature of the HGA, what comes after contact and how to work with the HGA, different schools of thought about the HGA, and a whole section devoted to some of the important blog posts made during the 2011 pan-blogosphere debates on the HGA. Of course, MC himself is only one contributing author to the book, and that only in the final section; as he says in the introduction, he “realized no author had set about producing such a volume [on achieving K&CHGA], wherein are presented a diverse and varying cross-section of the beliefs on the subject, was because no single author could”. It’s a complicated subject with layers upon layers of interpretation, use, and philosophy, making writing such a book on such a spirit more daunting than any other series of tomes on almost any other part of magic.” 

I could not have said it better myself. Also Mike Cecchetelli has hand picked a group of celebrated Magicians for their expertise and ability to present even the most complex of subjects in a user friendly way that will be of great benefit to seasoned practitioner and novice alike. They are: 

• A Solar Spark of Light And Fire – Darren Scriven 
• Nine Pieces of Heart Advice For Those Seeking The HGA – Jason Miller 
• The Descended Angel – Scott Michael Stenwick 
• Never Again Alone – Rufus Opus 
• After Abramelin: Working With Your Holy Guardian Angel – Aaron Leitch 
• Passing Through The Void: Journey To Unite With Your HGA – Frater Ashen F.N.F. 
• The Voice of Light: The HGA In The Ogdoadic Tradition – Derik Richards 
• Knowledge and Conversation of The HGA: One Thelemites Perspective – Kevin Abblett 
• Holy Guardian Angel(s)? – Conjureman Ali 
• Holy Guardian Angels, Helpful Spirits and The Genius – MC 
• 2 Years Later – The HGA Revisited – MC 
And more.

 

VOLUBILIS EX CHAOSIUM: A Grimoire of the Black Magic of the Old Ones by S. Ben Qayin (Deluxe Bound in Goatskin Limited Edition)

Limited Deluxe Edition of 37 hand numbered copies. 133 Pages and Bound in full 
goatskin leather with blind stamping, banded spine and a genuine black silk ribbon marker. Printed on high quality paper and includes ceremonial diagrams and 5 full page hand mounted illustrations by the sinister artist Lucas Pandofelli. Each copy ritually consecrated and signed by the author. 

On the 75th anniversary of the passing of H.P. Lovecraft, Dark Harvest brings you Volubilis Ex Chaosium, a grimoire of the Black Magic of the Old Ones. 

“Howard Phillips Lovecraft through his classic works on the Cthulhu Mythos and Necronomicon introduced his cosmicism philosophy and system of forbidden knowledge to early 20th century readers. Regarded by many as one of the most influential authors of the 20th century, he was an avid and masterful storyteller, or as some believe a magician, in his own right. Decades after publication, his works have been the inspiration of many notables within the fantasy, science fiction, horror and occult genres. However, of particular interest is the system of dark magic employed throughout these works. Some have looked upon these works as occult fantasy, while others believe there is a much deeper meaning within the tradition of the magician storyteller passing down a complete system of dark magic to a selected novice capable of intuitively transcending beyond a mere storyline. To some who have examined the works of H.P. Lovecraft, there is an apparent logical and practical system of dark magic that can be assimilated. Throughout the years many have based their own works of occult fantasy and grimoires on the works of H.P. Lovecraft.” 

“In Volubilis Ex Chaosium, a new practical approach has been revealed, a key dedicated to the pursuit and practice of the dark system of magic as prescribed by Lovecraft throughout his works. Never before has the very practical foundation of this dark system been offered through any tome; where the flourishes and dramatic flights of fancy of the storyteller have been stripped away leaving a solid bedrock of practical dark magic for those who are so inclined to dare enter the dark realm of Chaos Magic from within their own ritual chamber. Make no mistake, Volubilis Ex Chaosium is by no means a study of Lovecraft’s dark system of magic, it is an instruction guide from the acquisition of the instruments of ritual to the conducting of actual rituals within this system.” 

- Dr. Robert Ing 

S. Ben Qayin, with his vast knowledge of dark occult matters spanning over decades, found Lovecraft’s work to be so compelling, that after careful study a complete practical system of dark magic became more than evident to him within. Just as the magician storytellers of bygone centuries ignited a dark flame within their charges, so too was the case of S. Ben Qayin, who was so moved by what he had found, there was little doubt this system of magic as told by Lovecraft had been obtained 
from beyond the mere imaginative genius of the storyteller 
alone. 

ADEPT’S GAMBIT: The Original Version by Fritz Leiber with Commentary by H.P. Lovecraft now shipping!!!

Posted in Miskatonic Books with tags , , , , on May 16, 2014 by miskatonicbooks

To get ordering information on ADEPT’S GAMBIT just click on any of the pictures below.

ADEPT’S GAMBIT: The Original Version by Fritz Leiber edited by S. T. Joshi (Signed limited edition hardcover)

NOW SHIPPING!

One of only 300 signed and numbered hardcover copies. Each copy is signed by the editor S. T. Joshi and hand numbered. Full color printed custom endpapers, foil stamping, and sewn binding. 
 
In 1936, the young Fritz Leiber wrote a 38,000-word novella entitled Adept’s Gambit and sent it to his new correspondent, H. P. Lovecraft. The older writer was thrilled at this sprawling narrative that mixed fantasy, sorcery, and historical fiction, and wrote an enormous letter expressing his praise and pointing out possible points that needed revision. Overall, however, Lovecraft was enthusiastic: “Certainly, you have produced a remarkably fine & distinctive bit of cosmic fantasy in a vein which is . . . essentially your own. The basic element of allegory, the earthiness & closeness to human nature, & the curious blending of worldly lightness with the strange & the macabre, all harmonise adequately & seem to express a definite mood & personality. The result is an authentic work of art.” 
 
For decades, it was believed that this version—which contains small but significant references to Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos—was lost. But the manuscript has recently surfaced, and it is now being published for the first time. This version differs radically from the later version published in Night’s Black Agents (1947), and represents a landmark in the development of Leiber’s fantasy career. As the first Fafhrd and Gray Mouser narrative, it will be of consuming interest to all devotees of Leiber’s work. 
 
This edition contains the complete, unabridged text of “Adept’s Gambit,” along with the complete text of Lovecraft’s letter commenting on it, as well as an introduction by S. T. Joshi providing background on the writing of the story. In all, this volume will find a cherished place among devotees of Fritz Leiber and H. P. Lovecraft. 

New, Rare and Interesting Items This Week at Miskatonic Books

Posted in Miskatonic Books with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 28, 2014 by miskatonicbooks

To get ordering information on any title just click on the picture.

Many of the books we carry are rare and we have a very limited quantity. All books are sold on a first come first serve basis.  All books are available for layaway.

We are always interested in buying Esoteric, Occult, Freemasonry, Alchemy, Witchcraft, Religious, Philosophy and Lovecraftian fiction. Feel free to contact us at miskatonicbooks@me.com

DAEMONOLOGIE of the King James (Deluxe HELLMOUTH Edition Quarter Bound in Snake-Skin) Only 25 produced!!!

25 copies quarter bound in snake-skin and cloth featuring a folding plate depicting the Hellmouth. Note, this folding plate only appears in the special Hellmouth edition. 

Readers familiar with the King James Bible will find this book on Demonology and Witchcraft of significant interest. The Daemonologie of King James came about due to the involvement of James VI of Scotland in the North Berwick witch trials. While traveling by ship the King’s journey was beset with an unexpected storm at sea which nearly sank the vessel and greatly delayed the voyage. The Danish admiral of the accompanying fleet blamed it on the wife of a Copenhagen official claiming it was revenge for an ill remark he had made to her. This led to the first major persecution of witches in Scotland. Many were investigated and confessions extracted by torture and provided damning details of Sorcery, Devilry and fantastic reports of the Witches Sabbath. The results of those confessions serve as a foundation of James’ text Daemonologie and he here explicates them in the form of three dialogues. Late 16th century attitudes about witchcraft, necromancy, sorcery and kindred arts are represented here. This work also serves as a monument of the terrible inhumanity society can be capable of. 

 NIGHTSIDE OF EDEN by Kenneth Grant (Hardcover Edition Still in Publisher’s Shrinkwrap!!!)

Nightside of Eden has been out of print now, for 20 years. It was the first ‘Qliphoth Grimoire’, which made a serious & detailed attempt, to decipher Aleister Crowley’s enigmatic Liber 231, which provided the seals/sigils of the 22 Qliphoth, that reside in 22 paths of the Tree of the Nightside (Death/Daath). Nightside of Eden has been the standard reference for Qliphothic exploration, since it was published in its 1st Edition format, in 1977. It influenced a generation of magicians & sorcerers, who experimented with the sigils provided, and sought to make contact with the qliphothic entities, in the tunnels of set. Some 36 years since the 1st edition was published, Nightside of Eden remains essential reading for anyone interested in working with the qliphoth. Many other publications have attempted to explore & explain qliphothic magick & sorcery. Very few have succeeded, and Nightside of Eden still towers above much of what has been published in recent years. With the recent publication of a new, & significant grimoire, titled The Book of Sitra Achra: A Grimoire of the Dragons of the Other Side (written by N.A-A. 218), now is definitely the time to ‘rediscover’, and re-examine, the grimoire that gave birth the Qliphoth Renaissance – Kenneth Grant’s Nightside of Eden. 

Book is in fine unread condition and is still in publisher’s original shrinkwrap!!!

THE FOURTH BOOK OF OCCULT PHILOSOPHY by Henry Cornelius Agrippa (Limited Edition Hardcover)

This is the first corrected edition of THE FOURTH BOOK OF OCCULT PHILOSOPHY by the noted Renaissance magician Henry Cornelius Agrippa. A student under the tutelage of Johann Trithemius who later took on the role of mentor to the famous Johann Wierus, Cornelius Agrippa has proven to be one of the most influential occultist in history. 

Professor Marc Huys has corrected, translated and annotated the Greek provided in the original edition of the Forth Boo and provided their sources for the modern reader. 

As has become the custom since the first English edition of this work in 1655, this volume includes the Heptameron or Magical Elements of Peter de Abano, the twelfth century esotericist. 

The artwork from the original edition has been restored for inclusion in the volume. We have included a selection of dedications by colleagues of the original editor along with the original preface to the book. 

One of only 1000 hardcover copies this being number 28 of 1000s. Book is in fine condition in a fine dust jacket. 

Back in stock and in short supply:

VOLUBILIS EX CHAOSIUM: A Grimoire of the Black Magic of the Old Ones by S. Ben Qayin (Hardcover Limited Edition)

Bound in green cloth with black foil stamping and stunning textured end papers. 133 pages. Printed on high quality paper and includes ceremonial diagrams and 5 full page illustrations by the sinister artist Lucas Pandofelli. Hand numbered and limited to 478 copies. 

On the 75th anniversary of the passing of H.P. Lovecraft, Dark Harvest brings you Volubilis Ex Chaosium, a grimoire of the Black Magic of the Old Ones. 

“Howard Phillips Lovecraft through his classic works on the Cthulhu Mythos and Necronomicon introduced his cosmicism philosophy and system of forbidden knowledge to early 20th century readers. Regarded by many as one of the most influential authors of the 20th century, he was an avid and masterful storyteller, or as some believe a magician, in his own right. Decades after publication, his works have been the inspiration of many notables within the fantasy, science fiction, horror and occult genres. However, of particular interest is the system of dark magic employed throughout these works. Some have looked upon these works as occult fantasy, while others believe there is a much deeper meaning within the tradition of the magician storyteller passing down a complete system of dark magic to a selected novice capable of intuitively transcending beyond a mere storyline. To some who have examined the works of H.P. Lovecraft, there is an apparent logical and practical system of dark magic that can be assimilated. Throughout the years many have based their own works of occult fantasy and grimoires on the works of H.P. Lovecraft.” 

“In Volubilis Ex Chaosium, a new practical approach has been revealed, a key dedicated to the pursuit and practice of the dark system of magic as prescribed by Lovecraft throughout his works. Never before has the very practical foundation of this dark system been offered through any tome; where the flourishes and dramatic flights of fancy of the storyteller have been stripped away leaving a solid bedrock of practical dark magic for those who are so inclined to dare enter the dark realm of Chaos Magic from within their own ritual chamber. Make no mistake, Volubilis Ex Chaosium is by no means a study of Lovecraft’s dark system of magic, it is an instruction guide from the acquisition of the instruments of ritual to the conducting of actual rituals within this system.” 

- Dr. Robert Ing 

S. Ben Qayin, with his vast knowledge of dark occult matters spanning over decades, found Lovecraft’s work to be so compelling, that after careful study a complete practical system of dark magic became more than evident to him within. Just as the magician storytellers of bygone centuries ignited a dark flame within their charges, so too was the case of S. Ben Qayin, who was so moved by what he had found, there was little doubt this system of magic as told by Lovecraft had been obtained 
from beyond the mere imaginative genius of the storyteller 
alone. 

KEYS OF OCAT by S. Connolly (Limited Edition Hardcover)

The Keys of Ocat reveals the never before published Saturn rites, seals, and theophantic gate opening rituals of Ocat, the abyssal gatekeeper of the dead. Behind His gates dwell the Daemons of death including Euronymous, Balberith, Bune, Hekate, Frucisierre, and many others. These blood magick rituals, talismans and seals will aid the advanced magician in conjuring Daemons to speak with the dead, commune with death, and discover the true meaning of mortality and spiritual immortality. Be forewarned, however, Ocat is not known to be a friendly gatekeeper to all magi who approach Him, and the Daemons behind His gates are some of the most terrifying of their nature. 

Both editions of The Keys of Ocat are 6″x9″, heavy cream, smythe sewn, archival quality paper. The LIbrary Edition, in only 450 copies, is bound in Red cloth and has gold foil stamping. 

There will also be a Funerary Templar Edition bound in full red Goatskin by a noted artisan binder. The price of these is yet to be determined as we have just had them commissioned. There very design is based on a set of requirements laid down by the author after consulting with several Necromantic Funerary Priests. Each one will include the bones of the sacrifices made to imbue the individual books with the ability to aid the owner in manipulating the currents of energy so described within its pages. The bones themselves should be kept with the book and the owners are encouraged to use them for divinatory practices. 

The Book of Abrasax. A Grimoire of the Hidden Gods by Michael Cecchetelli (Hardcover Limited Edition)

The Standard edition of 700 hand numbered copies is bound in a parsimony cloth, book has marbled gold and black end-papers and are smythe sewn for durability. Inside their covers lie over one hundred and fifty pages of heavyweight archival quality cream colored paper stock packed with information, sigils, signs, rituals, symbols, imagery,footnotes, bibliograhy and just about everything else you could ask for in a ground breaking work that recreates the intricacies of a lost ancient magical system. 

THE GRIMOIRE OF TIAMAT by Asenath Mason (First Edition Hardcover)

Tiamat is the Primal Dragon Goddess, “the first one, who gave birth to the gods of the universe”, the Mother of Everything, the self procreating womb, the source of all life and all manifestation. The work described in this book was inspired by the Babylonian epic known as the Enuma Elish, one of the oldest Creation myths in the world.

First Look at Our Next Publication ADEPT’S GAMBIT by Fritz Leiber edited by S. T. Joshi (Signed limited edition hardcover)

Posted in Miskatonic Books with tags , , , , on April 21, 2014 by miskatonicbooks

We expect these to start shipping in the next four weeks!

To reserve your copy click on any of the photos below.

ADEPT’S GAMBIT: The Original Version by Fritz Leiber edited by S. T. Joshi (Signed limited edition hardcover)

 

Book with dust jacket

In 1936, the young Fritz Leiber wrote a 38,000-word novella entitled Adept’s Gambit and sent it to his new correspondent, H. P. Lovecraft. The older writer was thrilled at this sprawling narrative that mixed fantasy, sorcery, and historical fiction, and wrote an enormous letter expressing his praise and pointing out possible points that needed revision. Overall, however, Lovecraft was enthusiastic: “Certainly, you have produced a remarkably fine & distinctive bit of cosmic fantasy in a vein which is . . . essentially your own. The basic element of allegory, the earthiness & closeness to human nature, & the curious blending of worldly lightness with the strange & the macabre, all harmonise adequately & seem to express a definite mood & personality. The result is an authentic work of art.” 

Foil stamping

 

For decades, it was believed that this version—which contains small but significant references to Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos—was lost. But the manuscript has recently surfaced, and it is now being published for the first time. This version differs radically from the later version published in Night’s Black Agents (1947), and represents a landmark in the development of Leiber’s fantasy career. As the first Fafhrd and Gray Mouser narrative, it will be of consuming interest to all devotees of Leiber’s work. 

Custom colored endpapers

This edition contains the complete, unabridged text of “Adept’s Gambit,” along with the complete text of Lovecraft’s letter commenting on it, as well as an introduction by S. T. Joshi providing background on the writing of the story. In all, this volume will find a cherished place among devotees of Fritz Leiber and H. P. Lovecraft. 

Text block

One of only 500 signed and numbered hardcover copies. Each copy is signed by the editor S. T. Joshi and hand numbered. Full color printed custom endpapers, foil stamping, and sewn binding. 

 

Viking Runes Deciphered

Posted in Miskatonic Books with tags , , , , on February 14, 2014 by chrisperridas

At Miskatonic Books we love old “books” whether they are made from paper, clay, rocks, or bones.

Professor Webb had been engaged, forty-eight years before, in a tour of Greenland and Iceland in search of some Runic inscriptions which he failed to unearth; and whilst high up on the West Greenland coast had encountered a singular tribe or cult of degenerate Esquimaux whose religion, a curious form of devil-worship, chilled him with its deliberate bloodthirstiness and repulsiveness. H. P. Lovecraft. Call of Cthulhu.

Now a detective story has been resolved as Viking runes have finally been deciphered and decoded.

It’s like solving a puzzle,” said Nordby to the Norwegian website forskning.no. “Gradually I began to see a pattern in what was apparently meaningless combinations of runes.” However, those thinking that the coded runes will reveal deep secrets of the Norse will be disappointed. The messages found so far seem to be either used in learning or have a playful tone. In one case the message was ‘Kiss me’. Nordby explains “We have little reason to believe that rune codes should hide sensitive messages, people often wrote short everyday messages.” In many instances those who wrote the coded runes also left comments urging the readers to try to figure it out. Sometimes they would also boast of their abilities at writing the codes.

The 13th-century Viking code had eluded scholars. K. Jonas Nordby, PhD student, cracked the mystery. He is a runologist working at the University of Oslo. The “Jötunvillur code,” which is present on over 80 Norse inscriptions had long baffled scholars.

saythesecretword

He believes that the secret messageis: “Kiss me.” The graffiti was on 700-year-old stick on which two men, Sigurd and Lavrans, carved their names and wrote the brief message “Kiss me.”

Nordby acknowledged that there is a playful element to these runes, many of which, when cracked, amount to their authors boasting how difficult their ciphers are to crack.

“People challenged one another with codes. It was a kind of competition in the art of rune making. This testifies to a playfulness with writing that we don’t see today,” says Nordby.

Nine of the 80 or so coded runic writings that Nordby has investigated are written in the jötunvillur code. The others are written in coded runes with the aid of the Caesar cipher, a system involving a shift to letters a few places away in the alphabet. This and another code have been understood by researchers for some time.

Being good at writing and breaking codes ensured a certain amount of status, and people bragged about their proficiencies. On the Orkney Islands, for instance, someone wrote in code: “These runes were carved by the most rune-literate man west of the sea”.

Henrik Williams, a professor at Uppsala University’s Department of Scandinavian Languages and a Swedish expert on runes, says that Nordby’s discovery is important.

 

A Magickal Worldview (1898)

Posted in Miskatonic Books with tags , , , , , , , , on February 4, 2014 by chrisperridas

Below is a fascinating pair of articles on now almost lost magickal folklore. It also contrasts the emerging rationalist viewpoint which in bashing the magickal worldview, also preserved it for historians. John Wesley Powell (1834-1902), the subject of the article, was a powerful figure and was notable for founding the National Geographic Society, and thus created a different kind of modern kind of mythology.

In this, case, however, Powell’s book seems to bash the “primitive” sense of magick for the rationalist and scientific worldview. As a professional ethnologist, he preserved many wonderful magickal stories, but he was in essence a folklorist and mythologist with that bent of mind.

What is also fascinating is how the regional newspapers ripped out the essence of the Boston Transcript’s story, and kept the Indian narratives in order to sensationalize and sell newspapers. These papers seemed to relish the chance to bash savages and their “primitive ways”.

Both versions are posted below. Additional references are also listed for your perusal.

Those of you who, along with Miskatonic Books, enjoy contemplating the magickal viewpoint please excuse the prejudices and perjoratives of the era and enjoy the narratives.

Those of you who are Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith fans, note the interesting parallels with Yig and Tsatthogua.

arizona-rock_824_990x742

Boston Evening Transcript
10 December 1898
Page 24

GHOSTS AND THEIR HABITS
—–
Chief of Bureau of Ethnology Prints a Spook Book.
—–
Facts About the Evolution of Phantoms – The Ghost of the Savage, and the Civilized Spectre – Weird House of the Ancient of Serpents in Arizona – A Demoniac Residence in Southern California
—–
Washington, Dec. 9 {1898}
—–

“What I know About Ghosts,” would be an appropriate title for a work that is on the point of publication by the director of the Bureau of Ethnology, Major J. W. Powell {i.e. John Wesley Powell}. It is a book on the theory of phantoms, and it traces the evolution of those creepy things up out of the night time, showing how they arrived at their present condition of development. There is ever so much other wisdom in this admirable volume, which is called “Truth and Error,” but just now it will suffice to speak of spectres proper.

Ghosts it would appear, are extremely ancient. In fact, the people of old, who dwelt in caves and were on social terms with the wooly rhinoceros wee acquainted with a variety of them immensely greater than is known nowadays. Modern spectres are a degenerate breed, quite rare and exhibiting little differentiation. Most of them appear in an aimless sort of way, clad as in life, and glide on and off the scene like magic-lantern pictures, though now and then a comparitively husky spook does turn up in a winding-sheet and drag a few links of clanking chain across the floor.

Primeval man, on the other hand, was surrounded by phantoms; he moved in a world so thickly populated with them that it was only with the utmost difficulty that he could get about in safety. It is the same way, says Major Powell, with the savage of today, by whom all lower animals, stones, bodies of water, the sun, the moon, and the stars are supposed to have ghosts, which can leave their bodies and journey through the world. When a man sleeps, his phantasm, which cannot sleep, goes a-traveling. So, likewise, when the bodies of the rocks are at reast, their ghosts shine in the heavens as the aurora borealis. If you strike one rock with another, you can see the ghost as a spark of fire. When the clouds gather, they are the ghosts of water.

Now some of these spectres are decidedly interesting. For example, fifty miles to the southwest of Tucson, Ar., is a dreary region of desert, a rugged butte of roughly conical shape rises abruptly from the plain and points like a finger toward the sky. Here and there its sides are pitted with caverns, and altogether its appearance is so weird that it is no wonder the Papago Indians of the region regard it with superstitious awe. It is called Rattlesnake rock because the ancient of all the Rattlesnakes makes his home inside of it. This fact is known positively because he has been seen many times. The butte is a sacred place and nobody ventures near it under ordinary circumstances, but candidates for aboriginal “diplomas” as medicine men sleep on it overnight after fasting for a long time, and the big serpent comes out and leads them into the rock, where in an immense hollow chamber all sorts of potent things, such as snakes’ skins, birds’ claws, etc., are hung up. The uses of these for magical and curative purposes he teaches to the novice, who is thereafter regarded by his people as graduated in the arts of healing and sorcery.

On the field of the flight of Wounded Knee there was picked up an Indian baby not more than 3 months old, a little girl. She was found strapped to the back of her dead mother, who was shot in the massacre. General Colby adopted the child, to whom the name Zintka Lanuni (Lost Bird) was given and reared her as his daughter. Although the little girl neither knows nor remembers any conditions other than those of civilization, she has evinced one very notable inherited trait – namely, a fear of shadows. She is greatly afraid even of her own shadow, and this would seem very surprising were it not known that Indians, like most other savages, regard a shadow as the ghost of the person or other object by which it is thrown.

The rules of conduct by which a savage must govern his life are vastly more complex than those which control a civilized man. This is because of the multitude of ghosts which surround him on every side. The civilized man considers that he is doing what is required of him if he does not disturb the comfort of his neighbors, but the Indian is obliged to behave himself in a satisfactory way in respect to rocks, in respect to deer, in respect to the moon, and so on ad infinitum. He has an infinite number of neighbors, all of whom are none the less real to him because they are phantoms to us. For example, a certain line of conduct must be fulfilled by him in respect to rabbits; otherwise he would not be bale to catch any rabbits. The great ancient of rabbits permits some of his representatives to be captured only on the condition that certain forms shall be carefully observed by the captors.

Every tribe of Indians has its ghost places or devil places, which are haunted localities. In the country of the Tulare Indians in southern California is an enormous granite bowlder {sic} which is believed to be inhabited by witches. It is known as Witch rock, and nobody, least of all children, ventures to approach it. In the lower part of it is a curious opening, which has the shape of a cavern, and here the witches are supposed to dwell. Not far distant is a pool which is supposed to be occupied by the Devil. The waters of the pool are dark, being stained with some vegetable amtter, and close by is a mineral spring, which lends additional mystery. That the Devil does actually live in the pool is indisputable, because practically every member of the tribe has seen him. They go, a number of them together, and hold each other’s hands while they watch for him in the water. He is always there, watching for somebody to come along to be gobbled up.

There does not seem to be any evidence to show that a monkey ever saw a ghosty. That is because the monkey possesses no imagination. Without imagination there can be no ghost. The man and the ghost must have begun to exist in the world together, practically. To the primeval savage, as to the Indian of today, everything had its phantasmal essence, so to speak, and the essence was more important than the external properties of the object. From this point of view a thing has a tangible shell, but within it is contained a potency of spirit. This latter is the ghost, which is at liberty to leave the object when it wishes. Of course the savage has a ghost of his own, of which he is vaguely conscious.

Among the most appalling spooks that haunt the Iroquois is a carnivorous ghost in the shape of a skeleton. Particularly malevolent spirits are certain huge heads without bodies that go flying about, their long hair serving them in lieu of wings. The Indians generally believe in supernatural beings corresponding to our fairies and goblins, which have local abiding places well recognized as such. They call them the “little people.”

Near the junction of the Illinois and Mississippi rivers is a great rock, on which is carved the representation of a panther. Up to a very recent period, and until the Indians were driven out of that part of the country, they made sacrifices regularly t this sculptured animal, believing that the rock was the home of the Ancient of all the panthers. This custom of theirs was evidently quite old, inasmuch as it is referred to by Marquette. {Presumably Jesuit Father Jacques Marquette, 1637-1675}

Formerly there dwelt under Niagara falls a gigantic snake, which now and then would make its way to an Indian village in the neighborhood and coil itself around the town. It swallowed the people who tried to escape and rendered itself further obnoxious by poisoning the wells with its spittle. Finally the serpent was destroyed by a stratagem. It was so huge that when the people laid its body out in death it stretched over more than twenty arrows flights. Indeed when thrown into the river it was too large to pass the rocks, so that it became wedged in between them, and the waters rose over it, thus fashioning the horseshoe, which remains to this day.

The Cherokees are very much afraid of certain mythical horned alligators which are supposed to reside in several different places in deep holes in the rivers. There is one locality in Oklahoma where a creature of this description has an underground tunnel from one river to another. In the southern Allegheny region on the dividing ridge is an enchanted lake that is the haunt of several monstrous animals possessed of magic powers. One of these is a great snake, which has the power of fascinating its human victim, and it is so poisonous that a single drop of its spittle falling upon a person is death. Equally formidable is an enormous leech which lives in the Hiwassee river, in the same country. Occasionally a certain ledge of rock is exposed when the water is low, and any one who attempts to walk across it is inevitably sucked down.

In the Indian mythology nearly every animal is descended from an ancestral giant of ferocious and dangerous attributes, which was finally destroyed by some tribal hero. The Klowas, for example, say that the deer used to be a terrific creature – more so, indeed, than the panther, being equally fierce and with superior running poers. In New Meico is, or rather was, a lake, now long dried up. When the Indians first came to that part of the country many of them who ventured to approach the lake were dragged into it and destroyed by a mysterious agency. But at length there came along a god who dried up the water and found at the bottom of it an enormous frog, which was responsible for the mischief. There were also a great many little frogs, but they were left uninjured, being harmless, as theya re today.

Near the head of the Savannah River are the famous Talula Falls. It has been well known for centuries that the Thunder Spirit lives beneath these falls, and its roaring may constantly be heard in the noise of the ctaract. Indeed, this is a world full of spooks, from the aboriginal view-point, and yet ghosts of human beings are rarely heard of among the Indians. This is largely because the Indians never speak of the dead under any circumstances, and the phantoms of their relatives and friends would be unpopular with them.

“Truth and Error,” as major Powell’s book is entitled, is by no means devoted wholly to ghosts. the author considers all delusions and mistakes in thinking under the head of ghosts, and his work is a sort of résumé of the condition of the human knowledge up-to-date. It is, in fact, an epoch-making series of philosophical essays.

Rene Bache

{Presumably this is journalist René Bache, 1861-1933}

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2249&dat=18981210&id=Pgs0AAAAIBAJ&sjid=ESMIAAAAIBAJ&pg=6326,4687308

_____

(A typical reprint. Much has been excluded, including any reference to the John Wesley Powell book. Only the folklore is preserved, and that in a sensational way once divorced from teh context. Some liberties and abbreviations were taken in the reprint, as can be seen below. This article was the one originally located, and then subsequently the original was uncovered.}

Aurora Daily Express *
20 March 1899

ODD INDIAN BELIEFS

Every Tribe Has Its Own Devil Places and Ghosts

Witches and Spooks Play a Prominent Part In the Lives of the Savages – The Gigantic Snake Which Formed Niagara Falls

Fifty miles to the southwest of Tucson, A. T., {i.e. Arizona Territory} is a dreary region of desert – a rugged butte of roughly conical shape rises abruptly from the plain and points like a finger toward the sky. Here and there its sides are pitted with caverns, and altogether its appearance is so weird that it is no wonder the Papago Indians of the region regard it with superstitious awe. It is called Rattlesnake rock because the ancient of all the Rattlesnakes makes his home inside of it. This fact is known positively because he has been seen many times. The butte is a sacred place and nobody ventures near it under ordinary circumstances, but candidates for aboriginal “diplomas” as medicine men sleep on it overnight after fasting for a long time, and the big serpent comes out and leads them into the rock, where in an immense hollow chamber all sorts of potent things, such as snakes’ skins, birds’ claws, etc., are hung up. The uses of these for magical and curative purposes he teaches to the novice, who is thereafter regarded by his people as graduated in the arts of healing and sorcery.

On the field of the flight of Wounded Knee there was picked up an Indian baby not more than 3 months old, a little girl. She was found strapped to the back of her dead mother, who was shot in the massacre. General Colby adopted the child, to whom the name Zintka Lannui (Lost Bird) was given and reared her as his daughter. Although the little girl neither knows nor remembers any conditions other than those of civilization, she has evinced one very notable inherited trait – namely, a fear of shadows. She is greatly afraid even of her own shadow, and this would seem very surprising were it not known that Indians, like most other savages, regard a shadow as the ghost of the person or other object by which it is thrown.

The rules of conduct by which a savage must govern his life are vastly more complex than those which control a civilized man. This is because of the multitude of ghosts which surround him on every side. The civilized man considers that he is doing what is required of him if he does not disturb the comfort of his neighbors, but the Indian is obliged to behave himself in a satisfactory way in respect to rocks, in respect to deer, in respect to the moon, and so on ad infinitum. He has an infinite number of neighbors, all of whom are none the less real to him because they are phantoms to us. For example, a certain line of conduct must be fulfilled by him in respect to rabbits; otherwise he would not be bale to catch any rabbits. The great ancient of rabbits permits some of his representatives to be captured only on the condition that certain forms shall be carefully observed by the captors.

Every tribe of Indians has its ghost places or devil places, which are haunted localities. In the country of the Tulare Indians in southern California is an enormous granite bowlder {sic} which is believed to be inhabited by witches. It is known as Witch rock, and nobody, least of all children, ventures to approach it. In the lower part of it is a curious opening, which has the shape of a cavern, and here the witches are supposed to dwell. Not far distant is a pool which is supposed to be occupied by the devil. The waters of the pool are dark, being stained with some vegetable amtter, and close by is a mineral spring, which lends additional mystery. That the devil does actually live in the pool is indisputable, becuase practically every member of the tribe has seen him. They go, a number of them together, and hold each other’s hands while they watch for him in the water. He is always there, watching for somebody to come along to be gobbled up.

To the primeval savage, as to the Indian of today, everything had its phantasmal essence, so to speak, and the essence was more important than the external properties of the object. From this point of view a thing has a tangible shell, but within it is contained a potency of spirit. This latter is the ghost, which is at liberty to leave the object when it wishes. Of course the savage has a ghost of his own, of which he is vaguely conscious.

Among the most appalling spooks that haunt the Iroquois is a carnivorous ghost in the shape of a skeleton. Particularly malevolent spirits are certain huge heads without bodies that go flying about, their long hair serving them in lieu of wings. The Indians generally believe in supernatural beings corresponding to our fairies and goblins, which have local abiding places well recognized as such. They call them the “little people.”

Formerly there dwelt under Niagara falls a gigantic snake, which now and then would make its way to an Indian village in the neighborhood and coil itself around the town. It swallowed the people who tried to escape and rendered itself further obnoxious by poisoning the wells with its spittle. Finally the serpent was destroyed by a stratagem. It was so huge that when the people laid its body out in death it stretched over more than 20 arrows flights. Indeed when thrown into the river it was too large to pass the rocks, so that it became wedged in between them, and the waters rose over it, thus fashioning the horseshoe, which remains to this day.

The Cherokees are very much afraid of certain mythical horned alligators which are supposed to reside in several different places in deep holes in the rivers. There is one locality in Oklahoma where a creature of this description has an underground tunnel from one river to another. In the southern Allegheny region on the dividing ridge is an enchanted lake that is the haunt of several monstrous animals possessed of magic powers. One of these is a great snake, which has the power of fascinating its human victim, and it is so poisonous that a single drop of its spittle falling upon a person is death. Equally formidable is an enormous leech which lives in the Hiwassee river in the same country. Occasionally a certain ledge of rock is exposed when the water is low, and any one who attempts to walk across it is inevitably sucked down. In the Indian mythology nearly every animal is descended from an ancestral giant of ferocious and dangerous attributes, which was finally destroyed by some tribal hero.

{* Note. There are many reprints of this item in newspaper archives in 1899. Some are abbreviated versions. The Boston Evening Transcript of 1898

Also see reference at: http://www.devilspenny.com/2010/08/some-native-american-ghosts/

_____

Other references

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1928&dat=18990210&id=waogAAAAIBAJ&sjid=SmkFAAAAIBAJ&pg=684,1584018

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=142&dat=18990414&id=FSENAAAAIBAJ&sjid=Q2cDAAAAIBAJ&pg=1448,3617908

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2329&dat=18990320&id=vIEoAAAAIBAJ&sjid=uwUGAAAAIBAJ&pg=4899,6438136

https://archive.org/stream/truthanderroror00unkngoog#page/n194/mode/2up

New, Rare and Interesting Items This Week at Miskatonic Books

Posted in Miskatonic Books with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 29, 2014 by miskatonicbooks

To get ordering information on any title just click on the picture.

Many of the books we carry are rare and we have a very limited quantity. All books are sold on a first come first serve basis.  All books are available for layaway.

We are always interested in buying Esoteric, Occult, Freemasonry, Alchemy, Witchcraft, Religious, Philosophy classic horror and Lovecraftian fiction. Feel free to contact us at miskatonicbooks@me.com

MYTHS AND LEGENDS OF OUR LAND 2 vol set by Charles M. Skinner (1986 custom half bound leather edition) One of Lovecraft’s Favorites!

Book Description: J. P. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia, 1896. First edition. Two small octavo volumes. 318; 335, [1] pp. plus eight full page photographic illustrations (including one of Yellowstone and one of a Moqui village). Title pages printed in red and black. Of special interest is the chapter in the second volume called “On the Pacific Slope” in which myths on “The Cascades and the Columbia”; “The Queen of Death Valley”; and “Bridal Veil Fall” are explored.

A copy of the set was much loved by the American author H.P. Lovecraft who used it as a guide and resource for many story ideas.

Both books are in very good condition: Free of markings or marginalia. Handsomely and skillful rebound at some point in the past. Never a library set.

THE SCORPION GOD by Mark Alan Smith (Signed Limited Edition Hardcover) Import

The standard edition is bound in shimmering mahogany silk and embossed in gold with the seal of the Book of Forbidden Wisdom and limited to only 999 signed and numbered copies. Printed on thick high quality paper and finished with black endpapers. Twelve powerful full page illustrations. Each copy of this edition will be individually consecrated by the author in order to open the gateways within the book through which the spirits of the Atlantean current may once again flow, unbound, in the world of man. Book is in new unread condition

2012 marks the changing of the aeon. It is the dawn of the Age of the Lightbearer. The Forbidden Gnosis and Power of Belial is manifested within the pages of The Scorpion God to herald this era of Re-Awakening and the return, in full, of the Primal Atlantean Current which empowered the Ancient Witchcraft, the First Faith of man.

The third volume of the Trident consists of the Six Books of the Forbidden Wisdom of Belial, which open the gates of the Depths to the soul who follows the Path of Flames in search of the Three Great Crowns of Divinity. As Lord of the Heights and the Depths, Belial grants keys to the hidden power of the Atlantean realm. The Gates of Amenta are opened both within the soul and throughout the inner planes, allowing the adept to follow the Path of Lucifer’s Flames as it descends into the realm of the Gods of the first incarnate race. Assimilation, at soul level, of the power of the Scorpion Godform of Belial is granted in order to facilitate this transition. This is the culmination of the Path of Flames which leads the Godsoul, forged from the spirit of man, beyond the Gate of Souls and back to the throne of Hecate.

THE ALTAR OF SACRIFICE by Mark Alan Smith (Signed limited edition hardcover) Import

One of only 999 signed and numbered hardcover copies. Book is in new unread condition

The First Volume of The Way of Sacrifice

Bound in black faux suede with copper lettering to spine and copper seal to upper board, 6 full page artworks. Over 150 seals and glyphs of the Arte, Note pages at rear. The Blood Pact edition, limited to 999 copies hand-numbered & consecrated by the author. This copy also signed by the author on the limitation page. “The Altar of Sacrifice” is the first volume of Smith’s new trilogy “The Books of the Way of Sacrifice”, a closely woven trilogy which consists of three inner books, “each revealing legendary power of the Olde Ways, attained through the Arte of Bloody Sacrifice. This is not solely a book of the Sacrificial Arte. It is the first gate, manifested and opened in blood, through which the Trident Kin reveal the Apocalyptic Keys. Created from flesh in bloody sacrifice, these keys unleash the Wrath of the Gods. The Volumes of Sacrifice are forged from a practice that was born of gnosis received beyond the Gates of the Final Judgment of the Soul, a pact undertaken in free will by the author with Lucifer, in the name of Hecate.

KEYS OF OCAT by S. Connolly (SIGNED Leather Bound Devotee Edition)

The Keys of Ocat reveals the never before published Saturn rites, seals, and theophantic gate opening rituals of Ocat, the abyssal gatekeeper of the dead. Behind His gates dwell the Daemons of death including Euronymous, Balberith, Bune, Hekate, Frucisierre, and many others. These blood magick rituals, talismans and seals will aid the advanced magician in conjuring Daemons to speak with the dead, commune with death, and discover the true meaning of mortality and spiritual immortality. Be forewarned, however, Ocat is not known to be a friendly gatekeeper to all magi who approach Him, and the Daemons behind His gates are some of the most terrifying of their nature.

The Keys of Ocat DEVOTEE EDITION is 6″x9″, heavy cream, smythe sewn, archival quality paper. It is bound in Red Leather with a shallow embossing of a necromantic formula on the cover. Limited to 200 copies, contains a silver place marker ribbon and each one was autographed by the author during a special consecration ceremony.

A GATHERING OF MASKS by Robert Fitzgerald (Limited Edition Hardcover)

Aleister Crowley’s obscure Liber 231 remains one of his most enigmatic received magical texts, and one whose genesis directly concerns the workings of astral magic and trance-mediumship. A Gathering of Masks is the summation of direct magical workings with the Genii of the Domes, the spirits governing the revealed mystery of Liber 231, and serving as the wards of the Major Arcana of the Tarot. Fulfilled by the author over a period of a decade, the twenty-two evocations of the Genii of the Domes reveal a patterning of power and gnosis heretofore little-explored in the practice of the Art Magical.

The book commences with the author’s Introduction, entitled “By Seal and Sphere: A Treatise on Astral Magic”. The heart of the work is comprised of twenty-two oracles, each of which is accompanied by a commentary and a unique Queen Scale sigil derived from the Work. The book also includes several illustrations by artist-author Barry William Hale of Fulgur Limited. Of interest to scholars of Thelema and practitioners of ceremonial magic, Gathering stands as an outré magical record of the Divinatory Art.

The book is 128 pages, octavo format, with three full-page illustrations and 22 magical diagrams. It was published in two editions:

Standard hardcover cloth with letterpress dust jacket, limited to four hundred sixty-two copies. Book is in unread condition.

IDOLATRY RESTOR’D: Witchcraft and the Image of Power by Daniel A Schulke (Limited Edition Hardcover)

Cloth bound hardcover of only 396 hand numbered copies. Book is in new condition.

The translation of magical power to image is a matter well understood in so-called ‘primitive’ sorcery, in which occurs a mutual embodiment of re-presentation and the Represented. The Fetish, for example, apprehends a reciprocal process between Object and Creator that often begins long before chisels and adzes are set to wood, participating in its own reification. Many of these eldritch forms of image-making were concerned with accessing power, and it was only later, in the context of religious devotion, that their forms densified into ‘mere’ idols. With increasing levels of religious control over art, a Moiré pattern arises between the Artist and the forces of the Divine, which may either suppress individual visionary power in favor of canonized icons, or, when correctly accessed, give rise to an ‘heretical creativity’.

Witchcraft, because of its syncretic nature, partakes in multiple infusions of traditional image-making lore, including not only sorcery and religious iconography, but also science, craftsmanship, and the fine arts. However, because much of its images are used privately, and indeed created for a limited set of observers, they participate in a concentrated alembic of exposure wherein all who experience them do so in the context of magical practice and devotion. This intensity of private magical interaction provides a locus which enables the image to transcend its medium —and indeed that fetish known as ‘icon’— and generates living numen.

First published as an essay in the British folklore quarterly The Cauldron in 2009, Idolatry Restor’d drew upon the experiential arenas of magical practice and Image-Artistry which came to inform Schulke’s book Lux Haeresis (Xoanon, 2011). Here substantially expanded with illustrations prepared especially for the work, Idolatry Restor’d is a book of engaging fascinum for both Artists and Beholders alike, and strikes at the heart of magical image-aesthesis.

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