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Jan 8 2012

Digital Scans of John Dee’s Enochian Manuscripts

Those interested in Enochian magic have often had to wade through books of dubious scholarship. Because the books were in (now archaic) English, Latin and some passages were written in the “Angelic” language Dee communed with the spirits in hack authors were attracted to the material because few would be able to critique their shoddy work. Viewing the originals was of course out of the question for most people.

I do not practice any sort of Enochian rituals and frankly have not met anyone who seriously pursued this practice so I can make no endorsements of any particular authors or translations. I have heard good things about Joseph Peterson’s John Dee’s Five Books of Mystery but the book is fairly expensive even in it’s Kindle edition which runs almost $40.

If you’re Latin and “Celestial Speech” is good enough some of Dee’s original writings are available to be viewed online courtesy of The Magickal Review. The serious student will enjoy pouring over these scans trying to make heads or tails of them. The average practitioner these days will shoot off some poorly worded emails demanding someone re-write the entire collection in text-speak, I’m sure.

h/t Grimoires

Dec 4 2011

The Wickedest Man in the World: A Short Documentary on Aleister Crowley

I have known several Thelemites (or Crowleyites as I call them) over the years and can tell you they’re much less exciting and sinister than you would think; though many are more pompous than you can imagine. Obviously I’ve met many more Wiccans, Pagans, “practitioners” etc who all had some strong feelings about Crowley and his work but knew very little about the man or his writings.

I often recommend people who want to understand Crowley through his own words read The Book of Lies and his novel Dairy of a Drug Fiend. But if you’re in the mood for some more sensational fare this short documentary encapsulates much of who Crowley was as opposed to the prophet like image his fans present. This is, at least, a good place to start any criticism of Crowley rather than relying on what you read on a Wiccan forum. Some things you’ll learn is how careless Crowley was with summoning spirits and how evil Crowley actually was. Pay particular attention to the mountain climbing incident,his treatment of his wife/medium Rose and his drug fueled sex cult.

Part I:

Part II:

Part III:

Oct 22 2011

Mysteries and Secrets of Magic by C.J.S. Thompson

First written in the 1920s this book doesn’t deal with the modern watered “magick” of today but instead is an overview of ancient and modern magical and ritual practices. Not a grimoire per se but this book gives insight and detail to the practice of magic before the advent of the “New Age” and the subsequent regeneration of magical practice.

Reprints are available on Amazon but for now there’s a free version on Scribd:

IGOS & Tahuti – Mysteries & Secrets of Magick

Jul 22 2011

Franz Bardon’s Practice of Magical Evocation

Bardon’s works are modern classics of Hermeticism that everyone should familiarize themselves with. His book The Practice of Magical Evocation is especially useful for any who are serious about ceremonial magic or just the theory behind crafting magical rituals. For something this intellectually dense I prefer a hard copy but as of now there is a complete copy up on Scribd. How long it’ll be up is anyone’s guess:

Franz Bardon – The Practice of Magickal Evocation

Oct 27 2010

Reader Question: Where Can I Find Electrum Magicum

I’m paraphrasing but to answer reader “Lilitu” who asked about a magical metal used to make bells that summon angels I believe you are thinking of Electrum Magicum. In E.M. Butler’s Ritual Magic it is mentioned in the chapter called The Faustian School.

The metal is formed by “melting in the prescribed order and with due regard to planetary aspects golf, silver, iron, copper, tin, mercury and lead, and mixing them together.” I have not tried such myself and know of no one who has but I have been in contact with people who make their own bullets and from that have gleaned that mixing the above metals is something that is practically impossible.

Butler mentions that the complete process can be found in two different magical chapbooks. One is Magia Divina which was published around 1745 the other was Magia Naturalis et Innaturalis. The latter is also noteworthy because it explicitly espouses the heretical view that the demons Magicians summon are both able to receive and desirous to receive forgiveness and salvation from Jesus Christ.

Magia Naturalis et Innaturalis was often claimed to be authored by Faust himself, a lucrative conceit that was common among chapbook printers at the time. Electrum Magicum in that book was formed into balls that were used to threaten demons, find buried treasure, unhex people, banish ghosts and do all the varied things Magicians used to do to earn a few coins. Magia Divina only gives instructions to make a bell that summons angels.

Outside of a museum or perhaps a university library I’m not sure where you could read the ritual. And I know of no reputable source that claims to have possession of or be able to make Electrum Magicum.Butler had access to the two while writing her book, but that was in the 1940s so checking with the universities she was affiliated with (Cambridge, I believe) may or may not pay off.

However, if you did figure out a recipe you need not break the bank building a workshop to melt and mix metals. As I said before the popularity of bullet making among shooters means cheap high speed melters and ingot molds are available in versions that can fit on a workbench. Hope that helps.

Good luck and have fun.

Sep 12 2010

Gareth Knight’s Magical Images and the Magical Imagination

Knight is a unsung hero in the occult and his books are worth reading though I honestly don’t put into practice much of his system, which is High Magic at it’s least or most pretentious depending on who you ask. However in terms of magical thought you’d do well to spend a week with some of his works. Magical Images and the Magical Imagination is a work of magical philosophy that has some use to all practitioners:

Knight, Gareth – Magical Images