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Vault of Adepts

Vault of Adepts by Jordon Stratford’s Laudanum Studios is a crowdfunding effort to create a game which is described as “Penny Dreadful meets Arkham Horror in this pen and paper RPG of secret societies in 1900 London. Occult schemes in the age of absinthe.”

“VAULT OF ADEPTS is a pen and paper Role Playing Game of secret societies set in 1900 London. These occult Lodges attracted the elite of London society — poets and politicians, actors and heiresses, alchemists and aristocrats scheming against a backdrop of cut glass, in the age of absinthe.

You play one of these eccentric characters, choose a faction and an agenda — do you want to proceed through the mystic Grades to achieve enlightenment? To take over? To destroy from within? – and speed from location to location to secure ancient knowledge, spread rumours, and foil your opponent’s efforts.

A séance gone horribly wrong. A gentleman approached after a Mason’s meeting with an inquiry if he’d be interested in something more…unconventional. A book dealer looking over an incoming tome, and knowing more than he lets on. Somewhere in London, between Scotland Yard and the Blind Beggar, is the key to someone’s lifelong obsession. Seek it out. But will you use it, sell it, or destroy it?”

Laudanum Studios Vault of Adepts 1900

Adept Magic in the Golden Dawn Tradition

Adept Magic in the Golden Dawn Tradition by Frater YShY, preface by Sandra Tabatha Cicero, foreword by Samuel Scarborough, from Kerubim Press, hardcover available directly from the publisher, paperback due for wide release in September, may be of interest.

Frater YShY Adept Magic in the Golden Dawn Tradition from Kerubim Press

“Within this tome are the secret instructional papers of a modern Golden Dawn order. The first half of the book contains an advanced exegesis of the Neophyte Ceremony using Lurianic Kabbalah, Freemasonry, modern Wicca and Greek mythology. The second half includes the author’s own application of the same magical formulae in his personal rituals. Among these are an example of his fusion of evocation and classical statue Theurgy, a careful interpretation and re-contextualisation of the Adept invisibility formula with new advanced visualizations, a Shamanic-style transformation ritual, and a higher genius or ‘higher self’ working that the author personally conducted over many years.” [via]

“Preface by Chic and Sandra Tabatha Cicero
Foreword by Samuel Scarborough
Introduction by Frater YShY
Chapter One: Zeta 1, Sephirotic Attributions to the Neophyte Hall
Chapter Two: Zeta 2, Planetary Attributions to the Neophyte Hall
Chapter Three: Zeta 3, Three Principal Officers
Chapter Four: Zeta 4, The Four Elements at the Equinox and Neophyte Ceremonies
Chapter Five: Zeta 5, Neophyte God-forms
Chapter Six: Zeta 6, The Hierophant’s Speech From the Throne
Chapter Seven: Zeta 7, The Seven Floor Officers as the Seven Planets
Chapter Eight: Zeta 8, The Zodiac and the Wheel of the Year
Chapter Nine: Zeta 9, Violence, Hazing and Power Struggles in Masonic and Magical Ritual
Chapter Ten: Zeta 10, The Ten Sephiroth Combined in Seven Palaces in the Neophyte Hall
Chapter Eleven: Solitary Z2 Workings
Z2 Yod: Planetary Evocation Ritual
Z2 Shin of Aleph: Invisibility Ritual
Z2 Shin of Mem: Transformation Ritual
Z2 Shin of Shin: Gathering the Divine Sparks, a Spiritual Development Ritual” [via]

Magick and the Occult. Including Limited and Deluxe Editions from Several Private Collections

Weiser Antiquarian Books Catalogue #123 is a collection on “Magick and the Occult. Including Limited and Deluxe Editions from Several Private Collections” and may be of interest.

The books in the catalogue are very varied, ranging from scholarly editions of mediaeval grimoires to working texts by modern practitioners. As is well-known, the last two decades have witnessed an upsurge in occult publishing, with many small presses producing limited and deluxe editions, a number of which are both splendid examples of the publisher’s craft, and talismans in their own right. This catalogue has an excellent selection of these very special works, including publications by Golden Hoard, Ixaxaar, Scarlet Imprint, Society for Esoteric Endeavour, Teitan Press, Xoanon Publishing and others. Many of the deluxe editions were produced in genuinely tiny editions, often less than 150 copies, and were specially-bound in exotic materials.

Scattered throughout these recent publications are a selection of interesting earlier works, including a charming early nineteenth century edition of Les admirables Secrets d’Albert le Grand, a first edition of the Arthur Edward Waite edited The Mysteries of Magic: A Digest of the Writings of Éliphas Lévi (1886), the Montague Summers edition of Ludovico Maria Sinistrari’s Demoniality (1927), the first edition of Leo Vinci’s GMICALZOMA! An Enochian Dictionary (1976) which includes the preface by Madeline Montalban that was omitted from later printings; along with various other works. [via]

Dark Enlightenment

Dark Enlightenment: The Historical, Sociological, and Discursive Contexts of Contemporary Esoteric Magic by Kennet Granholm, part of the Aries Book series, from Brill, may be of interest.

Kennet Granholm Dark Enlightenment from Brill

“In Dark Enlightenment Kennet Granholm explores the historical, sociological, and discursive contexts of contemporary esoteric magic. The book is focused on the Sweden-originated Left-Hand Path magic order Dragon Rouge in particular, but through a detailed contextualizing examination of this case study it offers a broader visage of contemporary esotericism in general. The author takes cue from both the historiography of Western esotericism and the sociological study of new religions and religious change, aiming to provide a transdisciplinary framework for a comprehensive study of esotericism in late modernity.” [via]

The Apocalypse of the Alien God

Apocalypse of the Alien God: Platonism and the Exile of Sethian Gnosticism by Dylan M Burns, in the Divinations: Rereading Late Ancient Religion series, from University of Pennsylvania Press, may be of interest.

Dylan M Burns Apocalypse of the Alien God from University of Pennsylvania Press

“In the second century, Platonist and Judeo-Christian thought were sufficiently friendly that a Greek philosopher could declare, ‘What is Plato but Moses speaking Greek?’ Four hundred years later, a Christian emperor had ended the public teaching of subversive Platonic thought. When and how did this philosophical rupture occur? Dylan M. Burns argues that the fundamental break occurred in Rome, ca. 263, in the circle of the great mystic Plotinus, author of the Enneads. Groups of controversial Christian metaphysicians called Gnostics (‘knowers’) frequented his seminars, disputed his views, and then disappeared from the history of philosophy—until the 1945 discovery, at Nag Hammadi, Egypt, of codices containing Gnostic literature, including versions of the books circulated by Plotinus’s Christian opponents. Blending state-of-the-art Greek metaphysics and ecstatic Jewish mysticism, these texts describe techniques for entering celestial realms, participating in the angelic liturgy, confronting the transcendent God, and even becoming a divine being oneself. They also describe the revelation of an alien God to his elect, a race of ‘foreigners’ under the protection of the patriarch Seth, whose interventions will ultimately culminate in the end of the world.

Apocalypse of the Alien God proposes a radical interpretation of these long-lost apocalypses, placing them firmly in the context of Judeo-Christian authorship rather than ascribing them to a pagan offshoot of Gnosticism. According to Burns, this Sethian literature emerged along the fault lines between Judaism and Christianity, drew on traditions known to scholars from the Dead Sea Scrolls and Enochic texts, and ultimately catalyzed the rivalry of Platonism with Christianity. Plunging the reader into the culture wars and classrooms of the high Empire, Apocalypse of the Alien God offers the most concrete social and historical description available of any group of Gnostic Christians as it explores the intersections of ancient Judaism, Christianity, Hellenism, myth, and philosophy.” [via]

Hands of Apostasy

Hands of Apostasy: Essays on Traditional Witchcraft, edited by Michael Howard and Daniel A. Schulke, in special and standard hardcover editions from Three Hands Press, and available for pre-order now, may be of interest.

Michael Howard Daniel A Schulke Hands of Apostasy from Three Hands Press

Old-style Craft, also known as traditional witchcraft, endures as a distinct body of archaic magical practices in present-day Britain, North America and Australia. Originally nameless, such bodies are related to a variety of historical magical streams, most notably the practices of the Grimoires or ‘black books’, folk-healing, and popular magic of the early modern era. Typically, such groups operate in secret, with strict means of initiatic succession, and practice sorcery characterized by a dual ethos of healing and harming. Though an internally contentious issue, the word witch is accepted as a descriptor for practitioners of this art, as is anti-witching for practices of removing curses and binding magical malefactors.

Though still obscure, even in occult circles, the variety and idiosyncrasy of Old Craft traditions is remarkable. The witches of Cornwall, with their corpora of folk charms and blessings, are one such phenotype. The Pickingill Craft as described by E.W. Liddell, remains despite its controversy one of the most unique and potent Craft persuasions, as do the teachings and practices of Robert Cochrane, founder of Clan of Tubal Cain. The Manx Old Order, the Skull and Bones tradition of Pennsylvania, and the Cultus Sabbati, with the medieval Witches’ Sabbath as an important organizing principle, are yet other distinctive traditions.

Hands of Apostasy is a groundbreaking witchcraft anthology presenting nineteen articles written by both scholars and practitioners, addressing such crucial Old Craft topics the Devil, Initiation, the relation of witchcraft to the grimoire corpus, the mysticism and magic of herbs, folk-charming, the nocturnal flight, the Romantic movement, the witches’ cauldron, and the powers of moon and tide. Representing widely-varying witchcraft traditions and perspectives, the book is a sound testament to the Craft’s history, diversity and strength, as well as the characteristic marks of an evolving and contemplative tradition. A complete list of essays and authors is found at right.

The work is profusely illustrated with a specially-commissioned set of illustrations by renowned Finnish engraver Timo Ketola, pleasing both sensus and spiritus. In his darkly opulent style evocative of nocturnal tableaux and forlorn landscapes, Mar. Ketola’s work for Hands of Apostasy is a stunningly original addition to the iconography of the witch. In conjunction with the book release we are also offering a limited edition print of Timo Ketola’s LUCIFER.”

“Authors and Essays
The Magic of History: Some Considerations
Andrew Chumbley

A Family Craft Tradition
Douglas McIlwain

Killing the Moon:
Witchcraft Initiations in the Mountains of the Southern United States
Corey Hutcheson

Pentacles of Wood
David Rankine

Moon-Raking in the Old Craft
Cecil Williamson

The Cauldron of Pure Descent
Martin Duffy

Spirits and Deific Forms: Faith and Belief in British Old Craft
Melusine Draco

Waking the Dead: The Ancient Magical Art of Necromancy
Michael Howard

The Witching Hour
Peter Hamilton Giles

The Man in Black
Gemma Gary

Origins and Rationales of Modern Witch Cults
Andrew Chumbley

Mirror, Moon and Tides
Levannah Morgan

The Traditional Witchcraft of Ellan Vannin
Manxwitch

Unchain the Devil!
Radomir Ristic

Where the Three Roads Meet:
Oneiric Praxis in the Sabbatic Craft
Jimmy Elwing

Pharmakeute:
Witches as the Plant People of Old Europe
Raven Grimassi

Conjure-Charms of the Welsh Marches
Gary St. Michael Nottingham

The Blasphemy of Things Unseen
Daniel A. Schulke

Romantic Age Roots of Traditional Witchcraft
Lee Morgan”

36 Faces

36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans by Austin Coppock, in deluxe and standard hardcovers as well as a trade paper edition from Three Hands Press, may be of interest.

Austin Coppock 36 Faces from Three Hands Press

There is a thread that runs through over four millennia of astrological and magical history, a cord that binds ancient Egypt with the Hellenistic world, the Arabian empire, India, the European Renaissance and even touches the present. That thread is the Decans, a division of the earth’s sky into 36 sections. These 36 ‘Faces of Heaven’ are more than just a curious footnote in the history of archaeo-astronomy. First emerging in ancient Egypt, they have moved with the corpus of Hermetic material, reincarnating in the starry wisdom of culture after culture.

Ostensibly a gear in astrology’s encompassing clockworks, the Decans have also long been a key to accessing legions of spirits. For several millennia and in multiple cultures, magicians have looked at these 36 faces and seen gods, choirs of angels, hordes of demons, and a host of daimones staring back at them, each with its own unique powers. Far from going undocumented, this gallery of faces has been painted and drawn by a host of astrologers, sorcerers and artists, and they can be found on walls of Italian villas as well as in the pages of grimoires.

Weaving together astrology and magic, divination and sorcery, time and sky, this thread of esoteric history deserves more than the footnotes it has so far received. In this work, Austin Coppock follows the Decans through history, charting their trajectory through time and culture. Using the ring of keys which history provides, the 36 doors are flung open, revealing their mysteries to magician and astrologer alike. Each decan, its image, and its specific powers are examined in detail, as well as its permutations in the planetary aspects. Featuring original images specially created for each Decan by Bob Eames, 36 Faces is an invaluable resource for magicians, astrologers, and historians of magical semiotics.