Tag Archives: three hands press

Clavis Journal, Vol 3: Cipher and Stone

Clavis Journal, Vol 3: Cipher and Stone from Ouroboros Press and Three Hands Press, due in September, but available for pre-order, in standard and deluxe editions, may be of interest.

Clavis Journal 3

“At 216 pages, the new volume of Clavis features an outstanding grouping of authors and image-makers. Articles in this issue include ‘Our Lady Babalon and Her Cup of Fornications” by Gordan Djurdjevic, and esoteric astrologer Austin Coppock’s paean to dark and baneful starlight, “Death From Above”. Three adepts of the German magical order Fraternitas Saturni give voice to the magisterial arcanum of Saturn in the article ‘Listening to the Voice of Silence’. We are pleased to include ‘Rite of the Graal Evolute’, a previously unpublished ritual and art by the late English magus and scholar Andrew D. Chumbley. Gemma Gary invokes Bucca, the Cornish Witch-God in image, rite and magical exposition; Robert Hull examines the Qabalah of Quantum Physics in ‘Unity and Division’. Michael Howard explores the role of the first artificer of metal in ‘Masonic Mysteries of Tubal-Cain’, and Henrik Bogdan considers the esoteric role of Secrecy, the very flower of the Occult itself, in occult orders. In addition, we are also pleased to include rare occult texts relating to cheiromancy, witchcraft and the lore and magic of Mandragora – the Shrieking Root of the sorcerers.

CLAVIS 2 journal features haunting and provocative visuals from many contemporary artists imaging the esoteric: by Benjamin Vierling, Madeline von Foerster, Richard Kirk, Carolyn Hamilton-Giles, Tom Allen, Hagen von Tulien, Jamie Sweetman, Billy Davis, John Kleckner, Carlos Melgoza, Joseph Uccello, Raven Ebner, Brigid Marlin, Timo Ketola, Ilyas Phaizulline‏, José Luis Rodríguez Guerra, and many more.”

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.

Wisht Waters

Wisht Waters: Aqueous Magica and the Cult of Holy Wells by Gemma Gary, Occult Monograph No. 5, in standard and deluxe hardcover editions from Three Hands Press, may be of interest.

Gemma Gary Wisht Waters from Three Hands Press

Curse tablets, defixiones, were formed from sheets of lead, inscribed with the ill intent of the curse, and the name of the victim. The tablet would often be rolled, or folded, before being stuck through with a nail; a magical act of defigo; ‘pinning down’ or ‘fixing’ one’s will and intent upon the target of one’s work. Such an act is not isolated to malefic working, and is cognate with the ‘creative act’ and fertility; giving life unto the magician’s will. In curse magic however the act embodies the triune powers of torment, fixing and intent-enlivenment. The completed defixio was then, in further conjuration of the Underworld virtues and dark intent upon the victim, buried in the ground, or dropped into the chthonic waters of a well.

The sheer diversity of popular magic connected with sacred wells and springs is remarkable. Inseparable from the ancient cults of saints and spirits of place, the natural springs and wellheads of the British Isles have come to be famed loci of healing, divination, and spiritual revelation. Some, possessing long traditions of votive and sacrificial offerings, have assumed powers of spirit-guardianship, or, indeed, divinities of water. Other such wells are the repositories of eldritch lore connected with the cult of the skull and the Holy Head. Additionally, bodies of magical practice have developed around some wells, serving a variety of magical purposes, including blessings and curses, healings and the dispensation of prophetic power. In almost every case, there is a specific magical relation between the waters as a medium of spirit, and the surrounding features of the land.

Wisht Waters is the fifth book in the continuing Three Hands Press Occult Monographs series, and the first book for Three Hands Press by Gemma Gary. It examines both the lore of holy wells as well as their associated cultic activities, whether religious or earthed in the practical magic of folk-sorcery. While examining many a well in Britain and Ireland, much of the text focuses on the lore in the West Country and Cornwall.

The Occult Reliquary

The Occult Reliquary: Images and Artifacts of the Richel-Eldermans Collection, foreword by Daniel A Schulke, introduction by Graham King, from the Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle, Cornwall and Three Hands Press, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Daniel A Schulke Graham King The Occult Reliquary from Three Hands Press

When I got this volume and actually looked through it in person, I thought I was being punked by a fantasist artist’s recent portfolio of whimsy (I guessed the bulk or total of these works were possibly by Daniel A Schulke himself due to striking similarity in style to his own work, or maybe by J H W Eldermans’ own hand instead of collected by him), similar perhaps the Codex Seraphinianus or something in the tradition of Froud or Simon, rather than a collection of the work by actual non-recent and historical practitioners I’d understood this book to be when I ordered it. Frankly, I ended up shelving it as fiction and regretted my purchase. Subsequently however, Daniel A Schulke’s presentation “The Richel-Eldermans Collection: A Hidden Lexicon of European Witchcraft” at 2010 Esoteric Book Conference convinced me that I should make another appraisal of these pieces and take this book more seriously. So, while the images seem clearly still more modern in provenance than I had presumed from the information provided, and I’m personally still not comfortable with the claim these predate the development of Gardnerian Wicca, on the weight of Schulke’s presentation, this does appear to me now as a collection from actual practitioners worth consideration and study as non-fiction. It is also worth noting that Schulke’s presentation revealed there are some even more challenging images in the collection, and presented at least one such then, that were intentionally left out of this publication due to possibly shocking content they did not want to offer in print.

“Housed in the Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle, Cornwall is a cache of over 2,000 occult images accumulated for a century in the secret archives of obscure European magical orders. Compiled by J. H. W. Eldermans, a likely member of the Dutch Secret service, the enigmatic collection appears on its surface to be a private encyclopedia of magical charms, rituals and mystery-teachings. The Richel-Eldermans Collection is iconographically situated at the crossroads of erotic magic, ceremonial angelic conjuration, rural witchcraft, and Freemasonry. Its images comprise, in part, a veiled pictorial cipher of the rituals of Ars Amatoria, and occult fraternity using sex magic, and the lesser known M∴M∴. The procession of images, charms, magical seals, and ritual objects in the Collection is the work of multiple artists, and displays a high degree of creativity and technical skill. Of particular interest to the scholar of magical history is the rich array of sexual magic formulae and folk-magical charms. Additionally, the collection boasts perhaps the most original series of occult illustrations and formulae utilising the root of the Mandrake (Mandragora spp.). The Occult Reliquary presents for the first time selections of the collection, with 275 illustrations, 130 of which are in full colour.” — flap copy

The Occult Reliquary concerns the Richel-Eldermans Collection, an archive of some 2,000 magical images and artifacts housed in the Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle, Cornwall.

Situated at the crossroads of erotic magic, ceremonial angelic conjuration, and witchcraft, the images comprise, in part, a pictorial cipher of the rituals of Ars Amatoria, a European magical order using sex magic, and the lesser-known M∴M∴, based in the Hague and Leiden. Also referenced among the collection are materials relating to A∴A∴ of Aliester [sic] Crowley.

The transfixing procession of images, charms, magical seals, and ritual objects in the Collection is the work of multiple artists, and displays a high degree of magical insight and creativity. It will be of interest to students of witchcraft, Freemasonry, the Goetia, sex magic, and early twentieth century occultism.” [via]

Tartartos

Tartaros: On the Orphic and Pythagorean Underworld, and the Pythagorean Pentagram by Johan August Alm is a monograph available from Three Hands Press. The special leather-bound edition is sold out, but deluxe and standard hardcover editions are still available.

Johan August Alm Tartaros from Three Hands Press

“The magical doctrines of the ancient Orphics and Pythagoreans are poorly understood by modern scholars, in part because they were secretive in their own time. Well-known for speaking in riddles and complex ciphers, its adepts were bound by strict taboo and silence, the breaking of which was punishable by death. The enigma of the cult’s teachings was further shrouded by centuries of suppression, and, in some cases, appropriation or misrepresentation, by the growing forces of Christianity. What remains today are the fragments of its lost books, together with the words of those who, for good or ill, wrote about them. In an original interpretation and synthesis apt for today’s student of ancient mysticism and the occult, August Alm advances a new conception of these ancient mystery-cults and their sublime doctrines of Chaos, Darkness and Light.

A foundational part of these ancient Greek mystery-cults was the concept of Tartaros. As the abyss of primeval darkness and chaos, Tartaros was, in its most ancient conception, the birthplace of the human soul and the cosmos itself. This vast and incomprehensible dominion held at its center a great fire, an Axis Mundi about which the universe was arranged. In later eras, it passed into myth as a vast and voidful underworld; a place of binding for condemned souls and the enemies of gods, sealed fast with barriers of bronze and iron. Christians later appropriated it as a partition of their own concept of eternal punishment, a division of hell which constrained no less than the fallen angels.

An equally enigmatic Pythagorean cipher is the symbol of the Pentagram, or five-fold star, whose form has been revered in western magic for some three millennia, but whose origins and original attributes are shrouded in mystery. Its attribution to the four elements, joined together with aither, was popularized in the middle ages and is its best-known meaning in modern occult sciences. However, its earlier Pythagorean usage was related to health and well-being, and almost certainly adumbrated another retinue of arcana, one which was ancient even at the time of Pythagoras.

Exhuming the scattered fragments of these two elder doctrines of Tartaros and the Pentagram, Alm examines their reverberation as occult—and occluded—concepts through centuries of philosophical thought, in a line connecting the shadowy teachings of such ‘dark traditions’ as the Orphics and the Pythagoreans, later penetrating the adyta of Neoplatonism. Arguing for a new undertanding of the Pentagram, he connects its fivefold mystery to the great powers of Tartaros, and also to such terrifying gods such as Hecate, Nyx, Erebos, Typhon, Cerberus, and the Erinyes. This strand of mystery touches upon such related concepts as the high theogony implicit within the Platonic Solids, the shadowy influence of the Cult of the Idaean Dactyls on Pythagoreanism, the Light which is rooted in Darkness, and the magical pathology of the ‘Unrooted Tree’.” [via]

Salomonic Magical Arts

Salomanic Magical Arts translated and introduced by Fredrik Eytzinger, is available from Three Hands Press. The special leather-bound and deluxe hardcover editions are both sold out, but a standard hardcover edition are still available.

Fredrik Eytzinger Salomonic Magical Arts from Three Hands Press

“Amid the great genres of European magical books are the Scandinavian Svartkonstböcker or ‘Books of Black Arts’, the privately-kept practical manuals of magic used by rural charmers and practitioners of folk magic. Incorporating charms, prayers, and curses, as well as medicine, alchemy and physical experiments, many of these books survive today in universities and private collections. While bearing some relationship to the corpus of European grimoires which feature angelic and demonic magic, the Svartkonstböcker as texts of magic are in a class all their own.

Salomonic Magical Arts consists of two such volumes, originally handwritten in the early eighteenth century. Named The Red Book and The Black Book by one of their owners, they passed through the hands of priests and cunning men before coming to rest in academic institutions. Invoking a variety of spirtual powers ranging from Christ to Beelzebub, its magical formulae, numbering in excess of 450 individual receipts, serve as a testament to the endurance of sorcery in the early modern era. First published in Swedish in 1918, Salomonic Magic Arts is here published in English for the first time.

Introducing the work is a substantive introduction by the translator, which places the book in its cultural and magico-historical context, including Swedish cunning-folk traditions (trolldom) the European grimoire tradition, traditional magical healing, pagan belief, and the relationship between folk magic and the church.” [via]