Tag Archives: Magick Studies

Decoding the Enochian Secrets

Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews Decoding the Enochian Secrets: God’s Most Holy Book to Mankind as Received by Dr. John Dee from Angelic Messengers [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by John DeSalvo.

DeSalvo Decoding Enochian Secrets

The highlight of this relatively recent (2011) volume on angelic magic is the first complete publication of the last remaining element of John Dee’s Enochian corpus as delivered to him by spirits through the mediumship of Edward Kelley, i.e. Liber Logaeth, a.k.a. the “Book of Enoch.” Author John DeSalvo provides that text in the form of scanned facsimiles from the British Library. This Appendix B is more than half of the book.

Decoding the Enochian Secrets starts with a couple of chapters regarding the biblical person of Enoch and the ancient (“apocryphal”) Book of Enoch, with some inquiry into their connections with the Dee and Kelley materials. While I was intrigued by the idea that DeSalvo might come up with something new on this front, as he certainly gives it more sustained attention than most authors on the topic, he’s not able to muster anything beyond broad thematic similarities between ancient and early modern “Enochian” lore. He also supplies a high-level summary of the Dee and Kelley evocations, repeatedly quoting passages from the diaries that describe Kelley being struck and lit by radiant beams from the stone.

DeSalvo’s commendable attention to primary materials does result in an editorial clarification of the forty-nine tables of Liber Logaeth, including the “missing” forty-ninth. He emphasizes that Dee’s diaries identify the express purpose of the Calls to be assisting with the understanding of how to operate these tables, also that the angels enjoined Dee not to do that work until receiving further commands–which were never delivered.

Nevertheless, the recommendations here for contemporary practice are surprisingly conventional, and very much in the mode of Crowley and Regardie (the only 20th-century magicians DeSalvo mentions). His method for “meditation” on the aethyrs prescribes the lesser pentagram ritual for opening and closing, and includes goetic-style prayer and “license to depart” both marked as “optional.”

I agree with DeSalvo’s view that original versions of these tables were probably all inscribed by Dee while the entranced Kelley was dictating them. (All but one of the surviving tables are in Kelley’s hand, evidently copied from Dee’s.) He makes the credible and intriguing suggestion that these originals might survive, perhaps even in the British Library, subject to misattribution or faulty cataloging.

DeSalvo speculates that Liber Logaeth was received by Dee, but embargoed by the angels because it is intended to serve as a device of the “end times.” He suggests that his work in issuing this book is part of that instrumentality, even connecting it with “2012 being the end date of the Mayan calendar” (73). On this front, he willfully ignores the chiliastic dimension of Crowley’s The Vision & the Voice, and seems to mistake the immanentization of the eschaton for its “imminentization.”

This book tries to straddle the gap between a popular introduction to Enochian magic and a more specialized defense of DeSalvo’s own theories and excavation of sources. I would only recommend it for the latter, since there are other and better options for the former.

Forbidden Rites

“Aaron Jason” Leitch reviews Forbidden Rites: A Necromancer’s Manual of the Fifteenth Century [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Richard Kieckhefer, part of the Magic in History series, in the Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition archive.

Kieckhefer Forbidden Rites

Without a doubt, Penn State Press’ Magic in History series is the finest line of books on medieval occult literature produced to date. I have enjoyed reading each book in the series – not the least of which is Professor Kieckhefer’s Forbidden Rites. Whether you are a scholar examining the esotericism of medieval Europe, or a practitioner following a similar modern tradition, you will benefit immensely from a study of this book.

Professor Kieckhefer’s book is unique in that it does not attempt to gather and cross-compare a large number of medieval grimoires, which is the more common method – as we see in texts like Waite’s Book of Ceremonial Magic or my own work on the Solomonic cycle. Instead, the Professor dedicated Forbidden Rites to a single, and very obscure, German manuscript. Because the first couple of pages are missing, the name of the grimoire, as well as its author, is lost to history. Kieckhefer simply refers to it by its catalogue designation: Codex Latinus Monacensis 849 (CLM 849), or the more romantic title The Munich Handbook of Necromancy.

I find the scope of this book reaches far beyond one simple manuscript. As the Professor leads us through the spells of the Munich Handbook, we get to learn something about the life and shifting interests of a working medieval mage. In every chapter, Kieckhefer draws from an array of related medieval records – most of them anecdotes about magick, and even Inquisitorial court records – to illustrate the culture within which our anonymous German mage worked.

Professor Kieckhefer begins Forbidden Rites with an essay on the magick-book in medieval occultism. I found this information absolutely fascinating, as it is a neglected subject in nearly all modern studies of Solomonic mysticism. Of course, there are plenty of books about the contents of the grimoires, but there is precious little that explains the books themselves as living magickal beings. Meanwhile, Kieckhefer shares medieval anecdotes about grimoires that scream when burned, or spirits who accost the unwary who merely open such a book. He explains how a grimoire must be consecrated and kept as a magickal tool in its own right – as something of a familiar to its author.

The introductory chapter finishes with some discussion of the art of necromancy in medieval Munich. Here Professor Kieckhefer makes a distinction between the conjuration of the dead and of infernal spirits. Both are called “necromancy”, though Forbidden Rites focuses primarily upon the evocation of demons. This brief introduction to classical necromancy – which is continued in a later chapter – is vital to understanding any text of spirit conjuration.

In the next chapter, the Professor introduces and outlines the Munich Handbook itself. Herein, he proposes a distinction, though by no means a hard one, between “integrally composed” books, usually dedicated to occult theory, like Agrippa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy, and “miscellanies,” collections of practical magick without much theory, usually compiled by one person over a period of time. Most of the grimoires we know today are of the miscellany type, including the Key of Solomon the King, Lemegeton, etc. Finally, Kieckhefer uses the contents of the Munich Handbook to conjecture about the author of the text – thereby creating a wonderful illustration of the life and times of a “typical medieval wizard.”

In chapters three through five, the Professor explores different aspects of the Munich Handbook, separating its spells into the three main headings of “Illusionist”, “Psychological”, and “Divinatory.” Illusionist experiments, or “experiences” as the Handbook sometimes refers to them, are intended to “trick” their target – such as producing illusory castles, banquets, armies, etc. Psychological experiments are intended to gain control over or influence the mind of their target – such as gaining favor at court, causing people to fall in or out of love, etc. This chapter also includes much on sympathetic image magick – such as the medieval wax image or “voodoo doll.” Finally, Divinatory experiments are intended to reveal secret information, or to gain knowledge of the past or future. Overall, these three categories cover the largest bulk of spells in all grimoires.

As I previously stated, the author examines each aspect of the Handbook alongside of anecdotal medieval records – throwing some light onto the motivations behind such magick, and placing them into their proper historical context. Unfortunately, space does not permit me to outline the contents of these chapters in depth. Suffice it to say that there is much practical magick found in these chapters, and the anecdotes are thrilling. (Indeed, I find myself wishing there were more collections of medieval stories about wizards at work, such as those found in Elizabeth Butler’s Ritual Magic.)

Having examined the intent and nature of the spells of the Munich Handbook, Kieckhefer then turns his attention in chapter six to the conjurations and exorcisms used throughout the grimoire. This is another incredible piece of historical scholarship, as the Professor explains the broader practice of exorcism in medieval Europe and compares it to grimoiric conjurations. He illustrates that exorcising malignant spirits from the sick is essentially the same art as spirit evocation. The techniques are identical, while only the intent is slightly different in each case. Perhaps best of all, he breaks down classical exorcisms right alongside of spirit conjurations, showing us exactly how they are composed to bring about their effects. I cannot overstress the importance of this chapter to anyone wishing to comprehend books like the Goetia, Heptameron, Magus, etc.

In chapter eight, Professor Kieckhefer explores the magickal seals found throughout the Munich Handbook. Most of these figures are for magickal circles drawn upon the ground, or drawn with blood on parchment to command the spirits. The author examines their forms, the words written within them, the images drawn upon them and their proper uses. Hands down, this is the best explanation of the magick circle I have ever read. For instance, no modern source has suggested such a circle could be held in the hand as a talisman – yet the practice does appear in various grimoires. It is also rare to learn that magickal circles were primarily an aspect of exorcism – where modern traditions tend to use them for every kind of magickal work.

Finally, Kieckhefer outlines an elaborate method of circle-creation found in the Munich Handbook. See the tables on pages 181-183, where the divine names and other considerations for the circle are given for each day of the week and hour of the day or night. Also see page 296ff for the material in its original Latin. He claims that this material draws much from the Picatrix, an Arabic book of astrological magick, but he does not mention that the whole of this section is also found in the Heptameron or The Magus. As it happens, this is my favored method of circle-creation, so I was excited to see it presented here from yet a third source. This also helps to illustrate the large influence the Picatrix has had on the medieval esoteric tradition.

To complete his book, Professor Kieckhefer includes the entire Latin text of the Munich Handbook of Necromancy. Unfortunately, he does not provide an English translation, except for the portions he translated for earlier chapters of his book, which fortunately are considerable. However, he has organized the manuscript very neatly, placing all recitations in italics, breaking the conjurations down into their component parts. That makes this book potentially very useful to someone who knows Latin and might wish to translate the text for the rest of us.

Though it may be redundant, I will say once more how highly, very highly, I recommend Professor Kieckhefer’s book Forbidden Rites: A Necromancer’s Manual of the Fifteenth Century. It makes no difference if you are a practitioner or an academic (or both), you will immensely enjoy this wonderful exploration of medieval magick, and you will find it foundational to your understanding of the magickal grimoires.

Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires

Samuel Scarborough reviews Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires: The Classical Tests of Magick Deciphered [Amazon, Abebooks, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Aaron Leitch in the Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition archive.

Leitch Secrets of the Magical Grimoires

The lure of that secret, hidden knowledge buried in a old musty tome just waiting for someone to come along and read the words thus releasing some great power, has lured many new magician with the hopes that they can do just that from picking up those slightly scary and to some degree, awe-inspiring books known as Grimoires. Unfortunately, most of the magical community has done just that, but once we had these books with names like Clavicula Salomonis (The Key of Solomon the King), the Lemegeton, the Goetia, Grimoirum Verum, or even that seemingly holy (unholy) book, The Grand Grimoire, what do we do with them? We read them and quickly learn that we are not sure what we are supposed to do with this great secret wisdom and power that we hold in our hands, so these books go back on the shelf to collect dust for most of us.

Now a new light shines on these often discussed, but long neglected books on our shelves. Aaron Leitch, a scholar and spiritual seeker with over a decade of practical experience has written a book that will be helpful to every magician that has the call to work with those classic books on magic. Where books like Modern Magick by Donald Michael Kraig and Summoning Spirits by Konstantinos give the hopeful magician snippets of information or information that is not that helpful to many, Leitch lays out a detailed method of working with these classics.

When I first got the book I was impressed for a product from Llewellyn. In many cases Llewellyn’s books do not have any sort of reference of where the writer is getting his information, but in Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires, there are detailed endnotes at the end of each chapter showing the research that has gone into the material presented. The next thing that caught my eye was the use of relevant images throughout the book to illustrate a point made by Leitch in the text or to help explain passages from those musty old books. Being something of a scholar myself, I just had to check out what the bibliography looked like…I was again surprised to find one of the most comprehensive bibliographies that I have seen in sometime outside of most academic circles. Finally, I got the best surprise of all…I sat down to read the book, and in the text was clear knowledge of those sirens known as the grimoires. Aaron Leitch clearly expressed his points and explained those difficult passages from such esoteric volumes as the Heptameron and the Sworn Book of Honorius in a clear manner that shed the light of understanding suddenly on just what those magicians of 400 – 500 years ago were talking about.

The book is impressive in its size. At four hundred and thirty-two pages with additional xxi pages of Table of Content, Acknowledgements Preface, and Introduction it makes for a large book. Do not let the size fool or scare you away, it is well worth reading. The Preface is full of praise for Leitch and his work on the subject is written by Chic and Tabatha Cicero. The rest of the book covers such topics as medieval magick with a short history of the classic grimoires from the Picatrix to The Grand Grimoire and every other classic grimoire or important text relating to them such as Barrett’s The Magus and Casaubon’s A True and Faithful Relation of What Passed for Many Yeers Between Dr. John Dee (A Mathematician of Great Fame in Q. Eliz. And King James their Reignes) and Some Spirits to chapters on what tools are described in the texts of the old grimoires with modern-day methods of creating them as well as many places to find the required materials for them. The meat of the book though covers the operations listed in the classic grimoires and just what is meant for a person to follow the often misunderstood instructions that were written in them so that a person can perform them in the 21st Century.

If the glowing words above do not inspire you to get this book, then I will say it in very plain English. Go out and buy this book, come home and read it, and then look at those dusty volumes on your shelf that long ago promised you the lure of sudden power and knowledge of our Holy Guardian Angel in a new light.

Ask Baba Lon

Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews Ask Baba Lon: Answers to Questions of Life and Magick [Amazon, Bookshop, Abebooks] by Lon Milo DuQuette.

DuQuette Ask Baba Lon

Ask Baba Lon is Lon DuQuette’s entry in the microgenre of occult collected instructional correspondence, following such classics as Eliphas Levi’s Letters to a Disciple and Aleister Crowley’s Aleister Explains Everything (published as Magick Without Tears). A significant difference is that Baba Lon’s book covers answers to a wider number and variety of correspondents than those addressed by Constant and Crowley. He does not even scruple to bar a little representative “crank mail.” 

Baba Lon boasts that he has improved on the format established by his predecessors, because he includes the letters from querents along with his own responses. He fails, however, to include the dates of his own letters. This information would be of interest because he has been teaching about magick for three decades, and he freely admits that his opinions change over time. What’s more, he repeatedly emphasizes that the virtue of magick (and freemasonry) involves the gradual improvement in the perspective of the effective aspirant.

The omission of dates is also significant in that the letters are not arranged in chronological sequence, but rather by topic. A peculiar feature of this scheme is the last section consisting of a single letter on the topic of “Reincarnation.” Although that arrangement may look a bit goofy in the abstract, the final letter itself is especially wonderful and deserves its privileged position. Besides, the various portraits of Baba Lon by his wife St. Constance of the Well demonstrate that looking a bit goofy is in fact part of his magical modus operandi.

While Baba Lon’s answers are not always the ones I would give (and I confess to answering questions at least as often as I ask them in recent years of occult correspondence), they all show the sort of wisdom and humanity that his readers and students have come to expect of him. “It’s funny because it’s true” so often here. Readers of this book who have not met Lon DuQuette or heard him speak should seek out one of the YouTube videos that show him in informal conversation, to get a sense of his voice and pacing, so as to be able to mentally construct the whole “Baba Lon” effect. 

I recommend this book heartily to all Thelemites, and to any sincere students of the occult. It provides constructive replies (if not always “answers”) both to questions we are repeatedly asked, and to those we should perennially ask.

Two on Practical Spagyric Alchemy of Plants

Samuel Scarborough reviews Alchemist’s Handbook: Manual for Practical Laboratory Alchemy [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Frater Albertus and The Practical Handbook of Plant Alchemy: An Herbalist’s Guide to Preparing Medicinal Essences, Tinctures, and Elixirs [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Manfred M Junius at Two on Practical Spagyric Alchemy of Plants in the Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition archive.

Albertus Alchemist's Handbook

Junius The Practical Handbook of Plant Alchemy

For those interested in performing practical or laboratory alchemy there are two books written in the modern era that are indispensable. These two were written in the twentieth century by practicing alchemists. Both authors give good instruction as to what a budding alchemist will need for a modern alchemical workshop, and they even discuss some of the most basic techniques in spagyric (spa-geer-ic) or plant alchemy, which is traditionally the first type of alchemy that is worked with by an alchemist.

The first book that we are going to look at is, The Alchemist’s Handbook by Frater Albertus (Albert Reidel), a major contribution to alchemy in modern times. The author covers the basic principals of alchemy, gives directions for setting up a home alchemical laboratory with illustrations of the basic equipment, and also gives step-by-step instructions for working within the plant kingdom. The chapters of the book are as follows:

  • Forward
  • Preface to the First Edition
  • Preface to the Second Edition
  • Chapter I: Introduction to Alchemy
  • Chapter II: The Lesser Circulation
  • Chapter III: The Herbal Elixir
  • Chapter IV: Medicinal Uses
  • Chapter V: Herbs and Stars
  • Chapter VI: Symbols in Alchemy
  • Chapter VII: Wisdom of the Sages
  • Conclusion
  • Appendix
  • Alchemical Manifesto

The Forward to the book was written by the noted Golden Dawn magician Israel Regardie, in which he describes this book on alchemy as “… unique and a genuine masterpiece.” After this Forward there are two Prefaces that give the reader an idea as to how to best use the book and the material in it.

Chapter One is an introduction to alchemy. Frater Albertus describes alchemy in the most basic of terms so that anyone picking up this book will have a working idea as to just what alchemy is. He compares alchemy and modern chemistry, and discusses the prevalent attitudes towards alchemy in the modern day. The real meat of the book though comes in Chapters Two through Five, in which Frater Albertus describes how to set up an alchemical laboratory, the processes to gather the herbs to be used and to begin working with them alchemically. Also, he discusses the medicinal uses of the elixirs or tinctures that can be made using the herbs and processes discussed in the previous chapter. Then Frater Albertus discusses the planetary relationship that many herbs have and how to use this relationship in making elixirs and tinctures. Frater Albertus gives us a chapter on the various sigils and symbols used in alchemy along with their meanings. This section of the book is highly illustrated with these sigils and ciphers.

The rest of the book contains a basic description of the next phase of alchemy, metals, from a Rosicrucian document written in 1777. After this chapter, Frater Albertus gives his conclusions on how to continue the work. Finally, there is an appendix and a manifesto that help promote the use of alchemy in modern times.

The Alchemist’s Handbook should be on any alchemist’s shelf whether you practice spiritual alchemy or practical alchemy. The style of the heart of the book is like a textbook on chemistry in some regards, which is what Frater Albertus was aiming for as a means to demystify the art of alchemy. He brings the ancient art into the modern world by linking the old art of alchemy with the more modern practices of chemistry.

The second book that we will discuss is Manfred M. Junius’, The Practical Handbook of Plant Alchemy. Manfred M. Junius is a former biology professor who also served as the production manager of spagyrics for Australerba Laboratories and was head of the Australian School of Ayurveda in Adelaide. His training and knowledge of western alchemy came from many years of personal instruction from the Swiss alchemist Augusto Pincaldi.

The book is similar to Albertus’ The Alchemist’s Handbook, but has a bit more detail in the operations dealing with the plant kingdom and the making of plant elixirs. Junius gives a fairly good overview of what spagyrics are and how to obtain them in a step-by-step manner. The chapters are as follows:

  • Preface
  • Spagyria and Spagyrics
  • Advice of Basilius Valentinus
  • The Three Philosophical Principles and the Elements
  • Mercury, Sulfur, and Salt in the Plant World
  • The Extraction of the Three Philosophical Principles from Plants
    1. The Extraction of the Essential Oils, That Is, of the Volatile Sulfur
    2. Mercury
    3. Fixed Sulfur and Its Salt
    4. Salt
  • The Stars
  • Preparation of Spagyric Tinctures and Essences
  • Circulation
  • The Plant Magistery of Paracelsus
  • The Circulatum Minus Urbigerus
  • Elixir – Clyssus – Vegetable Stone
  • Alchemical Signs and Symbols
  • Old Weights
  • Epilogue: How Can We Heal?
  • Notes
  • Bibliography

Just to hit on the overall highlights of the book, the author gets to the real meat of the subject in chapters four through eight, in which he discusses in detail the making of a tincture from a plant using the various techniques available to the alchemist. These are covered in some detail in chapter five. In some cases, the details can be a bit overwhelming and having a practical class or two in general chemistry really helps to understand what Junius is discussing with these techniques.

Chapter six, The Stars, presents the idea that the alchemist should also be something of an astrologer too. Junius shows that astrology and alchemy are closely linked using archetypical forces of the universe. He discusses how the various astrological effects of Sol and Luna have on living organisms, and how in plant alchemy the effects of these two heavenly bodies, along with the other ancient planets has an affect on the alchemical operation. Junius gives a break down of each of the planets and the plants associated with them from an alchemical medicinal view. Further in the chapter, he discusses the use of the planetary hours to begin the alchemical operation and even the casting of astrological horoscope for the outcome of the operation.

In chapter ten, he looks at a classic work of alchemy, The Circulatum Minus Urbigerus, which was originally printed in 1690. The various aphorisms of the original are used to illustrate the practical laboratory technique that Junius later explains following these aphorisms. This chapter illustrates the ability of Junius to thoroughly discuss the material so that a person wanting to follow an older text would be able to.

Finally, in the epilogue, Junius approaches alchemical tinctures and elixirs pretty much as Paracelsus did over 450 years ago. Diagnose the illness, and treat it with the suitable tincture or elixir after creating it. He also cautions that this sort of work in the healing area should be undertaken only with great care, but that it could be done with the aid of those around the alchemist.

This book is full of various drawings and illustrations of alchemical as well as chemistry equipment showing not only what it looks like, but also some of the basic techniques used to create these tinctures and elixirs. There are also many older illustrations from older alchemical works showing the various phases and ideals of the work, not to mention Junius has included a rather in depth list of signs and symbols used in alchemy in one chapter that would be useful for the practicing alchemist. Even though there are some complex descriptions and techniques in Junius’ book, it should be on the bookshelf of any practicing alchemist, or more likely, like Albertus’ The Alchemist’s Handbook, will be open as a reference for the practicing alchemist.

Talismans & Evocations of the Golden Dawn

J S Kupperman reviews Talismans & Evocations of the Golden Dawn by Pat Zalewski [Bookshop, Amazon, Abebooks] in Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition, Vol 1, No 5.

Zalewski Talismans and Evocations of the Golden Dawn

Talismans and Evocations marks Pat Zalewski’s return to commercial publishing. This latest work, just one of several planned with Thoth Publications, like many of his previous books is a unique contribution to the corpus of Golden Dawn related literature already available today. The book is divided into two sections. The first and longer section discusses the art of evocation. The second much shorter section deals with the creation and consecration of talismans.

There have been no previous publications about the Golden Dawn’s teachings concerning evocation, making Talismans and Evocations unique in subject matter. This initial section is divided into five chapters dealing with history, the “Z documents” of the Golden Dawn’s inner order, the seven rays of Theosophy, angelic hierarchies, astrology and application and tools. Section two, Talismans, consists of a single chapter. However, this chapter discusses topics ranging from talismatic or magical images to magic squares called kameas to the creations and use of sigils. The first section begins with a ritual of evocation written and performed by several of the more famous members of the Golden Dawn, including Florence Farr and Alan Bennett. The second section ends with a ritual of talisman consecration written by Alan Bennett.

As usual Mr. Zalewski’s writing brings something new to the field of Golden Dawn magic and is thus a valuable resource for any student of the Golden Dawn. The real value in this book is that it is not just a “how to do magic” book. Instead Talismans and Evocations provides the reader with all of the tools necessary for them to figure out how to write their own rituals. It should be noted, however, that this is not a book for beginners. Proper use of the information contained in its pages depends greatly upon the experience and knowledge of the reader, such as a thorough understanding of the Golden Dawn’s inner order’s (the RR et AC) Z formula and the basic principle of occultism as espoused by the RR et AC.

Mr. Zalewski offers a great deal from the historic perspective as well. For the first time rituals and teachings written and used by members of the Golden Dawn are published along with copious amounts of notation by the author. This includes not only the previously mentioned rituals of evocation and talismanic consecration but also rituals for the consecration of the adept’s magical weapons that had not been seen before, coming from notebooks from the New Zealand branch of the Stella Matutina, one of the offshoots of the Golden Dawn after the 1904 schism.

As with any book there are a few errors and inconsistencies. These mostly have to do with editing; there are numerous typographical errors, missing words and a handful of repeated paragraphs. Others appear to stem from the book having been written over an extended period of time. For instance on a section concerning the ritual of the hexagram the notation states that the unicursal hexagram will be used in the diagram and explanations as it is much easier to use than the traditional hexagram. A few pages later, however, one finds the diagrams of the traditional hexagrams as well as the so-called hexagrams of Saturn, which should have also been omitted.

Pat Zalewski’s Talismans and Evocations of the Golden Dawn is a valuable resource in the genre of Golden Dawn magic. For the first time anywhere the Golden Dawn’s teachings on the practice of evocation and the creation of talismans are published in a single volume. Despite typographical errors and the occasional internal inconsistency Talismans and Evocations is highly readable and informative. This book would be an excellent addition to the library of either the student of occult history or the practicing magician.