Tag Archives: North America

On Holy Ground

On Holy Ground: A History of The Honorable Order of American Co-Masonry by Karen Kidd, a 2011 paperback from The Masonic Publishing Company, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Karen Kidd On Holy Ground from The Masonic Publishing Company

“The Compelling Story of Co-Masonry in North America

On Holy Ground: History of the Honorable Order of American Co-Masonry, the American Federation of Human Rights removes the veil from a great silence in the history of Freemasonry: the story of Co-Masonry in North America. The first book of its kind in Co-Masonry, On Holy Ground traces that history from the founding of the first Co-Masonic Lodge on the continent in 1903 to the completion of the Grand Temple in 2009. Well documented, with hundreds of footnotes and images, many in color and most never before published, On Holy Ground is the truth about this saga finally told.” — back cover

 

The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.

Enchanted Feminism

Enchanted Feminism: Ritual, Gender and Divinity Among the Reclaiming Witches of San Francisco by Jone Salomonsen, part of the Religion and Gender series, the 2002 first edition paperback from Routledge, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Jone Salomonsen Enchanted Feminism from Routledge

“Many today feel the need to restore a magical, spiritual ground to human existence. One of the most visible responses to this need has been the rise of contemporary pagan Witchcraft, and one of its most interesting voices, Reclaiming. This community was formed over twenty years ago, by feminist Witch Starhawk and friends, to teach others about goddess spirituality and reinvented pagan rituals. It has since succeeded in developing an independent spiritual tradition, fostered partly by the success of Starhawk’s The Spiral Dance and other books, and now has sister communities throughout North America and Europe.

Enchanted Feminism presents the first in-depth study of this important community and spiritual tradition from a consistent gender perspective. In a unique interdisciplinary approach, Dr Salomonson adopts the perspectives of both social anthropology and theology to analyse the beliefs and practices of the Reclaiming Witches. Among many issues, she considers their spiritual search for the ‘Real’, their renunciation of patriarchal religions and attempts to build a new religious identity, their use of ritual and of feminine symbols for the divine, and their involvement with feminist-anarchist politics. The results of her research provide challenging and insightful reading.”

 

The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.

The Petit Albert

The Spellbook of Marie Laveau: The Petit Albert is a pseudonymous work of Albertus Parvus Lucius translated by Talia Felix, available from Hadean Press, presumably from some version of the 18th Century French «Secrets merveilleux de la magie naturelle et cabalistique du Petit Albert», itself an apparent translation of a 13th Century Latin original. Although the cover states that this is the spellbook of Marie Laveau, the connection is apparently only circumstantial and speculative, according to the translator’s introduction. It is, however, a work of period significance, so may be of interest in itself.

Talia Felix's translationg of Petite Albert from Hadean Press

“The Petit Albert is a collection of recipes, talismans, and occult secrets attributed to several authors, chief among them Paracelsus, and compiled by a pseudonymous narrator who stresses that the secrets contained therein ‘do not in any way surpass the occult powers of nature; that is to say, of any of the known beings that are scattered throughout this vast universe, which are in the skies, in the winds, on the land and in the waters.’ This cautious reminder did not change the opinion of the Catholic Church in regards to the Petit Albert–it was a book of black magic and therefore to be avoided at all costs, an attitude which assured the book’s popularity among nobles, farmers, and priests alike.

From its first printing, the Book of the Fantastical Secrets of the Petit Albert made its way into the most rural of French hamlets and eventually to the colonies beyond, where it became a great success in the Caribbean and North America – especially in Québec in the north and in New Orleans in the south. It is there that the Petit Albert was almost certainly used by the hoodoo and voodoo practitioners of the nineteenth century, including the Voodoo Queen herself, Marie Laveau.

In The Spellbook of Marie Laveau: The Petit Albert, translator Talia Felix presents the full text of the Petit Albert in the English language, and offers a compelling argument that the Petit Albert was most likely one of the spellbooks in Laveau’s arsenal, if indeed she was literate at all. At the very least, as Ms. Felix states in her introduction to the book, ‘it presents a period-correct view of the sort of magical knowledge that was likely to have influenced the real and genuine life and works of the famous Marie Laveau, and of New Orleans Voodoo as a whole.'” [via]