“The catalogue starts with a listing for a delightful new limited edition book of the “inspired” art of the remarkable Madge Gill (1882 – 1961) and her non-corporeal collaborator Myrninerest. The book is edited by David Tibet and Henry Boxer, and comes in two versions with copies of the Special Edition including an original artwork by Gill.
The rest of the catalogue comprises a selection of books and journals relating to Spiritualism, the Occult, and Psychical Research. Amongst the rarer items are the only known copy (none are listed as being held by libraries) of Issue No. 1 of the Journal of the London Lodge of The Faery Investigation Society (1929), an inscribed copy of Dr. John Bourbon Wasson’s Modern Spiritualism Laid Bare (1887), Sir Oliver J. Lodge’s own copy of the first edition of his Phantom Walls (1929) with his hand-written corrections; and James Lawrence’s Angel Voices from the Spirit World (1874) a rare work which presents various communications “from the other side” on diverse topics such as “Which Should be the Head of the Family — Man or Woman,” “Woman’s Rights,” and “Celibacy — is it in Conformity with Nature’s Laws that Man and Woman Should Practice it?” Other interesting works include Stuart Cumberland’s Spiritualism — The Inside Truth (1919), in which the author recounts a seance he attended where the medium correctly described a number of hidden objects, including a medal that had belonged to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s dead son, and a small medallion that belonged to W. Wynn Westcott (founder of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn), two biographies of Helen Duncan, the spiritual medium who in 1951 became the last person in England to be tried under the Witchcraft Act, M. T. Shelhamer’s Life and Labor in the Spirit World (1885) in which ‘members of the Spirit-Band’ of the author provide a detailed description of the of life in the “Summer-land;” and Penny Dutton Raffa’s surely unfortunately-titled Psycho to Psychic (1982) in which the author tells how a blow to the head, and her efforts to recover from it, led to her immersion in the world of parapsychology and psychical research. Not surprisingly many of the works purport to contain messages from those who have passed over, the number and variety of whom is quite astounding. Thus Francis H. Smith’s My Experience, or Foot-Prints of a Presbyterian to Spiritualism (1860) claims to contain messages from Edgar Allen Poe (who communicates in verse form); Sir Humphry Davy, Dr. Franklin, Sir Walter Scott, and others, William H. Burr’s Photographic Copies of Written Messages from the Spirit World (1918) contains messages from Henry Ward Beecher, James A. Garfield, Elbert Hubbard, Abraham Lincoln, Ernest W. Huffcut and others; C. P. Christensen’s The Spiritualist: Vol.2, No.11 (1916) contains a message from Queen Victoria; and more recently Jack Perry’s & Robert Neil Porter’s Spirit World Breakthrough (1969) comprises “a compilation of fifty messages from famous persons who have made the transition from this world to the next” with contributors including Cesare Borgia; Cleopatra; Elizabeth Barrett Browning; Franz Schubert, Lee Harvey Oswald; Louis Pasteur; Marilyn Monroe; and many others. Not to be outdone, the great Scottish philosopher and man-of-letters Thomas Carlyle is said to have posthumously authored a complete book: Wm. J. Bryan’s What Spiritualism Really Is, by Thomas Carlyle in the Spirit World (1920).” [via]
Occult Psaligraphy: The Hidden Art of Papercutting by Hagen Von Tulien is a title coming soon from Ouroboros Press, and due to release at the 2013 Esoteric Book Conference in September.
“Ouroboros Press desires every discerning Bibliophile to know that a new book by contemporary artist and occultist Hagen Von Tulien is in preparation. With more than thirty years of intense magical theory and practice, he has specialized in creating art as an expression and manifestation of magical states of awareness and its use as an esoteric tool. In Occult Psaligraphy Von Tulien expresses these magical states in a series of over 160 papercuts. The book, produced in large format and printed in Red and Black will be presented in a Limited but distinct Edition. This bi-lingual text in English and German, includes introductions by the Artist and publisher William Kiesel, who speaks to the practice of papercutting in diverse esoteric traditions worldwide, including China, Japan, Mexico, Europe, Indonesia and America. Von Tulien’s papercuts show a superior quality, the line work, fluidity and design elements reflect experience with both graphics and occult symbolism. The papercut images Von Tulien creates with his scissors are functioning sacred diagrams, Veves and potent effigies whereby congress with the spirit world may be actuated.”
“Amalgamations of eyes, serpents, horns, skulls and other sigillic devices, these scissor-cuts become embodied vessels of power. They assist the practitioner in concentration, may be used in meditation or evocation, or as objects of talismanic effect. Specific God-forms, Iwa, and Avatars of Revelation are exemplified, honored and called forth. Other diagrammatic examples of Von Tulien’s scissor-cuts show initiatory knowledge and act as veritable trestleboards of ritual arcanum. The intricate lines and visually striking forms of his cuts cause an immediate fascination in the viewer – a fixation of vision, a keyhole through which Keys are received. Like the emblem books of the Renaissance the Occult Psaligraphy is rich in iconic symbolism. The devices of esoteric tradition are recondite and explicit and the entities present are no less corporeal to the eye. If ever a talismanic book there was, certainly this Book of Spirits is among them.” [via]
The Witches’ Book of the Dead [also] by Christian Day, available from Weiser Books, arrived at the Reading Room courtesy of the publisher. Although I find myself a bit wary of the work, judging a book by my superficial expectation of much self-consciously witchy fare, on looking twice this seems like it has some nice, if moderately basic, primer coverage of useful ceremonial and Goëtic topics and skills. There’s sections about ceremonial tools, rituals, necromancy, sections on history, and so on. This could be a nice gateway title for the budding, if given the right push, Goëtes; or maybe they end up pursuing Voudon or similar; or minimally a practice informed by this actual structure and information … But, either way, the grounding in history and ceremonial ritual seems a decent start for the student.
“Witches are creatures of magic. They cast spells, heal, and foretell the future. What you might not know is that Witches can also commune with the spirits of the dead.
In The Witches’ Book of the Dead, modern-day Salem Warlock Christian Day shows how the spirits of our beloved dead can be summoned to perform such tasks as helping you to discover hidden opportunities, influence the minds of others, seduce the object of your affection, and even reach into the dreams of the unwary. According to legend, the Spirits of the dead can confer magical talents, fame, love, and wealth on those brave enough to summon them.
The Witches’ Book of the Dead explores the enduring relationship between witches and the dead and teaches rituals and incantations to help readers open doorways to the spirit world.
· Legendary Witches who have raised the dead, including The Witch of Endor, Circe, and Erichtho
· Creating ancestral altars and building relationships with spirits
· The tools of Necromancy: the bronze dagger, yew wand, iron keys, graveyard dust, the offering cauldron, spirit powders, the human skull, and more.
· Methods of spirit contact, including automatic writing, scrying mirrors, spirit boards, pendulums, and spirit mediumship
· The ancient arts of necromancy as a method of conjuring the dead to assist in magic
· Ridding yourself of unwanted spirits using rituals of cleansing, banishing and exorcism
· Ghost hunting techniques that combine psychic wisdom with modern technology
· Communing with the dead in dreams
· Sacred holidays and powerful celebrations of the dead
· Resources on where to ethically obtain the tools of the trade
· An overview of the feared deities of the Underworld
· Rituals, recipes, exercises, and more!
Dare to walk between the worlds with Christian Day as he guides you across the River Styx into the shadowy realms where the dead long to connect with us once more!” [via]
If you’re in Europe, anywhere near Strasbourg, you may want
to rush out to see Europe and the Spirit World or the Fascination with the Occult, 1750-1950 which runs only through Dec 2nd through Dec 12, 2012.
“‘Europe and the Spirit World or the Fascination with the Occult, 1750-1950’ is a cross-disciplinary exhibition exploring the influence of the occult on artists, thinkers, writers and scholars throughout Europe, at decisive moments in the history of the modern world. The exhibition is organized into three sections:
– The creative arts: painting, drawing, sculpture, print-making and photography, the literature of the irrational and unexplained.
– The esoteric tradition revisited, with an extensive chronological survey encompassing the movement’s foundational texts and print iconography.
– The relationship between occult phenomena and the scientific world, through key scholarly figures and thinkers, and an examination of their experiments and scientific instruments.
With some 500 works of art, 150 scientific artefacts, 150 books and 100 documents from a host of European countries, Europe and the Spirit World will be presented in a dedicated 2500-m2 space at the the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Strasbourg.”