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]
The catalogue comprises our usual mixed selection, ranging from relatively recent reprints to some genuine rarities. Amongst the more unusual books are a copy of what is arguably the most handsome book published by Crowley during his lifetime: The Book of Thoth (1944) limited to 200 signed and numbered copies; as well as a First Edition of The Book of the Goetia of Solomon the King (1904) resplendent in a later black full-leather binding; and a copy of The Winged Beetle (1910), limited to 300 numbered copies thus, a work which famously has an alarming and blasphemous alternate meaning encrypted in its dedication. Also unusual are a near-fine copy of Book 4, Part I (1912), a proof copy of The Equinox, Vol. I No V (1911), and a copy of the “leather-bound” issue of the 1981 Thelema Publishing edition of The Book of the Law, limited to 200 copies. Somewhat quirkier items include two original metal printing blocks for the spine and cover titling of the 1976 Thelema publications edition of “The Book of the Law” and a selection of different editions of Leah Sublime, including the infamous Scratch ‘n’ Sniff Leah Sublime (1996), whose instigator, the appositely pseudonymed Frater Pheremone assured that there really was a scent underneath each of the paper swatches (although perhaps mercifully, whatever odour there was seems unlikely to have survived the passing of time).
A small collection of quite remarkable ephemera, all in Crowley’s handwriting, includes some particularly interesting items, such as a picture postcard of “Voo-doo’s Bar” in 1930s Berlin sent by Crowley to Colonel J. F. C. Carter, of Scotland Yard, in which he jokes about his own activities as an informant and Carter’s concerns for Maria Theresa de Mirimar; and a rough draft of a letter in which “the Beast” accuses a doctor of malpractice, quite possibly on the basis that he had performed abortions, to which Crowley was strongly opposed. Two letters, both signed, from Crowley to Frieda Harris, shed light on their relationship, with one including his musings on his new lodgings, and the other his thoughts on progress with the tarot. A selection of works with contributions by Crowley, includes a number of very scarce magazines with pieces by and about him, including a bound volume of The Idler (1909) which contains the first publication of the short story “The Drug” which was not only the first short story to be sold by Crowley but probably one of the first accounts of a “psychedelic experience” to be published in England. [via]
Whilst preparing this catalogue we happened to look back through our files and discovered that it is just over eight years since we released the first of our catalogues devoted to Spare’s life and work, our On-line Catalogue # 4, which we released on May 15th, 2006, the fiftieth anniversary of the death of this extraordinarily talented individual. Although we did not realise it at the time, it was later pointed out to us that our catalogue was probably the first ever bookseller’s catalogue to be devoted entirely to works by and about Spare.
We are happy to continue this tradition with this new catalogue, which includes examples of most of Spare’s own published work along with many significant studies of his life, art and magic. As is well known Spare’s first editions were usually privately published in beautifully-produced limited edition printings, resplendent with his beguiling illustrations and profound and challenging text, and we are pleased to present two of them here; his magical masterwork The Book of Pleasure (Self-Love) The Psychology of Ecstasy (1913), and a signed first edition of his often-enigmatic A Book Of Satyrs (1907). Of course Spare was also well-known as the editor of two sumptuous literary and artistic journals published in the nineteen-teens and ‘twenties; Form and The Golden Hind, and the catalogue lists copies of both, including some truly rare issues of Form and some examples of the signed limited edition of The Golden Hind. Even more stunning, though, is a run of issues of a journal called The Bond (1906), which includes a previously unrecorded contribution by Austin Osman Spare. Other treasures include a set of Spare’s Surrealist Racing Forecast Cards (one of only 26 known sets), and a copy of one of the rarest early Spare-related titles, Warren Retlaw’s The Youth and the Sage (1927). Another magnificent volume is the posthumously-published A Book of Automatic Drawing, of which several variants are offered, including one of the Catalpa Press / Teitan Press reissues, limited to 40 copies, printed on hand-made paper and bound in black quarter-leather, with an original cheque signed by Spare tipped onto the limitation page. There are simply too many important works to comment upon in a short space like this, but I hope that the reader will find time to browse the catalogue at leisure. [via]
Welcome to this, the one hundred and twentieth of our on-line catalogues. The subject of the catalogue is Witchcraft, with most of the works relating to what might loosely be termed “The Western Witchcraft Tradition,” spanning the period from the late Middle-Ages, through the European and American witch trials, to the modern witchcraft revival. Most of the books are quite modestly priced used books from the second half of the twentieth century, although there are some rarities scattered throughout.
The rarities include a copy of Robert Calef’s scathing account of the Salem witchcraft trials More Wonders of the Invisible World: or The Wonders of the Invisible World Displayed (Salem, 1796) and an extremely rare edition (limited to only 50 copies) of Michael Smith’s, The True Story of Father Girard and Miss Cadiere (1840) which recounts the sagas of Catherine Cadière and Jean-Baptiste Girard, subjects of what is commonly regarded as the last of the French witch trials and the last public examination of a case of “possession.” The works of the witch-hunters themselves are represented by a number of handsome limited editions edited by the remarkable Reverend Montague Summers. These include Henry Boguet, An Examen of Witches (1929), Richard Bovet, Pandaemonium (1951); Nicholas Remy, Demonolatry (1930); and Jacobus Sprenger & Henry Kramer, Malleus Maleficarum (1928).
Another work of considerable rarity is a first edition of Charles G. Leland’s Aradia. or The Gospel of the Witches of Italy (1899), an account of the beliefs, rituals and practices of an ancient Tuscan witchcraft tradition that is often cited as the work which fired the twentieth century witchcraft revival. Also by Charles Leland is the huge, handsome, but rather deceptively-named volume: Etruscan Roman Remains in Popular Tradition (1892). The book comprises two parts, “Gods and Goblins” and “Incantations, Divination, Medicine, and Amulets,” with the latter part of particular importance to those with an interest in magic and witchcraft. There are two different issues of the book in the catalogue, the one is the “ordinary” edition, the other, the “fine edition” is slightly larger format and limited to 100 numbered copies (of which this is number 2), signed by Leland, and with an original black and white drawing by him tipped in facing the title-page.
More recent works include scarce biographies of two of the most significant figures in the twentieth century withcraft movement in Britain, Gerald Gardner and Maxine Saunders, the former being J. L. Bracelin’s Gerald Gardner: Witch (1960), and the latter Richard Deutch’s The Ecstatic Mother: Portrait of Maxine Sanders – White Queen (1977). Another significant figure in twentieth century occultism who is only now starting to achieve recognition was the artist Rosaleen Norton, represented here by an unusually clean first edition of The Art of Rosaleen Norton with Poems by Gavin Greenlees (1952), a limited edition book that was banned in both Australia and the US at the time of its publication on account of its allegedly obscene artwork, as well as a second edition of the same book (1982) signed by Walter Glover, who not only published both editions of the work but was instrumental in its conception. [via]
Welcome to this, the one hundred and nineteenth of our on-line catalogues. The catalogue comprises a selection of sixty rare books relating to Witchcraft and Demonology, published in Britain between the sixteenth and the nineteenth centuries. All are from the collection of the late Dr. Michael Coleman, an English scientist who was also an avid book-collector with a life-long interest in Psychical Research (see further the short biography of him which follows below). The works on Witchcraft formed a very special sub-section of Dr. Coleman’s library, and given his great interest in Psychical Research it is easy to see why they were of such interest to him. Not only did they chronicle – often for the first time – many of the then-popular beliefs in the occult and supernatural, but those published in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries (in particular) also played a vital part in the great clash between those who accepted claims of the existence of Demonic Witchcraft and supported the Witch Hunts, and those who challenged those beliefs. In many ways the arguments and investigations that the various authors undertook to prove their respective hypotheses foreshadowed the discussions and inquiries made by Psychical Researchers in more recent centuries, although with an urgency born of the knowledge that lives quite literally hinged on the outcome of these early debates.
Whilst small in quantity, the books listed provide an extraordinarily good representation of early English-language literature on the subject. The oldest – and arguably the rarest – work listed is Ludwig Lavater’s Of Ghostes and Spirites (1572), one of the most important demonological studies of ghosts and spirits of the period and a work which Shakespeare is known to have scrutinised when looking for background detail for some of his plays. Famous works written to convince non-believers of the reality (and dangers) of witchcraft and the spirit world include Richard Baxter’s The Certainty of the Worlds of Spirits (1691); John Beaumont’s An Historical, Physiological and Theological Treatise of Spirits, Apparitions, Witchcrafts, and other Magical Practices (1705); Richard Bovet’s Pandæmonium, or, The Devil’s Cloyster (1684); Meric Casaubon’s A Treatise proving Spirits, Witches and Supernatural Operations (1672); Joseph Glanvill’s Saducismus Triumphatus (1681 & other editions); William Perkins’ A Discourse of the Damned Art of Witchcraft (1613); and two works by Richard Boulton that arguably represented the last major attempt to stem the tide of scepticism in Britain: A Compleat History of Magick, Sorcery and Witchcraft (2 Volumes: 1715 & 1716) and The Possibility and Reality of Magick, Sorcery, and Witchcraft, Demonstrated (1722). Those works that sought to challenge the credulity and infamy of the witch-baiters include Reginald Scot’s The Discovery of Witchcraft (Third Edition, 1665); John Webster’s The Displaying of Supposed Witchcraft (1677); and Francis Hutchinson’s Historical Essay Concerning Witchcraft (1718), a work written as a direct refutation of the maunderings of Boulton.
The active interplay between the texts, with authors responding directly to each other’s challenges and philosophies, is one of the fascinating aspects of the books and pamphlets in the collection. This is particularly obvious in the case of the works that deal with contemporary events such as the trial of Jane Wenham, commonly – but perhaps erroneously – regarded as the last woman to be condemned for witchcraft in England, and those that deal with two individuals thought to be the victims of Demonic possession, George Lukins and Richard Dugdale (known respectively as “the Yatton Demoniack” and “the Surey Demoniack”).
A number of the works in the catalogue are of the utmost rarity: in a few instances we have been unable to trace a single other copy. In almost all cases the books are in a superb state of preservation. For nearly five decades Dr. Coleman was a customer of the renowned craft bookbinder and conservationist, Bernard C. Middleton, whose book “The Restoration Of Leather Bindings” is now regarded as the standard text on the subject. Any repairs or conservation measures that were necessary were carried out by Middleton, who also rebound those works that required it, sometimes in magnificently lavish craft bindings. [via]
Epoch. The Esotericon & Portals of Chaos by Peter J Carroll and Matt Kaybryn, a new hardcover book and 55-card deck, published by Arcanorium College for Spring Equinox 2014, is available now, signed by author and illustrator, from Weiser Antiquarian.
This illustrated and “illuminated” hardback opens with a detailed historical resume of magical and esoteric thought before presenting the reader with three complete grimoires. From the publisher: “this superbly produced book contains extensive text by Peter J Carroll and over 50 large full colour illustrations from Matt Kaybryn, which are represented in the accompanying deck. Carroll’s text begins with a historical resumé of magical and esoteric thought before moving on to present the reader with three complete grimoires. The first grimoire of Elemental magic deals with modern practical magical techniques and the classical and modern interpretations of the traditional elemental symbolism. The second grimoire of Planetary magic deals with the Pagan and Neo-Pagan-magical archetypes or ‘god-forms’, their contemporary roles in the human condition, and how the magician can access them for their inspiration and to borrow their abilities. The third grimoire of Stellar magic deals with the ‘Elder Gods’, those foci of awesome and dangerous extraterrestrial knowledge and power that await us in the vast deep reaches of the cosmos. This grimoire constitutes the latest upgrade to the ever evolving Necronomicon. Complementing and supporting the grimoires, further chapters deal with the history of symbolism, the creation and/ or the evolution of gods and goddesses, and the physics of parapsychology and extraterrestrial communication. All in all this book contains enough to keep any wizard, magician, esotericist or natural philosopher entranced and busy for quite quite some time to come.” Accompanied by oversized deck of 55 cards, called a “Cartomagical tool for the 21st century, the Deck presents 54 Altar Icons spanning the three Spheres of Elements, Bi-Planets and Stellar god-forms.” [via]
Hyleal, Pri-material, Catholic, or Universal Natural Chaos: Excerpts from the Companion Volume to Amphitheatre of Eternal Wisdom by Henricus Khunrath, selected and translated by Russell Yoder, from Salamander and Sons, scheduled to be published already, but coming soon, will be available via Weiser Antiquarian Books.
“Hyleal, Pri-material, Catholic, or Universal Natural Chaos consists of excerpts from the companion volume to Henricus Khunrath’s alchemical classic, Amphitheatrum sapientiae aeternae (or, Amphitheatre of Eternal Wisdom).
Englished for the first time by Russell Yoder, Hyleal, Pri-material, Catholic, or Universal Natural Chaos is initially concerned with Magnesia (the “Magnet of the Lord” and “universal raw Stone of the Wise that is to be found in Nature”), the Green Lion of Nature (the “fiery spark or ray of the World’s Soul, or Light of Nature” that is “the naturally, conceivably catholic All”) and Our Chaos or Hyle (“the World’s First Water … [the] Fountain [from which] all material things have their first origin” which is the “Fundament or Foundation, the Basis of the World that God Himself put in place … [which] the edifice of the entire earth is set upon …”).
Embodying a kind of Christianised natural magic influenced as much by kabbalah, natural philosophy and the works of Paracelsus as by Lutheran pietism and devotion, the Divinely inspired and particular revelations of Hyleal, Pri-material, Catholic, or Universal Natural Chaos extend to include heavenly influences and the timing of the work, Azoth or Living Mercury (“not quicksilver, nor something taken out of or from him, but Mercurius – that which the Philosophers speak of!”), Salt of Magnesia (“often called Sal Petra or Sal Peter, Sal Alkali, Sal Gemma or the Noble Rock-salt … from the radical Humidity of the whole World”), and the artful and natural elevation of plants, animals and minerals “to the highest Natural Perfection” towards “true Regeneration and more than perfect Multiplication of Metals [and] an exceedingly powerful Universal Medicine …”
Includes a brief but highly insightful tract in verse ‘from F.R.C.’ on the subject of Our Chaos – Hyle – published as part of The Golden Rose (1704), almost 100 years after the publication of Khunrath’s Amphitheatrum, and exactly 90 years after the appearance of the Rosicrucian manifesto Fama Fraternitatis R.C. (1614).”
Three Treatises of Art: Alchemy for the Behmenist Adept, The Little Alchemical Farmer, and The Lead of the Wise and Its Dual Species by Two Anonymous Authors and Adam Michael Birkholz, translated by Russell Yoder, from Salamander and Sons, scheduled to be published already, but coming soon, will be available via Weiser Antiquarian Books.
“These Three Treatises of Art – namely Alchemy for the Behmenist Adept, The Little Alchemical Farmer and The Lead of the Wise and Its Dual Species – have been translated by Russell Yoder. Two of the three are presented in English for the first time, while the third is presented anew for the first time since the 18th century.
Alchemy for the Behmenist Adept
Alchemy for the Behmenist Adept (or, Idea Chemiæ Bohmianæ Adeptæ): The Preparation of the Philosopher’s Stone According to Jacob Bohm (Amsterdam, 1690) is a rare and significant attempt to systematise Jacob Boehme’s Hermetic corpus. Drawing upon the High Dutch Philosopher’s works – including Aurora: Die Morgenröte im Aufgang, The Threefold Life of Man, De Signatura Rerum (or, Signature of All Things), Mysterium Pansophicum (or, Earthly and Heavenly Mystery and the Image of the Soul), Mysterium Magnum, Clavis, and Sixty-two Theosophic Epistles – Alchemy for the Behmenist Adept is concerned with “the preparation of the great Wonder-Stone of the Wise, the signs and colour which appear in the Work, their force and effect, and what commonly and especially to take heed of while at work …”
The Little Alchemical Farmer
A sublimely humourous pastorale, The Little Alchemical Farmer (or, Der Kleine Bauer) succinctly illustrates the familiar adage that “when the novice or apprentice is ready the Master appears.” Encountered on the path “between two Mountains,” this “fine old Farmer” is a keeper of high Mystery who generously expounds upon the crude ‘Second Matter’ and the conjunction of the red and white Star-flowers (the ‘red man’ and ‘white woman’) to become “the Prima Materia ‘of all metals’.” Before vanishing into the Mountain itself, this elderly ‘country gentleman’ describes the origin and root of all metals, the ignorance of the senses and the importance of prayer, “the white Mercurial Lily-sap” (‘Azot’ or ‘Gluten Aquilae’), and “[t]he sulphuric, incombustible, fixed, red lily juice” (‘Laton’ or ‘Leo Rubeus’), and emphasises that although “from the nature of these [white and red] flowers, precious stones and pearls grow forth,” the “highest object [of concern] is to further knowledge of God, and long life, and recovery from all diseases.”
The Lead of the Wise and Its Dual Species
A Treatise entitled ‘The Lead of the Wise and Its Dual Species’, with Selected Notes, from Compass of the Wise (Compendium of the Golden and Rosie Cross) by Adam Michael Birkholz (Berlin, 1782) elaborates upon Saturn – that “fiend, foe, and death of all metals” who is also “their resurrection and life” – and the spirit of this “child-eater, father, brother, sister, destroyer of all planets, friend and enemy …” In addition to describing this “right philosophical water of separation, which by its sharpness cuts all metals and minerals,” The Lead of the Wise and Its Dual Species discusses the properties of “our raw philosophical matter,” the principal Key to the work (“our magical fire”), the female Gold or Suns, the prophet Ezekiel, “the Boneless Fish [‘Euhmais’] which swims around in the philosophical seas,” the preparation of the philosophical ferment of leaven, the amalgamation of “the true philosophical gold … with a Mercury of Saturn,” and significantly more.”
Weiser Antiquarian Books Catalogue #117 Aleister Crowley and Circle. A Miscellany of Used and Rare Books and Ephemera
“The catalogue is divided into three sections, the first of which is devoted to the magnificent Frieda Lady Harris / Aleister Crowley Thoth Tarot Calendar that was published for the year 1987. The calendars are huge (16.5″ x 10.5″) and each has 12 full-colour large size reproductions of different Thoth tarot designs. Serendipitously the alignment of days / dates in 2015 will be exactly the same as it was in 1987, so those who want to actually use the calendar will be able to do so next year! We have only a very small number of original new copies — recently discovered in England — and originals are rare, as many owners disassembled them and framed each of the images individually (we have one such set on the walls at Weiser Antiquarian).
The second section is devoted to books and ephemera by Aleister Crowley. It includes a good selection of First Editions of Crowley’s works, including the first separate British and US editions of The Book of the Law (1938 & 1942 respectively), a good selection of First Editions of the first series of The Equinox, including one of the rare white buckram issues of which there were only 50 copies, and a handsomely bound copy of The Equinox, Vol. III, No. 1. (‘The Blue Equinox‘ — 1919) from the library of Ray G. Burlingame (1893–1965) ‘Frater Aquarius,’ a IX degree member of the Agape Lodge of the O.T.O., with his stylised ownership inscription. Other First Editions include a superb set of the first issue of Magick In Theory and Practice (1929) in four parts, with the rare, 4 page prospectus and the single-sheet Subscription Form; The Sword of Song. Called by Christians The Book of the Beast (1904), two different variants of The Tale of Archais. A Romance in Verse (1898), a handsomely rebound copy of Oracles: The Biography of an Art (1905) and first separate editions of The City of God (1943) and The Fun of the Fair (1942), including a copy of the latter with the two additional poems that were left out of most copies because of wartime censorship regulations. Posthumous editions include a highly unusual Thelema publications re-issue of The Vision and The Voice (1952 / 1980), the sought-after John Symonds and Kenneth Grant edited Magical and Philosophical Commentaries on the Book of the Law (1974) and a lovely copy of the Karl Germer edition of Liber Aleph (1962) with the extremely unusual original single-sided prospectus loosely inserted. There is also some fascinating ephemera, including a proof copy of Liber LXXVII. [Liber Oz] with holograph notes by Crowley on the verso; an autograph letter, signed, from Crowley to his physician urgently requesting a replacement prescription for heroin, and a holograph draft of a letter from Crowley to Frieda Lady Harris, along with a typed letter signed to Crowley from his lawyers, who had evidently vetted the contents of the letter on Crowley’s behalf!
The third and final section of the catalogue comprises works which in one way or another relate to Aleister Crowley. These include a copy of the rare first edition of Betty May’s Tiger-Woman (1929) — which famously includes a chapter on her stay at Cefalu, and a delightful early edition of James Joyce’s Ulysses (1926), a book which Crowley greatly admired, but which was banned in the UK at the time and comes with a home-made “modesty shield” so that it can sit undetected on the shelves. Both books are from the library of Edward Noel Fitzgerald (1908-1958), Frater Agape, a IX degree member of the O.T.O., long-time friend of Aleister Crowley’s, and briefly Karl Germer’s representative in the U.K., with his posthumous bookplate. Other curiosities include Liber Vel Oviz 93 Sub Figura LXXVI as Delivered By Oviz to Przoval 8 = 3 (1981) an unusual privately printed work that appears to present itself as a ‘sequel’ to or extension of “The Book of the Law,” S. Ivor Stephen’s, Neutrality: the Crucifixion of Public Opinion From the American Point of View (1916), a well-reasoned argument for keeping the USA out of the First World War, which includes a number of references to the views on the subject of the “great English writer and poet” Crowley and his circle; and a typed letter, signed, from Dennis Wheatley to Crowley, discussing publication possibilities for Crowley’s memoirs (1934)
Weiser Antiquarian Books has posted a number of new arrivals, including a Book of the Law privately issued by O.T.O. in London from 1938, as well as other items of interest such as A E Koetting’s The Book of Azazel, Alexander Winfield Dray’s Nox Infernus and Liber Obsidian Obscura, Sabbatica compiled by Edgar Kerval, Liber Nigri Solis edited by Victor Voronov, Michael Cecchetelli’s Crossed Keys, Nigel Pennick’s The Toadman, and a number of Aleister Crowley, Israel Regardie, Jack Parsons, Kenneth Grant, Austin Osman Spare, and Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn related works as well as others of probable interest.