Tag Archives: Witchcraft

Witchcraft

Weiser Antiquarian Books Catalogue #120 is a collection on “Witchcraft. Used and Rare Books.” and may be of interest.

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]

Witchdom of the True

Witchdom of the True: A Study of the Vana-Troth and the Practice of Seiðr by Edred Thorsson (as Edred), a 1999 paperback from Rûna Raven Press, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Edred Witchdom of the True from Rûna Raven Press

On the title page, this also has “Volume I: Lore and History” and “From a Manuscript Formerly Entitled ‘True Wicca'”.

“‘Edred does it again! The Witchdom of the True is an invaluable resource to Wiccans and to those who follow Asatru alike. In clear and compelling language, it restores the Vanir-faith to its place as an integral part of the dynamic and diverse Northern tradition. Long known as the leading light in the modern runic revival, Edred now pulls back the curtain of time to show us the origin of Wicca in the Vanir cult of he ancient Northlands. This is an exciting book, and a breath of fresh air in a field that long needed the windows and doors thrown open!’ — Stephen A. McNallen, Asatru Folk Assembly

Found in Witchdom of the True
· History of the Vanic Faith
· Survival and Revival of Witchdom
· Cosmology
· Myth and Lore of the Lord and Lady
· Ritual Working Formula of Witchdom
· Lore of Witchcraft
· Lore of Seith

‘In this book the author finally makes clear once and for all the deep and ancient nature of the true cult of the Lord and Lady, its origins and mythology. Modern Wiccans will be delighted to have this lore clarified, and it is hoped the information will help transform the Wiccan movement in the next millennium by returning it to its natural roots.’ — Inga Steddinger, High Priestess, Author of Wiccan Sex Magic” — back cover


Ameth

Ameth: The Life and Times of Doreen Valiente by Jonathan Tapsell, forthcoming from Avalonia Books, may be of interest.

Jonathan Tapsell Ameth from Avalonia Books

This study of the life of the Witch, Priestess and Author Doreen Valiente, who is sometimes named as the ‘Mother of Modern Pagan Witchcraft’ presents a wonderful collection of information and insights into her life and work. ‘AMETH’ was Doreen Valiente’s witch name, the author talks about this in the book writing that during Doreen’s initiation as a Witch by Gerald Gardner, she was given the name:

‘At this rite Gardner and Dafo gave their new initiate a secret Witch-name known only to those within the Craft. Doreen was from then on to be known as — Ameth. Gardner is likely to have said these words taken from his own Book of Shadows: “Hear, ye Mighty Ones, (Ameth) hath been consecrated Priestess and Witch of the Gods.” before asking the Gods to depart. Ameth true to her secret oaths of the Old Religion would neither disclose to either her husband or mother that she was now a fully-fledged Witch.’

‘As the ceremony progressed the newly initiated Witch, Doreen, would have been anointed, given wine from a chalice, gently scourged for purification and eventually untied and the blindfold taken away. At its conclusion she would have been presented with an athame (a witch’s knife), a wand to invoke spirits, a white handled knife, a scourge and a censor for incense. Another magical artefact, belonging to the Witch, was the cords used to bind her during the ceremony. One cord measured nine feet long and was to be used to make magical circles and another cord was used for spells. She was now a member of the coven and only another two degrees stood between her and the title of High Priestess in the art magical.’

Serpent Songs in Bibliothèque Rouge paperback

Scarlet Imprint recently tweeted that the “Bibliothèque Rouge paperback edition of Serpent Songs is with the printer, & should be with us in a few weeks” and so should be available shortly if not by the time of this post. This book was announced back in April, 2013 and is still available in other formats, including digital, but this new edition is in the their laudable tradition of making affordable paperback and digital editions intended to foster “the transmission of information and knowledge” as well as make working and travelling copies, along side their fine talismanic crafted editions, available.

Serpent Songs are the works and words of those who remain untamed, from Cunning Folk to Exorcists to Pellars to Sorgin and Witches and Mystics.

A collection of fifteen essays are introduced and curated by Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold through whose contacts we encounter the worlds of lone practitioners and tradition holders, from both family and clan, and are allowed a rare glimpse into the workings of the more secretive proponents of the Craft.”

Serpent Songs is a wide ranging work that deals with the issues of witch blood, taboo, the other, the liminal state, fire, dream, art and need as vectors of the Craft. What emerges is not a narrow definition of what it means to engage in Traditional Craft, but a set of shared characteristics and approaches which become evident despite the cultural gulfs in place and time. This is a book of praxis, beliefs and their own definitions of the art itself rather than those applied to it by outsiders. These are the voices who for the most part operate in silence but now wish to be heard.”

Aradia

Aradia, or the Gospel of the Witches by Charles Godfrey Leland, newly translated by Mario Pazzaglini and Dina Pazzaglini, with additional material from Chas S Clifton, Robert Mathiesen, and Robert E Chartowich, with foreword by Stewart Farrar, a 1999 paperback from Phoenix Publishing, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Charles G Leland et al Aradia from Phoenix press

“When Charles Godfrey Leland published Aradia, or the Gospel of the Witches at the end of the nineteenth century as the crowning product of his Italian researches of the 1880s and 1890s, he believed he was preserving what remained of an ancient but dying tradition before it was too late. he could not have known that in so doing he was providing one of the key source-books which would inspire a vigorous revival of that tradition half a century after his death. Had he been able to foresee it, he would have been astonished, probably amused, and almost certainly gratified; for in spite of the occasional Victorian caution with which he expressed himself, his research was clearly a labor of love.

This expanded edition features contributions by several eminent authorities:

Mario Pazzaglini, PhD, whose family origins on both sides are deeply rooted in the area where Aradia originated, has spent 25 years working on this new translation. He gives line-by-line transcription showing where Leland made his original errors as a result of his lack of comprehension of the dialect of the area. The new translation is then presented in the same format as the original edition (which is included here as well), Mario’s research notes are also included.

Chas Clifton has been studying witchcraft and the occult for over 25 years. He teaches at the University of Colorado and has a long list of published books to his name, including: Iron Mountain: A Journal of Magical Religion, The Modern Rites of Passage, Witchcraft and Shamanism, and Sacred Mask, Sacred Dance. He discusses the significance of Aradia on the revival of modern witchcraft.

Robert Mathieson [sic], PhD, has been a member of the faculty of Brown University for over 30 years. During the last decade most of his research has been on the historical development of magical theories and practices from the Middle Ages to the present. He writes on the origins of Aradia, including the culture and religion of the area, as well as the difficulties involved in retranslating the book.

Stewart Farrar is a professional journalist and author of many books on the occult including The Witches’ Goddess, The Pagan Path, Spells and How They Work and The Witches’ Way. He regularly appears on television and radio and has been featured in a film on witchcraft.” — back cover


Witchcraft in the Middle Ages

Witchcraft in the Middle Ages by Jeffrey Burton Russell, the 1992 fourth printing paperback from Cornell University Press, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Jeffrey Burton Russell Witchcraft in the Middle Ages from Cornell University Press

“All the known theories and incidents of witchcraft in Western Europe from the fifth to the fifteenth century are brilliantly set forth in this engaging and comprehensive history. Building on a foundation of newly discovered primary sources and recent secondary interpretations, Professor Russell first establishes the facts and then explains the phenomenon of witchcraft in terms of its social and religious environment, particularly in relation to medieval heresies. He treats European witchcraft as a product of Christianity, grounded in heresy more than in the magic and sorcery that have existed in other societies. Skillfully blending narration with analysis, he shows how social and religious changes nourished the spread of witchcraft until large portions of medieval Europe were in its grip—’from the most illiterate peasant to the most skilled philosopher or scientist.’ A significant chapter in the history of ideas and their repression is illuminated by this book. Our growing fascination with the occult gives the author’s affirmation that witchcraft arises at times and in areas afflicted with social tensions a special quality of immediacy.” [via]


Omnium Gatherum: March 12th, 2014

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for March 12th, 2014

Little Wide Awake 1877 from Craig Conley, Abecedarian
An illustration from an 1877 issue of Little Wide Awake magazine.” — Craig Conley, Abecedarian

 

  • Ask Massively: And the money will follow” — Brianna Royce, Massively; from the two-pennies-to-rub-together dept.

    “My mother always told me, ‘Do what you love, and the money will follow.’ It’s not true. I wish it were. Sorry mom. It’s a dangerous thing to tell a geeky little girl something like that when she’s trying to decide whether to be a coroner, an international diplomat, or a butterfly. I did not become any of these things. I got a degree in what I loved, but the money followed only when I got a job I didn’t love to pay for my husband to do what he loved. My landing a job with Massively (almost four years ago!) was the product of an unrelated cross-country move, a lot of luck, and an unusual combination of otherwise mundane knowledge. It was not something I planned and executed meticulously as a career plan.”

  • #AmtrakResidency” — Amtrak; from the they-who-curse-the-bum-on-the-rods dept.

    “#AmtrakResidency was designed to allow creative professionals who are passionate about train travel and writing to work on their craft in an inspiring environment. Round-trip train travel will be provided on an Amtrak long-distance route. Each resident will be given a private sleeper car, equipped with a desk, a bed and a window to watch the American countryside roll by for inspiration. Routes will be determined based on availability.

    Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed by a panel. Up to 24 writers will be selected for the program starting March 17, 2014 through March 31, 2015. A passion for writing and an aspiration to travel with Amtrak for inspiration are the sole criteria for selection. Both emerging and established writers will be considered.

    Residencies will be anywhere from 2-5 days, with exceptions for special projects.”

  • WIT researchers discover ‘lost’ Einstein model of universe” — Dick Ahlstrom, Irish Times; from the i-will-not-be-pushed-filed-stamped-indexed-briefed-debriefed-or-numbered dept.

    “‘I was looking through drafts, but then slowly realised it was a draft of something very different,’ Dr [Cormac] O’Raifeartaigh said. ‘I nearly fell off my chair. It was hidden in perfect plain sight. This particular manuscript was misfiled as a draft of something else.'”

     

  • Albert Einstein quote via “Albert Einstein, when he arrived in America, was shocked at how African Americans were treated.” — Emily, Dichotomization [also]; from the emperor’s-new-clothes dept.

    “There is a separation of colored people from white people in the United States. That separation is not a disease of colored people. It is a disease of white people. I do not intend to be quiet about it.”

  • On Gaia tests whether the hypothesis holds up to scientific scrutiny” — Scott K Johnson, Ars Technica; from the because-the-cosmos-is-also-within-us dept.

    “In the early 1970s, Lovelock—with the help of Lynn Margulis—developed the Gaia Hypothesis, which views the Earth and its ecosystems as resembling a sort of superorganism. Lovelock was working for NASA at the time, developing instruments that would aid the Viking landers in looking for signs of life on Mars, so he was thinking about how life interacts with its environment on a planetary scale. And Margulis was famed for her ideas about symbiosis.

    This intellectual background led to the idea that organisms are not just passive inhabitants riding a big rock that determined whether they lived or died. Organisms were active participants in the molding of their environment, tweaking and improving conditions as part of a massive, self-regulating system.

    In On Gaia: A Critical Investigation of the Relationship Between Life and Earth, University of Southampton Professor Toby Tyrrell sets out to comprehensively put the Gaia Hypothesis to the test, using everything we’ve learned about life and its history on our planet.”

  • Recreating the Cosmos in Our Druidic Ritual Order.” — Ian Corrigan, Into the Mound; from the we’re-made-of-star-stuff dept.

    “In my understanding, the basic steps of our Order of Ritual (OoR) amount to a recreation of the Indo-European cosmos. As in many traditional ritual systems, our rites are set in a cosmological diagram. Since our Order is written for modern, park-and-church-basement Paganism, we assume that this cosmic model must be rebuilt and reconsecrated for each ritual. Thus our sacrifices open with rites for consecrating the space and establish it as a gathering-place for the Gods & Spirits.”

  • A new “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey” hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson, presented by Fox and National Geographic, guest appearance by Giordano Bruno in the premiere [also]; from the we-are-a-way-for-the-cosmos-to-know-itself dept.

     

  • Petra monuments oriented according to celestial events” — Past Horizons; from the summer-sunday-and-a-year dept.

    “During the winter solstice, the sun is filtered into the Monastery at Petra, Jordan, illuminating the podium of a deity. Just at this moment, the silhouette of the mountain opposite draws the head of a lion, a sacred animal. These are examples from a study where researchers from Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias and CSIC (Spain) showed how celestial events influenced the orientation of the great constructions of the Nabataeans.”

  • Research Suggests We Unconsciously React to Events Up to 10 Seconds Before They Happen” — The Mind Unleashed [HT Reality Sandwich]; from the wake-me-up-before-you-go-go dept.

    “Can your brain detect events before they even occur? That was the stunning conclusion of a 2012 meta-analysis of experiments from seven independent laboratories over the last 35 years, which found that the human body ‘can apparently detect randomly delivered stimuli occurring 1–10 seconds in the future’ (Mossbridge, Tressoldi, & Utts, 2012). In the studies, physiological readings were taken as participants were subjected to unpredictable events designed to activate the sympathetic nervous system (for example, showing provocative imagery) as well as ‘neutral events’ that did not activate the nervous system. These readings showed that the nervous system aligned with the nature of the event (activated/not activated) — and what’s more, the magnitude of the pre-event response corresponded with the magnitude of the post-event response.”

  • Scientists unlock mystery of out-of-body experiences (aka astral trips)” — Jordan Kushins, Sploid [HT Disinformation]; from the why-am-i-up-here-what-do-they-see-in-me dept.

    “The fMRI showed a ‘strong deactivation of the visual cortex’ while ‘activating the left side of several areas associated with kinesthetic imagery,’ which includes mental imagery of bodily movement. This is the part of the brain that makes it possible for us to interact with the world. It’s what makes you feel where your body is in relation to the world.”

  • Translation of Theodor Klauser at “Mithras scholar Vermaseren on the Mithras cranks” — Roger Pearse [HT rogueclassicism]; from the let-that-be-a-lesson-to-you dept.

    “Anyone who really wants to promote scholarship may not content themselves with uniting uncontrolled ideas and research into a seductive synthesis, written in an attractive form, for the slightest critical touch causes such constructs to collapse. The established rules of scholarly method cannot be ignored with impunity; even the most gifted may not skip over the necessarily lengthy process.”

  • Priestess Najah, via tweet.

    “Queen of Conjure, sacred Marie LaVeau. Her tomb needs restoration. Donate at http://www.saveourcemeteries.org

  • Maidens, Matrons, and Magicians: Women and Personal Ritual Power in Late Antique Egypt” by Meghan Paalz McGinnis, Masters Thesis, University of Louisville, 2012; from the sparks-fly-from-her-finger-tips dept.

    “Utilizing an interdisciplinary approach to a variety of material, textual, and literary evidence, the aim of this thesis is to shed light on the realities — rather than stereotypes — of an important aspect of late ancient women’s experience: the use of ritual power. Patterns of gender differentiation in late antique Egyptian magic are investigated and shown to be connected to the particular aims to which numinous powers were employed, aims which were in turn bound up with the social roles expected of each sex. The majority of this study consists of a series of case studies of different types of women’s rituals of power, which emphasize examples of significant trends in ritual iconography, praxis, and context, both those which were typical of late antique Egyptian magic as a whole, and those which were uniquely female in character. The fact that female practitioners came from a wide array of socio-economic, ethnic, and religious backgrounds is also addressed.”

  • Tutankhamun’s Blood” by Jo Marchant, Matter; from the blood-feud dept.

    “[Yehia] Gad isn’t the first to attempt to test Tutankhamun’s DNA, but he is the first to get this far. Previous efforts by foreigners were cancelled at the last minute. After decades of outside interference, Egypt’s politicians were reluctant to hand over the keys to the pharaohs’ origins—especially when the results, if dropped into the crucible of the Middle East, might prove explosive.”

  • Israel reveals eerie collection of Neolithic ‘spirit’ masks” — Ilan ben Zion [HT David Metcalfe]; from the starting-with-the-man-in-the-mirror dept.

    “With vacant sockets and jaws agape, they stare at you like the skulls of the dead. They are 9,000-year-old masks found in the Judean Desert and Hills, and they are going on display for the first time next week at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.”

  • Myrtle quoted in “Paganism in Israel: Where the Modern meets the Ancient” — Heather Greene, The Wild Hunt; from the grand-central-station dept.

    “Ever since the dawn of [humanity], even stretching back to the exits from Africa, people of different cultures have passed through this tiny country. There are places of worship to the Canaanite deities, Egyptian temples to Hathor, countless shrines to the Greek and Roman Gods, Phoenician influences and more.”

  • Consult the Oracle! [HT rogueclassicism]; from the ask-me-no-questions-i’ll-tell-you-no-lies dept.

    “The ancient Delphic Oracle was the inspiration for a recent application created by the Department of Classical Studies at the University College of London. This application will give the user the chance to have a unique experience. The application is very tempting and attractive as one can ask whatever he wishes online.” [via]

  • Shape-Shifter” — Michael Gilleland, Laudator Temporis Acti; from the i’m-gonna-git-you-sucka dept.

    “Zeus became a swan, a bull, a satyr, gold, for love of
           Leda, Europa, Antiope, Danaë.”

  • Jesus Wept” — Michael Gilleland, Laudator Temporis Acti; from the dacryphilia dept.

    “Some in the ancient world might have interpreted the act of weeping as evidence that Jesus was not God.”

  • Grimoire” — Michael Quinion, World Wide Words; from the cook-the-books dept.

    “The shift from book of grammar to book of magic isn’t as weird as it might seem. Few among the ordinary people in those times could read or write. For superstitious minds books were troubling objects. Who knew what awful information was locked up in them? For many people grammar meant the same thing as learning, and everybody knew that learning included astrology and other occult arts.”

  • California’s drought is so bad people are turning to witchcraft” — Holly Richmond, Grist; from the liquore-strega dept.

    “Did you know that witches help make Two-Buck Chuck? Sadly no one from The Craft is involved, but water witches are increasingly in demand in California as the state’s epic drought continues. John Franzia of the Bronco Wine Company, which makes Two-Buck Chuck and a slew of other wines, regularly uses diviners to find water underneath his California vineyards.”

  • Aleister Crowley and the Temptation of Politics, by Marco Pasi” — Clive Bloom, Times Higher Education; from the piecemeal-social-engineering dept.

    “Pasi’s book, which has already appeared in Italian and German, proves an admirable introduction to the complex magical and political connections of this most elusive of figures. Ironically, what the book proves is the opposite of its title, which is simply that magical practice and practical politics have never mixed, and the attempt to fit them together was a doomed and ‘childish’ project. Crowley’s ‘political’ legacy lies more properly in the politics of personal liberation that he advocated and in the counterculture he helped to create.”

  • Alchemical Interpretations of Masonic Symbols in the Rituals of Russian Rosicrucians of the 18th-19th Centuries” (in Russian) — Yury Khalturin; from the watching-the-world-wake-up-from-history dept.

    “In the article symbolic mechanisms of the transmission of alchemical tradition within the Russian Rosicrucianism are analyzed. The main point of the article is the idea, that masonic symbols and their interpretations were not just a form of communicating the alchemical tradition, but also a mode of its transformation according to the principles of rosicrucian worldview. All the alchemical interpretations of masonic symbols in rosicrucian rituals could be reduced to paradigmatic and syntagmatic models. Within the ritual those symbols and interpretations realized two main functions — suggestive (creating the sacral atmosphere for getting the esoteric knowledge) and initiatic (initiation through the shift from one level of hidden sense to another), which changed social and existential status of the neophyte.”

  • Is there any super bad-ass Catholic weapon around out there?” — Benito Cereno, Burgeoning Lads of Science; from the ten-hail-marys-and-turn dept.

    “Some of these might be of dubious Catholicity, but they all at least have something to do with a saint or a relic, so there you have it.”

  • Mindscapes: The first recording of hallucinated music” — Helen Thomson, NewScientist’s Mindscapes; from the stop-children-what’s-that-sound dept.

    “‘It’s like having my own internal iPod,’ says Sylvia. While she goes about her daily life she hears music. It may sound to her as if a radio is playing, but it is entirely in her own head.

    Sylvia calls the hallucinations a nuisance, but they can be turned off, which has allowed researchers to work out what might cause them. The discovery paves the way for new treatments and hints at the cause of more common hallucinations, such as those associated with schizophrenia.”

  • Are Stonehenge’s Boulders Actually Big Bells?” — Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic [David Raffin]; from the everybody-must-get-stoned dept.

    “If you’re building a monument, why not build it out of stones that speak?

    ‘We don’t know of course that they moved them because they rang, but ringing rocks are a prominent part of many cultures,’ English archeologist Tim Darvill told the BBC. ‘Soundscapes of pre-history are something we’re really just beginning to explore.’

    It’s true. Academics and researchers are just beginning to think about what many historic places—both geographic and architectural—sounded like.”

  • Wagner & Me“, a movie with Stephen Fry, currently on Netflix; from the is-wagner-a-human-being-at-all dept.

     

  • Richard Wagner and his Operas, an online archive and resource.

     

  • Mathematicians Are Chronically Lost and Confused” — Soulskill, Slashdot; from the dazed-and-confused dept.

    “[Jeremy Kun] says it’s immensely important for mathematicians to be comfortable with extended periods of ignorance when working on a new topic. ‘The truth is that mathematicians are chronically lost and confused. It’s our natural state of being, and I mean that in a good way. …”

  • Roelof Nicolai quoted in “648 – Portolan Charts ‘Too Accurate’ to be Medieval” — Frank Jacobs, Big Think; from the maps-of-the-ancient-sea-kings dept.

    “Perhaps we should re-evaluate what we think was the state of science in Antiquity”

  • Scientists Revive a Giant 30,000 Year Old Virus From Ice” — bmahersciwriter, Slashdot; from the andromeda-strain dept.

    “It might be terrifying if we were amoebae. Instead, it’s just fascinating. The virus, found in a hunk of Siberian ice, is huge, but also loosely packaged, which is strange says evolutionary biologist Jean-Michel Claverie: ‘We thought it was a property of viruses that they pack DNA extremely tightly into the smallest particle possible, but this guy is 150 times less compacted than any bacteriophage [viruses that infect bacteria]. We don’t understand anything anymore!'”

Abraxas: Issue 5

Abraxas: Issue 5, edited by Christina Oakley Harrington and Robert Ansell, from Fulgur, is due to release on March 20th, 2014, in limited paperback and even more limited hardback editions, which includes many new works that will certainly be of interest, including a contribution by K Lenore Siner, who you may recogonize from her participation in the Hermetic Library visual pool.

Abraxas issue 5 from Fulgur Esoterica UK

Abraxas Issue #5 offers 180 large format pages of essays, poetry, interviews and art.

Printed using state-of-the-art offset lithography to our usual high standard, contributions for Abraxas #5 include an interview by Pam Grossman with Greek artist, Panos Tsagaris; an analysis of Aby Warburg’s Mnemosyne Atlas by Silvia Urbini, a visual interpretation of the Dionysian mysteries by Arrington de Dionyso; a substantial essay from Shasha Chaitow on the grandfather of esoteric art, Joséphin Péladan; an introduction to the art of Michael Bertiaux by Ariock Van de Voorde; reminiscences by Caroline Wise of her friend Olivia Robertson (1917-2013), and much more…

CONTENTS

Editorial, Christina Oakley Harrington
Olivia Robertson: A Visionary Life, Caroline Wise
A Brief History of the Use of Spirits in European Occultism, Stephanie Spoto
Mycology, Madeline Cass
De Vermis in Se, Max Razdow
John Augustus Knapp: Modern Master of Occult Illustration, Ken Henson
Marrasio’s Masque, translation by Merlin Cox, illustrated by Gromyko Semper
Black and White & Gold All Over: An Interview with Panos Tsagaris, Pam Grossman
Musings on Breath, David Blank
The (Not Entirely) Lost ‘Art of the Apothecary’: Abramelin Oil and Ancient Perfumery, Ioannis Marathakis
Blind Love, K Lenore Siner
Victor Brauner at the Crossroads of Magic and Chance, Jon Graham
La Villa dei Misteri, Arrington de Dionyso
Esoteric City: Theological Hermeneutics in Plato’s Republic, Edward Butler, with photography by SF Said
Sonnet, Comte de Saint-Germain, translated by Sebastian Hayes
Nihilalia: In conversation with Bea Kwan Lim, Randall Morris
A Brief History of Witchcraft: Inquisitors & Witches, Ian Pyper
Games of Fate: Aby Warburg’s Mnemosyne, Plate 23a, Silvia Urbini
Oversoul, Joanna Pallaris
Hidden in Plain Sight: Joséphin Péladan’s Religion of Art, Sasha Chaitow
Bené-Satan, Sasha Chaitow
Isis and Taweret with tomb of Hafiz, Adela Leibowitz
Meeting Le Maître: An Introduction to the Art of Michael Bertiaux, Ariock Van de Voorde
Antinous and Glykon: The Gods of Good Hair in Late Antique Anatolia, P. Sufenas Virius Lupus” [via]

Satanism and Witchcraft

Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews Satanism and Witchcraft: The Classic Study of Medieval Superstition by Jules Michelet.

Jules Michelet Satanism and Witchcraft

Michelet provided a seminal treatment of witchcraft, influential on readers such as Gerald Gardner who went on to organize neo-pagan religion and influence modern ideas of occultism. In Michelet’s view, medieval witches were adherents of indigenous, pre-Christian religion, and they expressed popular resistance against the oppressions of church and state. Heretics, witches and satanists all reflect a measure of virtuous anti-authoritarianism, containing the seeds of rational enlightenment.

Although Michelet was a credentialed historian capable of meticulous research, his Satanism and Witchcraft was written in broad, romanticizing strokes for a popular audience. Thus it is highly readable, but not all that reliable in its details as a work of positive history. It found its market well enough, and it has stayed perpetually in print. [via]