The Books of the Month
Book of Magic – Anon (Herbert Irwin)
This is a deluxe limited edition, a reproduction of a manuscript written out by the Victorian gentleman by the name of Herbert Irwin, a book in which he copied out magical rituals, methods and knowledge.
It contains instructions on: summoning demons, calling angels, working herbal spells, scrying in a mirror, doing magic with talismans, understanding planetary powers, how to do specific secret rites, how to prepare the implements for the ceremonies. Full list of contents here.
The work gives an important insight into what workings the author considered important, what material was able to locate, and finally — a hint of what he hoped would become of his work: hence the curious phrase ‘Fratres Lucis’, or ‘Brothers of the Light’ and the secret rituals. Moreover, it is a working English grimoire, and may be used as such to this day. Irwin completed it in 1874 and it was subsequently owned by prominent Golden Dawn member and Theosophist F.L. Gardner. It has never before been published.
The publisher has created a slipcased three-volume set, consisting of the facsimile, a transcription, and a folder of talismans.
- Facsimile of Manuscript. Hardback in full calf leather binding incorporating skrying mirror. 416pp coloured pages (of which 209pp are blank) Edges hand gilded, Leather joint, decorated endpapers. Front board features a satin silk doublure inset with reproduction sigil. Rear board inset with glass magic mirror. The pages of full colour facsimile are of high quality reproduction, and has very similiar appearance to the original manuscript.
- Transcript. Herbert Irwin’s handwriting is not always easily read; the transcript overcomes this issue. Typeset as in the original 408pp (of which 205 are blank), and also gives translations of the occasional Latin. It also reproduces in monochrome the illustrations in context. Hardback cloth binding, undecorated boards.
- Talismans in Folder. Talismans from the manuscript created according to the text’s instructions. The manuscript states that the talismans should be made either of pure gold or drawn on parchment. Inspired by this, these are blocked in pure gold on vellum — the terms vellum and parchment were used interchangeably in the nineteeenth century.
This is a limited edition, with each set hand-numbered.
The Game of Saturn – Peter Mark Adams
The Game of Saturn is the first full length, scholarly study of the enigmatic Renaissance masterwork known as the Sola-Busca tarot. It reveals the existence of a pagan liturgical and ritual tradition active amongst members of the Renaissance elite and encoded within the deck. Beneath its beautifully decorated surface, its imagery ranges from the obscure to the grotesque; we encounter scenes of homoeroticism, wounding, immolation and decapitation redolent of hidden meanings, violent transformations and obscure rites.
For the first time in over five hundred years, the clues embedded within the cards reveal a dark Gnostic grimoire replete with pagan theurgical and astral magical rites. Careful analysis demonstrates that the presiding deity of this ‘cult object’ is none other than the Gnostic demiurge in its most archaic and violent form: the Afro-Levantine serpent-dragon, Ba’al Hammon, also known as Kronos and Saturn, though more notoriously as the biblical Moloch, the devourer of children.
This work fully explores the historical context for the deck’s creation against the background of tense Ferrarese-Venetian diplomatic intrigue and espionage. The recovery of the deck’s encoded narratives constitutes a significant contribution to Renaissance scholarship, art history, tarot studies and the history of Western esotericism.
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