This handsome box slipcased set is dedicated to the life and work of Victorian-era cunning men, focussing on Liverpool's 'Professor' William Bellhouse (1814-1870). Daniel Harms has worked extensively on this magician, surgeon, and galvanist, andthe set is based upon Harms' work (podcast here). The treasure trove consist of many items.
1. BOOK. A Complete System of Magic. Bellhouse's personal grimoire, with rituals, charts, diagrams, remedies, charms, sigils, wax dolls, herb magic and magic seals. With endnotes by Dan Harms. A typed transcription, pleasingly presented as a hardback book with decorated endpapers. Society of Esoteric Endeavor, 200 pages.
2. BOOK. William Dawson Bellhouse. Daniel Harms' short biography of Bellhouse's life and career, taking in birth, death marriage, places of work and residence, his career moves and his encounters with the press. Two pages ofblack-and-white illustrations. Society of Esoteric Endeavor, 2018. 29 pages.
3. BOOK. Wax Images. Daniel Harms' history of the wax dolls used in magic, from the ancient world, through the middle ages, in grimoires, and up into the nineteenth century. An authoritative scholarly overview on the objects popularly (and wrongly) known as 'voodoo dolls.' Extensive endnotes and bibliography. Society of Esoteric Endeavor, 200 pages.
4. BOOK. Witch Bottles. Daniel Harms' history of witch bottles, bottles prepared by individuals seeking protection from psychic attack. It was a method of magic extremely popular from the fifteenth century onwards, across the British Isles. Harms looks closely at Bellhouse's use of witch bottles as a cunning man, placing his practice in context of the wider British and European history of their use. Four black and white illustrations, Extensive endnotes and bibliography. Society of Esoteric Endeavor, 52 pages.
5. DOCUMENT FOLDER. Hardback bound folder with pocket, entitled Liverpool Echo. It contains:
a. Hugh Shimmin press articles on Bellhouse. twelve 1857 articles, presented as facsimile cuttings. Dsiapproving but describes skrying techniques, herbal remedies, talismans, Bible and key divination, fairy magic, and also use of psalms, astrology, card reading etc.
b. 'Complete System of Magic' facsimile of the handwritten version of Bellhouse. Two leaflets 64pp leaflet & 32pp leaflet, ribbon binding.
c. Limitation sheet, folded and sealed with red wax. It bears a pyramid-shaped bookplate , showing the set number. The final limitation is to be determined by Society of Esoteric Endeavour, but will not exceed 200.
SLIPCASE. The box slipcase contains a secret chamber, lined in velvet and containing:
a. three sheets of paper onto which to place a scrying crystal. Called 'bonds for the crystal'.
b. scrying ball - clear glass
c. scrying egg - clear glass
d. cylindrical scying glass
e. booklet, Further Notes Regarding the Practice of Professor Bellhouse & the Liverpool Seers including their Ritual of Initiation, 32pp small format leaflet, ribbon bound.
f. metal ring on which to set scrying ball
g. paper wrap of a piece of snakeskin
h. paper wrap of a piece of beeswax
i. paper wrap of vervain leaves
j. paper wrap of vervain root
Hinckley: The Society of Esoteric Endeavour, 2018.