Sign Language of the Mysteries - JSM Ward
Ward was a renegade freemason who studied world cultures past and present; like his close friend Gerald Gardner, he was fascinated by gestures, mantras and symbols of religious and esoteric meaning. This handsome two-volume work from 1928 goes deep into the ways in which societies have encoded symbols of reverence, distress, death, resignation, regret, as well as those of heaven, earth, head and throat. 'it includes 136 rare illustrations from medieval manuscripts, stained-glass windows, ancient wall paintings, and much more, demonstrating the existence and meaning of these mantric signs throughout history and in every culture around the world.' It is all the more interesting for those who are keen to understand the milieu around Gerald Gardner and the group which evolved initiatory Wicca's forms in the 1930s and 1940s.
London: The Baskerville Press. 1928. Limited edition of 1000, this copy unnumbered. Two volumes. 10” x 7.5” 121pp. and 117pp. respectively.
Volume and condition. Original red cloth titled in gilt to spines. Titled in gilt to somewhat sun faded spines, further slight fading to boards. Very good copies, strong and handsome. Internally clean and bright, copiously illustrated throughout in colour and black and white.