Alright literary world!
I’m happy to announce that the first slew of illustrations for the Ars Goetia have been completed as of yesterday; the illustrator sent them along. That’s good, because there aren’t a huge number more then to be processed- so the Goetia might be ready before the end of January and barring calamity will certainly be out by February sometime.
Meanwhile, my editing of the New Fortune Teller has been speeding along and it’s almost done; I haven’t yet decided on which work to do subsequent to it, but it will probably be alchemical in nature. Onward!
As of last night a most happy event has begun; the fabled return of the legendary “Morbid Stories” is at hand, and once the current slew of new entries is compiled, I’ll be able to mildly re-edit the old ones, then create a two volume set mixing them all together. The original edition of the first Morbid Stories is, format-wise, not up to my modern standards, so it has to be remade anyways.
The first work of the year (which I am plowing through at high speed) is the “New and Complete Fortune Teller” (Also called the “New Dream Book.”) This medium-length work dates to the dawn of the 19th century so that makes it one of the older fortune telling works. The vast bulk of its content is dream interpretation (almost 80 pages of it) followed by some divination by moles, some chartology by playing cards, and a much-shortened, simplistic oracle (called in this work a fortune table.) It fits in completely with the oracle and dream book traditions. In due time I need to create perhaps a book of books cataloging, categorizing, and explaining these intertwined traditions and their various literary cannibalism.
I hope to release a second work in January alongside the New Dream Book, but have not yet decided on which. I want to return to some alchemy soon also.
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This short but coherent work was penned back in one of my favorite eras and styles of literature- the academic theory and archaeological/historical thought of that happy period during the rampant social upheaval of the early technological era- with its tintypes, early moving pictures, and obsession with tombs and temples.
Divided into multiple sections, it has a bit of linguistics, a bit of ancient history, a bit of then-modern archaeology, and plenty of Druidism. While some of its academic content has been largely forgotten these days (especially with regards to its very proto-eugenic view of the progression of civilization) it is still a very good work. It contains a short bibliography with other texts as well for those interested in a larger look at the subject.
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This manuscript is honestly one of the most bizarre things I have ever come across and edited within the occult. A fusion of astrology and medicine, it proposes to diagnose and help treat ailments (often outdated ones with new names) by observing the planets so forth in their movements at the time of complaint and diagnosis. It also says it can determine whether a disease is being caused by witches or demons.
Equally at home as a quack/ folk medicine work and as one purely astrological, it’s a strange but interesting fusion.
At this time the illustrating process of the Ars Goetia is underway and everyone is getting visions of demons in their heads, severed feet hanging over the fire, and Satan Claus, so I figure it’s time for one last update for this year.
First, as to my current editing, I am about halfway through hammering out the Astrological Physician; this strange 17th century work combines astrology with medicine and uses the theory of the humors to diagnose disorders and speculate the likely cause of complaints by observing the position of planets at the time of examination. The work is in exceptionally arcane English so it’s a slow process despite a relatively short (40 to 50 page) overall length.
Second, once that is done, it’s time to edit the Theurgia Goetia, the shorter counterpart to the Ars Goetia always paired with it in Lesser Key editions. It won’t take long to edit the relatively small amount of actual text since the work is half illustrations- I’ll be speaking to my artist about this once the Ars Goetia is complete. It will not be ready in 2017 though, for a certainty.
Third, I’ll begin work on Morbid Stories II and once the entries themselves are made I have to figure out whether to increase its bulk substantially or lower the cost to all of you by moving some content from MSI to MSII and making two entirely new editions of a length just under that which causes a significant increase on Amazon and affiliated sites.
Happy Unholy days!
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This short work was, in its original format, over 120 pages in length- so it is almost as important as an example of the strangeness of early 1900s book formats as it is a guide to some liturgies, prayers, poems, and rituals of pagan groups.
Marah Ryan’s compilation here is derived from other sources and includes material from the Egyptian, Persian, Navajo, Hindu, and other paths; in most cases for this edition the Old English style of the prayers themselves was left intact because it had already been translated and transcribed and correcting it, if necessary to begin with, would have required the original sources. A fine collection of short pieces from these cultures- especially the Egyptian prayers and invocations.
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This short tract was created in the middle of the 17th century- as a work of mostly physical alchemy, it’s better than most, at least in terms of being understood; all alchemical works contain veils, metaphors, allusions, but Thomas Vaughan’s work is less so than many. It alludes to the philosophic fire spoken of by Pontanus (literally, a heap of composting manure to supply indirect warmth without flame) as well as other topics.