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In what may be the most odd discovery I’ve made as I was updating files and re-editing and organizing, I suddenly remembered that for the first few works I ever edited there aren’t individual entries on my blogs since I had merely compiled them on one general update.
This particular work is one of the first I ever edited, now refined into a 5×8 format with a few typographical errors eliminated and a new cover. Here, Dower ruminates on biology, chemistry, and early radiological studies and formulates a sort of synchronistic worldview (As above, so below!) which coincides, he believes, with both eastern and western philosophy. Altogether it’s a fine work and one I recommend as a few must-read works on the subject.
This is one of the four (true) works comprising the Lesser Keys of Solomon (the Notoria is not of the same era.) Less well known than the Ars Goetia, it is nonetheless 1. a distinct work and 2. important to the general tradition it is part of; specifically, it is an astrological work before anything else, which fails to give the sort of detailed list of powers for each of the angels it purports to allow one to summon.
It is broken into two sections. The first details the angels of the hours and the second one the twelve signs of the zodiac. In both cases, seals are constructed and used with a complex table of practice in combination with several invocations. It’s quite a good work overall albeit shorter than the Goetia it shares tradition with.
Over the course of the next 48 or so hours I’ll be completing another section of the Lesser Keys of Solomon (The Ars Paulina) and releasing it. This will be the 150th edition of occult literature I have released, between edited and self-written works, and so it’s a fairly significant milestone.
It also means it’s time for disclosing my subsequent plans!
For some time now I’ve let my files (pdfs, odt files, text file descriptions, illustrations, etc) build up in various folders, unsorted and so forth- I am going to take a day subsequent to the release of the Ars Paulina to simply organize my files. After that, I need to take a good couple of weeks for some other planned catching up for previous releases:
1. Remaking about three dozen covers, since I use a different, better font, trim, and logo.
2. A cursory grammar and spelling check for said releases.
3. Re-illustration of a few early works.
4. Completely re-processing every pdf file into an epub file so all the kindle ebooks will be 100% perfect in format. No more complaints about blank pages, etc.
This will occupy me probably through all of May and so, as such, after I link out the Ars Paulina there may not be any further updates until June. Releases will resume thereafter; I promised at least 200 editions, and it will almost surely be hundreds more over the years.
Of all the academic works I have edited thus far this is one of the most interesting of all; it dates to that sweet-spot period of occult study between the 1880s and the 1920s which I favor. This particular work delves fairly deep into Malaysian magic but it isn’t just magic per se, in the sense of spells and such, but also religious ritualism, how it overlaps between, in the case of Malaysia, Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, and other practice.
Perhaps most notable here is the inclusion of both cryptozoology and demonology along with folklore and superstition itself.
That happy time is fast approaching; the monumental 150 edition milestone is only two works away, and so it’s time for an update and to lay out my plan for the coming stretch of about a month or two.
First and foremost, edition #149 (which I have formatted and completed the preface to as of this morning) will be on Malay magicm entitled “Shaman, Saiva, and Sufi.” It’s a fairly standard mid length Victorian work that I think people will enjoy. As for edition #150 I am split between a work on mysticism within islam, or else the Theurgia Goetia (which is half pictoral, meaning I’d edit it and have it re-illustrated, I hope, by my usual illustrator, while the next phase of my literary work begins.)
Secondly to the next phase of my literature, before I proceed beyond edition 150 there are two things I’d like to do.
1. Fix the cover art and format of a few dozen of my oldest works which are not up to par, along with the occasional noted grammatical error.
2. Render every edition into an ebook using the actual kindle file type, not pdfs, so that they translate better onto a digital notebook.
The process involved with those steps will take some weeks but presumably be worth the effort. I look forward to the final phase of this particular step in my literary workings.
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One of a number of interesting spiritual works released by the same publisher in the 1910s, Abelsons’ treatment of mysticism within Judaism here is quite good, expansive, and sometimes dense, but technically an introductory overview of magickal concepts within Kabbalah.
Speaking of the Yetzirah and Zohar among other works, it is somewhat a work of linguistic anthropology, which makes sense, since a lot of the theological and mystic concepts of Jewish spiritual lore are fundamentally derived from the Hebrew language and number systems.
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This work is one of the better things that LW DeLaurence wrote. Containing fewer self-advertizements and a lot more how-to content, it dispels some myths about mesmerism and hypnotism, and proposes about a dozen methods by which various suggestive states can be induced- including the famous trick of hypnotizing a chicken using a chalk line or a finger (it apparently does indeed work.)
While some of the methods are now known not to function (at the time this was written- and it alludes to it explicitly!- the French were experimenting with spinning wheels and lights to induce anesthesia- one of the earliest- maybe THE earliest literary reference to this trope!) others are accepted even today. Some of its content would later be adapted into the 20s and 30s era “how to hypnotize your friends” style pulp works.