In a stroke of good luck I happened upon this work while researching the early 1900s Oraculum; the Dream Book version, as opposed to Tousey’s far better Book of Fate version.
A slimmed down work, it contains an expansive oracle in place of Tousey’s shorter oracle twain with other content. As a pure fortune telling manuscript, it revolves around asking one of 26 questions, then choosing one of 26 letters to represent the answer- this works better when ascribing the numbers 1 through 26 on a random number generator to this purpose, or when the letters have been placed on cards and turned facing down so the user is able to eliminate the possibility of guesswork based on prior usage (the original text merely instructs the user to choose a Hebraic symbol for their answer- useless if they have used it more than a few times.)
Altogether an interesting work.
This little booklet is one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever edited. It manages to combine Victorian-Era quack medicine (various and often psychotropic pills and tablets) with a fairly decent dream interpretation section (similar to that of Tousey’s “Napoleon’s Oraculum) and multiple “recipes for invalids.” It also contains some folkish material, specifically regarding the preservation of linens, cleaning kitchenware, and fire safety.
The testimonials and ads for Dr. Pierces’ medicines are amusing but not generally connected to the more interesting dreams-and-folkishness content.
Courtesy of the “Secret Book of the Black Arts” containing numerous references to other occult works, often philosophical and often historical, I have hit pay dirt once again and obtained five new works I was not formerly aware of, including King James’ own Demonological manuscript; I will be releasing these over time along with all the work I already had going on.
Progress is swift on SIH so far; I’m half done with the fourth chapter and now getting into the meat and bones (figuratively and literally) of the story; without giving too much away, it’s a festival of degraded morbidity already and I’ve only tentatively inserted a few grotesqueries so far out of a horde of vicious, slopping, cancerous abominations.
Today the heat wave came back and although I got necessary work done I didn’t get any editing completed on any of the three works I’m plowing through as we speak; when it’s 90 degrees with near 100% humidity, this state feels like southern Florida, and working under those conditions can be more difficult than when it’s crisp and warm and the crickets are chirping happily outside to remind me that all living things rot away in due time.
I have obtained a copy of Dr. Pierces’ “What your Neighbors Say about You.” This long-running quack pharmaceutical pamphlet is half dream interpretation and half other material- the “other” category is mostly medical ads for quack healing but also contains some herbal at-home remedies, recipes, and other stuff. The particular edition I purchased from ebay isn’t like any of those I have seen on the internet as pdf scans so I can only guess at some of the content.
Obviously I plan to scan this for the occult archive (as the first new file available there in several years! Huzzah!) as well as to create a paperback edition for others to purchase. The dream interpretation section appears to be almost as long as that found in Napoleon’s Oraculum.
I am currently editing “The Hieroglyphical Fortune Teller” which is similar to the early 1900s Oraculum but has Hebrew lettering instead of nativity symbols and has several different questions and a dissimilar casting system. It will take quite a bit of time to complete despite its short length because I am simultaneously writing “Sickness in Hell” (I am now done with the epilogue and first three chapters!) and editing The 1875 work “The Secret Book of the Black Arts” (not to be confused with the similarly titled work by Cavendish much later.) It’s a somewhat longer work (about 200 pages) so I will release three or four shorter manuscripts while editing it.
What follows is a brief teaser from Sickness In Hell; my forthcoming splatterpunk novel. It’s been years since I wrote the first drafts and it is finally taking form.
If Pillwaff and her cronies had bothered to let the monitoring staff know what Henry had been up to days before, they might have been a little more vigilant- those mushrooms growing in the slurry-tainted swamp separated from the intake stream by only a few yards of loose dirt had finally made their way to fresher water- which didn’t benefit their growth, but didn’t stop them either. Some of those spores had gotten into the intake, and the decaying filter screens installed long ago hadn’t stopped them so much as they had provided the perfect dirty, greasy substrate for them to take hold inside the water ducts under the plant. The rusted, leaking pipes there weren’t helping, and the entire system was, unknown to anyone in the plant, ripe for infestation by fungal colonies.
The situation worsened over the next few minutes as well; the intake system quickly began spawning hyphae and little, almost microscopic bits of mushroom flesh were now circulating freely past the filter, as the happy little fungus growths pushed their feeding receptacles to the other side of the filtration sheets. With no way to monitor the filtered water (for such technology did not exist in their aging plant) those in the monitoring center could only ring Pillwaff hours later when they finally bothered to check the indicator lights and tell her that they should close things down for the afternoon and have someone replace the filter system. Pillwaff wanted to go home and wear bondage gear while watching dwarf porn anyways, to get herself all greasy and sweaty, so she didn’t give a shit and switched everything off herself.
Down in the shipping room annoying Sally had already been told to go home, but decided to be anally retentive as always and commanded the last truck to dock anyways and she’d load it herself. She didn’t like unfinished work- her raging obsessive compulsive disorder drove her mad and she wouldn’t be able to sleep if the hams weren’t packed and shipped before five o’clock sharp. It wasn’t hard- years of doing the odd lifting job herself when others weren’t willing or present had left her muscles bulging with veins- perhaps she was stronger physically than any of the men in the plant.
She had no idea the batch was tainted with mutated, slightly radioactive fungus- it’s not like the people in the monitoring center really communicated with anyone else in the plant- Sally had just assumed that the filters were clogged by a dead muskrat or some other unfortunate animal had drowned and gotten sucked in, its corpse slowly dissolving into sediment as it flattens against their water intake. She didn’t know shit about water systems anyways- who cares?
John George Hohman’s “Pow Wows” is one of the best occult texts I’ve edited. Dating to the 1820s, it was spawned by the Pennsylvania Dutch folk traditions of the era, and may be variously seen as Americana, German-derived occultism, a grimoire, or a snake oil combination of herbal and prayer book.
Within this edition I retained the publishers’ inclusions (which Hohman did not write) because they were present in the first edition, but removed the long and largely pointless running index, which for some odd reason was at the end of the work when it ought to have been included as a condensed table of contents.
The material covers herbal medicine, folk healing, prayers and invocations, a few magickal formulae, the construction of a couple of simplistic talismans (on paper) and protective spells, as well as hex breaking.
Update 1: Hohman’s Pow-Wows is rapidly approaching completion. The work is going much faster than the Fortune Teller did because of the English being so much closer to that used in modern speech. I have not yet decided whether to include or omit the publishers’ added section (which dates to the original work but is not entirely of German/Pennsylvanian origin.)
Update 2: I am going to expedite the Ars Goetia if it is within my capability to do so.
Update 3: I will be editing and releasing the “Ophiolatreia.”
Update 4: Sickness in Hell will be taking rudimentary form over the course of August and I hope to release it before Halloween. If not, it will definitely be done before December.
Update 5: I still have to release the Trinosophia of St. Germaine, the Magus by Francis Barrett, and a dozen other works. Whether even working at full tilt I can complete them all before 2017 is not certain; the last slew of works I released quickly were all shorter in length and all were edited into English before modernity- the Trinosophia has to be translated from French as the Petit Albert was (Hall’s translation is copyrighted and flawed) and The Magus is quite long and detailed. Two more apocryphal works, and at least three more alchemical texts, as well as the booklet I possess on Hypnotism and Mesmerism will join their ranks also, along with Faust’s “Black Raven.”