From the Universal Fortune Teller (1790)

The 1790 version of the Universal Fortune Teller is indeed far stranger than the one I’ve already released which post-dates it by seventy years. One look at the content and you know you’re not exactly reading something from modernity.

The work is substantially more dense than I originally predicted; the astrological content alone stretches well past 40 pages, and that’s really only half the work. All told, it might approach or slightly exceed 100 pages in length with a modern format (bibliophiles will know, of course, that many works from the 1700s had what we would now consider tiny typesetting.) Take a look at this passage from the book:

On the seventeenth day the child that shall be born will be foolish to that degree that it shall be almost unnatural, and thereby become a great affliction to his parents. To go on messages this day is unfortunate, yet to contract matrimony, to compound physical preparations, and to take physic is good, but by no means let blood.

On the eighteenth day the child that shall be born, if a male, shall be valiant, courageous, and eloquent; and if a female, chaste, industrious, and painstaking, and shall come to honor in her old age. It is good this day to begin buildings; and to put out our children in order to be brought up in learning. Have a care of being let blood this day for it is very dangerous.

On the nineteenth day the child then born, if a male, shall be renowned for wisdom and virtue and thereby arrive to great honor, but if a female, she will be of a weak and sickly constitution, yet she will live to be married. This day they may bleed that have occasion.
These three short sections are from the end of the astrological work, regarding the birth of children at various stages of the lunar phases. As we see, bloodletting is encouraged according to the day, and what we term a “voyage” or “trip” is (and this is replicated in the work at least two other times) referred to as a “message.” I am leaving some of the antiquated English intact in this work for stylistic purposes, where a modern individual will still be able to infer the meaning from context.
This work, oddly, appears to contain less of the “females are only interested in marriage and lovers” content than the 1860 version; indeed, some of the passages refer to women of a vaguely heroic or brawny constitution depending on the circumstance of their birth. This probably relates to the growing moralism of the mid 1800s as opposed to the lingering flames of the enlightened times of the 1700s and the philosophy from that same era.

Off Topic: Work Music!

Today is a bit of a slow day on the literary front because of other work I had to do; that doesn’t mean I didn’t wish to make a post here though. The preface of the 1790 Universal Fortune Teller is done (quite a feat because of the condition of the manuscript and the language used there) and I’m settling in to some wine and relaxation.

It seemed like a good idea to post some of the music I listen to while editing and writing; I would have embedded the links but it seemed easier to just link them normally.

Coven – Witchcraft Destroys Minds and Reaps Souls

Hexentanz – The Sabbat Comes Softly

Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath

Nest – Woodsmoke

Music of Ancient Greece

Work Begins On 1790 Universal Fortune Teller of Mrs. Bridget

I have begun the editing process on the late 1700s Universal Fortune Teller; the forerunner of the 1860 work released by Tousey with the same title.

This version has an enormous astrological section which takes up about half the work and cuts palmistry down significantly. That being said, it’s equally as good as Tousey’s later version. However, it will take quite some time to edit; the manuscript is not easily legible and some content has to be inferred by context. Honestly, I prefer this older version as being more “original” within the convoluted interweaving of the “Oraculum x Fortune Teller” tradition.

I have completed and uploaded the files for both Agrippa’s “Female Preeminence” and the Book of Tobit also, as both were short, quickly completed editions- they will both be available in the next two days.

Coming Soon: The Book of Tobit

Other than the Testament of Solomon, I haven’t really touched on much Judeochristian material yet in my editing. That’s about to change; the Book of Tobit is notable for those of us who are interested in the more mystic side of this otherwise rather mainstream spiritual system both for its strange ceremonial use of fish gall incense, and its treatment of the demon Asmodeus, here linked with lust as in virtually all later works.

An apocryphal work, it is present in some canonical compilations and absent from others (notably the KJV), the strange nature of the visitation of the archangel Raphael to Tobias, son of Tobit, makes it an interesting work.

I have finished editing this (rather short) work and will release it fairly soon, and then subsequently release two other Apocryphal works.

Aphorisms of Urbigerus: Now Available!

One of the foremost texts of alchemy, the Aphorisms of Urbigerus remains one of the better kept secrets of the tradition. Written in 1690 and originally of English manufacture, it contains a series of 100 short statements (technically 101 statements) on alchemy, and alchemical philosophy.
Referring often to the green dragon, the red lion, and other alchemical veils for simplistic chemical terms, it allows the reader, so it claims, to create three stages of purified mercury and several types of elixir- through both a long, proper method, and a shorter but less effective one. It combines the quite literal with the metaphoric in such a way that the modern reader can presumably determine what specific chemical processes are being used; as is not the case with at least half of all works of alchemy.

Three Treatises on Alchemy (Philalethes) – Now Available!

Philalethes delivers another expert work on alchemy here, in three parts:

1. The Transmutation of Metals: Mostly about extracting the “seed” of metals for alchemical use.

2. The Celestial Ruby: Various workings and processes with some philosophical content.

3. Fount of Chemical Truth: A strange work alluding to natural processes which are not entirely clear.

Regimen Sanitatis Salernitanum: Now Available!

Of all of the works I have edited this might be the most amusing. Written in the Medieval era, it was translated into English surprisingly early by John Harington in 1608.

Its content is one part herbal, one part dietary guide, and one part social tract. It praises sanitation, hand washing, and moderation in drinking, but also encourages the reader to clean their teeth by burning leek and henbane and directing the smoke into their mouth with a funnel (a potentially dangerous practice- henbane is a potent deliriant.)

With references to the four humors and bloodletting, it certainly gives a decent look at the general medical practice of the era; perhaps one part good suggestions to two parts utter madness. Nonetheless, the herbal and philosophical content makes it perfectly occult in manner.

24 pages.