While this specific work claims the title of Hermetic Philosophy, it is more a standard alchemical text than a philosophical tract.
It attempts to reduce the convolution and deliberate obfuscation of alchemical truth by prior authors to a lesser degree such that the student is more readily able to understand the process of creating the stone of the philosophers- an attempt which is partially successful. It then divides the total work into the Zodiac, referencing stages of time required to produce the final result by astrological means.
“On the Philadelphian Gold” is mostly a Socratic-style dialogue related to philosophy as opposed to alchemy, but it is an alchemical work nonetheless, insofar as it relates to the several types of matter and body posited to exist by one member of this same dialogue; Philadelphus, speaking with the materialistic Philochrysis on the topic of spiritual gold.
This work was made by the Philadelphian Society many centuries ago. This edition has been rendered from older English usage to mostly modern English, save for a few references which have no other proper counterpart.
Here is one of the most interesting of all spiritual works; a tract on demonology literally written by a king- King James I of England that is- in the twilight of the 16th century.
Originally composed in extremely old English, this edition has been modernized, although a few generally outdated terms (like betwixt) have been retained for stylistic effect. The entire work is delivered in the form of a dialogue, between the fictional Epistemon and Philomathes. This usage was considered by James to be of greater entertainment than delivering a more academic text.
It covers the nature of witchcraft, the different types of magic (differentiating, for example, necromancers, sorcerers, and witches) and the nature of airy spirits or “fairies.” It proceeds to heavily denounce Catholicism and list some categories of demonic entities, the meaning of incubus and succubus and what they pertain to, and their connection to the “night mare” (sleep paralysis) among other things.
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.