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And here it is; one of the most important works I never originally thought to release an edition of- the famous Fama Fraternitatis, first worked into English by Thomas Vaughan, that selfsame work which inspired occult changes in its own era and long after.
Containing a great deal of content in only a few pages, for someone like myself the most interesting inclusions are those which overlap it with the type of occult of Trithemius and Pontanus among others- with everburning lights and strange mechanisms and symbology. The Fama Fraternitatis formed the backbone of what was represented as an order so wise in its era that members could prolong human longevity to centuries, make gold, cure any disease, and speak with spirits.
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This short, sweet work is actually one of the better alchemical works I have edited, at least insofar as being easily understood in its explanations of topics within alchemy such as the inferred differentiation between the heating action of digestion (manure decomposing!), the anaerobic burn (a kiln) and open flame. It is in the form of questions and answers, and was first worked into this form by AE Waite, that madman of manuscripts himself.
Its interesting content regarding the generation of materia by the action of vapors within the Earth is a primitive forerunner to the modern understanding of volcanism and tectonics.
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This work comes from a rather expansive (and otherwise mostly one-minded) collection of texts from the golden period of both real and quack-like academia involving occultism, from that special era in the 1890s; specifically, this is one of the better titles within the Phallism series that almost certainly was created by Hargrave at the time. Unlike most entries in that series, this one has nothing to do with symbology and everything to do with the Rosicrucians’ own then-translated purported literary history, with some alchemy and other subjects tossed in. The only other entry in the series that deviates from that one taboo subject of reproductive spiritual material is Ophiolatreia (which I edited quite some time ago.)
It’s quite good, actually, despite the fact that parts of it are a bit dense and difficult to fit into a linear sort of system; most of the content here was copied by the author verbatim into the work; some of that content is quite strange and fantastical, almost Atlantean. Nonetheless it is academically sound.
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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.
It’s been a busy last couple of weeks; the Ars Goetia has been completely edited and my illustrator has the plans for illustrating so it may not be long before the most infamous of all grimoires is released in a decent and inexpensive modern edition. In other news, I completed a short alchemical work yesterday entitled “Aula Lucis”- it’s only 25 pages in length, but Thomas Vaughn did a very good job of generally being clear and not veiling his mostly-physical alchemical lore.
The new editing project is a compilation of prayers and invocations simply entitled “Pagan Prayers” and crafted at the dawn of the 20th century by Marah Ellis Ryan. The original format of this work is horrendous and half the pages are basically empty save for the titles of the subsequent very short prayers. The work will, due to major formatting overhaul, be reduced from about 120 pages to 40 or 50.
As before, Morbid Stories II is approaching the end of its first phase of development; the titles and rough outlines. These works involve my usual practice of entering a slightly berserker-like state where I am not completely aware of my writing and am mentally fixated on imagining the horrified reactions of people I dislike being forced to read the bizarre, grotesque stuff repeatedly. I am considering the possibility of compiling together all of the new entries with the old ones and splitting the categories themselves in half- thus technically MS II will contain some older entries while MS I will contain some new ones. Since I have to reformat the first volume, I will have to resubmit all the files anyways- I am considering the possibility.
Altogether this end year period will be full of work!
This little text is more an academic study of alchemy than anything else; although it entitles itself after Hermeticism, the philosophical side of transformation is only half the content here; the other half details some primary sources of, and allusions to, physical alchemy, especially the composition of the green lion and the philosophic fire spoken of by Pontanus and others. It refers also to Flamel and Geber among others.
Altogether it’s a good work; a bit on the dense side, but with several very literal, straight-forward passages with regards to the physical alchemical component that seems of greater interest to most. Importantly, the work echoes (multiple times from multiple sources) that alchemy is veiled and hidden from the unwise, and that multiple traps have been laid for those seeking to simply turn things into gold and become wealthy.