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At long last it is time for the final literary release of 2018 and one of the most important grimoires ever concocted. Standing at 259 pages, it’s also full length.
The Lesser Key of Solomon is actually a compilation of other works from the same era- the initial variant compiled by none other than Mathers and Crowley themselves contained five works- the Ars Goetia, Theurgia Goetia, Ars Paulina, Almadel, and the Ars Notoria (shortened to Nova in some variants.) The material is variable, beginning with the most demonic and then progressing through natural spirits, airy spirits, the angelic, and then the strictly divine.
Since the Notoria is actually centuries earlier I have omitted it in this edition. It has been re-edited with care and completely re-illustrated. I am quite happy with the final appearance. One of the most important occult compilations finally available here, reworked entirely, and for a cost significantly lower than the apparent competitors (please note that three of the Amazon titles under the moniker “Lesser Key” only include the Goetia, and are not complete works.)
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.
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This work is an excellent look at some of the christian conceptions of demonology from its era, in the roaring twenties. Based on field work in China and India, mostly by the author but referencing other missionaries as well, it purports to prove that demons exist, that evil is the agency of Satan, and that mesmerism and psychology play a role in possession.
It contains several hundred of these anecdotes and speaks of strange idolatrous practices in typical early 20th century form, while listing polytheism and similar things as spiritually hazardous. Oddly, while proposing government moralism, it decries literal suppression of such beliefs in favor of mere coercion and education. It also attacks spiritualism.
Alright literary world, it’s time for a brief update as spring (very slowly) decides to encroach; this gives me a lot of ambition while suffering from cabin fever, although once it actually gets nice outside I do a “little” less editing and writing for a while mid spring.
I am currently about 90% of the way through “Aryan Sun Myths” and so that work will be ready and available within a week or so- “Demonism” I am half done with, so that would be the third week of March, roughly. A couple other works are planned for March: once Aryan Sun Myths is complete I’ll begin editing, I believe, the Theurgia Goetia, or perhaps the Paulina and Almadel (the two will be released together due to the lengths being too short to get the Paulina out solo); either way I’ll be contacting my illustrator, and by the summer all four books of the Lesser Keys will be available, I hope. After that it won’t be long before I release an edition of the same with a fairly elaborate foreword and some explanatory comments.
I have a few short alchemical works of note to process as well, along with the planned two herbals!
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I am extremely pleased to announce that the Ars Goetia, arguably the most infamous of all demonic works, has been completed; this edition has been re-illustrated by the talented Rita Metzner and has had some changes made to its format over some editions (for example, giving each of the 72 demons its own page for ease of use; some editions place the Seals in alternating columns or put the description of the demon above, not below them.) Not meant to be superfluous and flowery but rather a functional edition, I omitted some of Crowleys’ additions, which have technically nothing to do with the original literary tradition.
I am pleased to say my edition here is the apparently least expensive edition available anywhere in paperback format.
For those not aware of the content, it is summoning; specifically aforementioned demons, using a system involving a magical circle and triangle, various seals, and standardized invocations. These various grotesque demons can, the book claims, allow the Master to talk to animals, see strange visions, and generally gain power, love, wealth, and other things; the one working such rituals needs to be wary though, since some of these demons can cause illness just by being nearby, requiring a magical ring. Others are a bit less malevolent. This text is one of a number of works which was compiled into the Lesser Keys of Solomon, of Mathers and Crowley fame.
It should be noted that I intend to release the other books of the Lesser Keys of Solomon (minus the Notoria, which is not authentically part of the same period works) compiled together, but that the Ars Goetia is its own stand-alone work and needed to be released as such prior.
Stolas be praised!
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This interesting little volume is roughly similar in some ways to the Book of Forbidden Knowledge (which became and has remained one of my top selling titles.) It is a mix of different lore, delivered from a skeptical-but-not-atheistic position on subjects ranging from the divining rod (dowsing), to omens and apparitions, and the Salem Witch Trials- this last is covered in some degree of depth indeed, about 50 pages of content giving the backdrop, opinions of the era, and some of the names and trials of note from the entire series of events there.
A short treatment on Satan and demonology gives way to this more historical content and it is subsequently capped off with a two page ramble about the need to refute fire and brimstone ideology and irrational superstition. The original edition came with about ten pages of ads (removed in my edition) for other works which ranged from mesmerism and palmistry to brief annotated historical guides.