New on Sacred Texts: a digital version of a book by H. L. Haywood called Symbolical Masonry, originally published in 1923. According to a certain J. B. Hare this book “is a treasure-house of Masonic lore, including discussions of key concepts of the first three degrees, along with an extensive study guide. Haywood goes into details about such mysteries as the Letter ‘G’, the two pillars, and the legend of Hiram Abiff. Not merely a rote discussion of the rituals and regalia of the lodge, Haywood attempts to get the reader to think critically about the background of these topics, enhancing their understanding of the rich history of Freemasonry.” (more…)
Archive for the ‘PDF downloads’ Category
When most people talk about the age of enlightenment they are usually referring to a period in 18th century European history when logic and reason rose to supremacy. During this important period of cultural growth, public intellectuals like John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Voltaire dedicated themselves to solving perennial human dilemmas. They and their contemporaries gathered in salons and coffeehouses and exchanged volumes of letters in the name of sharing knowledge and improving the human condition. Dan Edelstein, a Stanford French professor, has been exploring an aspect of the Age of Enlightenment that is less familiar to most, the so-called “dark side” of the enlightenment. He described the differentiating factors. “The prevailing understanding of the enlightenment is one in which there was only scientific and rational thinking, but there was also a significant number of people contributing to the enlightenment who were absorbed in dubious scholarly pursuits like alchemy, mythology, astrology and secret societies.” (more…)
Currently a book is listed on eBay, the full title of which reads Magic, Divination and Demonology among the Hebrews and their neighbours, including an Examination of Biblical References and of the Biblical Terms. This 19th century study was written by T. Witton Davies, and was first published in 1898 by James Clarke & Co (London). The seller added following description to this auction: “This is an Ultra Rare book, of which no other copy can be found in the First State. The author is a noted authority, and contents include all aspects of the subjects, including Black and White magic, Conjuring, Natural Magic, necromancy, Supernaturalism, Traces and Survival in the Old Testament, Magic amongst the Arabs, Moslems, Assyrian Magic, Illegal and Legal Magic etc. etc. (more…)
Not so long ago, a virtual daemon dropped a message in my mailbox, announcing the release of a brand new edition of the grimoire called Grimorium Verum. Having heard or read almost nothing about this magical book, I sat down with a cup of chicken blood in order to conduct some e-research on this concise but most sinister manual of black magic. I’m delighted to share with you the wisdom obtained in yet another post on this blog called Grimoires.
The Grimorium Verum (or True Grimoire) was allegedly written by Alibeck the Egyptian in Memphis in 1517. It’s agreed that this claim is untrue, as Memphis was nothing more than a ruin by that time. The Grimorium Verum more likely finds it origins in Rome, with the oldest surviving copies in French and Italian, starting from 1817 (see more on dating below). Like many grimoires, it claims to contain the sacred knowledge of biblical figure and legendary demon summoner King Solomon. As such this often overlooked grimoire takes up a place in the so-called Solomonic cycle. The first part of the Grimorium Verum (also spelled Grimoirium Verum) is indeed similar to the Lemegeton, while the second reminds more of the Petit Albert (which was commonly ascribed to Albertus Magnus). In English, the full title of this little treatise reads as follows:
Grimoirium Verum or the Most Approved Keys of Solomon the Hebrew Rabbin where in Most Hidden Secrets both Natural and Supernatural, are immediately exhibited, but it is necessary that the Demons should be contented on their part. Translated from the Hebrew by Palingiere, a Dominican Jesuit, with a Collection of Curious Secrets. Published by Alibeck the Egyptian, 1517.
I dug up another post by Necronomicon expert Dan Harms containing a brief overview of the editorial history of this true grimoire, focussing on early print editions and English translations. I also took the freedom to reproduce those references here, together with some editorial trivia I’ve scraped together. And some nice pictures too, to avoid full accusation of bibliographical theft. Here’s the list, and as said, modern French, Italian, and German editions (all 20th century) are not taken into account. (more…)
Here’s a nice download for those interested in the history of demonology, a scientific study by R. C. Thompson, entitled – in full – The devils and evil spirits of Babylonia : being Babylonian and Assyrian incantations against the demons, ghouls, vampires, hobgoblins, ghosts, and kindred evil spirits, which attack mankind, tr. from the original Cuneiform texts, with transliterations, vocabulary, notes, etc.
Having browsed quickly through the electronic pages of this early assyriological publication, I immediately learned stuff about owls being birds of ill-omen among the ancient Assyrians, the hanging up of various plants near the door to ward off demons, and so on… (more…)