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Sunday, April 16, 2017



by Peter Mark Adams
Publisher: Scarlet Imprint,
Limitation: 800 standard hardback exemplars
Dimensions: 280 × 222 mm
Extent: 320 pp
Illustrations: Full colour throughout.
Binding: Standard edition bound in black shantung cloth with imperial purple endpapers.

List Price: $100.50

Please note, due to the format there will be no paperback or digital edition of this title.

The Game of Saturn is the first full-length, scholarly study of the enigmatic Renaissance masterwork known as the Sola-Busca tarot. It reveals the existence of a pagan liturgical and ritual tradition active amongst members of the Renaissance elite and encoded within the deck. Beneath its beautifully decorated surface, its imagery ranges from the obscure to the grotesque; we encounter scenes of homoeroticism, wounding, immolation and decapitation redolent of hidden meanings, violent transformations and obscure rites.

For the first time in over five hundred years, the clues embedded within the cards reveal a dark Gnostic grimoire replete with pagan theurgical and astral magical rites. Careful analysis demonstrates that the presiding deity of this ‘cult object’ is none other than the Gnostic demiurge in its most archaic and violent form: the Afro-Levantine serpent-dragon, Ba’al Hammon, also known as Kronos and Saturn, though more notoriously as the biblical Moloch, the devourer of children.

Conveyed from Constantinople to Italy in the dying years of the Byzantine Empire, the pagan Platonist George Gemistos Plethon sought to ensure the survival of the living essence of Neoplatonic theurgy by transplanting it to the elite families of the Italian Renaissance. Within that violent and sorcerous milieu, Plethon’s vision of a theurgically enlightened elite mutated into its dark shadow – a Saturnian brotherhood, operating within a cosmology of predation, which sought to channel the draconian current to preserve elite wealth, power and control. This development marks the birth of an ‘illumined elite’ over three centuries before Adam Weishaupt’s ‘Illuminati.’ The deck captures the essence of this magical tradition and constitutes a Western terma whose talismanic properties may serve to establish an initiatory link with the current.

This work fully explores the historical context for the deck’s creation against the background of tense Ferrarese-Venetian diplomatic intrigue and espionage. The recovery of the deck’s encoded narratives constitutes a significant contribution to Renaissance scholarship, art history, tarot studies and the history of Western esotericism.

Table of Contents

I · Decoding the Deck’s Hidden Symbolism
The deck’s structure & major themes
Hidden meanings & ancient lore
The esoteric worldview of the Renaissance elite
Planetary powers
The Alexandrian theme
The Babylonian theme
The Carthaginian thesis

II · The Rites of Ammon & the Cult of Saturn
The rites of Ammon
The Ferrarese cult of Saturn

III · Theurgy, Ritual Magic & Sorcery
The theory and practice of theurgy and magic
Sexual magic and alchemy

IV · Art, Diplomacy & Espionage
The deck’s origins
Diplomacy and espionage

V · Conclusions

Evidence that the Sola-Busca’s design was derived from a literary rather than an artistic blueprint
Hidden codes and secret ciphers
Summary of the Doctrines of Zoroaster and Plato

by Nicholaj De Mattos Frisvold
Publisher: Scarlet Imprint
Limitation: 736 standard hardback & 64 fine bound exemplars
Dimensions: 240 × 170 mm
Extent: 400 pp
Illustrations: 18 original pen & ink illustrations by Childerico.
Binding: Standard edition bound in vibrant red cloth, palm leaf stamped in green, embossed bitter chocolate endpapers.

List Price: $68.50

Ifá: A Forest of Mystery by Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold is a major study on the cosmology, metaphysics, philosophy and divination system of Ifá, written by a tradition holder and member of the council of elders, known as the Ogboni society, of Abeokuta, Nigeria.
Ifá – an alternative name for its prophet Òrúnmìlà – is a religion, a wisdom tradition and a system of divination encoding the rich and complex oral and material culture of the Yoruba people. The Yoruba culture is grounded in memory, an ancestral repository of wisdom, that generates good counsel, advises appropriate ebo (sacrifice) and opens the way to develop a good character on our journey through life and in our interactions with the visible and invisible worlds.

The work is a presentation of the first sixteen odù of the Ifá corpus of divination verses explained in stories, allegories and proverbs reflecting the practical wisdom of Ifá. The work is both a presentation of Ifá for those with little knowledge of it, and a dynamic presentation of the wealth of its wisdom for those already familiar with Ifá. The deities and key concepts of Ifá metaphysics are discussed, including: Obàtálá, Ònilé, Sàngó, Ògún, Oya, Òsányìn, Yemoja, Èsù, àse (power), egúngún (ancestry), ìwà (character), and orí (head/consciousness/daimon). Notably, Dr Frisvold has created a work which celebrates the Yoruba wisdom tradition and makes a bridge with the Western world. It is of value for the light that it casts on the origins and mysteries of Èsù and òrìsà, and an important source for those practicing Quimbanda, Palo, Santeria, Vodou and the African Diaspora religions. Yet its lessons are universal, for it is the art of developing character, of attracting good fortune and accruing wisdom in life. As Nicholaj writes:

‘…Ifá is a philosophy, a theogony, theology and cosmology rooted in a particular metaphysic that concerns itself with the real and the ideal, the world and its beginning. It is rooted in the constitution of man and the purpose of life and the nature of fate. Ifá is a philosophy of character. The philosophy of Ifá lies at the root of any religious cult or organization involving the veneration of òrìsà. […] Through stories and legends, divinatory verses and proverbs, this philosophy will be revealed piece by piece until the landscape has been laid open before you… ’

Table of Contents
Part I · A Philosophy of Character

The Timeless Wisdom of Ifá
Òrúnmìlà & the Secret Structure of Odù
The Art of Divination
The Cosmology of Ifá

Part II · A Forest of Mystery

Èjì Ogbè · The moist air of consciousness
Òyèkú méjì · The mother of the spirit of death
Ìwòrì méjì · Celestial agriculture in the land of transformation
Òdí méjì · The house of deep comfort
Ìrosùn méjì · The rivers of consciousness
Òwónrín méjì · The sweet and bitter track
Òbárá méjì · The fork in the road
Òkànrán méjì · The crossroad the heart gave
Ògúndá méjì · The relentless pathmaker
Òsá méjì · The mysteries of the birds of night
Ìká méjì · The wicked cobra of fire
Òtúrúpòn méjì · The secret path of truth
Òtúrá méjì · Love’s gentle harmony
Ìretè méjì · The author of fate
Òsé méjì · The sweetness of mystery
Òfún méjì · The calabash of character
Òsétúrá · Èsù & the design of the world

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