EDGE OF THE CIRCLE BOOKS
PRESENTS THE FOLLOWING
Narratives of Witchcraft and Magic from 16th and 17th Century Wales
By Richard Suggett
Atramentous Press, 2018
Standard Edition: 250 pages, hardcover in buckram cloth, two colour foil block to front and back, gold foil block to spine, head and tail bands, natural wibalin endpapers bordering 100gm munken cream paper, ribbon. Ltd to 777 copies.
List Price ~$81.95
FROM THE PUBLISHER:
Authentic accounts of witchcraft accusations in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England and Wales are rare. There is of course a sensational pamphlet literature based on witchcraft trials but this source can be problematic, especially as the trial documents have disappeared. However, a rich archive of pre-trial documents relating to witchcraft accusations has been discovered in the records of the Court of Great Sessions of Wales. These unique documents are the complaints of those who believed themselves bewitched, the depositions of witnesses, and the examinations of suspected witches.
The Court of Great Sessions had the power of life and death and sent many convicted felons to the gallows. We know exactly when the first prosecution for murder by witchcraft took place in Wales. In 1594 Gwen ferch Ellis of Denbighshire was tried for felonious witchcraft, found guilty and sentenced to be hanged. This case was something of a cause celebre. Remarkably the record survives of Gwen’s interrogation by the bishop of St Asaph as well as the depositions of her accusers.
Written evidence survives from some 20 cases and these documents are printed in full for the first time. These texts reveal remarkable details and personalities that have remained hidden in the documentary record for over 300 years. In these cases we encounter cursers and healers, practitioners of image magic and love magic, confidence tricksters and believers in fairies.
The book has a comprehensive introduction and detailed commentaries on the cases. There is a definitive list of prosecutions with abstracts of indictments. A calendar of slander cases involving accusations of witchcraft provides a glimpse of witchcraft accusations that never resulted in prosecution as well as an insight into the vocabulary of witchcraft. The study makes a vital contribution to the understanding of witchcraft beliefs in one of the ‘dark corners’ of the British Isles.
Richard Suggett is a historian, currently senior investigator at the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, and Honorary Fellow of the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies. He is the author of the A History of Magic and Witchcraft in Wales (2005) as well as studies on the architecture and social history of medieval and later Wales.
The ceremony of Solomonic magic
By Julio Cesar Ody
Scarlet Imprint, 2018
8vo (225 × 150 mm), 80 pp.
7 original pen and ink illustrations by Morgan Singer.
Standard Edition hardcover: Limited to 900 copies, black cloth stamped with dagger device, textured red endpapers and black dust jacket. ~ $42.95
Bibliothèque Rouge Paperback: ~ $21.95
With “Magister Officiorum,” Ody has produced an essential text for those who want to practice Solomonic magic. The result of patient and extensive magical work, this is a record of attainment informed by the Western magical tradition, Espiritismo and Obeah. The subjects covered in this study include: the place of evocation, the magical circle and the book, the ritual tools and regalia, including the black handled knife, the brazen vessel, robes, and the pentagonal and hexagonal figures. Also addressed is ritual purity, and the necessity of authority in the art of commanding spirits.
Ody gives clear explanations of the process of ritual and the methods by which to ensure success in evocation – understood as a physical interaction between magician and spirit. Further, he demonstrates principles of magical working that are not explicitly given in the typically terse instructions of the grimoires. Also given is a method for the obtaining of a key to be used in the eventual binding of a King; how to bottle spirits; a working with the vessel and skull; and a rite for obtaining a patron spirit under the auspices of Lucifer. The rites given are suitable for solo practice and group workings, notably using the model of the séance (black table spiritism) in order to establish spirit cults. As a result the text will be of aid to both novitiates and experienced practitioners alike.
“Magister Officiorum” gives accounts of spirit workings, including Lucifer, Buné and Gemon, and includes a suggestive catalogue of spirit contacts with Acham, Paymon, Astaroth, Frimost and Malphas that demonstrate the author's aptitude in the work.