SALOMONIC MAGICAL ARTS; Being Two Swedish Books of the Black Art, Comprising THE RED BOOK and THE BLACK BOOK. DeLuxe Reserve Edition.
Hercules, CA: Three Hands Press, 2013. SPECIAL EDITION of twenty three hand-numbered copies of which this is number 8. A FINE VOLUME IN SLIPCASE, bound in full scarlet and sprinkled black goat with marbled end papers, ribbon market, and a compartmental backstrip. Translated, with an introduction, by Fredrik Eytzinger. A first class production of 23 copies only. Amid the great genres of European magical books are the Scandinavian Svartkonstböcker, or 'Books of Black Arts', the privately kept practical manuals of magic used by rural charmers and practitioners of folk magic. Incorporating charms, prayers, and curses, as well as medicine, alchemy and physical experiments. Many of these books survive today in universities and private collections. While bearing some relationship to the corpus of European grimoires which feature Angelic and demonic magic, the Svartkonstböcker as texts of magic are a class all their own. Salomonic Magical Arts consists of two such volumes, originally handwritten in the early eighteenth century, and named "The Red Book" and "The Black Book" by one of their owners. These volumes passed through the hands of priests, and cunning men, before coming to rest in academic institutions. Invoking a variety of spiritual powers ranging from Christ to Beelzebub, its magical formulae, numbering in excess of 450 individual receipts, serve as a testament to the endurance of sorcery in the early modern era. First published in Swedish in 1918, Salomonic Magic Arts is here published in English for the first time. Introducing the work is a substantive essay by the translator, which places the book in its cultural and magico-historical context, including Swedish cunning-folk traditions (trolldom), the European grimoire tradition, traditional magical healing, pagan belief, and the relationship between folk magic and the church. Salomonic Magical Arts is illustrated throughout with sigils and magical seals drawn by Maria Olsson after the original source documents, and were commissioned for this first English edition. 275 pages. Octavo. (Item ID: X-SM-s)