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Occult Spells: a 19th Century Grimoire

Occult Spells: a 19th Century Grimoire

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Published by Mogg Morgan
Review of new edition of Frederick Hockley's "Occult Spells: A Nineteenth Century Grimoire"
Review of new edition of Frederick Hockley's "Occult Spells: A Nineteenth Century Grimoire"

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Published by: Mogg Morgan on Aug 16, 2009
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07/17/2013

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Occult Spells, A Nineteenth Century GrimoireCompiled by Frederick Hockley, with an Introduction by Silens ManusISBN 978-0-933429-17-8Published by The Teitan Press (2009)This is one of two neat little books sent for review from Weiser's. Grimoires notexactly being my thing, but I'm always willing to know more, and with this in mindI especially enjoyed the introduction, although wished it were longer. From it Ilearned that Occult Spells is in effect a 'Book of Shadows' - ie Hockley's owncompilation or edited highlights from rare and expensive books in the collectionof the London bookseller John Denley. Nineteenth century magi were able to make alittle extra cash by making fair copies of expensive printed grimoires, and thisis Hockley's own pick of the crop. I thought the introduction a bit biased whereis says "the crudest examples of folk and sympathetic magic jostle uncomfortablyalongside the carefully considered lore of astrology and high magick". Hockleyhimself was a bit of a grump, criticising Barrett's "Magus" as "an unaknowledgedcompilation from other authors".As usually at these times I seek out my friend, the Cunning Man Jack Daw, whosecaravan is parked up on 'The London Plain' nearby."Ah just in time," he says, offering me some of his squirrel kabab."No thanks," I say, "I've eaten already, tea would be nice."I show him Hockley's books and mention the author's strictures on Francis Barrett"Well" he said, tapping the contents of his acorn-pipe out on the bumper of myModeo."I'd say Barrett got rid of a lot of unworkable rubbish from those moldy old booksand put together a sensible book of magick that actually had some chance ofworking".I nodded sagely, thinking it best not to mention the editors view about "crudefolk magick" and its practitioners.The publisher's blurb says this is the first ever printing of Occult Spells, awork that until now has existed only as a manuscript in a private collection. Itis part of a rich legacy of carefully written manuscripts, left to the world bythe Frederick Hockley (1809-1885), an occultist and Freemason with an interest inSpiritualism who in later life was associated with the Societas Rosicruciana inAnglia. Hockley's peers considered him to be one of the great occult scholars ofhis time: in fact he was held in such high regard by one of the founders of theGolden Dawn, W. Wynn Westcott, that he posthumously claimed Hockley as one of theOrder's most outstanding Adepts.Occult Spells is a sort of esoteric "commonplace book" in which Hockley recordedmaterial on different spells, talismans, charms and such-like that he came acrossin rare books and manuscripts in the course of his researches. Hockley startedcompiling the book at about the age of twenty, and added to it throughout hislife: he still had it in his possession when he died at the age of seventy-six.The sources that he used ranged from "occult classics" such as Richard Saunders'"Physiognomie, and Chiromancie, Metoposcopie" (1671), John Heydon's "Theomagia, orthe Temple of Wisdome" (1663); and Henry Cornelius Agrippa's "Three Books ofOccult Philosophy" (1651), to relatively obscure works like Joseph Pettigrew's"Bibliotheca Sussexiana" (1827), and notorious grimoires like the "Petit Albert".

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