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"Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright." - Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

Witchcraft, Magic & Alchemy

It’s high time we had some more witchy stuff on here!

Witchcraft, Magic, and Alchemy by Grillot de Givry has got to be the weirdest book I have ever cracked. The publisher’s product description is somewhat misleading:

From raising the dead to foretelling the future, this historical tour of the occult offers a captivating exploration of sorcery and ceremonial magic. Prepared by a noted French historian, it ventures into virtually all of the classical arts, with 375 rare black-and-white illustrations derived from paintings, illuminated manuscripts, sculpture, and architecture.

The author doesn’t actually approach the material with the objective eye of a historian; he writes about necromancy and love philters and suchlike as if he actually believes in all this stuff. I can’t decide if he’s brilliant or cuckoo.

It is also very easy, according to several Black-books, to become invisible by carrying the heart of a bat, a black hen, or a frog under the right arm. A more elegant method is to wear the Ring of Gyges on your finger; you can then become visible or invisible at will simply by turning the stone inward or outward. This ring must be made of fixed mercury; it must be set with a little stone to be found in a lapwing’s nest, and round the stone must be engraved the words, “Jésus passant ✠ par le milieu d’eux ✠ s’en allait.” You must put the ring on your finger, and if you look at yourself in a mirror and cannot see the ring it is a sure sign that it has been successfully manufactured.

How nutty is that? There’s plenty more where this came from, but I left the book at Seanan’s when I was moving out of Galway and forgot about it while I was in Tipperary, so further excerpts will have to wait.

1 Comment to Witchcraft, Magic & Alchemy

  1. Kate's Gravatar Kate
    May 14, 2010 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    Speaking of witchy, my copy of Petty Magic has been preordered with an expected delivery date of Oct 7, 2010!

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Hi! I'm Camille. I only write stories that could never ever happen in real life, though I do believe in real-life magic. If we were in the same room I'd fix you a cup of tea, but for now we'll have to settle for a virtual connection. I'm really glad you're here.