On the Shelf Review – A Complete Book of Magic Science, Part 1

As previously mentioned, I had ordered a copy of the latest release from Weiser Antiquarian: Frederick Hockley’s A Complete Book of Magic Science, Containing the Method of Constraining and Exorcising Spirits to Appearance, the Consecration of Magic Circles, and the Form of a Bond of Spirits Transcribed From An Ancient Manuscript Grimoire. I finished it and took a look over the Secret Grimoire of Turiel, which is similar in many ways to this work.

Let’s start with Turiel.

This grimoire is first known in its 1960 edition, published by London’s Aquarian Press, though the dedication is dated 1954. The compiler, Marius Malchus, speaks of a voyage by ship in 1927 in which he stopped in Las Palmas in the Canary Islands, where he climbed this cathedral with the help of a guide. This guide, as it turned out, was a mysterious defrocked monk trying to sell a magical manuscript that he had translated into Latin. As would be logical in such cases, Malchus said, “No thanks” to the Latin, bought the English translation, recopied it later for himself, and threw away the previous version.

Come on, you skeptics! I’m sure if Simon were here, he’d speak to the validity of mysterious monks just happening to appear with mysterious manuscripts and then vanish. It’s certainly unlikely that this impacted his version in any way, because we all know there’s no way to prove what the Warlock Shop was selling at the time.

Overall, this is a book of ceremonial magic dedicated to planetary magic.  The magician spend seven days in seclusion, thereafter drawing a circle as outlined in the book and consecrating both himself and an impressive array of tools.  The goal of the operation is to evoke one of the spirits of a planet corresponding to that day of the week, in order to bestow knowledge and magical secrets upon the magician.  None of these spirits seem to have any difference between them in terms of what they offer.  A sample conversation and compact is included with Turiel, a spirit of Jupiter.

Next time, who Hockley was and how this relates to him.

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Published in: on July 15, 2008 at 7:38 pm  Comments (10)  

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10 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I bought this and the Jack Parsons book when they were announced, and recently finished reading them, too.

    It’ll be interesting to read your impressions and conclusions, as I’m not familiar with Secret Grimoire of Turiel beyond name and reputation, and, of course, what was commented upon in Hockley’s Complete Book of Magic Science.

  2. […] the Shelf Review – A Complete Book of Magic Science, Part 2 Last time we started our discussion of A Complete Book of Magic Science, concentrating particularly on its […]

  3. […] of Magic Science and the Secret Grimoire of Turiel: An Announcement Those of you who followed my series of posts on A Complete Book of Magic Science and The Secret Grimoire of Turiel – including […]

  4. […] Press Publishes Hockley From Teitan Press, publishers of A Complete Book of Magic Science and the Sepher Mafteah Shelomoh, comes an announcement of some major releases from the library of […]

  5. […] Phil and I have been corresponding back and forth about our project attempting to link the Complete Book of Magic Science with the Secret Grimoire of […]

  6. Hello, I’ve been contemplating purchasing both The Complete Book of Magic as well as The Secret Grimoire of Turiel, for the specific purpose of studying the subject of Olympic Planetary Spirits…do either of these books give any information other than what is given in the Book of Ceremonial Magic by Waite…i thank you in advance for your correspondance

  7. Rachael,

    It depends upon what exactly you’re looking for. The CBoMS and Turiel do include the Olympic planetary spirits and incense recipes peculiar to that particular manuscript. The contents are quite similar between the two, though I believe some slight differences in the exact list of ingredients appears. The spirits seem to have little or no connection to the actual ritual in the book itself, as if they were included as an afterthought or an excuse for the incense recipes.

    Does that help? Turiel is available online, so I’d suggest you check that first.

  8. […] Solomon’s Clavis (reviewed here) and Teitan’s Complete Book of Magic Science (reviewed here).  I don’t think I’m betraying any confidences when I say this is a different […]

  9. […] edition of Hockley’s Clavis soon appearing.  Finally, I was disappointed to see that both A Complete Book of Magic Science and Occult Spells were barely mentioned.  I think that coming years will only bring us more […]

  10. […] varies between manuscripts) as created by the 19th century mystic Frederick Hockley (more on that here and here).  This book was often bound in manuscripts of an English edition of the famous grimoire, […]


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