On the Shelf Review – A Complete Book of Magic Science, Part 4

Phil Legard pointed out to me that another mention of A Complete Book of Magic Science was in the the Ceremonial Magic and Sorcery chapter of Manly P. Hall’s Secret Teachings of All Ages. I’ve been looking at this work, which includes a few pages quoted from that book, and comparing it to the new edition and Turiel.

First of all, I’m not sure as to how much I trust Hall’s version of the book’s history. He insists that the original is in the British Museum, but a search of the catalogue of the British Library, to which those books were moved, doesn’t turn it up. He also says that it was mentioned in Francis Barrett’s The Magus from 1801, which would contradict Hockley’s assertion that he assembled the book himself. I’ve yet to find the title in Barrett, though perhaps it’s buried in there somewhere.

Hall’s version of the incantations does include major variations from the two books we’ve already looked at. The magic circle you can see at the link above looks like some HeptameronGoetia hybrid, while that in the Teitan Press book looks like something from the Grimoire of Honorius. Hall’s work omits a major part of the invocation of the spirit, and some of the angelic names have changed. Further, the spirit called up is not Turiel, but another named Pabiel, who signs a contract dating (supposedly) to 1573. EDIT: There’s also a set of instructions missing from the other two books telling you how long to remain in the circle after the spirit departs and what to do with the circle itself.

As an aside, I feel sort of bad for Pabiel. In Hall’s version, the magician calls upon Pabiel to send one of his angelic servants to the circle, and he gets… Pabiel. It’s like the angel got a big promotion but still has to get his own coffee.

Otherwise, everything is almost identical. I’ll add that Turiel and Pabiel have one other feature in common – they are angels of Jupiter that don’t show up in any other source.  (EDIT:  Phil Legard has found Turiel and a name similar to Pabiel in another work, though they are not associated with Jupiter.)

Admittedly, it would be good to have the manuscripts for these three books on hand to examine more closely. What appears to be going on, however, is that Hockley turned out a number of slightly different manuscripts under the same title while employed to the bookseller John Denley. How many more are out there, the differences between them, and Hockley’s ultimate sources still remain mysteries.

Published in: on July 25, 2008 at 3:21 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. […] Palmer Hall – Phil and I are still looking for that copy of the Complete Book of Magic Science we discussed a while ago, so this new bio might provide us some […]


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