Forthcoming: The Arbatel, edited by Joseph Peterson

I was looking around on the Ibis Press site when I found the following ad for a new edition of the classic 1575 grimoire called the Arbatel, one of the classics of the genre.  Some press:

In many ways, Arbatel is unique among texts on magic. Unlike the vast majority of writings, it is clear, concise, and elegantly written. The practical instructions are straightforward and undemanding. When it first appeared in 1575, it attracted the attention of people with a surprisingly broad range of agendas, including some of the finest minds of the time. Often quoted and reprinted, both praised and condemned, its impact on western esoteric philosophy has been called “overwhelming.” Arbatel’s magic is full of wonder, free from the sinister elements usually associated with texts on the subject. But it is about more than magic; filled with gnomic wisdom, it urges us to help our neighbors, be positive and grateful, and use time wisely. Above all, it teaches us to pay attention, looking for the wondrous and miraculous. In fact, to the author this virtually defines the magus.

This translation, the first English version published since 1655, illuminates many obscure points in the text. Peterson’s introduction concisely documents the provenance of the text, explains the magical techniques employed, and its influence on esoteric literature, including the grimoires and the Theosophical movement. Utilizes important new research by Carlos Gilly, Antoine Favre, and others.

Indeed, these past few years have been a woeful time for the wallets of grimoire collectors.  Nonetheless, based on what I know about the sources noted, I think Peterson’s notes will be quite worth it.

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Published in: on September 24, 2008 at 8:08 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Geat – certainly my favorite and most illuminating magical text. Fingers crossed that this will clear up those odd references to the magical weapons of Naples and “Melesina”, neither of which I’ve been able to find anything about despite reading all the 16C (English language) material on Naples and histories of Melesina that I can get hold of…

  2. […] of The Arbatel, the classic book of white/Olympian magic from 1575, has just been released.  I mentioned this back in September, and it was puhsed back a few months, but my order was just […]


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