On the Shelf Review – Hamil’s The Rosicrucian Seer, Revised Edition

I’ve had some time to look through The Teitan Pressnew edition of John Hamils The Rosicrucian Seer, a book discussing the career of nineteenth-century magician and spiritualist Frederick Hockley.

For those who are new to Hockley, or who want to investigate the nineteenth-century magicians who filled the gaps between Francis Barrett’s The Magus (1801) and the rise of Mathers and Crowley near the end of the century, this is a must-buy.  This book includes biographical information on Hockley, a list of his manuscripts, extracts from his workings with crystals and spirits, a manuscript to summon the spirit Vassago, his correspondence with fellow occultists, and his articles for the spiritualist papers – in short, a collection of primary and secondary source material useful to scholars and practitioners alike.

But what if you already have the Aquarian Press edition 0f the book?  Should you get the new one?  it’s possible, depending upon your level of interest in Hockley.  A few short sections have been added, with an assessment of Hockley’s skills as an astrologer, his will, and a full index.  Also, I found some short sections added to the excerpts from his crystal manuscripts and to the manuscript list at the beginning.  By now, previous owners will probably know whether this is valuable to them.

If I have a reservation regarding this book, it is that the resurgence of Hockley scholarship it began has outstripped the new edition.  For example, the section on Hockley as astrologer does not note that Hockley was apparently a member of an astrologer’s mutual aid society.  The manuscript listing is already incomplete, with Peterson’s 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 revelations, and it’s a shame that these will not be included in the first book most will turn to on Hockley.

Nonetheless, this is an important book that I’m quite glad Teitan has seen it fit to reissue.

Published in: on May 14, 2009 at 4:30 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. […] from the Sibley Clavis (review here), and the Crystaliomancy ritual that he might have composed (review here), but we’ve seen precious little indication of what Hockley himself practiced.  What we find […]

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