On the Shelf Review – Hockley’s Clavis Arcana Magica

Teitan Press has been at the forefront of the Hockley renaissance, and the Clavis Arcana Magica illuminates another aspect of his spiritual interests and practices. In this case, what is revealed are rituals that were supposedly dictated in Frederick Hockley’s crystal-gazing experiments.

Alan Thorogood provides an introduction to the manuscript, highlighting Hockley’s work with the seer Emma Leigh in his crystal-gazing experiments.  Leigh’s impressive career as a seer, in which Hockley asked the spirits speaking through her thousands of questions, was cut short by her untimely death.

The content of the manuscript is brief yet notable.  After providing a call to the crystal, we are given four different rituals dictated under the influence of Hockley’s “Crowned Angel” for the purposes of gaining visions or bringing the spirit of a deceased plant, animal, or person to visibility.   The latter are particularly notable to Lovecraft fans for their similarity to the reference to Cotton Mather from Charles Dexter Ward, although it is almost impossible that these influenced HPL.  The transcript of these rites is thoroughly annotated, and it precedes a reproduction of the manuscript.

The Clavis reveals an entirely different side of Hockley’s spiritual practice.  Whereas works such as Occult Spells and the Experimentum are compilations of material taken from other sources, as are most magical manuscripts, this book portrays magical ceremonies that are portrayed as coming from the spirits themselves.  This places them in a more select category including such works as the spiritual workings of John Dee and Edward Kelley, as well as  the experiments of Humphrey Gilbert.  As such, it is of interest not only to those interested in Hockley or nineteenth-century occultism, but also to those who are curious about such revealed ceremonies, for one reason or another.

Published in: on August 25, 2012 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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