On the Shelf Review – Dehn’s The Book of Abramelin, Revised Edition

It’s really odd to think that this blog is old enough that I reviewed Dehn’s first edition of Abramelin (here’s the first time review) has been around long enough to see a revised edition.  The Ibis site hasn’t been updated yet, but the new edition is indeed out and available.  In fact, it was a few months ago – I just didn’t hit “publish” on this post.

For those of you who don’t know about the original edition, read the review above.  For those of you who do, let me tell you what’s different.

The most notable change is the inclusion of the entirety of Book 2.  This is a section of various charms, usually involving the speaking, inscribing, or writing of a Bible verse to achieve a particular purpose.  (This is in the German manuscript, but it was not included in the French one that MacGregor Mathers used to create the book’s most famous edition.)  Although I haven’t checked it point-by-point against my original list, I feel confident in saying that a vast amount of the material that was not included is now here.  I particularly like the spell to stop hostile people from inflicting earthquakes upon one, or the one that prevents a ghost from turning into a flash flood and drowning you.  That is a very specific problem, but if that applies to you, I’d definitely buy this book.

Dehn has also reviewed a number of manuscripts of Abramelin not incorporated into the original, and he has incorporated the variant readings into a series of footnotes.  He also covers a few different theories regarding the identity of Abraham of Worms, although sadly, this is so rushed it is difficult to get a sense as to the exact arguments pro and con each of these individuals.

One final note:  I don’t think I’ve ever commented upon a book’s layout before, but when comparing the two, it was striking to me how much of an improvement has been made to the appearance of the new text.  Good job, Ibis!

If you are collecting grimoires and haven’t picked up Dehn’s book, this would be an excellent time to do so.  Nonetheless, I’m not sure that I would recommend this as a replacement for the previous edition, save for those particularly interested in Abramelin or wanted more of the smaller operations listed in Book Two.  Such is the danger of doing a good job on a book the first time.

Published in: on January 18, 2016 at 7:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

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