Monsters from the Folger: Another Paper Available Online, and Reader Comments

A paper by James Clark, Joseph Peterson, and I, “He Appeareth Like a Monster,” that originally appeared in the journal Monsters and the Monstrous, is now posted to

Yesterday I got a message from Tony, who asks regarding my review of Lecouteux’s Traditional Magic Spells:

I was wondering if you could expand upon your review here with a few additional comments. I’m trying to find out if this book presents any never-before-seen grimoiric content. Things such as alternate versions of talismans or seals from Solomonic material or similar… I’m trying to see more of the positive notes from your review but it seems like the book simply a pick n’ mix of folk magic- more of an ‘encyclopedia’ of his favorite mentions of healing from disparate sources. What, if anything makes this book uniquely valuable?

Tony is the sort of reader I like: he mostly answers his own question. The book does not contain many talismans or seals, so I wouldn’t necessarily seek it out for those.

I would add that many grimoires do contain operations that we might define to the popular idea of “folk magic,” and that Lecouteux’s book of “favorite mentions” on just about any topic will be broad-ranging and of great interest to a lot of people. Nonetheless, Tony, I can’t talk you into liking a book. (You might try Lecouteux’s The High Magic of Talismans and Amulets instead, though.)

Sarah asked a question earlier about Enodia Press’s shipping times.  I responded:

I’ve ordered three books from Enodia, and each one has taken a while but arrived on time and in good shape. The tracking numbers provided by the Mexican post office are… aspirational, shall we say. The one for my first order claimed that it had not departed the local post office outside Mexico City up until the time that the book showed up in upstate New York.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask Enodia. I’ve been happy with their responsiveness and their product.

Please post any more comments you’d like to have answered!



Published in: on February 1, 2018 at 7:23 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Thanks so much for your response! I’ve been a reader of your blog for a long time, but never had occasion to comment really. I quite recently found out about Claude Lacouteaux via his ‘Grimoires’ book – I particularly enjoyed the ‘names and signatures’ section. I think I may check out Lacouteaux’s Talisman book as you suggest and then take it from there. I just realized these books are pretty inexpensive so even if there are only a few ‘a-ha’ moments, it will have been worth the price of admission. I’m interested in folk magic too, but I do prefer to read about the subject within a certain context or stream of consciousness, like the Book of Arthur Gauntlet or The Long-Lost Friend, for example. Who knows, I may grow to really like and trust the selected materials Lacouteaux presents in his books though.

  2. I did receive my copy of A Compendium of Unnatural Black Magic yesterday. Simply put, it was worth the wait.

    I purchased Lacouteux’s most recent book. I really enjoy his works. He presents everything in an overview that one might want. He delves deep enough to let you determine whether what he is discussing is something you might really wish to continue researching.

    While I will ever love the trappings of ceremonial magic, especially material on spirit seals and such, I tend not to attempt much of this variety of magic. Sometimes the study of something is quite enough. The actual experience can be daunting. I have found yanking things across dimensional boundaries on a whim seems, somehow, rude and unrestful.

    What I like in folk magic, especially hoodoo, is that the energy for the spell is often contained within the materia. It is helped by the intent, but does not involve disturbing things you might rather did not know of your existence.

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