Followup on Lecouteux’s Traditional Magic Spells

I had a nice discussion in the comments with Frater A. P. regarding my review of Lecouteux’s Traditional Magic Spells.  He’s been looking over Lecouteux’s translations in the book taken from Dr. Heinrich von Wlislocki’s Volksglaube und Volksbrauch der Siebenbürger Sachsen. What he’s found – and I’ve checked on some of his conclusions – is that there are some problems with the translations given in the book.  The seriousness of these discrepancies varies, but sometimes it extends to leaving out instructions – or even charm passages – from what’s presented in the book.  You can read his analysis here.

To be clear, my sympathies in cases of error are often on the side of the author. Mistakes creep into books quite easily.  After extensive work on Oberon, and level upon level of transcription, corrections, and proofing by multiple people, I once witnessed someone bring me their new copy, ask for a signature, open the book, and immediately catch an error. It happens.

That being said, I can share my impressions of the error. For me, it would be the sort of thing that would occur the first time copying a text.  Even if you’re confident that you’ve got it all, it’s still possible to make some major omissions from time to time when you miss a line or section.  I’m wondering if it’s what happened here, and it falls over the line of what I consider an acceptable error.

None of this is to diminish what Frater A. P. has discovered, which is an important and useful reminder that it’s important to vet sources, to double-check what we’re writing, and call out errors when we find them.  I’d suggest that anyone who wants to use Traditional Magic Spells to do their best to check the original sources if it matters for whatever work they are doing.

I’m interested on hearing others weigh in about what they think is appropriate.

Published in: on February 20, 2018 at 7:39 pm  Comments (7)  

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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] via Followup on Lecouteux’s Traditional Magic Spells — Papers Falling from an Attic Window […]

  2. Were you ever going to review the Hellfire Book Club edition of the Key of Solmon? How does it compare to the other published editions?

    • Adonia,

      I didn’t know anyone would like it. I can certainly do so – although it’s going to be another few posts from now, after a grab-bag, a review of Enodia’s latest release, and another requested review.

  3. I was wondering if the The Keys Of Rabbi Solomon published by Hell Fire Book Club contains any new and inaccessible material or is it a complete duplication of these previous three published works which I own:

    Ebenezer Sibly, Solomon’s Clavis, or Key to Unlock the Mysteries of Magic, Society of Esoteric Endeavour 2008.

    Jospeh Peterson’s The Clavis or Key to the Magic of Solomon: From an Original Talismanic Grimoire in Full Color by Ebenezer Sibley and Frederick Hockley

    Stephen Skinner’s Veritable Key of Solomon

    I was considering purchasing but if a duplication I would have to reconsider. If duplicated I would consider purchasing it for collecting all the Key Of Solomon published books.

  4. […] Resting Goth Face comments on their blog regarding our Lecouteux discussion: […]


    This edition of Sibly’s Key of Solomon was posted this site. I have never seen this variation.

    • There’s another one like that. I – or someone – should publish one of these. They’re beautiful.

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