Julio Cesar Ody
Limited to 72 copies, hand bound in quarter vellum, black cloth boards, custom marbled endpapers, all edges gilt, ribboned, and presented in a slipcase.
– £215 (Limited to one per customer. Please note that the fine edition will ship in late July/early August)
Standard hardback edition
Limited to 900 copies, black cloth stamped with dagger device, textured red endpapers and black dust jacket.
Bibliothèque Rouge edition
Unlimited paperback; isbn 978 1 912316 13 7
8vo (225 × 150 mm)
7 original pen and ink illustrations by Morgan Singer
With Magister Officiorum, Ody has produced an essential text for those who want to practice Solomonic magic. The result of patient and extensive magical work, this is a record of attainment informed by the Western magical tradition, Espiritismo and Obeah. The subjects covered in this study include: the place of evocation, the magical circle and the book, the ritual tools and regalia, including the black handled knife, the brazen vessel, robes, and the pentagonal and hexagonal figures. Also addressed is ritual purity, and the necessity of authority in the art of commanding spirits.
Ody gives clear explanations of the process of ritual and the methods by which to ensure success in evocation – understood as a physical interaction between magician and spirit. Further, he demonstrates principles of magical working that are not explicitly given in the typically terse instructions of the grimoires. Also given is a method for the obtaining of a key to be used in the eventual binding of a King; how to bottle spirits; a working with the vessel and skull; and a rite for obtaining a patron spirit under the auspices of Lucifer. The rites given are suitable for solo practice and group workings, notably using the model of the séance (black table spiritism) in order to establish spirit cults. As a result the text will be of aid to both novitiates and experienced practitioners alike.
Magister Officiorum gives accounts of spirit workings, including Lucifer, Buné and Gemon, and includes a suggestive catalogue of spirit contacts with Acham, Paymon, Astaroth, Frimost and Malphas that demonstrate the author's aptitude in the work.
Child of Elah
The labours and the court
The work of Gemon
An audience with Lucifer
On bottling spirits
Of the vessel and the skull
The black table of Buné
A tree of ugly fruit
Child of Elah
Entering the darkened room, there is a foreboding strangeness as if the moment had occurred before. It is always like this, on these eventful occasions. I sit in front of the idols and tools of the many strange ones who have brought me their boons. As is customary I speak their names to greet them and let them know I am here. Coals are lit and placed in the brazier at the foot of this arrangement. I clutch the top of the cane between my legs with both hands when the usual dizziness assaults my body which is now rocking slowly back and forth. My eyes are closed.
In monotone mumble they are named all over again, and then the once living who knew them too, and their lineages. My feet feel uncomfortably as if they are resting upon hot cinders and the smell of burnt wood is strong enough to give me cause for concern. I open my eyes and the wall behind the idols is transformed. There are now numerous symbols other than the ones I drew there myself and along the centre runs a spine with a goat head atop of it. That is the Lord of the Forest and this is how he stirs visions. I cast the appropriate materia into the brazier, in this ritual whose aim is to to cast my vision into the far depths where those cursed with insatiable hunger for power and crushed under the weight of success dwell. I have met them before. Their character is as once human, but not quite so anymore.
Sharply, a waking dream floods into reality. The cane becomes as a thin, unnaturally tall tower, and a giant serpent enters through a small window near its summit. I shut my eyes in order to see more clearly. Now comes a vision of a hole of seemingly infinite fiery depth, into which descends a stone totem of countless crouching beings wrought with despair. From within this pit arises a whirling swarm of flesh-eating insects, ravaging the carcasses of people and animals it found in caves on its ascent. I open my eyes again and behold this presence as it broaches into the waking world, the room suddenly grows cold and dark, and a horrible anguish and blackness of thought ensues. I endeavour to communicate by asking its name, to which I receive no reply. At this point the gloom is so overpowering that death feels like a perfectly reasonable option. All plans fail, all effort is futile, everything leads nowhere. Whatever strength I have left is used to call upon others to rescue me from that horror. The presence wanes and the dreadful feeling haunts me for the entirety of the next two days. On the Wednesday that follows, the day of honouring The Spider, things are again eerie, anomalous. The presence following the pomp and ceremony is not the one expected, but altogether something else. In the mirror put in place for the occasion there appears a decrepit humanoid figure with no eyes. I resolve to discover who deigns to break into ceremonies that do not belong to them, and ask again its name. It discloses it along with its character and how it is to be called so that its arrival would be painless to me. It then speaks at length on the nature of the spirits whose signatures are in the room, amongst those several who are found in the Ars Goetia; it calls them serpents of fire and tells of their many skirmishes with magicians of the past, the chains they laid on these spirits for restraining and commanding them, their connection to Heaven above and of the untold ills perpetrated on Earth by evil-doers with their aid.
It named the sacrifice of Christ as the ultimate curse cast to prevent them from more easily coming into this world. Lucifer, it proposed, could temporarily void it, and for securing his agency one must first seek the permission of Satan, named as a guardian of the Emperor, a hierarchical placement reflected in certain Solomonic catalogues. The manner of reversing this curse, it continued, begins with the lection of a number of biblical passages relevant to the sacrifice of the Lamb of God. From that follows: ‘By Sathan, messenger of the Eastern Star, guardian at the gates, spark that burns ships, the breaker of houses. Be silent now, for the chain is given:’ Here the secret chain, a series of names of God and others binding the spirits, is pronounced, though they are spelled in reverse. It continues with an address to Lucifer: ‘As the last among stars extinguishes, your name shall echo and there will be stillness. You are of liquid gold, birth and woe of common men, Child of Elah.’ The magician then turns to the direction the spirit is said to appear: ‘Heed, N, your king’s name:’ The name of the king is repeated three times. ‘The wheel is now broken. Here the covenant set by the last king’s death is void. You may pass.’
Finally, incense is to be burnt upon the arrival of the spirit, charges issued, and their signature hidden in a designated vessel to safely contain their power after their dismissal, and from whence they can be drawn forth and bidden to perform services again for they are said to be as unpredictable as they are formidable.
Before departing my company, the spirit proclaimed that several amongst them are put into service by God for running errands on Earth, during which time they are given more freedom to intervene in Earthly affairs. Precise knowledge of these occurrences is thus extremely valuable and can be gained through divination carried out with the aid of well-placed spirits, or more directly by binding them into service. The unknown factors of this magic pertain to knowing how and when the spirits have been so tasked. Acting on this knowledge with precision and power can be quite perilous, it stated, as the more it is done, the greater is the likelihood that the magician will become a target for powerful competing forces. Such is the ghost that accompanies this quest, like a stalker concealed in the woods as we travel down a risky road.
Here, the key that was availed for beholding their visages is given in a form that can be pursued by any who would risk their life for knowledge of the secrets they guard. I have furnished the precautions that are known to be efficacious in this art. Know, however, that they are the ones whom we all unknowingly fear at our deepest levels. The apple can, with these provisions, be safely plucked from their grasp, but what will then come from the eating of it, poison or power, is ours to own.