magick

This Ritual Mask, currently housed in Museum of Witchcraft and Magic in Cornwall, belonged to Alex Sanders, also known as Verbius, who was an English occultist and High Priest in the Pagan religion of Wicca.

During his black magic period, he got a job at the John Rylands Library in Manchester. An accusation that he defecated in the library basement led to the discovery that stole pages from a 19th century edition of the S.L Mathers translation of the ‘Key of Solomon’. Image: Ethan Doyle White CC-BY-SA

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The Prognosticon, or The Divining Disc of Pergamon, is a bronze amulet, found in Asia Minor in 1899CE, that was used by ancient magicians of Pergamon to tell the future. The disc seems to use a combination of magic systems, bearing characters from King Solomon amulets, Greek letters, Egyptian hieroglyphs and planetary symbols.

While the Prognosticon’s divination system is unknown, one theory is that the user was meant to gaze into it’s design, in order to enter an altered state of consciousness for divination. Some believe, that by merely possessing an amulet with its symbol, your insight, intuition, and imagination will be enhanced, and replicas of the artifact have been made for consumers. Image: Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin, CC-BY-NC-SA

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Seals and characters for summoning the greater demons Lucifer, Beelzebub, and Astaroth. In order of effectiveness, the symbols must be drawn in either: the sorcerer’s blood, the blood of a sea turtle, or engraved on emerald or ruby. From Grimorium Verum (16th Century) and The Grand Grimore (18th Century). Source: “The book of black magic and of pacts”, A.E. Waite, Embassy of the Free Mind

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The Goetic Circle of Black Evocations and Pacts, to summon Satan for a deal. The circle is formed from human skin, fastened by nails from a coffin of an executed criminal. A parricide’s skull, goat horns, a bat drowned in blood, and the head of a black cat who was fed human flesh must be placed around it. From The Book of Black Magic and Pacts, A.E. Waite, 1910. Source: Embassy of the Free Mind

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The Mystic Figures of the Enchiridion are symbols, meant to be used along with incantations and prayers, to perform transcendental magic. Most have religious symbolism and are used for spells to protect from secret enemies, wild beasts, poisoning, and bad weather, among other things. From The Book of Black Magic and of Pacts, A.E. Waite, 1910. Source: archive.org

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Alchemist and Magician Edward Kelly, in the act of invoking a spirit of the dead at the churchyard of Walton Ledale, from “The book of black magic and of pacts” by A.E. Waite, 1898. The companion in the circle is likely Paul Waring, who helped him with all of his conjurations.

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A witch at her cauldron, standing in a magic circle, surrounded by demons. A grimoire (book of magick spells) can be seen in the right corner, and a goat, representing the Devil, can be seen behind her. Etching by Jan van de Velde II, 1626. Source: Wellcome Library

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Depiction of an unscrupulous practitioner of black magic from “Le serpent de la Genèse” (The Serpent of Gensis) Volume 2, by Stanislas de Guaita, 1920.. The book describes this type of sorcerer as desecrating the sacred science of magick for the purposes of tyranny, personal gratification, disorder, crime, and intimidation. Source: Embassy of the Free Mind.

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This Chinese astrology book, made 1597, was for the purpose of military divination, to guide commanders in their battles. The 6 volume book has 15 categories: sun, moon, constellations, stars, wind, clouds, fog, rainbows, rain, thunder, frost, five planets, time of the day, astrological talismans for casting spells, and magic arts in Taoist witchcraft.

The book was classified material, only for the imperial court, because astrology was banned for private use at the time, and carried the threat of severe punishment. From: National Central Library

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Magic circle diagrams. The diagrams are to be copied on to the floor, and stood on for protection while practicing magick, particularly when summoning, spirits, fae, and demons. From “The discouerie of witchcraft” by Reginald Scot, 1584. Source: Wellcome Library

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Diagrams exposing instruments of trickery, used by charlatans in the 16th century, to claim to have magical powers. From “The discouerie of witchcraft” by Reginald Scot, 1584. The diagrams expose the following tricks: severed head on a plate, knives into and through the body, juggling, and passing a rope through the body. Source: Wellcome Library

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