Saturday, January 16, 2016
The Petit Albert In English, Now Available!
And now the moment you've all been waiting for- or at least those of you gobbling up all the occult literature you can find.
The Petit Albert is perhaps the best of all grimoires; longer and more in depth than the Red Dragon, more diabolical (at times) than the Grimorium Verum, and significantly more refined than the Black Pullet for talismanic workings. Unfortunately, until today editions of this same work have fallen into three categories; those in the original French (useless to most of the English speaking occult world), limited English editions, often expensive, which often seem to make wild claims notably that it was the "Grimoire of Marie Laveau", and ebook-only editions that seem never to allow a preview; that this may indicate a lower quality product is clear.
As such I took the liberty of translating, editing, and illustrating this edition myself line by line- my French skills are intermediate with regards to written material (and far less than intermediate in speech!) but it wasn't particularly difficult- the similarities of the French language to English made it simple to translate the headers of each section and proceed from there with help from a French-English dictionary and copious amounts of caffeine. I have held the price of the edition down specifically because I want my name associated with what might be the first "good" English release of the work.
The content can be roughly arranged into the following; passages with folk rites (mostly medicinal), alchemical passages with a utilitarian purpose in mind, and talismans. The talismans include as well an extremely simplistic expose on planets, days, and hours, and associate with a variety of perfumes (fumigation) used to consecrate the symbols themselves. While some of the chemical workings here are blatantly hazardous (the work admits this, especially where it suggests cooking with arsenic!) most are fairly easy to understand. We even see here recipes for what we might amusingly consider fertilizer among other things, and the use of saltpeter as a medicine is rampant.
It's origin appears to have centered around a person or person's at the time which compiled material both domestic and foreign, old (at the time) and then-modern. I make the claim here that this represents the first truly cosmopolitan grimoire; we see many of them in the modern age; many of the recently authored works we see from some of the occult publishing firms of the world combine, for example, Vedic spiritual systems with western esotericism- which is decried by purists and applauded by many a modern mage. Opinions aside on the subject it hardly matters whether the reader even believes in the occult, because the academic, here, can clearly see a cross section of the early enlightenment period and the cosmopolitan nature present in this literature, drawing its inspiration from (and explicitly crediting some of the material to) rites and practices from around Europe and beyond.
I've now edited a great many occult works from the Renaissance and Enlightenment periods and released them, and after the translating was finished for the Petit Albert I think this may be the finest of them all.