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The Grimoire of Arthur Gauntlet. By David Rankine. Cunning-folk were practitioners of magic and herbal medicine who dealt with problems in their local communities. Arthur Gauntlet worked with a female skryer called Sarah Skelhorn, and drew on numerous preceding sources for his craft, including the Arbatel, the Heptameron, Folger Vb.
John Dee, as well as other London Cunning-folk. In his introduction, the author provides fresh insights into the hidden world of seventeenth century magical London, exploring the web of connections between astrologers, cunning-folk and magicians, playwrights, authors and church figures. This is a unique work which draws attention to the often neglected place of women in seventeenth century magic, both as practitioners such as skryers and Cunning-women , and customers.
It also emphasises the vital and influential role played by Cunning-Men and Women in synthesising and transmitting the magical traditions of medieval Britain into the subsequent centuries, as well as their willingness to conjure a wide range of spiritual creatures to achieve results for their clients, including angels, demons, fairies, and the dead.
The political, social and religious ramifications are clarified assisting the reader to fairly judge these works as typical for its era. The printing presses increased the public availability of occult material, giving rise to texts such as this in circulation among the trade of the cunning-folk. Trade in London particularly, was thriving and the book even highlights the problem politic of professional envy and competitive exploitation of available media ….
In summary, this book is fascinating, and should grace the shelves of all serious occultists, though not necessarily constrained to those whose interests remain rigidly within the field of witchcraft per se.
On the other hand, it possesses a large number of invocations of various spirits including Oberion , charms, remedies, and advice, including some that appear in the Folger Manuscript.
Overall, it is an impressive compendium of magical material present in London in the 17th century. The whole is supplemented with footnotes on sources, an introduction, and an index. By David Rankine pages, available in both paperback and hardback editions.
The Grimoire of Arthur Gauntlet
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Museum of Witchcraft and Magic
Although the idea of a grimoire that provides a comprehensive system of magical practice is still popular, many grimoires from past eras were actually compilations of rites and ceremonies that the author thought might be particularly interesting. Gauntlet appears to have been a cunning man who lived in London in the early 17th century, and this book is quite an interesting work that covers a broad variety of magical topics. On one hand, we have more-or-less straight transcriptions from such works as the Heptameron and the Arbatel , though the latter also includes a diagram for the text not seen in other editions. On the other hand, it possesses a large number of invocations of various spirits including Oberion , charms, remedies, and advice, including some that appear in the Folger Manuscript. Overall, it is an impressive compendium of magical material present in London in the 17th century.