We are very pleased to announce the release of a new Guide to the Underworld: An Inventorie of Demons.
This small pamphlet contains the catalogue of spirits from Reginald Scot’s Discoverie of Witchcraft, as well as Brinsley Nicholson’s notes on Scot’s translations of the names from Wier. With an introduction by Jake Stratton-Kent, this guide allows for quick and effective comparisons with other spirit catalogues, making it a valuable resource for the goetic magician.
From the Introduction: “It is nowadays tolerably well known that the Goetia of Solomon derives its spirit catalogue in great part from Johann Weyer’s De Praestigiis Daemonum et Incantationibus ac Venificiis, in particular the appendix Pseudomonarchia Daemonum (Liber officiorum spirituum). From this The Goetia derives, even more specifically, via a translation published in Reginald Scot’s Discoverie of Witchcraft. So much for known bibliography; nevertheless, the lessons to be learned from textual comparisons have yet to percolate out to any significant degree. The changes in the spirit order – and additions to the list – are fairly familiar subjects, but other major textual alterations require understanding.
Among other elements that require examination – or even simply awareness – is what I call ‘the Long Text group’, five entries in the original spirit catalogue of far greater length than the others. (See: Paimon, Bileth, Asmoday, Belial, and Gaap). These, in my opinion, are among the most underappreciated resources we have for understanding the previous history of the catalogue and its original form. They also include some textual difficulties, possibly the result of deliberate tampering, which the editor(s) of the Goetia detected successfully, but compensated for inadequately.
For these and a myriad other reasons, an affordable, unlimited edition of the text is a necessity and a boon for the present community. Limited editions of Scot, in whole or in part, come and go. Students need to be able to compare the text from Scot with the Goetia – and indeed other catalogues now available like the Book of Offices/Book of Oberon – quickly and effectively, and a pamphlet that you can use as a bookmark in other grimoires serves that purpose.