Pandemonium: A Discordant Concordance of Diverse Spirit Catalogues by Jake Stratton-Kent

PANDEMONIUM by Jake Stratton-Kent is truly a first of its kind, and a necessity for the further development of traditional magic in a modern context. While not intended to be the last word, it opens up territory that demands further examination. It starts with the first English translation of a major spirit catalogue and ends with an appendix redefining ‘traditional’ grimoirists. Sandwiched between these is a comparative survey of several important spirit catalogues, which is much more than ‘a dictionary of demons’. Totally geared to emergent practice, leading us away from the prevalent focus on ‘tools and rules’, authors and manuscripts, towards a developing relationship with the dramatis personæ essential to the whole tradition.

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In PANDEMONIUM Jake Stratton-Kent offers a comparative study of the spirits of Le Livre des Esperitz, the Grand Grimoire, the Book of Offices, the German Honorius, Weyer’s Pseudomonarchia Daemonum, the Goetia of Solomon, Scot’s Discoverie of Witchcraft, and more. In doing so he explores the Trinitas, the spirits of the seven days, the spirit council, the four Kings, eighteen-ness, the Long Text Group, and ghosts in the machine.

Pandemonium: A Discordant Concordance of Diverse Spirit Catalogues
Jake Stratton-Kent.
ISBN 978-1-907881-65-7 (Hardback)
ISBN 978-1-907881-66-4 (Paperback)
Published December 2016.
258 pages.

INTRODUCTION TO THE WORK

This is a book about grimoire spirits, and the main view at all times is to clarify the important personalities, their roles and inter-relations, rather than simply focus on relevant historical texts with their dates, authors and impedimenta. To achieve these goals, various technical aspects will only be detailed as sub-topics. These digressions will be interrupted frequently by ‘spirit biographies’ to keep on track. It’s quite dense stuff; be prepared to make more than one pass.

While trying to steer away from the books, somehow or other though, their aesthetic remains useful in talking about the spirits concerned. Hence, many tables. The first table compresses into a contained visual form the various aspects of a large submerged territory to be explored in these chapters. It will be the first of many tables and precedes various discussions of convergent and divergent subjects. It is a table about books, to introduce many tables about spirits. The connecting element with these books and various others to be discussed is the dramatis personæ, which exist independently, at least in inter- and extra-textual form, and require a discussion unto themselves.