The Graveyard Wanderers, The Wise Ones and the Dead in Sweden.
[England]: Society for Esoteric Endeavour, 2013. First Edition - Deluxe edition. Hardcover. Quarto (Approx: 25cm x 20cm - 10 x 7 3/4 inches). (viii) 106pp (+iipp: colophon). Black "leather cloth," (a composite material that is 85% leather) over heavy boards. Inset into each board is a copper sheet, with a life-sized representation of a skeletal hand stamped in high relief. Title stamped in white across the top board, with white skull devices and publisher's imprint stamped between blind raised bands on the spine. Handmade decorated pastepaper endpapers, imprinted with "chaotic swirls" and skeletal fingers. Some illustrations in text, bibliography. Copper clad slip-case with copper spine protector. Edition limited to 180 hand numbered copies. According to the publisher "All 180 copies are considered deluxe" but an optional slipcase, made to order in two major styles, was also available for additional purchase. One style took the form of a sturdy box bound in leather cloth with raised panels with paper covering with skeletal hands subtly printed on it, etc. and an optional leather "spine protector." The second, more expensive, slipcase was bound in patonised copper, rather than leather-cloth, but had the same raised paper panels with printed skeletal hands as the first type. All copies of the second type came with a spine protector, the outside of which is clad in blind stamped patonised copper. According to the publisher, fewer than 30 examples of each slipcase were made. The example offered here has the copper-clad variation - with the copper spine protector. The book collects together charms and rituals dealing with spirits of the dead and human bones, translated by the author from 37 Scandinavian manuscript grimoires known as "Svartkonstbuchs" ("Black Art Books") dating from the 17th - 20th centuries. The texts reveal a straightforward and unusual system of folk-magic, described by the publisher as comprising: "A ritual of initiation to commence dealings with the spirits of the Dead after which, by taking bones and leaving payment, they may be called upon to:- Take pain from the living as they are now beyond suffering; Torment or transfix thievers - setting upon them the stillness of death; Communicate the stillness of death to animals or humans; stopping them from moving; Send the bane of death to a victim; Protect the living and their possessions; Predict chance, beyond time, and assist the gambler; Assist with shooting, conferring lethality to ammunition and guiding aim." He further observes that: "A spirit of the Dead can be held in a box or bottle, or exchanged for a rune stone, so as to be handy to assist the practitioner [and that] ... By passing through Death in the form of a belt made of a corpse's skin or sinew, the practitioner may transform into animal form. [in return] The practitioner must always return the bone, and therefore the spirit, to the churchyard." The text is footnoted, and followed by the author's Afterword, in which he discusses the rituals, and their practitioners, who were commonly known as "Wise Ones" or - when performing bone magic - "Graveyard Wanderers." The physical aspects of the book's production are obviously talismanic, and relate specifically to the text. The coloration of the copper varies from copy to copy, some are almost silvery, some have darker patches or spots, etc., so that each copy is unique, and will of course age differently as the copper acquires a patina. Publisher's printed sheet loosely inserted. AS NEW. As noted, this is the scarce variant with copper slipcase and spine protector. Merest hint of shelfwear, otherwise in Fine condition. Item #69883