To The Mansions of the Moon is intended to be an example of a book of magic.
Susanna Clarke, in her debut novel “Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell” (2004), opined that there was a difference between a book ABOUT magic and a book OF magic. A book about magic was just that — a theoretical discussion, a philosophical inquiry. A book of magic was a book that contained the necessary instructions and guidelines to perform a working of magic. This is one such book.
I’ve said elsewhere that not all magicians are poets; but all poets are magicians. This is a work of poetry, slightly expanding upon the Kindle collection I’ve already published of these poems (adding explanatory prose text), and a modified form of the Trithemian rite, “the art of drawing spirits into crystals“.
I had high ambitions for this book — it was going to be a dos-a-dos-a-dos (back-to-back-to-back) edition of 112 copies that would each be hand-bound, and each contain the Mansions of the Moon text (which I’ve described elsewhere on this blog), the Behenian Stars poems, and the Decans of the Zodiac. These are all available for Kindle, but this edition would be particularly special. Alas, my hand-binding skills weren’t really up to the challenge of binding the three books together — and some printing errors (both my own proofreading, and some smears on the pages) have resulted in only these eleven test copies of this work being salvageable. The remainder of “the 112 copies” were thus either never printed, or destroyed.
And so just eleven survive — my own experimental binding of the three books together. Sara Mastros of Traif Banquet had long ago requested a copy of her own, with just the Mansions, and so one was pledged to her. (How interesting that she posts a spell for acquiring good books just shortly after I send her one of the ten surviving copies of this book. Her spell works, clearly!)
And now there are nine.
There will never be any more copies of this book in this form — though I may try to create a published edition at some point, perhaps with illustrations? I don’t know for sure. They probably won’t be hand-bound copies of only these poems (or incantations?) created by the author, individually signed and numbered, with the proofreader-author’s errors and stupid mistakes intact.
If I ever become well-known as a maker and artist and magician — they might be quite valuable someday, especially with this documentation on my own blog that there are only nine available… But it’s up to you. Maybe the price seems too high for an imperfect thing, a risk taken on an artist whose name is not widely known, whose poetry is not so well-respected.
On the other hand, these are the artifacts of an effort to create a book of magic that would be widely available, for working with the Mansions of the Moon and their angels… and yet, these powers seem to have decided that only nine people besides the author would have these books available to them.
Are you one of them?