Welcome to the ‘vault’ – a digital resource designed as an aid to your own personal study. The manuscripts featured here are all hand-written historical documents. As such, it takes time to become accustomed to reading them. Be patient; the rewards are worth the effort. The aim, after all, is to gain experience of first-hand primary source material – nothing is more rewarding than time spent in the company of original documentation. It is advisable, therefore, to access this material on something other than a phone as a larger screen will make a world of difference to the overall experience. Much of the material presented here was instrumental in the British Occult Revival of the late nineteenth-century – the milieu in which our very own Society finds its origin.
Iº- The Manuscript of Maria the Prophetess: A Treatise of the Secret Preparation of the Matter of the Stone of the Philosophers (1700)
Maria, the Jewess also referred to as Maria, the Prophetess and Maria, Sister of Moses, was considered the founding mother of Egyptian/Hellenistic alchemy, references to her appear as far back as antiqutiy. She was an alchemist and an engineer experimenting with chemical reactions; she founded an important school of chemistry, but her most famous invention outside of the laboratory, the “bain-marie” or water bath, is used in kitchens throughout the world today. This particular French manuscript was translated in 1950’s for use in the personal library of famous American occultist Manly P. Hall (1901 – 1990).
IIº- The Key of King Solomon, Clavicula Salomonis. Graham, George. 1834. Translated from an ancient manuscript in French into English at the charge of George Graham, Aeronaut, the XVII of July MDCCCXXXIV.
The Key of Solomon texts are an example of a book of magic or grimoire attributed to King Solomon. A particularly famous example was published by English Rosicrucian Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers (1854-1918) in 1889. Mathers was primarily known as one of the founders of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. He was introduced to Freemasonry by a neighbour, alchemist Frederick Holland, and was initiated into Hengist Lodge No.195 on 4 October 1877. He was raised as a Master Mason on 30 January 1878. In 1882 he was admitted to the Metropolitan College of the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia. He was awarded an honorary 8º in 1886. He became Celebrant of Metropolitan College in 1891 and was appointed as Junior Substitute Magus of the SRIA in 1892, in which capacity he served until 1900. He left the order in 1903, having failed to repay money which he had borrowed.
This rare and unique manuscript gives a glimpse into the realm of the Art of Magic in the 1800s. This is a manuscript created for the devout practitioner of the Art. This particular manuscript of the Key of Solomon belonged to Frederick Hockley (1809 -1885), a British occultist and scryer who was a London-based Freemason and a member of the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia.
The work presented herein is one of dark devotional service and the charging of the various magical seals involves the sacrifice of various animals of which the blood is contained in bottles for the use of tracing the seals in blood ink upon the skin of a wide variety of animals. The suggested modes of Operations of the Rituals and charging of the talismans are obviously not a practice suitable for everyone and precisely this is what makes this ancient manuscript so special. This version of the Clavicule describes explicitly the rules of engagement and requirements of which the practitioner should be aware of before treading upon the Path of the Art of Magic which is presented in this grimoire. Another interesting aspect is its dedication to Lucifer in the far end of the book, which includes a full description to call up the Superior Spirit LUCIFER. According to this book it is an operation only able to be done by the Master of the Art. The Key of King Solomon describes in detail the aspects of The Day, the Hours and the Virtues of the Planets. Conjurations of various Spirits, on which Hours things should be prepared in order to engage and perform the Rituals, in this book called Operations and/or Experiments.
One will find in this book detailed instructions of the following:
- Of Fasting
- Of Baths
- Of Instruments
- Of the Incense Perfume
- Of the Light of Fire
- Of the Vesture
- Of the Pen
- Of the Colors
- Of the Parchment
- Of Experiments
- Of Medals and Pentacles: 32 Sigils/Seals are described including in detail their function and manner of charging the talismans
Superior Spirits of which Lucifer is in highest commandment:
Thirteen other more inferior Spirits are described as well. Descriptions are presented on the Angels of the Day and the Angels of the Night. In detail the book explains how one goes about the hierarchy during the modes of Operations between the Master and his Disciples and also the preferred number of Disciples, in this book also called Companions.
- Of the Master, His Disciples
- Of the Secrets
George Graham, aeronaut, astrologer, alchemist and Master of the Magical Arts, was also a member of The Society of the Mercurii, which was an occult magical organization from London, England in the 1830s. George Graham has contributed to a magazine The Astrologer of the Nineteenth Century which was launched by astrologer Robert Cross Smith (1795-1832) famous under his pen name “Raphael”. The magazine is best described as a compendium of occult materials by members of the Society of the Mercurii. Herein also was a chapter on George Graham written by Raphael. The magazine was published by bookseller of rare manuscripts John Denley who ran an occult bookshop in London, which at the time was at the center of the occult scene and community. Graham was a patron of John Denleys bookshop, of which it was specialized in books on Alchemy, Cabala and Astrology, and was located near Covent Garden, London, England. George Graham was also an associate of Frederick Hockley (England 1808 – 1885) who worked for John Denley in the shop who made copies and compilations of old magic texts and manuscripts.
John Denley published various works of Robert Cross Smith such as The Philosophical Merlin which was to our knowledge George Grahams first known contribution to a publication of which he, amongst others, assisted with writing it. The Philosophical Merlin is a book on Geomancy published in 1822 in which Robert Cross Smith was credited as “R.C.S.” and Graham is credited as “G.W.G.” (George W. Graham) among others who also contributed to this book. Graham may possibly had access to the Clavicule after the passing of Richard Cosways death in 1821 upon which The Mercurii has acquired his occult library and made it available to Robert Cross Smith. There is very little known about George Graham regarding his possible influence and contributions to occult and magic books and ancient manuscripts during the early to mid 1800s. He obviously was acquainted with many of the more famous characters in the occult circles at the time in London and he had access to a broad variety of rare manuscripts through his membership of The Society of Mercurii of which on behalf of that group he purchased a number of important occult books providing him the necessary knowledge of the Magical Arts. (Source: Aeon Sophia’s description for their limited edition)
IIIº- Verus Jesuitarum libellus : or, The true magical work of the Jesuits, containing most powerful charges and conjurations for all evil spirits…to which is added Cyprians Invocation of angels (1875)
A handwritten text on the supposed occult practices of the Jesuit order of the Catholic Church. Translated from the Latin by Herbert TF Irwin (1858 -1879), son and scryer of celebrated Rosicrucian Francis George Irwin (1828-1893). Francis Irwin was Chief Adept of the Bristol College, Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia. Irwin joined in succession several lodges and, according to Gould, so great was his desire to obtain more light, that there was scarcely a degree in existence, if within his range, that he did not join. As a result of some inter-order rivalry, the London College (SRIA) made a move that was to change the nature of the Society and mark a departure from the Scottish model of independent and autonomous colleges. Permission was given by Robert Wentworth Little (1840 –1878) and his Council to a Capt. Francis George Irwin to constitute a subordinate College at Bristol, restricted to 12 members, including himself as Chief Adept. This is the first instance in which the rank of Chief Adept was conferred. In scrying seances conducted during the years 1872-3 with his son Herbert as medium, he communicated with none other than Cagliostro, who told him that ‘the Crystal you have will be of little use. It is charged with an antagonistic principle.’ Cagliostro came again on 29 October 1873 when he delivered the message that ‘I am afraid that at present I cannot give (you) anything to be continuous.’ Thereafter, between 31 October and 9 November Cagliostro communicated on four separate occasions and, according to Irwin’s ‘Spiritual Journal’, dictated almost word for word the substance of the ‘historical introduction’ to the Fratres Lucis ritual. In 1883, an elite esoteric masonic organization called The Society of Eight, is founded by Kenneth MacKenzie. Notables such as Francis George Irwin and Frederick Holland were members. It is unclear whether Frederick Hockley was a member. In a note to F.G. Irwin, MacKenzie says that Stainton Moses (a noted Spiritist) and William Wynn Westcott were not to be admitted. It is unclear whether Westcott was eventually invited to join, or even whether the organization ever really came into existence.
IVº- The Magus or Celestial Intelligencer (1801) and Directions for the invocation of spirits, and an essay on spiritual vision (1802) Francis Barrett.
The Magus or Celestial Intelligencer: being a compleat system of Occult Philosophy is a handbook of the occult and ceremonial magic compiled by occultist Francis Barrett published in 1801. The manuscript included here is an original draft. A large document, it may be somewhat overwhelming for those new to the study of such things. A second shorter treatise by Barrett on the ‘invocation of spirts‘ has been included also – this, perhaps, might be a little more of manageable for most. Much of the material was actually collected by Barrett from older occult handbooks. In fact, most of the material comes from Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa’s (1486 – 1535) Three Books of Occult Philosophy and Pietro d’Abano’s Heptameron. Previous demonologists such as Binsfeld (1589) had drawn up lists that comprised a hierarchy of devils, and attributed them with the power to instigate people to commit the seven deadly sins. It facilitated the modern revival of magic by making information from otherwise rare books more readily available. It may have influenced Rosicrucian novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton and french occultist Eliphas Levi (1810 – 1875).
A paper on either text is permitted for the ‘Minerval’ certificate.
Vº- Letters of Micheal Sendivogius to the Roseycrusian Society Found in an Old Manucript by EBENEZER SIBLY M.D. 1791
This manuscript is said to have belonged to Dr. Sigismund Bacstrom (c. 1750-1805). Born in Scandinavia, he was a physician, alchemist, and a Rosicrucian. He was initiated into the ‘Societas Rosae Crucis’ by Comte Louis de Chazal, an occultist and alchemist who Bacstrom met on the island of Mauritius during his travels as a ship’s surgeon in 1794. This meeting led to Bacstrom’s interest in alchemy, and he began to study it seriously, eventually translating many works on alchemy into English – the present text being one. The manuscript is a translation by Ebenezar Sibly of a collection of letters, published in French in 1691, by one Michael Sendivogius (1566–1646) – identified by some as ‘Christian Rosenkreutz’ himself . Born in Moravia, Michael Sendivogius—whose true last name was Sensophax—was an expert in mining and manufacturing of pigments who lived in Cracow, Poland. He led a lavish lifestyle. At age 37, nearly out of money, he rescued the imprisoned Scottish alchemist Alexander Seton in hopes of learning the secret of making gold as a reward. Seton gave him only some of his Philosopher’s Stone powder. When Seton died, Sendivogius married his widow,.
Dr Sigismund Bacstrom, the manuscripts supposed owner, was on 12th September 1794, initiated into a ‘Societas Roseae Crucis’ by Comte Louis de Chazal, on the island of Mauritius. During this period, Bacstrom was allowed to perform a transmutation under Chazal’s guidance and using his substances. Chazal seems to have obtained his own alchemical knowledge while he was in Paris in 1740, and J.W. Hamilton Jones in his edition of Bacstrom’s Alchemical Anthology even suggests that his teacher was legendary Comte de St Germain. In reality, these particular copies of the manuscripts were likely owned by Frederick Hockley, and during the twentieth-century were housed for use in the occultist Manly P Hall’s own personal library.
Bacstrom’s diploma of initiation into the ‘Societas Roseae Crucis’ has been included here for your study. Transcripts of both have been included here as aids, as the scans provided are not of consistent quality. A paper on either text is permitted for participation in the ‘Minerval’ certificate.
VIº- Four experiments of the Spirits Birto, Agares, Bealpharos and Vassago Hockley. Comprising the Forms of Conjuration, Circles, Lamens and Obligations, or Bonds of Spirits-as hath often been proved at the instant request of King Edward the 4th of England. Frederick Hockley (1829)
Four experiments of the Spirits Birto, Agares, Bealpharos and Vassago. Frederick Hockley is most known on the practical occult level for his work in scrying with crystals and mirrors, though his vast personal research and the notes of his experiments have disappeared for the most part. We are left with a couple of references to his work in various reports to occult societies and publications in England from the late 1860s through most of the 1870s. What we learn from these reports, as well as his mentioning them in his personal correspondence with close friends does shed light on his work. The principle source of information on Hockley’s experiments comes from transcribed excerpts by Francis George Irwin into his own Rosicrucian notebook from the notebooks of Hockley. According to Hamill, F. G. Irwin made these copies contrary to promises to Hockley that he would not make any such copies of Hockley’s personal work. It is great for us that F. G. Irwin did make copies of some of Hockley’s work so that we can see just what he was doing in his experiments.
VIIº- Book of Good Angels. Frederick Hockley (1868)
A transcript of an anonymous ancient book of invocations and talismans, illustrated with two magical figures, and 14 figures of the ‘characters and seals of Angels’, pen-drawn and coloured in water-colour. Hockley is often credited with being involved with many of the more well known occult organizations that sprung up in England in the last have of the nineteenth century, but aside his very active role in Freemasonry, his membership with the SRIA, and his apparent membership in the Fratres Lucis, Hockley seems to not have been much of a joiner of those esoteric and magical groups that sprung up in England. He did know many of the major members of these later esoteric groups in one way or another. Kenneth R. H. MacKenzie had been his pupil at one time; Francis G. Irwin was a Mason with Hockley as well as a member of the SRIA, and the founder of the Fratres Lucis. Irwin apparently used scrying techniques that he either learned directly from Hockley or at least through transcribing Hockley’s notebooks. The Reverend W. A. Ayton, the noted alchemist surely knew Hockley from what Ayton wrote in his own correspondence. Ayton would later be a member of the Golden Dawn, which was founded by W. W. Westcott, S. L. Mathers, and William R. Woodman, all prominent Masons and members of the SRIA. It is likely that Hockley’s influence through Ayton spread into A. E. Waite’s Holy Order of the Golden Dawn where Ayton was a chief after 1903. Westcott himself probably knew Hockley, whom he cites as a major influence of the Golden Dawn in his historical lecture of the order, through the SRIA and other Masonic related bodies. In addition to Westcott, Mathers, and Woodman, Benjamin Cox was not only a member of the Fratres Lucis, but later became a member of the Golden Dawn and had direct access to Hockley.