‘Speculum Terræ’ - a new release with Hadean Press
Have you ever looked into a magical mirror that is more than 300 years old? With the exception of John Dee’s famous Shew-Stone in the British Museum, the answer for most of us is likely to be a resounding ‘no’.
In my new publication with Hadean Press ‘SPECULUM TERRÆ’ I hope to help us change this - and allow all of us to take a peak into such a curious, ancient device. But before we get to that, let me share a few lines on why I believe studying these devices in close detail has so much to offer.
Magical mirrors are of particular symbolic power to the practicing magician: While other paraphernalia such as the wand, dagger or chalice represent the essential creative forces that are consciously brought forward and directed in ritual, the mirror represents the magician themselves.
From ancient times the mirror in magic was not leveraged to reflect who or what was staring into it. It was not a tool to behold oneself, but to behold what lies beneath it. The magical mirror holds the object lesson of what it means to become a gate. The further we go back in time, the more clearly we see this principle realized in magical practice: The true goês or adept magician no longer uses an externalised threshold to cross between the realms of living and dead, the spirit and physical world or the celestial and chthonic realm; instead the goês has become this threshold themselves. Their breathing bodies, their magical minds have turned into bridges that allow both themselves to traverse between multiple realms - as well as offer crossing for spirits alike. They have become hybrid beings- both with regards to the multiple realms as well as beings that constitute their ‘selves’.
“And so this was the primal sorcery of the first goêtes: to establish and maintain boundaries between the realm of the dead and the living, to uphold the threshold between the chthonic and the human world. Equally, they were the very forces through which human priests also would cross these thresholds - and interact with forces and beings from the other side. The Idaian Dactyls all in one represent the door, the key, the threshold as well as the guardians who watched over it.” (Frater Acher, Goêteia)
So this is why to the true goês or adept the magical mirror turns into a symbol, a representation, and yet ceases to be a tool of active practice: The magical mirror turns from an external object into an internal constituent of the goês. The magician merges into one with the mirror - and begins to walk the path of the empty hand where no temple, tools or tricks are no longer needed to perform powerful magic. Where, indeed, every step in the everyday world - willingly or unwillingly - turns into an act of mediated magic itself.
So much to the reflections on why studying magical mirrors, and how they were used by our ancestors, might be of particular interest to our own craft: Because it teaches us about the forces and capabilities that one day we’ll become one with.
— And that is precisely what ‘SPECULUM TERRÆ’ hopes to offer. In this short study we examine an original 17th century Earth-Mirror. Despite all odds this fragile little device survived in the far German West, in a tiny village museum in the Odenwald region. It was during the research for ‘Cyprian of Antioch - A Mage of Many Faces’ (Quareia Publishing, 2017) that I first came across the traces of this unique paraphernalia. While it immediately sparked my interest, it was clear that it would need to be a separate study. And to my great delight, this is was Hadean Press will be releasing shortly.
As it turned out, it seems this little device is not only extremely rare by its very age and nature, but also holds fascinating historic leads into our Western Tradition that are of particular interest.
On our little journey ‘beyond the surface’ of this magical mirror, we’ll rediscover the original expert interpretation of the mirror’s seal by the famous 19th century professor Richard Wünsch and present its first full English translation. We excavate previously overlooked magical seals contained in the mirror, retrace their divine and angelic names, are being led into Italian Palazzos and to the masquerades of Swedish queens, and finally discover authentic connections to the artefacts of the early Rosicrucian movement.
In addition to these varied historic explorations, the small study also has magical purpose: Just like any magical mirror presents a threshold, a gate or bridge between two states of being, so the story of this device allows us to bridge aspects of our tradition that often seem (artificially) separated: Within the makeup, and particularly within the seals, of this mirror we discover bridges that helps to unite folk and so called high magic, ritual magic proper with early Rosicrucian traces as well as more pragmatically the chthonic and celestial realms in the open eyes and palms of the practitioner.
Personally, I am deeply grateful for the journey this little device allowed me to travel, the things it taught me and the prejudices it helped me break away from. I am also happy to offer a ride on this magical journey to all of you now.
Finally, with each purchase of this book you are supporting the wonderful work of Hadean Press directly. None of the funds are going to me as the author, but all help to contribute to future publications of this very fine occult publishing house.