Now published by Llewellyn Worldwide in a premium hardcover edition retaining the original's red lettering of significant words and holy names, "The Book of Oberon" includes rituals for summoning a long list of spirits and faeries (including Oberion, Fairy King and close relation to Shakespeare's Oberon); original drawings; common prescriptions used by cunning folk; instructions for dealing with Goetic
demons that were censored in other texts; one of the oldest known copies of the magical manual The Enchiridion; and much more.
At least two of Ashenden's chapters, "The Encounter between Poet and Magus" and "The Goetic
, Theurgic, and Wisdom Traditions," may be profitably read alongside the present volume.
Given the development of the image of necromancer specifically in the increasingly literary academic culture of the twelfth century, the witch whose goetic
practices stand in contradistinction to the philosophically grounded theurgic magic of the learned necromancer easily takes the classical shape of the sinister hag, a figure that already haunts Ralph's initial (and only) physical description of the eloquent heretic as "an old woman.