The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

Again with the not-being-related-to-grimoires
thing, but . . . this is just so beautiful. I actually found this last year, and I remembered it when I came across a similar book. This picture does not do the binding justice. The picture I had found before was much better, but I couldn't find it! :( The Rubaiyat is a book of Persian poetry by Omar Khayyam. (I suppose that "Rubaiyat" means poetry) One of the original copies of the book was believed to have been lost when the Titanic sank.
Now, I must go eat.

Meren heart
Nefabit :3

The Gutenberg Project

Wow, this is way cool! I stumbled across this while researching my last post. This website offers free electronic copies of 20,000 books whose copyrights have expired in America! Pretty cool!

The Grimoire of Pope Honorious III

Isn't the above statement a bit of an oxymoron? A grimoire written by a Pope?! Well, yes. Apparently he justified his writing with the statement that priests should be able to work with demons so as to control them. Which, I happen to agree with him. (detour!) See, I have always disagreed with the Wiccan notion that we should not study black magick. What closed minded thinking! How are we supposed to defend out witchy selves from goblins and demons and other assorted nasties if we don't know anything about them, what they are or how they work? I actually applaud Pope Honorius III. Very logical and modern thinking. Especially considering that he reigned during the 13th century. (He looks like he's sleeping in this portrait)
Unfortunately, I have not been able to get my little paws on a copy of his 120 page blaspheming manual as of yet, as the title is currently going for between $500 and $2,000. I'll surely find a cheap copy when I get back to the mainland. Hopefully I'll find a copy in an antique store, and hopefully the shopkeeper won't know what it's worth. Wouldn't it be just wonderful if I could get a copy for five dollars? I cna't wait to be able to go book hunting (detour again!) There are only a few antique stores on Oahu, and the prices are jacked up because the price of land and rent is so high and there aren't very many antiques here, considering it's only been modernized for about 50 years. So, anyway, I don't have one yet, so I can't really tell you what's in it. But apparently people really want it.
Apparently, this is what the available printing looks like. If I happen to find this copy for cheap, I'd buy it, but I'd prefer to have a pretty hardbound copy of such a book. Perhaps I'll get lucky. Or, of course, I could always make my own binding for it! Yes, I think bookbinding is a good skill. And with a glue bound book it would be very easy to disassemble the thing. Of course, I'd have to sew it myself, but the stitch is not that hard. I think the hardest part of bookbinding would be folding the signatures. Luckily I don't have to do that, and hopefully I won't have to at any point. I'll have to post about how to do that specifically. It's all complicated and icky. I'd have to find good illustrations, though. I must snoop.
Meren heart,
Nefabit :3

Was the Gutenburg Press Stolen?

I read an interesting paper somewhere a while back that I just now remembered. Ok, so it isn't really related to grimoires at all, but hey, it's my blog after all. Anyway, the article said that the original idea for the printing press was, in fact, stolen! Too bad they hadn't invented patents back then. The story goes that the printing press was not in fact invented by Johann Gutenburg, but rather a Dutch woodworker named Laurens Coster. Laurens came across a birch tree while out in the forest looking for wood and decided to carve some letters out of the bark to take to his children. He wrapped them in his handkerchief and started for home. When he arrived, he saw that the sap had stained the handkerchief, which gave him a brilliant idea: using blocks of wood to create type. However, after he began working, someone caught wind of the idea and stole the supplies while Laurens was at Mass. He sold the idea and supplies to Johann Gutenburg, who then decided that using metal would be more practical and durable than wood. And of course, the rest is history.
Now, allow me to state that I do not know if this story is true. But, true or not, it is an interesting story. Of course, it wouldn't surprise me if the story were true, but I noticed something that was a bit off. How could a woodcutter in the 1400s have been literate? In general, only nobility were taught to read and write during that time. I suppose he could have been taught the alphabet by a customer if he was commissioned to create an alphabet board for some noble children, but other than that I don't see how. In any case, it is a lovely, wonderful story.

Meren heart,
Nefabit :3

Ideas for my dedication ceremony

Well, with my supplies on the way I've been thinking about my dedication ceremony. I don't want a fluffy ritual found in any of my books, but rather I want to devise my own. Something special. I'm actually thinking of having two, one here to dedicate it to its new binding and to put my mark on it, and one to connect it with its home when we get back to Washington. Yes . . . I think that's a good idea. But I can't decide where I want to hold the first one. I don't want to take it out anywhere, like to Kaneana Cave of Kolekole Pass, which is where I do many of my workings, but I don't necessarily want to do it here. I also can't decide if I want other people present or not. It's an important event for me, so I'd like to share it, but then again, sharing a few "secrets" with my grimoire will give it a certain amount of power.
Well, enough about what I don't know. What I do know is that I want to sing a blessing (I'll supply the lyrics at the end of the post) and I want to mark it with my blood. I actually got the idea from Fiona Horne, in her book LA Witch. She and her coven purchased those diabetic thumb pricker thingies and stamped their thumb prints on the book in blood. Now I'm not usually one for blood (in fact, in five years I've not done any magick working involving blood), but this is a good idea. In fact, it's a great idea, because marking it with my blood will endow an extremely strong magickal connection between me and it. I also want to annoint the leather with my personal scented oil, which will also condition it quite nicely, not to mention make it smell good. So, in essence, the purpose of the first ceremony will be to connect the book to me, and the second one to connect the book to my home and land so it won't . . . you know, get up and walk away. :P No, not really. So that it will be grounded as well as in tune with the energies there, which will make it more powerful. Pretty cool stuff . . .
Anyway, enough of my ramblings. (here's the lyrics, by Gary Stalder)

Ancient time is reaching on
Ever turning like the sun
Secrets hidden shown to me
Voices ring that I may see
Time has come to start again
Washed clean by the falling rain
Gold and silver starlight sea
Wash your magic over me
Shadow figures in the light
Say that too loose is to find
Raise the veil of those who see
Show the mystery to me
And behind the dark and dole
Lies a treasure, shining gold
A lullaby here in the deep
Show the mystery to me

This song just screams magic to me. I love it, and I want to use it for my grimoire ceremony. If you think about the lyrics, you can see how it describes the journey a grimoire takes us on.

Meren heart,
Nefabit :3

Styles of Binding

I believe that the best way to bind a grimoire is through the screw post system. This binding style allows one to move pages around without having to take the whole book apart, which is ideal for those who prefer to print out pages or draw artwork in the book. This is an especially good advantage with larger tomes that would be hard to work in without the advantage of removing pages. Unfortunately, it isn't quite as strong as a traditionally bound book, but it still serves its purpose tremendously well. The pages of this style will always lie flat, which is a great advantage. Another advantage of this system is that if the number of pages outgrow their binding, you can add an extension to the screw posts and make a new back piece. Of course, it is better to create the book to allow more room than you think you need, and put blank pages in the back to hold the shape. Also, one should not make a book too thick, as the thicker the book becomes, the weaker the spine will be, no matter what binding style is used.
Coming in at second place is the traditional binding system, sometimes called perfect binding, which is the most durable and beautiful style. The folios, or signatures, are sewn to a backing cloth, usually linen, and the cloth is sewn at the sides to the spine. What this allows is for the book to lie flat without damaging the signatures. If you look at a well bound book from the top when it is opened, you will see that the backs of the pages bend upward, allowing the book to stay open. This style is particularly sturdy due to the fact that the pages are sewn together, and they have no holes that can rip and tear. If you drop the book, it is less likely to be damaged than a post bound book. However, there are plenty of disadvantages to traditional bindings too. The first and foremost being that the pages are not removable. You cannot print out the pages, and so are forced to hand write them. If you spill ink, make a mistake or simply wish to remove the page . . . too bad. Technically you can remove the pages, but that feat takes skill, time, and patience.
There are other styles of binding as well, but not many of them suit grimories very well, especially if the book is more than an inch thick, which of course is common for grimories. Case binding is similar to perfect binding, but the pages cannot bend out, and so it is much easier to damage the spine and the pages often will not lie flat. In fact, it is common for this binding style to only open halfway, forcing the reader to hold one of the sides straight up, while the other side lies flat. Of course, hand writing in a style like this is practically impossible.
Styles such as comb binding, spiral binding and ring binding are practical in the early stages of grimoire development (mine is still in a three inch binder, eagerly awaiting its new home), but is very impractical in the long run. Three ring binding is weak, and pages will often tear out due to the loose binding. Comb binding allows the pages to lie completely flat, but is very weak for large amounts of paper, and pages are not easily removed. Spiral binding would allow you to remove pages, but with some difficulty, and again is no good for large amounts of paper. Here is a link to a page that illustrates different styles of binding.
And for now, ttfn!

Meren hear,
Nefabit :3