York Beach, Maine USA: The Teitan Press, 2008. First Edition. Hardcover. Quarto (10 x 7 1/2 inches, approx 25.4 x 19.1cm), 128 pages. Original fine black cloth with a striking white design to the front cover, and white titling on spine. High quality sewn binding, printed on coated paper, lavishly illustrated in black and white throughout. Edition limited to 400 numbered copies. Book is in fine condition.
The compiler of A Book of Shadows, pan.zos pagurus, was initiated into a Witchcraft Coven in England in 1976, and in keeping with tradition copied out his initiators’ “Book of Shadows” adding his own embellishments, and magical notes. The result, reproduced here in facsimile, is an authentic and very beautiful grimoire, created by an active practitioner of the craft over thirty years ago. At the time of his initiation pan.zos pagurus was told that the “Book of Shadows” was a traditional work central to “the Craft.” Although he didn’t then know it, the text was derived from a copy belonging to the so-called “Father of modern Wicca,” Gerald Gardner, who many now suggest was actually its author. A Book of Shadows, as it is here published contains that text, as well as the “rites and structures of the seasonal ceremonies,” that were given to pan.zos at a later stage. Initiates were also encouraged to personalize their book, so pan.zos added in a series of images and diary doodlings that were inspired by ceremonies and studies over a three year period. During this time he was also deeply drawn into the worlds and work of Austin Osman Spare and Aleister Crowley, whose influence show both in the Spare-inspired “embellishments,” and the frequent quotations from their works. Giordano Bruno was another important influence, in particular his treatise De Umbris Idearum (On the Shadows of Ideas), 1582, and for this reason pan.zos borrowed the title for his own collection of occult jottings, a section of which follows the text of A Book of Shadows. This is not a “how to book” or historical study. It is, however, an authentic and unique example of this particular type of ritual workbook, executed with considerable artistry by a genuine practitioner.