Minch, Stephen: Lovecraftian Ceremonies
©1979, published by Bob Lynn
Illustrations by Stephen E. Fabian,
Paper, stapled, 40 pages
Comments [Stewart Tame]: Subtitled "Seven Occult Dramas for the Magickal Performer." Seven Bizzare Magick routines based on the writings of famed horror author H.P. Lovecraft. Note, this book is now revised and updated and available as "The Book of Forgotten Secrets" through Hermetic Press (Nov 2009)
i Introduction to the Ceremony: General notes on performing Bizarre
v The Setting: Dimly lit library, ideally.
1 The Stigmata of Cthulhu: Mark of Cthulhu drawn on parchment, magician chants spell, sound of bubbling water gradually increases in volume, one spectator collapses, parchment vanishes in a burst of flame, spectators find symbol from parchment has appeared in various places on their bodies.
5 The Fungi from Yuggoth: Cards with symbols for various planets shown, one is selected bearing the symbol of Yuggoth, magician tells of strange lifeforms of that planet: "half living tissue, half crystalline matter": four spectators each given piece of paper to drawn symbol of Yuggoth upon, papers placed in metal pan, live toad placed under crystal dome in center of pan, herbs and other materials added to pan, papers lighted, sudden blaze within pan, lid placed on pan to extinguish it, when lid is lifted, toad is still under crystal dome, but dome is surrounded by a strange crystalline fungus, fungus discolored in places "...with patches in the shapes of the sign of Yuggoth!"
10 The Eye of Alhazred: From a small casket, a vial containing an eye floating in murky waters is produced, parchment with pentagram inscribed upon it is placed on brass platter, second parchment with pentagram produced, five spectators each initial one of the points, this second parchment is crumpled into a ball and placed on the first, cards with various mystic symbols are shown, and then spread face down in front of one of the spectators, the spectator places the vial with the eye on one of the cards, crumpled parchment set on fire, it vanishes in a burst of flame, a spark of flame remains on the lower
parchment, it travels along leaving a burnt line behind it, the line forms a symbol, the card under the eye matches that symbol.
15 Pickmans Model: Metal tray placed on table, hideous statue placed on tray, covered with paper cone covered with caballistic symbols, statue lifted to show dark, damp stain has appeared on tray, statue covered with cone placed on table, cone slowly creeps forward, lit candle touched to cone, it vanishes in a burst of flame to show nothing underneath.
20 The Silver Key: Casket opened and parchment unrolled to reveal large silver key, placed in the magician's hand, the key slowly rotates, key is hung from chain and given to spectator to hold, placed over piece of paper with several cities of dream written on it the key slowly begins to swing towards whatever destination the spectator chooses, key placed back in parchment, casket closed, casket reopened, parchment unrolled to show key gone, in its place is a large living scarab beetle.
26 Dreams in the Witch-House: As magician relates the story of the Witch-House, various things happen: "an eerie evil-looking monstrosity creeps about the table", a goblet of water turns to blood when stirred with a bone and then turns clear again, a borrowed marked coin disappears from the goblet during the change and is found inside a bag inside a nest of boxes that have been in the spectator's possession from the beginning.
35 The Music of Erich Zann: Seance effect, small violin and music box shown, box plays an eerie tune, both placed under glass bowl on table, sitters place their hands on the bowl, "There is now only music playing on the stereo: nothing more. A time elapses. Then, suddenly and strangely, across the room a metronome begins to tick by itself! ...slowly the violin starts to move, swinging until it hits the music box. Then the music box begins to play from beneath the glass bowl. ... The candle is blown out. The music from the stereo increases in volume until it is very loud. A weird hooning and yammering is heard behind the music. ... the yammering and moaning become more frantic. There is a terrifying scream, the phonograph needle is heard to rip across the record's grooves and there is a tremendous jolt and thud to the table. The lights are turned on and all is seen to be as it was, the phonograph now playing softly and normally. The seance is over."