by Shani Oates
6×9 inches. 276 pages. Hardbound 80 pts, Bamberger Kaliko “Metallic Graphite” bookcloth, blind deboss on cover, silver foil stamp on rounded spine, colour interior, and Neenah Red and Leno embossed endpapers. Fine typography, illustrated by artist Lupe Vasconcelos (also featuring numerous historical B&W art pieces), printed on Cougar Natural 160M archive-quality paper. Individually numbered
The devil’s history is a forking path, one that has wend its way from times of yore through a maze of cultural conditioning, folkloric interpretation and whole cloth fabrication. The Devil has been many things to many people and fits a service of ideas across a span of time now into millennia.
Shani Oates is a well known author of contemporary traditional witchcraft and the Maid of the Clan of Tubal Cain, that path of traditional witchcraft that finds its origins in the writings and teachings of the late Robert Cochrane. Her previous works have given considerable shape to contemporary craft practices, and her insight into the practicalities of craft practice is immeasurable.
Her latest, “The Devil’s Supper”, is a superb journey through the narratives that have shaped our modern idea of the Devil and his role in society, theology, and witchcraft. Oates’ gives us a tour of the fables and legends, from the Mesopotamian through the Graeco-Roman, into the middle ages of Europe, it is a tale of manipulation, speculation and theological propaganda.
In the Devil’s Supper Oates provides a context for the slow shaping and reshaping of this figure “The Devil” and those accused of worshipping and having relations with this being. From a “being of the air” to the eventual physical materialization in the form of succubi and incubi the Devil and his supposed followers come from a long narrative of theological suppression, historic revisionism and cultural appropriation."
(taken from The Skeptical Occultist)
The Devils Supper is a critical enquiry into popular culture, past and present. The text explores the myths and realities of the so-called Witches Sabbat. Using trial depositions, source documents, contemporary poems and literary accounts, a hidden history is unfurled, offering a totally unique understanding of this occulted enigma. From Fasting to Feasting, the mystery of ritual, sacred Vessels of Transformation is exposed. The myriad masks of the Devil are fully removed, layer by layer in celebration of his multi-faceted and ingenious complexities. Along the way, we explore the philosophical and theological enquiries that have long held us in their thrall. We tackle the weighty topics of evil, who the Devil really serves and how this impacts upon the true virtue of the Grail as panacea or poison, overturning prescribed opinion to discover the real thread that binds these enigmatic elements together and how these things are even connected within occulted custom, lore, tradition and law.
Titling of Contents:
Origins: Shadow of the Dark Obstructer
Chapter One: Forgotten and Forbidden Gods
Chapter Two: Arcadia
Chapter Three: Occidental Horizons
Chapter Four: Matters of Theology: Heresy and Evil
Flux: The Middle–Ages
Chapter Five: The Maverick Anti-Hero
Chapter Six: The Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse
Chapter Seven: Cockaigne: A Fool’s Paradise
Chapter Eight: Faerie Lore & Folk Custom
Chapter Nine: The Grande Sabbat
Chapter Ten: Stagecraft – The Witch Craze Parody
Chapter Eleven: Demonology: Textbooks of the Damned
End Game: A Return to the Shadows
Chapter Twelve: Devils Advocate – Agent Provocateur
Chapter Thirteen: Old Hornie, Trades and Guilds
Conclusion: Lifeblood of a Traditional Legacy
With various Illustrations by:
Baltens, Bosch, Bruegel, Dürer, Blake, Doré, Füssli, Holman Hunt, Giotto, Michelangelo, Van Eyck, Van Maële, Fuseli & Vasnetsov, Léopold Boilly, Hans Trapp, Wagrez, Taddeo di Bartolo, and Klinger.