First published in late Summer 2012, Schulke's book on esoteric toxicology Veneficium was an instant success, selling out in six months. Its principal concern is the intersection of magic and poison, originating in remotest antiquity and reaching into the occult traditions of present day. Beyond their functions as agents of bodily harm, poisons have also served as gateways of religious ecstasy, occult knowledge, and sensorial aberration, as well as the basis of cures. Allied with Samael, the Edenic serpent of first transgression whose name in some interpretations is ‘Venom of God’, this facet of magic wends through the rites of ancient Sumer and Egypt, through European Necromancy, Alchemy, the arcane the rites of the Witches’ Sabbath, and modern-day folk magic.
The second edition of Veneficium is now properly contextualized within a trilogy of forthcoming books entitled Triangulum Lamiarum (‘Triangle of the Witches’), each of which concerns a specific ontological aspect of witchcraft. Veneficium, of course, treats the occult parameters of poison, toxins, and venom, and their presence in witchcraft and allied magical arts.
Newly released, the second edition of Veneficium contains the first edition in its entirety, but there are some notable expansions and evolutions:
—a new typographic design for the entire book, to be used for the whole of the trilogy —slight expansions of certain chapters —one additional chapter —additional images —a new title page illustration by artist Benjamin A. Vierling, as well as two new ornaments by the same —correction of typographic errors from the first edition, as well as footnote enumerations —an index —an acknowledgments section.