Thursday, November 20, 2008

Strange But Untrue: Dr. Strange & the Lesser Book of the Vishanti

Move aside, Necronomicon, there's another genuine fake book of occult secrets in town, The Lesser Book of the Vishanti penned by catherine yronwode with nagasiva yronwode (neither of them capitalize their names on this site so I won't either). It's the grimoire used by Steve Ditko's comic book creation, Dr. Stephen Strange.

Dr. Strange, shown here in a portion of a black light poster, urges fans to consider set and setting before turning on.

As catherine relates on her site,"Although we were on welfare during that year [1977] at Little Creek, i did not want to be a drain on society. I decided that the two hundred dollars per month i received was "pay" for a job of my choice -- and what i chose to do was to pick up litter along the roadsides and to create a topical index to the entirety of my favourite comic book series, Strange Tales and Dr. Strange. Within the fictional world of these comic books, there was a grimoire or spell-book called The Book of the Vishanti, and so, in homage to two famous real-world grimoires, the Key of Solomon and the Lesser Key of Solomon, i called my project The Lesser Book of the Vishanti."

As with H.P. Lovecraft's fictional grimoire, The Necronomicon, art imitated art. So here are the secrets for the Orb of Agamatto, the Satan Sphere, the Wand of Watoomb and so much more, all indexed by comic book. Consider just one of the "spells" offered here:

"In the name of the Dread Dormammu --
in the name of the All-Seeing Agamotto --
by the Powers that dwell in Darkness --
I summon the Hosts of Hoggoth!
Lead me to the source of Evil!
Obey the words of Dr. Strange!"

We are warned in a note that "this is said to be a 'dangerous' incantation."

Beyond this, we are shown the real-life origins of Steve Ditko's "Eye of Agamatto," which turns out to be "a fairly common kind of amulet found in the Buddhist regions of Northern India. Called "The Eye of Buddha," it is a pendant, worn on a necklace cord as an apotropaic charm to ward off the Evil Eye (Mal Occhio) and to protect the bearer from misfortune." Wow. And guess what? The sponsor of this site, The Lucky Mojo Curio Company, is standing by to sell you your own "Eye of Buddha."

So enjoy this spuriously genuine book of arcane spells, True Believers. There's no better way to put a little hokey in your pocus.

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