Three Real Necronomicon Spell Books

Sunday, February 20, 2011

H.P. Lovecraft perpetuated a monumental hoax when he first conceived the Necronomicon, and later published a fictional history of the unspeakable book. So great was his farce, in fact, that even today people are still wondering if a real copy is out there. This is about as likely as Great Cthulhu rising from the Pacific, but occult practitioners and savvy writers out for a profit have succeeded in giving a kind of reality to Lovecraft's most ominous tome. Here are three Necronomicons worth knowing.

The Simon Necronomicon

As controversial as it is widespread, the Simon Necronomicon appeared in 1977, and has become the best known. It's named after the pen name of its anonymous author, known only as Simon. This shadowy scholar allegedly uncovered the text, and in his introduction attempts to link Lovecraft, Aleister Crowley, and ancient Middle Eastern religious lore in an unlikely narrative that would be record breaking for its strangeness, if any of it had actually happened. The occult parts of the book inscribed by Abdul Alhazred ("the Mad Arab") describe a couple rituals for harnessing the powers of the many deities enumerated. All are slight alterations of historic entities from Babylonia, Sumeria, Akkadia, and Assyria, with little that's explicitly Lovecraftian about them.

Simon's Necronomicon has engendered several sequels or knock offs (depending on one's perception): A Necronomicon Spellbook as well as Dead Names: The Dark History of the Necronomicon, the most recent one to appear in 2006. For a secretive whistle blower of the world's most nefarious text, Simon sure writes a lot of books. Due to its prominence and established history, the Simon version has come under more scrutiny than other Necronomicons. Daniel Harms and John Wisdom Gonce offer targeted and insightful commentary taking this book to task in their excellent scholarly exploration, The Necronomicon Files: The Truth Behind the Legend.

Necronomicon by Joshua Free

Joshua Free's Necronomicon, which surfaced in 2009, actually uses the Simon edition as a springboard for its own existence. Free, as an occult researcher responsible for piecing together the text, claims to have one upped Simon by producing an authentic grimoire drawn from the same ancient Middle Eastern as well as Egyptian sources. More than a mere spellbook, this Necronomicon's purpose goes further, as outlined in its description:

This edition of the Necronomicon is the single most ancient and pure unaltered lore concerning the hottest topics of our time and all times, including divinity, creation, human origins, aliens, religion, pantheistic magickal traditions, alternate dimensions, portals and the afterlife. In this new millennium of uncertainties, it is most likely that the uncovering of the past will reveal our future

 So, rather than being a rote presentation of Alhazred's dark book, Free offers up a new Mythos and answers to the most important questions. The truly Lovecraftian is bypassed in favor of philosophies, legends, and practices that drawn more on the name than on the blasphemous volume's spirit. Consider Free's version a template for many lesser known Necronomicons that continue to appear every year or two from micro-presses and self-publishing venues.

The Atlantean Necronomicon

Warlock Asylum's The Atlantean Necronomicon: Veils of Negative Existence is a Necronomicon that finally adapts Lovecraftian themes and horrors for integrity. The text offers an original amalgamation of an imagined Atlantean mysticism, Lovecraft, and the familiar ancient mythologies that Simon first tied to any Necronomicon. Unlike others, the book also includes essays on using its contents along with the Simon edition, and it underwent some oversight by serious researchers like Daniel Harms. Despite being a self-published effort, Warlock Asylum's Necronomicon is more authentic than many, and will hopefully spark more originality in future efforts to make Lovecraft's grimoire real. Human skin, however, may not be so easy to come by.

-Grim Blogger

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