Touch Me Not, a surreal 18th century manual on how to raise the Devil, and then send him treasure hunting

Last year, the UK occult arts publisher, Fulgur Limited , celebrated its 25th anniversary. Initially focused on the work of the early 20th century British occult artist, Austin Spare, over the years, the imprint has published some of the most beautiful and significant books at the confluence of art and magic and has been the leader in the modern so-called talismanic publishing scene. What the Devil is talismanic publishing? It's an approach to publishing that incorporates magical practice into the act of publishing itself.

The concept originated with occultist Aleister Crowley in the late 19th century. He sought to treat his small press published books on magic and poetry as talismanic objects. Where any book nerd might argue that a finely designed, high-quality printed and bound book is already a magical object, talismanic publishing takes this to another level, with the selection of papers, inks, colors, fonts, and dates and times of publishing often being chosen with magical intent and a special level of consideration being given to the "out of box" experience and initial opening of the book. I have had talismanic books arrive with hand-calligraphied addresses, special perfumed paper wrappings, wax-seals, hand-drawn sigils, and more. Some may roll their eyes at all of this as woo-woo marketing gimmickry, but when this treatment is done well, it lends itself to a unique and elevated experience for anyone who loves bewitching books.

A great case in point is Fulgur's gorgeous new tome, Touch Me Not, their full-color facsimile of the infamous late 18th century grimoire, A Most Rare Compendium of the Whole Magical Art. Read the rest

Watch: Mind blowing! Close-up magic doesn't get any better than this

Here's an amazing magic performance by magician Will Tsai from America's Got Talent.

Tsai introduces his magic with this suggestion: “I like flowers because they remind of how beautiful life is, but also very fragile. And that’s why every second counts. In the grand scheme of things, life happens in the blink of an eye. So for the next moments, don’t blink.”

So I didn't blink as he placed his coins under cards and then magically made them disappear and reappear under different cards. It's a trick you've seen before, but not like this.

In the end, Howie Mandel says, “I just want to say that I have seen so much close-up magic. I swear to you, this was ultimately by far the best close-up magic I’ve ever seen in my life.” Read the rest