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Book of Thoth

The Book of Thoth from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Mystic text is any written medium, be it a book, a scroll or even an iPad that includes information relating to the occult. Alternatively, a mystic text could be just an ordinary item, but is somehow connected to the supernatural. Either it is the former possession of a ghost or demon, or is a component of a more elaborate collection of similar items like a library.

In the real world, religious doctrine that is bound into a book form may be construed as a mystical text. This includes the Bible of Judeo-Christian faith, the Torah of Hebrew faith, the Koran of Muslim faith and many others.

In fiction the grand daddy of all mystical texts is without question the Necronomicon. The Necronomicon was first conceived by Gothic horror writer H.P. Lovecraft and has appeared or been referenced in many of his short stories, most of which revolve around his famous Cthulhu Mythos. It was first mentioned in Lovecraft's 1924 short story "The Hound", where it was revealed to have been compiled by Abdul Alhazred, the "Mad Arab" in the year 730. Known in Arabic as Kitab al-Azif, the Necronomicon is said to possess the knowledge of the Old Ones as well as the means by which to summon them. Other writers, many of whom were contemporaries of Lovecraft, such as August Derleth, have expanded upon Lovecraft's idea of the Necronomicon and incorporated it into their own stories, thus keeping the Cthulhu Mythos alive. This book of ultimate evil was also the subject of a 1993 film called Necronomicon: Book of the Dead. An alternate version of the Necronomicon played a key role in the Evil Dead series of films, comics and video games. Bound in human flesh and written in human blood, the Book of the Dead was of Samarian origin and contained ancient funerary rites as well as possessing the key towards opening up the mystical doorway to allow the Army of Darkness, or Deadites, loose upon the whole of reality. Working class hero and department store clerk Ash Williams stands as humanity's last hope against the forces of darkness. One of the incantations associated with this version of the Necronomicon is "Klaatu Barada Nikto". This phrase is required in order to safely remove the book from it's resting place. However, Ash mis-speaks the words and unwittingly releases the deadite army upon Medeivel England.

In witchcraft, a witch's spell book is commonly referred to as a Book of Shadows. Unlike other types of grimoires, a Book of Shadows is very personal to the witch or warlock who owns it as it contains not only spells which they may have personally authored, but also includes an account of the owner's geneology as well as other valuable information. A Book of Shadows was one of the key ingredients that comprised the back story behind the WB Network television series Charmed, which chronicled the lives of three sisters, colloquially referred to as the "Charmed Ones", who shared a lineage of witchcraft that they inherited from their ancestors. Whenever the Halliwell sisters found themselves in great distress, they consulted the Book of Shadows and used the information they learned from it to hone their own supernatural powers.

On the 1993-2007 WB Network television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the character of Rupert Giles possessed a mystic text called the Book of Thoth. It was introduced in the series' pilot episode, "Welcome to the Hellmouth" and was used as a plot device in several episodes throughout seasons one and two. By season three, the characters began to rely upon this resource less and less, but it still made occasional appearances throughout the remainder of the show. The Book of Thoth is an ancient tome of occult lore. Marked with the word "Vampyr" in bold illumination, the book contains vast amounts of knowledge concerning demons, vampires and Satanic rituals. Rupert Giles used it as a valuable resource when training the Slayer Buffy Summers. Giles formerly kept the book in the library at Sunnydale High School, but after leaving the school, he kept it amongst his personal belongings.

In the continuity of the Marvel Comics universe, there are several mystical texts of note. One of the most venerated of such books is the Book of the Vishanti, which was created by the elder mystic members of the Order of the Vishanti, and it contains a vast ammount of occult lore and mystic incantations and rituals relating to white magic. In contrast to the Vishanti, there exists the Darkhold - the ultimate source of evil in the Marvel Universe. The Darkhold was authored by an elder demonic entity named Chthon and has passed through many hands over the centuries including Baron Gregory Russoff, his son, Jack Russell and Sorcerer Supreme Doctor Strange. Two of the more notable spells that can be found in the Darkhold is one which can curse an individual with lycanthropy, thus turning them into a werewolf, and the other is a spell known as the Montesi Formula, which can eradicate all vampires. Traditionally, both the Book of the Vishanti and the Darkhold remain in the possession of Doctor Strange for safe keeping.

Examples Edit

Notes & Trivia Edit

  • Another name for a mystical text is a grimoire.

See also Edit

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