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Specializing in Rare and Antiquarian Books on the Occult and more.

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THE CHALDAEAN ORACLES OF ZOROASTER (1895) by W. Wynn Westcott (writing as Sapere Aude)

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THE CHALDAEAN ORACLES OF ZOROASTER (1895) by W. Wynn Westcott (writing as Sapere Aude)

250.00

WESTCOTT, W. Wynn, writing as Sapere Aude (edited and revised by), with an introduction by L.O. [Percy William Bullock]

The Chaldaean Oracles of Zoroaster (Collectanea Hermetica Vol VI)

London: Theosophical Publishing Society, 1895. First Edition. Hardcover. Slim duodecimo (5 x 7 inches). Blue cloth with gilt titles to front and spine. 54 pp. plus 2 pages of ads. Rare. OCLC lists only 4 copies worldwide, all in the UK. 

Small ink number to first blank page. Former owner has written notes on last blank page and a couple of pages at end of volume with marginal notes. A very good copy of this extremely scarce title. 

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Westcott was a founding member of the Order of The Golden Dawn. Here he provides an illuminating preface followed by an excellent introduction by Bullock (writing as L.O., another Golden Dawn member, whose magical motto was “Levavi Oculus”). These Oracles are considered to embody many of the principal features of Chaldaean philosophy. They have come down through Greek translations and were held in the greatest esteem throughout antiquity, a sentiment which was shared alike by the early Christian Fathers and the later Platonists. The doctrines contained therein are attributed to Zoroaster, though to which particular Zoroaster is not known; historians give notices of as many as six different individuals all bearing that name, which was probably the title of the Prince of the Magi, and a generic term. It has been suggested by some that these Oracles are of Greek invention, however, as Westcott states in his preface “it has already been pointed out by Stanley that Picus de Mirandula assured Ficinus that he had the Chaldee Original in his possession, ‘in which those things which are faulty and defective in the Greek are read perfect and entire,’ and Ficinus indeed states that he found this manuscript upon the death of Mirandula. In addition to this, it should be noted that here and there in the original Greek version, words occur which are not of Greek extraction at all, but are Hellenized Chaldee.” The term "Oracles" was probably bestowed upon these epigrammatic utterances in order to enforce the idea of their profound and deeply mysterious nature. The Chaldaeans, however, had an Oracle, which they venerated as highly as the Greeks did that at Delphi.