CE — Anthropology and Folklore
Nova bibliotheca astrologica: deutsch, English, español, français, italiano, latinus, nederlands [New Astrological Library: German, English, Spanish, French, Italian, Latin, Dutch]. Marion Röbkes. Tübingen: Astronova-Versand, 2006. xxii, 478 p. 25 cm. + revised index (14 p.) (Astronova-Sonderausgabe). ISBN 3-937077-2-0: EUR48 [06-1-101]
The Bonn astrologist Marion Röbkes, author of many esoteric works such as Handbuch der Karten-Legetechniken [Handbook of Card-Reading Techniques] (1998), Wahrsagen mit Skatkarten [Fortune Telling with Skat Cards] (1999), Weisheit aus einer anderen Welt— oui-ja, witchboards, talking boards [Wisdom from Other Worlds] (2000), and Hexen, Götter, Kulte—Orte der Magie [Witches, Gods, Cults—Magical Places] (2005), has compiled a bibliography of over 6,000 titles on astrology, horoscopes, and cosmopsychology, including works from 1460 to 2005 from all major European language groups, including both European and North and South American publications. Entries are arranged chronologically without further subdivision. An author index helps to bring together variant editions and translations, and a curious subject index, designed to accommodate the many languages represented, presents 176 word-root entries. For example, “alch” provides access to 27 titles on alchemy, Alchemie, etc.
Unfortunately the bibliography is not as complete or comprehensive as one would hope. Although helpful for 20th-century works, it is unreliable for earlier periods. Consideration of the chronological distribution of citations shows that 88 percent of the entries are for publications from 1900-2005 while only 12 percent come from all previous centuries. While this could reflect the growth of publishing and changes in the interest in the esoteric, comparison with online library catalogs and standard reference works demonstrates significant gaps in the coverage of pre-20th-century publications, suggesting a deficiency in the bibliography. Close examination of individual entries indicates unevenness in coverage, inappropriately included works, mis-transcription of early titles, failure to cite original editions, and gaps that are clearly due to lack of research. [wh/ab]
Grosses Lexikon der Astrologie [Comprehensive Lexicon of Astrology]. Special ed. Bonn: Lempertz, 2003. 640 p. ill. 22 cm. ISBN 3-933070-43-0: EUR 9.95 [06-1-103]
The imprint “Edition Lempertz” signaled the revival of the publishing activity of the Lempertz bookstore in 1997 with an emphasis on Catholic theology and regional publications; however the catalog on the firm’s website includes no theology, and only one anonymous work on Nostradamus as well as this likewise anonymous lexicon of astrology. Presented as an instrument of practical self-help, the lexicon opens with definitions of astronomical and astrological terminology before turning to the main section, an over-simplified and all too general explanation of the zodiac. It concludes with a section on the lunar horoscope, with New Age nutritional, health, and garden tips based on phases of the moon. This is a shoddily assembled book for amateur astrologists and fans of the Age of Aquarius. [wh/ab]
Lexikon des Satanismus und des Hexenwesens [Lexicon of Satanism and Witchcraft]. Marc-Roberts-Team. Graz: V. F. Sammler, 2004. 312 p. ill. 25 cm. ISBN 3-85365-205-0: EUR 29.90 [06-1-104]
The team responsible for this volume is, according to its own statement, a group of esoteric practitioners and internationally known scientists (astrologers, non-medical practitioners, psychologists, and scholars of religion). The same team is responsible for Das neue Lexikon der Esoterik [The New Lexicon of the Esoteric] (see RREA 12:177). Aside from a few fundamental articles such as Satanismus [Satanism], Teufel [Devil], Hexe [Witches], and Hexenprozesse [Witch Trials], the volume is a reference work for names of demons. The user’s expectations raised by the appearance in the title of the words “Satanism” and “Witchcraft” will not be met.
A comparison of the article on Satanism in this lexicon with the corresponding article in the Handbuch religiöse Gemeinschaften und Weltanschauungen [Handbook of Religious Communities and Ideologies] (see RREA 10:60) makes clear the difference between the two. The Handbuch offers a comprehensive brief presentation encompassing manifestations of Satanism, an outline of Satanism’s world-view, practices of Satanism, and a bibliography. It also evaluates Satanism as an underappreciated cultural and religious countercurrent to the Judeo-Christian tradition. There is no trace of a comparable level of research and evaluation in the Lexikon. Works aimed at a general audience such as the Kleines Lexikon des Hexenwesens [Concise Lexicon of Witchcraft] (see RREA 7:206) are regarded as fundamental works of scholarship.
In view of the numerous flaws and the cursory treatment, this title is dispensable. [wh/rc]
Das neue Lexikon der Esoterik [The New Lexicon of the Esoteric]. Marc Roberts. Expanded ed. Berlin: Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf, 2005. 639 p. ill. 19 cm. ISBN 3-89602-537-6: EUR 14.90 [06-1-106]