The Book of Ceremonial Magic
§ 5. Concerning the Vision of Spirits in the Air
For the Masters of Black Magic, as for the author of the Comte de Gabalis, the air is the abode of far other beings than the bird and fly, but the process by which they are rendered visible is complicated through the exceptional nature of the
required materials. It is, of course, quite possible to secure the brain of a cock, and dissection with that object may perhaps be performed by deputy; the kitchen-maid or the poulterer's assistant would be easily secured. The dust from the grave of a dead man is the second ingredient of the process; but a visit to the nearest cemetery will not be sufficient, because it is useless to collect it on the surface; that which is next to the coffin will alone serve the purpose. In addition to these substances there are only oil of almonds and virgin wax. A compost must be made of the four, and it must be wrapped in a sheet of virgin parchment inscribed previously with the words GOMERT, KAILOETH, and with the character of Khil.
The materials being thus prepared, it remains to set them alight, whereupon the operator will behold that which the Grimoire characterises as prodigious, but does not specify except by the indication of the title. This experiment, it adds, should be performed only by those who fear nothing.
It is easy to deride the process, but reflective persons will see that it is the quintessence and summary of the whole art. This is Black Magic--and most of the white kind--in the proverbial nutshell-a combination in equal proportions of the disgusting and the imbecile.
There are many more elaborate experiments, but few of such a representative kind. It is not necessary to add that it has been exceedingly popular and is to be found in most of the Grimoires.