The Master Key of Occult Secrets: A Study of the Survival of Primitive Customs in a Modern World with Sources and Origins by Henri Gamache published in 1945. An ebay find for which I have been waiting in anticipatory glee to come in the mail, and it arrived yesterday! It is essentially a typed manuscript of spells Gamache collected in the New World, aka the United States. While it does contain spells and recipes for hoodoo work, The Master Key also contains spells and practices from many different cultures from Greece, India, Jamaica, Germany, Africa, Israel… Gamache refers to classic works like Theocritus, the Petit Albert, and the Grand Albert, as well as various ethnological and anthropological works. Gamache is most well known for his chapbook “The Master Book of Candle Burning” popular with the African-American folk magic crowd and still found in just about every magic shop and botanica in the US today. If you have fallen in love just like me, you can hunt for your own copy on Fetchbook.info
“Gamache turned educational literature into magical literature, performing a sort of alchemy by taking a mish-mash of excerpts from magical traditions across the globe and revealing them as the universal keys to the founding occult wisdom of Moses.” ~ Owen Davies in Grimoires
Foreward by Henri Gamache:
“It has taken me over three years to gather the material which is presented in this Document, which, I must confess IS presented solely because in it can be found the answers to many, many questions which have been put to me during that time.
Friends who have read my other published works are constantly writing to inquire if I can describe this ritual or that custom or give the source of origin of some certain practice.
Often they have heard of some ritual and lacking the facilities for research which are available to me, they ask my aid.
On the other hand, there are many occasions when information is given to me, which I am sure would never be given to another – or if given, would not be believed. I have lived too long, and seen to much not to believe even the most fantastic descriptions which are given.
All of the customs, practices, rituals, amulets, sumans, fetiches, prayers, mantrams and other information given in this Document I attest to being accurate and authentic and for proof I have in all instances, indicated the sources, origins and authorities.
Moreover, all of the customs, rituals and nostrums included in this study are being practiced by people in these United States and neighboring Islands today, just as they are set forth or with minor variations.
Thus, from the point of view of the student of Religion, Anthropology, Sociology, the Occult or Esoteric Arts, I believe it to be a valuable contribution since it presents truthfully the lengths which humanity will extend itself in an endeavor to gain what its heart desires, even in the face of almost insurmountable obstacles.
Just so long as people cling to customs such as these and attain, by a Strange Fate, the things they desire, the “Age of Miracles” will not pass.”
~ Henri Gamache, 1943