The Mystery of the Long Lost 8th, 9th, and 10th Books of Moses

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The title page of "The Mystery of the Long Lost 8th, 9th, and 10th Books of Moses" by Henri Gamache (Anne Fleitman), lettered by Charles M. Quinlan

"The Mystery of the Long Lost 8th, 9th, and 10th Books of Moses" was published in 1945 as the purported sequel to the 19th century (and earlier) Jewish grimoire known as "The Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses." Unlike the model from which it was derived, this book was not self-stated to have been completely written by the great Jewish spiritual figures Moses. Instead it was attributed to the author "Henri Gamache," who had previously written "The Master Book of Candle Burning," one of the core texts of 20th century African-American hoodoo and conjure. “Henri Gamache" was long thought to be a pseudonym for the book's Jewish publisher Joe W. Kay (born Joseph Spitalnik in 1889), but research by the AIRR member Miss cat yronwode reveals this to have been a pseudonym for the Jewish author and publisher Anne Fleitman (born in 1906).

"The 8th, 9th, and 10th Books of Moses," as it is popularly known, combines Afrocentric theories of Black Israelite history, which were derived from the 20th century writings of Marcus Garvey and Zora Neale Hurston, with an additional "44 Secret Keys to Universal Knowledge." These "Keys" consist of practical magical spells derived from a number of historical sources that are associated with the Biblical prophet Moses.

Among Fleitman's sources for the Mosaic spells are portions of "The Greek Magical Papyri” (also known as the "Papyri Graecae Magicae" or "the PGM") which compiles a number of mystical and magical texts that were originally produced between 100 BCE and the late 4th century CE. The 13th section of the PGM contains what purports to be the "Eighth Book of Moses." This is actually a Greco-Egyptian spell book, originally written in Greek, which contains a few Jewish elements. Another major source employed in Fleitman's compilation is the 4th century Jewish grimoire "Harba de-Moshe (The Sword of Moses)," which had been translated from the Hebrew by the German classical scholar Moses Gaster. Thus Fleitman was the first author who united an openly Afrocentric biography of Moses with a useful collection of ancient spells attributed to Moses, and distributed these ideas to the African-American hoodoo and rootwork community.


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