I have no idea what to make of this material. ”The Irreconcilable Gnomes” was first published in 1910 by American occultist Reuben Swinburne Clymer, the founder of the Fraternitas Rosae Crucis (FRC), a Rosicrucian group which still exists. Today, the FRC is probably very small, but Clymer was apparently something of a big shot in the esoteric world (or was it underworld) back in the days.
This extremely weird text was marketed as a kind of sequel to the 17th century occult work ”Comte de Gabalis”, which exposited at length on the character of ”elementals” or elemental spirits representing earth, fire, air and water. In Clymer´s text, a narrator visits Ireland and meets a prince of the gnomes, the spirits of the earth. The gnome and the narrator soon find themselves in a tedious and part incomprehensible conversation on the exact nature of the human soul. Clymer seems to take the side of the gnome. My sole take away from these somewhat bizarre ramblings is that the gnome has a less ”dualist” perspective on soul and body, even implying that the body is somewhat ”higher” since it causes passion and sin in the soul. The occult point is that in order to save our souls, we first have to save our bodies – and indeed, the author was a practitioner of alternative medicine.
The second part of the tract contains Clymer´s creative reinterpretations of several grimoires. The FRC grand master had apparently published his own versions of several grimoires, with all references to black magic excised! He also reveals that lengthy magical rituals can be replaced by astrological talismans, which are much more efficient and easier to learn…
Definitely not my cup of tea (not even herb tea), and too many typographical errors in the most recent edition (Tal Warwick´s) but perhaps a must have if you are into gnomids and such.