The Black Pullet

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"The Black Pullet"

A French grimoire of black magic supposedly first printed in 1740, but probably much later. La Poule Noire actually bears the imprint of Egypt, "740," and the year 740, but this is manifestly false. It has been reprinted in Paris from time to time in editions for collectors, but without any indication of its true origin. The full title translates as The Black Pullet; or, the Hen with the Golden Eggs, comprising the Science of Magical Talismans and Rings, the Art of Necromancy and of the Kabalah, for the Conjuration of Aerial and Infernal Spirits, of Sylphs, Undines, and Gnomes, serviceable for the aquisition of the Secret Sciences, for the Discovery of Treasures, for obtaining power to command all beings, and to unmask all Sciences and Bewitchments. The whole following the Doctrines of Socrates, Pythagoras, Zoroaster, Son of the Grand Aromasis, and other philosophers whose works in MS. escaped the conflagration of the Library of Ptolemy. Translated from the Language of the Magi and that of the Hieroglyphs by the Doctors Mizzaboula-Jabamia, Danhuzerus, Nehmahmiah, Judahim, and Eliaeb. Rendered into French by A.J.S.D.R.L.G.F. It purports to be a narrative of an officer who was employed in Egypt. While in Egypt the narrator fell in with an occult magician to whom he rendered considerable service, and who at his death left him the secret of manufacturing a black pullet that would be skillful in finding gold.

Probably a nineteenth-century concoction, the story seems to be based on the the seventeenth-century volume Comte de Gabalis (see Elementary Spirits ). The whole work, if interesting, is distinctly derivative. It contains many illustrations of talismans and magical rings. The procedure for bringing the black pullet into existence describes that a black hen should be set to hatch one of its own eggs, and that during the process a hood should be drawn over its eyes so that it cannot see. It is also to be placed in a box lined with black material. The chick thus hatched will have a particular instinct for detecting the places where gold is hidden.


The Black Pullet: Science of Talismanic Magic. New York: Samuel Weiser, 1972.