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=== Occult Arts: An Examination ===
=== Occult Arts: An Examination ===
''The Occult Arts: An Examination'', AKA ''The Occult Arts: An Examination of the Claims Made for the Existence and Practice of Supernormal Powers, and as Attempted Justification of Some of Them by the Conclusions of the Researches of Modern Science'' by J.W. Frings (1914, English)
''The Occult Arts: An Examination'', AKA ''The Occult Arts: An Examination of the Claims Made for the Existence and Practice of Supernormal Powers, and as Attempted Justification of Some of Them by the Conclusions of the Researches of Modern Science'' by J.W. Frings (1914, English)
=== Magic Jewels and Charms ===
=== Magic Jewels and Charms ===
Revision as of 08:06, 6 August 2018
Non-Mythos works (generally real-world) are often mentioned side-by-side with fictional Mythos Tomes in work by Lovecraft and others.
- 1 Alchemical Texts
- 2 Books on Witch-Hunting
- 3 Books on Vampire-Hunting
- 4 Grimoires and Demonologies
- 4.1 Greater Key of Solomon
- 4.2 Lesser Key of Solomon
- 4.3 Ars Notoria
- 4.4 Arbatel de Magia Veterum
- 4.5 Archidoxis Magica
- 4.6 Heptameron
- 4.7 Pseudomonarchia Daemonum
- 4.8 De Praestigiis Daemonum
- 4.9 Liber Officiorum Spirituum
- 4.10 Livre des Esperitz
- 4.11 The Sworn Book of Honorius
- 4.12 De Philosophia Occulta
- 4.13 Aldaraia
- 4.14 Ars Steganographiae
- 4.15 The Art of Drawing Spirits into Crystals
- 4.16 The Black Books of Elverum
- 4.17 Simon Necronomicon
- 5 Eastern Religious and Mystical Manuals
- 6 Occult Skepticism
- 7 Parapsychology and Spiritualism
- 8 Aleister Crowley
- 8.1 Moonchild: A Prologue
- 8.2 Konx Om Pax: Essays in Light
- 8.3 The Stratagem and other Stories
- 8.4 Diary of a Drug Fiend
- 8.5 The Equinox Vol. I
- 8.6 The Equinox Vol. III
- 8.7 The Blue Equinox
- 8.8 The Equinox of the Gods
- 8.9 Eight Lectures on Yoga
- 8.10 The Book of Thoth
- 8.11 Liber Aleph
- 8.12 Thelema
- 8.13 The Vision and the Voice
- 8.14 The Book of the Law
- 8.15 The Book of Lies
- 8.16 Rites of Eleusis
- 8.17 The Confessions of Aleister Crowley
- 8.18 Little Essays Toward Truth
- 8.19 Goetia
- 8.20 Magick Without Tears
- 8.21 The Star in the West
- 9 John Dee
- 9.1 Five Books of Mystery
- 9.2 Liber Loagaeth
- 9.3 Compendium Heptarchiae Mysticae
- 9.4 De Heptarchia Mystica
- 9.5 Tuba Veneris
- 9.6 Tabula Bonorum Angelorum Invocationes
- 9.7 Monas Hieroglyphica
- 9.8 Necronomicon
- 9.9 Voynich Manuscript
- 9.10 Autobiographical Tracts of Dr. John Dee
- 9.11 Lists of Manuscripts Owned by Dr. John Dee
- 9.12 True and Faithful Relation
- 10 Unsorted Period Occult Texts (1711-1940)
- 10.1 The Voices
- 10.2 Occult Arts: An Examination
- 10.3 Magic Jewels and Charms
- 10.4 Great Book of Magical Art
- 10.5 Spirit Intercourse
- 10.6 Course of Advanced Lessons
- 10.7 Spiritualism: Its History, Phenomena, and Doctrine
- 10.8 Some New Evidence for Human Survival
- 10.9 The Heavenly Doctrines of Swedenborg
- 10.10 Urantia Book
- 10.11 Oahspe: A New Bible
- 10.12 The Story of Atlantis and The Lost Lemuria
- 10.13 The Lost Continent of Mu (et.al.)
- 10.14 The Problem of Atlantis (et. al.)
- 10.15 Atlantis and Lemuria
- 10.16 Atlantis: The Antediluvian World
- 10.17 Our Story of Atlantis
- 10.18 The Secret of Plato's Atlantis
- 10.19 Supernormal Faculties in Man
- 10.20 Way to Power: Studies in the Occult
- 10.21 New Model of the Universe
- 10.22 Invisible Influence
- 10.23 Attitude of Voltaire
- 10.24 Outline of Modern Occultism
- 10.25 Fifth Dimension and the Future of Mankind
- 11 Unsorted Theosophical and Spiritualist Treatises
- 11.1 Beatus Methodivo
- 11.2 Oracles of Nostradamus
- 11.3 Pert Em Hru
- 11.4 Principles of Nature
- 11.5 The Coming Christ
- 11.6 Special Teachings from the Arcane Science
- 11.7 The Deeper Mysteries
- 11.8 The Majesty of Sex
- 11.9 Things Kept Secret from the Foundation of the World
- 11.10 The Truth of Life
- 11.11 The Ocean of Theosophy
- 11.12 The Seven Principles of Man
- 11.13 The Pedigree of Man
- 11.14 Karma
- 11.15 Theosophy
- 11.16 The Ancient Wisdom
- 11.17 Thought Power: Its Control and Culture
- 11.18 Investigations Into the Super-Physical
- 11.19 The Master Secret
- 11.20 The Key to the Universe
- 11.21 Occult Science in Medicine
- 11.22 The Life Beyond Death
- 11.23 Clairvoyance and Occult Powers
- 11.24 Open Sesame: Words Spoken to Unlock the Door of Success
- 11.25 Secrets of Mental Supremacy
- 11.26 Theosophical Manuals of A. Student
- 11.27 The Doctrine of Cycles VIII
- 11.28 The Summa Theologica
- 11.29 The Law of Mind in Action
- 11.30 A Dictionary of Some Theosophical Terms
- 11.31 The World's Book, or Key to Spiritual Life
- 11.32 Reincarnation, a Study of the Human Soul
- 11.33 Rosicrucian Fundamentals
- 11.34 The Rosicrucian Mysteries
- 11.35 Simplified Scientific Astrology
- 11.36 The Subconscious Mind and Its Illuminating Light
- 11.37 Invisible Helpers
- 11.38 The Astral Plane
- 11.39 An Outline of Theosophy
- 11.40 Divine Science and Healing
- 11.41 The Spirit of the New Thought
- 11.42 Gems of Thought
- 11.43 The Sacred Books of the Hindus
- 11.44 God's Laws of Healing
- 11.45 Numbers: Their Occult Power and Mystic Virtues
- 11.46 Practical Occultism
- 11.47 Thoughs on Bagavad Gita
- 11.48 A New Heaven and a New Earth (Thought Studies of the 4th Dimension)
- 11.49 The Gift of the Spirit
- 11.50 The Origin of Freemasonry and Knights Templar
- 11.51 The Secret of Spiritual Power
- 11.52 The World's Eternal Religion
- 11.53 An Introduction to the Study of Jacob Boehme's Writings
- 11.54 The Lost Language of Symbolism
- 11.55 The "Grand Grimoire" or Imperial Ritual of Magic
- 11.56 Aryan Sun-Myths: The Origin of Religions
- 11.57 Universal Spiritualism
- 11.58 Regeneration
- 11.59 Magic Plants
- 11.60 Absolute Key to Occult Science
- 11.61 Studies in Occultism
- 11.62 The Secret Doctrine
- 11.63 The Key to Theosophy
- 11.64 The Spiritual Guidance of Man and of Mankind
- 11.65 Short Lessons in Theosophy
- 11.66 Collected Fruits of Occult Teaching
- 11.67 The Ancient Mysteries and Modern Masonry
- 11.68 Theosophy and Christianity
- 11.69 Essays on Theosophy
- 11.70 Occult Science in Medicine
- 11.71 The Turba Philosophorum or Assembly of the Sages
- 11.72 A Dictionary of Some Theosophical Terms
- 11.73 The Spiritual Teacher
- 11.74 Elements of Spiritual Philosophy
- 11.75 A Primer of Theosophy
- 11.76 The Mysteries of the Heart Doctrine
- 11.77 Reincarnation
- 11.78 Theosophy Simplified
- 11.79 The Key to the Universe
- 11.80 Developing Mental Power
- 11.81 The Illustrated Key to the Tarot
- 11.82 How to Live Long
- 11.83 1000 Things Worth Knowing
- 11.84 The Gift of the Spirit
- 11.85 The Subconscious Mind and Its Illuminating Light
- 11.86 A System of Magick, or A History of the Black Art
- 11.87 The Political History of the Devil
- 11.88 The Mysteries of Astrology, and The Wonders of Magic
- 11.89 The Devil's Rebellion and the Reason Why
- 11.90 A Glossary of Important Symbols
- 11.91 The Unknown God
- 11.92 Fragment of a Graeco-Egyptian Work upon Magic
- 11.93 Enochian Magic
- 11.94 The Book of Baphomet
- 11.95 The Dragon of Two Flames
- 11.96 Natural Satanic Witchcraft
- 11.97 The Sinister Tradition
- 11.98 The Horned Altar
- 11.99 Lords of the Left-hand Path
- 11.100 The Qabalah Workbook for Magicians
- 11.101 Liber Lunae: Book of the Moon and Sepher ha-Levanah
The Emerald Tablet, also known as the Smaragdine Table, or Tabula Smaragdina, (attributed to Hermes Trismegistus; Arabic 6th-8th Century, Latin 12th Century)
The Emerald Tablet, also known as the Smaragdine Table, or Tabula Smaragdina, is a compact and cryptic piece of Hermetica reputed to contain the secret of the prima materia and its transmutation. It was highly regarded by European alchemists as the foundation of their art and its Hermetic tradition. The original source of the Emerald Tablet is unknown. The layers of meaning in the Emerald Tablet have been associated with the creation of the philosopher's stone, laboratory experimentation, phase transition, the alchemical magnum opus, the ancient, classical, element system, and the correspondence between macrocosm and microcosm. In its several Western recensions, the Tablet became a mainstay of medieval and Renaissance alchemy. Commentaries and/or translations were published by, among others, Trithemius, Roger Bacon, Michael Maier, Aleister Crowley, Albertus Magnus, and Isaac Newton. The concise text was a popular summary of alchemical principles, wherein the secrets of the philosopher's stone were thought to have been described.
Picatrix, or The Aim of the Sage or The Goal of The Wise (10th-11th century)
Originally in Arabic, more likely to be found in Latin. Picatrix is the name used today, and historically in Christian Europe, for a 400-page book of occult magic and astrology originally written in Arabic under the title Ghāyat al-Ḥakīm, which most scholars assume was originally written in the middle of the 11th century, though a supported argument for composition in the first half of the 10th century has been made. The Arabic title translates as The Aim of the Sage or The Goal of The Wise. The Arabic work was translated into Spanish and then into Latin during the 13th century, at which time it got the Latin title Picatrix. The book's title Picatrix is also sometimes used to refer to the book's author. A composite work that synthesizes older works on magic and astrology. The most influential interpretations suggests it is to be regarded as a handbook of talismanic magic and celestial magic.
The Turba Philosophorum or Assembly of the Philosophers (900AD)
Originally in Arabic, more likely to be found in Greek. One of the oldest European alchemy texts considered to have been written c. 900 A.D., translated from the Arabic, attempting to put Greek alchemy into the Arabic language and to adapt it to Islamic science. Nine philosophers take part in a discussion, being, once the text has been transcribed back to the original Arabic, Anaximander, Anaximenes, Anaxagoras, Empedocles, Archelaus, Leucippus, Ecphantus, Pythagoras and Xenophanes. The statements of the philosophers, whilst usually different from the known beliefs of the pre-Socratics, are usually recognisable as outgrowths of Greek philosophy. They discuss matter, how it acts, and relate this to cosmology, the gods, and the elements.
Geber's Liber Investigationis, or 'Summa Perfectionis,' or 'Summit of Perfection' (1531)
Originally in Arabic, more likely to be found in Greek. The library of Joseph Curwen is said to have had a copy of 'Liber Investigationis' by Arabian scientist Geber (Jabir ibn-Hayyan). This is probably a Latinized version of the 'Summa Perfectionis,' or 'Summit of Perfection.' Geber's works provide a window into the Islamic Gnosticism of the late ninth century and shed light on classical Greek scientific texts, many of which do not survive in the original. Jābir’s alchemical works include descriptions of distillation, calcification, dissolution, crystallization, and other chemical operations that subsequently were used in the Islamic world and in Europe for centuries. Several works of the Jābirean corpus have been translated into Latin. The present work was written in three parts, covering the properties of metals, alchemical techniques, and the properties of the planets.
Key of Wisdom
Artephius' The Key of Wisdom or Miftah al-Hikma or Clavis (Majoris) Sapientiae
Originally in Arabic, more likely to be found in Greek. This treatise describes the entire process of preparing the philosopher's stone. There are three separate operations described here: the preparation of the 'secret fire' (the catalyst or solvent which is used throughout the whole work, without which nothing can be achieved, but which is seldom if ever mentioned in any alchemical treatise), the preparation of a metallic vapor made from antimony and iron necessary in the preparation of the stone, and the preparation of the stone itself. These operations are not presented in sequence. The reader will note that the language is allusive and recondite, that several names are used to refer to the same thing and that one name is used to refer to several things. This is, however, an exceptionally clear alchemical text. Artephius is said to have written this in the 12th century. Numerous books over an incredible time span were attributed to Artephius; a Renaissance tradition held that Artephius had been born in the first or second century and died in the twelfth, thanks to having discovered the alchemical elixir that made it possible to prolong life. In his Secret Book, Artephius indeed claims to be more than a thousand years old.
Albertus Magnus' De Concordantia Philosophorum in Lapide, Compositum de compositis, and Liber octo capitulorum: De lapide philosophorum
Ars Magna et Ultima
Raymond Lully's Ars Magna et Ultima, or Ars Magna, or The Great Art
Calatan writer Lully's most important work, the "Ars Magna" or "The Great Art," was a defense of Christianity against the teaching of Abu-Al-Walid Muhammad Ibn-Ahmad Ibn-Rushd (1126-1198), commonly called Averroes. Averroes was a Muslim Spanish-Arab philosopher, jurist, and physician who held the heretical view that philosophy was as important as religion. Spain was in a heated battle over the Christian religion versus the invading Arab religions crossing over from North Africa. This was an founding factor in the Spanish Inquisition. Joseph Curwen kept a copy of Zetner's edition of this work in his collection.
Roger Bacon's Thesaurus Chemicus (1620)
Could be found in the possession of Joseph Curwen. This treatise on chemistry involved alchemical elements.
Fludd's Clavis Alchimiae, or Clavis Philosophiae et Alchimiae Fluddanae (1632)
The work discussed alchemy as a spiritual path, and attempted to defend the Rosicrucian brotherhood from its Catholic critics. In 1632, the whole edition of the work was destroyed in Frankfurt by the militia; but the work was reprinted the following year.
De Lapide Philosophico
De Lapide Philosophico, or Opera Universalia et Vegetabilia, Sive de Lapide Philosophorum, or The Universal and Vegetable Works of Isaac and J.I. Holladus; or, On the Philosopher's Stone by Johannes Isaac Hollandus (1617)
In Latin. Consists of two treatises on metallurgy and the Philosopher's Stone. The first treatise seems to be a "hermetically sealed" and highly symbolic alchemical recipe book, in a fashion that was a huge success among seventeenth century readers. The details of their operations on metals are the most explicit that have been given, and because of this very lucidity have been discounted.
Theatrum Chemicum, or Chemical Theatre, or Theatrum Chemicum, præcipuos selectorum auctorum tractatus de Chemiæ et Lapidis Philosophici Antiquitate, veritate, jure præstantia, et operationibus continens in gratiam veræ Chemiæ et Medicinæ Chemicæ Studiosorum (ut qui uberrimam unde optimorum remediorum messem facere poterunt) congestum et in quatuor partes seu volumina digestum (1602)
In Latin. A compendium of early alchemical writings published in six volumes over the course of six decades. The first three volumes were published in 1602, while the final sixth volume was published in its entirety in 1661. Theatrum Chemicum remains the most comprehensive collective work on the subject of alchemy ever published in the Western world. A full account of the contents can be found here: (link)
Books on Witch-Hunting
Remigius' Dæmonolatreia (1693)
In Latin(?) French judge Remigius (Nicolas Remy) wrote this essential work on witch-hunting, Dæmonolatreia, which was published in three books in Lugduni in 1595. Since there have been a German translation (1693) and an English one by Montague Summers under the name Daemonolatry (1930). Like the witch hunting works of Trithemius and Sprenger & Kramer (the infamous Malleus Maleficarum), the Daemonolatreia explains the horrors and dangers of the power of the witches, how to distinguish them, and how to torture and destroy them.
Saducismus Triumphatus, or, Full and plain evidence concerning witches and apparitions. In two parts. The first treating of their possibility. The second of their real existence. by Joseph Glanvill (1681)
In English(?) The book affirmed the existence of witches with malign supernatural powers of magic, and attacked skepticism concerning their abilities. Glanvill likened these skeptics to the Sadducees, members of a Jewish sect from around the time of Jesus who were said to have denied the immortality of the soul. The book is also noted for the account of the Drummer of Tedworth, an early poltergeist story, and for one of the earliest descriptions of the use of a witch bottle, a countercharm against witchcraft. Strongly influenced Salem witch-hunter Cotton Mather.
Magnalia Christi Americana
Cotton Mather's Magnalia Christi Americana: The Ecclesiastical History of New England, or The Glorious Works of Christ in America (1702)
In English. Consists of seven "books" collected into two volumes, and it details the religious development of Massachusetts, and other nearby colonies in New England from 1620 to 1698. Notable parts of the book are Mather's descriptions of the Salem Witch Trials, in which he criticizes some of the methods of the court and attempts to distance himself from the event; his account of the escape of Hannah Dustan (one of the best known accounts to captivity-narrative scholars); his complete "catalogus" of all the students that graduated from Harvard College, and story of the founding of Harvard College itself; and his assertions that Puritan slaveholders should do more to convert their slaves to Christianity.
Wonders of the Invisible World
Cotton Mather's Wonders of the Invisible World (1693)
In English. With arguments largely derivative of Saducismus Triumphatus, this book was Mather's defense of his role in the in the Salem, Massachusetts witch-hunts, and espousing the belief that witchcraft was an evil magical power. Mather saw witches as tools of the devil in Satan's battle to destroy the colonies ("...An army of devils is horribly broke in upon the place which is the center, and after a sort, the first-born of our English settlements..."), and saw the prosecution of witches as a way to secure God's blessings for the colony.
Heinrich Kramer's The Malleus Maleficarum, or Hammer of the Witches, or Der Hexenhammer, (1487)
In German or Latin. One of the most well-known treatises on the prosecution of witches. In 1490, three years after its publication, the Catholic Church condemned the Malleus Maleficarum, although it was later used by royal courts during the Renaissance, and contributed to the increasingly brutal prosecution of witchcraft during the 16th and 17th centuries. Kramer wrote the Malleus shortly after being expelled from Innsbruck by the local bishop after a failed attempt to conduct his own witchcraft prosecution. Kramer's purpose in writing the book was to explain his own views on witchcraft, systematically refute arguments claiming that witchcraft does not exist, discredit those who expressed skepticism about its reality, claim that those who practised witchcraft were more often women than men, and to convince magistrates to use Kramer's recommended procedures for finding and convicting witches.
Books on Vampire-Hunting
De Masticatione Mortuorum in Tumulis
Michael Ranft's De Masticatione Mortuorum in Tumulis, or "On the Gnawing of the Dead in Their Graves", (Leipzig, 1728)
Refers to the phenomenon of finding, when opening a grave, that the corpse has chewed at its shroud, hinting at the relationship between that phenomenon and vampirism. While discussing the corpses of disinterred vampires, Montague Summers says the following of this book: "It was not infrequently seen that the dead person in his grave had devoured all about him, grinding them with his teeth, and (as it was supposed) uttering a low raucous noise like the grunting of a pig who roots among garbage. In his work, De Masticatione Mortuorum in tumulis, Leipzig, 1728, Michael Ranft treats at some length of this matter. He says that it is very certain that some corpses have devoured their cerements and even gnaw their own flesh. It has been suggested that this is the original reason why the jaws of the dead were tightly bound with linen bands. Ranft instances the case of a Bohemian woman who when disinterred in 1355 had devoured the greater part of her shroud. In another instance during the sixteenth century both a man and a woman seemed to have torn out their intestines and were actually ravening upon their entrails. In Moravia a corpse was exhumed which had devoured the grave-clothes of a woman buried not far from his tomb."
Often cited in Robert Bloch's stories ("Mannakin").
Dissertatio de Cadaueribus Sanguisugis
John Christian Stock's Dissertatio de Cadaueribus Sanguisugis AKA "Dissertation on Blood-sucking Cadavers", (Jena, 1732)
Dissertatio de Uampyris Seruiensibus
Zopfius' and van Dalen's Dissertatio de Uampyris Seruiensibus, or "Dissertatoin on Vampires" (Duisburg, 1733)
This famous and influential treatise paints a lurid picture of the undead rising to attack the living: "In fulfilment of their curse, the undead are condemned to issue forth from their graves in the night to attack people sleeping quietly in their beds, drawing out the spirit, and drinking out the blood, and gnawing out the flesh from the bodies of their victims. These graveless souls beset men, women, and children alike, sparing neither age, nor sex. Those who are under the fatal malignity of their influence complain of suffocation and despair for the phantoms of the night which come creeping in, after which they soon expire. Some who, when at the point of death, have been asked if they can tell what is causing their death, reply that the graveless souls are gathering in the night, and persons known to be lately dead have risen from the tomb to torment and torture them, and that their hungry and restless shades appear before them at night. When this is discovered, the corpse of the person designated by the victim must be dug up out of its grave, whereby it shall be revealed to still possess a crude vigor and freshness long past that of more recent corpses, which, if natural, should have already decayed. And it will be noted that in the thing which is dug up, the nails and hair will have continued to grow, and the nose and mouth will be also smeared with the fresh blood and shreds of flesh of its victims, which fills and swells chest and belly of the thing. He who has thus unearthed the undead thing, must then pierce its unclean heart with a sharp stake, and the burn its body to ashes so that it might rise and trouble the living no more."
De Masticatione Mortuorum
Philipp Rohr's Dissertatio Historico-Philosophica de Masticatione Mortuorum, AKA De Masticatione Mortuorum, or "Historical and Philisophical Dissertation on the Chewing Dead", (Leipzig, 1679)
Rohr's work explores the strange and terrible legends of the dead reanimated through demonic possession devouring their own shrouds and moving on to gnaw on nearby corpses in a sort of unholy manduction, this of course has a relevance to the vampire mythos. First edition; 24 unnumbered pages, slightly shorter than 20 cm., beginning with title; later paper-covered boards darkened and rubbed at leather spine and tips, general age toning but entirely readable and not at all fragile, has five block letters penciled in margins. With a wood engraving featuring Saint Jerome and lion.
The Vampire: His Kith & Kin
Montague Summers' The Vampire: His Kith & Kin, (1928)
Celebrated book on vampires. It was quickly followed by his equally informative The Vampire in Europe.
The Vampire in Europe
Montague Summers' The Vampire in Europe, (1929)
A celebrated book on vampires, a sequel to The Vampire: His Kith & Kin.
De Miraculis Mortuorum
Christian Frederic Garmann's treatise De Miraculis Mortuorum AKA Academici Curiosi de Miraculis Mortuorum, or "The Wonders of the Dead", (1st ed. Leipzig, 1670 by Kirchner) (2nd ed. Leipzig, 1687 by Weidmann) (3rd expanded posthumous ed. Dresden, 1709 by Zimmerman)
A treatise by noted physician Christian Frederic Garmann, who was born at Mersebourg about 1640 and who practised with great repute at Chemnitz. Garmann discusses many curious details about the undead, and continued to amass so vast a collection of notes that after his death there was published in 1709 at Dresden by Zimmerman a very much enlarged edition of his work. Even if not always scientifically rigourous, one of the earliest texts devoted to forensic medicine, one of the founding texts of modern Thanatology, and allegedly an inspiration to Mary Shelley in the writing of Frankenstein. First edition of this rare and significant physical and medical treatise on the phenomena that are said to accompany death and the decomposition process, with rich dissertations about the growth of corpses' hair and nails; the death rattle and other sounds made by corpses; the physical changes of decomposition; how long it takes for flesh, organs, bones, and teeth to decay or burn; abdominal swelling and bursting; penile erections in corpses; infestation of insects and worms; etc. First edition contains pages of stiff parchment; the title and the frieze in antique letters on the spine; skull woodcut in the title; headers, drop caps and ornamentations stained or in woodcut; diffuse burnishing typical of German books of the period.
The Strange History of Vampires
Paul Bonnat's Die Seltsame Geschichte der Vampyre AKA The Strange History of Vampires (German, Leipzig, Gottlieb Faust Erben, 1770)
This book of vampire lore appears in the film Vampyr: Der Traum des Allan Grey (1932 film), as a roughly Thirty-Twomo-sized antique volume (about 5"x2"), with a dark (leather?) binding, wrapped in paper sealed with string and wax and labeled "to be opened upon my death", with the following excerpts appearing in German on pages printed in a relatively large (only a couple paragraphs to the page) serif type face in close-ups during the film:
Die Seltsame Geschichte der Vampyre
von Paul Bonnat
(woodcut illustration of an emaciated walking corpse)
Leipzig, Gottlieb Faust Erben
Accounts from many ages and lands tell of terrible demons called vampires. These are the bodies and souls of the dead whose terrible deeds in life deny them repose in the grave. Under the bright light of the full moon, they rise from their graves to suck out the blood of children and youths and thus prolong their shadowy existence. The Prince of Darkness is their ally and lends them supernatural power among the living and the dead....
At night these creatures from the abyss haunt the abodes of the living, where they sow death and decay. A vampire's victim is doomed to perish without hope. A wound on the throat, as from the bite of a cat or rat, is the mark of damnation....
Like a plague, the vampire's lust infects the victim, who is torn between a thirst for blood and a desperate revulsion toward this craving. The innocent youth itself becomes a vampire and seeks to prey on its nearest and dearest. Entire families, even entire villages, are thus brought under the curse....
The ghosts of executed criminals are in their service, but the living too may fall under their dreadful influence. An account from Hungary tells of a village doctor who, having sold his soul to the Evil One, became a vampire's henchman and thus an accessory to a series of horrid crimes in that region.
Once the vampire has gained complete control over its victim, it seeks to drive the victim to suicide, thus delivering that soul to the Evil One, for he who takes his own life is lost for all eternity: to him the Golden Gates of Heaven are closed, and all hope is lost.
Accounts of how vampires have been rendered harmless in many places: In the village of Kisilova, haunted a generation ago by a vampire in the form of an old woman, the following procedure was used: at dawn the grave was opened, and the old woman was found lying as if asleep; an iron stake was driven through her heart, nailing her horrid soul to the earth. She then died a true death, and the curse that had lain upon herself and her victims was broken.
Even in these parts tradition tells how certain areas were haunted by vampires. Just 25 years ago, a murderous epidemic claimed 11 victims in the village of Courtempierre. Doctors assigned the plague a medical name, but a persistent rumor circulated among the people that a vampire was the cause of the scourge. Many firmly believed that vampire to be none ofther than Marguerite Chopin, who lay buried in the village cemetery. All her life, Marguerite Chopin had been a monster in human form. She died an unrepentant soul, and the CHurch denied her the Last Sacraments.
Grimoires and Demonologies
Greater Key of Solomon
Key of Solomon, Greater Key of Solomon, or Clavicula Salomonis (14th or 15th Century, Anonymous but often falsely attributed to King Solomon)
The Key of Solomon is divided into two books. It describes not the appearance or work of any spirit but only the necessary drawings to prepare each "experiment" or, in more modern language, magical operations. Unlike later grimoires such as the Pseudomonarchia Daemonum (16th century) or the Lemegeton (17th century), the Key of Solomon does not mention the signature of the 72 spirits constrained by King Solomon in a bronze vessel. As in most medieval grimoires, all magical operations are ostensibly performed through the power of God, to whom all the invocations are addressed. Before any of these operations (termed "experiments") are performed, the operator must confess his sins and purge himself of evil, invoking the protection of God. Elaborate preparations are necessary, and each of the numerous items used in the operator's "experiments" must be constructed of the appropriate materials obtained in the prescribed manner, at the appropriate astrological time, marked with a specific set of magical symbols, and blessed with its own specific words. All substances needed for the magic drawings and amulets are detailed, as well as the means to purify and prepare them. Many of the symbols incorporate the Transitus Fluvii occult alphabet.
Lesser Key of Solomon
Clavicula Salomonis Regis, The Lesser Key of Solomon, or Lemegeton (Latin, Mid-17th Century, Anonymous)
This Tome is divided into five books mostly copied from older sources:
- Ars Goetia - a list of 72 demonic spirits and their seals/signitures mostly copied from Pseudomonarchia Daemonum
- Ars Theurgia-Goetia - another list of spirits, derived from Steganographia
- Ars Paulina - a list of astrological and zodiacal spirits and how to summon them falsely attributed to Paul the Apostle, and derived from Steganographia and from portions of the Heptameron
- Ars Almadel - instructs the magician on how to create a wax tablet with specific designs intended to contact angels via scrying, from an allegedly Arabic source
- Ars Notoria - a much older work (dating to the 13th Century), consisting of a series of prayers (related to those in The Sworn Book of Honorius) intended to grant eidetic memory and instantaneous learning to the magician
Ars Notoria, AKA The Notory Art of Solomon, (Latin, 13th Century, Anonymous) (English, 1641, translated by Robert Turner and published as part of The Lesser Key of Solomon)
A Medieval Grimoire of the 'Solomonic Cycle', centered around an even older collection of orations or prayers which are interspersed with magical words, said to have mystical properties which can impart communion with God and instant knowledge of divine and human arts and sciences. The English translation drops the detailed illustrations and diagrams of the original along with many references to them, while disguising the original's patently Catholic references to conform with Robert Turner's religious tastes, with results that are sometimes confusing, obscuring the intent and meaning of the original Latin.
Arbatel de Magia Veterum
Arbatel de Magia Veterum, AKA Arbatel of Magic, Arbatel: Of the Magic of the Ancients (Latin, 1575 in Switzerland, edited by Theodor Zwinger, sometimes falsely attributed to Paracelsus but probably by Swiss Paracelsian mage Jacques Gohory) (English, 1655, translation by Robert Turner)
Arbatel consists primarily of a set of pious aphorisms, and the description of seven "Olympian" (or "Olympick") spirits. The Arbatel mainly focuses on the relationship between humanity, celestial hierarchies, and the positive relationship between the two. The Olympian spirits featured in it are entirely original. Unlike other grimoires, the Arbatel avoids the trappings of black magic and exhorts the magus to remain active in their community (instead of isolating themselves), favoring kindness, charity, and honesty over remote and obscure rituals. The Arbatel is noted for being straightforward in its writing, positive in its contents, and unusually honest regarding its origins, and for original content unrelated to the Key of Solomon.
"They are called Olympick spirits, which do inhabit in the firmament, and in the stars of the firmament: and the office of these spirits is to declare Destinies, and to administer fatal Charms, so far forth as God pleaseth to permit them: for nothing, neither evil spirit nor evil Destiny, shall be able to hurt him who hath the most High for his refuge." (From the Robert Turner translation)
Archidoxis Magica, AKA The Archidoxes of Magic, attributed to Paracelsus (1527, Latin)
With an alchemist's focus on metals and astrology, it described the creation of seals - metal talismans with occult sigils - related to the astrological signs, and their magical uses.
Heptameron, or Magical Elements (purportedly by Peter de Abano Venice, 1496)
It has been alleged that Abano wrote this grimoire, a concise book of ritual magical rites concerned with conjuring specific angels for the seven days of the week (hence the title).
Pseudomonarchia Daemonum, Hierarchy of Demons (1577, Johann Weyer)
First appears as an Appendix to Johann Weyer's De praestigiis daemonum (1577), and is an abridgement of a grimoire similar in nature to the "Ars Goetia", the first book of The Lesser Key of Solomon, containing a list of demons, and the appropriate hours and rituals to conjure them. The book was written before The Lesser Key of Solomon, and has some differences (fewer demons, listed in a slightly different order).
De Praestigiis Daemonum
De praestigiis daemonum (Johann Weyer, 1577)
The book also contains a famous appendix also circulated independently as the Pseudomonarchia daemonum, a listing of the names and titles of infernal spirits, and the powers alleged to be wielded by each of them. Weyer relates that his source for this intelligence was a book called Liber officiorum spirituum, seu liber dictus Empto Salomonis, de principibus et regibus demoniorum ("The book of the offices of spirits, or the book called Empto, by Solomon, about the princes and kings of demons.) Weyer's reason for presenting this material was not to instruct his readers in diabolism, but rather to "expose to all men" the pretensions of those who claimed to be able to work magic, men who "are not embarrassed to boast that they are mages, and their oddness, deceptions, vanity, folly, fakery, madness, absence of mind, and obvious lies, to put their hallucinations into the bright light of day."
Weyer held to a demonology that was entirely orthodox in terms of its endorsement of the reality of Satan and evil demonic spirits, while maintaining at all times that their ability to act was circumscribed by the omnipotence of God, but disagreed with certain of his contemporaries about the justification of witch-hunting. Weyer believed that most, probably all, cases of alleged witchcraft resulted from delusions of the alleged witch, rather than actual, voluntary cooperation with spiritual evil. In brief, Weyer claimed that cases of alleged witchcraft were psychological rather than supernatural in origin.
Liber Officiorum Spirituum
Liber Officiorum Spirituum, The Book of the Office of Spirits, "The Office of Spirits, Liber officiorum spirituum, seu Liber dictus Empto; Salomonis, de principibus et regibus daemoniorum, or Book of the Offices of Spirits, or the Book Called 'Empto'; Solomon, Concerning the Princes and Kings of Demons (unknown origin and author; earliest known version was crudely translated from Latin to English by John Porter in 1583)
Derivative of (or outright copy of) a number of other grimoires, notable mainly for shifting focus toward the end of the Grimoire from lists and hierarchies of demonic spirits to the order of the Faerie world instead, with references to Faerie King Oberon, Queen Mycob, etc., as well as sections on spirits that make/write books, spirits of the days of the week, and Necromancy.
Livre des Esperitz
Livre des Esperitz, Le Livre des Esperitz, The Book of Spirits (15th Century)
A French grimoire that inspired later works including Johann Weyer's Pseudomonarchia Daemonum and the Lesser Key of Solomon. It contains ideas, traditions, and elements of works dating back to at least the 13th century. Like the Lesser Key of Solomon, the Livre des Esperitz has been attributed to Solomon. The Livre des Esperitz merely lists the hierarchy of hell, and does not include prayers, conjurations, invocations, or spells to summon any being described. It does provide detailed descriptions of each spirit's appearance and function, and lists how many legions of demons serve under each. Many of these descriptions eventually found their way into later works, often unmodified.
The Sworn Book of Honorius
The Sworn Book of Honorius, Liber Juratus, Liber Sacer/Sacratus/Consecratus, or Grimoire of Honorius (perhaps 13th Century or earlier, purportedly by Honorius of Thebes)
It is supposedly the product of a conference of magicians who decided to condense all their knowledge into one volume. In 93 chapters, it covers a large variety of topics, from how to save your soul from purgatory to the catching of thieves or finding of treasures. It has many instructions on how to conjure and command demons, to necromancy, to work other magical operations, and knowledge of what lies in Heaven among other highly sought information. Like many grimoires, it has lengthy dissertations for proper operation and seals to be used. The book can be classified as a "Solomonic Grimoire" due to its heavy use of angelic powers and seals like those found in The Greater Key of Solomon.
De Philosophia Occulta
De Philosophia Occulta, AKA Three Books of Occult Philosophy, Three Books Concerning Occult Philosophy by Henry Cornelius Agrippa (1533, Latin; 1913, English); Occult Philosophy or Magic, AKA Three Books Concerning Occult Philosophy, Book I by Henry Cornelius Agrippa (1898, English)
This summary of occult and magical thought, Agrippa's most important work in a number of respects, sought a solution to the skepticism proposed in De Incertitudine et Vanitate Scientiarum (AKA De Vanitate, published in 1530, from the perspective of a condemnation of all philosophy and all learning). In short, Agrippa argued for a synthetic vision of magic whereby the natural world combined with the celestial and the divine through Neoplatonic participation, such that ordinarily licit natural magic was in fact validated by a kind of demonic magic sourced ultimately from God. By this means Agrippa proposed a magic that could resolve all epistemological problems raised by skepticism in a total validation of Christian faith.
Book of Soyga, AKA Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy, Aldaraia, Tractatus Astrologico Magicus, attributed to Henry Cornelius Agrippa (mid-1560s?, Latin)
A grimoire of astrology, magic, angelic hierarchies, and word squares, with descriptions of the humors (Yellow Bile, Phlegm, Blood, Black Bile), the Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy alleges to be a followup to Agrippa's Three Books of Occult Philosophy, but did not appear until 30 years after Agrippa's death, and Agrippa's student, Johann Weyer, dismissed this claim. Dr. John Dee owned this grimoire and borrowed from it in his writings, and many other grimoires have drawn from it.
Ars Steganographiae AKA Secret Writing, by Abbott Johannes Trithemius (Latin, written 1500 and formally published 1606)
This is Trithemius' most notorious work. On the surface it is a system of angel magic, but within is a highly sophisticated system of cryptography. It claims to contain a synthesis of the science of knowledge, the art of memory, magic, an accelerated language learning system, and a method of sending messages without symbols or messenger. In private circulation, the Steganographia brought such a reaction of fear that he decided it should never be published. He reportedly destroyed the more extreme portions (presumably instructions for prophecy/divination) but it continued to circulate in manuscript form and was eventually published posthumously in 1606.
The Art of Drawing Spirits into Crystals
The Art of Drawing Spirits into Crystals, attributed to Abbott Johannes Trithemius (Latin, spurious? unpublished) (English, 1801 as part of The Magus)
This text appears in The Magus and its original provenance and authorship should be treated with skepticism. Full title: "The Magic and Philosophy of Trithemius of Spanheim; Containing his Book of Secret Things, and Doctrine of Spirits with Many Curious and Rare Secrets (Hitherto not Generally Known;) The Art of Drawing Spirits Into Crystals, etc., With Many Other Experiments in the Occult Sciences, Never Yet Published in the English Language. Translated from a valuable Latin manuscript, by Francis Barrett, Student of Chemistry, Natural and Occult philosophy, the Cabala, etc."
The Black Books of Elverum
The Black Books of Elverum, attributed to "Bishop Johannes Sell" (>1682, Norwegian)
A two-volume diabolical grimoire that was discovered in an attic in Norway. It was likely written between 1790 and 1820 by an individual practitioner, and mixes Christian and pagan concepts and superstitions. Sample spells: "To win at card and dice games", "To conjure up the evil spirits to force a thief to return that which he has stolen", "So that wolves and bears cannot hurt cattle", "To control the evil spirits"....
Necronomicon, or Simonomicon (1977)
In English and Mumbojumbo. This is one of the hoax Necronomicons produced in the 1970's and later as a mass-market paperback book, purporting to be the revelations of an anonymous sorceror "Simon" that had somehow conspired with Aleister Crowley and H.P. Lovecraft to secretly create their individual works based on an unknown, hidden Sumerian magical text. The book seems to contain some form of "real" ceremonial "Magick" inspired by a somewhat imaginative and sometimes silly jumble of vagely-researched Sumerian and Babylonian mythology, Aleister Crowley's occult teachings, in-name-only elements of Lovecraft's fiction filtered through the lens of August Derleth, and, no doubt, a healthy dose of "Simon"'s imagination.
(References might appear in Call of Cthulhu RPG scenarios for humorous effect as a shorthand for gullible amateur cultists, and in heavy metal music lyrics; this paperback book might also be treated in a Delta Green scenario as disinformation released as part of a cover-up of the real Tome....)
Eastern Religious and Mystical Manuals
Egyptian Magic by E.A. Wallis Budge (1899/1901/etc., English)
A scholarly study on the belief in the magic (magical names, words, spells, echantments, formulae, pictures, figures, amulets, and ceremonies to produce supernatural results) that formed a large and important part of the ancient Egyptian religion, and how this belief shaped their views, culture, and history.
Book of the Dead
Book of the Dead by E.A. Wallis Budge (1909/etc., English)
A translation and study of the Egyptian Book of the Dead from hieroglyphs into English. The Book of the Dead was intended to assist the deceased in the afterlife and comprised a collection of hymns, spells and instructions to allow the deceased to pass through obstacles in the afterlife.
Gypsy Sorcery and Fortune Telling
Gypsy Sorcery and Fortune Telling by Charles Godfrey Leland (1891, English)
Author Charles G. Leland was befriended by several gypsy clans after doing honest interviews in various academic journals; this book and others by Leland appear to have fueled much of the do-it-yourself "Gypsy Fortune-Teller/Medium" crazy of the era. With this manual you can purportedly "learn to practice the spells, ceremonies and rituals of Gypsy Witches and become a practicing Oracle in your own right"; covers such fascinating topics as: "Shamanism, Sorcery, Vindictive And Mischievous Magic", "Charms And Conjurations To Cure And Heal", "Gypsy Exorcisms", "A Curious Old Italian Secret", "The Magic Virtues Of Garlic", "Calling Upon The Spirits Of Earth And Air", "Egg Lore And Egg Proverbs", "To Cure Or Protect Animals", "The Recovery Of Stolen Property", "The Haunts And Habits Of Witches", "Bogeys And Humbugs", "The Principles Of Gypsy Witch Fortune Telling", "Romance Based On Chance Or Hope", "Gypsy Magic Spells And Secret Children s Rhymes", "Gypsy Witch Amulets", "Magic By Moonlight At The Cross Road", "Lilith, The Child Stealer And The Powers Of Fairies Merry, Mad Or Sad"
I Ching, or Classic of Changes or Book of Changes (1000BC)
An ancient divination text and the oldest of the Chinese classics. Possessing a history of more than two and a half millennia of commentary and interpretation, the I Ching is an influential text read throughout the world, providing inspiration to the worlds of religion, psychoanalysis, business, literature, and art. Originally a divination manual in the Western Zhou period (1000–750 BC), over the course of the Warring States period and early imperial period (500–200 BC) it was transformed into a cosmological text with a series of philosophical commentaries known as the "Ten Wings." After becoming part of the Five Classics in the 2nd century BC, the I Ching was the subject of scholarly commentary and the basis for divination practice for centuries across the Far East, and eventually took on an influential role in Western understanding of Eastern thought. The I Ching uses a type of divination called cleromancy, which produces apparently random numbers. Four numbers, 6 through 9, are turned into a hexagram, which can then be looked up in the I Ching book, arranged in an order known as the King Wen sequence. The interpretation of the readings found in the I Ching is a matter of centuries of debate, and many commentators have used the book symbolically, often to provide guidance for moral decision making as informed by Taoism and Confucianism. The hexagrams themselves have often acquired cosmological significance and paralleled with many other traditional names for the processes of change such as yin and yang and Wu Xing.
Hermetic Corpus, or The Corpus Hermeticum
In Latin. The term particularly applies to the Corpus Hermeticum, Marsilio Ficino's Latin translation in fourteen tracts, of which eight early printed editions appeared before 1500 and a further twenty-two by 1641. The Corpus Hermeticum are the core documents of the Hermetic tradition. Dating from early in the Christian era, they were mistakenly dated to a much earlier period by Church officials (and everyone else) up until the 15th century. Because of this, they were allowed to survive and we seen as an early precursor to what was to be Christianity. We know today that they were, in fact, from the early Christian era, and came out of the turbulent religious seas of Hellenic Egypt.
In Hebrew. Large folio containing complete system of Kabbalistic theology. The Zohar (Hebrew, lit. "Splendor" or "Radiance") is the foundational work in the literature of Jewish mystical thought known as Kabbalah. It is a group of books including commentary on the mystical aspects of the Torah (the five books of Moses) and scriptural interpretations as well as material on mysticism, mythical cosmogony, and mystical psychology. The Zohar contains a discussion of the nature of God, the origin and structure of the universe, the nature of souls, redemption, the relationship of Ego to Darkness and "true self" to "The Light of God", and the relationship between the "universal energy" and man. The Zohar is mostly written in what has been described as an exalted, eccentric style of Aramaic.
Light on the Path
Light on the Path, AKA Light on the Path: A Treatise Written for the Personal use of Those Who are Ignorant of the Eastern Wisdom, and Who Desire to Enter Within Its Influence" by Mabel Collins and "Master Hilarion" (1885, English)
A perennial favorite of Theosophical literature providing rules that serve as rungs of a ladder in the progress of the spiritual life.
The Fourteen Lessons in Yogi Philosophy and Oriental Occultism
The Fourteen Lessons in Yogi Philosophy and Oriental Occultism by Yogi Ramacharaka (1904, English)
An elementary course in preparation for the advanced courses released the following year, these lessons were originally issued in the form of monthly booklets, forming what was known as the Correspondence Class Course of Yogi Philosophy and Oriental Occultism.
Advanced Courses in Yogi Philosophy
Advanced Courses in Yogi Philosophy and Oriental Occultism by Yogi Ramacharaka (1905, English)
One of the most influential New Age philosophers promises here, in this 1904 book, to show the reader to see with the clear vision of the Spirit and how to achieve the peace of the awakened and conscious soul. The twelve lessons forming this volume were originally issued in the shape of monthly lessons, known as "The Advanced Course in Yogi Philosophy and Oriental Occultism. These lessons were intended as a continuation of, or sequel to "The Fourteen Lessons in Yogi Philosophy and Oriental Occultism" issued during the previous year.
Occult Science in India
Occult Science in India, AKA Occult Science in India and Among the Ancients, With an Account of Their Mystic Initiations, and the History of Spiritism by Louis Jacolliot (1908, English and French)
An early western exploration of Hinduism and other eastern traditions such as the Kabbalah, from the angle that India might hold the key the origin of western, Egyptian, and Judaeo-Christian esoteric traditions. A high point of the book seems to be a travelogue of India featuring the author's encounters with a fakir's many demonstrations of his yogic powers.
History of the Ridiculous Extravagancies
A History of the Ridiculous Extravagancies, AKA History of the Ridiculous Extravagancies of Monsieur Oufle Microform: Occasion'd by His Reading Books Treating of Magick, The Black Arts, Daemoniacks, Conjurers, of Elves, Fairies, of Dreams, The Philosophers Stone, Judicial Astrology, With Notes Containing a Multitude of Quotations Out of Those Books, Which Have Either Caused Such Extravagant Imaginations, or May Serve to Cure Them, by Abbot Laurent Bordelon (1711 Octavo, originally in French, translated to English, with engraved illustrations)
Fiction. A Satire on the "ridiculous extravagances" of belief in witches and demons written in the Age of Reason, containing some fairly accurate information on the then dated and increasingly less popular superstitious and occult beliefs of previous generations. Chapter 2 contains a detailed bibliography of nearly every important book on the subject of witchcraft, demonology, ghosts, spectres, spirits, and the occult written up until the time of the books publication in 1710.
Histoire Critique, AKA Histoire Critique Des Practiques Superstitieuses: Qui Ont Saeduit Les Peulples, & Embarrassae Les Scavans or "Critical History of Superstitious Practices: Which Seduced the People, & Embarrassed the Scavans" by Pierre Lebrun (1732 in four volumes, French)
A treatise linking the deceptions of occultism and pseudoscience together as the work of Satan. A curious refutation of pseudoscience of the era by a priest who largely accepted the natural scientific disciplines, but seems to have believed that both the knowledge that seems to be imparted by necromancy, divination, and other occult practices that were being attributed to bizarre chemistry and physics by the pseudoscience of his era, as well as the deceptive pseudosciences themselves, are the products of unconscious demonic inspiration. To Lebrun, the apparent knowledge transferred through divination and necromancy could even be imparted unconsciously by demonic spirits to unwilling human victims, along with pseudoscientific explanations for the impossible knowledge, for the purpose of entrapping the soul of the victim and those who would believe the deceptive corruptions of science invented by the demons for the purpose of misleading those who believe in pseudoscience; that the majority of "psychics" could be divided into those who were exceptionally accurate because they could be proven to be consciously engaging in imposture and trickery, and those who were notably inaccurate because they had deceived themselves as to the accuracy of their "power" was also taken as evidence that occult practices and the pseudoscience that supports them are elaborate deceptions with and without the willing, conscious cooperation of the occultists.
Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions
Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions, AKA Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles Mackay (1880?, English)
An early study of crowd psychology by Scottish journalist Charles Mackay, first published in 1841. The book was published in three volumes: "National Delusions", "Peculiar Follies", and "Philosophical Delusions", written in a journalistic and somewhat sensational style. The subjects of Mackay's debunking include alchemy, crusades, duels, economic bubbles, fortune-telling, haunted houses, the Drummer of Tedworth, the influence of politics and religion on the shapes of beards and hair, "magnetisers" and other quack cures as placebos (influence of imagination in curing disease), murder through poisoning, prophecies, popular admiration of great thieves, popular follies of great cities, and religious relics. Present-day writers on economics, such as Michael Lewis and Andrew Tobias, laud the three chapters on economic bubbles; in later editions, Mackay added a footnote referencing the Railway Mania bubble of the 1840s as another "popular delusion" which was at least as important as the South Sea Bubble.
Discourse on Witchcraft
A Discourse on Witchcraft, AKA A Discourse on Witchcraft: Occasioned by a Bill Now Depending in Parliment, to Repeal the Statute Made in the First Year of the Reign of King James I, Intituled, An Act Against Conjuration, Witchcrafts and Dealing with Evil and Wicked Spirits Anonymous (1736, English, printed by J. Read)
An anonymous pamphlet giving an impassioned argument in support of the repeal of the Witchcraft Act of 1604, by providing evidence that witches are a figment of the imagination, that English Biblical references to witches are mistranslated and elaborated upon by Roman Catholic witch-hunters for their own personal gain. Containing seven chapters on the following topics:
- To prove that the Bible has been falsely translated in those Places which speak of Witchcraft.
- That the Opinion of Witches, has had its Foundation in Heathen Fables.
- That it hath been improved by the Papal Inquisitors, seeking their own private Gain, as also to establish the Usurped Dominion of their Founder.
- That there is no such Thing as a Witch in the Scriptures, and that there is no such Thing as a Witch at all.
- An Answer to their Arguments who endeavour to prove there are Witches.
- How the Opinion of Witches came at first into the World.
- The Conclusion.
Cock Lane and Common Sense
Cock Lane and Common Sense by Andrew Lang (1894, English)
A study of psychic research, with a highlight on ghosts (such as the famous Cock Lane Haunting), by noted folklorist Andrew Lang (famous for his collections of faerie tales), in which Lang concludes that, in the years following the advent of Spiritualism, the modern ghost has largely become a "purposeless" and largely working-man's ghost - a ghost that appears for no great reason (such as the typically epic, world-changing reasons ghosts of the past were said to have appeared before kings and other great men), a typically silent and wordless specter with no goals to achieve, no messages to deliver, no secret crimes or treasures to reveal, no appointments to keep or tasks to complete. And thus it is for much of modern occult and psychic phenomena, and the supernatural literature to follow, and so the occult and the supernatural are products of their time, malleable to conform to modern fashion against any external nature or tradition of the past.
Parapsychology and Spiritualism
Phantasms Of Living
Phantasms Of Living by Edmund Gurney, F.W.H. Myers, Frank Podmore (1886, English)
The first comprehensive scientific study, undertaken by the Society for Psychical Research, London, of parapsychology: Thought-transference, telepathy, witchcraft, dreams, hallucinations, the theory of chance-coincidence, illusions, etc., with descriptions of 702 cases. A basic reference work on these subjects.
Occult Sciences: A Compendium
The Occult Sciences: A Compendium, AKA The Occult Sciences: A Compendium of Transcendental Doctrine and Experiment, Embracing an Account of Magical Practices; of Secret Sciences in Connection with Magic; of the Professors of Magical Arts; and of Modern Spiritualism, Mesmerism, and Theosophy by Authur Edward Waite (1891, English)
Written by Arthur Edward Waite, commonly known as A. E. Waite, an American-born British poet and scholarly mystic who wrote extensively on occult and esoteric matters, and was the co-creator of the Rider-Waite Tarot deck, who in this volume attempts to condense his entire scholarly knowledge of the occult as a spiritual tradition into a handy pocket reference for would-be students of the "occult sciences".
La Prohibition de l'occulte
La Prohibition de l'occulte, AKA Why We Oppose The Occult by Emile Cailliet (1894, French; 1931, English, by University of Pennsylvania Press; 200 pages)
A scholarly study of magic, shamanism, sorcery, witchcraft, and modern spiritualism.
Modern Spiritualism by Frank Podmore (1902, English)
A scholarly but sympathetic history of the modern Spiritualist movement to the turn of the century, including: BOOK 1 - THE PEDIGREE OF SPIRITUALISM - "Possession and Witchcraft", "On Poltergeists", "The Sympathetic System" (electromagnetism and Spiritualism), "Mesmer and His Disciples" (Mesmerism, The First French Commission on Animal Magnetism), "The Second French Commission", "Spiritualism in France before 1848", "The German Somnambules", "The English Mesmerists" (and Phrenology), "Community of Sensation" (a theory of hyper-sensitivity to hidden stimuli - hyperaesthesia), "Clairvoyance in England", "Andrew Jackson Davis and the Univercoelum", BOOK 2 - EARLY AMERICAN SPIRITUALISM - "In Arcadia" (Spirit Rapping, The Stratford Disturbances), "Some Dwellers in Arcadia" (Socialism and Universalism and Spiritualism), "The Physical Phenomena" (spirit-writing, levitation, Disturbances at Ashtabula, spirit-rooms), "Clairvoyance and Speaking in Tongues" (spirit-paintings, faith-healing), "General Survey of the Movement" (legal proceedings and immunity of fraudulent mediums due to reluctance of victims to believe the fraud or to expose it; accusations of Free Love; Christian Spiritualism)
Mesmerism and Christian Science
Mesmerism and Christian Science by Frank Podmore (1909, English)
A scholarly but sympathetic history of Mesmerism, Faith Healing, "Christian Science", and Charismatic/Esoteric Christianity, by the author of Modern Spiritualism.
Occult books by and about Aleister Crowley, English mystic, cultist, and self-proclaimed "Beast 666" and "Wickedest Man in the World".
Moonchild: A Prologue
Moonchild: A Prologue by Aleister Crowley (1929, English)
A fictional novel based deeply in Crowley's mysticism, concerning a secret magical war between a lodge of white magicians led by the occult detective Simon Iff and a coven of black magicians over the destiny of a sacred unborn messiah in the years leading up to World War I.
Konx Om Pax: Essays in Light
Konx Om Pax: Essays in Light by Aleister Crowley (1907, English)
The name Konx Om Pax is a phrase said to have been pronounced in the Eleusinian Mysteries to bid initiates to depart after having completed the tests for admission to the degree of epopt (seer).
A collection of Kabbalistic and esoteric satires and allegories. Contents include introductory information on Egyptian Heiroglyphs and the Enochian Language of John Dee, followed by "The Wake World", an allegory for the ascent of a magickal practitioner through the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, accompanied by her Holy Guardian Angel, originally written by Crowley in imitation of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland as a bedtime story for his daughter, with Crowley relating himself as the "Fairy Prince", a guide through the schema; "Thien Tao, or, the Synagogue of Satan", a parodic essay casting a Crowley character (Master Kwaw) as a Taoist advisor to the Japanese daimyō in a time of crisis, in which Kwaw advises a course of study in which people shall be taught the antithesis of their natural tendencies: the prostitute to learn chastity, the prude to learn sexual expression, the religious bigot to learn Huxley's materialism, the atheist to learn ceremonial magick; "Ali Sloper, or, the Forty Liars: A Christmas Diversion", a play that is over-presented with title credits, but is generally a simple dialogue based on Crowley's conversation with a friend and his wife on Christmas Day, with only two main speakers, Crowley satirizing himself as "Bowley", with the whole a means to present his inserted essay Ameth, and the title a mock of Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves, a tale from the classic One Thousand and One Nights; "Stone of the Philosophers Which Is Hidden in the Mountain of Abiegnus", a satirical conversation between a number of men, including "a socialist" and "a doctor", each one contributing a poem into their philosophical debate with Crowley taking his stance as "Basil Gray".
The Stratagem and other Stories
The Stratagem and other Stories by Aleister Crowley (1929, English)
A collection of three short stories; the title story received such a good review from British novelist Joseph Conrad that Crowley thought it was a possible calling to conventional fame at a time when Crowley was struggling against public notoriety and other difficulties with publishing more esoteric work. The first story, "The Strategem", is based on one of Crowley's dreams and tells a twisted tale of the escape attempts of an inmate on Devil's Island penitentiary. The second story, "The Testament of Magdalen Blair," is the longest of the three, telling the haunting story of a psychic woman who delves into the dying, subconscious psyche of her husband, and bears resemblance to Edgar Allan Poe's "Mesmeric Revelation" and "The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar". The third story, "His Secret Sin", has a pervert absconding with a photograph of the Venus de Milo.
Diary of a Drug Fiend
Diary of a Drug Fiend, by Aleister Crowley (1922, English)
An autobiographical novel. The story is widely thought to be based upon Crowley's own drug experiences, despite being written as a fiction. This seems almost conclusively confirmed by Crowley's statement in the novel's preface: "This is a true story. It has been rewritten only so far as was necessary to conceal personalities." Crowley's own recreational drug use and also his personal struggle with drug addiction, particularly heroin, is well documented. Crowley made a study of drugs and their effects upon the body and mind, experimenting widely himself. Many of his conclusions are present within this novel. Diary of a Drug Fiend encapsulates much of Crowley's core philosophy concerning Thelema and his conception of True Will.
The Equinox Vol. I
The Equinox Vol. I Books 1-10 by Aleister Crowley and others (1909-1913 English)
A series of publications in book form published from 1909 to 1913 as the official publication of the A∴A∴ and Ordo Templi Orientis cults, magical orders founded by Aleister Crowley. Some selected topics:
"Gematria": Explains the dogmatic Qabalah as taught by the original order of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. The main studies are the ten "Sephiroth" or "Emanations" of the godhead, which can also be seen as rungs of a divine hierarchy between Earth and Godhead, and the three forms of word analysis, which consist of gematria where each of the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet have their own number and are added together in words to make metaphorical sympathy; aiq baqir, also called "Qabalah of the Nine Chambers", which converts any letter in a word to its radical numerical equivalent; and notariqon, which uses Hebrew words as initials for a potential larger sentence with a hidden meaning.
"Sepher Sephiroth" AKA "Book of Emanations": Basically an index of numbers from 1–3321 listing their Hebrew word equivalents, largely useful for magical students as a reference for word-sympathy, numerology and gematria, and related purposes.
"Liber 777" or "Liber 777 Vel Prolegoma Symbolica Ad Systemam Sceptico-Mysticae Viae Explicande, Fundamentum Hieroglyphicum Sanctissimorum Scientiae Summae": The title "777" refers to a lightning flash descending the diagrammatic worlds of the Sephiroth, the zig-zag pattern suggesting three diminishing 7s. It consists of roughly 191 columns, with each row corresponding to a specific Sephirah or path on the Tree of Life for a total of 35 rows and is used for a quick reference for corresponding mnemonics and factors of religion for use in magic. Crowley originally published it anonymously after writing it from memory, and an introduction to one edition suggests that Crowley may have published it anonymously because it was taken from a Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn manuscript that was then obligatory for initiates to memorise and thus unavailable in writing.
Magick, AKA Magick, Liber ABA, Book 4: Considered Crowley's masterwork on the topic of Magick; in November 1911, Crowley carried out a ritual during which he reports being commanded to write this book by the discarnate entity Abuldiz. The work consists of "Part I: Mysticism, or Meditation: The way of attainment of genius or Godhead considered as a development of the human brain", essentially Crowley's system of yoga, which is designed to still the mind and enable single-pointed concentration, borrowing heavily from many other yogis and keeping their fundamental techniques while jettisoning much of the attendant moral dogma; "Part II: Magick (Elemental Theory)" deals with the accessories of ceremonial magick in detail, including the temple, the magick circle, the altar, the scourge, dagger, and chain, the holy oil, the wand, cup, sword, pentacle, lamp, crown, robe, book, bell, lamen, and the Magick Fire (including the crucible and incense), followed by a humourous "Interlude" on magical interpretations of popular nursery rhymes, such as Old Mother Hubbard and Little Bo Peep; "Part III: Magick in Theory and Practice" is perhaps the most influential section on magick defined in Crowley's now famous "Introduction", and containing many influential essays on various magical formulae, such as Tetragrammaton, Thelema, Agape, AUMGN, and iao. The section also addresses fundamental magical theorems, essential components of ritual, and general practices (e.g. banishing, consecration, invocation, divination, etc.)
"Magick is the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will.... Magick is the method of science and the aim of religion.... Every intentional act is a Magical act.... Magick is the Science of understanding oneself and one's conditions.... Magick is the Art of applying that understanding in action.... Magick is merely to be and to do...." - Aleister Crowley, Magick Part III, Introduction
The Equinox Vol. III
The Equinox Vol. III, by Aleister Crowley and others, never published.
Books in this volume, published later as stand-alone works, include The Blue Equinox, The Equinox of the Gods, Eight Lectures on Yoga, The Book of Thoth,
The Blue Equinox
The Blue Equinox or The Equinox: Volume III, Number 1 by Aleister Crowley (1919, English)
A book written by the English occultist Aleister Crowley, the founder of Thelema, detailing the principles and aims of the secret society O.T.O. (cult) and its ally the A∴A∴, both of which were under Crowley's control at the time. It includes such topics as The Law of Liberty, The Gnostic Mass, and Crowley's Hymn to Pan.
The Equinox of the Gods
The Equinox of the Gods or The Equinox: Volume III, Number 3, by Aleister Crowley
Detailing the events and circumstances leading up to Aleister Crowley's transcription of The Book of the Law, the central text of Thelema. Included in The Equinox of the Gods are a facsimile of Crowley's handwritten manuscript of The Book of the Law, personal diary extracts, and a full color reproduction of the Stele of Revealing (artifact).
Eight Lectures on Yoga
Eight Lectures on Yoga AKA The Equinox Volume III, Number 4, by Aleister Crowley (1939, English)
Largely a demystified look at yoga, using little to no jargon or satirical humor. It is divided under two sections into eight parts, which are transcripts of eight one-hour lectures on the subject given by Crowley, divided into two chapters: "Yoga for Yahoos" (in which Crowley dissects the word "Yoga", as well as its various implications on the human mind; lists the eight limbs of Yoga, and explains the first, Yama, which is defined as control; details Niyama, the second limb of Yoga, and analogizes it to various planets; lectures concerning Asana and Pranayama, the third and fourth limbs of Yoga, and correct posture while practicing), and "Yoga for Yellowbellies" (in which Crowley covers, in detail, the philosophical, mathematical, and scientific aspects of Yoga). In the book, Crowley instructs students on the steps needed to approach mysticism through Yoga, and details the complications that arise along the path. One intent Crowley had in writing the book was to dispel the various myths surrounding Yoga in Europe at the time — most thought it to be an exotic, Eastern ritual of the ancient past.
The Book of Thoth
The Book of Thoth, AKA The Book of Thoth: A Short Essay on the Tarot of the Egyptians and The Equinox, Volume III, Book 5, by Aleister Crowley (1944, English); the original edition was 200 limited-edition signed and numbered copies bound in Morocco leather and printed on pre-wartime paper, with a list of colour plates depicting the Tarot cards as envisioned by Crowley and Harris.
This book describes the philosophy and the use of Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot, a deck of Tarot cards designed by Crowley and co-designed and painted by Lady Frieda Harris. The Thoth Tarot has since become one of the best-selling and most popular Tarot Decks in the world. Appendices describe the use of the Tarot in the Art of Divination and the obiter dictum ("the 'correspondences' are not arbitrary"); also includes the Key Scale of the Tree of Life with the conic sections of mathematics and a diagram attributing the trigrams of the I Ching to the ten Sephirot.
Liber Aleph, AKA Liber Aleph vel CXI: The Book of Wisdom or Folly and The Equinox Volume III, Book 6, by Aleister Crowley (1918, English)
Consisting of 208 short epistles on the philosophy of Thelema, Crowley's own ethical system of occult magic, written in an arcane style imitating older works of magick, in the form of an epistle to his "magical son", a student who Crowley would later accuse of "going mad" and "upending the Tree of Life" following a disagreement over cult orthodoxy. Though the book was not published until some time after its writing in 1918, it is considered one of the forefont commentaries on Crowley's teachings.
ΘΕΛΗΜΑ ("Thelema"), AKA The Holy Books of Thelema and The Equinox Volume III, Book 9 by Aleister Crowley (1909, English)
In this volume, Crowley organizes and formalizes many of the important doctrines of Thelema, and designates much of his work into various classes here, depending upon its importance, purpose, suitability for interpretation or translation or alterations, etc.
Original Contents include an explanation of the actual history and origin of the movement, an account of the relations of the aspirant and his Holy Guardian Angel, the Birth Words of a Master of the Temple divided into chapters called "The 7 Planets", a book of Trigrams of the Mutations of the Tao with the Yin and yang, an account of the Cosmic process, a copy of The Book of the Law which every Thelemite is expected to interpret "each for himself", and an account of the Hexagram and the method of reducing it to the Unity and Beyond describing in magical language a very secret process of Initiation).
Additional Texts included in The Holy Books of Thelema (1983) would include: an account of the Grade of Magus as the highest grade which it is even possible to manifest in any way whatsoever upon this plane, an account of the sending forth of the Master Therion by the Golden Dawn (cult) and an explanation of his mission, Sexual Magick veiled in symbolism, an account of Initiation and an indication as to those who are suitable for the same, an account of the cosmic process so far as it is indicated by the Tarot Trumps in which the sequence of the 22 Trumps is explained as a formula of Initiation, an analysis of the nature of the creative magical force in man with an explanation of how to awaken it and how to use it with the general and particular objects to be gained thereby, and a graphic interpretation of the Tarot on the plane of Initiation.
The Vision and the Voice
The Vision and the Voice, AKA The Equinox Vol IV Book 2, by Aleister Crowley (1918, English; not published outside of The Equinox until 1972)
Chronicles the mystical journey in vision of Aleister Crowley as he explored the 30 Enochian Æthyrs originally developed by Dr. John Dee and Edward Kelley in the 16th century. These visions took place at two times: in 1900 during his stay in Mexico, and later in 1909 in Algeria in the company of poet Victor Benjamin Neuburg. Of all his works, Crowley considered this book to be second in importance behind The Book of the Law, the text that established his religious and philosophical system of Thelema in 1904. The Vision and the Voice is the source of many of the central spiritual doctrines of Thelema, especially in the visions of Babalon and her consort Chaos (the "All-Father"), as well as an account of how an individual might cross the Abyss, thereby assuming the title of "Master of the Temple" and taking a place in the City of the Pyramids under the Night of Pan.
The Book of the Law
The Book of the Law, AKA Liber AL vel Legis, by Aleister Crowley (1904 English)
Crowley claimed it was dictated to him by a discarnate alien entity named Aiwass. Through the reception of the Book, Crowley proclaimed the arrival of a new stage in the spiritual evolution of humanity, to be known as the "Æon of Horus", with the primary precept of this new aeon being the charge to "Do what thou wilt".
"No forger could have prepared so complex a set of numerical and literal puzzles.... The emancipation of mankind from all limitations whatsoever is one of the main precepts of the Book.... Aiwass, uttering the word Thelema (with all its implications), destroys completely the formula of the Dying God. Thelema implies not merely a new religion, but a new cosmology, a new philosophy, a new ethics. It co-ordinates the disconnected discoveries of science, from physics to psychology, into a coherent and consistent system. Its scope is so vast that it is impossible even to hint at the universality of its application." - Aleister Crowley
The Book of Lies
The Book of Lies AKA The Book of Lies, Which is also Falsely Called BREAKS. The Wanderings or Falsifications of the One Thought of Frater Perdurabo, which Thought is itself Untrue. Liber CCCXXXIII [Book 333], by Aleister Crowley as "Frater Perdurabo" (1913, English)
The book consists of 93 chapters, each of which consists of one page of text. The chapters include a question mark, poems, rituals, instructions, and obscure allusions and cryptograms. The subject of each chapter is generally determined by its number and its corresponding Qabalistic meaning. Around 1921, Crowley wrote a short commentary about each chapter, assisting the reader in the Qabalistic interpretation.
"This book deals with many matters on all planes of the very highest importance. It is an official publication for Babes of the Abyss, but is recommended even to beginners as highly suggestive." - Aleister Crowley
Rites of Eleusis
Rites of Eleusis, by Aleister Crowley, publicly performed in 1910 at Caxton Hall, London, not formally published in text until 1990
A public performance of seven Rites dedicated to the classical planets, the Rites of "Saturn", "Jupiter", "Mars", "Sol", "Venus", "Mercury" and "Luna". Crowley claimed that the Rites were designed to inspire the audience with 'religious ecstasy', and that merely reading them would help people "cultivate their highest faculties" (some in the popular press thought otherwise, and considered the Rites an immoral display, riddled with 'blasphemy and erotic suggestion.') "The Rite of Luna" was danced by Joan Hayes also known as "Ione de Forest, a lover of Victor Neuberg". This was the performance that brought Crowley's cult to wider public attention.
The Confessions of Aleister Crowley
The Confessions of Aleister Crowley: An Autohagiography by Aleister Crowley (1929, English)
An autobiography describing Crowley's formative years from Crowley's own point of view on the many incidents of the first half of his eventful life. There are long descriptions of several mountaineering expeditions to exotic places such as the Himalayas. From his early years of being raised by fundamentalist Christians (his own mother nicknamed him The Beast, after the Beast in the Biblical Book of Revelation) Crowley describes how he became a rebel against conventional religion and how his often outlandish behaviour and conflicts with authority figures contributed to his reputation as a dark magician. There is a sketchy account of his actions in America during World War I, where he was accused of spying for the Germans (though he insisted he was really a double agent for the British and Americans), and accounts of stages of his life in which, due to Crowley's habit of traveling and debauching incognito and spending wildly, he and those around him were penurious in the extreme, such as the time at his Abbey of Thelema at Cefalu, Sicily. Crowley led a very bohemian existence, was married more than once, and had innumerable mistresses, of whom some were magical partners designated by him as "Scarlet Women". He was also bisexual and had love affairs with men in his university days and later.
Little Essays Toward Truth
Little Essays Toward Truth by Aleister Crowley (1938, English)
Sixteen philosophical essays on various topics (Man, Memory, Sorrow, Wonder, Beatitude, Laughter, Indifference, Mastery, Trance, Energy, Knowledge, Understanding, Chastity, Silence, Love, Truth) within the framework of the Qabalah and Crowley's religion of Thelema. On the concept of truth, Crowley writes:
"What then can be meant by the title of this compilation: Little Essays toward Truth? Do we not all assume a perfectly illogical conception of Truth as an entity of 'the supra-mundane order, whence a whirling flame and flying Light subsist?' Do we not instinctively assimilate these ideas of Truth and Light, though there is no rational nexus? Is it not clear, then, that we do understand each other perfectly, so far as we can understand each other at all, in a sphere such as Zoroaster calls 'Intelligible,' which 'subsisteth beyond Mind' but which we should 'seek to grasp with the Flower of Mind'?"
Goetia, AKA The Book of the Goetia of Solomon the King, translated by Aleister Crowley, (1904 English)
The Ars Goetia, first section of The Lesser Key of Solomon, describing the conjuration or evocation of the seventy-two demons specifically summoned by the Biblical figure, King Solomon, famously edited by Aleister Crowley with additions by Crowley including a "Preliminary Invocation" drawn from Goodwin's Fragment of a Graeco-Egyptian Work upon Magic, and the essay "The Initiated Interpretation of Ceremonial Magic". It is not a faithful edition of the source manuscripts but contains several innovations, including some evocations in Enochian written by Crowley. In his introduction, Crowley argues that the work of demonic evocation is merely a form of psychological self-exploration.
Magick Without Tears
Magick Without Tears by Aleister Crowley (1954, English; written in the mid 1940s and published after his death)
The book consists of 80 letters to various students of magick. Originally to be titled Aleister Explains Everything, the letters offer his insights into both magick and Thelema - Crowley's religious and ethical system - with a clarity and wit often absent in his earlier writings. The individual topics are widely varied, addressing the orders O.T.O. and A∴A∴, Qabalah, Thelemic morality, Yoga, astrology, various magical techniques, religion, death, spiritual visions, the Holy Guardian Angel, and other issues such as marriage, property, certainty, and meanness. The book is considered by many as evidence that Crowley remained lucid and mentally capable at the end of his life, despite his addiction to heroin (prescribed for his chronic emphysema). Perhaps Crowley's most notable contribution to the occult studies is a definition of magick for the 20th century found in the first chapter of this book: "[Magick]is the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will."
The Star in the West
The Star in the West, AKA The Star in the West: A Critical Essay upon the Works of Aleister Crowley by John Frederick Charles (J.F.C.) Fuller (1909, English)
An essay on Aleister Crowley's poetical and dramatic work by one of Crowley's followers, illuminating how Crowley achieved a synthesis of Eastern and Western mystical techniques.
Occult books by and about Dr. John Dee: English mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, occult philosopher, and advisor to Queen Elizabeth I, who devoted much of his life to the study of alchemy, divination, and Hermetic philosophy.
Five Books of Mystery
Records of Dee's startling results with angel magic, kept secret and only discovered by accident long after his death. Includes the earliest versions of Angelic or "Enochian" script. In his Five Books of Mystery, John Dee describes his communications with angels (particularly the angel Uriel), and the process he goes through to discover the names of previously unknown angels, which he finds in letter grids and confirms with Uriel. This system, which bears a passing resemblance to the game boggle, accounts for the phonological divergence of the names found in this book, compared to conventional angel names.
Revealed to Dr. Dee by the angels, this book is described as 'a Book of Secrets and Key of this World'. Includes Index Verborum of the "Angelic Language". Liber Loagaeth is a grimoire of John Dee and Edward Kelley's Enochian magic. It consists of 48 pages (or leaves), each of which contains a 49x49 grid, partially filled with letters and numbers, and passages in the angelic alphabet, with little in the way of explanation.
Compendium Heptarchiae Mysticae
Compendium Heptarchiae Mysticae by John Dee (>1588, English)
An early version of Dee's primary magical text (De Heptarchia Mystica), but with valuable materials not found elsewhere including missing details from the lost beginning of the Quartus Liber Mysteriorum (Fourth Book of Mystery), which provide insight into the mysterious Covenant Table, the ornate chair, and the globe used thereafter. It also assigns planets to the Filij lucis ("sons of light") and the Filij filiorum ("sons of the sons").
De Heptarchia Mystica
De Heptarchia Mystica, AKA On the Mystical Rule of the Seven Planets, by John Dee (>1582, English and Latin)
John Dee wrote De Heptarchia Mystica as a log of the process and results of his attempts to communicate with angels; Dee's own summary, in Grimoire form, of his techniques for communicating with angels, and practical benefits therefrom.
Tuba Veneris, AKA The Trumpet of Venus by John Dee (before 1583? Latin)
Magical text written by John Dee predates his magical workings documented in the Mysteriorum Libri. It may be an example of the Ars Steganographiae code of Abbott Trithemius. (Latin)
Tabula Bonorum Angelorum Invocationes
This book is one of four books of John Dee's detailed instructions for communicating with angels. It consists of excerpts, in Grimoire form, from Dr. Dee's detailed records of his "mystical exercises". The original manuscript bears no title, but is commonly referred to by the descriptive title "Tabula bonorum angelorum invocationes".
Monas Hieroglyphica, AKA The Hieroglyphic Monad by John Dee (1564, English)
Dee's enigmatic treatise on symbolic language, a commentary and primer on the mysteries of a glyph of the same name, a composite of various esoteric and astrological symbols representing the moon, the sun, the elements, and fire, embodying Dee's vision of the unity of the Cosmos. However, the obscurity of the commentary is such that it is believed that Dee used the book as a sort of textbook for a more detailed explanation of the Hieroglyph which he would give in person. In the absence of any remaining detail of this explanation the full significance of the glyph may never be known.
See Necronomicon; an English translation of this (fictional) Mythos Tome was attributed to John Dee by H.P. Lovecraft.
See Voynich Manuscript; many theories tie this mysterious tome to Dee in various ways through much supposition.
Autobiographical Tracts of Dr. John Dee
Autobiographical Tracts of Dr. John Dee by Dr. John Dee, his letters, notes and other remnants, as gathered by the Chetham Society (1851, English)
Lists of Manuscripts Owned by Dr. John Dee
Lists Of Manuscripts Owned by Dr. John Dee, his letters, notes and other remnants, as gathered by the Chetham Society (1921, English)
True and Faithful Relation
True and Faithful Relation of What Passed for Many Yeers Between Dr. John Dee and Some Spirits, by Meric Casaubon, D.D.; London, printed by D. Maxwell for T. Garthwait, and sold at the Little North Door of St. Paul's, and by other Stationers. (1659, English)
True and Faithful Relation of What Passed for Many Yeers Between Dr. John Dee (A Mathematician of Great Fame in Queen Elizabeth and King James their Reignes) and Some Spirits: Tending (had it Succeeded) to a General Alteration of Most States and Kingdomes in the World. His Private Conferences with Rodolphe Emperor of Germany, Stephen King of Poland, and divers other Princes about it. The Particulars of his Cause, as it was agitated in the Emperor's Court, by the Pope's Intervention: His Banishment, and Restoration in Part. As Also The Letters of Sundry Great Men and Princes (Somewhere of Were Present at Some of these Conferences and Apparitions of Spirits) to the Said Dr. Dee. Out of the Original Copy, Written with Dr. Dees' Own Hand: Kept in the Library of Sir. Thomas Cotton, Knight Baronet. With a Preface Confirming the Reality (as to the Point of Spirits) of this Relation: and Shewing the Several Good Uses that a Sober Christian May Make of All.
Unsorted Period Occult Texts (1711-1940)
Originally collected in The Unspeakable Oath 4.
The Voices by W.V. Moore (1913, English)
Occult Arts: An Examination
The Occult Arts: An Examination, AKA The Occult Arts: An Examination of the Claims Made for the Existence and Practice of Supernormal Powers, and as Attempted Justification of Some of Them by the Conclusions of the Researches of Modern Science by J.W. Frings (1914, English)
A skeptical look at common occult practices and beliefs, such as palmistry, fortune-telling, charms, alchemy, hypnotism, etc., defining and describing these practices, with suggestions on how to challenge and investigate those beliefs.
Magic Jewels and Charms
The Magic Jewels and Charms by George Frederick Kunz (1915, English)
Described as a "Comprehensive compendium of fascinating facts and myths explores the interwoven aspects of jewels, gems, stones, superstitions, and astrological lore. A wealth of abundantly illustrated material on meteorites and stones with magical, electrical and healing powers, on stones credited with conferring special powers on the wearer, the religious use of various stones and amulets, and more." Intended as a reference work on the magical properties of gemstones and the folklore of precious stones for jewelers, collectors, and hobbyists, quoting heavily from magical, Biblical, historic, literary, and other sources, though without attribution.
Great Book of Magical Art
The Great Book of Magical Art AKA The Great Book of Magical Art: Hindu Magic And East Indian Occultism, Now Combined with the Book of Secret Hindu, Cerimonial, and Talismanic Magic by L.W. De Laurence (1915, English)
Spirit Intercourse by J.H. Mackenzie (1916, English)
Course of Advanced Lessons
A Course of Advanced Lessons by Swami Panchadasi (1916, English)
Spiritualism: Its History, Phenomena, and Doctrine
Spiritualism: Its History, Phenomena, and Doctrine by J.A. Hill (1918, English)
Some New Evidence for Human Survival
Some New Evidence for Human Survival by C.D. Thomas (1922, English)
The Heavenly Doctrines of Swedenborg
- Arcana Cœlestia, AKA Caelestia, Heavenly Mysteries, Arcana Cœlestia, quae in Scriptura Sacra seu Verbo Domini sunt, detecta by Emanuel Swedenborg (1749–1756, Latin, 8 volumes)
- Heaven and Hell AKA Heaven and its Wonders and Hell: From Things Heard and Seen, De Caelo et Eius Mirabilibus et de inferno, ex Auditis et Visis, by Emanuel Swedenborg (1758, Latin)
- The Last Judgment AKA De Ultimo Judicio, by Emanuel Swedenborg, (1758, Latin)
- The White Horse AKA De Equo Albo de quo in Apocalypsi Cap. XIX by Emanuel Swedenborg (1758, Latin)
- Earths in the Universe AKA De Telluribus in Mundo Nostro Solari, quæ vocantur planetæ: et de telluribus in coelo astrifero: deque illarum incolis; tum de spiritibus & angelis ibi; ex auditis & visis, by Emanuel Swedenborg (1758, Latin)
- The New Jerusalem and Its Heavenly Doctrine AKA De Nova Hierosolyma et Ejus Doctrina Coelesti, by Emanuel Swedenborg (1758, Latin)
- Doctrine of the Lord) AKA Doctrina Novæ Hierosolymæ de Domino, by Emanuel Swedenborg (1763, Latin)
- Doctrine of the Sacred Scripture AKA Doctrina Novæ Hierosolymæ de Scriptura Sacra, by Emanuel Swedenborg (1763, Latin)
Doctrine of Life AKA Doctrina Vitæ pro Nova Hierosolyma ex præceptis Decalogi, by Emanuel Swedenborg (1763, Latin)*
- Doctrine of Faith AKA Doctrina Novæ Hierosolymæ de Fide, by Emanuel Swedenborg (1763, Latin)
- Continuation of The Last Judgement AKA Continuatio De Ultimo Judicio: et de mundo spirituali, by Emanuel Swedenborg (1763, Latin)
- Divine Love and Wisdom AKA Sapientia Angelica de Divino Amore et de Divina Sapientia. Sapientia Angelica de Divina Providentia, by Emanuel Swedenborg (1763, Latin)
- Divine Providence AKA Sapientia Angelica de Divina Providentia, by Emanuel Swedenborg (1764, Latin)
- Apocalypse Revealed AKA Apocalypsis Revelata, in quae detegunter Arcana quae ibi preedicta sunt, by Emanuel Swedenborg (1766, Latin)
- Conjugial Love, or Marriage Love AKA Deliciae Sapientiae de Amore Conjugiali; post quas sequumtur voluptates insaniae de amore scortatorio, by Emanuel Swedenborg (1768, Latin)
- Brief Exposition AKA Summaria Expositio Doctrinæ Novæ Ecclesiæ, quæ per Novam Hierosolymam in Apocalypsi intelligitur, by Emanuel Swedenborg (1769, Latin)
Swedenborg's detailed description of the afterlife, how people live after the death of the physical body, as revealed to Swedenborg when granted the visionary power to freely visit heaven and hell and talk with angels, demons and other spirits in their natural environments, and other revelations on the spirit world and afterlife.
Swedenborg had a prolific career as a scientist and inventor, and his early writing career was dedicated to science, but in the 1740s he entered into a spiritual phase in which he began to experience dreams and visions culminating in a 'spiritual awakening' in which he received a revelation that he was appointed by the Lord Jesus Christ to write The Heavenly Doctrines to reform Christianity, accompanied by the awakening of a supernatural power to travel the Astral World and speak directly to the spirits of men and women, angels, and demons.
The Urantia Book, AKA The Urantia Papers, The Fifth Epochal Revelation; anonymous (1955, English)
- Part I - "The Central and Superuniverses - The Story of the Universe of Universes"
- Part II - "The Local Universe - The Story of Our Part of the Galaxy"
- Part III - "The History of Urantia - Urantia is the Name of Our Planet"
- Part IV - "The Life and Teachings of Jesus - The Story of the Son of God and the Son of Man"
The authors introduce the word "Urantia" as the name of the planet Earth and state that their intent is to "present enlarged concepts and advanced truth." The book aims to unite religion, science and philosophy, and its enormous amount of material about science is unique among literature claimed to be presented by celestial beings.
The book describes that at the center of the cosmos is the stationary Isle of Paradise - the dwelling place of God - with Paradise being surrounded by "Havona," an eternal universe containing a billion perfect worlds, around which seven incomplete and evolutionary "superuniverses" circle. The word "universe" in the book is used to denote a number of different scales of organization. A "superuniverse" is roughly the size of a galaxy or group of galaxies, and the seven superuniverses along with Paradise-Havona are together designated as the "grand universe." A "local universe" is a portion of a superuniverse, with 100,000 local universes being in each superuniverse. Beyond the seven superuniverses, uninhabited "outer space levels" are described. The term "master universe" refers to what in modern usage would be the total universe—all existing matter and space taken as a whole. Urantia is said to be located in a remote local universe named "Nebadon," which itself is part of superuniverse number seven, "Orvonton." The physical size of a local universe is not directly stated, but each is said to have up to 10 million inhabited worlds.
The book's extensive teachings about the history of the world include its physical development about 4.5 billion years ago, the gradual changes in conditions that allowed life to develop, and long ages of organic evolution that started with microscopic marine life and led to plant and animal life in the oceans, later on land. The emergence of humans is presented as having occurred about a million years ago from a branch of superior primates originating from a lemur ancestor. The first humans are said to have been male and female twins called Andon and Fonta, born "993,419 years prior to 1934." The Urantia Book teaches not only biological evolution, but that human society and spiritual understandings evolve by slow progression, subject both to periods of rapid improvement and the possibility of retrogression. Progress is said to follow a divine plan that includes periodic gifts of revelation and ministry by heavenly teachers, which eventually will lead to an ideal world status of "light and life" in the far distant future. Although there is the ideal and divine plan of progression, it is said to be fostered and administered by various orders of celestial beings who are not always perfect. Urantia is said to be a markedly "confused and disordered" planet that is "greatly retarded in all phases of intellectual progress and spiritual attainment" compared to more typical inhabited worlds, due to an unusually severe history of rebellion and default by its spiritual supervisors.
The Urantia Book claims that each living soul is a spark from a fragment of God the Adjuster, and that each soul is destined to return to the fragment of the Adjuster it sparked from. Uniting with the Adjuster fragment is the "reward of the ages," the moment when a human personality has successfully and unalterably won eternal life, described as typically taking place in the afterlife, but also a possibility during earthly life - the result of such a translation during human life is a "fusion flash," with the material body consumed in a fiery light and the soul "translated" to the afterlife, translating flesh directly to spirit without the intermediary step of dying. According to the book, there is no reincarnation and no hell - to repeatedly commit sin is to reject reunion with the Adjuster, and repeated rejection results in a permanent separation, which in turn results in the spark of the soul being extinguished, the spirit dying and ceasing to exist, as if it had never existed at all.
Oahspe: A New Bible
Oahspe: A New Bible, AKA Oahspe: A New Bible in the words of Jehovih and his Angel Embassadords. A Sacred History of the Higher and Lower Heavens on the Earth for the Past Twenty-Four Thousand Years, Together With A synopsis of the Cosmogony of the Universe; The Creation of Planets; The Creation of Man; The Unseen Worlds; The Labor and Glory of Gods and goddesses in the Etherean Heavens, With the New Commandments of Jehvoih to Man of the Present Day, with Revelations from the Second Resurrection, Formed in Words in the Twenty-Third Year of the Mormon Era, a large quarto volume of over 900 pages by the Angel Embassadors via John Ballou Newbrough (1882, English with "oriental glyphs".)
A book purporting to contain "new revelations" from "...the Embassadors of the angel hosts of heaven prepared and revealed unto man in the name of Jehovih...." It was produced by an American dentist, John Ballou Newbrough, who reported it to have been written by automatic writing, making it one of a number of 19th-century spiritualist works attributed to that practice. Oahspe defines adherents of the disciplines expounded in Oahspe as "Faithists". "Jehovih", "The Great Spirit", "Ormazd", "Egoquim", "Agoquim", "Eloih", "The I Am", and "Jehovah" are some of the names used throughout Oahspe as the name of the Creator; the word "Oahspe" is defined in the book to mean "the sky, earth (corpor) and spirit. The all; the sum of corporeal and spiritual knowledge as at present".
The book contained various glyphs, whose resemblance to real Egyptian hieroglyphs was attested to by Prof. Thomas A.M. Ward, who claimed to have deciphered the hieroglyphics on the Cleopatra's Needle obelisk in Central Park. Ward was present at Oahspe's first presentation, as was Dr. Cetliniski, an Oriental scholar, who affirmed that mere mortals could not have produced such a book and that "supernatural agents" must have been responsible. The first reporter on the book, writing for The New York Times, compared the book's content to a revised fusion of Indian and Semitic religions, and said its style was "in one place modern, and in another ancient, and the English of the King James version of the Christian Bible is mixed in with the English of today's."
The book describes the world as surrounded by individual heavens to which all humans ascend after death in the form of angels, sorted according the lives they lived while on Earth; these "heavens" range in condition from the lowest heavens inhabited by impious men (which in turn range from the most hellish "heavens" for evil-doers, to more mediocre heavens for otherwise pious men who fell short of ideals due to eating meat or otherwise failing to uphold the tenets of Oahspe), up to the highest spheres of heaven reserved for the most pious angels; "Jehovih" or "God" is then elected from among the hosts of the most pious angels to rule heaven meritocratically for limited term. Ideally, the Angels would spiritually improve themselves first while on Earth as studious and pious vegan pacifists, and then while in their heavens, slowly being recognized by their betters and promoted out of the ranks of the lower heavens to the next highest levels, until attaining a spiritual nirvana amongst the highest ranks of angels in the highest levels of heaven.
Oahspe purports to describe events in the spirit realms and their corresponding influence on events in the physical world starting from approximately 72,000 years ago, although many of such events are not recorded in the existing human records. Its "Book of Eskra" and the "Book of Es", according to Oahspe, are the more recent historical records (as they were recorded in the spirit realms) from 1550 BCE to the time Oahspe was transcribed in 1880 CE. The Book of God's Word teaches the record of Zarathustra and dates his time on earth at 9000 years ago. Oahspe contains chronologically-ordered accounts that are cosmological revelations concerning the development of humanity from approximately 78,000 years ago. This also includes a narrative of the genesis of life on earth, from its start as a planet being formed from its beginnings as a comet gathering material as its vortex (subtle envelope) matures till it is placed into its own stable orbit around its sun. After cooling - the transformation of gases and its first life-forms - and finally to the appearance of the human race and its progression from beast to physical and spiritual maturity. The process, according to Oahspe, has reached its last stage with the emergence of the "herbivorous men and women of peace" of this Kosmon era. Oahspe also gives details, including maps, about lost lands and new lands, particularly a large sunken continent called Pan or Whaga that once filled much of the Pacific Ocean. It puts forward explanations on the causes of rapid loss or gain of fertility, the cyclical variations in heat and light upon the earth. Oahspe presents many illustrations of symbols said to be of ancient languages and of rites and ceremonies. It states the concept that there was an original language called Pan or the Panic Language, meaning "Earth Language," which originated from the ability of humans to mimic sounds. Its "Book of Saphah" has details on the claimed meanings and roots of many of the ancient words, symbols and ceremonies.
Oahspe explains physical science as having its basis in subtler realms (which include spiritual forces), and then how to predict from them. Oahspe devotes an entire interior book to the subject, called the Book of Cosmogony and Prophecy, but a general overview can be read in the Book of Jehovih. Also, many examples and edifications are sprinkled throughout "Oahspe. Other related subjects include physics and an integrating treatment of gravity, light, electricity, magnetism, heat, weather phenomenon, subtle planetary envelopes (called vortices) that respond to conditions beyond its boundaries and more. However, vortices, or vortex motion of planets was proposed by Rene Descartes, and later disproven by Sir Issac Newton. The text describes cyclical events that occur within a range of greater and smaller cycles. For instance, according to Oahspe, the earth is traveling with the sun and its planets through regions of space in a large circuit of 4,700,000 years, which is divided into sections of 3,000 years average, which also occur within larger cycles of 24,000 years and 72,000 years, and so on. Each of these regions has variations in density and other qualities, and so, engender varying conditions that the Earth encounters. Also, explanation is given as to the rise and fall of civilizations.
The various regions mentioned in the Cycles section are under the administration of spiritual or "etherean" beings with titles such as "God" and "Chief" and whose ranks and ages vary in ascending grade, from tens of thousands of years to hundreds of thousands of years old and older. Their dominions cover vast distances and include many spiritual and corporeal worlds of various grades and densities. These chief officers are designated "Sons and Daughters of Jehovih," and in accordance, the text of Oahspe contains separate sections or "books" such as the "Book of Cpenta-Armij, Daughter of Jehovih", and also includes familiar names from non-Abrahamic religions, as in the "Book of Apollo" and "Book of Thor", named as Sons of Jehovih. Each of these Chiefs, Chieftainesses, Gods and Goddesses are only advanced angels according to Oahspe, and every angel, regardless of rank or office, was once a mortal, either from this planet earth or from some other planet in the universe.
The Story of Atlantis and The Lost Lemuria
The Story of Atlantis and The Lost Lemuria by William Scott-Elliot; "The Story of Atlantis" 1896 and "The Lost Lemuria" 1904
A Theosophical text composed of two essays concerning fantastical revelations of the strange histories of these continents expanding upon the work of Helena P. Blavatsky, one describing the history of Atlantis, the other the history of Lemuria. Each essay, after opening with some obligatory evidence for the possibility that these lands existed, contributing to pseudo-scientific conclusions, plunges breathlessly wildly into unsupported speculations on the long and ancient histories of the lands, filled with cataclysms, dark ages alternating with ages of enlightenment and peace, and bizarre (and racist) racial speculations on the nature of the literal giants that walked those continents, which would, according to Scott-Elliott, become the ancestors of more modern human races on either side of the Atlantic. These giants are described as having psychic and magical powers, and (in earlier epochs) as being quasi-amphibian/reptilian/aquatic beings having no skulls, or strangely-shaped heads and three eyes (one, in the back of the head, supposedly remains in vestigial form as the pineal gland) descended from beings of alien substance originating from the Astral Plane and evolving over the history of their continents into the modern mammalian human forms; with this evolution, they were supposed to have declined in stature over the ages until in the latter days of Atlantis they attained the heights of those we would recognize as primitive humans and proto-humans (like Neanderthals). The giants were said to have (like all good Theosophists) regularly attended Theosophical training in occult schools, but, in time, fell into decadence and lost their way, neglecting their occult self-improvement, and instead using their occult powers for wicked and monstrous purposes, leading into the final days of the Atlantean doom that scattered the survivors to the far corners of the world. The book describes Lemurian struggles against dinosaur enemies, and their enlightenment and guidance into civilization by highly-evolved Venusian Masters of the Theosophical Universe. The book describes the great Atlantean capital "City of the Golden Gates", and the Atlantean and Lemurian "schizo-tech" technology is also described, with these peoples enjoying, for example, primitive and crude art and music forms, but perfecting the art of iron-working, raising stone-age architecture and cyclopean masonry of basalt and other hard stones to great heights and gigantic proportions, developing advanced breeding technologies involving artificial heat and coloured lights to alter the form and nature of domesticated animals (and presumably themselves), and creating networks of global trade and colonization using gigantic ships and "air boats" powered by magic under will.
From the Etheric Second Race, then, was evolved the Third — the Lemurian. Their bodies had become material, being composed of the gases, liquids and solids which constitute the three lowest sub-divisions of the physical plane, but the gases and liquids still predominated, for as yet their vertebrate structure had not solidified into bones such as ours, and they could not, therefore, stand erect. Their bones in fact were pliable as the bones of young infants now are. It was not until the middle of the Lemurian period that man developed a solid bony structure.... The organs of vision of these creatures before they developed bones were of a rudimentary nature, at least such was the condition of the two eyes in front with which they sought for their food upon the ground. But there was a third eye at the back of the head, the atrophied remnant of which is now known as the pineal gland. This, as we know, is now a centre solely of astral vision, but at the epoch of which we are speaking, it was the chief centre not only of astral but of physical sight.... A curious fact to note is that when the race first attained the power of standing and moving in an upright position, they could walk backwards with almost as great ease as forwards. This may be accounted for not only by the capacity for vision possessed by the third eye, but doubtless also by the curious projection at the heels....
Somewhat before the middle of the Lemurian period, probably during the evolution of the third sub-race, the gigantic gelatinous body began slowly to solidify and the soft-boned limbs developed into a bony structure. These primitive creatures were now able to stand upright, and the two eyes in the face gradually became the chief organs of physical sight, though the third eye still remained to some extent an organ of physical sight also, and this it did till the very end of the Lemurian epoch. It, of course, remained an actual organ, as it still is a potential focus, of psychic vision. This psychic vision continued to be an attribute of the race not only throughout the whole Lemurian period, but well into the days of Atlantis.
- W. Scott-Elliott, "The Lost Lemuria"
This book is referenced in The Call of Cthulhu (fiction), in which Lovecraft describes the book in connection to research concerning the chaos surrounding the temporary rising of R'lyeh: "The other manuscript papers were all brief notes, some of them accounts of the queer dreams of different persons, some of them citations from theosophical books and magazines (notably W. Scott-Elliot's [The Story of] Atlantis and the Lost Lemuria), and the rest comments on long-surviving secret societies and hidden cults, with references to passages in such mythological and anthropological source-books as Frazer's Golden Bough and Miss Murray's Witch-Cult in Western Europe."
The Lost Continent of Mu (et.al.)
A series of books by James Churchward beginning with one originally called Lost Continent of Mu, the Motherland of Man (1926) and re-edited later as The Lost Continent Mu (1931); the complete series is:
- Lost Continent of Mu, the Motherland of Man (1926)
- The Children of Mu (1931)
- The Lost Continent Mu (1931)
- The Sacred Symbols of Mu (1933)
- The Cosmic Forces of Mu (1934)
- The Second Book of the Cosmic Forces of Mu (1935)
The books are Theosophical texts derived from the usual mix of wildly speculative pseudo-science mixed with the authors dreams, visions, and outright fictions, in this case centering around the lost continent of Mu, which Churchward believed to extend somewhere north of Hawaii to the south as far as the Fijis and Easter Island. He claimed Mu was the site of the Garden of Eden and the home of millions of inhabitants – known as the "Naacals" ("Exalted Ones"), whose language was also known as Naacal. Its civilisation, which supposedly flourished 50,000 years before Churchward's day, was technologically more advanced than his own, and the ancient civilisations of India, Babylon, Persia, Egypt and the Mayas were merely the decayed remnants of its colonies. Churchward claimed to have gained his knowledge of this lost land after befriending an Indian priest, who taught him to read the ancient dead language (spoken by only three people in all of India); the priest disclosed the existence of several ancient tablets, written by the Naacals, and Churchward claims to have gained access to secret library containing these records after overcoming the priest's initial reluctance. His knowledge remained incomplete, as the available tablets were mere fragments of a larger text, but Churchward claimed to have found verification and further information in the records of other ancient peoples - and, of course, through visions and dreams. These writings attempt to describe the civilisation of Mu, its history, inhabitants, and influence on subsequent history and civilisation.
The content of the books were typical of the genre: strange pseudo-scientific histories of spiritually enlightened and technologically advanced prehistoric peoples who rose to the pinnacles of superhuman achievement before their civilization was drowned and destroyed by natural disaster, wiping all trace of them from the earth except for the crude savages who descended from the fallen ruins, and hard-to-prove rumors heard only by the author, secretly initiated into secrets beyond ordinary mortal knowledge, communicated through secret texts by secret priests of secret mystery religions, and through secret techniques of astral projection, dreams, visions, revelations, psychic powers, and/or past-life regressions revealing the unlikely history, along with mystical self-improvement teachings, and warnings to future man to abandon worldly pleasures and embrace new age religion.
Typical of Churchward's Mu writings are passages like this: "There was once a flourishing continent in the middle of the Pacific Ocean called Mu ... The greatest tragedy of mankind occurred when Mu sank, carrying down with her 63,000,000 people and a civilization approximately 200,000 years old. This civilization was at its peak before the mountains were raised, when according to Charles Darwin, man was still closely related to the monkey ... South America at that time had an inland sea comparable to the Mediterranean today. The Incas and the Mayas of prehistoric times were the dying embers of an earlier civilization. The oldest records of mankind are right here in our own country, which was one of Mu’s first colonies ... Records in Tibet over 70,000 years old, show communication with South America, as well as with China, Egypt, India and Africa... Man did not 'evolve' after the Glacial Period because there was no Ice Age. When Mu sank and the mountains were raised, man degenerated into the savagery out of which our own civilization emerged...."
H.P. Lovecraft was apparently familiar with Churchward's books, at least by reputation, and he (or the writers he collaborated with) made very brief references to Churchward in "Through the Gates of the Silver Key (fiction)" and "Out of the Aeons (fiction)" (by H.P.L., with E. Hoffman Price and Hazel Heald, respectively).
The Problem of Atlantis (et. al.)
A series of books on Atlantis and later Lemuria by Lewis Spence, beginning with The Problem of Atlantis (English, 1924 London).
- The Problem of Atlantis (1924, English)
- Atlantis in America (1925, English)
- The History of Atlantis (1926, English)
- The Occult Sciences in Atlantis
- The Atlantis of Plato
- The Evidence For Lemuria From Myth And Magic
- The Problem of Lemuria: The Sunken Continent of the Pacific
Spence's researches into the mythology and culture of the New World, together with his examination of the cultures of western Europe and north-west Africa, led him almost inevitably to the question of Atlantis. During the 1920s he published a series of books which sought to rescue the topic from the occultists who had more or less brought it into disrepute. These works continued the line of research inaugurated by Ignatius Donnelly and looked at the lost island as a Bronze Age civilization that formed a cultural link with the New World, which he invoked through examples he found of striking parallels between the early civilizations of the Old and New Worlds, becoming noted as a chief supporter of the pan-Egyptian theory linking Egyptian and Native American cultures. Spence's erudition and the width of his reading, his industry and imagination were all impressive; yet the conclusions he reached, avoiding peer-reviewed journals, have been almost universally rejected by mainstream scholarship. His popularisations met stiff criticism in professional journals, but his appeal among theory hobbyists continues to this day. Nevertheless, he seems to have had some influence upon later "fringe science" theories, including the ideas of controversial author Immanuel Velikovsky.
Atlantis and Lemuria
Atlantis and Lemuria by Rudolf Steiner (1923, English)
Atlantis: The Antediluvian World
Atlantis: The Antediluvian World by Ignatius Donnelly
Our Story of Atlantis
Our Story of Atlantis Written Down for the Hermetic Brotherhood by William P. Phelon
The Secret of Plato's Atlantis
The Secret of Plato's Atlantis by John Francis Arundell of Wardour
Supernormal Faculties in Man
Supernormal Faculties in Man by E. Osty (1923, English)
Way to Power: Studies in the Occult
The Way to Power: Studies in the Occult by Lily Adams Beck (1928, English)
New Model of the Universe
A New Model of the Universe AKA A New Model of the Universe: Principles of the Psychological Method in its Application to Problems of Science, Religion, and Art by P.D. Ouspensky (1931, English and Russian)
The Invisible Influence: A Story, AKA The Invisible Influence; a Story of the Mystic Orient, With Great Truths Which Can Never Die by Alexander Cannon (1934, English)
Attitude of Voltaire
The Attitude Of Voltaire To Magic And The Sciences by Margaret Sherwood Libby (1935, English)
Outline of Modern Occultism
An Outline of Modern Occultism by Cyril Scott (1935, English)
Fifth Dimension and the Future of Mankind
The Fifth Dimension and the Future of Mankind by Vera Stanley Adler (1940, English)
Unsorted Theosophical and Spiritualist Treatises
Beatus Methodivo, attributed to St. Methodius of Olympus (Latin, c.300CE)
Of Gnostic complexion, this work is written as a prophetic apocalypse foreseeing the end of the world, and recounting how Seth sought a new country in the east, coming upon a country of The Initiates, which the book speculates to be the Children of Cain practicing black magic in India.
Oracles of Nostradamus
Oracles of Nostradamus, by Michel de Nostradamus (various languages, 1555-1557)
About a thousand 4-line, non-specific, imagistic verses, purporting to be prophecies concerning human events up to 3797CE, of which much vague speculation has been made since publication.
Pert Em Hru
Pert Em Hru AKA Coming Forth by Day and "The Scroll of Ani"; (?, Egyptian Hieroglyphs, with English & French translations)
A blessing for the dead, who were to recite the scrolls in the afterlife to prepare for their existence there; consists of spells and instructions to guide, instruct, and safeguard the dead on their journey into the afterlife.
Principles of Nature
Principles of Nature, Her Divine Revelations, and A Voice to Mankind, by Andrew Jackson Davis (English, 1847)
The Coming Christ
The Coming Christ by Johanna
Special Teachings from the Arcane Science
Special Teachings from the Arcane Science by Edward Clarence Farnsworth
The Deeper Mysteries
The Deeper Mysteries by Edward Clarence Farnsworth
The Majesty of Sex
The Majesty of Sex by Nancy McKay Gordon
Things Kept Secret from the Foundation of the World
Things Kept Secret from the Foundation of the World by Anonymous
The Truth of Life
The Truth of Life by Iness Arnold
The Ocean of Theosophy
The Ocean of Theosophy by William Q. Judge
The Seven Principles of Man
The Seven Principles of Man by Annie Wood Besant
The Pedigree of Man
The Pedigree of Man: Four Lectures Delivered at the Twenty-Eighth Anniversary Meetings of the Theosophical Society, at Adyar, December, 1903 by Annie Wood Besant
Karma by Annie Wood Besant
Theosophy by Annie Wood Besant
The Ancient Wisdom
The Ancient Wisdom: An Outline of Theosophical Teachings by Annie Wood Besant
Thought Power: Its Control and Culture
Thought Power: Its Control and Culture by Annie Wood Besant
Investigations Into the Super-Physical
Investigations Into the Super-Physical by Annie Wood Besant
The Master Secret
The Master Secret by Albert Boynton Storms
The Key to the Universe
The Key to the Universe by Harriette Augusta Curtiss
Occult Science in Medicine
Occult Science in Medicine by Franz Hartmann
The Life Beyond Death
The Life Beyond Death by Yogi Ramacharaka
Clairvoyance and Occult Powers
Clairvoyance and Occult Powers by Swami Panchadasi Including Clairvoyance, Clairaudience, Premonition and Impressions, Clairvoyant Psychometry, Clairvoyant Crystal-Gazing, Distant Clairvoyance, Past Clairvoyance, Future Clairvoyance, Second Sight, Prevision
Open Sesame: Words Spoken to Unlock the Door of Success
Open Sesame: Words Spoken to Unlock the Door of Success by Janet Young
Secrets of Mental Supremacy
Secrets of Mental Supremacy by William Richard Cunningham Larson
Theosophical Manuals of A. Student
Theosophical Manuals V - Man After Death Theosophical Manuals XV - Theosophy, the Mother of Religions by A. Student
The Doctrine of Cycles VIII
The Doctrine of Cycles VIII by A. Student
The Summa Theologica
The Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas by Thomas Aquinas
The Law of Mind in Action
The Law of Mind in Action by Fenwicke Lindsay Holmes
A Dictionary of Some Theosophical Terms
A Dictionary of Some Theosophical Terms by Powis Hoult
The World's Book, or Key to Spiritual Life
The World's Book, or Key to Spiritual Life by Mrs. Morelli W. Spencer Thoughs and Suggestions on Spiritual Manifestations, or Extracts from the Private Journal of an American Lady
Reincarnation, a Study of the Human Soul
Reincarnation, a Study of the Human Soul in Its Relation to Re-birth, Evolution, Post Mortem States, the Compound Nature of Man, Hypnotism, etc. by Jerome A. Anderson
Rosicrucian Fundamentals: An Exposition of the Rosicrucian Synthesis of Religion, Science and Philosophy, in Fourteen Complete Instructions by Khei
The Rosicrucian Mysteries
The Rosicrucian Mysteries: An Elementary Exposition of their Secret Teachings by Max Heindel
Simplified Scientific Astrology
Simplified Scientific Astrology by Max Heindel
The Subconscious Mind and Its Illuminating Light
The Subconscious Mind and Its Illuminating Light by Janet Young
Invisible Helpers by Charles Webster Leadbeater
The Astral Plane
A Theosophical resource describing the Astral Plane, including its peculiar inhabitants, scenery, and phenomena; useful as well as a resource for modern Spiritualism and occult science.
An Outline of Theosophy
An Outline of Theosophy by Charles Webster Leadbeater
Divine Science and Healing
Divine Science and Healing by Malinda E. Cramer
The Spirit of the New Thought
The Spirit of the New Thought by Horatio W. Dresser
Gems of Thought
Gems of Thought by M.E. Cadwallader
The Sacred Books of the Hindus
The Sacred Books of the Hindus: Translated by Various Sanskrit Scholars by B.D. Basu et.al.
God's Laws of Healing
God's Laws of Healing for Spirit, Soul, and Body: A Profound but Plain and Practical Treatise on the Spiritual, Intellectual, and Physical Life of Man by Anonymous
Numbers: Their Occult Power and Mystic Virtues
Numbers: Their Occult Power and Mystic Virtues by William Wynn Westcott
Practical Occultism by Walter Winston Keilworth
Thoughs on Bagavad Gita
Thoughs on Bagavad Gita: A Series of Twelve Lectures Read Before the Branch Society Kumdhakunam by A. Brahmin
A New Heaven and a New Earth (Thought Studies of the 4th Dimension)
A New Heaven and a New Earth; or, The Way to Life Eternal (Thought Studies of the Fourth Dimension) by Charles Brodie Patterson
The Gift of the Spirit
The Gift of the Spirit A Selection from the Essays of Prentice Mulford by Prentice Mulford
The Origin of Freemasonry and Knights Templar
The Origin of Freemasonry and Knights Templar by John Richardson Bennett
The Secret of Spiritual Power
The Secret of Spiritual Power by George D. Watson
The World's Eternal Religion
The World's Eternal Religion by Bharat Dharma Mahamandal
An Introduction to the Study of Jacob Boehme's Writings
An Introduction to the Study of Jacob Boehme's Writings by Anne Judith Penny
The Lost Language of Symbolism
The Lost Language of Symbolism by Harold Bayley
The "Grand Grimoire" or Imperial Ritual of Magic
The "Grand Grimoire" or Imperial Ritual of Magic Including Full Instructions in Making of the Magic Rod, Talismans, Amulets and Rings, Private Instructions in Crystal and Magic Mirror Initiation, in Magean Magic and Spiritualism by Reuben Swinburne Clymer
Aryan Sun-Myths: The Origin of Religions
Aryan Sun-Myths: The Origin of Religions by Sarah Elizabeth Titcomb
Universal Spiritualism: Spirit Communion in All Ages Among All Nations by W.J. Colville
Regeneration: Being Part II, of the Temple of the Rosy Cross by F.B. Dowd
Magic Plants: Being a Translation of a Curious Tract Entitled De Vegetalibus Magicis by Johann Heirich Heucher
Absolute Key to Occult Science
Absolute Key to Occult Science The Tarot of the Bohemians; The Most Ancient Book in the World, for the Exclusive Use of Initiates by Papus
Studies in Occultism
Studies in Occultism by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky
The Secret Doctrine
The Secret Doctrine: The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky
The Key to Theosophy
The Key to Theosophy Being a Clear Exposition, in the form of Question and Answer, of the Ethics, Science, and Philosophy for the Study of Which the Theosophical Society has Been Founded by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky
The Spiritual Guidance of Man and of Mankind
The Spiritual Guidance of Man and of Mankind by Rudolf Steiner
Short Lessons in Theosophy
Short Lessons in Theosophy by William Juvenal Coldville
Collected Fruits of Occult Teaching
Collected Fruits of Occult Teaching by A.P. Sinnett
The Ancient Mysteries and Modern Masonry
The Ancient Mysteries and Modern Masonry by Charles Henry Vail
Theosophy and Christianity
Theosophy and Christianity: A Signpost for Those Who Desire Information by Max Seiling
Essays on Theosophy
Essays on Theosophy by I.E. Taylor
Occult Science in Medicine
Occult Science in Medicine by Franz Hartman
The Turba Philosophorum or Assembly of the Sages
The Turba Philosophorum or Assembly of the Sages, Called Also the Book of Truth in the Art and the Third Pythagorical Synod; An Ancient Alchemical Treatise Translated from the Latin, the Chief Reading of teh Shorter Codes, Parallels from the Greek Alchemists, and Explanations of Obscure Terms by Arthur Edward Waite
A Dictionary of Some Theosophical Terms
A Dictionary of Some Theosophical Terms by Powis Hoult
The Spiritual Teacher
The Spiritual Teacher by R.P. Ambler
Elements of Spiritual Philosophy
Elements of Spiritual Philosophy: Being an Exposition of Interior Principals by R.P. Ambler
A Primer of Theosophy
A Primer of Theosophy: A Very Condensed Outline by Madra Theosophical Society
The Mysteries of the Heart Doctrine
The Mysteries of the Heart Doctrine by Katherine Tingley
Reincarnation by A.E. Landon
Theosophy Simplified by Irving S. Cooper
The Key to the Universe
The Key to the Universe: Or a Spiritual Interpretation of Numbers and Symbols by Harriette Augusta Curtiss
Developing Mental Power
Developing Mental Power by George Malcolm Stratton
The Illustrated Key to the Tarot
The Illustrated Key to the Tarot The Veil of Divination, Illustrating the Greater and Lesser Arcana; Embracing the Veil and Its Symbols; Secret Tradition Under the Veil of Divination; Art of Tarot Divination; Outer Method of the Oracles; The Tarot in History; Inner Symbolism
How to Live Long
How to Live Long: Or Health Maxims, Physical, Mental, and Moral by William Whitty Hall
1000 Things Worth Knowing
1000 Things Worth Knowing by Nathaniel C. Fowler Jr.
The Gift of the Spirit
The Gift of the Spirit by Prentice Mulford
The Subconscious Mind and Its Illuminating Light
The Subconscious Mind and Its Illuminating Light: An Interpretation by Janet Young
A System of Magick, or A History of the Black Art
A System of Magick, or A History of the Black Art, Being an Historical Account of Mankind's Most Early Dealing with the Devil; And How the Acquaintance on Both Sides First Began by Daniel Defoe
The Political History of the Devil
The Political History of the Devil by Daniel Defoe
The Mysteries of Astrology, and The Wonders of Magic
The Mysteries of Astrology, and The Wonders of Magic, Including a History of the Rise and Progress of Astrology, and the Various Branches of Necromancy by C.W. Roback
The Devil's Rebellion and the Reason Why
The Devil's Rebellion and the Reason Why by Charles Fremont May
A Glossary of Important Symbols
A Glossary of Important Symbols: In their Hebrew, Pagan, and Christian Forms by Adelaide Susan Hall
The Unknown God
The Unknown God: Or Inspiration Among Pre-Christian Races by Charles Loring Brace
Fragment of a Graeco-Egyptian Work upon Magic
Fragment of a Graeco-Egyptian Work upon Magic by Charles Wycliffe Goodwin, 1852
- Enochian Magic
The Book of Baphomet
- The Book of Baphomet
The Dragon of Two Flames
- The Dragon of Two Flames
Natural Satanic Witchcraft
- Natural Satanic Witchcraft
The Sinister Tradition
- The Sinister Tradition
The Horned Altar
- The Horned Altar
Lords of the Left-hand Path
- Lords of the Left-hand Path
The Qabalah Workbook for Magicians
- The Qabalah Workbook for Magicians
Liber Lunae: Book of the Moon and Sepher ha-Levanah
- Liber Lunae: Book of the Moon and Sepher ha-Levanah