Alright literary world; time for an important update!
With "Mystic Will" released two days ago as of the time of this post, it is now time for a general cursory overview of what happens next; all of my works through the last were under spiritual contract of sorts and I not only met but exceeded my goal time-wise. This sets the stage for continual literary success; not a lot of people have catalogs of releases that extend to the size I have amassed and there's nowhere to go but up.
The first goal after the 200th edition was to clean up my work files; I had four folders scattered across my computer and more on several USB drives with vestigial half-completed projects, source files I already edited from, and random images and notes I'd written. It took the last two days to clean them up. Now, that step is complete.
The second goal is to immediately complete a couple of the partially-done projects such as "Diabology" and possibly the "Asuri Kalpa" to knock them out of the way and be able to put those files at long last into the "completed works" storage.
The third goal is to really scrape my way through my usual sources for material to edit from and try to grab a few dozen more works of note. I culled my source files from about 1,000 to 54 in total, removing overly long works, poorly formatted works, and works I am uninterested in. I want to make sure to still release works fairly regularly but it won't be nearly at the same rate as the last half a year or so.
The fourth goal is to get to re-editing a few of my releases, especially "Fruits of Eden" which I plan to have professionally re-illustrated, and will expand substantially, with a new foreword, one new section, and several dozen additional species entries now that I have so many herbal resources to draw from that I did not prior.
So it will be a busy half decade or so ahead. Cheers!
Sunday, February 24, 2019
Thursday, February 21, 2019
Charles Leland (who is notable for his most famous work, Aradia, and for some other significant folkloric work especially in Italy) wrote this work under a different title originally but ended up creating this variant (which was published posthumously) for an American audience. It is quite good, and fuses a bit of fairies and folklore in with its essentially psychological content which revolves around willpower and mindfulness practices to improve the mentality of the reader.
Much of this basic content is of mainstream acceptance (such as the topical use of hypnosis, "thinking positively" and such) while some of its larger claims (for example healing diseases by mere thought) are a bit more "out there." It contains as well a section on Paracelsus and sprinkles poetry and prose throughout to illustrate its points. Altogether well made and quite interesting- a fine 200th edition indeed.
Monday, February 18, 2019
This work comes strictly from the rationalist camp of its era. Seeking primarily to discredit phrenology, dowsing, seances, and spiritualistic beliefs in general, Clodd managed to perform two tasks; first, to give a good cautionary warning to occultists, and second to categorize some interesting phenomena (including the legendary appearance of angels on WWI battlefields, aiding British troops!) for the purposes of discrediting the same.
Like with several other editions I have released lately I provide this primarily to warn off practitioners of spiritual systems from credulity- we must remember that dowsing, phrenology, etc were widely popular and accepted in their time and even backed by supposedly objective science.
Saturday, February 16, 2019
This is a frightfully short but very interesting work which, as with a few others I have edited, is primarily a speech (an oratory) meant to be delivered to an audience, as opposed to a booklet in and of itself. Penned by the well known Congregationalist Lyman Abbott. Here he expounds a bit on his evolving conception of his god and the presence of spiritual forces and states that he conceives of his deity as inter-penetrating all things while also refuting polytheism.
The title is slightly misleading since it is more about the form of divinity than the supernatural in a more general sense but it is still an interesting opinion piece.
Thursday, February 14, 2019
This particular work is written from the perspective of sometimes quite severe skepticism towards folklore of various kinds, from the disorganized and tribal (and often antiquated) to the then-modern, medical, and "scientific." Amusingly, some of its then-accepted scientific conjectures are now themselves classed as pseudoscience and hokum.
The span of subjects covered here is quite massive; of greatest interest are probably tidbits about fairy lore and homeopathy, which are fairly lengthy. Most of the text is broken up into very short segments of not much more than a paragraph or two on each subjugated subject.
Tuesday, February 12, 2019
This is one of my favorite editing works so far; a massive collection of folklore, dealing with every sign and omen under the sun from a dozen cultures, multiple epochs, etc. From bad luck to good, from relationships to employment, Cielo's work has a little bit of everything. It is interesting to me that some of the content is familiar to me such as the common habit here in my own native New England of seeing barns with horse shoes nailed above the door, always open-end up to "keep in the luck."
The author, a skeptic, wrote this work in order, ostensibly, to mock superstition, but instead is likely to be heralded as a compiler of folklore- the rational minds of the era sought to dispel supernatural things but ended up cataloguing them instead for future generations; a testament to the abilities of the paranormal, of the occult.
Monday, February 11, 2019
This is a fairly short work that is nonetheless interesting for two types of content; first, its fusion of apparently religious Christian material with Hinduism (often an element of theosophy although I could not find any information on the author being involved with the same) and second, its allusions to telegraphy, atoms, magnetism, and the like, in regards to the occult. These topics were widely popular in magical and philosophical movements until the roaring twenties came crashing down and more technologies were developed.
It contains multiple how-to passages actually teaching some occult practices, of whatever style or order the author belonged to.
Sunday, February 10, 2019
"Apparitions-" is a wonderful compilation of folklore that was actually written from the perspective of one who wished to expose spook stories as frauds and interesting bugbears. This is actually important; the work is then also a cautionary message for those who accept the spiritual, not to accept it all at face value but to utilize their reasoning abilities to determine if any particular tale is true. I do this for occult and cryptozoological topics myself; I accept for example the existence of extra terrestrial life but find very few sightings of flying saucers to have any legitimacy.
Some of these tales are actually hilarious also, such as a prank involving the use of phosphor to create ghostly messages to frighten house guests or the time a man with a red rain cloak was mistaken for a specter, scaring an entire village in the process.
Thursday, February 7, 2019
This particular book is a nice collection of linguistic lore and superstition related to the development of the Celtic people. Some of the content here is technically eugenic, proposing three separate ethnic groups with regards to the Celtic people.
It speaks of the divisions of Celtic culture (the bards, vates, and druids) and many other topics, and gives not just a broad introductory overview of the subject but delves into relatively advanced linguistic anthropology of a sort which most works ignore.
Tuesday, February 5, 2019
This book is an excellent primer on the Salem Witch Trials- it contains mostly a slew of primary source documents; letters from the era, trial proceedings, and- at the end- the culminating document which ended the era for good, namely the recanting and apology of the jury involved for having condemned innocent people to death. While I have strong opinions on the subject of why the trials happened (my theory is a fusion of the ergot, property, and social panic theories and accepts none completely) I kept my own words to a minimum and relegated them to the foreword.
Some of the claims made especially during testimony are bizarre in the highest degree- flying objects strange creatures, demonic sexual intercourse, and what we would now deem both ghosts and psychic attack. Some of the stories told are chilling, especially when one considers that most of the accused were tortured and mistreated, even if only about a tenth of them ended up actually executed.
This work is quite a notable one, being written by Besant- one of the foremost theosophists of the movement, and once-adoptive mother of Krishnamurti himself. It contains a series of four lectures, two of which are basically about socio-political issues- these two are quite interesting because the criminal and societal reforms spoken of were indeed largely adopted by western nations after this era- for example not trying children as adults in the same legal framework for any but the most significant crimes, and preventative justice of several sorts.
While Besant was initially a political activist and socialist she later became interested more solely in spiritual matters; this work represents the step in between the two and shows her interest (waning as it was) in civic matters seeping into her religious philosophy. Works of this type helped to shape modernity in all its forms.
Sunday, February 3, 2019
This is a nice little Rosicrucian work released a century ago by the Fraternity of the Rosy Cross- Clymers' order. As a slight aside the order still exists in Pennsylvania and their mailing address, though not the same as that given in this work, is on Clymer Road- just an interesting aside, since most orders do not last nearly a century.
The content here is somewhat vague because it is in part advertising initiation into the order and the availability of more advanced works- more generally it discusses a few basic bits of Rosicrucian philosophy- however it should be noted that the original cover insinuates that the mystery of sex is discussed while it does not actually contain any apparent literal allusion to the subject (potentially a bit of advertising to the male audience!)
Saturday, February 2, 2019
This little work is a fairly brief primer on the basics of Celtic spiritual systems. It goes into the division of the Druid priesthood in the pagan era, among other things, and correlates the development of the religious beliefs there with the advancement of contemporary culture. Altogether it's a very good work, although a few of the tenets it espouses have been largely forsaken by modern anthropology.
Friday, February 1, 2019
This is a great book of folklore; great instead of merely good, because it is actually entertaining, because much like my prior edited release on flower lore, it adds poetry and prose of various kinds (especially Keats, Shakespeare, and the biblical Psalms) in its various meanderings. About half the work deals with birds, which are highly present symbols within spirituality.
It covers good and bad omens among other things, and at times attempts to mock and dispel some of the superstitions it speaks of, although it notes that others are technically true; for example, a bee die-off indeed does correlate to farmers having bad years- because bee hives tend to die off far more commonly under adverse weather conditions not conducive to life forms thriving in general (prolonged drought, abnormal cold, etc.)