Sunday, September 29, 2019
The notable L W deLaurence returns to this blog with another excellent work, this time compiling a laundry list of phenomena together (telepathy, spiritualism, somnambulism, mesmerism, and clairvoyance) to analyze them and draw them together while explaining, basically, their function and use. As usual, the notable (notorious?) author manages to remain collected enough to sometimes express skepticism, or at least to denote his opposition to others' theories within each subtopic. It should be noted that this work references several secondary texts which can be consulted for further reading on these topics.
Friday, September 27, 2019
This intermediate length work is presented here partially for cautionary reasons; Mesmer and his school of thought were briefly accepted as miraculous and spiritually significant until the fraudulent nature of some of his practices were exposed. That being said, this text is mostly a compilation of testimonial work regarding the efficacy of magnetic bathing and associated practices within a medical context. No less important than studying the claims of those involved with the witch trials (also self evidently true, or so the people then living believed at the time!) the claims of this era with regards to some of the fantastical medical movements of the day are of import to any serious student of occultism genuinely speaking, teaching the often hard lesson to question things, even if they are presented as self evident, scientific, or miraculous.
Thursday, September 26, 2019
Mythology and legend is a great component of the occult and the study of the same arguably one of the more enjoyable. What could be better than tales of Norse giants? Tales of Norse giants alongside tales of giants in Homers' works and in the middle ages, twain with a short but sweet section at the end of this work on "real" giants (some lore of which is perfectly accurate!)
Technically speaking this work is fiction, but the recounting it does spills over into the specifically occult in its then-modern musings about the subject matter, and primarily comes from works either explicitly or implicitly religious in nature and overtone.
Wednesday, September 25, 2019
Hypnotism, Personal Magnetism, Physical Culture, Health Breathing, and Magnetic Bathing: Now Available!
And now the award for most obtusely titled booklet goes to!...
Zach Shed is an interesting individual; I can't seem to find any info about him other than that he authored this booklet at the dawn of the 20th century; originally, it was horizontally aligned (wider than tall) and its title beckons the question "why?" Nonetheless, it's a good work overall; it suggests the use of healthy breathing exercises, positivity, hypnosis, and magnetic bathing, as well as dietary changes, to prolong health and generally stave off disease and age. Some of its suggestions are in vogue even today; a lot of health "nuts" drink lemon water preferentially and endorse the breathing practices of Tai Chi, etc. Proponents of the alkaline diet beware- this work stresses the need for balanced acidity.
Saturday, September 21, 2019
This intermediate-length work is the product of Alice A. Bailey, one of the more well known Theosophists of her era. Over her career she penned many works described as "received" (via channeling) but this very early work is of her own admitted manufacture.
Some of the content is quite as pseudoscientific now as it was before (man as a central radiation source comes to mind) but other material is accepted to some degree or another. The idea of spooky action at a distance aside, Baileys' work basically adopts the modern concept of the atom four years before it pretty much replaced the prior. For those interested in Theosophy it is an invaluable work.
Friday, September 20, 2019
This interesting work is partially a plagiarism of Napoleons' Oraculum (not the later Tousey version but the 1830s variant) but is nonetheless the best fortune teller work I have come across; at almost 180 pages in modern format it includes nearly 90 pages of (dense) dream interpretation, a full oracle system, sections on phrenology, lucky and unlucky days, dice, cards, simple charms, and phrenology. The oracle is ascribed to Count Bismarck which almost surely makes that entry a tongue-in-cheek swipe at the French attribution (to Napoleon) of that earlier, notable work.
It is of note that the dream interpretation differs somewhat from other contemporary systems and occasionally gives a double meaning (one 'source' claiming the dream means one thing, another 'source' another, etc.) The tea leaf section is definitely adapted from the Mrs' Bridget Fortune Teller or some missing link work between the two in date.
Extremely readable and useful. I use it in my own dream interpretation explicitly.
Friday, September 13, 2019
The topic of Shinto is one I haven't really studied much of before; I waited for years to finally attain a proper copy of this book that could reasonably be edited from and was finally able to do so fairly recently. Its author needs little introduction since he wasn't just an avid studier of Asian religion but also an astronomer of considerable fame who proclaimed Mars to be covered in artificial canals.
The work is almost more notable for its time period and cultural significance than for its strictly religious content since it was written from a western perspective in the very center of the Meiji period- the rapidly shifting cultural ethos of Japan is thus overlapped seamlessly with age-old ritual customs and spiritual lore in this work, acting almost as a time capsule. Highly recommended.
Monday, September 2, 2019
This little work is one of the better additions to the corpus of Theosophical literature by LW Rogers, one of its most relevant members and leadership figures. It is notable for the sheer number of anecdotes about premonitions in dreams, especially the well known case of Abe Lincoln dreaming of his own impending death. As interesting for its historical content (the quake of Messina, etc) as for its spiritual content, it importantly contains a bit of advice for those seeking to remember and thus interpret their premonitions.