Friday, November 29, 2019
This intermediate-length work is actually the third of three works written by Farnsworth over the course of a decade, containing various new age material from a surprisingly large number of sub-topics within the spiritual. It touches on Swedenborg, Blavatsky, levitation, the categorization of spirits and creatures, and many other tidbits. It should be noted that the author was certainly not inclined to editing as a trade since I had to redact dozens of errors in the work, and this was a laymans' sort of guide comprised more of short, discrete sections than one overarching, flowing work.
Some of the content is secondary and comes from Theosophical figures, not just Blavatsky but other "masters" also.
Friday, November 22, 2019
This fairly short work was initially full length and 169 pages long; formatting in that era was often quite interesting. It's an extremely dense overview of many hundreds of bits of literature, the main point of which is to correlate and compare literary tropes, objects, and subjects across books and poetry. The author himself tries to restrain the lore to mostly the medieval and then-modern but gets dragged into some content from the Norse and Hindu systems of religion nonetheless.
As an occultist I see this as a very valuable work, more for its massive number of secondary sources to be used as a starting point to dig deeper into folklore and its cryptozoological and magical offshoots, than any value stemming from its own analysis; although the prevalence of Arthurian legend and the "Arabian Nights" and their enormous influence on then contemporary works is notable.
Wednesday, November 20, 2019
This work is actually a transcription of a series of lectures given by Charles Vail- notable as a minister, mason, and political figure in his era. The subjects of the lectures are all about Freemasons, but range from its symbols and their meanings, to its rites (especially of initiation) and the underlying history of the Masons in their modern incarnation dating to the 18th century.
It is interesting as well for its frequent use of quotes and allusions to secondary sources, and thus provides a potential springboard for further study.