Friday, February 28, 2020
This intermediate-length medical work is one part anthropological text, one part recipe book, and one part good medical history. About 90% of the entries here are herbal; but it lists some minerals and chemical compounds and even a couple of insect species, all of which were apparently sold through the Indian subcontinent as medical materials in the 1860s.
The fascinating blend of scientific rigor with what amounts to folklore here is spectacular; I'm a bit of a sucker for such works since I studied anthropology myself; the occultist may find this text useful since it is basically derived from a blend of ayurvedic, islamic, and pan-european medical practices and explicitly involves the spiritual side of life (which tends to be the case whenever mortality is addressed.) It contains both local and Latin terminology.
Sunday, February 23, 2020
"Abraham Lincoln, the Practical Mystic", is one of the most odd works I have come across. A fusion of anecdotes and folklore with Lincoln worship, WWI era Germanophobia, and some really great actual story-telling, it is very much worth a read for historical and occult reasons.
Lincolns' dream interpretation has been the subject in and of itself of multiple books; this work manages to take that concept and condense it along with his religiosity, while relegating Abe Lincoln to a sort of American demi-god, literally proclaiming him to be a Moses-like visionary.
Friday, February 14, 2020
This fairly long book is a tome of medical and herbal lore which combines multiple distinct elements of literature into one semi-condensed volume. Often, in the 19th century, the Materia Medica was separate from social tracts or only contained herbs and their uses or recipes. This contains all of the above, as well as dietary content, all from the backdrop of the botanic method, which stressed proper living, "natural" remedies, and was altogether an objective improvement on the prior era of mercury based medicine, antimonial injections into wounds, and other pseudo-alchemical snake oil.
It is interesting to note that by this time, while lobelia (formerly heralded as a sort of cure-all) was continued in use for many complaints, it had lost ground against chamomile, st johns wort, artemesia absinthium, and a few other species which were rising in prominence.
Of interest as well here is a short tract against onanism ("self pollution"!) and material involving spiritism.