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.
Thursday, January 30, 2020
This is a text in two parts; first a translated late 17th century work by Baritel, then an "addendum" (really its own short work) by the translator, regarding mesmeric and dowsing experiments by his wife and him and various energetic lore related to finding mines or water using a hazel rod or the use of "mesmeric passes."
The second text is oddly more fun than the first in this compiled work, but Baritels' own text is definitely worth a read, since it speaks at length on the concept of energized water among other arcane topics.
Thursday, January 23, 2020
The 1830s represent an interesting period in medical history in which the old mercury and leeches of the system of Galen were replaced by botanical and "simples"-based medical practice until the era of fully "rational" chemical and biological science began a half century later. The essential premise here is that former medical practice was dangerous (objectively true) and botanical treatment superior and more "godly" (debatable.) What I do not debate is that administering lobelia or capsicum is "probably" safer than dosing people up on mercury, antimony, or dangerously powerful emetics.
Wednesday, January 15, 2020
This is the second piece of literature ever crafted by Manly P Hall. It is a very good guide to the basic premise of Freemasonry- the symbolic tale of Hiram Abiff forms the basic symbolic core of its tenets, along with some other themes explored herein. It is notable that Hall was not a Mason at the time of writing this work but was apparently applauded by the order anyways, despite barely being an adult.
There is an interpretation of the fabled Emerald Tablet of Hermes here that is notable as well.