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.