The Secrets of Animal Magnetism: Now Available!

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This work is quite interesting; and at this point it takes quite a bit to trip my interest since I read and edit similar works all day. Written at the dawn of the 20th century, it is partly about how to mesmerize (theory and action both) and partly about mind reading and similar topics, but it meanders into the realm of sociology and begins, about two thirds of the way through, to give advice on society and civics in a general sense, as works of the era sometimes did.

It should be noted that mesmerism is indeed real; however some of the claims then accepted about it were overblown; it remains medically accepted for a limited number of uses to this day.

61 pages.

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Mystic Will: Now Available!

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Charles Leland (who is notable for his most famous work, Aradia, and for some other significant folkloric work especially in Italy) wrote this work under a different title originally but ended up creating this variant (which was published posthumously) for an American audience. It is quite good, and fuses a bit of fairies and folklore in with its essentially psychological content which revolves around willpower and mindfulness practices to improve the mentality of the reader.

Much of this basic content is of mainstream acceptance (such as the topical use of hypnosis, “thinking positively” and such) while some of its larger claims (for example healing diseases by mere thought) are a bit more “out there.” It contains as well a section on Paracelsus and sprinkles poetry and prose throughout to illustrate its points. Altogether well made and quite interesting- a fine 200th edition indeed.

123 pages.

Hypnotism: Magnetism, Mesmerism, Suggestive Therapeutics: Now Available!

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This work is one of the better things that LW DeLaurence wrote. Containing fewer self-advertizements and a lot more how-to content, it dispels some myths about mesmerism and hypnotism, and proposes about a dozen methods by which various suggestive states can be induced- including the famous trick of hypnotizing a chicken using a chalk line or a finger (it apparently does indeed work.)

While some of the methods are now known not to function (at the time this was written- and it alludes to it explicitly!- the French were experimenting with spinning wheels and lights to induce anesthesia- one of the earliest- maybe THE earliest literary reference to this trope!) others are accepted even today. Some of its content would later be adapted into the 20s and 30s era “how to hypnotize your friends” style pulp works.

112 pages.

Mesmerism, Spiritualism, Witchcraft, and Miracles: Now Available!

 

This work is something I do not necessarily agree with in an occult sense but, for historical reasons and because of its (extremely) interesting take on the Salem Witch Trials, it is certainly worthy of inclusion in the ever-expanding library of releases here.

Written by Putnam in the middle of the 1800s, it is notable in that it makes the claim (though not directly) of a new spirit age having dawned on the world in which spirits have begun to communicate with mankind in a manner not unlike the telegraph- predating theosophical claims of a similar nature by many decades. The author himself claims to have established the veracity of mediums and spiritualism personally, and remarks at length upon the different stages or categories of mesmerism and its abilities.

62 pages.