Echoes of the Orient: Now Available!

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And now comes one of the most recognizable works released within Theosophy; an early work, “Echoes of the Orient” by the esteemed William Quan Judge.

Altogether it is a broad overview of 1. What Theosophy is, 2. What Theosophy believes, and 3. A mild refutation of some criticism aimed at the same. It should be noted that Judge was vice president of the rapidly expanding order at the time and that Theosophy would not only significantly expand after the writing of this book but spawn multiple significant offshoots, influencing politics despite being apolitical and being conjoined to the proro-eugenic movement.

70 pages.

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Materialized Apparitions: Now Available!

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This work is quite interesting and refers to various experiences and experiments performed by the author with regards to seances at the time for some years running. The main focal point is none other than the now infamous Anna Fay, was eventually outed as a fraud by Harry Houdini, among others- indeed not that many years after this work sought to use her as evidence of a spirit world.

Nonetheless it is of value- all the content connected just with the theoretical side of spirituality remains intact even to this day in a theoretical sense- although it is generally considered bunk because of its association with the same mediumship circles this work refers to. A fine bit of work exemplifying the spiritualism movement and of great interest for its description- accidentally- of very refined parlor magic.

82 pages.

Imperialistic Council of the Magi: Now Available!

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Of all of the odd arcana I’ve encountered during half a decade editing occult works, this takes the cake for the most odd of all. Invoking none other than Eliphas Levi, it purports to tutor the reader in how to become a magi. Here I insert an opinion; this work is typical of the era (and for a couple decades after) and is more like the Book of Forbidden Knowledge than it is a standard occult philosophy guide, only without some of the bric-a-brac inclusions and advertisements for crystals and self help guides.

That isn’t to demean the work however- it’s a fun albeit short read, and the various teachings it employs aren’t inauthentic in and of themselves and roughly correlate to Theosophy and similar movements from the period. Highly recommended both for lore and laughs!

51 pages.

Animism, the Seed of Religion: Now Available!

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This is of interest potentially to two groups of people; the occultist will here find some interesting folk tales and spiritual rites from cultures then being actively studied at the height of the colonial era, and the history buff will find in these pages an interesting but sometimes outdated colonial perspective on non-European cultures. It focuses mostly on African lore but also on India and makes some mention (in the naturalistic period post-animism but prior to semimodern religion, as the theory then held) to the Mesoamericans. The categorical system isn’t entirely accurate, but it is applicable and useful.

60 pages.

Vampires and Vampirism: Now Available!

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This work is one of a number of interesting titles on the subject of vampirism that come in the late premodern period. Many works even from that interesting early 20th century academic era only fixate on vampires as the bloodsuckers of specifically southeastern European lore- this work manages to extend its scope to Asia and Russia as well and includes a number of interesting poems and stories. In the most amusing inclusion, it classes Bram Stokers’ “Dracula” as an exciting modern romance- this being amusing only because the work dates to over a century ago.

Only a small proportion of works I edit actually grab my attention fully whilst being edited- this is one of those books and I highly recommend it.

113 pages.

How to Hold Circles for Developing Mediumship At Home: Now Available!

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This short work is interesting for two reasons, neither of which has strictly to do with the stated main topic; it is all about how to develop the skill of mediumship, but the occultist has perhaps more use for it in its admonitions regarding self awareness and focus, and the literary buff will find it more of interest because it’s an exceptionally good example of the specific kind of mystic literature proliferating at the time, in the wake of the east-to-the-west expansion of spiritual consciousness.

43 pages.

Fishes, Flowers, and Fire: Now Available!

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This is yet another of the infamous phallic works written during the late 1800s presumably by Hargrave Jennings, anonymously. The works at the time contained taboo materials, since they spoke of fertility rites, sexual symbolism, and feminine spiritual forces. While “Ophiolatreia” is perhaps the best known of the titles in this privately printed series, this one might be the most interesting.

The work contains three basic sections, as its title suggests; the use of fish as a sexual symbol especially as tired with Christianity would have been considered blasphemy in its era (even if accepted now)- flowers are a fairly obvious sex symbol, but the greatest bulk of the work regards fire worship. Here we see the interesting suggestion that those who “passed their seed (children) through fire to Molech” may have been not sacrificing them but rather ritualistically purifying them. An extremely good work.

115 pages.