picture of forest

picture of forest
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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

200-year-old Drawings Depict Fallen Angels, Demons, the Antichrist

Francis Barrett’s pictures of fallen angels and demons remind me of a few recalcitrant boozers fleeing the bar on a Saturday night. The sketches were included in his bookThe Magus—a compendium of several esoteric books, most notably works by Cornelius Agrippa and Peter d’Abano—which was once considered a primary source for occult and ceremonial magic when it was first published in 1801. The book led to a revival of interest in spiritualism, magic and the occult and was a highly influential religious text on minds as diverse as Joseph Smith and his Church of Latter Day Saints, the Freemasons and occultist Eliphas Levi. 

Published over two volumes, The Magus begins with an introduction to “Natural Magic” which Barrett described as “a comprehensive knowledge of all Nature”:...by which we search out her secret and occult operations throughout her vast and spacious elaboratory; whereby we come to a knowledge of the component parts, qualities, virtues, and secrets of metals, stones, plants, and animals;

He goes on to discuss charms, amulets, “occult virtues,” and magic before giving a history and instruction on “alchymy” and the Philosopher’s Stone, and a long section on “The Celestial Intelligencer,” which primarily deals with talismanic magic. The second volume examines magnetism, the “Cabala” and ceremonial magic, the practice and composition of the “Magic Circle,” various rites and a word of warning to would-be adepts, before concluding with a brief history of key occultists—from Zoroaster to John Dee.

For those with an interest in such arcane writing, you can read the whole book here.



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