spirits

Rusalkas are water spirits from Slavic folklore, who appear as a pretty young girls with long hair. In some versions of lore, Rusalkas are the souls of drowned women or unclean spirits who lure men into water, and drown them by entangling their body with their long red hair. Image: Ivan Bilibin

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Barong is the benevolent king of the spirits in Balinese mythology, and the enemy of Rangda, the demon queen. In Bali, each region of the island has its own version of Barong modeled after different animals, including a lion, pig, and tiger. Image: an edit of work by Beeyan on Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA

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Alchemist and Magician Edward Kelly, in the act of invoking a spirit of the dead at the churchyard of Walton Ledale, from “The book of black magic and of pacts” by A.E. Waite, 1898. The companion in the circle is likely Paul Waring, who helped him with all of his conjurations.

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Pustahas were books of magic, made of tree bark, used by spiritual leaders of the Batak people of Northern Sumatra. The first of these pustahas is inscribed with instructions on how to protect oneself from evil. Source: KITLV & Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunde

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Akton is a demon that causes aches and pains in humans, afflicting the ribs and lower back. According to the Testament of Solomon, he can be rid by saying the names Marmaraoth and Sabaoth. The latter being one of the Hebrew names for God.

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According to Kabbalah, when a person’s body decomposes or is cremated, a tiny bone at the base of the spine, called the luz, always remains intact. When the dead are resurrected, their physical bodies will reconstitute from this seed-like bone. Image: J. Gamelin, 1778⠀

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Depictions of demons and the devil with extra faces, often on the groin, are common in medieval manuscripts. Some theorize that it represents their spiritual corruption, by emphasizing the senses that focus on the material world, others think it’s merely to make them monstrous.

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The preeminent source of jinn-lore is One Thousand and One Nights (aka Arabian Nights), a collection of tales from Arabic, Persian, Egyptian and Mesopotamian traditions. The evolving collection has stories of characters we know today, like Aladdin and Sinbad.⠀

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Illustrations by Martin van Maële from the 1911 edition of the book Satanism and Witchcraft (La Sorcière) by Jules Michelet, first published in 1862. While widely inaccurate, the book was one of the first sympathetic portrayals of the history of witchcraft.

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The Compendium Of Demonology and Magic is a book full of bestiary illustrations and magical diagrams, written in German and Latin. It’s title page has the warning “Don’t Touch Me” and the year 1057, but it’s been dated to 1775. Likely the book was created to sell to collectors.⠀

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Ezequiel or Chazaqiel is one of the fallen Watcher Angels, class of angels meant to be sentinels or messengers of Yahweh. He taught forbidden knowledge to humans, including how to identify omens the clouds. He was also known to lust after women. ⠀

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Ammit or Ammut is an Egyptian demon, who holds the titles “Devourer of the Dead” and “Eater of Hearts”. If Anubis determined a deceased’s heart was impure, Ammit would devour it, causing the soul to be restless forever. She was also known to cast hearts into a lake of fire.⠀

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