Apep was the Egyptian god of chaos and the greatest enemy of the Sun god Ra. This god appeared as a giant snake and was much feared by Egyptians, even in their death—as he’s known to eat souls. To ward off Apep, they would defile effigies and bury the dead with protective spells.

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Botis (or Otis) is a demonic earl, president and one of the Spirits of Solomon. He appears as a viper with a sword, and can be commanded to take human form—but he’ll retain some of his demonic features if he does. He’s good for reconciling friends or enemies & answering questions. Image: 72goetia.com

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Drawings from Tui bei tu, a Chinese prophecy book. This book, written by astronomers and historians Yuan Tiangang and Li Chunfen during the Tang Dynasty, contained 60 drawing with preceding poems that made predictions for the era and was likely based on the I Ching, also known as The Book of Changes. At the front of the book, the following is written:

“When examining the future, please know that the past may have been clear as a bright moon, but the future may be dark and black. Be cautious.”

The book was later deemed forbidden in the Song Dynasty but remained popular with the public. Source: World Digital Library

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Tuberculosis, syphilis, breast cancer, and diphtheria from Richard Tennant Cooper’s series of symbolic paintings depicting death and disease, 1920s. A official war artist, Cooper painted these after returning from World War I before moving to commercial work.

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Emblems from a German Alchemical Manuscript, Fidelis Werner, 1794. Source: University of Freiburg

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A Mngwa or Nunda is massive legendary cat of Tanzanian folklore that’s fiercer than a lion and more agile than a leopard. The Mngwa is said to be human during the day, and turns into a ferocious beast at nightfall with grey, striped fur. Image: mngamojemo

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“Your head’s like mine, like all our heads; big enough to contain every god and devil there ever was. Big enough to hold the weight of oceans and the turning stars. Whole universes fit in there! But what do we choose to keep in this miraculous cabinet? Little broken things, sad trinkets that we play with over and over. The world turns our key and we play the same little tune again and again and we think that tune’s all we are.”

– GRANT MORRISON, THE INVISIBLES

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Haagenti, one of the 72 Spirits of Solomon, is an alchemical demon with the power to turn metals into gold and water into wine. He’s an infernal president who commands 33 legions of lesser demons. He can be bound with the angel Mihael’s name. Beyond his bestial form, he can also appear as a man. Image: 72goetia.com

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Calendarium Naturale Magicum Perpetuum, 1620. Created by the alchemist and esoteric author Johann Baptist Grossschedel von Aicha, this chart acts as a grimoire and reference. The three sheets together measure to four feet long and two feet wide.

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Indonesian Shadow Puppetry (Wayang Kulit) is one of the oldest storytelling traditions around the world. Oil lamps project the shadows of the intricately designed puppets on to cloth as the puppeteer narrates the story, often from a Hindu epic like the Ramayana and Mahabharata. Images: 1-2 Tropenmuseum, Anggita Gloria, Rebecca Marshall.

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