Esoteric Eden

Familiars are spirits who assist witches and other sorcerers, either by being conjured or mutual agreement. Depending on who they serve, they’re considered demons, fairies, or other spirits. They appear ordinary, usually manifesting as animals, and sometimes humans.

Permalink

The Italian manuscript Lusus naturae, Human and Natural Monstrosities, 18th Century, contained 54 watercolor illustrations of beasts and men with medical conditions or deformities, along with unworldly creatures. Source: John Rylands Library

Permalink

The Markawasi stone forest in the Andes Mountains, a sacred place filled with mysterious boulders shaped like animals and human faces, is said to contain a dimensional door. In one account, a traveler accidentally crossed-over and discovered an other-worldly stone cabin lit by torches and inhabited by dancers in 17th century attire. Upon returning to our world, she was paralyzed on her left side.

Permalink

Images from a German alchemical manuscript, Alchemica, 15th Century. Source: The John Rylands Library

Permalink

An illustration of a witches sabbath with the Devil seated in the center from Laurent Bordelon’s satirical work A History of the Ridiculous Extravagancies of Monsieur Oufle, 1710. Similar to Don Quixote, the titular character reads too many books, in this case books on “Magick, the Black-Art, Daemoniacks, Conjurers, Witches etc”, and it rots his brain, causing him to have fantastic delusions. Image: University of Glasgow Library. Full French text: archive.org


📖 Purchase Book (affiliate link, free digital version linked above)

Permalink

Emoniel is the 5th wandering infernal prince of the forest. He commands 100 lesser princes and chief dukes, with over a thousand spirits below them. Being an airy demon, it’s hard to see him without the use of a crystal. Image: Stiller Beobachter (modified)

Permalink

Based on the work of Paracelsus, Robert Fludd devised an alchemical theory of creation wherein god separated the materials of the universe out of a chaotic prima materia, in the same way that an alchemist in a laboratory would do. These engravings from the History of the Two Worlds, 1617, illustrated his wild theories. Source: archive.org


📖 Purchase Book (affiliate link, free digital version linked above)

Permalink

The Ngondo is yearly festival in Douala, Cameroon. A ceremony is performed by the jengu cult, in which a devotee enters the water to visit the kingdom of the miengu. Miengu (plural for jengu) are mermaid-like spirits with long hair and beautiful gap-teeth, who bestow good luck to devotees, cure diseases and allow them to communicate with the world of spirits. Image: Photokadaffi on Wikimedia Commons

Permalink

Pendants like these, carved from ivory or bone, represent characters in proverbs from Bwami, an educational system that taught the values of the Lega people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They were owned by men and women of the highest ranks of Bwami, who were the intellectual, moral, and political elite. Source: National Museum of African Art, Late 18th Century

Permalink

In Welsh culture, professional sin-eaters attended funerals to ritualistically eat a meal over the corpse to absorb the deceased’s sins. Every sin stayed with them until their own death, and they were often social outcasts because of the spiritual uncleanliness they accumulated. One has to wonder if sin-eaters would eat the sins of other sin-eaters, passing the spiritual debt down for generations. Image: Two Old Ones Eating Soup, Francisco Goya, 1819

Permalink

Diagrams of Alchemical Processes from Das Buch mit Sieben Siegeln, Anonymous, ca. 1700. From Manly P Hall’s Collection of Alchemical Manuscripts, Box 4.MS 19.Vol 2

Permalink

The Pooka or Puca or Pwca is a shape-shifting creature from Celtic foklore that can change into a horse, goat, cat, dog, or hare. If they take human form, they’ll have an animal feature like ears or a tail. Pookas are tricksters and can bring good or bad fortune. The character of Puck in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream was based on this creature. Image: British Goblins, W Sikes, 1881


📖 Purchase Book (affiliate link, free digital version linked above)

Permalink