19th century

Agares is an infernal duke who commands 31 legions of lesser demons. When he appears, he rides a crocodile and carries a hawk. He teaches languages, finds runaways, causes earthquakes, and grants noble titles. Image: Dictionnaire Infernal, 1863


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Diagram from Crystal Gazing And The Wonders Of Clairvoyance by John Melville, 1896, that’s supposed to represent a “naturally” adept practitioner, unfortunately referencing phrenology. A reminder that occult sciences are not immune to the insidious effects of white supremacy. Source: archive.org


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Diagram of magickal instruments described in Trithemius’ Book of Secrets: a magic circle, crystal, the Holy Table of Arch Angel Michael, incense/herb burner, magic wand, and candles. From The Book of the Magi, Francis Barrett, 1896. Source: Wellcome Library


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A chart of characters used in Geomancy, a divination method that uses markings on the ground or tossing handfuls of earth, sand or rocks. These characters are identified in the arrangement and charts help interpret the meaning. From The Book of the Magi, Francis Barrett, 1896. Source: Wellcome Library


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In Irish folklore, a changeling is a fairy child that was left in place of a human child stolen by the fae. Changelings often appear exactly like a human children but with strange differences such as long teeth, a full beard, uncanny intelligence and odd behavior. Jinn from Arabic folklore are also known to steal human children and replace them with changelings. Image: Titania and the Changeling Child (detail) by John Anster Fitzgerald, 1832-1906

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The Björketorp runestone in Sweden is famous for being among the tallest in the world—and the ancient curse inscribed on it. The monument’s purpose is unknown, but the curse is clear: destroy the stone and be doomed, like the farmer who was burned alive trying to remove it. Image: Sveriges Montelius, 1877

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Man being persecuted by goblins and other spirits. From “Le serpent de la Genèse” (The Serpent of Genesis) Volume 1, by Stanislas de Guaita, 1920. Source: Embassy of the Free Mind


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In an Indian folktale, a Bodhisatta, known as the Prince of the Five Weapons, meets a demon, known as The Demon with Matted Hair, in a forest. Before it could devour him, the prince defeats the demon with discourse and reason, and turns him benevolent. Image: John Batten, 1892

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The Dance of Death or (Danse Macabre) is an allegory used in art and literature, popular in the Late Middle Ages, that uses the personification of death to remind us that death unites us all, regardless of one’s station in life. Sources: The Dance of Death (1493) by Michael Wolgemut and “The dance of death in painting and in print” (1887) by T. Tindall Wildridge

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Marchosias is 35th of the 72 Spirits of Solomon, and a marquis who rules over 30 legions of lesser demons. He usually appears as a she-wolf with wings, but can take the form of a man. He’s said to be one of the several spirits who hopes to return to heaven. From Dictionnaire Infernal, 1863⠀


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Foras is a great president who commands twenty-nine legions of spirits. He can grant magicians wit, eloquence, and longevity. He’s known for teaching logic, ethics, and magical uses of herbs and precious stones. He also finds treasure and lost items. From Dictionnaire Infernal, 1863. ⠀


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