19th century

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


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The nurikabe is a yokai whose name means “plaster wall” due to its ability to change into a tall invisible wall at night, confusing travelers. Some say poking on the bottom left of the wall will make it disappear, while others maintain it cannot be passed. Image: Bakemono No E, 1802

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Umibozu is a sea monster yokai who creates storms and breaks ships. Often appearing at night, the yokai will sometimes request a barrel from sailors, who would give a bottomless barrel so it wouldn’t drown them. In some regions, fishers sacrificed their first catch to the gods to prevent Umibozu’s appearance. Images: Bakemono no e, 18th Century & The sailor Tokuso and the sea monster by Utagawa Kuniyoshi, 1845

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Leviathan is a massive sea serpent that appears throughout the Hebrew Bible and related texts. Originally there was a female leviathan, but God killed it out of fear that they’d multiply and destroy the world. He saved the flesh of the beast for the banquet at tLeviathan is a massive sea serpent that appears throughout the Hebrew Bible and related texts. Originally there was a female leviathan, but God killed it out of fear that they’d multiply and destroy the world. He saved the flesh of the beast for the banquet at the advent of the Messiah.he advent of the Messiah. In Binsfeld’s classification of demons, Leviathan is considered the demon of envy. Image: Gustave Doré, 1865

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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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