20th century

A sorcerer casting a shadow of The Devil by candle light. 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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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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Depiction of an alchemist’s lab from Alchemy, Its Science and Romance, John Edward Mercer, 1921. Image processed and colorized by Eve Harms. Original source: archive.org

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An alchemist next to their athanor, the furnace used to create slow and steady heat for alchemical digestion. Also known as the Philosophical furnace, Slow Henry (Piger Henricus), Furnace of Arcana, and the Tower furnace. From Alchemy: Ancient and Modern by H. Stanley Redgrove, 1911. Colorized by Eve Harms. Licensed under CC0


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Alchemical art from Alchemy: Ancient and Modern by H. Stanley Redgrove, 1911. The sea represents the body, and the two fish represent the Soul and Spirit. Colorized by Eve Harms. Licensed under CC0


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Charts representing the relationship between masculine and feminine qualities within individuals, and as essential principles. From “Le serpent de la Genèse” (The Serpent of Genesis) Volume 2, by Stanislas de Guaita, 1920. Source: Embassy of the Free Mind


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Drawing representing balance between masculine and feminine in a chapter about equilibrium from “Le serpent de la Genèse” (The Serpent of Genesis) Volume 2, by Stanislas de Guaita, 1920. Source: Embassy of the Free Mind


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Image with alchemical symbolism from the chapter on Alchemy in “Le serpent de la Genèse” (The Serpent of Genesis) Volume 2, by Stanislas de Guaita, 1920. Source: Embassy of the Free Mind


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Depiction of a sorcerer’s lair from the chapter entitled “Inventory of the Sorcerer’s Arsenal” in the book “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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This Ritual Mask, currently housed in Museum of Witchcraft and Magic in Cornwall, belonged to Alex Sanders, also known as Verbius, who was an English occultist and High Priest in the Pagan religion of Wicca.

During his black magic period, he got a job at the John Rylands Library in Manchester. An accusation that he defecated in the library basement led to the discovery that stole pages from a 19th century edition of the S.L Mathers translation of the ‘Key of Solomon’. Image: Ethan Doyle White CC-BY-SA

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The Prophecies of Paracelsus is a book with 32 prophecies, each with a woodcut full of symbolism to expand on it. The prophecies are cryptic and vague, with much allegorical symbolism, and can be easily reinterpreted to apply to any situation. Source: Wellcome Library


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