oldmanuscripts

Emblems from Manly P. Hall’s collection of alchemical manuscripts, 1600, Box 4, MS 19. From: archive.org


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Ubume is a yokai that’s a ghost of a pregnant woman. She appears as a woman carrying a baby who hands the child off before vanishing. The recipient soon finds the baby is actually a heavy rock or bundle of leaves. To prevent women from becoming Ubume, their unborn child was removed and placed beside them in their grave. From Bakemono No E

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The Triangular Book of St. Germain Is a French manuscript written in code. When deciphered, it gives instructions on how to use magic to locate treasure and prolong your life, which requires a special amulet. The shape is thought to ensure the spirits called will be honest and dutiful. From Manly P. Hall’s collection of Alchemical Manuscripts, Box 34 MS. 209, 1750.

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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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Alchemical Diagrams from De Roode Leeuw, of het Sout der Philosophen (The Red Lion, or the Sout of the Philosophers) by Goossen van Vreeswyk, 1672. Source: Embassy of the Free Mind

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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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Images from Geestelyke Natuurkunde by Johan Jacob Scheuchzer, 1728. Scheuchzer’s tome, whose title translates to “Spiritual Physics”, depicted spiritual phenomena and bible stories along with diagrams of animal biology, geology, astronomy, and other sciences. 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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The Ushi-Oni is a spider-like, ox-headed yokai (supernatural creature) from Japanese folklore who appears on beaches, mountains, forests, swamps, and lakes. They’re savage beasts who spit poison and love to kill and eat humans and livestock. Image: Hyakkai-Zukan

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In this image, from Hermaphrodite Child of the Sun and Moon by Johann Augustin Brunnhofer (1752), the green lion represents the “blossoming of life”. The lion grows by devouring Mercury, which it excretes “as thick as tar”. Above the circle is the symbolic hermaphrodite. Source: Embassy of the Free Mind

Translation of Hermaphrodite Child of the Sun and Moon from levity.com

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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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