This volume presents students and scholars with a comprehensive overview of the fascinating world of the occult. It explores the history of Western occultism, from ancient and medieval sources via the Renaissance, right up to the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and contemporary occultism. Written by a distinguished team of contributors, the essays consider key figures, beliefs and practices as well as popular culture.
Lily Adams Beck studied the occult knowledge throughout her life and with this books she gives back some of her insights to the reader. What she writes was very visionary at her time, especially when she talks about the other dimensions and planes.
"The Occult of Today Is the Science of Tomorrow." I have chosen this motto for my book relating to the occult, for it is an attempt to describe the (at first) very small experiences and knowledge which led me to see the reality of the true occult world lying like an almost uncharted country behind the thick jungle of fraud and charlatanry, and which have led me also to state in comparative detail what I found on my journey and the conclusions it compelled. I use the illustration of "going through the Looking Glass" for two excellent reasons. Firstly, everyone knows that remarkable story of Alice, dear to two or three generations, and how she passed through the Looking Glass to the queer upside-down sort of country behind it. Secondly, few people realize that the book is a wonderful parable of how you can get through the mere reflections of things into the reality behind them if only you know the way. Carroll, who was a great mathematician, knew of the undiscovered country from that point of view. I found a very different road and as a matter of fact there are almost as many roads as there are people. The country behind the Looking Glass, generally called the Occult world, is reality, and the daily world we live in is Shadow-land though the reflections look so hard and bright and real that they take most of us in.
Examining the intersection of occult spirituality, text, and gender, this book provides a compelling analysis of the occult revival in literature from the 1880s through the course of the twentieth century. Bestselling novels such as The Da Vinci Code play with magic and the fascination of hidden knowledge, while occult and esoteric subjects have become very visible in literature during the twentieth century. This study analyses literature by women occultists such as Alice Bailey, Dion Fortune, and Starhawk, and revisits texts with occult motifs by canonical authors such as Sylvia Townsend Warner, Leonora Carrington, and Angela Carter. This material, which has never been analysed in a literary context, covers influential movements such as Theosophy, Spiritualism, Golden Dawn, Wicca, and Goddess spirituality. Wallraven engages with the question of how literature functions as the medium for creating occult worlds and powerful identities, particularly the female Lucifer, witch, priestess, and Goddess. Based on the concept of ancient wisdom, the occult in literature also incorporates topical discourses of the twentieth century, including psychoanalysis, feminism, pacifism, and ecology. Hence, as an ever-evolving discursive universe, it presents alternatives to religious truth claims that often lead to various forms of fundamentalism that we encounter today. This book offers a ground-breaking approach to interpreting the forms and functions of occult texts for scholars and students of literary and cultural studies, religious studies, sociology, and gender studies.
Ways of thinking and the corresponding spiritual and social structures in any period of time are not accidental but are brought about by certain groups of human beings working systematically for good or evil. Steiner gives an account of the activity of these groups working behind the scenes in the 19th century and points out their effects even in our time.
"Music has often attempted to express mystical states of mind, cosmic harmony, the demonic and the divine. This wide-ranging survey explores how such film music works and uncovers its origins in Pythagorean and Platonic ideas about the divine order of the universe and its essentially numerical/musical nature"--