By Lewis Spence
The main recognized compendium of data at the occult and the 1st accomplished paintings of its variety, this quantity initially seemed in 1920. Subtitled "A Compendium of data at the Occult Sciences, Occult Personalities, Psychic technology, Magic, Demonology, Spiritism, Mysticism and Metaphysics," it was once compiled by way of Lewis Spence, the writer of diverse books on folklore, mythology and occult-related topics. Its 2,500 dictionary-style entries (many of which run to numerous pages) diversity from recognized phrases ("abracadabra," "poltergeist," "spells," "vampire") to extra arcane subject matters, and comprise listings for old figures with ties to the occult comparable to Nostradamus, John Dee, Mary Baker Eddy, and Catherine de Medici. An oft-cited source and a vintage of its style, this variation gives you to take pleasure in an quick and lasting reputation.
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Extra resources for An Encyclopaedia of Occultism
In this state the eyes were tightly shut, the face grimacing, often excessively and horribly changed, the voice repugnant, full of shrill cries, deep groans, coarse words; the speech expressing the joy of inﬂicting hurt or cursing God and the universe, addressing terrible threats now to the doctor, now to the patient herself. . 7 The representation of the volatile body of a possessed woman produces an ambivalent power that attracts the reader’s fascination. The power of possession accounts is similar to that of ghost stories and raises a question that is epistemologically impossible to verify: Is there a deity wielding her body’s rage?
In contrast to Oesterreich, she argues that humans will always be driven to experience alternate reality, and she predicts that phenomena such as possession will continue to erupt, even in modern, urban environments. Nevertheless, in a telling section of her earliest research into Christian glossalalia (speaking in tongues when the Holy Spirit has entered one’s body), she ﬁnds herself in a diﬃcult position because she needs to maintain her subject’s trust to gather her data, though she does not want to lie when asked her opinion about the real cause of this speech.
The engagement I hope to initiate with second-wave scholars is to bring the recent advances made in theories of agency to bear upon the representation of religious bodies. Possessed women ﬁgure predominantly in literature from Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Africa; this presence is being examined by scholars such as Carolyn Cooper and Mae Gwendolyn Henderson, who argue that the body that is spoken through is a profound symbol of the experience and agency of women of color. 34 Studying possession and possessed women as an important element of the text, Doris Bargen opens the ground for new critical insight into the text, though she does not discuss the possibility that a diﬀerent model of subjectivity and agency is to be found in these characters.