Richard Tennant Cooper, 1910. Image © source

Pseudomonarchia Daemonum

Johann Weyer

Pseudomonarchia Daemonum, also known as the False Hierarchy of Demons , is a great compendium from the 16 th century dictating the names of sixty-nine demons.  The title itself indicates that the demonic monarchy depicted in the text is false, in many ways an insult to those who determinedly believe in the demons of hell.  The list initially appeared as an appendix to Johann Weyer's first book about demonology and witchcraft, De Praestigiis Daemonum et Incantationibus ac Venificiisi, and was said by the author himself to have been inspired by an earlier text discussing spirits and demons.  Yet, it is Weyer's work—not his predecessor's—that came to be known by renowned psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud as "one of the ten most significant books of all time." – Ryan Stone


Witchcraft in the Middle Ages

Jeffrey Burton Russell

Expert on the devil turns his pen to Satan’s female disciples. Sexist Christianity combines with secular mythology to create “the witch,” a wholly fabricated reading of female nature that caused thousands of innocent women to be tortured and killed, some for the mere ‘sin’ of having a wart in the wrong place. On coupling with demons: “The new dimension of ritual intercourse had further significance. Though demons could act at will as either incubi or sucubi, ritual coupling was usually ascribed to women rather than to men. This is because the popular imagination made the devil, like God, masculine, although Christian philosophy considered demons, like angels, sexless; and because the ancient Pauline-patristic tradition judged the female sex to be weaker than the male physically, mentally and morally. William of Auvergne argued that it was women rather than men who deluded themselves into believing that they rode out at night because their minds were feebler and more subject to illusion.” GR

Publisher: Cornell University
Paperback: 394 pages

Women of the Golden Dawn: Rebels and Priestesses — Maud Gonne, Moina Bergson Mathers, Annie Horniman, Florence Farr

Mary Greer

“Tells the story of four magical women who acted outside the boundaries of accepted codes of behavior and heralded the birth of a new age and a new kind of woman. In the heart of the repressive Victorian era, aristocratic revolutionary Maud Gonne, psychic channel Moina Bergson Mathers, patron of the arts Annie Horniman and actress Florence Farr formed the heart of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Their imaginative skills, determination and belief in their own abilities worked a kind of great magic that transformed not only themselves but politics, literature and the Western traditions of alchemy, astrology, Hermeticism and ceremonial magic as well. Today’s woman can draw from the knowledge, struggles and triumphs of these uncompromising spiritual foremothers to help achieve her own self-esteem, power and wisdom.”

Publisher: Park Street
Paperback: 576 pages

The World of Ghosts and the Supernatural

Richard Cavendish

It’s by Richard Cavendish, editor of and contributor to the influential Man, Myth and Magic encyclopedia series (the leading candidate for theft at every junior high library), so it must be of a reputable nature. Equal coverage of spirituality and the supernatural makes the title inaccurate. Divided by continent, the highlights include: spectral time slips at Versailles and stones of mystery in Europe; Day of the Dead, Santería, and the Winchester Mystery House in North America; psychic surgery, the Nasca lines and the Antonio Villas Boas alien abduction (the first ever recorded) in South America; King Solomon’s mines, the ‘holy mountain’ and cults in Africa; shamanism in Siberia, sacred sex and spiritual ecstasy in Asia; cargo cults, ominous UFOs and South Sea spirits in the Pacific. Each continent is mapped (with each story pinpointed), and the entire volume is liberally sprinkled with illustrations and photographs. SK

Publisher: Facts on File
Hardback: 160 pages

The X-Rated Bible

Ben Akerley

“A real revelation—that the Bible is one of the lewdest, most licentious, and vilest books ever printed.”

Publisher: American Atheist
Paperback: 428 pages

The Yezidis, or Devil Worshipers: Their Beliefs and Sacred Books

Alphonse Mingana

“A scholarly examination of this mysterious Middle Eastern sect with ideas on origin and cosmology.”

Publisher: Holmes

The Yoga of Power: Tantra, Shakti and the Secret Way

Julius Evola

Evola introduces two Hindu movements, tantraism and Shaktiism, which both emphasize action and mastery of energies latent in the body. He traces these influences in Hinduism from the 4th century onward with an in-depth study of Vamachara—”The Way of the Left Hand.” During our current time of dissolution and decadence known in Hindu cosmology as the Kali Yuga, one can no longer dismiss the physical as mere illusion, but instead must grapple with and ultimately transform the powerful and destructive forces in this present age. Evola draws from original texts to document methods of self-mastery including the awakening of serpent power, initiatory sexual magic and invoking the sacred mantras of power. SC

Publisher: Inner Traditions
Paperback: 238 pages