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


The Concise Lexicon of the Occult

Gerina Dunwich

“GHEDE: In voodoo, the loa of death Ghede is the loa invoked at the close of every Rada ceremony. He is said to dress in the colorful attire of a clown or court jester, and often wears between his legs a giant wooden phallus, sings dirty songs in a nasal voice and delights in embarrassing people in a sexual way (see RADA, see LOA, see VOODOO)… NAVKY: In Slavic folklore, the spirits of unbaptized or murdered children who appear as baby girls rocking in tree branches and wailing in the night. It is said that some navky beg passersby for baptism, while other, more vengeful ones, lure unwitting travelers into dangerous places. In Yugoslavia, the navky are said to appear in the form of great black birds whose cries could chill the soul of a man… (see BAPTISM).” GR

Publisher: Citadel
Paperback: 215 pages

Cosmos, Chaos, and the World To Come: The Ancient Roots of Apocalyptic Faith

Norman Cohn

The author has done an admirable job of thoroughly researching his subject. Weaving a virtual tapestry of apocalyptic exegesis, the author transports the reader through the various stages of mankind’s apocalyptic visions, from Egypt to Persia, ancient Mesopotamia, India and, of course, Judaic and Christian revelations. JB

Publisher: Yale University
Paperback: 271 pages

Crimes of Perception

Leonard George

An encyclopedic account of the most significant heresies and heretics that have shaped the conventional world view in Western culture. While emphasizing the heretical currents in Christianity, Judaism and the occult traditions, this volume also includes heresies involved with Eastern Christianity—Monophysitism, Nestorianism, Monotheletism and Bogomilism. The story of heresy, it quickly becomes clear, is one filled with accounts of bravery, stupidity, cruelty, devotion, surrender and awe—”a carnival of human passions,” as George describes it. Some of the more bizarre items include: Abraham Abulafia, the 12th-century Spanish messiah who marched on Rome in order to convert the Pope to Judaism; Abbe Guiborg, ringleader of a Satanic group that conducted magic rituals (including human sacrifices) in an attempt to control King Louis XIV’s love life; and Brother Twelve, the charismatic mystic who established an Aquarian community (complete with personal harem and heavily armed fortress) on the West Coast during the 1920s. With over 600 detailed entries, cross-references, a listing of entries organized by topic and an exhaustive bibliography of suggestions for further reading, Crimes of Perception is an enjoyable, highly readable collection of the major ideas, practices and persons deemed renegade by orthodoxies throughout Western history. MDG

Publisher: Paragon House
Hardback: 358 pages

Cuchama and Sacred Mountains

W.Y. Evans-Wentz

“W.Y. Evans-Wentz, great Buddhist scholar and translator of such now-familiar works as The Tibetan Book of the Dead and The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation, spent his final years in California. There, in the shadow of Cuchama, one of the Earth’s holiest mountains, he began to explore the astonishing parallels between the spiritual teachings of America’s native peoples and that of the deeply mystical Hindus and Tibetans… To Cuchama, “Exalted High Place,” came the young Cochimi and Yuma boys for initiation into the mystic rites for their people. In solitude they sought and received guidance and wisdom. In this same way, the peoples of ancient Greece, the Hebrews, the early Christians, and the Hindus had found access to inner truth on their own holy mountains; and in this same way must the modern person find the path to inner knowing.”

Publisher: Ohio University
Paperback: 196 pages

The Death and Resurrection of the Beloved Son: The Transfiguration of Child Sacrifice in Judaism and Christianity

Jon D. Levenson

A Jewish theologian and expert in ancient Near Eastern languages at Harvard University demonstrates how the shared historic basis of Judaism and Christianity is in child sacrifice—the “offering of the first-born son.” Through cross-cultural comparisons to Canaanite and Phoenician religious practices and contemporary interpretations of the original Hebrew and Aramaic Bible verses, Levenson explores how the practice of ritually sacrificing the first-born son was once a demonstration of extreme piety in ancient Israel—substitution of an animal like a ram was an option for the less devout petitioners to Yahweh. Establishes parallels between Abraham’s near-sacrifice of Isaac (substituted for by a lamb) and God’s sacrifice of his own beloved first son, Jesus (also known as the Lamb). SS

Publisher: Yale University
Paperback: 257 pages

Demons in the World Today

Merrill Unger and Brooks Alexander

“A lonely man attends a seance, seeking to communicate with the spirit of his deceased wife. A woman is anxious about the future, and her friend points her to the horoscope column in the daily paper. Schoolgirls join a witches’ coven and practice hexes on classmates! A study of the occult in light of God’s Word. This book exposes the power of demonic spirits and points the way to deliverance.”

Publisher: Tyndale
Paperback: 336 pages

The Devil: Perceptions of Evil from Antiquity to Primitive Christianity

Jeffrey Burton Russell

God has one book [the Bible), and the devil has five in this colorful series on the philosophy, theology, art, literature and popular culture of Christian demonology. “This series constitutes the most complete historical study ever made of the figure called the second most famous personage in Christianity.” GR

Publisher: Cornell University
Paperback: 276 pages

The Devil’s Dictionary

Ambrose Bierce

Barbed, bitter, brilliant witticisms in the form of a dictionary: “CONTEMPT, n. The feeling of a prudent man for an enemy who is too formidable safely to be opposed. EGOIST, A person of low taste, more interested in himself than in me. MAUSOLEUM, n. The final and funniest folly of the rich.”

Publisher: Dover
Paperback: 139 pages

The Devil’s Disciples: Makers of the Salem Witchcraft Trials

Peter Charles Hoffer

The author meticulously investigates the outbreak of hysteria in the small Massachusetts colony of Salem, which led to the infamous witch-hunt conducted under the auspices of the tyrannical Cotton Mather. His presentation of materials from the trials along with his unique interpretation provides a glimpse into the bizarre apparatus propelled by religious fanaticism and superstition, which unleashed the scourge of God against the accused and hapless “witches” and “sorcerers.” JB

Publisher: Johns Hopkins University
Hardback: 279 pages

The Devil’s Disciples: The Truth About Rock

Jeff Godwin

“Read about: What REALLY goes on at rock concerts; Satanic subliminals and back-masked messages; the 10 most dangerous groups; the Lennon-Manson connection; and how to keep rock out of your town!”

Publisher: Chick
Paperback: 352 pages