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Inside The 18th-Century ‘Compendium Of Demonology And Magic,’ An Illustrated Guide To Hell

Whether it’s ghastly demons or grisly execution scenes, this occultists’ tome and witchcraft manual remains as haunting today as it was in 1775.

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Compendium Of Demonology And Magic
Photo Credit: Ancient Origins

Hybrid demons, cabalistic symbols, dancing skeletons, and dark spells of magic — these are only some of the occult elements that fill the pages of the mysterious 18th-century manuscript entitled Compendium Of Demonology And Magic. Though we may never know who created the book and why, there’s one thing we do know for certain: this book is not for the faint of heart.

The Compendium Of Demonology And Magic

In 1775, someone — likely a worshipper of the occult — made it their business to compile a collection of astonishingly detailed illustrations of demons and magical rituals into one book. That book is now known as the Compendium Of Demonology And Magic.

Its original title was actually Compendium Rarissimum Totius Artis Magicae Sistematisatae Per Celeberrimos Artis Hujus Magistros, which roughly translates to “A Rare Summary Of The Entire Magical Art By The Most Famous Masters Of This Art.”

Written in a mixture of German and Latin, the 18th-century demonic guide opens with an eerie page adorned by skeletons and a warning that reads “noli me tangere,” meaning “do not touch me.”

Its pages contain remarkably vivid drawings depicting over 30 kinds of beastly creatures from Hell as shown in the gallery above.

Evidence of the occult has been found throughout history in different parts of the world.

The illustrations appear to be watercolour and are mostly drawn on white, brown, and grey-green paper. The figures themselves are extremely dark and disturbing in nature but nonetheless fascinating to look at.

Among the bizarre demons, you’ll find a giant red figure with black wings, large eyes, and snakes jutting out from its forehead. It’s caught mid-spring, coming out of the ground with smoke and fire as it feeds on a bloody meal of what appear to be human limbs.

Another graphic demon depicted among the book’s artwork is a creature so grotesque and mismatched in its anatomy that it resembles a Frankenstein experiment from Hell.

This demon has fire jutting out of its ears, large fangs, a misshapen abdomen covered in spots, and hooved feet. But the most disturbing thing about this figure is what it is doing: birthing small dragon-like creatures.

In addition to the demonic drawings, the author also drew what appear to be visual instructions that may be used as a reference in performing the mystic rituals written in the book.

Some of these scenes could be related to necromancy, which is the act of communicating with the dead to read, and possibly control, the future. There are also a few pages of cabalistic symbols.

The book’s origins are obscure and its author remains unknown. But the misdated “year 1057” written on its cover suggests that whoever created the compendium was likely trying to pass it off as an ancient manuscript of sorts. The physical book is under the custody of the Wellcome Library in London, United Kingdom.

Historic Manuscripts Of The Occult
The Codex Gigas, otherwise known as the “Devil’s Bible.”

The Compendium Of Demonology And Magic, though entirely gripping in its vivid illustrations of satanic creatures, is not the only manuscript relating to witchcraft from earlier centuries.

In the 16th century, a Dutch doctor-turned-occult-practitioner named Johann Weyer published Pseudomonarchia Daemonum — known by its English title as the False Hierarchy of Demons — which was a similar compendium written in Latin. Its pages contained the names of 69 demons.

According to Weyer himself, he created the mystic book based on an earlier text about spirits and demons written by another practitioner, though it’s unclear what work he was referring to.

Weyer’s Pseudomonarchia Daemonum, which was not his first work on demonology, was declared by Sigmund Freud as “one of the ten most significant books of all time.”

Even older still is the Codex Gigas, the largest medieval manuscript in the world, measuring at a whopping 36 inches tall, 20 inches wide, and nearly nine inches thick. Historians believe it likely took over 20 years to complete the book.

Could it be any smaller when the entirety of its pages contains a multitude of texts from the Old Testament and New Testament to the Chronicle of Bohemia by Cosmas?

Illustration of the demon Buer, by Luis Breton. According to Weyer’s book, Buer is the president of Hell.

But most striking is perhaps the large demonic illustration that inexplicably sits in the middle of the massive book.

Due to its old age and the effects of war, the true origin of the Codex Gigas has been lost to history. But legend has it that the entire manuscript was written in a fortnight by a monk named Herman the Recluse who was nearly buried alive for breaking his vows.

To win back his freedom, the monk obliged to write a book containing all the world’s knowledge overnight.

Ironically, the monk summoned the devil to help him with the herculean task in exchange for his soul, which is how the odd drawing inside the book allegedly came to be. The historic relic, now called the “Devil’s Bible,” sits on display at the National Library of Sweden in Stockholm.

Unfortunately, the real stories behind some of these curious manuscripts will forever remain untold.

This article (Inside The 18th-Century ‘Compendium Of Demonology And Magic,’ An Illustrated Guide To Hell) was originally created for All That Interesting and is published here under Creative Commons.

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Esoteric/Occult

28,000-Year-Old Woolly Mammoth Cells Brought Back To Life By Scientists

Cells from a woolly mammoth that died around 28,000 years ago have begun showing “signs of life” during a ground-breaking scientific experiment.

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28,000-Year-Old Woolly Mammoth Cells Brought Back To Life By Scientists
Photo Credit: www.mprnews.org

The young woolly mammoth was dug out of Siberian permafrost in 2011. With the species being extinct for about 4,000 years, finding such a relatively intact specimen was big news – particularly since this one was 28,000 years old.

Scientists have since been eager to find out how viable the biological materials of the uncovered mammoth still are, all those millennia later. Now researchers at Kindai University in Japan have found that its DNA is partially intact – and apparently they are well in the game to restore this huge prehistoric mammal back among the living.

If they succeed, it could look something like this (at first).

Model depicting mammoth calf, Stuttgart. Image credit: Apotea

Anyway, it all comes down to the fact that the scientists at the university have managed to extract nuclei from the mammoth’s cells and transplant them into mouse oocytes – cells found in ovaries that are capable of forming an egg cell after genetic division.

After that, the cells from the 28,000-year-old specimen started to show “signs of biological activities.”

A time-lapse of mouse oocyte cells injected with mammoth nuclei. Kindai University/Scientific Reports
A time-lapse of mouse oocyte cells injected with mammoth nuclei. Kindai University/Scientific Reports

“This suggests that, despite the years that have passed, cell activity can still happen and parts of it can be recreated,” said study author Kei Miyamoto from the Department of Genetic Engineering at Kindai University.

Five of the cells even showed highly unexpected and very promising results, namely signs of activity that usually only occur immediately preceding cell division.

Frozen mammoth calf “Lyuba” – it still had food in its stomach, Royal BC Museum. Image credit: Ruth Hartnup

Establishing whether the mammoth DNA could still function wasn’t an easy task. Researchers began by taking bone marrow and muscle tissue samples from the animal’s leg. These were then analysed for the presence of undamaged nucleus-like structures, which, once found, were extracted.

Once these nuclei cells were combined with mouse oocytes, mouse proteins were added, revealing some of the mammoth cells to be perfectly capable of nuclear reconstitution. This, finally, suggested that even 28,000-year-old mammoth remains could harbour active nuclei.

Meaning, something like, that resurrecting a specimen like this one would be quite possible.

Royal Victoria Museum, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, 2018
Royal Victoria Museum, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, 2018

While Miyamoto admits that “we are very far from recreating a mammoth,” plenty of researchers attempting to use gene editing to do so are confident that, that achievement is around the corner. Recent efforts, using the controversial CRISPR gene editing tool, are arguably the most promising, of late.

But do we really need to resurrect a species that went extint a long time ago?

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Esoteric/Occult

This Ancient Egyptian Map To The Underworld Is The Oldest Illustrated Book Ever Found

The book contained incantations for the deceased so that she could ward off evil spirits and demons in her journey toward the underworld.

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This Ancient Egyptian Map To The Underworld Is The Oldest Illustrated Book Ever Found
Photo Credit: Werner Forman/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Even those who know little of ancient Egypt’s mysteries have heard of the infamous Book of the Dead. And now, researchers have found a similar text that not only predates that one, but may also be the oldest illustrated book ever uncovered.

According to The New York Times, Egyptologists found parts of an illustrated “book” that served as a guide to reach Rostau — the Underworld ruled by Osiris, the Egyptian god of death.

The incredible discovery, published in the Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, happened at the village Dayr al-Barsha (or Deir el-Bersha) where the cliff-side necropolis of the region’s governors who ruled during Egypt’s Middle Kingdom were laid to rest inside elaborately decorated tombs.

In 2012, guided by archaeologist Harco Willems from Belgium’s University of Leuven, a team of researchers investigated one of the five burial shafts located inside the tomb complex of Ahanakht. Twenty feet down inside the burial shaft, the team found the remains of a sarcophagus that appeared to be completely undisturbed despite the previous presence of grave robbers and other archaeologists at the site.

Fragments from a Book of Two Ways discovered on the coffin of a woman named Ankh inside the necropolis of Deir el-Bersha.
Fragments from a Book of Two Ways discovered on the coffin of a woman named Ankh inside the necropolis of Deir el-Bersha.

Judging by the remains and the setup of the sarcophagus, it belonged to an elite woman named Ankh who was related to an elite government official. Her cedar coffin had deteriorated due to being overrun by fungi but upon closer inspection, the crumbling casket revealed something unexpected.

Inside the sarcophagus were remarkable etchings explicitly quoting from the Book Of Two Ways, which is made up of hieroglyphs and illustrations describing Ankh’s wayward journey into the afterlife.

These ‘coffin texts’ tend to situate the deceased in the world of the gods,” Willems said. “Sometimes they are combined with drawings. At Deir el-Bersha, one frequently encounters Books of Two Ways.”

The ancient Egyptians were obsessed with life in all its forms,” explained Rita Lucarelli, an Egyptology curator at the University of California, Berkeley. “Death for them was a new life.”

Now, researchers have yet again uncovered evidence that ancient Egypt’s elaborate death customs sometimes included providing the dead with these “coffin texts” so that they could make their way to the underworld. Remarkably, each person had their own version of the text that was customized based on their status and wealth.

Ankh’s guide texts incorporated incantations to help her ward off the demons she encountered on her journey. The arduous trip to reach Rostau, the markings proclaimed, would be plagued by obstacles of fire, demons, and spirits that she would have to overcome.

This one begins with a text encircled by a red line designated as ‘ring of fire,’” Willems said. “The text is about the sun god passing this protective fiery ring to reach Osiris.”

Judgement scene from the Book Of The Dead, the corpus of Egyptian funerary texts that the Book Of Two Ways predates.
Judgement scene from the Book Of The Dead, the corpus of Egyptian funerary texts that the Book Of Two Ways predates.

Researchers estimated the age of Ankh’s sarcophagus texts based on inscriptions and other relics found nearby that referred to the reign of Pharaoh Mentuhotep II, who ruled until 2010 B.C.E. That means the original manual from which these texts were copied would be at least 4,000 years old, likely making it the world’s oldest illustrated book ever found.

The team furthermore found two dozen extant texts of the Book Of Two Ways maps inside the burial shaft. Most etchings have been difficult to make out but the scientists believe the depictions likely illustrate rituals to bring deceased gods or dead humans back to life, symbolizing rebirth in Egyptian culture.

Perhaps further study will only help unravel more of the mysteries stirred up by this fascinating find.

This article (This Ancient Egyptian Map To The Underworld Is The Oldest Illustrated Book Ever Found) was originally created for All That Interesting and is published here under Creative Commons.

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Esoteric/Occult

Eye Of Horus: The True Meaning Of An Ancient, Powerful Symbol

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Eye of Horus: The True Meaning of an Ancient, Powerful Symbol
Photo Credit: (Jon Bodsworth / Wikimedia)

The Eye of Horus is one of the best-known symbols of ancient Egypt. Known also as the Wadjet, this magical symbol is believed to provide protection, health, and rejuvenation. Due to its powerful protective powers, the Eye of Horus was popularly used by the ancient Egyptians, both the living and the dead, as amulets. Even today, the Eye of Horus continues to be used as a symbol of protection.

The Dramatic Origin – A Story of Betrayal and Murder

The origin of the Eye of Horus may be found in the myth of Set and Osiris. The ancient Egyptians believed that Osiris was the king of Egypt and that his brother, Set, desired his throne. Through trickery, Set succeeded in murdering his brother and became the new king. Osiris’ wife Isis, however, managed to bring her husband back to life temporarily through magic and became pregnant with Horus.

A rare sample of Egyptian terra cotta sculpture depicts Isis mourning Osiris. The sculpture portrays a woman raising her right arm over her head, a typical gesture of mourning. (Louvre Museum / Public Domain )
A rare sample of Egyptian terra cotta sculpture depicts Isis mourning Osiris. The sculpture portrays a woman raising her right arm over her head, a typical gesture of mourning. (Louvre Museum / Public Domain)
The Cost of Vengeance and the Gift of Restoration  

Osiris went on to become the god of the Underworld and Isis raised Horus on her own. When Horus reached adulthood, he sought to avenge the death of his father. Horus fought Set in a series of battles, and eventually vanquished his uncle. During these struggles, however, he lost one of his eyes. According to one version of the myth, Set had ripped out Horus’ eye, tore it up into six parts and threw it away. In another version, it was Horus himself who gouged his eye out, as a sacrifice to bring his father back from the dead. In any case, Horus’ lost eye was magically restored by either by Hathor (often regarded to be the consort of Horus), or by Thoth, the god of wisdom.

As Horus’ eye was magically restored, the ancient Egyptians believed that it possessed healing properties. Amulets of this symbol have been made using a variety of materials, including gold, lapis lazuli, and carnelian, and have been used as jewelry by both the living and the dead.

An ancient carving of the Eye of Horus ( Travis / Adobe Stock )
An ancient carving of the Eye of Horus (Travis / Adobe Stock)
Is the Eye of Horus a Magical Mathematical Symbol?

Interestingly, the Eye of Horus is not merely a magical symbol but is also an example of the mathematical knowledge acquired by the ancient Egyptians. In the myth mentioned before, Set tore Horus’ eye into six parts. As a symbol, the Eye of Horus contains six parts. Each of them was given a fraction as a unit of measurement – the right side of the eye is 1/2, the pupil 1/4, the eyebrow 1/8, the left side of the eye 1/16, the curved tail 1/32, and the teardrop 1/64. These fractions add up to 63/64, and the missing part is said to either represent the magical powers of Thoth or to illustrate that nothing is perfect.

In ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic orthography, isolated parts of the "Eye of Horus" symbol were believed to be used to write various fractions. (BenduKiwi / CC BY-SA 2.5 )

In ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic orthography, isolated parts of the “Eye of Horus” symbol were believed to be used to write various fractions. (BenduKiwi / CC BY-SA 2.5)
The Distinctive Meanings of the Parts of The Eye of Horus

Each of the six parts of the Eye of Horus corresponds to a different sense. The right side of the eye is associated with the sense of smell, as it is closest to the nose and resembles this organ. Needless to say, the pupil represents the sense of sight, while the eyebrow represents thought, as it can be used to express our thoughts. The left side of the eye represents the sense of hearing, as it points towards the ear, and has the shape of a musical instrument. The curved tail resembles a sprout from a planted stalk of wheat or grain. As a representation of food, this part of the Eye of Horus corresponds to the sense of taste. Finally, the teardrop is supposed to represent the sense of touch, as this part of the Eye represents a stalk being planted into the ground, an act that involves physical contact and touching.

How is The Eye of Horus Used Today?   

Although the ancient Egyptian civilization came to an end, the belief in the potency of the Eye of Horus continued and this symbol is still used by many today. As an example, in Mediterranean countries, fishermen would often paint this symbol on their vessels for protection. Additionally, many people still wear the Eye of Horus as jewellery, to protect themselves from the ill-will of others. Moreover, the Eye of Horus is popular amongst occultists, as well as conspiracy theorists, who view the Eye not only as a protective symbol, but also as one of power, knowledge, and illusion.

Two Eyes of Horus can be seen at the front of this traditional Luzzu boat at Marsaxlokk harbor in Malta ( Anibal Trejo / Adobe Stock ).
Two Eyes of Horus can be seen at the front of this traditional Luzzu boat at Marsaxlokk harbor in Malta ( Anibal Trejo / Adobe Stock).

This article (Eye Of Horus: The True Meaning Of An Ancient, Powerful Symbol) was originally created for Ancient Origins and is published here under Creative Commons.

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NASA’s Discovery Of Magnetic Portals That “Open & Close” Every Day May Connect To Ancient Esoteric Knowledge

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NASA’s Discovery Of Magnetic Portals That “Open & Close” Every Day May Connect To Ancient Esoteric Knowledge
Photo Credit: Getty

In 2012, NASA funded the research of Jack Scudder, from the University of Iowa, who studied a phenomenon unlike no other. He found that when the magnetic field of the Earth connected to the magnetic field of the Sun, a portal between time/space was created between them. Time-space is, “what we will experience if we are able to pierce the veil, 3 dimensions of time (past, present, and future) of wherever you are, which is the 1 dimension of space (yourself). To make an example of this imagine an apple. The outside of the apple is the infinite universe which is space/time. The inside of the apple is time/space which is a continuous loop that can be travelled.”- Jeff Delano.

Scudder termed these phenomenon ‘X-points’. After Scudder’s theory was examined by NASA, they flew a robotic spacecraft into one of these magnetic points which revealed that the X-point had the potential to transport objects directly into the Sun’s atmosphere. The distance from the Earth to the Sun is measured as one astronomical unit (AU) or 93 million miles away. This discovery was ground breaking because it questioned our understanding of known physics and opened the door to understanding the relationship between time and space. Even though we may not fully grasp the concept yet, it can serve as a stepping stone to better understand how our universe operates on a scale once thought too intangible.

You can check out NASA’s video on Schudder’s work here.
You can check out NASA’s video on Schudder’s work here.

Observations by NASA’s THEMIS spacecraft and Europe’s Cluster probes suggest that these magnetic portals open and close dozens of times each day. They’re typically located a few tens of thousands of kilometres from Earth where the geomagnetic field meets the onrushing solar wind. Most portals are small and short-lived; others are yawning, vast, and sustained. Tons of energetic particles can flow through the openings, heating Earth’s upper atmosphere, sparking geomagnetic storms, and igniting bright polar auroras. (NASA)

Deeper research into the X-point phenomena has proven to be challenging to study because they are unstable, largely invisible, and their behavior is unpredictable at this point. With this in mind, it has been perceived that ancient sites around the planet could have served, and still act as X points that transcend time and space. Could it have been possible that these X points on the Earth’s surface were used thousands of years ago by ancient civilizations? Let’s dive in.

There are many ancient traditions that describe locations around the world where one can travel from one place in the world to another. Many cultures also refer to an energy grid system that encompasses the Earth. In ancient Chinese text, they are known as dragon lines. In South America, the shaman’s referred to them as spirit lines. The ancient Aboriginals of Australia called them dream lines. Scudder would describe these as X-points but researchers like Freddy Silva would refer to them as star gates.

Sites such as Gobekli Tepe, Machu Picchu, Giza and Stonehenge are tied to the ancient portal hypothesis because they were built on top of what would be reported as an Earth grid system, which is linked to the larger electromagnetic web of the cosmos.

Freddy Silva, a best-selling author, and a leading researcher of ancient civilizations looked into the man who pioneered the term ley lines, Alfred Watkins.  Watkins’ work in ley lines could be indirectly describing what Shrduder would later call X-points. Silva explains the origins of ley line research on his website Invisible Temple. “

Freddy Silva, a best-selling author, and a leading researcher of ancient civilizations looked into the man who pioneered the term ley lines, Alfred Watkins. Watkins’ work in ley lines could be indirectly describing what Shrduder would later call X-points. Silva explains the origins of ley line research on his website Invisible Temple.“

In the 1920s, while photographing landmarks in Herefordshire, Alfred Watkins noticed how ancient sites, churches (built over such sites), sacred mounds, old pilgrim routes and standing stones were aligned in perfectly straight lines. He called them ley lines.

He went on to say, “in essence, Watkins re-discovered old esoteric knowledge which had maintained that temples and oracles all across the Earth were not placed haphazardly but according to certain — and since forgotten — geodetic laws.”

It is this exact reason why researchers believe these sites were established where they lie; to tap into the inter-dimensional highway of the universe. These sites could serve as the catalyst to a new renaissance of enlightenment for humanity that would revolutionize our understanding of the cosmos.

This article (NASA’s Discovery Of Magnetic Portals That “Open & Close” Every Day May Connect To Ancient Esoteric Knowledge) was originally created for Collective Evolution and is published here under Creative Commons.

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