The Christian occult?

April 14, 2017 Friday

So, um, no secret I have an interest in the occult. I have a whole subdomain dedicated to it, after all. Well, while doing some reading of old books in the public domain, I come across this:

Belles Lettres III. A Garden of Spiritual Flowers. An Elizabethan Book of Devotions: containing prayers for each day of the week, and others for sundry occasions.
". . . The true simplicity, joyous, strong, and grand, is to be found in these prayers." — T. H. L. in The Occult Review.

Um... Anybody else notice anything odd about this advertisement?

The publisher handled a wide range of beliefs, so I can understand there being various books on Christianity and Hinduism advertised close to each other, but for an occult magazine to positively review a Christian book is something else.

Makes me wonder how things used to be. One of the old 'mancys I was reading about recently was Rabdomancy. "The ancient form of divination by staves, mentioned by Ezekiel and Hosea. A staff was chosen and peeled on one side; it was then thrown in the air, and if, on falling to the ground, the peeled side was uppermost, but the reverse on the second trial, this was a happy omen." Not that taboo and complicated, but a divination 'mancy all the same. Done by the prophets. Hrm.

I know that one of the strong origins of science came from bored monks in monasteries who wished to understand the world better for the glory of God. And we know how Christianity and science get along these days. I'm starting to wonder if Christianity has a similar relationship with the occult. Obviously not the entire occult. Various methods of divination come from every human culture. But I am very curious about the part of the occult that used to be part of Christianity, Judaism, and the other Abrahamic faiths.

Recently I also stumbled across a chapter on how to summon demons. Among the many steps to take to keep from being immediately killed was to live a pure Christian life three days prior to the summoning, and do a ton of prayers, blessings, and consecrating before, during, and after the summoning. Usually whenever I've heard somebody go on about demon summoning, it was an ungodly "evil" person doing it. Not some godly "good" guy.

One book I am itching to get my hands on is called "Reincarnation and Christianity" by a clergyman of the Church of England, and is written from a standpoint of how the two used to be found in the same religion.

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