Monsters Among Us: The History of the Occult and Supernatural

The world of the occult and supernatural has always fascinated and intrigued people throughout history. From ancient civilizations to modern times, tales of monsters, witches, and supernatural phenomena have captivated our imaginations. But why is this the case? And where did it all begin? Those are the questions that we want to tackle today. So, let’s explore a bit of the history of the occult.

Ancient Origins

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The roots of the occult and supernatural can be traced back to ancient civilizations such as Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Greece. Ancient texts, such as the Egyptian Book of the Dead and the Greek Oracles, provide us with insight into the beliefs and rituals that were performed back then.

In Mesopotamia, the ancient Sumerians believed in a pantheon of gods and goddesses who controlled various aspects of life. The Babylonians developed a complex system of astrology, which is basically how the horoscope was born.

It’s also no secret that ancient Egypt is famous for elaborate burial rituals. But also the construction of mystical monumental tombs, such as the iconic pyramids. And, of course, the Greek mythology is filled with stories of gods, heroes, and mythical creatures, such as Medusa and the Minotaur.

Medieval Witchcraft

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We can’t write this article without talking about the most well-known aspects of the occult — witchcraft. If you know anything about history, then you probably know that during the Middle Ages, the fear of witches and witchcraft reached its peak. They believed that there was an epidemic of evil witches who made pacts with the devil. To put an end to their dark magic practices, the infamous witch trials began.

The most infamous of these trials was the Salem witch trials in colonial Massachusetts. Sadly, numerous innocent people (mostly women) were accused and executed. Women, especially those who were marginalized or had unconventional beliefs or practices, were often targeted as witches. And even though they were innocent, they were tortured until they finally confessed to crimes they did not commit.

The Renaissance and Occult Revival

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The Renaissance period saw a resurgence of interest in the occult and supernatural. Scholars and intellectuals, such as John Dee and Giordano Bruno, delved into the study of alchemy, astrology, and hermeticism. These disciplines were seen as a means to unlock the secrets of the universe and gain knowledge beyond the limitations of human understanding. The Renaissance also saw the publication of influential texts like “The Key of Solomon” and “The Picatrix,” which provided instructions for summoning spirits and performing magical rituals.

Modern Occultism

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The 19th and 20th centuries witnessed the rise of modern occultism, with the establishment of various occult societies and the popularity of figures like Aleister Crowley and Helena Blavatsky. These individuals sought to explore the hidden realms of the mind and the universe through practices such as ceremonial magic, divination, and channeling. The occult became intertwined with spiritualism and the search for esoteric knowledge.

Aleister Crowley, often referred to as “The Great Beast,” was a controversial figure who founded the religious movement known as Thelema. He believed in the pursuit of one’s true will and the exploration of magical practices to achieve spiritual enlightenment. Helena Blavatsky, the founder of the Theosophical Society, sought to bridge the gap between Eastern and Western spiritual traditions. She claimed to have received knowledge from hidden masters and wrote extensively on subjects such as reincarnation, karma, and the nature of the universe.

Kanita is a wanderlust-fueled traveler with an inclination for unraveling the mysteries of history, the paranormal, and the bizarre world of medicine. As a true crime buff, Kanita's nights are often spent delving into the depths of chilling mysteries. Yet, it's not just the paranormal that captivates her—her background in medicine fuels a fascination with the weird and wonderful world of medical oddities, from twisted historical practices to the myths and legends that shroud the field. From exploring haunted locales to uncovering the strange and morbid tales of medical history, Kanita is your guide to the unconventional, the unexplained, and the downright eerie.

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