CRAIG CONLEY (Prof. Oddfellow) is recognized by Encarta as “America’s most creative and diligent scholar of letters, words and punctuation.” He has been called a “language fanatic” by Page Six gossip columnist Cindy Adams, a “cult hero” by Publisher’s Weekly, and “a true Renaissance man of the modern era, diving headfirst into comprehensive, open-minded study of realms obscured or merely obscure” by Clint Marsh. An eccentric scholar, Conley’s ideas are often decades ahead of their time. He invented the concept of the “virtual pet” in 1980, fifteen years before the debut of the popular “Tamagotchi” in Japan. His virtual pet, actually a rare flower, still thrives and has reached an incomprehensible size. Conley’s website is OneLetterWords.com.
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A Turkish Delight of musings on languages, deflations of metaphysics, vauntings of arcana, and great visual humor.

Found 58 posts tagged ‘esoteric’


June 4, 2020 (permalink)

Athanasius Kircher, 1653.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
#vintage illustration #vintage diagram #esoteric #cosmogram #Athanasius Kircher
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May 8, 2020 (permalink)

"Mrs. Smart's theme was 'Thought Forces and the Infinite.'"  From The Transfiguration of Miss Philura by Florence Morse Kingsley, 1901.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
#vintage illustration #esoteric
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December 14, 2019 (permalink)

From The Word, 1907.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
#occult #vintage diagram #zodiac #esoteric #spine
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November 20, 2019 (permalink)

Orion as the Archangel Michael.  From The Word, 1917. 
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
#serpent #constellation #occult #esoteric #stars #archangel michael #orion
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October 15, 2019 (permalink)

The magic mirror.  From The Word, 1914.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
#vintage illustration #mirror #occult #esoteric #magic mirror
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September 17, 2019 (permalink)

Here's where the lost rib hides within the zodiac.  From The Word, 1908.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
#occult #vintage diagram #zodiac #esoteric #lost rib
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August 29, 2019 (permalink)

From The Word, 1907.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
#occult #vintage diagram #zodiac #esoteric
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August 25, 2019 (permalink)

From The Word, 1908.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
#occult #vintage diagram #zodiac #esoteric
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August 12, 2019 (permalink)

To learn how to use a printed owl like this magical purposes, see How to Hoodoo Hack a Yearbook.  From The Cornhusker Yearbook of the University of Nebraska, 1916.
> read more from Yearbook Weirdness . . .
#vintage illustration #wizard #owl #occult #college yearbook #animal familiar #art #esoteric #quill pen
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February 12, 2019 (permalink)

From Le Journal Amusant, 1891.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
#vintage illustration #art #esoteric #gnosticism #kabbalah
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February 4, 2019 (permalink)

From our guide to the palmistry of the "Don't Walk" hand at intersections: Crossroads Chiromancy: The Secrets of the Glowing Red Hands:

An illuminated hand to render people motionless?  The “Hand of Glory” is the precursor to the “Don’t Walk” signal at traffic intersections.  This occult horror of seventeenth century Europe required the dried and pickled hand of a hanged man, prepared with fat from the malefactor’s corpse.  Such a baneful candelabrum, when lighted, rendered motionless any person who saw it.  In some grotesque recipes, the hair of the dead man is used as a wick.  

hand of gloryCrucially, laying the Hand of Glory at a crossroads is part of its preparation.  An illuminated hand at an intersection, stopping people dead in their tracks.  No wonder this treatise on crossroads chiromancy is necessary.  The old ways never actually faded—they merely hid behind new masks.  The higher the technology, the deeper the necromancy.

> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .
#occult #esoteric #hand #hand of glory #dead man's hand #don't walk
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January 5, 2019 (permalink)

We're honored by this review of The Pencil Witch:
"Five stars.  Like the artwork, Professor Oddfellow's text is intricate and filled with beautiful mysteries un-raveled only through extended and repeat visits. If Dumbledore and the faculty of Hogwarts were to write a textbook it would something like this." —Cyril Maypencil witch
> read more from Go Out in a Blaze of Glory . . .
#magick #witchcraft #occult #esoteric #hogwarts #practical magic
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November 29, 2018 (permalink)

From Nature's Invisible Forces by Thomas H. Ellis, 1917.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
#vintage illustration #vintage diagram #art #esoteric #invisible forces
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October 14, 2018 (permalink)

From La Baïonnette, 1917.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
#vintage illustration #occult #soul #art #esoteric #shining #night light #bed
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October 13, 2018 (permalink)

Try.  From the cover of Eulis! by Paschal Beverly Randolph, 1896.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
#vintage illustration #ancient egypt #occult #art #esoteric #all-seeing eye #pyramids #eye in the sky
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October 9, 2018 (permalink)

The magical mist surrounding these grimoires is not technically a special effect -- there was condensation on the camera lens.  Yes, these books are stacked in a shop window in the Wizarding World at Universal Studios, Orlando.  We can now reveal for the first time that it was this very window display that directly led to the rediscovery of The Young Wizard's Hexopedia.  One November morning, a stranger wrote from out of the blue, asking for assistance with an extraordinary book of magic.  The stranger was in search of a grimoire that didn't technically exist.  His own research had somehow determined that we possessed the know-how to bring this lost book back from the depths.  It seems that he had seen the esoteric window display at the Wizarding World and had noticed that the lost book in question wasn't there.  The problem was that no surviving copies of the book are known to exist.  Our task was to rediscover and recreate the entire document from quotations and implications in magical literature.  The stranger provided some crucial scraps, trusting that the whole work might be holographically contained within the parts.  Knowing the title and a rough idea of the table of contents, we set to work hunting through cryptic volumes in private libraries of magic (whose locations we're not at liberty to reveal, though we can perhaps mention Hollywood's Magic Castle).  Suffice it to say, we left no philosopher's stone unturned.  The process was very much like putting together a jigsaw puzzle in a dark room, with only a flickering candle for illumination.  To our own surprise, the lost book began taking shape almost immediately.  Restoring fragments into sentences and arranging them into paragraphs proved less challenging than one might suppose.  For example, you can surely divine what the last word of this sentence will [...].  Whenever a passage seemed to have something almost tangibly missing, like the absence of a vital book in an occult shop window, I knew to keep digging.  The moment it was clear that the entire Hexopedia was restored, I verified the accuracy of my work with three highly gifted wizards of words: a playwright in New Hampshire, a poet in Pennsylvania, and a teacher of magical arts in Nevada.  Then I sent the restoration to the stranger, who flabbergasted me by suggesting that the book should not come back into print at all but rather remain hidden in shadowy slumber until a more enlightened era.  (Apparently the trickster merely desired a copy for his personal use!)  Having worked so intimately with the text for so long, I felt convinced that the world was ready once again for the Hexopedia ... that it shouldn't rest only in the private library of one megalomaniac.  And the rest, as the former, is history.
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .
#magick #occult #books #esoteric #dark arts #magic book #grimoire #old books
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October 4, 2018 (permalink)

From Der Orchideengarten, 1920.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
#vintage illustration #magick #occult #astrology #art #esoteric
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September 9, 2018 (permalink)

From Der Orchideengarten, 1920.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
#vintage illustration #occult #art #esoteric #alchemy #alchemist
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July 10, 2018 (permalink)

From Form Quarterly of the Arts, 1916.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
#vintage illustration #skeleton #occult #art #esoteric #elixir of life
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June 15, 2018 (permalink)

From Kladderadatsch, 1930.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
#vintage illustration #skeleton #wizard #occult #art #esoteric #hermit
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