Read what the reviewers are saying about Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology!
Shepard has done a phenomenal job of research and Gale has done an outstanding job of printing and publishing... This set is a bargain for the scholar and researcher. Very highly recommended.
- SPIRITUAL STUDIES CENTER BOOKNEWS
The only encyclopedia available in the field of occultism and parapsychology that is regularly updated; as such it is necessary for those seeking information on the pursuit of the paranormal.
- ADRIS NEWSLETTER
For librarians, collectors, bibliographers, serious scholars of the arcane: You can't afford to miss this one!
- FANTASY REVIEW
In these days, when former chasms between the territories of physical research and occiltism are collapsing - UFOs, reincarnation, astrology now bridging it, and others doubtless waiting to cross - to have the encyclopedia as a reference work is going to be most valuable.
- JOURNAL OF THE SOCIETY FOR PSYCHICAL RESEARCH
Then... Look inside for fascinating, authoritative coverage of thousands of topics like these:
|Astral Projection||Johann Wolfgang||Scrying|
|Devil Worship||Holy Grail||Tea Leaves|
|Exorcism||H P Lovecraft||Vampires|
|Eyeless Sight||Morgan le Fay||Witchcraft|
|The Recent Evolution of Occultism||vii|
(D) Geographical (Places of Phenomena)
(F) Paranormal Phenomena
2) Animals (Psychic)
3) Apparitions (includes Ghosts & Phantoms)
6) Automatic Writing
7) Bilocation (includes Double)
8) Card Guessing
11) Crop Circles
13) Crystal Gazing (or Scrying)
14) Direct Voice
15) Direct Writing
16) Dowsing (Includes Divining Rod, Water Witching & Radiesthesia)
19) Eyeless Sight
20) Glossolalia (or Xenoglossis)
21) Hallucinogenic Experience (includes Drugs & Psychedelics)
23) Healing, Psychic (includes Faith Healing & Spiritual Healing)
30) Multiple Personality
31) Ouija Board
32) Out-of-the-Body Experience
33) Pendulum Divination (see also Dowsing)
36) Posession & Exorcism
37) Precognition (includes Premonition & Prediction)
39) Psychic Photography
40) Psychic Surgery (see also Healing)
41) Psychokinesis (PK) or Telekinesis
47) Spirit Communication
49) Table-tipping (Table-turning)
(H) Plants & Flowers
(I) Societies and Organizations
THE RECENT EVOLUTION OF OCCULTISM
Occultism and the Media
At first, a media overexposure of books, magazines, and radio and television programs on the occult resulted in publishers vying with each other to republish earlier works or bring out new ones. Excellent, thoughtful, and scholarly books were published side by side with trashy, misleading and ephemeral publications, while public credulity was titillated by each latest sensation. Many unsavory witchcraft and black magic cults sprang up, joining with the newer freedoms of condoned pornography to create antisocial and criminal activities. With a general public willing to believe almost anyting, fears were well grounded that this occult revival could result in widespread distortion of judgment and common sense, replacing critical evaluation with emotional irrationalism. Such horrendous episodes as Charles Manson's Family and the Peoples Temple sect of the Rev Jim Jones indicated some of the dangers of irrational belief.
The reactions against this excessive attention and exaggerated claims took various forms. Not suprisingly, there was a backlash of ultraskepticism and debunking, best typified by some members of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal. [CSICOP] Some skeptics characterized all paranormal phenomena, past and present, as fraud, conjuring, or malobservation and even attacked traditional religious beliefs as outmoded superstition. Parapsychologists were stigmatized as over-credulous, inept, and incompetent, if not actually fraudulent, pursuing chimerical and irrational researches. Coming at a time when parapsychology was now becoming established as a reputable field for scientific inquiry, such backlash has been an occupational hazard. In recent times, the work of parapsychologists has been made additionally difficult by skeptics planting fake exponents of the paranormal in order to deceive investigators and expose them as incompetent. However, enlightened skepticism has played an important role in exposing frauds and encouraging higher standards of investigation of the paranormal.
The media overexposure of occultism also temporarily exhausted the subject as a mainstream intrest, although small groups continued to flourish in such areas as UFOs, neo-pagan Witchcraft, and Black Magic. During the New Age movement of the 1970s, popular intrest in the occult merged with broader concepts of holistic health and alternative medical therapies, side by side with the emergence of renewed intrest in Eastern gurus and new religions. This found a mature development in the Aquarian Conspiracy" movement of Marilyn Ferguson, concerned with personal and social transformation of life.
During the 1980s, the New Age movement fronted a new occult revival, strongly influenced by the newsworthy opinions and preoccupation of world-famous actress and movie star Shirley MacLaine. New Age now characterized an almost incoherent mixture of channeling, crystal power, old and new occultism, ecology, enviromentalism, organic farming, communes, holistic diet, alternative medicine, and eccentric cults. Once again, there has been an expanding media output of books, magazines, and radio and televivion programs on occult themes, with a developing area of information networks. As with the earlier occult explosion, the mixture of helpful, intelligent, dishonest, and fanatical publications is a confusing one, and the third edition of the Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology is designed to give reliable information on this chaotic subject, providing a historical perspective to the study of modern occultism and the emergence of scientific study of claimed paranormal phenomena.
An Objective Approach to Occultism
In such a widely fluctuating scene, a temperate course is difficult to stear. Occultism and parapsychology remain highly controversial subjects, and varying shades of opinion on all aspects range from uncritical acceptance to invincible disbelief. The phenomena themselves are often deceptive and have been a happy hunting ground for charlatans and the mentally disturbed, as well as the province of reputable scientists and intelligent lay investigators.
One problem is that much claimed paranormal phenomena is of a spontaneous character, nonrepeatable, and not accessible to strict scientific control or validation. In such cases, either an open mind or even an interim assumption of belief (pending futher evidence for or against) seems a quite reasonable attitude. After all, normal scientific practice first postulates a theory and then tests it by later evidence. Many ordinarly people have so-called psychic experiences that cause them to reflect very seriously about problems of subjective and objective criteria. There are qualities of personal experience as well as qualities of objective evidence, and any personal experience is usually more meaningful to the subject than academic debates by experts. Unless ordinary people develop discrimination and good judgment, they will be at the mercy of self-styled experts or manipulators for or against the reality of paranormal experience. In this respect, hostile skepticism is just as psychopathological as crank beliefs and fanaticisms.
Of course, it is important that reputable scientists engage in parapsychological research, even if the findings of hundreds of laboratory tests mean less to the man and woman in the street than a single spontaneous experience. Any experiments that validate the paranormal by acceptable objective standards can only extend public awareness and understunding.
A Permanent Reference for an Enduring Intrest
Much care has been taken to present occultism and parapsychology in a way that avoids the sensationalism so often associated with such topics.
Whatever the trends in publishing, both public and scientific intrest in paranormal phenomena is here to stay. The occult explosion of the 1950s was not the first of its kind. A similar widespread outburst of intrest took place in the 1930s, limited only by the relatively less influental media coverage of the time, and long before that in nineteenth-century there was fascination with table-turning and Spiritualism. Each outburst of intrest has been characterized by scientific as well as popular intrest, and long after the subject ceases to be fashionable, solid areas of public and specialized intrest remain. Scientific research improves in method and standards while the public preoccupation fluctuates between skepticism and uncritical belife.
It could hardly be expected that the paranormal should be an all-time preoccupation, for that would distort the everyday mpracticalities of modern civilization; however, the public sholud continue to be served by higher standards of presentation and evaluation and continuing reference material should be made available, dealing with both popular and scientific aspects of the paranormal.
"- Leslie Shepard
This third edition of ENCYCLOPEDIA OF OCCULTISM AND PARAPSYCHOLOGY consolidates twelve years of progressive revision, updating and enlargement to produce the most up-to-date and wide-ranging work in a complex subject area.
Broad Topical and Conceptual Scope
In compiling this work, the term occult has been interpreted in its widest sense of hidden, secret, beyond human understunding as well as pertaining to magical spells, miracles, and witchcraft. Certain mysteries such as the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, and Unidentified Flying Objects have a valid inclusion, even if they may someday be identified as elusive but objective entities around witch legends and mythologies have grown. While some users may criticize such a wide coverage, the editor believes that others will welcome a policy of inclusion rather than omission in dealing with reference material in overlapping areas.
With the rise of parapsychology as a reputable study, some of the narrow categories and viewpoints of the past are beginning to dissolve in the nower atmosphere of interdisciplinary studies. Much that was formerly regarded as supernatural may now be explicable in scientific terms, since even the suspension of normal physical laws involves other laws and principles, even if these are at present imperfectly understood. And where theories no longer fit, it is still important to establish the facts of phenomena.
The traditional association of religion and mysticism with miracles suggests that the paranormal is often connected with special states of consciousness, and it has, therefore, been considered relevant to include entries relating to mysticism, altered states of consciousness, and some self-improvement cults that promise unusual material or psychical gains. The extensive cross-referencing in this encyclopedia is intended to assist research in new and old correlations of phenomena and overlapping areas of study.
Evolution of Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology
The first edition of this encyclopedia was based on a novel concept - the creation of a new work by merging, updating, and adding to two highly esteemed erlier encyclopedias of occultism and psychical science. The two works, Lewis Spence's ENCYCLOPEDIA OF OCCULTISM (1920) and Nandor Fodor's ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF PSYCHIC SCIENCE (1934), though old, were still standard reference sources in many libraries throughout the world when the first edition of ENCYCLOPEDIA OF OCCULTISM AND PARAPSYCHOLOGY was published in 1978.
In the original edition, certain major entries included material identified as being from both Spence and Fodor, in order that their complementary views could be compared. In the second edition, published in 1982, such different viewpoints were integrated into an overall text after careful evaluation. Responsibility for presentation and opinion therefore transferred to the present editor.
Editorial Practices for the Third Edition
During the preparation of this edition, the editor realized that a number of entries deriving from Fodor and Spence contained hitherto unsuspected errors, notably in the attribution of quotations from other sources and the exact text of the quotations. In the case of books by foreign psychical researchers that had been translated into English, Nandor Fodor may have quoted sometimes from his own interpretation of the foreign version; thus his wording did not always agree with the English translation edition cited as a sourch. In some instances, passages presented as quotations was actually paraphrases. Although the meaning of the passages in question was clear, they have been corrected.
In essence, every entry from the second edition has been researched again. In this process careful attention has been given to points made by readers and critics. Hundreds of new entries have been added, and updates and modifications have been made to existing entries.
Since this completely new edition is part of a progressive development from the base set, the editor retained all the original subjects deriving from Spencer and Fodor. Although tempted to reduce some of the longer, more discursive, material (particularly from Spence), the editor felt it was on balance better to retain the material in the present edition than to eliminate facts and opinions already published. Moreover, such detailed treatment (often lengthy quotations from source works) will have value for researchers.
Format of Entries
The format of this edition follows the same plan as the second edition. In the entry headings dealing with individuals, a query for birth or death date indicates that no record of the date has so far been obtained. A blank for a death date indicates uncertainty whether an individual is living or has died without a death date being ascertainable. In the case of some individuals, notably early Spiritualist mediums, the formula c. followed by a date indicates the period at which they were known to flourish. In this edition, many birth and death dates have been added to entries, and other dates were revised in light of recent research.
Cross-references are indicated by bold type or the formula See or See also in the body of an antry, indicating that separate entries exist that can amplify these references. The formula See also at the end of an entry identities significantly related entries that are specially recommended for further study. Wherever possible, topics covered within more general entries are slso given a brief entry in their own right that may satisfy immediate inquiry, while some other overlapping entries repeat information rather than involve the reader in futher searches.
Wide Range of Bibliographic References Given
In certain controversial areas concerned both with individuals and phenomena, the case for and against has been indicated, with sources noted for further study in depth. Indeed, one of the special features of this work is the wide range of bibliographical reference, a feature that has already been welcomed by researchers. These citations list recent books as well as important out-of-print works and reprints. Wherever possible, recent and available editions are listed, whether hardcover or paperback.
In the bibliographical sections of Recommended reading, American publication is to be assumed after the publishers name; British or other foreign editions are clearly identified. In the case of some unfamiliar imprints, the place of publication is given, whether American or foreign. In a few cases, the publisher's name of long out-of-print nineteenth-century works is not given since the year of publication is sufficient to trace the work in any good public or specialized library.
As with most encyclopedias, the key to locating elusive material is the extensive indexing. The editor has retained the nine special indexes praised by reviewers and users of previous editions.
The comprehensive General Index now lists further cross-references, as well as specialized subindexes of entries dealing with such topics as Alchemy, Astrology, Fairies, Fortean Phenomena, Out-of-the-Body Travel, Parapsychology, Psychical Research, Spiritualism, UFO (Unidentified Flying Objects), Witchcraft, and Yoga.
User Comments Are Welcome
With this new edition, the former basis of such authorities as Lewis Spence and Nandor Fodor has been extended and developed to provide an encyclopedia of occultism and parapsychology to meet modern reference needs. This is the only encyclopedia in these areas which has been regularly supplemented and updated, and careful attention is given to all criticism and suggestions.
The editor would like to thank the many individuals and organizations who took the trouble to send helpful data after publication of the first and second editions. Corrections or additional factual information for future editions can be addressed to: Editor, Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology, Gale Research Inc, 835 Penobscot Building, Detroit, Michigan 48226-4094; or call toll-free 1-800-347-4253.
Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology kom ut i sin tredje utökade, förbättrade, reviderade verison 1991.
Encyclopedin ger rikligt med referenser till bakgrundslitteratur för fortsatt forskning.
Verket har mycket bra (dubbla) index (med underämnen) och utförliga korshänvisningar mellan uppslagsord.
Tonen är rakt igenom objektiv och balanserad precis som ett lexicon ska vara.
Större ämnen har articklar på flera sidor. Allt är mycket bra upplagt.