A woman wearing a black veil convenes a séance. A magician puts a volunteer into a trance. A fortune-teller leans over a crystal ball. Everyone knows what Victorian mysticism looks like because our modern imagery, language, and practice of magic borrows heavily from the Victorians. But we have little understanding of its spiritual, cultural, and historical foundations.
What made the Victorians turn to mediumship, hypnotism, and fortune-telling? What were they afraid of? What were they seeking?
This book explores the history of automatic writing, cartomancy, clairvoyance, and more. It reveals how Victorian belief in ghosts, fairies, and nature spirits shaped our celebrations of Halloween and Christmas. With historic examples and hands-on exercises, you will discover how spiritualism in the time of Jack the Ripper, Jane Eyre, "A Christmas Carol," and Dracula left such a profound impact on both the past and present.
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