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Welcome to the Esoteric Archive of Rochester,

The Rochester-based library and archive of Western Esotericism.

Explore the Archive

Join us collecting and studying the esoteric, both near and far! At the moment, the collection is split into two main branches:

Online Branch

The Esoteric Archive is a free wiki-based project aimed at cataloguing esoteric, occult, spiritual, and generally weird files. Each object has its own page where you are free to add research to contextualize the piece of work in history and within the esoteric movement of its time.

That's what differentiates this archive: historical context and research that is aimed at understanding a given work within a larger snapshot of the time and place. This is a massive undertaking and your help is deeply appreciated!

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Spiritualism | Mormonism | The Millerites | The Roycroft Movement |Rosicrucianism | Alchemy | Religious Studies | Philosophy | Occultism | Mysticism | New Thought | Hermeticism | Grimoire | Egypt | Christian Mysticism | Aleister Crowley | Max Heindel | Magic | Spiritualism | Arthur Edward Waite | Demonology | Kabbalah | Astrology | Theosophy‏‎ | Witchcraft | All Categories | Browse by Year

Link Collection

An ever-growing list of resources, orders, education, and initiation.

Offline Branch

Visit the Archive

We're really excited to invite you to our space, and more information on the small, independent, guerrilla library is coming soon. In the meantime, you can still borrow actual physical books from the collection! Curbside pickup and drop-off are available as of June 21, 2023. Click here to learn how to borrow a book.

Explore the Collection via TinyCat

Featured Object

Christian Science, Medicine, and Occultism
Christian Science Medicine and Occultism page-0001.jpg

"Christian Science, Medicine, and Occultism" by Albert Moll is a short 1902 London publication that lightly investigates the craze of Christian Science in the United States. Moll wrote the original text in his native German, and the work was translated by F. J. Rebman.

Despite having a fairly heft table of contents for such a small work (the PDF has 50 pages, including blank pages and covers), the work is actually a single essay. The table of contents is, then, a pretty informal way to let the reader know what subject will begin on a given page. That being said, the essay covers a variety of topics including "Mrs. Eddy," "Her Competitors," "Christian Science and the Bible," "Failures," and "Intellectual Level of Spiritualists."

The author muses on the dangers of trusting any 'therapy' that requires the patient to avoid traditional medicine:
"So far as the physician is concerned, the doubtful and critical element of treatment by Christian Science is not so much to be found in what it accomplishes, but in what it omits. This, however, may be said of every quack treatment. Certain it is that cancer, for instance, may become incurable if timely operation is delayed. Appendicitis, like other suppurations, may lead to the gravest complications unless it is taken in hand promptly and by the proper authority. No matter how sceptically medical skill and science may be regarded, there are doubtless many cases in which neglect and delay will aggravate the disease and surely bring about a fatal issue. For which reason it behoves the medical profession to stigmatize as dangerous any method by which diseases are treated without preceding proper diagnosis, no matter whether it is a Kneipp cure, or treatment by animal magnetism, or Christian Science."

Christian Science was founded by Mary Baker Eddy in the late 19th century in New England. The church runs quite a few "Reading Rooms" around the country, one being right here on Monroe Avenue in Rochester. The religion does not actually tell members to avoid modern medicine completely; there are many exceptions specifically given (one of which, that you should see a doctor when giving birth, came about after a church member died during labor. Only a Christian Science practitioner was present at the time). However, the religion does work from the belief that the manifestation of illness (the symptoms) are not real and that the best way to deal with them is to convince oneself that one is not sick, actually. While many people understand Christian Science to be a branch of Christianity, it actually has more in common with other New American religions like Spiritualism and Mormonism.

Written by The Archivist

To submit a blurb for the Featured Object panel, please fill out this form.

To see past Featured Objects, click here.

Esoteric Archive of Rochester News


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News Archive

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