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"Here's an open secret: spirits do more than pervade literature, advertising, games, myths, and movies. They also walk among us. Some may find that statement shocking or surprising, ludicrous or laughably absurd, but for many people, all over Earth, coming from all walks of life, unconventional and conventional alike, it's a statement of basic, obvious fact." - From the Encyclopedia of Spirits

Quick: What do the following have in common?

* Wednesday
* Lyon (city in France)
* Versace
* Yu-Gi-Oh!
* Santa Claus
* Babalu (Desi Arnaz's trademark song)
* Maneki Neko (Japanese beckoning cat)
* Nike
* Hell (Hel)
* Orpheus
* Swan Lake
* Jupiter
* Mermaids

All of the above are spirits, named for a spirit, or filled with references to deities. The world of spirits--gods, goddesses, fairies, genies, ghosts, patron saints, dragons, demons, orishas, Djinn, devas, genies, and so on--permeate everything around us.

From planet names to corporate emblems, literature to all manner of song, the world of spirit (and spiritual references) are literally everywhere.

Renowned independent scholar and researcher extraordinaire, author Judika Illes has created yet another comprehensive and utterly fascinating tome with her newest book The Encyclopedia of Spirits.

At 1056 pages, the Encyclopedia of Spirits serves as menu or a roadmap, a handy reference or a creator's muse, a spiritual phone book or a recipe box for wish fulfillment. Truly, this engaging, informative compendium encompasses all these uses for those seeking to meet, converse, or collaborate with spirits, as well as individuals wanting to investigate, learn, or draw inspiration from the spirit world.

In the first 65 pages of this book, Ms. Illes defines the realm of spirits, covers their public (and private) faces, explains why they help humanity, points out where they're likely to be met, instructs how to work with them, teaches how to find spirit allies and much more. She addresses the common question "Are spirits dangerous?", as well as the conundrum of unanswered prayers and petitions.

In addition, Ms. Illes offers a Spirit Worker's Glossary and helpful advice on how to use the Encyclopedia of Spirits. However, the bulk of this exhaustive book is the A-Z guide to spirits. From origin to iconography, manifestations to offerings, attributes to hallowed days, sacred sites to favored people, a wealth of information is graciously shared with readers.

Symbolic associations such as number, color, metal, sacred days, planets, times, creatures, planets, direction, and element are also provided for each spirit, as are extensive cross references for related mythos and beings.

An absorbing tour guide to the world of spirits, it's honestly difficult to stop reading the Encyclopedia of Spirits once you get started! Intriguing sidebars are scattered throughout, too, offering additional glimpses into the scope of influence effected by the spirit realm. Here are just a few of the many sidebars that are peppered alongside the meaty spirit profiles:

* There are many man-goat spirits, including Faunus, Krampus, and Ordog but references to the goat god usually mean Pan.

* During his fourth labor, Heracles stopped to party with the centaurs. Very drunk, he accidentally wounded Chiron, his old friend, with a poisoned arrow. As an immortal, Chiron didn't and couldn't die but suffered excruciating agony. To relieve him, Zeus placed him in the heavens as the constellation Sagittarius. Chiron is the archetypal wounded healer who heals everyone but is unable to help himself.

* The October 5, 2007 issue of The UK Times Online listed the Lord God as the number-one top ranking of the forty most memorable aliens.

* The floats, masks, clowns, dancing, public drunkenness, and erotic theater that characterizes modern Carnivals and parades are descendents of Dionysian rituals

* Babalu was the signature song of Cuban singer, actor, and television producer Desi Arnaz (2 March 1917- 2 December 1986). According to legend, Desi requested three things from Babalu: professional and financial success and a beautiful wife. In return he promised to spread Babalu's name around the globe, or so the legend says.

* Socrates' last words were to remind friends to sacrifice a rooster to Asklepios on his behalf.

* Anansi stars in Neil Gaiman's 2006 novel, Anansi Boys, and steals the show in his 2001 novel, American Gods, where, as Mr. Nancy, he manifests as an elderly black man with a pencil mustache, lemon-yellow gloves, and a checked sport jacket.

Writers will find creative ideas seeded from these pages, and spiritual seekers will discover the rich tapestry of lively beings woven around them and available from within. Whether you desire to find a spirit helper to befriend, protect, entreat, provide or comfort--or perhaps are one who'd like to learn more the vast array of spirit manifestations and their place in history, legend, religion and modern culture--the Encyclopedia of Spirits deserves a prominent place in your library.

Highly recommended!

-- Janet Boyer, author of The Back in Time Tarot Book
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on June 21, 2009
Once again Judika Illes has really done her homework and managed to cram a lifetime of research into easily digestible portions. This book is packed full of fascinating information on well known characters from myth and legend as well as introducing the new and not so well known. The cross references and connections made through out the book weave a tapestry that is both informative and enlightening. I would have appreciated the addition of phonetic pronunciations of these names.
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on August 20, 2009
...or did no one else have Ra in their encyclopedia? I looked through the "R" section several times and even went to the Horus and Sekhmet entries hoping to find a "see also" for Ra. Even under sun spirits in the back there was no mention of Ra. I had to take off a couple of stars for that. Quite disappointing. Now if I'm wrong please someone let me know. But until then, three stars.
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on June 24, 2014
This is by far one of the most extensive books on spirits, demons, ghost, goddesses and genies from all over the world. I keep this by my bedside as a quick reference guide, you can find everything from a beloved djinna spirits, to loa, orisha's, palo, mermaid to madusa. the only thing I wish was included was a tokoloshi dwarf spirit. this encyclopedia give an writeup on just about every spirit you can think of from every culture around the globe. easily one of the best reference book on the subject. this book along with 5000 spells are the mother of all spell work and reference book, this is a complete set for witches and practitioners of any magical path. this book is a excellent reference book, while it does not contain every single spirits as I don't think such a book exist. I have other books on other spirits, demons and angels, but like I said this is the one kept at my bedside for easy reference.
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on May 11, 2013
As soon as I'm done reading this book I plan on purchasing another from the same author. This book offers the reader names of many different spirits, guides, gods/goddesses, fairies, etc... It will give you a good idea of what is out there and spark a fire of interest so that you can find your guides. I have several marked for further research due to the fact that they resonate with me.
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on December 11, 2015
Clearly haven't finished reading the book since it's over 1000 pages but so far I'm obsessed. First off I am in love with the paper they used for the pages it's like old world books not the shiny white paper from most books today it's a bit yellow / brown and feels like old school kids coloring pages lol and I love it. This book has so many more gods and goddesses in it than i even realized existed and the descriptions on them are perfect, tells you where they originated from and then back story's.
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on March 17, 2015
Helpful reference guide. There is some good and thoughtful forwarding material at the beginning of this book. The author mentions that it is too much to expect any one guide to reference every "public face of spirit'. The compilation has its limits. For the lessor known spirits/entities this is a GOOD place to START. Often it will point you in the general direction. There are lots of spirits I've simply never heard of before or since. Some that I thought everyone knew are blatantly missing. It is a GOOD reference piece to INCLUDE in your library, but if you are interested in the nature of spirits, don't make this your only source. The authors personal biases are reflected in the material. I found this book to be more eclectic than most. Quite useful.
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on September 9, 2014
Great book - full of interesting and useful information. Even as a coffee table book, this book provides a huge collection great information concerning spirits. Fabbo! Glad to add this to my collection.
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on September 11, 2015
its wonderful , all globe spirits in one book, some stories with small but anyway there is correctly written spirit names and is possible research and check information.....brilliant.... 10 stars to author
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on March 10, 2014
Learned a lot about a lot of different gods and goddesses. Thou I still have a lot more to read, its a great little book if you like mythology from across the grid. Great intros, love the brief stories that get told with some of the gods/spirits etc.
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