These charming watercolors are from a bound manuscript about spells and demons written by a “rammal” (psychic) in Iran in the early part of the 20th century. The paintings show creatures that are associated with each sign of the zodiac, accompanied with ritual prescriptions for dealing with the different creatures.
The wonderful images draw on Middle Eastern demonological traditions that go back thousands of years, to the era when the rabbis of the Talmud in Babylonian wrote it is a blessing that demons were invisible, because:
“…if the eye would be granted permission to see, no creature would be able to stand in the face of the demons that surround it.”
And, especially troubling are the illustrations of demons visiting people in their sleep.