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The Orphic hymns are fascinating historical artifacts 87 devotions, invocations, and entreaties to the Greek gods that are as powerful today as they were when they were originally developed thousands of years ago. Designed to be used in contemporary spiritual practice and spellcrafting, this premium hardcover edition features spectacular new English translations by Patrick Dunn along with the original Greek on facing pages. These translations are complete, accurate, and poetic perfect for integrating into rituals and magical workings for every conceivable purpose, from protection to prosperity and everything in between. Written by a poet and occultist specifically for contemporary practitioners of magic, this must-have book also includes detailed notes to help you understand esoteric passages as well as suggestions for incense selection and the practical use of the hymns.
The seventy-plus carved objects from the Democratic Republic of the Congo presented in this book have something remarkable in common: They are permeated with the powers of magic and sorcery, and are believed to be inhabited by the spirits of nature and the ghosts of ancestors. Selected with great care by Patric Didier Claes, a Belgian expert in African art, the works are from the Kingdom of Luba, at the source of the Congo, and the Kingdoms of Kongo and Teke. Each sculpture is identified, indexed, meticulously described, placed in context, and pinpointed as an example of the particular carving style of a specific workshop. Text in English and French.
Offering a new template for future exploration, Susan Greenwood examines and develops the notion that the experience of magic is a panhuman orientation of consciousness, a form of knowledge largely marginalized in Western societies. In this volume she aims to form a "bridge of communication" between indigenous magical or shamanic worldviews and rationalized Western cultures. She outlines an alternative mythological framework for the latter to help develop a magical perception, as well as giving practical case studies derived from her own research. The form of magic discussed here is not fantastic or virtual, but ecological and sensory. Magical knowledge infiltrates the body in its deepest levels of the subconscious, and unconscious, as well as conscious awareness; it is felt and understood through the connection with an inspirited world that includes the consciousness of other beings, including those of plant, animal and the physical environment. This is anthropology from the heart rather than the head, and it engages with the messy area of emotions, an embodiment of the senses, and struggles to find a common language of listening to one another across a void of differences. The aim is to provide a non-reductive structure for the creative interplay of both magical and analytical modes of thought. Passion is a motivator for change, and a change in attitude to magic as an integrative force of human understanding is the main thread of this work.
This book offers a comparison of lay and inquisitorial witchcraft prosecutions. In most of the early modern period, witchcraft jurisdiction in Italy rested with the Roman Inquisition, whereas in Denmark only the secular courts raised trials. Kallestrup explores the narratives of witchcraft as they were laid forward by people involved in the trials.
Magic enjoyed a vigorous revival in sixteenth-century Europe,
attaining a prestige lost for over a millennium and becoming, for
some, a kind of universal philosophy. Renaissance music also
suggested a form of universal knowledge through renewed interest in
two ancient themes: the Pythagorean and Platonic "harmony of the
celestial spheres" and the legendary effects of the music of bards
like Orpheus, Arion, and David. In this climate, Renaissance
philosophers drew many new and provocative connections between
music and the occult sciences.
It was not so long ago that the belief in witchcraft was shared by members of all levels of society. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, diseases were feared by all, the infant mortality rate was high, and around one in six harvests was likely to fail. In the small rural communities in which most people lived, affection and enmity could build over long periods. When misfortune befell a family, they looked to their neighbours for support - and for the cause. During the sixteenth century, Europe was subject to a fevered and pious wave of witch hunts and trials. As the bodies of accused women burnt right across the Continent, the flames of a nationwide witch hunt were kindled in England. In 1612 nine women were hanged in the Pendle witch trials, the prosecution of the Chelmsford witches in 1645 resulted in the biggest mass execution in England, and in the mid-1640s the Witch finder General instigated a reign of terror in the Puritan counties of East Anglia. Hundreds of women were accused and hanged. It wasn't until the latter half of the seventeenth century that witch-hunting went into decline.In this book, Andrew and David Pickering present a comprehensive catalogue of witch hunts, arranged chronologically within geographical regions. The tales of persecution within these pages are testimony to the horror of witch-hunting that occurred throughout England in the hundred years after the passing of the Elizabethan Witchcraft Act of 1563.
For all their pride in seeing this world clearly, the thinkers and artists of the English Renaissance were also fascinated by magic and the occult. The three greatest playwrights of the period devoted major plays (The Tempest, Doctor Faustus, The Alchemist) to magic, Francis Bacon often referred to it, and it was ever-present in the visual arts. In "Renaissance Magic and the Return of the Golden Age" John S. Mebane reevaluates the significance of occult philosophy in Renaissance thought and literature, constructing the most detailed historical context for his subject yet attempted.
The most complete summation to date of the New Testament evidence for magical practice by Jesus and the early Christians. The very notion of Jesus being a sorcerer runs so against the grain of the Western cultural myth that even non-Christians are likely to find it far-fetched or even vaguely disturbing. Nevertheless, scholars steadily accumulated evidence for magical practices in the New Testament throughout much of the 20th century. It is that ever expanding body of knowledge that has made this book possible. This book examines the following: The nature of the earliest Christian documents, the defects of their trans-mission, and the evidence for the suppression of descriptions of magical acts. The closely related problem of the New Testament accounts as historical sources. The radically apocalyptic nature of Jesus' message and the expectations of the early church. The failure of the apocalypse to occur and the theological reaction to that failure. The role of magic and mystery religion in early Christianity. A revisiting of the story of the "beloved disciple" and what it may tell us about Jesus and suppression of evidence about his life. Contents: Documentary Evidence / Infancy Narratives / Confrontation / Resurrection as Ghost Story /Apocalyptic Prophet / Apocalypse Postponed, / Magic and Mystery, / Jesus the Magician / Spirit Versus Spirit, / Ecstatic Inner Circle, / Christian Mysteries, / Secret Gospel of Mark, / Beloved Disciple, / On the Use of Boys in Magic, / Apocalypse, Magic, and Christianity, / "Son of David." / Mary Magdalene
Satan worship. Witches. New Age channelers. The last two decades have witnessed a vast upsurge in occult activity. Scores of popular books have warned Christians of the dangers and urged them to do battle against these spiritual forces. Few books, however, have developed a careful biblical theology on demons, principalities and powers. Clinton Arnold seeks to fill this gap, providing an in-depth look at Paul's letters and what they teach on the subject. For perspective, he examines first-century Greek, Roman and Jewish beliefs as well as Jesus' teaching about magic, sorcery and divination. Arguing against many recent interpretations that have seen principalities and powers as impersonal social, economic and political structures, Arnold contends that the New Testament view is that such forces are organized, personal beings which Jesus defeated at the cross and will bring into full subjection at his return. In his concluding section Arnold suggests practical ways in which Christians today can contend with the forces of evil. A thoughtful, biblical look at an urgent challenge facing the church.
"Evil-the infliction of pain upon sentient beings-is one of the most long-standing and serious problems of human existence. Frequently and in many cultures evil has been personified. This book is a history of the personification of evil, which for the sake of clarity I have called 'the Devil.' I am a medievalist, but when I began some years ago to work with the concept of the Devil in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, I came to see that I could not understand the medieval Devil except in terms of its historical antecedents. More important, I realized that I could not understand the Devil at all except in the context of the problem of evil. I needed to face the issue of evil squarely, both as a historian and as a human being."-from the Preface This lively and learned book traces the history of the concept of evil from its beginnings in ancient times to the period of the New Testament. A remarkable work of synthesis, it draws upon a vast number of sources in addressing a major historical and philosophical problem over a broad span of time and in a number of diverse cultures, East and West. Jeffrey Burton Russell probes the roots of the idea of evil, treats the development of the idea in the Ancient Near East, and then examines the concept of the Devil as it was formed in late Judaism and early Christianity. Generously illustrated with fifty black-and-white photographs, this book will appeal to a wide range of readers, from specialists in religion, theology, sociology, history, psychology, anthropology, and philosophy to anyone with an interest in the demonic, the supernatural, and the question of good and evil.
Defining 'magic' is a maddening task. Over the last century numerous philosophers, anthropologists, historians, and theologians have attempted to pin down its essential meaning, sometimes analysing it in such complex and abstruse depth that it all but loses its sense altogether. For this reason, many people often shy away from providing a detailed definition, assuming it is generally understood as the human control of supernatural forces. 'Magic' continues to pervade the popular imagination and idiom. People feel comfortable with its contemporary multiple meanings, unaware of the controversy, conflict, and debate its definition has caused over two and a half millennia. In common usage today 'magic' is uttered in reference to the supernatural, superstition, illusion, trickery, religious miracles, fantasies, and as a simple superlative. The literary confection known as 'magical realism' has considerable appeal and many modern scientists have ironically incorporated the word into their vocabulary, with their 'magic acid', 'magic bullets' and 'magic angles'. Since the so-called European Enlightenment magic has often been seen as a marker of primitivism, of a benighted earlier stage of human development. Yet across the modern globalized world hundreds of millions continue to resort to magic - and also to fear it. Magic provides explanations and remedies for those living in extreme poverty and without access to alternatives. In the industrial West, with its state welfare systems, religious fundamentalists decry the continued moral threat posed by magic. Under the guise of neo-Paganism, its practice has become a religion in itself. Magic continues to be a truly global issue. This Very Short Introduction does not attempt to provide a concluding definition of magic: it is beyond simple definition. Instead it explores the many ways in which magic, as an idea and a practice, has been understood and employed over the millennia. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
We no longer believe in witches as our ancestors once did. However, in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, any unforeseen or unexplained events were likely to be attributed to witchcraft. The stories of the individuals within this book show how superstition and prejudice played an important and powerful part in the lives of the populace of Yorkshire from the Middle Ages right through to the nineteenth century
The Hermetic Museum takes readers on a magical mystery tour spanning an arc from the medieval cosmogram and images of Christian mysticism, through the fascinating world of alchemy to the art of the Romantic era. The enigmatic hieroglyphs of cabalists, Rosicrucians, and freemasons are shown to be closely linked with the early scientific illustrations in the fields of medicine, chemistry, optics, and color theory. Even for those with no knowledge of the fascinating history of alchemy, this book is a delight to explore. Each richly illustrated chapter begins with an introduction and quotes from alchemists by specialist Alexander Roob. The roots of surrealism and many other more recent artistic movements can be found in this treasure trove.
In 1631, at the epicenter of the worst excesses of the European witch-hunts, Friedrich Spee, a Jesuit priest, published the Cautio Criminalis, a book speaking out against the trials that were sending thousands of innocent people to gruesome deaths. Spee, who had himself ministered to women accused of witchcraft in Germany, had witnessed firsthand the twisted logic and brutal torture used by judges and inquisitors. Combined, these harsh prosecutorial measures led inevitably not only to a confession but to denunciations of supposed accomplices, spreading the circle of torture and execution ever wider.
Driven by his priestly charge of enacting Christian charity, or love, Spee sought to expose the flawed arguments and methods used by the witch-hunters. His logic is relentless as he reveals the contradictions inherent in their arguments, showing there is no way for an innocent person to prove her innocence. And, he questions, if the condemned witches truly are guilty, how could the testimony of these servants and allies of Satan be reliable? Spee's insistence that suspects, no matter how heinous the crimes of which they are accused, possess certain inalienable rights is a timeless reminder for the present day.
The Cautio Criminalis is one of the most important and moving works in the history of witch trials and a revealing documentation of one man's unexpected humanity in a brutal age. Marcus Hellyer's accessible translation from the Latin makes it available to English-speaking audiences for the first time.
Studies in Early Modern German History
Witchcraft in Early Modern England provides a fascinating introduction to the history of witches and witchcraft in England from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century. Witchcraft was a crime punishable by death in England during this period and this book charts the witch panics and legal persecution of witches that followed, exploring topics such as elite attitudes to witchcraft in England, the role of pressures and tensions within the community in accusations of witchcraft, the way in which the legal system dealt with witchcraft cases, and the complex decline of belief in witchcraft. Revised and updated, this new edition explores the modern historiographical debate surrounding this subject and incorporates recent findings and interpretations of historians in the field, bringing it right up-to-date and in particular offering an extended treatment of the difficult issues surrounding gender and witchcraft. Supported by a range of compelling primary documents, this book is essential reading for all students of the history of witchcraft.
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