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As a religious institution consecrated by and literally acknowledging the Prince of Darkness, the Church of Satan enjoyed an inspiring, and occasionally either thrilling or terrifying, existence from 1966 to 1975. Beginning as a whimsical and satirical countercultural statement against the social and institutionally-religious hypocrisy of the 1960s, the Church of Satan proceeded to evolve into a positive, sincere, and to its own surprise] virtuous organization, though not without periodic individual and group growing pains: the consequence of allegiance to a supernatural entity only dimly apprehended and understood by Western Judaeo-Christianized civilization. From its 1979 1st Edition to this 2013 8th, _The Church of Satan_ remains the only complete documentary history of that fascinating and bizarre adventure, from Anton & Diane LaVey's founding of the Church in their San Francisco home to its surprising dissolution into a secular business a decade later and metaphysical supersession by the Temple of Set. Ever since its 1981 2nd Edition, _The Church of Satan_'s growing size made it impossible to print. Volume I of this 8th Edition finally fits all of the text and plates into fewer than 500 pages: 285,300 words, 39 chapters, 73 color plates. This companion Volume II contains all 161 Appendices (247,000 words, 460 pages, B&W). Both volumes should be acquired and read together.
An essential volume for the libraries of all serious students of the Tarot. When the Tarot was invented in Italy during the early fifteenth century, it was simply a pack of cards used for playing games. Esoteric interpretations of the pack date from late eighteenth century France, and were confined to that country for a hundred years. But today the cards are used throughout the world and not only for fortune telling - for true believers they are the key to secret knowledge and the meaning of life. A History of the Occult Tarot is the classic work on the history of the Tarot deck and its use in occult circles. Starting with the late nineteenth century, the Decker and Dummett examine how the Tarot became the favoured divination tool of occultists, a bridge to the spirit world, and a map of the unconscious. From Theosophical to Aleister Crowley to the Order of the Golden Dawn and P.D. Ouspensky, this compelling survey of the Tarot's history describes the many fascinating decks imagined over time as well as the secret histories of mystics.
Over half a century after the defeat of the Third Reich the complexities of Nazi ideology are still being unravelled. This text is a serious attempt to identify these ideological origins. It demonstrates the way in which Nazism was influenced by powerful occult and millenarian sects that thrived in Germany and Austria at the turn of the century. Their ideas and symbols filtered through to nationalist-racist groups associated with the infant Nazi party and their fantasies were played out with terrifying consequences in the Third Reich: Auschwitz, Sobibor and Treblinka are the hellish museums of the Nazi apocalypse. This bizarre and fascinating story contains lessons we cannot afford to ignore.
"Witches and Neighbours "is a highly original and unconventional
analysis of a fascinating historical phenomenon. Unlike other
studies of the subject which focus on the mechanisms of
persecution, this book presents a rich picture of witchcraft as an
all-pervasive aspect of life in early modern Europe.
Robin Briggs combines recent research with his own
investigations to produce a brilliant and compelling account of the
central role of witchcraft in the past. Although the history of
witchcraft can only be studied through records of persecutions,
these reveal that trials were unusual in everyday life and that
witchcraft can be viewed as a form of therapy. Witchcraft was also
an outlet and expression of many fundamental anxieties of society
and individuals in a time when life was precarious. The book argues
that witchcraft - its belief and persecutions - cannot be explained
by general causes but was as complex and changing as the society of
which it formed a vital part.
Since its original publication in 1996, this book has become the
standard work on the subject of witchcraft. It now appears in a
revised edition with an updated bibliography.
This book is not available from Blackwell in the United States and the Philippines.
Strange Histories is an exploration of some of the most extraordinary beliefs that existed in the late Middle Ages through to the end of the seventeenth century. Presenting serious accounts of the appearance of angels and demons, sea monsters and dragons within European and North American history, this book moves away from "present-centred thinking" and instead places such events firmly within their social and cultural context. By doing so, it offers a new way of understanding the world in which dragons and witches were fact rather than fiction, and presents these riveting phenomena as part of an entirely rational thought process for the time in which they existed. This new edition has been fully updated in light of recent research. It contains a new guide to further reading as well as a selection of pictures that bring its themes to life. From ghosts to witches, to pigs on trial for murder, the book uses a range of different case studies to provide fascinating insights into the world-view of a vanished age. It is essential reading for all students of early modern history. .
In The Dark Side of the Enlightenment, John V. Fleming shows how the impulses of the European Enlightenment generally associated with great strides in the liberation of human thought from superstition and traditional religion were challenged by tenacious religious ideas or channeled into the darker pursuits of the esoteric and the occult. His engaging topics include the stubborn survival of the miraculous, the Enlightenment roles of Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry, and the widespread pursuit of magic and alchemy.
Though we tend not to associate what was once called alchemy with what we now call chemistry, Fleming shows that the difference is merely one of linguistic modernization. Alchemy was once the chemistry, of Arabic derivation, and its practitioners were among the principal scientists and physicians of their ages. No point is more important for understanding the strange and fascinating figures in this book than the prestige of alchemy among the learned men of the age.
Fleming follows some of these complexities and contradictions of the Age of Lights into the biographies of two of its extraordinary offspring. The first is the controversial wizard known as Count Cagliostro, the Egyptian freemason, unconventional healer, and alchemist known most infamously for his ambiguous association with the Affair of the Diamond Necklace, which history has viewed as among the possible harbingers of the French Revolution and a major contributing factor in the growing unpopularity of Marie Antoinette. Fleming also reviews the career of Julie de Krudener, the sentimental novelist, Pietist preacher, and political mystic who would later become notorious as a prophet.
Impressively researched and wonderfully erudite, this rich narrative history sheds light on some lesser-known mental extravagances and beliefs of the Enlightenment era and brings to life some of the most extraordinary characters ever encountered either in history or fiction."
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.
If you want to know how hypnosis really works (and, no, it has nothing to do with waving of hands or other similar nonsense), you will want to read this book. If you want to know the "magic" behind Ericksonian techniques and Neuro-Linguistic Programming, you have to read this book. From one of the true masters of hypnotherapy, this is one book that can really change your life!!
This book presents twenty chapters by experts in their fields, providing a thorough and interdisciplinary overview of the theory and practice of magic in the West. Its chronological scope extends from the Ancient Near East to twenty-first-century North America; its objects of analysis range from Persian curse tablets to US neo-paganism. For comparative purposes, the volume includes chapters on developments in the Jewish and Muslim worlds, evaluated not simply for what they contributed at various points to European notions of magic, but also as models of alternative development in ancient Mediterranean legacy. Similarly, the volume highlights the transformative and challenging encounters of Europeans with non-Europeans, regarding the practice of magic in both early modern colonization and more recent decolonization.
The late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries are known as the Age of Enlightenment, a time of science and reason. But in this illuminating book, Paul Monod reveals the surprising extent to which Newton, Boyle, Locke, and other giants of rational thought and empiricism also embraced the spiritual, the magical, and the occult. Although public acceptance of occult and magical practices waxed and waned during this period they survived underground, experiencing a considerable revival in the mid-eighteenth century with the rise of new anti-establishment religious denominations. The occult spilled over into politics with the radicalism of the French Revolution and into literature in early Romanticism. Even when official disapproval was at its strongest, the evidence points to a growing audience for occult publications as well as to subversive popular enthusiasm. Ultimately, finds Monod, the occult was not discarded in favour of reason but was incorporated into new forms of learning. In that sense, the occult is part of the modern world, not simply a relic of an unenlightened past, and is still with us today.
This book explores a series of powerful artifacts associated with King Solomon via legendary or extracanonical textual sources. Tracing their cultural resonance throughout history, art historian Allegra Iafrate delivers exciting insights into these objects and interrogates the ways in which magic manifests itself at a material level. Each chapter focuses on a different Solomonic object: a ring used to control demons; a mysterious set of bottles that constrain evil forces; an endless knot or seal with similar properties; the shamir, known for its supernatural ability to cut through stone; and a flying carpet that can bring the sitter anywhere he desires. Taken together, these chapters constitute a study on the reception of the figure of Solomon, but they are also cultural biographies of these magical objects and their inherent aesthetic, morphological, and technical qualities. Thought-provoking and engaging, Iafrate's study shows how ancient magic artifacts live on in our imagination, in items such as Sauron's ring of power, Aladdin's lamp, and the magic carpet. It will appeal to historians of art, religion, folklore, and literature.
First Published in 1968. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
How does democracy fare when the people governed insist they live
in a world with witches? If the government of a people afflicted by
witchcraft refuses to punish witches, how does it avoid becoming
alienated from the perceived needs of its people or, worse, seen as
being in league with witches? In Soweto, South Africa, the constant
threat of violent crime, the increase in black socio-economic
inequality, the AIDS pandemic, and a widespread fear of witchcraft
have converged to create a pervasive sense of insecurity among
citizens and a unique public policy problem for government.
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.
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