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Vast like the subcontinent itself and teeming with outrageous and
exotic characters, "Net of Magic" is an enthralling voyage through
the netherworld of Indian magic. Lee Siegel, scholar and magician,
uncovers the age-old practices of magic in sacred rites and rituals
and unveils the contemporary world of Indian magic of street and
This volume presents editions of two fascinating anonymous and untitled manuscripts of magic produced in Elizabethan England: the Antiphoner Notebook and the Boxgrove Manual. Frank Klaassen uses these texts, which he argues are representative of the overwhelming majority of magical practitioners, to explain how magic changed during this period and why these developments were crucial to the formation of modern magic. The Boxgrove Manual is a work of learned ritual magic that synthesizes material from Henry Cornelius Agrippa, the Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy, Heptameron, and various medieval conjuring works. The Antiphoner Notebook concerns the common magic of treasure hunting, healing, and protection, blending medieval conjuring and charm literature with materials drawn from Reginald Scot's famous anti-magic work, Discoverie of Witchcraft. Klaassen painstakingly traces how the scribes who created these two manuscripts adapted and transformed their original sources. In so doing, he demonstrates the varied and subtle ways in which the Renaissance, the Reformation, new currents in science, the birth of printing, and vernacularization changed the practice of magic. Illuminating the processes by which two sixteenth-century English scribes went about making a book of magic, this volume provides insight into the wider intellectual culture surrounding the practice of magic in the early modern period.
Outline of the processes of cosmic evolution, including detailed exercises for attaining higher conscious states.
This key to the world's esoteric traditions unlocks some of the
most fascinating and closely held secrets of myth, religion, and
philosophy. Unrivaled in its beauty and completeness, it distills
ancient and modern teachings of nearly 600 experts. Compelling
themes range from the riddle of the Sphinx and the tenets of
Pythagorean astronomy to the symbolism of the pentagram, the
significance of the Ark of the Covenant, and the design of the
Witchcraft violence is a feature of many contemporary African societies. In Ghana, belief in witchcraft and the malignant activities of putative witches is prevalent; purported witches are blamed for all manner of adversities including inexplicable illnesses and untimely deaths. As in other historical periods and other societies, in contemporary Ghana, alleged witches are typically female, elderly, poor and marginalized. Childhood socialization in homes and schools, exposure to mass media, and other institutional mechanisms ensure that witchcraft beliefs are transmitted across generations and entrenched over time. This book provides a detailed account of Ghanaian witchcraft beliefs and practices and their role in fueling violent attacks by aggrieved individuals and vigilante groups on these alleged witches.
Broadside ballads-folio-sized publications containing verse, a tune indication, and woodcut imagery-related cautionary tales, current events, and simplified myth and history to a wide range of social classes across seventeenth century England. Ballads straddled, and destabilized, the categories of public and private performance spaces, the material and the ephemeral, music and text, and oral and written traditions. Sung by balladmongers in the streets and referenced in theatrical works, they were also pasted to the walls of local taverns and domestic spaces. They titillated and entertained, but also educated audiences on morality and gender hierarchies. Although contemporaneous writers published volumes on the early modern controversy over women and the English witch craze, broadside ballads were perhaps more instrumental in disseminating information about dangerous women and their acoustic qualities. Recent scholarship has explored the representations of witchcraft and malfeasance in English street literature; until now, however, the role of music and embodied performance in communicating female transgression has yet to be investigated. Sarah Williams carefully considers the broadside ballad as a dynamic performative work situated in a unique cultural context. Employing techniques drawn from musical analysis, gender studies, performance studies, and the histories of print and theater, she contends that broadside ballads and their music made connections between various degrees of female crime, the supernatural, and cautionary tales for and about women.
In 1634 Urbain Grandier, a handsome and successful seducer of women and priest of the parish of Loudun, was tried, tortured and burnt at the stake. He had been found guilty of being in league with the devil and seducing an entire convent of nuns in what was the most sensational case of mass possession and sexual hysteria in history. Grandier maintained his innocence to the end and four years after his death the nuns were still being subjected to exorcisms to free them from their demonic bondage. Huxley's vivid account of this bizarre tale of religious and sexual obsession transforms our understanding of the medieval world.
This volume comprises English translations of two fundamentally important texts on magic and witchcraft in the fifteenth century: Johannes Hartlieb's Book of All Forbidden Arts and Ulrich Molitoris's On Witches and Pythonesses. Written by laymen and aimed at secular authorities, these works advocated that town leaders and royalty alike should vigorously uproot and prosecute practitioners of witchcraft and magic. Though inquisitors and theologians promulgated the witch trials of late medieval times, lay rulers saw the prosecutions through. But local officials, princes, and kings could be unreliable; some were skeptical about the reality and danger of witchcraft, while others dabbled in the occult themselves. Borrowing from theological and secular sources, Hartlieb and Molitoris agitated against this order in favor of zealously persecuting occultists. Organized as a survey of the seven occult arts, Hartlieb's text is a systematic treatise on the dangers of superstition and magic. Molitoris's text presents a dialogue on the activities of witches, including vengeful sorcery, the transformation of humans into animals, and fornication with the devil. Taken together, these tracts show that laymen exerted significant influence on ridding society of their imagined threat. Precisely translated by Richard Kieckhefer, Hazards of the Dark Arts includes an insightful introduction that discusses the authors, their sources and historical environments, the writings themselves, and the influence they had in the development of ideas about witchcraft.
Imagining the Witch explores emotions, gender, and selfhood through the lens of witch-trials in early modern Germany. Witch-trials were clearly a gendered phenomenon, but witchcraft was not a uniquely female crime. While women constituted approximately three quarters of those tried for witchcraft in the Holy Roman Empire, a significant minority were men. Witchcraft was also a crime of unbridled passion: it centred on the notion that one person's emotions could have tangible and deadly physical consequences. Yet it is also true that not all suspicions of witchcraft led to a formal accusation, and not all witch-trials led to the stake. Indeed, just over half the total number put on trial for witchcraft in early modern Europe were executed. In order to understand how early modern people imagined the witch, we must first begin to understand how people understood themselves and each other; this can help us to understand how the witch could be a member of the community, living alongside their accusers, yet inspire such visceral fear. Through an examination of case studies of witch-trials that took place in the early modern Lutheran duchy of Wurttemberg in southwestern Germany, Laura Kounine examines how the community, church, and the agents of the law sought to identify the witch, and the ways in which ordinary men and women fought for their lives in an attempt to avoid the stake. The study further explores the visual and intellectual imagination of witchcraft in this period in order to piece together why witchcraft could be aligned with such strong female stereotypes on the one hand, but also be imagined as a crime that could be committed by any human, whether young or old, male or female. By moving beyond stereotypes of the witch, Imagining the Witch argues that understandings of what constituted witchcraft and the 'witch' appear far more contested and unstable than has previously been suggested. It also suggests new ways of thinking about early modern selfhood which moves beyond teleological arguments about the development of the 'modern' self. Indeed, it is the trial process itself that created the conditions for a diverse range of people to reflect on, and give meaning, to emotions, gender, and the self in early modern Lutheran Germany.
In early modern Europe, ideas about nature, God, demons, and occult forces were inextricably connected and much ink and blood was spilled in arguments over the characteristics and boundaries of nature and the supernatural. Seitz uses records of Inquisition witchcraft trials in Venice to uncover how individuals across society, from servants to aristocrats, understood these two fundamental categories. Others have examined this issue from the points of view of religious history, the history of science and medicine, or the history of witchcraft alone, but this work brings these sub-fields together to illuminate comprehensively the complex forces shaping early modern beliefs.
This thought-provoking collection of magical texts from ancient Egypt shows the exotic rituals, esoteric healing practices, and incantatory and supernatural dimensions that flowered in early Christianity. These remarkable Christian magical texts include curses, spells of protection from "headless powers" and evil spirits, spells invoking thunderous powers, descriptions of fire baptism, and even recipes from a magical "cookbook." Virtually all the texts are by Coptic Christians, and they date from about the 1st-12th centuries of the common era, with the majority from late antiquity. By placing these rarely seen texts in historical context and discussing their significance, the authors explore the place of healing, prayer, miracles, and magic in the early Christian experience, and expand our understanding of Christianity and Gnosticism as a vital folk religion.
This book contains a dramatic and revealing translation of this ancient classic into English. The Chinese original is set side-by-side with the translation. Two things set this work apart from other translated versions. First, archeological findings are used to uncover the meaning of passages obscured for thousands of years. Second, it preserves the flavor of the original in a poetic rendition. An introductory part of this book provides the historical and philosophical background to the I Ching. The story is told of the ancient Chinese civilization, pointing out events and figures mentioned in the I Ching. The undisguised face of the I Ching will appeal to the modern reader, who will read it in his or her own individual way, as poetry, as discoverer of self, or as soothsayer. It is in the grand tradition of the I Ching for different people to see different things. To Confucius, who was born in 550 B.C., it was a source of ethics. To Leibnitz, the eighteenth-century inventor of calculus, it was the essence of binary mathematics. To Jung Freud's rival in psychology, it was an explorer of the unconscious. To some Wall Streeters, it predicts the stock market. This second edition includes a new chapter on a historical perspective, and other additions, changes and minor reformatting.
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