From the days of the earliest Paleolithic cave rituals, magic has gripped the imagination. Magic and magicians appear in early Babylonian texts, the Bible, Judaism, and Islam. Secret words, spells, and incantations lie at the heart of nearly every mythological tradition.Read more...
From the days of the earliest Paleolithic cave rituals, magic has gripped the imagination. Magic and magicians appear in early Babylonian texts, the Bible, Judaism, and Islam. Secret words, spells, and incantations lie at the heart of nearly every mythological tradition. But for every genuine magus there is an impostor.
During the Middle Ages, religion, science, and magic were difficult to set apart. The Middle Ages also saw the pursuit of alchemy the magical transformation of base materials which led to a fascination with the occult, Freemasonry, and Rosicrucianism.
The turn of the twentieth century witnessed a return to earlier magical traditions, and today, magic means many things: contemporary Wicca is practiced widely as a modern pagan religion in Europe and the US; magic also stretches to include the nonspiritual, rapid-fire sleight of hand performed by slick stage magicians who fill vast arenas.
The Occult, Witchcraft and Magic is packed with authoritative text and a huge and inspired selection of images, some chosen from unusual sources, including some of the best-known representations of magic and the occult from around the world spanning ancient to modern times."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-10-10
- Reviewer: Staff
There is no culture on Earth that does not contain within it some form of magic, Dell (Mythology: The Complete Guide to Our Imagined Worlds) writes in this invaluable source book on the history and practice of magic and occultism. This thoroughly researched collection documents the history of magic dating from prehistoric times to the present day. Filled with mystical symbols and perplexing charts, this compilation is a must-have for individuals interested in uncovering the history behind rare rings said to be capable of creating gold and mystical plants thought to deflect witchcraft. Whether the reader attempts to practice magic upon finishing this book is not as important to Dell as tracing the origins and roots of magic throughout the centuries. Readers will immerse themselves in the different profiles of astrologers, magicians, and alchemists. Layered throughout is a visually satisfying collection of eclectic and sometimes jarring photographs that will fascinate and stir curiosity. Occult enthusiasts and historians will appreciate this comprehensive exploration of magic around the world. (Oct.)