Your cart is empty
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."
Mephistopheles is the fourth and final volume of a critically acclaimed history of the concept of the Devil. The series constitutes the most complete historical study ever made of the figure that has been called the second most famous personage in Christianity.In his first three volumes Jeffrey Burton Russell brought the history of Christian diabology to the end of the Middle Ages, showing the development of a degree of consensus, even in detail, on the concept of the Devil. Mephistopheles continues the story from the Reformation to the present, tracing the fragmentation of the tradition. Using examples from theology, philosophy, art, literature, and popular culture, he describes the great changes effected in our idea of the Devil by the intellectual and cultural developments of modem times.Emphasizing key figures and movements, Russell covers the apogee of the witch craze in the Renaissance and Reformation, the effects of the Enlightenment's rationalist philosophy, the Romantic image of Satan, and the cynical or satirical literary treatments of the Devil in the late nineteenth century. He concludes that although today the Devil may seem an outworn metaphor, the very real horrors of the twentieth century suggest the continuing need for some vital symbol of radical evil.A work of great insight and learning, Mephistopheles deepens our understanding of the ways in which people in Western societies have dealt with the problem of evil.
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.
Discover the strange world of the undead and the proof that creatures of the night exist when you read Vampires by Konstantinos. The facts about vampires are stranger than anything you may have read, heard, or imagined before. In Vampires you'll learn the truth about the undead. It rips away the myth and exposes the habits and lifestyles of these beings. Vampires reveals the occult truths about these creatures including actual first-person encounters with vampires of all types--the ancient undead of folklore, contemporary mortal blood drinkers, and the most dangerous creatures of all: psychic vampires who intentionally drain the life force from their victims. - Learn about the four types of vampires - Read about vampire legends from around the world - Discover vampires from history, including: - Arnold Paole of Serbia - Peter Plogojowitz and the Count de Cabreras of Hungary - The vampire of Croglin Grange, Cumberland, England - Countess Elizabeth Bathory, responsible for up to 650 deaths - Gilles de Rais - Fritz Haarman, of Germany, from ninety years ago - John Haigh of Yorkshire, England, from just before WWII - And of course, the real Vlad Dracula - Present-day blood drinkers - How to protect yourself from vampires Included are letters from contemporary vampires. You will be shocked and surprised as you discover what these people are really like. Besides learning about the psychic vampire that unintentionally drains you of your energy as well as the intentional psychic vampire, you'll learn rituals for protection and methods to avoid falling into their clutches. Vampires finally reveals the truth about the undead. You will be fascinated when you discover who they were and what they are now, and you'll be grateful when you learn how to protect yourself from them. This is not a book of fantasy and imagination, but of science, history, and spirituality.
Isaac Luria (1534-1572) is one of the most extraordinary and influential mystical figures in the history of Judaism, a visionary teacher who helped shape the course of nearly all subsequent Jewish mysticism. Given his importance, it is remarkable that this is the first scholarly work on him in English. Most studies of Lurianic Kabbalah focus on Luria's mythic and speculative ideas or on the ritual and contemplative practices he taught. The central premise of this book is that Lurianic Kabbalah was first and foremost a lived and living phenomenon in an actual social world. Thus the book focuses on Luria the person and on his relationship to his disciples. What attracted Luria's students to him? How did they react to his inspired and charismatic behavior? And what roles did Luria and his students see themselves playing in their collective quest for repair of the cosmos and messianic redemption?
Magic, miracles, daemonology, divination, astrology, and alchemy were the arcana mundi, the "secrets of the universe," of the ancient Greeks and Romans. In this path-breaking collection of Greek and Roman writings on magic and the occult, Georg Luck provides a comprehensive sourcebook and introduction to magic as it was practiced by witches and sorcerers, magi and astrologers, in the Greek and Roman worlds.
In this new edition, Luck has gathered and translated 130 ancient texts dating from the eighth century BCE through the fourth century CE. Thoroughly revised, this volume offers several new elements: a comprehensive general introduction, an epilogue discussing the persistence of ancient magic into the early Christian and Byzantine eras, and an appendix on the use of mind-altering substances in occult practices. Also added is an extensive glossary of Greek and Latin magical terms.
In Arcana Mundi Georg Luck presents a fascinating -- and at times startling -- alternative vision of the ancient world. "For a long time it was fashionable to ignore the darker and, to us, perhaps, uncomfortable aspects of everyday life in Greece and Rome," Luck has written. "But we can no longer idealize the Greeks with their 'artistic genius' and the Romans with their 'sober realism.' Magic and witchcraft, the fear of daemons and ghosts, the wish to manipulate invisible powers -- all of this was very much a part of their lives."
Do you want to charm the love of your life, instigate a promotion at work or banish a bad friend? With this fun book and card set, get in touch with your inner witch and ensure life goes as planned! Do you want to charm the love of your life, instigate a promotion at work or banish a bad friend? With this fun book and card set, get in touch with your inner witch and ensure life goes as planned! The 52 charming cards come in two suits - Good Witches and Bad Witches - and the book explains their meanings. You can lay them out like tarot cards to predict the future, and cast the spell that accompanies each card to weave magic, both white and dark. Just remember that the Good Witch spells turn toads into princes, and the Bad Witch spells turn princes into toads...
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.
Who are the familiar spirits of classical culture and what is their
relationship to Christian demons? In its interpretation of Latin
and Greek culture, Christianity contends that Satan is behind all
classical deities, semi-gods, and spiritual creatures, including
the gods of the household, the lares and penates." "But with "In
the Company of Demons," the world's leading demonologist Armando
Maggi argues that the great thinkers of the Italian Renaissance had
a more nuanced and perhaps less sinister interpretation of these
creatures or spiritual bodies.
Devil worship, black magic, and witchcraft have long captivated anthropologists as well as the general public. In this volume, Jean La Fontaine explores the intersection of expert and lay understandings of evil and the cultural forms that evil assumes. The chapters touch on public scares about devil-worship, misconceptions about human sacrifice and the use of body parts in healing practices, and mistaken accusations of children practicing witchcraft. Together, these cases demonstrate that comparison is a powerful method of cultural understanding, but warns of the dangers and mistaken conclusions that untrained ideas about other ways of life can lead to.
By the end of the nineteenth century, Victorians were seeking rational explanations for the world in which they lived. The radical ideas of Charles Darwin had shaken traditional religious beliefs. Sigmund Freud was developing his innovative models of the conscious and unconscious mind. And anthropologist James George Frazer was subjecting magic, myth, and ritual to systematic inquiry. Why, then, in this quintessentially modern moment, did late-Victorian and Edwardian men and women become absorbed by metaphysical quests, heterodox spiritual encounters, and occult experimentation? In answering this question for the first time, The Place of Enchantment breaks new ground in its consideration of the role of occultism in British culture prior to World War I. Rescuing occultism from its status as an irrational indulgence and situating it at the center of British intellectual life, Owen argues that an involvement with the occult was a leitmotif of the intellectual avant-garde. Carefully placing a serious engagement with esotericism squarely alongside revolutionary understandings of rationality and consciousness, Owen demonstrates how a newly psychologized magic operated in conjunction with the developing patterns of modern life. She details such fascinating examples of occult practice as the sex magic of Aleister Crowley, the pharmacological experimentation of W. B. Yeats, and complex forms of astral clairvoyance as taught in secret and hierarchical magical societies like the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Through a remarkable blend of theoretical discussion and intellectual history, Owen has produced a work that moves far beyond a consideration of occultists and their world. Bearing directly on our understanding of modernity, her conclusions will force us to rethink the place of the irrational in modern culture. "An intelligent, well-argued and richly detailed work of cultural history that offers a substantial contribution to our understanding of Britain."--Nick Freeman, Washington Times
The result of a perfect storm of factors that culminated in a great moral catastrophe, the Salem witch trials of 1692 took a breathtaking toll on the young English colony of Massachusetts. Over 150 people were imprisoned, and nineteen men and women, including a minister, were executed by hanging. The colonial government, which was responsible for initiating the trials, eventually repudiated the entire affair as a great ""delusion of the Devil."" In Satan and Salem, Benjamin Ray looks beyond single-factor interpretations to offer a far more nuanced view of why the Salem witch-hunt spiraled out of control. Rather than assigning blame to a single perpetrator, Ray assembles portraits of several major characters, each of whom had complex motives for accusing his or her neighbors. In this way, he reveals how religious, social, political, and legal factors all played a role in the drama. Ray's historical database of court records, documents, and maps yields a unique analysis of the geographic spread of accusations and trials, ultimately showing how the witch-hunt resulted in the execution of so many people-far more than any comparable witchcraft episode in North America
In the courtrooms of seventeenth-century Russia, the great majority of those accused of witchcraft were male, in sharp contrast to the profile of accused witches across Catholic and Protestant Europe in the same period. While European courts targeted and executed overwhelmingly female suspects, often on charges of compacting with the devil, the tsars' courts vigorously pursued men and some women accused of practicing more down-to-earth magic, using poetic spells and home-grown potions. Instead of Satanism or heresy, the primary concern in witchcraft testimony in Russia involved efforts to use magic to subvert, mitigate, or avenge the harsh conditions of patriarchy, serfdom, and social hierarchy.
Broadly comparative and richly illustrated with color plates, Desperate Magic places the trials of witches in the context of early modern Russian law, religion, and society. Piecing together evidence from trial records to illuminate some of the central puzzles of Muscovite history, Kivelson explores the interplay among the testimony of accusers, the leading questions of the interrogators, and the confessions of the accused. Assembled, they create a picture of a shared moral vision of the world that crossed social divides. Because of the routine use of torture in extracting and shaping confessions, Kivelson addresses methodological and ideological questions about the Muscovite courts' equation of pain and truth, questions with continuing resonance in the world today. Within a moral economy that paired unquestioned hierarchical inequities with expectations of reciprocity, magic and suspicions of magic emerged where those expectations were most egregiously violated.
Witchcraft in Russia surfaces as one of the ways that oppression was contested by ordinary people scrambling to survive in a fiercely inequitable world. Masters and slaves, husbands and wives, and officers and soldiers alike believed there should be limits to exploitation and saw magic deployed at the junctures where hierarchical order veered into violent excess.
In this original, provocative, well-reasoned, and thoroughly documented book, Frank Klaassen proposes that two principal genres of illicit learned magic occur in late medieval manuscripts: image magic, which could be interpreted and justified in scholastic terms, and ritual magic (in its extreme form, overt necromancy), which could not. Image magic tended to be recopied faithfully; ritual magic tended to be adapted and reworked. These two forms of magic did not usually become intermingled in the manuscripts, but were presented separately. While image magic was often copied in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, The Transformations of Magic demonstrates that interest in it as an independent genre declined precipitously around 1500. Instead, what persisted was the other, more problematic form of magic: ritual magic. Klaassen shows that texts of medieval ritual magic were cherished in the sixteenth century, and writers of new magical treatises, such as Agrippa von Nettesheim and John Dee, were far more deeply indebted to medieval tradition--and specifically to the medieval tradition of ritual magic--than previous scholars have thought them to be.
You may like...
The Modern Witch's Guide to Magickal…
Tenae Stewart Hardcover
Visions of Isobel Gowdie - Magic…
Emma Wilby Paperback (1)
The Satanic Bible
Anton LaVey Paperback (4)
Condensed Chaos - An Introduction to…
Phil Hine Paperback
The Devil - A New Biography
Philip C. Almond Hardcover
African Science - Witchcraft, Vodun, and…
Douglas J Falen Paperback R614 Discovery Miles 6 140
Sepher Raziel Also Known as Liber…
Stephen Skinner, Don Karr Hardcover
Cautio Criminalis, or a Book on Witch…
Freidrich Spee von Langenfeld Paperback R641 Discovery Miles 6 410
Occult Roots of Nazism - Secret Aryan…
Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke Paperback R474 Discovery Miles 4 740
Michael Psellus on the Operation of…
Marcus Collisson Hardcover