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PrefaceAcknowledgments1. Prelude in Antiquity2. Changing views of the Devil and his power3. The demonization of medieval heretics (1)4. The demonization of medieval heretics (2)5. The crushing of the Knights Templars6. The reality of ritual magic7. Demon-worshipping magicians that never were8. The society of witches that never was9. The night-witch in popular imagination10. How the great witch-hunt did not start11. How the great witch-hunt really started (1)12. How the great witch-hunt really started (2)Note on the IllustrationsBibliographical NotesIndex
How was magic practised in medieval times? How did it relate to the diverse beliefs and practices that characterised this fascinating period? In Magic in the Middle Ages Richard Kieckhefer surveys the growth and development of magic in medieval times. He examines its relation to religion, science, philosophy, art, literature and politics before introducing us to the different types of magic that were used, the kinds of people who practised magic, and the reasoning behind their beliefs. In addition, he shows how magic served as a point of contact between the popular and elite classes, how the reality of magical beliefs is reflected in the fiction of medieval literature, and how the persecution of magic and witchcraft led to changes in the law. This book places magic at the crossroads of medieval culture, shedding light on many other aspects of life in the Middle Ages.
'Witches & Wicked Bodies' provides an innovative, rich survey of European witchcraft from the 16th century to the present day. It focuses on the representation of female witches and the enduring stereotypes they embody, from hideous old crones to beautiful young seductresses.
. Explores the practices and beliefs of many left-hand path groups, including the Cult of Set, the Hell-Fire Club and heretical Sufi, Zoroastrian, Christian and Muslim sects . Investigates many infamous occult personalities, including Helena Blavatsky, Aleister Crowley, the Marquis de Sade and Anton LaVey . Explains the true difference between the right-hand path and the left-hand path - union with and dependence on God versus individual freedom and self-empowerment From black magic and Satanism to Gnostic sects and Gurdjieff's Fourth Way, the left-hand path has been linked to many practices, cults and individuals across the ages. Stephen Flowers examines the methods, teachings and historical role of the left-hand path, from its origins in Indian tantric philosophy to its underlying influence in current world affairs and reveals which philosophers, magicians and occult figures throughout history can truly be called "Lords of the Left-Hand Path." Flowers explains that while the right-hand path seeks union with and, thus, dependence on God, the left-hand path seeks a "higher law" based on knowledge and power. It is the way of self-empowerment and true freedom. Beginning with ancient Hindu and Buddhist sects and moving Westward, he examines many alleged left-hand path groups, including the Cult of Set, the Yezidi Devil Worshippers, the Assassins, the Neoplatonists, the Hell-Fire Club, the Bolsheviks, the occult Nazis and several heretical Sufi, Zoroastrian, Christian and Muslim sects. Following a carefully crafted definition of a true adherent of the left-hand path based on two main principles - self-deification and challenge to the conventions of "good" and "evil" - the author analyses many famous and infamous personalities, including H. P. Blavatsky, Faust, the Marquis de Sade, Austin Osman Spare, Aleister Crowley, Gerald Gardner, Anton LaVey and Michael Aquino and reveals which occult masters were Lords of the Left-Hand Path. Flowers shows that the left-hand path is not inherently evil but part of our heritage and our deep-seated desire to be free, independent and in control of our destinies.
When Harry Potter first boards the Hogwarts Express, he journeys to a world which Rowling says has alchemy as its "internal logic." The Philosopher's Stone, known for its power to transform base metals into gold and to give immortality to its maker, is the subject of the conflict between Harry and Voldemort in the first book of the series. But alchemy is not about money or eternal life, it is much more about the transformations of desire, of power and of people, through love. Harry's equally remarkable and ordinary power to love leads to his desire to find but not use the Philosopher's Stone at the start of the series and his wish to end the destructive power of the Elder Wand at the end. This collection of essays on alchemical symbolism and transformations in Rowling's series demonstrates how Harry's work with magical objects, people, and creatures transfigure desire, power, and identity. As Harry's leaden existence on Privet Drive is transformed in the company of his friends and teachers, the Harry Potter novels have transformed millions of readers, inspiring us to find the gold in our ordinary lives.
The Witchcraft Sourcebook, now in its second edition, is a fascinating collection of documents that illustrates the development of ideas about witchcraft from ancient times to the eighteenth century. Many of the sources come from the period between 1400 and 1750, when more than 100,000 people - most of them women - were prosecuted for witchcraft in Europe and colonial America. During these years the prominent stereotype of the witch as an evil magician and servant of Satan emerged. Catholics and Protestants alike feared that the Devil and his human confederates were destroying Christian society. Including trial records, demonological treatises and sermons, literary texts, narratives of demonic possession, and artistic depiction of witches, the documents reveal how contemporaries from various periods have perceived alleged witches and their activities. Brian P. Levack shows how notions of witchcraft have changed over time and considers the connection between gender and witchcraft and the nature of the witch's perceived power. This second edition includes an extended section on the witch trials in England, Scotland and New England, fully revised and updated introductions to the sources to include the latest scholarship and a short bibliography at the end of each introduction to guide students in their further reading. The Sourcebook provides students of the history of witchcraft with a broad range of sources, many of which have been translated into English for the first time, with commentary and background by one of the leading scholars in the field.
This remarkable work contains the original texts with translations and descriptions of a series of Egyptian, Sumerian, Assyrian, Hebrew, Christian, Gnostic, and Muslim amulets and magical devices and figures. Man through the ages has widely held the importance of being able to hold the evil eye at bay.
An initiation signals a beginning: a door opens and you step through Amanda Yates Garcia's mother initiated her into the goddess-worshipping practice of witchcraft when she was thirteen years old, but Amanda's true life as a witch only began when she underwent a series of spontaneous initiations of her own. Descending into the underworlds of poverty, sex work and misogyny, Initiated describes Amanda's journey to return to her body, harness her natural power, and finally reclaim her witchcraft to create the magical world she envisioned. Peppered with mythology, tales of the goddesses and magical women throughout history, Initiated stands squarely at the intersection of witchcraft and feminism. Amanda shows that practising magic is about more than spells and potions; magic is nothing less than claiming power for oneself and taking back our planet in the name of Love. Initiated is both memoir and manifesto, calling the magical people of the world to take up their wands, be brave, and create the enchanted world they long to live in. 'Godesses, ecstasies, fairy tales: Initiated is full of my favourite things, told with savage grace. This book will change your life.' FRANCESCA LIA BLOCK
'Gripping ... a story of loss, ambition, misogyny, family love and what it means to belong ... evocative and atmospheric' Irish Times 1324, Kilkennie: A time of suspicion and conspiracy. A place where zealous men rage against each other - and even more against uppity women A woman finds refuge with her daughter in the household of a childhood friend. The friend, Alice Kytler, gives her former companion a new name, Petronelle, a job as a servant, and warns her to hide their old connection. But in aligning herself with a powerful woman, Petronelle and her child are in more danger than they ever faced in the savage countryside ... Tense, moving and atmospheric Her Kind is vivid reimagining of the events leading to the Kilkenny Witch Trial. __________ 'Masterful ... Boyce delicately unfolds this atmospheric, magical thriller with pace and juice, while also making sure that the sentiments (vilification of women, policing of female biology) echo through time' Sunday Independent 'Shines a light on women who have been silenced. This tightly paced novel confirms Boyce as an important voice in Irish literature' Louise O'Neill 'Sings of these modern times' RTE Guide 'Pulls us into a world both seductively alien, yet uneasily, all-too-humanly, familiar' Mia Gallagher 'The plot is pacey and menacing, and the writing is clear, sharp and studded with glistening phrases ... a wonderful shout through time' Nuala O'Connor 'Beautifully absorbing ... highly recommended' Hot Press 'Moving and atmospheric' Irish Country Magazine 'Enthralling' Irish Examiner 'Niamh Boyce has taken a bleak and dismal period and sent a bolt of beautiful and revealing light into the darkness' John MacKenna
America Bewitched is the first major history of witchcraft in America - from the Salem witch trials of 1692 to the present day. The infamous Salem trials are etched into the consciousness of modern America, the human toll a reminder of the dangers of intolerance and persecution. The refrain 'Remember Salem!' was invoked frequently over the ensuing centuries. As time passed, the trials became a milepost measuring the distance America had progressed from its colonial past, its victims now the righteous and their persecutors the shamed. Yet the story of witchcraft did not end as the American Enlightenment dawned - a new, long, and chilling chapter was about to begin. Witchcraft after Salem was not just a story of fire-side tales, legends, and superstitions: it continued to be a matter of life and death, souring the American dream for many. We know of more people killed as witches between 1692 and the 1950s than were executed before it. Witches were part of the story of the decimation of the Native Americans, the experience of slavery and emancipation, and the immigrant experience; they were embedded in the religious and social history of the country. Yet the history of American witchcraft between the eighteenth and the twentieth century also tells a less traumatic story, one that shows how different cultures interacted and shaped each other's languages and beliefs. This is therefore much more than the tale of one persecuted community: it opens a fascinating window on the fears, prejudices, hopes, and dreams of the American people as their country rose from colony to superpower.
"I never killed Raoul Loveday with a magical spell". Aleister Crowley, otherwise known as the Beast 666, shared membership of the Golden Dawn with W B Yeats, and publishers with D H Lawrence. Now in a beyond-the-grave autobiography, he recounts his own vocation, his practice of sex magic, and his bruising encounters with his contemporaries. The great magus, whose own world-conquering creed The Book of the Law was written in Cairo in 1904, was according to him, no murderer, but a prophet and practitioner of all kinds of sexual freedom and new magical systems.
Awaken your inner healer by connecting with the wise and magickal energies of plants. Drawn from traditional ancestral practices passed down by generations of indigenous teachers, plant whisperer and herbalist Juliet Diaz guides readers along a journey far beyond the basic medicinal and magical properties of plants in this deep dive into Mother Earth's drumming heart. Become a powerful healer and a child of nature, learning to hear, see and understand the sacred vibrations of plant language to heal not only yourself but our Earth as well. In Plant Witchery you will discover how to: - speak and listen to plants through powerful communication techniques - determine medicinal and magical properties for a collection of plants - grow and care for plants, even how to heal them when they are dying - create your own potions, elixirs, tinctures, oils and spells - dry and store herbs, plants and flowers for medicinal and magickal workings - choose the best astrological times to work with different plants This book is illustrated with black & white illustrations of plants.
The art of predicting earthly events from the movements of stars and planets has always been a source of fascination. Medieval astrologers, though sometimes feared to be magicians in league with demons, were usually revered scholars whose ideas and practices were widely respected. Politics, medicine, weather forecasting, cosmology and alchemy were all influenced by astrological concepts. Astrology in Medieval Manuscripts explores the dazzling complexity of western medieval astrology and its place in society, as revealed by a wealth of illustrated manuscripts from the British Library's rich medieval collection.
This richly illustrated history provides a readable and fresh approach to the extensive and complex story of witchcraft and magic. Telling the story from the dawn of writing in the ancient world to the globally successful Harry Potter films, the authors explore a wide range of magical beliefs and practices, the rise of the witch trials, and the depiction of the Devil-worshipping witch. The book also focuses on the more recent history of witchcraft and magic, from the Enlightenment to the present, exploring the rise of modern magic, the anthropology of magic around the globe, and finally the cinematic portrayal of witches and magicians, from The Wizard of Oz to Charmed and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
From simple charms to complex and subversive rituals to summon demons, diverse forms of magic were practiced in the Middle Ages. With numerous fascinating illustrations from the British Library's rich medieval collection, Magic in Medieval Manuscripts explores the place of magic in the medieval world. It examines representations of the magician, wise-woman and witch; magical objects; and ritual procedures, revealing the medieval fascination with the points of contact between this world and the celestial and infernal realms.
Are you in need of a little magic to entice love into your life? Maybe someone you know could benefit from a good-luck spell? Or perhaps you want to feel more in control of your destiny? The Little Book of Witchcraft uncovers the mysteries of this ancient art and shows you how to tap into the positive natural energies of the cosmos to release your inner power. Learn about different kinds of witchcraft and its fascinating history, its symbolism and the building blocks of Wicca, and how to perform simple spells to attract good energy, luck, love, health and happiness.
Fascinating and highly informative, The Appearance of Witchcraft explores how visual representations of witchcraft contributed to the widespread acceptance of witch beliefs in sixteenth-century Europe and helped establish the preconditions for the widespread persecution of witches.
Focusing on the visual contraction, or figure of the witch, and the activity of witchcraft, Zika places the study in the context of sixteenth-century withcraft and demonological theory, and in the turbulent social and religious changes of the period.
Zika argues that artists and printers used images to relate witchcraft theories, developed by theologians and legitimated by secular authorities, to a whole range of contemporary discourses on women and gender roles, sexuality, peasant beliefs and medical theories of the body. He also examines the role of artist as mediators between the ideas of the elite and the ordinary people.
For students of medieval history or anyone interested in the appearance of witchcraft, this will be an enthralling and invaluable read.
A practical guide to the Anglo-Saxon Futhark and how runes were used in Old England In the early Anglo-Saxon period, the region of Great Britain known as Northumbria was a kingdom in its own right. These lands, in what is now northern England and southeast Scotland, were the targets of the first Viking raids on Britain. This violent influx, followed by the establishment of trade routes with the Norse, brought the runes to the region, where they intermingled with local magical traditions and legends, resulting in the development of a practical runic wisdom entirely unique to Northumbria. In this guide to the Wyrdstaves, or runic practices, of Old Northumbria, Nigel Pennick examines the thirty-three runes of the Anglo-Saxon Futhark and how they were used in Old England for weaving the web of Wyrd. Sharing runic lore and legends from the area, he explains how the Northumbrian runes are unique because they contain elements from all the cultures of the region, including the Picts, Britons, Romans, Angles, Scots, and Norse. He illustrates how each rune in this tradition is a storehouse of ancient knowledge, detailing the meanings, historical uses, symbolism, and related tree and plant spirits for each of the thirty-three runes. The author describes the Northumbrian use of runes in magic and encryption and explores geomancy divination practices, the role of sacred numbers, and the power of the eight airts, or directions. He also shows how the Northumbrian runes have a close relationship with Ogam, the tree alphabet of the ancient Celts. Providing a magical history of Northumbria, as well as a look at the otherworldly beings who call these lands home, including boggarts, brownies, and dragons, Pennick explains how traditional spirituality is intimately tied to the landscape and the cycle of the seasons. He reveals how the runic tradition is still vibrantly alive in this area and ready for us to reawaken to it.
Called "The Black Pope" by many of his followers, Anton La Vey began the road to High Priesthood of the (lurch of Satan when he was only 16 years old and an organ player in a carnival:
"On Saturday night I would see men lusting after halfnaked girls dancing at the carnival, and on Sunday morning when I was playing the organ for tent-show evangelists at the other end of the carnival lot, I would see these same men sitting in the pews with their wives and children, asking God to forgive them and purge them of carnal desires. And the next Saturday night they'd be back at The carnival or some other place of indulgence.
"I knew then that the Christian Church thrives on hypocrisy, and that man's carnal nature will out!"
From that time early in his life his path was clear. Finally, on the last night of April, 1966 -- Walpurgisnacht, the most important festival of the believers in witchcraft -- LaVey shaved his head in the tradition of Ancient executioners and announced the formation of The Church Of Satan. He had seen the need for a church that would recapture man's body and his carnal desires as objects of celebration. "Since worship of fleshly things produces pleasure," he said, "there would then be a temple of glorious indulgence . . ."
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