The Varieties of Magical Experience

Author: Lynne Hume
Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 1440804184
Format: PDF, Kindle
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A rare combination of personal and academic, this book showcases the myriad avenues for transcending the boundaries of reality through direct sensory experience. * Highlights techniques, rituals, and training of magical practitioners * Counterpoints the rational with the emotional and compares the past with the present * Takes a cross-cultural, historical, and anthropological approach that is accessible to all readers * Includes experiences of academics, shamans, occultists, healers, sorcerers, pagans, medieval magicians, cybermagicians, and indigenous peoples across the world

Unlocked Books

Author: Benedek Lang
Publisher: Penn State Press
ISBN: 0271033789
Format: PDF, Docs
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During the Middle Ages, the Western world translated the incredible Arabic scientific corpus and imported it into Western culture: Arabic philosophy, optics, and physics, as well as alchemy, astrology, and talismanic magic. The line between the scientific and the magical was blurred. According to popular lore, magicians of the Middle Ages were trained in the art of magic in &“magician schools&” located in various metropolitan areas, such as Naples, Athens, and Toledo. It was common knowledge that magic was learned and that cities had schools designed to teach the dark arts. The Spanish city of Toledo, for example, was so renowned for its magic training schools that &“the art of Toledo&” was synonymous with &“the art of magic.&” Until Benedek L&áng&’s work on Unlocked Books, little had been known about the place of magic outside these major cities. A principal aim of Unlocked Books is to situate the role of central Europe as a center for the study of magic. L&áng helps chart for us how the thinkers of that day&—clerics, courtiers, and university masters&—included in their libraries not only scientific and religious treatises but also texts related to the field of learned magic. These texts were all enlisted to solve life&’s questions, whether they related to the outcome of an illness or the meaning of lines on one&’s palm. Texts summoned angels or transmitted the recipe for a magic potion. L&áng gathers magical texts that could have been used by practitioners in late fifteenth-century central Europe.

A History of Science Magic and Belief

Author: Steven P. Marrone
Publisher: Macmillan International Higher Education
ISBN: 1137029781
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Steven P. Marrone traces the mutual interactions and boundaries of science, religion and magic in medieval and early modern Europe. Woven together, these three narratives help explain the simultaneous emergence of modern science and early modern social order in Europe.

Crafting the Witch

Author: Heidi Breuer
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135868220
Format: PDF, Mobi
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This book analyzes the gendered transformation of magical figures occurring in Arthurian romance in England from the twelfth to the sixteenth centuries. In the earlier texts, magic is predominantly a masculine pursuit, garnering its user prestige and power, but in the later texts, magic becomes a primarily feminine activity, one that marks its user as wicked and heretical. This project explores both the literary and the social motivations for this transformation, seeking an answer to the question, 'why did the witch become wicked?' Heidi Breuer traverses both the medieval and early modern periods and considers the way in which the representation of literary witches interacted with the culture at large, ultimately arguing that a series of economic crises in the fourteenth century created a labour shortage met by women. As women moved into the previously male-dominated economy, literary backlash came in the form of the witch, and social backlash followed soon after in the form of Renaissance witch-hunting. The witch figure serves a similar function in modern American culture because late-industrial capitalism challenges gender conventions in similar ways as the economic crises of the medieval period.

Magic in the Modern World

Author: Edward Bever
Publisher: Penn State Press
ISBN: 0271079878
Format: PDF, ePub
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This collection of essays considers the place of magic in the modern world, first by exploring the ways in which modernity has been defined in explicit opposition to magic and superstition, and then by illuminating how modern proponents of magic have worked to legitimize their practices through an overt embrace of evolving forms such as esotericism and supernaturalism. Taking a two-track approach, this book explores the complex dynamics of the construction of the modern self and its relation to the modern preoccupation with magic. Essays examine how modern “rational” consciousness is generated and maintained and how proponents of both magical and scientific traditions rationalize evidence to fit accepted orthodoxy. This book also describes how people unsatisfied with the norms of modern subjectivity embrace various forms of magic—and the methods these modern practitioners use to legitimate magic in the modern world. A compelling assessment of magic from the early modern period to today, Magic in the Modern World shows how, despite the dominant culture’s emphatic denial of their validity, older forms of magic persist and develop while new forms of magic continue to emerge. In addition to the editors, contributors include Egil Asprem, Erik Davis, Megan Goodwin, Dan Harms, Adam Jortner, and Benedek Láng.

Cunning folk and familiar spirits

Author: Emma Wilby
Publisher: Sussex Academic Pr
ISBN:
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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This book contains the first comprehensive examination of popular familiar belief in early modern Britain. It provides an in-depth analysis of the correlation between early modern British magic and tribal shamanism, examines the experiential dimension of popular magic and witchcraft in early modern Britain, and explores the links between British fairy beliefs and witch beliefs. In the hundreds of confessions relating to witchcraft and sorcery trials in early modern Britain there are detailed descriptions of intimate working relationships between popular magical practitioners and familiar spirits of either human or animal form. Until recently historians often dismissed these descriptions as elaborate fictions created by judicial interrogators eager to find evidence of stereotypical pacts with the Devil. Although this paradigm is now routinely questioned, and most historians acknowledge that there was a folkloric component to familiar lore in the period, these beliefs, and the experiences reportedly associated with them, remain substantially unexplored. This book examines the folkloric roots of familiar lore from historical, anthropological and comparative religious perspectives. It argues that beliefs about witches' familiars were rooted in beliefs surrounding the use of fairy familiars by beneficent magical practitioners or 'cunning folk', and corroborates this through a comparative analysis of familiar beliefs found in traditional Native American and Siberian shamanism. The author explores the experiential dimension of familiar lore by drawing parallels between early modern familiar encounters and visionary mysticism as it appears in both tribal shamanism and medieval European contemplative traditions. These perspectives challenge the reductionist view of popular magic in early modern Britain often presented by historians.

Magic and Magicians in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Time

Author: Albrecht Classen
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG
ISBN: 311055772X
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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There are no clear demarcation lines between magic, astrology, necromancy, medicine, and even sciences in the pre-modern world. Under the umbrella term 'magic,' the contributors to this volume examine a wide range of texts, both literary and religious, both medical and philosophical, in which the topic is discussed from many different perspectives. The fundamental concerns address issue such as how people perceived magic, whether they accepted it and utilized it for their own purposes, and what impact magic might have had on the mental structures of that time. While some papers examine the specific appearance of magicians in literary texts, others analyze the practical application of magic in medical contexts. In addition, this volume includes studies that deal with the rise of the witch craze in the late fifteenth century and then also investigate whether the Weberian notion of disenchantment pertaining to the modern world can be maintained. Magic is, oddly but significantly, still around us and exerts its influence. Focusing on magic in the medieval world thus helps us to shed light on human culture at large.

Witchcraft and Magic in Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century Europe

Author: Geoffrey Scarre
Publisher: Macmillan International Higher Education
ISBN: 1137243341
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The figure of the witch still has the ability to exert a powerful fascination on the modern mind. The vision of the elderly crone begging for charity at the crossroads, an object of fear and revulsion for her local community, has combined with the memory of prolonged judicial persecution and oppression to inspire contemporary movements as far removed from each other as Wiccans and women's liberation. In tackling such an emotive issue, where misogyny and violence combine with superstition and the basest of human instincts, Scarre and Callow chart a clear and refreshingly level-headed approach to the subject. Distinguishing between fact and fiction, they set the witch trials firnly back within the context of their own times and, without seeking to exonerate those responsible, demonstrate how it was possible for judiciaries and social elites to believe wholeheartedly in the reality and efficacy of witchcraft as a valid system of belief and as a dangerous threat to the fabric of society in which they lived. This new edition has been comprehensively updated to take account of the vast expansion in interest and scholarly research that has taken place in the field since the publication of the first edition. This work provides a provocative thesis for those seeking to understand the basis for the politics of persecution and a firm interpretative basis around which further exploratory research may be conducted.

Material Approaches to Roman Magic

Author: Adam Parker
Publisher:
ISBN: 1785708821
Format: PDF
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This second volume in the new TRAC Themes in Roman Archaeology series seeks to push the research agendas of materiality and lived experience further into the study of Roman magic, a field that has, until recently, lacked object-focused analysis. Building on the pioneering studies in Boschung and Bremmer's (2015) Materiality of Magic, the editors of the present volume have collected contributions that showcase the value of richly-detailed, context-specific explorations of the magical practices of the Roman world. By concentrating primarily on the Imperial period and the western provinces, the various contributions demonstrate very clearly the exceptional range of influences and possibilities open to individuals who sought to use magical rituals to affect their lives in these specific contexts – something that would have been largely impossible in earlier periods of antiquity. Contributions are presented from a range of museum professionals, commercial archaeologists, university academics and postgraduate students, making a compelling case for strengthening lines of communication between these related areas of expertise.

Rainforest Medicine

Author: Jonathon Miller Weisberger
Publisher: North Atlantic Books
ISBN: 158394608X
Format: PDF
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Featuring in-depth essays on plant-based medicine and indigenous science from four different Amazonian societies, discusses the practices, legends, and wisdom of the vanishing traditions of the upper Amazon.