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The History of Magic in the Modern Age: A…
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The History of Magic in the Modern Age: A Quest for Personal…

by Nevill Drury

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I've read Margot Adler's Drawing Down the Moon and Ronald Hutton's Triumph of the Moon. I would recommend all three, since they all have different strengths. Adler's is a better survey of the current varieties of neopaganism, Ronald Hutton has a better history of magic as a form of Neo-paganism. Drury brings to his book an interest in the Western esoteric and mystical traditions as sources of modern magic, rather than revivals of ancient paganism; he discusses in some detail the Kabbalah, The Golden Dawn, The Rosicrucians, etc. He is more interested in magic as a form of self-transformation, rather than as submission and pleas for help to various deities. His coverage of neopaganism is not very broad, focussing mainly on Wicca. He also discusses at length the Church of Satan and its successor the Temple of Set. He is also interested in the non-religious, but related issues of role-playing games, and the use of cyberspace as an opportunity to recreate oneself. This would not be my first choice as a history of neo-paganism, but it adds a lot of related material. ( )
  juglicerr | Dec 10, 2008 |
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For those unfamiliar with occult beliefs, the world of magic and the esoteric traditions produces a wide variety of responses.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0786707828, Hardcover)

A new and original perspective on the history and practice of magic as a mode of spiritual enlightenment and personal transformation. Divorced from the realm of mere superstition and again wedded to disciplines of alternative spirituality, magic is newly exerting a vital influence on contemporary thought and culture, and this intriguing, authoritative volume shows how and why. For Nevill Drury, who for three decades has been researching magic and states of human consciousness, the modern resurgence of interest in magic lies in the ancient and enduring quest for transformative spiritual experiences. Indeed, in modern times, as Drury displays, a "new consciousness" has been shaped by such prominent figures as Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell, and Carlos Castaneda, who have explored the powers of myth, magic, and mysticism throughout the spiritual history of humankind - from the ancient Egyptian mysteries to Gnosticism and the Kabbalah, from medieval practices like the Tarot and alchemy to the more recent esoteric rites of Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry. Drury traces the development of modern magic as a route to higher consciousness back to the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and relates it to the revival of Celtic religious traditions as well as the re-emergence of Goddess worship as a vital expression of feminine spirituality. With his presentation of magic as a potent medium of alternative spirituality, Drury looks at magic from a new perspective. He wrests it from the province of the black arts and demonstrates its dynamic possibilities in the elevation and evolution of the human soul.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:31 -0400)

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