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The Art of the Occult: A Visual Sourcebook for the Modern Mystic

by S. Elizabeth

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1282215,981 (3.6)None
Mystical beliefs and practices have existed for millennia, but why do we still chase the esoteric? From the beginning of human creativity itself, image-makers have been drawn to these unknown spheres and have created curious artworks that transcend time and place - but what is it that attracts artists to these magical realms? From theosophy and kabbalah, to the zodiac and alchemy; spiritualism and ceremonial magic, to the elements and sacred geometry - The Art of the Occult introduces major occult themes and showcases the artists who have been influenced and led by them. Discover the symbolic and mythical images of the Pre-Raphaelites.… (more)
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very peculiar but interesting ( )
  mahallett | Jan 28, 2022 |
The Art of the Occult: A Visual Sourcebook for the Modern Mystic by S. Elizabeth is a visually stunning and mentally thought-provoking work.

I mainly came to this book because of an interest in the art and how much of it makes me think and feel. I was not disappointed in this, and I was pleasantly surprised by the very interesting text in each chapter. I think a sentence in the Introduction sums it up nicely: Art-making, then, is magic-making.

Good art, and especially good art with occult themes and/or symbolism, leads the viewer to ponder the nuances of life, the things that we know are but we can't explain why they are. Whether it is something as simple as love or as complex as the meaning of our existence, art offers us an avenue into understanding. Not that we will understand, not fully, but we have a way into the conversation. The art represented here does this very well. From the many well known artists and works to the lesser known, we are presented with multiple ways to think about what we know, what we don't know, and what we know we don't know.

I just finished reading the theosophical classic Thought-Forms (new edition from Dover Publications that includes all of the wonderful illustrations) so was particularly interested in that chapter, which includes an image from Thought-Forms. I love when my reading interacts like that.

I would recommend this to anyone interested in the occult or mysticism as well as art lovers. Take each image and sit with it for a while, see if it speaks to you.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley. ( )
1 vote pomo58 | Nov 24, 2020 |
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Mystical beliefs and practices have existed for millennia, but why do we still chase the esoteric? From the beginning of human creativity itself, image-makers have been drawn to these unknown spheres and have created curious artworks that transcend time and place - but what is it that attracts artists to these magical realms? From theosophy and kabbalah, to the zodiac and alchemy; spiritualism and ceremonial magic, to the elements and sacred geometry - The Art of the Occult introduces major occult themes and showcases the artists who have been influenced and led by them. Discover the symbolic and mythical images of the Pre-Raphaelites.

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