The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion

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In 1890, James George Frazer began publishing The Golden Bough, his monumental study of myth, ritual, and religion, which would, by 1936, run to 13 volumes and establish him as a pioneer in the study of religion as an aspect of culture. This abridged edition, assembled in 1922, condenses this fundamental work to one readable volume that is still a source for modern anthropology, thanks to its expansive discussions ancient cultish practices and their connections to the rites of modern Christianity. In eloquent prose, Frazer discusses legends of the woods, sympathetic magic, magicians as kings, the worship of trees, the concept of the sacred marriage, the links between priestly and royal power, ritual royal sacrifices, the concept of "eating the god," the myths of Osiris, Adonis, Isis, and other ancient deities, and much more. Lovers of mythology will be enraptured by this book, which draws all of human belief under one unifying umbrella, celebrating myth and ritual as part of the basis of all human culture. Scottish anthropologist SIR JAMES GEORGE FRAZER (1854-1941) also wrote the classic The Golden Bough (1890), *Man, God, and Immortality* (1927), and Creation and Evolution in Primitive Cosmogonies (1935).
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Additional Information

Publisher
Cosimo, Inc.
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Published on
Jan 1, 2009
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Pages
732
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ISBN
9781605209364
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Body, Mind & Spirit / Magick Studies
Body, Mind & Spirit / Mysticism
Religion / Comparative Religion
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Arthur Edward Waite writes "The Book of Ceremonial Magic" as a newer and more accurate edition of his previous title "The Book of Black Magic and of Pacts," written in 1898. As most ancient texts on magical literature are rare and hard to come by, it becomes very difficult for modern scholars to ascertain an accurate knowledge of ancient spells and rituals. Waite responds to this lack of accessible literature and approaches this text as a methodical and systematic account of magical procedures of the past. He remains faithful to the original sources before making any conclusions by way of his thorough research methods.

Part I provides the reader with essential passages from leading magical texts from the fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth centuries. Part II is a more systematically organized version of these ancient texts, adapted by A.E. Waite to the ways of the modern academic. This volume remains one of the best sources of magical procedure, touching on such topics as gods, costume, and the planets and their relation to the supernatural. Although disapproving of the application of magic and the black arts in his introduction, Waite nonetheless defends those victims persecuted throughout history because of their participation in these superstitious beliefs. He also speaks positively about astrology and alchemy, noting them as more important categories of the magical arts. Through this volume, the contemporary reader can finally begin to understand the beliefs in the black arts that were so deeply rooted in our civilization's past.

"The most arresting, entertaining, and brilliant of all studies on the subject." — Arthur Edward Waite
A great work of literature as well as a pioneering classic of occultism, this voluminous historical survey traces the roots and manifestations of magic through the ages as a secret tradition persisting from remote times. Author Éliphas Lévi, pseudonym of Alphonse Louis Constant (1810-75), was a leader of the French occult revival, a spiritual teacher and magus who is today considered by some to be a founding father of the New Age movement. One of his most stunning (and original) revelations connects the Kabbalah with the Tarot, thus helping to inspire the ongoing fascination with the symbols of both, and their correspondences with each other. In this 1860 work, Lévi's discussions include topics that continue to intrigue modern readers, subjects as seemingly disparate as the mathematical magic of Pythagoras, magical monuments, magic and Christianity, the devil, the Knights Templar, alchemy, the illuminati, hallucinations, and many others that are equally alluring.
The first part of the book explains the principles underlying magical operations, while the second part addresses the actual ritual and practice of transcendent magic. An essential resource for the library of anyone interested in mysticism and the occult sciences, this influential work appears here in its first English translation (from the original French) by the distinguished scholar and co-creator of the Rider-Waite Tarot deck, A. E. Waite.
The Western magical traditions are currently undergoing an international resurgence. In Stealing Fire from Heaven, Nevill Drury offers an overview of the modern occult revival and seeks to explain this growing interest in ancient magical belief systems. Gnosticism and the Hermetica, the medieval Kabbalah, Tarot and Alchemy, and more recently, Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry, collectively laid the basis for the modern magical revival, which first began to gather momentum in Europe at the end of the nineteenth century. Western magic has since become increasingly eclectic, drawing on such diverse sources as classical Greco-Roman mythology, Celtic cosmology, Kundalini yoga and Tantra, shamanism, chaos theory, and the various spiritual traditions associated in many different cultures with the Universal Goddess. Drury traces the rise of various forms of magical belief and practice, from the influential Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn to the emergence of Wicca and Goddess worship as expressions of contemporary feminine spirituality. He also explores Chaos Magick and the occult practices of the so-called Left-Hand Path, as well as twenty-first-century magical forays into cyberspace. He believes that the rise of modern Western magic stems essentially from the quest for personal spiritual transformation and direct experience of the sacred--a quest which the trance occultist and visionary artist Austin Osman Spare once referred to as "stealing fire from heaven." Considered in this light, Drury argues, modern Western magic can be regarded as a form of alternative spirituality in which the practitioners seek direct engagement with the mythic realm.
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