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The Book of English Magic av Richard Heygate
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The Book of English Magic (urspr publ 2009; utgåvan 2010)

av Richard Heygate (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
416759,646 (3.76)7
Of all the countries in the world, England has the richest history of magical lore and practice. English authors such as J.R.R.Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Terry Pratchett, and J.K.Rowling, dominate the world of magic in fiction, but from the earliest times, England has also acted as home to generations of eccentrics and scholars who have researched and explored every conceivable kind of occult art. Most people are torn between a fascination with magic and an almost instinctive fear of the occult, of a world redolent with superstition and illusion. And yet more people now practice magic in England than at any time in her history. The Book of English Magic explores this hidden story, from its first stirrings to our present-day fascination with all things magical. Along the way readers are offered a rich menu of magical things to do and places to visit.… (mer)
Medlem:strange_analyst
Titel:The Book of English Magic
Författare:Richard Heygate (Författare)
Info:Hodder Paperbacks (2010), 576 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
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Taggar:Ingen/inga

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The Book of English Magic av Philip Carr-Gomm (2009)

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Quite an eclectic read. This is a whistle stop tour of all areas of magic in England which the authors make the case of being the most magical of countries. There are chapters on various aspects of magic including divination, numerology, Druidry, Wicca, etc, and boxes giving potted biographies of various characters important in the history of English magic. There are also personal accounts by various living practitioners, although the practice of putting these into faint grey print makes them a bit tricky to read depending on light levels.

Each chapter has suggestions for further study and practical exercises which the reader can carry out if they wish. I did try out some of those on numerology which were interesting. This is probably more of a book to dip into than to read cover-to-cover as it does become a bit ‘dry’ if you attempt to do that. Overall, a 3 star rating from me. ( )
  kitsune_reader | Nov 23, 2023 |
Got this as part of an ebook bundle on Tolkien. He only showed very briefly, so it was a bit of stretch including this, but I'm glad they did. Interesting read with a lot of history behind it, and a remarkably detailed bibliography. ( )
  Jon_Hansen | Jun 10, 2023 |
What a lovely, informative tome this was! It is 509 pages but it's such an unassuming read that it felt much shorter! It covers a whole range of topics, from the Anglo-Saxons to Arthurian Legend to Druids to Wicca to Freemasons to Occultism. The chapters also include little how-tos and plenty of folklore. For instance, you can learn dowsing, Ogham, charms, reading runes and finding your gateway to the Other-World. C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Merlin, Sir Percival, John Dee and Roger Bacon can all be found here. They also include interviews with modern practitioners and specialists. And at the end of every chapter are “Resources” or “Things to Do,” and book recommendations. But since it is written more like a reference, I’m going to list some things you’ll find in this book!

✨Ley lines! The term was first coined by Alfred Watkins and refers to old routes connecting ancient sites!
✨ There are 3 classes in Druidry: Bards (the birch tree), Ovates (the yew tree) and Druids (the oak tree.) The first are obvious in their role, the second are prophets and healers, and the third are the elite teachers.
✨The Lucky Hand is an amulet made from bracken and crafted thru Midsummer Eve. It is kept in the house for protection.
✨In 1190, the Glastonbury Abbey monks announced they had discovered the remains of King Arthur and Guinevere! King Edward I and Queen Eleanor attended the reburial.
✨Wicca was created by Gerald Gardner who was also a historian of Eastern weaponry!
✨Brighid is goddess of the forge, fire and water. Also of healing, midwifery and poetry, all of which emerge from the “forge” of the body and soul.
✨Spagyrics is the art of producing plant elixirs. Natural alcohols the Mercury, plant oils the Sulphur, and ashes the Salt. ( )
  asukamaxwell | Apr 25, 2022 |
The Book of English Magic has languished for several years on my shelves, I picked it up once and began and put it down, who knows why. This time I persevered and I'm glad I did. Nowhere does this book plumb the depths, but that is not their purpose. The authors visit every kind of magic ever practiced in England (this is exclusively England, not Wales, not Scotland). Gradually one begins to see a country that has only ever uneasily accepted either pure religion or science (and the never the twain shall meet mentality). (Neighboring Wales and Scotland and Ireland too are similar, but they have their own traditions and histories re magic.) From pre-history to the Middle Ages the authors lay out the progression, from the scant leavings of the first residents, then Druids, Anglo-Saxons, the Arthur legends (which begin as a slender shoot, hardly more than a suggestion and grow and grow and grow until you have an immense many-limbed tree of myth and story). Around then practices of magic begin to take shape, black and white, herbal, alchemy, the quest for power, scrying, dowsing and on until you get to the late nineteenth century which blossomed with societies and factions and dramatic characters like Madame Blavatsky and Aleister Crowley and ending with mention of some of the modern societies and some of their own words from practitioners, living or long gone. After each chapter the authors offer further reading, often fiction, and also places you can visit, things you can do, a way to make a charm, or the first steps of tarot reading . . . tastes. They make the point that magic as it is practiced today, attempts to (or seems to) fill the void (chasm?) between the bloody-mindedness of the pure scientific method and the rigidity that plagues (most) religions (I'm the right one, all you others have it wrong). Magic, too, offers so many choices to the person who is looking for a route to transformation -- there is no one right way, indeed, some are gifted in one area, not another, and for some of us there is choosing to be an armchair magician -- that is the person (like me!) who, while interested, is not drawn to any practice or any one mode but fascinated nonetheless, particularly by magic as a spiritual practice and route to transformation and to explore the dimensions of the human mind. For us, there is a huge bibliography. So this will be a reference work for me. Anyone interested in writing fantasy should avail themselves of the book and get busy reading the book and then the books in the bibliography. You can bet your booties that J.K. Rowling and Susannah Clarke did their homework.

I'll be back to tidy up, but for now, here you go! ( )
  sibylline | Mar 14, 2021 |
I got this thinking it was a history, but it's really more like an intro for the magi-curious. The book is organized in roughly historical order, though each chapter also has a thematic focus. We begin with ley lines and prehistoric British sites and move on through the revival of magic in the late 20th and 21st centuries. Each chapter has a short historical overview of a theme or practice, often loosely tied to a historical period such as: druidism [pre-Roman Britain]; herbology and healing [medieval]; alchemy, scrying, and horoscope casting [Renaissance]; witch hunts [early modern]; tarot [early 20th century esotericism], etc. The chapters each also include brief biographies of famous historical characters; first-person sections written by current practitioners; a list of additional reading or physical/virtual sites to visit; and an activity of some kind such as reading a basic tarot spread or making a vegetable stone (honestly still not sure what that is).

First, let me say that I am a skeptic. I enjoy reading about magic and mysticism but I don't believe. So I would never have read this book if I'd known that it was more like a user's manual. I wasn't interested in the first-person sections, and I wasn't likely to do any of the activities. I wanted to learn more about history and about the place of magic in the British consciousness or psyche, which really was not the topic of the book. If you are interested in actually practicing magic and maybe want to get a sense of the different directions you could go, this could be an interesting book. It just wasn't the right book for me.

Second, I thought it was a bit rude for the authors to look down their noses so snidely at what they kept referring to as "New-Age types." I guess their point was that if you don't actually practice magic but appropriate some elements from magic and combine with folklore, hippy-ism, eastern philosophy, and etc. then you shouldn't be considered part of the magical tradition. But if the book showed me anything it's that the practice of magic is constantly evolving, so why place so much emphasis on labeling what other people are doing as wrong? It seemed insecure. (I don't have a dog in this fight. I'm neither a magician nor a new age spiritualist nor a subscriber of any organized religion. It just felt judgey.)

Some interesting info, but really not what I was expecting. ( )
1 rösta sansmerci | Jan 3, 2018 |
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Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Carr-Gomm, Philipprimär författarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Heygate, RichardFörfattarehuvudförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
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Of all the countries in the world, England has the richest history of magical lore and practice. English authors such as J.R.R.Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Terry Pratchett, and J.K.Rowling, dominate the world of magic in fiction, but from the earliest times, England has also acted as home to generations of eccentrics and scholars who have researched and explored every conceivable kind of occult art. Most people are torn between a fascination with magic and an almost instinctive fear of the occult, of a world redolent with superstition and illusion. And yet more people now practice magic in England than at any time in her history. The Book of English Magic explores this hidden story, from its first stirrings to our present-day fascination with all things magical. Along the way readers are offered a rich menu of magical things to do and places to visit.

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