A History of Magic, Witchcraft, and the Occult Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Discover the beguiling history of witchcraft, magic, and superstition through the centuries and across the world in this stunning audiobook.
A History of Magic, Witchcraft and the Occult charts the extraordinary narrative of one of the most interesting and often controversial subjects in the world - from ancient animal worship and shamanism, through alchemy and divination to modern Wicca and the resurgence of the occult in 21st-century literature, cinema, and television.
Providing listeners with a comprehensive, balanced, and unbiased account of everything from Japanese folklore and Indian witchcraft to the differences between black and white magic, and dispelling myths such as those surrounding the voodoo doll and Ouija, this audiobook explores the common human fear of and fascination with spells, superstition, and the supernatural.
The perfect introduction to magic and the occult, it explores forms of divination from astrology and palmistry to the tarot and runestones, mystical plants and potions such as mandrake, the presence of witchcraft in literature from Shakespeare's Macbeth to the Harry Potter series, and the ways in which magic has interacted with religion.
The most comprehensive history of witchcraft available, A History of Magic, Witchcraft and the Occult will enthrall and fascinate you with its lavish, accessible entries, whether you are a believer or skeptic.
- One credit a month to pick any title from our entire premium selection to keep (you’ll use your first credit now).
- Unlimited listening on select audiobooks, Audible Originals, and podcasts.
- You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
- $14.95 a month after 30 days. Cancel online anytime.
People who viewed this also viewed
People who bought this also bought
|Listening Length||8 hours and 51 minutes|
|Audible.com Release Date||August 18, 2020|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #9,474 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#9 in History of Religion (Audible Books & Originals)
#15 in Religious History (Audible Books & Originals)
#39 in General History of Religion
Reviews with images
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Reading this, did you think there was a connection between List and Wagner? There wasn't. The Ring was written before List ever published on Germanic myth. Also, Hitler (who was born six years after Wagner's death) actually *banned* three of the four parts of the Ring on the grounds that they were demoralizing (Wagner's overriding theme that power exercised without love leads to authoritarianism and destruction didn't sit very well with Hitler's ideas).
This combination of outright error, confusing chronology and misleading phrasing occur throughout. Sometimes it verges on the bizarre: I teach the Haitian Revolution and it's news to me it was based in voudun (not revolt against slavery or the conditions wrought by the French Revolution and the following overextension by Napoleon during the European wars..?.) The persecution of alleged witches during the Reformation and Counterreformation is discussed but the author appears to have missed the direct connection between witch hunting and the rise of Protestantism. The author doesn't even describe the Chronicles of Narnia correctly! (Seven books about children fighting the White Witch in a world accessed only by a wardrobe.. Congrats, you read the blurb of the first book.)
As many others have pointed out, this book is also all over the place. Older religions that are no longer practiced are often simply reclassified wholesale as "magic" or "superstition"-- why is animal sacrifice to the official gods of the Roman Empire "magic" but the transubstantiation of Christ's blood is not? She throws into one book spiritualism (which no one at the time considered "magic"), actual stage magicians like Houdini (okay...), fiction including Shakespeare writing about fairies (but, weirdly, not his writing about witches!), almanacs, mythical creatures like the Sirens from the Odyssey... and throughout Christianity gets a free pass. I have a devout friend who just bought a "Joseph in Your Yard" kit to help sell her house... you want magic? That seems more like magic than Japan's beckoning kitty or the fact that lavender is associated with improving sleep.
The illustrations are fun but you can't trust any of the writing, the mishmash of topics render this incoherent, and anyone with any respect for ancient religions (or for that matter current-day neopaganism, which does NOT have to include witchcraft or the occult) is likely to come away ruffled. Basic fact-checking would have improved this no end.
The roots of practices we still see today are explored, like the various branches of astrology, tarot, and runes. Movements are explored as well, like spiritualism. Of course, there are several spreads just about the persecution of witches in different time periods. Hidden societies are also touched upon, like Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry. As with most DK books, this book is full of images, many of which I've seen before but others that were completely new to me. We see ancient sculpture, medieval and Renaissance paintings, and photographs from the modern age. Honestly, I found this a fascinating read. I had picked up bits and pieces of magical history over time, of course, but it was nice to see so many things in one book and so wonderfully illustrated. The book also has a four-page glossary and an extensive index to help you find just the piece of information that you want to find. However, most of the topics in this book are so fascinating that I suggest just jumping in and starting to read! Highly recommended.
I received a free copy of this book, but that did not affect my review.
Any witch is likely to find this an enjoyable and engaging way to learn the history of magic and the craft.
Top reviews from other countries
The mix of main text, small information boxes, pictures and two page spreads (usually depicting materials/paraphernalia associated with a certain topic/practice) was comfortably paced and always engaging.