Description : Does there lie in mankind's remote past a single origin for the beliefs and practices of magic found in nearly every culture in the world? Behind the distortions and grotesqueries of magical practices, could there be clues to processes worthy of our objective consideration? First published nearly 40 years ago, Oriental Magic is still the definitive work on the subject. Its publication was the culmination of five years of research into rare artifacts, obscure manuscripts, and travels into remote areas where strange magical practices endure. The "singing sands" of Egypt, the invisible rulership of Sufism, subcutaneous electricity, and the prehistoric sources of Babylonian occult practices are just a few of the intriguing subjects described. The author includes personal accounts of "training" under a ju-ju witch doctor, a demonstration of Hindu levitation, and translations of secret alchemical and magical formulae. Revealed is an astonishing similarity in magical beliefs, practices, and terminology of places as diverse as China, the Near East, Scandinavia, and Africa. Oriental Magic includes a myriad of illustrations, including unique photos of places and people associated with the mysterious world of magic. Only an author of Shah's experience, dedication, and knowledge of human nature could assemble such an array of arcane information into a dazzling picture of human beliefs and practices. This new release is sure to attract the attention of a new generation of interested readers.
Description : Oriental Magic is recognized as a brilliant study of how, what and why people think, in territories extending from North Africa to Japan. Profusely illustrated, the book is the product of years of research and field-work in a dozen different cultural regions. Its scholarly accuracy and genuine contribution to cultural understanding have made it a key text for anyone interested in informal beliefs, and esoteric practices. The work includes material on Indian alchemy, the Arabian Abjad system, on divination and talismanic charms, and it even contains an ancient Brahmin spell for immortality. "The main purpose of my books on magic was to make this material available to the general reader. For too long people believed that there were secret books, hidden places, and amazing things. They held onto this information as something to frighten themselves with. So the first purpose was information. This is the magic of East and West. That's all. There is no more. The second purpose of those books was to show that there do seem to be forces, some of which are either rationalized by this magic or may be developed from it, which do not come within customary physics or within the experience of ordinary people. I think this should be studied, that we should gather the data and analyze the phenomena. We need to separate the chemistry of magic from the alchemy, as it were."
Description : High Quality Content by WIKIPEDIA articles! Oriental Magic, by Idries Shah, is a study of magical practices in diverse cultures from Europe and Africa, through Asia to the Far East. Originally published in 1956 and still in print today, it was the first of this author's 35 books. The work was launched with the encouragement of the anthropologist, Professor Louis Marin, who in his preface to the book stressed its "scholarly accuracy" and "real contribution to knowledge."
Description : This book charts the history of modern magic across India, China and Japan, analyzing representations in the cultural imagination of the West.
Description : This edited collection of new essays is devoted to the terminology used in the fields of videogame theory and videogame studies. Videogame scholars provide theoretical critiques of existing terminology, mount arguments for the creation of new terminology, articulate terminological gaps in the current literature devoted to videogame studies, and share phenomenological studies of videogames that facilitate terminological theory.
Description : Performing Magic on the Western Stage examines magic as a performing art and as a meaningful social practice, linking magic to cultural arenas such as religion, finance, gender, and nationality and profiling magicians from Robert-Houdin to Pen& Teller.
Description : Deities, demons, and angels became important protagonists in the magic of the Late Antique world, and were also the main reasons for the condemnation of magic in the Christian era. Supplicatory incantations, rituals of coercion, enticing suffumigations, magical prayers and mystical songs drew spiritual powers to the humain domain. Next to the magician's desire to regulate fate and fortune, it was the communion with the spirit world that gave magic the potential to purify and even deify its practitioners. The sense of elation and the awareness of a metaphysical order caused magic to merge with philosophy (notably Neoplatonism). The heritage of Late Antique theurgy would be passed on to the Arab world, and together with classical science and learning would take root again in the Latin West in the High Middle Ages. The metamorphosis of magic laid out in this book is the transformation of ritual into occult philosophy against the background of cultural changes in Judaism, Graeco-Roman religion and Christianity. This volume, the first in the new series Groningen Studies in Cultural Change, offers the papers presented at the workshop The Metamorphosis of Magic from Late Antiquity to the Early Modern Period held from 22 to 24 June 2000, and organised by Jan N. Bremmer and Jan R. Veenstra. The papers have been written by scholars from such varying disciplines as classics, theology, philosophy, cultural history, and law. Their contributions shed new light upon several old obscurities; they show magic to be a significant area of culture, and they advance the case for viewing transformations in the lore and practice of magic as a barometer with which to measure cultural change.