Magic and Alchemy

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Infobase Publishing, 2009 - Juvenile Nonfiction - 143 pages
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The word "magic" evokes many ideas, from a stage magician performing illusions to the pyrotechnics of witches and wizards depicted in movies and on television. But there is a more practical definition of magic—the attempt to affect the real world, one's self, or other people by tapping into mental abilities and unseen mystical forces. The keys to doing this have been closely guarded in the past, leading to the perception of magic as an occult pursuit. Yet, magic and magical traditions have existed in some form in almost every culture throughout history. Similarly, alchemy is a form of magic that involves harnessing the elements to achieve enlightenment and wisdom. Alchemists hope to transform themselves through its rituals and achieve a higher physical state, and alchemy's experimental nature has influenced the development of modern science.

Magic and alchemy share a central philosophy, one that has had a great impact on the progress of Western society. This fascinating new book covers the history, practices, and philosophies of magic and alchemy in Western history, explaining their basic concepts, looking at the tools used by magicians and alchemists, and discussing the rituals associated with each.

Chapters include:

  • The Beginning of Magic
  • The Practice of Magic
  • The History of Alchemy
  • The Philosophy of Alchemy
  • The Synthesis of Magic, Alchemy, and Kabbalah
  • Magic and Alchemy Today.
  

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Contents

Foreword
6
Introduction
11
The Beginning of Magic
19
The Philosophy of Magic
37
The Practice of Magic
57
The History of Alchemy
71
The Principles of Alchemy
85
The Synthesis of Magic Alchemy and Kabalah
99
Timeline
121
Endnotes
125
Glossary
126
Bibliography
130
Further Resources
133
Index
135
About the Author
142
About the Consulting Editor
143

Magic and Alchemy Today
115

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About the author (2009)

Robert M. Place is an internationally known visionary artist and illustrator. He is recognized as an expert on the Western mystical tradition and the history and philosophy of the Tarot, and his work has appeared in many books and publications. Place is also the designer, illustrator, and coauthor of the highly acclaimed Alchemical Tarot and The Angels Tarot. He has appeared on The Discovery Channel and The Learning Channel and has conducted lectures and workshops throughout the country, including the Open Center and the Omega Institute in New York and the International Tarot Congress in Chicago. Place's work in precious metals have been displayed in museums such as the New York State Museum, the American Craft Museum, and the White House.

Rosemary Ellen Guiley is a best-selling author, columnist, and teacher on spirituality, metaphysics, and visionary experience. Ms. Guiley has written more than 15 books, including Atlas of the Mysterious in North America, Career Opportunities for Writers, Encyclopedia of Angels, and The Encyclopedia of Witches & Witchcraft all for Facts On File/Checkmark Books. She lives in Arnold, MD.

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