August 24, 2011

How times change….

Writing about web page http://chronicle.com/article/The-Beloit-College-Mind-Set/128783/

This is a link to the Beloit Mind set list, for people who will graduate from university in 2015 (US undergraduate degrees are often 4, not 3, years long).

It makes interesting reading.


November 06, 2005

Community Express

If you are involved in research on indiividuals and or groups, have a look at
link…. it's worth it.

October 22, 2005

Books

Writing about web page http://www.librarything.com/profile/tole_lege

Instead of continuing here, I've found the absolutely WONDERFUL link LibraryThing.

Go, look, play. It's what I've been waiting for, for years.


October 14, 2005

Prime Chaos

Title:
Rating:
3 out of 5 stars

Prime meaning first, meaning original – and the basis, of course, of the word, "Primer".

And that's what this is. It won't tell you a great deal (other than anectodal) about the history of Chaos magic, but it will tell you about doing chaos magic.

The Contents rather spell it out:
Chaos is everywhere
Dynamic Ritual
Group Effects
Liber Nice and Liber Nasty (Discordianism and the Cthuhlu mythos and magic).

This work is aimed at practitioners, rather than anyone else, but practitioner or not, reading it will give you a general overview of what Chaos practice is about – as much as anything can, that is.

For a study of chaos magic, this may not be the best book (though it should not be neglected).

Level: one


Athlone History of Witchcraft and Magic in Europe: The 20th C

Title:
Rating:
3 out of 5 stars

The sixth and final (as of yet…) book in this excellent series. As always, it is a compilation of articles, this one including:
Modern Pagan Witchcraft (Hutton – being an updated version of information from Triumph of the Moon)
Satanism and Satanic Mythology (la Fontaine) – looks at the history, the groups, and the accusations
The witch, her victim… (de Blecourt – University of Warwick among other places!). History and discussion.

A quote from teh intorduction, "Witchcraft and magic, then, are marked both by contempraneity and by timelessness"....

A good book, worth reading if not possessing (as with all of the series, it is expensive). It needs to be supplemented by other works and original documents, but still worthwhile and important.

Level: one and a bit (it assumes some background knowledge).


October 10, 2005

Perdurabo

Title:
Rating:
3 out of 5 stars

Biography of Crowley, aka The Great Beast, among other things – including Perdurabo, "I will endure".

While perhaps overly sympathetic, this biography has the great grace to be readable – which so many things are not. It is also well supported by evidence – the notes are complete and the bibliography impressive.

Presenting more the man than the beast, it might well do to be balanced against with a less sympathetic tome. It is, however, a good introduction to this incredibly influential figure, taking in not only his magic(k) but his relationships, mountain climbing, publishing and art work.

Level: One (or one and a bit…).


October 09, 2005

Aradia, or, The Gospel of the Witches

Title:
Rating:
3 out of 5 stars

"Aradia" may not need much introduction… but for what it's worth, it is the translation (a new translation is included, see below) of an Italian MS which was supposedly given to G Leland, purporting to detail practices of Italian witchcraft.

Various debates about the provenance of the material aside (debates which are detailed in both this book and in Triumph, already listed here), Aradia was clearly used as source material by folk such as Gardner and Valiente – it contains, for instance, the basis for what became the Charge of the Goddess.

The translation here is a new one, and much better than Leland's (the original is supplied, both in dialect and in Italian – reminiscient of some editions of Dante!).

For the notes and the translation, this is a very good edition of Aradia.

Level: one.


Triumph of the moon

Title:
Rating:
3 out of 5 stars

Another stalwart. Another one getting on in years, but still if not unique, then groundbreaking at the time.

Hutton's research is sound and well supported (as one would expect). He makes his own views known about some still controversial subjects (Leland, Old Dorothy, etc.) but his views are supported by the evidence (which is refreshing, if nothing else, considering other things written in this area).

Basic background reading.


Religion and the decline of magic

Title:
Rating:
4 out of 5 stars

I would have said that this book is almost required reading for anyone interested in the history of magic in the UK. Yes, it's getting on a bit – and there are bits of it which have been superceded by other research, but still, it's important enough that I've replaced it at least once (lend ye not books to students who move away…).

It takes a good look at exactly what the title says – how magic declined in popularity (perhaps questionable, but in terms of his definition of the term, "magic", a valid premise) – and also how long that decline actually took.


October 08, 2005

Book reviews

Writing about web page http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/education/courses/open-studies/n101.phtml

I'm going to try to continue what's been started here, with a series of very short book reviews, relating to the subject of magic (particularly chaos magic(k), when it gets going). This is a useful place to do this, and allows functions which other blogs do not (or not as easily).

I will try and mention "level" in each one – meaning, level of study. Ergo – level one, would be useful to someone in their first year of study, and so on.


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