Spellcasters: Witches and Witchcraft in History, Folklore, and Popular Culture

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9780878331833: Spellcasters: Witches and Witchcraft in History, Folklore, and Popular Culture

Delving deeply into their rich and varied history, Spellcasters unveils the most interesting and intriguing details about witches and witchcraft, both fabled and factual, classic and contemporary.

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From early individuals invoking the powerful forces of nature to modern Neo-Pagans celebrating an earth-based spirituality, witches have fascinated us for centuries. Delving deeply into their rich and varied history, Spellcasters unveils the most interesting and intriguing details about witches and witchcraft, both fabled and factual, classic and contemporary.

Author Pauline Bartel taps historical resources, contemporary scholars, and modern-day practitioners to create a complete and compelling account of witchcraft's long history and deep mystery. Spellcasters unearths the origins of common beliefs about witches and surveys the globe for cross-cultural notions about them. It seeks out the remarkable, true stories that make up witchcraft's broad tapestry: the pagan harvest rituals, the strange "facts" about witches' practices, the chilling events of the Inquisition, the witch hunters' machinations, the hysteria in Salem, and the twentieth-century renewal of the ancient traditions.

In addition, this comprehensive volume compiles a witches who's who, recalling the names and deeds of some standout figures associated with the Craft. It examines the foundation and basics of modern witchcraft, with a sampling of simple spells that call for neither blood of bat nor eye of newt. Spellcasters looks also to changing representations of witchcraft in folklore and popular culture, including books, music, film, and television.

Inspired and insightful, Spellcasters takes you on a fantastic, one-of-a-kind journey through the diverse and dramatic world of witchcraft.

Review:

"...informative and engaging..." -- Library Journal, November 1, 2000

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