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Synopsis: In more than 500 essays and 100 illustrations, the "Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft" examines the arts, practices and people associated with witchcraft. Rigorously researched, the volume draws from a broad range of world history, folklore, obscure texts, modern literature and exclusive interviews with witches of today. The popular image of witchcraft dates from the witch hunts of Britain and Europe in the 12th century, but can be applied to such different sects and philosophies as Satanism, Druidism and even astrology, all of which are investigated in this panoramic look at the craft and its practices.
From the Inside Flap: In the decade-plus since the first edition of this book was written, there has been a veritable explosion of information on the subject of witchcraft, especially as it is perceived in Western society. Some of it is historical, dealing with new accounts of the European witch-hunts of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Most of this new information relates to Witchcraft (with a capital W) the contemporary Pagan religion: a Nature- and Goddess-based spiritual path reconstructed from Pagan beliefs and rites, folk magic and ceremonial magic. This contemporary religion, also called Wicca, bears some resemblance to witchcraft as a tradition of folk magic, but has nothing in common with the Devil-worshipping beliefs of the witch-hunts.
The original intent of this encyclopedia was to provide a compendium of entries related to the history and aspects of witchcraft, up to and including the contemporary developments of Witchcraft, Wicca and Paganism. Although I have included some cross-cultural entries, the focus of the book is on Western magic and witchcraft. There are new entries on historical figures and topics related to folklore, magic and folk witchcraft. Many entries have been updated and expanded, and given "further reading" lists that will benefit the reader.
As for contemporary Witchcraft, I have updated entries and added a few new ones. This rapidly growing religion is evolving on its own in its own directions, and probably needs an encyclopedia of its own. I have covered major points and a selection of prominent people. I have not attempted to provide an exhaustive account of the many and ever-changing permutations of, and debates within, Witchcraft and Paganism, nor have I attempted to compile a who's-who list of personages. Witchcraft the religion is but one aspect of the overall subject of witchcraft.
As in the first edition, I have capitalized Witch and Witchcraft when referring to contemporary religious persuasions, and have left it lowercase when referring to folk tradition and sorcery. The same applies to Pagan and Paganism: capitalized when in the context of contemporary religion, lowercase when referring to pre-Christian religions and rites.
Because the distinction between Witchcraft and witchcraft can be confusing, I have to side with the Witches who are preferring the term Wicca. I expect the use of the terms Wicca and Wiccan to increase as this religion continues to grow. Nonetheless, there remain many Witches who are firm about retaining Witch and Witchcraft to describe their religion. It is up to the public, then, to learn to distinguish between Witchcraft the religion and witchcraft the folk tradition.
Paganism is now a topic of serious academic and religious study, and is taking its place among the diverse faiths of the world. Much of the credit for this goes to a contemporary romance with nature, a desire for personal transcendent experience (which Paganism offers), and to the Witches and Pagans who have campaigned tirelessly to educate the public about what they believe and practice. Ten years ago, few were willing to be open in the public. Today, the public can choose from countless books, periodicals and websites. The openness provides an unusual opportunity to watch the evolution of new religions.
Title: The Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft
Publisher: Facts on File
Publication Date: 1989
Book Condition: New
Book Description Facts on File, 1989. Condition: Good. 0th Edition. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Seller Inventory # GRP2973838
Book Description Facts on File, 1989. Condition: Good. 0th Edition. Ships from Reno, NV. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Seller Inventory # GRP96471902
Book Description Facts on File. Hardcover. Condition: GOOD. Spine creases, wear to binding and pages from reading. May contain limited notes, underlining or highlighting that does affect the text. Possible ex library copy, thatâ€™ll have the markings and stickers associated from the library. Accessories such as CD, codes, toys, may not be included. Seller Inventory # 2924999020
Book Description Facts On File Inc. Hardcover. Condition: Used; Good. **SHIPPED FROM UK** We believe you will be completely satisfied with our quick and reliable service. All orders are dispatched as swiftly as possible! Buy with confidence!. Seller Inventory # mon0001857367
Book Description Facts on File, 1989. Hardcover. Condition: Good. Connecting readers with great books since 1972. Used books may not include companion materials, some shelf wear, may contain highlighting/notes, may not include cdrom or access codes. Customer service is our top priority!. Seller Inventory # S_223275809
Book Description Facts on File, 1989. Hardcover. Condition: Used: Good. Seller Inventory # SONG081601793X
Book Description Facts on File 1989-07-01, 1989. Hardcover. Condition: Good. 2nd ed.. 081601793X Ex-library book with usual markings. Clean text. SATISF GNTD + SHIPS W/IN 24 HRS. Sorry, no APO deliveries. Ships in a padded envelope with free tracking. T25D. Seller Inventory # 800219323
Book Description Facts on File, 1989. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. Great condition with minimal wear, aging, or shelf wear. Seller Inventory # P02081601793X
Book Description Facts on File, 1989. Hardcover. Condition: Good. 0. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. May not contain Access Codes or Supplements. May be ex-library. Shipping & Handling by region. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Seller Inventory # 081601793Xq
Book Description Facts on File, 1989. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P11081601793X