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Eros and Magic in the Renaissance

Author: Ioan P. Culianu
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
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It is a widespread prejudice of modern, scientific society that "magic" is merely a ludicrous amalgam of recipes and methods derived from primitive and erroneous notions about nature. Eros and Magic in the Renaissance challenges this view, providing an in-depth scholarly explanation of the workings of magic and showing that magic continues to exist in an altered form even today. Renaissance magic, according to Ioan Couliano, was a scientifically plausible attempt to manipulate individuals and groups based on a knowledge of motivations, particularly erotic motivations. Its key principle was that everyone (and in a sense everything) could be influenced by appeal to sexual desire. In addition, the magician relied on a profound knowledge of the art of memory to manipulate the imaginations of his subjects. In these respects, Couliano suggests, magic is the precursor of the modern psychological and sociological sciences, and the magician is the distant ancestor of the psychoanalyst and the advertising and publicity agent. In the course of his study, Couliano examines in detail the ideas of such writers as Giordano Bruno, Marsilio Ficino, and Pico della Mirandola and illuminates many aspects of Renaissance culture, including heresy, medicine, astrology, alchemy, courtly love, the influence of classical mythology, and even the role of fashion in clothing. Just as science gives the present age its ruling myth, so magic gave a ruling myth to the Renaissance. Because magic relied upon the use of images, and images were repressed and banned in the Reformation and subsequent history, magic was replaced by exact science and modern technology and eventually forgotten. Couliano's remarkable scholarship helps us to recover much of its original significance and will interest a wide audience in the humanities and social sciences.


Man and Nature in the Renaissance

Author: Allen G. Debus
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Considers ideologies and mutual effects of humanism, mysticism and the exact sciences, thereby integrating a study of early Scientific Revolution astronomy, mathematics and medicine with the intellectual, religious and philosophical milieu


Witchcraft in the Middle Ages

Author: Jeffrey Burton Russell
Publisher: Cornell University Press
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Traces the origin, development and practice of medieval witchcraft throughout western Europe, and describes the movement's social and religious significance


The Memory Arts in Renaissance England

Author: William E. Engel
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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This volume is the first critical anthology of contemporary writings and illustrations about memory in Renaissance England, featuring over seventy texts and over twenty illustrations. It is a valuable resource for students of the memory arts, Renaissance literature, the history of ideas, book history, and art history.


The End That Does

Author: Cathy Gutierrez
Publisher: Routledge
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Millennial movements have had a significant impact on history and lie behind many artistic and scientific views of the world. 'The End that Does' tracks the interplay of the arts, sciences, and millennial imagination across 3000 years. The volume presents essays ranging across the study of ancient ritualistic sacrifice, utopian technology and the American millennial dream, science fiction, and the apocalypse of the tabloids. The End that Does will be invaluable to any student or scholar interested in the history of millennialism.


Eight Philosophers of the Italian Renaissance

Author: Paul Oskar Kristeller
Publisher: Stanford University Press
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Appendix - "The Medieval Antecendents of Renaissance Humanism"__


Astral High Magic De Imaginibus of Thabit Ibn Qurra

Author: John Michael Greer
Publisher: Lulu.com
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Plato s Ghost

Author: Cathy Gutierrez
Publisher: Oxford University Press
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In its day, spiritualism brought hundreds of thousands of Americans to s?ance tables and trance lectures. It has alternately been ridiculed as the apogee of fatuous credulity and hailed as a feminist movement. Its tricks have been exposed, its charlatans unmasked, and its heroes' names lost to posterity. In its day, however, its leaders were household names and politicians worried about capturing the Spiritualist vote. Cathy Gutierrez places Spiritualism in the context of the 19th-century American Renaissance. Although this epithet usually signifies the sudden blossoming of American letters, Gutierrez points to its original meaning: a cultural imagination enraptured with the past and the classics in particular, accompanied by a cultural efflorescence. Spiritualism, she contends, was the religious articulation of the American Renaissance, and the ramifications of looking backward for advice about the present were far-reaching. The Spiritualist movement, says Gutierrez, was a 'renaissance of the Renaissance,' a culture in love with history as much as it trumpeted progress and futurity, and an expression of what constituted religious hope among burgeoning technology and colonialism. Rejecting Christian ideas about salvation, Spiritualists embraced Platonic and Neoplatonic ideas. Humans were shot through with the divine, rather than seen as helpless and inexorably corrupt sinners in the hands of a transcendent, angry God. Gutierrez's study of this fascinating and important movement is organized thematically. She analyzes Spiritualist conceptions of memory, marriage, medicine, and minds, explores such phenomena as machines for contacting the dead, spirit-photography, the idea of eternal spiritual affinity (which implied the necessity for marriage reform), the connection between health and spirituality, and mesmerism.


Magia Sexualis

Author: Hugh B. Urban
Publisher: Univ of California Press
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Sexuality and the occult arts have long been associated in the western imagination, but it was not until the nineteenth century that a large and sophisticated body of literature on sexual magic—the use of sex as a source of magical power—emerged. This book, the first history of western sexual magic as a modern spiritual tradition, places these practices in the context of the larger discourse surrounding sexuality in American and European society over the last 150 years to discover how sexual magic was transformed from a terrifying medieval nightmare of heresy and social subversion into a modern ideal of personal empowerment and social liberation. Focusing on a series of key figures including American spiritualist Paschal Beverly Randolph, Aleister Crowley, Julius Evola, Gerald Gardner, and Anton LaVey, Hugh Urban traces the emergence of sexual magic out of older western esoteric traditions including Gnosticism and Kabbalah, which were progressively fused with recently-discovered eastern traditions such as Hindu and Buddhist Tantra. His study gives remarkable new insight into sexuality in the modern era, specifically on issues such as the politics of birth control, the classification of sexual "deviance," debates over homosexuality and feminism, and the role of sexuality in our own new world of post-modern spirituality, consumer capitalism, and the Internet.


Don Quixote and the Brilliant Name of Fire

Author: Michael Buhagiar
Publisher: Xlibris Corporation
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Don Quixote and the Brilliant Name of Fire reveals for the first time the true extent of the esoteric dimension of the classic Spanish work. References to cards of the Tarot deck, a means of progression on the inner journey, have long been noted in it; but Don Quixote and the Brilliant Name of Fire will show their full extent, as well as demonstrating spectacular visual representations of Hebrew letters of the Qabalah, and the strict allegory of psychic transformationin the way of the Shakespeare playsin which these symbols have their place. The close kinship of Don Quixote and the Shakespeare First Folio becomes plain, and their origin in a common author, neither Will Shakespeare nor Cervantes. www.thegreatpesher.com