"A rare combination of personal and academic, this book showcases the myriad avenues for transcending the boundaries of reality through direct sensory experience.
The Varieties of Magical Experience: Indigenous, Medieval, and Modern Magic provides a comprehensive volume that examines magic in all its aspects. Through detailed case studies, verbatim accounts of personal experiences, and first-hand experience from the authors' own active participation in many alternative religious rituals and ceremonies, this unique book reveals how magic can be a universal phenomenon that crosses cultural, historical, and spatial boundaries.
The work is organized in five sections that embrace several broad themes: indigenous magical and shamanic practices; medieval witchcraft; sorcery and hermetic magic; and contemporary Western magical practices, including the role of sexuality, trance, and meditation. The introductory section explores the idea of magic, other realities, and the employment of all the senses, while the final section discusses contemporary issues of ecology and cybermagic. The authors give voice to the powerful emotions and feelings that result from a magical encounter, providing engaging and accessible information to general readers, while those well versed in the opaque world of magic and occultism, consciousness studies, and imaginal and disembodied realms will appreciate the book's content at a deeper level.
Highlights techniques, rituals, and training of magical practitioners
Counterpoints the rational with the emotional and compares the past with the present
Takes a cross-cultural, historical, and anthropological approach that is accessible to all readers
Includes experiences of academics, shamans, occultists, healers, sorcerers, pagans, medieval magicians, cybermagicians, and indigenous peoples across the world"