Magic and Mysticism: An Introduction to Western Esoteric Traditions

Magic and Mysticism: An Introduction to Western Esoteric Traditions

Arthur Versluis

Language: English

Pages: 208

ISBN: 0742558363

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Magic and Mysticism: An Introduction to Western Esoteric Traditions is a concise overview, from antiquity to the present, of all the major Western religious esoteric movements. Topics covered include alchemy, Gnosticism, Hermeticism, Rosicrucianism, Theosophy and many more. Magic and Mysticism is ideal for students of Mysticism and New Religious Movements, as well as for general readers of Metaphysics and Esoterica.

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deviation from Catholic doctrine. By the 1240s, the heresy was being brutally routed, with such tactics as the interrogations of thousands, the burning alive of two hundred Cathars at Montségur, and the burning of eighty in Agen in a single day in 1249; the last Cathar was burnt in Languedoc in 1330.37 Various hypotheses have been offered by scholars as to why Catharism did not survive, including observations that the European economies were developing during this period, and that during this

and publications by Christopher Bamford, founder of Lindisfarne Press, and in an anthology compiled and introduced by Robert Faas, a clinical psychologist, as well as in the publication of numerous important source materials in this theosophic current.54 Given the burgeoning interest in Sophianic spirituality and in theosophy particularly, not only in scholarly but also in popular circles, we can well expect that the Christian theosophic current will continue to emerge, oftentimes in the most

Ass.7 In this novel, we follow the comical and often bawdy fortunes of Lucius, who early on in the book is turned into an ass—literally. In this form, he undergoes many adventures, and then in the eleventh book, he finds himself on the shore of the ocean under a full moon. Desperate, he dips his head in the ocean water seven times and cries out a prayer to Isis, the goddess of the moon, who then appears to him in her full splendor. This revelation is perhaps the only account we have from

group were far more esoteric in their interests than those who followed them. H. D. avidly read a great deal about eighteenth-century esotericism and much else in order to fashion an extraordinary novel that embodies many currents of Western esotericism, most notably those of Christian theosophic mysticism. In H. D.’s work, we see a fusion of some magical and many mystical themes. By contrast, the later works of William S. Burroughs incorporate magical and alchemical elements, as well as some

actual process itself.”36 The book begins with the chapter “The Light Breaks Forth” and with the sentence “The ineffable transition came, about ten days ago.” Merrell-Wolff had been reading The System of the Vedanta by Paul Deussen, an exposition of Shankaracarya’s metaphysics, while prospecting for gold in California. Then, sitting on a porch swing, he had what he called a “Recognition,” after which, he wrote, “I have been repeatedly in the Current of Ambrosia. Often I turn to It with the ease

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