(Edward Alexander Crowley) English writer, occultist, Antichrist, and self-proclaimed messiah of the New Aeon, 1875-1947. Easily the most controversial figure in the recent history of Western occultism, Crowley was born into the Plymouth Brethren, a small and deeply puritanical Protestant sect that
A magical device for general protection and good fortune. An amulet differs from a talisman in that talismans are made and ritually consecrated for specific tightly focused purposes, while amulets are more general, and are often not formally consecrated at all.
The use of amulets goes back far
In Scottish folklore and modern Pagan practice, a group of Witches. The traditional number of members in a coven is thirteen, and Margaret Murray, whose writings on medieval Witchcraft were a major source for modern Wicca, insisted that this was an absolute rule. The medieval evidence does not
English Witch and author, 1922-1999. Among the most influential figures in modern Wiccan history, Valiente was born in south London but raised in the West Country, where Witchcraft folklore was a significant part of everyday life well into the twentieth century. Her parents were devout Christians
English civil servant, author, occultist, and Witch, 1884-1964. Easily the most important figure in the creation of modern Wicca, Gerald Gardner spent most of his life as an English colonial bureaucrat. Born to a wealthy family in England, near Liverpool, he suffered from severe asthma as a child
The traditional folk magic of African-American culture, also known as conjure magic and rootwork. (The origin of the word "hoodoo" itself is uncertain, although it may derive from a West African source.) Hoodoo is to occultism what the blues are to music: rooted in African culture, transformed and
(Latin, "Order of Oriental Templars") One of the largest magical orders in the world today, the Ordo Templi Orientis emerges from the complicated world of central European fringe Masonry in the early twentieth century. Its beginning dates back to 1895 when Freemasons Carl Kellner (1851-1905), a
A slow shift in the positions of the Earth’s axis relative to the sun and the fixed stars, precession is the source of a great deal of myth, speculation, and esoteric theory. The Earth’s axis is tilted at an angle of just over twenty-three degrees relative to its orbit around the sun, and at
The belief that souls of the dead are reborn in other bodies, human or animal; also called transmigration. Far and away the most common teaching on the afterlife in Western occult traditions…
The rise of Christianity, with its insistence on eternal salvation or damnation after a single lifetime,
English occultist, 1854-1918. Born in London and educated at Bedford Grammar School, he came from a background of poverty and never attended university. He spent his early adult years living with his mother in Bournemouth, working as a clerk and beginning his lodge involvements with his initiation
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