Book Review: Magic, the Esoteric and the Occult by Stephen Wakefield
|5 stars, 1 review|
Stephen Wakefieldabout this book: As a life-long student of the occult, the esoteric and world religion, I wanted to write the books that I had always been seeking for, but only rarely found (and even then only in part).
My first published work took two years to write, and truly is the culmination of my studies over the years, considering the religious drive within humanity, mysticism, esotericism and all manner of occultism. It looks at the development of faith-types, ancient cultures and their religions, alchemy, sorcery and witchcraft, and figures from Zoroaster and Cornelius Agrippa to Swedenborg, John Dee,Gurdjeff and Anton La Vey.
I hope to have put together a concise yet detailed account of magic and occult beliefs which studies each civilization and century in turn, to the modern day, yet with an overarching concern for the social, religious and historical implications that were vital to each developing philosophy. This work has been written with a desire to offer an exhaustive reference for the beginner, always suggesting sources for further study, yet also delivering just enough depth to reward more knowledgeable readers with information and views that may be new to them.
My own fascination is why we believe what we do, what creates the incredible rites and rituals of a society, and what truth lies at their heart. Writing this book certainly made me truly consider my own beliefs, and find a new sense of wonder at the mystery of creation. Hopefully that wonder can also be instilled through reading the book, which I am proud to say has so far received very positive reviews:
"Stephen Wakefield has achieved a rare feat, he has examined the often obscure and mystifying subject of magic and produced an in-depth work that is both scholarly yet immensely readable; this book is destined to become a classic of its kind."
(Brian Allan, paranormal researcher and author of 'Rosslyn, Between Two Worlds', 'The Dark Messiah: Magick, Gnosis and Religion' and 'I Cast Thee Out, Poltergeists, Possession and Exorcism')
As a new author, finding and connecting with my audience has been the most challenging part of the writing process - but I hope that, slowly yet surely, people find the book and gain from it. I am eager to hear responses, and correspond on any related topic - as I certainly still have a lot to learn myself, both as a writer and as an inquiring mind!
what to read next: if you read and liked this book...
A great readI have always been interested in religion and magic, and have read a few books on the subject before. I read this one because it was a history of pretty much everything, a lot that I wanted to know more about and a lot of other things that I really hadn't come across before.
It's a bit dense in places, maybe because of just how much the author includes but I found this to be a really stimulating read with a fascinating view on the subject of belief.
Chapters on Mesopotamia and Zoroastrianism gave me a lot to think about, and the look at modern magic made me realise just how much is still going on. This book taught me a lot, made me think and gave me a grounding in a vast subject. I will use it as a springboard to study even more widely in the future. Very much recommended!
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