Magic by Chris Gosden

An Oxford professor of archaeology explores the unique records of magic―the oldest and most ignored strand of human behavior and its resurgence today Three notable strands of perception run through human history: Religion is the relationship with one god or many gods, masters of our lives and destinies. Science distances us from the world, turning us into observers and collectors of knowledge. And magic is direct human participation inside the universe: we have affect on the world round us, and the sector has impact on us.Over the previous few centuries, magic has developed a awful reputation―thanks to the unsavory approaches of shady practitioners, and to a a success propaganda campaign on the a part of religion and science, which denigrated magic as backward, irrational, and “primitive.” In Magic, however, the Oxford professor of archaeology Chris Gosden restores magic to its important place in the records of the sector―revealing it to be an enduring element of human behavior that plays an vital role for individuals and cultures. From the curses and charms of ancient Greek, Roman, and Jewish magic, to the shamanistic traditions of Eurasia, indigenous America, and Africa; from the alchemy of the Renaissance to the condemnation of magic in the colonial length and the mysteries of modern-day quantum physics―Gosden’s startling, fun, and colourful records elements a missing chapter of the tale of our civilization. Drawing on a long time of research round the arena―touching on the first recognized horoscope, a statue ordered into exile, and the mystical power of tattoos―Gosden suggests what magic can offer us these days, and how we would use it to reconsider our dating with the world. Magic is an original, singular, and sweeping work of scholarship, and its revelations will go away a spell at the reader.

Description

In Magic: A History: From Alchemy to Witchcraft, From the Ice Age to the Present, Oxford professor of archaeology Chris Gosden treats readers to a history of humanity through the lens of magic. Gosden defines magic as human participation within the universe thru ritual and art. From Paleolithic cave art and Egyptian burial practices to 19th-century spiritualism and 20th-century paganism, magical items and rituals have always been a part of the human experience. Even in cultures guided predominantly with the aid of the two other exquisite perception systems, faith and science, magic has often persisted alongside them.

In this beautifully illustrated and written e book, Gosden offers an encyclopedic compendium of magical practices throughout the globe and during records. Readers will gain lots from the transhistorical perspective Gosden offers. For example, the shamanism practiced at the Eurasian Steppe in 5000 B.C. Traveled from Mongolia to Iron Age Western Europe, wherein it become practiced by using the Celts. This records may be traced through the items discovered in historical burial websites and beneath excavated stone circles, examples of which can be reproduced during the text.

The worldwide and historical reach of Gosden’s expertise is stunning and makes this e-book an vital reference work. But Gosden has every other compelling trick up his sleeve. The ebook’s humane, urgent conclusion shows that magic may even provide some clues for surviving our contemporary global weather crisis. Many of the magical rituals and practices mentioned here rely on the belief of an animate and sentient herbal world. “To be human is to be connected,” Gosden argues. If we can reawaken our feel of connection to the natural world—to bushes and animals and oceans—we may be able to inspire more people to practice dwelling gently and harmoniously with the world round us.

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