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Witchcraft: The Library of Esoterica

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A spellbinding journey through the global history of witchcraft, the third volume in The Library of Esoterica follows this magickal tradition from its ancient roots to its modern incarnations. Through more than 400 artworks, and revelatory essays and interviews with modern practitioners, Witchcraft chronicles a cathartic evolution, from the craft’s emergence in ancient god A spellbinding journey through the global history of witchcraft, the third volume in The Library of Esoterica follows this magickal tradition from its ancient roots to its modern incarnations. Through more than 400 artworks, and revelatory essays and interviews with modern practitioners, Witchcraft chronicles a cathartic evolution, from the craft’s emergence in ancient goddess worship to the embrace by today’s diverse witch community.


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A spellbinding journey through the global history of witchcraft, the third volume in The Library of Esoterica follows this magickal tradition from its ancient roots to its modern incarnations. Through more than 400 artworks, and revelatory essays and interviews with modern practitioners, Witchcraft chronicles a cathartic evolution, from the craft’s emergence in ancient god A spellbinding journey through the global history of witchcraft, the third volume in The Library of Esoterica follows this magickal tradition from its ancient roots to its modern incarnations. Through more than 400 artworks, and revelatory essays and interviews with modern practitioners, Witchcraft chronicles a cathartic evolution, from the craft’s emergence in ancient goddess worship to the embrace by today’s diverse witch community.

30 review for Witchcraft: The Library of Esoterica

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sophia

    Pictures were great. The best part. But that’s why you buy Taschen. I was disappointed at the repetitive text, we get it but each essay was more of the same. Captions for the pictures were ok, not great. More context and history and contemporary reactions to the works/portrayals was needed. I would have liked to see more historical and cultural contextualization - a whole page dedicated to Circe, one to Hecate, Morgan Le Fay, Freya, but nope. A chapter to Salem, Hopkins, voodoo, more eastern myt Pictures were great. The best part. But that’s why you buy Taschen. I was disappointed at the repetitive text, we get it but each essay was more of the same. Captions for the pictures were ok, not great. More context and history and contemporary reactions to the works/portrayals was needed. I would have liked to see more historical and cultural contextualization - a whole page dedicated to Circe, one to Hecate, Morgan Le Fay, Freya, but nope. A chapter to Salem, Hopkins, voodoo, more eastern mythology and figures. Circe was only mentioned and shown about 10-15 times but no full story. Instead we get people some awkward walls of text, personal and political. I would have rather learned more about the ancient practices from Samhain, turnip carving! Or more about Johannes Keplers mother, Brujeria, druids, Brigid, why was she so significant? Ancient Goddess worship, sooooooo much potential. We had constant modern cultural context and references but I think that would have made a cooler bit on its own going more into depth, especially the rapid evolution of our perception of witches from the last 150/100 years due to her portrayal in popular culture. Also a section on modern Wicca and pagan practices would have been great. Meshing it together with historical and ancient practices and low key presenting modern pagans and wiccans and self identifying witches as a continuance of ancient pagan rituals is disingenuous and old. Get it for the pics but If you can swing $50 on this spend the $10 on Ronald Huttons book The Witch or something similar for a better ride on your broomstick. Cover 10/10. Organization just needed to be clearer and more cohesive and included more topics and figures.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Marin Bratanov

    Just arrived today, and, granted, I have not yet read all the texts, but I did spend an entire afternoon flipping through pages and pages of gorgeous art. A lot of it is full-page full-color amazing pieces, maybe 80% of the book is art, hundreds of pages and artworks. That alone is worth the 5 star rating - you will find old classics and masters right next to worthy modern artists that are still alive and kicking today. If you are wondering how I am reading this before its expected publication da Just arrived today, and, granted, I have not yet read all the texts, but I did spend an entire afternoon flipping through pages and pages of gorgeous art. A lot of it is full-page full-color amazing pieces, maybe 80% of the book is art, hundreds of pages and artworks. That alone is worth the 5 star rating - you will find old classics and masters right next to worthy modern artists that are still alive and kicking today. If you are wondering how I am reading this before its expected publication date - my wife is a contributor to one of the images in the book and we got a copy. So, while I know next to nothing about witchcraft and its lore, I expect I will learn a lot very soon when I also get to go through the texts.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tina

    I rarely buy or own books, but I bought this new. Shrink-wrapped even. It is gorgeous, full of artwork and essays about witches, magick and lore.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Oz Ortega

    Siendo honestos ¿alguien lee los libros de Taschen? Tengo muchos, solo por la parte visual que siempre es una delicia, especialmente esta colección esotérica, pero es la primera vez que en verdad leo los textos que acompañan y pues es bastante decepcionante en términos generales. Aún cuando se han dado a la tarea de buscar a los famosos y espumosos del tema, la mayoría de los ensayos se sienten superficiales y repetitivos, quizá debido a su corta extensión.El que me ha parecido más interesante e Siendo honestos ¿alguien lee los libros de Taschen? Tengo muchos, solo por la parte visual que siempre es una delicia, especialmente esta colección esotérica, pero es la primera vez que en verdad leo los textos que acompañan y pues es bastante decepcionante en términos generales. Aún cuando se han dado a la tarea de buscar a los famosos y espumosos del tema, la mayoría de los ensayos se sienten superficiales y repetitivos, quizá debido a su corta extensión.El que me ha parecido más interesante es aquel dedicado a la relación de surrealismo con las artes mágicas. Aún así, visualmente es más que hermoso

  5. 4 out of 5

    Aubrey Vejvoda

    The art is gorgeous and the articles have been fun to read over time. Not necessarily a must read but a wonderful piece of creative inspiration to have on the bookshelf! I'm grateful to have received it has a gift for mine. The art is gorgeous and the articles have been fun to read over time. Not necessarily a must read but a wonderful piece of creative inspiration to have on the bookshelf! I'm grateful to have received it has a gift for mine.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    Excellent pictures throughout - but the writing is shockingly poor. For those looking to learn more about Witchcraft in history, the “very short introductions” book on the subject covered more in about 100 pages than this book managed and in >500. That particular book is also more balanced in its viewpoint. There are also many other books on this topic which are available - look elsewhere. More on this - No real interest was given to any one subtopic, it contained historical statements which were Excellent pictures throughout - but the writing is shockingly poor. For those looking to learn more about Witchcraft in history, the “very short introductions” book on the subject covered more in about 100 pages than this book managed and in >500. That particular book is also more balanced in its viewpoint. There are also many other books on this topic which are available - look elsewhere. More on this - No real interest was given to any one subtopic, it contained historical statements which were inaccurate, descriptions of any popular practices were kept vague and vapid. The book also promotes the leftist agenda under the surface of witchcraft. Whilst I am inclined to agree that there are some joining threads with leftism in witchcraft, I feel the authors were not balanced / critical enough of this. The authors should read more about the history of communism. It doesn’t end well for people. At various points we are also treated to a singular page where a modern witch talks about their beliefs. They describe themselves in a way which is invariably adolescent and embarrassing to read, for example, one claims to be a “sonic poet”. The nail in the coffin for me : the author quoted herself in one of her essays.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Louisa Hickman

    This might be my favourite book that I've read this year! A fantastic collection of essays relating to all things to do with witchcraft and stunning artwork to accompany them all. I was really surprised by the range of topics ocvered, from the different elements to the wheel of the year, and it's a brilliant book to start with if you are at all intersted in witchcraft and the occult, a great springboard to go on and dig deeper. I loved it! This might be my favourite book that I've read this year! A fantastic collection of essays relating to all things to do with witchcraft and stunning artwork to accompany them all. I was really surprised by the range of topics ocvered, from the different elements to the wheel of the year, and it's a brilliant book to start with if you are at all intersted in witchcraft and the occult, a great springboard to go on and dig deeper. I loved it!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Liliana

    Came for the art, stayed for the texts. Beautiful book filled to the brim with stories, lore, history and culture about witches, as well as art that deals with the imagery of the witch. Basically every other page depicts beautiful and powerful work in a large variety of styles and mediums, spanning hundreds of years: The witch has been around for a long time. This book lives on my bedside table now!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    This book is gorgeous! I really like the quasi-art history approach since it has so much witch iconography. I would give this 4.5 stars if I could and only not perfect because it’s heavy! Might sound trivial but it’s sortof awkward to hold, but it’s not big enough to be a “coffee table” book. Regardless, the content is awesome and insightful.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Isabel clare

    It was good.. lots of surface info/folklore/origins/history/magick basics that I already knew of, so actually reading it went fast, but it all was presented with a lot more detail and nuance <3 plus the art featured is gorgeous and so relevant. Loved it

  11. 4 out of 5

    Dominika

    Enjoyed this nonfiction very much so. Its a collection of essays about different aspects of witches from the magic to the fashion. I can't wait to read the others Enjoyed this nonfiction very much so. Its a collection of essays about different aspects of witches from the magic to the fashion. I can't wait to read the others

  12. 5 out of 5

    Christina Turner

    Incredible images

  13. 4 out of 5

    Deak Wooten

    Excellent and awareness opening. I feel as if an unrecognized world has opened before me. Continues Taschen's excellent series. Excellent and awareness opening. I feel as if an unrecognized world has opened before me. Continues Taschen's excellent series.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Crystal Cardenas

  15. 4 out of 5

    Nora

  16. 5 out of 5

    Audra (ouija.reads)

  17. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sergio Villaverde

  19. 4 out of 5

    Marco Sartori

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rhonda

  21. 5 out of 5

    L U N A

  22. 5 out of 5

    Zach Hayes

  23. 5 out of 5

    Cris

  24. 5 out of 5

    Erin K

  25. 5 out of 5

    Eustacia R.

  26. 4 out of 5

    M.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Yasmin

  28. 4 out of 5

    Crimsonsixx

  29. 5 out of 5

    Blackcatmoon66

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rachael

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