Anthropology's long and complex relationship to magic has been strongly influenced by western science and notions of rationality. This book takes a refreshing new look at modern magic as practised by contemporary Pagans in Britain. It focuses on what Pagans see as the essence of magic - a communication with an otherworldly reality. Examining issues of identity, gender and morality, the author argues that the otherworld forms a central defining characteristic of magical practice. Integrating an experiential ethnographic approach with an analysis of magic, this book asks penetrating questions about the nature of otherworldly knowledge and argues that our scientific frameworks need re-envisioning. It is unique in providing an insider's view of how magic is practised in contemporary western culture.
Table of Contents
Introduction 2 The Otherworld 3 High Magic: The Divine Spark Within 4 Witchcraft and Natural Magic 5 Magical Identity: Healing and Power 6 The Return of the Goddess 7 Magic and Morality: 'A Mixed Spectrum' 8 Conclusion
Susan Greenwood is at the University of Sussex.