Stealing Fire from Heaven: The Rise of Modern Western Magic by Nevill Drury

Stealing Fire from Heaven: The Rise of Modern Western Magic

byNevill Drury

Paperback | March 1, 2011

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Despite the dramatic expansion of modern technology, which defines and dominates many aspects of contemporary life and thought, the Western magical traditions are currently undergoing an international resurgence. How can we account for this widespread interest in ancient magical beliefsystems? In historical terms, Gnosticism and the Hermetica, the medieval Kabbalah, Tarot and Alchemy, and more recently, Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry, collectively laid the basis for the modern magical revival, which first began to gather momentum in Europe at the end of the nineteenth century. ModernWestern magic has since become increasingly eclectic, drawing on such diverse sources as classical Greco-Roman mythology, Celtic cosmology, Kundalini yoga and Tantra, shamanism, chaos theory, and the various spiritual traditions associated in many different cultures with the Universal Goddess.In this overview of the modern occult revival, Nevill Drury traces the rise of various forms of magical belief and practice, from the influential Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn to the emergence of Wicca and Goddess worship as expressions of contemporary feminine spirituality. He also exploresChaos Magick and the occult practices of the so-called Left-Hand Path, as well as twenty-first-century magical forays into cyberspace.Drury believes that the rise of modern Western magic stems essentially from the quest for personal spiritual transformation and the direct experience of the sacred - a quest which the trance occultist and visionary artist Austin Osman Spare once referred to as "stealing fire from heaven." Consideredin this light, modern Western magic can be regarded as a form of alternative spirituality in which the practitioners seek direct engagement with the mythic realm.

About The Author

Nevill Drury (Ph.D. University of Newcastle, Australia) is an award-winning author of several books on the occult.
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Details & Specs

Title:Stealing Fire from Heaven: The Rise of Modern Western MagicFormat:PaperbackDimensions:400 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:March 1, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199751005

ISBN - 13:9780199751006

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Table of Contents

PrefaceIntroduction1. Medieval Precursors2. Freemasons and the Rose Cross3. New Light: The Rise of the Golden Dawn4. Aleister Crowley and the Left-Hand Path5. Three Magical Visionaries6. The Rebirth of the Goddess7. Dark Forces: Contemporary Satanism and Black Magic8. Spirit, Myth, and Cosmos: From Shamanism to Chaos Magick9. Archetypes and Cyberspace: Magic in the 21st CenturyNotesBibliographyIndex