The Witches Almanac: Sorcerers, Witches and Magic from Ancient Rome to the Digital Age

Visible Ink. Feb. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9781578597604. pap. $24.95. REF
Christian, a British lawyer and award-winning journalist, has written a true compendium of who’s who in the world of witchcraft throughout Western civilization. The book is organized chronologically, beginning with the known witches of Mesopotamia, ancient Greece, and Rome. Each chapter defines an era of how magic and witches were perceived, defined, accepted, or persecuted in Europe and North America. The book provides numerous known details about the lives of practitioners of magic, witches, and alchemists, from the Middle Ages to the age of TikTok. While acknowledging myths, colloquial beliefs, and rumors about some of the subjects, the author presents facts and dispels persistent untruths. Explored throughout are the power politics that drove the treatment of persons accused of witchcraft. Big epochs such as the Burning Times and Order of the Golden Dawn are covered, and so are the quieter times and lesser-known conjurers. The chronological order of the biographies serves to illustrate the cross-pollination of magical thought and practice throughout history to provide the foundation and legacy for modern witchcraft.
VERDICT Extremely thorough and engagingly written, this title is an excellent historical reference for readers and students of the occult and witchcraft.
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