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Thursday, 22 June 2006

Civility And The Decline Of Magic

Civility And The Decline Of Magic Cover

Book: Civility And The Decline Of Magic by Keith Thomas

One of the most puzzling aspects of the emergence of a new kind of world in the last few centuries in the West is the development of what we now call 'science'. The shift from a magical and religious dominated cosmology to a mechanistic and secular one, though far from complete and far from confined to the period roughly between 1550 and 1850, is in general undisputable. Until that time it had not happened in other civilizations such as China, Japan or the Islamic world, which had much earlier reached a higher level of craft knowledge than anything then current in Europe. So why did it happen where it did, when it did, and why did it happen at all? A number of historians, for example Thomas Kuhn and Michel Foucault, have drawn attention to the 'paradigmatic' or 'epistemic' shift manifested in the work of Galileo, Descartes and others. Yet while providing examples of the shift, neither has been able to put forward any plausible explanation of why the shift occurred. Indeed they both specifically state that they leave it to others to explain why. More recently we have been given an excellent, revised, picture of the earlier magic cosmology and its continuity with the later 'scientific' one by Stuart Clark. Yet once again, the author explicitly states that he is not attempting to provide any explanation of why the cosmologies changed over time. Some of the most stimulating suggestions concerning the reasons for the change have, in fact, come from anthropologists, who draw attention to the importance of literacy, the 'trade-travel' complex, Protestantism, the clash of cultures and other factors in the movement to the 'Open society' of modern science and technology.

Download Keith Thomas's eBook: Civility And The Decline Of Magic

Free eBooks (Can Be Downloaded):

Rabbi Michael Laitman - Kabbalah Science And The Meaning Of Life
Hippolyte Taine - Witchcraft And The Suspicion Of Witchery
Belle Wagner - Within The Temple Of Isis
Israel Regardie - The Art And Meaning Of Magic
Keith Thomas - Civility And The Decline Of Magic

Monday, 19 June 2006

Altars And Altar Setup

Altars And Altar Setup Cover
Your altar does not have to be elaborate. It can be a small table, a mantelpiece, windowsill, a shelf in a bookcase, or what ever else is handy in the house. It can be round, to represent the Goddess, square, symbolic of the elements, rectangular or oval. It may be a small area of ground in a field or wood.

You may decorate it with crystals, talismans, herbs, flowers, or my favorite, feathers. Anything that has special meaning to you. It is a reflection of the person who puts it together.

It is considered best to place the altar facing north. This direction symbolizes the power flow from darkness to light. It is associated with the Earth. Some face the south with their altars to honor the sun as it rises.

The altar is usually stands in the center of the circle.

We do not believe the Goddess or God actually "inhabit" the altar. It is a place of power. We are not "idol worshipers". These are manifestations of the creative forces found in nature everywhere.

It may be set up permanently or dismantled after use.

Altar Setup

The Goddess is associated with the left side of the altar. The Goddess may be represent by a white, silver, or green candle. A sculpture or some sort of figure may be used. Tools that are associated with the Goddess are the Cup, Pentacle, Bell, crystals and Cauldron. If the Cauldron is large, it is usually placed on the floor to the left.

The God is associated with the right side. A sculpture or a figure of some sort may be used to represent the God. A red, yellow or gold candle is appropriate. Tools associated with the God are, the Censer, Wand, Athame, and Boline.

The Censer and Cauldron are sometimes set in the middle for offerings to both Goddess and God.

The Pentacle is sometimes set in front of the censer. It marks the Directions and/or Elements.

Many Wiccans mark North, South, East and West with candles on the altar, space permitting.

Unless you have a very large altar, you will need a stand for the Book of Shadows, or place it on the floor where you will not step on it.

As you can see, it is up to you to find what is pleasing.

Altar cloths are sometimes used. The color changes for the holidays or ritual.

Free e-books (can be downloaded):

Aleister Crowley - Alice An Adultery
Aleister Crowley - Ahab And Other Poems
Aleister Crowley - The Star And The Garter

Keywords: roman  english physical nation  writings buber  rare pertaining arte  church of satan  northern