This volume presents students and scholars with a comprehensive overview of the fascinating world of the occult. It explores the history of Western occultism, from ancient and medieval sources via the Renaissance, right up to the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and contemporary occultism. Written by a distinguished team of contributors, the essays consider key figures, beliefs and practices as well as popular culture.

chapter |14 pages


ByChristopher Partridge

part I|34 pages

Ancient and Medieval Sources

chapter Chapter One|17 pages

Ancient Esoteric Traditions

Mystery, Revelation, Gnosis
ByDylan M. Burns

chapter Chapter Two|15 pages

The Occult Middle Ages

ByPeter J. Forshaw

part II|68 pages

The Renaissance

chapter Chapter Three|23 pages

The Hermetic Revival in Italy

ByGyörgy E. Szönyi

chapter Chapter Four|18 pages

Alchemical Hermeticism

ByFlorian Ebeling

chapter Chapter Five|7 pages

Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa

ByWouter J. Hanegraaff

chapter Chapter Six|8 pages


ByAndrew Weeks

chapter Chapter Seven|10 pages

John Dee

ByGlyn Parry

part III|78 pages

Seventeenth Century and Eighteenth Century

chapter Chapter Eight|9 pages

Jacob Böhme and Christian Theosophy

ByWouter J. Hanegraaff

chapter Chapter Nine|17 pages

The Rosicrucian Manifestos And Early Rosicrucianism

ByHereward Tilton

chapter Chapter Ten|12 pages

Emanuel Swedenborg

ByJane Williams-Hogan

chapter Chapter Eleven|16 pages


ByJan A. M. Snoek, Henrik Bogdan

chapter Chapter Twelve|9 pages


ByAndreas Önnerfors

chapter Chapter Thirteen|6 pages

Martinism in Eighteenth-Century France

ByChristian Giudice

chapter Chapter Fourteen|7 pages

Animal Magnetism and Mesmerism

ByAdam Crabtree

part IV|80 pages

Nineteenth Century

chapter Chapter Fifteen|10 pages


ByCathy Gutierrez

chapter Chapter Sixteen|13 pages

New Thought Traditions

ByJeremy Rapport

chapter Chapter Seventeen|11 pages

Eliphas Lévi

ByChristopher McIntosh

chapter Chapter Eighteen|3 pages

Paschal Beverly Randolph

ByHugh Urban

chapter Chapter Nineteen|3 pages

William Wynn Westcott

ByFrancisco Santos Silva

chapter Chapter Twenty|10 pages

The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn

ByRobert A. Gilbert

chapter Chapter Twenty-One|3 pages

Samuel Liddell Mathers

ByFrancisco Santos Silva

chapter Chapter Twenty-Two|10 pages


ByOlav Hammer

chapter Chapter Twenty-Three|6 pages

Frederic W. H. Myers

ByJeffrey J. Kripal

chapter Chapter Twenty-Four|9 pages

The Society for Psychical Research

ByEgil Asprem

part V|152 pages

Twentieth Century and the Contemporary World

chapter Chapter Twenty-Five|6 pages

Ordo Templi Orientis

ByChristian Giudice

chapter Chapter Twenty-Six|5 pages

Arthur Edward Waite

ByAlison Butler

chapter Chapter Twenty-Seven|5 pages

Charles Fort

ByJeffrey J. Kripal

chapter Chapter Twenty-Eight|10 pages

Aleister Crowley

A Prophet for the Modern Age
ByHenrik Bogdan

chapter Chapter Twenty-Nine|5 pages

Austin Osman Spare

ByPhil Baker

chapter Chapter Thirty|7 pages

René Guénon and Traditionalism

ByPeter King

chapter Chapter Thirty-One|5 pages

Dion Fortune and the Society of the Inner Light

ByAlison Butler

chapter Chapter Thirty-Two|3 pages

John Whiteside Parsons

ByNicholas Campion

chapter Chapter Thirty-Three|8 pages

Kenneth Grant and the Typhonian Tradition

ByHenrik Bogdan

chapter Chapter Thirty-Four|5 pages

Robert Anton Wilson

ByErik Davis

chapter Chapter Thirty-Five|12 pages

Nazism and the Occult

ByJulian Strube

chapter Chapter Thirty-Six|13 pages

The Theosophical Current in the Twentieth Century

ByOlav Hammer

chapter Chapter Thirty-Seven|11 pages

Contemporary Paganism and the Occult

ByGraham Harvey

chapter Chapter Thirty-Eight|10 pages

New Age

ByOlav Hammer

chapter Chapter Thirty-Nine|14 pages

Contemporary Ritual Magic

ByEgil Asprem

chapter Chapter Forty|10 pages

Contemporary Satanism

ByJesper Aagaard Petersen

chapter Chapter Forty-One|6 pages

Chaos Magick

ByColin Duggan

chapter Chapter Forty-Two|12 pages

Vampirism, Lycanthropy, and Otherkin

ByJay Johnston

chapter Chapter Forty-Three|3 pages

Hakim Bey

ByChristian Greer

part VI|112 pages

Popular Culture and the Arts

chapter Chapter Forty-Four|17 pages

The Occult and the Visual Arts

ByTessel M. Bauduin

chapter Chapter Forty-Five|13 pages

The Occult and Film

ByBrian Baker

chapter Chapter Forty-Six|5 pages

Kenneth Anger

ByDeborah Allison

chapter Chapter Forty-Seven|5 pages

Dennis Wheatley

ByPhil Baker

chapter Chapter Forty-Eight|9 pages

The Occult and Modern Horror Fiction

ByDouglas E. Cowan

chapter Chapter Forty-Nine|14 pages

The Occult and Science Fiction/Fantasy

ByBrian Baker

chapter Chapter Fifty|7 pages

H.P. Lovecraft

ByErik Davis

chapter Chapter Fifty-One|10 pages

The Occult and Comics

ByKennet Granholm

chapter Chapter Fifty-Two|22 pages

The Occult and Popular Music

ByChristopher Partridge

chapter Chapter Fifty-Three|8 pages

The Occult on the Internet

ByDouglas E. Cowan

part VII|213 pages

Beliefs, Practices, Issues, and Approaches

chapter Chapter Fifty-Four|11 pages


ByPeter J. Forshaw

chapter Chapter Fifty-Five|12 pages


ByGeorgiana D. Hedesan

chapter Chapter Fifty-Six|7 pages

Sex Magic

ByHugh Urban

chapter Chapter Fifty-Seven|9 pages


ByHelen Farley

chapter Chapter Fifty-Eight|12 pages


ByAngela Voss

chapter Chapter Fifty-Nine|11 pages


ByNicholas Campion

chapter Chapter Sixty|8 pages


ByOwen Davies

chapter Chapter Sixty-One|15 pages

Orientalism and the Occult

ByChristopher Partridge

chapter Chapter Sixty-Two|9 pages

Occult War

ByGeorge J. Sieg

chapter Chapter Sixty-Three|11 pages

The Counterculture and the Occult

ByErik Davis

chapter Chapter Sixty-Four|13 pages

Intermediary Beings

ByEgil Asprem

chapter Chapter Sixty-Five|13 pages

The Body in Occult Thought

ByJay Johnston

chapter Chapter Sixty-Six|9 pages

Drugs and the Occult

ByDan Merkur

chapter Chapter Sixty-Seven|11 pages

Gender and the Occult

ByJay Johnston

chapter Chapter Sixty-Eight|9 pages

Crime, Moral Panic, and the Occult

ByJeffrey S. Victor

chapter Chapter Sixty-Nine|9 pages

Conspiracy Theories and the Occult

ByMichael Barkun

chapter Chapter Seventy|10 pages

Science and the Occult

ByEgil Asprem

chapter Chapter Seventy-One|12 pages

Sociology and the Occult

ByKennet Granholm

chapter Chapter Seventy-Two|12 pages

Psychology and the Occult

Dialectics of Disenchantment and Re-Enchantment in the Modern Self
ByRoderick Main

chapter Chapter Seventy-Three|8 pages

Opposition to the Occult

ByDouglas E. Cowan