Author: Isaac Bonewits
Trade Paperback, 304 pages
Publication date: October 1989
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Isaac Bonewits has been a fixture in the North American Pagan community since he managed to graduate from the University of California in 1970 with a degree in Magic and Thaumaturgy. In 1991, the first edition of this remarkable book was published. After being out of print and hard to find for a number of years, Samuel Weiser released this revised second edition in 1989.
Real Magic is an interdisciplinary look at magick from a rational and somewhat scientific point of view. Bonewits examines magick and the occult and attempts nothing less than to propose a theory of how magick works. Don't let this scare you off, this book is classic Bonewits. It is readable and fun. He mixes hard theory with amusing examples and stories.
This book will appeal to two audiences. First, it will appeal to witches, magicians, and others wishing to improve their understanding of how magick works so that they can improve their own magick. Second, it will appeal to those who are interested in magick and the occult but have been put off by what they see as the mumbo-jumbo of many introductory books on magick and the occult. Some say that this book is too complex for beginners. I disagree. While it certainly is not for someone who is not interested in having to think while they read, I believe than anyone willing to thoughtfully read this book will be able to benefit from it, be they beginner or expert, believer or skeptic.
Although I don't agree with every theory and law of magic Isaac proposes in Real Magic, I highly recommend this book. Even if you conclude that Bonewits' theories of magick are incorrect, the book will have made you think about what we call magick and the occult in a new and different way. That's something a bit rare in this field these days.
Reviewed by Randall
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