Originally published in 1992, The Esoteric Scene, Cultic Milieu, and Occult Tarot examines beliefs, practices, and activities described as mystical, psychical, magical, spiritual, metaphysical, theophysical, esoteric, occult, and/or pagan, among other possible labels, by their American disciplines. The book is comprised using a mixture of field work and interviews and provides a broad overview of the esoteric community and the social meanings of occultism. The book describes and analyses social meanings of ‘esoteric culture’ as it is experienced, defined, structured and enacted by societal members and examines the sociological significance of esoteric culture as a formulation of alternative sociocultural realities. It provides a sociological understanding of esoteric culture and the cultural milieu.
The volumes in this set, originally published between 1978 and 1992, draw together research by leading academics in the area of the occult and provide a rigorous examination of related key issues. The collection examines occultism from a broad range of disciplines, from shamanism and the occult tarot, to the esoteric and spiritualism. It includes volumes across the disciplines of religion, covering new religious movements, spiritualism, ritual and magic practices. The three books that comprise this set include investigations into the evolution of occultism, as well as the history and practices of the occult as a religious movement. This collection brings back into print insightful and detailed books and will be a must-have resource for academics and students, not only of religion and anthropology, but also of history and psychology.
Gnostic Tarot presents an exciting new path for people who want to use the tarot as a guide for spiritual development. Lee Irwin synthesizes the more traditional forms of interpretation with a new esoteric method based on the contemporary theories of Hermetic and Gnostic spirituality. He has developed ten Mandalas (akin to tarot spreads) for you to use as meditative structures for contemplating the interconnection between the natural elements and consciousness as reflected by the imagery of the cards. Irwin provides a detailed discussion of the esoteric history and structure of the tarot, and explores the symbolism of the Four Suits, The Inner (Minor) Court Cards, and the Major Arcana Cards as illustrated by the Ravenswood and Waite decks. His wellwritten and deeply insightful interpretations of tarot imagery will inspire you to see the sacred in everything surrounding you. By using Irvins Mandalas, mediations, and visualization exercises, you can learn to align your physical, mental, and emotional life with your spiritual growth, to affect an alchemical transformation through the realization of your souls purpose.
In the first book-length study of Tarot cards on the silver screen, Emily E. Auger contextualizes cartomancy – the practice of fortune telling via playing cards – and dives deep into its invention and promulgation in film. After providing an introduction to divination and cartomancy, Auger offers detailed descriptions and analyses of the roles that cartomancy and Tarot cards play in films. The book features a filmography including nearly two hundred films, detailing their relationships to cartomancy. As Tarot communities continue to grow worldwide, Cartomancy and Tarot in Film will be of increasing interest to scholars of esoteric studies, film, folklore, playing cards, popular culture, and religion, as well as diviners the world over.
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.
Tarot cards have been around since the Renaissance and have become increasingly popular in recent years, often due to their prevalence in popular culture. While Tarot means many different things to many different people, the cards somehow strike universal chords that can resonate through popular culture in the contexts of art, television, movies, even comic books. The symbolism within the cards, and the cards as symbols themselves, make Tarot an excellent device for the media of popular culture in numerous ways. They make horror movies scarier. They make paintings more provocative. They provide illustrative structure to comics and can establish the traits of television characters. The Cards: The Evolution and Power of Tarot begins with an extensive review of the history of Tarot from its roots as a game to its supposed connection to ancient Egyptian magic, through its place in secret societies, and to its current use in meditation and psychology. This section ends with an examination of the people who make up today’s tarot community. Then, specific areas of popular culture—art, television, movies, and comics—are each given a chapter in which to survey the use of Tarot. In this section, author Patrick Maille analyzes such works as Deadpool, Books of Magic by Neil Gaiman, Disney's Haunted Mansion, Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows, The Andy Griffith Show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and King of the Hill. The cards are evocative images in their own right, but the mystical fascination they inspire makes them a fantastic tool to be used in our favorite shows and stories.
This collection explores the role of innovation in understanding the history of esotericism. It illustrates how innovation is a mechanism of negotiation whereby an idea is either produced against, or adapted from, an older set of concepts in order to respond to a present context. Featuring contributions from distinguished scholars of esotericism, it covers many different fields and themes including magic, alchemy, Rosicrucianism, Theosophy, Tarot, apocalypticism and eschatology, Mesmerism, occultism, prophecy, and mysticism.
The study of contemporary esoteric discourse has hitherto been a largely neglected part of the new academic field of Western esotericism. Contemporary Esotericism provides a broad overview and assessment of the complex world of Western esoteric thought today. Combining historiographical analysis with theories and methodologies from the social sciences, the volume explores new problems and offers new possibilities for the study of esoterica. Contemporary Esotericism studies the period since the 1950s but focuses on the last two decades. The wide range of essays are divided into four thematic sections: the intricacies of esoteric appeals to tradition; the role of popular culture, modern communication technologies, and new media in contemporary esotericism; the impact and influence of esotericism on both religious and secular arenas; and the recent 'de-marginalization' of the esoteric in both scholarship and society.
James McClenon examines the relationship between wondrous events—extrasensory perception, apparitions, out-of-body and near-death experiences, sleep paralysis, psychokinesis, firewalking, psychic surgery, and spiritual healing—and the foundations of religious belief.
The idea that religion has to succeed in a «market», selling «salvation goods», has proved to be extremely attractive to scholars in sociology and the study of religion. Max Weber used the term «salvation good» to compare different religious traditions. Pierre Bourdieu employed the term in order to analyze «religious economy». And recently, an American group of researchers advocating «rational choice of religion» put the theme at the forefront of current debates. This book - the fruit of an International Congress in Lausanne in April 2005 - brings together leading specialists in the fields of sociology and the study of religion who discuss the terms «salvation goods» (or religious goods) and «religious market». The authors test the applicability of these concepts by using specific examples and they either deliberately advocate or criticize Weberian, Bourdieusian or rational-choice perspectives.
New Religious Movements in the 21st Century is the first volume to examine the urgent and important issues facing new religions in their political, legal and religious contexts in global perspective. With essays from prominent NRM scholars and usefully organized into four regional areas covering Western Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia, Russia and Eastern Europe, and North and South America, as well as a concluding section on the major themes of globalization and terrorist violence, this book provides invaluable insight into the challenges facing religion in the twenty-first century. An introduction by Tom Robbins provides an overview of the major issues and themes discussed in the book.
Latin America is undergoing a period of intense religious transformation and upheaval. This book analyzes some of the more important new discoveries about religious movements in the region. It examines important shifts such as the expansion and politicization of Protestantism, the ongoing transformation of the Catholic church, the growth of Afro-Brazilian religions, and the genuine pluralization of faith.