the encyclopedia of witchcraft and demonology

anonymous asked:

hello! i've been trying to research magic, but unfortunately most books i find are specific wicca, which i'm not interested in. do you have any book reccomendations that arent wicca centric? thank you! i love your blog :^)

Oh heckin yes I do My amazon wishlist is literally like six pages long… ALL BOOKS

WARNING: This Is Going To Be Extremely Long!

First though I want to note that while I 100% understand your feelings about the Wicca stuff (being a very NOT Wiccan Witch), not all books that are Wicca leaning are bad! I’ve gotten loads of useful information from books that tended to be a little new agey. That’s where being objective comes in! With ANY book, you should take it with a grain of salt, and some with a whole shaker. But it’s up to you to pay attention to misinformation and conflation, and to know how to do research to prove or disprove that something in a book you read is true or not. Does that make sense?? 

Anywho, a couple of books that are still kind of “Wicca-y” but great:

Those are all books from my personal collection that I would recommend! Now as for the Non-Wicca Books, Let’s dive in! Not all of these have I read or owned, and they are in no particular order. You’ll notice most of them relate to “Traditional Witchcraft” or West Country, because that is where my practice is focused. 

PHEW!

That was a lot! Okay anon I hope this gives you a good starting place! 

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anonymous asked:

hello, i was the person asking about music magic. do you by any chance know somewhere where i can start learning about music magic? because i really am interested in music magic but when i try to do research on it, i don't know where to go or who to trust.

It doesn’t exist as far as I know. You’re not going to find a how-to right now on this subject because no one’s written it (that I’m aware of). There are books of a similar nature, like this one here.

It doesn’t really answer your question though. So here’s a how’d I research things if I were in your shoes:

1. Define what you’re looking for. Are you looking for just general information on the connection between music and magic? Are you looking for something more practical as in a how-to? Are you looking for something religious? On a specific instrument or music type? 

Depending on what you’re looking for, your sources will change. How-tos are going to be far easier to find with bloggers. Historical references will be easier for the other subjects. 

Keep in mind that even books are often wrong. So you’re going to have to use some critical thinking and critical judgement to decide if what’s being described will work for you and/or makes sense.

2. Now that you’ve a list of questions, go to the library and/or search online for books/articles on folklore, superstition, and mythology. Look up specifically what these books/articles says about songs, music, instruments, etc.

From there, you now have a basis to see how people associate music and magic on a regional and local level historically. You’ll see how people start to connect these subjects and may even see examples how they’ve been used for magic historically.

3. Experiment. Can any of what you’ve learned so far be useful in your developing practice or cause any sort of inspiration? What else do you want to know? Write down those questions and figure out what doesn’t and does work for you. Write it down or keep it in mind. Go research any questions that come up. 

4. Start digging into the historical and academic works on the subject. There are a lot written but many take a psychological approach on the subject, like this book here but you can definitely find some on the subject if you keep looking. 

I highly recommend using google scholar (Boolean keyword search for is here). There are plenty of other scholarly sources, however, such as JSTOR. You’ll probably get a lot of citations instead of actual hits or find that many articles are behind paywalls. Write down the titles anyway and head over to your local library to see if you can request the article or book. Some colleges may let you use their library without being a student (but won’t let you check out a book) and they’ll probably have the books on hand and/or have access to the journals the paywall articles are in. If you’re in college or have friends in college, just as a librarian to help you search for stuff. 

As a side note, many of these sorts of books can be found in used bookstores, especially used bookstores in art districts or college campuses. Don’t forget to check flea markets and yard sales. My copy of The Encyclopedia of Medical Astrology in a used clothing store for $6. My 1909 copy of Magic: White and Black and my original 1959 copy of The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft and Demonology were found at a flea market for $3 and $6, respectively. You’d be amazed at what you can find if you look.

5. Go back to step three and repeat. 

6. Search blogs and tags. You don’t have to listen or even agree with anything a blogger says but look at where they’re getting their information and what they’re posting on. What are they talking about and what’s their inspiration? See what others are doing on the subject.

7. Go back to step three and repeat.

8. Now that you’ve gotten a pretty good foundation and experimented a lot, you can start thinking of incorporating other areas of magic into your own practice. 

Maybe start looking at how others cast spells or create sigils or whatever and see if those things can be adapted to you. This is also experimentation but gets it’s own little section because of this: take on challenges. The @grimoirechallenge is a good example but there are others out there. These challenges will make you think and question how your practice works and what you’re using in your practice. Adapt these challenges as needed. You might not ever touch upon herbalism so instead take herbalism challenges and look for connections between plants and music, for example. 

9. Go back to step three and repeat.

10.  Look at media forms like books, movies, TV, board games, and video games. How is music used in these forms? Can you utilize some concepts from these media forms into your own practice?

This might sound silly but it’s actually one of the best ways to be able to explain things to others when you’re trying to talk about your craft. Being able to say “you know how so and so did X in this awesome book you read?” is a great way of letting you be able to relate to one another.

11. Go back to step three and repeat.

12. Write and share as much as you feel comfortable in sharing about your own journey and process to see if others have input. Sometimes having someone else’s perspective about something you do can be a great help.   

Don’t be afraid to say “No, I don’t want to share that information”. Some things feel special or different because they’re secrets. Don’t be afraid to say no. Also don’t be afraid to say “Hello! Yes I do this thing! Come talk to me!”

13. Go back to step three and repeat. 


That’s it. That’s how you build and research a practice. You can do those steps in any order but that’s how people build strong practices. It will take time. You’ll have to be patient. You will probably five yourself with cold coffee at five o’clock in the afternoon staring blearily at an academic text written by some grad student thirty years ago with ink stains on your fingers and a dying cellphone nearby. You will definitely have moments of “I have no idea what I’m doing” and “Am I fake? Am I making this all up? Am I crazy?”. I STILL have moments of this twenty plus years after starting my practice. 

Good luck and know we’re all here to support each other so keep asking questions and hopefully people will offer sources and information!