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The New Encyclopedia of the Occult Paperback – October 8, 2003

4.6 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In his introduction, Greer states that his book is the first written by an "occult practitioner" who has consulted the scholarly texts that have recently been written about the history of occult traditions. This combination has produced a reference work that is sympathetic to the arcane lore but avoids many of the common errors found in occult literature. The volume arranges its 1,500 entries in alphabetical order. Topics include magic, Tarot, astrology, and other forms of divination; magical orders such as the Golden Dawn; biographies of significant individuals; and spiritual movements such as Wicca, Theosophy, and the modern Pagans. Where appropriate, entries contain see references to other entries and to books found in the extensive bibliography. Illustrations include charts, diagrams, and photographs.

The essays are clearly written and are very informative. The book is useful for the practitioner as well as for the curious because the contents are factual and concise. The author promises that as new information becomes available on topics, he will publish a revised edition to maintain the integrity and accuracy of the volume. This is an important source for libraries to have in their collections to assist anyone seeking information about the many aspects of occult traditions. RBB
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

John Michael Greer (Western Maryland) has been a student of occult traditions and the unexplained for more than thirty years. A Freemason, a student of geomancy and sacred geometry, and a widely read blogger, he is also the author of numerous books, including Monsters, The New Encyclopedia of the Occult and Secrets of the Lost Symbol, and currently serves as the Grand Archdruid of the Ancient Order of Druids in America (AODA), a contemporary school of Druid nature spirituality. Greer has contributed articles to Renaissance Magazine, Golden Dawn Journal, Mezlim, New Moon Rising, Gnosis, and Alexandria.

 

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Llewellyn Publications; 2nd Printing edition (October 8, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1567183360
  • ISBN-13: 978-1567183368
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.4 x 9.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #290,239 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Malnar on February 19, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you have even a borderline interest in the mystic and the occult, and have been struggling with terms like Hermeticism, Rosicrucianism, Tree of Life, Merkabah.. not being able to figure out what they were about, and more importantly, what was their connection and inner logic? Well, this book will explain and organize it for you in the first reading (i had a number of AHAAAA! moments during the first read), and then it will be a permanent reference source. Real nice book to own.
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Format: Paperback
This is a great occult reference encyclopedia about the occult and literally contains everything you ever wanted to know about the occult and magick.

I cannot imagine the amount of time that must have went into researching this book and Greer's writings seem incredibly accurate even about some of the less known items.

The book also has a huge bibliography section which could be very useful to enlarge your magical library.

I was so impressed by this book that I will be ordering another one of Greer's books next.
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By A Customer on January 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
Without doubt, anyone who is involved in occult studies at any level should have this book. It provides comprehensive yet concise explanations of almost every term, concept, and general practice common to the various traditions of Western occultism, as well as some Eastern items that have worked their way into common usage. Brief biographies on major personalities, and for some lesser known yet important individuals, are also included, as are short histories and descriptions of many organizations.
The scholarship in this volume is excellent. Greer relies on a number of contributors and reviewers to fill in the gaps and smooth out the rough spots of his own considerable knowledge. About 99.9% of the time, the entries seem to stick to the facts, and they are always dealt with in a serious and respectful manner. There is no pseudo-skepticism in this work because it is the product of someone who actually practices occultism as a way of life. On the same token, it also isn't charaterized by a lack of critical thinking or by the naive hyperbole that so often gushes out of popular works on occultism. Solid scholarship plus practical experience make Greer's occasional analysis and commentary not only valuable, but pleasantly refreshing.
Why didn't I give it 5 stars? First, though it has some illustratios, the encyclopedia is obviously lacking in in this respect. Credit is due here for using that space to include more information, but there are a number of places where illustrations would have been very useful. Second, Greer intentionally avoids making entries on persons still in the flesh. There is a lot of wisdom in that practice, but there are a number of very influential authors and leaders still living, ones for which it would be nice to have at least some basic information.
Despite its minor shortcomings, this encyclopedia could easily live up to its billing as THE reference text in occult studies for many years to come.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not to bore either publisher and prospective customers with a lengthy anecdote, I am going to simply say it: this encyclopedia sucks on the Kindle. I purchased the book as a means to explore the many facets of the occult, but the inability to jump between letters (A, B, C, D, E...) or even click on links to connecting topics mars the usefulness of the book. I implore the publisher or Amazon to reconstruct the e-book so that it is both useful and portable.
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Format: Paperback
One of the most extensive publications on the occult, "The New Encyclopedia of the Occult" does an excellent job of explaining various words, philosophies, historical events, individuals, and practices of the occult traditions without pushing a personal agenda. This is what a reference work should be - a neutral exposition of the facts. Everything imaginable is covered in this exhaustive tome. For most entries there is also at least one reference at the end to point the reader to additional material on that entry. To give you an idea of the breadth of the information, some of the areas covered include magic, alchemy, astrology, tarot cards, palmistry, geomancy, the Golden Dawn, Rosicrucians, Freemasons, and religions like Wicca, Thelema, Thosophy, and paganism. "The New Enclyclopedia of the Occult" is a highly recommended read for anyone interested in a scholarly reference work on the occult.
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Format: Paperback
I'll join my fellow reviewers and say this book is excellent! It has the right philosophical standards every encyclopedia should have: Neutrality and a very slight skeptical nodd at the more controversial subjects (like the life of LaVey, things like womenbreast-divination and the more racistical occult philosopies). Unlike most other occult refference books it has a very wide time range, covering topics dating from the ancient past to postmodern suburbian Americanism. I won't bother to highlight interesting topics for they are too great in number but I can say that I like the special attention for geomancy (because you have to admit, this subject was getting a little bit dusty). I know Greer is an expert on geomancy, I think that's the reason. This is one of those rare encyclopedias that you will read in bed before going to sleep.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have never found a more helpful, clear yet complete guide to this many occult subjects, in one place. A monumental piece of work, written with true wisdom and wit. If you pick up a copy it will rarely leave your hands!
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