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Postmodern Magic: The Art of Magic in the Information Age Paperback – June 8, 2005

17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Patrick Dunn (Chicago, IL) is a poet, linguist, Pagan, and a university English professor with a PhD in modern literature and language. His understanding of semiotics and the study of symbols arise from his training in linguistics and literary theory. He has practiced magic since childhood. Visit him online at


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Llewellyn Publications (June 8, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738706639
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738706634
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #967,725 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Fr. R. O. on August 3, 2006
Format: Paperback
I don't like Chaos Magic, and for years I've seen this book on shelves and haven't purchased it because I suspected it was more of the same tripe that Peter Carroll popularized in the later decades of the twentieth century. I was so wrong.

This book is solid gold. While there are some things in it I disagree with, Patrick Dunn presents the information every magician *must* have if they are going to be successful in their magickal endeavors. His style is smooth, entertaining, and he presents everything I wish I had known when I was starting out in my magickal career sixteen years ago. If I had started with this instead of Donald Michael Kraig's Modern Magick, I'm sure I'd be further along in my Work today.

This book is not a genre-specific approach to performing magick, as it may appear to be. It provides the basic processes of every magickal path, a strong philosophical understanding of the information exchanged in ritual workings, and intermediate-to-advanced information as well. While I suggest it more to beginners, long-time practitioners will find nuggets of gold on every page as well. Reading this book spackled up the cracks in my understanding on some aspects of magickal theory that have eluded me for years.

It's an excellent companion for Agrippa-esque ceremonial magicians, Solomonic practitioners, and even Golden Dawn or Thelema initiates looking for more practical information that won't be found in the dogma so prevalent in initiatory systems. And it's so much easier to read than Regardie or Crowley.

This book has not received the appreciation it deserves in the occult community. I strongly recommend it to anyone who practices magick.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Vargr on June 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book presents a fairly straightforward system of magical practice which draws on such diverse sources as the Golden Dawn, classical Greek magic, Zen Buddhism and Chaos Magic. It is a suitable read for those who have had little or no magical experience, as well as for more experienced traditionalists who might find that some of its material could provide new perspectives. Readers who are highly experienced in modern magic techniques might not find anything new, but might still find this an enjoyable read.

The active, daily practice of magic in the real world is encouraged, as is a great deal of creativity in the construction of rituals and working tools. Each chapter contains practical exercises pertaining to its subject matter, including topics such as evocation, divination, astral travel, and linguistics. Further questions for study and research are also presented in the appendices.

In my opinion, the most notable and enjoyable feature of the book, is the way in which semiotics, and communication theory are woven into the magical system. I have long believed that an understanding of both of these disciplines is vital to the successful practice of magic, and I was pleased with the way in which each was presented. Not too much information for a newcomer to these respective concepts to digest, but enough to provide a useful foundation for further exploration. I do disagree with Dunn's dismissal of memetics as merely a metaphor, and his aversion to applying scientific principles to magical study, but these are small matters of conflicting opinion which did not spoil my appreciation of the book overall.

The chapter on occult networking includes guidelines for etiquette, as well as a survey of various types of magical groups, which although somewhat brief could be very useful to a solo practitioner who is looking to meet others with whom to work.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By dart on August 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
I should have written this a long time ago. I got it the day I saw it and haven't been dissapointed.

It has the backbone of modern magick with out all the fluff. I'm into those books. Straightforward techniques for getting things done.

I love his technique for creating mes. I had an idea for a long time of creating a servitor in the form of a floppy disc (yeah, that's my age) and having it 'copy' some skill or knowledge and then downloading it into me. He actually did it and it's a great way of learning something.

I also agree with him that some of the more dramatic chaos techniques aren't always the best way to accomplish something. Nothing wrong if that's what you want to but it's not the only way.

He also does a bit of decent debunking (servitors out of control, auras as the human magnetic field, magic as the same as quantum physics) which I think is long overdue in the magic community.

I particularly like his chapter on Magic in the streets and using glamours. Long a favorite subject, along with servitors. Also the understanding of how to call spirits in a calm, rational way rather than the traditional, almost hysterical method is something I've thought of before but this is the first time I've seen it put out so clearly.

Personally, I like his sense of humor and the writing is much better than most, which does make sense given his day job.

The best I can say about this book is that when I play my game of the ten magic books I can have if I had to whittle (way) down my collection it that this would definitely be one of them.

Thanks Patrick.
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