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The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft: The Complete A-Z for the Entire Magical World Hardcover – June 28, 2005


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 887 pages
  • Publisher: Thorsons Pub (June 28, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007192932
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007192939
  • Product Dimensions: 2.1 x 8.1 x 9.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #667,762 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Illes, the author of three previous books on magical spells, has compiled a lively and chatty reference on witches. The work is arranged topically, and there is a helpful index. Individual articles within the topic chapters sometimes have see references as well. After a long introduction discussing several different and sometimes nearly mutually exclusive definitions of witches, chapters cover plants, animals, food and drink, magical beings, famous people in the magical world, the creative arts, witch persecution, and more. Chapters--or sections within the chapters--include A-Z entries that range from a few paragraphs to a few pages. An extensive bibliography and a list of Internet resources complete the work.

Illes focuses most strongly on Western European witchcraft practice and history, but she gives considerable attention to Asian, African, Mesoamerican, Caribbean, and South American practice as well. The creative arts chapter is up-to-date enough to discuss the Harry Potter phenomenon as well as many films, television programs, and other arts-related representations. Illes' take on the representation of witches in The Wizard of Oz is in solidarity with witch practice.

The book is long and could have used editing both to trim the text and to correct errors in spelling and grammar. Illes tends to overwrite when she feels passionately, and an editor would have helped with this as well. The horrors of witch persecutions--which continue in many places to this day--do not require overwriting, as William Burns shows very well in Witch Hunts in Europe and America (Greenwood, 2003), which is not in the bibliography.

Academic libraries with extensive witchcraft collections may wish to consider this volume if only for the bibliography. Public libraries seeking a popular reference work on witchcraft could do much worse than this one. At the price, public libraries may wish to purchase some circulating copies as well. Kathleen Stipek
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

Previous publications: Earth Mother Magic: Ancient Spells for Modern Belles (Fair Winds Press, 2001) Emergency Magic! 150 Spells for Surviving the Worst-Case Scenario (Fair Winds Press, 2002) Spells: The Anthology (Seventh House Publications, 2002) Element Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells (Element, 2004)

More About the Author

When I was six, my older sister brought home a deck of tarot cards. I took one look at them and fell in love. Around the same time, I heard (and loved) the Rolling Stones' version of Benny Spellman's song "Fortune Teller." Either or both of those experiences may have been what started my career. I have been a student of metaphysics and the magical arts ever since.



Customer Reviews

Very well written, very easy to understand.
Elia V
I highly recommend it for anyone interested in witchcraft for the purposes of practice or just general curiosity about religious beliefs and how they came to be.
Reader
Judika Illes has again AMAZED me with her expert research!
Viscount St. Christopher

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

119 of 120 people found the following review helpful By Janet Boyer HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 28, 2005
Format: Hardcover
"Whether you perceive the witch as powerful or evil may depend upon whether you perceive knowledge as desirable or dangerous; whether you perceive that human knowledge is something that should be limited. The witch doesn't think so. She, or he as the case may be, wants to know." -from the book

From shamanic shape shifting to food and drink, botanicals to sacred days, The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft - The Complete A to Z of the Entire Magical World is a fascinating and comprehensive celebration of all facets of witchcraft. From modern Wicca to Egyptian sorcery, Toltec shamanism to African Voudon, author Judith Illes explores the history, folklore, spirituality, and practices of witchcraft and the occult. According to Judika Illes, there are many definitions and beliefs about what a witch, and witchcraft, embodies. In the introduction, she examines the many theories, definitions and attitudes that have accompanied this oft-misunderstood subject.

This book celebrates the fun, freedom, mystery and defiance of witchcraft, rather than any specific spiritual or political definition. Thus, this hardcover authoritative reference, which spans 887 pages, covers the people, places, professions, deities, traditions, books, film, fairy tales, animals, herbs, holy days, mythology, tools and symbols spanning hundreds of occult traditions.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By D. Bradford on October 14, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is an awesome book! Very different from any of the other witch craft books that I have. Instead of following a how to approach, this one is more historical and factual in nature. Magical terms are defined along cultural lines, and how they relate to witches rather than from a religious, so you want to be a witch format. I disagree with the people who have reviewed here and say that it's too fluffy. It's quite the opposite. It is an encyclopedia. It gives enough information on each topic to point one in the right direction to be able to fully research any of the countless topics that are highlighted.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By anonymous on February 22, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is a great source of information for those who are seeking and those who love research. Ms. Illes did her homework well.

It opens the eyes of those who are not aware of how many directions there are to go, in witchcraft. Brings better understanding of just how old the practice of witchcraft is, that it isn't just the latest " New Age" chic trend.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Brenda Mcgehee on March 22, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book has some very good info in it on a variety of diffrent things. If you are at all interested in the Craft it is a good buy. Not to mention I have found the price on here to be the best around.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Reader on February 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is very well researched and organized. I enjoyed looking through it and reading about the historical origins of witchcraft and pagan practices. I found this book to be exceptional! I highly recommend it for anyone interested in witchcraft for the purposes of practice or just general curiosity about religious beliefs and how they came to be.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Deborah MacGillivray HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on September 12, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Amazing book that offers a lot. When you offer a lot sometimes areas are thin, but on the whole there is a wealth of information that is very valuable for writers as well as those on the journey of learning.

Beautifully produced, well worth every penny. If you bought this book and paid for the pound you would get your money's worth! An amazing about of work on folklore in it's most elemental form.

I highly recommend it for paranormal writers.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By L. Kennedy on August 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book is fantastic, very indepth without dragging on and an excellent companion to the encyclopedia of spells. Recommded for the beginner right through to the advanced as a good reference.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Viscount St. Christopher on July 7, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Judika Illes has again AMAZED me with her expert research! This book is worthy of Ph.D. in the Mystical Sciences! It is in-depth, but easy to comprehend. I recommend it for all, from Novice to High Priest, or even the curious who are not in the Craft but would like to explore the teachings, lore and practices of the "old ways".
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