Cover image for The encyclopedia of witches and witchcraft
Title:
The encyclopedia of witches and witchcraft
Author:
Guiley, Rosemary.
Personal Author:
Edition:
Second edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Facts On File, [1999]

©1999
Physical Description:
xi, 417 pages : illustrations ; 29 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780816038480

9780816038497
Format :
Book

Available:*

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BF1566 .G85 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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BF1566 .G85 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Reference material
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Summary

Summary

More than 500 entries present a detailed look at the Craft and its history from its ancient origins to its modern revival. Here, in an A-to-Z format, researchers will find unparalleled coverage of witchcraft practices around the world in different time periods and societies, including entries on magic, shamanism, the occult, and wizardry. Also included are biographies of the most influential characters in the witchcraft movement and how they shaped the traditions and practices of their followers. Completely updated throughout, the second edition provides expanded cross-cultural entries and additional historical data. More than thirty new entries include modern Wicca and Paganism, related organizations, and their activities; magic tools, rituals, and types of divination; and mythological roots of witchcraft.


Author Notes

Rosemary Ellen Guiley is a best-selling author, columnist, and teacher on spirituality, metaphysics, and visionary experience. Ms. Guiley has written more than 15 books, including Atlas of the Mysterious in North America, Career Opportunities for Writers, Encyclopedia of Angels, and The Encyclopedia of Witches & Witchcraft all for Facts On File/Checkmark Books. She lives in Arnold, MD.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Both of these A^-Z titles address witchcraft but from different angles. Guiley covers the Western tradition from ancient times to the present in more than 500 articles ranging from a paragraph to several pages. She examines people, places, events, traditions, and practices. Many of the entries are for people, from Abramelin the Mage (1363^-1460) to Oberon Zell (1942^-). Examples of nonbiographical entries include Candles, Covens, Evil eye, Loudun possessions, Museum of Witchcraft, Santeria, and Swimming. Many of the topics covered in Guiley (e.g., Amulet, Burning times, Curses, Salem witches) are also found in Lewis, though far fewer of the Lewis entries are biographical. Witchcraft Today is intended as a guide to "Neopaganism concepts, holidays, rituals, spirit beings, and so forth," and a 41-page introductory essay surveys the history of contemporary witchcraft and Neopaganism. Although the second edition of Guiley's book differs from the first in that there is more treatment of newer religions and movements, her perspective is generally more historical than Lewis'. Both encyclopedias emphasize Western traditions and practices, though Cabala and Vodun (voodoo) are discussed in each. Lewis has articles on such practices as the Women's Spirituality Movement and Tantra, which have influenced some modern witchcraft practice. Extensive bibliographies supplement suggestions for reading given at the ends of articles in each volume. Lewis also provides a list of Web sites, with a sensible caveat about the fleeting nature of Web addresses, and suggests using a good search engine when a site comes up as "not found." Lewis has two appendixes: a chronology of the Neopagan movement and texts for several different rites. The Encyclopedia of Witches & Witchcraft would be suitable for most high-school, public, and academic libraries. Its paper version would make it available to all but the most limited budget. With a more limited focus, Witchcraft Today would be appropriate for most larger public libraries and most academic libraries.


Library Journal Review

Don't look for the Blair Witch in these pages; this new edition retains the balanced tone and thorough scholarship of the first. Guiley, author of the previous edition and many other books on occult and New Age topics (e.g., Dreamwork for the Soul; Encyclopedia of Angels), covers both historical witchcraft (particularly the witch trials of Reformation Europe and Colonial America) and contemporary witchcraft and Wiccan and pagan practice in over 500 detailed, clearly written, alphabetically arranged entries of various lengths. The second edition incorporates new historical research on the origins of witchcraft and updates and expands coverage of the modern revival, its most influential leaders, the organizations, and their practices. The bibliography includes many new titles, and most entries list books for further reading. Revised See references and cross references improve access to information, and more than 100 black-and-white illustrations augment the text. General topics or ones tangential to witchcraft such as "Trees" and "Astrology" have been omitted, but entries related to mythology, folk magic, and the occult still appear, giving this book a broader perspective than the more arcane resources on this popular subject. Highly recommended for public and academic libraries.ÄVivian Reed, Long Beach P.L., CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Choice Review

These two encyclopedias demonstrate that contemporary witchcraft is gaining scholarly interest and that diversity exists in the subject and its treatment. For her welcome second edition, Guiley has pruned 60 entries (mostly on paganism and New Age) from the first, and added only 21 to total about 500, clarifying her focus on "Western" magic and witchcraft, historical and contemporary. She has also tightened her scholarship, restating as myth and legend some aspects of contemporary witchcraft the first edition presented as history. Unhappily, she has removed most cross-references and cut the index, but she has added further readings to most entries. Her single-minded focus on Gardnerian witchcraft might lead one to think that Gardnerian practices are the only ones. She includes entries on other traditions (e.g., the hedge witches) and builds on one of the strengths of the first edition by expanding the entries on individuals associated with "Western" witchcraft. Lewis's introductory 33-page essay sets the tone for his work, viewing contemporary witchcraft as "the most recent manifestation of the Western occult tradition." He includes more about contemporary paganism than Guiley, but little about any form of witchcraft other than Gardnerian. He is influenced by Aidan A. Kelly, who prepared the encyclopedia's historical entries and provided transcriptions of Gardnerian documents in an appendix. Kelly, somewhat controversial in Gardnerian circles, was an early participant in the development of witchcraft in this country. Lewis also enlisted Cynthia Eller to write the entry on women's spirituality, but the rest of the work is his. All 280 entries list readings and most have cross-references. Lewis includes a list of print and nonprint resources and a chronology. Although newcomers might benefit from Lewis's scholarly introduction, it gives a one-sided Gardnerian view of witchcraft that ignores both other traditions and witchcraft as a nature-based religion that incorporates an ecstatic mystery tradition and a strong emphasis on personal autonomy and responsibility. Lewis's entries on other pagan paths and New Age phenomena seem to imply that contemporary witchcraft is simply another aspect of the New Age movement. Guiley's picture of contemporary witchcraft is more varied, better presents witchcraft historically in Europe and the US, and offers insight into the contemporary religion. Her work is longer and lower in price, hence her encyclopedia is preferable if a choice must be made; having both volumes provides a fuller picture of the nature of contemporary witchcraft. M. R. Pukkila Colby College


Excerpts

Excerpts

Praise for the previous edition: Clearly the best reference work on the subject now available.--American Reference Books Annual A 'must' for the serious collector.--The Book Report Long the stuff of legend, witches and witchcraft have been associated with every variety of evil and mischief. The Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft dispels these notions with the most comprehensive treatment ever published on this fascinating subject. With more than 500 entries and more than 100 black-and-white illustrations, the book presents a detailed look at the Craft and its history from its ancient origins to its modern revival. Here, in A-to-Z format, researchers will find unparalleled coverage of withcraft practices around the world in different time periods and societies, including entries on magic, shamanism, the occult, and wizadry. Also included are biographies of the most influential characters in the witchcraft movement and how they shaped the traditions and practices of their followers. This edition is completely updated throughout and includes expanded cross-cultural entries and additional historical data. More than 30 new entries are featured, including: Modern Wicca and Paganism, related organizations, and their activities Magic tools, rituals, and types of divination Mythological roots of witchcraft Spells, charms, and withcraft lore. Excerpted from The Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft by Rosemary Ellen Guiley All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.