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Tuesday, July 13, 2021

The Secret Arts (The Enchanted World)


 By the Editors of Time-Life Books 

Publisher: ‎Time Life Education (July 1, 1987)

Hardcover, 143 pages

Amazon Listing 

"In the dangerous times when demons lurked in the shadows by day and sought to enter mortal dwellings by night, people used what tools they could to shelter themselves and their loved ones from harm. A thorough versing in the lore of charms, the traditional antidotes to evil, provided the best hope of success. 

"In cases of supernatural assault, the weakest points of any home were its apitures - doors, windows, and especially the wide chimneys. Such inviting entrances needed constant protection.. A simple wooden post, carved with bands and crosses, Might be set up against the hearth against the incursion of witches." 

This is book 20 in The Enchanted World series by Time-Life Books. The penultimate volume, it really acts as a companion piece to the first book, Wizards and Witches. In that first volume, it discussed three traditions of wizards - the lowest being the book learned mage who sought answers of the beyond through grimoires and other magical texts. This book directly discussed the methods and tools used by this third tier of mage. 

This book discussed the various methods of divination - looking at the entrails of sacrificed animals, ripples of rocks in water, reading the lines in palms, crystal balls and polished skulls; The mediums of magic- through mommets, songs, and written curses; the tools of the mage - how to make a magic wand, construction of magic rings, uses of the magicians sword and dagger. All in all a thorough examination of the art. However, the use of stories is at a minimum here. Far less than in other volumes, but the art included is just as impressive as always. 

  For more readings, try books by Rex Hurst

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