It’s the first day of summer woohoo!!! The sun is even shining today if you can believe it after the miserable weather we’ve had all bank holiday weekend. It’s even a whopping 12°c!
Beltane is an ancient Celtic festival celebrating purification and transition with FIRE!!! Bonfires are lit, May bushes decorated, and feasts attended by some anyway. Personally, I don’t celebrate it, though I LOVED May bushes when I was little and I think I’ll start celebrating it because fire and ribbons are a great combination.
I think nowadays the day is more often celebrated by Wiccans in a way similar to the English and German May Pole style.
I was in Bavaria a few years ago for the May Pole celebration. It was a much bigger affair than I expected. There was even a bouncy castle, lads. You know it’s serious then.
Since it’s a witchy day I decided to share a witchy book.
The Occult, Witchcraft, and Magic: An Illustrated History by Christopher Dell
The curious history of magic and the powers of the occult, witchcraft, ritual, and the imagination, from their earliest appearances to modern times
From the days of the earliest Paleolithic cave rituals, magic has gripped the imagination. Magic and magicians appear in early Babylonian texts, the Bible, Judaism, and Islam. Secret words, spells, and incantations lie at the heart of nearly every mythological tradition. But for every genuine magus there is an impostor.
During the Middle Ages, religion, science, and magic were difficult to set apart. The Middle Ages also saw the pursuit of alchemy―the magical transformation of base materials―which led to a fascination with the occult, Freemasonry, and Rosicrucianism.
The turn of the twentieth century witnessed a return to earlier magical traditions, and today, magic means many things: contemporary Wicca is practiced widely as a modern pagan religion in Europe and the US; “magic” also stretches to include the nonspiritual, rapid-fire sleight of hand performed by slick stage magicians who fill vast arenas.
The Occult, Witchcraft and Magic is packed with authoritative text and a huge and inspired selection of images, some chosen from unusual sources, including some of the best-known representations of magic and the occult from around the world spanning ancient to modern times.
400+ illustrations, 300+ in color – amazon.com
Take a peek at some of the illustrations in this super snazzy video I made.
It’s a very interesting book, though, I haven’t read the full thing yet. I usually pick it up and read whatever section interests me at that moment.
My favourite section so far is the one on Enlightenment Magic, when the world is in that tenuous stage between magic and science.
It’s great for looking up themes and historical figures from paranormal novels I’ve read as well.
Get the book on Book Depository