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Witchcraft. The Library of Esoterica

40
Availability: March 23, 2024
A spellbinding journey through the global history of witchcraft, the third volume in The Library of Esoterica follows this magickal tradition from its ancient roots to its modern incarnations. Through more than 400 artworks, and revelatory essays and interviews with modern practitioners, Witchcraft chronicles a cathartic evolution, from the craft’s emergence in ancient goddess worship to the embrace by today’s diverse witch community.
Hardcover, quarter-bound6.7 x 9.4 in.3.90 lb520 pages
“…takes the fraught history of witches and imbues it with a magic befitting its subject… Witchcraft is a celebration of true, even threatening power—by those who possess it least, and deserve it most.”
W Magazine
“Eye-opening and thought-provoking.”
widewalls.ch
“A lavish coffee-table book. [Witchcraft] surveys the shadow and the light the witch has cast across the Western imagination.”
The New York Times
“A tour de force, taking you all the way through the global history of witchcraft.”
elitedaily.com
“A visually vibrant volume that isn't so much a book as it is a spellbinding tribute to a figure and a practice that are as old as time.”
cnn.com
Witchcraft offers a deep dive into the many facets of a centuries-old tradition in the Western world.”
cnn.com
“A densely packed book that takes a deep dive into the many archetypes the witch has taken throughout the course of time.”
hypebeast.com
“[This] powerful new book blows away the satanic baby-eating myths.”
The Guardian
“In this compendium of witchy women, from Renaissance paintings to modern Wicca, the caricature of the evil hag is turned upside down.”
The Guardian
“In scouring the history of art to back up their modern-pagan perspective, the editors point to something remarkable.”
The Guardian
“Delves into the witch’s complex history, symbols, and depictions across time...”
hyperallergic.com
“Going so soon? I wouldn’t hear of it. Why, my little party’s just beginning!”
The Wicked Witch of the West, “The Wizard of Oz”
“I think that all women are witches, in the sense that a witch is a magical being.”
Yoko Ono
Witchcraft. The Library of Esoterica

Witchcraft. The Library of Esoterica

40

Season of the Witch

A bewitching history of a magickal practice

Initiating readers in the fascinating and complex history of witchcraft, from the goddess mythologies of ancient cultures to the contemporary embrace of the craft by modern artists and activists, this expansive tome conjures up a breathtaking overview of an age-old tradition. Rooted in legend, folklore, and myth, the archetype of the witch has evolved from the tales of Odysseus and Circe, the Celtic seductress Cerridwen, and the myth of Hecate, fierce ruler of the moonlit night. In Witchcraft we survey her many incarnations since, as she shape-shifts through the centuries, alternately transforming into mother, nymph, and crone—seductress and destroyer.

Edited by Jessica Hundley, and co-edited by author, scholar, and practitioner Pam Grossman, this enthralling visual chronicle is the first of its kind, a deep dive into the complex symbologies behind witchcraft traditions, as explored through the history of art itself. The witch has played muse to great artists throughout time, from the dark seductions of Francisco José de Goya and Albrecht Dürer to the elegant paean to the magickal feminine as re-imagined by the Surrealist circle of Remedios Varo, Leonora Carrington, and Leonor Fini. The witch has spellbound through folktales and dramatic literature as well, from the poison apples of The Brothers Grimm, to the Weird Sisters gathered at their black cauldron in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, to L. Frank Baum’s iconic Wicked Witch of the West, cackling over the fate of Dorothy.

Throughout this entrancing visual voyage, we’ll also bear witness to the witch as she endures persecution and evolves into empowerment, a contemporary symbol of bold defiance and potent nonconformity. Featuring enlightening essays by modern practitioners like Kristen J. Sollée and Judika Illes, as well interviews with authors and scholars such as Madeline Miller and Juliet Diaz, Witchcraft includes a vast range of cultural traditions that embrace magick as spiritual exploration and creative catharsis.
The editors

Jessica Hundley is an author, filmmaker and journalist. She has written for the likes of Vogue, Rolling Stone, and The New York Times, and has authored books on artists including Dennis Hopper, David Lynch, and Gram Parsons. Hundley often explores the counterculture in her work, with a focus on metaphysics, psychedelia, and magic.

Pam Grossman is a writer, curator, and teacher of magickal practice and history. She is the host of the podcast The Witch Wave, and the author of Waking the Witch. Reflections on Women, Magic, and Power. Her work has been featured in such outlets as The New York Times, The Atlantic, and Artforum.

Witchcraft. The Library of Esoterica
Hardcover, quarter-bound17 x 24 cm1.77 kg520 pages

ISBN 978-3-8365-8560-6

Edition: English

ISBN 978-3-8365-8562-0

Edition: French

ISBN 978-3-8365-8563-7

Edition: Spanish
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The Library of Esoterica explores how centuries of artists have given form to mysticism, translating the arcane and the obscure into enduring, visionary works of art. Each subject is showcased through both modern and archival imagery culled from private collectors, libraries, and museums around the globe. The result forms an inclusive visual history, a study of our primal pull to dream and nightmare, and the creative ways we strive to connect to the divine.

5.0

/5

123 Ratings

A fascinating, beautiful, and haunting book

Mike,January 5, 2022
This book is worth every penny.

Beautiful book

Zoltan,November 15, 2021
I've given 5 Stars because its fantastic.

Fabulous series developing

Mark,November 5, 2021
Fabulous series developing and can't wait for the next title!! All the illustrations & images are fabulous with useful written topics making them very inspiring books. Esoterica is a complex and diverse arena and these books are a fabulous place to start exploring, to send one off to investigate many of the specialist & diverse areas covered which pique personal interest. Appreciate the advance issue advice, easy ordering & delivery every time too.

Obsessed with The Library of Esoterica

Eric,November 2, 2021
Fantastic references and essays for anyone interested in the subject or on an artistic endeavor. Truly inspiring works.

Highly recommended!

Lorenza,November 2, 2021
This is my second volume from the Library of Esoterica. This one strikes a nice balance between imagery and text, and I've so far found the essays to be very informative.