Re: Belief in magic and witchcraft

Robert G. Phillips (
21 Nov 1995 16:00:03 GMT

> (Xochi Zen) wrote:

>I'm looking for texts that treat witchcraft from a skeptical
>perspective. It's hard to believe that educated people still believe
>in this sort of thing as something more than manipulation by subtle
>psychological methods - when I say "witchcraft" I'm referring to
>things like "spell casting", death spells, etc. I am _not_ referring to
>the nature-worshipping religion itself... just the idea that one can
>effect changes via supernatural intervention or some other unseen force
>unknown to science. Actually, I shouldn't be surprised given the success
>of religion in general (Christianity, for example, is just as "occult"
>as any other group/practice with that label attached to it - supernatural
>interventions, prayer, a being outside of space and time, etc.)

Try "Persuasions of the Witch's Craft" (I forget the author, sorry).
The basic idea presented by the book is that people do _not_ work
magic because they believe in its effects. Rather, they believe in
its effects because they work magic. Rather interesting reading.

R. G. Phillips
(standard disclaimer...)