Both a professional academic researcher and practising magician, Dr Dave Evans delves deeply into modern British history to present a serious, but accessible and fascinating work, based on his recent and unique PhD, on developments in British magic after Aleister Crowley died.
Not just the result of extensive book-research, this project involved attending rituals and having meetings with some quite remarkable men and women, who are examined and given a voice in these pages, some of them for the first time. Topics covered include Aleister Crowley and Thelema, How many magicians there actually are in Britain, The claims of Amado Crowley to be Aleister's son, the work of Austin Osman Spare, Kenneth Grant and the Typhonian OTO, Blasphemy, Chaos Magick, Gerald Gardner, Ramsey Dukes, Alex Sanders, HP Lovecraft, Satanism, Cursing, The Left-Hand Path, creating the Journal for the Academic Study of Magic, plus the work of Ronald Hutton, Dennis Wheatley, Dion Fortune, HP Blavatsky and others, all meshed into a broader philosophical, cognitive-psychological and moral-history framework of the broader Twentieth Century.
Also includes how Academia deals with studying 'the Weird', and how Academia deals with having Magicians in their ranks in the first place (aka 'Reflexivity'), plus a host of tangential issues including Satan in advertising, Drugs, the Millennium Bug and 'End-Times Fever', Andrew Chumbley, Sex Magick, Inversion and Carnival, Witchcraft, neoPaganism and Wicca, Harry Potter, Breaking Taboos, Sigmund Freud, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, the madness of Montague Summers, Black and White magic, Censorship, how Tolkien and CS Lewis made magical belief the majority view in Britain, Genesis P Orridge, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Thatcherite Politics and Magic, Oscar Wilde and homosexual moral panics, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Satanic Ritual Abuse, Bela Lugosi, messages decoded from a dead squid and the cabbalistic importance of a cat called Tibbles.
Not just a book about the history of magic, this research places magicians and their work into the broader society that we all live in, and shows how that magic has always been a part of our culture.