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Real Magic

4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  502 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
From poltergeists to the latest in parapsychological research, from tantra to tarot, you will investigate the laws, uses, history and manifestations of real magic. Bonewits brings magic out of the dark ages and into the computer age in a spellbinding investigation that will captivate believers and non-believers alike.
Paperback, 304 pages
Published February 1st 1989 by Weiser Books (first published 1971)
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Tim
Mar 15, 2013 Tim rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pagan-related
One of the most invaluable texts that anyone interested in magic and the occult should read. Isaac Bonewits delivers with force into exactly how the various systems of magic have been performed from past to present and the theories of how they possibly function. This is written in a textbook like format, though do not expect it to be a dry read as Bonewits always manages to inject his own personal style of humorous commentary into the mix. Two words that are commonly repeated throughout the text ...more
Elizabeth
In honor of the man we lost today, I think it's time to re-read this classic.
Jack
Feb 20, 2013 Jack rated it really liked it
This is a book that requires several readings. After one reading, I'm not sure I understand everything that Isaac was laying out, but I found it a challenging and engaging read that requires much note-taking. This is also more of a thesis on the concept of "magic" and requires a lot of thought. Not for those looking for fluff and airy-fairy concepts. This appears to be a scholastic work by a person whose veracity I respect.
Erik Akre
May 14, 2016 Erik Akre rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: any magical practitioner, or one who wants to get serious about it
Shelves: wicca
Isaac Bonewits is thoroughly likable, with his dry and sardonic sense of humor and his compelling intelligence. He takes his subject seriously, however, and shares his wisdom with a direct, no-nonsense attitude in his prose.

He explores the techniques, theories, and reasoning of working magic. By the end of the book, one is itching to put his ideas into practice. For one who has dabbled, or wants to have dabbled, in the practice of magic, this book will be a hard kick in the pants and a powerful
...more
Joshua
A look at the occult sciences for people in the 21st century.

I found that the author did a great job at conveying the ideas and procedures found within the occult so they would be more accessible to the general population. The author wrote well and the concepts outlined in Real Magic are easily understood and digested.
If you are new to the occult or magic, this book offers great insights into a majority of the different studies and ideas contained within the arts. Likewise, if you have some expe
...more
Meredith
Dec 26, 2016 Meredith rated it really liked it
Shelves: magic
I thought this book was a great starting place for... well, "real magic." The basic definitions are super helpful, Bonewits' switchboard theory is interesting, and the bibliography is a treasure trove.

Coming from a kundalini yoga background and traditional Catholic upbringing, I do wish that he'd explored mantras and mundras a bit more--especially in those two contexts. However, the absence of information in this book just inspires me to seek out additional research and/or run my own experiment
...more
Onyx
Sep 30, 2011 Onyx rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: serious students of magic
Recommended to Onyx by: Jenari
April 24, 2015:
I should have made a comment earlier back in 2011. But I do have plans to read this again. Next time, I'll do a better review.
If I were to do a class on Introduction to Magic or on Magic Theory, this would be one of the books I would choose to assign as suggested reading, if not the only one. Although Bonewits was sarcastic, he was a great magical scholar and researcher. He later turned Modern Druid, but it doesn't take away from his work. This is his first book.
So, you want to k
...more
Megan
Practical, organized, simple, and amusing, Bonewits' book is a tome which will tickle even skeptics. The principles and methods of magic are drawn from his comparative study of world traditions and are supplemented by his own theory of how it all works. I found myself laughing almost every page, and the clear, everyday language made reading a breeze.
Awenydd Orchantra Faeryn
3.4 stars

At the root of the book, what the author is trying to get across is so great, and so simply well-said. He is funny, which lightened the book up, since it is heavy in references and examples, which may be beneficial for those who need convincing, but as one who does not, it dragged some.
Erisson
Jul 30, 2008 Erisson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: occult, pagan, magick
Read this quite a while back, but I found it very entertaining and informative. His way of thinking about magic and energy appeals to me a great deal, as it strokes the scientific side of my nature and makes it easier for me to get into the magical mindset.

That said, it was dry sometimes, and people who have a dogmatic view of religion or magic probably won't like it.
Chris Sherbak
Mar 17, 2012 Chris Sherbak rated it it was amazing
A seminal book for me, along with Huson's "Mastering Witchcraft." Isaac was a friend and mentor, so perhaps my thoughts are blunted by those prejudices. The notion that magic was not just black and white plus all that entailed forged my alignment with polytheistic thought. And the idea that there were other Neopagans "out there" beyond Wicca was liberating and so satisfying.
Maggie
Jan 20, 2016 Maggie added it
There's a lot of interesting information in here from parapsychological research and spiritual comparative study , but the book feels dated and the tone is smarmy. Bonewits draws interesting connections, but I think his self proclaimed status as the only magician with a masters gets in his own way with all the pseudo academic jargon.
Fishface
Wonderful overview of magic and the witches who practice it. No rabbits in hats here, this is about casting spells. The author makes clear the differences between white and black magic, discusses the physics behind poltergeist activity and covers a lot of other ground. He also reproduces his diploma from Berkley on the back jacket, showing that Ronald Reagan signed off on his degree in magic.
Connie Neil
I need to re-read this. It appeals to my view of the universe, though I make no claims about the efficacy of the practices. Bonewits has plenty of ego, but his approach to life and magic is refreshingly free of woo and frippery. I first read it when I was seriously studying ways of seeing the universe, and it sits on my religion bookshelf.
Singingtothewheatyahoo.com
Jan 26, 2014 Singingtothewheatyahoo.com rated it it was amazing
An absolute essential read for anyone that is honestly interested in Wicca, Magic, Neopaganism, or whatever else it goes by.

It is the most scientific book I've ever read about Magic. Spotlight on some of the ridiculous things and some of the magnificent things you may find on the path.
Eevee
Jan 07, 2014 Eevee rated it it was amazing
I loved this book the first time I read it and I still do. I'm also using many of Bonewits's theories for my own fantasy novel. I wish more follow up research had been done, building on his work.
Séan Llew  Æris
outline chapter one

study.
Eurik
Nov 03, 2010 Eurik rated it it was amazing
A classic and rigthfully so.
Sarah Wentworth
May 03, 2008 Sarah Wentworth rated it it was amazing
Hey, guess what, magic is logical.
Xenophon Hendrix
Mar 20, 2009 Xenophon Hendrix rated it did not like it
This book is rather sad. In trying to convince himself that magic really works, the author has created a unfalsifiable argument.
Andy Lawless
Nov 04, 2011 Andy Lawless rated it it was amazing
Exploration and scientific explanation on magic theory. Like life magic is not black and white but a multitude of colors.
Beautifultruth
Beautifultruth rated it it was amazing
Nov 10, 2009
Jill
Jill rated it it was amazing
Dec 14, 2016
Chris
Chris rated it liked it
Jul 30, 2012
Lilith Dorsey
Lilith Dorsey rated it it was amazing
Aug 12, 2013
Peter
Peter rated it liked it
Nov 16, 2012
Jillian England
Jillian England rated it liked it
Jul 18, 2015
Megara
Megara rated it really liked it
Aug 21, 2016
Dave/Maggie Bean
Dave/Maggie Bean rated it it was ok
Dec 08, 2012
P2p
P2p rated it really liked it
Oct 16, 2007
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Goodreads Librari...: Combine editions 3 8 Dec 30, 2016 12:43PM  
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Phillip Emmons Isaac Bonewits was an influential Neopagan leader and author. He was a liturgist, speaker, journalist, Neo-druid priest, and a singer, songwriter, and independent recording artist. He had been heavily involved in occultism since the 1960s.
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