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The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft: The Complete A-Z for the Entire Magical World [Hardcover]

Judika Illes
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Book Description

5 Sep 2005

Following on from the hugely successful Element Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells, comes the next bumper encyclopedia celebrating all facets of witchcraft. This definite book is the most comprehensive, authoritative and entertaining guide you'll ever find on the mythology, folklore and traditions of magic.

In this mammoth magical treasure trove, Judika Illes explores the history, folklore, spirituality, and mythology of witchcraft. A feast of facts and curiosities, rooted in magical and spiritual traditions, from all over the world, there are recipes from the witch's cauldron, magical sacred dates, and methods of witches' flights. Discover how witchcraft has inspired popular culture from Shakespeare to Harry Potter, and how witches have suffered persecution and death in centuries past.

Packed full of amazing facts, bizarre information and fascinating stories, you will also be introduced to mythic witches, modern witches, sacred goddess witches, even demon witches, male and female witches, and witches from all over the globe.

Ideal for both the dedicated follower and casual reader, as a perfect gift for yourself or someone else to treasure, this definitive encyclopedia is essential reading for anyone interested in folklore, mythology and magic.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 896 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Element (5 Sep 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007192932
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007192939
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 20.5 x 25.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 219,553 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


Previous publications:
Earth Mother Magic: Ancient Spells for Modern Belles (Fair Winds Press, 2001)

Emergency Magic! 150 Spells for Surviving the Worst-Case Scenario (Fair Winds Press, 2002)

Spells: The Anthology (Seventh House Publications, 2002)

Element Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells (Element, 2004)

About the Author

Judika Illes’ introduction to magic and mysticism was at 6 years old. She became a professional tarot card reader in 1988, became certified in
aromatherapy in 1999. Judika was a tutor at the Australasian College of Herbal Studies, and has taught multi-cultural studies, world mythology, tarot and magic to children and adults. She lives in New Jersey.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
70 of 71 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Overview of Witchcraft 25 Sep 2005
Judika Illes is probably best known for her huge work The Element Encyclopedia of 5,000 Spells, a huge work containing references to anything to do with spell work. She has now completed her second huge undertaking, an encyclopedia on witchcraft. And it is just as huge as her first book.
As I see it, this is not a how to book. It's more a collection of information that defines witchcraft in its many various forms. From how the outside world still views us in some cases to how we see ourselves, there is no particular path, no one personal agenda here. This gives the book a very even, open, very multi-dimensional appeal. We do not have just a well known author pushing his or her personal path or a new author experimenting with theirs.
Rather, we have a book that combines the paths, combines the opinions and the points of view and blends it into a very readable and very useful tool. Approach with an open mind and look at all the possibilities.
The bibliography reads like a "Who's Who" in the pagan community, combining well known material with very learned sources and including the little known/hardly referenced material to present very well rounded information that is gathered together in one place.
I spent a lot of time paging through the book, reading the information, exploring the comments and following the way Ms. Illes put it all together in this book. Movie/TV reviews which are well thought out and discussed from both the Hollywood angle who's purpose is to draw an audience to how we on the other side tend to critique these same entertainment. Looking at the notes included with her contents; "Hecate, Hekate [...] endnote: Further Reading: Jacob Rabinowitz's The Rotting Goddess (Autonomedia, 1998)." This author has it together with her research.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This encyclopedia is a companion to the ENCYCLOPEDIA OF 5000 SPELLS, also by the same author.

When I first received this volume, I was surprised in some ways: I had been expecting it to be organised by A-Z reference. In a sense it is, but Judika has actually arranged subject areas into alphabetical order, rather than absolutely everything there is to know about witchcraft in general - a much better way of going about it.

The encyclopedia begins with an informative introduction. I urge everyone who picks up this encyclopedia, especially those with perhaps limited knowledge about Wicca and witchcraft, to read this first. Judika highlights in here that, as with beauty, "what constitutes witchcraft is dependent upon the eye of its beholder" (p.1). Quite an obvious onbsevation, but one that definitely warrants discussion, even in today's world.

Following the introduction, there is then a section about the elements of aitchcraft. Again, I would urge you to read this before delving into the late pages. Topics covered here are the roots of witchcraft, animism, the worship of goddesses and the image of the sacred female plus dualism.

Some of the subjects included in the reference section of the encyclopedia include Animals, Books of Magic and Witchcraft, Calendar of Revelry and Sacred Days, Fairies, Creative Arts, Women's Mysteries and Wormwood and Garlic: Dangers and Protection.

As another reviewer said, this book is really a work to be used as a point of reference. It is not a how-to of witchcraft - patly because in order to do that, it would have to take on a certain stance, or tradition, and I see this book as more a general reference to witchcraft.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a great source of information .... 3 May 2006
By julie58
this is a huge book, filled with all the information you could possibly want to know about witchcraft!! It's not a how-to book, so don't buy it if you are looking for guidance - but the book will fill in the gaps you might have in your knowledge of the Craft and all it encompasses. A must for all witches and those interested in this path ....
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars rainbow tree comment 19 Aug 2007
My daughter bought this for me from amazon as a present and I have to say it is the most amazing record of just about everything anyone would want to know about witchcraft. Ms Illes has managed to relay how witchcraft has evolved throughout the ages and contrary to popular belief anyone can source the information and use it to complement their lives. Buy it and you won't regeret it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!! 19 Feb 2009
A true dictionary of the witch craft, a book I truly do wish I had years ago. A lot of things in the book they could've written a book alone for each subject, but they have shorten the subjects and still managed to get most of what each subject is all about. Reminds me of any other encyclopaedia, but with few pictures but the text in this book truly makes up for it. This is a book I always return to and which I am giving away to friends for birthdays and Christmas aswell.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A magical tour de force 24 April 2007
What we all need in our lives today is something to believe in and something magical. This book will bring you both, if you turn the pages with an open mind. A sense of being a part of something great and special. Connection back to nature and our planet which we have lost.

Harry Potter has re-awakened mankind's yearning to believe in something more magical than ourselves. Much that we have forgotten or strayed away from in our urgency to have it all is actually just what we need most now.

Judika has researched, prepared and tended this book with a great love and knowledge of all kinds of magic. If you believe and are seeking to know more this is the one current book that can help you. She pays respect to all of the sorcerors who came before and takes the magic of yesteryears right into the NOW. Read it, enjoy and learn.

This is not just hocus pocus. There is a serious side and it is also fun, beautiful and bright. Imbibed with life.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
I love this book. As someone who's always been drawn to witches and paganism but never really looked into it in depth this book is a fascinating study. Read more
Published 3 months ago by MissMyth
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Book
This book is very handy , For the budding Wicca it is a valuable source of information. I have not got through it myself yet. Many hours of reading. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Shel
3.0 out of 5 stars Great read on History
This is very broad on the history of the craft - some very interesting. Good read again for research. shipping was quick
Published 8 months ago by J. Moyr
5.0 out of 5 stars really good!
it's an Encyclopedia- everything abt witchcraft even extends to films. really helped when doing my desertation. Read more
Published on 22 Jun 2012 by Mrs. G
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice all about book.
Haven't read it through but do dip into it. Amazing what current medicine is stolen from older remedies.
Published on 24 Mar 2010 by Mrs. T. Mccamley
5.0 out of 5 stars A celebration of the Craft
This excellent encyclopedia by Judika Illes is evidently well researched. It covers many aspects of witchcraft from all over the world, as well as modern western tradition. Read more
Published on 11 Dec 2009 by Rainy Day
5.0 out of 5 stars A book I wish I had years ago!
This book probably contains a selection of the most interesting things and I personally find it hard to put it down. Read more
Published on 3 Nov 2008 by C. Westberg
5.0 out of 5 stars VERY good!!!!
This is an excellent encyclopedia!!!! And the very best one of its kind. It has information on every magical person that has ever lived and has been created. Read more
Published on 17 Oct 2006 by Whimsical Witch
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