This complete history of witchcraft from Ancient Greece to the present day charts the rise and development of witchcraft and the modern witchcraft religion of Wicca. Today witchcraft is on everyone's lips, on television, film and in literature, but few know, or are even able to guess at, its shadowy history. This in-depth investigation discovers how the ideas we have about witchcraft took shape thousands of years ago in the myths and religions of the ancient world. It looks at why these ideas were expressed so violently during the era of the witch trials. Finally, it reveals how witchcraft has been transformed into one of the most radical and fastest growing religions of our age - a religion of equality and compassion that still has the power to unsettle even the bravest amongst us. With new analyses, fresh insights and previously unpublished material drawn from the author's doctoral research into the mysticism, magic and social meaning of Wicca, this is the first book to bring witchcraft fully out of the shadows.
"Witchcraft, Wicca, paganism, magic, the occult and the paranormal, these are the things that keep me up at night, discussing them, writing about them and sometimes experiencing them."
Dr Leo Ruickbie holds a doctorate from King's College, London, for his thesis on modern witchcraft and magic, and was awarded a master's from Lancaster University with distinction for his work on the theory of re-enchantment. He is the author of several books including Witchcraft Out of the Shadows: A complete History (Robert Hale, 2004) and Faustus: The Life and Times of a Renaissance Magician (The History Press, 2009). His articles have appeared in Paranormal, Pagan Dawn, Watkins Review and other publications. He is a peer reviewer for JASANAS, the Journal of Alternative Spiritualities and New Age Studies, and has advised the International Society for Human Rights on witchcraft persecution in West Africa. He has also publicly exhibited on the subject of 'La Sorcellerie en France' ('Witchcraft in France') in several towns in France, and runs an educational website based around his published works.