Magic has played a part in most cultures throughout human history. Traditions and practices may differ but essential elements remain the same. This insightful history examines the roots and foundation of magic, and the way it has shaped our view of the universe and our place within it. The scope of the study is wide, covering a range of traditions from the wise woman of a sixteenth-century English village to a witchdoctor in Africa, or from the customs of the Native American shaman to those of the female shamans of Korea. From magic's origins in the Shamanic tradition came religion, which, for the world's first civilizations, had no distinction from magic. The book examines these beliefs, ideas and convictions through the ages until the present day, with the revival of a magical consciousness in the West and the new forms of goddess-centred witchcraft. The book includes an international sweep of ancient cultural traditions and details the medieval phenomena of witch-hunts that still have resonance in modern society. In addition, it explores the modern wicca movement, tracing the development from the 1900s and its links with the Celtic tradition. Drawing on the work of numerous scholars and experts as well as first-hand research by the author, this fascinating anthropological study invites reflection on the many ways that human beings have sought to relate to the world of the spirit. Lavishly illustrated with archival material, fine art illustrations of legendary magic workers, and special photography, this volume is a comprehensive examination of a fascinating and timeless subject.