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Witches, Sirens and Soothsayers

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Witches, sirens and soothsayers is an intriguing historical, literary and cultural account of the strange and mysterious world of those potent women who have outraged, enchanted and inspired the world with their abilities to see into the future and to commune with the spirits; to heal and magic with their potions; to change the course of events with their allure. This book Witches, sirens and soothsayers is an intriguing historical, literary and cultural account of the strange and mysterious world of those potent women who have outraged, enchanted and inspired the world with their abilities to see into the future and to commune with the spirits; to heal and magic with their potions; to change the course of events with their allure. This book illustrates how witchcraft has manifested itself through history across all cultures, drawing parallels and differences between them. It explains how our perception of the witch has changed over time, investigates the fortune of women deemed to be witches and explains the practices of witchcraft today. Also containing eye witness sightings, poetry and prose on witches, from classical sources and Shakespeare onward, charms and riddles to ward off witches and profiles of goddesses witches who have been called on for their power.


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Witches, sirens and soothsayers is an intriguing historical, literary and cultural account of the strange and mysterious world of those potent women who have outraged, enchanted and inspired the world with their abilities to see into the future and to commune with the spirits; to heal and magic with their potions; to change the course of events with their allure. This book Witches, sirens and soothsayers is an intriguing historical, literary and cultural account of the strange and mysterious world of those potent women who have outraged, enchanted and inspired the world with their abilities to see into the future and to commune with the spirits; to heal and magic with their potions; to change the course of events with their allure. This book illustrates how witchcraft has manifested itself through history across all cultures, drawing parallels and differences between them. It explains how our perception of the witch has changed over time, investigates the fortune of women deemed to be witches and explains the practices of witchcraft today. Also containing eye witness sightings, poetry and prose on witches, from classical sources and Shakespeare onward, charms and riddles to ward off witches and profiles of goddesses witches who have been called on for their power.

30 review for Witches, Sirens and Soothsayers

  1. 4 out of 5

    K.S. Thompson

    I really enjoyed the inclusion of multiple references to the Brothers Grimm, as well as Mother Goose. I was also pleased that Baba Yaga (so often overlooked) was featured more than once. This little book is packed with beautiful artwork, which enriched the experience. One criticism that I have is that, just as not all Christians are Catholic, not all Witches are Wiccan. This assumption by the author is really unfortunate. I would have liked to see Witches from multiple paths represented and I thi I really enjoyed the inclusion of multiple references to the Brothers Grimm, as well as Mother Goose. I was also pleased that Baba Yaga (so often overlooked) was featured more than once. This little book is packed with beautiful artwork, which enriched the experience. One criticism that I have is that, just as not all Christians are Catholic, not all Witches are Wiccan. This assumption by the author is really unfortunate. I would have liked to see Witches from multiple paths represented and I think they missed a really great opportunity by not doing that.

  2. 4 out of 5

    A.M.G. ☮Hippie/Fantasia☮

    Rating: 5 / 5 For anyone looking for a general exposé on witches and witchcraft, in both popular culture and fiction and the historical background that has shifted humanity's perspectives to what we know today, then this is the book to check out. Now, as a uni student who actually wrote an essay on witchcraft and persecution for her first year final paper in a class on European Early Modern History, I can say that this isn't a book you want to reference for academic purposes or for anything in-dep Rating: 5 / 5 For anyone looking for a general exposé on witches and witchcraft, in both popular culture and fiction and the historical background that has shifted humanity's perspectives to what we know today, then this is the book to check out. Now, as a uni student who actually wrote an essay on witchcraft and persecution for her first year final paper in a class on European Early Modern History, I can say that this isn't a book you want to reference for academic purposes or for anything in-depth. However, if you're looking to get inspired and start seeking in the right directions for a compelling place to look into those histories, then this book is a good starting point. Again, it's very general, but it hits on a lot of truths and just the right points of reference to give even a beginner the right perspective into understanding humanity's complex relationship with the supernatural and unusual. Apart from that, I would further venture to say that it's also quite the feminist text, not because there's no such things as male witches and that males don't play a huge role in the study of witchcraft, but because witchcraft has been so predominantly associated with the female form/body/persona/"deviating from [men's] general standards in society" that it's hard to differentiate and include the minority male witches. So, no discrimination intended, but history gestures towards the women on this one. The interlacing of popular culture and history is a back-and-forth exchange that I think ultimately creates a compelling beginner's narrative throughout this. Now, again, for people like me who've done research on this, I wouldn't mind for it to be deeply rooted just in history and have a lot of citations and whatnot to back it up, but at the same time I appreciate that this author is reaching out to the general public and trying to make a subject both academic and yet popularly accessible. It's just the right balance and so while I wouldn't use this book in reference to anything in-depth or essay-worthy, I must applaud the effort of a general "hear ye hear ye" attitude to your average reader.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Beatrice Longbottom

    Picked this up at Half Price Books. It has great photos and illustrations throughout, which is really the only reason to buy this. The quick, wikipedia-style articles reveal basic witchy history, holidays, cultures, etc.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

    I have to admit I started reading this book out of pure nosiness, as I love quite a few books, TV programmes and films that involve magic and witchcraft. It makes me sad to read about how women have been abused, killed and supressed through being termed a "witch" in the past. I'm glad to hear that some of these women have been pardoned since, but there's a long way to go. The word "witch" may not be used any more as a derogatory term, or not in the way it was, but women are still not equal to me I have to admit I started reading this book out of pure nosiness, as I love quite a few books, TV programmes and films that involve magic and witchcraft. It makes me sad to read about how women have been abused, killed and supressed through being termed a "witch" in the past. I'm glad to hear that some of these women have been pardoned since, but there's a long way to go. The word "witch" may not be used any more as a derogatory term, or not in the way it was, but women are still not equal to men in modern day society. However, I am hugely impressed with the amount of historical information, shared in a very palatable way, that I have come across whilst reading this book. In addition, the artwork and extracts from other texts enrich this book further. I am left hungry to read more books about the history of witchcraft, although I'll be surprised to find one better than this.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Keera

    This is an excellent compilation of historical and modern views of women who consider themselves or are branded witches, sirens and soothsayers. It covers more than many individual books I've read combined. The addition of various works of art, quotes, and poetry enrich the experience. This is an excellent compilation of historical and modern views of women who consider themselves or are branded witches, sirens and soothsayers. It covers more than many individual books I've read combined. The addition of various works of art, quotes, and poetry enrich the experience.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Atika Sumarsono

    Beautiful little but heavy book. Love the artwork and good history about witches

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    True rating: 3.5 stars.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Makino

    Empowering and insightful book :)

  9. 4 out of 5

    Amy Elizabeth

    Very interesting stories and beautiful artwork

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kaila Shugars

  11. 5 out of 5

    Wrenn

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Westerfield

  13. 4 out of 5

    Chrystal

  14. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

  15. 4 out of 5

    Marcele Duarte

  16. 4 out of 5

    callie

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mary G.

  18. 4 out of 5

    bryan diem

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lowen Sauceda

  20. 5 out of 5

    Juniper

  21. 5 out of 5

    Natasha Price

  22. 4 out of 5

    Karin Timmermans

  23. 4 out of 5

    Candice

    The compilation is informative and the illustrations are beautiful.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Farron Yssel

  25. 4 out of 5

    Cassie Lipp

  26. 5 out of 5

    witchy

  27. 4 out of 5

    Emily Andrews

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ellis Spicer

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kate S

  30. 5 out of 5

    Deena

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