JSM - Journal for the Academic Study of Magic, Issue 5
Book review for Wiccan Rede

Enthusiasts of the Academia are in for a treat with the fifth issue of JSM from Mandrake of Oxford. No less than eight brilliant articles, each covering a different topic, can be found in this book.

Philip Jewell elaborates on Flavius Josephus' Terminology of Magic: Accommodating Jewish Magic to a Roman audience. He explains how sanctioned magic differed from the unsanctioned and how this was a key element in decisions whether or not a particular form of magic was acceptable.

Dan Harms looks into The Role of Grimoires in the Conjure Tradition. Conjure is also known as hoodoo, rootwork or goopher, an African-derivative religion in the USA, which was born from the need of working magic in an environment where previously common substances, objects and materials were not so readily available. The article explains how the grimoires used by the Pennsylvania Germans especially the 6th and 7th Book of Moses made their way to the tradition and how it's rituals were modified to fit the frame of working magic in everyday situations.

Dana Winters unveils a Hermetic / Cabalistic Ritual in Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus. She shows us, how the thirty-three lines in Latin build up a full ritual not unlike those described by Agrippa, containing an expression of intent, a conjuration, an excommunication and a period of ritual ecstasy.

Sabina Magliocco sheds light on Italian Cunning Craft with Some Preliminary Observations, she gives detailed explanation as to how it differs from the "Stregheria" of Grimassi; talks about certain techniques and the religious framework in which these take place.

J.A. Silver Frost researched the problems Astrologers encounter at their respective workplaces in the article Walking The Tightrope: A Study Of Secret Astrologers In Mainstream Professions.

Patrick Maille explores the topic of Martyrs, Magic, and Christian Conversion, giving an in-depth explanation why Christians were so ready to become martyrs and why their body parts were thought to have immense magical potential.

Kennet Granholm writes about "Worshipping the Devil in the Name of God" Anti-Semitism, Theosophy and Christianity in the Occult Doctrines of Pekka Siitoin, a far right-wing figure of the Finnish political scene. We also find out why it's a bad idea to use Kabbalah when you do not like Jews.

Marguerite Johnson's "The Witching Hour: Sex Magic in 1950s Australia" brings forth a plethora of letters exchanged between Sir Eugene Goossens, Rosalee Norton and her partner, Gavin Greenlees on the topic of Sex Magic as practiced by Crowley.

All in all, this Journal provides amazing reading to all, I can heartily recommend it.