I picked this book up in Shakespeare & Company in Paris last year, and it’s the perfect book to review this spooky season.
The Occult Book by John Michael Greer is a “Chronological Journey from Alchemy to Wicca”, from the 6th Century BC to 2012. Each page tells a different story of an “occult” topic, such as The Death of Plato, The First Horoscopes, and the Birth of Spiritualism to name just a few chapters.
I’m really interested in dark topics, such as the paranormal, history, and conspiracies so I just had to buy this book when I saw it. Also, I know they say that you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, but the hardback is stunning and was a contributing factor as to why I bought it.
This is more of a coffee table book than something you sit down and read. It was interesting to get little brief summaries of these kinds of occurrences and people but the rapid change of subjects makes it hard to get into, a page can also only offer very little information on topics that nearly deserve their own novel. That said, you do learn a thing or two from it; such as the fact that Nicolas Flamel and the Philosopher’s Stone were actually real and not just figments of J.K. Rowling’s imagination. You even pick up a few history lessons, like the fact that Jesus’s real name was actually Yeshua bin Maryam (but modern day Christians sure do love to white wash Jesus.) Overall, I think this is meant to be a taster of topics such as magic or alchemy and not a comprehensive history. If you like one subject you can just find more reading about it.
Overall, this book is nice to pick up and leaf through every now and then, but if you’re looking for a substantial read then I’d recommend getting a novel dedicated to a topic you’re interested in such as wicca or how we came to understand the universe.