Chapter 26 Magic and Theurgy

In: Guide to the Study of Ancient Magic
Author:
Sarah Iles Johnston
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Abstract

This essay covers the ritual practices employed and articulated in ancient systems of theurgy, from the spinning of the Iynx-wheel to uses of images. While they overlapped with practices associated with magic, exponents of theurgy took pains to distinguish their use in theurgy from their use in mageia (not least in arguing that they did not control so much as respond to the gods). A brief explication of theurgy is followed by a history of its principal ancient exponents and modern researchers, the metaphysical system it assumed, and the nature of the ritual practices involved.

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