This Article will assess the importance of rituals in the performance and acceptance of magic. In order to do this it will first of all be necessary to examine the background and history of magic. This will help determine the origins of rituals, the types of rituals and their purpose. The role of mythology and superstition in determining the concept of magic will be analysed, as will the links between education, science and cosmology. There will be a detailed discussion on the role religion has played, both in the development and performance of rituals and ceremonies. Furthermore, the ways in which these rituals became established and their association with magic will be considered.
Historically rituals, myths and magic were borne out of superstition. The most basic definition of a ritual is; ‘performed for the purpose of religion or an age old tradition of ancient beliefs’.Magic can be defined as a source of power which influences events by mysterious or supernatural forces such as, divinity caused by repeating sacred verses. It is therefore difficult to envisage magic without its accompanying rituals as they appear to be inextricably linked.
In early modern Europe there was also the idea of good and bad magic, whereby priests to expel demons used rituals such as exorcism. There was also the notion of natural and supernatural magic in the form of science and cosmology.
According to Michael David Bailey, different types of magic, performed in different ways were labelled differently, since some practitioners were labelled as ‘witches’ while others were labelled as the ‘gifted great men’ in society. “If the lifetime of the legendary magician followed ritual precedent, the feats he was said to perform derived from the function of medicine-man, witch-doctor or wizard.”
Early modern European magic derived from many rituals, mainly labelled as witchcraft. According to Michael Bailey ‘witchcraft’ “typically entails common or low magic worked via simple spells, charms and curses as opposed to the complex ritual system of scholarly magic.”. He claimed that magic could be composed by anyone with common skills and that magic was either used for experimental purposes or to create an evil deed; typically upon the folks in early modern Europe.
Rituals and magic have traditionally been used either to control or manage populations. Religion particularly adheres to this practice. In order to fulfil religious commandments, certain types of rituals must be followed, such as Baptism, marriage and funerals ceremonies. These actions govern behaviour and relax the recipient’s spirituality. According to Elizabeth Butler, magic is also used as a means of control, as she claims that “the fundamental aim of all magic is to impose the human will on nature, on man or on the supersensual world in order to master them.”
Frances Timbers studied the practice of ritual magic in early modern England during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Like Butler, Timbers claims that magic was used as a means of control She analysed early modern ceremonial magic and focused mainly on gender and sexual perspectives. According to her, “the practice of ritual or ceremonial magic – the attempted communication with angels and demons – both reinforced and subverted existing concepts of gender.” Timbers claims that most male magicians were able to act from a position of control and command within a patriarchal society, and even those who used magic to try and challenge gender ‘ideals’, still wanted to remain dominant. Meanwhile, she claims women magicians were generally more submissive; although, she does accept that some females practiced magic to destabilize the patriarchal culture in order to further their own agenda.
“The word ‘magic’ is derived from the six tribes of the Medes and is talked about by Herodotus as early as the fifth century BC, although its origin is unknown.  However, the ancient Greeks used magic in a form more familiar to today’s magic, as it ‘signified the religion, learning and occult practices of the Eastern magicians’  whom originated from Persia. In fact, the first mention of the term Magic can be found in the Behistun inscription, written by Darius the Great. The word ‘Magi’ was used to describe followers of Zoroaster, during the Hellenistic period. The Hellenic chroniclers thought that the ‘Magi’ could foretell their fate in stars and change it by manipulating the powerful sources. Thus, over time, the term magus or magi also known as, ‘magian’ or ‘magician’ came to include other forms of mysterious and inexplicable knowledge, such as astrology and alchemy. Michael Bailey sums this up with the following quote: “Throughout the Christian era, for example, educated men raised arguments about the existence of a category of natural magic that drew on forces inherent in the universe that might be hidden or occult but were neither demonic nor divine.” Here, Bailey claims that magic and rituals can be good (divine) or evil (demonic), however, even learning scientific advances may be considered a type of magic.
The practices of ‘magi’ were of a high level and were well respected even amongst religious leaders. This is shown in Holy literature such as the Bible and Torah. They refer to the ‘three wise men’. Comparatively, the ‘wise men’ performed a ritual in presenting gold, frankincense and myrrh to the infant Jesus, son of God. Moreover, the presence of cosmology is present in the story of the ‘wise men’, and referred to as biblical ‘magi’.
The myth of the ‘magus’ is central to religious teachings for many cultures. Simon Magus, a disciple of John the Baptist was an important biblical figure. He was known as a powerful sorcerer, whom was also fascinated by Christianity’s teachings, especially its magical rituals.He pursued Christianity’s teachings in its early forms as it was important to enhance his rituals and magical skills. This illustrates how important the ‘magus’ was to religious followers. Since the birth of Christ, the early modern period of ‘Magis’, was associated with societies’ performing rituals and magic.
Evidently, rituals were viewed highly, and the intense work and effort put into making magic was overwhelming. Creating magic is an educational process; it takes many years for rituals to be established. Rituals were used by students, thus continuously experimented with during the medieval ages, and in the early modern period.
Magic and rituals originated a very long time ago. “Much the same course was run in kingship rites in Egypt, Mesopotamia and Palestine, according to Hooke: “this pattern consisted of dramatic ritual, representing the death and resurrection of the King, who was also the God, performed by priests and members of the royal family.” This shows the ritual of magic was born as early as the ancient world era. It was deemed that the almost blessing of magic assisted those performed on, to guarantee a safe transition to the afterlife. This is similar to rituals/prayers preached today at one’s funeral. The idea is that, reciting prayers would help the soul to be purified, thus assisting it to enter heaven, as opposed to hell. These rituals and common events are still significant and central to our way of thinking. Everyone is aware that life on earth is not eternal, thus they wish to guarantee that they either live longer to avoid the unknown, or live up to sacred commandments to guarantee entry into the best of the afterlife.
It is known that the Egyptians would remove four central organs from the dead’s body into conic jars. A ritual thought to guarantee that these organs would also be transformed into the afterlife with one’s soul.
The above illustrates that the record of the ‘magus’ and ‘magi’ was present in the origins of the east. In fact, it was deemed to be a highly important profession in both the magical world as well as society in general.
There were different types of rituals for different types of magical outcomes such as, a ‘heka’. This was part of ancient Egyptian magical rituals. Egyptian magicians were widely respected in the ancient world. Such magic was used for healing, protection, curses, and assisting or resurrecting the dead. Rituals were a very important part of everyday culture, it helped many to understand their ‘Gods’ power and the magical elements of the world.
There are many natural forms of magic and supernatural elements of many different rituals. It is very important to understand the intention of magic makers, especially for the good and bad scenarios of cosmology balance and mythology rituals. Natural and demonic magic has always been in existence and this is evident through religious text. For example, the importance of magic was displayed within mythology such as: Hercules and Diana. They all have significant stories where good triumphs over good; tales which display natural and demonic magic. They illustrate that the effect of rituals uphold a deeper meaning.
All religions have played an important part in establishing a link between magic and rituals. This is due to their use of common rituals used in everyday practices such as, praying, baptisms, weddings and funerals ceremonies. These rituals and their accompanying ideas of purity and/or sin, contain magical elements. Religious texts also contain many references to miracles, thus cementing the link between religion and magic.
Baptisms use an element of the holy water when performing spiritual cleansing. The water has to be blessed by a member of the clergy or a religious figure. Holy water is used for cleansing the soul before a baptism ritual takes place. This is common in several religions, from Christianity to Sikhism.Holy water is used by both the Anglican Church and the Roman Catholic Church as a form of protection against evil.
Baptism is a very important element of joining a religion. It is a mystical ritual, an idea of rejecting the sins and being embraced into Jesus’ love and kingdom of God. It also contains an element of the supernatural, with its ideas of being possessed and needing to be exorcised, thus calling the Holy Spirit to purify and protect the recipient’s soul. According to Edward Muir the rituals involved in Baptism and purification rites were “initiated by the purification rituals performed by St. John the Baptist. Baptism became the necessary ritual for incorporation into the body of the Church.” As an example, Edward Muir quotes words of the baptism ceremony, “I exorcise thee, unclean spirit… accursed one, damned and to be damne …”, which Sarah Ferber describes as “the expulsion of the devil from the body of the possessed”.
The ideology of Baptism at birth changed during the break away from the Roman Catholic Church in early modern Europe. This change attracted many critics to comment; Thomas Aquino’s literature suggested that ‘Demonism’ and ‘Satanism’ (a form of black magic) changed the radial for the natural and supernatural side of society. It saw rituals for magic change progressively, which became challenging for religious leaders when working with society. The seven sacraments are considerably similar to what a ritual is, as it suggests that power is only in the hands of God!
The Christian Mass also exemplifies the link between magic and ritual, particularly the Catholic Mass and its idea of transubstantiation., Catholics believe that the wine and the bread taken during this ritual are the actual blood and the body of Christ, which gives the ceremony a magical quality. This is contrary to the Anglican Mass where the wine and bread are merely symbolic and representative of the body and blood of Christ. Such was the strength of belief in the idea of transubstantiation during the early modern period, that it was one of the contributory factors of the English Reformation.
“And whereas the Mass was equally efficacious when performed by a priest for the first time in his career or the hundredth, an exorcist was able to gain experience by trying out a range of rites in order to discover which one God had blessed as the appropriate remedy, thus to become known as a specialist.”
According to Ferber, the rituals of cleaning the spirit performed by religious leaders during the early modern period, offers a different idea of magic and rituals altogether. It combines the elements of mysticism and magic working in the hands of higher forces. For example, a Priest evaporates the demonic casting out of a soul to be cleaned. This presents an argument that magical rituals were done for the work of good. Exorcism rituals include a large number of religious symbols, such as holy water and reciting scriptures from the Bible. They tend to only be executed by religious authorities such as a Priest. The idea of possession in early modern Europe was through devilish acts of ‘sin’, thus their pure soul being corrupted by the devil. An example is, if a man and woman engage in sexual acts before marriage. Unnatural magic was made through potions during the early modern period. They were made to control the mind and manipulate actions of others.
Similarly, the majority of marriage ceremonies are performed in places of worship, such as Churches, Temples, Synagogues and Mosques. They contain an element of supernatural power, as they require the bride and groom to recite sacred vows before they devote themselves to one another. The importance of marriage ceremonies is that it shows the holy union between those who are getting married and their deity to God. Again, it is regarded by believers as a sacred, magical ritual as it is seen as the righteous path to take. It is a practice that religions encourage their followers to take, in order to avoid damnation.
For example, Hinduism proposes that there is an element of mystical magic and that there are supernatural deities that hold the ties of love and sacred rituals of passion. “There is a notion that marriage has been witnessed by some outer forces such as supernatural elements, going against such force is unwise.” This shows the idea of a marriage ceremony having a major element of magical mystical power of the Gods and that to go against their divine wishes would be deemed as sacrilegious. However, as Edward Muir points out, “nowhere in scripture do we read that anyone would receive the grace of God by getting married, nor does the rite of matrimony contain any hint that the ceremony is of divine institution”. Despite this, the ritual of marriage ceremonies with its accompanying sentiments of entering into a pact for life has supernatural entities as being the grounds for the survival of marriage in tough times.
They signify the importance of purity and the cast away of impurity, by welcoming into a new era of a cleanse soul. This is an important tradition which is accepted and desired to be part of by many religious followers.
There is a deep spiritual meaning behind the idea of the afterlife; known as heaven or hell. It is not always clear as to what the afterlife is. However, religious teachings have explained that it is the soul, not the body which enters into the afterlife, and it would be determined through the actions on the earth as to where their soul goes. Most religious teachings also speak about judgement day. This is the gathering of everybody’s soul waiting to be judged by God, whom will then decide their destiny.
It is also evident that a large number of people believe in the soul. Family members and friends feel the need to visit their loved ones grave, to accompany their souls and speak to them to keep them company. This is a very supernatural belief. Believing that one can live beyond the life of their body, is believing in something beyond what we can see.
Miracles are a type of magic which is evidenced in almost all religious texts. The Bible holds a large number of miracles executed by the son of God, Jesus. Examples are; “Jesus gives to his 12 apostle’s power to cast out demons from demon-possessed people, to heal all types of diseases, including leprosy’s and to raise the dead, and they go out into Israel doing so.” This shows an element of mystical miracles from ancient Christian rituals. It illustrates transferring a magical source of energy from Jesus to his 12 apostle for goodness, and challenges the forces of evil by performing great miracles.
“God does many miracles through Philip, including healing of paralysis and the lame and casting out of demons.” According to the Bible this is a very important ritual and was inscribed through Philip in presenting mysticism God and the ritual through prayer. Its deep enchanting heals the soul and casts the demons back to hell. This is an important miracle as it has overwhelming amounts of supernatural energy, creating a source of power which attacks evil spirits to bring the bearer back to the ‘righteous path of divinity. Those who hold a religious standing, are thanked for their magical abilities; it is seen as a form of assistance into the light rather than the darkness.
“On this mountain, the lord of hosts will prepare for all people a banquet of rich food. On this mountain he will remove the mourning veil covering all people, and the shroud enwrapping all nations he will destroy death forever.”
The story of Solomon is a Jewish tale based on the Old Testament; the wise king who “the Temple was built by the aid of demons the subdued for that purpose of the ‘arch-magician legend’”. This is an early example of how magical rituals were used to build places of worship, as without blessings through prayers, demons would be able to enter into a place of worship, thus a distinctive place for the protection from evil would not exist.
The Roman Catholic Church is classed as the leader of the Christian faith. Through their ancient ‘ritual’ when selecting a Pope, they must follow a number of instructions, in order to do so. Arch-Bishops, Bishops and other religions all have ancient traditions when appointing leaders.
The birth of Christ is another religious ritual symbolism; with specific prayers and songs. This is an imperative notion of the religion, which is rein-acted by students every year during Christmas. Christmas the 25th of December is celebrated every year, and a ‘ritual’ of eating with family and giving presents is carried out; an enactment of the birth of Christ. This ‘ritual’ gives followers a sense of belonging and spiritual uplift.
Magic has vast amounts of different natural and supernatural energies. It can intertwine with the supernatural energies of religion and the world’s scientific sources. Antiquities religions were the cosmology of the different body’s which practiced magical rituals.
The supposed resurrection of Jesus is a type of supernatural power. Prophets healing the disabled, Noah’s arch surviving the storm and Moses splitting the river are examples of magical rituals, magical miracles which were all unexplainable. These acts were done to help and persuade the population that there is source beyond the world and it is a source which should be followed. They are also examples, to help followers understand verses from the Bible and the aim of the religion.
Mythology is an important aspect of long standing rituals and magic. Many stories have derived from Egyptian mythology such as, the Horus, the rebirth of Osris and even the Greek classical mythology, the 12 labours of Hercules. During ancient Rome, mystical rituals were carried out for individual Gods. Each God represented a specific power. For example, praying to the God of love would help with their love life; praying to the God of health would bring long life. This type of prayer became a common custom which developed over centuries and became an essential ritual of daily life. This is now similar to Hinduism, as they have a large number of icons which represent different things, thus prayed to individually for different needs.
The importance of magic and rituals during the early modern period was that society believed that rituals were a learned process and therefore weighty respect was given. It was a process which would take years to accomplish and master the charms of magic. The perception of magic in the early modern period was viewed as a highly skilled profession. Some believed only a Priest could communicate and understand the mystical energy between the world and God. Only the religious, would perform holy rituals and ask for forgiveness in a content manner for the hierarchy of humans.
Important figures of the great Italian ‘magi’, renaissance period of Ficino and Pico received much praises and scholar evaluations. The study of magic and the importance of rituals have been around for a long time. But the transition was during the reformations period and early modern Europe. They regarded them more of an enlightened and respected educator as opposed to a witch. The importance of symbolism during the reformation of the early modern period is significant because they changed the sense of ‘good’ religious rituals. Evil rituals became more apparent as the change of idealism for natural and supernatural magic was no longer a majority led state religion.
Since the beginning of mankind, there have always been different types of important rituals. Humans have always believed in a supernatural power and have always desired to reach it. “It is necessary to step beyond this, so that the ascent may be prepared by the Trinity, the ascent to that harmony that is supercelestial, where nothing is material and everything is spiritual.”. The above is quoted from a religious text book, which is evidence that religiously one should be aware of supernatural powers and seek to embrace it.
This argument shows that magic and rituals are elements of a supernatural power and it was only recognised by religious authorities during early modern Europe periods. It suggests that the preparation of rituals is something beneficial not only to this world but to the afterlife; a higher calling of elevation. This point also illustrates that in order to be able to perform spiritual ceremonies, one must have a deeper understanding of religious teachings. During the early modern period there were academics and theologians whom gave a different perspective of how important rituals and magic were; some thought of it as naturally good and others as demonic; pagan beliefs. In Christianity, ‘magi’ was a divine figure which enhanced many important rituals and magic. ‘Magi’ was the source of goodness; white magic against black magic.
“Magic is the sum of natural wisdom, and the practical part of natural science.” According to David B. Rudeman , it is important for magic to be performed and explained in a clear and concise manner, as the link between ritual and magic must be achieved. “The magician it is explained is one who professes control to the powers he deals with; the priest attempts only to propitiate them.” This quote illustrates that a lot of relevance of how magic and rituals was thoroughly performed in early modern period depended on the person conducting them. This became significant especially during the reformation period of the Church, separating from ritual to specifically demonology ritual. As stated, ‘the priest attempts to only propitiate them’ only to a certain extent but the magician controls all the elements of the mystical of the supernatural magic.
Nevertheless, as magic became common practice, many ideas and ways to create magic was discovered. As commoners experimented, magic and rituals were no longer a religious activity, and in most case was against religious teachings. A person whom was regarded quite highly was Pico. He had educated himself about magic and learned the theology behind it. He also highlighted the dangers of magic and the dangers of performing it incorrectly.
Development of the ritual world have been through sacred books. The ancient world has presented many types of sacred books such as, the book of the dead; filled with many increments and magical spells for the afterlife. Rituals and magic has long been present, indicating that the belief of the supernatural has existed and been important to human species for a very long time. It opens gate ways to their higher calling of cosmology complex theologies.
The tales of Gilgamesh is an interesting story of magic and rituals, driving from the ancient world. Historians have suggested books such as, the Torah, Bible and the Quran having magical rituals. They have ancient practices for prayers, makings deeds and seeing into the future; the foreseeable future of how to avoid the evil side of life.
One could argue that fasting is an ancient tradition. In Christianity, one must fast by giving up a bad habit for a number of days during Easter. To celebrate and appreciate the resurrection of Jesus. As part of the five pillars of Islam, one must fast for 30 days a year and conduct special prayers throughout. Further, Islamic praying to God, must be conducted in an number of ways such as, washing beforehand and praying in the direction of Mecca; where prophet Mohammed is buried, again to show respect. Further, part of the 5 pillars of Islam, requires the undertaking of a holy pilgrimage at least once in a persons life time; which in return will wipe sins and allow the person to begin life sinless once again. This is similar to Christians being able to confess in a Church to a priest.
All of the above are examples of religious followers, believing that religious rituals will assist their transition to their afterlife, thus going to a better place. They also believe that by doing these rituals, they clean evil thoughts and are motivated to lead a better life.
Post 400 BC there was a revival of amulets used in the Christian religion. It was said that it provided a closer connection with the religion. The first amulets in Christianity was the cross and the crucifix. Necklaces and figurines in the house, illustrates that it was used as a form of protection from evil spirits. It was even believed to be a good luck charm. As mentioned before, the practice of Baptism is about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit gracing the soul through angels; for the child to enter into goodness and love. However, in modern Europe, it is becoming common for people to be Baptised once at birth and again during their adult life. It is seen as a path to purity and those who have committed sins or simply wishing to re-connect with God, will go through the ritual again.
‘Right of passage’ is another important aspect of Christianity as it shows the element of leaving one life and entering into another. It is an important ritual that has to be used for everyone and has existed since the beginning of Christianity to early modern periods. This passage is said to be when the soul wouldn’t be put at rest if there is no right of passage to heaven, thus the soul would be ripped apart by demons and evil spirits and dragged to hell.
Religion plays a huge role in the originality of rituals and magic. It has always brought people together and has always lead people to believe in the supernatural, assisting with stories where magic was evidenced.
On the other hand, a key element to magic and rituals is medicine. Miracles of helping the needy were through establishing herbal remedies for wounds. However, this also has a religious element. In Galen teachings there have been evidenced some very important herbal rituals with the use of gem stones and amulets to heal the sick. “Men of unmystical temperament, Dioscorides and Galen both allowed the use of certain plans and stones as amulets. Galen in fact, was curious enough about the properties of amulets to experiment with them.”
Thomas Aquino suggested that a talisman could be viewed as having demonic possessions such as its shape and that type of engravings it had. However Aquino’s views were more liberal on the talismans. He stated that talismans were easy to find and common, so he condemned the use of the amulets for religious purposes. “Since the putative power of such an object depends rather on its intellectual content as a bearer of signs than on its material content, I shall call that power “noetic” to distinguish it from a physical power.”  This suggests a different side of rituals and magics as well the importance of the intellectual content. It shows a theoretical side for the material substances used for rituals in the early modern period. (532 page )
Social changes where within the belief of magic and rituals. “But in insisting, as he did, that certain artificial images receive natural powers from the heavens, Ficino was not simply glossing over a conflict between De Fato and the great Summa.” This is the argument of Ficino explaining the difference of conflict between heavenly magic and bestow powers of imagery used to explain rituals and magic.
Mystery builds power for practitioners, whom perform rituals and magic. In the early modern period the post knowledge on magic gave society a hidden depth of occult knowledge. This has an influence to enthusiasts to recover potions which for example, Pico started to unravel; and reveal the secrets of rituals and incarnations of the ‘magi’.
Sorcerers were viewed as purifiers and healers. They were famous during medieval and early modern eras. The ‘Merlin’s’ were known for their wide amount of knowledge and preparations of many medicines which healed the population. However, the medical professionals described special magic spells to fight away demons as it was a spiritual illness. They also suggested that it cleansed the body and mind from unhealthy thoughts and built barriers for demons, something ordinary medicine could not do.
A charm which was once used for superstitious reasons to block or back-fire evil thoughts and bad luck was the ‘evil eye’ charm. Now this ‘evil eye’ is used as a fashion accessory, which has not meaning for those whom ware it. There are even charms and amulets such as the cross, which again was once a religious protection tool and again is used as a fashion accessory in modern Europe. Evidently, modern Europe has moved away from believing in icons which would protect them from evil spirits. Nevertheless, there are those who still practice religious rituals and worship figurines as part of their belief of the supernatural power. This is evidenced through the examples of Baptism, marriage and funeral ceremonies.
The importance of rituals with religion was through the reformation period of the Protestant West and Roman Catholics. As it was the Roman Catholics whom began and intensely implemented them, whilst Protestants did not; immediately creating a separation between believers.
Alchemy is very important to be botch religion and there are rituals of trying to perform magic in so many different ways. It is written that Adam and Eve were immortal humans and it is through sin, the temptation of the devil which punished their eternal lives. Thus, humans have always referred to this story and have attempted to stay clear of the devil and not be damned to hell. However, non-believers state that this is, “the same sense of helplessness before the cosmic mysteries, and the same pathetic attempt to resolve it by appealing to higher powers.” Here it is suggested that people invested and continue to invest time and effort into understanding myths, stories, science or even alchemy to lead a good life. Early modern academics believe that the learned rituals and magical practices where so important that it could of changed society’s chance of a continuous religious early modern nation.
In the twenty first century rituals are a part of our everyday lives. They include religious rituals, birthday celebrations, academic award ceremonies, eating at certain times of the day etc. In modern terms, magic could be seen as creating machinery to connect to the universe, finding scientific cures for diseases, the fast changing of laws; simply the modernity and advancement of life.
The justifications of rituals and magic during the change into the early modern period, was a very radical movement. The concentrated movement of set educated institutions changed the social norm. The ideology of rituals and magic was challenged through academics in a scientific manner. It broke the belief of mysterious and intangible supernatural powers into void without evidence and clear understanding.
In conclusion rituals and magic together have always existed and have always been very important to society. From the beginning, the belief of supernatural power has influenced the ideologies and actions of religious believers and non-believers. Throughout the ages of time, human beings have felt the need to perform some sort of ritual; through religion, medicine, imperial culture and legal customs.
The early modern period was a crucial movement of how performing rituals and magic changed and effected social perspective, economy, ideology, political views etc. It is evident that our modern digital world such as, symbols, images and architecture are forms of visual rituals of magic.
Religion has played and still plays a huge part in magical rituals. Not only society but many magicians also believed that their incarnations of rituals and magic were a door way to God. The theology sense of magical rituals always played a central part either in pagan beliefs or monotheistic religion.
It seems from the evidence above that rituals and magic originated in forms of text or word of mouth. Everybody had their own views and their own way of dealing with magic; whether it was through protective symbols on their person or in their home, or through making magic to protect or provoke the actions of others.
Although there is no evidence as to when magical rituals actually started, it is clear that they are still believed in now. Even in modern Europe, magic is viewed as a skill and magicians are regarded as skilful and blessed by God.
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<http://www.ibtauris.com/Books/Humanities/Religion%20%20beliefs/Religion%20general/Religious%20issues%20%20debates/Magic%20and%20Masculinity%20Ritual%20Magic%20and%20Gender%20in%20the%20Early%20Modern%20Era.aspx?menuitem=%7BBEB25D9B-DA2E-4686-95A6-6EDA7B71BB9D%7D> [Accessed 24 March 2014]
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Elizabeth M. Butler, Magic in History Ritual Magic (Gloucestershire: Sutton Publishing Press, 1998). pp.15
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 Michael David Bailey, Magic and Superstition in Europe: A Concise History from Antiquity to the Present ( Maryland : Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2007).pp.44
 G.R.S Mead Paul Tice , Simon Magus: His Philosophy and Teachings (United States:Book Tree,2003) pp.98
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 Sarah Ferber, Demonic Possession and Exorcism in Early Modern France (London: Taylor& Francis Group, 2004).pp65
 Sarah Ferber, Demonic Possession and Exorcism in Early Modern France (London: Taylor& Francis Group, 2004)pp.66
 Mahabala Shetty, Magic in Arranged Married … Is it for the West? (Bloomington: Author House, 2011).p.175
 Edward Muir, Ritual in Early Modern Europe, (Cambridge: Cambridge university press, 1997).p.41
 Rory Roybal, Dr Noah hutching’s Mircales or Magic? ( United states of America: Rory Roybal, 2005).p.192
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 Edward Muir, Ritual in Early Modern Europe, (Cambridge: Cambridge university press, 1997).p.285
 Frank L. Borchardt, ‘The Magus as Renaissance Man’ , The Sixteenth Century Journal, 21,(Spring, 1990), pp. 57-76
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 David B. Ruderman, Kabbalah, Magic, and Science: The Cultural Universe of a Sixteenth-century Jewish Physician (USA: Frederick W.Hilles,1988)pp.111
 Randall Styers, Making Magic: Religion, Magic, and Science in the Modern World (New York: Oxford University Press,2004).pp.10
 Elliott M. Simon, The Myth of Sisyphus: Renaissance Theories of Human Perfectibility (Cranbury: Rosemont Publishing & Print Corp, 2007)pp.112
 Brian P. Levack, witchcraft, magic and demonology ( Library of congress: Brian P,levack,1992) pp527
 Brian P. Levack, p 532
 Brian P. Levack, p.533
 Randall Styers, Making Magic: Religion, Magic, and Science in the Modern World (New York: Oxford University Press,2004)pp.9