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Monsters: An Investigator's Guide to Magical Beings

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Overview

Of course that monster hiding under your bed when you were little didn't really exist. Vampires, werewolves, zombies, demons—they're simply figments of our imagination, right? After all, their existence has never been scientifically proven. But there is one giant problem with such an easy dismissal of these creepy creatures: people keep encountering them.

Join occult scholar John Michael Greer for a harrowing journey into the reality of the impossible. Combining folklore, ...

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Monsters: An Investigator's Guide to Magical Beings

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Overview

Of course that monster hiding under your bed when you were little didn't really exist. Vampires, werewolves, zombies, demons—they're simply figments of our imagination, right? After all, their existence has never been scientifically proven. But there is one giant problem with such an easy dismissal of these creepy creatures: people keep encountering them.

Join occult scholar John Michael Greer for a harrowing journey into the reality of the impossible. Combining folklore, Western magical philosophy, and actual field experience, Monsters: An Investigator's Guide to Magical Beings is required reading for both active and armchair monster hunters. Between these covers you'll find a chilling collection of fiendish facts and folklore, including:

—Why true vampires are the least attractive—and most destructive—of all monsters
—The five different kinds of ghosts
—Magical origins of the werewolf legends
—How to survive a chimera encounter (Jersey Devil, chupacabra, Mothman)
—The hidden connections between faery lore and UFOs
—Where dragons are found today
—How to investigate a monster sighting
—Natural and ritual magic techniques for dealing with hostile monsters

This 10th anniversary edition of the quintessential guide to magical beings features a new preface, new chapters on chimeras and zombies, and updates on werewolves, dragons, and the fae.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780738700502
  • Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 9/1/2001
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 312
  • Sales rank: 392,099
  • Product dimensions: 7.54 (w) x 9.13 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author

John Michael Greer (Western Maryland) has been a student of occult traditions and the unexplained for more than thirty years. A Freemason, a student of geomancy and sacred geometry, and a widely read blogger, he is also the author of numerous books, including Monsters, The New Encyclopedia of the Occult and Secrets of the Lost Symbol, and currently serves as the Grand Archdruid of the Ancient Order of Druids in America (AODA), a contemporary school of Druid nature spirituality. Greer has contributed articles to Renaissance Magazine, Golden Dawn Journal, Mezlim, New Moon Rising, Gnosis, and Alexandria.

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Read an Excerpt

In the following excerpt, author John Michael Greer explains that monsters have something valuable to teach us about ourselves and our world.

A thousand years ago, vampires and shapeshifters, spirits of the ancestors and spirits that were never human at all, intelligent beings with subtle bodies or none, were as much a matter of everyday life then as electricity is now.

But we know better nowadays, of course.

Don't we?

This book is based on the uncomfortable knowledge that we don't know better-that at least some of these entities had, and still have, a reality that goes beyond the limits of human imagination and human psychology. For most people nowadays, such ideas would be terrifying if they weren't so preposterous. Plenty of modern Americans believe that UFOs are spacecraft from other worlds and psychics can bend silverware with their minds-but the existence of vampires and werewolves? To make things worse, this book explores such beings from the standpoint of an equally discredited system of thought: the traditional lore of Western ceremonial magic, which has been denounced and derided by right-thinking folk ever since the end of the Renaissance.

The word "monster" comes from the Latin monstrum, "that which is shown forth or revealed." The same root also appears in the English word "demonstrate," and several less common words (such as "remonstrance") that share the same sense of revealing, disclosing, or displaying. In the original sense of the word, a monster is a revelation, something shown forth.

This may seem worlds away from the usual modern meaning of the word "monster"-a strange, frightening and supposedly mythical creature-but here, as elsewhere in the realm of monsters, appearances deceive. Certainly, monsters are strange, at least to those raised in modern ways of approaching the world. As we'll see, too, monsters have a great deal to do with the realm of myth, although this latter word (like "monster" itself) has older and deeper meanings that evade our modern habits of thought. The association between monsters and terror, too, has practical relevance, even when the creatures we call "monsters" fear us more than we fear them.

The myth, the terror, and the strangeness all have their roots in the nature of the realm of monsters and the monstrous-a world of revelations, where the hidden and the unknown show furtive glimpses of themselves. If we pay attention to them, monsters do have something to reveal. They show us the reality of the impossible, or of those things we label impossible; they point out that the world we think we live in, and the world we actually inhabit, may not be the same place at all.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
How to use this Book
A Cautionary Note
Pt. I An Introduction to the Field Guide
On the Reality of the Impossible 3
Pt. II A Field Guide to Monsters
Vampires 35
Ghosts 53
Werewolves 71
Creatures of Faery 83
Mermaids 109
Dragons 119
Spirits 131
Angels 147
Demons 161
Pt. III A Guide to Monster Investigation
The Compleat Investigator 177
Pt. IV Magical Self-Defense
Natural Magic 217
Ritual Magic 229
A Glossary of Monster Lore 241
An Annotated Bibliography of Monster Lore 251
Index 279
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 5 of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 22, 2011

    Monsters!

    This is really a good book and very informative.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 14, 2010

    OUTSTANDING BOOK ,,A MUST BUY

    i bought this book years ago and i still find it to be one of the most useful and just plain amazing books i have ever purchased.Even if you chose not to go out and try to find and investigate magical being it is still a must buy.I find myself referring to this book over and over again and because of it have become a source of creature knowledge to all family and friends whenever they have questions or problems they can not explain.BUY IT!! YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2008

    overall a great read

    This book is filled with information useful and entertaining. From mermaids to ghosts and spirits. Demons to UFO and faerie activity and more. List of tools needed and a chapter on natural magic. Over all a great read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2003

    Pretty good

    I had picked up this book from a library that i worked at, and I must admit, this is a pretty good informational book concerning the other beings that could possibly inhabit this universe in addition to mere humanity. Granted, I may not be for sure whether or not some of these beings actually exist (werewolves and mermaids, for example), but it is an honest evaluation of these same types of beings which have been apart of cultures, folklore, religions, and legends since long ago. It is a very interesting read. Its just that I'm a bit skeptical about some of the information, but that could be my own fault or limited understanding....

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2014

    Excellent reference guide

    While not an exhaustive treatment of the subject, this book is a genuinely excellent resource for writers, folklorists, and historians who aren't (like this reviewer) necessarily "magic folk."

    Jonathan Hunt's imaginative illustrations greatly add to the publication, even in the electronic version, something often regrettably not true with reference works of this kind. The addition of a glossary and valuable bibliography section are welcome additions that further enhance the work.

    Recommended without reservation.

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 5 of 6 Customer Reviews

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