Occult Author Spotlight – Isaac Bonewits
I first met Isaac Bonewits a few years ago at the Fall Gathering of the Tribes in West Virginia. It was quite interesting to talk with him and it was at that time that I was introduced to his work. Bonewits has been involved in the occult since the 1960s. He’s the only person to have graduated from a university with a degree in magic. Bonewits has founded and belonged to various pagan magical organizations, as well as having written a number of books on paganism and magic.
My familiarity with Bonewits’ work has focused on four books by him: Real Magic: An Introductory Treatise on the Basic Principles of Yellow Magic, Authentic Thaumaturgy, Bonewits’s Essential Guide to Witchcraft and Wicca, and Real Energy: Systems, Spirits, And Substances to Heal, Change, And Grow, which was co-written by his wife Phaedra Bonewits. Bonewits has written other books as well (see below). What I’ve most enjoyed about his work, beyond the sense of humor, is the attention to detail Bonewits provides in his works, as well as his ability to explain different tangents and concepts. Real Magic, in particular, is one of the first attempts I’ve seen to provide a coherent set of laws which explains how magic works.
I recommend Bonewits’ books for the detail and variety, but also because he maintains a rigorous academic approach to his works. Consequently, it is very easy to trace where he got his sources from, which can provide additional places of research and reading for people who are interested.
His website is http://www.neopagan.net.
- Real Magic: An Introductory Treatise on the Basic Principles of Yellow Magic. (1972, 1979, 1989) Weiser Books
- Authentic Thaumaturgy. (1978, 1998) Steve Jackson Games
- Rites of Worship: A Neopagan Approach. (2003) Earth Religions Press
- Witchcraft: A Concise Guide or Which Witch Is Which?. (2003) Earth Religions Press
- The Pagan Man: Priests, Warriors, Hunters, and Drummers. (2005) Citadel
- Bonewits’s Essential Guide to Witchcraft and Wicca. (2006) Citadel
- Bonewits’s Essential Guide to Druidism. (2006) Citadel
- Real Energy: Systems, Spirits, And Substances to Heal, Change, And Grow. (2007) New Leaf. Co-authored with Phaedra Bonewits.
- Neopagan Rites: A Guide to Creating Public Rituals that Work. (2007) Llewellyn
Taylor Ellwood is the author of Space/Time Magic, Inner Alchemy: Energy Work and the Magic of the Body, and Pop Culture Magick, among other works. You can visit his blog at http://magicalexperiments.wordpress.com/ and his website at http://www.thegreenwolf.com/.
©2009 Taylor Ellwood
Edited by Sheta Kaey