"The Magitians Discovered" is a three volume set centered around the 1665 edition of Reginald Scot's "The Discoverie of Witchcraft". Of the three volumes, volume one is purely an analysis of the work.
The 1665 edition is notable because it included an anonymous treatise about the nature of ghosts, elemental spirits, and demons, as well as nine chapters about rituals, that were written by practicing magicians of the time.
Through analyzing the material and its possible authors, I believe it's likely that they believed in what could be called a proto-neopagan worldview, as seen through the tradition of antiquarian history as it existed in the 17th century. This worldview was most likely not completely pagan, but also integrated with Christianity. However, the antiquarian traditions that I believe the authors were a part of are directly linked to the revival of interest in the Druids, which eventually culminated in the revival of Druidry in the early 19th century.
On top of looking at the magical worldview embodied in the added material itself, it also examines how it was that antiquarian historians in Scotland, Scandinavia, and Britain, were able to put a positive spin on pagan practices and beliefs that were present in their country's past. It does this by demonstrating how forged records purporting to show the immediate history after the flood were used to argue that the Druids and other pagan peoples possessed wisdom that was ultimately derived from Noah and therefore compatible with Christianity.
Through looking at these beliefs in relation to both the Druids and to the Swedish school of thought known as "Gothicism", the book presents little known history and facts about 17th century pre-cursors to the neo-pagan revival.
Created: 2016-04-15 02:18:06