New York: Sterling, 2017. Hardback, xii+212 pages. New.
Subtitled A Chronological Journey from Alchemy to Wicca, John Michael Greer’s The Occult Book is a fascinating and richly-illustrated tour through the world of occultism, with short, pithy chapters detailing key events in occult history, beginning with the Four Elements of the Greek philosopher Empedocles (5th Century BCE) and ending with “The End of the Thirteenth Baktun” – a reference to the supposed Mayan prophecies about the year 2012. In between, we are treated to a whirlwind tour through occult history, with short but highly informative essays on topics such as the Origins of the Kabbalah, The Malleus Malificarum, The Visions of Jacob Boehme, The Foundation of Fate magazine, and the mainstreaming of modern Wicca. A combination of beautiful artwork and intriguing insights into the world of the occult, The Occult Book provides a unique glimpse of the hidden history of the occult and its wide-ranging influence across the ages.