Merlin: Shaman, Prophet, Magician

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Mitchell Beazley, 2004 - Social Science - 176 pages
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MERLIN remains the most famous and familiar image of the magician that we possess. Best known as the adviser of the young Kin Arthur, he was also a famous seer, whose books of prophecies have been reprinted countless times since the Middle Ages. he continues to appear in modern times, in film-most recently in the blockbuster King Arthur -TV, and fiction, and is still the subject of study today, as an exponent of shamanism and ancient wisdom.

Arthurian expert John Matthews examines the many guises of Merlin-as seer, prophet, lover and magician, and as an inspiration to people from all walks of life. Here we see the possible historic origin of Merlin as a Celtic leader, the later literary forms of his growing legend in the myths of King Arthur, and his more recent manifestations in visionary works, as the prototype of characters such as Obi-Wan Kenobi in the star Wars films, Dumbledore in the Harry Potter series, and Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

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About the author (2004)

John Matthews was born in the North of England in 1948. He has been a professional writer since 1980, and has produced over forty books ranging from Celtic and Arthurian legends to collections of stories, essays, and poetry He has given workshops in Britain, Central Europe, and America and is primarily concerned with the interpretation of myth. He is an internationally renowned authority on mythology and folklore with a special interest in the Arthurian and Grail traditions and Celtic lore. Matthews best known works are The Grail: Quest for Eternal Life, Taliesin: Shamanism and the Bardic Mysteries in Britain and Ireland, and The Celtic Shaman. Other books include Arthur and the Grail Quest, Within the Hollow Hills, and The Winter Solstice, which won the Benjamin Franklin Award in 1998. Matthews has also co-authored with his wife, Caitlin Matthews, a study of the Western mystery tradition, The Western Way. Together they designed and wrote the best-selling Arthurian Tarot, which has sold more than 50,000 copies and has been translated into several languages.

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