ABSTRACT

The introduction serves as a preliminary discussion of the theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of modern Western magic. This is to ensure that ‘magic’ as a categorical field of inquiry is portrayed as a meaningful and effective worldview for practitioners in terms of how and why it is enacted. Hence, the primary research question addressed is how practitioners, by means of a distinctive mode of embodiment, produce and experience magic as a participatory process transitioning from an ‘ordinary’ to a ‘magical’ worldview through ritual. To engage this method of study, the reason for conducting ethnographic research with contemporary magical practitioners is explained with emphasis on fieldwork complexities, the illustrative selection of informants, the status of the researcher being an observing participant, multi-cited ethnography, the solitary nature of the rituals under investigation, and the gender structure of the ethnographic case studies. Furthermore, the rationale for adopting an enactive phenomenological approach of inquiry to organise and interpret the ethnographic data is explained in reference to the works to Gallagher phenomenological methodology.