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The unstable and unpredictable political environment of the twenty-first century has so far presented opportunities for a surprising ‘re-enchantment of politics’, where ‘magical thinking’ and supernatural responses to and interpretations of political events are increasingly common. It is therefore crucial to understand the role of occult beliefs in the politics of the past. The conclusion identifies eight strands or themes in the history of the entanglement of politics and the occult in Britain: the royal occult adviser, the ruler as benevolent magus, the ruler as witch or bewitched, sorcery as treason, the development of occult weapons of war, occult and political secrecy, occult prophecy and ‘magical saviours’, and ‘magical quietism’ (a reliance on magic and magical thinking that paralyses effective government).
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