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Sketching out a fascinating network of historic figures, cults, and Christendom, this book by an occult-studies expert and respected authority on magic and sorcery takes Western spiritual traditions seriously—but examines them with common sense and self-effacing humor. Working backward from the Freemasons to one of their original orders, the 14th-century Knights Templar, the account considers sorcery, heresy, and intrigues; explores the legend that the Knights possessed a powerful secret dangerous to the Church of Rome; and finds an essential clue to the order's practices in their connection to the biblical Solomon, king of Israel in the 10th century BC. This updated edition features new images, chapters on important symbols, and a new preface.

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