The term derives from magic magi , one of the religious elements incorporated by the magicians in ancient Babylon . There were magicians in Rome , in Greece and in most of the western and eastern world of antiquity , when magic or sorcery popular were related to ancient fertility rites and initiation in the knowledge in peoples called barbarians , mainly Chinese .
The magic and sorcery were also linked to the beliefs of ancient Eastern nations, in which the magician or sorcerer was both a healer and a knower of the unseen world of spirits and played a leading role in the community.
In Greece and Rome the soothsayers and magicians no longer had anything to do with the shamans , although they were consulted on all the powers of divination which believed were endowed.
In the European medieval magic was related to alchemy and astrology , occult activities considered demonic by the Catholic Church , and were persecuted especially during the late Middle Agesand the Modern Era . Some 500,000 people were tried and executed largely by civil and religious courts, accused of witchcraft , over nearly five centuries . There witchcraft prosecutions until the nineteenth century, both in Europe and in North America . In Europe the Inquisition Tribunal developed a role in these events. It should be noted that none of the major religions accept the practices of magic (yes believe that magic exists as such), no other Christian faiths. With respect to the Judeo-Christian religions in particular are quite negative references to the Magi in the Oldand New Testament .
The secrecy (called the ancient science in the Middle Ages ) influenced the thought of the Renaissance . This pseudoscience is linked, in some respects, with the maintenance of old beliefs that, like magic, leading to the understanding and management of the spiritual laws of the universe . In 1463, Cosimo de Medici commissioned the translation of the work of Hermes Trismegistus , supposedly written in ancient Egypt but, for many, dating from the first centuries of the Christian era and is the cornerstone of the Hermetic movement or Gnostic (of gnosis , knowledge).
Divination by the tarot was a frequent activity in the birth of the modern era and symbol systems developed by cartománticos for understanding the present and future reality are clearly indebted to other methods of divination practiced by magicians, including reading the flight of birds and the entrails of slaughtered animals.
Simple practices sorcery, divination, astrology, reading books and oracle decks as the ancient I Ching of the Chinese , or the runic alphabet of the Scandinavians , aspects of Hinduism , the yogaand to the belief in the divinity of civilizations extraterrestrial and His presence among humans formed from mid-twentieth century a conglomerate weakly articulated movement became known as the New Age (in English New Age ).