It appears that "magic" in most "modern" "western" civilizations is prohibited. But societies like those in China or Latin America or Africa have mentions of all kinds of magic. For example, the I Ching is full of specific actions you could take (with "Hexagram" symbols to go along with them) which is said will bring you "abundance" of various kinds. The shamans of Peru use magic plants to "directly connect with the cosmos" and heal people. Then there is "voodoo", "witchcraft", and other terms for similar things. There is a book floating around, The Galdrabók, an Icelandic book of spells. This UC Berkeley Old Norse professor talks about some related stuff here and there. It is the closest work I have found to "magic" that is described, but even then it is rather mundane and says more like "I know of a spell which can do X", rather than "The spell to do X is Y". Then there are secretive groups and such like the Rosicrucians, the Corpus Hermeticum and other "esoteric" works.
So people all over the world are, at least to some degree, exploring magic, whether they are doing it secretively like the fraternities, or openly like the shamans. But, I have never seen a list of the magic practices (a) that are even possible or were done in the past, and (b) why they are forbidden. All I have read so far is that the Torah mentions magic over and over again and how its use results in death (in Judaism, I assume only for Jewish people, not the Chinese or Peruvians or whoever else). There are very few online resources, and those that exist are very short and non-descriptive.
The first part of my question is:
What is this magic that they are talking about? What is the list of "forbidden" magics?
Not how do you practice the magic, but what is it? Necromancy is mentioned as one, but even that article on necromancy doesn't explain what is done. I feel like since the spread of the scientific method, we have almost completely lost sight of "magic" as it was used in the Torah. But I would like to gain a better sense of what the actual magical practices were (in Israel or Judaism during the time of the Torah). What were people doing back then? What Hebrew or English texts go into depth / down the rabbit hole on this topic? Is it not just what the other cultures in China and Latin America and Africa are doing, or was there more to it?
The second part of my question is:
Why is the magic forbidden?
What books/resources go into significant depth on this topic? I get that God doesn't want or like humans to be doing that, but why? All I have read here and there online so far is summarized as "If you do magic you will get death, [with no explanation of what the magic is or does, or why such a punishment]". I would like to know why it causes God to be so angry.
- What is the definition of magic in Judaism, and what is the list of practices?
- Why are these things prohibited?
The linked answers so far say basically magic either doesn't exist or it is used to dupe people which is why you should ignore it. But why then the death punishment? Hopefully there are deeper analyses somewhere. Looking for books and books on it :)