The Morning of the Magicians

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The Morning of the Magicians
Cover of the first edition
AuthorsLouis Pauwels
Jacques Bergier
Original titleLe Matin des magiciens
TranslatorRollo Myers
SubjectThe occult
PublisherÉditions Gallimard
Publication date
Published in English
1963 (Stein and Day)
Media typePrint

The Morning of the Magicians: Introduction to Fantastic Realism (French: Le Matin des magiciens) is a 1960 book by the journalists Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier. As the authors disclaim in their preface, the book is intended to challenge readers' viewpoints on historic events, whether they believe the explanations or not, but with the goal to give readers the opportunity to test their level of cognitive dissonance and critical thinking skills. Although the book presents a collection of "raw material for speculation of the most outlandish order," the same reviewer also noted "it is the instigation of original thought that matters."[1] It covers topics like cryptohistory, ufology, occultism in Nazism, alchemy, spiritual philosophy and Die Glocke, thus it is often referenced by conspiracy-theory enthusiasts.

Written in French, Le Matin des magiciens was translated into English by Rollo Myers in 1963 under the title The Dawn of Magic, and in 1964 released in the United States as The Morning of the Magicians (Stein and Day; paperback in 1968 by Avon Books). A German edition was published 1962 with the title Aufbruch ins dritte Jahrtausend (Departure into the Third Millennium).

The Morning of the Magicians became a cult classic within the youth culture in France in the 1960s and the 1970s. Cautioned by the hostile reception from skeptic reviewers (notable among whom were the secular humanists Yves Galifret, Évry Schatzman and Jean-Claude Pecker from the Rationalist Union, who debunked the book in Le Crépuscule des magiciens (1965); "The Twilight of the Magicians"[2]), Pauwels and Bergier went on to pursue their interest in the paranormal in the magazine Planète, dedicated to what they termed réalisme fantastique (fantastic realism). Both The Morning of the Magicians and the Planète magazine had considerable influence on the esotericism of the 1960s–1970s counterculture, heralding the popularization of certain New Age ideas.[3]


Pauwels and Bergier worked on the book over five years, compiling voluminous documentation incorporated into the Bibliothèque nationale de France as Fonds Pauwels in 2007. Heavily influenced by Charles Fort's work and ideas, the authors' primary aim was to arouse the curiosity of their readership, stating "Let us repeat that there will be a lot of silliness in our book, but this matters little if the book stirs up a few vocations and, to a certain degree, prepares broader tracks for research".[4]


In a 2004 article for Skeptic, the author Jason Colavito wrote that the book's tales of ancient astronauts predated Erich von Däniken's works on the topic, and that the ideas are so close to the fictional works of H. P. Lovecraft such as "The Call of Cthulhu" or At the Mountains of Madness (published in 1928 and 1931, respectively) that, according to Colavito, it is probable that Lovecraft's fiction directly inspired the book.[5]

The fifth track on The Flaming Lips album Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots is titled "In the Morning of the Magicians", referencing the book.[6]


  1. ^ Adams, Deborah (2009). "Review of "The Morning of the Magicians"". Curled Up with a Good Book. Retrieved 9 April 2010.
  2. ^ Le Crépuscule des Magiciens. Le réalisme fantastique contre la culture. Union rationaliste. 1965.
  3. ^ Lachman, Gary (2001). "Spawn of the magicians". Turn Off Your Mind: The Mystic Sixties and the Dark Side of the Age of Aquarius. New York: Red Wheel Weiser (published 2003). p. 27. ISBN 9781934708651. Retrieved 28 August 2019. Related to von Däniken's thesis is another theme of The Morning of the Magicians that impacted on the sixties: the idea of some great leap in human consciousness, an evolutionary mutation that was about to take place, if it hadn't already begun, and which would result in the new man.
  4. ^ « Il y aura sans doute beaucoup de bêtises dans notre livre, répétons-le, mais il importe assez peu, si ce livre suscite quelques vocations et, dans une certaine mesure, prépare des voies plus larges à la recherche » p. 199.
  5. ^ Jason Colavito (2004). "Charioteer of the Gods: An investigation into H.P. Lovecraft and the invention of ancient astronauts". Skeptic. 10 (4).
  6. ^ "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots – the Flaming Lips | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic.

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