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This book explores cannibalism, food, eating and being eaten in its many variations. It deals with people who feel threatened by cannibals, churches who combat cannibals and anthropologists who are made to confront themselves as cannibals. It describes how different African and European images of the cannibal intersected and influenced each other in Tooro, Western Uganda, where the figure of the resurrecting cannibal draws on both pre-Christian ideas and church dogma of the bodily resurrection and the ritual of Holy Communion. In Tooro cannibals are witches: they bewitch people so that they die only to be resurrected and eaten. This is how they were perceived in the 1990s when a lay movement of the Catholic Church, the Uganda Martyrs Guild (UMG) organized witch-hunts to cleanse the country. The UMG was responding to an extended crisis: growing poverty, the retreat and corruption of the local government, a guerrilla war, a high death rate through AIDS, accompanied by an upsurge of occult forces in the form of cannibal witches. By trying to deal, explain and "heal" the situation of "internal terror," the UMG reinforced the perception of the reality of witches and cannibals while at the same time containing violence and regaining power for the Catholic Church in competition for "lost souls" with other Pentecostal churches and movements. This volume includes the DVD of a video film by Armin Linke and Heike Behrend showing a "crusade" to identify and cleanse witches and cannibals organized by the UMG in the rural area of Kyamiaga in 2002. With a heightened awareness and reflective use of the medium, UMG members created a domesticated version of their crusade for Western (and local) consumption as part of a "shared ethnography." Heike Behrend is Professor of Anthropology and African Studies at the University of Cologne, Germany, the author of Alice Lakwena and the Holy Spirits (James Currey, 1999), and co-editor of Spirit Possession, Modernity and Power in Africa(James Currey, 1999)
Inspired by recent efforts to understand the dynamics of the early modern witch hunt, Johannes Dillinger has produced a powerful synthesis based on careful comparisons. Narrowing his focus to two specific regions--Swabian Austria and the Electorate of Trier--he provides a nuanced explanation of how the tensions between state power and communalism determined the course of witch hunts that claimed over 1,300 lives in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Germany. Dillinger finds that, far from representing the centralizing aggression of emerging early states against local cultures, witch hunts were almost always driven by members of the middling and lower classes in cities and villages, and they were stopped only when early modern states acquired the power to control their localities.
Situating his study in the context of a pervasive magical worldview that embraced both orthodox Christianity and folk belief, Dillinger shows that, in some cases, witch trials themselves were used as magical instruments, designed to avert threats of impending divine wrath. ""Evil People"" describes a two-century evolution in which witch hunters who liberally bestowed the label "evil people" on others turned into modern images of evil themselves.
In the original German, ""Evil People"" won the Friedrich Spee Award as an outstanding contribution to the history of witchcraft.
Craft your own magic with this comprehensive guide to creating, customizing, and casting unique spells, charms, and potions. Make your own magic! Spellcrafting is a step-by-step guide to writing your own spells and timing them for the best effect. From different types of spells to the intentions and powers of different ingredients, you will have everything you need to create unique magic that works best for you. Spellcrafting goes beyond basic spell books to explore how and why your magic works, what you can do to improve and strengthen it, and how to troubleshoot when things don't go as planned. Now you can take your magic into your own hands and create a completely personalized spell for wherever life may take you.
If you think ghosts are only responsible for hauntings, think again. The Demonologist reveals the grave religious process behind supernatural events and how it can happen to you. Used as a text in seminaries and classrooms, this is one book you can't put down. Illustrated with photos of phenomena in progress from the Warrens' private collection.
For over five decades Ed and Lorraine Warren have been known as the world's most renowned paranormal investigators. Lorraine is a gifted clairvoyant, while Ed is the only non-ordained demonologist recognized by the Catholic Church. Together they have investigated thousands of hauntings in their career.
This study explores cases in which men were accused of witchcraft in England and the British colonies of New England between 1592 and 1692. Using a series of case studies that begin in Elizabethan Norfolk and end with the Salem trials in Massachusetts, this book examines six individual male witches and argues they are best understood as masculine witches, not feminized men. Each case considers the social circumstances of the male witch as a gendered context for the accusations of witchcraft against him. Instead of seeking to identify a single causal condition or overarching gendered circumstance whereby men were accused of witchcraft, this study examines the way that masculinity shaped the accusations of witchcraft made against each man. In each case, a range of masculine social and cultural roles became implicated in accusations of witchcraft, making it possible to explore how beliefs in witches interacted with early modern English gender cultures to support the religious, legal, and cultural logic of the male witch. The result is an approach to early modern English witchcraft prosecution that includes, rather than problematizes, the male witch.
With their dramatic descriptions of black masses and cannibalistic feasts, the records generated by the Basque witch-craze of 160914 provide us with arguably the most demonologically-stereotypical accounts of the witches sabbath or akelarre to have emerged from early modern Europe. While the trials have attracted scholarly attention, the most substantial monograph on the subject was written nearly forty years ago and most works have focused on the ways in which interrogators shaped the pattern of prosecutions and the testimonies of defendants. Invoking the Akelarre diverts from this norm by employing more recent historiographical paradigms to analyze the contributions of the accused. Through interdisciplinary analyses of both French- and Spanish-Basque records, it argues that suspects were not passive recipients of elite demonological stereotypes but animated these received templates with their own belief and experience, from the dark exoticism of magical conjuration, liturgical cursing and theatrical misrule to the sharp pragmatism of domestic medical practice and everyday religious observance. In highlighting the range of raw materials available to the suspects, the book helps us to understand how the fiction of the witches sabbath emerged to such prominence in contemporary mentalities, whilst also restoring some agency to the defendants and nuancing the historical thesis that stereotypical content points to interrogatorial opinion and folkloric content to the voices of the accused. In its local context, this study provides an intimate portrait of peasant communities as they flourished in the Basque region in this period and leaves us with the irony that Europes most sensationally-demonological accounts of the witches sabbath may have evolved out of a particularly ardent commitment, on the part of ordinary Basques, to the social and devotional structures of popular Catholicism.
An essential volume for the libraries of all serious students of the Tarot. When the Tarot was invented in Italy during the early fifteenth century, it was simply a pack of cards used for playing games. Esoteric interpretations of the pack date from late eighteenth century France, and were confined to that country for a hundred years. But today the cards are used throughout the world and not only for fortune telling - for true believers they are the key to secret knowledge and the meaning of life. A History of the Occult Tarot is the classic work on the history of the Tarot deck and its use in occult circles. Starting with the late nineteenth century, the Decker and Dummett examine how the Tarot became the favoured divination tool of occultists, a bridge to the spirit world, and a map of the unconscious. From Theosophical to Aleister Crowley to the Order of the Golden Dawn and P.D. Ouspensky, this compelling survey of the Tarot's history describes the many fascinating decks imagined over time as well as the secret histories of mystics.
The Hermetic Museum takes readers on a magical mystery tour spanning an arc from the medieval cosmogram and images of Christian mysticism, through the fascinating world of alchemy to the art of the Romantic era. The enigmatic hieroglyphs of cabalists, Rosicrucians, and freemasons are shown to be closely linked with the early scientific illustrations in the fields of medicine, chemistry, optics, and color theory. Even for those with no knowledge of the fascinating history of alchemy, this book is a delight to explore. Each richly illustrated chapter begins with an introduction and quotes from alchemists by specialist Alexander Roob. The roots of surrealism and many other more recent artistic movements can be found in this treasure trove. About the series Bibliotheca Universalis - Compact cultural companions celebrating the eclectic TASCHEN universe!
Film is a kind of magic, a world of shadows and light, where anything is possible and the dead come back to life. Film can persuade us to believe in anything and special effects can work miracles. It is therefore the perfect medium for expressing occult phenomena, and since the beginnings of cinema history, film has done just that. Movie Magick explores the way in which films have been inspired by Alesiter Crowley's famous definition of "Magick" as "the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will." This naturally encompasses classic occult movies, such as Hammer's adaptations of Dennis Wheatley's The Devil Rides Out, but also ventures further afield into the cultural background of the modern occult revival, exploring the way in which occult movies have responded to the esthetics of fin de siecle decadence, the symbolist writings of Villiers de l'Isle Adam, Wagnerian music drama, the Faust legend, the pseudo-science of Theosophy, the occult psychedelia of the 1960s, occult conspiracy theories and some of the more arcane aspects of animation. The result is a cinematic grimoire, which will appeal to both sorcerers and apprentices of movie magick.
While many of the details of Crowley's life have been well documented, 'Portable Darkness' is the first book to tackle the formidable task of collecting the best of his voluminous lifework. In bringing together Crowley's best writings, editor Scott Michaelsen makes Crowleyan philosophy both accessible and intelligible.
Between 1875 and 1947, a period bookended, respectively, by the founding of the Theosophical Society and the death of notorious occultist celebrity Aleister Crowley, Britain experienced an unparalleled efflorescence of engagement with unusual occult schema and supernatural phenomena such as astral travel, ritual magic, and reincarnationism. Reflecting the signal array of responses by authors, artists, actors, impresarios and popular entertainers to questions of esoteric spirituality and belief, this interdisciplinary collection demonstrates the enormous interest in the occult during a time typically associated with the rise of secularization and scientific innovation. The contributors describe how the occult realm functions as a turbulent conceptual and affective space, shifting between poles of faith and doubt, the sacrosanct and the profane, the endemic and the exotic, the forensic and the fetishistic. Here, occultism emerges as a practice and epistemology that decisively shapes the literary enterprises of writers such as Dion Fortune and Arthur Machen, artists such as Pamela Colman Smith, and revivalists such as Rolf Gardiner
Throughout its long history, Freetown, Massachusetts, has been a hotbed of criminal and supernatural occurrences in the towns State Forest. This is the first account of how its darker side connects hauntings with violent crime and local cults. Native American ghosts roam here and evil lurks, making the forest a haven for nasty creatures (the Pukwudgies). A witch looks for favors from young men, satan cults thrive, and killers kill. Read first-hand accounts from police officials and criminals about the forest. Learn why hauntings continue today. Many come here to enjoy the beauty of Freetown State Forest; these are the stories of those who cannot leave.
Defining 'magic' is a maddening task. Over the last century numerous philosophers, anthropologists, historians, and theologians have attempted to pin down its essential meaning, sometimes analysing it in such complex and abstruse depth that it all but loses its sense altogether. For this reason, many people often shy away from providing a detailed definition, assuming it is generally understood as the human control of supernatural forces. 'Magic' continues to pervade the popular imagination and idiom. People feel comfortable with its contemporary multiple meanings, unaware of the controversy, conflict, and debate its definition has caused over two and a half millennia. In common usage today 'magic' is uttered in reference to the supernatural, superstition, illusion, trickery, religious miracles, fantasies, and as a simple superlative. The literary confection known as 'magical realism' has considerable appeal and many modern scientists have ironically incorporated the word into their vocabulary, with their 'magic acid', 'magic bullets' and 'magic angles'. Since the so-called European Enlightenment magic has often been seen as a marker of primitivism, of a benighted earlier stage of human development. Yet across the modern globalized world hundreds of millions continue to resort to magic - and also to fear it. Magic provides explanations and remedies for those living in extreme poverty and without access to alternatives. In the industrial West, with its state welfare systems, religious fundamentalists decry the continued moral threat posed by magic. Under the guise of neo-Paganism, its practice has become a religion in itself. Magic continues to be a truly global issue. This Very Short Introduction does not attempt to provide a concluding definition of magic: it is beyond simple definition. Instead it explores the many ways in which magic, as an idea and a practice, has been understood and employed over the millennia. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Haunting has long been a compelling element in popular culture, and has become an influential category in academic engagements with politics, economics, and aesthetics. While recent scholarship has used psychoanalysis and the Gothic as frameworks with which to study haunting, this volume seeks to situate ghosts in the cultural imagination. The chapters in Popular Ghosts are united by the impulse to theorize the cultural work that ghosts do within the trans-historical contexts that comprise our understanding of everyday life. These authors study the theoretical and aesthetic genealogies of the spectral, while also commenting on the multiple everyday spaces that this category occupies. Rather than looking to a single tradition or medium, the essays in PopularGhosts explore film, novels, photography, television, music, social practices, and political structures from different cultures to reopen the questions that surround our haunted sense of the everyday.
Inspired by the work of eminent scholar Richard Kieckhefer, The Sacred and the Sinister explores the ambiguities that made (and make) medieval religion and magic so difficult to differentiate. The essays in this collection investigate how the holy and unholy were distinguished in medieval Europe, where their characteristics diverged, and the implications of that deviation. In the Middle Ages, the natural world was understood as divinely created and infused with mysterious power. This world was accessible to human knowledge and susceptible to human manipulation through three modes of engagement: religion, magic, and science. How these ways of understanding developed in light of modern notions of rationality is an important element of ongoing scholarly conversation. As Kieckhefer has emphasized, ambiguity and ambivalence characterize medieval understandings of the divine and demonic powers at work in the world. The ten chapters in this volume focus on four main aspects of this assertion: the cult of the saints, contested devotional relationships and practices, unsettled judgments between magic and religion, and inconclusive distinctions between magic and science. Freshly insightful, this study of ambiguity between magic and religion will be of special interest to scholars in the fields of medieval studies, religious studies, European history, and the history of science. In addition to the editor, the contributors to this volume are Michael D. Bailey, Kristi Woodward Bain, Maeve B. Callan, Elizabeth Casteen, Claire Fanger, Sean L. Field, Anne M. Koenig, Katelyn Mesler, and Sophie Page.
Spectres of the Self is a fascinating study of the rich cultures surrounding the experience of seeing ghosts in England from the Reformation to the twentieth century. Shane McCorristine examines a vast range of primary and secondary sources, showing how ghosts, apparitions, and hallucinations were imagined, experienced, and debated from the pages of fiction to the case reports of the Society for Psychical Research. By analysing a broad range of themes from telepathy and ghost-hunting to the notion of dreaming while awake and the question of why ghosts wore clothes, Dr McCorristine reveals the sheer variety of ideas of ghost seeing in English society and culture. He shows how the issue of ghosts remained dynamic despite the advance of science and secularism and argues that the ghost ultimately represented a spectre of the self, a symbol of the psychological hauntedness of modern experience.
This is the truth about demons and demonology - in more than 400 entries. The conflict between good and evil can be found in every culture, mythical tradition, and religion throughout history. In many cases, the source of evil has been personified as demons or devils, and in many belief systems, both are considered to be real entities operating outside the boundaries of the physical world to torment people or lead them astray. In some traditions demons are believed to be the direct opposite of angels, working against the forces of good and challenging them. Real or not, demons are at the heart of many fascinating beliefs and traditions, several of which are widely held today. ""The Encyclopedia of Demons and Demonology"" explores this dark aspect of folklore and religion and the role that demons play in the modern world. This comprehensive resource presents more than 400 entries and more than 80 black-and-white photographs documenting beliefs about demons and demonology from ancient history to the present. The key topics covered include: Demons in different cultural and religious traditions; Demons in folklore and popular culture; Exorcism and other means of confronting demons; Historical cases of possession and demon activity; The history of demonology; Magic and witchcraft; Possession and other demonic phenomena; Modern-day demonologists and exorcists; Strange creatures and entities related to demons; and, Types of demons.
This intriguing collection of essays presents reflections upon the birth, proliferation, enduring appeal, and future of extraterrestrial mythology. Highly respected authors and researchers representing the varied and sometimes competing perspectives of ufology and the sociology of religion provide a fascinating and instructive voyage into the social worlds of UFOs, abductees, and contactees. Reports of aliens and the changing nature of abduction experience, even its sexual dimension, are explored in relation to literature, cultural practices, and ideology. The influence of abduction therapy and support groups is considered, as are New Religious Movements with extraterrestrial themes. Alien Worlds will enlighten anyone wanting to understand what and how the academic world thinks about UFOs, contactee groups, and alien phenomena.
"Witches and Neighbours "is a highly original and unconventional
analysis of a fascinating historical phenomenon. Unlike other
studies of the subject which focus on the mechanisms of
persecution, this book presents a rich picture of witchcraft as an
all-pervasive aspect of life in early modern Europe.
Robin Briggs combines recent research with his own
investigations to produce a brilliant and compelling account of the
central role of witchcraft in the past. Although the history of
witchcraft can only be studied through records of persecutions,
these reveal that trials were unusual in everyday life and that
witchcraft can be viewed as a form of therapy. Witchcraft was also
an outlet and expression of many fundamental anxieties of society
and individuals in a time when life was precarious. The book argues
that witchcraft - its belief and persecutions - cannot be explained
by general causes but was as complex and changing as the society of
which it formed a vital part.
Since its original publication in 1996, this book has become the
standard work on the subject of witchcraft. It now appears in a
revised edition with an updated bibliography.
This book is not available from Blackwell in the United States and the Philippines.
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