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Beginning in January 1692, Salem Village in colonial Massachusetts witnessed the largest and most lethal outbreak of witchcraft in early America. Villagers-mainly young women-suffered from unseen torments that caused them to writhe, shriek, and contort their bodies, complaining of pins stuck into their flesh and of being haunted by specters. Believing that they suffered from assaults by an invisible spirit, the community began a hunt to track down those responsible for the demonic work. The resulting Salem Witch Trials, culminating in the execution of 19 villagers, persists as one of the most mysterious and fascinating events in American history. Historians have speculated on a web of possible causes for the witchcraft that stated in Salem and spread across the region-religious crisis, ergot poisoning, an encephalitis outbreak, frontier war hysteria-but most agree that there was no single factor. Rather, as Emerson Baker illustrates in this seminal new work, Salem was "a perfect storm": a unique convergence of conditions and events that produced something extraordinary throughout New England in 1692 and the following years, and which has haunted us ever since. Baker shows how a range of factors in the Bay colony in the 1690s, including a new charter and government, a lethal frontier war, and religious and political conflicts, set the stage for the dramatic events in Salem. Engaging a range of perspectives, he looks at the key players in the outbreak-the accused witches and the people they allegedly bewitched, as well as the judges and government officials who prosecuted them-and wrestles with questions about why the Salem tragedy unfolded as it did, and why it has become an enduring legacy. Salem in 1692 was a critical moment for the fading Puritan government of Massachusetts Bay, whose attempts to suppress the story of the trials and erase them from memory only fueled the popular imagination. Baker argues that the trials marked a turning point in colonial history from Puritan communalism to Yankee independence, from faith in collective conscience to skepticism toward moral governance. A brilliantly told tale, A Storm of Witchcraft also puts Salem's storm into its broader context as a part of the ongoing narrative of American history and the history of the Atlantic World.
Feeling Exclusion: Religious Conflict, Exile and Emotions in Early Modern Europe investigates the emotional experience of exclusion at the heart of the religious life of persecuted and exiled individuals and communities in early modern Europe. Between the late fifteenth and early eighteenth centuries an unprecedented number of people in Europe were forced to flee their native lands and live in a state of physical or internal exile as a result of religious conflict and upheaval. Drawing on new insights from history of emotions methodologies, Feeling Exclusion explores the complex relationships between communities in exile, the homelands from which they fled or were exiled, and those from whom they sought physical or psychological assistance. It examines the various coping strategies religious refugees developed to deal with their marginalization and exclusion, and investigates the strategies deployed in various media to generate feelings of exclusion through models of social difference, that questioned the loyalty, values, and trust of "others". Accessibly written, divided into three thematic parts, and enhanced by a variety of illustrations, Feeling Exclusion is perfect for students and researchers of early modern emotions and religion.
Magic: The Basics is a concise and engaging introduction to magic in world history and contemporary societies. Presenting magic as a global phenomenon which has manifested in all human cultures, this book takes a thematic approach which explores the historical, social, and cultural aspects of magic. Key features include: attempts to define magic either in universal or more particular terms, and to contrast it with other broad and potentially fluid categories such as religion and science; an examination of different forms of magical practice and the purposes for which magic has been used; debates about magic's effectiveness, its reality, and its morality; an exploration of magic's association with certain social factors, such as gender, ethnicity and education, among others. Offering a global perspective of magic from antiquity through to the modern era and including a glossary of key terms, suggestions for further reading and case studies throughout, Magic: The Basics is essential reading for anyone seeking to learn more about the academic study of magic.
In this innovative study, Colombian technology writer Mauricio Loza pursues an intriguing thesis on the origin of psychology and modern media, namely that they arise from the magical arts of the Renaissance, and it is there that we must seek what Ioan Culianu called "the prototype of the impersonal systems of the media, of indirect censorship, of global manipulation and of the trusts that exercise their occult control over the Western masses." The Hounds of Actaeon takes up Culianu's thesis to trace a history that unites such Renaissance luminaries as Marsilio Ficino and Giordano Bruno with modern thinkers, including Sigmund Freud, Wilhelm Reich, and Guy Debord. It covers a broad historical and intellectual terrain ranging from the Renaissance magic, through eighteenth-century medicine and nineteenth-century psychology, to the propaganda and media warfare of the twentieth century, proving that the modern era, secular in appearance, continues to be profoundly influenced by pre-modern ways of thinking. The importance of this study is twofold: on the one hand it elaborates a fresh perspective on certain themes of Renaissance erotic magic and its relation to mass psychology and psychoanalysis, while, on the other, it offers an alternative for the study of the media strategies that determine Western worldviews and behaviors.
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. 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.
What does it mean to be a Psychic Witch? Psychic Witch is a guide to learning about and understanding what it means to be a practicing Witch with psychic ability. Carolyn shows you how listening to your inner voice, following nature's rhythms and living Magickally, can assist you in everyday life. She gives you the tools needed to open your psychic potential and the keys to being in balance with the natural world around you. You will learn about psychic energy, creating a spiritual practice through prayer, meditation, affirmations and chakra work, and how being psychic will affect you. This book will teach you the tools needed in order to work with and communicate with the Spiritual realms, what spell work to perform that will help enhance your psychic abilities and how using divination tools can assist you. Each chapter includes a Psychic lesson plan to help guide you along this journey and personal psychic stories by the author as well as her own psychic premonitions regarding future events. This is a must read for any Witch who has only just begun to tap into his or her psychic abilities.
These days, development inspires scant trust in the West. For
critics who condemn centralized efforts to plan African societies
as latter day imperialism, such plans too closely reflect their
roots in colonial rule and neoliberal economics. But proponents of
this pessimistic view often ignore how significant this concept has
become for Africans themselves. In "Bewitching Development," James
Howard Smith presents a close ethnographic account of how people in
the Taita Hills of Kenya have appropriated and made sense of
development thought and practice, focusing on the complex ways that
development connects with changing understandings of
Essential reading for anyone seeking to understand witchcraft branding as a contemporary form of child abuse. Witchcraft accusations against children are occurring ever more frequently in the UK yet continue to be underestimated by social work professionals. This concise book provides a personal narrative of witchcraft being used as a tool for the infliction of child abuse. The narrative is interspersed with reflective questions, practice dilemmas and relevant links to contemporary policy and practice in social work. Written in an accessible style, it gives an honest insider's perspective of the unusual form of cruelty and abuse suffered by children in minority communities in the UK. For those embarking on or already in a career in social work, this book is an invaluable read.
The Abyssal Communion and Rite of Imbibement are two of Daemonolatry's richest traditional rites, full of symbolism and beauty. Learn the symbolism behind the rites as well as how to perform them and incorporate them into your regular practice. Modification suggestions also included for additional inspiration. Perfect for Priests or solitary practitioners. Makes a great temple or coven gift.
In Colonial Transactions Florence Bernault moves beyond the racial divide that dominates colonial studies of Africa. Instead, she illuminates the strange and frightening imaginaries that colonizers and colonized shared on the ground. Bernault looks at Gabon from the late nineteenth century to the present, historicizing the most vivid imaginations and modes of power in Africa today: French obsessions with cannibals, the emergence of vampires and witches in the Gabonese imaginary, and the use of human organs for fetishes. Struggling over objects, bodies, agency, and values, colonizers and colonized entered relations that are better conceptualized as "transactions." Together they also shared an awareness of how the colonial situation broke down moral orders and forced people to use the evil side of power. This foreshadowed the ways in which people exercise agency in contemporary Africa, as well as the proliferation of magical fears and witchcraft anxieties in present-day Gabon. Overturning theories of colonial and postcolonial nativism, this book is essential reading for historians and anthropologists of witchcraft, power, value, and the body.
This volume investigates the physical evidence for magic in medieval and modern Britain, including ritual mark, concealed objects, amulets, and magical equipment. The contributors are the current experts in each area of the subject, and show between them how ample the evidence is and how important it is for an understanding of history.
This book is the first major study of England's biggest and best-known witch trial which took place in 1612, when ten witches were arraigned and hung in the village of Pendle in Lancashire. The book has equal appeal across the disciplines of both History and English Literature/Renaissance Studies, with essays by the leading experts in both fields. Includes helpful summaries to explain the key points of each essay. Brings the subject up-to-date with a study of modern Wicca and paganism, including present-day Lancashire witches. Quite simply, this is the most comprehensive study of any English witch trial. -- .
As the author notes, `The early-modern European witch-hunts were neither orchestrated massacres nor spontaneous pogroms. Alleged witches were not rounded up at night and summarily killed extra-judicially or lynched as the victims of mob justice. They were executed after trial and conviction with full legal process'. In this concise but highly-informed account of the persecution of witches, Gregory Durston demonstrates what a largely ordered process was the singling-out or hunting-down of perceived offenders. How a mix of superstition, fear, belief and ready explanations for ailments, misfortune or disasters caused law, politics and religion to indulge in criminalisation and the appearance of justice. Bearing echoes of modern-day `othering' and marginalisation of outsiders he shows how witchcraft became akin to treason (with its special rules), how evidentially speaking storms, sickness or coincidence might be attributed to conjuring, magic, curses and spells. All this reinforced by examples and detailed references to the law and practice through which a desired outcome was achieved. In another resonance with modern-times the author shows how decisions were often diverted into the hands of witch-hunters, witch-finders (including self-appointed Witchfinder General, Matthew Hopkins), witch-prickers and other experts as well as the quaintly titled `cunning-folk' consulted by prosecutors and `victims'. Crimen Exceptum (crimes apart). A straightforward and authoritative guide. Shows the rise and fall of prosecutions. Backed by a wealth of learning and research.
As the "companion" to the Book of Satanic Magic, the Book of Satanic Ritual goes in depth to explain ritual and theory behind magical workings. Written for the serious practitioner of the Satanic Arts, this book reveals the secrets to successful ceremonies and Satanic Rituals in an "easy to understand" format. Celebrated as a follow up book on the subject, Magus Aleister Nacht guides the reader to logical understanding while allowing them freedom to retain their Satanic individuality during rituals, spells, curses, rites and other practices used by a single practitioner or a Satanic Coven. The Book of Satanic Ritual is a must for any serious practitioner of the Sinister Magical Arts.
From the author of the highly acclaimed Wiccan Roots, this is the first full-length biography of Gerald Brosseau Gardner (1884-1964) a very personal tale of the man who single-handedly brought about the revival of witchcraft in England in the mid 20th Century.
From his birth into an old family of wealthy Liverpool merchants, through an unconventional upbringing by his flamboyant governess in the resorts of the Mediterranean and Madeira, it tells how, having taught himself to read, his life was changed by finding a book on spiritualism.
A fascinating, wide-ranging survey of the history of possession and exorcism through the ages In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the era of the Reformation, thousands of Europeans were thought to be possessed by demons. In response to their horrifying symptoms-violent convulsions, displays of preternatural strength, vomiting of foreign objects, displaying contempt for sacred objects, and others-exorcists were summoned to expel the evil spirits from victims' bodies. This compelling book focuses on possession and exorcism in the Reformation period, but also reaches back to the fifteenth century and forward to our own times. Entire convents of nuns in French, Italian, and Spanish towns, 30 boys in an Amsterdam orphanage, a small group of young girls in Salem, Massachusetts-these are among the instances of demon possession in the United States and throughout Europe that Brian Levack closely examines, taking into account the diverse interpretations of generations of theologians, biblical scholars, pastors, physicians, anthropologists, psychiatrists, and historians. Challenging the commonly held belief that possession signals physical or mental illness, the author argues that demoniacs and exorcists-consciously or not-are following their various religious cultures, and their performances can only be understood in those contexts.
'ORDO-WALPURGA' translates from German to mean, 'ORDER OF THE WITCH.' This occult doctrine is a Satanic witchly exultation unto black flame. Through it, the black magic practitioner can glean and hone his/her psychometric skills of the arcane arts to overcome any material or supernatural obstacle, and bend the world around you unto your will.
This book reflects on Western humanity's efforts to escape from history and its terrors--from the existential condition and natural disasters to the endless succession of wars and other man-made catastrophes. Drawing on historical episodes ranging from antiquity to the recent past, and combining them with literary examples and personal reflections, Teofilo Ruiz explores the embrace of religious experiences, the pursuit of worldly success and pleasures, and the quest for beauty and knowledge as three primary responses to the individual and collective nightmares of history. The result is a profound meditation on how men and women in Western society sought (and still seek) to make meaning of the world and its disturbing history.
In chapters that range widely across Western history and culture, "The Terror of History" takes up religion, the material world, and the world of art and knowledge. "Religion and the World to Come" examines orthodox and heterodox forms of spirituality, apocalyptic movements, mysticism, supernatural beliefs, and many forms of esotericism, including magic, alchemy, astrology, and witchcraft. "The World of Matter and the Senses" considers material riches, festivals and carnivals, sports, sex, and utopian communities. Finally, "The Lure of Beauty and Knowledge" looks at cultural productions of all sorts, from art to scholarship.
Combining astonishing historical breadth with a personal and accessible narrative style, "The Terror of History" is a moving testimony to the incredibly diverse ways humans have sought to cope with their frightening history.
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