Cunning Folk And Familiar Spirits

Author: Emma Wilby
Editor:
ISBN:
Size: 14,87 MB
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In the hundreds of confessions relating to witchcraft and sorcery trials from early modern Britain we frequently find detailed descriptions of intimate working relationships between popular magical practitioners and familiar spirits of either human or animal form. Until recently historians often dismissed these descriptions as elaborate fictions created by judicial interrogators eager to find evidence of stereotypical pacts with the Devil. Although this paradigm is now routinely questioned, and most historians acknowledge that there was a folkloric component to familiar lore in the period, these beliefs and the experiences reportedly associated with them, remain substantially unexamined. Cunning-Folk and Familiar Spirits examines the folkloric roots of familiar lore from historical, anthropological and comparative religious perspectives. It argues that beliefs about witches' familiars were rooted in beliefs surrounding the use of fairy familiars by beneficent magical practitioners or 'cunning folk', and corroborates this through a comparative analysis of familiar beliefs found in traditional native American and Siberian shamanism. The author explores the experiential dimension of familiar lore by drawing parallels between early modern familiar encounters and visionary mysticism as it appears in both tribal shamanism and medieval European contemplative traditions. These perspectives challenge the reductionist view of popular magic in early modern British often presented by historians.

Invoking The Akelarre

Author: Emma Wilby
Editor:
ISBN: 9781845199999
Size: 17,58 MB
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With their dramatic descriptions of black masses and cannibalistic feasts, the records generated by the Basque witch-craze of 1609-14 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 Europe's 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.

The Visions Of Isobel Gowdie

Author: Emma Wilby
Editor:
ISBN: 9781845191795
Size: 16,86 MB
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The witchcraft confessions given by Isobel Gowdie (in Auldearn, Scotland in 1662)are widely celebrated as the most extraordinary on record in Britain. Their descriptive power, vivid imagery, and contentious subject matter have attracted considerable interest on both academic and popular levels. This book, written by Emma Wilby, author of the critically acclaimed Cunning Folk and Familiar Spirits, provides the first full-length examination of the confessions and the life and character of the woman behind them. The author's discovery of the original trial records, deemed lost for nearly 200 years, provides a starting point for an interdisciplinary endeavor to separate Isobel's voice from that of her interrogators, to identify the beliefs and experiences that informed her testimony, and to analyze why her confessions differ so markedly from those of other witchcraft suspects from the period. In the course of these enquiries, the author develops wider hypotheses relevant to the study of early modern witchcraft as a whole, bringing together for the first time recent research into Amazonian 'dark' shamanism, false-memory generation, and mutual-dream experience, along with literature on marriage-covenant mysticism and protection-charm traditions. Emma Wilby concludes that close analysis of Isobel's confessions supports the still-controversial hypothesis that in 17th-Century Scotland, as in other parts of Europe in this period, popular spirituality was shaped through a deep interaction between church teachings and shamanistic traditions of pre-Christian origin. She also extends this thesis beyond its normal association with beneficent magic and overtly folkloric themes to speculate that some of Europe's more malevolent and demonological witch-narratives may also have emerged out of visionary rites underpinned by cogent shamanistic rationales.

Southern Cunning

Author: Aaron Oberon
Editor: John Hunt Publishing
ISBN: 178904197X
Size: 14,66 MB
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Southern Cunning is a journey through the folklore of the American South and a look at the power these stories hold for modern witches. Through the lens of folklore, animism, and bioregionalism the book shows how to bring rituals in folklore into the modern day and presents a uniquely American approach to witchcraft born out of the land and practical application.

John Stearne S Confirmation And Discovery Of Witchcraft

Author: Scott Eaton
Editor: Routledge
ISBN: 1000079430
Size: 19,62 MB
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Between 1645-7, John Stearne led the most significant outbreak of witch-hunting in England. As accusations of witchcraft spread across East Anglia, Stearne and Matthew Hopkins were enlisted by villagers to identify and eradicate witches. After the trials finally subsided in 1648, Stearne wrote his only publication, A confirmation and discovery of witchcraft, but it had a limited readership. Consequently, Stearne and his work fell into obscurity until the 1800s, and were greatly overshadowed by Hopkins and his text. This book is the first study which analyses Stearne’s publication and contextualises his ideas within early modern intellectual cultures of religion, demonology, gender, science, and print in order to better understand the witch-finder’s beliefs and motives. The book argues that Stearne was a key player in the trials, that he was not a mainstream ‘puritan’, and that his witch-finding availed from contemporary science. It traces A confirmation’s reception history from 1648 to modern day and argues that the lack of research focusing on Stearne has resulted in misrepresentations of the witch-finder in the historiography of witchcraft. This book redresses the imbalance and seeks to provide an alternative reading of the East Anglian witch-hunt and of England’s premier witch-hunter, John Stearne.

Spirit Conjuring For Witches

Author: Frater Barrabbas
Editor: Llewellyn Worldwide
ISBN: 0738751162
Size: 12,11 MB
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The greatest Witches of folklore practiced their craft by conjuring spirits and employing a familiar spirit. Now, centuries later, these arts—supposedly the domain of ceremonial magicians only—can be perfected by modern Witches. In this groundbreaking book, Witch and ritual magician Frater Barrabbas shares a system of Witchcraft-based magic developed for safely performing invocations and evocations, handling fallen spirits and Goetic demons, traveling in the spirit world, creating a spirit pact, and constructing your own rituals for spirit conjuring. To help you get to know the full breadth of the spirit world, Spirit Conjuring for Witches includes a unique list of spirits as well as techniques for working with sigils and recommendations for classical grimoires. Exploring history, folktales, and personal experiences, this book shows how to magically develop relationships with spirits and ultimately master both the spirit and material worlds. Praise: "A clear and distinct body of tools and rituals for working with a broad range of spirits. If you are a witch looking for a more formal approach to this field, this may be the book for you."—Ivo Dominguez Jr., author of Spirit Speaks and Practical Astrology for Witches and Pagans "Frater Barrabbas has made a valuable contribution to the practice of modern witchcraft...This is a very thorough and carefully developed invitation to revive the practice of magical evocation that historically played so central a role in witchcraft and magic."—Jim Baker, author of The Cunning Man's Handbook "Frater Barrabbas shows how modern Witches can also reclaim their ability to conjure spirits in the age-old tradition of evoking beings of the Otherworld to attain knowledge or obtain practical results in this world. With the current revival in the publication, study and use of the classical grimoires, witches who are drawn to the practice of the magickal evocation of spirits now have a detailed guide to the inner preparations and outer practices necessary to evoke spirits safely and correctly."—Jonathan Nightshade, Gardnerian HP, Traditional Crafter and Sorcerer "I wish that there had a book like Spirit Conjuring for Witches back when; it would have saved me any number of missteps along the way. With more than forty years of experience under his cincture, Frater Barabbas speaks with a voice of wisdom, clarity and authority: truly one of the Thirteen Human Treasures of Paganistan."—Steven Posch, Traditional Witch and Host of Radio Paganistan "As Witches we all work with Deity and various spirits; but can you honestly say you communicate with them? This book is a valuable resource for every serious Witch's library. The author has outlined how to truly connect with that spirit realm, which allows us to build a relationship with those we work with."—Lady Adariana, Gardnerian HPS

Witchcraft Magic And Superstition In England 1640 70

Author: Frederick Valletta
Editor: Ashgate Pub Limited
ISBN: 9780754602446
Size: 19,24 MB
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This study examines the relationship between élite and popular beliefs in witchcraft, magic and superstition in England, analyzing such beliefs against the background of political, religious and social upheaval characteristic of the Civil War, Interregnum and Restoration periods.

Satan S Conspiracy

Author: P. G. Maxwell-Stuart
Editor: Dundurn
ISBN: 9781862321366
Size: 15,30 MB
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Synthesizing the evidence for magic and witchcraft in 16th-century Scotland, this book profiles unpublished manuscripts, 19th- and early-20th-century transcriptions, and passing remarks in the histories of shires and boroughs. Preliminary suggestions are made about how these sources can be interpreted, so that nature scholars of Scottish witchcraft in particular will be able to more easily construct their theories with the analyses provided.

Possessed By The Devil

Author: Andrew Sneddon
Editor: The History Press
ISBN: 0752480871
Size: 14,27 MB
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In 1711, in County Antrim, eight women were put on trial accused of orchestrating the demonic possession of young Mary Dunbar, and the haunting and supernatural murder of a local clergyman’s wife. Mary Dunbar was the star witness in this trial, and the women were, by the standards of the time, believable witches – they smoked, they drank, they just did not look right. With echoes of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible and the Salem witch-hunt, this is a story of murder, of hysteria, and of how the ‘witch craze’ that claimed over 40,000 lives in Europe played out on Irish shores.

The Oxford Handbook Of Witchcraft In Early Modern Europe And Colonial America

Author: Brian P. Levack
Editor: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191648841
Size: 20,24 MB
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The essays in this Handbook, written by leading scholars working in the rapidly developing field of witchcraft studies, explore the historical literature regarding witch beliefs and witch trials in Europe and colonial America between the early fifteenth and early eighteenth centuries. During these years witches were thought to be evil people who used magical power to inflict physical harm or misfortune on their neighbours. Witches were also believed to have made pacts with the devil and sometimes to have worshipped him at nocturnal assemblies known as sabbaths. These beliefs provided the basis for defining witchcraft as a secular and ecclesiastical crime and prosecuting tens of thousands of women and men for this offence. The trials resulted in as many as fifty thousand executions. These essays study the rise and fall of witchcraft prosecutions in the various kingdoms and territories of Europe and in English, Spanish, and Portuguese colonies in the Americas. They also relate these prosecutions to the Catholic and Protestant reformations, the introduction of new forms of criminal procedure, medical and scientific thought, the process of state-building, profound social and economic change, early modern patterns of gender relations, and the wave of demonic possessions that occurred in Europe at the same time. The essays survey the current state of knowledge in the field, explore the academic controversies that have arisen regarding witch beliefs and witch trials, propose new ways of studying the subject, and identify areas for future research.