Friday, December 26, 2014

Season's Greetings


Here's to the bright New Year
 And a fond farewell to the old;
 Here's to the things that are yet to come

 And to the memories that we hold.


image by Jane Brighton

Friday, December 19, 2014

Krampus

 Krapus is the stuff of nightmares.  His name comes from the German and is translated as ‘claw’.  This counterpart to jolly St. Nicholas is the son of the Underworld Goddess Hel from Norse mythology.  

Human in size, he traditionally bears a dark and hideous mane, his body covered in matted fur and hellish burning eyes.  With a head possessing horns and the all too familiar sharp fangs from his gaping mouth, his is a frightening visage during this holiday season.  

Shaking his bells and chains, he hurries down the streets and lanes swatting at children with his birch bundle and peeks into windows in search of those who were naughty not nice.

Christmas celebrations in Germany begin to get underway in early December; the 6th of the month is known as Krampusnacht or Krampus Night.  A shoe or a boot was traditionally left on the doorstep by the child of the house in hopes that it would be filled with goodies. To peek under the shade was risky business as Krampus was about and he knew all to well if that child had misbehaved.  The family would explain to the quivering youngster that "there would be no last minute reprieve and it would be down, down to the Underworld with you if Krampus discovers how naughty you have been!"  Alas! Krampus night was forbidden eventually by the Catholic Church, not because it was frightening for children, but due to its pagan origins.

 However, never fear, the tradition has been revived in parts of Germany and the Festival of Krampus is alive and well.  Children are still subject to a light swat and a scooping up but the Underworld condemnation has been replaced by feasting and merriment.

Friday, December 12, 2014

All Acts of Love and Pleasure

  “All acts of love and pleasure are my rituals” ~ The Charge of the Goddess

All Acts of Love and Pleasure is a companion guide to inclusive Wicca, which includes all participants regardless of sexual orientation, disability, age, or other differences, not by erasing or ignoring the distinctions, but by working with them creatively within initiatory Craft. Tracing the development of Pagan and Wiccan ideas about gender and sexuality, authority and tradition, we can see that the Craft has evolved since the 1950s, and will continue to develop in the future.

The author examines different ideas in relation to initiatory Wicca, such as eco-spirituality, science, truth, the sacred, sexuality, consent culture, tradition, and magic, and how these concepts can be explored as part of a liberal religious tradition and training as a priestess or priest in Wicca. Each chapter offers further reading, a meditation or visualization, and practical ideas for rituals and discussions. By examining the origins and relevance of Wiccan concepts, the reader is challenged to explore their own views and how they express their own spirituality.

Although the aim of this book is to act as a guide to existing initiatory covens who want to make their practice more inclusive, its scope is much broader as it deals with wide-ranging issues including group dynamics, coven leadership, ritual, ethics, and Wiccan theology and practice.  It is sure to appeal to Pagans, Magicians, Druids and Witches, of all persuasions and views.

This is a 'soon to be released' title available through http://avaloniabooks.co.uk/



Yvonne Aburrow was initiated into Gardnerian Wicca in 1991.  She is an author and poet, with an MA in Contemporary Religions and Spiritualities from Bath Spa University.  All Acts of Love and Pleasure is her eighth published work.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Perchten Pagan Festival

Perchta or Berchta, also known as Percht, is a goddess in Southern Germanic paganism found in the Alpine countries and means "the bright one".

The word Perchten is the commonly used when speaking of her entourage; it also refers to the type of masks worn in the mountains of Austria that are animal or fantasy-like.  

During the 16th century it was believed that the Perchten took two forms, some were beautiful and benevolent bringing prosperity and good fortune to the inhabitants.  However, there is a darker more demon-like variety of Perchten known as 'Schiachperchten' who were terrifying.  They possessed ugly faces, protruding eyes, sharp fangs and tail of a horse; these were the ones that were called upon to drive out any demons or ghosts from the village.

A form of exorcists for home security, this particular form of Perchten were invited into the home in order to find and drive out any ill-spirits that might be hiding, causing misfortune and havoc for the inhabitants.

The tradition continues as part of the holidays of Salzburg and Austria today.


Perchten Pagan Festival

Friday, November 28, 2014

Witchcraft Today: 60 Years On

 by Trevor Greenfield  (Author)

In the sixty years following the publication of Gerald Gardner’s Witchcraft Today, new paths have appeared, and older ones emerged out of the shadow of repression and illegality, to express with a new and more confident voice their beliefs and practice, and share, with a steadily growing audience, their knowledge, their certainties, their questions and their vision. 

This book is a celebration of some of the many paths that Witchcraft/Wicca has taken and of the journeys that people have embarked upon.

Trevor Greenfield is the Publisher and Publicist for Moon Books and an Associate Lecturer in Religious Studies with the Open University. He lives in Worthing, West Sussex, and is married to Sue, with three children.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Letters from the Devil's Forest

An Anthology of Writings on Traditional Witchcraft, Spiritual Ecology and Provenance Traditionalism
by Robin Artisson (Author)

Concerning "Letters from the Devil's Forest: An Anthology of Writings on Traditional Witchcraft, Spiritual Ecology, and Provenance Traditionalism", the latest published work by Robin Artisson, occultist & writer of some renown. 

In this latest work, witch, metaphysician, and traditionalist Robin Artisson presents an in-depth and darksome interior vision of many dimensions of the old and nearly forgotten Art of true Witchcraft. "Letters from the Devil's Forest" is a lengthy anthology of Artisson's writings regarding every topic of essence and interest to the student or researcher of the half-remembered occult practices of "spirit-pacting" and spirit-allegiance: the timeless root-practices that underlie the genuine sorcerous traditions of the West.

Over 130 chapters, representing public and private writings done by Artisson in the last five years, but drawing on over 20 years of his own practice and in-depth researches, are brought together into one informative tome, to better serve the needs of the modern mystic or malcontent in search of a roadmap to the hidden angles of life's most seductive mystery: the mystery of sorcery, and the parallel mystery of spiritual ecology. 

The generous amounts of material housed in this encyclopedia of lore comes divided into nine major portions, including a detailed treatment of the lost occult anthropology- the very oldest human beliefs on death, the soul, and dying- and what these beliefs can mean for us alive today; many ethical, practical, and instructional essays on various forms of sorcerous art, focusing on material long pre-dating the modern occult emergence.

There are also essays on the strange themes and practices of the "Hidden Seasons" or the Witch-sabbats; in-depth daimonological ponderings and writings on the "Master Entity" himself, the Witchfather who stands behind genuine covenants of Witchcraft and the Master-Spirits who share our world and act as tutelary spirits to Witch-kind.

Included are scathing criticisms of the lies and falsehoods of modernity and insightful essays offering soul-satisfying alternatives to unquestioned faith in modern myths; sharp philosophical countering and criticism of the mainstream religions that have besmirched the world with their hatreds and absolutisms for centuries, and continue to torment the world today.

There are also foundational essays concerning "Provenance Traditionalism" or the secret tradition that emerges from the origins of Western culture and whose metaphysics and insights are still to be discovered encoded in folklore and mythology.

Also included is a potent selection of folktales and traditional stories, some original but most from deep in the folk-tradition, analyzed and elucidated to reveal the potent "soul-deep" codes that can transform men and women into wiser, more cunning people as they undergo their fateful journeys through this world.

 "Letters from the Devil's Forest" is a true treasury of the Hidden and Despised Art; it contains, in over 700 pages, almost ceaseless "Art-teaching" material, sorcerous maxims, gems of practice.  

Included are:invocations, poems, channeled writings, warnings, ethical and moral ponderings with regard to the sorcerous arts and to living outside of the mainstream of the modern and greedy spirit, inspirational quotes from past and present masters, wrapped together with Artisson's own sometimes sparkling, sometimes questionable brand of humor and wit, and crowned with original art flourishes and atmospheric ornamentation by Stephanie Houser.

The Author;The Witch
Robin Artisson has been studying folklore, mythology, and the interior metaphysics of sorcery and traditional witchcraft for over 20 years. His specialty areas of knowledge include spiritual ecology, occult history, herbalism and wortcunning, divination, and soul-flight or trance induction, along with a vocational interest in the extraordinary exploration of the eldritch dimensions of the mind, the soul, and the world.


Robin lives in the countryside of downeast Maine, near the craggy coast, under the shadows of the mountains and their forests. There, he carries on the relationships he has with the spiritual entities he has allied with over the years, and watches his daughters grow with much joy.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Liber Nox: A Traditional Witch's Gramarye

 Michael Howard (author)  Gemma Gary (illustrator)

In this concise and important treatise Michael Howard delineates between various modern neo-pagan Wiccan traditions, cunning folk traditions, heathen folk or the 'pagani,' and an assortment of ritual magicians and pathworkers in order to present a 'gramarye' distinctly for those who aspire to the 'Old Craft.' 

An experienced practitioner, writer, researcher, folklorist and magazine editor of the respected witchcraft magazine, The Cauldron (since 1976), Howard elucidates important elements of the Traditional Craft, including preparation rituals, tools of 'the Arte,' fellowship of the coven and the casting of circles, finally taking us through the Great Wheel of the Year and the assortment of sacred rites as performed within. The seasonal rituals are based on traditional witchcraft and folklore sources and have been specially written for this book.

Author: Michael Howard (United Kingdom) is the editor of The Cauldron magazine. He has published more than thirty books on a variety of occult subjects, such as Witchcraft and magic, Celtic history, and Paganism.

Author and Illustrator: Gemma Gary is an artist and writer based in the South-West of England. Her work primarily focuses upon the rites and verbal, inscribed and physical charms of operative folk magic and witchcraft.  Gemma is currently working on a number of other book projects relating to operative magic, traditional witchcraft, folklore and ancient sacred loci.


Friday, November 7, 2014

Death ~ Emily Dickinson, 1830 - 1886









Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.


We slowly drove, he knew no haste, 
And I had put away
My labor, and my leisure too,
For his civility.


We passed the school, where children strove
At recess, in the ring;
We passed the fields of gazing grain,
We passed the setting sun.


Or rather, he passed us;
The dews grew quivering and chill,
For only gossamer my gown,
My tippet only tulle.


We paused before a house that seemed
A swelling of the ground;
The roof was scarcely visible,
The cornice but a mound.


Since then 'tis centuries, and yet each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses' heads
Were toward eternity.

Friday, October 31, 2014

All Souls - Edith Wharton 1903


Fear not that sound like wind in the trees:
It is only their call that comes on the breeze;
Fear not the shudder that seems to pass:
It is only the tread of their feet on the grass;
Fear not the drip of the bough as you stoop:
It is only the touch of their hands that grope —
For the year’s on the turn, and it’s All Souls’ night,
When the dead can yearn and the dead can smite.


      



Thursday, October 30, 2014

Samhain Approaches




From ghoulies and ghosties
 And long-leggedy beasties
 And things that go bump in the night,
 Good Lord, deliver us!

Traditional Scottish Prayer

Friday, October 3, 2014

Cecil Williamson's Book of Witchcraft Video









Author Steve Patterson visits the research archive in the
Museum of Witchcraft, Boscastle, Cornwall, to talk about his new book;

Cecil Williamson's Book of Witchcraft - A Grimoire of the Museum of Witchcraft.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Mastering the Tarot By David Newman

 In this four part Tarot course David will teach how to use the Tarot cards for divination, meditation, and as a practical tool to be used in Ceremonial Magick for both Theurgic and Thaumaturgic applications. The Tarot is more than just a system of divination; they truly hold all the secrets to the Sanctum Sanctorum.

David will introduce the tarot in an understandable and practical manner so that anyone can begin using their tarot deck for both divination and as a tool for meditation and self-discovery. David has been studying the tarot for over 20 years and is a well-known tarot reader and Occult scholar. If you own a tarot deck and would like to know how to get started using it, or you just want get a new prospective on the cards don't miss this class.


 David is a well known Psychic, Witch, and teacher in the Witch City (Salem, MA). Let David help you get the answers you need. With David's many years of reading and Psychic intuition he can assist you with problems in career, marriage, spiritual crisis and all matters of the heart.

Education and Experience
 David has more than twenty years experience perfecting his mystical gifts, which include Mediumship, Tarot, and Psychic Vision. Let him teach you powerful spells to bring health, love and financial security into your life, or to take control of negative situations and turn them to your favor.


Dates: September 24, October 23, November 20, December 18, 2014

Location: Hermetic Arts Learning Center

105 Bridge St. Salem MA. 01970

Time: 7:00 - 9:00 pm

Price: $100.00 - all four classes

              For more information contact:

            DavidNewman@hermeticarts.com or call 772-380-2725                

Monday, September 22, 2014

Autumn Equinox - Thanksgiving


 Autumn Equinox marks the turning of the wheel and officially occurs this year on September 22 2014 at 10:29 PM. 

The word equinox comes from the Latin meaning ‘equal light’, which occurs twice in the calendar year. This is the time when both the Southern and the Northern hemispheres receive an equal amount of sunlight/day and darkness/night.  Autumn Equinox, gives a nod to its counterpart, the Spring Equinox, which traditionally occurs around March 21st. For those of us living in the Northern hemisphere we can expect shorter days, longer nights and colder temperatures.

The Wheel of the Year
Autumn Equinox is observed as the second of three harvest festivals.  The first falls on August 1st and the 3rd on October 31st. Autumnal Equinox is considered ‘Thanksgiving’ or ‘Harvest Home’ within many modern Pagan traditions and is celebrated as such.  The blessings of the gods, the balance of light and dark in the world and within ourselves is observed.

The ‘Other’ Thanksgiving
Mainstream Thanksgiving on this continent was first celebrated in the year 1607 in Jamestown.  The famous ‘Thanksgiving’ we learned about as children involving pilgrims and native people which lasted over three days, occurred in the autumn of 1621. 

The official date of Thanksgiving within the United States as we know it today has been celebrated at different times and in different states depending on the president in office at the time. 
 George Washington first proclaimed a ‘Day of Thanksgiving’ on Oct 3rd 1789 and declared the 26th of November to be the day to give thanks.  However, different northern states over the following years celebrated on different days or not at all depending on their governor at the time. Abraham Lincoln set the date in 1863 as the last Thursday in November proclaiming that it should occur annually throughout the country in order to accommodate those who worked in government departments. 

During Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s term in office, Thanksgiving moved to the last week in November, there being five weeks in November that year, and this was done in the hopes of boosting a weak economy during the final years of the Depression.  But the new date change affected millions of Americans and a vote as to the proper date was called for by both political parties. Unfortunately one could not be agreed upon and the term Franksgiving (Franklin/Thanksgiving) was coined creating the brief celebration of two Thanksgivings. The democrats bowed their heads and gave thanks on November 23rd while  the republicans enjoyed their feast on November 30th.   

Finally in the year 1941 congress voted to ‘split the difference’ firmly proclaiming the National holiday would be observed on the Fourth Thursday in November; the house agreed and order once again reigned.


Shared Symbols of the Season: 
Whichever thanksgiving one prefers and regardless of the month or date, we are all in agreement I believe that symbols for this, a time of gratitude, are harvested gifts of the earth, the waning of the light, and the introspective colder months to come.  

Festive decorations include harvest gourds, colorful fall foliage, cider, wine, apples, pumpkin pie, seeds, nuts and a hearty meal shared with family and friends.


So dear ones, whenever the season, whatever the reason, many blessings to us all!



http://www.abrahamlincolnonline.org/lincoln/speeches/thanks.htm
http://www.history.com/topics/thanksgiving


Friday, September 19, 2014

Witchfather: A Life of Gerald Gardner

 Philip Heselton, renowned author and occult historian, specializing in the research of the origins of modern day Wicca and its founder Gerald Gardner will be giving a lecture on his two volume biography of Gerald Gardner “Witchfather”.

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.

During a working life as a tea and rubber planter in Ceylon, Borneo and Malaya, he came to know the native people and was invited to their secret rituals.

But it was only on his retirement to England, settling on the edge of the New Forest in Hampshire, that destiny took him firmly by the hand. Through various twists and turns involving naturist clubs and a strange esoteric theatre, he became friends with a group of people who eventually revealed their true identity to him – they were members of a surviving witch coven.

One evening in 1939, as the hounds of war were being unleashed, he was initiated into the ‘witch cult’ by these people, who called themselves ‘the Wica’. Gardner was overwhelmed by the experience and was determined that the ‘witch cult’ should survive.

This book chronicles his efforts over the remaining quarter century of his life to ensure not only that it survived but that it would become the significant player on the world religious stage that it now is – “the only religion that England has ever given the world”, in the words of Ronald Hutton, Professor of History at the University of Bristol, who calls it “… a very fine book: humane, intelligent, compassionate, shrewd, and based upon a colossal amount of primary research”. He describes Philip Heselton as being “… the most interesting, valuable and enjoyable author who has yet written on what is becoming one of the greatest riddles in the history of modern religion: the origins of pagan witchcraft. … Nobody has ever done more than Philip Heselton to reveal the world of magic, paganism, naturism and faerie that lay behind the garden gates of inter-war English suburban villas; and perhaps only he could have done it at all.”

 Philip Heselton – Brief Biography

Born on 29th March 1946, Philip's affinity with paganism has been life-long. 

Co-founder of the Ley Hunters Club with Jimmy Goddard they produced “The Ley Hunter” magazine in 1965. The subject of Earth Mysteries subsequently drove him to writing several books including “The Elements of Earth Mysteries” and “Leylines – A Beginner’s Guide”.

Having read Gerald Gardner’s “Witchcraft Today” in 1960 it greatly influenced him in the years that followed.  Feeling that paganism is about our own experience of the deeper side of the landscape around us, he wrote a series of books published by Capall Bann, including “Secret Places of the Goddess”; “Mirrors of Magic” and “Magical Guardians – Exploring the Spirit and Nature of Trees”.

Recently Philip has gone back to his roots in researching the sources of Gerald Gardner’s writings which has resulted in his latest books – “Wiccan Roots” and “Gerald Gardner and the Cauldron of Inspiration”.   "Witchfather: is his most recent gift to our community having been published by Thoth Publications 64 Leopold Street, Loughborough LE11 5DN in 2012.

Philip will be finishing the night with a Q&A session and book signing. This exclusive event at the Hermetic Arts Learning Center is not to be missed. We will be attending and are greatly looking forward to the event and a chance to meet this remarkable man.

Date: October 29, 2014

Location: Hermetic Arts Learning Center

105 Bridge St. Salem MA. 01970

Time: 7:00 - 9:00 pm

Price: $ 40.00

              For more information contact:

            DavidNewman@hermeticarts.com or call 772-380-2725

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Life and Work of Aleister Crowley

 Clun Memorial Hall, Clun, Shropshire, SY7 8NY · Saturday 13 September 2014

The Life and Work of Aleister Crowley is a Conference organized by the Pagan Federation Mid-West and Wales.
Speakers booked are David Benton giving a talk on Aleister Crowley’s Early Life including the Golden Dawn and The Boleskine Retreat, Geraldine Beskin on Aleister Crowley and Dion Fortune Sexologist, Gary Nottingham on Progradior & the Beast: Frank Bennett and the Abbey of Thelema with Sef Salem and Robin Cousins also confirmed. A major gathering of Crowley experts so should be an informative conference. A good day out in the beautiful borders that we are more than happy to support.

Tickets will be priced at £10 for PF members, £12 non-members and £15 on the day for everyone. Proceedings start at 10.30am.
For more information contact the PF District Managers on 07968 599882 or email mwaw.dm@paganfederation.co.uk


There will be specialist books from us, Scarlet Imprint, along with other stalls, light snacks with tea and coffee, and a large free car park.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Plant Healer September Issue

Featuring experience-based & adventurous writings by teachers, practitioners & plant lovers combining inquiry, inspiration & skills in artful celebration of the evolving folk herbalism culture

“This is the first publication I've seen in my 38-year career that captures the wild diversity of herbalism in North America while still reflecting excellence and high-level practice… points of view from many regions, traditions, and schools of North American thought.. For the practicing herbalist from entry level to advanced, inclusively.”
-Paul Bergner, North American Institute of Medical Herbalism

“Plant Healer is amazing… the most beautiful magazine I’ve ever seen, bar none!”
-Phyllis Light, Appalachian Center for Herbal Studies

 Member Subscription Includes:
 4 Color PDF Issues (over 1,000 pages total!)
 + Exclusive Video, Audio & Art Downloads


We invite you to join in the Plant Healer community, with a year’s Subscription to this paperless quarterly journal of the new folk herbalism resurgence.  Plant Healer Magazine is a downloadable, lavishly illustrated, full color PDF magazine with over 250 page-long issues! – dedicated to the further informing, inspiring and empowering of all you practicing herbalists and advanced herbal teachers, eager students and impassioned beginners, conservationists and activists, informal community healers and unrepentant lovers of plants… as well as everyone taking any responsibility for their own basic health needs or those of their families!  Plant Healer combines cutting edge science with heartfelt intuitive practice, personal stories that inspire and practical skills that enable.  Imagine mating a credible clinical journal with a lushly edgy arts and culture magazine, and what you get is Plant Healer.  There’s never been anything else like it, nor will there ever be.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Doll's Eye: White Baneberry

 Botanical: Actaea spicata (LINN.)

Family: N.O. Ranunculacea

Synonyms: Baneberry, Herb Christopher, Bugbane, Toadroot
Part Used: Root; berries. Extremely poisonous aptly named 'bane'berry

Habitat: White baneberry prefers coarse and loamy soil, hardwood and mixed woodland, full shade, good drainage. Native to eastern North America.

Perennial: Dark green without hairs, black, creeping root-stock, grows on erect stems, 1 to 2 feet high stems triangular in shape. Leaves are long, branching from root, dividing into  three smaller foot-stalks, re-divided that each leaf is composed of eighteen, or even twenty-seven, lobes or leaflets. 

 Flowers: spiked and white. Flowers are in oblong clusters on thick, red stalks in June.

Berries: Prominent Feature: white spherical berries with black dot on tip, hence the common name, Doll's Eye. Fruit appears in autumn 1/2 inch in diameter.  There is also a red variety.  There is an immediate sedative effect on human cardiac muscle tissue causing possible cardiac arrest and death. However the berries are harmless to birds and this is the primary way the seeds are dispersed in nature.

Planet: Saturn

Medicinal Action and Uses: * Not advisable; use extreme caution. Antispasmodic. To only be used by physician herbalist. Roots have been used in very small amounts to relieve headache, coughs and colds. Doll's Eye once thought to benefit the circulatory system.

 Note: Leaves, roots, stems, flowers, and berries may cause gastrointestinal inflammation and skin blisters.
The American species is considered by the native people use against snake-bite and to  drive away insects due to its smell.  American name: Bugbane.

Witchcraft Association: Toads attracted by the aroma giving it the name Toadroot. found. Used in poppets for harm, placing the white variety berries in the place of eyes of the doll enabling it to 'see' the distance to its victim.

Both the berries, root is considered the most poisonous however the entire plant should be respected.

Other Use: Juice of the berries, mixed with alum, yields a black dye. (caution can blister skin)


http://www.bio.brandeis.edu/fieldbio/medicinal_plants/pages/home.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Actaea_pachypoda

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/b/banebe11.html

Friday, August 22, 2014

Häxan

 When I first saw the 1922 silent film Haxan written and directed by Benjamin Christensen, it was entitled 'Witchcraft Through the Ages'. At that time this 76-minute version was available through my local video store, originally produced in Swedish in black and white, it contained English subtitles.  Based somewhat on the director's study of the 15th century book Malleus Maleficarum, a hellacious mass produced inquisitors' handbook of its day, the story opens through the eyes of believers in the devil lured to Sabbatic orgies and tender baby broth feasts in scary woods at midnight. 

Said to be the most expensive Scandinavian silent film ever produced, two-million krone equaling 2,681,791.97 U'.S. dollars today, Haxan was an enormous hit in Sweden and Denmark, however it was criticized, censored and banned in other parts of the world including the U.S. due to its graphic scenes and lurid nature. Regardless, the production is well done; the lighting, props and sets create a haunting mood.  The action, emotions, make-up and costumes of the actors are excellent. 

Haxan attempts to be a historical view of witchcraft done in seven parts or vignettes beginning with a slide-show alternating inter-titles with paintings, woodcuts and drawings illustrating the behavior of people in the Middle Ages regarding their vision of demons and witches during the witchcraft persecution. 

Christensen's objective was to present the film as a documentary demonstrating a correlation between the actions, aliments, mannerisms, practices and attitudes attributed to so called witches and the modern affects and views of mental hysteria in his day.  Therefore he believed diagnosis was impossible during the prevalence of a deep-seated belief in superstitious concepts during a time of heavy religious canvassing of the population at large.  All this, says Christensen lead to what we know as 'The Witchcraft Hysteria' and the misunderstanding and prejudice surrounding mental illness.  Although panned in some camps, this idea raises questions surrounding the lack of human mental illness diagnosis of the time along with treatment overshadowed by superstitious, religious dogma that wielded both the gavel and the noose. 


 Scenes include: witches flying to the Sabbat; a witch applying a cure; dancing 'round the fire; devils and demons playing musical instruments; the purchase of a magical love potion; the magic circle; the carnal embrace of women; child sacrifice; a demon pleasuring himself; depravity through the devil's hedonism; possessed nuns; the devil chastising monks; the Inquisition, confessions, torture and death. 

In the final vignette of the film Christensen attempts to show how people would be treated today with regard to mental illness and disease. He points out a case of sleep walking and another involving kleptomania and suggests these illnesses might have viewed as forms of demonic possession instead of psychological ailments. 




The 1922 Danish silent film Haxan has been newly presented by The Criterion Collection in DVD format and contains the new 104 min. version along with the original 76 min. version released in 1968.  The film is now accompanied by a musical score by Jean-Luc Ponty and narration by William S. Burroughs. Whether this enhances or detracts from the original version is up to the opinion of the viewer.



Friday, August 15, 2014

Esoteric Book Conference


The Esoteric Book Conference is an annual international event to bring together authors, artists, publishers and bookmakers working in the field of esotericism. In addition to presentations by notable authors and scholars, the conference opens it doors to publishers and booksellers showcasing new & used books as well as rare and hard-to-find esoteric texts. For two days the conference hosts the largest selection of esoteric books under one roof. Contemporary esoteric publishing, finepress book arts and antiquarian texts are offered to augment the libraries of readers, scholars and collectors alike.

This multi-disciplined conference will feature presentations by contemporary authorities researching and working in esoteric currents both East & West. Western Esotericism, Gnosticism, Theosophy, Mythology, Shamanism, Rosicrucianism, Sacred Sciences, Occulture and World Religions are among the subjects to be represented. An esoteric book fair and art show will also be on site allowing education, vending and networking in a unique field of literary, historical and cultural arts.


The conference offers several opportunities for promotion, networking and exhibition for publishers, authors and artists who work in the esoteric publishing field. There will be two days of presentations wherein authors and scholars may present lectures as well as a book fair with scheduled book signings. On Saturday night there will be an evening of entertainment featuring various ritual performances.
Tickets

Friday, August 8, 2014

Horns of Honor

Horns of Honor Regaining the Spirit of the Pagan Horned God By Fredrick Thomas Elworthy, Edited and Introduced by Raven Grimassi

Originally released in Oct 2013, Horns of Power is well-worth mentioning again.  Academic in nature, it is fine reference book explaining the symbolism and significance of animal horns to ancient Pagans and also followers of early Christianity.  

For modern Pagans and Witches, horns play a major role as a symbol of fertility, power, and protection and yet there are few books that discuss the significance in a way that makes sense to a practicing Pagan.

 In Horns of Honor, neo-pagan scholar and award-winning author Raven Grimassi updates one of the few classic texts on horns, Frederick Thomas Elworthy’s classic 1900 text, Horns of Honor. Grimassi has added a new introduction, footnotes, and commentary to make this extensive overview of animal horns in cultures across time, accessible to the Pagan community.

'Horns of Honor' examines the religious and ritualistic significance of horns in many cultures, the ancient reverence for horned gods, and the horn as a positive symbol.

Fredrick Thomas Elworthy (1830 – 1907) was a noted scholar, folklorist, and antiquarian. He was the eldest son of Thomas Elworthy, woolen manufacturer, of Wellington, Somerset, and his wife Jane, daughter of William Chorley of Quarm, near Dunster; born at Wellington on January 10 1830, and was educated at a private school at Denmark Hill. Though studious from boyhood, he did not enter on authorship until middle life.

He became eminent first as a philologist and later as a writer on folk-lore. His two books on the evil eye and kindred superstitions contain much curious information gathered during travels in Spain, Italy, and other countries, in the course of which he made perhaps the finest collection of charms, amulets, and such-like trinkets in existence and destined for the Somersetshire Archeological Society's museum at Tauntor through the care of his widow. He contributed to Archæologia, was the council of the Philological Society, and in 1891-6 was editorial secretary of the Somersetshire Archeological Society.  He was a magistrate, a churchwarden, an active member of the Wellington school board, and a prominent Freemason.

After an illness which began in the summer of 1906 he died at his residence, Foxdown, Wellington, on December 13 1907. His other books include: The Dialect of West Somerset (1875) and The Evil Eye (1895) : an account of tie ancient and widespread superstition.

Raven Grimassi is a Neo-Pagan scholar and award-winning author of over twelve books on Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-Paganism including Old World Witchcraft and Italian Witchraft. He is a member of the American Folklore Society and is co-founder and co-director of the Crossroads Fellowship, a modern Mystery School tradition. He lives in Springfield, MA.

ISBN: 9781578635436
Book (Paperback)

$19.95

Information Resources: http://redwheelweiser.com/
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