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Publisher: Project MUSE   (Total: 294 journals)

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Journal Cover Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft
  [10 followers]  Follow
    
   Full-text available via subscription Subscription journal
   ISSN (Print) 1556-8547 - ISSN (Online) 1940-5111
   Published by Project MUSE Homepage  [294 journals]
  • General Editor's Preface: How Mirrors Enable Different Ways of Seeing
    • Abstract: With this issue on shimmering magic, the first comprised entirely of essays in the areas of anthropology and folklore, we are very pleased to launch what we hope will be a more vigorous collaboration between anthropologists, folklorists, and the historians who have supplied the bulk of the journal's content up to now. Raquel Romberg, one of the associate editors of Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft, volunteered as guest editor for this issue and arranged a lively discussion of shimmering materials, substances, and objects as they are deployed in ritual situations around the globe.1 Geographically, the contributors draw on material that comes from the southern United States, from India, and from the East and West Coasts ... Read More
      Keywords: Mirrors; African Americans; Reflection (Optics); Silk; Talismans; Wedding photography; Clothing and dress; Hindu gods; Ashaninca Indians; Witchcraft; Violence; Finland; Neoplatonism; Spiritualism; Demoniac possession; Magic
      PubDate: 2017-09-03T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Shimmering Magic: Cross-cultural Explorations of the Aesthetic, Moral, and
           Mystical Significance of Reflecting and Deflecting Shine
    • Abstract: A quick overview of recent research in anthropology, history, and religious studies reveals that material culture in general and the materiality of sacred objects in particular have become foci of prolific academic attention. Some works have focused on the actual production and manipulation of ritual components and their meaning,1 and others on the resilience of ritual forms in the face of rapid environmental change as well as forced migration and imposed contact.2 All, however, seem to place the sensorial, immanent aspects of religious experiences on center stage, nudging to one side the textual, cosmological, and theological frameworks that previously held scholars' attention.3 This analytical shift has drawn ... Read More
      Keywords: Mirrors; African Americans; Reflection (Optics); Silk; Talismans; Wedding photography; Clothing and dress; Hindu gods; Ashaninca Indians; Witchcraft; Violence; Finland; Neoplatonism; Spiritualism; Demoniac possession; Magic
      PubDate: 2017-09-03T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • From the Back of the Mirror: "Quicksilver," Tinfoil, and the Shimmer of
           Sorcery in African-American Vernacular Magic
    • Abstract: The esoteric pharmacopeia of Hoodoo or Conjure is replete with aesthetic elements that are intended to introduce shining, glittering, or reflective surfaces into ritual performance and sacred assemblage. Polished silver dimes, tinfoil cigarette papers, liquid mercury, and the silver shavings from the backs of mirrors (the latter three examples known colloquially as "quicksilver" in the vocabulary of Conjure) are all employed toward a wide array of pragmatic ends—from cursing an enemy to winning at gambling, detecting hostile sorcery to keeping the law away from a bootlegging business. Through a close examination of key examples drawn primarily from Harry M. Hyatt's Hoodoo, Conjuration, Witchcraft, and ... Read More
      Keywords: Mirrors; African Americans; Reflection (Optics); Silk; Talismans; Wedding photography; Clothing and dress; Hindu gods; Ashaninca Indians; Witchcraft; Violence; Finland; Neoplatonism; Spiritualism; Demoniac possession; Magic
      PubDate: 2017-09-03T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Connecting Worlds through Silk: The Cosmological Significance of Sheen in
           West African Talismanic Magic
    • Abstract: In many societies past and present, natural light and brilliance stemming from shells, minerals, metals, fibers, and feathers are imbued with coded cultural meanings. In West Africa, the sheen of colorful dyed cotton damask fabrics and the brilliance of mirrors attached to braided hair, like the gleam of gold jewelry, confer social status and catch the eye of other people, as well as attracting benevolent spirits. In Sudano-Sahelian styled mosques, a beam of sunlight that strikes the name of God inscribed on a wall stands as the materialization of the divine truth since in West African Islamic belief, God, Allah is the light "An-Nur,"1 one of his ninety-nine names. Hence, sheen, brilliance, gleam, and light are ... Read More
      Keywords: Mirrors; African Americans; Reflection (Optics); Silk; Talismans; Wedding photography; Clothing and dress; Hindu gods; Ashaninca Indians; Witchcraft; Violence; Finland; Neoplatonism; Spiritualism; Demoniac possession; Magic
      PubDate: 2017-09-03T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • "Glittering Women": Light, Aura, and the Aesthetics of Withdrawal in
           Wedding Photography along the East African Coast
    • Abstract: In the last few years, my work has been focused on various attempts by photographers in quite different historical situations and milieus along the East African coast to contest photographic visuality, withdraw subjects from the camera, and create new opacities.1 It is the more negative relations to photography that I have become interested in—those negative relations that open a way into what has been largely excluded within the now familiar rhetoric of the global hegemony of vision.2 In the context of the Islamic Revival, I have dealt with various techniques of performing the photographic act as well as processing the photographic image to theatricalize the content and the surface of the image in new ways by ... Read More
      Keywords: Mirrors; African Americans; Reflection (Optics); Silk; Talismans; Wedding photography; Clothing and dress; Hindu gods; Ashaninca Indians; Witchcraft; Violence; Finland; Neoplatonism; Spiritualism; Demoniac possession; Magic
      PubDate: 2017-09-03T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Clothing as a Technology of Enchantment: Gaze and Glaze in Hindu Garments
    • Abstract: In his famous work titled Art and Agency, Gell provocatively argues that artifacts are "a system of action, intended to change the world rather than encode symbolic propositions about it."1 If, as he states, language is not the best means to study objects and their properties, then how might an agentive approach be applied to the phenomena of brilliance in an artifact' Further, how would such an object be used within a Hindu cosmology' To explore these questions, I apply Gell's theory of the technology of enchantment2 to deity and devotee garments within a global Hindu group called Iskcon (International Society for Krishna Consciousness), commonly known as the Hare Krishnas. The data for this paper was gathered ... Read More
      Keywords: Mirrors; African Americans; Reflection (Optics); Silk; Talismans; Wedding photography; Clothing and dress; Hindu gods; Ashaninca Indians; Witchcraft; Violence; Finland; Neoplatonism; Spiritualism; Demoniac possession; Magic
      PubDate: 2017-09-03T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Upper Perené Arawak Narratives of History, Landscape, and Ritual by
           Elena Mihas (review)
    • Abstract: What began in 2009 as a project to fulfill Mihas's linguistic PhD dissertation requirements evolved into a much larger ethnographic documentary project in scope and product. This anthology is the end result. It comes from sixteen months of linguistic fieldwork spanning five years and with collaborative community effort at its core. Within are fifty-eight texts based on oral performances of thirty Upper Perené indigenous Ashéninka speakers authors (fifteen women and fifteen men). Of primary interest to the readership of this journal are probably the texts in Section Three, Ritual; yet these cannot really be separated out from Mihas's ethnographic project as a whole, and in fact, as will be seen, materials pertinent ... Read More
      Keywords: Mirrors; African Americans; Reflection (Optics); Silk; Talismans; Wedding photography; Clothing and dress; Hindu gods; Ashaninca Indians; Witchcraft; Violence; Finland; Neoplatonism; Spiritualism; Demoniac possession; Magic
      PubDate: 2017-09-03T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Letters to the Sage: Collected Correspondence of Thomas Moore Johnson:
           Volume One: The Esotericists ed. by Patrick D. Bowen and K. Paul Johnson
           (review)
    • Abstract: Letters to the Sage comprises the first volume of correspondence to the nineteenth-century American Platonist Thomas M. Johnson (TMJ), who was also active in the contemporary occult revival. The volume consists of letters from occultists, American and foreign, some of them famous. It also provides some clues to the status and nature of his Platonic activities, and recounts conversions from orthodox Christian denominations to religious syncretism, occult thought, and Neoplatonism (e.g. "I finally exchanged my faith in Jesus Christ for … spiritualist freethinking," S. H. Randall, Oct. 29, 1883, 371).Bowen's introduction and notes provide a useful overview of the occult revival and the individuals corresponding with ... Read More
      Keywords: Mirrors; African Americans; Reflection (Optics); Silk; Talismans; Wedding photography; Clothing and dress; Hindu gods; Ashaninca Indians; Witchcraft; Violence; Finland; Neoplatonism; Spiritualism; Demoniac possession; Magic
      PubDate: 2017-09-03T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Witchcraft and Magic in Ireland by Andrew Sneddon (review)
    • Abstract: Ireland looms large in modern witchcraft traditions, but has received little scholarly attention in witchcraft studies, in part because it saw relatively few trials. Andrew Sneddon's Witchcraft and Magic in Ireland fills in some important gaps in our understanding of witchcraft beliefs and trials since the sixteenth century. Its most important contributions lie in its careful consideration of varying attitudes towards witchcraft and its prosecution among Ireland's three main religious denominations, Catholic, Church of Ireland, and Presbyterian.Sneddon here builds on his previous studies of Bishop Francis Hutchinson, "the only eighteenth-century English witchcraft sceptic living in Ireland in the 1720s and 1730s," ... Read More
      Keywords: Mirrors; African Americans; Reflection (Optics); Silk; Talismans; Wedding photography; Clothing and dress; Hindu gods; Ashaninca Indians; Witchcraft; Violence; Finland; Neoplatonism; Spiritualism; Demoniac possession; Magic
      PubDate: 2017-09-03T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Sacred Violence in Early America by Susan Juster (review)
    • Abstract: It seems too often that scholars of early America begin with the implication that Protestants, namely Puritans, coming to the Americas represented a clean break with the religious history and traditions of Europe. Susan Juster's work, Sacred Violence in Early America, dispels this continuing perception of the American colonies as religious sanctuary and reveals how ingrained patterns from early modern Europe continually colored the events that took place in the New World. By taking a long view and examining the theological conflicts and the religious violence in Europe during the medieval period and the Reformation, Juster makes it evident that Anglo-American reactions to their new environment were guided by ... Read More
      Keywords: Mirrors; African Americans; Reflection (Optics); Silk; Talismans; Wedding photography; Clothing and dress; Hindu gods; Ashaninca Indians; Witchcraft; Violence; Finland; Neoplatonism; Spiritualism; Demoniac possession; Magic
      PubDate: 2017-09-03T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Faith and Magic in Early Modern Finland by Raisa Maria Toivo (review)
    • Abstract: The early modern Finn could be a devout Lutheran, yet sacrifice a lamb at a saint's holy day, and ensure a good harvest by drinking a toast to the deity called Ukko. The recent book by Dr. Raisa Maria Toivo, Academy Research Fellow at the University of Tampere, discusses these different aspects of early modern religiosity in Finland side by side. This kind of inspiring approach where official theology and lived religion are not seen as completely separate but rather as forming a dynamic whole, has recently gained popularity in studies discussing past practices and beliefs. Toivo's book is a valuable contribution to this discussion. Moreover, the fact that she observes early modern practices as meaningful in their ... Read More
      Keywords: Mirrors; African Americans; Reflection (Optics); Silk; Talismans; Wedding photography; Clothing and dress; Hindu gods; Ashaninca Indians; Witchcraft; Violence; Finland; Neoplatonism; Spiritualism; Demoniac possession; Magic
      PubDate: 2017-09-03T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Spiritual Taxonomies and Ritual Authority: Platonists, Priests, and
           Gnostics in the Third Century C.E by Heidi Marx-Wolf (review)
    • Abstract: This academic, scholarly, and thoughtful book makes a positive contribution to a wide range of disciplines including philosophy, the history of religion (particularly late ancient religion), broad cultural history, esotericism, and mysticism. It is a well written, riveting, and fascinating book that many readers will be unable to put down, but it deserves careful reflection and even multiple readings.The book focuses on how four third-century Platonic philosophers—namely, Plotinus, Origen, Porphyry, Iamblichus (POPI)—developed spiritual taxonomies (including the ordering of the divine sacred realms of angelology, the lower realms of embodied demonology, the exemplary realms of heroes, the construction of ... Read More
      Keywords: Mirrors; African Americans; Reflection (Optics); Silk; Talismans; Wedding photography; Clothing and dress; Hindu gods; Ashaninca Indians; Witchcraft; Violence; Finland; Neoplatonism; Spiritualism; Demoniac possession; Magic
      PubDate: 2017-09-03T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Supernatural Entertainments: Victorian Spiritualism and the Rise of Modern
           Media Culture by Simone Natale (review)
    • Abstract: Thirty years ago, scholarly study of spiritualism was decidedly marginal to Victorian studies, an area of eccentric belief and pseudoscience that was considered an embarrassment at best. Janet Oppenheim's breakthrough study The Other World (1985), which examined spiritualism, theosophy, and psychical research, remained symptomatic in beginning from the premise that it needed to be explained how substantial numbers of intelligent men and women came to believe in such self-evidently false beliefs. Oppenheim opened the field to more mainstream cultural historians. The next generation, though, did not prejudge these beliefs, but offered contextualization from religion, science, and culture, investigating how eminent ... Read More
      Keywords: Mirrors; African Americans; Reflection (Optics); Silk; Talismans; Wedding photography; Clothing and dress; Hindu gods; Ashaninca Indians; Witchcraft; Violence; Finland; Neoplatonism; Spiritualism; Demoniac possession; Magic
      PubDate: 2017-09-03T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Bewitched and Bedeviled: A Cognitive Approach to Embodiment in Early
           English Possession by Kirsten C. Uszkalo (review)
    • Abstract: The study of bedeviling and its attendant literature offers a unique insight into the world of possession in early modern culture. As Kirsten C. Uszkalo writes in the opening chapter to this new book Bewitched and Bedeviled: A Cognitive Approach to Embodiment in Early English Possession, "As we read our own literature, fiction and nonfiction, as reflecting something of the human condition, in describing the demoniac's language, gestures, and torments, possession literatures provide insight into 'real' experiences that underpin early modern possessions" (1). Consequently, by interrogating what possession meant for Renaissance thinkers and writers, we gain insight into not only those deemed "bedeviled," but also ... Read More
      Keywords: Mirrors; African Americans; Reflection (Optics); Silk; Talismans; Wedding photography; Clothing and dress; Hindu gods; Ashaninca Indians; Witchcraft; Violence; Finland; Neoplatonism; Spiritualism; Demoniac possession; Magic
      PubDate: 2017-09-03T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • The Witches' Ointment: The Secret History of Psychedelic Magic by Thomas
           Hatsis (review)
    • Abstract: Every few years, someone sets out to show that the alleged flight of accused witches can best be explained via an examination of the hallucinogenic properties of the supposed witches' ointment: witches, it is claimed, induced the experience of flight by vigorously rubbing into their skin the powerfully psychotropic extracts of henbane, mandrake, belladonna, and other herbs of the Solanaceae (nightshade) family.1 Thomas Hatsis's Witches' Ointment stands out from this perennial genre for its erudition and concern for historical context. Unlike such efforts as George N. Conklin's "Alkaloids and the Witches' Sabbat" (1958), V. B. Haarstad's "Witchcraft: A Pharmacological Analysis" (1964), Michael Harner's "Role of ... Read More
      Keywords: Mirrors; African Americans; Reflection (Optics); Silk; Talismans; Wedding photography; Clothing and dress; Hindu gods; Ashaninca Indians; Witchcraft; Violence; Finland; Neoplatonism; Spiritualism; Demoniac possession; Magic
      PubDate: 2017-09-03T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Modernism and the Occult by John Bramble (review)
    • Abstract: The aim of John Bramble's Modernism and the Occult is to show the "range and magnitude of modernism's complicity with the occult" (xv). In one way, the book certainly achieves its aim—it is stuffed full of evidence of the imbrication of modernism with occult beliefs, practices, and networks. More specifically, the book makes very clear the extent to which "Eastern" ideas, from the earlier nineteenth century on, have been taken up by Western thinkers and artists to be mixed with the Western occult tradition, remade, syncretized or synthesized, and then sometimes, as in the case of theosophy, sent back to the "East." Bramble is often very good on this back and forth between East and West throughout the twentieth ... Read More
      Keywords: Mirrors; African Americans; Reflection (Optics); Silk; Talismans; Wedding photography; Clothing and dress; Hindu gods; Ashaninca Indians; Witchcraft; Violence; Finland; Neoplatonism; Spiritualism; Demoniac possession; Magic
      PubDate: 2017-09-03T00:00:00-05:00
       
 
 
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