An exploration of the historical origins of the “witches’ ointment” and medieval hallucinogenic drug practices based on the earliest sources • Details how early modern theologians demonized psychedelic folk magic into “witches’ ointments” • Shares dozens of psychoactive formulas and recipes gleaned from rare manuscripts from university collections all over the world as well as the practices and magical incantations necessary for their preparation • Examines the practices of medieval witches like Matteuccia di Francisco, who used hallucinogenic drugs in her love potions and herbal preparations In the medieval period preparations with hallucinogenic herbs were part of the practice of veneficium, or poison magic. This collection of magical arts used poisons, herbs, and rituals to bewitch, heal, prophesy, infect, and murder. In the form of psyche-magical ointments, poison magic could trigger powerful hallucinations and surrealistic dreams that enabled direct experience of the Divine. Smeared on the skin, these entheogenic ointments were said to enable witches to commune with various local goddesses, bastardized by the Church as trips to the Sabbat--clandestine meetings with Satan to learn magic and participate in demonic orgies. Examining trial records and the pharmacopoeia of witches, alchemists, folk healers, and heretics of the 15th century, Thomas Hatsis details how a range of ideas from folk drugs to ecclesiastical fears over medicine women merged to form the classical “witch” stereotype and what history has called the “witches’ ointment.” He shares dozens of psychoactive formulas and recipes gleaned from rare manuscripts from university collections from all over the world as well as the practices and magical incantations necessary for their preparation. He explores the connections between witches’ ointments and spells for shape shifting, spirit travel, and bewitching magic. He examines the practices of some Renaissance magicians, who inhaled powerful drugs to communicate with spirits, and of Italian folk-witches, such as Matteuccia di Francisco, who used hallucinogenic drugs in her love potions and herbal preparations, and Finicella, who used drug ointments to imagine herself transformed into a cat. Exploring the untold history of the witches’ ointment and medieval hallucinogen use, Hatsis reveals how the Church transformed folk drug practices, specifically entheogenic ones, into satanic experiences.
Spirit Plants, Magical Practices, and Ecstatic States
Author: Thomas Hatsis
Pubpsher: Simon and Schuster
Category: Body, Mind & Spirit
A comprehensive look at the long tradition of psychedelic magic and religion in Western Civilization • Explores the use of psychedelics and entheogens from Neolithic times through Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance to the Victorian era and beyond • Reveals how psychedelics were integrated into pagan and Christian magical practices and demonstrates how one might employ a psychedelic agent for divination, sex magic, alchemy, communication with gods, and more • Examines the role of entheogens in the Mysteries of Eleusis in Greece, the worship of Isis in Egypt, the Dionysian mysteries, and the magical practices of the Thessalian witches as well as Jewish, Roman, and Gnostic traditions Unbeknownst--or unacknowledged--by many, there is a long tradition of psychedelic magic and religion in Western civilization. As Thomas Hatsis reveals, the discovery of the power of psychedelics and entheogens can be traced to the very first prehistoric expressions of human creativity, with a continuing lineage of psychedelic mystery traditions from antiquity through the Renaissance to the Victorian era and beyond. Describing how, when, and why different peoples in the Western world utilized sacred psychedelic plants, Hatsis examines the full range of magical and spiritual practices that include the ingestion of substances to achieve altered states. He discusses how psychedelics facilitated divinatory dream states for our ancient Neolithic ancestors and helped them find shamanic portals to the spirit world. Exploring the mystery religions that adopted psychedelics into their occult rites, he examines the role of entheogens in the Mysteries of Eleusis in Greece, the worship of Isis in Egypt, and the psychedelic wines and spirits that accompanied the Dionysian mysteries. The author investigates the magical mystery traditions of the Thessalian witches as well as Jewish, Roman, and Gnostic traditions. He reveals how psychedelics were integrated into pagan and Christian magical practices and demonstrates how one might employ a psychedelic agent for divination, magic, alchemy, or god and goddess invocation. He explores the use of psychedelics by Middle Eastern and medieval magicians and looks at the magical use of cannabis and opium from the Crusaders to Aleister Crowley. From ancient priestesses and Christian gnostics, to alchemists, wise-women, and Victorian magicians, Hatsis shows how psychedelic practices have been an integral part of the human experience since Neolithic times.
An Anthropological Study of the European Witch - Hunts
Author: Homayun Sidky
Pubpsher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
Category: Social Science
Long before the political mass-murders witnessed in the present century, western Europe experienced another kind of holocaust--the witch-hunts of the early modern period. Condemned of flying through the air, changing into animals, and worshipping the Devil, over a hundred thousand people were brutally tortured, systematically maimed and burned alive. Why did these persecutions take place? Was it superstition, irrationality, or mass delusion that led to the witch-hunts? This study seeks explanation in the tangible actions of human actors and their worldly circumstances. The approach taken is anthropological; inferences are grounded on a wide spectrum of variables, ranging from the political and ideological practices used to mystify earthly affairs, to the logical structure of witch-beliefs, torture technology, and the role of psychotropic drugs and epidemic diseases.
Although little known, cannabis and other psychoactive plants held a prominent and important role in the Occult arts of Alchemy and Magic, as well as being used in ritual initiations of certain secret societies. Find out about the important role cannabis played in helping to develop modern medicines through alchemical works. Cannabis played a pivotal role in spagyric alchemy, and appears in the works of alchemists such as Zosimos, Avicenna, Llull, Paracelsus, Cardano and Rabelais. Cannabis also played a pivotal role in medieval and renaissance magic and recipes with instructions for its use appear in a number of influential and important grimoires such as the Picatrix, Sepher Raxiel: Liber Salomonis, and The Book of Oberon. Could cannabis be the Holy Grail? With detailed historical references, the author explores the allegations the Templars were influenced by the hashish ingesting Assassins of medieval Islam, and that myths of the Grail are derived from the Persian traditions around the sacred beverage known as haoma, which was a preparation of cannabis,opium and other drugs. Many of the works discussed, have never been translated into English, or published in centuries. The unparalleled research in this volume makes it a potential perennial classic on the subjects of both medieval and renaissance history of cannabis, as well as the role of plants in the magical and occult traditions.
The origins of modern religion in human sacrifice, ritual cannibalism, visionary intoxication, and the Cult of the Dead • Explores ancient practices of producing sacred hallucinogenic foods and oils from the bodies of the dead for ritual consumption and religious anointing • Explains how these practices are deeply embedded in the symbolism, theology, and sacraments of modern religion, specifically Christianity and the Eucharist • Documents the rites of Cults of the Dead from the prehistoric Minoans on Crete to the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Hebrews to early and medieval Christian sects such as the Cathars Long before the beginnings of civilization, humans have been sacrificed and their flesh used to produce sacred foods and oils for use in religious rites. Originating with the sacred harvest of hallucinogenic mushrooms from the corpses of shamans and other holy men, these acts of ritual cannibalism and visionary intoxication are part of the history of all cultures, including Judeo-Christian ones, and provided a way to commune with the dead. These practices continued openly into the Dark Ages, when they were suppressed and adapted into the worship of saintly bones--or continued in secret by a few “heretical” sects, such as the Cathars and the Knights Templar. While little known today, these rites remain deeply embedded in the symbolism, theology, and sacraments of modern religion and bring a much more literal meaning to the church’s “Holy Communion” or symbolic consumption of the body and blood of Christ. Documenting the sacrificial, cannibalistic, and psychoactive sacramental practices associated with the Cult of the Dead from the prehistoric Minoans on Crete to the ancient Egyptians and Hebrews and onward to early and medieval Christian sects, Earl Lee shows how these religious rites influenced the development of Western religion. In particular, he reveals how Christianity originated with Jesus’s effort to restore the sacred rites of Moses, including the Marzeah, or Feast for the Dead. Examining the connections between these rites and the mysterious funeral of Father Sauniere in Rennes-le-Château, the author explains why the prehistoric Cult of the Dead has held such power over Western civilization, so much so that its echoes are still heard today in our literature, film, and arts.
For all those who might like to believe that drug use has been relegated to the suburban rec rooms and ghetto crack houses of the late twentieth century, The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Substances offers shocking, yet thoroughly enlightening evidence to the contrary. In fact, from Neolithic man to Queen Victoria, humans have abused all sorts of drugs in the name of religion, tradition, and recreation, including such "controlled substances" as chocolate, lettuce, and toads. From glue-sniffing to LSD to kava, The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Substances provides the first reliable, comprehensive exploration of this fascinating and controversial topic. With over one hundred entries, acclaimed author Richard Rudgley covers not only the chemical and botanical background of each substance, but its physiological and psychological effect on the user. Of particular value is Rudgley's emphasis on the historical and cultural role of these mind-altering substances. Impeccably researched and hugely entertaining, The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Substances will appeal to anyone interested in one of the most misunderstood and yet also most widespread of human activities - the chemical quest for an altered state of consciousness.
Horror films can be profound fables of human nature and important works of art, yet many people dismiss them out of hand. ‘Horror and the Horror Film’ conveys a mature appreciation for horror films along with a comprehensive view of their narrative strategies, their relations to reality and fantasy and their cinematic power. The volume covers the horror film and its subgenres – such as the vampire movie – from 1896 to the present. It covers the entire genre by considering every kind of monster in it, including the human.
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.
The three-volume Witch School teaching series will prepare you for initiation into all three degrees of Correllian Wicca, one of the largest and fastest growing Wiccan traditions in the world. As an additional bonus, WitchSchool.com offers many optional interactive features to enhance your textbook learning experience. The Path of the High Priest and Priestess The twelve lessons of the Witch School's Third Degree are for those who choose to follow the path of Wiccan High Priest or High Priestess. More so than the earlier degrees, the Third Degree is a vocation—a call to lead, inspire, and instruct others on the Wiccan journey. You'll be ready to assume the essential duties of Wiccan clergy—teaching, transformative energy work, and oracular work—when you successfully complete the lessons of the Third Degree: Clergy Standards and Behavior • Public Ritual Astral Travel and Shapeshifting • Remote Viewing The Nature of the Soul • The Nature of Time • The Ennead Karma, Akasha, and Past Lives • Drawing Down the Moon Conscious Incarnation • Temple Management • The Future Completion of the twelve lessons in this book makes you eligible for initiation into the Third Degree of Correllian Nativist Wicca and the role of High Priest or High Priestess.