Witchcraft

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#1
Witchcraft training gets Dutch tax break


Dutch tax authorities have allowed a woman to deduct the 2,210 euros (1,444 pounds) it cost her to take a one-year course in witchcraft, an inland revenue official said on Wednesday.

The 39-year actress and artist learnt how to use crystal balls and prepare herbs, and also spells and other witchcraft skills at the course held in the country's northwest.

"The woman used the training in order to start ... giving workshops, so she used it to extend her professional knowledge," the tax official told Reuters.

Margarita Roland, who gave the course and whose Web site (http://www.heksehoeve.nl/) shows her with a broomstick and pointed hat, said she teaches apprentices all they need to know to become a witch, using magic as a force for good.

"A witch is a wise woman or man who knows about the magic of life in general and the magic of the earth in particular," said Roland, known as the "witch of Appelscha" after her home town.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20050928/od_ ... MlJVRPUCUl
 
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#2
Football witchcraft deaths probed

Many African football fans support their teams with charms and witchcraft

The Democratic Republic of Congo is to investigate how 13 people died in a stampede at a football game reportedly disrupted by accusations of witchcraft.

The mostly-teenaged victims were killed as spectators rushed to exit the stadium in Butembo in eastern DR Congo.

The BBC's Patrice Citera in DR Congo says the fighting began when the goalkeeper of one of the teams was accused of witchcraft.

Reports of witchcraft are commonplace in DR Congo, correspondents say.

As elsewhere in Africa, the practice is linked to traditional animist beliefs that often co-exist with faiths such as Islam or Christianity.

Police chief struck

One eyewitness told our correspondent that the victims were trapped at the exit of the 15,000-capacity Butembo Stadium as they tried to flee during the match between Nyuki and Socozaki.

"It started at half-time when the keeper of Nyuki removed stuff from his jersey and threw it into the net of their opponents," the eyewitness said.



"Socozaki players caught him and started beating him after alleging that he had tried to throw witchcraft in their net.

"His Nyuki teammates intervened and a fight broke out between the two sides."

A police commander who intervened to stop the scuffles was then struck in the head by a projectile thrown from the stands, reports UN-backed Radio Okapi.

The eyewitness said the police chief had died but this has not been confirmed.

The police then fired into the air and used tear gas on the crowds, prompting a rush for the stadium's exits.

The game was a local derby - with the winner qualifying for the provincial local league of North Kivu province.

Dozens of teenagers in Butembo marched through the streets on Monday to protest at the deaths at Sunday's match, the Associated Press news agency reports.

The agency quotes regional governor Julien Mpaluku as saying the authorities would investigate the deaths.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7618215.stm
 

Bloodbeard

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#3
Who can forget Mali defeating reigning World Cup holders France in Japan/South Korea in 2002?. A ceremony was conducted by the Malian witch doctor on the pitch the night before the game and there certainly seemed to be some supernatural force keeping the potent French attack at bay.
 
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#4
Witch doctors as team coaches and voodoo curses used to be a mainstay of football stories in UK comics. I'm pretty sure there was a serial in the Rover, and/or the Victor. I'm willing to bet even Roy of the Rovers had a storyline, or two, about witch doctors on the pitch.
 

Dr_Baltar

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#5
Bloodbeard said:
Who can forget Mali defeating reigning World Cup holders France in Japan/South Korea in 2002?
I can! But I can't forget Senegal beating France in the 2002 World Cup. ;)
 

Bloodbeard

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#6
D'oh, Senegal of course, poor old brain's been taking a pounding lately, there was a BBC doc a few years back about the use of witch doctors in South African football, the almighty powers at FIFA took a dim view of such activities.
 
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#7
Spellbound? Opposition MP sponsors bill on state regulation of witchcraft
http://rt.com/politics/russia-witchcraf ... ition-362/
Published time: November 07, 2013 09:51 Get short URL

Independent Russian MP Ilya Ponomaryov has drafted a bill on regulating “occult and mystical” services in healthcare, introducing licenses for healers and wizards, and also the control of qualified doctors over their work.

In an explanatory note to the bill Ponomaryov wrote that fighting against the occult business is too difficult as it is extremely profitable and can afford a very powerful lobby. Instead, he suggests amending several federal laws and bringing all such activities under strict state control.

If the draft is passed it would introduce the legal definition of occult and mystical services as “actions of non-medical character delivered by persons without special medical training and aimed at patients’ healing through supernatural abilities of the human body.” The services would be licensed by regional governments and only be valid within the regional borders.

The detailed procedure would have to be developed by the state consumer rights agency Rospotrebnadzor, but Ponomaryov holds that it should involve permission from a medical non-profit organization. The bill also puts the healing practices under the medics’ control.

Other innovations include a ban on advertising the occult services on television and radio, as well as public transport and outdoor installations. It also prohibits working with patients with certain diagnoses such as cancer, contagious diseases (including AIDS), drug addiction and acute mental illnesses. The bill stipulates that violations must be punished by fines from 2,000 to 10,000 rubles (from $60 to $300).

In press comments about the initiative, Ponomaryov noted that Russian legislators had already tried to limit the activities of various healers and wizards in 2010, but the draft could not pass the lower house due to the efforts of the powerful pro-occult lobby.

RIA Novosti/liya PitalevRIA Novosti/liya Pitalev

At the same time, Ponomaryov said that the total ban on commercial occultism “would not be entirely just” as sometimes patients get better because of the placebo effect and sometimes non-traditional methods yield legitimate results. This despite, according to the MP, that only one healer in a thousand can claim to be genuine.

Ilya Ponomaryov has gained fame over the past few years for his uncompromising opposition stance and participation in mass rallies against alleged poll violations (which took place after the parliamentary elections that gave Ponomaryov another term in the State Duma).

Eventually, the leaders of the moderate leftist party Fair Russia threatened to oust the MP from their ranks and from the parliamentary caucus if he did not stop his protest activities. Ponomaryov refused and now works as an independent.

Another story that brought the young politician some publicity was the investigation into the alleged corruption scheme with his participation launched in 2013. Russian prosecutors claimed that in 2011 Ponomaryov received $750,000 from the state-sponsored Skolkovo innovation hub for 10 lectures and one research paper, yet only delivered part of the work. After the scandal, Skolkovo managers sued the MP and the court ordered him to return the money.

Ponomaryov lodged an appeal against the ruling which is still in process.
Edit to fix typo.
 
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#8
Meet The Real Life Witches
After spending time with some witches, Rev Peter Laws believes the Church has been guilty of misunderstanding what they believe and practise

Thirty ministers in training are sitting in a lecture room at Spurgeon’s Bible college. I’m one of them. The air is fizzing with tension. People stare in shock at the speaker; a few shake their heads at this respected scholar. One of his Old Testament tomes is on our required reading list, yet he’s just also told us that he owns a set of tarot cards. It’s the sort of comment that makes the air hiss. Somebody’s pen is slowly clicking on and off, on and off.

He pulls a tarot deck from his bag. ‘The cards have a surprising amount of Christian symbolism in them,’ he says. ‘I sometimes take them to psychic fairs…they help me share my faith.’ He opens the pack and then says something that makes the pen clicker stop dead. ‘Pass them round.’

They’re average-size cards. They aren’t glowing. There’s no demonic hum. But he hasn’t exactly asked us to just shuffle for Pontoon. He sets them softly on the first desk and something fascinating happens. Several students lift their arms clean off the table. Some scrape their chairs back. ‘There’s no way I’m touching them,’ says one. Another mutters, ‘This is so dodgy.’ When the pack lands in front of me, I can feel the sympathetic stares. It’s like I’ve been handed a loaded Kalashnikov.

I shrug and put the tip of my finger on the pack. There’s no spark. I pick them up, turning them over in my hand. It turns out there are Christian symbols on them. But that's not what sticks with me for the rest of the week. Or frankly what has stayed with me in the decade since this incident. What lodges in my mind is the fear. There were complaints afterwards. Colleagues said a satanic power tool had no place in a Bible college. It was, they said, a spiritual contaminant. ...

http://www.premierchristianity.com/...Meet-The-Real-Life-Witches?platform=hootsuite
 

GerdaWordyer

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#9
Meet The Real Life Witches
After spending time with some witches, Rev Peter Laws believes the Church has been guilty of misunderstanding what they believe and practise

Thirty ministers in training are sitting in a lecture room at Spurgeon’s Bible college. I’m one of them. The air is fizzing with tension. People stare in shock at the speaker; a few shake their heads at this respected scholar. One of his Old Testament tomes is on our required reading list, yet he’s just also told us that he owns a set of tarot cards. It’s the sort of comment that makes the air hiss. Somebody’s pen is slowly clicking on and off, on and off.

He pulls a tarot deck from his bag. ‘The cards have a surprising amount of Christian symbolism in them,’ he says. ‘I sometimes take them to psychic fairs…they help me share my faith.’ He opens the pack and then says something that makes the pen clicker stop dead. ‘Pass them round.’

They’re average-size cards. They aren’t glowing. There’s no demonic hum. But he hasn’t exactly asked us to just shuffle for Pontoon. He sets them softly on the first desk and something fascinating happens. Several students lift their arms clean off the table. Some scrape their chairs back. ‘There’s no way I’m touching them,’ says one. Another mutters, ‘This is so dodgy.’ When the pack lands in front of me, I can feel the sympathetic stares. It’s like I’ve been handed a loaded Kalashnikov.

I shrug and put the tip of my finger on the pack. There’s no spark. I pick them up, turning them over in my hand. It turns out there are Christian symbols on them. But that's not what sticks with me for the rest of the week. Or frankly what has stayed with me in the decade since this incident. What lodges in my mind is the fear. There were complaints afterwards. Colleagues said a satanic power tool had no place in a Bible college. It was, they said, a spiritual contaminant. ...

http://www.premierchristianity.com/...Meet-The-Real-Life-Witches?platform=hootsuite
Wonderful link.
 

FrKadash

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#10
The Indian woman who hunts the witch hunters
By Soutik Biswas BBC News, Assam

Not so long ago, Birubala Rabha believed witches existed.
Growing up, neighbours often told her often about evil women, or daini (witches) skulking in the village.
Ms Rabha was six when her father died, forcing her to drop out of school to help her mother, a farm worker in India's north-eastern Assam state.
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-35975360
 

Xanatic*

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#11
In Sweden we have had an influx of eastern european beggars in the last few years. So it was no surprise to see an older woman sitting in front of the supermarket, begging. What got me surprised was the old-fashioned broom she had with her. Her ride home?
 

Tribble

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#13
The Witch Report 1600 — Yorkshire headed the list

Was 1600s Yorkshire a good place to be a witch? A history researcher at the University of Huddersfield has been finding out, and her investigations have resulted in a new online article.

In England as a whole there were 2,000 arraignments for witchcraft between 1560 and 1706. But many were acquitted and just 300 were executed, meaning that the country escaped the full frenzy of the witch hunts that took place in other parts of Europe.

"Belief not only varied from country to country, but also from county to county," according to Amelia Sceats in her article, which appears in the new issue of Postgraduate Perspectives on the Past, the University's journal for standout work by postgraduate students of history, heritage and archaeology.

"On the surface, Yorkshire did not have a witch hunt, even though the Pendle witch trials of 1612 took place nearby," continues Amelia. But she did discover that there was a greater propensity in Yorkshire than in other regions to believe in the existence of covens of witches.


https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2016/06/the-witch-report-1600-yorkshire-headed.html
 

Red Steel

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#15
Meet The Real Life Witches
After spending time with some witches, Rev Peter Laws believes the Church has been guilty of misunderstanding what they believe and practise

Thirty ministers in training are sitting in a lecture room at Spurgeon’s Bible college. I’m one of them. The air is fizzing with tension. People stare in shock at the speaker; a few shake their heads at this respected scholar. One of his Old Testament tomes is on our required reading list, yet he’s just also told us that he owns a set of tarot cards. It’s the sort of comment that makes the air hiss. Somebody’s pen is slowly clicking on and off, on and off.

He pulls a tarot deck from his bag. ‘The cards have a surprising amount of Christian symbolism in them,’ he says. ‘I sometimes take them to psychic fairs…they help me share my faith.’ He opens the pack and then says something that makes the pen clicker stop dead. ‘Pass them round.’

They’re average-size cards. They aren’t glowing. There’s no demonic hum. But he hasn’t exactly asked us to just shuffle for Pontoon. He sets them softly on the first desk and something fascinating happens. Several students lift their arms clean off the table. Some scrape their chairs back. ‘There’s no way I’m touching them,’ says one. Another mutters, ‘This is so dodgy.’ When the pack lands in front of me, I can feel the sympathetic stares. It’s like I’ve been handed a loaded Kalashnikov.

I shrug and put the tip of my finger on the pack. There’s no spark. I pick them up, turning them over in my hand. It turns out there are Christian symbols on them. But that's not what sticks with me for the rest of the week. Or frankly what has stayed with me in the decade since this incident. What lodges in my mind is the fear. There were complaints afterwards. Colleagues said a satanic power tool had no place in a Bible college. It was, they said, a spiritual contaminant. ...

http://www.premierchristianity.com/...Meet-The-Real-Life-Witches?platform=hootsuite
Most people I know who use Tarot Cards won't allow anyone to touch them.
 

FrKadash

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#16
How the power of witchcraft gripped 70s Britain
Unearthed documentaries show us the changing face of the modern witch, and how the neo-pagan became a viable alternative for the era’s disillusioned youth

In modern society, we’re totally past burning people at the stake, or dunking women in the town lake because our crops died. The tendrils of witchcraft have found their way into contemporary fashion, zine culture and sharp-tongued 90s rom-coms. Not that this change in global consciousness towards the magical practice was smooth sailing. Up until 1951, the practice of witchcraft was outlawed in Britain. When it was finally repealed with the enactment of the Fraudulent Mediums Act, witchy practices and elements began to seep into the mainstream narrative; and so began bringing the witch out of the underground in the ‘occult explosion’ of the 1970s.
http://www.dazeddigital.com/artsand...w-the-power-of-witchcraft-gripped-70s-britain
 

FrKadash

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#17
‘Witch’ marks discovered at Sussex castle
Published: 15:12 Sunday 18 September 2016

The rare ‘medieval graffiti’ includes mason marks and intriguing witch marks and gives fresh insight into the lives of the people who built and lived in the castle hundreds of years ago. A recent survey, commissioned by the National Trust, by medieval graffiti expert Matt Champion found far more marks at the castle than they expected.
http://www.hastingsobserver.co.uk/news/witch-marks-discovered-at-sussex-castle-1-7584436
 

JamesWhitehead

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#18
Well worth a read, though it seems to be essentially a background piece for Gary Parsons' upcoming work.

I remember the era and it's true to say that no Sunday would have been complete without a naked witch story in The News of the World or The People. Defiled churches, mysterious symbols, animal sacrifices were everywhere, though your genuine tied-to-the-altar virgin remained elusive as ever.

I was a bit young to subscribe to Man, Myth & Magic, though any editions which came my way were lapped up. I think it was advertised on the telly with images of voodoo and shrunken heads. Certainly a classmate became a life-long Pagan, so it must all have had a lasting effect on some people.

As soon as I could, I was reading Crowley and Levi in an attempt to fathom the mysteries behind all these ceremonies and symbols. Later, I would encounter self-declared witches and practicing occultists with oodles of the same sort of literature on their shelves, though they were disinclined to critical or close-reading. It turned out the symbols meant whatever they wanted them to mean and they would make things up to suit their own mood. Witchcraft had a lot more to do with fashion than with scholarship.

Anyway, I was never invited to any of their sky-clad gatherings. :(
 

Dr. Porhoët

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#19
As soon as I could, I was reading Crowley and Levi in an attempt to fathom the mysteries behind all these ceremonies and symbols. Later, I would encounter self-declared witches and practicing occultists with oodles of the same sort of literature on their shelves, though they were disinclined to critical or close-reading. It turned out the symbols meant whatever they wanted them to mean and they would make things up to suit their own mood. Witchcraft had a lot more to do with fashion than with scholarship.
Can I ask if reading Crowley or Levi ever set anything straight for you? I've tried both and couldn't get anything from either. Crowley seemed a little more self aware than Levi, but they were a pair of wallies.

Very interesting that you note that the outspoken occultists didn't put a lot of effort into the scholarship. It's the exact same today. I don't practice any of that stuff, but I am rather interested in it. For the sake of research, I recently joined (and subsequently got banned from) several facebook groups on left hand path occultism. My goodness, the members there were thick.



Occultism is an interesting thing. To study the occult is literally to study the hidden. But how can a person possibly make sense of the hidden if they haven't made sense of what's on display? I mean, to even gain a decent understanding of occultism, you'd need to have a rudimentary understanding of all major world mythologies, religions, philosophies and sciences. Glancing over the Satanic Bible or the Book of Shadows isn't going to cut it!

Sorry if I'm derailing the thread. This has been on my mind recently. I guess occultism is like everything else in the world: most of the people who are interested in it are gobshites.
 

JamesWhitehead

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#20
most of the people who are interested in it are gobshites.
Including those "authorities" Levi and Crowley! Levi is normally dismissed as a journalist and it is impossible to read Crowley without feeling that his tongue was in his cheek as he led his dense-but-moneyed acolytes deeper into his labyrinth of initiations. Wasn't he stuffed when the flow of initiates dried up with the Stock Market Crash!

Some would swear by Grimoires which may have commanded attention as rare or banned volumes. Considered together, they seem garbled, repetitive and opportunistic - promising, like pornography, from the same publishers, a good deal more than they delivered.

Alchemy is a parallel case. Endless authorities are cited but the interpretation has always been very free. In the end, one wonders if these volumes were not just the coffee-table books of their time: "One day I'll get into this cool stuff - meanwhile check out these cryptic engravings!" :D
 

Frideswide

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#21
Alchemy is a parallel case. Endless authorities are cited but the interpretation has always been very free. In the end, one wonders if these volumes were not just the coffee-table books of their time: "One day I'll get into this cool stuff - meanwhile check out these cryptic engravings!" :D
as a slight diversion, have you met Adam McLean?
 

Ulalume

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#22
Alchemy is a parallel case. Endless authorities are cited but the interpretation has always been very free. In the end, one wonders if these volumes were not just the coffee-table books of their time: "One day I'll get into this cool stuff - meanwhile check out these cryptic engravings!" :D
Not in every case - I once had a friend whose grandfather fancied himself an alchemist. Had a whole big lab in his basement and everything. :D His obsession was attempting to transform copper pennies into gold.

I was intrigued by this and asked for more information, but my friend said he'd always considered his grandpa a raving looney, so never paid much attention during their sessions in the lab.

The weird thing (well, weirder than usual, considering the subject) was that the grandfather was a retired surgeon, so had a background in legitimate science. Odd that he should take up a discredited science as a hobby!

The cryptic engravings do look cool - puffing away at toxic fumes with a bellows, not so much. :p
 

JamesWhitehead

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#24
as a slight diversion, have you met Adam McLean?
Only via his website and videos. I recently posted a link to his three-part video on the imagery of alchemy, which is freely available on Youtube. Levity.com was one of the first websites which really seemed to take a subject further than any published book had done. His videos on alchemical imagery seek to separate the symbols from the emblems and the opportunistic use of available plates. My own introduction to the subject came with my adolescent perusal of Jung's volume and slightly later purchase of John Read's Prelude to Chemistry. I have always been fascinated by accounts by scientists who have attempted to replicate the procedures of the alchemists, sometimes reproducing the changes of colour and texture which mesmerized them. I have sometimes wondered if the fumes of the laboratory were responsible for some of the more visionary experiences - not an original thought, I admit!

The cryptic engravings do look cool - puffing away at toxic fumes with a bellows, not so much.
Yes. The most elaborate of the manuscripts and printed volumes on the subject were clearly never used in a lab. Like the Books of Hours, which some of them resemble, they seem beautiful objects for contemplation. A bit like our most lavish cookery-books! :D
 

Frideswide

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#25
Adam McLean is a local boy for me :) some years ago I took a course he wrote on interpreting the images, ways to look for things, ground rules where known and so on. Really enjoyed it - you also got a cd full of images! - and it was so much better than the How to Look at Pictures in an Art History course I also took!
 

FrKadash

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#26
When Tomatoes Were Blamed For Witchcraft and Werewolves
People have feared tomatoes for 600 years.
by Romie Stott
October 24, 2016

No other vegetable has been as maligned as the tomato (and it is a vegetable, by order of the United States Supreme Court). We call tomatoes killers. We call them rotten. We call them ugly. We call them sad. To find the reason why, you have to go back to the 1500s, when the humble fruit first reached European shores (and it is a fruit, by scientific consensus). Through no fault of its own, the tomato stepped into the middle of a continent-wide witchcraft panic, and a scientific community in tumult.
http://www.atlasobscura.com/article...utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=atlas-page
 

FrKadash

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#28
The Pear of Anguish: medieval torture device used against women accused of witchcraft

There is a wide range of medieval torture devices that were available in the Middle Ages.
These devices were separately created for men and women.
One of these devices invented exclusively for women torture was the Pear of Anguish (known as choke pear-the modern name for this instrument displayed in some museums).
http://www.thevintagenews.com/2016/...ice-used-against-women-accused-of-witchcraft/
 

JamesWhitehead

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#29
I love the fastidious note that it was rarely washed between uses!

Christ! You didn't want to be a blasphemer when they'd just finished questioning the homosexuals!

What a muddled article! It contains all the usual guff, though it is honest enough to state there is no contemporary evidence of its use. An editor? has chosen to spice it up by stating it was "exclusively for women!" - which contradicts what follows.

My guess? Probably a 19th Century tea-infuser! :rofl:
 
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