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Author Topic: Origins of Modern Witchcraft: The Evolution of a World Religion  (Read 9457 times) Average Rating: 1
catja6
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« Reply #15: February 11, 2010, 08:25:39 pm »

I think this would fall under 'looking at ancient practice with a modern Neo-Wiccan lens?'  By that I mean how many modern day practitoners just invoke whichever gods are applicable to the situation.

Modern Neo-Wiccans may do that, sure.  But they have a legit ancient precedent -- the ancient Greeks who practiced magic did exactly the same thing.  Sarah Iles Johnston, in Hekate Soteira, calculated which gods showed up most frequently in surviving ancient spells of every variety, and the number that invoke Hekate is greater than, like, all the others put together. 

I actually think that specifically matching the god to the type of spell -- Aphrodite to a love spell, Hera to a marriage spell -- might be *more* Neo-Wiccan than not.  While ancient Greek religion and magic were not as separate as is sometimes claimed (at least among magic practitioners), they were not nearly as closely intertwined as in modern Wicca/Neo-Wicca.  Magic, in ancient Greece, was an unorthodox technology, and firmly under Hekate's domain.  If you were doing magic, you likely -- as Johnston demonstrates -- went to her first, because she is in charge of the *means* by which you're trying to get whatever it is:  if you choose this technology, you need her approval before you get to the end goal.  She seems to function almost as a magical gatekeeper, in that sense. 

If you wanted to be more orthodox, you'd go pray to the god who governs your end goal -- Aphrodite for love.  But in Wicca/Neo-Wicca, magic is, kind of, the default method for achieving goals -- it's not cordoned off under the specific domain of Hekate quite as thoroughly.  Of course, there are plenty of surviving ancient love spells that invoke Aphrodite first, but Hekate is so visibly present that that it's clear that many practitioners were giving precedence to the means, rather than the end goal, in constructing their spells.         
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« Reply #16: February 11, 2010, 08:31:14 pm »

Weeeell, if you're willing to follow the same careless and uninformed thought processes, and if you squint really hard, you can almost see where she got it.  Hekate is the single most widely invoked goddess in surviving spells from ancient Greece -- a major chunk of which were love spells.  Hekate is the pre-eminent goddess of magic, and ancient witches/magicians clearly felt that she was therefore the best deity to invoke, no matter what the specific purpose of the spell.  So, if she read about ancient Greek and Roman love magic, and saw that Hekate was commonly invoked, it makes a tiny -- just a tiny -- bit more sense.   

Oh I can see that. And it might make more sense to me if Aphrodite wasn't hanging around, and if she hadn't carved out the "eroticism" bit. Because really, Aphrodite has that area pretty well tied up. But it was like she didn't exist, which made it even more bizarre (and I won't go into her talking about the Norse pantheon in the same breath).
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« Reply #17: February 11, 2010, 08:37:02 pm »

Oh I can see that. And it might make more sense to me if Aphrodite wasn't hanging around, and if she hadn't carved out the "eroticism" bit. Because really, Aphrodite has that area pretty well tied up. But it was like she didn't exist, which made it even more bizarre (and I won't go into her talking about the Norse pantheon in the same breath).

Just wild mad guessing here, but I'm guessing she tried to say that the "Greek Goddess of Eroticism and Magic" is the same as a certain Norse goddess that has both of those in her sphere of influence?
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« Reply #18: February 11, 2010, 08:38:07 pm »

       

Yeah, this is pretty much what I meant.  Sorry for any confusion Smiley
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« Reply #19: February 11, 2010, 08:48:48 pm »

Just wild mad guessing here, but I'm guessing she tried to say that the "Greek Goddess of Eroticism and Magic" is the same as a certain Norse goddess that has both of those in her sphere of influence?

I honestly can't remember, but that sounds about right.
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« Reply #20: February 11, 2010, 08:57:57 pm »

Ah yes. The only author to remain #1 on my Total Shit List for 10 years.

Hekate: Goddess of Eroticism.

'nuf said.

Wow.

(Although, I guess what is erotic is subjective and individual... note to self: do not pursue an intimate relationship with Moura.)
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« Reply #21: February 11, 2010, 10:30:19 pm »

WTF!?! Shocked

I'm with Juni, how the hell did she come up with that?

I have no idea at all! I'm still in the 'what the hell?' kind of stage too.
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« Reply #22: February 12, 2010, 12:29:18 am »

(Although, I guess what is erotic is subjective and individual... note to self: do not pursue an intimate relationship with Moura.)
That made me laugh out loud.

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« Reply #23: February 19, 2010, 10:52:46 am »

Title: Origins of Modern Witchcraft: The Evolution of a World Religion
Author(s): Ann Moura
Publisher: Llewellyn Publications

I picked up "Dancing Shadows: the Roots of Western Religious Beliefs" that she published under the name Aoumiel a few years before this one. It looks like "Origins" was an expanded version of it.
It traced Wicca back to the Indus Valley and Hinduism- connected the Wiccan God & Goddess to Shiva and Shakti. Now, I have heard others say that Gardner was in part inspired by Tantra when he created Wicca. That's far from a direct connection to Hinduism though!

I picked up the book at a garage sale for around 25 cents. That's about what it was worth! Got rid of it later.

I do have to say though, it seems claiming ancient origins for Wicca & related religions is a lot popular than it was even 10 years ago when I came onto the Pagan scene. Though we are far from being fluff-free, there is a lot more decent scholarship that people use.
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« Reply #24: February 19, 2010, 05:21:10 pm »

I picked up "Dancing Shadows: the Roots of Western Religious Beliefs" that she published under the name Aoumiel a few years before this one.

I never saw that one. I doubt I missed much.

Quote
I do have to say though, it seems claiming ancient origins for Wicca & related religions is a lot popular than it was even 10 years ago when I came onto the Pagan scene. Though we are far from being fluff-free, there is a lot more decent scholarship that people use.

Yes, it seems like fewer people are making the claim these days, probably because the claim now gets debunked and/or laughed at much more frequently than it used to.
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