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xray

Back in 1988 when Merrifield wrote this book, the study of ritual and magic in academic circles was rare–frowned upon, even. Now it’s become something of a cottage industry, but this slim and approachable volume was an early precursor of current fields of study.

The author studied inventories of archaeological digs stretching back many years, looking for the odd bits that archaeologists either didn’t know how to interpret or interpreted in a prosaic way–things like bent pins or animal bones, bottles full of “rubbish,” or swords fished out of lakes, etc. In exhaustive detail, and stretching back two thousand years, Merrifield showed the ritual meaning of these things by their survival in folk traditions and superstitious. (Bent pins to ward off evil or witches; animal bones for sacrifice; bottles full of hair, urine residue and other things to ward against witches; swords thrown into lakes and rivers as sacrifices by warriors to assure victory, etc.)

It’s a fascinating peek into the Western magical tradition and the workings of the minds of our ancestors. Minds and traditions that we all too often share today.

(Here’s the article that goes with the picture above.)

Mirrored from Better Than Dead.


quotei

Emoting

Posted on 2016.05.04 at 11:08
Tags: , ,

Random quote of the day:

“Find the key emotion; this may be all you need to know to find your short story.”

—F. Scott Fitzgerald

(I couldn’t verify he said it, but it’s widely attributed to him, and the advice is sound, so…)

 emotion4WP@@@

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Siegfried and Roy, Leonard Maltin, or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

 

Mirrored from Better Than Dead.


quotei

Security

Posted on 2016.05.03 at 09:53
Tags: ,

Random quote of the day:

“No one can build his security upon the nobleness of another person.”

—Willa Cather, Alexander’s Bridge

 bridge4WP@@@

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Siegfried and Roy, Leonard Maltin, or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

 

Mirrored from Better Than Dead.


quotei

Liberation

Posted on 2016.05.02 at 10:28
Tags: , , ,

Random quote of the day:

“I conceive of God, in fact, as a means of liberation and not a means to control others.”

—James Baldwin, “In Search of a Majority,” address delivered at Kalamazoo College, February 1960

liberation4WP@@@ 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Siegfried and Roy, Leonard Maltin, or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

 

Mirrored from Better Than Dead.


quotei

Hell

Posted on 2016.04.29 at 09:49
Tags: ,

Random quote of the day:

“We are each our own devil, and we make this world our hell.”

—Oscar Wilde, The Duchess of Padua

 hell4WP@@@

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Siegfried and Roy, Leonard Maltin, or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

 

Mirrored from Better Than Dead.


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