Ritual and magic

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Magic, Pharaonic Egypt

Magic, Pharaonic Egypt

Since the private magician and the cultic priest were the same, magical spells and ritual or medical texts were composed, compiled, and used by the same group of professionals (Ritner 1993: 2). Therefore, it becomes even clearer why there was no differentiation between religion, magic, and medicine. Magic in medical treatment was represented by the lion-headed goddess Sekhmet, embodying her malignant power, both dangerous and destruc- tive, as well as her protective and healing abilities. Both aspects are covered by her name, which meant “the female powerful one,” and she was seen as a daughter of Re (Wilkinson 2003: 181). Physicians, as priests of Sekhmet, were trained in the House of Life, both in magic and practical medicine (Allen 2005: 11–12). They were skilled in the use of magical spells to empower their diagnosis and prescriptions. Preventive medicine was also primarily based on magic, as the “Amulets of health” tell us (Pinch 2006: 142). Further examples of concern for public health are the temple statues called cippi, featuring HORUS

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Arcade magic

Arcade magic

‘Aura’ is a kind of oppressive magic possessed by the artwork by virtue of its uniqueness and ritual value. By renouncing the possibility of such a distance, whether natural or artificial, does Baudelaire’s poetry then continue a process inaugurated by Galileo’s telescope in the seventeenth century? And is Benjamin’s enthusiasm for mechanical reproduction matched by an approval of the extinguishing of the heavens? Insofar as Baudelaire does away with ‘illusory appearances’ yes, but one needs to take into account as well those dialectical companions to Baudelaire, Auguste Blanqui and Charles Fourier, who busily reconstruct cosmologies as essential elements of their revolutionary and utopian ideologies. When Fourier ‘calculated mathematically the transmigration of the soul, and went on to prove that the human soul must assume 810 different forms until it completes the circuit of the planets and returns to earth’ (W1a), or when Blanqui posited an ‘entire

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A Theological Ritual Analysis of the Practical Order, Ritual Function, and Theological Purpose of the Daily Divine Service
according to the Priestly Tradition in the Pentateuch

A Theological Ritual Analysis of the Practical Order, Ritual Function, and Theological Purpose of the Daily Divine Service according to the Priestly Tradition in the Pentateuch

Von Rad holds that the Pentateuch was compiled from various oral and written sources and edited late in Israel’s history but he believes that its creedal forms are drawn from early periods. He denies that the Pentateuch originally consisted of a well–thought–out ritual system but rather that it portrays a later systematic categorisation of different kinds of offerings. Although he inquires about the function of the different kinds of offerings, von Rad does not deal specifically with the daily divine service. He determines that the offerings of the Israelites may accomplish three distinct things. They can function either as a gift, or as the means of atonement, or as recognition of communion between two or more parties, but he does not rule out that on some occasions the offerings may perform more than one function at a time. Von Rad is sharply critical of any magical notion of ritual function, which he also designates as a “dynamistic” understanding of the world. In this view, man sees himself in relation to other things in the world and he strives to maintain his status with them through objects by which he influences those around him including the deity. Von Rad claims that the Pentateuch supersedes any notion of magic by emphasising the moral responsibility of individuals. He does, however, acknowledge the saving aspect of the offerings of Israel. He objects to the neo–Protestant suspicion that the offerings are effective simply by enacting them, opera operata, and states that they become saving events because the divine word is added to them. Although he makes a limited effort to analyse the ritual function and theological purpose of the offerings, von Rad’s chief interest lies in their theological meaning. He believes that more important than what the offerings do is what they mean; the theological ideas expressed by the offering and the reasons for offering it are far more significant than what they actually accomplish. Thus, von Rad holds that a distinction must be made between the basic idea of an offering and the reason for its performance. For him, the significance of the offering and the motive for offering it are its most important spiritual aspects, not the act itself. So von Rad offers many new insights about the cultus of Israel, but his

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The structure of ritual and the epistemological approach to ritual study

The structure of ritual and the epistemological approach to ritual study

In February 2013, I went to Dayao Mountain, Jinxiu County, Guangxi Province with a research team. We filmed a large collective sacrifice ritual called “tiaoganwang.” On May 3 I returned to Dayao Mountain, played the film for the presiders and performers including wizards, temple attendants, and dancers and asked them to explain the meaning of every procedure to us. In the film when a temple attendant led the ranks inviting spirits to the temple, he stood before the temple, hands spreading outward from his chest as if he were opening the gate, and chanted quietly for a while. A wizard told me this was “opening the temple gate.” I asked the temple attendant what he was chanting quietly. He said he was telling the spirits in the temple, “ We are inviting and carrying you to the village to entertain you with song, dancing, and a feast,” just what you would say when you visit someone’s family. I asked him again, “Is this quiet chant magic? Is it sacred?” 18 Hearing my question, the temple attendant and wizards all laughed. After laughing for a while, the wizard said, “ If the chant is quiet and no one else hears it, it is sacred. If the chant is loud and others hear it, it is all daily words.”

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Does ritual exist? Defining and classifying ritual based on belief theory

Does ritual exist? Defining and classifying ritual based on belief theory

In 1909 a French academic book titled Les Rites de Passage was published. The author, van Gennep, contributed an analytical framework for the ritual called the "rite of pas- sage." Van Gennep lived at the beginning period of anthropology-sociology, and was dedicated to finding the general structure of ritual. The discussion of rites of passage began with the difference and separation between the profane and the sacred, which was the generally recognized proposition at that time. Van Gennep found that individ- uals must go through an intermediate stage in which they cross between the profane and the sacred. In general, when a member of a society changes, such as through birth, adulthood, marriage, or death, people usually need to hold a ritual for them to mark the changes or transitions of an individual. Van Gennep called these rituals rites of pas- sage, all of which were to “accompany a passage from one situation to another or from one cosmic or social world to another.” Furthermore, van Gennep subdivided these rit- uals into rites of separation, transition rites, and rites of incorporation (van Gennep 1960, 10-11). The book provides many examples. They are used not only to support the theory, but also to establish how to use this abstract theory regarding empirical cases. “Our interest lies not in the particular rites but in their essential significance and their relative positions within ceremonial wholes, that is, their order. ... The underlying arrangement is always the same. Beneath a multiplicity of forms, either consciously expressed or merely implied, a typical pattern always recurs: the pattern of the rites of passage(original italics)” (van Gennep 1960, 191).

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Where science and magic meet: the illusion of a “science of magic”

Where science and magic meet: the illusion of a “science of magic”

Again, this is not to say that such research is unworthy of our attention, or that any studies that follow will not lead to greater understanding of cognitive and neural processes. But if it is to do so, we need to be clearer about what we currently know, and what it is we wish to achieve (Lamont & Henderson, 2009). If we are simply looking for the neural bases of basic psychological processes in cognition and perception, such as those related to phenomena like inattentional blindness, change blindness, persuasion, deception or belief, then we do not need to look to magic for testable neural hypotheses. Indeed, neuroscientific work on these and related topics are well underway (e.g. Beck et al., 2001; Beck et al., 2006; Fernandez-Duque et al., 2003; Huettel et al., 2001; Klucharev et al., 2008; Pourtois et al., 2006; Turatto et al., 2002). And by presenting the scientific study of magic as an attempt to understand how magic tricks work, we risk missing a rather obvious point. Magicians not only understand how magic tricks work, but also demonstrate the adequacy of their understanding in every performance (which, it might be said, has a rate of successful replication few psychologists and neuroscientists manage to achieve). However, what any experienced magician also understands is that the performance of magic involves an endless range of physical and psychological techniques, the particulars of which continue to grow, and the general categories of which are, and always have been, disputed. And, however we attempt to understand magic performance, it remains a social phenomenon that is located within, and depends upon, the particular

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(a, d) – Edge-antimagic Total labeling in Extended Duplicate Graph of Path

(a, d) – Edge-antimagic Total labeling in Extended Duplicate Graph of Path

In 1967, the concept of graph labeling was introduced by Rosa [3]. Graph labeling is an assignment of integers to the edges or vertices or both subject to certain conditions. Labeled graphs serve as useful models in a broad range of applications such as circuit design, communication network addressing, X-ray crystallography, radar, astronomy, data base management and coding theory. Over the past three decades various labeling of graphs such as cordial labeling, prime labeling, binary labeling, magic labeling, anti-magic labeling, bi-magic labeling, mean labeling, arithmetic labeling, graceful labeling, harmonious labeling etc., have been investigated in the literature [1].

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Between Ritual and Elegance: The Perception of Chinese Ritual Bronzes in Korea

Between Ritual and Elegance: The Perception of Chinese Ritual Bronzes in Korea

Koryŏ artisans introduced innovative designs by modifying shapes and decorative patterns. A representative example in this regard is another Square Cauldron Incense Burner housed in the National Museum of Korea (hereafter NMK Square Cauldron 2,Figure. 7).The NMK Square Cauldron 2 can easily be recognized as a ceramic following ancient Chinese models with its two upright handles and rectangular body decorated with taotie masks against a ground of angular thunder patterns. The mythical animal mask has been transformed into swirling ornaments, while its origin is hardly recognizable. The registers, divided by flanges in more orthodox examples, have been altered into even decorative sections. Moreover, the very short feet bear small holes, and a squared spiral pattern encircling the narrow band of mouth can hardly be compared with the beaked-dragon design from which it most likely derived. While NMK Square Cauldron 1may well have served as a ritual vessel, it is quite unlikely that NMK Square Cauldron 2 had the same function.The transformation rather seems signify its function as collectible, made for display and appreciation in the studio of the Koryŏ elite.

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Ritual as a method of social memory content transfer

Ritual as a method of social memory content transfer

One of the first scientists studying collective memory was M. Halbwachs. In his work “Social memory framework” he presents theoretical underpinning of both individual and collective memory existence. According to M. Halbwachs, despite their close interrelation, collective memory is capable of turning round individual memory, however, it does not intermingle with them following its own laws. M. Halbwachs devotes the whole chapter of the given book to mechanisms of memory formation and reconstruction of the past. He made the statement that our memory is not reproduction of the past experience but its reconstruction [12]. On the basis of the given statement it is possible to assume that rituals of memory allow the society or a social group to implement such reconstruction. According to M. Halbwachs, it is necessary to understand the viewpoint of the group transferred from the individual self, as well as to see how a certain fact becomes memorable while entering the range of national interests. We memorize the event form our childhood when we realize others feel excited about it [12]. Thus the position of M. Halbwachs allows considering a ritual as a mechanism to create a specific emotional atmosphere for memorizing the event and reconstruction of the past in memory of an individual. On the basis of the research conducted by M. Halbwachs, we can draw two conclusions: 1) The role of a ritual in social memory is not only in recording, but also in transmission of essential social information. 2) A ritual is capable of creating specific atmosphere for memorizing, and participation in a ritual act allows reconstructing the past.

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Jewels, Gems, and Magic Stones: The Uses of Stones in Natural Magic in the Middle Ages

Jewels, Gems, and Magic Stones: The Uses of Stones in Natural Magic in the Middle Ages

three Magi following a star to Bethlehem, and argued that this was a form of natural magic. 5 An even earlier example is that of Bishop Marbod of Rennes, who wrote the Liber Lapidum, a lapidary, in the late eleventh century. 6 Lapidaries were books that described the appearance and properties, both mundane and magical, of various rocks and minerals. 7 Stones, jewels, and gems were of particular interest, since they were believed to be much more powerful than

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imaginary bell (“Dilly ding! Dilly dong!”), “turned water into wine?” 11 Or the players—a solid “back four” who didn’t believe in passing to one another, while others further forward were able to “conjure magic” out of their “twinkle-toes?” Or was it neither of these, but a long dead King of England, Richard III, whose reburial in Leicester in late March 2015 came immediately before the Foxes’ revival (a nice example of contagious magic)? 12 Or should the credit go to a Thai Buddhist monk who, according to a Nigerian website, had been distributing “black magic” charms to the players and blessing the soccer pitch at the club’s King Power Stadium over the previous three years? 13

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Correspondences   Online Journal For The Academic Study of Western Esotericism, Volume 3

Correspondences Online Journal For The Academic Study of Western Esotericism, Volume 3

That we need a systematic approach along the lines of what Stausberg and Otto suggest is in my view confirmed by looking at the five contemporary pieces representing the current state of the debate. The five authors represent anything but a consensus. However, through a broader framework of “pat- terns of magicity” we might be able to at least put them in a fruitful dialogue. Susan Greenwood’s chapter on what she calls “magical consciousness” stands out the most from the rest. Drawing on her experience as both an anthropologist and a contemporary practitioner of magic, Greenwood offers a view on magic as a mode of consciousness, a “specific and intrinsic mode of mind” that is universally human (198) and allows one to communicate with spirits (208–10). Connecting “magical thinking” to imagination and defining it as “creative thinking that goes beyond the immediately apparent” she seems to have an extremely broad definition, with some nods to Lucien Lévy-Bruhl’s notion of “participation.” Ultimately, however, the view is derived straight from some contemporary magicians’ self-understanding of what magic is and how it works. Unfortunately, Greenwood also borrows the scientifically unsupported notion that the two hemispheres of the brain are connected with two distinct styles of thought (203-04, 209-10) – apparently nailing “magical consciousness” to the right hemisphere. This pop-psychological view is not uncommon among contemporary pagans, but it harmonizes badly with current science of the mind/brain. 4 In the end, Greenwood’s essay moves

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Magic of Language

Magic of Language

will be still XY. Of course, the same will happen, when we do this with two, three or four atoms. Yet in the end, following this procedure with sufficient consequence, we can fully decompose XY into atoms in this way. Even if we leave the isolated brain of the victim of our semantic analysis for the end, the gradual disintegration will finally affect this organ as well. And there- fore, at a certain moment, after taking away a proper number of atoms, a removal of a subsequent atom will lead to the trans- formation of XY into not-XY. It is unimportant where we will, arbitrarily, mark out this border. In each case, it will look fully artificial. After all, before taking away the next atom, this still-XY differs much more from the initial XY than from the already-not-XY that comes into being after taking away that atom. This is just the magic of language — imposing discrete, apparently perfectly determined and separated “facts”, such as “XY”, onto the world that is continuous in its essence — that forces us to face this sort of paradoxes. Of course, when we reach his brain during the decomposition of XY into atoms, when subsequent neural connections and neurons begin to van- ish, the psyche of XY will also gradually vanish. This will not be a sudden act of disappearance of the “soul”. Human con- sciousness can undergo splitting into two consciousnesses, almost completely independent of each other, when the opera- tion of commissurotomy is carried out (i.e. cutting of corpus callosum that connects the two brain hemispheres), which was once used to cure epilepsy. Large character changes (different, but generally consisting in mental impoverishment) can occur as a result of damages of various brain parts, chiefly frontal and prefrontal cortex (damage of other parts handicaps various cog- nitive functions). Alcoholism and drug addiction, associated with creeping degeneration of different brain areas, lead to gradual degeneration of personality

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Ritual space as borderland: building and breaching ritual borders in eastern central Gujarat

Ritual space as borderland: building and breaching ritual borders in eastern central Gujarat

Earlier versions of this essay were presented at the annual conference of the European Association for the Study of Religion in Södertörn, Sweden in August 2012 and the annual meeting of the Dharma Association of North America (DANAM) in Chicago in November 2012. I am grateful for the comments received there. Thanks are due, as always, to the people in Chhotaudepur taluka without whose assistance and toleration this essay would not have been possible. I must especially acknowledge here Bahubhai Harijan (Moti Sadhli), Subhash Ishai (Chhotaudepur), Arjun Rathva (Moti Sadhli), Ashvinbhai Rathva (Kanalva), Dashrath Rathva (Kocvad), Desing Rathva (Rangpur), Haribhai Rathva (Malaja), Kocar Rathva (Gabadiya), Madhu Rathva (Vanar), Mansing Rathva (Malaja), and Paresh Rathva (Kavant), who, in introducing me to Rathva ritual borders, helped me to cross cultural ones. I must also express my thanks to Dr. Alice Tilche, then a doctoral student at SOAS, with whom I visited many sites and from whose insights I have benefited. Thanks are due, too, to the Bhasha Research and Publication Centre, Vadodara, and the Adivasi Academy, Tejgadh, for repeated hospitality, and once again to Subhash Ishai, with whom I have discussed all of these topics and many more in detail; he has kindly read through the manuscript with a fine-toothed comb and corrected at least some of my mistakes. Fieldwork in India has been generously supported by the U.S. Fulbright Program (2009), the Faculty Development Committee of McDaniel College, Westminster, MD, and the research program Indigenous Religion(s): Local Grounds, Global Networks, at the University of Tromsø, supported by funds from the Norwegian Research Council.

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The Immoral Sati Ritual

The Immoral Sati Ritual

figure, though stylized, capture the essence of pain‖ (―Saving the Victim‖ 51). No one wants to feel the pain of burning to death. It is so torturous, it is a crime that the woman was allowed to end her life in such a manner. As expressed by Anne Hardgrove, the ritual is ―barbaric‖ and ―culturally backward‖ (―Sati Worship‖ 728). It is rejected by Hindu society today, because Hindus value life over a violent tradition that is a misinterpretation of a myth.

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Ontology of African Ritual

Ontology of African Ritual

African rituals, like other phenomena of African cultural heritage are usually faced with criticisms of being either superstitious, fetish, mundane or simply irrational. These criticisms, often based on certain logical criteria, have cate- gorized the African mode of thinking as illogical, unreasonable and non-rational. Given the proclivity of the African mode of thinking of fusing the epistemological into the metaphysical, such criticism could either be excused or be regarded as a misinterpretation, misrepresentation and non-sequitur . However, the issue at stake calls for a deep examination of some of these phenomena to establish their reasonableness as veritable reality among Africans with serious existential import. One of such phenomena is ritual, which is actually pervasive as far as African existential reality is con- cerned. This paper examines African ritual to establish its reasonableness by establishing its ontology. The paper argues that based on African ontology, African rituals cannot be judged on the principles of Western scientific ra- tionality but rather should be seen as a non-rational action like other human phenomenon like love or possessing rationality internal to the metaphysical beliefs that underpin the African worldview.

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Magicness  in Extended Duplicate Graphs

Magicness  in Extended Duplicate Graphs

3.J.A .Gallian ,`` A Dynamic survey of graph labeling’’ ,The Electronic Journal of Combinatories.2014 ; 17 : #DS6. 4.J.AMacDougall, Mirka Miller, W.DWallis,``Vertex – magic total labeling of wheels and related graphs’’, Utilitas Mathematica.2002; 62: 175-183.

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“The Year Replaces the Year.” Udmurt Spring Ceremonies among the Non-Christian Udmurt: An Ethnographic Analysis of Contemporary Ritual Life (on Materials from Varkled-Böd’ya Village)

“The Year Replaces the Year.” Udmurt Spring Ceremonies among the Non-Christian Udmurt: An Ethnographic Analysis of Contemporary Ritual Life (on Materials from Varkled-Böd’ya Village)

in this village. It is divided into two moieties, called vyzhy, as is usual for Southern Udmurt society, according to the deities each worship. Each moiety has its cult and a particular ritual song, which differs from the other in tune and text. The abovemen- tioned song is from the Lud moiety. In the third house, the scenario was very similar: the head of the household, Viktor, covered his head, put on a traditional belt, took a bowl of porridge and went to pray in the courtyard. He prayed on the left side of the door, towards the south, also bowing thrice, then turned clockwise and re-entered the house. Everybody stood up when he re-entered the room where the kin had gathered around the table. They waited until he and his family had tasted the porridge: he uncovered his head, tasted two spoonsful of porridge, followed by his wife Natal’ya and his two daughters, the older and the younger. After that he addressed the people sitting around the table, saying: “Let the prayers be blessed.” All stood up and answered: “Let it be so”. All the people sat down and could then taste the porridge themselves. The kuz’o’s wife then poured a shot of moonshine for her husband and served all the others around the table and the room clockwise. At the same time, her husband sat on the sofa talk- ing to Eva; we were offered moonshine last, after all the kin had been served. Then, the housewife distributed eggs to all the children and the younger people, i.e. those who were not given moonshine. Meanwhile, her husband photographed and filmed. On this table, apart from the ritual food, there were fowl, salted and smoked fish, soup, cold meats. Here they also sang, lead by the housewife Natasha, who is the director of the House of Culture.

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Carlos P. Reyna, “Film and Ritual”

Carlos P. Reyna, “Film and Ritual”

Some reflection on this issue is certainly due. Roughly speaking, direct ob- servation, based on verbal language and memory, has the ability to capture some of the ritualistic manifestations present in the Santiago ritual. However, it tends to retain only the more relevant facts that are readily recorded in writ- ing. Thus, the description of these facts will be restricted to fragments of a larger referential frame. In compensation, the filmic continuum of the ritual, complemented by countless examinations of the film, allowed us not only to recognize in detail the nuances of gestures, actions, behaviors and continu- ous ritual happenings, but, from this same uninterrupted mise en scène, recon- stitute the complete real density of the indiscreet and subtle behaviors. The latter, despite being present in the images, were not intelligible and commu- nicative at first sight. A first viewing notably obeys the forms as they present themselves, that is their auto-mise en scène. In this case, the repeated examina- tion of the film, more than necessary, is absolutely essential. Because of this specificity we were led to explore what was present in the image, although not continuously highlighted, as in the case of the romance between Pedro and Rosa, because they were not the main actors/informants/addressees of our strategy and observation guides of the ritual.

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The implications of ritual practices and ritual plant uses on nature conservation: a case study among the Naxi in Yunnan Province, Southwest China

The implications of ritual practices and ritual plant uses on nature conservation: a case study among the Naxi in Yunnan Province, Southwest China

Conserving biodiversity based on cultural and religious faiths is often more efficient and sustainable than based only on governmental legislation or regulation [5]. The aboriginal community believes that ritual plants can be applied to ritual healing [6, 7] and used as incense or ornaments for the communications with spirits [8]. In China, a long history incense use for sanitation, religious activities, insecticidal and warfare exists, such uses are common in Confucianism, Daoism and Buddhism [9]. Throughout the world many ethnic groups follow their ritual beliefs and use plant diversity for ritual purposes. Ritual uses of plants might be related to religious or other activities. An ethnic group called the Naxi in the Northwest part of Yunnan province of China uses plenty of ritual plants during festivals for repayment for nature.

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