BEGINNING RECONSTRUCTIONIST TRADITIONAL WITCHCRAFT

23. srpna 2018 v 15:20 | ellen |  tips
Související obrázek
"Reconstructionist" Traditional Witchcraft is the Reconstructionist approach to the Historical Witchcraft of the X-XVIII centuries (and in some cases even later, for example there are attestations of Donne di Fuori - Sicilian practitioners - who are from 1980s). Although these cults have a pre-Christian origin, they are not exactly copies of the Religions of the Gentiles (Roman, Greek, Celtic, Germanic, etc.) because around the tenth century, as attested by the Canon Episcopi (906 CE), in the Franco-Germanic area there was a particular mixture of both Pagan and Christian elements that gave rise to the Medieval Witchcraft complex.
The fundamental difference with respect to the Religions of the Gentiles is that although their figures remained, the Gods were no longer defined as Deities, but people moved towards an animism, in which even the Gods were considered simple Spirits, more powerful than the others but still Spirits. The Spirits with which the witch worked, her allies, were called Familiar Spirits, and therefore we can say that Witchcraft was a cult of the Familiar Spirits.
From the Franco-Germanic area the T.W. complex spread gradually throughout Europe, both thanks to the simple talk, but above all by virtue of the sermons of Christian preachers AGAINSTthese beliefs, which however had the opposite effect, spreading them throughout the Continent.
By merging with the local pre-Christian remains of the various countries, of the various regions and of the various cities, the theme of the T.W. created different variations in every place in which it arrived.
So, we will have a Sicilian Traditional Witchcraft, where the practitioners were called Donne di Fuori and worshipped the Queen and the King of Fairies, a Calabrian one, linked to the cult of the Fatae, and so on.

This is the theory, but the practice? How to begin?
I think it's very useful for a beginner to:

1.
) Find his or her patron God/dess (or, as it would be better called, the Major Spirit) by analyzing legends, folklore and/or trials in the area in order to see the names of the beings who are leaders of the witches, of the fairies or of the Wild Hunt, and/or that are of pagan origins;

2.
) To start doing offerings to him/her (in the past, Ginzburg reveals, the offerings were tables full of food and drink, preceded by a cleaning and ordering of the house, to leave for the night in which the procession of the Major Spirit would have come to eat, drink, dance and give blessings to the home).

3.
) The Sabbath is also very important, but in order to celebrate it we have to discover the days in which we can do it: it's possible to see in legends books of a certain region the days in which witches gathered together, and to take these as the days for the Sabbaths for the tradition of witchcraft of that area.
The Sabbath would be:
- a bowing to the representation of the Major Spirit,
- an offering of candle,
- the banquet: some food and drink to eat in honour to the Major Spirit,
- a dance for him/her,
- and finally a sexual intercourse in honor to him/her (after a divination in which to see if it's an appreciated thing or not for the Spirit).

4.
) It's possible to use hydromancy (the most used method of trance after the astral travel in European trials) or other trance techniques or dreams/astral projection in order to contact the Major Spirit and let him/her taking you to:
- the procession from house to house with the Major Spirit to eat the food let for you, dance and bless with a wand the house and its inhabitants;
- or the Wild Hunt;
- or the Oneiric Sabbath;
- or the Other World (also called Elphame/Sybil's Paradise/etc. and with many other names, depending on the area that is considered);
- or to the Battles in Spirits (like those of Benandanti, Mazzeri, Taltos, Kresniks, etc.).

5.
) It's possible to ask during these visions or dreams in the Oniric Sabbath to receive the Animal Familiar Spirit.

6.
) Beyond to the Major Spirit, it's possible to do offerings for other Familiar Spirits (I repeat: with Familiar Spirit I mean every helpling spirit), the external ones such as:
- the House Spirit/Household Fairy (in Great Britain also called "brownie", "hobgoblin", etc.);
- the Genius Loci/Fairy of a natural place;
- the Ancestors;
- the Plant Ally (such as the Mandrake Familiars).
Or/and the internal one:
- the Animal Familiar, that can help as a guide during trance and dream travels, if it's discovered.
Usually the offerings are of food and drink but for the ancestors, which have usually candles and flowers, as it's possible to see in classical household catholic shrines to the dead and in cemeteries.

To deepen, I recommend these books and articles:

- Carlo Ginzburg
's "Ecstasies" and "Night Battles"

- Emma Wilby
's "Cunning Folk and Familiar Spirits" and "The Visions of Isobel Gowdie"

- Claude Lecouteux's "Witches, Werewolves, and Fairies" and "Phantom Armies of the Night"

- Gustav Henningsen's "Early Modern European Witchcraft: Centres and Peripheries"

- Sabina Magliocco's "Who Was Aradia" and "Aradia in Sardinia"

- Eva Pocs' "Fairies and witches at the boundary of south-eastern and central Europe" and all her other books

- Julian Goodare's "The Cult of the Seely Wights in Scotland"

- Bernadette Filotas' "Pagan Survivals, Superstitions and Popular Cultures in Early Medieval Pastoral Literature"

- Gelsomina Helen Castaldi's "Pagan Traces in Medieval and Early Modern European Witch-beliefs".
 

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