Demonomania and Witchcraft - Joseph Workman
I presume there is hardly a member of this Association who has had the good fortune to be unacquainted with that distressing form of insanity, which is known under the designation Demonomania; and I am sure none who have had to encounter it in some of its intense forms, will deny that it is one of the greatest difficulties presented to our specialty. I fear that in its treatment we seldom derive much valuable aid from the quarter to which we have some right to look for it; yet we should feel most thankful for even the most trifling assistance in our arduous work. Belief in diabolic possession as an existing fact of the present day, may, I think, be said to be extinct, unless among the least educated portions of society. It is not to be expected, that a doctrine, which, less than two centuries ago, pervaded the whole of Christendom, and was preached from every pulpit, and proclaimed from every bench of justice, could utterly die out among the uncultured masses in Any very short lapse of time. I have myself met with persons, not insane, who have avowed their belief in its present existence.
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The majority of people who are new to spell working will acknowledge that for them common sense backed up by practical action is normally more productive than theoretical or mystical thinking. In magical working, as in everyday life, when we have to handle a wide range of circumstances, common sense in dealing with them will normally produce the best results. However, when we are confronted with the unusual or difficult, or are faced by extreme anxiety, even the most practical minded among us will theorize in order to make sense of what is happening. We have not moved such a long way since those times, in the distant past, when our ancestors and people around the world routinely believed that if the crops failed then the gods must be angry. Practices carried out then are still with us in the form of many of the festivals and feasts, which still have relevance in the societies where they began. Some of you may choose not to use the spells in this section, but they do offer a return to basics and give fascinating insights into how our ancestors dealt with everyday challenges.
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Once upon a time, we were Africans involved in a unique lexicon of beliefs, lore, stories, and customs that were designed to help integrate us into an environment filled ...
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