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Victorian Occultism and the Making of Modern Magic: Invoking Tradition by Alison Butler (review)

Victorian Occultism and the Making of Modern Magic: Invoking Tradition by Alison Butler (review) as good, evil, purity, pollution, and ritual. The composers of the Avesta divided the entire temporal and spiritual world into two camps--good and evil--each with their ranks of gods and demons. According to this schema, all good things came ultimately from the Good Spirit (A.K.A. Ahura Mazda, or Ohrmazd) ¯ while all bad things--including old age, disease, demons, menstruation, and other curses and difficulties--came from the Evil Spirit (A.K.A. The Lie, Angra Mainyu, or Ahriman). Humans were seen as agents with free choice who could take actions that would aid either the good or the evil. This dualistic cosmology had a direct impact on the understanding of pollution, evil, and ritual. Corpses, menstruating women, and other sources of pollution were considered to be literally possessed by demons of the Evil Spirit and as such they could spread harm. Poorly done rituals or evil rituals could also aid the Evil Spirit. At the same time, performing the correct rites properly could combat demons and strengthen the Good Spirit. Given this worldview, the importance of magic is obvious. Correct rituals correctly performed had the power not only to help in this world, but also to strengthen the Good Principle and http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft University of Pennsylvania Press

Victorian Occultism and the Making of Modern Magic: Invoking Tradition by Alison Butler (review)

Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft , Volume 8 (1) – May 10, 2013

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Publisher
University of Pennsylvania Press
Copyright
The University of Pennsylvania Press
ISSN
1940-5111
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Abstract

as good, evil, purity, pollution, and ritual. The composers of the Avesta divided the entire temporal and spiritual world into two camps--good and evil--each with their ranks of gods and demons. According to this schema, all good things came ultimately from the Good Spirit (A.K.A. Ahura Mazda, or Ohrmazd) ¯ while all bad things--including old age, disease, demons, menstruation, and other curses and difficulties--came from the Evil Spirit (A.K.A. The Lie, Angra Mainyu, or Ahriman). Humans were seen as agents with free choice who could take actions that would aid either the good or the evil. This dualistic cosmology had a direct impact on the understanding of pollution, evil, and ritual. Corpses, menstruating women, and other sources of pollution were considered to be literally possessed by demons of the Evil Spirit and as such they could spread harm. Poorly done rituals or evil rituals could also aid the Evil Spirit. At the same time, performing the correct rites properly could combat demons and strengthen the Good Spirit. Given this worldview, the importance of magic is obvious. Correct rituals correctly performed had the power not only to help in this world, but also to strengthen the Good Principle and

Journal

Magic, Ritual, and WitchcraftUniversity of Pennsylvania Press

Published: May 10, 2013

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