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Human Sacrifice

To: alt.religion.orisha,alt.magick.tyagi,alt.satanism
From: Darth Pikachu 
Subject: Re: Human Sacrifice
Date: Sun, 27 Aug 2000 22:53:06 -0400

On Sun, 27 Aug 2000 21:20:42 -0400, E. C. Ballard wrote
(in message ):

> In all of Central and Southern Africa the sorcerer is viewed as somebody
> whose practice and ethics are distinct from that of witchcraft.

Part of the difficulty is the translation of the words in question. European 
languages refer back to The Bible as means of defining these terms. 
Originally, these were concepts based in ancient cultural standards which do 
not necessarily overlap perfectly with modern definitions.

I've met individuals in the Santeria community who referred to their 
practices as witchcraft, even though the magic they practiced was (by most 
standards) rather white-light and beneficient. Though, perhaps, some chickens 
and doves might beg to differ. :-) 

The Bible inferentially defines witchcraft as a form of magic which involves 
working with a spiritus familiaris. It describes this in its criteria for 
identifying witches, for the purpose of punishment and exile. The question 
then becomes -- what does that term mean? 

In medieval texts, the familiar spirit is described as a demon in the form of 
an animal-- but in writings from more sober times, familiar spirits are 
usually described as ancestral spirits who assist in divination. That sounds 
more than a bit like Spiritism, and helps validate the connection between 
Afro-Carribean practices and the term "witchcraft." 

The association of this term with diabolism is strictly because in Catholic 
theology, the calling of the dead back to earth is highly heretical. Spirits 
which seem to violate church canon must, therefore, be lying demons.

Yes, this is semantics... but the terms used in the discussion of magic are 
often so arbitrary and culture-specific that confusion abounds.

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