VICTORIAN CERAMIC SPELL BOOK bat ornate unglazed Paint Me Halloween craft DIY

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Seller: Top-Rated Seller sidewaysstairsco ✉️ (1,159) 100%, Location: Santa Ana, California, US, Ships to: US & many other countries, Item: 204450341904 VICTORIAN CERAMIC SPELL BOOK bat ornate unglazed Paint Me Halloween craft DIY. Check out our other new and used items>>>>>HERE! (click me) FOR SALE: A strikingly refined Halloween prop and exciting craft 5-3/8" "ORNATE BAT" DECORATIVE SPELL BOOK DETAILS: Unleash your inner artist and make this Halloween truly magical! Weave a spellbinding touch of creativity into your Halloween decor with a "Paint Me" ceramic spell book! Greenbrier International, Inc. presents an absolutely unique and majestic canvas for your imagination to take spooky flight - paint it, glitter it, sticker it, etc. Admire the ornamental, elegant front cover featuring an opulent, oval frame-like design adorned with intricate scrollwork and a single bat. The low-relief (3D), raised Victorian-themed design adds an aura of mystique to your Halloween decor. Express yourself by personalizing the blank name/title plate. Grab your brushes and bring your own enchanting title to life, whether it's a mystical incantation or a playful Halloween phrase. The earthenware texture of this decorative ceramic book beckons for a touch of your artistic prowess. Ceramic's versatile nature makes it an ideal canvas for your artistic expressions. The cream-colored, unfinished/unglazed ceramic surface welcomes paints of all kinds, ensuring your masterpiece stands out against the dark backdrop of Halloween night. From bewitching stamps to enchanting stickers, and glow-in-the-dark paint this spell book craves your unique touch. Experiment with various embellishments to make your creation truly one-of-a-kind. The possibilities are as endless as your imagination. A must-have for all Victorian era enthusiasts! A necessity for enthusiasts and collectors of all things witchy, mystical, Halloween-themed, or Victorian/Edwardian - especially those who are crafty! The "Ornate Bat" spell book is an enchanting addition to any witch's lair, Victorian-inspired setting, or clairvoyant-centered Halloween decor theme. Whether you're creating a mystical atmosphere or adding a touch of old-world charm, this personalizable decorative spell book is your perfect ally. Seasonal, hard to find, and retired! Dimensions: Approximately 5.375" (H) x 1.375" (W) x 4.25" (L) (inches). Weight: Approximately 10 ounces. CONDITION: New. Due to the nature of the material and manufacturing process imperfections are to be expected and vary. Please see photos. To ensure safe delivery all items are carefully packaged before shipping out. THANK YOU FOR LOOKING. QUESTIONS? JUST ASK. *ALL PHOTOS AND TEXT ARE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF SIDEWAYS STAIRS CO. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.* "The scroll in art is an element of ornament and graphic design featuring spirals and rolling incomplete circle motifs, some of which resemble the edge-on view of a book or document in scroll form, though many types are plant-scrolls, which loosely represent plant forms such as vines, with leaves or flowers attached. Scrollwork is a term for some forms of decoration dominated by spiralling scrolls, today used in popular language for two-dimensional decorative flourishes and arabesques of all kinds, especially those with circular or spiralling shapes. Scroll decoration has been used for the decoration of a vast range of objects, in all Eurasian cultures, and most beyond. A lengthy evolution over the last two millennia has taken forms of plant-based scroll decoration from Greco-Roman architecture to Chinese pottery, and then back across Eurasia to Europe. They are very widespread in architectural decoration, woodcarving, painted ceramics, mosaic, and illuminated manuscripts (mostly for borders). In the usual artistic convention, scrolls "apparently do not succumb to gravitational forces, as garlands and festoons do, or oppose them, in the manner of vertically growing trees. This gives scrolls a relentless power. Even if attached to walls, they are more deeply embedded in the architectural order than the festoon, which are fictitiously hanging on them."[2] Terminology Typically in true scrolls the main "stem" lines do not cross over each other, or not significantly. When crossing stems become a dominant feature in the design, terms such as interlace or arabesque are used instead. Many scrolls run along a relatively narrow band, such as a frieze panel or the border of a carpet or piece of textile or ceramics, and so are often called "running scrolls",[3] while others spread to cover wide areas, and are often infinitely expandible. Similar motifs made up of straight lines and right angles, such as the "Greek key", are more often called meanders. In art history, a "floriated" or "flower scroll" has flowers, often in the centre of the volutes, and a "foliated" or "leaf scroll" shows leaves in varying degrees of profusion along the stems. The Ara Pacis scrolls are foliated and sparingly floriated, whilst those in the Dome of the Rock mosaics are profusely foliated with thick leaves forming segments of the stems. As in arabesques, the "leaf" forms often spring directly from the stem without a leaf stalk in ways that few if any real plants do; these are generally derived from the ancient half-palmette motif, with the stem running along the bisected edge of the palmette.[4] Although forms are often based on real plants, especially the acanthus, vine, lotus and paeony,[5] faithful representation is rarely the point of the design, as of these four only the vine is actually the sort of climbing plant with many stems and tendrils that scrolls generally represent.[6] Later Islamic and Chinese scroll decoration often included more flowers than European designs, whether classical or medieval. Scroll-forms containing animals or human figures are said to be "inhabited"; more often than not the figures are wildly out of scale with the plant forms.[7] Frequently, especially in spreading designs, an upright element imitating the main stem or flower-stalk of the plant appears as a central element protruding vertically from the base, again as in the Ara Pacis panel. This may be termed a "standard" but is not a necessary element; it gives the design a top and bottom, which may be appropriate for architecture or furniture, but many designs on textiles and pottery are intended to have no main orientation for the viewer. The standard was frequently depicted as a fanciful candelabra in grotesque designs, in which it is an important element, central to the composition. Scrollwork in its strict meaning is rather different; the scroll is imagined as the curling end of a strip or sheet of some flat and wide material. It develops from strapwork, as the ends of otherwise flat elements, loosely imitating leather, metal sheets, or broad leaves rather than plant tendrils. Rather than the "profile" view displaying the spiral, the forms are often shown front on with the width of the strip seen. It begins in the Renaissance, and becomes increasingly popular in Mannerist and Baroque ornament. History Continuous scroll decoration has a very long history, and such patterns were an essential element of classical and medieval decoration. The use of scrolls in ornament goes back to at least the Bronze Age; geometric scroll ornament has been found in the Palace of Knossos at Minoan Crete dating to approximately 1800 BC,[8] perhaps drawing from even earlier Egyptian styles; there were also early examples in Mesopotamia.[9] Geometrical scroll patterns like the Vitruvian scroll are found very widely in many cultures, and probably often developed independently. Plant-based scrolls were very widely used in Greek and Roman architectural decoration, spreading from them to other types of objects.[10] They may have first evolved in Greek painted pottery, where their development can traced in the large surviving corpus.[11] In Europe Greco-Roman decoration, probably especially as seen in jewellery and floor mosaics, was adapted by the "barbarian" peoples of the Migration Period into interlace styles, often replacing the plant forms of the main scrolling stem with stretched and stylized animal forms. In Insular art the earlier interlace designs were partly replaced after Christianization by vine scrolls – a reference to John 15:1 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener" – and medieval European decoration in general evolved styles that combined the two. Another expansion was to the East: "The practice of decorating facades in Chinese Buddhist caves with figures combined with leaf scrolls was derived in its entirety from provincial forms of Hellenistic architecture employed in Central Asia"; they appear in China from the 5th century.[12] The (Nelumbo nucifera) lotus flower was a symbol of Buddhism, and so very often included in these religious scroll designs from the 6th century on,[13] which was to have a profound influence on Asian scroll designs, long after the religious significance had been largely or entirely forgotten, and in places where the actual lotus water plant was unknown.[14] It was several centuries before these designs were adapted by Chinese potters, via their earlier adoption in metalwork;[15] indeed an isolated gilt-bronze cup with a vine scroll comes from the 5th-century Northern Wei, probably influenced by metalwork from the West,[16] and more abstracted or geometrical scroll designs appear earlier in Chinese art. The paeony seems to have become very fashionable in China during the T'ang dynasty, and often replaced the lotus flower.[17] By the Yuan dynasty plant scroll designs became very important in painted pottery. In the Islamic world the external influences were initially mainly from their Byzantine and Sasanian predecessors, but later, especially after the Mongol conquests, from Chinese designs, especially in pottery, which themselves had developed from the original Buddhist importation to China.[18] Greco-Buddhist art, and direct luxury imports, brought scroll forms to India, for example to the great 1st century stupa at Amaravati in southern India,[19] from where they spread to South-East Asia, with additional input from China. There they often became very abstracted in pottery. Japan was heavily influenced by China. From the late medieval period onwards Chinese and Indian scrolling styles, and their Islamic cousins, were imported to Europe on pottery and textiles, reaching a peak of influence in the 18th-century. In the Renaissance Europe had also revived interest in versions of its own classical styles that more strictly followed their originals. Common types In one common spreading type for wide areas, the basic form of the arabesque is a heart shape formed from two confronted volutes on stems, shown highlighted in green in the illustration. To this core are added any number of further volutes, above, below or to the sides. It is thus a motif which can be infinitely expanded to cover a surface of any size, and indeed this function of decorating plain surfaces, as a form of diaper, is its chief use. From the illustration it is clear that the form present on the Ara Pacis (drawing E) erected in Imperial Rome during the time of Augustus, that is to say during the 1st quarter of the 1st century AD, is unchanged in substance when compared with the form in the apse mosaic of San Clemente al Laterano in Rome dated c. 1200 (drawing C). The basic form appears unaltered during the intervening centuries, and indeed continued in use through the Renaissance and to the present day. In other types the heart-shaped core is omitted, the scroll taking the form of an "S" with voluted ends, generally seen in confronted pairs, as in the mosaics of the Treasury of the Great Mosque of Damascus, Byzantine work of the 7th century. This form is also encountered at the Treasury in Damascus, having a pair of volutes turned inwards towards the bowl. The form is generally used alone and does not sprout further volutes as generally does the core heart-shaped form. Applications Scrollwork (in the popular definition) is most commonly associated with Baroque architecture, though it saw uses in almost every decorative application, including furniture, metalwork, porcelain and engraving. In Mannerism, strapwork forms often terminated in scrolls. Modern blacksmiths use scrolls in ornamental wrought-iron work gates and balustrades, and they have formed the basis of many wallpaper designs. Applications of single scroll forms can be seen in the volutes at the head of an Ionic column, the carved scroll at the end of the pegbox on instruments in the violin family (resembling fiddleheads in nature), and the heads of many Western crosiers. Scrollwork is a technique used in cake decorating. "Albeit a bit baroque, scrollwork lends a charmingly antique quality to the sides of a cake."[20] Scrollwork in wood may be made using a scroll saw." ( "Magic, sometimes spelled magick,[1] is an ancient practice rooted in rituals, spiritual divinations, and/or cultural lineage—with an intention to invoke, manipulate, or otherwise manifest supernatural forces, beings, or entities in the natural world.[2] It is a categorical yet often ambiguous term which has been used to refer to a wide variety of beliefs and practices, frequently considered separate from both religion and science.[3] Connotations have varied from positive to negative at times throughout history,[4] Within Western culture, magic has been linked to ideas of the Other,[5] foreignness,[6] and primitivism;[7] indicating that it is "a powerful marker of cultural difference"[8] and likewise, a non-modern phenomenon.[9] During the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, Western intellectuals perceived the practice of magic to be a sign of a primitive mentality and also commonly attributed it to marginalised groups of people.[8] In modern occultism and neopagan religions, many self-described magicians and witches regularly practice ritual magic;[10] defining magic as a technique for bringing about change in the physical world through the force of one's will. This definition was popularised by Aleister Crowley (1875–1947), an influential British occultist. This view has been incorporated into chaos magic and the new religious movements of Thelema and Wicca. Etymology One of the earliest surviving accounts of the Persian mágoi was provided by the Greek historian Herodotus. The English words magic, mage and magician come from the Latin term magus, through the Greek μάγος, which is from the Old Persian maguš. (𐎶𐎦𐎢𐏁|𐎶𐎦𐎢𐏁, magician).[11] The Old Persian magu- is derived from the Proto-Indo-European megʰ-*magh (be able). The Persian term may have led to the Old Sinitic *Mγag (mage or shaman).[12] The Old Persian form seems to have permeated ancient Semitic languages as the Talmudic Hebrew magosh, the Aramaic amgusha (magician), and the Chaldean maghdim (wisdom and philosophy); from the first century BCE onwards, Syrian magusai gained notoriety as magicians and soothsayers.[13] During the late-sixth and early-fifth centuries BCE, the term goetia found its way into ancient Greek, where it was used with negative connotations to apply to rites that were regarded as fraudulent, unconventional, and dangerous.[14] The Latin language adopted this meaning of the term in the first century BCE. Via Latin, the concept became incorporated into Christian theology during the first century CE. Early Christians associated magic with demons, and thus regarded it as against Christian religion. This concept remained pervasive throughout the Middle Ages, when Christian authors categorised a diverse range of practices—such as enchantment, witchcraft, incantations, divination, necromancy, and astrology—under the label "magic". In early modern Europe, Protestants often claimed that Roman Catholicism was magic rather than religion, and as Christian Europeans began colonizing other parts of the world in the sixteenth century, they labelled the non-Christian beliefs they encountered as magical. In that same period, Italian humanists reinterpreted the term in a positive sense to express the idea of natural magic. Both negative and positive understandings of the term recurred in Western culture over the following centuries. Since the nineteenth century, academics in various disciplines have employed the term magic but have defined it in different ways and used it in reference to different things. One approach, associated with the anthropologists Edward Tylor (1832–1917) and James G. Frazer (1854–1941), uses the term to describe beliefs in hidden sympathies between objects that allow one to influence the other. Defined in this way, magic is portrayed as the opposite to science. An alternative approach, associated with the sociologist Marcel Mauss (1872–1950) and his uncle Émile Durkheim (1858–1917), employs the term to describe private rites and ceremonies and contrasts it with religion, which it defines as a communal and organised activity. By the 1990s many scholars were rejecting the term's utility for scholarship. They argued that the label drew arbitrary lines between similar beliefs and practices that were alternatively considered religious, and that it constituted ethnocentric to apply the connotations of magic—rooted in Western and Christian history—to other cultures. Branches or types White, gray and black Main articles: White magic, Gray magic, and Black magic Historian Owen Davies says the term "white witch" was rarely used before the 20th century.[15] White magic is understood as the use of magic for selfless or helpful purposes, while black magic was used for selfish, harmful or evil purposes.[16] Black magic is the malicious counterpart of the benevolent white magic. There is no consensus as to what constitutes white, gray or black magic, as Phil Hine says, "like many other aspects of occultism, what is termed to be 'black magic' depends very much on who is doing the defining."[17] Gray magic, also called "neutral magic", is magic that is not performed for specifically benevolent reasons, but is also not focused towards completely hostile practices.[18][19] High and low Historians and anthropologists have distinguished between practitioners who engage in high magic, and those who engage in low magic.[20] High magic, also known as theurgy and ceremonial or ritual magic,[21] is more complex, involving lengthy and detailed rituals as well as sophisticated, sometimes expensive, paraphernalia.[20] Low magic and natural magic[21] are associated with peasants and folklore[22] with simpler rituals such as brief, spoken spells.[20] Low magic is also closely associated with sorcery and witchcraft.[23] Anthropologist Susan Greenwood writes that "Since the Renaissance, high magic has been concerned with drawing down forces and energies from heaven" and achieving unity with divinity.[24] High magic is usually performed indoors while witchcraft is often performed outdoors.[25] History Main article: History of magic Mesopotamia See also: Mesopotamian divination, Enmerkar and En-suhgir-ana, Maqlû, and Zisurrû Bronze protection plaque from the Neo-Assyrian era showing the demon Lamashtu Magic was invoked in many kinds of rituals and medical formulae, and to counteract evil omens. Defensive or legitimate magic in Mesopotamia (asiputu or masmassutu in the Akkadian language) were incantations and ritual practices intended to alter specific realities. The ancient Mesopotamians believed that magic was the only viable defense against demons, ghosts, and evil sorcerers.[26] To defend themselves against the spirits of those they had wronged, they would leave offerings known as kispu in the person's tomb in hope of appeasing them.[27] If that failed, they also sometimes took a figurine of the deceased and buried it in the ground, demanding for the gods to eradicate the spirit, or force it to leave the person alone.[28] The ancient Mesopotamians also used magic intending to protect themselves from evil sorcerers who might place curses on them.[29] Black magic as a category did not exist in ancient Mesopotamia, and a person legitimately using magic to defend themselves against illegitimate magic would use exactly the same techniques.[29] The only major difference was that curses were enacted in secret;[29] whereas a defense against sorcery was conducted in the open, in front of an audience if possible.[29] One ritual to punish a sorcerer was known as Maqlû, or "The Burning".[29] The person viewed as being afflicted by witchcraft would create an effigy of the sorcerer and put it on trial at night.[29] Then, once the nature of the sorcerer's crimes had been determined, the person would burn the effigy and thereby break the sorcerer's power over them.[29] The ancient Mesopotamians also performed magical rituals to purify themselves of sins committed unknowingly.[29] One such ritual was known as the Šurpu, or "Burning",[30] in which the caster of the spell would transfer the guilt for all their misdeeds onto various objects such as a strip of dates, an onion, and a tuft of wool.[30] The person would then burn the objects and thereby purify themself of all sins that they might have unknowingly committed.[30] A whole genre of love spells existed.[31] Such spells were believed to cause a person to fall in love with another person, restore love which had faded, or cause a male sexual partner to be able to sustain an erection when he had previously been unable.[31] Other spells were used to reconcile a man with his patron deity or to reconcile a wife with a husband who had been neglecting her.[32] The ancient Mesopotamians made no distinction between rational science and magic.[33][34][35] When a person became ill, doctors would prescribe both magical formulas to be recited as well as medicinal treatments.[34][35][36] Most magical rituals were intended to be performed by an āšipu, an expert in the magical arts.[34][35][36][37] The profession was generally passed down from generation to generation[36] and was held in extremely high regard and often served as advisors to kings and great leaders.[38] An āšipu probably served not only as a magician, but also as a physician, a priest, a scribe, and a scholar.[38] The Sumerian god Enki, who was later syncretized with the East Semitic god Ea, was closely associated with magic and incantations;[39] he was the patron god of the bārȗ and the ašipū and was widely regarded as the ultimate source of all arcane knowledge.[40][41][42] The ancient Mesopotamians also believed in omens, which could come when solicited or unsolicited.[43] Regardless of how they came, omens were always taken with the utmost seriousness.[43] Incantation bowls Main article: Incantation bowl See also: Jewish magical papyri Mandaic-language incantation bowl A common set of shared assumptions about the causes of evil and how to avert it are found in a form of early protective magic called incantation bowl or magic bowls. The bowls were produced in the Middle East, particularly in Upper Mesopotamia and Syria, what is now Iraq and Iran, and fairly popular during the sixth to eighth centuries.[44][45] The bowls were buried face down and were meant to capture demons. They were commonly placed under the threshold, courtyards, in the corner of the homes of the recently deceased and in cemeteries.[46] A subcategory of incantation bowls are those used in Jewish magical practice. Aramaic incantation bowls are an important source of knowledge about Jewish magical practices.[47][48][49][50][51] Egypt Ancient Egyptian Eye of Horus amulet In ancient Egypt (Kemet in the Egyptian language), Magic (personified as the god heka) was an integral part of religion and culture which is known to us through a substantial corpus of texts which are products of the Egyptian tradition.[52] While the category magic has been contentious for modern Egyptology, there is clear support for its applicability from ancient terminology.[53] The Coptic term hik is the descendant of the pharaonic term heka, which, unlike its Coptic counterpart, had no connotation of impiety or illegality, and is attested from the Old Kingdom through to the Roman era.[53] heka was considered morally neutral and was applied to the practices and beliefs of both foreigners and Egyptians alike.[54] The Instructions for Merikare informs us that heka was a beneficence gifted by the creator to humanity "... in order to be weapons to ward off the blow of events".[55] Magic was practiced by both the literate priestly hierarchy and by illiterate farmers and herdsmen, and the principle of heka underlay all ritual activity, both in the temples and in private settings.[56] The main principle of heka is centered on the power of words to bring things into being.[57]: 54 Karenga[58] explains the pivotal power of words and their vital ontological role as the primary tool used by the creator to bring the manifest world into being. Because humans were understood to share a divine nature with the gods, snnw ntr (images of the god), the same power to use words creatively that the gods have is shared by humans.[59] Illustration from the Book of the Dead of Hunefer showing the Opening of the Mouth ceremony being performed before the tomb Book of the Dead Main article: Book of the Dead The interior walls of the pyramid of Unas, the final pharaoh of the Egyptian Fifth Dynasty, are covered in hundreds of magical spells and inscriptions, running from floor to ceiling in vertical columns.[57]: 54 These inscriptions are known as the Pyramid Texts[57]: 54 and they contain spells needed by the pharaoh in order to survive in the Afterlife.[57]: 54 The Pyramid Texts were strictly for royalty only;[57]: 56 the spells were kept secret from commoners and were written only inside royal tombs.[57]: 56 During the chaos and unrest of the First Intermediate Period, however, tomb robbers broke into the pyramids and saw the magical inscriptions.[57]: 56 Commoners began learning the spells and, by the beginning of the Middle Kingdom, commoners began inscribing similar writings on the sides of their own coffins, hoping that doing so would ensure their own survival in the afterlife.[57]: 56 These writings are known as the Coffin Texts.[57]: 56 After a person died, his or her corpse would be mummified and wrapped in linen bandages to ensure that the deceased's body would survive for as long as possible[60] because the Egyptians believed that a person's soul could only survive in the afterlife for as long as his or her physical body survived here on earth.[60] The last ceremony before a person's body was sealed away inside the tomb was known as the Opening of the Mouth.[60] In this ritual, the priests would touch various magical instruments to various parts of the deceased's body, thereby giving the deceased the ability to see, hear, taste, and smell in the afterlife.[60] Amulets Main article: Amulet The use of amulets, (meket) was widespread among both living and dead ancient Egyptians.[61][57]: 66 They were used for protection and as a means of "...reaffirming the fundamental fairness of the universe".[62] The oldest amulets found are from the predynastic Badarian Period, and they persisted through to Roman times.[63] Judea Main article: Witchcraft in the Middle East In the Mosaic Law, practices such as witchcraft (Heb. קְסָמִ֔ים), being a soothsayer (מְעוֹנֵ֥ן) or a sorcerer (וּמְכַשֵּֽׁף) or one who conjures spells (וְחֹבֵ֖ר חָ֑בֶר) or one who calls up the dead (וְדֹרֵ֖שׁ אֶל־הַמֵּתִֽים) are specifically forbidden as abominations to the Lord.[64] Halakha (Jewish religious law) forbids divination and other forms of soothsaying, and the Talmud lists many persistent yet condemned divining practices.[65] Practical Kabbalah in historical Judaism, is a branch of the Jewish mystical tradition that concerns the use of magic. It was considered permitted white magic by its practitioners, reserved for the elite, who could separate its spiritual source from Qliphoth realms of evil if performed under circumstances that were holy (Q-D-Š) and pure (טומאה וטהרה, tvmh vthrh[66]). The concern of overstepping Judaism's strong prohibitions of impure magic ensured it remained a minor tradition in Jewish history. Its teachings include the use of Divine and angelic names for amulets and incantations.[67] These magical practices of Judaic folk religion which became part of practical Kabbalah date from Talmudic times.[67] The Talmud mentions the use of charms for healing, and a wide range of magical cures were sanctioned by rabbis. It was ruled that any practice actually producing a cure was not to be regarded superstitiously and there has been the widespread practice of medicinal amulets, and folk remedies (segullot) in Jewish societies across time and geography.[68] Although magic was forbidden by Levitical law in the Hebrew Bible, it was widely practised in the late Second Temple period, and particularly well documented in the period following the destruction of the temple into the 3rd, 4th, and 5th centuries CE.[69][70][71] Asia Further information: Asian witchcraft [icon] This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (August 2023) China Main article: Chinese shamanism Further information: Taoism Chinese shamanism, alternatively called Wuism (Chinese: 巫教; pinyin: wū jiào; lit. 'wu religion, shamanism, witchcraft'; alternatively 巫觋宗教 wū xí zōngjiào), refers to the shamanic religious tradition of China.[72][73] Its features are especially connected to the ancient Neolithic cultures such as the Hongshan culture.[74] Chinese shamanic traditions are intrinsic to Chinese folk religion.[75] Various ritual traditions are rooted in original Chinese shamanism: contemporary Chinese ritual masters are sometimes identified as wu by outsiders,[76] though most orders do not self-identify as such. Also Taoism has some of its origins from Chinese shamanism:[72][77] it developed around the pursuit of long life (shou 壽/寿), or the status of a xian (仙, "mountain man", "holy man").[72] Taoism in ancient times until the modern day has used rituals, mantras, and amulets with godly or supernatural powers. Taoist worldviews were thought of as magical or alchemical.[78] Greco-Roman world Hecate, the ancient Greek goddess of magic Main articles: Magic in the Greco-Roman world and Sorcery (goetia) The English word magic has its origins in ancient Greece.[79] During the late sixth and early fifth centuries BCE, the Persian maguš was Graecicized and introduced into the ancient Greek language as μάγος and μαγεία.[14] In doing so it transformed meaning, gaining negative connotations, with the magos being regarded as a charlatan whose ritual practices were fraudulent, strange, unconventional, and dangerous.[14] As noted by Davies, for the ancient Greeks—and subsequently for the ancient Romans—"magic was not distinct from religion but rather an unwelcome, improper expression of it—the religion of the other".[80] The historian Richard Gordon suggested that for the ancient Greeks, being accused of practicing magic was "a form of insult".[81] This change in meaning was influenced by the military conflicts that the Greek city-states were then engaged in against the Persian Empire.[14] In this context, the term makes appearances in such surviving text as Sophocles' Oedipus Rex, Hippocrates' De morbo sacro, and Gorgias' Encomium of Helen.[14] In Sophocles' play, for example, the character Oedipus derogatorily refers to the seer Tiresius as a magos—in this context meaning something akin to quack or charlatan—reflecting how this epithet was no longer reserved only for Persians.[82] In the first century BCE, the Greek concept of the magos was adopted into Latin and used by a number of ancient Roman writers as magus and magia.[14] The earliest known Latin use of the term was in Virgil's Eclogue, written around 40 BCE, which makes reference to magicis... sacris (magic rites).[83] The Romans already had other terms for the negative use of supernatural powers, such as veneficus and saga.[83] The Roman use of the term was similar to that of the Greeks, but placed greater emphasis on the judicial application of it.[14] Within the Roman Empire, laws would be introduced criminalising things regarded as magic.[84] In ancient Roman society, magic was associated with societies to the east of the empire; the first century CE writer Pliny the Elder for instance claimed that magic had been created by the Iranian philosopher Zoroaster, and that it had then been brought west into Greece by the magician Osthanes, who accompanied the military campaigns of the Persian King Xerxes.[85] Ancient Greek scholarship of the 20th century, almost certainly influenced by Christianising preconceptions of the meanings of magic and religion, and the wish to establish Greek culture as the foundation of Western rationality, developed a theory of ancient Greek magic as primitive and insignificant, and thereby essentially separate from Homeric, communal (polis) religion. Since the last decade of the century, however, recognising the ubiquity and respectability of acts such as katadesmoi (binding spells), described as magic by modern and ancient observers alike, scholars have been compelled to abandon this viewpoint.[86]: 90–95 The Greek word mageuo (practice magic) itself derives from the word Magos, originally simply the Greek name for a Persian tribe known for practicing religion.[87] Non-civic mystery cults have been similarly re-evaluated:[86]: 97–98 the choices which lay outside the range of cults did not just add additional options to the civic menu, but ... sometimes incorporated critiques of the civic cults and Panhellenic myths or were genuine alternatives to them. — Simon Price, Religions of the Ancient Greeks (1999)[88] Katadesmoi (Latin: defixiones), curses inscribed on wax or lead tablets and buried underground, were frequently executed by all strata of Greek society, sometimes to protect the entire polis.[86]: 95–96 Communal curses carried out in public declined after the Greek classical period, but private curses remained common throughout antiquity.[89] They were distinguished as magical by their individualistic, instrumental and sinister qualities.[86]: 96 These qualities, and their perceived deviation from inherently mutable cultural constructs of normality, most clearly delineate ancient magic from the religious rituals of which they form a part.[86]: 102–103 A large number of magical papyri, in Greek, Coptic, and Demotic, have been recovered and translated.[90] They contain early instances of: the use of magic words said to have the power to command spirits;[91] the use of mysterious symbols or sigils which are thought to be useful when invoking or evoking spirits.[92] The practice of magic was banned in the late Roman world, and the Codex Theodosianus (438 AD) states:[93] If any wizard therefore or person imbued with magical contamination who is called by custom of the people a magician...should be apprehended in my retinue, or in that of the Caesar, he shall not escape punishment and torture by the protection of his rank. Middle Ages Part of a series on Hermeticism Hermes Trismegistus Hermes Trismegistus Hermetic writings Historical figures Modern offshoots vte Further information: Medieval European magic and Sorcery (goetia) Magic practices such as divination, interpretation of omens, sorcery, and use of charms had been specifically forbidden in Mosaic Law [94] and condemned in Biblical histories of the kings.[95] Many of these practices were spoken against in the New Testament as well.[96][97] Some commentators say that in the first century CE, early Christian authors absorbed the Greco-Roman concept of magic and incorporated it into their developing Christian theology,[84]and that these Christians retained the already implied Greco-Roman negative stereotypes of the term and extented them by incorporating conceptual patterns borrowed from Jewish thought, in particular the opposition of magic and miracle.[84] Some early Christian authors followed the Greek-Roman thinking by ascribing the origin of magic to the human realm, mainly to Zoroaster and Osthanes. The Christian view was that magic was a product of the Babylonians, Persians, or Egyptians.[98] The Christians shared with earlier classical culture the idea that magic was something distinct from proper religion, although drew their distinction between the two in different ways.[99] A 17th-century depiction of the medieval writer Isidore of Seville, who provided a list of activities he regarded as magical For early Christian writers like Augustine of Hippo, magic did not merely constitute fraudulent and unsanctioned ritual practices, but was the very opposite of religion because it relied upon cooperation from demons, the henchmen of Satan.[84] In this, Christian ideas of magic were closely linked to the Christian category of paganism,[100] and both magic and paganism were regarded as belonging under the broader category of superstitio (superstition), another term borrowed from pre-Christian Roman culture.[99] This Christian emphasis on the inherent immorality and wrongness of magic as something conflicting with good religion was far starker than the approach in the other large monotheistic religions of the period, Judaism and Islam.[101] For instance, while Christians regarded demons as inherently evil, the jinn—comparable entities in Islamic mythology—were perceived as more ambivalent figures by Muslims.[101] The model of the magician in Christian thought was provided by Simon Magus, (Simon the Magician), a figure who opposed Saint Peter in both the Acts of the Apostles and the apocryphal yet influential Acts of Peter.[102] The historian Michael D. Bailey stated that in medieval Europe, magic was a "relatively broad and encompassing category".[103] Christian theologians believed that there were multiple different forms of magic, the majority of which were types of divination, for instance, Isidore of Seville produced a catalogue of things he regarded as magic in which he listed divination by the four elements i.e. geomancy, hydromancy, aeromancy, and pyromancy, as well as by observation of natural phenomena e.g. the flight of birds and astrology. He also mentioned enchantment and ligatures (the medical use of magical objects bound to the patient) as being magical.[104] Medieval Europe also saw magic come to be associated with the Old Testament figure of Solomon; various grimoires, or books outlining magical practices, were written that claimed to have been written by Solomon, most notably the Key of Solomon.[105] In early medieval Europe, magia was a term of condemnation.[106] In medieval Europe, Christians often suspected Muslims and Jews of engaging in magical practices;[107] in certain cases, these perceived magical rites—including the alleged Jewish sacrifice of Christian children—resulted in Christians massacring these religious minorities.[108] Christian groups often also accused other, rival Christian groups such as the Hussites—which they regarded as heretical—of engaging in magical activities.[102][109] Medieval Europe also saw the term maleficium applied to forms of magic that were conducted with the intention of causing harm.[103] The later Middle Ages saw words for these practitioners of harmful magical acts appear in various European languages: sorcière in French, Hexe in German, strega in Italian, and bruja in Spanish.[110] The English term for malevolent practitioners of magic, witch, derived from the earlier Old English term wicce.[110] Ars Magica or magic is a major component and supporting contribution to the belief and practice of spiritual, and in many cases, physical healing throughout the Middle Ages. Emanating from many modern interpretations lies a trail of misconceptions about magic, one of the largest revolving around wickedness or the existence of nefarious beings who practice it. These misinterpretations stem from numerous acts or rituals that have been performed throughout antiquity, and due to their exoticism from the commoner's perspective, the rituals invoked uneasiness and an even stronger sense of dismissal.[111][112] An excerpt from Sefer Raziel HaMalakh, featuring various magical sigils (סגולות segulot in Hebrew) In the Medieval Jewish view, the separation of the mystical and magical elements of Kabbalah, dividing it into speculative theological Kabbalah (Kabbalah Iyyunit) with its meditative traditions, and theurgic practical Kabbalah (Kabbalah Ma'asit), had occurred by the beginning of the 14th century.[113] One societal force in the Middle Ages more powerful than the singular commoner, the Christian Church, rejected magic as a whole because it was viewed as a means of tampering with the natural world in a supernatural manner associated with the biblical verses of Deuteronomy 18:9–12.[further explanation needed] Despite the many negative connotations which surround the term magic, there exist many elements that are seen in a divine or holy light.[114] The divine right of kings in England was thought to be able to give them "sacred magic" power to heal thousands of their subjects from sicknesses.[115] Diversified instruments or rituals used in medieval magic include, but are not limited to: various amulets, talismans, potions, as well as specific chants, dances, and prayers. Along with these rituals are the adversely imbued notions of demonic participation which influence of them. The idea that magic was devised, taught, and worked by demons would have seemed reasonable to anyone who read the Greek magical papyri or the Sefer-ha-Razim and found that healing magic appeared alongside rituals for killing people, gaining wealth, or personal advantage, and coercing women into sexual submission.[116] Archaeology is contributing to a fuller understanding of ritual practices performed in the home, on the body and in monastic and church settings.[117][118] The Islamic reaction towards magic did not condemn magic in general and distinguished between magic which can heal sickness and possession, and sorcery. The former is therefore a special gift from God, while the latter is achieved through help of Jinn and devils. Ibn al-Nadim held that exorcists gain their power by their obedience to God, while sorcerers please the devils by acts of disobedience and sacrifices and they in return do him a favor.[119] According to Ibn Arabi, Al-Ḥajjāj ibn Yusuf al-Shubarbuli was able to walk on water due to his piety.[120] According to the Quran 2:102, magic was also taught to humans by devils and the fallen angels Harut and Marut.[121] Frontispiece of an English translation of Natural Magick published in London in 1658 During the early modern period, the concept of magic underwent a more positive reassessment through the development of the concept of magia naturalis (natural magic).[84] This was a term introduced and developed by two Italian humanists, Marsilio Ficino and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola.[84] For them, magia was viewed as an elemental force pervading many natural processes,[84] and thus was fundamentally distinct from the mainstream Christian idea of demonic magic.[122] Their ideas influenced an array of later philosophers and writers, among them Paracelsus, Giordano Bruno, Johannes Reuchlin, and Johannes Trithemius.[84] According to the historian Richard Kieckhefer, the concept of magia naturalis took "firm hold in European culture" during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries,[123] attracting the interest of natural philosophers of various theoretical orientations, including Aristotelians, Neoplatonists, and Hermeticists.[124] Adherents of this position argued that magia could appear in both good and bad forms; in 1625, the French librarian Gabriel Naudé wrote his Apology for all the Wise Men Falsely Suspected of Magic, in which he distinguished "Mosoaicall Magick"—which he claimed came from God and included prophecies, miracles, and speaking in tongues—from "geotick" magic caused by demons.[125] While the proponents of magia naturalis insisted that this did not rely on the actions of demons, critics disagreed, arguing that the demons had simply deceived these magicians.[126] By the seventeenth century the concept of magia naturalis had moved in increasingly 'naturalistic' directions, with the distinctions between it and science becoming blurred.[127] The validity of magia naturalis as a concept for understanding the universe then came under increasing criticism during the Age of Enlightenment in the eighteenth century.[128] Despite the attempt to reclaim the term magia for use in a positive sense, it did not supplant traditional attitudes toward magic in the West, which remained largely negative.[128] At the same time as magia naturalis was attracting interest and was largely tolerated, Europe saw an active persecution of accused witches believed to be guilty of maleficia.[124] Reflecting the term's continued negative associations, Protestants often sought to denigrate Roman Catholic sacramental and devotional practices as being magical rather than religious.[129] Many Roman Catholics were concerned by this allegation and for several centuries various Roman Catholic writers devoted attention to arguing that their practices were religious rather than magical.[130] At the same time, Protestants often used the accusation of magic against other Protestant groups which they were in contest with.[131] In this way, the concept of magic was used to prescribe what was appropriate as religious belief and practice.[130] Similar claims were also being made in the Islamic world during this period. The Arabian cleric Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab—founder of Wahhabism—for instance condemned a range of customs and practices such as divination and the veneration of spirits as sihr, which he in turn claimed was a form of shirk, the sin of idolatry.[132] The Renaissance Main article: Renaissance magic Renaissance humanism saw a resurgence in hermeticism and Neo-Platonic varieties of ceremonial magic. The Renaissance, on the other hand, saw the rise of science, in such forms as the dethronement of the Ptolemaic theory of the universe, the distinction of astronomy from astrology, and of chemistry from alchemy.[133][page needed] There was great uncertainty in distinguishing practices of superstition, occultism, and perfectly sound scholarly knowledge or pious ritual. The intellectual and spiritual tensions erupted in the Early Modern witch craze, further reinforced by the turmoil of the Protestant Reformation, especially in Germany, England, and Scotland.[133][page needed] In Hasidism, the displacement of practical Kabbalah using directly magical means, by conceptual and meditative trends gained much further emphasis, while simultaneously instituting meditative theurgy for material blessings at the heart of its social mysticism.[134] Hasidism internalised Kabbalah through the psychology of deveikut (cleaving to God), and cleaving to the Tzadik (Hasidic Rebbe). In Hasidic doctrine, the tzaddik channels Divine spiritual and physical bounty to his followers by altering the Will of God (uncovering a deeper concealed Will) through his own deveikut and self-nullification. Dov Ber of Mezeritch is concerned to distinguish this theory of the Tzadik's will altering and deciding the Divine Will, from directly magical process.[135] In the nineteenth century, the Haitian government began to legislate against Vodou, describing it as a form of witchcraft; this conflicted with Vodou practitioners' own understanding of their religion.[136] In the sixteenth century, European societies began to conquer and colonise other continents around the world, and as they did so they applied European concepts of magic and witchcraft to practices found among the peoples whom they encountered.[137] Usually, these European colonialists regarded the natives as primitives and savages whose belief systems were diabolical and needed to be eradicated and replaced by Christianity.[138] Because Europeans typically viewed these non-European peoples as being morally and intellectually inferior to themselves, it was expected that such societies would be more prone to practicing magic.[139] Women who practiced traditional rites were labelled as witches by the Europeans.[139] In various cases, these imported European concepts and terms underwent new transformations as they merged with indigenous concepts.[140] In West Africa, for instance, Portuguese travellers introduced their term and concept of the feitiçaria (often translated as sorcery) and the feitiço (spell) to the native population, where it was transformed into the concept of the fetish. When later Europeans encountered these West African societies, they wrongly believed that the fetiche was an indigenous African term rather than the result of earlier inter-continental encounters.[140] Sometimes, colonised populations themselves adopted these European concepts for their own purposes. In the early nineteenth century, the newly independent Haitian government of Jean-Jacques Dessalines began to suppress the practice of Vodou, and in 1835 Haitian law-codes categorised all Vodou practices as sortilège (sorcery/witchcraft), suggesting that it was all conducted with harmful intent, whereas among Vodou practitioners the performance of harmful rites was already given a separate and distinct category, known as maji.[136] Baroque period Further information: Isaac Newton's occult studies During the Baroque era, several intriguing figures engaged with occult and magical themes that went beyond conventional thinking. Michael Sendivogius (1566–1636), a Polish alchemist, emphasized empirical experimentation in alchemy and made notable contributions to early chemistry. Tommaso Campanella (1568–1639), an Italian philosopher, blended Christianity with mysticism in works like The City of the Sun, envisioning an ideal society governed by divine principles. Jakob Böhme (1575–1624), a German mystic, explored the relationship between the divine and human experience, influencing later mystical movements. Jan Baptist van Helmont, a Flemish chemist, coined the term "gas" and conducted experiments on plant growth, expanding the understanding of chemistry. Sir Kenelm Digby, known for his diverse interests, created the "Sympathetic Powder", believed to have mystical healing properties. Isaac Newton, famous for his scientific achievements, also delved into alchemy and collected esoteric manuscripts, revealing his fascination with hidden knowledge. These individuals collectively embody the curiosity and exploration characteristic of the Baroque period. Modernity Main article: Ceremonial magic By the nineteenth century, European intellectuals no longer saw the practice of magic through the framework of sin and instead regarded magical practices and beliefs as "an aberrational mode of thought antithetical to the dominant cultural logic – a sign of psychological impairment and marker of racial or cultural inferiority".[141] As educated elites in Western societies increasingly rejected the efficacy of magical practices, legal systems ceased to threaten practitioners of magical activities with punishment for the crimes of diabolism and witchcraft, and instead threatened them with the accusation that they were defrauding people through promising to provide things which they could not.[142] This spread of European colonial power across the world influenced how academics would come to frame the concept of magic.[143] In the nineteenth century, several scholars adopted the traditional, negative concept of magic.[128] That they chose to do so was not inevitable, for they could have followed the example adopted by prominent esotericists active at the time like Helena Blavatsky who had chosen to use the term and concept of magic in a positive sense.[128] Various writers also used the concept of magic to criticise religion by arguing that the latter still displayed many of the negative traits of the former. An example of this was the American journalist H. L. Mencken in his polemical 1930 work Treatise on the Gods; he sought to critique religion by comparing it to magic, arguing that the division between the two was misplaced.[144] The concept of magic was also adopted by theorists in the new field of psychology, where it was often used synonymously with superstition, although the latter term proved more common in early psychological texts.[145] In the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, folklorists examined rural communities across Europe in search of magical practices, which at the time they typically understood as survivals of ancient belief systems.[146] It was only in the 1960s that anthropologists like Jeanne Favret-Saada also began looking in depth at magic in European contexts, having previously focused on examining magic in non-Western contexts.[147] In the twentieth century, magic also proved a topic of interest to the Surrealists, an artistic movement based largely in Europe; the Surrealism André Breton for instance published L'Art magique in 1957, discussing what he regarded as the links between magic and art.[148] The scholarly application of magic as a sui generis category that can be applied to any socio-cultural context was linked with the promotion of modernity to both Western and non-Western audiences.[149] The term magic has become pervasive in the popular imagination and idiom.[7] In contemporary contexts, the word magic is sometimes used to "describe a type of excitement, of wonder, or sudden delight", and in such a context can be "a term of high praise".[150] Despite its historical contrast against science, scientists have also adopted the term in application to various concepts, such as magic acid, magic bullets, and magic angles.[7] Many concepts of modern ceremonial magic are heavily influenced by the ideas of Aleister Crowley. Modern Western magic has challenged widely-held preconceptions about contemporary religion and spirituality.[151] The polemical discourses about magic influenced the self-understanding of modern magicians, several whom—such as Aleister Crowley —were well versed in academic literature on the subject.[152] According to scholar of religion Henrik Bogdan, "arguably the best known emic definition" of the term magic was provided by Crowley.[152] Crowley—who favoured the spelling 'magick' over magic to distinguish it from stage illusionism[1]—was of the view that "Magick is the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will".[152] Crowley's definition influenced that of subsequent magicians.[152] Dion Fortune of the Fraternity of the Inner Light for instance stated that "Magic is the art of changing consciousness according to Will".[152] Gerald Gardner, the founder of Gardnerian Wicca, stated that magic was "attempting to cause the physically unusual",[152] while Anton LaVey, the founder of LaVeyan Satanism, described magic as "the change in situations or events in accordance with one's will, which would, using normally acceptable methods, be unchangeable."[152] The chaos magic movement emerged during the late 20th century, as an attempt to strip away the symbolic, ritualistic, theological or otherwise ornamental aspects of other occult traditions and distill magic down to a set of basic techniques.[153] These modern Western concepts of magic rely on a belief in correspondences connected to an unknown occult force that permeates the universe.[154] As noted by Hanegraaff, this operated according to "a new meaning of magic, which could not possibly have existed in earlier periods, precisely because it is elaborated in reaction to the "disenchantment of the world"."[154] For many, and perhaps most, modern Western magicians, the goal of magic is deemed to be personal spiritual development.[155] The perception of magic as a form of self-development is central to the way that magical practices have been adopted into forms of modern Paganism and the New Age phenomenon.[155] One significant development within modern Western magical practices has been sex magic.[155] This was a practice promoted in the writings of Paschal Beverly Randolph and subsequently exerted a strong interest on occultist magicians like Crowley and Theodor Reuss.[155] The adoption of the term magic by modern occultists can in some instances be a deliberate attempt to champion those areas of Western society which have traditionally been marginalised as a means of subverting dominant systems of power.[156] The influential American Wiccan and author Starhawk for instance stated that "Magic is another word that makes people uneasy, so I use it deliberately, because the words we are comfortable with, the words that sound acceptable, rational, scientific, and intellectually correct, are comfortable precisely because they are the language of estrangement."[157] In the present day, "among some countercultural subgroups the label is considered 'cool'"[158] Sorcery is a legal concept in Papua New Guinea law, which differentiates between legal good magic, such as healing and fertility, and illegal black magic, held responsible for unexplained deaths.[159] Conceptual development According to anthropologist Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard, magic formed a rational framework of beliefs and knowledge in some cultures, like the Azande people of Africa.[160] The historian Owen Davies stated that the word magic was "beyond simple definition",[161] and had "a range of meanings".[162] Similarly, the historian Michael D. Bailey characterised magic as "a deeply contested category and a very fraught label";[163] as a category, he noted, it was "profoundly unstable" given that definitions of the term have "varied dramatically across time and between cultures".[164] Scholars have engaged in extensive debates as to how to define magic,[165] with such debates resulting in intense dispute.[166] Throughout such debates, the scholarly community has failed to agree on a definition of magic, in a similar manner to how they have failed to agree on a definition of religion.[166] According with scholar of religion Michael Stausberg the phenomenon of people applying the concept of magic to refer to themselves and their own practices and beliefs goes as far back as late antiquity. However, even among those throughout history who have described themselves as magicians, there has been no common ground of what magic is.[167] In Africa, the word magic might simply be understood as denoting management of forces, which, as an activity, is not weighted morally and is accordingly a neutral activity from the start of a magical practice, but by the will of the magician, is thought to become and to have an outcome which represents either good or bad (evil).[168][169] Ancient African culture was in the habit customarily of always discerning difference between magic, and a group of other things, which are not magic, these things were medicine, divination, witchcraft and sorcery.[170] Opinion differs on how religion and magic are related to each other with respect development or to which developed from which, some think they developed together from a shared origin, some think religion developed from magic, and some, magic from religion.[171] Anthropological and sociological theories of magic generally serve to sharply demarcate certain practices from other, otherwise similar practices in a given society.[99] According to Bailey: "In many cultures and across various historical periods, categories of magic often define and maintain the limits of socially and culturally acceptable actions in respect to numinous or occult entities or forces. Even more, basically, they serve to delineate arenas of appropriate belief."[172] In this, he noted that "drawing these distinctions is an exercise in power".[172] This tendency has had repercussions for the study of magic, with academics self-censoring their research because of the effects on their careers.[173] Randall Styers noted that attempting to define magic represents "an act of demarcation" by which it is juxtaposed against "other social practices and modes of knowledge" such as religion and science.[174] The historian Karen Louise Jolly described magic as "a category of exclusion, used to define an unacceptable way of thinking as either the opposite of religion or of science".[175] Modern scholarship has produced various definitions and theories of magic.[176] According to Bailey, "these have typically framed magic in relation to, or more frequently in distinction from, religion and science."[176] Since the emergence of the study of religion and the social sciences, magic has been a "central theme in the theoretical literature" produced by scholars operating in these academic disciplines.[165] Magic is one of the most heavily theorized concepts in the study of religion,[177] and also played a key role in early theorising within anthropology.[178] Styers believed that it held such a strong appeal for social theorists because it provides "such a rich site for articulating and contesting the nature and boundaries of modernity".[179] Scholars have commonly used it as a foil for the concept of religion, regarding magic as the "illegitimate (and effeminized) sibling" of religion.[180] Alternately, others have used it as a middle-ground category located between religion and science.[180] The context in which scholars framed their discussions of magic was informed by the spread of European colonial power across the world in the modern period.[143] These repeated attempts to define magic resonated with broader social concerns,[9] and the pliability of the concept has allowed it to be "readily adaptable as a polemical and ideological tool".[130] The links that intellectuals made between magic and those they characterized as primitives helped to legitimise European and Euro-American imperialism and colonialism, as these Western colonialists expressed the view that those who believed in and practiced magic were unfit to govern themselves and should be governed by those who, rather than believing in magic, believed in science and/or (Christian) religion.[8] In Bailey's words, "the association of certain peoples [whether non-Europeans or poor, rural Europeans] with magic served to distance and differentiate them from those who ruled over them, and in large part to justify that rule."[6] Many different definitions of magic have been offered by scholars, although—according to Hanegraaff—these can be understood as variations of a small number of heavily influential theories.[177] Intellectualist approach Edward Tylor, an anthropologist who used the term magic in reference to sympathetic magic, an idea that he associated with his concept of animism The intellectualist approach to defining magic is associated with two prominent British anthropologists, Edward Tylor and James G. Frazer.[181] This approach viewed magic as the theoretical opposite of science,[182] and came to preoccupy much anthropological thought on the subject.[183] This approach was situated within the evolutionary models which underpinned thinking in the social sciences during the early 19th century.[184] The first social scientist to present magic as something that predated religion in an evolutionary development was Herbert Spencer;[185] in his A System of Synthetic Philosophy, he used the term magic in reference to sympathetic magic.[186] Spencer regarded both magic and religion as being rooted in false speculation about the nature of objects and their relationship to other things.[187] Tylor's understanding of magic was linked to his concept of animism.[188] In his 1871 book Primitive Culture, Tylor characterized magic as beliefs based on "the error of mistaking ideal analogy for real analogy". [189] In Tylor's view, "primitive man, having come to associate in thought those things which he found by experience to be connected in fact, proceeded erroneously to invert this action, and to conclude that association in thought must involve similar connection in reality. He thus attempted to discover, to foretell, and to cause events by means of processes which we can now see to have only an ideal significance".[190] Tylor was dismissive of magic, describing it as "one of the most pernicious delusions that ever vexed mankind".[191] Tylor's views proved highly influential,[192] and helped to establish magic as a major topic of anthropological research.[185] James Frazer regarded magic as the first stage in human development, to be followed by religion and then science. Tylor's ideas were adopted and simplified by James Frazer.[193] He used the term magic to mean sympathetic magic,[194] describing it as a practice relying on the magician's belief "that things act on each other at a distance through a secret sympathy", something which he described as "an invisible ether".[190] He further divided this magic into two forms, the "homeopathic (imitative, mimetic)" and the "contagious".[190] The former was the idea that "like produces like", or that the similarity between two objects could result in one influencing the other. The latter was based on the idea that contact between two objects allowed the two to continue to influence one another at a distance.[195] Like Taylor, Frazer viewed magic negatively, describing it as "the bastard sister of science", arising from "one great disastrous fallacy".[196] Where Frazer differed from Tylor was in characterizing a belief in magic as a major stage in humanity's cultural development, describing it as part of a tripartite division in which magic came first, religion came second, and eventually science came third.[197] For Frazer, all early societies started as believers in magic, with some of them moving away from this and into religion.[198] He believed that both magic and religion involved a belief in spirits but that they differed in the way that they responded to these spirits. For Frazer, magic "constrains or coerces" these spirits while religion focuses on "conciliating or propitiating them".[198] He acknowledged that their common ground resulted in a cross-over of magical and religious elements in various instances; for instance he claimed that the sacred marriage was a fertility ritual which combined elements from both world-views.[199] Some scholars retained the evolutionary framework used by Frazer but changed the order of its stages; the German ethnologist Wilhelm Schmidt argued that religion—by which he meant monotheism—was the first stage of human belief, which later degenerated into both magic and polytheism.[200] Others rejected the evolutionary framework entirely. Frazer's notion that magic had given way to religion as part of an evolutionary framework was later deconstructed by the folklorist and anthropologist Andrew Lang in his essay "Magic and Religion"; Lang did so by highlighting how Frazer's framework relied upon misrepresenting ethnographic accounts of beliefs and practiced among indigenous Australians to fit his concept of magic.[201] Functionalist approach The functionalist approach to defining magic is associated with the French sociologists Marcel Mauss and Emile Durkheim.[202] In this approach, magic is understood as being the theoretical opposite of religion.[203] Mauss set forth his conception of magic in a 1902 essay, "A General Theory of Magic".[204] Mauss used the term magic in reference to "any rite that is not part of an organized cult: a rite that is private, secret, mysterious, and ultimately tending towards one that is forbidden".[202] Conversely, he associated religion with organised cult.[205] By saying that magic was inherently non-social, Mauss had been influenced by the traditional Christian understandings of the concept.[206] Mauss deliberately rejected the intellectualist approach promoted by Frazer, believing that it was inappropriate to restrict the term magic to sympathetic magic, as Frazer had done.[207] He expressed the view that "there are not only magical rites which are not sympathetic, but neither is sympathy a prerogative of magic, since there are sympathetic practices in religion".[205] Mauss' ideas were adopted by Durkheim in his 1912 book The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life.[208] Durkheim was of the view that both magic and religion pertained to "sacred things, that is to say, things set apart and forbidden".[209] Where he saw them as being different was in their social organisation. Durkheim used the term magic to describe things that were inherently anti-social, existing in contrast to what he referred to as a Church, the religious beliefs shared by a social group; in his words, "There is no Church of magic."[210] Durkheim expressed the view that "there is something inherently anti-religious about the maneuvers of the magician",[203] and that a belief in magic "does not result in binding together those who adhere to it, nor in uniting them into a group leading a common life."[209] Durkheim's definition encounters problems in situations—such as the rites performed by Wiccans—in which acts carried out communally have been regarded, either by practitioners or observers, as being magical.[211] Scholars have criticized the idea that magic and religion can be differentiated into two distinct, separate categories.[212] The social anthropologist Alfred Radcliffe-Brown suggested that "a simple dichotomy between magic and religion" was unhelpful and thus both should be subsumed under the broader category of ritual.[213] Many later anthropologists followed his example.[213] Nevertheless, this distinction is still often made by scholars discussing this topic.[212] Emotionalist approach Further information: Magical thinking and Psychological theories of magic The emotionalist approach to magic is associated with the English anthropologist Robert Ranulph Marett, the Austrian Sigmund Freud, and the Polish anthropologist Bronisław Malinowski.[214] Marett viewed magic as a response to stress.[215] In a 1904 article, he argued that magic was a cathartic or stimulating practice designed to relieve feelings of tension.[215] As his thought developed, he increasingly rejected the idea of a division between magic and religion and began to use the term "magico-religious" to describe the early development of both.[215] Malinowski similarly understood magic to Marett, tackling the issue in a 1925 article.[216] He rejected Frazer's evolutionary hypothesis that magic was followed by religion and then science as a series of distinct stages in societal development, arguing that all three were present in each society.[217] In his view, both magic and religion "arise and function in situations of emotional stress" although whereas religion is primarily expressive, magic is primarily practical.[217] He therefore defined magic as "a practical art consisting of acts which are only means to a definite end expected to follow later on".[217] For Malinowski, magical acts were to be carried out for a specific end, whereas religious ones were ends in themselves.[211] He for instance believed that fertility rituals were magical because they were carried out with the intention of meeting a specific need.[217] As part of his functionalist approach, Malinowski saw magic not as irrational but as something that served a useful function, being sensible within the given social and environmental context.[218] Ideas about magic were also promoted by Sigmund Freud. The term magic was used liberally by Freud.[219] He also saw magic as emerging from human emotion but interpreted it very differently to Marett.[220] Freud explains that "the associated theory of magic merely explains the paths along which magic proceeds; it does not explain its true essence, namely the misunderstanding which leads it to replace the laws of nature by psychological ones".[221] Freud emphasizes that what led primitive men to come up with magic is the power of wishes: "His wishes are accompanied by a motor impulse, the will, which is later destined to alter the whole face of the earth to satisfy his wishes. This motor impulse is at first employed to give a representation of the satisfying situation in such a way that it becomes possible to experience the satisfaction by means of what might be described as motor hallucinations. This kind of representation of a satisfied wish is quite comparable to children's play, which succeeds their earlier purely sensory technique of satisfaction. [...] As time goes on, the psychological accent shifts from the motives for the magical act on to the measures by which it is carried out—that is, on to the act itself. [...] It thus comes to appear as though it is the magical act itself which, owing to its similarity with the desired result, alone determines the occurrence of that result."[222] In the early 1960s, the anthropologists Murray and Rosalie Wax put forward the argument that scholars should look at the magical worldview of a given society on its own terms rather than trying to rationalize it in terms of Western ideas about scientific knowledge.[223] Their ideas were heavily criticised by other anthropologists, who argued that they had set up a false dichotomy between non-magical Western worldview and magical non-Western worldviews.[224] The concept of the magical worldview nevertheless gained widespread use in history, folkloristics, philosophy, cultural theory, and psychology.[225] The notion of magical thinking has also been utilised by various psychologists.[226] In the 1920s, the psychologist Jean Piaget used the concept as part of his argument that children were unable to clearly differentiate between the mental and the physical.[226] According to this perspective, children begin to abandon their magical thinking between the ages of six and nine.[226] According to Stanley Tambiah, magic, science, and religion all have their own "quality of rationality", and have been influenced by politics and ideology.[227] As opposed to religion, Tambiah suggests that mankind has a much more personal control over events. Science, according to Tambiah, is "a system of behavior by which man acquires mastery of the environment."[228] Ethnocentrism The magic-religion-science triangle developed in European society based on evolutionary ideas i.e. that magic evolved into religion, which in turn evolved into science.[203] However using a Western analytical tool when discussing non-Western cultures, or pre-modern forms of Western society, raises problems as it may impose alien Western categories on them.[229] While magic remains an emic (insider) term in the history of Western societies, it remains an etic (outsider) term when applied to non-Western societies and even within specific Western societies. For this reason, academics like Michael D. Bailey suggest abandon the term altogether as an academic category.[230] During the twentieth century, many scholars focusing on Asian and African societies rejected the term magic, as well as related concepts like witchcraft, in favour of the more precise terms and concepts that existed within these specific societies like Juju.[231] A similar approach has been taken by many scholars studying pre-modern societies in Europe, such as Classical antiquity, who find the modern concept of magic inappropriate and favour more specific terms originating within the framework of the ancient cultures which they are studying.[232] Alternately, this term implies that all categories of magic are ethnocentric and that such Western preconceptions are an unavoidable component of scholarly research.[229] This century has seen a trend towards emic ethnographic studies by scholar practitioners that explicitly explore the emic/etic divide.[233] Many scholars have argued that the use of the term as an analytical tool within academic scholarship should be rejected altogether.[234] The scholar of religion Jonathan Z. Smith for example argued that it had no utility as an etic term that scholars should use.[235] The historian of religion Wouter Hanegraaff agreed, on the grounds that its use is founded in conceptions of Western superiority and has "...served as a 'scientific' justification for converting non-European peoples from benighted superstitions..." stating that "the term magic is an important object of historical research, but not intended for doing research."[236] Bailey noted that, as of the early 21st century, few scholars sought grand definitions of magic but instead focused with "careful attention to particular contexts", examining what a term like magic meant to a given society; this approach, he noted, "call[ed] into question the legitimacy of magic as a universal category".[237] The scholars of religion Berndt-Christian Otto and Michael Stausberg suggested that it would be perfectly possible for scholars to talk about amulets, curses, healing procedures, and other cultural practices often regarded as magical in Western culture without any recourse to the concept of magic itself.[238] The idea that magic should be rejected as an analytic term developed in anthropology, before moving into Classical studies and Biblical studies in the 1980s.[239] Since the 1990s, the term's usage among scholars of religion has declined.[235] Witchcraft Main articles: Witchcraft and Sorcery (goetia) The historian Ronald Hutton notes the presence of four distinct meanings of the term witchcraft in the English language. Historically, the term primarily referred to the practice of causing harm to others through supernatural or magical means. This remains, according to Hutton, "the most widespread and frequent" understanding of the term.[240] Moreover, Hutton also notes three other definitions in current usage; to refer to anyone who conducts magical acts, for benevolent or malevolent intent; for practitioners of the modern Pagan religion of Wicca; or as a symbol of women resisting male authority and asserting an independent female authority.[241] Belief in witchcraft is often present within societies and groups whose cultural framework includes a magical world view.[242] Those regarded as being magicians have often faced suspicion from other members of their society.[243] This is particularly the case if these perceived magicians have been associated with social groups already considered morally suspect in a particular society, such as foreigners, women, or the lower classes.[244] In contrast to these negative associations, many practitioners of activities that have been labelled magical have emphasised that their actions are benevolent and beneficial.[245] This conflicted with the common Christian view that all activities categorised as being forms of magic were intrinsically bad regardless of the intent of the magician, because all magical actions relied on the aid of demons.[101] There could be conflicting attitudes regarding the practices of a magician; in European history, authorities often believed that cunning folk and traditional healers were harmful because their practices were regarded as magical and thus stemming from contact with demons, whereas a local community might value and respect these individuals because their skills and services were deemed beneficial.[246] In Western societies, the practice of magic, especially when harmful, was usually associated with women.[247] For instance, during the witch trials of the early modern period, around three quarters of those executed as witches were female, to only a quarter who were men.[248] That women were more likely to be accused and convicted of witchcraft in this period might have been because their position was more legally vulnerable, with women having little or no legal standing that was independent of their male relatives.[248] The conceptual link between women and magic in Western culture may be because many of the activities regarded as magical—from rites to encourage fertility to potions to induce abortions—were associated with the female sphere.[249] It might also be connected to the fact that many cultures portrayed women as being inferior to men on an intellectual, moral, spiritual, and physical level.[250] Magicians The Magician card from a 15th-century tarot deck Many of the practices which have been labelled magic can be performed by anyone.[251] For instance, some charms can be recited by individuals with no specialist knowledge nor any claim to having a specific power.[252] Others require specialised training in order to perform them.[251] Some of the individuals who performed magical acts on a more than occasional basis came to be identified as magicians, or with related concepts like sorcerers/sorceresses, witches, or cunning folk.[252] Identities as a magician can stem from an individual's own claims about themselves, or it can be a label placed upon them by others.[252] In the latter case, an individual could embrace such a label, or they could reject it, sometimes vehemently.[252] Economic incentives can encourage individuals to identify as magicians.[142] In the cases of various forms of traditional healer, as well as the later stage magicians or illusionists, the label of magician could become a job description.[252] Others claim such an identity out of a genuinely held belief that they have specific unusual powers or talents.[253] Different societies have different social regulations regarding who can take on such a role; for instance, it may be a question of familial heredity, or there may be gender restrictions on who is allowed to engage in such practices.[254] A variety of personal traits may be credited with giving magical power, and frequently they are associated with an unusual birth into the world.[255] For instance, in Hungary it was believed that a táltos would be born with teeth or an additional finger.[256] In various parts of Europe, it was believed that being born with a caul would associate the child with supernatural abilities.[256] In some cases, a ritual initiation is required before taking on a role as a specialist in such practices, and in others it is expected that an individual will receive a mentorship from another specialist.[257] Davies noted that it was possible to "crudely divide magic specialists into religious and lay categories".[258] He noted for instance that Roman Catholic priests, with their rites of exorcism, and access to holy water and blessed , could be conceived as being magical practitioners.[259] Traditionally, the most common method of identifying, differentiating, and establishing magical practitioners from common people is by initiation. By means of rites the magician's relationship to the supernatural and his entry into a closed professional class is established (often through rituals that simulate death and rebirth into a new life).[260] However, Berger and Ezzy explain that since the rise of Neopaganism, "As there is no central bureaucracy or dogma to determine authenticity, an individual's self-determination as a Witch, Wiccan, Pagan or Neopagan is usually taken at face value".[261] Ezzy argues that practitioners' worldviews have been neglected in many sociological and anthropological studies and that this is because of "a culturally narrow understanding of science that devalues magical beliefs".[262] Mauss argues that the powers of both specialist and common magicians are determined by culturally accepted standards of the sources and the breadth of magic: a magician cannot simply invent or claim new magic. In practice, the magician is only as powerful as his peers believe him to be.[263] Throughout recorded history, magicians have often faced skepticism regarding their purported powers and abilities.[264] For instance, in sixteenth-century England, the writer Reginald Scot wrote The Discoverie of Witchcraft, in which he argued that many of those accused of witchcraft or otherwise claiming magical capabilities were fooling people using illusionism." ( "A book is a medium for recording information in the form of writing or images, typically composed of many pages (made of papyrus, parchment, vellum, or paper) bound together and protected by a cover.[1] It can also be a handwritten or printed work of fiction or nonfiction, usually on sheets of paper fastened or bound together within covers. The technical term for this physical arrangement is codex (plural, codices). In the history of hand-held physical supports for extended written compositions or records, the codex replaces its predecessor, the scroll. A single sheet in a codex is a leaf and each side of a leaf is a page. As an intellectual object, a book is prototypically a composition of such great length that it takes a considerable investment of time to compose and still considered as an investment of time to read. In a restricted sense, a book is a self-sufficient section or part of a longer composition, a usage reflecting that, in antiquity, long works had to be written on several scrolls and each scroll had to be identified by the book it contained. Each part of Aristotle's Physics is called a book. In an unrestricted sense, a book is the compositional whole of which such sections, whether called books or chapters or parts, are parts. The intellectual content in a physical book need not be a composition, nor even be called a book. Books can consist only of drawings, engravings or photographs, crossword puzzles or cut-out dolls. In a physical book, the pages can be left blank or can feature an abstract set of lines to support entries, such as in an account book, appointment book, autograph book, notebook, diary or sketchbook. Some physical books are made with pages thick and sturdy enough to support other physical objects, like a scrapbook or photograph album. Books may be distributed in electronic form as ebooks and other formats. Although in ordinary academic parlance a monograph is understood to be a specialist academic work, rather than a reference work on a scholarly subject, in library and information science monograph denotes more broadly any non-serial publication complete in one volume (book) or a finite number of volumes (even a novel like Proust's seven-volume In Search of Lost Time), in contrast to serial publications like a magazine, journal or newspaper. An avid reader or collector of books is a bibliophile or, colloquially, "bookworm". Books are traded at both regular stores and specialized bookstores, and people can read borrowed books, often for free, at libraries. Google has estimated that by 2010, approximately 130,000,000 titles had been published.[2] In some wealthier nations, the sale of printed books has decreased because of the increased usage of e-books.[3] Although in most countries printed books continue to outsell their digital counterparts due to many people still preferring to read in a traditional way.[4][5][6][7] The 21st century has also seen a rapid rise in the popularity of audiobooks, which are recordings of books being read aloud.[8] Etymology The word book comes from Old English bōc, which in turn comes from the Germanic root *bōk-, cognate to 'beech'.[9] In Slavic languages like Russian, Bulgarian, Macedonian буква bukva—'letter' is cognate with 'beech'. In Russian, Serbian and Macedonian, the word букварь (bukvar') or буквар (bukvar) refers to a primary school textbook that helps young children master the techniques of reading and writing. It is thus conjectured that the earliest Indo-European writings may have been carved on beech wood.[10] The Latin word codex, meaning a book in the modern sense (bound and with separate leaves), originally meant 'block of wood'." ( "An incantation, a spell, a charm, an enchantment or a bewitchery, is a magical formula intended to trigger a magical effect on a person or objects. The formula can be spoken, sung or chanted. An incantation can also be performed during ceremonial rituals or prayers. In the world of magic, wizards, witches, and fairies allegedly perform incantations.[1] In medieval literature, folklore, fairy tales, and modern fantasy fiction, enchantments are charms or spells. This has led to the terms "enchanter" and "enchantress" for those who use enchantments.[2] The English language borrowed the term "incantation" from Old French in the late 14th century; the corresponding Old English term was gealdor or galdor, "song, spell", cognate to ON galdr. The weakened sense "delight" (compare the same development of "charm") is modern, first attested in 1593 (OED). Words of incantation are often spoken with inflection and emphasis on the words being said. The tone and rhyme of how the words are spoken and the placement of words used in the formula may differ depending on the desired outcome of the magical effect.[3] Surviving written records of historical magic spells were largely obliterated in many cultures by the success of the major monotheistic religions (Islam, Judaism, and Christianity), which label some magical activity as immoral or associated with evil.[4][unreliable source?] Etymology The Enchanted Garden of Messer Ansaldo by Marie Spartali Stillman The Latin incantare, which means "to consecrate with spells, to charm, to bewitch, to ensorcel", forms the basis of the word "enchant", with deep linguistic roots going back to the Proto-Indo-European kan- prefix. So it can be said that an enchanter or enchantress casts magic spells, or utters incantations. The words that are similar to incantations such as enchantment, charms and spells are the effects of reciting an incantation. To be enchanted is to be under the influence of an enchantment, usually thought to be caused by charms or spells. Magic words Classic magic words Main article: Magic word Magic words or words of power are words which have a specific, and sometimes unintended, effect. They are often nonsense phrases used in fantasy fiction or by stage prestidigitators. Frequently such words are presented as being part of a divine, adamic, or other secret or empowered language. Certain comic book heroes use magic words to activate their powers. Examples of traditional magic words include Abracadabra, Alakazam, Hocus Pocus, Open Sesame and Sim Sala Bim. In Babylonian, incantations can be used in rituals to burn images of one's own enemies. An example would be found in the series of Mesopotamian incantations of Šurpu and Maqlû. In the Orient, the charming of snakes have been used in incantations of the past and still used today. A person using an incantation would entice the snake out of its hiding place in order to get rid of them.[1] Udug-hul Main article: Udug In Mesopotamian mythology, Udug Hul incantations are used to exorcise demons (evil Udug) who bring misfortune or illnesses, such as mental illness or anxiety. These demons can create horrible events such as divorce, loss of property, or other catastrophes.[5] In folklore and fiction The enchantress Alcina makes herself appear beautiful, in Orlando Furioso In traditional fairy tales magical formulas are sometimes attached to an object.[citation needed] When the incantation is uttered, it helps transform the object. In such stories, incantations are attached to a magic wand used by wizards, witches and fairy godmothers. One example is the spell that Cinderella's Fairy Godmother used to turn a pumpkin into a coach, "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo", a nonsense rhyme which echoes more serious historical incantations.[6] Modern uses and interpretations The performance of magic almost always involves the use of language. Whether spoken out loud or unspoken, words are frequently used to access or guide magical power. In The Magical Power of Words (1968), S. J. Tambiah argues that the connection between language and magic is due to a belief in the inherent ability of words to influence the universe. Bronisław Malinowski, in Coral Gardens and their Magic (1935), suggests that this belief is an extension of man's basic use of language to describe his surroundings, in which "the knowledge of the right words, appropriate phrases and the more highly developed forms of speech, gives man a power over and above his own limited field of personal action."[7]: 235 Magical speech is therefore a ritual act and is of equal or even greater importance to the performance of magic than non-verbal acts.[8]: 175–176 Not all speech is considered magical. Only certain words and phrases or words spoken in a specific context are considered to have magical power.[8]: 176 Magical language, according to C. K. Ogden and I. A. Richards's (1923) categories of speech, is distinct from scientific language because it is emotive and it converts words into symbols for emotions; whereas in scientific language words are tied to specific meanings and refer to an objective external reality.[8]: 188 Magical language is therefore particularly adept at constructing metaphors that establish symbols and link magical rituals to the world.[8]: 189 Malinowski argues that "the language of magic is sacred, set and used for an entirely different purpose to that of ordinary life."[7]: 213 The two forms of language are differentiated through word choice, grammar, style, or by the use of specific phrases or forms: prayers, spells, songs, blessings, or chants, for example. Sacred modes of language often employ archaic words and forms in an attempt to invoke the purity or "truth" of a religious or a cultural "golden age". The use of Hebrew in Judaism is an example.[8]: 182 Another potential source of the power of words is their secrecy and exclusivity. Much sacred language is differentiated enough from common language that it is incomprehensible to the majority of the population and it can only be used and interpreted by specialized practitioners (magicians, priests, shamans, even mullahs).[7]: 228 [8]: 178 In this respect, Tambiah argues that magical languages violate the primary function of language: communication.[8]: 179 Yet adherents of magic are still able to use and to value the magical function of words by believing in the inherent power of the words themselves and in the meaning that they must provide for those who do understand them. This leads Tambiah to conclude that "the remarkable disjunction between sacred and profane language which exists as a general fact is not necessarily linked to the need to embody sacred words in an exclusive language."[8]: 182 Examples of charms A complete history of magik, sorcery, and wi Wellcome L0026620 The Anglo-Saxon metrical charms The Carmina Gadelica, a collection of Gaelic oral poetry, much of it charms The Atharvaveda, a collection of charms, and the Rigveda, a collection of hymns or incantations Hittite ritual texts The Greek Magical Papyri Maqlû, Akkadian incantation text The Merseburg charms, two medieval magic spells, charms written in Old High German Cyprianus, a generic term for a book of Scandinavian folk spells Pow-Wows; or, Long Lost Friend Babylonian incantations[9] Mesopotamian incantations were composed to counter anything from witchcraft (Maqlû) to field pests (Zu-buru-dabbeda)." ( "Witchcraft has a wide range of meanings in anthropological, folkloric, mythological, and religious contexts. Historically and traditionally, the term "witchcraft" has meant the use of magic or supernatural powers to cause harm and misfortune to others.[1] A witch (from Old English wicce f. / wicca m.) is a practitioner of witchcraft. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, "Witchcraft thus defined exists more in the imagination of contemporaries than in any objective reality. Yet this stereotype has a long history and has constituted for many cultures a viable explanation of evil in the world."[2] The belief in witchcraft has been found in a great number of societies worldwide. Anthropologists have applied the English term "witchcraft" to similar beliefs in occult practices in many different cultures, and societies that have adopted the English language have often internalised the term.[3][4][5] In medieval and early modern Europe, where belief in witchcraft traces back to classical antiquity, accused witches were usually women who were believed to have used black magic (maleficium) against their own community, and often to have communed with evil beings, though British anthropologist Jean La Fontaine notes that the "stereotype of evil appears not to have been closely connected to the actions of real people except when it was mobilised against the current enemies of the Church."[6] Usually, accusations of witchcraft were made by their neighbors and followed from social tensions. It was thought witchcraft could be thwarted by protective magic or counter-magic, which could be provided by the 'cunning folk' or 'wise people'. Suspected witches were also intimidated, banished, attacked or killed. Often they would be formally prosecuted and punished, if found guilty or simply believed to be guilty. European witch-hunts and witch trials in the early modern period led to tens of thousands of executions. While magical healers and midwives were sometimes accused of witchcraft themselves,[7][8][9][10] they made up a minority of those accused. European belief in witchcraft gradually dwindled during and after the Age of Enlightenment. Indigenous communities that believe in the existence of witchcraft likewise define witches as malevolent, and seek healers and people for protection against witchcraft.[11][12] Some African and Melanesian peoples believe witches are driven by an evil spirit or substance inside them. Modern witch-hunting takes place in parts of Africa and Asia. Today, some followers of Wiccan-related neo-paganism self-identify as "witches" and use the term "witchcraft" for their magico-religious beliefs and practices (see Neopagan Witchcraft), primarily in Western anglophone countries.[13][14][15] Other neo-pagans avoid the term due to its negative connotations.[16] Concept The concept of witchcraft and the belief in its existence have persisted throughout recorded history. The concept of malevolent magic has been found among cultures worldwide,[3][17] and it is prominent in some cultures today.[18] Most societies have believed in, and feared, an ability by some individuals to cause supernatural harm and misfortune to others. This may come from mankind's tendency "to want to assign occurrences of remarkable good or bad luck to agency, either human or superhuman".[19] Historians and anthropologists see the concept of "witchcraft" as one of the ways humans have tried to explain strange misfortune.[19][20] Some cultures have feared witchcraft much less than others, because they tend to have other explanations for strange misfortune; for example that it was caused by gods, spirits, demons or fairies, or by other humans who have unwittingly cast the evil eye.[19] For example, the Gaels of Ireland and the Scottish Highlands historically held a strong belief in fairy folk, who could cause supernatural harm, and witch-hunting was very rare in these regions compared to other regions of the British Isles.[21] Ronald Hutton outlined five key characteristics ascribed to witches and witchcraft by most cultures that believe in the concept. Traditionally, witchcraft was believed to be the use of magic to cause harm or misfortune to others; it was used by the witch against their own community; it was seen as immoral and often thought to involve communion with evil beings; powers of witchcraft were believed to have been acquired through inheritance or initiation; and witchcraft could be thwarted by defensive magic, persuasion, intimidation or physical punishment of the alleged witch.[22] Historically, the Christian concept of witchcraft derives from Old Testament laws against it. In medieval and early modern Europe, many common folk who were Christians believed in magic. As opposed to the helpful magic of the cunning folk, witchcraft was seen as evil and associated with the Devil and Devil worship. This often resulted in deaths, torture and scapegoating (casting blame for misfortune),[23][24] and many years of large scale witch-trials and witch hunts, especially in Protestant Europe, before largely ending during the European Age of Enlightenment. Christian views in the modern day are diverse and cover the gamut of views from intense belief and opposition (especially by Christian fundamentalists) to non-belief. Many cultures worldwide continue to have a belief in the concept of "witchcraft" or malevolent magic. During the Age of Colonialism, many cultures were exposed to the modern Western world via colonialism, usually accompanied and often preceded by intensive Christian missionary activity (see "Christianization"). In these cultures, beliefs about witchcraft were partly influenced by the prevailing Western concepts of the time. Witch-hunts, scapegoating, and the killing or shunning of suspected witches still occur in the modern era.[25] From the mid-20th century, "Witchcraft" was adopted as the name of some neo-pagan movements, including religions such as Wicca.[30] Its creators believed in the witch-cult theory, that accused witches had actually been followers of a surviving pagan religion, but this witch-cult theory is now discredited.[31] Etymology Further information: Witch (word) The word is over a thousand years old: Old English formed the compound wiccecræft from wicce ('witch') and cræft ('craft').[32] The masculine form was wicca ('male sorcerer').[33] According to the Oxford English Dictionary, wicce and wicca were probably derived from the Old English verb wiccian, meaning 'to practice witchcraft'.[34] Wiccian has a cognate in Middle Low German wicken (attested from the 13th century). The further etymology of this word is problematic. It has no clear cognates in other Germanic languages outside of English and Low German, and there are numerous possibilities for the Indo-European root from which it may have derived. Another Old English word for 'witch' was hægtes or hægtesse, which became the modern English word "hag" and is linked to the word "hex". In most other Germanic languages, their word for 'witch' comes from the same root as these; for example German Hexe and Dutch heks.[35] In colloquial modern English, the word witch is generally used for women. A male practitioner of magic or witchcraft is more commonly called a 'wizard', or sometimes, 'warlock'. When the word witch is used to refer to a member of a neo-pagan tradition or religion (such as Wicca), it can refer to a person of any gender.[36] Practices Preparation for the Witches' Sabbath by David Teniers the Younger. It shows a witch brewing a potion overlooked by her familiar spirit or a demon; items on the floor for casting a spell; and another witch reading from a grimoire while anointing the buttocks of a young witch about to fly upon an inverted besom. The historical and traditional definition of "witchcraft" is the use of black magic (maleficium) or supernatural powers to cause harm and misfortune to others. Where belief in harmful magic exists, it is typically forbidden by law as well as hated and feared by the general populace, while helpful magic is tolerated or even accepted wholesale by the people, even if the orthodox establishment opposes it.[37] It is commonly believed that witches use objects, words and gestures to cause supernatural harm, or that they simply have an innate power to do so. Hutton notes that both kinds of witches are often believed to exist in the same culture. He says that the two often overlap, in that someone with an inborn power could wield that power through material objects.[38] In his 1937 study of Azande witchcraft beliefs, E. E. Evans-Pritchard reserved the term "witchcraft" for the actions of those who inflict harm by their inborn power, and used "sorcery" for those who needed tools to do so.[39] Historians found it difficult to apply to European witchcraft, where witches were believed to use physical techniques, as well as some who were believed to cause harm by thought alone.[4] This distinction "has now largely been abandoned, although some anthropologists still sometimes find it relevant to the particular societies with which they are concerned".[38] While most cultures believe witchcraft to be something willful, some Indigenous peoples in Africa and Melanesia believe witches have a substance or an evil spirit in their bodies that drives them to do harm.[38] Witches are commonly believed to cast curses; a spell or set of magical words and gestures intended to inflict supernatural harm.[40] As well as repeating words and gestures, cursing could involve inscribing runes or sigils on an object to give that object magical powers; burning or binding a wax or clay image (a poppet) of .[41][42][43][38] A common belief in cultures worldwide is that witches tend to use something from their victim's body to work black magic against them; for example hair, nail clippings, clothing, or bodily waste. Such beliefs are found in Europe, Africa, South Asia, Polynesia, Melanesia, and North America.[38] Another widespread belief among Indigenous peoples in Africa and North America is that witches cause harm by introducing cursed magical objects into their victim's body; such as small bones or ashes.[38] In some cultures, malevolent witches are believed to use human body parts in magic,[38] and they are commonly believed to murder children for this purpose. In Europe, "cases in which women did undoubtedly kill their children, because of what today would be called postpartum psychosis, were often interpreted as yielding to diabolical temptation".[44] Witches are believed to work in secret, sometimes alone and sometimes with other witches. Hutton writes: "Across most of the world, witches have been thought to gather at night, when normal humans are inactive, and also at their most vulnerable in sleep".[38] In most cultures, witches at these gatherings are thought to transgress social norms by engaging in cannibalism, incest and open nudity.[38] Another widespread belief is that witches have a demonic helper or "familiar", often in animal form. Witches are also often thought to be able to shapeshift into animals themselves.[45] Witchcraft has been blamed for many kinds of misfortune. In Europe, by far the most common kind of harm attributed to witchcraft was illness or death suffered by adults, their children, or their animals. "Certain ailments, like impotence in men, infertility in women, and lack of milk in cows, were particularly associated with witchcraft". Illnesses that were poorly understood were more likely to be blamed on witchcraft. Edward Bever writes: "Witchcraft was particularly likely to be suspected when a disease came on unusually swiftly, lingered unusually long, could not be diagnosed clearly, or presented some other unusual symptoms".[46] Necromancy is the practice of conjuring the spirits of the dead for divination or prophecy, although the term has also been applied to raising the dead for other purposes. The biblical Witch of Endor performed it (1 Samuel 28th chapter), and it is among the witchcraft practices condemned by Ælfric of Eynsham:[47][48][49] "Witches still go to cross-roads and to heathen burials with their delusive magic and call to the devil; and he comes to them in the likeness of the man that is buried there, as if he arises from death."[50] Historical and religious perspectives Globe icon. The examples and perspective in this section may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. You may improve this section, discuss the issue on the talk page, or create a new section, as appropriate. (August 2023) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) Near East beliefs Main article: Witchcraft in the Middle East The belief in sorcery and its practice seem to have been widespread in the ancient Near East and Nile Valley. It played a conspicuous role in the cultures of ancient Egypt and in Babylonia. The latter tradition included an Akkadian anti-witchcraft ritual, the Maqlû. A section from the Code of Hammurabi (about 2000 BC) prescribes: If a man has put a spell upon another man and it is not justified, he upon whom the spell is laid shall go to the holy river; into the holy river shall he plunge. If the holy river overcome him and he is drowned, the man who put the spell upon him shall take possession of his house. If the holy river declares him innocent and he remains unharmed the man who laid the spell shall be put to death. He that plunged into the river shall take possession of the house of him who laid the spell upon him.[51] Abrahamic religions Main articles: Witchcraft and divination in the Hebrew Bible, Christian views on magic, and Islam and magic Witchcraft's historical evolution in the Middle East reveals a multi-phase journey influenced by culture, spirituality, and societal norms. Ancient witchcraft in the Near East intertwined mysticism with nature through rituals and incantations aligned with local beliefs. In ancient Judaism, magic had a complex relationship, with some forms accepted due to mysticism[52] while others were considered heretical.[53] The medieval Middle East experienced shifting perceptions of witchcraft under Islamic and Christian influences, sometimes revered for healing and other times condemned as heresy. Jewish attitudes toward witchcraft were rooted in its association with idolatry and necromancy, and some rabbis even practiced certain forms of magic themselves.[54][55] References to witchcraft in the Tanakh, or Hebrew Bible, highlighted strong condemnations rooted in the "abomination" of magical belief. Christianity similarly condemned witchcraft, considering it an abomination and even citing specific verses to justify witch-hunting during the early modern period. Islamic perspectives on magic encompass a wide range of practices,[56] with belief in black magic and the evil eye coexisting alongside strict prohibitions against its practice.[57] The Quran acknowledges the existence of magic and seeks protection from its harm. Islam's stance is against the practice of magic, considering it forbidden, and emphasizes divine miracles rather than magic or witchcraft.[58] The historical continuity of witchcraft in the Middle East underlines the complex interaction between spiritual beliefs and societal norms across different cultures and epochs. Ancient Roman world Caius Furius Cressinus Accused of Sorcery, Jean-Pierre Saint-Ours, 1792 During the pagan era of ancient Rome, there were laws against harmful magic.[59] According to Pliny, the 5th century BC laws of the Twelve Tables laid down penalties for uttering harmful incantations and for stealing the fruitfulness of someone else's crops by magic.[59] The only recorded trial involving this law was that of Gaius Furius Cresimus.[59] The Classical Latin word veneficium meant both poisoning and causing harm by magic (such as magic potions), although ancient people would not have distinguished between the two.[60] In 331 BC, a deadly epidemic hit Rome and at least 170 women were executed for causing it by veneficium. In 184–180 BC, another epidemic hit Italy, and about 5,000 were executed for veneficium.[60] If the reports are accurate, writes Hutton, "then the Republican Romans hunted witches on a scale unknown anywhere else in the ancient world".[60] Under the Lex Cornelia de sicariis et veneficis of 81 BC, killing by veneficium carried the death penalty. During the early Imperial era, the Lex Cornelia began to be used more broadly against other kinds of magic,[60] including sacrifices made for evil purposes. The magicians were to be burnt at the stake.[59] Witch characters—women who work powerful evil magic—appear in ancient Roman literature from the first century BC onward. They are typically hags who chant harmful incantations; makeanimals and humans; sacrifice children; raise the dead; can control the natural world; can shapeshift themselves and others into animals; and invoke underworld deities and spirits. They include Lucan's Erichtho, Horace's Canidia, Ovid's Dipsas, and Apuleius's Meroe.[60] Witchcraft and folk healers Main article: Cunning folk Diorama of a cunning woman or wise woman in the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic Traditionally, the terms "witch" and "witchcraft" mean those attempt to do harmful magic, specifically harm done to the person's own community. Most societies that have believed in witchcraft and black magic have also believed in helpful types of magic. Some have termed positive magic, 'white magic', at least in more recent eras, in English.[61] Historian Owen Davies says the term "white witch" was rarely used before the 20th century.[62] In these societies, practitioners of helpful magic, usually known as cunning folk, have traditionally provided services such as breaking the effects of witchcraft, healing, divination, finding lost or stolen goods, and love magic.[63] In Britain, and some other places in Europe, they have commonly been known as cunning folk or wise people.[63] Alan McFarlane wrote in 1999 that while cunning folk is the usual name, some are also known as 'blessers' or 'wizards', but might in some circumstances be known as 'white', 'good', or 'unbinding witches'.[64] Ronald Hutton uses the general term "service magicians".[63] Often these people were involved in identifying alleged witches.[61] Such beneficial magic-workers "were normally contrasted with the witch who practised maleficium—that is, magic used for harmful ends".[65] In the early years of the witch hunts "the cunning folk were widely tolerated by church, state and general populace".[65] Some of the more hostile churchmen and secular authorities tried to smear folk-healers and magic-workers by falsely branding them 'witches' and associating them with harmful 'witchcraft',[63] but generally the masses did not accept this and continued to make use of their services.[66] The English MP and skeptic Reginald Scot sought to disprove magic and witchcraft, writing in The Discoverie of Witchcraft (1584), "At this day, it is indifferent to say in the English tongue, 'she is a witch' or 'she is a wise woman'".[67] Historian Keith Thomas adds "Nevertheless, it is possible to isolate that kind of 'witchcraft' which involved the employment (or presumed employment) of some occult means of doing harm to other people in a way which was generally disapproved of. In this sense the belief in witchcraft can be defined as the attribution of misfortune to occult human agency".[8] Emma Wilby says folk magicians in Europe were viewed ambivalently by communities, and were considered as capable of harming as of healing,[68] which could lead to their being accused as using witchcraft to harm the innocent. She suggests some English "witches" convicted of consorting with demons may have been cunning folk whose supposed fairy familiars had been demonised.[69] Hutton says that healers and cunning folk "were sometimes denounced as witches, but seem to have made up a minority of the accused in any area studied".[61] Likewise, Davies says "relatively few cunning-folk were prosecuted under secular statutes for witchcraft" and were dealt with more leniently than alleged witches. The Constitutio Criminalis Carolina (1532) of the Holy Roman Empire, and the Danish Witchcraft Act of 1617, stated that workers of folk magic should be dealt with differently from witches.[70] It was suggested by Richard Horsley that cunning folk (devins-guerisseurs, 'diviner-healers') made up a significant proportion of those tried for witchcraft in France and Switzerland, but more recent surveys conclude that they made up less than 2% of the accused.[71] However, Éva Pócs says that half the accused witches in Hungary seem to have been healers,[72] and Kathleen Stokker says the "vast majority" of Norway's accused witches were folk healers.[73] Thwarting witchcraft Globe icon. The examples and perspective in this section may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. You may improve this section, discuss the issue on the talk page, or create a new section, as appropriate. (August 2023) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) A witch bottle, used as counter-magic against witchcraft Societies that believed in witchcraft also believed that it could be thwarted in various ways. One common way was to use protective magic or counter-magic, of which the cunning folk were experts.[61] This included charms, talismans and amulets, anti-witch marks, witch bottles, witch balls, and burying objects such as horse skulls inside the walls of buildings.[74] Another believed cure for bewitchment was to persuade or force the alleged witch to lift their spell.[61] Often, people would attempt to thwart the witchcraft by physically punishing the alleged witch, such as by banishing, wounding, torturing or killing them. "In most societies, however, a formal and legal remedy was preferred to this sort of private action", whereby the alleged witch would be prosecuted and then formally punished if found guilty.[61] This often resulted in execution. Accusations of witchcraft Alleged witches being accused in the Salem witch trials Throughout the world, accusations of witchcraft are often linked to social and economic tensions. Females are most often accused, but in some cultures it is mostly males. In many societies, accusations are directed mainly against the elderly, but in others age is not a factor, and in some cultures it is mainly adolescents who are accused.[75] In pre-modern Europe, most of those accused were women, and accusations of witchcraft usually came from their neighbors who accused them of inflicting harm or misfortune by magical means.[76] Macfarlane found that women made accusations of witchcraft as much as men did. Deborah Willis adds, "The number of witchcraft quarrels that began between women may actually have been higher; in some cases, it appears that the husband as 'head of household' came forward to make statements on behalf of his wife".[77] Hutton and Davies note that folk healers were sometimes accused of witchcraft, but made up a minority of the accused.[61][78] It is also possible that a small proportion of accused witches may have genuinely sought to harm by magical means.[79] Éva Pócs writes that reasons for accusations of witchcraft fall into four general categories:[20] A person was caught in the act of positive or negative sorcery A well-meaning sorcerer or healer lost their clients' or the authorities' trust A person did nothing more than gain the enmity of their neighbors A person was reputed to be a witch and surrounded with an aura of witch-beliefs or occultism Witch-hunts and witch-trials In China Main article: Chinese shamanism During the reign of Emperor Wu of Han (141 BCE to 87 BCE) in the Western Han Dynasty of China, there were instances where the imperial court took measures to suppress certain religious or spiritual practices, including those associated with shamanism. Emperor Wu was known for his strong support of Confucianism, which was the dominant ideology of the Han Dynasty, and he promoted policies that aimed to consolidate central authority and unify the cultural and social landscape of the empire.[80] One notable event related to the suppression of shamanism occurred in 91 BCE, when Emperor Wu issued an edict that banned a range of "heterodox" practices, including shamanistic rituals and divination, in favor of Confucianism. The primary target of these measures was the Wuism or Wu (巫) tradition, which involved the worship of spirits and the use of shamanic practices to communicate with them. Wuism was considered by the Confucian elite to be superstitious witchcraft and at odds with Confucian principles.[81] Emperor Wu's suppression of shamanism was part of a larger effort to centralize power, promote Confucian ethics, and standardize cultural practices. While the ban on shamanistic practices did impact certain communities and religious groups, these measures were not universally applied across the vast territory of the empire. Local variations and practices persisted in some regions despite imperial edicts.[80] The historical record from that time is limited, and our understanding of these events can be influenced by the perspectives of the Confucian scholars and officials who documented them. As a result, there might be some variations in the interpretation of the exact nature and extent of the expulsion of shamans and other religious practitioners during Emperor Wu's reign.[80] In Europe Main articles: Witch-hunt and Witch trials in the early modern period A 1613 English pamphlet showing "Witches apprehended, examined and executed" In Christianity, sorcery came to be associated with heresy and apostasy and to be viewed as evil. Among Catholics, Protestants, and the secular leadership of late medieval/early modern Europe, fears about witchcraft rose to fever pitch and sometimes led to large-scale witch-hunts. The fifteenth century saw a dramatic rise in awareness and terror of witchcraft. Tens of thousands of people were executed, and others were imprisoned, tortured, banished, and had lands and possessions confiscated. The majority of those accused were women, though in some regions the majority were men.[82][83] In Scots, the word warlock came to be used as the male equivalent of witch (which can be male or female, but is used predominantly for females).[84][85][86] The Malleus Maleficarum (Latin for 'Hammer of The Witches') was a witch-hunting manual written in 1486 by two German monks, Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger. It was used by both Catholics and Protestants[87] for several hundred years, outlining how to identify a witch, what makes a woman more likely than a man to be a witch, how to put a witch on trial, and how to punish a witch. The book defines a witch as evil and typically female. It became the handbook for secular courts throughout Europe, but was not used by the Inquisition, which even cautioned against relying on it.[88] It was the most sold book in Europe for over 100 years, after the Bible.[89] From the sixteenth century on, there were some writers who protested against witch trials, witch hunting and the belief that witchcraft existed. Among them were Johann Weyer, Reginald Scot,[90] and Friedrich Spee.[91] European witch-trials reached their peak in the early 17th century, after which popular sentiment began to turn against the practice. In 1682, King Louis XIV prohibited further witch-trials in France. In 1736, Great Britain formally ended witch-trials with passage of the Witchcraft Act.[92] Modern witch-hunts Main article: Modern witch-hunts Belief in witchcraft continues to be present today in some societies and accusations of witchcraft are the trigger for serious forms of violence, including murder. Such incidents are common in countries such as Burkina Faso, Ghana, India, Kenya, Malawi, Nepal and Tanzania. Accusations of witchcraft are sometimes linked to personal disputes, jealousy, and conflicts between neighbors or family members over land or inheritance. Witchcraft-related violence is often discussed as a serious issue in the broader context of violence against women.[93][94][95][96][97] In Tanzania, about 500 old women are murdered each year following accusations of witchcraft or accusations of being a witch.[98] Apart from extrajudicial violence, state-sanctioned violence also occurs in some jurisdictions. For instance, in Saudi Arabia practicing witchcraft and sorcery is a crime punishable by death and the country has executed people for this crime in 2011, 2012 and 2014.[99][100][101] Children who live in some regions of the world, such as parts of Africa, are also vulnerable to violence that is related to witchcraft accusations.[102][103][104][105] Such incidents have also occurred in immigrant communities in the UK, including the much publicized case of the murder of Victoria Climbié.[106][107] By region This section should specify the language of its non-English content, using {{lang}}, {{transliteration}} for transliterated languages, and {{IPA}} for phonetic transcriptions, with an appropriate ISO 639 code. Wikipedia's multilingual support templates may also be used. See why. (August 2021) Africa It has been suggested that this section be split out into another article titled Witchcraft in Africa. (Discuss) (August 2023) Further information: Witchcraft accusations against children in Africa and Traditional healers of Southern Africa An Azande witch doctor, who is believed to cure bewitchment Much of what witchcraft represents in Africa has been susceptible to misunderstandings and confusion, thanks in no small part to a tendency among western scholars since the time of the now largely discredited Margaret Murray to approach the subject through a comparative lens vis-a-vis European witchcraft.[108] While some colonialists tried to eradicate witch hunting by introducing legislation to prohibit accusations of witchcraft, some of the countries where this was the case have formally recognized the existence of witchcraft via the law. This has produced an environment that encourages persecution of suspected witches.[109] Azande Main article: Azande witchcraft Cameroon In eastern Cameroon, the term used for witchcraft among the Maka is djambe[110] and refers to a force inside a person; its powers may make the proprietor more vulnerable. It encompasses the occult, the transformative, killing and healing.[111] Central African Republic Every year, hundreds of people in the Central African Republic are convicted of witchcraft.[112] Christian militias in the Central African Republic have also kidnapped, burnt and buried alive women accused of being 'witches' in public ceremonies.[113] Democratic Republic of the Congo As of 2006, between 25,000 and 50,000 children in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, had been accused of witchcraft and thrown out of their homes.[114] These children have been subjected to often-violent abuse during exorcisms, sometimes supervised by self-styled religious pastors. Other pastors and Christian activists strongly oppose such accusations and try to rescue children from their unscrupulous colleagues.[115] The usual term for these children is enfants sorciers ('child witches') or enfants dits sorciers ('children accused of witchcraft'). In 2002, USAID funded the production of two short films on the subject, made in Kinshasa by journalists Angela Nicoara and Mike Ormsby. In April 2008, in Kinshasa, the police arrested 14 suspected victims (of penis snatching) and sorcerers accused of using black magic or witchcraft to steal (make disappear) or shrink men's penises to extort cash for cure, amid a wave of panic.[116] According to one study, the belief in magical warfare technologies (such as "bulletproofing") in the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo serves a group-level function, as it increases group efficiency in warfare, even if it is suboptimal at the individual level.[117] The authors of the study argue that this is one reason why the belief in witchcraft persists.[117] Complimentary remarks about witchcraft by a native Congolese initiate: From witchcraft [...] may be developed the remedy (kimbuki) that will do most to raise up our country.[118] Witchcraft [...] deserves respect [...] it can embellish or redeem (ketula evo vuukisa)."[119] The ancestors were equipped with the protective witchcraft of the clan (kindoki kiandundila kanda). [...] They could also gather the power of animals into their hands [...] whenever they needed. [...] If we could make use of these kinds of witchcraft, our country would rapidly progress in knowledge of every kind.[120] You witches (zindoki) too, bring your science into the light to be written down so that [...] the benefits in it [...] endow our race.[121] Ghana Main article: Witchcraft in Ghana In Ghana, women are often accused of witchcraft and attacked by neighbours.[122] Because of this, there exist six witch camps in the country where women suspected of being witches can flee for safety.[123] The witch camps, which exist solely in Ghana, are thought to house a total of around 1000 women.[123] Some of the camps are thought to have been set up over 100 years ago.[123] The Ghanaian government has announced that it intends to close the camps.[123] Arrests were made in an effort to avoid bloodshed seen in Ghana in 1997, when twelve alleged penis snatchers were beaten to death by mobs.[124] While it is easy for modern people to dismiss such reports, Uchenna Okeja argues that a belief system in which such magical practices are deemed possible offer many benefits to Africans who hold them. For example, the belief that a sorcerer has "stolen" a man's penis functions as an anxiety-reduction mechanism for men suffering from impotence, while simultaneously providing an explanation that is consistent with African cultural beliefs rather than appealing to Western scientific notions that are, in the eyes of many Africans, tainted by the history of colonialism.[125] Kenya It was reported that a mob in Kenya had burnt to death at least eleven people accused of witchcraft in 2008.[126] Malawi In Malawi it is common practice to accuse children of witchcraft and many children have been abandoned, abused, and even killed as a result. As in other African countries, both a number of African traditional healers and some of their Christian counterparts are trying to make a living out of exorcising children and are actively involved in pointing out children as witches.[127] Various secular and Christian organizations are combining their efforts to address this problem.[128] According to William Kamkwamba, witches and wizards are afraid of money, which they consider a rival evil. Any contact with cash will snap their spell and leave the wizard naked and confused, so placing cash, such as kwacha, around a room or bed mat will protect the resident from their malevolent spells.[129] Nigeria In Nigeria, several Pentecostal pastors have mixed their evangelical brand of Christianity with African beliefs in witchcraft to benefit from the lucrative witch-finding and exorcism business—which in the past was the exclusive domain of the so-called witch doctor or traditional healers. These pastors have been involved in the torturing and even killing of children accused of witchcraft.[130] Over the past decade,[when?] around 15,000 children have been accused, and around 1,000 murdered. Churches are very numerous in Nigeria, and competition for congregations is hard. Some pastors attempt to establish a reputation for spiritual power by "detecting" child witches, usually following a death or loss of a job within a family, or an accusation of financial fraud against the pastor. In the course of "exorcisms", accused children may be starved, beaten, mutilated, set on fire, forced to consume acid or cement, or buried alive. While some church leaders and Christian activists have spoken out strongly against these abuses, many Nigerian churches are involved in the abuse, although church administrations deny knowledge of it.[131] In May 2020, fifteen adults, mostly women, were set ablaze after being accused of witchcraft, including the mother of the instigator of the attack, Thomas Obi Tawo, a local politician.[109] Sierra Leone Among the Mende (of Sierra Leone), trial and conviction for witchcraft has a beneficial effect for those convicted. "The witchfinder had warned the whole village to ensure the relative prosperity of the accused and sentenced ... old people. ... Six months later all of the people ... accused, were secure, well-fed and arguably happier than at any [previous] time; they had hardly to beckon and people would come with food or whatever was needful. ... Instead of such old and widowed people being left helpless or (as in Western society) institutionalized in old people's homes, these were reintegrated into society and left secure in their old age ... Old people are 'suitable' candidates for this kind of accusation in the sense that they are isolated and vulnerable, and they are 'suitable' candidates for 'social security' for precisely the same reasons."[132] In Kuranko language, the term for witchcraft is suwa'ye[133] referring to 'extraordinary powers'. Zulu In Zulu culture, herbal and spiritual healers called sangomas protect people from evil spirits and witchcraft. They perform divination and healing with ancestral spirits and usually train with elders for about five to seven years.[134][135] In the cities, however, some offer trainings that take only several months, but there is concern about inadequately-trained and fraudulent "sangomas" exploiting and harming people who may come to them for help.[136][137][138][139] Another type of healer is the inyanga, who heals people with plant and animal parts. This is a profession that is hereditary, and passed down through family lines. While there used to be more of a distinction between the two types of healers, in contemporary practice, the terms are often used interchangeably.[140][141][142] Americas North America It has been suggested that this section be split out into another article titled Witchcraft in North America. (Discuss) (August 2023) British America and the United States See also: Witchcraft in Colonial America Massachusetts Examination of a Witch by T. H. Matteson, inspired by the Salem witch trials In 1645, Springfield, Massachusetts, experienced America's first accusations of witchcraft when husband and wife Hugh and Mary Parsons accused each other of witchcraft. At America's first witch trial, Hugh was found innocent, while Mary was acquitted of witchcraft but sentenced to be hanged for the death of her child. She died in prison.[143] In 1648 Margaret Jones (Puritan midwife) was the first person to be executed for witchcraft in Massachusetts Bay Colony. From 1645 to 1663, about eighty people throughout England's Massachusetts Bay Colony were accused of practicing witchcraft. Thirteen women and two men were executed in a witch-hunt that lasted throughout New England from 1645 to 1663.[144] The Salem witch trials followed in 1692–93. These witch trials were the most famous in British North America and took place in the coastal settlements near Salem, Massachusetts. Prior to the witch trials, nearly three hundred men and women had been suspected of partaking in witchcraft, and nineteen of these people were hanged, and one was "pressed to death".[145] Despite being generally known as the Salem witch trials, the preliminary hearings in 1692 were conducted in a variety of towns across the province: Salem Village (now Danvers), Salem Town, Ipswich, and Andover. The best-known trials were conducted by the Court of Oyer and Terminer in 1692 in Salem Town.[146][citation needed][147] The Crucible by Arthur Miller is a dramatized and partially fictionalized story of the Salem witch trials that took place in the Massachusetts Bay Colony during 1692–93. Maryland Main article: Maryland Witch Trials In Maryland, there is a legend of Moll Dyer, who escaped a fire set by fellow colonists only to die of exposure in December 1697. The historical record of Dyer is scant as all official records were burned in a courthouse fire, though the county courthouse has on display the rock where her frozen body was found. A letter from a colonist of the period describes her in most unfavourable terms. A local road is named after Dyer, where her homestead was said to have been. Many local families have their own version of the Moll Dyer affair, and her name is spoken with care in the rural southern counties.[148] Pennsylvania ‹ The template below (Summarize section) is being considered for merging. See templates for discussion to help reach a consensus. › This section may be too long and excessively detailed. Please consider summarizing the material. (August 2023) Margaret Mattson and another woman were tried in 1683 on accusations of witchcraft in the Province of Pennsylvania. They were acquitted by William Penn after a trial in Philadelphia. These are the only known trials for witchcraft in Pennsylvania history. Some of Margaret's neighbors claimed that she had bewitched cattle.[149] Charges of practicing witchcraft were brought before the Pennsylvania Provincial Council in February 1683 (under Julian calendar).[150] This occurred nineteen years after the Swedish territory became a British common law colony and subject to English Witchcraft Act 1604.[151] Accused by several neighbors, as well as her own daughter in law, Mattson's alleged crimes included making threats against neighbors, causing cows to give little milk,[152] bewitching and killing livestock and appearing to witnesses in spectral form. On February 27, 1683, charges against Mattson and a neighbor Gertro (a.k.a. Yeshro) Jacobsson, wife of Hendrick Jacobsson, were brought by the Attorney General before a grand jury of 21 men overseen by the colony's proprietor, William Penn. The grand jury returned a true bill indictment that afternoon, and the cases proceeded to trial.[150] A petit jury of twelve men was selected by Penn and an interpreter was appointed for the Finnish women, who did not speak English.[153] Penn barred the use of prosecution and defense lawyers, conducted the questioning himself, and permitted the introduction of unsubstantiated hearsay.[152] Penn himself gave the closing charge and directions to the jury, but what he told them was not transcribed. According to the minutes of the Provincial Council, dated February 27, 1683, the jury returned with a verdict of "Guilty of having the Comon Fame of a Witch, but not Guilty in manner and Forme as Shee stands Endicted."[152][154] Thus Mattson was found guilty of having the reputation of a witch, but not guilty of bewitching animals. Neither woman was convicted of witchcraft. "Hence the superstitious got enough to have their thinking affirmed. Those less superstitious, and justice minded, got what they wanted."[155] The accused were released on their husbands' posting recognizance bonds of 50 pounds and promising six months' good behavior.[156][150] A popular legend tells of William Penn dismissing the charges against Mattson by affirming her legal right to fly on a broomstick over Philadelphia, saying "Well, I know of no law against it."[152] The record fails to show any such commentary, but the story probably reflects popular views of Penn's socially progressive Quaker values.[157] Tennessee Accusations of witchcraft and wizardry led to the prosecution of a man in Tennessee as recently as 1833.[158][159][160] Native Americans in the United States Native American communities such as the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Creek, Delaware, Hopi, Miami, Natchez, Navajo and Seneca have historically defined witches as evil-doers who harm their own communities. Witches are traditionally seen as criminals, and witchcraft as a crime punishable by death, if nothing else as a last resort.[161][162][163] While some communities have passed laws specifically outlawing vigilante killings, traditional views of witches and witchcraft have largely remained the same into 20th century,[161] and through to the present among traditionals.[163] Witches in these communities are defined in contrast to medicine people, who are the healers and ceremonial leaders, and who provide protection against witches and witchcraft.[161][162] Cherokee The Cherokee have traditional monster stories of witches, such as Raven Mocker (Kâ'lanû Ahkyeli'skï) and Spearfinger (U'tlun'ta), both known as dangerous killers.[164][165] Among the Cherokee, the medicine people are seen as a "priesthood caste",[166] known to work together in groups to help the community. As in other Native communities, they are defined as the opposite of witches, who are seen as criminals,[161] In contrast, the traditional Cherokee witch lives alone, eats alone (fearful of being poisoned), and commits heinous acts alone, surreptitiously under the cover of darkness. Jealous and hypersensitive by nature, the Cherokee witch lives in the ever-fearful grip of being publicly exposed.[161] Cherokee healers have "doctored" dogs so the dogs can help them detect witches.[161] As in the other tribes that have agreed to talk to anthropologists, witchcraft has been traditionally punished by death in Cherokee communities. In 1824 the western Cherokee passed new laws "forbidding the wanton killing of suspected witches",[167] however, this attitude and retribution appears to have continued at the same rate in both the Cherokee and Creek communities throughout the 19th Century.[167] In the twentieth century, many communities responded to allegations of witchcraft with mental health treatment, including medication. But despite changes in laws and perspectives, Kilpatrick (quoting Shimony (1989)) wrote in 1998 that one does still occasionally read about "the demise of a suspected witch in Native American communities" but that most of these deaths take place "only while the witch is in animal guise (by shooting) or by means of counter-witchcraft".[161] Hopi The Hopi have many beliefs and concerns about witches and witchcraft. To the Hopis, witches or evil-hearted persons deliberately try to destroy social harmony by sowing discontent, doubt, and criticism through evil gossip as well as by actively combating medicine men.[163] Suspicious deaths are often blamed on witchcraft, with members of the community trying to figure out who might be a witch, and who might have caused the death or other misfortune.[163] They are called popwaqt, the plural of powaqa, "witch" or "sorcerer." They are unequivocally evil, casting spells, causing illness, killing babies, and destroying the life cycle. They practice powaqqatsi, the "life of evil sorcery." The Hopis call them kwitavi, "shit people." .... a witch is a person who kills close family relatives in order to prolong his or her own life by four years. By killing, I mean causing through occult means an unnatural death, such as stillbirth, infants dying of ordinary illnesses, or healthy adults suffering from strange illnesses. Witches are also the occult cause of unusual circumstances, such as hailstorms on a sunny day, extreme drought, or people suffering bad fortune.[163] Navajo There are several varieties of those considered to be witches by the Navajo. The most common variety seen in horror fiction by non-Navajo people is the yee naaldlooshii (a type of 'ánti'įhnii),[168] known in English as the skin-walker. They are believed to take the forms of animals in order to travel in secret and do harm to the innocent.[168] In the Navajo language, yee naaldlooshii translates to 'with it, he goes on all fours'.[168] C (Navajo: áńt'į́, literally 'witchery' or 'harming') is a from powdered corpses. The powder is used by witches to curse their victims.[5] Traditional Navajos usually hesitate to discuss things like witches and witchcraft with non-Navajos.[169] As with other traditional cultures, the term "witch" is never used for healers or others who help the community with their ceremonies and spiritual work.[162] Latin America Main article: Witchcraft in Latin America When Franciscan friars from New Spain arrived in the Americas in 1524, they introduced Diabolism—belief in the Christian Devil—to the Indigenous peoples of the Americas.[170] Bartolomé de las Casas believed that human sacrifice was not diabolic, in fact far off from it, and was a natural result of religious expression.[170] Mexican Indians gladly took in the belief of Diabolism and still managed to keep their belief in creator-destroyer deities.[171] Witchcraft was an important part of the social and cultural history of late-Colonial Mexico, during the Mexican Inquisition. Spanish Inquisitors viewed witchcraft as a problem that could be cured simply through confession. Yet, as anthropologist Ruth Behar writes, witchcraft, not only in Mexico but in Latin America in general, was a "conjecture of sexuality, witchcraft, and religion, in which Spanish, indigenous, and African cultures converged."[172] Furthermore, witchcraft in Mexico generally required an interethnic and interclass network of witches.[173] Yet, according to anthropology professor Laura Lewis, witchcraft in colonial Mexico ultimately represented an "affirmation of hegemony" for women, Indians, and especially Indian women over their white male counterparts as a result of the casta system.[174] The presence of the witch is a constant in the ethnographic history of colonial Brazil, especially during the several denunciations and confessions given to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of Bahia (1591–1593), Pernambuco and Paraíba (1593–1595).[175] Brujería, often called a Latin American form of witchcraft, is a syncretic Afro-Caribbean tradition that combines Indigenous religious and magical practices from Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao in the Dutch Caribbean, Catholicism, and European witchcraft.[176] The tradition and terminology is considered to encompass both helpful and harmful practices.[177] A male practitioner is called a brujo, a female practitioner, a bruja.[177] Healers may be further distinguished by the terms kurioso or kuradó, a man or woman who performs trabou chikí ("little works") and trabou grandi ("large treatments") to promote or restore health, bring fortune or misfortune, deal with unrequited love, and more serious concerns. Sorcery usually involves reference to an entity referred to as the almasola or homber chiki.[178] Asia Main article: Asian witchcraft This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Find sources: "Witchcraft" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (August 2023) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) Okabe – The cat witch, by Utagawa Kuniyoshi Asian witchcraft encompasses various types of witchcraft practices across Asia. In ancient times, magic played a significant role in societies such as ancient Egypt and Babylonia, as evidenced by historical records. In the Middle East, references to magic can be found in the Torah, where witchcraft is condemned due to its association with belief in magic. In the New Testament, both Galatians and Revelation condemn sorcery, though there is debate over the exact meaning of the Greek term "pharmakeía". Islamic beliefs incorporate divination and magic, including black magic, with the Quran offering protection against malevolent forces. Miracles in Islam are attributed to angels and pious individuals, distinct from witchcraft. Judaism views witchcraft as tied to idolatry and necromancy, and although some rabbis practiced magic, it was often seen as divine intervention rather than witchcraft. In Nepal, accusations of witchcraft result in severe mistreatment of women, leading to societal marginalization and even death. India has seen incidents of witchcraft-related violence and murder, often targeting women accused of being witches. In Chinese culture, the practice of "Gong Tau" involves black magic for purposes such as revenge and financial assistance. Japanese folklore features witch figures who employ foxes as familiars. Korean history includes instances of individuals being condemned for using spells. The Philippines has its own tradition of witches, distinct from Western portrayals, with their practices often countered by indigenous shamans. Overall, witchcraft beliefs and practices in Asia vary widely across cultures, reflecting historical, religious, and social contexts. Europe Main article: European witchcraft Witchcraft in Europe between 500 and 1750 was believed to be a combination of sorcery and heresy. While sorcery attempts to produce negative supernatural effects through formulas and rituals, heresy is the Christian contribution to witchcraft in which an individual makes a pact with the Devil. In addition, heresy denies witches the recognition of important Christian values such as baptism, salvation, Christ, and sacraments.[179] The beginning of the witch accusations in Europe took place in the 14th and 15th centuries, but as the social disruptions of the 16th century took place, witchcraft trials intensified.[180] A 1555 German print showing the burning of witches. Current scholarly estimates of the number of people executed for witchcraft in Europe vary between 40,000 and 100,000.[181] The number of witch trials in Europe known to have ended in executions is around 12,000.[182] In Early Modern European tradition, witches were stereotypically, though not exclusively, women.[82][183] European pagan belief in witchcraft was associated with the goddess Diana and dismissed as "diabolical fantasies" by medieval Christian authors.[184] Throughout Europe, there were an estimated 110,000 witchcraft trials between 1450 and 1750 (with 1560 to 1660 being the peak of persecutions), with half of the cases seeing the accused being executed.[185] Witch-hunts first appeared in large numbers in southern France and Switzerland during the 14th and 15th centuries. The peak years of witch-hunts in southwest Germany were from 1561 to 1670.[186] It was commonly believed that individuals with power and prestige were involved in acts of witchcraft and even cannibalism.[187] Because Europe had a lot of power over individuals living in West Africa, Europeans in positions of power were often accused of taking part in these practices. Though it is not likely that these individuals were actually involved in these practices, they were most likely associated due to Europe's involvement in things like the slave trade, which negatively affected the lives of many individuals in the Atlantic World throughout the fifteenth through seventeenth centuries.[187] Early converts to Christianity looked to Christian clergy to work magic more effectively than the old methods under Roman paganism, and Christianity provided a methodology involving saints and relics, similar to the gods and amulets of the Pagan world. As Christianity became the dominant religion in Europe, its concern with magic lessened.[188] The Protestant Christian explanation for witchcraft, such as those typified in the confessions of the Pendle witches, commonly involves a diabolical pact or at least an appeal to the intervention of the spirits of evil. The witches or wizards engaged in such practices were alleged to reject Jesus and the sacraments; observe "the witches' sabbath" (performing infernal rites that often parodied the Mass or other sacraments of the Church); pay Divine honour to the Prince of Darkness; and, in return, receive from him preternatural powers. It was a folkloric belief that a Devil's Mark, like the brand on cattle, was placed upon a witch's skin by the devil to signify that this pact had been made.[189] Oceania Cook Islands In pre-Christian times, witchcraft was a common practice in the Cook Islands. The native name for a sorcerer was tangata purepure (a man who prays).[190] The prayers offered by the ta'unga (priests)[191] to the gods worshiped on national or tribal marae (temples) were termed karakia;[192] those on minor occasions to the lesser gods were named pure. All these prayers were metrical, and were handed down from generation to generation with the utmost care. There were prayers for every such phase in life; for success in battle; for a change in wind (to overwhelm an adversary at sea, or that an intended voyage be propitious); that his crops may grow; to curse a thief; or wish ill-luck and death to his foes. Few men of middle age were without a number of these prayers or charms. The succession of a sorcerer was from father to son, or from uncle to nephew. So too of sorceresses: it would be from mother to daughter, or from aunt to niece. Sorcerers and sorceresses were often slain by relatives of their supposed victims.[193] A singular enchantment was employed to kill off a husband of a pretty woman desired by someone else. The expanded flower of a Gardenia was stuck upright—a very difficult performance—in a cup (i.e., half a large coconut shell) of water. A prayer was then offered for the husband's speedy death, the sorcerer earnestly watching the flower. Should it fall the incantation was successful. But if the flower still remained upright, he will live. The sorcerer would in that case try his skill another day, with perhaps better success.[194] According to Beatrice Grimshaw, a journalist who visited the Cook Islands in 1907, the uncrowned Queen Makea was believed to have possessed the mystic power called mana, giving the possessor the power to slay at will. It also included other gifts, such as second sight to a certain extent, as well as the power to bring good or evil luck.[195] Papua New Guinea A local newspaper informed that more than fifty people were killed in two Highlands provinces of Papua New Guinea in 2008 for allegedly practicing witchcraft.[196] An estimated 50–150 alleged witches are killed each year in Papua New Guinea.[197] Demographics and surveys Further information: § By region A 2022 study found that belief in witchcraft, as in the use of malevolent magic or powers, is still widespread in some parts of the world. It found that belief in witchcraft varied from 9% of people in some countries to 90% in others, and was linked to cultural and socioeconomic factors. Stronger belief in witchcraft correlated with poorer economic development, weak institutions, lower levels of education, lower life expectancy, lower life satisfaction, and high religiosity.[198][199] It contrasted two hypotheses about future changes in witchcraft belief:[199] witchcraft beliefs should decline "in the process of development due to improved security and health, lower exposure to shocks, spread of education and scientific approach to explaining life events" according to standard modernization theory "some aspects of development, namely rising inequality, globalization, technological change, and migration, may instead revive witchcraft beliefs by disrupting established social order" according to literature largely inspired by observations from Sub-Saharan Africa. Prevalence of belief in witchcraft by country[199] Prevalence of belief in witchcraft by country[199] Socio-demographic correlates of witchcraft beliefs[199] Socio-demographic correlates of witchcraft beliefs[199] In the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, Russian state media claimed that Ukraine was using black magic against the Russian military, specifically accusing Oleksiy Arestovych of enlisting sorcerers and witches as well as Ukrainian soldiers of consecrating weapons "with blood magick".[200][201] Neopagan Witchcraft Main articles: Neopagan witchcraft and Wicca During the 20th century, interest in witchcraft rose in English-speaking and European countries. From the 1920s, Margaret Murray popularized the 'witch-cult hypothesis': the idea that those persecuted as 'witches' in early modern Europe were followers of a benevolent pagan religion that had survived the Christianization of Europe. This has been discredited by further historical research.[202][203] From the 1930s, occult neopagan groups began to emerge who called their religion a kind of 'witchcraft'. They were initiatory secret societies inspired by Murray's 'witch cult' theory, ceremonial magic, Aleister Crowley's Thelema, and historical paganism.[204][205][206] The biggest religious movement to emerge from this is Wicca. They do not use the term 'witchcraft' in the traditional way, but instead define their practices as a kind of "positive magic". Today, some Wiccans and members of related traditions self-identify as "witches" and use the term "witchcraft" for their magico-religious beliefs and practices, primarily in Western anglophone countries.[13] Various forms of Wicca are now practised as a religion with positive ethical principles, organized into autonomous covens and led by a High Priesthood. A survey published in 2000 cited just over 200,000 people who reported practicing Wicca in the United States.[207] There is also an "Eclectic Wiccan" movement of individuals and groups who share key Wiccan beliefs but have no formal link with traditional Wiccan covens. Some Wiccan-inspired neopagans call their beliefs and practices "traditional witchcraft" or the "traditional craft" rather than Wicca.[208] Witches in art and literature Further information: European witchcraft § Witchcraft in art and literature, and List of fictional witches Albrecht Dürer c. 1500: Witch riding backwards on a goat Witches have a long history of being depicted in art, although most of their earliest artistic depictions seem to originate in Early Modern Europe, particularly the Medieval and Renaissance periods. Many scholars attribute their manifestation in art as inspired by texts such as Canon Episcopi, a demonology-centered work of literature, and Malleus Maleficarum, a "witch-craze" manual published in 1487, by Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger.[209] Witches in fiction span a wide array of characterizations. They are typically, but not always, female, and generally depicted as either villains or heroines." ( "A curse (also called an imprecation, malediction, execration, malison, anathema, or commination) is any expressed wish that some form of adversity or misfortune will befall or attach to one or more persons, a place, or an object.[1] In particular, "curse" may refer to such a wish or pronouncement made effective by a supernatural or spiritual power, such as a god or gods, a spirit, or a natural force, or else as a kind of spell by magic (usually black magic) or witchcraft; in the latter sense, a curse can also be called a hex or a jinx. In many belief systems, the curse itself (or accompanying ritual) is considered to have some causative force in the result. To reverse or eliminate a curse is sometimes called "removal" or "breaking", as the spell has to be dispelled, and often requires elaborate rituals or prayers....Types Ancient Greek curse tablet, text written onto a lead sheet, 4th century BC, Kerameikos Archaeological Museum, Athens. The study of the forms of curses comprises a significant proportion of the study of both folk religion and folklore. The deliberate attempt to levy curses is often part of the practice of magic. In Hindu culture, the Sage or Rishi is believed to have the power to bless (Āshirvada or Vara) and curse (Shaapa). Examples include the curse placed by Rishi Bhrigu on king Nahusha[3] and the one placed by Rishi Devala.[4] Special names for specific types of curses can be found in various cultures: African American hoodoo presents us with the jinx and crossed conditions, as well as a form of foot track magic which was used by Ramandeep, whereby cursed objects are laid in the paths of victims and activated when walked over. Middle Eastern and Mediterranean culture is the source of the belief in the evil eye, which may be the result of envy or, more rarely, is said to be the result of a deliberate curse. In order to be protected from the evil eye, a protection item is made from dark blue circular glass, with a circle of white around the black dot in the middle, which is reminiscent of a human eye. The size of the protective eye item may vary. German people, including the Pennsylvania Dutch, speak in terms of hexing (from hexen, the German word for doing witchcraft), and a common hex in days past was that laid by a stable-witch who caused milk cows to go dry and horses to go lame. Egyptians and mummies Limestone donation-stele from Mendes, 3rd Intermediate Period, Dynasty XXII. The inscription celebrates a donation of land to an Egyptian temple, and places a curse on anyone who would misuse or appropriate the land. There is a broad popular belief in curses being associated with the violation of the tombs of mummified corpses, or of the mummies themselves. The idea became so widespread as to become a pop-culture mainstay, especially in horror films (though originally the curse was invisible, a series of mysterious deaths, rather than the walking-dead mummies of later fiction). The "Curse of the Pharaohs" is supposed to have haunted the archeologists who excavated the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun, whereby an imprecation was supposedly pronounced from the grave by the ancient Egyptian priests, on anyone who violated its precincts. Similar dubious suspicions have surrounded the excavation and examination of the (natural, not embalmed) Alpine mummy, "Ötzi the Iceman". While such curses are generally considered to have been popularized and sensationalized by British journalists of the 19th century, ancient Egyptians were, in fact, known to place curse inscriptions on markers protecting temple or tomb goods or property. In the Bible Shimei curses David, 1860 woodcut by Julius Schnorr von Karolsfeld Further information: Curse and mark of Cain and Curse of Ham According to the Catholic Encyclopedia article Cursing, the Bible depicts God cursing the serpent, the earth, and Cain (Genesis 3:14, 3:17,[5] 4:11). Similarly, Noah curses Canaan (Genesis 9:25), and Joshua curses the man who should build the city of Jericho (Joshua 6:26–27). In various books of the Hebrew Bible, there are long lists of curses against transgressors of the Law (Leviticus 26:14–25, Deuteronomy 27:15, etc.). The 10 Plagues of Egypt, preceding the 10 Commandments, can be seen as curses cast from the rods of Aaron and Moses acting on instruction from the God of Israel, in order to enable the enthralled to come free from the yoke of enforced serfdom, slavery and the like. In the New Testament, Christ curses the barren fig tree (Mark 11:14), pronounces his denunciation of woe against the incredulous cities (Matthew 11:21), against the rich, the worldly, the scribes, and the Pharisees, and foretells the awful malediction that is to come upon the damned (Matthew 25:41). The word curse is also applied to the victim of expiation for sin (Galatians 3:13), to sins temporal and eternal (Genesis 2:17; Matthew 25:41).[6] In Japanese culture In Japanese culture curses are called Tatari. They are believed to occur due to people disrespecting kami including dead people such as Onryō. A sign in Japan indicating that people who commit Public urination will be cursed Objects See also: List of allegedly cursed objects Ancient Greek cursed object against enemies in a trial, written on a lead figurine put in a lead box, 420-410 BC, Kerameikos Archaeological Museum, Athens. Cursed objects are generally supposed to have been stolen from their rightful owners or looted from a sanctuary. The Hope Diamond is supposed to bear such a curse, and bring misfortune to its owner. The stories behind why these items are cursed vary, but they usually are said to bring bad luck or to manifest unusual phenomena related to their presence. Busby's stoop chair was reportedly cursed by the murderer Thomas Busby shortly before his execution so that everyone who would sit in it would die. According to the Bible, cursed objects are those which are used in idolatry whether that idolatry is indirectly or directly connected to the devil. A list of those Bible references along with a comprehensive list of occult and cursed objects can be found online.[7] Bishop Dunbar's curse The Cursing Stone art work in Carlisle, England, by Gordon Young with an extract from the bishop's curse In 1525 Gavin Dunbar, archbishop of Glasgow, Scotland, pronounced a curse on the Anglo-Scottish Border reivers and caused it to be read out in all churches in the border area. It comprehensively cursed the reivers and their families from head to toe and in every way.[8][9] In 2003 a 371-word extract from the curse was carved into a 14 ton granite boulder as part of an art work by Gordon Young which was installed in Carlisle; some local people believed that a series of misfortunes (floods, factory closure, footballing defeats etc) were caused by the curse, and campaigned unsuccessfully for the destruction of the stone.[10][11] As a plot device Curses have also been used as plot devices in literature and theater. When used as a plot device, they involve one character placing a curse or hex over another character. This is distinguished from adverse spells and premonitions and other such plot devices. Examples of the curse as a plot device: Rigoletto – Count Monterone places a curse on Rigoletto. Rigoletto blames the climactic death of his daughter on the curse. Romeo and Juliet – A dying Mercutio curses the Montagues and Capulets with "A plague o' both your houses." (Often quoted as "a pox on both your houses.") Sleeping Beauty – Evil fairy Carabosse (Maleficent in the Disney film) casts a curse on Princess Aurora to die on her 16th birthday. Beauty and the Beast – A fairy punishes a conceited prince by transforming him into a hideous beast. The Six Swans (and variants) – a mother curses her six (seven, twelve) sons into bird form, and their sister must sew magic shirts to reverse the transformation Shrek – Princess Fiona was cursed to be human by day, but ogre by night. There Will Be Blood – Daniel Plainview was cursed by Eli Sunday through "blessing" of Daniel's oil rig and through "baptism".[citation needed] Resident Evil Village – Ethan Winters after a bloody duel with Lady Dimitrescu tormenting and taunting him that he will never see his daughter Rose again and utters a curse on him before disintegrates and calcifies to her death. Drag Me To Hell – Christine Brown was cursed by Sylvia Ganush to experience three days of torture, then the lamia will drag her to hell. Someone Behind You – Ga-in finds herself being the target of an ancient family curse fearing that her family and friends are out to kill her. JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: JoJolion – The Higashikata Family is cursed to have the firstborn son turn into stone at the age of 10. Sports Main article: Sports-related curses A number of curses are used to explain the failures or misfortunes of specific sports teams, players, or even cities. For example: No first-time winner of the World Snooker Championship has successfully defended his title since the event was first held at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield in 1977. This has been widely attributed to a Crucible Curse. The Curse of the Billy Goat was used to explain the failures of the Chicago Cubs baseball team, who did not win a World Series championship between 1908 and 2016, and a National League pennant between 1945 and 2016. The Curse of the Bambino is a cliche popularized by a Boston Globe sportswriter to describe a decades-long championship drought for the Boston Red Sox team in Major League Baseball. "Bambino" was a nickname for Babe Ruth, the team's star when Boston won the last three of its first five World Series titles. In 1920, Red Sox owner Harry Frazee sold Ruth to his team's archrival New York Yankees, which won four World Series with him. It took Boston 86 years to win another World Series. The Red Sox reversed history in the 2004 American League Championship Series (ALCS), losing the first three games of a best-of-seven series against the Yankees before winning four in a row to take the league pennant in unprecedented and dramatic style. This comeback is considered one of the greatest in sports history. The Red Sox then swept the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2004 World Series in four games, a triumph which many fans considered the end of the "curse." The Red Sox have won three more World Series since then. The Krukow Kurse was used to explain the San Francisco Giants' failure to ever win the World Series until 2010. It is attributed to Mike Krukow (a former pitcher for the Giants and a current broadcaster for the team) based upon his yearly pre-season predictions that the Giants "have a chance" to win the World Series. Once Krukow stops making such predictions—says the legend—the Giants will, in fact, win the World Series. However, the Giants went on to win the World Series in 2010. It was during the same year that Krukow's partner, Giants broadcaster, Duane Kuiper, stated, "Giants baseball, it's torture!", due to the large amount of close games that they played. This phrase was adopted by fans and became a rallying cry throughout the second half of the season and the playoff run. Marketing experts have highlighted the curse of Gillette, given the mishaps that happen to sports stars associated with the brand." ( "In the history of the United Kingdom and the British Empire, the Victorian era was the period of Queen Victoria's reign, from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. Slightly different definitions are sometimes used. The era followed the Georgian era and preceded the Edwardian era, and its later half overlaps with the first part of the Belle Époque era of continental Europe. Various liberalising political reforms took place in the UK including expanding the electoral franchise. The Great Famine caused mass death in Ireland early in the period. The British Empire had relatively peaceful relations with the other great powers. It participated in various military conflicts mainly against minor powers. The British Empire expanded during this period and was the predominant power in the world. Victorian society valued a high standard of personal conduct which reflected across all sections of society. The emphasis on morality gave impetus to social reform but also placed restrictions on the liberty of certain groups. Prosperity rose during the period though debilitating undernutrition continued to exist. Literacy and childhood education became near universal in Great Britain for the first time. Whilst some attempts were made to improve living conditions, slum housing and disease remained a severe problem. The period saw significant scientific and technological development. Britain was advanced in industry and engineering in particular, but somewhat undeveloped in art and education. The population of Great Britain increased rapidly, whilst the population of Ireland fell sharply. Terminology and periodisation See also: Periodisation In the strictest sense, the Victorian era covers the duration of Victoria's reign as Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, from her accession on 20 June 1837—after the death of her uncle, William IV—until her death on 22 January 1901, after which she was succeeded by her eldest son, Edward VII. Her reign lasted for 63 years and seven months, a longer period than any of her predecessors. The term 'Victorian' was in contemporaneous usage to describe the era.[1] The era has also been understood in a more extensive sense as a period that possessed sensibilities and characteristics distinct from the periods adjacent to it, in which case it is sometimes dated to begin before Victoria's accession—typically from the passage of or agitation for (during the 1830s) the Reform Act 1832, which introduced a wide-ranging change to the electoral system of England and Wales.[note 1] Definitions that purport a distinct sensibility or politics to the era have also created scepticism about the worth of the label "Victorian", though there have also been defences of it.[2] Michael Sadleir was insistent that "in truth, the Victorian period is three periods, and not one".[3] He distinguished early Victorianism – the socially and politically unsettled period from 1837 to 1850[4] – and late Victorianism (from 1880 onwards), with its new waves of aestheticism and imperialism,[5] from the Victorian heyday: mid-Victorianism, 1851 to 1879. He saw the latter period as characterized by a distinctive mixture of prosperity, domestic prudery, and complacency[6] – what G. M. Trevelyan similarly called the "mid-Victorian decades of quiet politics and roaring prosperity".[7] Political and diplomatic history Main articles: Political and diplomatic history of the Victorian era and United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Domestically, Britain liberalised and gradually evolved into a democracy. The Reform Act,[note 2] which made various changes to the electoral system including expanding the franchise, had been passed in 1832.[8] The franchise was expanded again by the Second Reform Act[note 3] in 1867.[9] Cities were given greater political autonomy and the labour movement was legalised.[10] From 1845 to 1852, the Great Famine caused mass starvation, disease and death in Ireland, sparking large-scale emigration.[11] The Corn Laws were repealed in response to this.[12] Across the British Empire, reform included rapid expansion, the complete abolition of slavery in the African possessions and the end of transportation of convicts to Australia. Restrictions on colonial trade were loosened and responsible (i.e. semi-autonomous) government was introduced in some territories.[13][14] Depiction of the defence of Rorke's Drift during the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879 by Alphonse de Neuville (1880) Throughout most of the 19th century Britain was the most powerful country in the world.[15] The period from 1815 to 1914, known as the Pax Britannica, was a time of relatively peaceful relations between the world's great powers. This is particularly true of Britain's interactions with the others.[16] The only war in which the British Empire fought against another major power was the Crimean War, from 1853 to 1856.[17][13] There were various revolts and violent conflicts within the British Empire,[13][14] and Britain participated in wars against minor powers.[18][13][14] It also took part in the diplomatic struggles of the Great Game[18] and the Scramble for Africa.[13][14] In 1840, Queen Victoria married her German cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. The couple had nine children who themselves married into various royal families, and the queen thus became known as the "grandmother of Europe".[19][10] In 1861, Prince Albert died.[18] Queen Victoria went into mourning and withdrew from public life for ten years.[10] In 1871, with republican sentiments growing in Britain, the queen began to return to public life. In her later years, her popularity soared as she became a symbol of the British Empire. Queen Victoria died on 22 January 1901.[19] Society and culture The era saw a rapidly growing middle class who became an important cultural influence; to a significant extent replacing the aristocracy as the dominant class in British society.[20][21] A distinctive middle class lifestyle developed which influenced what was valued by society as a whole.[20][22] Increased importance was placed on the value of the family; and the idea that marriage should be based on romantic love gained popularity.[23][24] A clear separation was established between the home and the workplace which had often not been the case before.[22] The home was seen as a private environment,[22] where housewives provided their husbands with a respite from the troubles of the outside world.[23] Within this ideal, women were expected to focus on domestic matters and to rely on men as breadwinners.[25][26] Women had limited legal rights in most areas of life and a feminist movement developed.[26][27] Whilst parental authority was seen as important, children were given legal protections against abuse and neglect for the first time.[28] Access to education increased rapidly during the 19th century. State funded schools were established in England and Wales for the first time. Education became compulsory for pre-teenaged children in England, Scotland and Wales. Literacy rates increased rapidly, and had become nearly universal by the end of the century.[29][30] Private education for wealthier children, both boys and more gradually girls, became more formalised over the course of the century.[29] The growing middle class and strong evangelical movement placed great emphasis on a respectable and moral code of behaviour. This included features such as charity, personal responsibility, controlled habits,[note 4] child discipline and self criticism.[21][31] As well as personal improvement, importance was given to social reform.[32] Utilitarianism was another philosophy which saw itself as based on science rather than on morality, but also emphasised social progress.[33][34] An alliance formed between these two ideological strands.[35] The reformers emphasised causes such as improving the conditions of women and children, giving police reform priority over harsh punishment to prevent crime, religious equality and political reform in order to establish a democracy.[36] The political legacy of the reform movement was to link the nonconformists (a part of the evangelical movement) in England and Wales with the Liberal Party.[37] This continued up until the First World War.[38] The Presbyterians played a similar role as a religious voice for reform in Scotland.[39] Religion was politically controversial during this era, with Nonconformists pushing for the disestablishment of the Church of England.[40] Nonconformists comprised about half of church attendees in England in 1851,[note 5][41] and gradually the legal discrimination which had been established against them outside of Scotland was removed.[42][43][44][45] Legal restrictions on Roman Catholics were also largely removed. The number of Catholics grew in Great Britain due to conversions and immigration from Ireland.[40] Secularism and doubts about the accuracy of the Old Testament grew among people with higher levels of education.[46] Northern English and Scottish academics tended to be more religiously conservative, whilst agnosticism and even atheism (though its promotion was illegal)[47] gained appeal among academics in the south.[48] Historians refer to a "Victorian Crisis of Faith" as a period when religious views had to readjust to suit new scientific knowledge and criticism of the Bible.[49] A variety of reading materials grew in popularity during the period including novels,[50] women's magazines,[51] children's literature[52] and newspapers.[53] Much literature, including chapbooks, was distributed on the street.[54][55] Music was also very popular with genres such as folk music, broadsides, music halls, brass bands, theater music and choral music having mass appeal. What would now be called classical music was somewhat undeveloped compared to parts of Europe but did have significant support.[56] Many sports were introduced or popularised during the Victorian era.[57] They became important to male identity.[58] Examples included cricket,[59] football,[60] Rugby,[61] tennis[62] and cycling.[63] The idea of women participating in sport did not fit well with the Victorian view of femininity but their involvement did increase as the period progressed.[64] For the middle classes, many leisure activities such as table games could be done in the home while domestic holidays to rural locations such as the Lake District and Scottish Highlands were increasingly practical.[65] The working classes had their own culture separate from that of their richer counterparts, various cheaper forms of entertainment and recreational activities provided by philanthropy. Trips to resorts such as Blackpool were increasingly popular towards the end of period.[66] Initially the industrial revolution increased working hours but over the course of the 19th century a variety of political and economic changes caused them to fall back down to and in some cases below pre-industrial levels creating more time for leisure.[67] Recreation of a Victorian parlour at Nidderdale Museum, Yorkshire Recreation of a Victorian parlour at Nidderdale Museum, Yorkshire Cheap meals for poor children in East London (1870) Cheap meals for poor children in East London (1870) Leisure Hours (1855), depiction of a man resting by George Hardy Leisure Hours (1855), depiction of a man resting by George Hardy Economy, industry, and trade Further information: Economy, industry, and trade of the Victorian era; Industrial Revolution; and Second Industrial Revolution Illustrations of the Royal Small Arms Factory, Enfield in The Illustrated London News (1861) Prior to the Industrial Revolution, daily life had changed little for hundreds of years. The 19th century saw rapid technological development, with a wide range of new inventions.[68] This technological advancement led to Great Britain becoming the foremost industrial and trading nation of the time.[69] Historians have characterised the mid-Victorian era (1850–1870) as Britain's "Golden Years",[70][71] with national income per person increasing by half. This prosperity was driven by increased industrialisation, especially in textiles and machinery, along with exports to the empire and elsewhere.[72] The positive economic conditions, as well as a fashion among employers for providing welfare services to their workers, led to relative social stability.[72][73] The Chartist movement for working class men to be given the right to vote, which had been prominent in the early Victorian period, dissipated.[72] Government involvement in the economy was limited.[73] It was not until the post-World War II period around a century later that the country experienced substantial economic growth again.[71] However, whilst industry was well developed, education and the arts were mediocre.[73] Historian Llewellyn Woodward concluded that during the "golden years", whilst the quality of life was improving, conditions and housing for the working classes "were still a disgrace to an age of plenty."[74] Wage rates continued to improve in the later 19th century: real wages (after taking inflation into account) were 65 per cent higher in 1901, compared to 1871. Much of the money was saved, as the number of depositors in savings banks rose from 430,000 in 1831, to 5.2 million in 1887, and their deposits from £14 million to over £90 million.[75] This illustration of a child drawer (a type of hurrier) pulling a coal tub was originally published in the Children's Employment Commission (Mines) 1842 report. Children had always played a role in economic life but exploitation of their labour became especially intense during the Victorian era. Children were put to work in a wide range of occupations but particularly associated with this time period were factories. Employing children had specific advantages as they were cheap, had limited ability to resist harsh working conditions and could enter spaces which were too small for adults. While some accounts exist of happy upbringings involving child labour, conditions were generally poor. Pay was low, punishments severe, work was dangerous and disrupted children's development (often leaving them too tired to play even in their free time). Early labour could do lifelong harm; even in the 1960s and 70s, the elderly people of industrial towns were noted for their often unusually short stature, deformed physique and diseases associated with unhealthy working conditions.[76] Reformers wanted the children in school; in 1840 only about 20 per cent of the children in London had any schooling.[77] By the 1850s, around half of the children in England and Wales were in school (not including Sunday school).[78] From the 1833 Factory Act onwards, attempts were made to get child labourers into part time education, though this was often difficult to achieve in practice.[79] It was only in the 1870s and 1880s that children began to be compelled into school.[78] Work would continue to inhibit children's schooling into the early 20th century.[76] Housing and public health Further information: Economy, industry, and trade of the Victorian era; Mathematics, science, technology and engineering of the Victorian era; and Demographics of the Victorian era 19th-century Britain saw a huge population increase accompanied by rapid urbanisation stimulated by the Industrial Revolution.[80] In the 1901 census, more than 3 out of every 4 people were classified as living in an urban area, compared to 1 in 5 a century earlier.[81] Historian Richard A. Soloway wrote that "Great Britain had become the most urbanized country in the West."[82] The rapid growth in the urban population included the new industrial and manufacturing cities, as well as service centres such as Edinburgh and London.[81][83] Private renting from housing landlords was the dominant tenure. P. Kemp says this was usually of advantage to tenants.[84] Overcrowding was a major problem with seven or eight people frequently sleeping in a single room. Until at least the 1880s, sanitation was inadequate in areas such as water supply and disposal of sewage. This all had a negative effect on health, especially that of the impoverished young. For instance, of the babies born in Liverpool in 1851, only 45 per cent survived to age 20.[85] Conditions were particularly bad in London, where the population rose sharply and poorly maintained, overcrowded dwellings became slum housing. Kellow Chesney wrote of the situation that:[86] Hideous slums, some of them acres wide, some no more than crannies of obscure misery, make up a substantial part of the metropolis... In big, once handsome houses, thirty or more people of all ages may inhabit a single room Hunger and poor diet was a common aspect of life across the UK in the Victorian period, especially in the 1840s, but the mass starvation seen in the Great Famine in Ireland was unique.[87][85] Levels of poverty fell significantly during the 19th century from as much as two thirds of the population in 1800 to less than a third by 1901. 1890s studies suggested that almost 10% of the urban population lived in a state of desperation lacking the food necessary to maintain basic physical functions. Attitudes towards the poor were often unsympathetic and they were frequently blamed for their situation. In that spirit, the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834 had been deliberately designed to punish them and would remain the basis for welfare provision into the 20th century. While many people were prone to vices, not least alcoholism, historian Bernard A. Cook argues that the main reason for 19th century poverty was that typical wages for much of the population were simply too low. Barely enough to provide a subsistence living in good times, let alone save up for bad.[85] Improvements were made over time to housing along with the management of sewage and water eventually giving the UK the most advanced system of public health protection anywhere in the world.[88] The quality and safety of household lighting improved over the period with oil lamps becoming the norm in the early 1860s, gas lighting in the 1890s and electric lights beginning to appear in the homes of the richest by the end of the period.[89] Medicine advanced rapidly during the 19th century and germ theory was developed for the first time. Doctors became more specialised and the number of hospitals grew.[88] The overall number of deaths fell by about 20%. The life expectancy of women increased from around 42 to 55 years old and 40 to 56 years old for men.[note 6][82] In spite of this, the mortality rate fell only marginally, from 20.8 per thousand in 1850 to 18.2 by the end of the century. Urbanisation aided the spread of diseases and squalid living conditions in many places exacerbated the problem.[88] The population of England, Scotland and Wales grew rapidly during the 19th century.[90] Various factors are considered contributary to this including a rising fertility rate (though it was falling by the end of the period),[82] falling infant mortality,[91] the lack of a catastrophic pandemic or famine in the island of Great Britain during the 19th century for the first time in history,[92] improved nutrition,[92] and a lower overall mortality rate.[92] The population of Ireland shrank significantly mostly due to emigration and the Great Famine.[93] Slum area in Glasgow (1871) Slum area in Glasgow (1871) Buildings originally built as Llanfyllin workhouse, a state-funded home for the destitute which operated from 1838 to 1930.[94][95] Buildings originally built as Llanfyllin workhouse, a state-funded home for the destitute which operated from 1838 to 1930.[94][95] Photograph of a mother and baby by Alfred Capel-Cure (c. 1850s or 60s) Photograph of a mother and baby by Alfred Capel-Cure (c. 1850s or 60s) Knowledge and infrastructure Main article: Mathematics, science, technology and engineering of the Victorian era Michael Faraday delivering a Christmas Lecture at the Royal Institution (c. 1855) The professionalisation of scientific study began in parts of Europe following the French Revolution but was slow to reach Britain. William Whewell coined the term "scientist" in 1833 to refer to those who studied what was generally then known as natural philosophy, but it took a while to catch on. Having been previously dominated by amateurs with a separate income, the Royal Society admitted only professionals from 1847 onwards. The British biologist Thomas Henry Huxley indicated in 1852 that it remained difficult to earn a living as a scientist alone.[48] Scientific knowledge and debates such as that around Charles Darwin's book on evolution gained a high profile. Simplified (and at times inaccurate) popular science was increasingly distributed through a variety of publications which caused tension with the professionals.[96] There were significant advances in various fields of research including statistics,[97] elasticity,[98] refrigeration,[99] natural history,[48] electricity[100] and logic.[101] Crew stood with a railway engine (1873) Known as the "workshop of the world", Britain was advanced in technology in a way that was unique in the world of the mid 19th century.[102] Engineering, having developed into a profession in the 18th century, gained new profile and prestige in this period.[103] The Victorian era saw methods of communication and transportation develop significantly. In 1837, William Fothergill Cooke and Charles Wheatstone invented the first telegraph system. This system, which used electrical currents to transmit coded messages, quickly spread across Britain, appearing in every town and post office. A worldwide network developed towards the end of the century. In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell patented the telephone. A little over a decade later, 26,000 telephones were in service in Britain. Multiple switchboards were installed in every major town and city.[69] Guglielmo Marconi developed early radio broadcasting at the end of the period.[104] The railways were important economically in the Victorian era, allowing goods, raw materials, and people to be moved around, stimulating trade and industry. They were also a major employer and industry in their own right." ( "Victoriana is a term used to refer to material culture related to the Victorian period (1837–1901).[1] It often refers to decorative objects, but can also describe a variety of artifacts from the era including graphic design, publications, photography, machinery, architecture, fashion, and Victorian collections of natural specimens.[2] The term can also refer to Victorian-inspired designs, nostalgic representations, or references to Victorian-era aesthetics or culture appropriated for use in new contexts [3] The term "Victoriana" was coined in 1918, just before a wave of interest in Victorian objects and artifacts began in the 1920s. Another increased period of collecting of Victoriana emerged in the 1950s.[4] In 1951, the Festival of Britain commemorated the centenary of the Victorian era's first world's fair, the 1851 Great Exhibition held at the Crystal Palace.[5] In the 1960s and 1970s, the eclectic character of Victorian era wood type inspired graphic designers like Seymour Chwast and Push Pin Studios.[6] Items such as Stevengraphs were popular collectable items during the revival of interest in Victoriana in the 1960s and 1970s.[7] In the 1980s, Margaret Thatcher, then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, promoted an interest in Victoriana by emphasizing "Victorian family values"[8] as part of a roadmap to cultural, moral, and economic improvement.[9] Popular culture In science fiction circles (especially in genres like steampunk), Victoriana is used loosely to describe mock-Victorian worlds, where visual references to the machinery of the Industrial Revolution are incorporated into urban, romanticized pastiches with fantastic creatures and imagined mechanical contraptions.[10][11][12] Victorian decorative arts Victorian fashion Neo-Victorian Gothic fashion Vintage clothing -ana" ( "Victorian decorative arts refers to the style of decorative arts during the Victorian era. Victorian design is widely viewed as having indulged in a grand excess of ornament. The Victorian era is known for its interpretation and eclectic revival of historic styles mixed with the introduction of Asian and Middle Eastern influences in furniture, fittings, and interior decoration. The Arts and Crafts movement, the aesthetic movement, Anglo-Japanese style, and Art Nouveau style have their beginnings in the late Victorian era and gothic period. Architecture This section is an excerpt from Victorian architecture.[edit] St. Pancras railway station and Midland Hotel in London, opened in 1868 Victorian architecture is a series of architectural revival styles in the mid-to-late 19th century. Victorian refers to the reign of Queen Victoria (1837–1901), called the Victorian era, during which period the styles known as Victorian were used in construction. However, many elements of what is typically termed "Victorian" architecture did not become popular until later in Victoria's reign, roughly from 1850 and later. The styles often included interpretations and eclectic revivals of historic styles (see Historicism). The name represents the British and French custom of naming architectural styles for a reigning monarch. Within this naming and classification scheme, it followed Georgian architecture and later Regency architecture, and was succeeded by Edwardian architecture. Although Victoria did not reign over the United States, the term is often used for American styles and buildings from the same period, as well as those from the British Empire. Interior decoration and design Interior decoration and interior design of the Victorian era are noted for orderliness and ornamentation. A house from this period was idealistically divided in rooms, with public and private space carefully separated. A bare room was considered to be in poor taste, so every surface was filled with objects that reflected the owner's interests and aspirations. The parlour was the most important room in a home and was the showcase for the homeowners where guests were entertained. The dining room was the second-most important room in the house. The sideboard was most often the focal point, which attracts visitor’s eyes immediately when they go into a room or space,[1] of the dining room and very ornately decorated. ...Walls and ceilings The choice of paint color on the walls in Victorian homes was said to be based on the use of the room. Hallways that were in the entry hall and the stair halls were painted a somber gray so as not to compete with the surrounding rooms. Most people marbleized the walls or the woodwork. Also on walls it was common to score into wet plaster to make it resemble blocks of stone. Finishes that were either marbleized or grained were frequently found on doors and woodwork. "Graining" was meant to imitate woods of higher quality that were more difficult to work. There were specific rules for interior color choice and placement. The theory of “harmony by analogy” was to use the colors that lay next to each other on the color wheel. And the second was the “harmony by contrast” that was to use the colors that were opposite of one another on the color wheel. There was a favored tripartite wall that included a dado or wainscoting at the bottom, a field in the middle and a frieze or cornice at the top. This was popular into the 20th century. Frederick Walton who created linoleum in 1863 created the process for embossing semi-liquid linseed oil, backed with waterproofed paper or canvas. It was called Lincrusta and was applied much like wallpaper. This process made it easy to then go over the oil and make it resemble wood or different types of leather. On the ceilings that were 8–14 feet the color was tinted three shades lighter than the color that was on the walls and usually had a high quality of ornamentation because decorated ceilings were favored. Wallpaper Wallpaper and wallcoverings became accessible for increasing numbers of householders with their wide range of designs and varying costs. This was due to the introduction of mass production techniques and, in England, the repeal in 1836 of the Wallpaper tax introduced in 1712. Wallpaper was often made in elaborate floral patterns with primary colors (red, blue, and yellow) in the backgrounds and overprinted with colours of cream and tan. This was followed by Gothic art inspired papers in earth tones with stylized leaf and floral patterns. William Morris was one of the most influential designers of wallpaper and fabrics during the latter half of the Victorian period. Morris was inspired and used Medieval and Gothic tapestries in his work. Embossed paper were used on ceilings and friezes....Oscar Wilde's aesthetic of Victorian decoration Chief among the literary practitioners of decorative aestheticism was Oscar Wilde, who advocated Victorian decorative individualism in speech, fiction, and essay-form.[2] Wilde’s notion of cultural enlightenment through visual cues echoes that of Alexander von Humboldt[3] who maintained that imagination was not the Romantic figment of scarcity and mystery but rather something anyone could begin to develop with other methods, including organic elements in pteridomania.[4] By changing one’s immediate dwelling quarters, one changed one’s mind as well;[5] Wilde believed that the way forward in cosmopolitanism began with as a means eclipse the societally mundane, and that such guidance would be found not in books or classrooms, but through a lived Platonic epistemology.[6] An aesthetic shift in the home’s Victorian decorative arts reached its highest outcome in the literal transformation of the individual into cosmopolitan, as Wilde was regarded and noted among others in his tour of America.[7] For Wilde, however, the inner meaning of Victorian decorative arts is fourfold: one must first reconstruct one’s inside so as to grasp what is outside in terms of both living quarters and mind, whilst hearkening back to von Humboldt on the way to Plato so as to be immersed in contemporaneous cosmopolitanism,[8] thereby in the ideal state becoming oneself admirably aesthetical." ( "Bats are mammals of the order Chiroptera (/kˈaɪrəptɛrə/).[a] With their forelimbs adapted as wings, they are the only mammals capable of true and sustained flight. Bats are more agile in flight than most birds, flying with their very long spread-out digits covered with a thin membrane or patagium. The smallest bat, and arguably the smallest extant mammal, is Kitti's hog-nosed bat, which is 29–34 millimetres (1+1⁄8–1+3⁄8 inches) in length, 150 mm (6 in) across the wings and 2–2.6 g (1⁄16–3⁄32 oz) in mass. The largest bats are the flying foxes, with the giant golden-crowned flying fox (Acerodon jubatus) reaching a weight of 1.6 kg (3+1⁄2 lb) and having a wingspan of 1.7 m (5 ft 7 in). The second largest order of mammals after rodents, bats comprise about 20% of all classified mammal species worldwide, with over 1,400 species. These were traditionally divided into two suborders: the largely fruit-eating megabats, and the echolocating microbats. But more recent evidence has supported dividing the order into Yinpterochiroptera and Yangochiroptera, with megabats as members of the former along with several species of microbats. Many bats are insectivores, and most of the rest are frugivores (fruit-eaters) or nectarivores (nectar-eaters). A few species feed on animals other than insects; for example, the vampire bats feed on blood. Most bats are nocturnal, and many roost in caves or other refuges; it is uncertain whether bats have these behaviours to escape predators. Bats are present throughout the world, with the exception of extremely cold regions. They are important in their ecosystems for pollinating flowers and dispersing seeds; many tropical plants depend entirely on bats for these services. Bats provide humans with some direct benefits, at the cost of some disadvantages. Bat dung has been mined as guano from caves and used as fertiliser. Bats consume insect pests, reducing the need for pesticides and other insect management measures. They are sometimes numerous enough and close enough to human settlements to serve as tourist attractions, and they are used as food across Asia and the Pacific Rim. However, fruit bats are frequently considered pests by fruit growers. Due to their physiology, bats are one type of animal that acts as a natural reservoir of many pathogens, such as rabies; and since they are highly mobile, social, and long-lived, they can readily spread disease among themselves. If humans interact with bats, these traits become potentially dangerous to humans. Some bats are also predators of mosquitoes, suppressing the transmission of mosquito-borne diseases. Depending on the culture, bats may be symbolically associated with positive traits, such as protection from certain diseases or risks, rebirth, or long life, but in the West, bats are popularly associated with darkness, malevolence, witchcraft, vampires, and death. Etymology An older English name for bats is flittermouse, which matches their name in other Germanic languages (for example German Fledermaus and Swedish fladdermus), related to the fluttering of wings. Middle English had bakke, most likely cognate with Old Swedish natbakka ("night-bat"), which may have undergone a shift from -k- to -t- (to Modern English bat) influenced by Latin blatta, "moth, nocturnal insect". The word "bat" was probably first used in the early 1570s.[2][3] The name "Chiroptera" derives from Ancient Greek: χείρ – cheir, "hand"[4] and πτερόν – pteron, "wing"....Cultural significance Francisco Goya, The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters, 1797 Since bats are mammals, yet can fly, they are considered to be liminal beings in various traditions.[260] In many cultures, including in Europe, bats are associated with darkness, death, witchcraft, and malevolence.[261] Among Native Americans such as the Creek, Cherokee and Apache, the bat is identified as a trickster.[262] In Tanzania, a winged batlike creature known as Popobawa is believed to be a shapeshifting evil spirit that assaults and sodomises its victims.[263] In Aztec mythology, bats symbolised the land of the dead, destruction, and decay.[264][265][266] An East Nigerian tale tells that the bat developed its nocturnal habits after causing the death of his partner, the bush-rat, and now hides by day to avoid arrest.[267] More positive depictions of bats exist in some cultures. In China, bats have been associated with happiness, joy and good fortune. Five bats are used to symbolise the "Five Blessings": longevity, wealth, health, love of virtue and peaceful death.[268] The bat is sacred in Tonga and is often considered the physical manifestation of a separable soul.[269] In the Zapotec civilisation of Mesoamerica, the bat god presided over corn and fertility.[270] Zapotec bat god, Oaxaca, 350–500 CE The Weird Sisters in Shakespeare's Macbeth used the fur of a bat in their brew.[271] In Western culture, the bat is often a symbol of the night and its foreboding nature. The bat is a primary animal associated with fictional characters of the night, both villainous vampires, such as Count Dracula and before him Varney the Vampire,[272] and heroes, such as the DC Comics character Batman.[273] Kenneth Oppel's Silverwing novels narrate the adventures of a young bat,[274] based on the silver-haired bat of North America.[275] The bat is sometimes used as a heraldic symbol in Spain and France, appearing in the coats of arms of the towns of Valencia, Palma de Mallorca, Fraga, Albacete, and Montchauvet.[276][277][278] Three US states have an official state bat. Texas and Oklahoma are represented by the Mexican free-tailed bat, while Virginia is represented by the Virginia big-eared bat (Corynorhinus townsendii virginianus).[279] Economics Insectivorous bats in particular are especially helpful to farmers, as they control populations of agricultural pests and reduce the need to use pesticides. It has been estimated that bats save the agricultural industry of the United States anywhere from $3.7 billion to $53 billion per year in pesticides and damage to crops. This also prevents the overuse of pesticides, which can pollute the surrounding environment, and may lead to resistance in future generations of insects.[280] Bat dung, a type of guano, is rich in nitrates and is mined from caves for use as fertiliser.[281] During the US Civil War, saltpetre was collected from caves to make gunpowder. At the time, it was believed that the nitrate all came from the bat guano, but it is now known that most of it is produced by nitrifying bacteria.[282] The Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin, Texas, is the summer home to North America's largest urban bat colony, an estimated 1,500,000 Mexican free-tailed bats. About 100,000 tourists a year visit the bridge at twilight to watch the bats leave the roost." ( "In the United Kingdom, the Edwardian era spanned the reign of King Edward VII from 1901 to 1910, and is sometimes extended to the start of the First World War. The death of Queen Victoria in January 1901 marked the end of the Victorian era. Her son and successor, Edward VII, was already the leader of a fashionable elite that set a style influenced by the art and fashions of continental Europe. Samuel Hynes described the Edwardian era as a "leisurely time when women wore picture hats and did not vote, when the rich were not ashamed to live conspicuously, and the sun really never set on the British flag."[1] The Liberals returned to power in 1906 and made significant reforms. Below the upper class, the era was marked by significant shifts in politics among sections of society that had largely been excluded from power, such as labourers, servants, and the industrial working class. Women started to play more of a role in politics.[2] The Edwardian era was the last period of British history to be named after the reigning monarch. The subsequent reigns of George V and George VI are not commonly termed Georgian era, this name being reserved for the time of the 18th-century kings of that name. Similarly, Elizabethan era generally only refers to the 16th-century queen Elizabeth I and is not usually extended to the reign of Elizabeth II. Perceptions The Edwardian period is sometimes portrayed as a romantic golden age of long summer afternoons and garden parties, basking in a sun that never set on the British Empire. This perception was created in the 1920s and later by those who remembered the Edwardian age with nostalgia, looking back to their childhoods across the abyss of the Great War.[3] The Edwardian age was also seen as a mediocre period of pleasure between the great achievements of the preceding Victorian age and the catastrophe of the following war.[4] Recent assessments emphasise the great differences between the wealthy and the poor during this period and describe the age as heralding great changes in political and social life.[2][5] Historian Lawrence James has argued that the leaders felt increasingly threatened by rival powers such as Germany, Russia, and the United States.[6] Nevertheless, the sudden arrival of World War I in the summer of 1914 was largely unexpected, except by the Royal Navy, because it had been prepared and ready for war. ...Fashion Further information: 1900s in fashion A cartoon in Punch (1911) compares changes in fashion between 1901 and 1911. "The dowdy voluminous clothes of the earlier date, making the grandmother an old lady and the mother seem plain, had been replaced by much simpler looser wear producing a sense of release for all three females."[75] The upper classes embraced leisure sports, which resulted in rapid developments in fashion, as more mobile and flexible clothing styles were needed.[76][77] During the Edwardian era, women wore a very tight corset, or bodice, and dressed in long skirts. The Edwardian era was the last time women wore corsets in everyday life.[citation needed] According to Arthur Marwick, the most striking change of all the developments that occurred during the Great War was the modification in women's dress, "for, however far politicians were to put the clocks back in other steeples in the years after the war, no one ever put the lost inches back on the hems of women's skirts".[78] Fabrics were usually sweet pea shades in chiffon, mousse line de sore, tulle with feather boas and lace. 'High and boned collars for the day; plunging off shoulder décolleté for the evening'.[79] The tea gown's cut was relatively loose compared to the more formal evening gown, and was worn without a corset. The silhouette was flowing, and was usually decorated with lace or with the cheaper Irish crochet.[80] Long kid gloves, trimmed hats, and parasols were often used as accessories. Parasols are different from umbrellas; they are used for protection from the sun, rather from the rain, though they were often used as ornamentation rather than for function. By the end of the Edwardian era, the hat grew bigger in size, a trend that would continue in the 1910s. The Edwardians developed new styles in clothing design.[81] The Edwardian Era saw a decrease in the trend for voluminous, heavy skirts.[82] The two-piece dress came into vogue. At the start of the decade, skirts were trumpet-shaped. Skirts in 1901 often had decorated hems with ruffles of fabric and lace. Some dresses and skirts featured trains. Tailored jackets, first introduced in 1880, increased in popularity and by 1900, tailored suits known as tailormades became popular.[83] In 1905, skirts fell in soft folds that curved in, then flared out near the hemlines. From 1905 – 1907, waistlines rose. In 1911, the hobble skirt was introduced; a tight fitting skirt that restricted a woman's stride. Lingerie dresses, or tea gowns made of soft fabrics, festooned with ruffles and lace were worn indoors.[84] Around 1913 women's dresses acquired a lower and sometimes V-shaped neckline in contrast to the high collars a generation before. This was considered scandalous by some, and caused outrage among clergy throughout Europe.[85] Newspapers The turn of the century saw the rise of popular journalism aimed at the lower middle class and tending to deemphasise highly detailed political and international news, which remain the focus of a handful of low-circulation prestige newspapers. These were family-owned and operated, and were primarily interested not in profits but in influence on the nation's elite by their control of the news and editorials on serious topics.[86] The new press, on the other hand, reached vastly larger audiences by emphasis on sports, crime, sensationalism, and gossip about famous personalities. Detailed accounts of major speeches and complex international events were not printed. Alfred Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Northcliffe was the chief innovator.[86] He used his Daily Mail and Daily Mirror to transform the media along the American model of "Yellow Journalism". Lord Beaverbrook said he was "the greatest figure who ever strode down Fleet Street".[87] Harmsworth made a great deal of money, but during the First World War he also wanted political power. For that he purchased the highest prestige newspaper, The Times.[88] P. P. Catterall and Colin Seymour-Ure conclude that: More than anyone [he] ... shaped the modern press. Developments he introduced or harnessed remain central: broad contents, exploitation of advertising revenue to subsidize prices, aggressive marketing, subordinate regional markets, independence from party control.[89] The arts Peter Pan statue, Kensington Gardens The Edwardian era corresponds to the French Belle Époque. Despite its brief pre-eminence, the period is characterised by its own unique architectural style, fashion, and lifestyle. Art Nouveau had a particularly strong influence. Artists were influenced by the development of the automobile and electricity, and a greater awareness of human rights. In November 1910, Roger Fry organised the exhibition Manet and the Post-Impressionists at the Grafton Galleries, London. This exhibition was the first to prominently feature Gauguin, Manet, Matisse, and Van Gogh in England and brought their art to the public. He followed it up with the Second Post-Impressionist Exhibition in 1912. George Frampton's statue of Peter Pan, "erected in Hyde Park in 1912 ... immediately became a source of contention, sparking debate about the role of public statuary and its role in spaces of recreation."[90] Literature In fiction, some of the best-known names are J. M. Barrie, Arnold Bennett, G. K. Chesterton, Arthur Conan Doyle, Joseph Conrad, E. M. Forster, John Galsworthy, Kenneth Grahame, M. R. James, Rudyard Kipling, A. A. Milne, E. Nesbit, Beatrix Potter, Saki, George Bernard Shaw, H. G. Wells and P. G. Wodehouse. Apart from these famous writers, this was a period when a great number of novels and short stories were being published, and a significant distinction between "highbrow" literature and popular fiction emerged. Among the most famous works of literary criticism was A. C. Bradley's Shakespearean Tragedy (1904).[91] Music Live performances, both amateur and professional, were popular. Henry Wood, Edward Elgar, Gustav Holst, Arnold Bax, George Butterworth, Ralph Vaughan Williams, and Thomas Beecham were all active. Military and brass bands often played outside in parks during the summer.[92] The new technology of wax cylinders and gramophone records played on phonographs and talking machines, made live performances permanently available for repetition at any time. Performing arts Cinema was primitive and audiences preferred live performances to picture shows. Music hall was very popular and widespread; influential performers included male impersonator Vesta Tilley and comic Little Tich.[93] The most successful playwright of the era was W. Somerset Maugham. In 1908, he had four plays running simultaneously in London, and Punch published a cartoon of Shakespeare biting his fingernails nervously as he looked at the billboards. Maugham's plays, like his novels, usually had a conventional plot structure, but the decade also saw the rise of the so-called New Drama, represented in plays by George Bernard Shaw, Harley Granville Barker, and Continental imports by Henrik Ibsen and Gerhardt Hauptmann. The actor/manager system, as managed by Sir Henry Irving, Sir George Alexander, and Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree, was in decline. Architecture See also: Edwardian architecture Notable architects included Edwin Lutyens, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and Giles Gilbert Scott. In spite of the popularity of Art Nouveau in Europe, the Edwardian Baroque style of architecture was widely favoured for public structures and was a revival of Christopher Wren–inspired designs of the late 17th and early 18th centuries. The change or reversal in taste from the Victorian eclectic styles corresponded with the historical revivals of the period, most prominently earlier Georgian and Neoclassical styles of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.[94] White City Stadium, used for the 1908 Summer Olympics, was the first Olympic Stadium in the UK. Built on the site of the Franco-British Exhibition, it had a seating capacity of 68,000 and was opened by King Edward VII on 27 April 1908. It was the largest structure of its type in the world at the time, and was designed to be awe-inspiring and thereby enhance the love of large-scale spectacle that characterised Edwardian London.[95] Film Filmmakers Mitchell and Kenyon documented many scenes from Britain and Ireland from 1900 to 1907, sports, parades, factory exits, parks, city streets, boating and the like. Their films have survived in very good quality restored from the original negatives.[96][97] Science and technology The period featured many innovations. Ernest Rutherford published his studies on radioactivity. The first transatlantic wireless signals were sent by Guglielmo Marconi, and the Wright brothers flew for the first time.[98] By the end of the era, Louis Blériot had crossed the English Channel by air; the largest ship in the world, RMS Olympic, had sailed on its maiden voyage and her larger sister RMS Titanic was under construction; automobiles were common; and the South Pole was reached for the first time by Roald Amundsen's and then Robert Falcon Scott's teams. Sport The 1908 Summer Olympics in London: The water jump in the steeplechase The 1908 Summer Olympic Games were held in London. Popularity of sports tended to conform to class divisions, with tennis and yachting popular among the very wealthy and football favoured by the working class.[99] Football Aston Villa maintained their position as the pre-eminent football team of the era, winning the FA Cup for the fourth time in 1904–05 and their sixth League title in 1909–10. The club colours of claret and sky blue were adopted by Burnley as a tribute to their success in 1910. Sunderland achieved their fourth league title in 1901–02. The era also saw Liverpool (1900–01, 1905–06), Newcastle United (1904–05, 1906–07, 1908–09) and Manchester United (1907–08) winning their first league titles" ( "A ceramic is any of the various hard, brittle, heat-resistant, and corrosion-resistant materials made by shaping and then firing an inorganic, nonmetallic material, such as clay, at a high temperature.[1][2] Common examples are earthenware, porcelain, and brick. The earliest ceramics made by humans were pottery objects (pots, vessels, or vases) or figurines made from clay, either by itself or mixed with other materials like silica, hardened and sintered in fire. Later, ceramics were glazed and fired to create smooth, colored surfaces, decreasing porosity through the use of glassy, amorphous ceramic coatings on top of the crystalline ceramic substrates.[3] Ceramics now include domestic, industrial, and building products, as well as a wide range of materials developed for use in advanced ceramic engineering, such as semiconductors. The word ceramic comes from the Ancient Greek word κεραμικός (keramikós), meaning "of or for pottery"[4] (from κέραμος (kéramos) 'potter's clay, tile, pottery').[5] The earliest known mention of the root ceram- is the Mycenaean Greek ke-ra-me-we, workers of ceramic, written in Linear B syllabic script.[6] The word ceramic can be used as an adjective to describe a material, product, or process, or it may be used as a noun, either singular or, more commonly, as the plural noun ceramics....A ceramic is any of the various hard, brittle, heat-resistant, and corrosion-resistant materials made by shaping and then firing an inorganic, nonmetallic material, such as clay, at a high temperature.[1][2] Common examples are earthenware, porcelain, and brick. The earliest ceramics made by humans were pottery objects (pots, vessels, or vases) or figurines made from clay, either by itself or mixed with other materials like silica, hardened and sintered in fire. Later, ceramics were glazed and fired to create smooth, colored surfaces, decreasing porosity through the use of glassy, amorphous ceramic coatings on top of the crystalline ceramic substrates.[3] Ceramics now include domestic, industrial, and building products, as well as a wide range of materials developed for use in advanced ceramic engineering, such as semiconductors. The word ceramic comes from the Ancient Greek word κεραμικός (keramikós), meaning "of or for pottery"[4] (from κέραμος (kéramos) 'potter's clay, tile, pottery').[5] The earliest known mention of the root ceram- is the Mycenaean Greek ke-ra-me-we, workers of ceramic, written in Linear B syllabic script.[6] The word ceramic can be used as an adjective to describe a material, product, or process, or it may be used as a noun, either singular or, more commonly, as the plural noun ceramics." ( "Mysticism is popularly known as becoming one with God or the Absolute,[1][2] but may refer to any kind of ecstasy or altered state of consciousness which is given a religious or spiritual meaning.[web 1] It may also refer to the attainment of insight in ultimate or hidden truths, and to human transformation supported by various practices and experiences.[web 2] The term "mysticism" has Ancient Greek origins with various historically determined meanings.[web 1][web 2] Derived from the Greek word μύω múō, meaning "to close" or "to conceal",[web 2] mysticism referred to the biblical, liturgical, spiritual, and contemplative dimensions of early and medieval Christianity.[3] During the early modern period, the definition of mysticism grew to include a broad range of beliefs and ideologies related to "extraordinary experiences and states of mind."[4] In modern times, "mysticism" has acquired a limited definition, with broad applications, as meaning the aim at the "union with the Absolute, the Infinite, or God".[web 1] This limited definition has been applied to a wide range of religious traditions and practices,[web 1] valuing "mystical experience" as a key element of mysticism. Since the 1960s scholars have debated the merits of perennial and constructionist approaches in the scientific research of "mystical experiences".[5][6][7] The perennial position is now "largely dismissed by scholars",[8] most scholars using a contextualist approach, which considers the cultural and historical context.[9] Etymology See also: Christian contemplation and Henosis "Mysticism" is derived from the Greek μύω, meaning "I conceal",[web 2] and its derivative μυστικός, mystikos, meaning 'an initiate'. The verb μύω has received a quite different meaning in the Greek language, where it is still in use. The primary meanings it has are "induct" and "initiate". Secondary meanings include "introduce", "make someone aware of something", "train", "familiarize", "give first experience of something".[web 3] The related form of the verb μυέω (mueó or myéō) appears in the New Testament. As explained in Strong's Concordance, it properly means shutting the eyes and mouth to experience mystery. Its figurative meaning is to be initiated into the "mystery revelation". The meaning derives from the initiatory rites of the pagan mysteries.[web 4] Also appearing in the New Testament is the related noun μυστήριον (mustérion or mystḗrion), the root word of the English term "mystery". The term means "anything hidden", a mystery or secret, of which initiation is necessary. In the New Testament it reportedly takes the meaning of the counsels of God, once hidden but now revealed in the Gospel or some fact thereof, the Christian revelation generally, and/or particular truths or details of the Christian revelation.[web 5] According to Thayer's Greek Lexicon, the term μυστήριον in classical Greek meant "a hidden thing", "secret". A particular meaning it took in Classical antiquity was a religious secret or religious secrets, confided only to the initiated and not to be communicated by them to ordinary mortals. In the Septuagint and the New Testament the meaning it took was that of a hidden purpose or counsel, a secret will. It is sometimes used for the hidden wills of humans, but is more often used for the hidden will of God. Elsewhere in the Bible it takes the meaning of the mystic or hidden sense of things. It is used for the secrets behind sayings, names, or behind images seen in visions and dreams. The Vulgate often translates the Greek term to the Latin sacramentum (sacrament).[web 5] The related noun μύστης (mustis or mystis, singular) means the initiate, the person initiated to the mysteries.[web 5] According to Ana Jiménez San Cristobal in her study of Greco-Roman mysteries and Orphism, the singular form μύστης and the plural form μύσται are used in ancient Greek texts to mean the person or persons initiated to religious mysteries. These followers of mystery religions belonged to a select group, where access was only gained through an initiation. She finds that the terms were associated with the term βάκχος (Bacchus), which was used for a special class of initiates of the Orphic mysteries. The terms are first found connected in the writings of Heraclitus. Such initiates are identified in texts with the persons who have been purified and have performed certain rites. A passage of Cretans by Euripides seems to explain that the μύστης (initiate) who devotes himself to an ascetic life, renounces sexual activities, and avoids contact with the dead becomes known as βάκχος. Such initiates were believers in the god Dionysus Bacchus who took on the name of their god and sought an identification with their deity.[10] Until the sixth century the practice of what is now called mysticism was referred to by the term contemplatio, c.q. theoria.[11] According to Johnston, "[b]oth contemplation and mysticism speak of the eye of love which is looking at, gazing at, aware of divine realities."[11] Definitions According to Peter Moore, the term "mysticism" is "problematic but indispensable."[12] It is a generic term which joins together into one concept separate practices and ideas which developed separately.[12] According to Dupré, "mysticism" has been defined in many ways,[13] and Merkur notes that the definition, or meaning, of the term "mysticism" has changed through the ages.[web 1] Moore further notes that the term "mysticism" has become a popular label for "anything nebulous, esoteric, occult, or supernatural."[12] Parsons warns that "what might at times seem to be a straightforward phenomenon exhibiting an unambiguous commonality has become, at least within the academic study of religion, opaque and controversial on multiple levels".[14] Because of its Christian overtones, and the lack of similar terms in other cultures, some scholars regard the term "mysticism" to be inadequate as a useful descriptive term.[12] Other scholars regard the term to be an inauthentic fabrication,[12][web 1] the "product of post-Enlightenment universalism."[12] Union with the Divine or Absolute and mystical experience See also: Hesychasm, Contemplative prayer, and Apophatic theology Deriving from Neo-Platonism and Henosis, mysticism is popularly known as union with God or the Absolute.[1][2] In the 13th century the term unio mystica came to be used to refer to the "spiritual marriage," the ecstasy, or rapture, that was experienced when prayer was used "to contemplate both God’s omnipresence in the world and God in his essence."[web 1] In the 19th century, under the influence of Romanticism, this "union" was interpreted as a "religious experience," which provides certainty about God or a transcendental reality.[web 1][note 1] An influential proponent of this understanding was William James (1842–1910), who stated that "in mystic states we both become one with the Absolute and we become aware of our oneness."[16] William James popularized this use of the term "religious experience"[note 2] in his The Varieties of Religious Experience,[18][19][web 2] contributing to the interpretation of mysticism as a distinctive experience, comparable to sensory experiences.[20][web 2] Religious experiences belonged to the "personal religion,"[21] which he considered to be "more fundamental than either theology or ecclesiasticism".[21] He gave a Perennialist interpretation to religious experience, stating that this kind of experience is ultimately uniform in various traditions.[note 3] McGinn notes that the term unio mystica, although it has Christian origins, is primarily a modern expression.[22] McGinn argues that "presence" is more accurate than "union", since not all mystics spoke of union with God, and since many visions and miracles were not necessarily related to union. He also argues that we should speak of "consciousness" of God's presence, rather than of "experience", since mystical activity is not simply about the sensation of God as an external object, but more broadly about "new ways of knowing and loving based on states of awareness in which God becomes present in our inner acts."[23] However, the idea of "union" does not work in all contexts. For example, in Advaita Vedanta, there is only one reality (Brahman) and therefore nothing other than reality to unite with it—Brahman in each person (atman) has always in fact been identical to Brahman all along. Dan Merkur also notes that union with God or the Absolute is a too limited definition, since there are also traditions which aim not at a sense of unity, but of nothingness, such as Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite and Meister Eckhart.[web 1] According to Merkur, Kabbala and Buddhism also emphasize nothingness.[web 1] Blakemore and Jennett note that "definitions of mysticism [...] are often imprecise." They further note that this kind of interpretation and definition is a recent development which has become the standard definition and understanding.[web 6][note 4] According to Gelman, "A unitive experience involves a phenomenological de-emphasis, blurring, or eradication of multiplicity, where the cognitive significance of the experience is deemed to lie precisely in that phenomenological feature".[web 2][note 5] Religious ecstasies and interpretative context Main articles: Religious ecstasy, Altered state of consciousness, Cognitive science of religion, Neurotheology, and Attribution (psychology) Mysticism involves an explanatory context, which provides meaning for mystical and visionary experiences, and related experiences like trances. According to Dan Merkur, mysticism may relate to any kind of ecstasy or altered state of consciousness, and the ideas and explanations related to them.[web 1][note 6] Parsons stresses the importance of distinguishing between temporary experiences and mysticism as a process, which is embodied within a "religious matrix" of texts and practices.[26][note 7] Richard Jones does the same.[27] Peter Moore notes that mystical experience may also happen in a spontaneous and natural way, to people who are not committed to any religious tradition. These experiences are not necessarily interpreted in a religious framework.[28] Ann Taves asks by which processes experiences are set apart and deemed religious or mystical.[29] Intuitive insight and enlightenment Main articles: Enlightenment (spiritual), Divine illumination, and Subitism Some authors emphasize that mystical experience involves intuitive understanding of the meaning of existence and of hidden truths, and the resolution of life problems. According to Larson, "mystical experience is an intuitive understanding and realization of the meaning of existence."[30][note 8] According to McClenon, mysticism is "the doctrine that special mental states or events allow an understanding of ultimate truths."[web 7][note 9] According to James R. Horne, mystical illumination is "a central visionary experience [...] that results in the resolution of a personal or religious problem.[5][note 10] According to Evelyn Underhill, illumination is a generic English term for the phenomenon of mysticism. The term illumination is derived from the Latin illuminatio, applied to Christian prayer in the 15th century.[31] Comparable Asian terms are bodhi, kensho and satori in Buddhism, commonly translated as "enlightenment", and vipassana, which all point to cognitive processes of intuition and comprehension. According to Wright, the use of the western word enlightenment is based on the supposed resemblance of bodhi with Aufklärung, the independent use of reason to gain insight into the true nature of our world, and there are more resemblances with Romanticism than with the Enlightenment: the emphasis on feeling, on intuitive insight, on a true essence beyond the world of appearances.[32] Spiritual life and re-formation Main articles: Spirituality, Spiritual development, Self-realization, and Ego death Other authors point out that mysticism involves more than "mystical experience." According to Gellmann, the ultimate goal of mysticism is human transformation, not just experiencing mystical or visionary states.[web 2][note 13][note 14] According to McGinn, personal transformation is the essential criterion to determine the authenticity of Christian mysticism.[23][note 15] History of the term Hellenistic world In the Hellenistic world, 'mystical' referred to "secret" religious rituals like the Eleusinian Mysteries.[web 2] The use of the word lacked any direct references to the transcendental.[14] A "mystikos" was an initiate of a mystery religion. Early Christianity - theoria (contemplation) Main articles: Greco-Roman mysteries, Early Christianity, and Esoteric Christianity In early Christianity the term "mystikos" referred to three dimensions, which soon became intertwined, namely the biblical, the liturgical and the spiritual or contemplative.[3] The biblical dimension refers to "hidden" or allegorical interpretations of Scriptures.[web 2][3] The liturgical dimension refers to the liturgical mystery of the Eucharist, the presence of Christ in the Eucharist.[web 2][3] The third dimension is the contemplative or experiential knowledge of God.[3] Until the sixth century, the Greek term theoria, meaning "contemplation" in Latin, was used for the mystical interpretation of the Bible.[11] and the vision of God. The link between mysticism and the vision of the Divine was introduced by the early Church Fathers, who used the term as an adjective, as in mystical theology and mystical contemplation.[14] Theoria enabled the Fathers to perceive depths of meaning in the biblical writings that escape a purely scientific or empirical approach to interpretation.[36] The Antiochene Fathers, in particular, saw in every passage of Scripture a double meaning, both literal and spiritual.[37] Later, theoria or contemplation came to be distinguished from intellectual life, leading to the identification of θεωρία or contemplatio with a form of prayer[38] distinguished from discursive meditation in both East[39] and West.[40] Medieval meaning See also: Middle Ages This threefold meaning of "mystical" continued in the Middle Ages.[3] According to Dan Merkur, the term unio mystica came into use in the 13th century as a synonym for the "spiritual marriage," the ecstasy, or rapture, that was experienced when prayer was used "to contemplate both God’s omnipresence in the world and God in his essence."[web 1] Under the influence of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite the mystical theology came to denote the investigation of the allegorical truth of the Bible,[3] and "the spiritual awareness of the ineffable Absolute beyond the theology of divine names."[41] Pseudo-Dionysius' Apophatic theology, or "negative theology", exerted a great influence on medieval monastic religiosity, although it was mostly a male religiosity, since women were not allowed to study.[42] It was influenced by Neo-Platonism, and very influential in Eastern Orthodox Christian theology. In western Christianity it was a counter-current to the prevailing Cataphatic theology or "positive theology". Mysticism was also manifested in various sects of the time such as the Waldensians.[43] Early modern meaning See also: Early modern period The Appearance of the Holy Spirit before Saint Teresa of Ávila, Peter Paul Rubens In the sixteenth and seventeenth century mysticism came to be used as a substantive.[14] This shift was linked to a new discourse,[14] in which science and religion were separated.[44] Luther dismissed the allegorical interpretation of the bible, and condemned Mystical theology, which he saw as more Platonic than Christian.[45] "The mystical", as the search for the hidden meaning of texts, became secularised, and also associated with literature, as opposed to science and prose.[46] Science was also distinguished from religion. By the middle of the 17th century, "the mystical" is increasingly applied exclusively to the religious realm, separating religion and "natural philosophy" as two distinct approaches to the discovery of the hidden meaning of the universe.[47] The traditional hagiographies and writings of the saints became designated as "mystical", shifting from the virtues and miracles to extraordinary experiences and states of mind, thereby creating a newly coined "mystical tradition".[4] A new understanding developed of the Divine as residing within human, an essence beyond the varieties of religious expressions.[14] Contemporary meaning See also: Western esotericism, Theosophy (Blavatskian), Syncretism, Spirituality, and New Age The 19th century saw a growing emphasis on individual experience, as a defense against the growing rationalism of western society.[19][web 1] The meaning of mysticism was considerably narrowed:[web 1] The competition between the perspectives of theology and science resulted in a compromise in which most varieties of what had traditionally been called mysticism were dismissed as merely psychological phenomena and only one variety, which aimed at union with the Absolute, the Infinite, or God—and thereby the perception of its essential unity or oneness—was claimed to be genuinely mystical. The historical evidence, however, does not support such a narrow conception of mysticism.[web 1] Under the influence of Perennialism, which was popularised in both the west and the east by Unitarianism, Transcendentalists and Theosophy, mysticism has been applied to a broad spectrum of religious traditions, in which all sorts of esotericism and religious traditions and practices are joined together.[48][49][19] The term mysticism was extended to comparable phenomena in non-Christian religions,[web 1] where it influenced Hindu and Buddhist responses to colonialism, resulting in Neo-Vedanta and Buddhist modernism.[49][50] In the contemporary usage "mysticism" has become an umbrella term for all sorts of non-rational world views,[51] parapsychology and pseudoscience.[52][53][54][55] William Harmless even states that mysticism has become "a catch-all for religious weirdness".[56] Within the academic study of religion the apparent "unambiguous commonality" has become "opaque and controversial".[14] The term "mysticism" is being used in different ways in different traditions.[14] Some call to attention the conflation of mysticism and linked terms, such as spirituality and esotericism, and point at the differences between various traditions.[57] Variations of mysticism Based on various definitions of mysticism, namely mysticism as an experience of union or nothingness, mysticism as any kind of an altered state of consciousness which is attributed in a religious way, mysticism as "enlightenment" or insight, and mysticism as a way of transformation, "mysticism" can be found in many cultures and religious traditions, both in folk religion and organized religion. These traditions include practices to induce religious or mystical experiences, but also ethical standards and practices to enhance self-control and integrate the mystical experience into daily life. Dan Merkur notes, though, that mystical practices are often separated from daily religious practices, and restricted to "religious specialists like monastics, priests, and other renunciates.[web 1] Shamanism Main article: Shamanism Shaman According to Dan Merkur, shamanism may be regarded as a form of mysticism, in which the world of spirits is accessed through religious ecstasy.[web 1] According to Mircea Eliade shamanism is a "technique of religious ecstasy."[58] Shamanism involves a practitioner reaching an altered state of consciousness in order to perceive and interact with spirits, and channel transcendental energies into this world.[59] A shaman is a person regarded as having access to, and influence in, the world of benevolent and malevolent spirits, who typically enters into trance during a ritual, and practices divination and healing.[60] Neoshamanism refers to "new"' forms of shamanism, or methods of seeking visions or healing, typically practiced in Western countries. Neoshamanism comprises an eclectic range of beliefs and practices that involve attempts to attain altered states and communicate with a spirit world, and is associated with New Age practices.[61][62] Western mysticism Mystery religions Main article: Greco-Roman mysteries The Eleusinian Mysteries, (Greek: Ἐλευσίνια Μυστήρια) were annual initiation ceremonies in the cults of the goddesses Demeter and Persephone, held in secret at Eleusis (near Athens) in ancient Greece.[63] The mysteries began in about 1600 B.C. in the Mycenean period and continued for two thousand years, becoming a major festival during the Hellenic era, and later spreading to Rome.[64] Numerous scholars have proposed that the power of the Eleusinian Mysteries came from the kykeon's functioning as an entheogen.[65] Christian mysticism Part of a series on Christian mysticism Transfiguration of Jesus Theology · Philosophy Practices People (by era or century) Literature · Media vte Main articles: Christian contemplation, Christian mysticism, Mystical theology, Apophatic theology, and German mysticism Early Christianity The apophatic theology, or "negative theology", of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite (6th c.) exerted a great influence on medieval monastic religiosity, both in the East and (by Latin translation) in the West.[42] Pseudo-Dionysius applied Neoplatonic thought, particularly that of Proclus, to Christian theology. Eastern Orthodox Christianity The Eastern Orthodox Church has a long tradition of theoria (intimate experience) and hesychia (inner stillness), in which contemplative prayer silences the mind to progress along the path of theosis (deification). Theosis, practical unity with and conformity to God, is obtained by engaging in contemplative prayer, the first stage of theoria,[66][note 16] which results from the cultivation of watchfulness (nepsis). In theoria, one comes to behold the "divisibly indivisible" divine operations (energeia) of God as the "uncreated light" of transfiguration, a grace which is eternal and proceeds naturally from the blinding darkness of the incomprehensible divine essence.[note 17][66] It is the main aim of hesychasm, which was developed in the thought St. Symeon the New Theologian, embraced by the monastic communities on Mount Athos, and most notably defended by St. Gregory Palamas against the Greek humanist philosopher Barlaam of Calabria. According to Roman Catholic critics, hesychastic practice has its roots to the introduction of a systematic practical approach to quietism by Symeon the New Theologian.[note 18] Symeon believed that direct experience gave monks the authority to preach and give absolution of sins, without the need for formal ordination. While Church authorities also taught from a speculative and philosophical perspective, Symeon taught from his own direct mystical experience,[69] and met with strong resistance for his charismatic approach, and his support of individual direct experience of God's grace.[69] Western Europe Life of Francis of Assisi by José Benlliure y Gil The High Middle Ages saw a flourishing of mystical practice and theorization in western Roman Catholicism, corresponding to the flourishing of new monastic orders, with such figures as Guigo II, Hildegard of Bingen, Bernard of Clairvaux, the Victorines, all coming from different orders, as well as the first real flowering of popular piety among the laypeople. The Late Middle Ages saw the clash between the Dominican and Franciscan schools of thought, which was also a conflict between two different mystical theologies: on the one hand that of Dominic de Guzmán and on the other that of Francis of Assisi, Anthony of Padua, Bonaventure, and Angela of Foligno. This period also saw such individuals as John of Ruysbroeck, Catherine of Siena and Catherine of Genoa, the Devotio Moderna, and such books as the Theologia Germanica, The Cloud of Unknowing and The Imitation of Christ. Moreover, there was the growth of groups of mystics centered around geographic regions: the Beguines, such as Mechthild of Magdeburg and Hadewijch (among others); the Rhineland mystics Meister Eckhart, Johannes Tauler and Henry Suso; and the English mystics Richard Rolle, Walter Hilton and Julian of Norwich. The Spanish mystics included Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross and Ignatius Loyola. The later post-reformation period also saw the writings of lay visionaries such as Emanuel Swedenborg and William Blake, and the foundation of mystical movements such as the Quakers. Catholic mysticism continued into the modern period with such figures as Padre Pio and Thomas Merton. The philokalia, an ancient method of Eastern Orthodox mysticism, was promoted by the twentieth century Traditionalist School. Western esotericism and modern spirituality Main articles: Western esotericism, Spirituality, and New Age Many western esoteric traditions and elements of modern spirituality have been regarded as "mysticism," such as Gnosticism, Transcendentalism, Theosophy, the Fourth Way,[70] Martinus, spiritual science, and Neo-Paganism. Modern western spiritually and transpersonal psychology combine western psycho-therapeutic practices with religious practices like meditation to attain a lasting transformation. Nature mysticism is an intense experience of unification with nature or the cosmic totality, which was popular with Romantic writers.[71] Jewish mysticism Jewish mysticism Dead Sea Enoch Scroll c.200-150 BCE Forms vte Main articles: Jewish mysticism and Kabbalah Portrait of Abraham Abulafia, Medieval Jewish mystic and founder of Prophetic Kabbalah In the common era, Judaism has had two main kinds of mysticism: Merkabah mysticism and Kabbalah. The former predated the latter, and was focused on visions, particularly those mentioned in the Book of Ezekiel. It gets its name from the Hebrew word meaning "chariot", a reference to Ezekiel's vision of a fiery chariot composed of heavenly beings. Kabbalah is a set of esoteric teachings meant to explain the relationship between an unchanging, eternal and mysterious Ein Sof (no end) and the mortal and finite universe (his creation). Inside Judaism, it forms the foundations of mystical religious interpretation. Kabbalah originally developed entirely within the realm of Jewish thought. Kabbalists often use classical Jewish sources to explain and demonstrate its esoteric teachings. These teachings are thus held by followers in Judaism to define the inner meaning of both the Hebrew Bible and traditional Rabbinic literature, their formerly concealed transmitted dimension, as well as to explain the significance of Jewish religious observances.[72] Kabbalah emerged, after earlier forms of Jewish mysticism, in 12th to 13th century Southern France and Spain, becoming reinterpreted in the Jewish mystical renaissance of 16th-century Ottoman Palestine. It was popularised in the form of Hasidic Judaism from the 18th century forward. 20th-century interest in Kabbalah has inspired cross-denominational Jewish renewal and contributed to wider non-Jewish contemporary spirituality, as well as engaging its flourishing emergence and historical re-emphasis through newly established academic investigation. Islamic mysticism Part of a series on Islam Sufism Tomb of Abdul Qadir Gilani, Baghdad, Iraq Ideas Practices Sufi orders List of sufis Topics in Sufism Islam portal vte Main articles: Sufism and Persian mysticism The consensus is that Islam's inner and mystical dimension is encapsulated in Sufism.[73][74][75] Classical Sufi scholars have defined Sufism as [A] science whose objective is the reparation of the heart and turning it away from all else but God.[76] A practitioner of this tradition is nowadays known as a ṣūfī (صُوفِيّ), or, in earlier usage, a dervish. The origin of the word "Sufi" is ambiguous. One understanding is that Sufi means wool-wearer; wool wearers during early Islam were pious ascetics who withdrew from urban life. Another explanation of the word "Sufi" is that it means 'purity'.[77] Sufis generally belong to a halaqa, a circle or group, led by a Sheikh or Murshid. Sufi circles usually belong to a Tariqa which is the Sufi order and each has a Silsila, which is the spiritual lineage, which traces its succession back to notable Sufis of the past, and often ultimately to Muhammed or one of his close associates. The turuq (plural of tariqa) are not enclosed like Christian monastic orders; rather the members retain an outside life. Membership of a Sufi group often passes down family lines. Meetings may or may not be segregated according to the prevailing custom of the wider society. An existing Muslim faith is not always a requirement for entry, particularly in Western countries. Mawlānā Rumi's tomb, Konya, Turkey Sufi practice includes Dhikr, or remembrance (of God), which often takes the form of rhythmic chanting and breathing exercises. Sama, which takes the form of music and dance — the whirling dance of the Mevlevi dervishes is a form well known in the West. Muraqaba or meditation. Visiting holy places, particularly the tombs of Sufi saints, in order to remember death and the greatness of those who have passed. The aims of Sufism include: the experience of ecstatic states (hal), purification of the heart (qalb), overcoming the lower self (nafs), extinction of the individual personality (fana), communion with God (haqiqa), and higher knowledge (marifat). Some sufic beliefs and practices have been found unorthodox by other Muslims; for instance Mansur al-Hallaj was put to death for blasphemy after uttering the phrase Ana'l Haqq, "I am the Truth" (i.e. God) in a trance. Notable classical Sufis include Jalaluddin Rumi, Fariduddin Attar, Sultan Bahoo, Sayyed Sadique Ali Husaini, Saadi Shirazi and Hafez, all major poets in the Persian language. Omar Khayyam, Al-Ghazzali and Ibn Arabi were renowned scholars. Abdul Qadir Jilani, Moinuddin Chishti, and Bahauddin Naqshband founded major orders, as did Rumi. Rabia Basri was the most prominent female Sufi. Sufism first came into contact with the Judeo-Christian world during the Moorish occupation of Spain. An interest in Sufism revived in non-Muslim countries during the modern era, led by such figures as Inayat Khan and Idries Shah (both in the UK), Rene Guenon (France) and Ivan Aguéli (Sweden). Sufism has also long been present in Asian countries that do not have a Muslim majority, such as India and China.[78] Indic religions Hinduism Main article: Hinduism In Hinduism, various sadhanas (spiritual disciplines) aim at overcoming ignorance (avidya) and transcending one's identification with body, mind and ego to attain moksha, liberation from the cycle of birth and death. Hinduism has a number of interlinked ascetic traditions and philosophical schools which aim at moksha [79] and the acquisition of higher powers.[80] With the onset of the British colonisation of India, those traditions came to be interpreted in Western terms such as "mysticism", resulting in comparisons with Western terms and practices.[81] Yoga is a term for physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which aim to attain a state of permanent peace.[82] Various traditions of yoga are found in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.[83][84][85] The Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali define yoga as "the stilling of the changing states of the mind,"[86] culminating in the state of samadhi. Classical Vedanta gives philosophical interpretations and commentaries of the Upanishads, a vast collection of ancient hymns. At least ten schools of Vedanta are known,[87] of which Advaita Vedanta, Vishishtadvaita, and Dvaita are the best known.[88] Advaita Vedanta, as expounded by Adi Shankara, states that there is no difference between Atman (the world-soul) and Brahman (the divine). The best-known subschool is Kevala Vedanta or mayavada as expounded by Adi Shankara. Advaita Vedanta has acquired a broad acceptance in Indian culture and beyond as the paradigmatic example of Hindu spirituality.[89] In contrast Bhedabheda-Vedanta emphasizes that Atman and Brahman are both the same and not the same,[90] while Dvaita Vedanta states that Atman and God are fundamentally different.[90] In modern times, the Upanishads have been interpreted by Neo-Vedanta as being "mystical".[81] Various Shaivist, Shakta and Tantric traditions are strongly nondualistic, among them Kashmir Shaivism and Sri Vidya. Tantra Main article: Tantra Tantra is the name given by scholars to a style of meditation and ritual which arose in India no later than the fifth century AD.[91] Tantra has influenced the Hindu, Bön, Buddhist, and Jain traditions and spread with Buddhism to East and Southeast Asia.[92] Tantric ritual seeks to access the supra-mundane through the mundane, identifying the microcosm with the macrocosm.[93] The Tantric aim is to sublimate (rather than negate) reality.[94] The Tantric practitioner seeks to use prana (energy flowing through the universe, including one's body) to attain goals which may be spiritual, material or both.[95] Tantric practice includes visualisation of deities, mantras and mandalas. It can also include sexual and other (antinomian) practices.[citation needed] Sant-tradition and Sikhism Main articles: Sant (religion), Nirguna Brahman, and Sikhism Guru Nanak and Bhai Mardana Mysticism in the Sikh faith began with its founder, Guru Nanak, who, from his childhood, had profound mystical experiences.[96] Guru Nanak stressed that God must be seen with 'the inward eye', or the 'heart', of a human being.[97] Guru Arjan, the fifth Sikh Guru, added works from various religions' mystics (bhagat) into the holy scriptures that would eventually become the Guru Granth Sahib. The goal of Sikhism is to be one with God.[98] Sikhs meditate as a means to progress towards enlightenment; devoted meditation, simran, is seen to enable communication between the Infinite and the finite human consciousness.[99] There is no concentration on the breath (as in other Dharmic religions), but chiefly, the practice of simran consists of the remembrance of God through the recitation of the Divine Name.[100] A frequent metaphor is that of mystics "surrendering themselves to the Lord's feet."[101] Buddhism See also: Presectarian Buddhism, Buddhist meditation, and Subitism According to Paul Oliver, a lecturer at Huddersfield University, Buddhism is mystical in the sense that it aims at the identification of the true nature of our self, and live according to it.[102] Buddhism originated in India, sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE, but is now mostly practiced in other countries, where it developed into a number of traditions, the main ones being Therevada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana. Buddhism aims at liberation from the cycle of rebirth by self-control through meditation and morally just behaviour. Some Buddhist paths aim at a gradual development and transformation of the personality toward Nirvana, like the Theravada stages of enlightenment. Others, like the Japanese Rinzai Zen tradition, emphasize sudden insight, but nevertheless also prescribe intensive training, including meditation and self-restraint. Although Theravada does not acknowledge the existence of a theistic Absolute, it does postulate Nirvana as a transcendent reality which may be attained.[103][104] It further stresses transformation of the personality through meditative practice, self-restraint, and morally just behaviour.[103] According to Richard H. Jones, Theravada is a form of mindful extrovertive and introvertive mysticism, in which the conceptual structuring of experiences is weakened, and the ordinary sense of self is weakened.[105] It is best known in the west from the Vipassana movement, a number of branches of modern Theravāda Buddhism from Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Sri Lanka, and includes contemporary American Buddhist teachers such as Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfield. The Yogacara school of Mahayana investigates the workings of the mind, stating that only the mind[106] (citta-mātra) or the representations we cognize (vijñapti-mātra),[107][note 19] really exist.[106][108][107] In later Buddhist Mahayana thought, which took an idealistic turn,[note 20] the unmodified mind came to be seen as a pure consciousness, from which everything arises.[note 21] Vijñapti-mātra, coupled with Buddha-nature or tathagatagarba, has been an influential concept in the subsequent development of Mahayana Buddhism, not only in India, but also in China and Tibet, most notable in the Chán (Zen) and Dzogchen traditions. Chinese and Japanese Zen is grounded on the Chinese understanding of the Buddha-nature as one true's essence, and the Two truths doctrine as a polarity between relative and Absolute reality.[111][112] Zen aims at insight one's true nature, or Buddha-nature, thereby manifesting Absolute reality in the relative reality.[113] In Soto, this Buddha-nature is regarded to be ever-present, and shikan-taza, sitting meditation, is the expression of the already existing Buddhahood.[112] Rinzai-zen emphasises the need for a break-through insight in this Buddha-nature,[112] but also stresses that further practice is needed to deepen the insight and to express it in daily life,[114][115][116][117] as expressed in the Three mysterious Gates, the Four Ways of Knowing of Hakuin,[118] and the Ten Ox-Herding Pictures.[119] The Japanese Zen-scholar D.T. Suzuki noted similarities between Zen-Buddhism and Christian mysticism, especially meister Eckhart.[120] The Tibetan Vajrayana tradition is based on Madhyamaka philosophy and Tantra.[121] In deity yoga, visualizations of deities are eventually dissolved, to realize the inherent emptiness of every-'thing' that exists.[122] Dzogchen, which is being taught in both the Tibetan buddhist Nyingma school and the Bön tradition,[123][124] focuses on direct insight into our real nature. It holds that "mind-nature" is manifested when one is enlightened,[125] being nonconceptually aware (rigpa, "open presence") of one's nature,[123] "a recognition of one's beginningless nature."[126] Mahamudra has similarities with Dzogchen, emphasizing the meditational approach to insight and liberation. Taoism Main article: Taoism Taoist philosophy is centered on the Tao, usually translated "Way", an ineffable cosmic principle. The contrasting yet interdependent concepts of yin and yang also symbolise harmony, with Taoist scriptures often emphasising the Yin virtues of femininity, passivity and yieldingness.[127] Taoist practice includes exercises and rituals aimed at manipulating the life force Qi, and obtaining health and longevity.[note 22] These have been elaborated into practices such as Tai chi, which are well known in the west. Secularization of mysticism See also: New Age Today there is also occurring in the West what Richard Jones calls "the secularization of mysticism".[128] That is the separation of meditation and other mystical practices from their traditional use in religious ways of life to only secular ends of purported psychological and physiological benefits. Scholarly approaches of mysticism and mystical experience Main article: Scholarly approaches of mysticism Types of mysticism R. C. Zaehner distinguishes three fundamental types of mysticism, namely theistic, monistic and panenhenic ("all-in-one") or natural mysticism.[6] The theistic category includes most forms of Jewish, Christian and Islamic mysticism and occasional Hindu examples such as Ramanuja and the Bhagavad Gita.[6] The monistic type, which according to Zaehner is based upon an experience of the unity of one's soul,[6][note 23] includes Buddhism and Hindu schools such as Samkhya and Advaita vedanta.[6] Nature mysticism seems to refer to examples that do not fit into one of these two categories.[6] Walter Terence Stace, in his book Mysticism and Philosophy (1960), distinguished two types of mystical experience, namely extrovertive and introvertive mysticism.[129][6][130] Extrovertive mysticism is an experience of the unity of the external world, whereas introvertive mysticism is "an experience of unity devoid of perceptual objects; it is literally an experience of 'no-thing-ness'."[130] The unity in extrovertive mysticism is with the totality of objects of perception. While perception stays continuous, "unity shines through the same world"; the unity in introvertive mysticism is with a pure consciousness, devoid of objects of perception,[131] "pure unitary consciousness, wherein awareness of the world and of multiplicity is completely obliterated."[132] According to Stace such experiences are nonsensous and nonintellectual, under a total "suppression of the whole empirical content."[133] Stace argues that doctrinal differences between religious traditions are inappropriate criteria when making cross-cultural comparisons of mystical experiences.[6] Stace argues that mysticism is part of the process of perception, not interpretation, that is to say that the unity of mystical experiences is perceived, and only afterwards interpreted according to the perceiver's background. This may result in different accounts of the same phenomenon. While an atheist describes the unity as "freed from empirical filling", a religious person might describe it as "God" or "the Divine".[134] Mystical experiences Since the 19th century, "mystical experience" has evolved as a distinctive concept. It is closely related to "mysticism" but lays sole emphasis on the experiential aspect, be it spontaneous or induced by human behavior, whereas mysticism encompasses a broad range of practices aiming at a transformation of the person, not just inducing mystical experiences. William James' The Varieties of Religious Experience is the classic study on religious or mystical experience, which influenced deeply both the academic and popular understanding of "religious experience".[18][19][20][web 2] He popularized the use of the term "religious experience"[note 24] in his "Varieties",[18][19][web 2] and influenced the understanding of mysticism as a distinctive experience which supplies knowledge of the transcendental:[20][web 2] Under the influence of William James' The Varieties of Religious Experience, heavily centered on people's conversion experiences, most philosophers' interest in mysticism has been in distinctive, allegedly knowledge-granting "mystical experiences.""[web 2] Yet, Gelman notes that so-called mystical experience is not a transitional event, as William James claimed, but an "abiding consciousness, accompanying a person throughout the day, or parts of it. For that reason, it might be better to speak of mystical consciousness, which can be either fleeting or abiding."[web 2] Most mystical traditions warn against an attachment to mystical experiences, and offer a "protective and hermeneutic framework" to accommodate these experiences.[135] These same traditions offer the means to induce mystical experiences,[135] which may have several origins: Spontaneous; either apparently without any cause, or by persistent existential concerns, or by neurophysiological origins; Religious practices, such as contemplation, meditation, and mantra-repetition; Entheogens (psychedelic drugs) Neurophysiological origins, such as temporal lobe epilepsy. The theoretical study of mystical experience has shifted from an experiential, privatized and perennialist approach to a contextual and empirical approach.[135] The experientalist approach sees mystical experience as a private expression of perennial truths, separate from its historical and cultural context. The contextual approach, which also includes constructionism and attribution theory, takes into account the historical and cultural context.[135][29][web 2] Neurological research takes an empirical approach, relating mystical experiences to neurological processes. Perennialism versus constructionism The term "mystical experience" evolved as a distinctive concept since the 19th century, laying sole emphasis on the experiential aspect, be it spontaneous or induced by human behavior. Perennialists regard those various experience traditions as pointing to one universal transcendental reality, for which those experiences offer the proof. In this approach, mystical experiences are privatised, separated from the context in which they emerge.[135] Well-known representatives are William James, R.C. Zaehner, William Stace and Robert Forman.[9] The perennial position is "largely dismissed by scholars",[8] but "has lost none of its popularity."[8] In contrast, for the past decades most scholars have favored a constructionist approach, which states that mystical experiences are fully constructed by the ideas, symbols and practices that mystics are familiar with.[9] Critics of the term "religious experience" note that the notion of "religious experience" or "mystical experience" as marking insight into religious truth is a modern development,[136] and contemporary researchers of mysticism note that mystical experiences are shaped by the concepts "which the mystic brings to, and which shape, his experience".[137] What is being experienced is being determined by the expectations and the conceptual background of the mystic.[138] Richard Jones draws a distinction between "anticonstructivism" and "perennialism": constructivism can be rejected with respect to a certain class of mystical experiences without ascribing to a perennialist philosophy on the relation of mystical doctrines.[139] One can reject constructivism without claiming that mystical experiences reveal a cross-cultural "perennial truth". For example, a Christian can reject both constructivism and perennialism in arguing that there is a union with God free of cultural construction. Constructivism versus anticonstructivism is a matter of the nature of mystical experiences while perennialism is a matter of mystical traditions and the doctrines they espouse. Contextualism and attribution theory Main articles: Attribution (psychology) and Neurotheology The perennial position is now "largely dismissed by scholars",[8] and the contextual approach has become the common approach.[135] Contextualism takes into account the historical and cultural context of mystical experiences.[135] The attribution approach views "mystical experience" as non-ordinary states of consciousness which are explained in a religious framework.[29] According to Proudfoot, mystics unconsciously merely attribute a doctrinal content to ordinary experiences. That is, mystics project cognitive content onto otherwise ordinary experiences having a strong emotional impact.[140][29] This approach has been further elaborated by Ann Taves, in her Religious Experience Reconsidered. She incorporates both neurological and cultural approaches in the study of mystical experience. Neurological research See also: Neurotheology Neurological research takes an empirical approach, relating mystical experiences to neurological processes.[141][142] This leads to a central philosophical issue: does the identification of neural triggers or neural correlates of mystical experiences prove that mystical experiences are no more than brain events or does it merely identify the brain activity occurring during a genuine cognitive event? The most common positions are that neurology reduces mystical experiences or that neurology is neutral to the issue of mystical cognitivity.[143] Interest in mystical experiences and psychedelic drugs has also recently seen a resurgence.[144] The temporal lobe seems to be involved in mystical experiences,[web 9][145] and in the change in personality that may result from such experiences.[web 9] It generates the feeling of "I," and gives a feeling of familiarity or strangeness to the perceptions of the senses.[web 9] There is a long-standing notion that epilepsy and religion are linked,[146] and some religious figures may have had temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE).[web 9][147][148][146] The anterior insula may be involved in ineffability, a strong feeling of certainty which cannot be expressed in words, which is a common quality in mystical experiences. According to Picard, this feeling of certainty may be caused by a dysfunction of the anterior insula, a part of the brain which is involved in interoception, self-reflection, and in avoiding uncertainty about the internal representations of the world by "anticipation of resolution of uncertainty or risk".[149][note 25] Mysticism and morality A philosophical issue in the study of mysticism is the relation of mysticism to morality. Albert Schweitzer presented the classic account of mysticism and morality being incompatible.[150] Arthur Danto also argued that morality is at least incompatible with Indian mystical beliefs.[151] Walter Stace, on the other hand, argued not only are mysticism and morality compatible, but that mysticism is the source and justification of morality.[152] Others studying multiple mystical traditions have concluded that the relation of mysticism and morality is not as simple as that.[153][154] Richard King also points to disjunction between "mystical experience" and social justice:[155] The privatisation of mysticism – that is, the increasing tendency to locate the mystical in the psychological realm of personal experiences – serves to exclude it from political issues as social justice. Mysticism thus becomes seen as a personal matter of cultivating inner states of tranquility and equanimity, which, rather than seeking to transform the world, serve to accommodate the individual to the status quo through the alleviation of anxiety and stress." ( "Western esotericism, also known as esotericism, esoterism, and sometimes the Western mystery tradition,[1] is a term scholars use to categorise a wide range of loosely related ideas and movements that developed within Western society. These ideas and currents are united since they are largely distinct both from orthodox Judeo-Christian religion and Enlightenment rationalism. It has influenced various forms of Western philosophy, mysticism, religion, pseudoscience, art, literature, and music. The idea of grouping a wide range of Western traditions and philosophies together under the term esotericism developed in Europe during the late 17th century. Various academics have debated various definitions of Western esotericism. One view adopts a definition from certain esotericist schools of thought themselves, treating "esotericism" as a perennial hidden inner tradition. A second perspective sees esotericism as a category of movements that embrace an "enchanted" worldview in the face of increasing disenchantment. A third views Western esotericism as encompassing all of Western culture's "rejected knowledge" that is accepted neither by the scientific establishment nor orthodox religious authorities. The earliest traditions that later analysis labelled as forms of Western esotericism emerged in the Eastern Mediterranean during Late Antiquity, where Hermeticism, Gnosticism, Neopythagoreanism and Neoplatonism developed as schools of thought distinct from what became mainstream Christianity.[2] Renaissance Europe saw increasing interest in many of these older ideas, with various intellectuals combining pagan philosophies with the Kabbalah and Christian philosophy, resulting in the emergence of esoteric movements like Christian Kabbalah and Christian theosophy. The 17th century saw the development of initiatory societies professing esoteric knowledge such as Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry, while the Age of Enlightenment of the 18th century led to the development of new forms of esoteric thought. The 19th century saw the emergence of new trends of esoteric thought now known as occultism. Prominent groups in this century included the Theosophical Society and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Also important in this connection is Martinus Thomsen's "spiritual science". Modern Paganism developed within occultism and includes religious movements such as Wicca. Esoteric ideas permeated the counterculture of the 1960s and later cultural tendencies, which led to the New Age phenomenon in the 1970s. The idea that these varying movements could be categorised together under the rubric of "Western esotericism" developed in the late 18th century, but these esoteric currents were largely ignored as a subject of academic enquiry. The academic study of Western esotericism only emerged in the late 20th century, pioneered by scholars like Frances Yates and Antoine Faivre. Etymology The concept of the "esoteric" originated in the 2nd century[3] with the coining of the Ancient Greek adjective esôterikós ("belonging to an inner circle"); the earliest known example of the word appeared in a satire authored by Lucian of Samosata[4] (c. 125 – after 180). The noun "esotericism", in its French form "ésotérisme", first appeared in 1828[5] in the work by Protestant historian of gnosticism[6] Jacques Matter [fr] (1791–1864), Histoire critique du gnosticisme (3 vols.).[7][8] The term "esotericism" thus came into use in the wake of the Age of Enlightenment and of its critique of institutionalised religion, during which alternative religious groups such as the Rosicrucians began to disassociate themselves from the dominant Christianity in Western Europe.[9] During the 19th and 20th centuries, scholars increasingly saw the term "esotericism" as meaning something distinct from Christianity—as a subculture at odds with the Christian mainstream from at least the time of the Renaissance.[9] After being introduced by Jacques Matter [fr] (1791–1864) in French, the occultist and ceremonial magician Eliphas Lévi (1810–1875) popularized the term in the 1850s while Theosophist Alfred Percy Sinnett (1840–1921) introduced it into the English language in his book Esoteric Buddhism (1883).[7] Lévi also introduced the term l'occultisme, a notion that he developed against the background of contemporary socialist and Catholic discourses.[10] "Esotericism" and "occultism" were often employed as synonyms until later scholars distinguished the concepts.[11] Conceptual development 'Western esotericism' is not a natural term but an artificial category, applied retrospectively to a range of currents and ideas that were known by other names at least prior to the end of the eighteenth century. [This] means that, originally, not all those currents and ideas were necessarily seen as belonging together:... it is only as recently as the later seventeenth century that we find the first attempts at presenting them as one single, coherent field or domain, and at explaining what they have in common. In short, 'Western esotericism' is a modern scholarly construct, not an autonomous tradition that already existed out there and merely needed to be discovered by historians. — The scholar of esotericism Wouter Hanegraaff, 2013.[12] The concept of "Western esotericism" represents a modern scholarly construct rather than a pre-existing, self-defined tradition of thought.[13] In the late 17th century, several European Christian thinkers presented the argument that one could categorise certain traditions of Western philosophy and thought together, thus establishing the category now labelled "Western esotericism".[14] The first to do so, Ehregott Daniel Colberg [de] (1659–1698), a German Lutheran theologian, wrote Platonisch-Hermetisches Christianity (1690–91). A hostile critic of various currents of Western thought that had emerged since the Renaissance—among them Paracelsianism, Weigelianism, and Christian theosophy—in his book he labelled all of these traditions under the category of "Platonic–Hermetic Christianity", portraying them as heretical to what he saw as "true" Christianity.[15] Despite his hostile attitude toward these traditions of thought, Colberg became the first to connect these disparate philosophies and to study them under one rubric, also recognising that these ideas linked back to earlier philosophies from late antiquity.[16] In 18th-century Europe, during the Age of Enlightenment, these esoteric traditions came to be regularly categorised under the labels of "superstition", "magic", and "the occult" – terms often used interchangeably.[17] The modern academy, then in the process of developing, consistently rejected and ignored topics coming under "the occult", thus leaving research into them largely to enthusiasts outside of academia.[18] Indeed, according to historian of esotericism Wouter J. Hanegraaff (born 1961), rejection of "occult" topics was seen as a "crucial identity marker" for any intellectuals seeking to affiliate themselves with the academy.[18] Scholars established this category in the late 18th century after identifying "structural similarities" between "the ideas and world views of a wide variety of thinkers and movements" that, previously, had not been in the same analytical grouping.[12] According to the scholar of esotericism Wouter J. Hanegraaff, the term provided a "useful generic label" for "a large and complicated group of historical phenomena that had long been perceived as sharing an air de famille."[19] Various academics have emphasised that esotericism is a phenomenon unique to the Western world. As Faivre stated, an "empirical perspective" would hold that "esotericism is a Western notion."[20] As scholars such as Faivre and Hanegraaff have pointed out, there is no comparable category of "Eastern" or "Oriental" esotericism.[21] The emphasis on Western esotericism was nevertheless primarily devised to distinguish the field from a universal esotericism.[22] Hanegraaff has characterised these as "recognisable world views and approaches to knowledge that have played an important though always controversial role in the history of Western culture".[23] Historian of religion Henrik Bogdan asserted that Western esotericism constituted "a third pillar of Western culture" alongside "doctrinal faith and rationality", being deemed heretical by the former and irrational by the latter.[24] Scholars nevertheless recognise that various non-Western traditions have exerted "a profound influence" over Western esotericism, citing the prominent example of the Theosophical Society's incorporation of Hindu and Buddhist concepts like reincarnation into its doctrines.[25] Given these influences and the imprecise nature of the term "Western", the scholar of esotericism Kennet Granholm has argued that academics should cease referring to "Western esotericism" altogether, instead simply favouring "esotericism" as a descriptor of this phenomenon.[26] Egil Asprem has endorsed this approach.[27] Definition The historian of esotericism Antoine Faivre noted that "never a precise term, [esotericism] has begun to overflow its boundaries on all sides",[28] with both Faivre and Karen-Claire Voss stating that Western esotericism consists of "a vast spectrum of authors, trends, works of philosophy, religion, art, literature, and music".[29] Scholars broadly agree on which currents of thought fall within a category of esotericism—ranging from ancient Gnosticism and Hermeticism through to Rosicrucianism and the Kabbalah and on to more recent phenomenon such as the New Age movement.[30] Nevertheless, esotericism itself remains a controversial term, with scholars specialising in the subject disagreeing as to how best to define it.[30] As a universal secret inner tradition A colored version of the 1888 Flammarion engraving Some scholars have used Western esotericism to refer to "inner traditions" concerned with a "universal spiritual dimension of reality, as opposed to the merely external ('exoteric') religious institutions and dogmatic systems of established religions."[31] This approach views Western esotericism as just one variant of a worldwide esotericism at the heart of all world religions and cultures, reflecting a hidden esoteric reality.[32] This use is closest to the original meaning of the word in late antiquity, where it applied to secret spiritual teachings that were reserved for a specific elite and hidden from the masses.[33] This definition was popularised in the published work of 19th-century esotericists like A.E. Waite, who sought to combine their own mystical beliefs with a historical interpretation of esotericism.[34] It subsequently became a popular approach within several esoteric movements, most notably Martinism and Traditionalism.[35] This definition, originally developed by esotericists themselves, became popular among French academics during the 1980s, exerting a strong influence over the scholars Mircea Eliade, Henry Corbin, and the early work of Faivre.[35] Within the academic field of religious studies, those who study different religions in search of an inner universal dimension to them all are termed "religionists".[32] Such religionist ideas also exerted an influence on more recent scholars like Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke and Arthur Versluis.[32] Versluis for instance defined "Western esotericism" as "inner or hidden spiritual knowledge transmitted through Western European historical currents that in turn feed into North American and other non-European settings".[36] He added that these Western esoteric currents all shared a core characteristic, "a claim to gnosis, or direct spiritual insight into cosmology or spiritual insight",[36] and accordingly he suggested that these currents could be referred to as "Western gnostic" just as much as "Western esoteric".[37] There are various problems with this model for understanding Western esotericism.[32] The most significant is that it rests upon the conviction that there really is a "universal, hidden, esoteric dimension of reality" that objectively exists.[32] The existence of this universal inner tradition has not been discovered through scientific or scholarly enquiry; this had led some[who?] to claim that it does not exist, though Hanegraaff thought it better to adopt a view based in methodological agnosticism by stating that "we simply do not know – and cannot know" if it exists or not. He noted that, even if such a true and absolute nature of reality really existed, it would only be accessible through "esoteric" spiritual practices, and could not be discovered or measured by the "exoteric" tools of scientific and scholarly enquiry.[38] Hanegraaff pointed out that an approach that seeks a common inner hidden core of all esoteric currents masks that such groups often differ greatly, being rooted in their own historical and social contexts and expressing mutually exclusive ideas and agendas.[39] A third issue was that many of those currents widely recognised as esoteric never concealed their teachings, and in the 20th century came to permeate popular culture, thus problematizing the claim that esotericism could be defined by its hidden and secretive nature.[40] He noted that when scholars adopt this definition, it shows that they subscribe to the religious doctrines espoused by the very groups they are studying.[11] As an enchanted world view The Magician, a tarot card displaying the Hermetic concept of "as above, so below". Faivre connected this concept to 'correspondences', his first defining characteristic of esotericism. Another approach to Western esotericism treats it as a world view that embraces "enchantment" in contrast to world views influenced by post-Cartesian, post-Newtonian, and positivist science that sought to "dis-enchant" the world.[41] That approach understands esotericism as comprising those world views that eschew a belief in instrumental causality and instead adopt a belief that all parts of the universe are interrelated without a need for causal chains.[41] It stands as a radical alternative to the disenchanted world views that have dominated Western culture since the scientific revolution,[41] and must therefore always be at odds with secular culture.[42] An early exponent of this definition was the historian of Renaissance thought Frances Yates in her discussions of a Hermetic Tradition, which she saw as an "enchanted" alternative to established religion and rationalistic science.[43] The primary exponent of this view was Faivre, who published a series of criteria for how to define "Western esotericism" in 1992.[44] Faivre claimed that esotericism was "identifiable by the presence of six fundamental characteristics or components", four of which were "intrinsic" and thus vital to defining something as being esoteric, while the other two were "secondary" and thus not necessarily present in every form of esotericism.[45] He listed these characteristics as follows: "Correspondences": This is the idea that there are both real and symbolic correspondences existing between all things within the universe.[46] As examples for this, Faivre pointed to the esoteric concept of the macrocosm and microcosm, often presented as the dictum of "as above, so below", as well as the astrological idea that the actions of the planets have a direct corresponding influence on the behaviour of human beings.[47] "Living Nature": Faivre argued that all esotericists envision the natural universe as being imbued with its own life force, and that as such they understand it as being "complex, plural, hierarchical".[48] "Imagination and Mediations": Faivre believed that all esotericists place great emphasis on both the human imagination, and mediations—"such as rituals, symbolic images, mandalas, intermediary spirits"—and mantras as tools that provide access to worlds and levels of reality existing between the material world and the divine.[49] "Experience of Transmutation": Faivre's fourth intrinsic characteristic of esotericism was the emphasis that esotericists place on fundamentally transforming themselves through their practice, for instance through the spiritual transformation that is alleged to accompany the attainment of gnosis.[50] "Practice of Concordance": The first of Faivre's secondary characteristics of esotericism was the belief—held by many esotericists, such as those in the Traditionalist School—that there is a fundamental unifying principle or root from which all world religions and spiritual practices emerge. The common esoteric principle is that attaining this unifying principle can bring the world's different belief systems together in unity.[51] "Transmission": Faivre's second secondary characteristic was the emphasis on the transmission of esoteric teachings and secrets from a master to their disciple, through a process of initiation.[52] Faivre's form of categorisation has been endorsed by scholars like Goodrick-Clarke,[53] and by 2007 Bogdan could note that Faivre's had become "the standard definition" of Western esotericism in use among scholars.[54] In 2013 the scholar Kennet Granholm stated only that Faivre's definition had been "the dominating paradigm for a long while" and that it "still exerts influence among scholars outside the study of Western esotericism".[55] The advantage of Faivre's system is that it facilitates comparing varying esoteric traditions "with one another in a systematic fashion."[56] Other scholars criticised his theory, pointing out various weaknesses.[57] Hanegraaff claimed that Faivre's approach entailed "reasoning by prototype" in that it relied upon already having a "best example" of what Western esotericism should look like, against which other phenomena then had to be compared.[58] The scholar of esotericism Kocku von Stuckrad (born 1966) noted that Faivre's taxonomy was based on his own areas of specialism—Renaissance Hermeticism, Christian Kabbalah, and Protestant Theosophy—and that it was thus not based on a wider understanding of esotericism as it has existed throughout history, from the ancient world to the contemporary period.[59] Accordingly, Von Stuckrad suggested that it was a good typology for understanding "Christian esotericism in the early modern period" but lacked utility beyond that.[60] As higher knowledge Somewhat crudely, esotericism can be described as a Western form of spirituality that stresses the importance of the individual effort to gain spiritual knowledge, or gnosis, whereby man is confronted with the divine aspect of existence. — Historian of religion Henrik Bogdan, 2007.[61] As an alternative to Faivre's framework, Kocku von Stuckrad developed his own variant, though he argued that this did not represent a "definition" but rather "a framework of analysis" for scholarly usage.[62] He stated that "on the most general level of analysis", esotericism represented "the claim of higher knowledge", a claim to possessing "wisdom that is superior to other interpretations of cosmos and history" that serves as a "master key for answering all questions of humankind."[63] Accordingly, he believed that esoteric groups placed a great emphasis on secrecy, not because they were inherently rooted in elite groups but because the idea of concealed secrets that can be revealed was central to their discourse.[64] Examining the means of accessing higher knowledge, he highlighted two themes that he believed could be found within esotericism, that of mediation through contact with non-human entities, and individual experience.[65] Accordingly, for Von Stuckrad, esotericism could be best understood as "a structural element of Western culture" rather than as a selection of different schools of thought.[9] As rejected knowledge Hanegraaff proposed an additional definition that "Western esotericism" is a category that represents "the academy's dustbin of rejected knowledge."[23] In this respect, it contains all of the theories and world views rejected by the mainstream intellectual community because they do not accord with "normative conceptions of religion, rationality and science."[23] His approach is rooted within the field of the history of ideas, and stresses the role of change and transformation over time.[66] Goodrick-Clarke was critical of this approach, believing that it relegated Western esotericism to the position of "a casualty of positivist and materialist perspectives in the nineteenth-century" and thus reinforces the idea that Western esoteric traditions were of little historical importance.[67] Bogdan similarly expressed concern regarding Hanegraaff's definition, believing that it made the category of Western esotericism "all inclusive" and thus analytically useless.[68] History Late Antiquity A later illustration of Hermes Trismegistus The origins of Western esotericism are in the Hellenistic Eastern Mediterranean, then part of the Roman Empire, during Late Antiquity.[69] This was a milieu that mixed religious and intellectual traditions from Greece, Egypt, the Levant, Babylon, and Persia—in which globalisation, urbanisation, and multiculturalism were bringing about socio-cultural change.[70] One component of this was Hermeticism, an Egyptian Hellenistic school of thought that takes its name from the legendary Egyptian wise man, Hermes Trismegistus.[71] In the 2nd and 3rd centuries, a number of texts attributed to Hermes Trismegistus appeared, including the Corpus Hermeticum, Asclepius, and The Discourse on the Eighth and Ninth.[72] Some still debate whether Hermeticism was a purely literary phenomenon or had communities of practitioners who acted on these ideas, but it has been established that these texts discuss the true nature of God, emphasising that humans must transcend rational thought and worldly desires to find salvation and be reborn into a spiritual body of immaterial light, thereby achieving spiritual unity with divinity.[72] Another tradition of esoteric thought in Late Antiquity was Gnosticism. Various Gnostic sects existed, and they broadly believed that the divine light had been imprisoned within the material world by a malevolent entity known as the Demiurge, who was served by demonic helpers, the Archons. It was the Gnostic belief that people, who were imbued with the divine light, should seek to attain gnosis and thus escape from the world of matter and rejoin the divine source.[73] A third form of esotericism in Late Antiquity was Neoplatonism, a school of thought influenced by the ideas of the philosopher Plato. Advocated by such figures as Plotinus, Porphyry, Iamblichus, and Proclus, Neoplatonism held that the human soul had fallen from its divine origins into the material world, but that it could progress, through a number of hierarchical spheres of being, to return to its divine origins once more.[74] The later Neoplatonists performed theurgy, a ritual practice attested in such sources as the Chaldean Oracles. Scholars are still unsure of precisely what theurgy involved, but know it involved a practice designed to make gods appear, who could then raise the theurgist's mind to the reality of the divine.[75] Middle Ages After the fall of Rome, alchemy[76] and philosophy and other aspects of the tradition were largely preserved in the Arab and Near Eastern world and reintroduced into Western Europe by Jews[77] and by the cultural contact between Christians and Muslims in Sicily and southern Italy. The 12th century saw the development of the Kabbalah in southern Italy and medieval Spain.[78] The medieval period also saw the publication of grimoires, which offered often elaborate formulas for theurgy and thaumaturgy. Many of the grimoires seem to have kabbalistic influence. Figures in alchemy from this period seem to also have authored or used grimoires. Medieval sects deemed heretical such as the Waldensians were thought to have utilized esoteric concepts.[79][80] Renaissance and Early Modern period During the Renaissance, a number of European thinkers began to synthesize "pagan" (that is, not Christian) philosophies, which were then being made available through Arabic translations, with Christian thought and the Jewish kabbalah.[81] The earliest of these individuals was the Byzantine philosopher Plethon (1355/60–1452?), who argued that the Chaldean Oracles represented an example of a superior religion of ancient humanity that had been passed down by the Platonists.[82] Plethon's ideas interested the ruler of Florence, Cosimo de Medici, who employed Florentine thinker Marsilio Ficino (1433–1499) to translate Plato's works into Latin. Ficino went on to translate and publish the works of various Platonic figures, arguing that their philosophies were compatible with Christianity, and allowing for the emergence of a wider movement in Renaissance Platonism, or Platonic Orientalism.[83] Ficino also translated part of the Corpus Hermeticum, though the rest was translated by his contemporary, Lodovico Lazzarelli (1447–1500).[84] Another core figure in this intellectual milieu was Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (1463–1494), who achieved notability in 1486 by inviting scholars from across Europe to come and debate with him 900 theses that he had written. Pico della Mirandola argued that all of these philosophies reflected a grand universal wisdom. Pope Innocent VIII condemned these ideas, criticising him for attempting to mix pagan and Jewish ideas with Christianity.[85] Pico della Mirandola's increased interest in Jewish kabbalah led to his development of a distinct form of Christian Kabbalah. His work was built on by the German Johannes Reuchlin (1455–1522) who authored an influential text on the subject, De Arte Cabbalistica.[86] Christian Kabbalah was expanded in the work of the German Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa (1486–1535/36), who used it as a framework to explore the philosophical and scientific traditions of Antiquity in his work De occulta philosophia libri tres.[87] The work of Agrippa and other esoteric philosophers had been based in a pre-Copernican worldview, but following the arguments of Copernicus, a more accurate understanding of the cosmos was established. Copernicus' theories were adopted into esoteric strains of thought by Giordano Bruno (1548–1600), whose ideas were deemed heresy by the Roman Catholic Church, which eventually publicly executed him.[88] The Masonic Square and Compasses A distinct strain of esoteric thought developed in Germany, where it became known as Naturphilosophie. Though influenced by traditions from Late Antiquity and medieval Kabbalah, it only acknowledged two main sources of authority: Biblical scripture and the natural world.[89] The primary exponent of this approach was Paracelsus (1493/94–1541), who took inspiration from alchemy and folk magic to argue against the mainstream medical establishment of his time—which, as in Antiquity, still based its approach on the ideas of the second-century physician and philosopher, Galen, a Greek in the Roman Empire. Instead, Paracelsus urged doctors to learn medicine through an observation of the natural world, though in later work he also began to focus on overtly religious questions. His work gained significant support in both areas over the following centuries.[90] One of those influenced by Paracelsus was the German cobbler Jacob Böhme (1575–1624), who sparked the Christian theosophy movement through his attempts to solve the problem of evil. Böhme argued that God had been created out of an unfathomable mystery, the Ungrund, and that God himself was composed of a wrathful core, surrounded by the forces of light and love.[91] Though condemned by Germany's Lutheran authorities, Böhme's ideas spread and formed the basis for a number of small religious communities, such as Johann Georg Gichtel's Angelic Brethren in Amsterdam, and John Pordage and Jane Leade's Philadelphian Society in England.[92] From 1614 to 1616, the three Rosicrucian Manifestos were published in Germany. These texts purported to represent a secret, initiatory brotherhood founded centuries before by a German adept named Christian Rosenkreutz. There is no evidence that Rosenkreutz was a genuine historical figure, nor that a Rosicrucian Order had ever existed before then. Instead, the manifestos are likely literary creations of Lutheran theologian Johann Valentin Andreae (1586–1654). They interested the public, so several people described themselves as "Rosicrucian", claiming access to secret esoteric knowledge.[93] A real initiatory brotherhood was established in late 16th-century Scotland through the transformation of Medieval stonemason guilds to include non-craftsmen: Freemasonry. Soon spreading into other parts of Europe, in England it largely rejected its esoteric character and embraced humanism and rationalism, while in France it embraced new esoteric concepts, particularly those from Christian theosophy.[94] 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries Further information: Esotericism in Germany and Austria Hypnotic séance. Painting by Swedish artist Richard Bergh, 1887 The Age of Enlightenment witnessed a process of increasing secularisation of European governments and an embrace of modern science and rationality within intellectual circles. In turn, a "modernist occult" emerged that reflected varied ways esoteric thinkers came to terms with these developments.[95] One of the esotericists of this period was the Swedish naturalist Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772), who attempted to reconcile science and religion after experiencing a vision of Jesus Christ. His writings focused on his visionary travels to heaven and hell and his communications with angels, claiming that the visible, materialist world parallels an invisible spiritual world, with correspondences between the two that do not reflect causal relations. Following his death, followers founded the Swedenborgian New Church—though his writings influenced a wider array of esoteric philosophies.[96] Another major figure within the esoteric movement of this period was the German physician Franz Anton Mesmer (1734–1814), who developed the theory of Animal Magnetism, which later became known more commonly as Mesmerism. Mesmer claimed that a universal life force permeated everything, including the human body, and that illnesses were caused by a disturbance or block in this force's flow; he developed techniques he claimed cleansed such blockages and restored the patient to full health.[97] One of Mesmer's followers, the Marquis de Puységur, discovered that mesmeric treatment could induce a state of somnumbulic trance in which they claimed to enter visionary states and communicate with spirit beings.[98] These somnambulic trance-states heavily influenced the esoteric religion of Spiritualism, which emerged in the United States in the 1840s and spread throughout North America and Europe. Spiritualism was based on the concept that individuals could communicate with spirits of the deceased during séances.[99] Most forms of Spiritualism had little theoretical depth, being largely practical affairs—but full theological worldviews based on the movement were articulated by Andrew Jackson Davis (1826–1910) and Allan Kardec (1804–1869).[98] Scientific interest in the claims of Spiritualism resulted in the development of the field of psychical research.[98] Somnambulism also exerted a strong influence on the early disciplines of psychology and psychiatry; esoteric ideas pervade the work of many early figures in this field, most notably Carl Gustav Jung—though with the rise of psychoanalysis and behaviourism in the 20th century, these disciplines distanced themselves from esotericism.[100] Also influenced by artificial somnambulism was the religion of New Thought, founded by the American mesmerist Phineas P. Quimby (1802–1866). It revolved around the concept of "mind over matter"—believing that illness and other negative conditions could be cured through the power of belief.[101] Pentagram of Éliphas Lévi In Europe, a movement usually termed occultism emerged as various figures attempted to find a "third way" between Christianity and positivist science while building on the ancient, medieval, and Renaissance traditions of esoteric thought.[101] In France, following the social upheaval of the 1789 Revolution, various figures emerged in this occultist milieu who were heavily influenced by traditional Catholicism, the most notable of whom were Éliphas Lévi (1810–1875) and Papus (1865–1916).[102] Also significant was René Guénon (1886–1951), whose concern with tradition led him to develop an occult viewpoint termed Traditionalism; it espoused the idea of an original, universal tradition, and thus a rejection of modernity.[103] His Traditionalist ideas strongly influenced later esotericists like Julius Evola (1898–1974) and Frithjof Schuon (1907–1998).[103] In the Anglophone world, the burgeoning occult movement owed more to Enlightenment libertines, and thus was more often of an anti-Christian bent that saw wisdom as emanating from the pre-Christian pagan religions of Europe.[103] Various Spiritualist mediums came to be disillusioned with the esoteric thought available, and sought inspiration in pre-Swedenborgian currents, including Emma Hardinge Britten (1823–1899) and Helena Blavatsky (1831–1891), the latter of whom called for the revival of the "occult science" of the ancients, which could be found in both the East and West. Authoring the influential Isis Unveiled (1877) and The Secret Doctrine (1888), she co-founded the Theosophical Society in 1875.[104] Subsequent leaders of the Society, namely Annie Besant (1847–1933) and Charles Webster Leadbeater (1854–1934) interpreted modern theosophy as a form of ecumenical esoteric Christianity, resulting in their proclamation of Indian Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895–1986) as world messiah.[105] In rejection of this was the breakaway Anthroposophical Society founded by Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925).[105] Another form of esoteric Christianity is the spiritual science of the Danish mystic Martinus who is popular in Scandinavia.[106] New esoteric understandings of magic also developed in the latter part of the 19th century. One of the pioneers of this was American Paschal Beverly Randolph (1825–1875), who argued that sexual energy and psychoactive drugs could be used for magical purposes.[105] In England,[107] the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn—an initiatory order devoted to magic based on kabbalah—was founded in the latter years of the century.[108] One of the members of that order was Aleister Crowley (1875–1947), who went on to proclaim the religion of Thelema and become a member of the Ordo Templi Orientis.[109] Some of their contemporaries developed esoteric schools of thought that did not entail magic, namely the Greco-Armenian teacher George Gurdjieff (1866–1949) and his Russian pupil P.D. Ouspensky (1878–1947).[110] Emergent occult and esoteric systems found increasing popularity in the early 20th century, especially in Western Europe. Occult lodges and secret societies flowered among European intellectuals of this era who had largely abandoned traditional forms of Christianity. The spreading of secret teachings and magical practices found enthusiastic adherents in the chaos of Germany during the interwar years. Notable writers such as Guido von List spread neo-pagan, nationalist ideas, based on Wotanism and the Kabbalah. Many influential and wealthy Germans were drawn to secret societies such as the Thule Society. Thule Society activist Karl Harrer was one of the founders of the German Workers' Party,[111] which later became the Nazi Party; some Nazi Party members like Alfred Rosenberg and Rudolf Hess were listed as "guests" of the Thule Society, as was Adolf Hitler's mentor Dietrich Eckart.[112] After their rise to power, the Nazis persecuted occultists.[113] While many Nazi Party leaders like Hitler and Joseph Goebbels were hostile to occultism, Heinrich Himmler used Karl Maria Wiligut as a clairvoyant "and was regularly consulting for help in setting up the symbolic and ceremonial aspects of the SS" but not for important political decisions. By 1939, Wiligut was "forcibly retired from the SS" due to being institutionalised for insanity.[114] On the other hand, the German hermetic magic order Fraternitas Saturni was founded on Easter 1928 and it is one of the oldest continuously running magical groups in Germany.[115] In 1936, the Fraternitas Saturni was prohibited by the Nazi regime. The leaders of the lodge emigrated to avoid imprisonment, but in the course of the war Eugen Grosche, one of their main leaders, was arrested for a year by the Nazi government. After World War II they reformed the Fraternitas Saturni.[116] Several religious scholars such as Hugh Urban and Donald Westbrook have classified Scientology as being a modern form of Western Esotericism.[117][118][119][120] Later 20th century Sculpture of the Horned God of Wicca found in the Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle, Cornwall In the 1960s and 1970s, esotericism came to be increasingly associated with the growing counter-culture in the West, whose adherents understood themselves in participating in a spiritual revolution that marked the Age of Aquarius.[121] By the 1980s, these currents of millenarian currents had come to be widely known as the New Age movement, and it became increasingly commercialised as business entrepreneurs exploited a growth in the spiritual market.[121] Conversely, other forms of esoteric thought retained the anti-commercial and counter-cultural sentiment of the 1960s and 1970s, namely the techno-shamanic movement promoted by figures such as Terence McKenna and Daniel Pinchbeck, which built on the work of anthropologist Carlos Castaneda.[121] This trend was accompanied by the increased growth of modern Paganism, a movement initially dominated by Wicca, the religion propagated by Gerald Gardner.[122] Wicca was adopted by members of the second-wave feminist movement, most notably Starhawk, and developing into the Goddess movement.[122] Wicca also greatly influenced the development of Pagan neo-druidry and other forms of Celtic revivalism.[122] In response to Wicca there has also appeared literature and groups who label themselves followers of traditional witchcraft in opposition to the growing visibility of Wicca and these claim older roots than the system proposed by Gerald Gardner.[123] Other trends that emerged in western occultism in the later 20th century included satanism, as exposed by groups such as the Church of Satan and Temple of Set,[124] as well as chaos magick through the Illuminates of Thanateros group.[125][126] Additionally, since the start of the 1990s, countries inside of the former Iron Curtain have undergone a radiative and varied religious revival, with a large number of occult and new religious movements gaining popularity.[127] Gnostic revivalists, New Age organizations, and Scientology splinter groups[128] have found their way into much of the former Soviet bloc since the cultural and political shift resulting from the dissolution of the USSR.[129] In Hungary, a significant number of citizens (relative to the size of the country's population and compared to its neighbors) practice and/or adhere to new currents of Western Esotericism.[130] In April 1997, the Fifth Esoteric Spiritual Forum was held for two days in the country and was attended at-capacity; In August of the same year, the International Shaman Expo began, being broadcast on live TV and ultimately taking place for 2 months wherein various neo-Shamanist, Millenarian, mystic, neo-Pagan, and even UFO religionist congregations and figures were among the attendees.[131] Academic study Main article: Academic study of Western esotericism London's Warburg Institute was one of the first centres to encourage the academic study of Western esotericism. The academic study of Western esotericism was pioneered in the early 20th century by historians of the ancient world and the European Renaissance, who came to recognise that—even though previous scholarship had ignored it—the effect of pre-Christian and non-rational schools of thought on European society and culture was worthy of academic attention.[67] One of the key centres for this was the Warburg Institute in London, where scholars like Frances Yates, Edgar Wind, Ernst Cassirer, and D. P. Walker began arguing that esoteric thought had had a greater effect on Renaissance culture than had been previously accepted.[132] The work of Yates in particular, most notably her 1964 book Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition, has been cited as "an important starting-point for modern scholarship on esotericism", succeeding "at one fell swoop in bringing scholarship onto a new track" by bringing wider awareness of the effect that esoteric ideas had on modern science.[133] In 1965, at the instigation of the scholar Henry Corbin, École pratique des hautes études in the Sorbonne established the world's first academic post in the study of esotericism, with a chair in the History of Christian Esotericism. Its first holder was François Secret, a specialist in the Christian Kabbalah, though he had little interest in developing the wider study of esotericism as a field of research.[134] In 1979 Faivre assumed Secret's chair at the Sorbonne, which was renamed the "History of Esoteric and Mystical Currents in Modern and Contemporary Europe".[135] Faivre has since been cited as being responsible for developing the study of Western esotericism into a formalised field,[136] with his 1992 work L'ésotérisme having been cited as marking "the beginning of the study of Western esotericism as an academic field of research".[137] He remained in the chair until 2002, when he was succeeded by Jean-Pierre Brach.[133] Prominent scholar of esotericism Wouter Hanegraaff Faivre noted two significant obstacles to establishing the field. One was an ingrained prejudice toward esotericism within academia, resulting in the widespread perception that the history of esotericism was not worthy of academic research.[138] The other was esotericism's status as a trans-disciplinary field, the study of which did not fit clearly within any particular discipline.[139] As Hanegraaff noted, Western esotericism had to be studied as a separate field to religion, philosophy, science, and the arts, because while it "participates in all these fields" it does not squarely fit into any of them.[140] Elsewhere, he noted that there was "probably no other domain in the humanities that has been so seriously neglected" as Western esotericism.[141] In 1980, the U.S.-based Hermetic Academy was founded by Robert A. McDermott as an outlet for American scholars interested in Western esotericism.[142] From 1986 to 1990 members of the Hermetic Academy participated in panels at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion under the rubric of the "Esotericism and Perennialism Group".[142] By 1994, Faivre could comment that the academic study of Western esotericism had taken off in France, Italy, England, and the United States, but he lamented that it had not done so in Germany.[138] In 1999, the University of Amsterdam established a chair in the History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents, which was occupied by Hanegraaff,[143] while in 2005 the University of Exeter created a chair in Western Esotericism, which was taken by Goodrick-Clarke, who headed the Exeter Center for the Study of Esotericism.[144] Thus, by 2008 there were three dedicated university chairs in the subject, with Amsterdam and Exeter also offering master's degree programs in it.[145] Several conferences on the subject were held at the quintennial meetings of the International Association for the History of Religions,[146] while a peer-reviewed journal, Aries: Journal for the Study of Western Esotericism began publication in 2001.[146] 2001 also saw the foundation of the North American Association for the Study of Esotericism (ASE), with the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism (ESSWE) being established shortly after.[147] Within a few years, Michael Bergunder expressed the view that it had become an established field within religious studies,[148] with Asprem and Granholm observing that scholars within other sub-disciplines of religious studies had begun to take an interest in the work of scholars of esotericism.[149] Asprem and Granholm noted that the study of esotericism had been dominated by historians and thus lacked the perspective of social scientists examining contemporary forms of esotericism, a situation that they were attempting to correct through building links with scholars operating in Pagan studies and the study of new religious movements.[150] On the basis that "English culture and literature have been traditional strongholds of Western esotericism", in 2011 Pia Brînzeu and György Szönyi urged that English studies also have a role in this interdisciplinary field.[151] Emic and etic divisions Emic and etic refer to two kinds of field research done and viewpoints obtained, emic, from within the social group (from the perspective of the subject) and etic, from outside (from the perspective of the observer). Wouter Hanegraaff follows a distinction between an emic and an etic approach to religious studies. The emic approach is that of the alchemist or theosopher. The etic approach is that of the scholar as an historian, a researcher, with a critical view. An empirical study of esotericism needs "emic material and etic interpretation": Emic denotes the believer’s point of view. On the part of the researcher, the reconstruction of this emic perspective requires an attitude of empathy which excludes personal biases as far as possible. Scholarly discourse about religion, on the other hand, is not emic but etic. Scholars may introduce their own terminology and make theoretical distinctions which are different from those of the believers themselves.[152] Arthur Versluis proposes approaching esotericism through an "imaginative participation": Esotericism, given all its varied forms and its inherently multidimensional nature, cannot be conveyed without going beyond purely historical information: at minimum, the study of esotericism, and in particular mysticism, requires some degree of imaginative participation in what one is studying.[153] Many scholars of esotericism have come to be regarded as respected intellectual authorities by practitioners of various esoteric traditions.[154] Many esotericism scholars have sought to emphasise that esotericism is not a single object, but practitioners who read this scholarship have begun to regard it and think of it as a singular object, with which they affiliate themselves.[155] Thus, Asprem and Granholm noted that the use of the term "esotericism" among scholars "significantly contributes to the reification of the category for the general audience—despite the explicated contrary intentions of most scholars in the field."[156] In popular culture In 2013, Asprem and Granholm highlighted that "contemporary esotericism is intimately, and increasingly, connected with popular culture and new media."[157] Granholm noted that esoteric ideas and images appear in many aspects of Western popular media, citing such examples as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Avatar, Hellblazer, and His Dark Materials.[158] Granholm has argued that there are problems with the field in that it draws a distinction between esotericism and non-esoteric elements of culture that draw upon esotericism. He cites extreme metal as an example, noting that it is extremely difficult to differentiate between artists who were "properly occult" and those who superficially referenced occult themes and aesthetics.[159] Writers interested in occult themes have adopted three different strategies for dealing with the subject: those who are knowledgeable on the subject including attractive images of the occult and occultists in their work, those who disguise occultism within "a web of intertextuality", and those who oppose it and seek to deconstruct it." ( "Supernatural refers to phenomena or entities that are beyond the laws of nature.[1] The term is derived from Medieval Latin supernaturalis, from Latin super- (above, beyond, or outside of) + natura (nature).[1] Though the corollary term "nature", has had multiple meanings since the ancient world, the term "supernatural" emerged in the Middle Ages[2] and did not exist in the ancient world.[3] The supernatural is featured in folklore and religious contexts,[4] but can also feature as an explanation in more secular contexts, as in the cases of superstitions or belief in the paranormal.[5] The term is attributed to non-physical entities, such as angels, demons, gods, and spirits. It also includes claimed abilities embodied in or provided by such beings, including magic, telekinesis, levitation, precognition, and extrasensory perception. Etymology and history of the concept Occurring as both an adjective and a noun, antecedents of the modern English compound supernatural enter the language from two sources: via Middle French (supernaturel) and directly from the Middle French's term's ancestor, post-Classical Latin (supernaturalis). Post-classical Latin supernaturalis first occurs in the 6th century, composed of the Latin prefix super- and nātūrālis (see nature). The earliest known appearance of the word in the English language occurs in a Middle English translation of Catherine of Siena's Dialogue (orcherd of Syon, around 1425; Þei haue not þanne þe supernaturel lyȝt ne þe liȝt of kunnynge, bycause þei vndirstoden it not).[6] The semantic value of the term has shifted over the history of its use. Originally the term referred exclusively to Christian understandings of the world. For example, as an adjective, the term can mean "belonging to a realm or system that transcends nature, as that of divine, magical, or ghostly beings; attributed to or thought to reveal some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature; occult, paranormal" or "more than what is natural or ordinary; unnaturally or extraordinarily great; abnormal, extraordinary". Obsolete uses include "of, relating to, or dealing with metaphysics". As a noun, the term can mean "a supernatural being", with a particularly strong history of employment in relation to entities from the mythologies of the indigenous peoples of the Americas.[6] History of the concept The ancient world had no word that resembled "supernatural".[3] Dialogues from Neoplatonic philosophy in the third century AD contributed to the development of the concept the supernatural via Christian theology in later centuries.[7] The term nature had existed since antiquity, with Latin authors like Augustine using the word and its cognates at least 600 times in City of God. In the medieval period, "nature" had ten different meanings and "natural" had eleven different meanings.[2] Peter Lombard, a medieval scholastic in the 12th century, asked about causes that are beyond nature, in that how there could be causes that were God's alone. He used the term praeter naturam in his writings.[2] In the scholastic period, Thomas Aquinas classified miracles into three categories: "above nature", "beyond nature", and "against nature". In doing so, he sharpened the distinction between nature and miracles more than the early Church Fathers had done.[2] As a result, he had created a dichotomy of sorts of the natural and supernatural.[7] Though the phrase "supra naturam" was used since the 4th century AD, it was in the 1200s that Thomas Aquinas used the term "supernaturalis" and despite this, the term had to wait until the end of the medieval period before it became more popularly used.[2] The discussions on "nature" from the scholastic period were diverse and unsettled with some postulating that even miracles are natural and that natural magic was a natural part of the world.[2] Epistemology and metaphysics See also: Anthropology of religion The metaphysical considerations of the existence of the supernatural can be difficult to approach as an exercise in philosophy or theology because any dependencies on its antithesis, the natural, will ultimately have to be inverted or rejected. One complicating factor is that there is disagreement about the definition of "natural" and the limits of naturalism. Concepts in the supernatural domain are closely related to concepts in religious spirituality and occultism or spiritualism. For sometimes we use the word nature for that Author of nature whom the schoolmen, harshly enough, call natura naturans, as when it is said that nature hath made man partly corporeal and partly immaterial. Sometimes we mean by the nature of a thing the essence, or that which the schoolmen scruple not to call the quiddity of a thing, namely, the attribute or attributes on whose score it is what it is, whether the thing be corporeal or not, as when we attempt to define the nature of an angle, or of a triangle, or of a fluid body, as such. Sometimes we take nature for an internal principle of motion, as when we say that a stone let fall in the air is by nature carried towards the centre of the earth, and, on the contrary, that fire or flame does naturally move upwards toward firmament. Sometimes we understand by nature the established course of things, as when we say that nature makes the night succeed the day, nature hath made respiration necessary to the life of men. Sometimes we take nature for an aggregate of powers belonging to a body, especially a living one, as when physicians say that nature is strong or weak or spent, or that in such or such diseases nature left to herself will do the cure. Sometimes we take nature for the universe, or system of the corporeal works of God, as when it is said of a phoenix, or a chimera, that there is no such thing in nature, i.e. in the world. And sometimes too, and that most commonly, we would express by nature a semi-deity or other strange kind of being, such as this discourse examines the notion of. And besides these more absolute acceptions, if I may so call them, of the word nature, it has divers others (more relative), as nature is wont to be set or in opposition or contradistinction to other things, as when we say of a stone when it falls downwards that it does it by a natural motion, but that if it be thrown upwards its motion that way is violent. So chemists distinguish vitriol into natural and fictitious, or made by art, i.e. by the intervention of human power or skill; so it is said that water, kept suspended in a sucking pump, is not in its natural place, as that is which is stagnant in the well. We say also that wicked men are still in the state of nature, but the regenerate in a state of grace; that cures wrought by medicines are natural operations; but the miraculous ones wrought by Christ and his apostles were supernatural.[8] — Robert Boyle, A Free Enquiry into the Vulgarly Received Notion of Nature Nomological possibility is possibility under the actual laws of nature. Most philosophers since David Hume have held that the laws of nature are metaphysically contingent—that there could have been different natural laws than the ones that actually obtain. If so, then it would not be logically or metaphysically impossible, for example, for you to travel to Alpha Centauri in one day; it would just have to be the case that you could travel faster than the speed of light. But of course there is an important sense in which this is not nomologically possible; given that the laws of nature are what they are. In the philosophy of natural science, impossibility assertions come to be widely accepted as overwhelmingly probable rather than considered proved to the point of being unchallengeable. The basis for this strong acceptance is a combination of extensive evidence of something not occurring, combined with an underlying scientific theory, very successful in making predictions, whose assumptions lead logically to the conclusion that something is impossible. While an impossibility assertion in natural science can never be absolutely proved, it could be refuted by the observation of a single counterexample. Such a counterexample would require that the assumptions underlying the theory that implied the impossibility be re-examined. Some philosophers, such as Sydney Shoemaker, have argued that the laws of nature are in fact necessary, not contingent; if so, then nomological possibility is equivalent to metaphysical possibility.[9][10][11] The term supernatural is often used interchangeably with paranormal or preternatural—the latter typically limited to an adjective for describing abilities which appear to exceed what is possible within the boundaries of the laws of physics.[12] Epistemologically, the relationship between the supernatural and the natural is indistinct in terms of natural phenomena that, ex hypothesi, violate the laws of nature, in so far as such laws are realistically accountable. Parapsychologists use the term psi to refer to an assumed unitary force underlying the phenomena they study. Psi is defined in the Journal of Parapsychology as "personal factors or processes in nature which transcend accepted laws" (1948: 311) and "which are non-physical in nature" (1962:310), and it is used to cover both extrasensory perception (ESP), an "awareness of or response to an external event or influence not apprehended by sensory means" (1962:309) or inferred from sensory knowledge, and psychokinesis (PK), "the direct influence exerted on a physical system by a subject without any known intermediate energy or instrumentation" (1945:305).[13] — Michael Winkelman, Current Anthropology Views on the "supernatural" vary, for example it may be seen as: indistinct from nature. From this perspective, some events occur according to the laws of nature, and others occur according to a separate set of principles external to known nature. For example, in Scholasticism, it was believed that God was capable of performing any miracle so long as it didn't lead to a logical contradiction. Some religions posit immanent deities, however, and do not have a tradition analogous to the supernatural; some believe that everything anyone experiences occurs by the will (occasionalism), in the mind (neoplatonism), or as a part (nondualism) of a more fundamental divine reality (platonism). incorrect human attribution. In this view all events have natural and only natural causes. They believe that human beings ascribe supernatural attributes to purely natural events, such as lightning, rainbows, floods, and the origin of life.[14][15] Anthropological studies Anthropological studies across cultures indicate that people do not hold or use natural and supernatural explanations in a mutually exclusive or dichotomous fashion. Instead, the reconciliation of natural and supernatural explanations is normal and pervasive across cultures.[16] Cross cultural studies indicate that there is coexistence of natural and supernatural explanations in both adults and children for explaining numerous things about the world such as illness, death, and origins.[17][18] Context and cultural input play a large role in determining when and how individuals incorporate natural and supernatural explanations.[19] The coexistence of natural and supernatural explanations in individuals may be the outcomes two distinct cognitive domains: one concerned with the physical-mechanical relations and another with social relations.[20] Studies on indigenous groups have allowed for insights on how such coexistence of explanations may function.[21] Supernatural concepts See also: Religion and Magic and religion Deity Main article: Deity A deity (/ˈdiːəti/ i or /ˈdeɪ.əti/ i)[22] is a supernatural being considered divine or sacred.[23] The Oxford Dictionary of English defines deity as "a god or goddess (in a polytheistic religion)", or anything revered as divine.[24] C. Scott Littleton defines a deity as "a being with powers greater than those of ordinary humans, but who interacts with humans, positively or negatively, in ways that carry humans to new levels of consciousness, beyond the grounded preoccupations of ordinary life."[25] A male deity is a god, while a female deity is a goddess. Religions can be categorized by how many deities they worship. Monotheistic religions accept only one deity (predominantly referred to as God),[26][27] polytheistic religions accept multiple deities.[28] Henotheistic religions accept one supreme deity without denying other deities, considering them as equivalent aspects of the same divine principle;[29][30] and nontheistic religions deny any supreme eternal creator deity but accept a pantheon of deities which live, die, and are reborn just like any other being.[31]: 35–37 [32]: 357–358 Various cultures have conceptualized a deity differently than a monotheistic God.[33][34] A deity need not be omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, omnibenevolent or eternal,[33][34][35] The monotheistic God, however, does have these attributes.[36][37][38] Monotheistic religions typically refer to God in masculine terms,[39][40]: 96 while other religions refer to their deities in a variety of ways – masculine, feminine, androgynous and gender neutral.[41][42][43] Historically, many ancient cultures – such as Ancient India, Ancient Egyptian, Ancient Greek, Ancient Roman, Nordic and Asian culture – personified natural phenomena, variously as either their conscious causes or simply their effects, respectively.[44][45][46] Some Avestan and Vedic deities were viewed as ethical concepts.[44][45] In Indian religions, deities have been envisioned as manifesting within the temple of every living being's body, as sensory organs and mind.[47][48][49] Deities have also been envisioned as a form of existence (Saṃsāra) after rebirth, for human beings who gain merit through an ethical life, where they become guardian deities and live blissfully in heaven, but are also subject to death when their merit runs out.[31]: 35–38 [32]: 356–359 Angel Main article: Angel The Archangel Michael wears a late Roman military cloak and cuirass in this 17th-century depiction by Guido Reni. Schutzengel (English: "Guardian Angel") by Bernhard Plockhorst depicts a guardian angel watching over two children. An angel is generally a supernatural being found in various religions and mythologies. In Abrahamic religions and Zoroastrianism, angels are often depicted as benevolent celestial beings who act as intermediaries between God or Heaven and Earth.[50][51] Other roles of angels include protecting and guiding human beings, and carrying out God's tasks.[52] Within Abrahamic religions, angels are often organized into hierarchies, although such rankings may vary between sects in each religion, and are given specific names or titles, such as Gabriel or "Destroying angel". The term "angel" has also been expanded to various notions of spirits or figures found in other religious traditions. The theological study of angels is known as "angelology". In fine art, angels are usually depicted as having the shape of human beings of extraordinary beauty;[53][54] they are often identified using the symbols of bird wings,[55] halos,[56] and light. Prophecy Main article: Prophecy Prophecy involves a process in which messages are communicated by a god to a prophet. Such messages typically involve inspiration, interpretation, or revelation of divine will concerning the prophet's social world and events to come (compare divine knowledge). Prophecy is not limited to any one culture. It is a common property to all known ancient societies around the world, some more than others. Many systems and rules about prophecy have been proposed over several millennia. Revelation Main article: Revelation In religion and theology, revelation is the revealing or disclosing of some form of truth or knowledge through communication with a deity or other supernatural entity or entities. Some religions have religious texts which they view as divinely or supernaturally revealed or inspired. For instance, Orthodox Jews, Christians and Muslims believe that the Torah was received from Yahweh on biblical Mount Sinai.[57][58] Most Christians believe that both the Old Testament and the New Testament were inspired by God. Muslims believe the Quran was revealed by God to Muhammad word by word through the angel Gabriel (Jibril).[59][60] In Hinduism, some Vedas are considered apauruṣeya, "not human compositions", and are supposed to have been directly revealed, and thus are called śruti, "what is heard". Aleister Crowley stated that The Book of the Law had been revealed to him through a higher being that called itself Aiwass. A revelation communicated by a supernatural entity reported as being present during the event is called a vision. Direct conversations between the recipient and the supernatural entity,[61] or physical marks such as stigmata, have been reported. In rare cases, such as that of Saint Juan Diego, physical artifacts accompany the revelation.[62] The Roman Catholic concept of interior locution includes just an inner voice heard by the recipient. In the Abrahamic religions, the term is used to refer to the process by which God reveals knowledge of himself, his will, and his divine providence to the world of human beings.[63] In secondary usage, revelation refers to the resulting human knowledge about God, prophecy, and other divine things. Revelation from a supernatural source plays a less important role in some other religious traditions such as Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism. Reincarnation Main article: Reincarnation In Jainism, a soul travels to any one of the four states of existence after death depending on its karmas. Reincarnation is the philosophical or religious concept that an aspect of a living being starts a new life in a different physical body or form after each biological death. It is also called rebirth or transmigration, and is a part of the Saṃsāra doctrine of cyclic existence.[64][65] It is a central tenet of all major Indian religions, namely Jainism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Sikhism.[65][66][67] The idea of reincarnation is found in many ancient cultures,[68] and a belief in rebirth/metempsychosis was held by Greek historic figures, such as Pythagoras, Socrates, and Plato.[69] It is also a common belief of various ancient and modern religions such as Spiritism, Theosophy, and Eckankar, and as an esoteric belief in many streams of Orthodox Judaism. It is found as well in many tribal societies around the world, in places such as Australia, East Asia, Siberia, and South America.[70] Although the majority of denominations within Christianity and Islam do not believe that individuals reincarnate, particular groups within these religions do refer to reincarnation; these groups include the mainstream historical and contemporary followers of Cathars, Alawites, the Druze,[71] and the Rosicrucians.[72] The historical relations between these sects and the beliefs about reincarnation that were characteristic of Neoplatonism, Orphism, Hermeticism, Manicheanism, and Gnosticism of the Roman era as well as the Indian religions have been the subject of recent scholarly research.[73] Unity Church and its founder Charles Fillmore teaches reincarnation. In recent decades, many Europeans and North Americans have developed an interest in reincarnation,[74] and many contemporary works mention it. Karma Main article: Karma Karma (/ˈkɑːrmə/; Sanskrit: कर्म, romanized: karma, IPA: [ˈkɐɽmɐ]i; Pali: kamma) means action, work or deed;[75] it also refers to the spiritual principle of cause and effect where intent and actions of an individual (cause) influence the future of that individual (effect).[76] Good intent and good deeds contribute to good karma and future happiness, while bad intent and bad deeds contribute to bad karma and future suffering.[77][78] With origins in ancient India's Vedic civilization, the philosophy of karma is closely associated with the idea of rebirth in many schools of Indian religions (particularly Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism[79]) as well as Taoism.[80] In these schools, karma in the present affects one's future in the current life, as well as the nature and quality of future lives – one's saṃsāra.[81][82] Christian theology The patron saint of air travelers, aviators, astronauts, people with a mental handicap, test takers, and poor students is Saint Joseph of Cupertino, who is said to have been gifted with supernatural flight.[83] Main article: Supernatural order In Catholic theology, the supernatural order is, according to New Advent, defined as "the ensemble of effects exceeding the powers of the created universe and gratuitously produced by God for the purpose of raising the rational creature above its native sphere to a God-like life and destiny."[84] The Modern Catholic Dictionary defines it as "the sum total of heavenly destiny and all the divinely established means of reaching that destiny, which surpass the mere powers and capacities of human nature."[85] Process theology Main article: Process theology Process theology is a school of thought influenced by the metaphysical process philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead (1861–1947) and further developed by Charles Hartshorne (1897–2000). It is not possible, in process metaphysics, to conceive divine activity as a "supernatural" intervention into the "natural" order of events. Process theists usually regard the distinction between the supernatural and the natural as a by-product of the doctrine of creation ex nihilo. In process thought, there is no such thing as a realm of the natural in contrast to that which is supernatural. On the other hand, if "the natural" is defined more neutrally as "what is in the nature of things," then process metaphysics characterizes the natural as the creative activity of actual entities. In Whitehead's words, "It lies in the nature of things that the many enter into complex unity" (Whitehead 1978, 21). It is tempting to emphasize process theism's denial of the supernatural and thereby highlight that the processed God cannot do in comparison what the traditional God could do (that is, to bring something from nothing). In fairness, however, equal stress should be placed on process theism's denial of the natural (as traditionally conceived) so that one may highlight what the creatures cannot do, in traditional theism, in comparison to what they can do in process metaphysics (that is, to be part creators of the world with God).[86] — Donald Viney, "Process Theism" in The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Heaven Main article: Heaven Heaven, or the heavens, is a common religious, cosmological, or transcendent place where beings such as gods, angels, spirits, saints, or venerated ancestors are said to originate, be enthroned, or live. According to the beliefs of some religions, heavenly beings can descend to Earth or incarnate, and earthly beings can ascend to heaven in the afterlife, or in exceptional cases enter heaven alive. Heaven is often described as a "higher place", the holiest place, a Paradise, in contrast to hell or the Underworld or the "low places", and universally or conditionally accessible by earthly beings according to various standards of divinity, goodness, piety, faith, or other virtues or right beliefs or simply the will of God. Some believe in the possibility of a heaven on Earth in a world to come. Another belief is in an axis mundi or world tree which connects the heavens, the terrestrial world, and the underworld. In Indian religions, heaven is considered as Svarga loka,[87] and the soul is again subjected to rebirth in different living forms according to its karma. This cycle can be broken after a soul achieves Moksha or Nirvana. Any place of existence, either of humans, souls or deities, outside the tangible world (Heaven, Hell, or other) is referred to as otherworld. Underworld Main article: Underworld The underworld is the supernatural world of the dead in various religious traditions, located below the world of the living.[88] Chthonic is the technical adjective for things of the underworld. The concept of an underworld is found in almost every civilization and "may be as old as humanity itself".[89] Common features of underworld myths are accounts of living people making journeys to the underworld, often for some heroic purpose. Other myths reinforce traditions that entrance of souls to the underworld requires a proper observation of ceremony, such as the ancient Greek story of the recently dead Patroclus haunting Achilles until his body could be properly buried for this purpose.[90] Persons having social status were dressed and equipped in order to better navigate the underworld.[91] A number of mythologies incorporate the concept of the soul of the deceased making its own journey to the underworld, with the dead needing to be taken across a defining obstacle such as a lake or a river to reach this destination.[92] Imagery of such journeys can be found in both ancient and modern art. The descent to the underworld has been described as "the single most important myth for Modernist authors".[93] Spirit Main article: Spirit (vital essence) Theodor von Holst, Bertalda, Assailed by Spirits, c. 1830 A spirit is a supernatural being, often but not exclusively a non-physical entity; such as a ghost, fairy, jinn, or angel.[94] The concepts of a person's spirit and soul, often also overlap, as both are either contrasted with or given ontological priority over the body and both are believed to survive bodily death in some religions,[95] and "spirit" can also have the sense of "ghost", i.e. a manifestation of the spirit of a deceased person. In English Bibles, "the Spirit" (with a capital "S"), specifically denotes the Holy Spirit. Spirit is often used metaphysically to refer to the consciousness or personality. Historically, it was also used to refer to a "subtle" as opposed to "gross" material substance, as in the famous last paragraph of Sir Isaac Newton's Principia Mathematica.[96] Demon Main article: Demon Bronze statuette of the Assyro-Babylonian demon king Pazuzu, circa 800 BC –- circa 700 BC, Louvre A demon (from Koine Greek δαιμόνιον daimónion) is a supernatural and often malevolent being prevalent in religion, occultism, literature, fiction, mythology and folklore. In Ancient Near Eastern religions as well as in the Abrahamic traditions, including ancient and medieval Christian demonology, a demon is considered a harmful spiritual entity, below the heavenly planes[97] which may cause demonic possession, calling for an exorcism. In Western occultism and Renaissance magic, which grew out of an amalgamation of Greco-Roman magic, Jewish Aggadah and Christian demonology,[98] a demon is believed to be a spiritual entity that may be conjured and controlled. Magic Main article: Magic (supernatural) Magic or sorcery is the use of rituals, symbols, actions, gestures, or language with the aim of utilizing supernatural forces.[99][100]: 6–7 [101][102]: 24 Belief in and practice of magic has been present since the earliest human cultures and continues to have an important spiritual, religious, and medicinal role in many cultures today. The term magic has a variety of meanings, and there is no widely agreed upon definition of what it is. Scholars of religion have defined magic in different ways. One approach, associated with the anthropologists Edward Tylor and James G. Frazer, suggests that magic and science are opposites. An alternative approach, associated with the sociologists Marcel Mauss and Emile Durkheim, argues that magic takes place in private, while religion is a communal and organised activity. Many scholars of religion have rejected the utility of the term magic and it has become increasingly unpopular within scholarship since the 1990s. The term magic comes from the Old Persian magu, a word that applied to a form of religious functionary about which little is known. During the late sixth and early fifth centuries BC, this term was adopted into Ancient Greek, where it was used with negative connotations, to apply to religious rites that were regarded as fraudulent, unconventional, and dangerous. This meaning of the term was then adopted by Latin in the first century BC. The concept was then incorporated into Christian theology during the first century AD, where magic was associated with demons and thus defined against religion. This concept was pervasive throughout the Middle Ages, although in the early modern period Italian humanists reinterpreted the term in a positive sense to establish the idea of natural magic. Both negative and positive understandings of the term were retained in Western culture over the following centuries, with the former largely influencing early academic usages of the word. Throughout history, there have been examples of individuals who practiced magic and referred to themselves as magicians. This trend has proliferated in the modern period, with a growing number of magicians appearing within the esoteric milieu.[not verified in body] British esotericist Aleister Crowley described magic as the art of effecting change in accordance with will. Divination Main article: Divination Divination (from Latin divinare "to foresee, to be inspired by a god",[103] related to divinus, divine) is the attempt to gain insight into a question or situation by way of an occultic, standardized process or ritual.[104] Used in various forms throughout history, diviners ascertain their interpretations of how a querent should proceed by reading signs, events, or omens, or through alleged contact with a supernatural agency.[105] Divination can be seen as a systematic method with which to organize what appear to be disjointed, random facets of existence such that they provide insight into a problem at hand. If a distinction is to be made between divination and fortune-telling, divination has a more formal or ritualistic element and often contains a more social character, usually in a religious context, as seen in traditional African medicine. Fortune-telling, on the other hand, is a more everyday practice for personal purposes. Particular divination methods vary by culture and religion. Divination is dismissed by the scientific community and skeptics as being superstition.[106][107] In the 2nd century, Lucian devoted a witty essay to the career of a charlatan, "Alexander the false prophet", trained by "one of those who advertise enchantments, miraculous incantations, charms for your love-affairs, visitations for your enemies, disclosures of buried treasure, and successions to estates".[108] Witchcraft Witches by Hans Baldung. Woodcut, 1508 Main article: Witchcraft Witchcraft or witchery broadly means the practice of and belief in magical skills and abilities exercised by solitary practitioners and groups. Witchcraft is a broad term that varies culturally and societally, and thus can be difficult to define with precision,[109] and cross-cultural assumptions about the meaning or significance of the term should be applied with caution. Witchcraft often occupies a religious divinatory or medicinal role,[110] and is often present within societies and groups whose cultural framework includes a magical world view.[109] Miracle Main article: Miracle A miracle is an event not explicable by natural or scientific laws.[111] Such an event may be attributed to a supernatural being (a deity), a miracle worker, a saint or a religious leader. Informally, the word "miracle" is often used to characterise any beneficial event that is statistically unlikely but not contrary to the laws of nature, such as surviving a natural disaster, or simply a "wonderful" occurrence, regardless of likelihood, such as a birth. Other such miracles might be: survival of an illness diagnosed as terminal, escaping a life-threatening situation or 'beating the odds'. Some coincidences may be seen as miracles.[112] A true miracle would, by definition, be a non-natural phenomenon, leading many rational and scientific thinkers to dismiss them as physically impossible (that is, requiring violation of established laws of physics within their domain of validity) or impossible to confirm by their nature (because all possible physical mechanisms can never be ruled out). The former position is expressed for instance by Thomas Jefferson and the latter by David Hume. Theologians typically say that, with divine providence, God regularly works through nature yet, as a creator, is free to work without, above, or against it as well. The possibility and probability of miracles are then equal to the possibility and probability of the existence of God.[113] Skepticism Main article: Skepticism Skepticism (American English) or scepticism (British English; see spelling differences) is generally any questioning attitude or doubt towards one or more items of putative knowledge or belief.[114][115] It is often directed at domains such as the supernatural, morality (moral skepticism), religion (skepticism about the existence of God), or knowledge (skepticism about the possibility of knowledge, or of certainty).[116] In fiction and popular culture Main article: Supernatural fiction Supernatural entities and powers are common in various works of fantasy. Examples include the television shows Supernatural and The X-Files, the magic of the Harry Potter series, The Lord of the Rings series, The Wheel of Time series and A Song of Ice and Fire series." ( "The occult, in the broadest sense, is a category of esoteric supernatural beliefs and practices which generally fall outside the scope of organized religion and science, encompassing phenomena involving otherworldly agency, such as magic and mysticism and their varied spells. It can also refer to supernatural ideas like extra-sensory perception and parapsychology. The term occult sciences was used in 16th-century Europe to refer to astrology, alchemy, and natural magic. The term occultism emerged in 19th-century France,[1] amongst figures such as Antoine Court de Gébelin.[2] It came to be associated with various French esoteric groups connected to Éliphas Lévi and Papus, and in 1875 was introduced into the English language by the esotericist Helena Blavatsky. Throughout the 20th century, the term was used idiosyncratically by a range of different authors, but by the 21st century was commonly employed – including by academic scholars of esotericism – to refer to a range of esoteric currents that developed in the mid-19th century and their descendants. Occultism is thus often used to categorise such esoteric traditions as Spiritualism, Theosophy, Anthroposophy, Wicca, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and New Age.[3] Use of the term as a nominalized adjective has developed especially since the late twentieth century. In that same period, occult and culture were combined to form the neologism occulture. Etymology The occult (from the Latin word occultus; lit. 'clandestine', 'hidden', 'secret') is "knowledge of the hidden".[4] In common usage, occult refers to "knowledge of the paranormal", as opposed to "knowledge of the measurable",[5] usually referred to as science. The terms esoteric and arcane can also be used to describe the occult,[6] in addition to their meanings unrelated to the supernatural. The term occult sciences was used in the 16th century to refer to astrology, alchemy, and natural magic. The earliest known usage of the term occultism is in the French language, as l'occultisme. In this form it appears in A. de Lestrange's article that was published in Jean-Baptiste Richard de Randonvilliers' Dictionnaire des mots nouveaux ("Dictionary of new words") in 1842. However, it was not related, at this point, to the notion of Ésotérisme chrétien, as has been claimed by Hanegraaff,[7] but to describe a political "system of occulticity" that was directed against priests and aristocrats.[8] In 1853, the Freemasonic author Jean-Marie Ragon had already used occultisme in his popular work Maçonnerie occulte, relating it to earlier practices that, since the Renaissance, had been termed "occult sciences" or "occult philosophy", but also to the recent socialist teachings of Charles Fourier.[9] The French esotericist Éliphas Lévi then used the term in his influential book on ritual magic, Dogme et rituel de la haute magie, first published in 1856.[10] Lévi was familiar with that work and might have borrowed the term from there. In any case, Lévi also claimed to be a representative of an older tradition of occult science or occult philosophy.[11] It was from his usage of the term occultisme that it gained wider usage;[12] according to Faivre, Lévi was "the principal exponent of esotericism in Europe and the United States" at that time.[13] The term occultism emerged in 19th-century France, where it came to be associated with various French esoteric groups connected to Éliphas Lévi and Papus, The earliest use of the term occultism in the English language appears to be in "A Few Questions to 'Hiraf'", an 1875 article by Helena Blavatsky, a Russian émigré living in the United States who founded the religion of Theosophy. The article was published in the American Spiritualist magazine, Spiritual Scientist.[14] Various twentieth-century writers on the subject used the term occultism in different ways. Some writers, such as the German philosopher Theodor W. Adorno in his "Theses Against Occultism", employed the term as a broad synonym for irrationality.[15] In his 1950 book L'occultisme, Robert Amadou used the term as a synonym for esotericism,[16] an approach that the later scholar of esotericism Marco Pasi suggested left the term superfluous.[15] Unlike Amadou, other writers saw occultism and esotericism as different, albeit related, phenomena. In the 1970s, the sociologist Edward Tiryakian distinguished between occultism, which he used in reference to practices, techniques, and procedures, and esotericism, which he defined as the religious or philosophical belief systems on which such practices are based.[16] This division was initially adopted by the early academic scholar of esotericism, Antoine Faivre, although he later abandoned it;[10] it has been rejected by most scholars who study esotericism.[15] By the 21st century the term was commonly employed – including by academic scholars of esotericism – to refer to a range of esoteric currents that developed in the mid-19th century and their descendants. Occultism is thus often used to categorise such esoteric traditions as Spiritualism, Theosophy, Anthroposophy, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and New Age. A different division was used by the Traditionalist author René Guénon, who used esotericism to describe what he believed was the Traditionalist, inner teaching at the heart of most religions, while occultism was used pejoratively to describe new religions and movements that he disapproved of, such as Spiritualism, Theosophy, and various secret societies.[17] Guénon's use of this terminology was adopted by later writers like Serge Hutin and Luc Benoist.[18] As noted by Hanegraaff, Guénon's use of these terms are rooted in his Traditionalist beliefs and "cannot be accepted as scholarly valid".[18] The term occultism derives from the older term occult, much as the term esotericism derives from the older term esoteric.[11] However, the historian of esotericism Wouter Hanegraaff stated that it was important to distinguish between the meanings of the term occult and occultism.[19] Occultism is not a homogenous movement and is widely diverse.[13] Over the course of its history, the term occultism has been used in various different ways.[20] However, in contemporary uses, occultism commonly refers to forms of esotericism that developed in the nineteenth century and their twentieth-century derivations.[18] In a descriptive sense, it has been used to describe forms of esotericism which developed in nineteenth-century France, especially in the Neo-Martinist environment.[18] According to the historian of esotericism Antoine Faivre, it is with the esotericist Éliphas Lévi that "the occultist current properly so-called" first appears.[13] Other prominent French esotericists involved in developing occultism included Papus, Stanislas de Guaita, Joséphin Péladan, Georges-Albert Puyou de Pouvourville, and Jean Bricaud.[11] Occult sciences The idea of occult sciences developed in the sixteenth century.[10] The term usually encompassed three practices – astrology, alchemy, and natural magic – although sometimes various forms of divination were also included rather than being subsumed under natural magic.[10] These were grouped together because, according to the Dutch scholar of hermeticism Wouter Hanegraaff, "each one of them engaged in a systematic investigation of nature and natural processes, in the context of theoretical frameworks that relied heavily on a belief in occult qualities, virtues or forces."[10] Although there are areas of overlap between these different occult sciences, they are separate and in some cases practitioners of one would reject the others as being illegitimate.[10] During the Age of Enlightenment, occultism increasingly came to be seen as intrinsically incompatible with the concept of science.[10] From that point on, use of "occult science(s)" implied a conscious polemic against mainstream science.[10] Nevertheless, the philosopher and card game historian Michael Dummett, whose analysis of the historical evidence suggested that fortune-telling and occult interpretations using cards were unknown before the 18th century, said that the term occult science was not misplaced because "people who believe in the possibility of unveiling the future or of exercising supernormal powers do so because the efficacy of the methods they employ coheres with some systematic conception which they hold of the way the universe functions...however flimsy its empirical basis."[21] In his 1871 book Primitive Culture, the anthropologist Edward Tylor used the term "occult science" as a synonym for magic.[22] Occult qualities Occult qualities are properties that have no known rational explanation; in the Middle Ages, for example, magnetism was considered an occult quality.[23][24] Aether is another such element.[25] Newton's contemporaries severely criticized his theory that gravity was effected through "action at a distance", as occult.[26] Occultism The French esotericist Éliphas Lévi popularised the term "occultism" in the 1850s. His reinterpretation of traditional esoteric ideas has led to him being called the origin of "the occultist current properly so-called".[13] In the English-speaking world, notable figures in the development of occultism included Helena Blavatsky and other figures associated with her Theosophical Society, senior figures in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn like William Wynn Westcott and Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers, as well as other individuals such as Paschal Beverly Randolph, Emma Hardinge Britten, Arthur Edward Waite, and – in the early twentieth century – Aleister Crowley, Dion Fortune, and Israel Regardie.[11] By the end of the nineteenth century, occultist ideas had also spread into other parts of Europe, such as the German Empire, Austria-Hungary, and the Kingdom of Italy.[27] Unlike older forms of esotericism, occultism does not necessarily reject "scientific progress or modernity".[28] Lévi had stressed the need to solve the conflict between science and religion, something that he believed could be achieved by turning to what he thought was the ancient wisdom found in magic.[29] The French scholar of Western esotericism Antoine Faivre noted that rather than outright accepting "the triumph of scientism", occultists sought "an alternative solution", trying to integrate "scientific progress or modernity" with "a global vision that will serve to make the vacuousness of materialism more apparent".[13] The Dutch scholar of hermeticism Wouter Hanegraaff remarked that occultism was "essentially an attempt to adapt esotericism" to the "disenchanted world", a post-Enlightenment society in which growing scientific discovery had eradicated the "dimension of irreducible mystery" previously present. In doing so, he noted, occultism distanced itself from the "traditional esotericism" which accepted the premise of an "enchanted" world.[30] According to the British historian of Western esotericism Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, occultist groups typically seek "proofs and demonstrations by recourse to scientific tests or terminology".[31] In his work about Lévi, the German historian of religion Julian Strube has argued that the occultist wish for a "synthesis" of religion, science, and philosophy directly resulted from the context of contemporary socialism and progressive Catholicism.[32] Similar to spiritualism, but in declared opposition to it, the emergence of occultism should thus be seen within the context of radical social reform, which was often concerned with establishing new forms of "scientific religion" while at the same time propagating the revival of an ancient tradition of "true religion".[33] Indeed, the emergence of both modern esotericism and socialism in July Monarchy France have been inherently intertwined.[34] Another feature of occultists is that – unlike earlier esotericists – they often openly distanced themselves from Christianity, in some cases (like that of Crowley) even adopting explicitly anti-Christian stances.[29] This reflected how pervasive the influence of secularisation had been on all areas of European society.[29] In rejecting Christianity, these occultists sometimes turned towards pre-Christian belief systems and embraced forms of Modern Paganism, while others instead took influence from the religions of Asia, such as Hinduism and Buddhism. In various cases, certain occultists did both.[29] Another characteristic of these occultists was the emphasis that they placed on "the spiritual realization of the individual", an idea that would strongly influence the twentieth-century New Age and Human Potential Movement.[29] This spiritual realization was encouraged both through traditional Western 'occult sciences' like alchemy and ceremonial magic, but by the start of the twentieth century had also begun to include practices drawn from non-Western contexts, such as yoga.[29] Although occultism is distinguished from earlier forms of esotericism, many occultists have also been involved in older esoteric currents. For instance, occultists like François-Charles Barlet and Rudolf Steiner were also theosophers,[a] adhering to the ideas of the early modern Lutheran thinker Jakob Bohme, and seeking to integrate ideas from Bohmian theosophy and occultism.[35] It has been noted, however, that this distancing from the Theosophical Society should be understood in the light of polemical identity formations amongst esotericists towards the end of the nineteenth century.[36] Etic uses of the term In the 1990s, the Dutch scholar Wouter Hanegraaff put forward a new definition of occultism for scholarly uses. See also: Emic and etic In the mid-1990s, a new definition of "occultism" was put forth by Wouter Hanegraaff.[37] According to Hanegraaff, the term occultism can be used not only for the nineteenth-century groups which openly self-described using that term but can also be used in reference to "the type of esotericism that they represent".[18] Seeking to define occultism so that the term would be suitable "as an etic category" for scholars, Hanegraaff devised the following definition: "a category in the study of religions, which comprises "all attempts by esotericists to come to terms with a disenchanted world or, alternatively, by people in general to make sense of esotericism from the perspective of a disenchanted secular world".[38] Hanegraaff noted that this etic usage of the term would be independent of emic usages of the term employed by occultists and other esotericists themselves.[38] In this definition, occultism covers many esoteric currents that have developed from the mid-nineteenth century onward, including Spiritualism, Theosophy, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and the New Age.[18] Employing this etic understanding of "occultism", Hanegraaff argued that its development could begin to be seen in the work of the Swedish esotericist Emanuel Swedenborg and in the Mesmerist movement of the eighteenth century, although added that occultism only emerged in "fully-developed form" as Spiritualism, a movement that developed in the United States during the mid-nineteenth century.[30] Marco Pasi suggested that the use of Hanegraaff's definition might cause confusion by presenting a group of nineteenth-century esotericists who called themselves "occultists" as just one part of a broader category of esotericists whom scholars would call "occultists".[39] Following these discussions, Julian Strube argued that Lévi and other contemporary authors who would now be regarded as esotericists developed their ideas not against the background of an esoteric tradition in the first place. Rather, Lévi's notion of occultism emerged in the context of highly influential radical socialist movements and widespread progressive, so-called neo-Catholic ideas.[40] This further complicates Hanegraaff's characteristics of occultism, since, throughout the nineteenth century, they apply to these reformist movements rather than to a supposed group of esotericists.[41] Modern usage The term occult has also been used as a substantivized adjective as "the occult", a term that has been particularly widely used among journalists and sociologists.[18] This term was popularised by the publication of Colin Wilson's 1971 book The Occult.[18] This term has been used as an "intellectual waste-basket" into which a wide array of beliefs and practices have been placed because they do not fit readily into the categories of religion or science.[18] According to Hanegraaff, "the occult" is a category into which gets placed a range of beliefs from "spirits or fairies to parapsychological experiments, from UFO-abductions to Oriental mysticism, from vampire legends to channelling, and so on".[18] Occulture The neologism occulture used within the industrial music scene of the late twentieth century was probably coined by one of its central figures, the musician and occultist Genesis P-Orridge.[42] The scholar of religion Christopher Partridge used the term in an academic sense, stating that occulture was "the new spiritual environment in the West; the reservoir feeding new spiritual springs; the soil in which new spiritualities are growing".[43] Occultism and technology Recently scholars have offered perspectives on the occult as intertwined with media and technology. Examples include the work of film and media theorist Jeffrey Sconce and religious studies scholar John Durham Peters, both of whom suggest that occult movements historically utilize media and apparati as tools to reveal hidden aspects of reality or laws of nature.[44][45] Erik Davis in his book Techgnosis gives an overview of occultism both ancient and modern from the perspective of cybernetics and information technologies.[46] Philosopher Eugene Thacker discusses Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa's Three Books of Occult Philosophy in his book In The Dust Of This Planet, where he shows how the horror genre utilizes occult themes to reveal hidden realities." ( "Halloween is a celebration observed on October 31, the day before the feast of All Hallows, also known as Hallowmas or All Saint's Day. The celebrations and observances of this day occur primarily in regions of the Western world, albeit with some traditions varying significantly between geographical areas. Origins Halloween is the eve of vigil before the Western Christian feast of All Hallows (or All Saints) which is observed on November 1. This day begins the triduum of Hallowtide, which culminates with All Souls' Day. In the Middle Ages, many Christians held a folk belief that All Hallows' Eve was the "night where the veil between the material world and the afterlife was at its most transparent".[2] Americas Canada Scottish emigration, primarily to Canada before 1870 and to the United States thereafter, brought the Scottish version of the holiday to each country. The earliest known reference to ritual begging on Halloween in English speaking North America occurs in 1911 when a newspaper in Kingston, Ontario reported that it was normal for the smaller children to go street "guising" on Halloween between 6 and 7 p.m., visiting shops, and neighbours to be rewarded with nuts and candies for their rhymes and songs.[3] Canadians spend more on candy at Halloween than at any time apart from Christmas. Halloween is also a time for charitable contributions. Until 2006 when UNICEF moved to an online donation system, collecting small change was very much a part of Canadian trick-or-treating.[4] Quebec offers themed tours of parts of the old city and historic cemeteries in the area.[5] In 2014 the hamlet of Arviat, Nunavut moved their Halloween festivities to the community hall, cancelling the practice of door-to-door "trick or treating", due to the risk of roaming polar bears.[6][7] In British Columbia it is a tradition to set off fireworks at Halloween.[8] United States Children in Halloween costumes at High Point, Seattle, 1943 In the United States, Halloween did not become a holiday until the 19th century. The transatlantic migration of nearly two million Irish following the Great Irish Famine (1845–1849) brought the holiday to the United States. American librarian and author Ruth Edna Kelley wrote the first book length history of the holiday in the U.S., The Book of Hallowe'en (1919), and references souling in the chapter "Hallowe'en in America": "All Hallowe'en customs in the United States are borrowed directly or adapted from those of other countries. The taste in Hallowe'en festivities now is to study old traditions, and hold a Scotch party, using Robert Burns's poem Halloween as a guide; or to go a-souling as the English used. In short, no custom that was once honored at Hallowe'en is out of fashion now."[9] The main event for children of modern Halloween in the United States and Canada is trick-or-treating, in which children, teenagers, (sometimes) young adults, and parents (accompanying their children) disguise themselves in costumes and go door-to-door in their neighborhoods, ringing each doorbell and yelling "Trick or treat!" to solicit a gift of candy or similar items.[10] Teenagers and adults will more frequently attend Halloween-themed costume parties typically hosted by friends or themed events at nightclubs either on Halloween itself or a weekend close to the holiday. At the turn of the 20th century, Halloween had turned into a night of vandalism, with destruction of property and cruelty to animals and people.[11] Around 1912, the Boy Scouts, Boys Clubs, and other neighborhood organizations came together to encourage a safe celebration that would end the destruction that had become so common on this night. The commercialization of Halloween in the United States did not start until the 20th century, beginning perhaps with Halloween postcards (featuring hundreds of designs), which were most popular between 1905 and 1915.[12] Dennison Manufacturing Company (which published its first Halloween catalog in 1909) and the Beistle Company were pioneers in commercially made Halloween decorations, particularly die-cut paper items.[13][14] German manufacturers specialised in Halloween figurines that were exported to the United States in the period between the two World Wars. Halloween is now the United States' second most popular holiday (after Christmas) for decorating; the sale of candy and costumes is also extremely common during the holiday, which is marketed to children and adults alike. The National Confectioners Association (NCA) reported in 2005 that 80% of American adults planned to give out candy to trick-or-treaters.[15] The NCA reported in 2005 that 93% of children planned to go trick-or-treating.[16] According to the National Retail Federation, the most popular Halloween costume themes for adults are, in order: witch, pirate, vampire, cat, and clown.[17][when?] Each year, popular costumes are dictated by various current events and pop culture icons. On many college campuses, Halloween is a major celebration, with the Friday and Saturday nearest 31 October hosting many costume parties. Other popular activities are watching horror movies and visiting haunted houses. Total spending on Halloween is estimated to be $8.4 billion.[18] Events Four contestants in the Halloween Slick Chick beauty contest in Anaheim, California, 1947 Many theme parks stage Halloween events annually, such as Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando, Mickey's Halloween Party and Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Disneyland Resort and Magic Kingdom respectively, and Knott's Scary Farm at Knott's Berry Farm. One of the more notable parades is New York's Village Halloween Parade. Each year approximately 50,000 costumed marchers parade up Sixth Avenue.[19] Salem, Massachusetts, site of the Salem witch trials, celebrates Halloween throughout the month of October with tours, plays, concerts, and other activities.[20] A number of venues in New York's lower Hudson Valley host various events to showcase a connection with Washington Irving's Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Van Cortlandt Manor stages the "Great Jack o' Lantern Blaze" featuring thousands of lighted carved pumpkins.[21] Some locales have had to modify their celebrations due to disruptive behavior on the part of young adults. Madison, Wisconsin hosts an annual Halloween celebration. In 2002, due to the large crowds in the State Street area, a riot broke out, necessitating the use of mounted police and tear gas to disperse the crowds.[22] Likewise, Chapel Hill, site of the University of North Carolina, has a downtown street party which in 2007 drew a crowd estimated at 80,000 on downtown Franklin Street, in a town with a population of just 54,000. In 2008, in an effort to curb the influx of out-of-towners, mayor Kevin Foy put measures in place to make commuting downtown more difficult on Halloween.[23] In 2014, large crowds of college students rioted at the Keene, New Hampshire Pumpkin Fest, whereupon the City Council voted not to grant a permit for the following year's festival,[24] and organizers moved the event to Laconia for 2015.[25] Brazil Main article: Saci Day The Brazilian non-governmental organization named Amigos do Saci created Saci Day as a Brazilian parallel in opposition to the "American-influenced" holiday of Halloween that saw minor celebration in Brazil. The Saci is a mischievous evil character in Brazilian folkore. Saci Day is commemorated on October 31st, the same day as Halloween, and is an official holiday in the state of São Paulo. Despite official recognition in Sao Paulo and several other municipalities throughout the country, few Brazilians celebrate it.[26][27] Dominican Republic In the Dominican Republic it has been gaining popularity, largely due to many Dominicans living in the United States and then bringing the custom to the island. In the larger cities of Santiago or Santo Domingo it has become more common to see children trick-or-treating, but in smaller towns and villages it is almost entirely absent, partly due to religious opposition. Tourist areas such as Sosua and Punta Cana feature many venues with Halloween celebrations, predominantly geared towards adults.[28] Mexico (Día de Muertos) Mexican tomb on the Day of the Dead, adorned with the cempasúchil, the holiday's traditional flower, and a Halloween ghost balloon, at the historic cemetery of San Luis Potosí City Observed in Mexico and Mexican communities abroad, Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de Muertos) celebrations arose from the syncretism of indigenous Aztec traditions with the Christian Hallowtide of the Spanish colonizers. Flower decorations, altars and candies are part of this holiday season. The holiday is distinct from Halloween in its origins and observances, but the two have become associated because of cross-border connections between Mexico and the United States through popular culture and migration, as the two celebrations occur at the same time of year and may involve similar imagery, such as skeletons. Halloween and Día de Muertos have influenced each other in some areas of the United States and Mexico, with Halloween traditions such as costumes and face-painting becoming increasingly common features of the Mexican festival.[29][30] Asia China The Chinese celebrate the "Hungry Ghost Festival" in mid-July, when it is customary to float river lanterns to remember those who have died. By contrast, Halloween is often called "All Saints' Festival" (Wànshèngjié, 萬聖節), or (less commonly) "All Saints' Eve" (Wànshèngyè, 萬聖夜) or "Eve of All Saints' Day" (Wànshèngjié Qiányè, 萬聖節前夕), stemming from the term "All Hallows Eve" (hallow referring to the souls of holy saints). Chinese Christian churches hold religious celebrations. Non-religious celebrations are dominated by expatriate Americans or Canadians, but costume parties are also popular for Chinese young adults, especially in large cities. Hong Kong Disneyland and Ocean Park (Halloween Bash) host annual Halloween shows. Mainland China has been less influenced by Anglo traditions than Hong Kong and Halloween is generally considered "foreign". As Halloween has become more popular globally it has also become more popular in China, however, particularly amongst children attending private or international schools with many foreign teachers from North America.[31] Hong Kong Traditional "door-to-door" trick or treating is not commonly practiced in Hong Kong due to the vast majority of Hong Kong residents living in high-rise apartment blocks. However, in many buildings catering to expatriates, Halloween parties and limited trick or treating is arranged by the management. Instances of street-level trick or treating in Hong Kong occur in ultra-exclusive gated housing communities such as The Beverly Hills populated by Hong Kong's super-rich and in expatriate areas like Discovery Bay and the Red Hill Peninsula. For the general public, there are events at Tsim Sha Tsui's Avenue of the Stars that try to mimic the celebration.[32] In the Lan Kwai Fong area of Hong Kong, known as a major entertainment district for the international community, a Halloween celebration and parade has taken place for over 20 years, with many people dressing in costume and making their way around the streets to various drinking establishments.[33] Many international schools also celebrate Halloween with costumes, and some put an academic twist on the celebrations such as the "Book-o-ween" celebrations at Hong Kong International School where students dress as favorite literary characters. Japan A Halloween display in a local bank window, in Saitama, Japan Halloween arrived in Japan mainly as a result of American pop culture. In 2009 it was celebrated only by expats.[34] The wearing of elaborate costumes by young adults at night has since become popular in areas such as Amerikamura in Osaka and Shibuya in Tokyo, where, in October 2012, about 1700 people dressed in costumes to take part in the Halloween Festival.[35] Celebrations have become popular with young adults as a costume party and club event.[36] Trick-or-treating for Japanese children has taken hold in some areas. By the mid-2010s, Yakuza were giving snacks and sweets to children.[37] Philippines The period from 31 October through 2 November is a time for remembering dead family members and friends. Many Filipinos travel back to their hometowns for family gatherings of festive remembrance.[38] Trick-or-treating is gradually replacing the dying tradition of Pangangaluluwâ, a local analogue of the old English custom of souling. People in the provinces still observe Pangangaluluwâ by going in groups to every house and offering a song in exchange for money or food. The participants, usually children, would sing carols about the souls in Purgatory, with the abúloy (alms for the dead) used to pay for Masses for these souls. Along with the requested alms, householders sometimes gave the children suman (rice cakes). During the night, various small items, such as clothing, plants, etc., would "mysteriously" disappear, only to be discovered the next morning in the yard or in the middle of the street. In older times, it was believed that the spirits of ancestors and loved ones visited the living on this night, manifesting their presence by taking an item.[39] As the observation of Christmas traditions in the Philippines begins as early as September, it is a common sight to see Halloween decorations next to Christmas decorations in urban settings.[citation needed] Saudi Arabia Starting 2022, Saudi Arabia began to celebrate Halloween in the public in Riyadh under its Saudi Vision 2030.[40] Singapore Around mid-July Singapore Chinese celebrate "Zhong Yuan Jie / Yu Lan Jie" (Hungry Ghosts Festival), a time when it is believed that the spirits of the dead come back to visit their families.[41] In recent years, Halloween celebrations are becoming more popular, with influence from the west.[42] In 2012, there were over 19 major Halloween celebration events around Singapore.[43] SCAPE's Museum of Horrors held its fourth scare fest in 2014.[44] Universal Studios Singapore hosts "Halloween Horror Nights".[45] South Korea The popularity of the holiday among young people in South Korea comes from English academies and corporate marketing strategies, and was influenced by Halloween celebrations in Japan and America.[46] Despite not being a public holiday, it is celebrated in different areas around Seoul, especially Itaewon and Hondae.[47] Taiwan Children dressed up in Halloween costume in Songshan District, Taipei, Taiwan Traditionally, Taiwanese people celebrate "Zhong Yuan Pudu Festival", where spirits that do not have any surviving family members to pay respects to them, are able to roam the Earth during the seventh lunar month. It is known as Ghost Month.[48] While some have compared it to Halloween, it has no relations and the overall meaning is different. In recent years, mainly as a result of American pop culture, Halloween is becoming more widespread amongst young Taiwanese people. Halloween events are held in many areas across Taipei, such as Xinyi Special District and Shilin District where there are many international schools and expats.[49] Halloween parties are celebrated differently based on different age groups. One of the most popular Halloween event is the Tianmu Halloween Festival, which started in 2009 and is organised by the Taipei City Office of Commerce.[50] The 2-day annual festivity has attracted more than 240,000 visitors in 2019. During this festival, stores and businesses in Tianmu place pumpkin lanterns outside their stores to identify themselves as trick-or-treat destinations for children.[51] Australia and New Zealand Halloween display in Sydney, Australia Non-religious celebrations of Halloween modelled on North American festivities are growing increasingly popular in Australia despite not being traditionally part of the culture.[52] Some Australians criticise this intrusion into their culture.[53][54] Many dislike the commercialisation and American pop-culture influence.[54][55] Some supporters of the event place it alongside other cultural traditions such as Saint Patrick's Day.[56] Halloween historian and author of Halloween: Pagan Festival to Trick or Treat, Mark Oxbrow says while Halloween may have been popularised by depictions of it in US movies and TV shows, it is not a new entry into Australian culture.[57] His research shows Halloween was first celebrated in Australia in Castlemaine, Victoria, in 1858, which was 43 years before Federation. His research shows Halloween traditions were brought to the country by Scottish and Irish miners who settled in Victoria during the Gold Rush. Because of the polarised opinions about Halloween, growing numbers of people are decorating their letter boxes to indicate that children are welcome to come knocking. In the past decade, the popularity of Halloween in Australia has grown.[58] In 2020, the first magazine dedicated solely to celebrating Halloween in Australia was launched, called Hallozween,[59] and in 2021, sales of costumes, decorations and carving pumpkins soared to an all-time high[60] despite the effect of the global COVID-19 pandemic limiting celebrations. In New Zealand, Halloween is not celebrated to the same extent as in North America, although in recent years non-religious celebrations have become more common.[61][62] Trick-or-treat has become increasingly popular with minors in New Zealand, despite being not a "British or Kiwi event" and the influence of American globalisation.[63] One criticism of Halloween in New Zealand is that it is overly commercialised - by The Warehouse, for example.[63] Europe A jack-o'-lantern in Finland Over the years, Halloween has become more popular in Europe and has been partially ousting some older customs like the Rübengeistern [de] (English: turnip ghosts, beet spirit), Martinisingen, and others.[64] France Halloween was introduced to most of France in the 1990s.[65] In Brittany, Halloween had been celebrated for centuries and is known as Kalan Goañv (Night of Spirits). During this time, it is believed that the spirits of the dead return to the world of the living lead by the Ankou, the collector of souls.[66] Also during this time, Bretons bake Kornigou, a pastry shaped like the antlers of a stag.[citation needed] Germany "Don't drink and fly" Halloween decoration in Germany Halloween was not generally observed in Germany prior to the 1990s, but has been increasing in popularity. It has been associated with the influence of United States culture, and "Trick or Treating" (German: Süßes sonst gibt's Saures) has been occurring in various German cities, especially in areas such as the Dahlem neighborhood in Berlin, which was part of the American zone during the Cold War. Today, Halloween in Germany brings in 200 million euros a year, through multiple industries.[67] Halloween is celebrated by both children and adults. Adults celebrate at themed costume parties and clubs, while children go trick or treating. Complaints of vandalism associated with Halloween "Tricks" are increasing, particularly from many elderly Germans unfamiliar with "Trick or Treating".[68] Greece In Greece, Halloween is not celebrated widely and it is a working day, with little public interest, since the early 2000s. Recently, it has somewhat increased in popularity as both a secular celebration; although Carnival is vastly more popular among Greeks. For very few, Halloween is[when?] considered the fourth most popular festival in the country after Christmas, Easter, and Carnival. Retail businesses, bars, nightclubs, and certain theme parks might organize Halloween parties. This boost in popularity has been attributed to the influence of western consumerism. Since it is a working day, Halloween is not celebrated on 31 October unless the date falls on a weekend, in which case it is celebrated by some during the last weekend before All Hallow's Eve, usually in the form of themed house parties and retail business decorations. Trick-or-treating is not widely popular because similar activities are already undertaken during Carnival. The slight rise in popularity of Halloween in Greece has led to some increase in its popularity throughout nearby countries in the Balkans and Cyprus. In the latter, there has been an increase in Greek-Cypriot retailers selling Halloween merchandise every year.[69] Ireland A plaster cast of a traditional Irish Halloween turnip (rutabaga) lantern on display in the Museum of Country Life, Ireland[70] On Halloween night, adults and children dress up as various monsters and creatures, light bonfires, and enjoy fireworks displays; Derry in Northern Ireland is home to the largest organized Halloween celebration on the island, in the form of a street carnival and fireworks display.[71] Snap-Apple Night, painted by Daniel Maclise in 1833, depicts apple bobbing and divination games at a Halloween party in Ireland Games are often played, such as bobbing for apples, in which apples, peanuts, other nuts and fruits, and some small coins are placed in a basin of water.[72] Everyone takes turns catching as many items possible using only their mouths. Another common game involves the hands-free eating of an apple hung on a string attached to the ceiling. Games of divination are also played at Halloween.[73] Colcannon is traditionally served on Halloween.[72] 31 October is the busiest day of the year for the Emergency Services.[74] Bangers and fireworks are illegal in the Republic of Ireland; however, they are commonly smuggled in from Northern Ireland where they are legal.[75] Bonfires are frequently built around Halloween.[76] Trick-or-treating is popular amongst children on 31 October and Halloween parties and events are commonplace. Italy A carved pumpkin in Sardinia In Italy, All Saints' Day is a public holiday. On 2 November, Tutti i Morti or All Souls' Day, families remember loved ones who have died. These are still the main holidays.[77] In some Italian tradition, children would awake on the morning of All Saints or All Souls to find small gifts from their deceased ancestors. In Sardinia, Concas de Mortu (Head of the deads), carved pumpkins that look like skulls, with candles inside are displayed.[78][79][80] Halloween is, however, gaining in popularity, and involves costume parties for young adults.[81] The traditions to carve pumpkins in a skull figure, lighting candles inside, or to beg for small gifts for the deads e.g. sweets or nuts, also belong to North Italy.[82] In Veneto these carved pumpkins were called lumère (lanterns) or suche dei morti (deads' pumpkins).[83] Poland Since the fall of Communism in 1989, Halloween has become increasingly popular in Poland. Particularly, it is celebrated among younger people. The influx of Western tourists and expats throughout the 1990s introduced the costume party aspect of Hallowe'en celebrations, particularly in clubs and at private house parties. Door-to-door trick or treating is not common. Pumpkin carving is becoming more evident, following a strong North American version of the tradition. Romania Romanians observe the Feast of St. Andrew, patron saint of Romania, on 30 November. On St. Andrew's Eve ghosts are said to be about. A number of customs related to divination, in other places connected to Halloween, are associated with this night.[84] However, with the popularity of Dracula in western Europe, around Halloween the Romanian tourist industry promotes trips to locations connected to the historical Vlad Tepeș and the more fanciful Dracula of Bram Stoker. One of the most successful Halloween Parties in Transylvania takes place in Sighișoara, the citadel where Vlad the Impaler was born. This party include magician shows, ballet show and The Ritual Killing of a Living Dead[85] The biggest Halloween party in Transylvania take place at Bran Castle, aka Dracula's Castle from Transylvania.[86] Both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches in Romania discourage Halloween celebrations, advising their parishioners to focus rather on the "Day of the Dead" on 1 November, when special religious observances are held for the souls of the deceased.[87] Opposition by religious and nationalist groups, including calls to ban costumes and decorations in schools in 2015, have been met with criticism.[88][89][90] Halloween parties are popular in bars and nightclubs.[91] Russia In Russia, most Christians are Orthodox, and in the Orthodox Church, Halloween is on the Saturday after Pentecost, and therefore 4 to 5 months before western Halloween. Celebration of western Halloween began in the 1990s around the downfall of the Soviet regime, when costume and ghoulish parties spread in night clubs throughout Russia. Halloween is generally celebrated by younger generations and is not widely celebrated in civic society (e.g. theaters or libraries). In fact, Halloween is among the Western celebrations that the Russian government and politicians—which have grown increasingly anti-Western in the early 2010s—are trying to eliminate from public celebration.[92][93][94] Spain In Spain, celebrations involve eating castanyes (roasted chestnuts), panellets (special almond balls covered in pine nuts), moniatos (roast or baked sweet potato), Ossos de Sant cake and preserved fruit (candied or glazed fruit). Moscatell (Muscat) is drunk from porrons.[95] Around the time of this celebration, it is common for street vendors to sell hot toasted chestnuts wrapped in newspaper. In many places, confectioners often organise raffles of chestnuts and preserved fruit. The tradition of eating these foods comes from the fact that during All Saints' night, on the eve of All Souls' Day in the Christian tradition, bell ringers would ring bells in commemoration of the dead into the early morning. Friends and relatives would help with this task, and everyone would eat these foods for sustenance.[96] Other versions of the story state that the Castanyada originates at the end of the 18th century and comes from the old funeral meals, where other foods, such as vegetables and dried fruit were not served. The meal had the symbolic significance of a communion with the souls of the departed: while the chestnuts were roasting, prayers would be said for the person who had just died.[97] The festival is usually depicted with the figure of a castanyera: an old lady, dressed in peasant's clothing and wearing a headscarf, sitting behind a table, roasting chestnuts for street sale. In recent years, the Castanyada has become a revetlla of All Saints and is celebrated in the home and community. It is the first of the four main school festivals, alongside Christmas, Carnestoltes and St George's Day, without reference to ritual or commemoration of the dead.[98] Galicia is known two have the second largest Halloween or Samain festivals in Europe and during this time, a drink called Queimada is often served. Sweden On All Hallow's Eve, a Requiem Mass is widely attended every year at Uppsala Cathedral, part of the Lutheran Church of Sweden.[99] Throughout the period of Allhallowtide, starting with All Hallow's Eve, Swedish families visit churchyards and adorn the graves of their family members with lit candles and wreaths fashioned from pine branches.[99] Among children, the practice of dressing in costume and collecting candy gained popularity beginning around 2005.[100] The American traditions of Halloween have however been met with skepticism among the older generations, in part due to conflicting with the Swedish traditions on All Hallow's Eve and in part due to their commercialism.[101] Switzerland In Switzerland, Halloween, after first becoming popular in 1999, is on the wane, and is most popular with young adults who attend parties. Switzerland already has a "festival overload" and even though Swiss people like to dress up for any occasion, they do prefer a traditional element, such as in the Fasnacht tradition of chasing away winter using noise and masks.[102][103] United Kingdom and Crown dependencies England See also: Mischief Night See also: Allantide In the past, on All Souls' Eve families would stay up late, and little "soul cakes" were eaten. At the stroke of midnight, there was solemn silence among households, which had candles burning in every room to guide the souls back to visit their earthly homes and a glass of wine on the table to refresh them. The tradition of giving soul cakes that originated in Great Britain and Ireland was known as souling, often seen as the origin of modern trick or treating in North America, and souling continued in parts of England as late as the 1930s, with children going from door to door singing songs and saying prayers for the dead in return for cakes or money.[104] Trick or treating and other Halloween celebrations are extremely popular, with shops decorated with witches and pumpkins, and young people attending costume parties.[105] Scotland The name Halloween is first attested in the 16th century as a Scottish shortening of the fuller All-Hallow-Even, that is, the night before All Hallows' Day.[106] Dumfries poet John Mayne's 1780 poem made note of pranks at Halloween "What fearfu' pranks ensue!". Scottish poet Robert Burns was influenced by Mayne's composition, and portrayed some of the customs in his poem Halloween (1785).[107] According to Burns, Halloween is "thought to be a night when witches, devils, and other mischief-making beings are all abroad on their baneful midnight errands".[108] Among the earliest record of Guising at Halloween in Scotland is in 1895, where masqueraders in disguise carrying lanterns made out of scooped out turnips, visit homes to be rewarded with cakes, fruit and money.[109] If children approached the door of a house, they were given offerings of food. The children's practice of "guising", going from door to door in costumes for food or coins, is a traditional Halloween custom in Scotland.[3] These days children who knock on their neighbours doors have to sing a song or tell stories for a gift of sweets or money.[110] A traditional Halloween game includes apple "dooking",[111] or "dunking" or (i.e., retrieving one from a bucket of water using only one's mouth), and attempting to eat, while blindfolded, a treacle/jam-coated scone hanging on a piece of string. Traditional customs and lore include divination practices, ways of trying to predict the future. A traditional Scottish form of divining one's future spouse is to carve an apple in one long strip, then toss the peel over one's shoulder. The peel is believed to land in the shape of the first letter of the future spouse's name.[112] In Kilmarnock, Halloween is also celebrated on the last Friday of the month, and is known colloquially as "Killieween".[113] Isle of Man See also: Hop-tu-Naa Halloween is a popular traditional occasion on the Isle of Man, where it is known as Hop-tu-Naa. Elsewhere The children of the largest town in Bonaire gather together on Halloween day. Saint Helena In Saint Helena, Halloween is actively celebrated, largely along the American model, with ghosts, skeletons, devils, vampires, witches and the like. Imitation pumpkins are used instead of real pumpkins because the pumpkin harvesting season in Saint Helena's hemisphere is not near Halloween. Trick-or-treating is widespread. Party venues provide entertainment for adults." ( "Halloween or Hallowe'en (less commonly known as Allhalloween,[5] All Hallows' Eve,[6] or All Saints' Eve)[7] is a celebration observed in many countries on 31 October, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Saints' Day. It begins the observance of Allhallowtide,[8] the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed.[9][10][11][12] One theory holds that many Halloween traditions were influenced by Celtic harvest festivals, particularly the Gaelic festival Samhain, which are believed to have pagan roots.[13][14][15][16] Some go further and suggest that Samhain may have been Christianized as All Hallow's Day, along with its eve, by the early Church.[17] Other academics believe Halloween began solely as a Christian holiday, being the vigil of All Hallow's Day.[18][19][20][21] Celebrated in Ireland and Scotland for centuries, Irish and Scottish immigrants took many Halloween customs to North America in the 19th century,[22][23] and then through American influence Halloween had spread to other countries by the late 20th and early 21st century.[24][25] Popular Halloween activities include trick-or-treating (or the related guising and souling), attending Halloween costume parties, carving pumpkins or turnips into jack-o'-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, divination games, playing pranks, visiting haunted attractions, telling scary stories, and watching horror or Halloween-themed films.[26] Some people practice the Christian religious observances of All Hallows' Eve, including attending church services and lighting candles on the graves of the dead,[27][28][29] although it is a secular celebration for others.[30][31][32] Some Christians historically abstained from meat on All Hallows' Eve, a tradition reflected in the eating of certain vegetarian foods on this vigil day, including apples, potato pancakes, and soul cakes.[33][34][35][36] Etymology "Halloween" (1785) by Scottish poet Robert Burns, recounts various legends of the holiday. The word Halloween or Hallowe'en ("Saints' evening"[37]) is of Christian origin;[38][39] a term equivalent to "All Hallows Eve" is attested in Old English.[40] The word hallowe[']en comes from the Scottish form of All Hallows' Eve (the evening before All Hallows' Day):[41] even is the Scots term for "eve" or "evening",[42] and is contracted to e'en or een;[43] (All) Hallow(s) E(v)en became Hallowe'en. History Christian origins and historic customs Halloween is thought to have influences from Christian beliefs and practices.[44][45] The English word 'Halloween' comes from "All Hallows' Eve", being the evening before the Christian holy days of All Hallows' Day (All Saints' Day) on 1 November and All Souls' Day on 2 November.[46] Since the time of the early Church,[47] major feasts in Christianity (such as Christmas, Easter and Pentecost) had vigils that began the night before, as did the feast of All Hallows'.[48][44] These three days are collectively called Allhallowtide and are a time when Western Christians honour all saints and pray for recently departed souls who have yet to reach Heaven. Commemorations of all saints and martyrs were held by several churches on various dates, mostly in springtime.[49] In 4th-century Roman Edessa it was held on 13 May, and on 13 May 609, Pope Boniface IV re-dedicated the Pantheon in Rome to "St Mary and all martyrs".[50] This was the date of Lemuria, an ancient Roman festival of the dead.[51] In the 8th century, Pope Gregory III (731–741) founded an oratory in St Peter's for the relics "of the holy apostles and of all saints, martyrs and confessors".[44][52] Some sources say it was dedicated on 1 November,[53] while others say it was on Palm Sunday in April 732.[54][55] By 800, there is evidence that churches in Ireland[56] and Northumbria were holding a feast commemorating all saints on 1 November.[57] Alcuin of Northumbria, a member of Charlemagne's court, may then have introduced this 1 November date in the Frankish Empire.[58] In 835, it became the official date in the Frankish Empire.[57] Some suggest this was due to Celtic influence, while others suggest it was a Germanic idea,[57] although it is claimed that both Germanic and Celtic-speaking peoples commemorated the dead at the beginning of winter.[59] They may have seen it as the most fitting time to do so, as it is a time of 'dying' in nature.[57][59] It is also suggested the change was made on the "practical grounds that Rome in summer could not accommodate the great number of pilgrims who flocked to it", and perhaps because of public health concerns over Roman Fever, which claimed a number of lives during Rome's sultry summers.[60][44] On All Hallows' Eve, Christians in some parts of the world visit cemeteries to pray and place flowers and candles on the graves of their loved ones.[61] Top: Christians in Bangladesh lighting candles on the headstone of a relative. Bottom: Lutheran Christians praying and lighting candles in front of the central crucifix of a graveyard. By the end of the 12th century, the celebration had become known as the holy days of obligation in Western Christianity and involved such traditions as ringing church bells for souls in purgatory. It was also "customary for criers dressed in black to parade the streets, ringing a bell of mournful sound and calling on all good Christians to remember the poor souls".[62] The Allhallowtide custom of baking and sharing soul cakes for all christened souls,[63] has been suggested as the origin of trick-or-treating.[64] The custom dates back at least as far as the 15th century[65] and was found in parts of England, Wales, Flanders, Bavaria and Austria.[66] Groups of poor people, often children, would go door-to-door during Allhallowtide, collecting soul cakes, in exchange for praying for the dead, especially the souls of the givers' friends and relatives. This was called "souling".[65][67][68] Soul cakes were also offered for the souls themselves to eat,[66] or the 'soulers' would act as their representatives.[69] As with the Lenten tradition of hot cross buns, soul cakes were often marked with a cross, indicating they were baked as alms.[70] Shakespeare mentions souling in his comedy The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1593).[71] While souling, Christians would carry "lanterns made of hollowed-out turnips", which could have originally represented souls of the dead;[72][73] jack-o'-lanterns were used to ward off evil spirits.[74][75] On All Saints' and All Souls' Day during the 19th century, candles were lit in homes in Ireland,[76] Flanders, Bavaria, and in Tyrol, where they were called "soul lights",[77] that served "to guide the souls back to visit their earthly homes".[78] In many of these places, candles were also lit at graves on All Souls' Day.[77] In Brittany, libations of milk were poured on the graves of kinfolk,[66] or food would be left overnight on the dinner table for the returning souls;[77] a custom also found in Tyrol and parts of Italy.[79][77] Christian minister Prince Sorie Conteh linked the wearing of costumes to the belief in vengeful ghosts: "It was traditionally believed that the souls of the departed wandered the earth until All Saints' Day, and All Hallows' Eve provided one last chance for the dead to gain vengeance on their enemies before moving to the next world. In order to avoid being recognized by any soul that might be seeking such vengeance, people would don masks or costumes".[80] In the Middle Ages, churches in Europe that were too poor to display relics of martyred saints at Allhallowtide let parishioners dress up as saints instead.[81][82] Some Christians observe this custom at Halloween today.[83] Lesley Bannatyne believes this could have been a Christianization of an earlier pagan custom.[84] Many Christians in mainland Europe, especially in France, believed "that once a year, on Hallowe'en, the dead of the churchyards rose for one wild, hideous carnival" known as the danse macabre, which was often depicted in church decoration.[85] Christopher Allmand and Rosamond McKitterick write in The New Cambridge Medieval History that the danse macabre urged Christians "not to forget the end of all earthly things".[86] The danse macabre was sometimes enacted in European village pageants and court masques, with people "dressing up as corpses from various strata of society", and this may be the origin of Halloween costume parties.[87][88][89][72] In Britain, these customs came under attack during the Reformation, as Protestants berated purgatory as a "popish" doctrine incompatible with the Calvinist doctrine of predestination. State-sanctioned ceremonies associated with the intercession of saints and prayer for souls in purgatory were abolished during the Elizabethan reform, though All Hallow's Day remained in the English liturgical calendar to "commemorate saints as godly human beings".[90] For some Nonconformist Protestants, the theology of All Hallows' Eve was redefined; "souls cannot be journeying from Purgatory on their way to Heaven, as Catholics frequently believe and assert. Instead, the so-called ghosts are thought to be in actuality evil spirits".[91] Other Protestants believed in an intermediate state known as Hades (Bosom of Abraham).[92] In some localities, Catholics and Protestants continued souling, candlelit processions, or ringing church bells for the dead;[46][93] the Anglican church eventually suppressed this bell-ringing.[94] Mark Donnelly, a professor of medieval archaeology, and historian Daniel Diehl write that "barns and homes were blessed to protect people and livestock from the effect of witches, who were believed to accompany the malignant spirits as they traveled the earth".[95] After 1605, Hallowtide was eclipsed in England by Guy Fawkes Night (5 November), which appropriated some of its customs.[96] In England, the ending of official ceremonies related to the intercession of saints led to the development of new, unofficial Hallowtide customs. In 18th–19th century rural Lancashire, Catholic families gathered on hills on the night of All Hallows' Eve. One held a bunch of burning straw on a pitchfork while the rest knelt around him, praying for the souls of relatives and friends until the flames went out. This was known as teen'lay.[97] There was a similar custom in Hertfordshire, and the lighting of 'tindle' fires in Derbyshire.[98] Some suggested these 'tindles' were originally lit to "guide the poor souls back to earth".[99] In Scotland and Ireland, old Allhallowtide customs that were at odds with Reformed teaching were not suppressed as they "were important to the life cycle and rites of passage of local communities" and curbing them would have been difficult.[22] In parts of Italy until the 15th century, families left a meal out for the ghosts of relatives, before leaving for church services.[79] In 19th-century Italy, churches staged "theatrical re-enactments of scenes from the lives of the saints" on All Hallow's Day, with "participants represented by realistic wax figures".[79] In 1823, the graveyard of Holy Spirit Hospital in Rome presented a scene in which bodies of those who recently died were arrayed around a wax statue of an angel who pointed upward towards heaven.[79] In the same country, "parish priests went house-to-house, asking for small gifts of food which they shared among themselves throughout that night".[79] In Spain, they continue to bake special pastries called "bones of the holy" (Spanish: Huesos de Santo) and set them on graves.[100] At cemeteries in Spain and France, as well as in Latin America, priests lead Christian processions and services during Allhallowtide, after which people keep an all night vigil.[101] In 19th-century San Sebastián, there was a procession to the city cemetery at Allhallowtide, an event that drew beggars who "appeal[ed] to the tender recollectons of one's deceased relations and friends" for sympathy.[102] Gaelic folk influence An early 20th-century Irish Halloween mask displayed at the Museum of Country Life Today's Halloween customs are thought to have been influenced by folk customs and beliefs from the Celtic-speaking countries, some of which are believed to have pagan roots.[103] Jack Santino, a folklorist, writes that "there was throughout Ireland an uneasy truce existing between customs and beliefs associated with Christianity and those associated with religions that were Irish before Christianity arrived".[104] The origins of Halloween customs are typically linked to the Gaelic festival Samhain.[105] Samhain is one of the quarter days in the medieval Gaelic calendar and has been celebrated on 31 October – 1 November[106] in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man.[107][108] A kindred festival has been held by the Brittonic Celts, called Calan Gaeaf in Wales, Kalan Gwav in Cornwall and Kalan Goañv in Brittany; a name meaning "first day of winter". For the Celts, the day ended and began at sunset; thus the festival begins the evening before 1 November by modern reckoning.[109] Samhain is mentioned in some of the earliest Irish literature. The names have been used by historians to refer to Celtic Halloween customs up until the 19th century,[110] and are still the Gaelic and Welsh names for Halloween. Snap-Apple Night, painted by Daniel Maclise in 1833, shows people feasting and playing divination games on Halloween in Ireland.[111] Samhain marked the end of the harvest season and beginning of winter or the 'darker half' of the year.[112][113] It was seen as a liminal time, when the boundary between this world and the Otherworld thinned. This meant the Aos Sí, the 'spirits' or 'fairies', could more easily come into this world and were particularly active.[114][115] Most scholars see them as "degraded versions of ancient gods [...] whose power remained active in the people's minds even after they had been officially replaced by later religious beliefs".[116] They were both respected and feared, with individuals often invoking the protection of God when approaching their dwellings.[117][118] At Samhain, the Aos Sí were appeased to ensure the people and livestock survived the winter. Offerings of food and drink, or portions of the crops, were left outside for them.[119][120][121] The souls of the dead were also said to revisit their homes seeking hospitality.[122] Places were set at the dinner table and by the fire to welcome them.[123] The belief that the souls of the dead return home on one night of the year and must be appeased seems to have ancient origins and is found in many cultures.[66] In 19th century Ireland, "candles would be lit and prayers formally offered for the souls of the dead. After this the eating, drinking, and games would begin".[124] Throughout Ireland and Britain, especially in the Celtic-speaking regions, the household festivities included divination rituals and games intended to foretell one's future, especially regarding death and marriage.[125] Apples and nuts were often used, and customs included apple bobbing, nut roasting, scrying or mirror-gazing, pouring molten lead or egg whites into water, dream interpretation, and others.[126] Special bonfires were lit and there were rituals involving them. Their flames, smoke, and ashes were deemed to have protective and cleansing powers.[112] In some places, torches lit from the bonfire were carried sunwise around homes and fields to protect them.[110] It is suggested the fires were a kind of imitative or sympathetic magic – they mimicked the Sun and held back the decay and darkness of winter.[123][127][128] They were also used for divination and to ward off evil spirits.[74] In Scotland, these bonfires and divination games were banned by the church elders in some parishes.[129] In Wales, bonfires were also lit to "prevent the souls of the dead from falling to earth".[130] Later, these bonfires "kept away the devil".[131] photograph A plaster cast of a traditional Irish Halloween turnip (rutabaga) lantern on display in the Museum of Country Life, Ireland[132] From at least the 16th century,[133] the festival included mumming and guising in Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Man and Wales.[134] This involved people going house-to-house in costume (or in disguise), usually reciting verses or songs in exchange for food. It may have originally been a tradition whereby people impersonated the Aos Sí, or the souls of the dead, and received offerings on their behalf, similar to 'souling'. Impersonating these beings, or wearing a disguise, was also believed to protect oneself from them.[135] In parts of southern Ireland, the guisers included a hobby horse. A man dressed as a Láir Bhán (white mare) led youths house-to-house reciting verses – some of which had pagan overtones – in exchange for food. If the household donated food it could expect good fortune from the 'Muck Olla'; not doing so would bring misfortune.[136] In Scotland, youths went house-to-house with masked, painted or blackened faces, often threatening to do mischief if they were not welcomed.[134] F. Marian McNeill suggests the ancient festival included people in costume representing the spirits, and that faces were marked or blackened with ashes from the sacred bonfire.[133] In parts of Wales, men went about dressed as fearsome beings called gwrachod.[134] In the late 19th and early 20th century, young people in Glamorgan and Orkney cross-dressed.[134] Elsewhere in Europe, mumming was part of other festivals, but in the Celtic-speaking regions, it was "particularly appropriate to a night upon which supernatural beings were said to be abroad and could be imitated or warded off by human wanderers".[134] From at least the 18th century, "imitating malignant spirits" led to playing pranks in Ireland and the Scottish Highlands. Wearing costumes and playing pranks at Halloween did not spread to England until the 20th century.[134] Pranksters used hollowed-out turnips or mangel wurzels as lanterns, often carved with grotesque faces.[134] By those who made them, the lanterns were variously said to represent the spirits,[134] or used to ward off evil spirits.[137][138] They were common in parts of Ireland and the Scottish Highlands in the 19th century,[134] as well as in Somerset (see Punkie Night). In the 20th century they spread to other parts of Britain and became generally known as jack-o'-lanterns.[134] Spread to North America The annual New York Halloween Parade in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, is the world's largest Halloween parade, with millions of spectators annually, and has its roots in New York’s queer community.[139] Lesley Bannatyne and Cindy Ott write that Anglican colonists in the southern United States and Catholic colonists in Maryland "recognized All Hallow's Eve in their church calendars",[140][141] although the Puritans of New England strongly opposed the holiday, along with other traditional celebrations of the established Church, including Christmas.[142] Almanacs of the late 18th and early 19th century give no indication that Halloween was widely celebrated in North America.[22] It was not until after mass Irish and Scottish immigration in the 19th century that Halloween became a major holiday in America.[22] Most American Halloween traditions were inherited from the Irish and Scots,[23][143] though "In Cajun areas, a nocturnal Mass was said in cemeteries on Halloween night. Candles that had been blessed were placed on graves, and families sometimes spent the entire night at the graveside".[144] Originally confined to these immigrant communities, it was gradually assimilated into mainstream society and was celebrated coast to coast by people of all social, racial, and religious backgrounds by the early 20th century.[145] Then, through American influence, these Halloween traditions spread to many other countries by the late 20th and early 21st century, including to mainland Europe and some parts of the Far East.[24][25][146] Symbols At Halloween, yards, public spaces, and some houses may be decorated with traditionally macabre symbols including skeletons, ghosts, cobwebs, headstones, and scary looking witches. Development of artifacts and symbols associated with Halloween formed over time. Jack-o'-lanterns are traditionally carried by guisers on All Hallows' Eve in order to frighten evil spirits.[73][147] There is a popular Irish Christian folktale associated with the jack-o'-lantern,[148] which in folklore is said to represent a "soul who has been denied entry into both heaven and hell":[149] On route home after a night's drinking, Jack encounters the Devil and tricks him into climbing a tree. A quick-thinking Jack etches the sign of the cross into the bark, thus trapping the Devil. Jack strikes a bargain that Satan can never claim his soul. After a life of sin, drink, and mendacity, Jack is refused entry to heaven when he dies. Keeping his promise, the Devil refuses to let Jack into hell and throws a live coal straight from the fires of hell at him. It was a cold night, so Jack places the coal in a hollowed out turnip to stop it from going out, since which time Jack and his lantern have been roaming looking for a place to rest.[150] In Ireland and Scotland, the turnip has traditionally been carved during Halloween,[151][152] but immigrants to North America used the native pumpkin, which is both much softer and much larger, making it easier to carve than a turnip.[151] The American tradition of carving pumpkins is recorded in 1837[153] and was originally associated with harvest time in general, not becoming specifically associated with Halloween until the mid-to-late 19th century.[154] Decorated house in Weatherly, Pennsylvania The modern imagery of Halloween comes from many sources, including Christian eschatology, national customs, works of Gothic and horror literature (such as the novels Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus and Dracula) and classic horror films such as Frankenstein (1931) and The Mummy (1932).[155][156] Imagery of the skull, a reference to Golgotha in the Christian tradition, serves as "a reminder of death and the transitory quality of human life" and is consequently found in memento mori and vanitas compositions;[157] skulls have therefore been commonplace in Halloween, which touches on this theme.[158] Traditionally, the back walls of churches are "decorated with a depiction of the Last Judgment, complete with graves opening and the dead rising, with a heaven filled with angels and a hell filled with devils", a motif that has permeated the observance of this triduum.[159] One of the earliest works on the subject of Halloween is from Scottish poet John Mayne, who, in 1780, made note of pranks at Halloween; "What fearfu' pranks ensue!", as well as the supernatural associated with the night, "bogles" (ghosts),[160] influencing Robert Burns' "Halloween" (1785).[161] Elements of the autumn season, such as pumpkins, corn husks, and scarecrows, are also prevalent. Homes are often decorated with these types of symbols around Halloween. Halloween imagery includes themes of death, evil, and mythical monsters.[162] Black cats, which have been long associated with witches, are also a common symbol of Halloween. Black, orange, and sometimes purple are Halloween's traditional colors.[163] Trick-or-treating and guising Main article: Trick-or-treating Trick-or-treaters in Sweden Trick-or-treating is a customary celebration for children on Halloween. Children go in costume from house to house, asking for treats such as candy or sometimes money, with the question, "Trick or treat?" The word "trick" implies a "threat" to perform mischief on the homeowners or their property if no treat is given.[64] The practice is said to have roots in the medieval practice of mumming, which is closely related to souling.[164] John Pymm wrote that "many of the feast days associated with the presentation of mumming plays were celebrated by the Christian Church."[165] These feast days included All Hallows' Eve, Christmas, Twelfth Night and Shrove Tuesday.[166][167] Mumming practiced in Germany, Scandinavia and other parts of Europe,[168] involved masked persons in fancy dress who "paraded the streets and entered houses to dance or play dice in silence".[169] Girl in a Halloween costume in 1928, Ontario, Canada, the same province where the Scottish Halloween custom of guising was first recorded in North America In England, from the medieval period,[170] up until the 1930s,[171] people practiced the Christian custom of souling on Halloween, which involved groups of soulers, both Protestant and Catholic,[93] going from parish to parish, begging the rich for soul cakes, in exchange for praying for the souls of the givers and their friends.[67] In the Philippines, the practice of souling is called Pangangaluluwa and is practiced on All Hallow's Eve among children in rural areas.[26] People drape themselves in white cloths to represent souls and then visit houses, where they sing in return for prayers and sweets.[26] In Scotland and Ireland, guising – children disguised in costume going from door to door for food or coins – is a traditional Halloween custom.[172] It is recorded in Scotland at Halloween in 1895 where masqueraders in disguise carrying lanterns made out of scooped out turnips, visit homes to be rewarded with cakes, fruit, and money.[152][173] In Ireland, the most popular phrase for kids to shout (until the 2000s) was "Help the Halloween Party".[172] The practice of guising at Halloween in North America was first recorded in 1911, where a newspaper in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, reported children going "guising" around the neighborhood.[174] American historian and author Ruth Edna Kelley of Massachusetts wrote the first book-length history of Halloween in the US; The Book of Hallowe'en (1919), and references souling in the chapter "Hallowe'en in America".[175] In her book, Kelley touches on customs that arrived from across the Atlantic; "Americans have fostered them, and are making this an occasion something like what it must have been in its best days overseas. All Halloween customs in the United States are borrowed directly or adapted from those of other countries".[176] While the first reference to "guising" in North America occurs in 1911, another reference to ritual begging on Halloween appears, place unknown, in 1915, with a third reference in Chicago in 1920.[177] The earliest known use in print of the term "trick or treat" appears in 1927, in the Blackie Herald, of Alberta, Canada.[178] An automobile trunk at a trunk-or-treat event at St. John Lutheran Church and Early Learning Center in Darien, Illinois The thousands of Halloween postcards produced between the turn of the 20th century and the 1920s commonly show children but not trick-or-treating.[179] Trick-or-treating does not seem to have become a widespread practice in North America until the 1930s, with the first US appearances of the term in 1934,[180] and the first use in a national publication occurring in 1939.[181] A popular variant of trick-or-treating, known as trunk-or-treating (or Halloween tailgating), occurs when "children are offered treats from the trunks of cars parked in a church parking lot", or sometimes, a school parking lot.[100][182] In a trunk-or-treat event, the trunk (boot) of each automobile is decorated with a certain theme,[183] such as those of children's literature, movies, scripture, and job roles.[184] Trunk-or-treating has grown in popularity due to its perception as being more safe than going door to door, a point that resonates well with parents, as well as the fact that it "solves the rural conundrum in which homes [are] built a half-mile apart".[185][186] Costumes Main article: Halloween costume Halloween costumes were traditionally modeled after figures such as vampires, ghosts, skeletons, scary looking witches, and devils.[64] Over time, the costume selection extended to include popular characters from fiction, celebrities, and generic archetypes such as ninjas and princesses. Halloween shop in Derry, Northern Ireland, selling masks Dressing up in costumes and going "guising" was prevalent in Scotland and Ireland at Halloween by the late 19th century.[152] A Scottish term, the tradition is called "guising" because of the disguises or costumes worn by the children.[173] In Ireland and Scotland, the masks are known as 'false faces',[38][187] a term recorded in Ayr, Scotland in 1890 by a Scot describing guisers: "I had mind it was Halloween . . . the wee callans were at it already, rinning aboot wi’ their fause-faces (false faces) on and their bits o’ turnip lanthrons (lanterns) in their haun (hand)".[38] Costuming became popular for Halloween parties in the US in the early 20th century, as often for adults as for children, and when trick-or-treating was becoming popular in Canada and the US in the 1920s and 1930s.[178][188] Eddie J. Smith, in his book Halloween, Hallowed is Thy Name, offers a religious perspective to the wearing of costumes on All Hallows' Eve, suggesting that by dressing up as creatures "who at one time caused us to fear and tremble", people are able to poke fun at Satan "whose kingdom has been plundered by our Saviour". Images of skeletons and the dead are traditional decorations used as memento mori.[189][190] "Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF" is a fundraising program to support UNICEF,[64] a United Nations Programme that provides humanitarian aid to children in developing countries. Started as a local event in a Northeast Philadelphia neighborhood in 1950 and expanded nationally in 1952, the program involves the distribution of small boxes by schools (or in modern times, corporate sponsors like Hallmark, at their licensed stores) to trick-or-treaters, in which they can solicit small-change donations from the houses they visit. It is estimated that children have collected more than $118 million for UNICEF since its inception. In Canada, in 2006, UNICEF decided to discontinue their Halloween collection boxes, citing safety and administrative concerns; after consultation with schools, they instead redesigned the program.[191][192] The yearly New York's Village Halloween Parade was begun in 1974; it is the world's largest Halloween parade and America's only major nighttime parade, attracting more than 60,000 costumed participants, two million spectators, and a worldwide television audience.[193] Since the late 2010s, ethnic stereotypes as costumes have increasingly come under scrutiny in the United States.[194] Such and other potentially offensive costumes have been met with increasing public disapproval.[195][196] Pet costumes According to a 2018 report from the National Retail Federation, 30 million Americans will spend an estimated $480 million on Halloween costumes for their pets in 2018. This is up from an estimated $200 million in 2010. The most popular costumes for pets are the pumpkin, followed by the hot dog, and the bumblebee in third place.[197] Games and other activities In this 1904 Halloween greeting card, divination is depicted: the young woman looking into a mirror in a darkened room hopes to catch a glimpse of her future husband. There are several games traditionally associated with Halloween. Some of these games originated as divination rituals or ways of foretelling one's future, especially regarding death, marriage and children. During the Middle Ages, these rituals were done by a "rare few" in rural communities as they were considered to be "deadly serious" practices.[198] In recent centuries, these divination games have been "a common feature of the household festivities" in Ireland and Britain.[125] They often involve apples and hazelnuts. In Celtic mythology, apples were strongly associated with the Otherworld and immortality, while hazelnuts were associated with divine wisdom.[199] Some also suggest that they derive from Roman practices in celebration of Pomona.[64] Children bobbing for apples at Hallowe'en The following activities were a common feature of Halloween in Ireland and Britain during the 17th–20th centuries. Some have become more widespread and continue to be popular today. One common game is apple bobbing or dunking (which may be called "dooking" in Scotland)[200] in which apples float in a tub or a large basin of water and the participants must use only their teeth to remove an apple from the basin. A variant of dunking involves kneeling on a chair, holding a fork between the teeth and trying to drive the fork into an apple. Another common game involves hanging up treacle or syrup-coated scones by strings; these must be eaten without using hands while they remain attached to the string, an activity that inevitably leads to a sticky face. Another once-popular game involves hanging a small wooden rod from the ceiling at head height, with a lit candle on one end and an apple hanging from the other. The rod is spun round and everyone takes turns to try to catch the apple with their teeth.[201] Image from the Book of Hallowe'en (1919) showing several Halloween activities, such as nut roasting Several of the traditional activities from Ireland and Britain involve foretelling one's future partner or spouse. An apple would be peeled in one long strip, then the peel tossed over the shoulder. The peel is believed to land in the shape of the first letter of the future spouse's name.[202][203] Two hazelnuts would be roasted near a fire; one named for the person roasting them and the other for the person they desire. If the nuts jump away from the heat, it is a bad sign, but if the nuts roast quietly it foretells a good match.[204][205] A salty oatmeal bannock would be baked; the person would eat it in three bites and then go to bed in silence without anything to drink. This is said to result in a dream in which their future spouse offers them a drink to quench their thirst.[206] Unmarried women were told that if they sat in a darkened room and gazed into a mirror on Halloween night, the face of their future husband would appear in the mirror.[207] The custom was widespread enough to be commemorated on greeting cards[208] from the late 19th century and early 20th century. Another popular Irish game was known as púicíní ("blindfolds"); a person would be blindfolded and then would choose between several saucers. The item in the saucer would provide a hint as to their future: a ring would mean that they would marry soon; clay, that they would die soon, perhaps within the year; water, that they would emigrate; rosary beads, that they would take Holy Orders (become a nun, priest, monk, etc.); a coin, that they would become rich; a bean, that they would be poor.[209][210][211][212] The game features prominently in the James Joyce short story "Clay" (1914).[213][214][215] In Ireland and Scotland, items would be hidden in food – usually a cake, barmbrack, cranachan, champ or colcannon – and portions of it served out at random. A person's future would be foretold by the item they happened to find; for example, a ring meant marriage and a coin meant wealth.[216] Up until the 19th century, the Halloween bonfires were also used for divination in parts of Scotland, Wales and Brittany. When the fire died down, a ring of stones would be laid in the ashes, one for each person. In the morning, if any stone was mislaid it was said that the person it represented would not live out the year.[110] Telling ghost stories, listening to Halloween-themed songs and watching horror films are common fixtures of Halloween parties. Episodes of television series and Halloween-themed specials (with the specials usually aimed at children) are commonly aired on or before Halloween, while new horror films are often released before Halloween to take advantage of the holiday. Haunted attractions Main article: Haunted attraction (simulated) Humorous tombstones in front of a house in California Humorous display window in Historic 25th Street, Ogden, Utah Haunted attractions are entertainment venues designed to thrill and scare patrons. Most attractions are seasonal Halloween businesses that may include haunted houses, corn mazes, and hayrides,[217] and the level of sophistication of the effects has risen as the industry has grown. The first recorded purpose-built haunted attraction was the Orton and Spooner Ghost House, which opened in 1915 in Liphook, England. This attraction actually most closely resembles a carnival fun house, powered by steam.[218][219] The House still exists, in the Hollycombe Steam Collection. It was during the 1930s, about the same time as trick-or-treating, that Halloween-themed haunted houses first began to appear in America. It was in the late 1950s that haunted houses as a major attraction began to appear, focusing first on California. Sponsored by the Children's Health Home Junior Auxiliary, the San Mateo Haunted House opened in 1957. The San Bernardino Assistance League Haunted House opened in 1958. Home haunts began appearing across the country during 1962 and 1963. In 1964, the San Manteo Haunted House opened, as well as the Children's Museum Haunted House in Indianapolis.[220] The haunted house as an American cultural icon can be attributed to the opening of The Haunted Mansion in Disneyland on 12 August 1969.[221] Knott's Berry Farm began hosting its own Halloween night attraction, Knott's Scary Farm, which opened in 1973.[222] Evangelical Christians adopted a form of these attractions by opening one of the first "hell houses" in 1972.[223] The first Halloween haunted house run by a nonprofit organization was produced in 1970 by the Sycamore-Deer Park Jaycees in Clifton, Ohio. It was cosponsored by WSAI, an AM radio station broadcasting out of Cincinnati, Ohio. It was last produced in 1982.[224] Other Jaycees followed suit with their own versions after the success of the Ohio house. The March of Dimes copyrighted a "Mini haunted house for the March of Dimes" in 1976 and began fundraising through their local chapters by conducting haunted houses soon after. Although they apparently quit supporting this type of event nationally sometime in the 1980s, some March of Dimes haunted houses have persisted until today.[225] On the evening of 11 May 1984, in Jackson Township, New Jersey, the Haunted Castle (Six Flags Great Adventure) caught fire. As a result of the fire, eight teenagers perished.[226] The backlash to the tragedy was a tightening of regulations relating to safety, building codes and the frequency of inspections of attractions nationwide. The smaller venues, especially the nonprofit attractions, were unable to compete financially, and the better funded commercial enterprises filled the vacuum.[227][228] Facilities that were once able to avoid regulation because they were considered to be temporary installations now had to adhere to the stricter codes required of permanent attractions.[229][230][231] In the late 1980s and early 1990s, theme parks entered the business seriously. Six Flags Fright Fest began in 1986 and Universal Studios Florida began Halloween Horror Nights in 1991. Knott's Scary Farm experienced a surge in attendance in the 1990s as a result of America's obsession with Halloween as a cultural event. Theme parks have played a major role in globalizing the holiday. Universal Studios Singapore and Universal Studios Japan both participate, while Disney now mounts Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party events at its parks in Paris, Hong Kong and Tokyo, as well as in the United States.[232] The theme park haunts are by far the largest, both in scale and attendance.[233] Food Pumpkins for sale during Halloween On All Hallows' Eve, many Western Christian denominations encourage abstinence from meat, giving rise to a variety of vegetarian foods associated with this day.[234] A candy apple Because in the Northern Hemisphere Halloween comes in the wake of the yearly apple harvest, candy apples (known as toffee apples outside North America), caramel apples or taffy apples are common Halloween treats made by rolling whole apples in a sticky sugar syrup, sometimes followed by rolling them in nuts. At one time, candy apples were commonly given to trick-or-treating children, but the practice rapidly waned in the wake of widespread rumors that some individuals were embedding items like pins and razor blades in the apples in the United States.[235] While there is evidence of such incidents,[236] relative to the degree of reporting of such cases, actual cases involving malicious acts are extremely rare and have never resulted in serious injury. Nonetheless, many parents assumed that such heinous practices were rampant because of the mass media. At the peak of the hysteria, some hospitals offered free X-rays of children's Halloween hauls in order to find evidence of tampering. Virtually all of the few known candy poisoning incidents involved parents who poisoned their own children's candy.[237] One custom that persists in modern-day Ireland is the baking (or more often nowadays, the purchase) of a barmbrack (Irish: báirín breac), which is a light fruitcake, into which a plain ring, a coin, and other charms are placed before baking.[238] It is considered fortunate to be the lucky one who finds it.[238] It has also been said that those who get a ring will find their true love in the ensuing year. This is similar to the tradition of king cake at the festival of Epiphany. Halloween-themed foods are also produced by companies in the lead up to the night, for example Cadbury releasing Goo Heads (similar to Creme Eggs) in spooky wrapping.[239] A jack-o'-lantern Halloween cake with a witches hat List of foods associated with Halloween: Barmbrack (Ireland) Bonfire toffee (Great Britain) Candy apples/toffee apples (Great Britain and Ireland) Candy apples, candy corn, candy pumpkins (North America) Chocolate Monkey nuts (peanuts in their shells) (Ireland and Scotland) Caramel apples Caramel corn Colcannon (Ireland; see below) Halloween cake Sweets/candy Novelty candy shaped like skulls, pumpkins, bats, worms, etc. Roasted pumpkin seeds Roasted sweet corn Soul cakes Pumpkin Pie Christian religious observances The Vigil of All Hallows' is being celebrated at an Episcopal Christian church on Hallowe'en On Hallowe'en (All Hallows' Eve), in Poland, believers were once taught to pray out loud as they walk through the forests in order that the souls of the dead might find comfort; in Spain, Christian priests in tiny villages toll their church bells in order to remind their congregants to remember the dead on All Hallows' Eve.[240] In Ireland, and among immigrants in Canada, a custom includes the Christian practice of abstinence, keeping All Hallows' Eve as a meat-free day and serving pancakes or colcannon instead.[241] In Mexico children make an altar to invite the return of the spirits of dead children (angelitos).[242] The Christian Church traditionally observed Hallowe'en through a vigil. Worshippers prepared themselves for feasting on the following All Saints' Day with prayers and fasting.[243] This church service is known as the Vigil of All Hallows or the Vigil of All Saints;[244][245] an initiative known as Night of Light seeks to further spread the Vigil of All Hallows throughout Christendom.[246][247] After the service, "suitable festivities and entertainments" often follow, as well as a visit to the graveyard or cemetery, where flowers and candles are often placed in preparation for All Hallows' Day.[248][249] In Finland, because so many people visit the cemeteries on All Hallows' Eve to light votive candles there, they "are known as valomeri, or seas of light".[250] Halloween Scripture Candy with gospel tract Today, Christian attitudes towards Halloween are diverse. In the Anglican Church, some dioceses have chosen to emphasize the Christian traditions associated with All Hallow's Eve.[251][252] Some of these practices include praying, fasting and attending worship services.[1][2][3] O LORD our God, increase, we pray thee, and multiply upon us the gifts of thy grace: that we, who do prevent the glorious festival of all thy Saints, may of thee be enabled joyfully to follow them in all virtuous and godly living. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen. —Collect of the Vigil of All Saints, The Anglican Breviary[253] Votive candles in the Halloween section of Walmart Other Protestant Christians also celebrate All Hallows' Eve as Reformation Day, a day to remember the Protestant Reformation, alongside All Hallow's Eve or independently from it.[254] This is because Martin Luther is said to have nailed his Ninety-five Theses to All Saints' Church in Wittenberg on All Hallows' Eve.[255] Often, "Harvest Festivals" or "Reformation Festivals" are held on All Hallows' Eve, in which children dress up as Bible characters or Reformers.[256] In addition to distributing candy to children who are trick-or-treating on Hallowe'en, many Christians also provide gospel tracts to them. One organization, the American Tract Society, stated that around 3 million gospel tracts are ordered from them alone for Hallowe'en celebrations.[257] Others order Halloween-themed Scripture Candy to pass out to children on this day.[258][259] Belizean children dressed up as Biblical figures and Christian saints Some Christians feel concerned about the modern celebration of Halloween because they feel it trivializes – or celebrates – paganism, the occult, or other practices and cultural phenomena deemed incompatible with their beliefs.[260] Father Gabriele Amorth, an exorcist in Rome, has said, "if English and American children like to dress up as witches and devils on one night of the year that is not a problem. If it is just a game, there is no harm in that."[261] In more recent years, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston has organized a "Saint Fest" on Halloween.[262] Similarly, many contemporary Protestant churches view Halloween as a fun event for children, holding events in their churches where children and their parents can dress up, play games, and get candy for free. To these Christians, Halloween holds no threat to the spiritual lives of children: being taught about death and mortality, and the ways of the Celtic ancestors actually being a valuable life lesson and a part of many of their parishioners' heritage.[263] Christian minister Sam Portaro wrote that Halloween is about using "humor and ridicule to confront the power of death".[264] In the Roman Catholic Church, Halloween's Christian connection is acknowledged, and Halloween celebrations are common in many Catholic parochial schools in the United States.[265][266] Many fundamentalist and evangelical churches use "Hell houses" and comic-style tracts in order to make use of Halloween's popularity as an opportunity for evangelism.[267] Others consider Halloween to be completely incompatible with the Christian faith due to its putative origins in the Festival of the Dead celebration.[268] Indeed, even though Eastern Orthodox Christians observe All Hallows' Day on the First Sunday after Pentecost, The Eastern Orthodox Church recommends the observance of Vespers or a Paraklesis on the Western observance of All Hallows' Eve, out of the pastoral need to provide an alternative to popular celebrations.[269] Analogous celebrations and perspectives Judaism According to Alfred J. Kolatch in the Second Jewish Book of Why, in Judaism, Halloween is not permitted by Jewish Halakha because it violates Leviticus 18:3, which forbids Jews from partaking in gentile customs. Many Jews observe Yizkor communally four times a year, which is vaguely similar to the observance of Allhallowtide in Christianity, in the sense that prayers are said for both "martyrs and for one's own family".[270] Nevertheless, many American Jews celebrate Halloween, disconnected from its Christian origins.[271] Reform Rabbi Jeffrey Goldwasser has said that "There is no religious reason why contemporary Jews should not celebrate Halloween" while Orthodox Rabbi Michael Broyde has argued against Jews' observing the holiday.[272] Purim has sometimes been compared to Halloween, in part due to some observants wearing costumes, especially of Biblical figures described in the Purim narrative.[273] Islam Sheikh Idris Palmer, author of A Brief Illustrated Guide to Understanding Islam, has ruled that Muslims should not participate in Halloween, stating that "participation in Halloween is worse than participation in Christmas, Easter, ... it is more sinful than congratulating the Christians for their prostration to the crucifix".[274] It has also been ruled to be haram by the National Fatwa Council of Malaysia because of its alleged pagan roots stating "Halloween is celebrated using a humorous theme mixed with horror to entertain and resist the spirit of death that influence humans".[275][276] Dar Al-Ifta Al-Missriyyah disagrees provided the celebration is not referred to as an 'eid' and that behaviour remains in line with Islamic principles.[277] Hinduism Hindus remember the dead during the festival of Pitru Paksha, during which Hindus pay homage to and perform a ceremony "to keep the souls of their ancestors at rest". It is celebrated in the Hindu month of Bhadrapada, usually in mid-September.[278] The celebration of the Hindu festival Diwali sometimes conflicts with the date of Halloween; but some Hindus choose to participate in the popular customs of Halloween.[279] Other Hindus, such as Soumya Dasgupta, have opposed the celebration on the grounds that Western holidays like Halloween have "begun to adversely affect our indigenous festivals".[280] Neopaganism There is no consistent rule or view on Halloween amongst those who describe themselves as Neopagans or Wiccans. Some Neopagans do not observe Halloween, but instead observe Samhain on 1 November,[281] some neopagans do enjoy Halloween festivities, stating that one can observe both "the solemnity of Samhain in addition to the fun of Halloween". Some neopagans are opposed to the celebration of Hallowe'en, stating that it "trivializes Samhain",[282] and "avoid Halloween, because of the interruptions from trick or treaters".[283] The Manitoban writes that "Wiccans don't officially celebrate Halloween, despite the fact that 31 Oct. will still have a star beside it in any good Wiccan's day planner. Starting at sundown, Wiccans celebrate a holiday known as Samhain. Samhain actually comes from old Celtic traditions and is not exclusive to Neopagan religions like Wicca. While the traditions of this holiday originate in Celtic countries, modern day Wiccans don't try to historically replicate Samhain celebrations. Some traditional Samhain rituals are still practised, but at its core, the period is treated as a time to celebrate darkness and the dead – a possible reason why Samhain can be confused with Halloween celebrations."[281] Geography Main article: Geography of Halloween Halloween display in Kobe, Japan The traditions and importance of Halloween vary greatly among countries that observe it. In Scotland and Ireland, traditional Halloween customs include children dressing up in costume going "guising", holding parties, while other practices in Ireland include lighting bonfires, and having firework displays.[172][284][285] In Brittany children would play practical jokes by setting candles inside skulls in graveyards to frighten visitors.[286] Mass transatlantic immigration in the 19th century popularized Halloween in North America, and celebration in the United States and Canada has had a significant impact on how the event is observed in other nations.[172] This larger North American influence, particularly in iconic and commercial elements, has extended to places such as Brazil, Ecuador, Chile,[287] Australia,[288] New Zealand,[289] (most) continental Europe, Finland,[290] Japan, and other parts of East Asia." ( Condition: New, Brand: Greenbrier International, Inc., Type: Decorative Book, Occasion: Halloween, Color: Cream, Material: Ceramic, Time Period Manufactured: 2020-Now, Country/Region of Manufacture: China

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