"Shaman of Oberstdorf tells the fascinating story of a sixteenth-century mountain village caught in a panic of its own making.
Author: Wolfgang Behringer
Publisher: University of Virginia Press
"Shaman of Oberstdorf tells the fascinating story of a sixteenth-century mountain village caught in a panic of its own making. Four hundred years ago the Bavarian alpine town of Oberstdorf, surrounded by the towering peaks of the Vorarlberg, was awash in legends and rumors of prophets and healers, of spirits and specters, of witches and soothsayers. The book focuses on the life of a horse wrangler named Chonrad Stoeckhlin [1549-1587], whose extraordinary visions of the afterlife and enthusiastic practice of the occult eventually led to his death-and to the death of a number of village women-for crimes of witchcraft. Wolfgang Behringer is one of the premier historians of German witchcraft, not only because of his mastery of the subject at the regional level, but because he also writes movingly, forcefully, and with an eye for the telling anecdote."--amazon.ca.
Behringer, Shaman of Oberstdorf, 96. 21. Ibid. 22. Ibid., 188. 23. De Lorris and De
Meun, Romance of the Rose, 129. 24. Quoted in McNeill and Gamer, Medieval
Handbooks, 339. 25. Russell, History of Witchcraft, 81–82. 26. Lea, History of the
Author: Thomas Hatsis
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Category: Body, Mind & Spirit
An exploration of the historical origins of the “witches’ ointment” and medieval hallucinogenic drug practices based on the earliest sources • Details how early modern theologians demonized psychedelic folk magic into “witches’ ointments” • Shares dozens of psychoactive formulas and recipes gleaned from rare manuscripts from university collections all over the world as well as the practices and magical incantations necessary for their preparation • Examines the practices of medieval witches like Matteuccia di Francisco, who used hallucinogenic drugs in her love potions and herbal preparations In the medieval period preparations with hallucinogenic herbs were part of the practice of veneficium, or poison magic. This collection of magical arts used poisons, herbs, and rituals to bewitch, heal, prophesy, infect, and murder. In the form of psyche-magical ointments, poison magic could trigger powerful hallucinations and surrealistic dreams that enabled direct experience of the Divine. Smeared on the skin, these entheogenic ointments were said to enable witches to commune with various local goddesses, bastardized by the Church as trips to the Sabbat--clandestine meetings with Satan to learn magic and participate in demonic orgies. Examining trial records and the pharmacopoeia of witches, alchemists, folk healers, and heretics of the 15th century, Thomas Hatsis details how a range of ideas from folk drugs to ecclesiastical fears over medicine women merged to form the classical “witch” stereotype and what history has called the “witches’ ointment.” He shares dozens of psychoactive formulas and recipes gleaned from rare manuscripts from university collections from all over the world as well as the practices and magical incantations necessary for their preparation. He explores the connections between witches’ ointments and spells for shape shifting, spirit travel, and bewitching magic. He examines the practices of some Renaissance magicians, who inhaled powerful drugs to communicate with spirits, and of Italian folk-witches, such as Matteuccia di Francisco, who used hallucinogenic drugs in her love potions and herbal preparations, and Finicella, who used drug ointments to imagine herself transformed into a cat. Exploring the untold history of the witches’ ointment and medieval hallucinogen use, Hatsis reveals how the Church transformed folk drug practices, specifically entheogenic ones, into satanic experiences.
57; Behringer, Shaman of Oberstdorf. Hutton, Shamans. My thanks to Ronald
Hutton for generously providing me with a pre-publication version. See, for
example, Eliade, Le chamanisme, Eliade, “Some Observations on European
Author: Owen Davies
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Cunning-folk were local practitioners of magic, providing small-scale but valued service to the community. They were far more representative of magical practice than the arcane delvings of astrologers and necromancers. Mostly unsensational in their approach, cunning-folk helped people with everyday problems: how to find lost objects; how to escape from bad luck or a suspected spell; and how to attract a lover or keep the love of a husband or wife. While cunning-folk sometimes fell foul of the authorities, both church and state often turned a blind eye to their existence and practices, distinguishing what they did from the rare and sensational cases of malvolent witchcraft. In a world of uncertainty, before insurance and modern science, cunning-folk played an important role that has previously been ignored.
Behringer, Shaman of Oberstdorf, esp. 148–52. Gustav Henningsen, '“The Ladies
from Outside”', in Ankarloo and Henningsen (eds), Early Modern Witchcraft, 191–
218. See also Giovanna Fiume, 'The Old Vinegar Lady', in Edward Muir and ...
Author: Ronald Hutton
Publisher: Yale University Press
This book sets the notorious European witch trials in the widest and deepest possible perspective and traces the major historiographical developments of witchcraft
47 Carlo Ginzburg, Night Battles and Ecstasies: Deciphering the Witches'
Sabbath (New York, 1991); Behringer, Shaman of Oberstdorf; Emma Wilby,
Cunning Folk and Familiar Spirits (Brighton, 2009); Bever, Realities of Witchcraft.
48 Bever ...
Author: Brian P. Levack
Publisher: OUP Oxford
The essays in this Handbook, written by leading scholars working in the rapidly developing field of witchcraft studies, explore the historical literature regarding witch beliefs and witch trials in Europe and colonial America between the early fifteenth and early eighteenth centuries. During these years witches were thought to be evil people who used magical power to inflict physical harm or misfortune on their neighbours. Witches were also believed to have made pacts with the devil and sometimes to have worshipped him at nocturnal assemblies known as sabbaths. These beliefs provided the basis for defining witchcraft as a secular and ecclesiastical crime and prosecuting tens of thousands of women and men for this offence. The trials resulted in as many as fifty thousand executions. These essays study the rise and fall of witchcraft prosecutions in the various kingdoms and territories of Europe and in English, Spanish, and Portuguese colonies in the Americas. They also relate these prosecutions to the Catholic and Protestant reformations, the introduction of new forms of criminal procedure, medical and scientific thought, the process of state-building, profound social and economic change, early modern patterns of gender relations, and the wave of demonic possessions that occurred in Europe at the same time. The essays survey the current state of knowledge in the field, explore the academic controversies that have arisen regarding witch beliefs and witch trials, propose new ways of studying the subject, and identify areas for future research.
In 1996 Decker was one of the first of a small group of scholars allowed access.
Author: Rainer Decker
In 1996 Decker was one of the first of a small group of scholars allowed access. Originally published as Die Papste und die Hexen, Witchcraft and the Papacy is based on these newly available materials and traces the role of the papacy in witchcraft prosecutions from medieval times to the eighteenth century. Decker found that although the medieval church did lay the foundation for witch hunts of the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries, the postmedieval papacy, and the Roman and Spanish Inquisitions, played the same kind of skeptical, restraining role during the height of the witch-hunting frenzy in Germany and elsewhere in Europe as it had in the trial that was the initial focus of his research.