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Mournful Cries: Of Sorcerers & Spirits

By Jack Faust

The Sorcerer

The professional practice of Goetia primarily arises out of the late archaic age of Greece, gaining momentum around 500 – 400 BCE. The word means “lamenting,” or “wailing,” and describes the actions of the professional (known as the Goes, which is commonly glossed as “sorcerer”) who was employed to deal with restless ghosts. Morton Smith writes of it:

The common Greek word for ‘magician’ in Jesus’ time was goes (plural goetes). […] Here goetia (what goetes do) is one special technique like others named, a recognized and legitimate function. It seems to have been a sort of Greek shamanism, a form of mourning for the dead in which the goetes became ecstatic and were thought to accompany the dead on their journey to the underworld.”

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