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Anat: Warrior Goddess of Canaan and Egypt

By Edward Butler

The Semitic Goddess Anat was introduced into Egypt as a result of immigration and royal patronage, first by the Hyksos and then by the Ramesside kings. Anat is a huntress and warrior, and is depicted armed with a shield, a lance and a club or battle-axe. The warlike Ramesside kings seem to . . . → Read More: Anat: Warrior Goddess of Canaan and Egypt

Ritualized Violence against Sorcerers in Fifteenth-Century France

By Aleksandra Pfau

In 1464, Jehan Sommet, a notary living in the town of Thiart in Auvergne, sought remission for the crime of murder. He described his disturbing night on the twelfth or thirteenth of June, when his wife “was greatly troubled in her sense and understanding, crying with a loud voice as if insensible, . . . → Read More: Ritualized Violence against Sorcerers in Fifteenth-Century France

Tying a Sacred Knot

By Laura Perry

Many symbols and images have held sacred meaning within religious traditions around the world and throughout time: the circle, the cross, the pillar, the pentagram. These symbols don’t necessarily mean the same thing in every tradition, and sometimes we can’t even be sure what the original significance was for each culture. One . . . → Read More: Tying a Sacred Knot

Brigid: Warrior Saint and Historic Rebel

By Courtney Weber

[Snip] As Christianity spread across Europe, the Gods of indigenous faiths were either disregarded by the Church or absorbed into folklore. Some were demoted to demons in the new Christian lore. Others were transformed into heroes of a legendary past where they continued to be revered with magick and significance. Still others, . . . → Read More: Brigid: Warrior Saint and Historic Rebel

St. Stephen and Freyr

By Joseph Bloch

It’s well-known that certain Celtic deities were imported nearly wholesale into the Christian pantheon of Saints, with the most obvious example being the Celtic goddess Brigid, who is now known as St. Brigid. However, there are also similar correspondences with Germanic deities. One such is St. Stephen, known from the New Testament . . . → Read More: St. Stephen and Freyr

Mediaeval Monsters, by Damien Kempf and Maria L. Gilbert

Reviewed by John Rimmer

The various monsters and mysterious creatures described in this book need not detain cryptozoologists using Brian Parson’s excellent guide to monster hunting that was recently reviewed in Magonia, as these mystery animals exist only in the pages of medieval manuscripts, mostly from the British Library.

But in mediaeval times monsters . . . → Read More: Mediaeval Monsters, by Damien Kempf and Maria L. Gilbert

Reign of the Demonologists

The Diabolist Logic of Torture Trials in Early Modern Europe

By Max Dashu

After 1560 the witch-hunters’ reign of terror escalated precipitously all over Europe. [Larner, 22] Even in the far reaches of Russia, the sorcery-obsessed tsar Ivan IV was mounting witch trials under repressive new laws. From 1560 to 1700 the persecution would ravage . . . → Read More: Reign of the Demonologists

The Egyptian God Serapis

By Edward Butler

(Sarapis) Serapis has presented a riddle for Egyptologists. His worship originated among the Ptolemies, the transplanted Macedonian dynasty that ruled Egypt from their capital at Alexandria in the wake of Egypt’s conquest by Alexander the Great, and was subsequently adopted and promoted by the emperors of Rome. But Serapis remained, paradoxically, an . . . → Read More: The Egyptian God Serapis

Where the White Stag Runs

Boundary And Transformation In Deer Myth

By Ari Berk

[Snip] At this time of the year, the deer venture often into our realm. Last night in my front yard, a herd of deer—thick and wooly–looking with their winter coats—were feeding on fallen rowan berries. This morning, their tracks could be seen making spirals in the . . . → Read More: Where the White Stag Runs

Satet – Goddess of the Nile

Ancient Egypt Online

Satet (also known as Setet, Sathit, Satit, Sati, Setis or Satis) was an archer-goddess of the Nile cataracts. Her name comes from the term “sat” (to shoot, to eject, to pour out, to throw). It is often translated as “She Who Shoots (Arrows)” in relation to her aspect as a goddess of . . . → Read More: Satet – Goddess of the Nile