Vol 13 No. 9 (2011) Issue Number 9, August 1999

Notes from the Underground

It is with great pleasure that we welcome back Jenny Blain and Robert Wallis, whose work first appeared in our Fall 98 issue. In this instance, they are the co-authors of an article on the fascinating subject of seidhrwork and gender. Those of us who are (still!) running into people who believe that only women can be Witches will be interested in the parallels between this all-too-common misunderstanding and the challenges faced by Heathen men who engaged in the oracular practice of seidhr.

Readers' Forum

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Dalhousie University
University of Southampton
Seidhr appears most often as a female activity... male seidh workers were spoken of as 'ergi', a term of insult relating to behaviour seen as 'unmanly'.
I now believe that a direct line of transmission can be traced from the Hermetic and Neoplatonic theurgy of late antiquity to the beginnings of the modern Craft movement.
The history of witch persecution begins with repression by feudal rulers, with a strong patriarchal impetus already visible. It may have very old Indo-European roots.
The myths of a culture or a subculture have tremendous power to shape human experience - one reason why such stories are treated with a good deal of suspicion in postmodernist circles.

Book Reviews

California State University, Northridge
Pazzaglini accurately observes that the Aradia material has very likely been 'de-Christianized' or 're-paganised' because actual Italian folk magical charms all have some Christian content.