The Spider Dance - Tradition, Time and Healing in Southern Italy - Giovanna Parmigiani

Giovanna Parmigiani [+-]
Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University
Giovanna Parmigiani holds a Ph.D. in Socio-Cultural Anthropology from the University of Toronto, and is Senior Fellow at Harvard Divinity School (Harvard University).


This chapter address in detail spiritual practices such as family constellations and Akashic Records readings by describing the ethnographic experience with both during the author's stay with the Sisters of the cerchio. These practices put synchronically in dialogue different dimensions of time and aim at changing the past through a specific engagement with the present. In doing so, these practices are a good way for enquiring some of the consequences of using the “historicity filter” in the study of Neopaganism and of magic, more generally. The author argues, in conversation with the work of scholars such as social anthropologist Stanley Jeyaraja Tambiah (1990) and anthropologist of magic Susan Greenwood, that an understanding of temporality as an “expanded present” may redefine both some of the attributes traditionally associated with “magical thinking” (such as that of cause/effect) and the categories used in order to make sense of Neopagan practices.

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Parmigiani, Giovanna. Justice. The Spider Dance - Tradition, Time and Healing in Southern Italy. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. May 2023. ISBN 9780000000000. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=40114. Date accessed: 24 Jan 2022 doi: 10.1558/equinox.40114. May 2023

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