collapse
2019 Donation Drive

It's time for our annual Server Donation Drive! We need to raise at least $650 (same as last year) to keep The Cauldron's server online for another year. Please help! Either hit that Paypal button to the right and make a one-time donation in any amount or set up a monthly Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor subscription. You can find more info in this message!

Donations as of 13 Sept 2019: $656 donated. $6 more our minimum goal! Let's beat last year's total of $99 more than the minimum!


Note: This total is updated manually, usually once a day


* "Unable to verify referring url. Please go back and try again" Problem Logging In?

If you get an "Unable to verify referring url. Please go back and try again" error when you try to log in, you need to be sure you are accessing the board with a url that starts with "https://ecauldron.com".  If it starts with https://www.ecauldron.com" (or "http://www.ecauldron.com") you will get this error because "www.ecauldron.com" is not technically the same website as "ecauldron.com". Moving to the more secure "https" means it is more picky about such things.

Author Topic: The Bathhouse at Midnight: An Historical Survey of Magic and Divination in Russia  (Read 4487 times)

RandallS

  • Administrator
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Location: NE Ohio
  • Posts: 10141
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 241
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Hellenic Pagan


Title: The Bathhouse at Midnight: An Historical Survey of Magic and Divination in Russia
Author(s): W. F. Ryan
Publisher: Pennsylvania State University Press
Publication Date: September 1999
ISBN: 0271019670
ISBN-13: 978-0271019673
Current Price and More Info from Amazon

[size=+1]Description:[/size]
The title of this book refers to the classic time and place for magic, witchcraft, and divination in Russia. The Bathhouse at Midnight, by one of the world's foremost experts on the subject, surveys all forms of magic, both learned and popular, in Russia from the fifth to the eighteenth century. While no book on the subject could be exhaustive, The Bathhouse at Midnight does describe and assess all the literary sources of magic, witchcraft, astrology, alchemy, and divination from Kiev Rus and Imperial Russia, and to some extent Ukraine and Belorussia. Where possible, Ryan identifies the sources of the texts (usually Greek, Arabic, or West European) and makes parallels to other cultures, ranging from classical antiquity to Finnic. He finds that Russia shares most of its magic and divination with the rest of Europe.Subjects covered include the Evil Eye, the Number of the Beast, omens, dreams, talismans and amulets, plants, gemstones, and other materials thought to possess magic properties. The first chapter gives a historical overview, and the final chapter summarizes the political, religious, and legal aspects of the history of magic in Russia. The author also provides translations of some key texts.The Bathhouse at Midnight will be invaluable for anyone--student, teacher, or general reader--with an interest in Russia, magic, or the occult. It is unique in its field and is set to become the definitive study of Russian magic.

[size=+1]Special Notes:[/size]


[size=-1]Legal Notes: Some description text and item pictures in this post may come from Amazon.com and are used by permission. The Cauldron is an Amazon Affiliate and purchases made through the Amazon links in this message help support The Cauldron.[/size]

[size=+1]Discussion and reviews of this book are welcome in this thread. If you've read the book, please tell us what you think of it and why.[/size]
Randall
RetroRoleplaying [Blog]: Microlite74/75/78/81, BX Advanced, and Other Old School Tabletop RPGs
Microlite20: Lots of Rules Lite Tabletop RPGs -- Many Free
OSR.SPACE: Old School Tabletop RPG Community

Darkhawk

  • Senior Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 4822
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 709
    • View Profile
    • Suns in her Branches
  • Religion: An American Werewolf in the Akhet; Kemetic; Feri; Imaginary Baltic Heathen; Discordian; CoX; Etc.
  • Preferred Pronouns: any of he, she, they
Quote from: RandallS;118710
If you've read the book, please tell us what you think of it and why.

 
This is a hefty tome (literally and metaphorically).  I actually haven't managed to read it all the way through because of its density.  It is pretty damn awesome, though, in what I have read.
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

Naomi J

  • Grand Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Aug 2012
  • Location: London, UK
  • Posts: 1967
  • Country: gb
  • Total likes: 2
    • View Profile
    • http://leithincluan.wordpress.com/
  • Religion: Gaelic polytheism, modern druidry, rather attached to Cailleach Bhearra, Narnian heretic...
  • Preferred Pronouns: They or she
Quote from: Darkhawk;118714
This is a hefty tome (literally and metaphorically).  I actually haven't managed to read it all the way through because of its density.  It is pretty damn awesome, though, in what I have read.

 
Just borrowed this from a friend (it's really expensive here). Looks amazing. I'll write a review if I manage to get through some or all of it.
"We're all stories, in the end. Make it a good one, eh?"
- Doctor Who

Stone Onto Sand

dionysiandame

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Nov 2011
  • Posts: 600
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Quote from: Darkhawk;118714
This is a hefty tome (literally and metaphorically).  I actually haven't managed to read it all the way through because of its density.  It is pretty damn awesome, though, in what I have read.


I'm still waiting for my copy to arrive. I can't wait to see what other readers have to say.
Writ, Ritual, and Revelation - Where I wax poetic about nothing at all.
2 Mallards and Thyme- Gastronomy, History, Odds & Ends
Become my latest obsession on Goodreads

He keeps me with all of his other pretty things for I am just another pretty thing in a long list of acquisitions.

Jack

  • Adept Member
  • ********
  • Join Date: Apr 2012
  • Location: Cascadia
  • Posts: 3168
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 90
    • View Profile
    • Jack of Many Trades
  • Religion: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • Preferred Pronouns: he/him/his
Quote from: dionysiandame;118723
I'm still waiting for my copy to arrive. I can't wait to see what other readers have to say.

I haven't read it in, oh, ten years, but I'm going to have to get a new copy if everyone is talking about it. ;)
Hail Mara, Lady of Good Things!
"The only way to cope with something deadly serious is to try to treat it a little lightly." -Madeleine L'Engle

dionysiandame

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Nov 2011
  • Posts: 600
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Quote from: Jack;118735
I haven't read it in, oh, ten years, but I'm going to have to get a new copy if everyone is talking about it. ;)

 
I just got the text message from Amazon that my copy is on the carrier to be delivered today. I'm super psyched about this and another title I ordered "The Occult in Russian and Soviet Literature."

Considering the influence Catholicism had/has on the occult in the West, I'm interested in seeing what, if any, manifestations the Eastern Orthodox tradition will have had in a similar role.
Writ, Ritual, and Revelation - Where I wax poetic about nothing at all.
2 Mallards and Thyme- Gastronomy, History, Odds & Ends
Become my latest obsession on Goodreads

He keeps me with all of his other pretty things for I am just another pretty thing in a long list of acquisitions.

Riothamus12

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Jul 2013
  • Posts: 354
  • Country: 00
  • Total likes: 12
    • View Profile
  • Religion: The Nameless Path
  • Preferred Pronouns: He/Him/His
Quote from: RandallS;118710


Title: The Bathhouse at Midnight: An Historical Survey of Magic and Divination in Russia
Author(s): W. F. Ryan
Publisher: Pennsylvania State University Press
Publication Date: September 1999
ISBN: 0271019670
ISBN-13: 978-0271019673
Current Price and More Info from Amazon

[size=+1]Description:[/size]
The title of this book refers to the classic time and place for magic, witchcraft, and divination in Russia. The Bathhouse at Midnight, by one of the world's foremost experts on the subject, surveys all forms of magic, both learned and popular, in Russia from the fifth to the eighteenth century. While no book on the subject could be exhaustive, The Bathhouse at Midnight does describe and assess all the literary sources of magic, witchcraft, astrology, alchemy, and divination from Kiev Rus and Imperial Russia, and to some extent Ukraine and Belorussia. Where possible, Ryan identifies the sources of the texts (usually Greek, Arabic, or West European) and makes parallels to other cultures, ranging from classical antiquity to Finnic. He finds that Russia shares most of its magic and divination with the rest of Europe.Subjects covered include the Evil Eye, the Number of the Beast, omens, dreams, talismans and amulets, plants, gemstones, and other materials thought to possess magic properties. The first chapter gives a historical overview, and the final chapter summarizes the political, religious, and legal aspects of the history of magic in Russia. The author also provides translations of some key texts.The Bathhouse at Midnight will be invaluable for anyone--student, teacher, or general reader--with an interest in Russia, magic, or the occult. It is unique in its field and is set to become the definitive study of Russian magic.

[size=+1]Special Notes:[/size]


[size=-1]Legal Notes: Some description text and item pictures in this post may come from Amazon.com and are used by permission. The Cauldron is an Amazon Affiliate and purchases made through the Amazon links in this message help support The Cauldron.[/size]

[size=+1]Discussion and reviews of this book are welcome in this thread. If you've read the book, please tell us what you think of it and why.[/size]

 
I have not read it yet, but if what everyone else is saying is true then I'll have to pick up it at some point. It's rare that someone covers this topic with such depth and thoroughness.
https://inthespiritofconversation.wordpress.com/
I started a blog. Feel free to peruse. It's still in it's early stages and I have to write more, so do bare with me if it's all a little basic so far.

Jack

  • Adept Member
  • ********
  • Join Date: Apr 2012
  • Location: Cascadia
  • Posts: 3168
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 90
    • View Profile
    • Jack of Many Trades
  • Religion: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • Preferred Pronouns: he/him/his
Quote from: Riothamus12;118783
I have not read it yet, but if what everyone else is saying is true then I'll have to pick up it at some point. It's rare that someone covers this topic with such depth and thoroughness.

Okay, I picked it up at the public library today! Do you guys want to do an organized read or just post thoughts as we go?
Hail Mara, Lady of Good Things!
"The only way to cope with something deadly serious is to try to treat it a little lightly." -Madeleine L'Engle

dionysiandame

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Nov 2011
  • Posts: 600
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Quote from: Jack;119021
Okay, I picked it up at the public library today! Do you guys want to do an organized read or just post thoughts as we go?

 
I think it might be best to go with a "post thoughts as we go" method. Everyone's schedules are hella weird so attempting something like one chapter per week will fall to the wayside eventually.
Writ, Ritual, and Revelation - Where I wax poetic about nothing at all.
2 Mallards and Thyme- Gastronomy, History, Odds & Ends
Become my latest obsession on Goodreads

He keeps me with all of his other pretty things for I am just another pretty thing in a long list of acquisitions.

savveir

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 460
  • Country: 00
  • Total likes: 1
    • View Profile
Quote from: dionysiandame;119024
I think it might be best to go with a "post thoughts as we go" method. Everyone's schedules are hella weird so attempting something like one chapter per week will fall to the wayside eventually.

 
But I have so many thoughts!
I'm roughly a couple of chapters in, and I'm really enjoying it. It was interesting to read about some of the folk practices, such as using someones footprint in workings, when I'd only heard about it before in hoodoo.
I like that the information is generally presented with where it came from, and of course footnotes, I love footnotes.
My copy of the book is slowly filling up with post-it notes on bits and pieces I've found particular relevance in.
"I give myself very good advice, but I very seldom follow it."
-Lewis Carroll

dionysiandame

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Nov 2011
  • Posts: 600
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Quote from: savvy;119086
But I have so many thoughts!
I'm roughly a couple of chapters in, and I'm really enjoying it. It was interesting to read about some of the folk practices, such as using someones footprint in workings, when I'd only heard about it before in hoodoo.
I like that the information is generally presented with where it came from, and of course footnotes, I love footnotes.
My copy of the book is slowly filling up with post-it notes on bits and pieces I've found particular relevance in.

I started a notebook to keep my notes in for this book and, even though I'm only on chapter two I thought I'd share my thoughts so far and get some convo going in the thread.

One of the things that struck me is the first thing the book mentions; both Catholic and E. Orthodoxy clergy participated in practices of magic.

This seems like a no-brainer, but when I compare this explicit "admission" with what I've read of the Catholic clergy in particular, not many texts have openly stated that members of the church were involved in these kinds of heretical practices unless a heretical sect was the one being discussed.

I'm very much curious as to just how many Hellenic pagan practices remain in Eastern Orthodox orthopraxy/doxy to this day. Hopefully this will be discussed later in the text.

Similar to the west however, was the fact that "learned" magic wasn't viewed with as much suspicion as the popular kind. Was the magic of the poor viewed as much subservice due to its existence as thaumaturgy? Why would theurgy not garner a similar response in a sect that seemed more "in touch" with its mystical theology?

 I would go so far as to wager that while the E.O. church had the poor and politically disenfranchised under their thumb as much as the Catholic church, they may not have been as brutal and "arbitrary" in the application of punishment for going astray as the Western church.

I made special note of the "accused practices" listed toward the beginning of chapter two as I hope to explore some of these further. Especially the practices with Slavic-only names which appear to have no English equivalent.

Following are bullets I created for people/resources/terms of interest that I hope to delve into at a later time:

People:

  • St. Cyprian
  • Simon Magus

Resources:

  • Russian Primary Chronicle
  • Religion and Society in Russia
  • Secretum Secretorum
  • The Gates of Aristotle

Terms:

  • koldun
  • rafli
  • shestokryl
  • volkhvy
[/I]
« Last Edit: August 24, 2013, 02:54:38 pm by dionysiandame »
Writ, Ritual, and Revelation - Where I wax poetic about nothing at all.
2 Mallards and Thyme- Gastronomy, History, Odds & Ends
Become my latest obsession on Goodreads

He keeps me with all of his other pretty things for I am just another pretty thing in a long list of acquisitions.

Naomi J

  • Grand Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Aug 2012
  • Location: London, UK
  • Posts: 1967
  • Country: gb
  • Total likes: 2
    • View Profile
    • http://leithincluan.wordpress.com/
  • Religion: Gaelic polytheism, modern druidry, rather attached to Cailleach Bhearra, Narnian heretic...
  • Preferred Pronouns: They or she
Quote from: dionysiandame;119865
Following are bullets I created for people/resources/terms of interest that I hope to delve into at a later time:

People:

  • St. Cyprian
  • Simon Magus

Resources:

  • Russian Primary Chronicle
  • Religion and Society in Russia
  • Secretum Secretorum
  • The Gates of Aristotle

Terms:

  • koldun
  • rafli
  • shestokryl
  • volkhvy
[/I]

St Cyprian is quite widely worked with, especially by hoodoo practitioners, from my understanding. It's very interesting to trace where that might originally have come from. That's the second "Ooh, like hoodoo" thought I've ha  while reading this book. Only on chapter 2 myself, but it's fascinating. Especially as someone whose magic has something of a Christian context.
"We're all stories, in the end. Make it a good one, eh?"
- Doctor Who

Stone Onto Sand

dionysiandame

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Nov 2011
  • Posts: 600
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Quote from: Naomi J;119911
St Cyprian is quite widely worked with, especially by hoodoo practitioners, from my understanding. It's very interesting to trace where that might originally have come from. That's the second "Ooh, like hoodoo" thought I've ha  while reading this book. Only on chapter 2 myself, but it's fascinating. Especially as someone whose magic has something of a Christian context.

 
I think a deeper look into "Slavic Hoo-doo" or Syncretic folk magic would be fascinating. They probably cover it in the book, but if they don't I definitely know where I'm headed next.

Forgive me if I've called the practices the wrong thing, I'm still just now learning this stuff so I'm going to fudge quite a bit.
Writ, Ritual, and Revelation - Where I wax poetic about nothing at all.
2 Mallards and Thyme- Gastronomy, History, Odds & Ends
Become my latest obsession on Goodreads

He keeps me with all of his other pretty things for I am just another pretty thing in a long list of acquisitions.

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
2 Replies
603 Views
Last post October 09, 2012, 01:23:12 pm
by Dragonoake
3 Replies
1074 Views
Last post November 15, 2012, 12:26:01 am
by Wintersong
4 Replies
859 Views
Last post April 04, 2013, 06:22:24 pm
by Snowdrop
5 Replies
853 Views
Last post August 14, 2013, 05:53:27 am
by Riothamus12
0 Replies
203 Views
Last post September 27, 2018, 06:07:32 pm
by RandallS

* Who's Online

  • Dot Guests: 33
  • Dot Hidden: 0
  • Dot Users: 1
  • Dot Users Online:

* Please Donate!

The Cauldron's server is expensive and requires monthly payments. Please become a Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor if you can. Donations are needed every month. Without member support, we can't afford the server.

* In Memoriam

Chavi (2006)
Elspeth (2010)
Marilyn (2013)

* Cauldron Staff

Co-Hosts:
LyricFox & Randall

Senior Staff:
Darkhawk

Message Board Staff
Board Coordinator:
Sunflower

Assistant Board Coordinator:
Aster Breo

Board Staff:
Allaya, Chatelaine, HarpingHawke, Jenett, Morag, rocquelaire, Sefiru

Discord Chat Staff
Chat Coordinator:
Morag

Reserve Staff:
Aisling

Cauldron Council:
Bob, Catja, Emma-Eldritch, Fausta, Jubes, Kelly, Phouka, Sperran, Star, Steve, Tana

Cauldron Assistants
[Non-Staff Positions]

Site Assistants
[Non-Staff Positions]
Webmaster:
Randall