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Author Topic: 21st-Century Witch Hunts  (Read 1459 times)

Altair

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21st-Century Witch Hunts
« on: July 05, 2014, 07:38:48 am »
This doesn't necessarily have to do with us neopagans, but it surely is of interest to us, and we're mentioned in passing in the article. I know this is a real problem in Africa, but I had no idea about Papua New Guinea and even Latin America.

The Persecution of Witches, 21st-Century Style

"In recent years, there has been a spate of attacks against people accused of witchcraft in Africa, the Pacific and Latin America, and even among immigrant communities in the United States and Western Europe. Researchers with United Nations refugee and human rights agencies have estimated the murders of supposed witches as numbering in the thousands each year, while beatings and banishments could run into the millions."

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/05/opinion/the-persecution-of-witches-21st-century-style.html
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Atehequa

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Re: 21st-Century Witch Hunts
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2014, 07:19:07 pm »
Quote from: Altair;152282
This doesn't necessarily have to do with us neopagans, but it surely is of interest to us, and we're mentioned in passing in the article. I know this is a real problem in Africa, but I had no idea about Papua New Guinea and even Latin America.

The Persecution of Witches, 21st-Century Style

"In recent years, there has been a spate of attacks against people accused of witchcraft in Africa, the Pacific and Latin America, and even among immigrant communities in the United States and Western Europe. Researchers with United Nations refugee and human rights agencies have estimated the murders of supposed witches as numbering in the thousands each year, while beatings and banishments could run into the millions."

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/05/opinion/the-persecution-of-witches-21st-century-style.html

Interesting, however how much of this involves non-Christian/Abrahamic cultures hunting those deemed practitioners of black magic? Are the hunters thinking of these witches in a European sense?

Witch is a term brought to other cultures by Europeans, namely those speaking the English language. Surely non-European peoples in the far corners of the world have their own names for practitioners of black magic.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2014, 07:20:10 pm by Atehequa »
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Atehequa

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Re: 21st-Century Witch Hunts
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2014, 07:31:02 pm »
Quote from: Altair;152282
but I had no idea about Papua New Guinea


As much as we would like to think all human kind revolves around western idealism, it doesn't. Some have been handling their own affairs in the same manner for thousands of years before the western world found civilization.

[video=youtube;1fVcbYGEQOc]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fVcbYGEQOc[/video]
Muckhswe kee sishet tepe?

Altair

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Re: 21st-Century Witch Hunts
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2014, 11:32:57 pm »
Quote from: Atehequa;152868
Interesting, however how much of this involves non-Christian/Abrahamic cultures hunting those deemed practitioners of black magic?


It depends on the region, I would think. Even if the "witch hunters" are nominally Christian/Abrahamic, the belief in black magic probably runs deeper, going back to the pre-Christian culture.

Quote

Are the hunters thinking of these witches in a European sense?


In most cases, almost certainly not. I didn't get that impression from reading the article.

Quote

Witch is a term brought to other cultures by Europeans, namely those speaking the English language. Surely non-European peoples in the far corners of the world have their own names for practitioners of black magic.


I don't think the point of the article was about the terms used (which will end up translated into English for the purposes of the article anyway), as the harm done to the individuals to whom the terms have been applied.
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Altair

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Re: 21st-Century Witch Hunts
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2014, 11:36:22 pm »
Quote from: Atehequa;152872
As much as we would like to think all human kind revolves around western idealism


I don't like to think that.
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Atehequa

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Re: 21st-Century Witch Hunts
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2014, 09:38:17 am »
Quote from: Altair;152884
I don't like to think that.


An example -

Being more familiar with the eastern woodland Algonquian speaking tribes, the term witch was not often applied in a positive manner. Of course in the many Algonquian dialects there were different names for spiritual leaders, healers and conjurers,but after these tribes came into contact with Europeans, the word 'witch' along with it's meaning was usually applied to those who used their powers for selfish personal gain, or for malefic reasons.
 
Although these practitioners were at time useful for some, usually they were feared, scorned and made to live apart from others.
 
Some of these Algonquian 'witches' kept very powerful bundles which held various magical objects and had to be 'fed' human flesh, if not the practitioner's own, then that of others. In the oral traditions of several tribes, some of these practitioners were cannibalistic.
 
Just as Algonquian spiritual leaders, healers and conjurers can be either male or female, so it was with their concept of the European word - Witch. Keep in mind this was an adopted term regarding such practitioners.
Muckhswe kee sishet tepe?

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