Issuu on Google+

o c c u lt u s

occultus

1 section


vinegar of the four theives

for protection and good health.

fig. 2 - 3 sprigs of thyme fig. 1 - 1 qt red wine vinegar

fig. 4 - 2 tbsp lavender

fig. 3 - 3 cloves of garlic. Crushed.

fig. 5 - 2 tbsp rosemary

Toss herbs and garlic together in a one-quart mason jar, cover with vinegar and allow them to marinate for seven to ten days in a sunny location. After seven to ten days, strain the vinegar through a fine-mesh sieve into a second,

fig. 6 - 7 leaves of mint

clean 1-quart glass jar. Store at room temperature until ready to use and serve as you would any seasoned vinegar: as a basis for vinaigrettes or as a seasoning for braised meats and vegetables.


o c c u lt u s

ELEMENTS 6 An examination of the role of the occult and witchcraft in present culture. It’s always been the season of the witch. seasons of the witch

8

letters from salem

FACETS

voodoo

Two accounts of the horrors that occurred in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. A lesson in how to terrify godfearing pilgrims.

- p.6

Four profiles on four different sects of neopaganism. Nature worship is not dead. Folk magic is not imaginary. wicca druidry voodoo hoodoo

2 3 4 5

COMP ENDIUM

letter from deodat lawson

9

a report for john cotton

9

colophon

16

Occultus represents the unspoken affinity for mystery, magic, and mysticism. A catalyst for the practice of arcane spirituality.

occultus volum e 1

issue 1

1 compendium


o c c u lt u s

FA C E T S Wi c c a

fig. 7 - A Wiccan circle of protection Wicca, or Pagan Witchcraft is the most commonly practiced form of Neopaganism. It centers around the worship of the Moon Goddess and the Horned God, and features elements of a variety of ancient mythologies as well as the practice of magic. Wicca evolved from pre-Christian pagan practices in England other parts of western Europe. The modern traditional form of Wicca, Gardnerian Wicca, has developed from these ancient practices, and many varying forms of Wicca have splintered from the traditional Gardnerian Wicca. The theology of Wicca is heavily based in nature, many believing that all forces in nature

are divine, and representative of either a god or a goddess. Wiccans also accept polytheism, and believe that all divine figures correspond to one another. They believe that all gods are really one god and all goddesses are just one goddess, regardless of what religion they belong to. Because of the use of magic and spiritual rituals, Wiccans have been accused of being witches for centuries, and in many cases, have been persecuted because of this. However, recent trends in popular culture have brought a poplarity and acceptance to Wicca and witchcraft that have never been seen before.

2 fa c e t s


o c c u lt u s

FA C E T S Druidry

fig. 8 - Treelore and Tree veneration is a crucial practice in Druidry Neo-Druidism, or Druidry, is similar to Wicca, in that it is derivative of an ancient European religion. Druidry focuses on the worship of harmony in nature, respect of all living things, and protection of nature. Along with veneration of nature, a main facet of Druidry is the worship of ones ancestors. These are the two common beliefs that link all druids, other than that, there is no set structure of beliefs within the Druid religion. Being centered around nature, many Druids are animists, which means they believe animals themselves are gods and that these animal spirits belong to a tribe of divine

creatures. In some branches of Druidry exists a tree lore, where different trees are used in rituals. According to the tree lore, there are trees that correspond to different moods, personality traits, seasons, and phases of life. Druid rituals and religious rites are so heavily based in the natural world, that it is not uncommon to see Druids involved in environmental activism. For Druids, protecting the environment is not only about protecting the Earth’s natural beatuy and integrity, it is about preserving the practices of a religion that has existed since the Iron Age, that predates Rome and almost all of Western society.

3 fa c e t s


o c c u lt u s

FA C E T S Vo o d o o

fig. 9 - A Voodoo queen prepares a poultice Voodoo, or Lousiana Voodoo as we know it today, was originally a folk practice in West Africa. These pagan traditions, such the use of Gris-gris (an small amulet worn for protection, made out of a collection of items and stored in a pouch) and the worship of Voodoo Queens and Li Grand Zombi, a snake deity, were brought over with the slave trade. Simultaneously, refugees from the Haitian Revolution brought over their own traditions and rituals of their Vodou culture. These folk traditions collided and entwined with the widely practiced Catholicism of the American South and created a new, folk religion – Louisiana Voodoo.

The collection of rituals that we know today as Voodoo is representative of a syncretic religion. In other words, Voodoo is a religion made up of practices and traditions of several other contradictory religions. The folk traditions of Africa and Haiti – featuring the worship of multiple gods and goddesses, the use of potions, poultices, protective amulets and spells – and the practices of Catholicism and Western European culture are what make up Voodoo today. In Voodoo, rituals often require the invocation of a spirit, a celestial force. Many times, Voodoo Queens will invoke the will of Jesus and his disciples, Patron Saints, while at the same time crafting altars for their Pagan gods and Goddesses.

4 fa c e t s


o c c u lt u s

FA C E T S Hoodoo

fig. 10 - Mirrors and reflections signify doorways to other worlds in Hoodoo culture Hoodoo shares a common ancestral past with Voodoo. Both originated from West African traditions, but instead of melding with the folkways of Hatian Vodou and Catholicism when introduced in America, Hoodoo instead aligned itself with the folk practices of Jamaica, Cuba, and Native Americans. This resulted in a conglomerate religion with a focus on what non-practitioners have branded as Folk Magic and Superstition. However, the practices of Hoodoo are much more than a childish belief in spirits. When introduced in America, instead of blending the Christian beliefs of creation, Hoodoo

patrons instead appropriated these stories to fit their own framework of beliefs. Hoodoo sets God as the ultimate Hoodoo doctor, using magic spells and powerful incantations to create all that we know in the world in just six days. A similar treatment was given to Moses, and even the Bible. Moses became, to many hoodoo, the most powerful Hoodoo man in the world. And in many rituals, the Bible itself can be used as a book of spells, with psalms acting as protective charms. These practices using re-appropriated Christian beliefs and elements helped Hoodoo become widely popular, resulting in its presence in movies, music, and television.

5 fa c e t s


o c c u lt u s

seasons of the

witch

6 elements


o c c u lt u s

the occult has never been silenced. There has always been a thread of public interest in the workings of the mythic. Young ones and adults alike are fascinated with the worlds of Harry Potter, Twilight, Teen Wolf, True Blood, Supernatural, and American Horror Story. In the past, young ones and adults alike were executed for the practices of paganism. But public opinion on these topics have changed. Since the beginnings of religion, there has been an element of the satanic in global culture. Concerns of damnation and Satan have long plagued those who prescribe to a life of piety and religion. These are the same people broke into hysterics at Salem in 1692 and put 14 women and 6 men to death. But in today’s world of dissenters and non-believers, these concerns and hysterics have vanished. What has replaced these fears is more than acceptance, its a sense of empowerment. Dissemination of equality among different levels of society: women, the elderly, children, etc. is what has given this new sense of empowerment to such practices. When women could not vote, when children were ignored, when blacks and other minorities had little to no influence in the larger machinations of society, witchcraft and the occult gave them access to knowledge, medicine, and power that had previously been barred from them. Figures like Marie Laveau and Tituba serve as iconic role models, as both were women of meagre societal stature, yet proved to be pivotal and influential in their own right. Much mystery surrounds Marie Laveau - a voodoo queen who lived in New Orleans in the 1800s.

She worked as a hairdresser to the prominent white households of the area, and used her connections in the wealthy homes to craft a network of informants, which she used to build clout among the citizens of the French Quarter and surrounding areas. Tituba was a slave brought to Salem and was one of the first accused and tried for the practices of witchcraft. She confessed, yet was not executed. Rather, she used her status as a “witch” to protect herself and others. Women needed to be able to fend for themselves in a world that was much crueller than today. Witchcraft served to protect as well as intimidate. But things have changed. Today, witchcraft has become an aesthetic, an image, and has been highly romanticised. Performers like Florence Welch and Stevie Nicks - known for wearing flowing gowns and their ethereal appearance - are commonly referenced as being witches, gypsies, or priestesses. Although these references are based solely on appearance, the connotations related to such comparisons are what give them their power. These women are held at such a standard due to their appearance that they become icons, role models, and heroes, all for being in the public eye.

7 elements

Appearance is not all that has come of the witch. More recently, the witch has again become a figure of raw mythic power. The third season of FX’s hit television show American Horror Story features a coven of young women, possessed of the craft. These young women are necromancers, telekinetic, psychic, human voodoo dolls, heirs of tituba, immortal. They are powerful, forces not to be trifled with. They present a new, dark brand of feminism. In today’s culture of “blurred lines” and slut shaming, young girls need to be more prepared and aggressive than ever in order to fight for equal treatment. These young girls provide a touchstone of sorts. Perhaps even a glimpse into what will become of the fight for feminism - an introduction to a more ferocious, more aggressive, more wickedly cunning form of feminism. The fingers of witchcraft have had their grasp on popular culture for centuries. Recently their influence and presence has become more visible, and has not yet been met with sizeable opposition. It seems the more the shroud of mystery lifts itself from the face of the occult, the more the public seems to enjoy itself. The future is, for some, uncertain. But for this new brand of witch, it is clear as crystal.


o c c u lt u s

LETTERS FROM

SALEM In 1692, a widespread hysteria had fallen over the town of Salem, Massachusetts. Women and young girls suddenly became stricken with a terrifying affliction. Witchcraft. Accusations and rumors ran rampant throughout New England. Many were persecuted for this invisible malevolence, and some were put to death. In these pages lie two accounts of the horrors that transpired on the shores of Massachusetts those many years ago.

8 elements


o c c u lt u s

a

plea

from

DEODAT LAWSON Deodat Lawson, reverend in Salem from 1684 to 1688 returned to the quiet villiage when the witchhunts began. What he found there beguiled and terrified him. Lawson addressed this letter to a man in London, begging for guidance.

fig. 11 - Map of Salem, MA 1692 A Further Account of the Tryals of the New-England Witches, sent in a Letter from thence, to a Gentleman in London. Here were in Salem [ fig. 1], June 10, 1692, about 40 persons that were afflicted with horrible torments by Evil Spirits, and the afflicted have accused 60 or 70 as Witches, for that they have Spectral appearances of them, tho the Persons are absent when they are tormented. When these Witches were Tried, several of them confessed a contract with the

Devil, by signing his Book, and did express much sorrow for the same, delareing also thir Confederate Witches, and said the Tempters of them desired them to sign the Devils Book, who tormented them till they did it. There were at the time of Examination, before many hundreds of Witnesses, strange Pranks play’d; such as the taking Pins out of the Clothes of the afflicted, and thrusting them into their flesh; many of which were

9 elements


o c c u lt u s

fig. 12 - The House of Seven Gables. The oldest mansion in America. Haunted by witches. taken out again by the Judges own hands. Thorns also in like kind were thrust into their flesh; the accusers were sometimes struck dumb, deaf, blind, and sometimes lay as if they were dead for a while, and all foreseen and declared by the afflicted just before ‘twas done. Of the afflicted there were two Girls, about 12 or 13 years of age, who saw all that was done, and were therefore called the Visionary Girls; they would say, Now he, or she, or they, are going to bite, or pinch the Indian; and all there present in Court saw the visible marks on the Indians arms; they would also cry out, Now look, look,

they are going to bind such an ones Legs, and all present saw the same person spoken of, fall with her Legs twisted in an extraordinary manner; Now say they, we shall all fall, and immediately 7 or 8 of the afflicted fell down, with terrible shrieks and Out-crys; at the time when one of the Witches was sentenc’d, and pinnion’d with a Cord, at the same time was the afflicted Indian Servant going home, being about 2 or 3 miles out of town, and had both his Wrists at the same instant bound about with a like Cord, in the same manner as she was when she was sentenc’d, but with that violence,

10 elements

that the Cord entered into his flesh, not to be untied, not hardly cut. Many Murders are suppos’d to be in this way committed; for these Girls, and others of the afflicted, say, they see Coffins, and bodies in Shrowds, rising up, and looking on the accused, crying, Vengeance, Vengeance on the Murderers-- Many other strange things were transacted before the Court in the time of their Examination; and especially one thing which I had like to have forgot, which is this, One of the accus’d, whilst the rest were under Examination, was drawn up by a Rope to the Roof of the house


o c c u lt u s

fig. 13 - A locket containing a likeness of Deodat Lawson where he was, and would have been choak’d in all probability, had not the Rope been presently cut; the rope hung at the Roof by some invisible tye, for there was no hole where it went up; but after it was cut the remainder of it was found in the Chamber just above, lying by the very place where it hung down. In December 1692, the Court sate again at Salem in NewEngland, and cleared about 40 persons suspected for Witches, and Condemned three. The Evidence against these three was the same as formerly, so the Warrant for their Execution was sent, and the Graves digged for the said three, and for about five more that had been Condemned at Salem formerly, but were Repreived by the Governour. In the beginning of February 1693, the Court sate at Charles-Town, where the Judge exprest himself to this effect. That who it was that obstructed the Execution of Justice, or hindered those good proceedings they had made, he knew not, but thereby the Kingdom of Satan was advanc’d, &c and the Lord have mercy on this Country; and so declined coming any more into Court. In his absence Mr. D--- sate

as Chief Judge 3 several days, in which time 5 or 6 were clear’d by Proclamation, and almost as many by Trial; so that all are acquitted. The most remarkable was an Old Woman named Dayton, of whom it was said, If any in the World were a Witch, she was one, and had been so accounted 30 years. I had the Curiosity to see her tried; she was a decrepid Woman of about 80 years of age, and did not use many words in her own defence. She was accused by about 30 Witnesses; but the matter alledged against her was such as needed little apology, on her part not one passionate word, or immoral action, or evil, was then objected against her for 20 years past, only strange accidents falling out, after some Christian admonition given by her, as saying, God would not prosper them, if they wrong’d the Widow. Upon the whole, there was not prov’d against her any thing worthy of Reproof, or just admonition, must less so heinous a Charge. So that by the Goodness of God we are once more out of present danger of this Hobgoblin Monster; the standing Evidence used at Salem were called, but did not appear

11 elements


o c c u lt u s

fig. 14 - John Cotton

an anonymous report for

JOHN COTTON Amidst the terrors of the Salem witch trials, a concerned citizen addressed this letter to John Cotton, one of the country’s most respected and honored clergymen. Begging for the minister’s prayer, as well as updating him on the moral state of the colony.

12 elements


o c c u lt u s

fig. 15 - An etching depicting the trial of Sarah Good. She was later hanged for witchcraft. August 5, 1692 Reverend Sir,

agreeing in Burroughs being their ringleader, who, I suppose, this day receives his trial at Salem, whither a vast concourse of people is gone, my father this morning among the rest. Since those, there have come in other confessors; yea, they come in daily. About this prodigious matter my soul has been refreshed with some little short of miraculous answers of prayer, which are not to be written; but they comfort me with a prospect of a hopeful issue.

Our good God is working of miracles. Five witches were lately executed, impudently demanding of God a miraculous vindication of their innocency. Immediately upon this, our God miraculously sent in five Andover witches, who made a most ample, surprising, amazing confession of all their villainies, and declared the five newly executed to have been of their company, discovering many more, but all

13 elements


o c c u lt u s

fig. 16 - The Giddy House. Partially sunken by the earthquake in Jamaica in 1692.

The whole town yesterday turned the lecture into a fast, kept in our meeting-house; God give a good return. But in the morning we were entertained with the horrible tidings of the late earthquake at Jamaica, on the 7th of June last. When, on a fair day, the sea suddenly swelled, and the earth shook and broke in many places; and in a minute’s time, the rich town of Port-Royal, the Tyrus of the whole English America, but a very Sodom for wickedness, was immediately swallowed up, and the sea came rolling over the town. No less than seventeen-

hundred souls of that one town are missing, besides other incredible devastations all over the island, where houses are demolished, mountains overturned, rocks rent, and all manner of destruction inflicted. The Non-conformist minister there escaped wonderfully with his life. Some of our poor New England people are lost in the ruins, and others have their bones broke. Forty vessels were sunk�namely all whose cables did not break; but no New England ones. Behold, an accident speaking to all our English America. I live in pains, and want your prayers.

14 elements


o c c u lt u s

IN MEMORIAM BRIDGET BISHOP

GILES COREY

SARAH WILDES

MARTHA COREY

ELIZABETH HOWE

MARY EASTY

SUSANNAH MARTIN

ALICE PARKER

SARAH GOOD

MARKY PARKER

REBECCA NURSE

ANN PUDEATOR

GEORGE BURROUGHS

WILMOTT REDD

JOHN PROCTOR

MARGARET SCOTT

JOHN WILLARD

SAMUEL WARDELL

In 1692, 14 women and 6 men were accused of being witches. They were tried, convicted and executed. A monument stands in Salem, Massachusetts to commemorate their deaths, and to prevent terrors like the Salem Witch Trials to ever again resurface on American soil.

15 elements


o c c u lt u s

FACETS

THANK YOU

written by Max Kleiner photography by Max Kleiner

Amanda Driscoll (Covers, Hoodoo, Wicca) Margaret Potts (Back Cover, Season of the Witch, Voodoo) Dan Whitaker (Druidry) Josh Beard (Druidry) Austin Kiesewetter (Druidry)

ELEMENTS season of the witch

FONTS USED

written by Max Kleiner photography by Max Kleiner

Display Type

Bodoni Book Bodoni Bold Condensed Baskervill Bold Italic

letters from salem letters compiled from the Salem Witch Trials Documentary Archive and Transcription Project, courtesy of the University of Virginia All images found using creative commons search

Subheadings & Body

Baskerville italic Baskerville Regular 9/10

16 colophon


o c c u lt u s

craft the spell in the fire. craft it well. weave it higher.

weave it now of shining flame.

none shall pass to harm or maim.

none shall pass this fiery wall.

none shall pass none at all.


o c c u lt u s

volume 1 issue 1


OCCULTUS