Review of “Italian Folk Magic” by Mary-Grace Fahrun


When medigani talk about “Italian Folk Magic,” they’re talking about something that goes by more names than there are regions in Italy and exists as an amorphous mass of folk religion, superstition, and empirical observation, and defies the attempt at being neatly defined or categorized. In her debut title Italian Folk Magic, Mary-Grace Fahrun doesn’t make the mistake of trying.

Instead, Fahrun takes the autobiographical approach, beginning on a Saturday in 1974 when a visit from a “Signora Cristina” left one of her cousins with “The Eye” and what the women in her family did next to remove it. Ironically I was born in 1974, but I digress.

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Why Cutting Dead Weight Is Good for You


In the not-for-the-squeamish story Necromancer, an underlying theme has the protagonist progressively shedding all links to his previous life.

Now I don’t know much about the author except that I suspect he’s from Michigan; his word-choices remind me of when I lived in western MI, and the characters in TRASH specifically remind me of the Maple Valley Estates trailer park outside Zeeland, despite the scene in the bar where they’re depicted as southern (even as close by as Ohio, trailer parks have a decidedly different feel). But what I do know is that he’s outlining an important process for anyone following a spiritual or “occultic” path: you’ve gotta let it go. Continue reading

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Christ and Mythology

This is excellently written. Notice the careful wording and the (IMHO important) discussion of what Pagans themselves had to say about Christianity. Give this blog a follow!

The Chequer-board of Nights and Days

I was browsing though stuff on an external hard drive recently and found a few documents that I’d written that I thought might be worth making into blogs posts.  The following essay was originally written as an email response to a friend with whom I was having a discussion.  It has been edited slightly, but still may sound a bit like an email.  I think it holds up, for all that, so I’m leaving it essentially as I found it with only very light editing.  Enjoy!

You said awhile back that I hadn’t told you my views of the dying-god myths of Classical antiquity (e.g., Venus and Adonis, and so on).  As I said, I’ve actually told you my opinion before, which is that such things aren’t really relevant, but I will elaborate.

Let me begin with an analogy.  We know that Leif Erikson discovered North America, a.k.a. Vinland, in…

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Magic Is Good, Until It’s Not

ChristusRexOmega-Piero di Cosimo - Pentagram

“Now thaumaturgy and natural magic are in themselves good and lawful, as any art is of itself good. But it may happen to become unlawful: first, when it is done for an evil purpose; second, when it gives rise to scandal being thought to be done with the help of demons; third, when it involves any spiritual or bodily danger to the conjurer or the spectators.”

— Fr. Francesco Maria Guazzo, Compendium Maleficarum, 1608. Book I, Chapter 2.

I can’t help but find a changing attitude about magic in the years after the Council of Trent. Now don’t get me wrong, because magic was never fully authorized even in the best of times (though an educated magician typically had an easier time than uneducated folk magicians and witches), but there’s still a change of mentality.

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Help! My Guardian Angel’s Being a Dick!

“In like manner it must be said that the angel guardian never forsakes a man entirely, but sometimes he leaves him in some particular, for instance by not preventing him from being subject to some trouble, or even from falling into sin, according to the ordering of Divine judgments.”

– St. Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologiae. I, 113, 6

Today’s post is mostly a guest post from Frater Abdiel, an Antiochian Orthodox occultist whom I first met on the Christian_Occultism Yahoo group back in 1998 (do Yahoo groups even exist anymore?).

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Why Can’t Catholics Pray to St. Uriel?


“Why doesn’t the Catholic Church let you pray to Uriel?”

It’s a big question, and you can find it all over the internet. And every time someone asks it, some well-intentioned priest, seminarian, or layperson always says “Because in 745 people were worshipping angels, so Pope Zachary called the Council of Rome and outlawed all angel-names not explicitly mentioned in Scripture: Gabriel, Raphael, and Michael.”

In fact Pope John Paul II upheld this ban in 2002, and I myself referred to this exact same Council in The Magic of Catholicism. In fact clergy and laity alike tend to consider this the final answer to the question.

But guess what? Whenever somebody gives this answer, they never quote exactly what the Council actually said.

Okay THAVMA readers, if you’ve read this blog for any amount of time, then you’ve already figured out exactly what I’m about to do. Let’s dig in!

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Lent, Fasting, and Abstinence

fasting and abstinence

The Second Precept of the Church commands all Catholics to “observe fasting and abstinence from flesh-meats at the prescribed times.”

Lent is such a prescribed time, and fasting is known the world over as a powerful spiritual practice. This means it a good time to review what Fasting and Abstinence actually entails. The rules given here are those in force prior to 1966, as these rules are still in use by Traditional Roman Catholics today.

After we discuss the traditional rules, we’ll give a brief consideration to the new rules, the exceptions, and when/to whom the rules apply.

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