• Everything old is new again — young Chinese discover the Western zodiac and think that it is cooler than “Year of the Monkey,” etc.
• “Witchcrap” from The Daily Beast website — “These Modern Witches Want to Cast a Spell on You.”
Modern witchcraft combines feminism, self-help, and wellness. But is there more to it than pretty crystals, stunning Instagram pictures, and lucrative business opportunities?
I think that’s called “fake news.”
• From Jason Miller’s Strategic Sorcery blog: “American Gods: The Jersey Devil and the Pines Witch.” This post was part of “The American Gods Project” — read the rest. “Truly, all sorcery is local.”
• In Albania, they stop the Evil Eye with plushies. Truly, all sorcery is local.
For example, at our funerals, where are the dragon dancers? The all-female marching bands? The strippers?
“I want it to be boistrous. My father liked this kind of atmosphere.”
These Taiwanese make a New Orleans funeral look positively Lutheran.
And it’s much the same in mainland China, where the spicy-funeral custom is drawing the attention of the ever-vigilant government.
Take the outdoor funeral for an 86-year-old man surnamed Huang in central China’s Henan province in December 2012. A woman in a short, white skirt and halter top pulls a mourner on stage and begins to undress him, while periodically peeling off a piece of her own clothing.
Sex and death, baby. Keep turning the wheel.
Photo: Penn Museum
• If you live in or near Philadelphia, visit the U. of Pennsylvania museum for “Magic in the Anciet World,” an exhibit that “explores some of the magical objects, words, and rituals used in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, and Rome.”
• When a Chinese grandmother left an offering at a statue of a video-game character, social media there lit up. But was she merely carrying on tradition?
• “Last temple of the Celts” might be overstating the matter just a little, but it’s an interesting article about a holy mountain in Scotland.
If family and ancestors really, really matter, you can dig up a corpse and manufacture an ancestor.
Ritual ghost marriages, which may date back to the 17th century BC, are increasingly rare in contemporary China – Mao Zedong tried to eliminate them when he assumed power in 1949 – but they are still practised in rural parts of Shaanxi, Shanxi, Henan, Hebei and Guangdong provinces. Families often employ a matchmaker to help find a suitable spouse for their deceased loved ones.
Read the rest.