Comments and comments on an innocent remark I made at the end of ” about mago”. Amanda spoke of the “good feeling”, “das gute Gefühl” – it is a formulation I did not expect to come up here. It is close to what I mean: We have an additional possibility to sense, working or not, trained or not, developed or stunted. I do not know how it works, and I do not care about this, I think this ability is simply human and belongs to us. It was stronger when I was younger.
Let me say something about my family, especially the side of my mother. They come from a pretty remote area in upper Franconia, Thuringia. I was born there and grew up in this area for a good part of my childhood. Within the family, the women held it together and were the strong and powerful persons. I am not sure whether I saw my great-grandmother, the children had to be presented, naturaly I can not remember this. She stood in the reputation of having “powers”. The farmers sent for her when people were hurt, ill, she cured animals. She was asked by women in labour. She knew every little gras by name, she definitly knew what to do with herbs and anything the forrest could offer. She had a dark side too, but I always heard people “say good” about her. She died high in her 80ties in the 1960s.
Her eldest daughter inhereted the dark side, or did not want to contain it or whatever. She once publicly put a spell on a man. She saied he would turn black before he was allowed to die in the next months. He did and litterally rotted away alive. She had a kind of reputation and was called “the black”, “die Schwarz'”. It happened in the 1940s, still in wartime.
My grandmother was an other daughter, younger. She was whiter, more friendly, helped people and animals. My mother was her eldest daughter. She left the area as a young girl, returned for a short time and than left totally.
Reality is what we make. Our senses are limited – we can trick our eyes, our ears, and of course anything else. I like books about optical illusions. The baroque masters used their astounding abilities in painting for such “playful games”. When you have a picture in front of you, you have to read it, analyze it: How did he do, what he did and why? When you have a written source in front of you, similar questions arise. The purpose is to find out, what this text/source can tell me, how it can help me to answer my questions – of course I should have one or two. In a way the source determines the research: I can only get out what is in – the alternative is called lying or decption. Looking at religious artefacts makes it necessary for the researcher to interpret the world of thought and feeling this artefact origined out. There are tricks, limits and dangers – no more hermeneutics here.
I have no doubt that for my ancestors the witchcraft of these women – and it is nothing else what I am talking about – was reality. As student in the 80ties I talked with my grandmother (she was born before WWI) about these things. Her sister allowed no communication on this point. Their reality was still there, died with them, but left traces – up to the web. Simultaneousness of the Un-simultaneous – sorry for this homemade translation of: Gleichzeitigkeit des Ungleichzeitigen (german words tent to be long).
The fact that for 90% of the population 99% of their realties match, is fine – so we can communicate. But it does not change the fact, that every individual has, produces, his own reality. The term “witch” means a woman that is able to “do magic”. Witches are found in any culture that is worth a name. The christian concept of “witch” origins in the 15th century in western Europe and is explainable out of it’s time, is an historical fact that leeds to the processes, the inquisition and what is connected with it. The last witch was burnt at the stake here in the 18th century. One can argue whether it is possible to use the term “witch / Hexe” for nonchristian, magical women (“Zauberinnen”) – the problem is the original latin term “maleficae” (which means “those who do bad”): it is applied to all, the new 15th-century-concept just grabs the word and kicks out the old meaning. We had this discussions in the 1980s, when magic and witchcraft was the big theme in the cultural sciences here in western Europe, powered by the women movement.
So what about mago? I have deep respect for the supernatural, and I think that one should not start to fumble in unknown mechanics causing unwanted, uncontrolled actions. It is of no interest, whether there actually is something like an supernatural “action” in this world or not – it is in a person’s head, in an individual’s world and in this sense it is reality – and can be shared: The spell of my grand-aunt worked.
As Proxima saied, fumbling with these things can make one visit the ward, or worse. As I saied, the art is to close these doors.