This comprehensive dictionary of sacred and magical gem lore, drawn from the rarest sources of Antiquity and the Middle Ages, represents a one-of-a-kind resource for gem enthusiasts and magical practitioners alike. Lecouteux also examines bezoars–stones formed in animals’ bodies–as well as “magnets” that attract materials other than iron, such as gold, flesh, cotton, or scorpions.
For more than 360 years, Nicholas Culpeper’s historic guide to herbal remedies has been THE definitive book on the subject. Culpeper, an English herbalist, is the author of the bestselling herbal guide of all time. He offered valuable and sometimes unusual advice on using, gathering, and preparing herbs. Now, this beautifully illustrated new edition, edited and with commentary by acclaimed US herbalist and bestselling author Steven Foster, combines the charm and information of Culpeper’s original seventeenth-century text with up-to-date, modern, practical usage. It includes details about where to find each herb, astrology, and medicinal benefits.
Lecouteux reveals how, despite outright Church suppression, belief in these spirits carried through to modern times and was a primary influence on architecture, an influence still visible in today’s buildings. The author also shows how our ancestors’ concern for respecting nature is increasingly relevant in today’s world.
From Abracadabra to the now famous spells of the Harry Potter series, magic words are no longer confined to the practices of pagans, alchemists, witches, and occultists. They have become part of the popular imagination of the Western world. Passed down from ancient Babylon, Egypt, and Greece, these words and the rituals surrounding them have survived through the millennia because they work. And as scholar Claude Lecouteux reveals, often the more impenetrable they seem, the more effective they are.
Lecouteux explores the full range of supernatural beings that inhabit the gypsy world, including fairies, undines, ogres, giants, dog-people, and demons, and he examines the three major settings of gypsy folktales–the forest, the waters, and the mountain, which they worshiped as a sacred being in its own right. Complete with rare illustrations and information from obscure sources appearing for the first time in English, this detailed reference work represents an excellent resource for scholars and those seeking to reconnect to their forgotten gypsy heritage.
In this encyclopedia, Claude Lecouteux explores the origins, connections, and tales behind many gods, goddesses, magical beings, rituals, folk customs, and mythical places of Norse and Germanic tradition. Complete with rare illustrations and information from obscure sources appearing for the first time in English, this detailed reference work represents an excellent resource for scholars and those seeking to reconnect to their pagan pasts and restore the old religion.
The term “Fairy” covers all kinds of nature spirits and Elementals all over the world. Not just the tiny sugar sweet creatures hovering around flowers. In its revised edition, this massive work of over 800 pages, is republished in two volumes to meet modern reading standards. In volume 1 the origins of the term Fairy are traced and oriental and medieval romance, Eddas and Sagas, are examined before we explore Fairy-species as Elle-maids, Trolls, Nisses, Elves, Dwarfs, Necks, Mermaids, Nixes, Heinzelmänchen, Watermen or Wassermänchen, Hödeken, Changeling, Wild women and Little people.
Volume 2 deals with Great Britain, the Scottish Highlands and Lowlands, England, Wales, the Isle of Man, Brittany, France, Greece, Italy, Spain, stories of the Finns and Slavonic people and some Jewish and African Fairy-lore. We encounter Fairies in many varieties, Pixies, Brownies, Leprechauns, Chancelings, the Boggard, Puck, the Phynodderee, Kobold, Urisk, Korrigen, the Korred, Tylwyth Teg and more. Just like volume 1, volume 2 displays a precious collection of ancient folklore directly based on the realm of the hidden Elemental nature.
Early modern Finland is rarely the focus of attention in the study of European history, but it has a place in the context of northern European religious and political culture. While Finland was theoretically Lutheran, a religious plurality – embodied in ceremonies and interpreted as magic – survived and flourished.
By analysing the folk stories and personal narratives of a cross-section of Palestinians, Sirhan offers a detailed study of how content and sociolinguistic variables affect a narrator’s language use and linguistic behaviour. This book will be of interest to anyone engaged with narrative discourse, gender discourse, Arabic studies and linguistics.
Can a bump on the head cause someone to speak with a different accent? Can animals, aliens, and objects talk? Can we communicate with gods, demons, and the dead? Language Myths, Mysteries and Magic is a curio shop full of colourful superstitions, folklore, and legends about language.
The first scholar to fully examine this myth in each of its myriad forms, Claude Lecouteux strips away the Christian gloss and shows how the Wild Hunt was an integral part of the pagan worldview and the structure of their societies. Additionally, he looks at how secret societies of medieval Europe reenacted these ghostly processions through cult rituals culminating in masquerades and carnival-like cavalcades often associated with astral doubles, visions of the afterlife, belief in multiple souls, and prophecies of impending death.
The banshee is a mysterious female spirit in Irish folklore, who heralds the death of a family member, usually by shrieking or keening. The screeching sound is described as somewhere between the wail of a woman and the moan of an owl, a low singing or piercing loud and able to break glass. The banshee appears as an old hag or beautiful lady, but may also appear in a variety of other forms, such as that of a crow, stoat, hare and weasel – animals associated in Ireland with witchcraft.
The origins of Halloween are traced back to sun worship, Celtic religion, the Pomona festival and the Christian All Saints Day. Links are given with Teutonic witchcraft and Walpurgis Night. Special Halloween omens are discussed as well as the different ways this holiday was celebrated in Ireland, England and Man, Brittany and France, Scotland and the Hebrides, Wales and America.
Sharing his extensive analysis of Germanic and Norse legends, as well as Roman, Celtic, and medieval literature, Claude Lecouteux explores the ancient, intertwined history of dwarfs and elves. He reveals how both were once peoples who lived in wild regions as keepers of the secrets of nature. They were able to change their size at will and had superhuman strength and healing powers. They were a part of the everyday life of our ancestors before they were transformed by fairy tales and church texts into the mythical creatures we know today.
The impermeable border the modern world sees existing between the world of the living and the afterlife was not visible to our ancestors. The dead could–and did–cross back and forth at will. The pagan mind had no fear of death, but some of the dead were definitely to be dreaded: those who failed to go peacefully into the afterlife but remained on this side in order to right a wrong that had befallen them personally or to ensure that the law promoted by the ancestors was being respected.
As Lecouteux shows, the belief in vampires predates ancient Roman times, which abounded with lamia, stirges, and ghouls. Discarding the tacked together explanations of modern science for these inexplicable phenomena, the author looks back to another folk belief that has come down through the centuries like that of the undead: the existence of multiple souls in every individual, not all of which are able to move on to the next world after death.
Examining the extensive traditions surrounding houses from medieval times to the present, Claude Lecouteux reveals that, before we entered the current era of frequent moves and modular housing, moving largely from the countryside into cities, humanity had an extremely sacred relationship with their homes and all the spirits who lived there alongside them–from the spirit of the house itself to the mischievous elves, fairies, and imps who visited, invited or not.
Taking a serious look at all things werewolf, from the Middle Ages to the Internet, Steiger’s book “leads the pack” on the phenomenon with 250 essays containing current and comprehensive information. 150 photos.
Revealing the vitality of these practices in the remoter areas of Eastern Europe, Lecouteux shows how the influence of this pagan worldview is still detectable in the work of modern folk healers in France and Scandinavia. He also shows how the condemnation of unorthodox methods of healing has not vanished from the contemporary world: the medieval legislation against healing by wizards and bonesetters is echoed in modern health codes that challenge the authority of naturopaths and faith healers.
In this rare and unique book Robert Brown Junior (1844-1912) places the unicorn-phenomena in a context of comparative mythology, while hypothesizing on ancient astrological symbolism. Brown believes the unicorn to be a lunar symbol, and draws on mythology from a wide range of sources all over the world to build his case. He discusses the heraldic use of the unicorn, relates the creature to ancient goddesses like Astarte, Hecate en the Gorgon Medusa, and provides the reader with lost esoteric Moon-lore.
Werewolf Histories is the first academic book in English to address European werewolf history and folklore from antiquity to the twentieth century. It covers the most important werewolf territories, ranging from Scandinavia to Germany, France and Italy, and from Croatia to Estonia.
In a thorough excavation of the medieval soul, Claude Lecouteux reveals the origin and significance of this belief in the Double, and follows its transforming features through the ages. He shows that far from being fantasy or vague superstition, fairies, witches, and werewolves all testify to a consistent ancient vision of our world and the world beyond.