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Cultural Blinders

To: alt.magick
From: catherine yronwode 
Subject: Cultural Blinders
Date: Sat, 16 Mar 2002 01:36:34 GMT

AgnosticGnostic wrote:

> [Y] wrote:

> > I wonder if there's a market for 'graveyard mud'?

> If you say it will do something (especially if its magically 
> delicious) than you can sell anything.

That's an interestingly smug attitude, but my experience does not bear
out its truth. Generally, people will only buy magical goods already
known to them through their own culture. Here's an example: your mockery
of "graveyard mud":  You just donŐt cone from a veneration-of-the-dead
culture, so the idea of pouring a bottle of whiskey on a grave to pay
for the dirt and feed the spirit is laughable to you, as is the concept 
of paying for graveyard dirt with coins. 

To you, selling graveyard dirt is "selling anything," not collecting 
ritually valuable dirt through the proper performance of ritual 
offerings or libation. 

You ARE aware, are you not, that to someone who doesn't come from a
Judeo-Christian culture, calling up the Archangels is just "saying mumbo

And "mumbo jumbo" itself -- which is used in English to mean "gibberish"
or "meaningless prattle posing as religious talk") ("Them old slaves was
out back of the cabin talking that old African mumbo-jumbo.") is nothing
more than a disparaging connotation applied by Judeo-Christians and
their camp-followers to an African term that literally translates as
"the sacred words" or "a discourse about liturgy." (Yep, "them old
slaves was out back of the cabin talking that old African mumbo-jumbo"
-- and now you know ... the REST of the story.) 

Graveyard dirt is important in the magical traditions of African people.

Swords are important in the magical traditions of hermetics.

Human skulls are important in the magical traditions of Tibetans.

Written texts are important in the magical traditions of Christians.

Eye-in-hand images are important in the magical traditions of Semites.

Don't you get it yet? 

There are only a few "universals" in magic, or near-universals, anyway: 
incense, some sort of flame, some sort of magical link or image, the use
of names ... 

The rest varies by culture. 

cat yronwode 

Hoodoo in Theory and Practice --

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