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To: alt.magick
From: catherine yronwode 
Subject: Re: Werewolves...
Date: Sat, 27 Apr 2002 20:45:27 GMT

Ben Fernee wrote:
> Greetings!
> > The
> >germans/vikings said when they took another shape thath they
> >'changed harbour')  certain nights at the big feasts and
> >equinoxes. Their task was to scare the  demons away from the
> >fields so that it would grow but also to take back robbed power
> >of growth from these demons.
> Carlo Ginzberg in Night Battles describes how in North Italy the
> Inquisition stumbled across the Benandanti, who believed themselves
> transported at night as werewolves to do battle in the skies with 
> the witches for the crops.
> I am fascinated by such account of cults which people believed the
> participated at night, in a dream state. I would welcome any other
> examples.

 Ben, there is a lot of such material in accounts of African-American
beliefs in the South, especially pre-1900. Much of it has a Germanic
cast, rather than being purely African -- and terms like hag-riding are
used. The old Germano-British story, "Skinneee, don't you know me"
(about the shape-changing nocturnal witch whose skin is salted so she
cannot resume her human form) is common in the African-American
community, for instance. In these tales, the witches are not asleep, of
course, but the victim is, and he or she is ridden about the countryside
under saddle and bridle, to awaken exhausted and drenched with sweat,
suffereing from vaguely-remembered dreams of being hag-ridden or used as
a horse to plow the witch's fields.

cat yronwode 

Hoodoo in Theory and Practice --

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