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MBrown: Religion and Defining Magick

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.christnet,alt.religion.christian,alt.magick,alt.pagan.magick,talk.religion.misc
From: Nema 
Subject: Re: MBrown: Religion and Defining Magick (Was Catholic Magic is an Oxymoron
Date: Wed, 01 May 1996 01:08:42 -0700

nagasiva wrote:
>                                 ]
> Thanks for your reply.  Here is how it (Catholic magick) works.
> I was raised in a devout Irish-Catholic home so I know all
> about these things.:)
> First, there is the official version.  Only the official reps
> (priests) do official, condoned magick.  They also have official
> policies on many behaviours, such as using birth control.  The
> higher-ups spend a lot of time thinking all this stuff up and they
> publish it in "papal bulls" and whatnot that very few catholics
> ever read (or even know exists).  Their policies trickle down through
> the ranks to the parish priest and then the populace.  Sometimes
> parish priests ignore papal policy, but not too flagrantly.  For
> example, many parishes now allow altar girls, even though officially
> they are frowned up (and maybe it even says someplace that this is
> against the rules).  There have always been some abuses of power
> by higher-ups.  Selling blessings and graces, etc....  Even now
> this still goes on, in a more subtle way.  Now various organizations
> as for "donations" and if you donate then they'll say masses and
> prayers for you and that is supposed to help you get into heaven.
> (My FIL is always signing my husband and his family up for these.)
> Anyway, most ordinary members have little clue what the official
> doctrines and interpretations and correct ways of thinking are --
> aside from obvious things like sex and birth-control.  Most are
> "cafeteria catholics" and they pick and choose what they will do
> from the "catholic menu."  This varies by country and culture and
> individual preferences.  In this country, Catholics largely ignore
> the injunction against using birth control.  (Only the rhythm method
> is approved.)  The higher-ups, of course, scorn "cafeteria
> catholocism," bit it is still the main type of catholocism that you
> will find being practiced, at least in this country.
> Now, about catholic folk magick.  There used to be a lot of this.
> However, Vatican II made a concerted effort to stomp out anything
> "superstitious" (among other things).  I think this was a great loss.
> My family used a lot of catholic folk magick, as did other devout
> families (not that I knew it was magick at the time).  These practices
> still linger on, mainly among older people.  They are a bit
> scorned upon by many.  I get the impression that praying for stuff is
> the only magickal practice that one is "officially" allowed to do.
> Do other things looks superstitious now, to other catholics.  I
> wonder if the Vatican had its own reasons for getting rid of the
> "superstitions"?  Reminds me of my grandmother criticizing my grandfather
> for putting bread out for the fairies.  He taught me to do it too.
> She saw it as common and uneducated.  He continued to do it only said
> it was for the birds.
> Gotta go!
> - Peggy -

Hello. It's been a while since I considered myself Catholic, but some 
specific Magick I recall is placing the Palm Sunday palms in windows as a 
protection against lightning, having a home holy water fontlet by the 
door so's to cross oneself coming and going (a direct steal from the 
mezzuza (sp?), and using the incantation "Tony, tony turn around, 
something's lost that must be found" to invoke St. Anthony's help as 
patron of finding lost articles.

There were St. Christopher (now Mister Christopher, I hear) 
medals/amulets to wear or hang in the car for travel protection, plus 
many amulets of the BVM and other saints. There were mini-cults, like 
devotion to the Infant Jesus of Prague and to the Sacred Heart, and 
Corpus Christi processions around the fields and blessings of the animals 
for, I would suppose, fertiltiy guarantees.

Such practices were part of the small, few joys of being Catholic. Thank 
you for the memory evocation opportunity.

Success to your Work.

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