The early modern age of 1500-1700 was a period of European colonial expansion into the so-called ‘New World’, civil wars, famine, and plague: life could indeed be ‘nasty, brutish, and short’. Amidst such fragile mortality, people prayed for their deceased, petitioned elevated Christian martyrs, witnessed ghosts, and whispered of black magic in midnight graveyards.
This talk investigates the roles and powers of the dead in Western occult philosophy and magical practices: from magical funerary customs to corpses as spell components, and from the exorcism and summoning of ghosts and spirits to early sensationalist reports of the customs of various indigenous peoples of the Americas.
Finally, this talk will investigate the diabolical associations of necromancy and “nigromancy” with witchcraft and demonology, offering analysis of a number of pre-modern rituals and techniques involving shades of the dead.
$15 suggested donation requested
Books will be available for sale and signing
Dr. Alexander Cummins is an historian of early modern magic and the emotions who feels the dead should be afforded a chance to speak for themselves. His work focuses on grimoires, folk magic, divination, and sorcery as well as, of course, necromancy and demonology. He is reachable through his website alexandercummins.com
and curates a storehouse of scanned magical texts at grimoiresontape.tumblr.com