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Medieval Magic & Pharmacy: Not Just “Flying Ointments”

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When I first started my investigation into the so-called “witches’ ointment” of the early modern period I was looking for a specific kind of ointment that caused a specific kind of experience – a “flying” experience, as recognised in contemporary popular culture.

But to delve deeper into the trial records, popular sermons, demonology texts, and medieval pharmacy one will discover not just a flying ointment, but a host of uses for these ointments.

Therefore, a more neutral term, like “psyche-magical” (psychedelic + magical) is useful to convey the breadth of experiences available through these concoctions.

Such magical drug practices (veneficia) included (but were certainly not limited to) entheogenic uses (“generating the divine within”), bewitchment, prophecy, Christo-pagan medical magic, transformations, recreation, and, of course, flying.

<snip>

http://humansarefree.com/2018/06/medieval-magic-pharmacy-not-just-flying.html

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Alcohol has also played a part in religions since it was invented.  The Romans and Greeks had a god for it.  In Greek he is Dionysus, the god of

1. the grape harvest, (Parable of the workers in the vineyard)
2. wine-making and wine, (The wedding at Cana, the last supper)
3.  of ritual madness, (The man possessed)
4.  fertility, (The virgin birth)
5.  theatre (The life of Christ)
6.  and religious ecstasy. (...)

Alcohol is at the very core of Christianity.  Poor witches were the victims of hypocrisy.

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