Tag Archives | Rituals

Repetitious, Time-Intensive Magical Rituals Considered More Effective, Study Shows

ScienceDaily?  Yep, ScienceDaily:

To find out how people rate the effectiveness of magical rituals, Legare and graduate student André Souza conducted a study in Brazil, a country suffused with rituals called simpatias. Used for solving problems as varied as quitting smoking, curing asthma and warding off bad luck, simpatias are formulaic rituals that involve various steps and repetition.

The psychologists presented 162 Brazilian respondents several versions of these rituals. Each was modified with different characteristics, such as repetition of procedures, number of steps, number of items used, and the presence of religious icons.

As part of the study, Legare asked the respondents to rate the effectiveness of each ritual. According to the findings, three elements of the simpatias had the biggest influence: number of steps, repetition of procedures and a specified time.

Read more at ScienceDaily.

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Florida Teacher Had Teens Cut And Burn Themselves In Ritual To Release Demons

Dabbling in the spirit world should be a part of every curriculum. Via the New York Daily News:

Florida teacher Danielle Harkins, 35, brought seven teens to a spot by the pier in St. Petersburg on Saturday, and began the strange religious ritual by starting a small fire, police told WTSP News. The teacher then told the teens to cut themselves to cast out demons lurking in their bodies, and cauterize the wounds to prevent the spirits from returning, investigators said.

“There was apparently some chanting and then dancing around this fire that was taking place,” St. Petersburg Police Department spokesman Mike Puetz told Fox Tampa Bay.

Two kids were cut, and one sustained second-degree burns after the teacher allegedly poured perfume on his wound and lit it with a cigarette lighter. One of them was cut in the neck with a broken bottle and the wound was cauterized with a heated-up house key.

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Serpent-Handling West Virginia Pastor Dies From Snake Bite

Snake Handling

Handling serpents at the Pentecostal Church of God in 1946.

Reports Arlette Saenz on ABC News:

A “serpent-handling” West Virginia pastor died after his rattlesnake bit him during a church ritual, just as the man had apparently watched a snake kill his father years before.

Pentecostal pastor Mark Wolford, 44, hosted an outdoor service at the Panther Wildlife Management Area in West Virginia Sunday, which he touted on his Facebook page prior to the event.

“I am looking for a great time this Sunday,” Wolford wrote May 22, according to the Washington Post. “It is going to be a homecoming like the old days. Good ‘ole raised in the holler or mountain ridge running, Holy Ghost-filled speaking-in-tongues sign believers.”

Robin Vanover, Wolford’s sister, told the Washington Post that 30 minutes into the outdoor service, Wolford passed around a poisonous timber rattlesnake, which eventually bit him…

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