Tag Archives | Witchcraft

Inside Ghana’s Witch Camps

Imagine life in a remote town comprised entirely of “witches.” The BBC explains:

When misfortune hits a village, there is a tendency in some countries to suspect a “witch” of casting a spell. In Ghana, outspoken or eccentric women may also be accused of witchcraft – and forced to live out their days together in witch camps.

The camps are said to have come into existence more than 100 years ago, when village chiefs decided to establish isolated safe areas for the women. They survive by collecting firewood, selling little bags of peanuts or working in nearby farms.

“The camps are a dramatic manifestation of the status of women in Ghana,” says Professor Dzodzi Tsikata of the University of Ghana. “Older women become a target because they are no longer useful to society.”

Women who do not conform to society’s expectations also fall victim to the accusations of witchcraft, according to Lamnatu Adam of the women’s rights group Songtaba.

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EBay Bans Sale Of Magic, Spells, Curses, Witchcraft

Rumor has it that Etsy may follow suit. The question that comes to mind is, does this constitute religious discrimination? The other question that comes to mind is, who are the 20 people who bought a penis enlargement spell for 15 dollars on eBay? From eBay’s 2012 Fall Seller Update:

The following items are being added to the prohibited items list: advice; spells; curses; hexing; conjuring; magic; prayers; blessing services; magic potions; healing sessions.

Discontinued categories:

Metaphysical: Psychic, Paranormal > Readings
Metaphysical: Psychic, Paranormal > Spells, Potions
Metaphysical: Tarot Readings

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Nepal to Crack Down on ‘Witchcraft’ Accusations

Via Skeptic:

Arnold Savage Henry Landor - 'Nepalese Woman'

Witchcraft is taken seriously in some areas of Nepal, and women accused of its practice have been beaten, tortured and in one high profile incident, burned alive. The Nepalese government is hoping to end such activities with strict laws aimed at punishing those who accuse others of witchcraft:

“Taking seriously the incident in Kathmandu, the government has decided in principle to enact a comprehensive anti-witchcraft law,” Trilochan Upreti, law secretary at the prime minister’s office, told Khabar. The proposed law treats witchcraft allegations seriously, with a convicted punishment of up to 10 years imprisonment and an Rs 61,957.40 ($700) fine for those found to have levied false accusations.

Read More at Skeptic.

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‘Cursing Stone’ Found On Isle Of Canna

450px-Cursing_Stone,_Carlisle_-_geograph.org.uk_-_916217Would you test the powers of the cursing stone? The first ever uncovered in Scotland, it supposedly can cast a spell when it is rotated while the proper prayer is spoken. BBC reports:
A stone discovered by chance in an old graveyard on the Isle of Canna is Scotland's first known example of a bullaun "cursing stone", experts have revealed. Dating from about 800 AD, the stones are associated with early Christian crosses - of which there is one on the isle. It was later found to fit exactly into a large rectangular stone with a worn hole which was located at the base of the Canna cross. Traditionally, the pilgrim would recite a prayer while turning the stone clockwise, wearing a depression or hole in the stone underneath. Katherine Forsyth, an expert in the history and culture of early Celtic-speaking peoples, based at the University of Glasgow, described it as an "amazing find".
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Witches: An Ecofeminist History Lesson

Magic CircleAlison Parker writes in Bitch Magazine:

To me, witches are the quintessential ecofeminists.

“Witch” is a word that was sullied by various groups of long ago, but it’s been reclaimed by herbalists like me. Witches and the word “witch” have many meanings in many cultures, but for the purposes of this post, I will touch on just one context, one dark moment of history: The suppression of witches—or healers who were mainly women—in medieval Europe that went on for centuries, and the themes behind those witch hunts that still appear in society today.

My mind began to swim with this idea of witch-as-ecofeminist while working at a medicinal herb farm as a farmhand long ago. I had been seeding herbs in the greenhouse alongside another worker, who was semi-complaining about the job, but then finally shrugged. “This one is way better than my last job at an herb farm,” she said.

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Sakawa Boys: Ghana’s Cyber-Juju Email Scam Gangs

sakawa-poster-11What do you get when you combine identity theft and email fraud with black magic, spells, and shape shifting? The explosively popular West African subculture known as Sakawa. Via Motherboard, who filmed their visit in Ghana with Sakawa boys:

While Nigeria’s 419 scammers may have written the book on West African internet fraud, their shtick looks like Compuserve compared to what’s going on in Ghana. Ghana’s scammers decided to stack the odds in their favor the old-fashioned way: witchcraft.

Traditional West African Juju priests adapted their services to the needs of the information age and started leading down-on-their-luck internet scammers through strange and costly rituals designed to increase their powers of persuasion and make their emails irresistible to greedy Americans. And so “Sakawa” was born.

Not only is Sakawa the country’s most popular youth activity and one of its biggest underground economies, it’s a full-blown national phenomenon. Sakawa has its own tunes, clothing brands, Sakawasploitation flicks, and even a metastatic backlash from Christian preachers and the press.

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Resorting To God To Solve The Housing Crisis

As millions of Americans know all too well, no matter what Wall Street says, the housing crisis is far from over. Rather than blame the banks though, the Street’s paper of record, the Wall Street Journal, features a series of photographs of religious and spiritual types trying to “cleanse” foreclosed housing stock of bad vibes. Yeah, that’ll do it guys. I’m not sure if I’m more amused or disgusted. Sample photo below, the rest here.

Lori Bruno, modern day Salem witch. Photo: Christopher Capoziello for the Wall Street Journal.

Lori Bruno, modern day Salem witch. Photo: Christopher Capoziello for the Wall Street Journal.

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Romania Legally Recognizes Witchcraft As A Profession

The Romanian government has recognized jobs such as witches, embalmers and driving instructors, as professions. The interest was in gaining income tax as an effort to recover from the nation’s recession. From The Huffington Post:

Romania has changed its labor laws to officially recognize witchcraft as a profession, prompting one self-described witch to threaten retaliation.

The move, which went into effect Saturday, is part of the government’s drive to crack down on widespread tax evasion in a country that is in recession.

In addition to witches, astrologists, embalmers, valets and driving instructors are now considered by labor law to be working real jobs, making it harder for them to avoid income tax.

For months the measure had been debated, protested by witches and mocked by the media.

On Saturday, a witch called Bratara told Realitate.net, the website of a top TV station, that she plans to cast a spell using black pepper and yeast to create discord in the government.

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Air Force Academy Finally Accepting Spell-Casters

Air Force Witches?Noah Shachtman writes on the always interesting WIRED's Danger Room:
Just a few years ago, the Air Force Academy was considered such an evangelical hothouse that the place got sued for its alleged discrimination against non-Christians. Today, the Academy is boasting of its thriving pagan community — and its friendliness towards spell-casters. In a press release issued [on Oct. 21st], the Academy features Tech. Sgt. Brandon Longcrier, “the lay leader for the Academy’s Earth-Centered Spirituality community, which includes Wiccans and Pagans from various traditions.” (It’s part of a larger effort by the school to promote an image of tolerance.) During an inter-faith discussion group, the release notes, one cadet asked Longcrier “whether Wiccans or Pagans practiced ‘black magic.’” Sergeant Longcrier responded by citing the Wiccan credo, or Rede: “An it harm none, do what ye will.” That would seem to preclude harmful spellcraft.
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Do Americans Have a Chance of Having A (Former) Witch in the U.S. Senate?

WitchAnother great thing coming out of the recent Real Time With Bill Maher besides the deserved knock on the Democrats' "rebranding" is that Bill Maher mentioned he had Delaware Senate hopeful Christine O’Donnell on his old show Politically Incorrect 22 times! So we get to find out fun things like Tea Party favorite Christine O’Donnell dabbled in witchcraft and believes it's wrong to tell a lie under any circumstances (that certainly won't work for her in the Senate). Man, do I like Maher's proposed strategy to try to get Candidate O’Donnell on his new show:
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