Culture and Cosmos is a peer-reviewed academic journal in the history of astrology and cultural astronomy published in association with the Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture, School of Archaeology, History and Anthropology, University of Wales Trinity Saint David

Vol 18 no 2 (Autumn/Winter 2014 will be published in July/August 2016. Vol. 19 (2015) will be a double issue featuring the proceedings of the 2013 Sophia Centre conference on Celestial Magic and is scheduled for publication in September/October 2016. Vol. 20 (2016) will be a double issue featuring the proceedings of the 2014 Sophia Centre conference on the Marriage of Heaven and Earth.

Volume 19

Ancient Necromantic Rituals in Contemporary Celestial Magic

Jane Burton


This paper explores how witches and spiritual mediums both focus on solar and lunar events as important times for their magical rituals, and also the importance they place upon zodiacal influences. Additionally, it will investigate if blood, either the practitioners own or symbolic, is utilised in basic magical rituals for necromantic purposes such as spirit divination. Necromantic rituals from Ancient Greek magical texts were compared with contemporary rituals employed by the informants, using primary and secondary sources. This is an ethnographic report of participant observation of spiritual mediums and witches living in the Valencia region of Spain. It was conducted over a one-year period of fieldwork study. Data was collected by way of a questionnaire and in a series of interviews with spiritual mediums and witches who practice spirit invocation for divinatory purposes.

Citation: Jane Burton, 'Ancient Necromantic Rituals in Contemporary Celestial Magic', Celestial Magic, special issue of Culture and Cosmos, Vol. 19, nos. 1 and 2, 2015, pp. 225-50.

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