Tonight we’re looking at the concept of “magical Catholicism,” or folk magic using Catholic symbols. We’ll have a couple of saint stories, a brief history of the traditions, and a bevy of practical applications.
Download: Episode 53 – Papisticall Charmes
Relevant blog posts (and podcasts) mentioned in this episode:
- Blog Post 115 & 116 (Cursing Psalms)
- Blog Post 122 (Bibliomancy)
- Blog Post 134 (Brujeria & Curanderismo Intro)
- Blog Post 135 (The Magical Catholic)
- Blog Post 136 (Papisticall Charmes/More Catholic magic)
- Blog Post 137 & 138 (Curandro Spells)
- Blog Post 160, 161, & 176 (Saint Magic)
- Podcast 34 (Biblical Magic)
- Podcast Special (Magical Saints)
(All of these can be easily found by navigating to the “Magical Systems” resource page of the NWW site, then looking at the subheadings of ‘Curanderismo & Brujeria’ and ‘Other Magical Systems’)
Books worth seeking out on the topic:
- Reginald Scot’s Discoverie of Witchcraft
- Draja Mickaharic’s Magical Spells of the Minor Prophets, Spiritual Cleansing, & A Spiritual Worker’s Spell Book
- Joshua Trachtenberg’s Jewish Magic & Superstition
- A chapbook called The Magical Powers of the Holy Death
- Chris Bilardi’s The Red Church and John G. Hohman’s Long Lost Friend
- Curandero by Cheo Torres
- Magical Powers of the Saints by Ray T. Malbrough
- Denise Alvarado’s Voodoo Hoodoo Spellbook
- Encyclopedia of Mystics, Saints, & Sages, by Judika Illes
- Gerald Milne’s Signs, Cures, & Witchery
- Alban Butler’s Lives of the Saints
- I didn’t mention it in the episode, but I’d HIGHLY recommend the new release The Conjure Workbook: Working the Root, vol.1, by Starr Casas—it’s conjure and rootwork, but heavily influenced by the author’s Catholicism and very useful stuff, to boot!
Other worthwhile resources:
- Check out the Yahoo! Group Catholic Folk Magic
- The site fisheaters.com which has several pieces of information that veer towards the esoteric which are worth checking out (such as “St. Anthony’s Brief” or “Holy Oils”) [A warning: this site is very traditional, and thus its viewpoints may be controversial; browse at your own risk]
- I would highly recommend the Library Page of the Curious Curandera website, where you’ll find a number of free titles on magical Catholicism, including “How to Pray the Rosary,” “Saints and their Patronage,” and “Prayers for Different Needs.” There are a few (very good) pay titles, too, but it’s hard to beat the wonderful free texts. Her courses are marvelous, too!
- Legends of St. Expedite come from http://saintexpedite.org/history.html and luckymojo.com/saintexpedite.html
- The legend of Saint Charlene was adapted from an essay by Donna McGee Onebane (http://www.louisianafolklife.org/LT/Articles_Essays/CharleneRichard.html#tab2)
- Special thanks to Listener “V” for your spells from Cartagena!
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Promos & Music
- “Veni Creator Spiritus – Gregorian Chant” – performed by Coral Vertice – from archive.org
- “St. Stephen” – live track performed by the Grateful Dead – from archive.org
-SHOWNOTES FOR PODCAST SPECIAL-
In our only June 2012 episode (sorry! I’ll be back from school soon!) Cory tells a few tales of magical saints. The saints range from canonical choices to folk tales to at least one very American folk saint.
Download: Special Episode – Magical Saints
The sources today come mostly from the following books:
- The Encyclopedia of Mystics, Saints, & Sages by Judika Illes
- Italian Folktales by Italo Calvino
- Discovering American Folklife by Don Yoder
- The Golden Legend (a collection of saintly folk legends)
- Legends of Beasts & Saints by Helen Wadell and Robert Gibbings
- Mules & Men by Zora Neale Hurston
(also, I used Audacity instead of GarageBand for this episode, so the sound may be a bit different)