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Desperate Magic: The Moral Economy of Witchcraft in Seventeenth-Century Russia (New)

by Kivelson, Valerie

Publisher: Cornell University Press

Binding: Paperback

Book ID: 9780801479168, 0801479169


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In the courtrooms of seventeenth-century Russia, the great majority of those accused of witchcraft were male, in sharp contrast to the profile of accused witches across Catholic and Protestant Europe in the same period. While European courts targeted and executed overwhelmingly female suspects, often on charges of compacting with the devil, the tsars' courts vigorously pursued men and some women accused of practicing more down-to-earth magic, using poetic spells and home-grown potions. Instead of Satanism or heresy, the primary concern in witchcraft testimony in Russia involved efforts to use magic to subvert, mitigate, or avenge the harsh conditions of patriarchy, serfdom, and social hierarchy.

Broadly comparative and richly illustrated with color plates, Desperate Magic places the trials of witches in the context of early modern Russian law, religion, and society. Piecing together evidence from trial records to illuminate some of the central puzzles of Muscovite history, Kivelson explores the interplay among the testimony of accusers, the leading questions of the interrogators, and the confessions of the accused. Assembled, they create a picture of a shared moral vision of the world that crossed social divides. Because of the routine use of torture in extracting and shaping confessions, Kivelson addresses methodological and ideological questions about the Muscovite courts equation of pain and truth, questions with continuing resonance in the world today. Within a moral economy that paired unquestioned hierarchical inequities with expectations of reciprocity, magic and suspicions of magic emerged where those expectations were most egregiously violated.

Witchcraft in Russia surfaces as one of the ways that oppression was contested by ordinary people scrambling to survive in a fiercely inequitable world. Masters and slaves, husbands and wives, and officers and soldiers alike believed there should be limits to exploitation and saw magic deployed at the junctures where hierarchical order veered into violent excess.

Beyond the Mauve Zone. Enhanced Edition. Beyond the Mauve Zone. Enhanced Edition.
Grant, Kenneth

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Jailbreaking the Goddess: A Radical Revisioning of Feminist Spirituality Jailbreaking the Goddess: A Radical Revisioning of Feminist Spirituality
Allen, Lasara Firefox
Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.

"Jailbreaking the Goddess is an important contribution to the writings on Goddess tradition and feminist spirituality. . . . I love her political savvy, her sensitivity around issues of diversity and cultural awareness and appropriation, and her unabashed celebration of pleasure, sensuality, and life!" -- Starhawk

Jailbreaking the Goddess is a revolutionary revisioning of the feminine divine. Where the maiden, mother, crone archetypal system is tied to female biology and physic...

Price: $22.99

The Sworn Book of Honorius: Liber Iuratus Honorii The Sworn Book of Honorius: Liber Iuratus Honorii
Honorius of Thebes
Ibis Press / Nicolas-Hayes

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Interest in The Sworn Book of Honorius has grown in recent years, yet no modern translations have been attemptedunt...

Price: $35.00

Tarot of Marseilles - Conver 1760 Restored (Standard Deck) Tarot of Marseilles - Conver 1760 Restored (Standard Deck)
Jodorowsky & Camoin

Based on years of research with the goal of creating the definitive Tarot de Marseille, this deck is a labor of love that possesses fine details and the passionate workmanship of Phillipe Camoin -- last heir to the centuries-old legacy of Marseillan cardmakers -- and acclaimed artist and tarotist Alejandro Jodorowsky. Influenced most heavily by the deck of Nicolas Conver first printed in 1760, this premium deck is a treasure for readers and collectors.

Keeper of the Tarot of Marseilles Tradi...

Price: $39.95

The Blazing Dew of Stars The Blazing Dew of Stars
Smith, David Chaim
Fulgur Limited

London: Fulgur Limited, 2013. Limited to 1001 copies only. Square landscape folio. For those who have had the joy of handling and experiencing The Sacrificial Universe released last year, this new book will continue that fine tradition. The Blazing Dew of Stars is a complex mystical text which speaks with many voices to introduce the practice of Kabbalistic contemplative alchemy. The volume offers glimpses of a rare view of direct application and immersion into the Real, intertwini...

Price: $89.95