Sending

Sorcerers in many cultures send animals, birds, insects, spirits, animated objects and allegedly even bewitched corpses to carry out Curses—usually of death— against victims (see sorcery). The animal may be the sorcerer’s own Familiar or a creature suited to the curse. Navajo and Hindu sorcerers often use dogs, but if the curse calls for destroying crops, they will send grasshoppers, locusts, caterpillars and other insects. The Chippewa lay a curse of starvation by stuffing an owl skin with magical substances and causing it to fly to the victim’s home. Shamans send familiars—usually in the form of an animal or bird—out to battle for them, but if the familiar dies, so does the shaman (see Shamanism). New Guinea sorcerers favor snakes and crocodiles for sending, while in malay, the familiar is usually an owl or badger passed down from generation to generation. New Guinea sorcerers also send disease-causing objects, such as pieces of magical bone and coral, to lodge in bodies. In Africa, the kaguru witches send anteaters to burrow under the walls of their victims’ huts, and the Gisu send rats in pairs to collect hair and nail clippings of victims for use in black-magic spells (see AFrICAn Witchcraft; Hair and Nails).

Spirits dispatched on magical errands may be Demons or entities summoned by the sorcerer, or they may be artificial elementAls or thoughtForms, created by Magic. rather than relying on familiars, the sorcerer may send his or her own fetch, or astral body, which is projected out from the physical body.

The Zulus’ familiars are said to be corpses dug up and reanimated with magic; they are sent out on night errands to scare travelers with their shrieking and pranks. Corpses also are sent in Vodun, with an invocation to St. Expedit, whose image is placed upside-down on the altar:

Almighty God, my Father, come and find (name) that he may be disappeared before me like the thunder and lightning. Saint Expedit . . . I call on you and take you as my patron from today, I am sending you to find (name); rid me of . . . his head, rid me of his memory . . . of all my enemies, visible and invisible, bring down on them thunder and lightning. In thine honour Saint Expedit, three Paters.

Sending is most common among tribal societies of the Pacific islands, Africa, Siberia and North America but also is known among the folk witches of Scandinavia, Iceland and the Baltic countries. In European and English lore, witches were believed to send their familiars, usually Cats, dogs, toads, hAres or owls, to carry out evil spells against their neighbors.

FURTHER READING :

  • Leach, Maria, ed., and Jerome Fried, assoc. ed. Funk & Wagnall’s Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology and Legend. New York: Harper & row, 1972.

Taken from : The Encyclopedia of Witches, Witchcraft and Wicca – written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley – Copyright © 1989, 1999, 2008 by Visionary Living, Inc.

Sending

sending In Magic and Sorcery, the dispatching of bewitched people, animals and insects, objects, spirits and DEMONS, FAMILIARS, ThoughtformS, and even animated corpses to carry out CurseS or perform magical duties. Sending, when used as a noun, refers to the entity that is sent. Sending is universal to magical arts. It is especially common among tribal societies of the Pacific islands, Africa, Siberia, and North America and in the folk magic of Scandinavia, Iceland, and the Baltic countries. In medieval times European witches were believed to send their familiars—usually cats, dogs, toads, hares, or owls—to carry out evil spells against their neighbors. In Maori lore, sorcerers send lizards as familiars on killing errands. If a person sees a lizard on the path in front of him, the person should recognize it immediately as a familiar sent as an aitua (evil omen). He should kill the lizard and cause a woman to step over it, thus neutralizing the Spell. Navajo and Hindu sorcerers send dogs, but if the curse calls for destroying crops, they will send grasshoppers, locusts, caterpillars, and other insects. The Chippewa lay a curse of starvation by stuffing an owl skin with magical substances and sending it to fly to the victim’s home. New Guinea sorcerers favor snakes and crocodiles for sending, while in Malay, the familiar is usually an owl or badger passed down from generation to generation. New Guinea sorcerers also send disease-causing objects such as pieces of magical bone and coral to lodge in bodies. In Africa the Kaguru witches send anteaters to burrow under the walls of their victims’ huts, and the Gisu send rats in pairs to 290 second sight collect hair and nail clippings of victims for use in black magic spells. Sending usually is done for cursing but also is used for magical errands. In shamanism, familiars are sent to do magical battle, but if the familiar dies, so does the shaman. The Zulus’ familiars are said to be corpses dug up and reanimated with magic; they are sent out on night errands to scare travelers with their shrieking and pranks. Corpses also are sent in Vodoun (see ZOMBIE). In the Haitian folk magic called “sending of the dead,” Baron Samedi, god of the graveyard, possesses a bokor, or SORCERER, to go to a cemetery at midnight with offerings of food for the Baron. The possessed person must gather a handful of GRAVEYARD DIRT for each person the sorcerer wishes to see killed, a handful that he later spreads on the paths taken by the victim(s), or he can take a stone from the cemetery that magically transforms itself into an evil entity ready to do its master’s bidding, like a familiar. The sorcerer throws the stone against the victim’s house. The victim is expected to quit eating, spit Blood, and die.

FURTHER READING:

  • Guiley, Rosemary Ellen. The Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft. 2d ed. New York: Facts On File Inc., 1999.

Taken from :The Encyclopedia of Magic and Alchemy Written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley Copyright © 2006 by Visionary Living, Inc.

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