The Visions of Isobel Gowdie: Magic, Witchcraft and Dark Shamanism in Seventeenth-Century Scotland – Emma Wilby

The Visions of Isobel Gowdie: Magic, Witchcraft and Dark Shamanism in Seventeenth-Century Scotland - Emma WilbyThe witchcraft confessions given by Isobel Gowdie (in Auldearn, Scotland in 1662)are widely celebrated as the most extraordinary on record in Britain. Their descriptive power, vivid imagery, and contentious subject matter have attracted considerable interest on both academic and popular levels. This book,written by Emma Wilby, author of the critically acclaimed Cunning Folk and Familiar Spirits, provides the first full-length examination of the confessions and the life and character of the woman behind them.

The author’s discovery of the original trial records, deemed lost for nearly 200 years, provides a starting point for an interdisciplinary endeavor to separate Isobel’s voice from that of her interrogators, to identify the beliefs and experiences that informed her testimony, and to analyze why her confessions differ so markedly from those of other witchcraft suspects from the period.

In the course of these inquiries, the author develops wider hypotheses relevant to the study of early modern witchcraft as a whole, bringing together for the first time recent research into Amazonian ‘dark’ shamanism, false-memory generation, and mutual-dream experience, along with literature on marriage-covenant mysticism and protection-charm traditions.

Emma Wilby concludes that close analysis of Isobel’s confessions supports the still-controversial hypothesis that in 17th-Century Scotland, as in other parts of Europe in this period, popular spirituality was shaped through a deep interaction between church teachings and shamanistic traditions of pre-Christian origin. She also extends this thesis beyond its normal association with beneficent magic and overtly folkloric themes to speculate that some of Europe’s more malevolent and demonological witch-narratives may also have emerged out of visionary rites underpinned by cogent shamanistic rationales.

Read Online :


The Visions of Isobel Gowdie: Magic, Witchcraft and Dark Shamanism in Seventeenth-Century Scotland - Emma Wilby

You may be also interested in :

Power of the Witch: The Earth, the Moon, and the Magical Path to Enlightenment – Laurie Cabot, Tom Cowan
Out of the Broom Closet: 50 True Stories of Witches Who Found and Embraced the Craft  - Arin Murphy-Hiscock
By Land, Sky  Sea Three Realms of Shamanic Witchcraft - Gede Parma
Witch Unleashed. Untamed. Unapologetic. - Lisa Lister
Charge of the Goddess: The Mother of Modern Witchcraft - Doreen Valiente
Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic among the Azande (Abridged Edition) - E. E. Evans-Pritchard, Eva Gillies
Witchcraft: The Old Religion - Leo Louis Martello
Witchcraft and Demonology in Hungary and Transylvania - Gábor Klaniczay (Ed.), Éva Pócs (Ed.)
Familiar Spirits: A Practical Guide for Witches & Magicians – Donald Tyson
The Temple of High Witchcraft: Ceremonies, Spheres and The Witches' Qabalah - Christopher Penczak
Traditional Witchcraft : A Cornish Book of Ways - Gemma Gary
Wiccapedia: A Modern-Day White Witch’s Guide  - Shawn Robbins, Leanna Greenaway
Magic, Witchcraft, and Ghosts in Greek and Roman Worlds - Daniel Ogden
Witches Investigating An Ancient Religion - T. C. Lethbridge
The Witch’s Eight Paths of Power: A Complete Course in Magick and Witchcraft – Lady Sable Aradia
Witchcraft in Tudor and Stuart England: A Regional and Comparative Study, Second Edition -  Alan MacFarlane
The Witches’ Book of the Dead – Christian Day
Witchcraft and Demonology in South-West England, 1640–1789 - Jonathan Barry
Liber Nox: A Traditional Witch's Gramarye - Michael Howard
An ABC of Witchcraft Past and Present - Doreen Valiente
Buckland's Book of Saxon Witchcraft - Raymond Buckland
A Witch's World of Magick: Expanding Your Practice with Techniques & Traditions from Diverse Cultures - Melanie Marquis
Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft – Sir Walter Scott
A Kitchen Witchs Cookbook -Patricia J. Telesco
The Rebirth of Witchcraft - Doreen Valiente
Water Witchcraft: Magic and Lore from the Celtic Tradition - Annwyn Avalon
Aradia or the Gospel of the Witches - Charles G. Leland
HausMagick: Transform Your Home with Witchcraft - Erica Feldmann
The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Goddess: 20th Anniversary Edition Annual, Subsequent Edition - Starhawk
Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America - Margot Adler