The Use Of Sacrifices In Medieval And Early Modern Ritual Magic

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In medieval and early modern times, ritual magic oftentimes engaged with the concept of sacrifices, albeit implicit or explicit. Rituals ranging from theurgic to demonic were written down in manuscripts and other books of magic, which often included (several) passages on the use of sacrifice(s) in order to make the ritual succeed. The objective of this thesis was to further investigate the concept of sacrifices and its usage in ritual magic in medieval and early modern times. It addresses and discusses the ambiguities in the overall concept of sacrifices, such as what sacrifices consisted of and which kind(s) of ritual(s) mentioned or demanded it. Information was gathered through analysing two books of magic that explicitly mention and encourage or discourage the use of a sacrifice. One work of magic is that of a theurgic nature (the Liber iuratus Honorii), whereas the second work is of a necromantic nature (Sloane 3853). The similarities and differences of both texts concerning the topic of sacrifices were examined and interpreted. The outcome of the research is that predominantly necromantic rituals explicitly advocate for the usage or avoidance of a sacrifice, whereas theurgic is less keen to.
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