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Sep 24 2010

To Find the Body of One Who Has Drowned

Rollo Ahmed is one of the most underrated, yet important, occultist of the 20th century. Though he claimed to be of Egyptian descent he was known to be a native of the West Indies who lived in England for much of his life, plying his trade in the traditional fashion which led to him running afoul of the law at least twice. He penned the sensational The Black Art in the 1970s which legend says was largely due to his friend Dennis Wheatley recommending him when publishers began to see the public thirsting for more occult books. His best work however is The Complete Book of Witchcraft which is a rollicking study of Witchcraft through the ages written by an occultist but without the theological conceits that are found in many such work.

In that latter work (on pg 230 in my edition) Ahmed relates a peculiar practice for recovering bodies by Witches in Scotland and other parts of the English Empire:

Gaelic witches were thought to be able to find bodies of drowned persons, by casting some of the deceased’s clothes upon the sea or wherever they had met their death. The same belief is held in parts of India, and some Fakirs find bodies by similar means.

The idea behind this spell is clearly a use of sympathetic magic, and it should be noted that in the time period Ahmed is talking about it would be likely that a fisherman or sailor had a few garments he wore a great deal. It is well accepted in occult circles that objects that are on ones person for significant periods of time develop a “link” that can be used in magic and the assumption here is that the same link would draw the object tot he lost corpse.

Ahmed gives no information as to what sort of ritual might have been used but because it was thought to be a talent specific to Witches I assume there is some “trick” to it. Alas, I’ve seen no information on this but a practitioner could certainly work one out for themselves, I’m sure. I have thankfully never had need to resort to this sort of divination, but Rollo Ahmed was a serious and dedicated magician so I have kept this in my book just in case.

Aug 10 2010

Daniel Ogden’s Greek and Roman Necromancy

University of Exeter Professor of Ancient History Daniel Ogden has written several tomes of interest to both scholars and occultists. One of the key failing of today’s “open minded” magical practice is that too many people are unfamiliar with the long and rich history of the ‘Free Arts” and the basic rituals many of us use today. Ogden’s Magic Witchcraft and Ghosts in the Greek and Roman Worlds is not only an informative text of how our Pagan ancestors who founded the Western traditions viewed the unseen world, but is a virtual grimoire in and of itself. I urge practitioners of all traditions to give it a read.

In Greek and Roman Necromancy he concentrates on that dread tradition in all its aspects. It is interesting to note that, after reading this book, you can see some of the influence of these Greek and Roman traditions on the folk magics commonly associated with Latin American and Afro-Caribbean witchcraft. As usual I urge you to support Ogden, but there is a recession on so here’s an embed:

Ogden, Greek and Roman Necromancy Daniel Ogden