Witchcraft Glossary give discussions to myth and ritual,alchemistry and other relatives,witchcraft and witchery!Witchcraft, in various historical, anthropological, religious and mythological contexts, is the alleged use of supernatural or magical powers. Historically, it was widely believed that witchcraft involved the use of these powers to inflict harm upon members of a community or their property.
Since the mid 20th century, the term witchcraft has sometimes been used to distinguish between bad witchcraft and good witchcraft, with the latter often involving healing. The concept of witchcraft as harmful is normally treated as a cultural ideology, a means of explaining human misfortune by blaming it either on a supernatural entity or a known person in the community. A witch (from Old English wicce f. / wicca m.) is a practitioner of witchcraft.
The "witch-cult hypothesis", a controversial theory that European witchcraft was a suppressed pagan religion, was popular in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Since the mid-20th century, Witchcraft has become the self-designation of a branch of neopaganism, especially in the Wicca tradition following Gerald Gardner, who claimed a religious tradition of Witchcraft with pre-Christian roots.
Koliuka:A name widely used for several prickly plants.This was gathered by magicians on St Peter and Paul's day (29 June),the last day of the cockoo and one much quoted in agricultural predictions.It was collected with the evening dew on it,dried,and preserved in cows' bladders.Its virtue was that if a gun was smoked with it it would never miss,and would also be proof against hostile gun spells.Dal'(s.v.kolot') lists it simply as a thorny plant,which its name implies,and does not attempt to identify it;but he does also add the information about fumigating guns with its magic smoke.De Gubernatis offers a veriant in which an arrow if dipped in an infusion of the plant would never miss its target.According to Afanas'ev the koliuka is the same as postrel-trava,odolen'-trava,chertopolokh.Koren gives Koliuchnik as Carlina Biebersteinii and another name for chertopolokh.This is apparently the same plant as the chertagon or ispolokh,described by De Gubernatis,which grew in or near a wood and was prickly with a blue flower;it cured childish fears and banished the Devil if placed under the pillow or used in an infusion for bathing children.1
Kupal'nitsa,kupava:Botanically the name of several plants which grow in or near water,with magic properties derived from association with Ivan Kupala(the Midsummer festival) and kupat'sia 'to bathe'.It was one of the St John's Eve herbs and was scattered on the floor of the bathhouse.It was straight like an arrow and had nine leaves on each side in four colours;black,green,red,and blue.Its power was that if you plucked it on St John's Eve and carried it with you,bound to a gold or silver coin,you need fear neither the Devil nor enemies,you would win any case in court and you would be in favour with Tsar and princes.The root if ground and taken in water would enable childless women to conceive and would also drive away evil spirits.A variant is Agrafena-kupal'nitsa,from the feast day of St Agrippina(Agrafena) on 23 June,and a festive bathhouse day.2
Kupena:Kupena(Polygonatum multiflorum,Solomon's Seal).Used by girls as a counting-out oracle,and,when added to washing water,as a means of acquiring a white skin.The latter use is also known in Italy.3
1: See p.275.3.Herbs and Roots,under title "The Bathhouse at Midnight",from The bathhouse at midnight: an historical survey of magic and divination in Russia,by William Francis Ryan,Published by Penn State Press,1999,ISBN 0271019670, 9780271019673.
2: Ibid.see p.275
3: Ibid.see p.275
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