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The wild hunt: A mythological language of magic

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Chapter Summary

This chapter shows how the mythological corpus of the 'Wild Hunt', led by a god, or mythological figure accompanied by a cavalcade of souls of the dead, opens awareness with the cyclical process of nature through magical consciousness. For those engaging with the Wild Hunt the aim is not only participation with animals, souls, and the dead, but also with the ritualized cycle of life and death. This experience runs counter to anthropologist Maurice Blochs universalistic and dualistic assertion that there is an underlying theme to all ritual that negates biological life processes in favour of a transcendent realm of spirit. The chapter also talks about how a group of contemporary pagans in Norfolk used the Wild Hunt mythology as a means of confronting the dark of nature as a process of initiation.

Keywords: magical consciousness; Maurice Bloch; mythological language; Norfolk Pagans; Wild Hunt



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