Friday, November 5, 2010

In Which I Struggle Through Magic 1

I think I'm finished with exit question 1 of Magic 1.  For now anyway.

I now believe that one reason I stalled on the essays is because the first question is, in my opinion, worded so awkwardly.  "Discuss the importance of the action of the magico-religious function as it is seen within the context of the general Indo-European culture."  Over the past few months, as I read book after book on magic, I would return to the first exit question to see if I felt confident to try it.  It always felt jagged going into my brain.  It always sounded convoluted coming out of my mouth. 
  I still worry that I don't know enough to answer the questions.  I'm probably over-thinking things, but I realized that I now know a lot more about the Greek and Roman perceptions of magic than the Celtic.  I tried to find some old Irish legal manuscripts dealing with magic, but they either haven't been translated yet or are buried in another law text concerned with something more general.  I know from prior reading that the concept of a witch or a sorcerer who practices dark magic exists in Irish lore, but I don't know if those aspects are demonized through Christianity or not.  If the ancient Greek and Roman Pagans allowed for conceptions of marginal, ethically questionable magicians, it's certainly possible that the ancient Celts felt the same way.  That said, the Greeks and Romans were afraid of people who threatened the social balance.  The Celts, on the other hand, have examples of public cursing resulting in the fall of kings -  major social change!  However, the cursing is usually justified because it was the king himself who threw the system out of balance!

Raaarg.  I have a headache.  At least I'm finally starting my essays.

( For My LJ Friends: )


  1. Wow is that a convoluted question! I really don't think it's you, and I can totally understand why such a question would be intimidating. "The importance... of the action.. of the function..." I'm not sure what the question even means. My best guess, if I had to simplify it:

    "Discuss the importance of the magico-religious function [i.e. class] in Indo-European culture."

    Though I would pluralize it, "Indo-European cultures," as otherwise there's an implication that ancient Indo-European culture was some kind of singular monolithic tradition.

    Thanks for blogging, by the way. Really cool to have some insight into the ADF study program. :)

  2. Thanks for your thoughts and compliment! Your blog looks amazing!

    Yeah, it really is the "of the...of the..." in the beginning that makes my brain spasm.