Please Explain: Magic, Witchcraft, and Wizardry

Friday, July 27, 2007

We'll find out whether the classes at Hogwarts are just hogwash when we discuss the history and practice of magic, witchcraft and wizardry. Send us your questions for Dr. Michael Bailey, Assistant Professor of History at Iowa State University and co-editor of the journal Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft, and Rev. Patrick McCollum, Statewide Wiccan Chaplain for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the author of Courting the Lady, available for purchase here.

Call 212-433-9692 or leave a comment here.


Dr. Michael Bailey and Rev. Patrick McCollum

Comments [8]

chestine from NY

Question for your guest(s) - about the ritual of marriage - how old is it, what else would you say and how does it reconcile with same sex marriage?

Jul. 27 2007 01:52 PM

Where does New Age religious practice fit in? As a child I was banned from watching Care Bears and any other cartoons that had 'magic' because they were New Age. (Same thing happened with Harry Potter) which I avoid like the plague....but I have no idea why.

Jul. 27 2007 01:50 PM
Sheila Gross from Piscataway, NJ

I'd like the guests to coment on the common idea that the mere possession of mgaical talent, or the use of magic is necessarily evil.

In Happry Potter, it's a talent that people are either born with or not, similar to having a talent for playing a musical instrument. What people *do* with their magical talent makes their use good or evil.

Also, the Harry Potter books have been criticized as "unchristian" -- however, the England of the books is nominally Christian. People in the books celebrate Christmas, Easter, Halloween, etc.

Jul. 27 2007 01:44 PM
carolita from manhattan

Leonard, I'm getting a little weary of the way you express incredulity as if "if I haven't heard about it, it must not be true."
The myth about Jews being born with tails, etc, has existed since Medieval times (at least). It has been well-documented by socio-anthropologists. People believed these things into the 50's. The things I could tell you, about things people believed! Do stop being so obviously incredulous to people who are more informed than you are, it's surprisingly impolite of you!

Jul. 27 2007 01:40 PM
Jon Pope from Hewitt, NJ

The world is flat… The earth is the center of the universe… We know these things are not true today. Why should we take magic more seriously then just another form of entertainment?

Jul. 27 2007 01:34 PM
Rose from Astoria

What's the diffference between a wizard and a warlock?

Jul. 27 2007 01:32 PM

Can the guests speak about dragons in modern "magic spells?" A friend of mine had a Celtic magic book which contained a spell to summon dragons. We found the book humorous and we didn't attempt the spell (b/c it involved being in a wooded area and lighting a fire). Additionally, I've also seen pictures of strange cloud formations which are suppossed to be dragon trails. I find the topic of dragons in magic interesting b/c the animals are cross-cultural and found in many ancient socities' myths.

Jul. 27 2007 01:28 PM
A.J. from Brooklyn

Can you ask your guest why magic is sometimes spelled with a k - "magick"? I've seen this occasionally, but don't understand the context.

Does it relate to a specific kind of practice?

Jul. 27 2007 01:24 PM

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