The God of the Witches

The God of the Witches

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by Margaret Murray
     
 

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The Horned God is one of the two primary deities found in some neopagan religions. He is often given various names and epithets, and represents the male part of the religion's duotheistic theological system, the other part being the female Triple Goddess. In common Wiccan belief, he is associated with nature, wilderness, sexuality, hunting and the life cycle.…  See more details below

Overview

The Horned God is one of the two primary deities found in some neopagan religions. He is often given various names and epithets, and represents the male part of the religion's duotheistic theological system, the other part being the female Triple Goddess. In common Wiccan belief, he is associated with nature, wilderness, sexuality, hunting and the life cycle. :32-34 Whilst depictions of the deity vary, he is always shown with either horns or antlers upon his head, often depicted as being theriocephalic, in this way emphasizing "the union of the divine and the animal", the latter of which includes humanity.:11

The term Horned God itself predates Wicca, and is an early 20th century syncretic term for a horned or antlered anthropomorphic god with pseudohistorical origins who, according to Margaret Murray's 1921 The Witch-Cult in Western Europe, was the deity worshipped by a pan-European witchcraft-based cult, and was demonized into the form of the Devil by the Mediaeval Church.

The Horned God has been explored within several psychological theories, and has become a recurrent theme in fantasy literature

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781477596524
Publisher:
CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date:
06/04/2012
Pages:
92
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.19(d)

Meet the Author

Margaret Alice Murray (13 July 1863 - 13 November 1963) was a prominent British Egyptologist and anthropologist. Primarily known for her work in Egyptology, which was "the core of her academic career," she is also known for her propagation of the Witch-cult hypothesis, the theory that the witch trials in the Early Modern period of Christianized Europe and North America were an attempt to extinguish a surviving pre-Christian, pagan religion devoted to a Horned God. Whilst this theory is today widely disputed and discredited by historians like Norman Cohn, Keith Thomas and Ronald Hutton, it has had a significant effect in the origins of Neopagan religions, primarily Wicca, a faith she supported.

Her work in Egyptology took place largely alongside her mentor and friend, the archaeologist Sir Flinders Petrie, whom she worked alongside at University College London. One of the earliest women to "make a serious impact upon the world of professional scholarship," she was also an ardent feminist, being actively involved in the Suffragette movement. From 1953 to 1955, she was the president of the Folklore Society, although since her death various members of the society have attempted to dissociate the organisation from her and the Murrayite theory of the Witch-Cult.

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