Hitler Used Werewolves, Vampires, and Astrology to Brainwash Germany: despite the tabloid-esque title, this is a sobering article about a forthcoming Yale U Press book on Nazi exploitation of pre-existing supernatural beliefs to further their ideology. To quote the article, “…in times of crisis, supernatural and faith-based thinking masquerading as “scientific” solutions to real problems helps facilitate the worst kind of political and social outcomes.” Indeed.
The spy who hoodwinked the Nazis with sorcery: file under “interesting if true”. As opposed to “Operation” Cone of Power in which British witches actually tried to repel the Nazis, Operation Mistletoe was just propaganda. Allegedly orchestrated by spy and occultist Cecil Williams, this article suggests it’s uncertain whether this fake ritual happened at all. (Tangentially, a whip ’round Google for “Napoleonic magical ritual” nets nothing about the alleged witchcraft used to repel Napoleon mentioned in the article. Still, possible inspiration for Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell?)
Edward Kelley Day in Most, Czech Republic – if you read Czech there’s a bit about the upcoming “Magister Edward Kelley Day” festivities in Most this weekend, including “fair, theater, concerts, magic show, falconers, jugglers, swordsmen and competitions” (lurve Google Translate). Includes an image of an actor portraying Kelley rappelling down the Castle Hnevin’s wall; a quick whip around Google.cz found photos from 2014’s celebration (scroll down).
Witchcraft and Magic in Ireland – “The first rigorous academic overview of witchcraft in Ireland”, this appears to be a chunky academic tome addresses the legal, ecclesiastic, and cultural importance of Irish magic between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Call for papers: Histories of Magic and Sexuality – another Twitter find, for academic sorts. 1000-1500 word essays on this subject “[relating] to any geographical area and must have a strong historical focus. Essays exploring the premodern and early modern periods and regions outside of Europe and the US are encouraged.” Closing 5/15.
How Witchcraft Is Empowering Queer and Trans Young People – religions are always adapting to the times, and the practitioners described in this article discard the traditional (? I’m not a witch or pagan, so I can’t speak to accuracy) male-female binary to create beliefs and rituals meaningful to their queer identities.
Tudor controversialists and the Catholic faith – Propaganda and counter-propaganda between the Elizabethan government and English Catholics. Relevant to my WIP as I’m writing Edward Kelley as a recusant. The review suggests a “crunchy” academic book, but in the best possible way.