This blog post was originally published on my other blog, Bloom Reviews, on January 26, 2018. It examines one of my favorite manga series and the types of mythology or folklore that the author uses to construct the world and characters. Its a very intriguing series for those of us who love seeing how authors use real-life legends to create interesting stories. So, I decided to give my readers on that blog an in-depth look into the world behind the manga’s story. This is the second of a series delving into a bunch of different instances. I figured that practitioners and followers of witchcraft, paganism, or new age practices would appreciate a different look at how mythology can be used in a medium like manga.
Welcome back to another installment of my new multi-part series where we look at the mythology behind Ancient Magus’ Bride. Throughout the series, we’ll be looking at both the origins of some of these characters as well as how their portrayals differ from the myth. As a general rule, each post will cover six new pieces of folklore and mythology, so if I’ve missed something, don’t be alarmed! I will most likely get around to it in a future installment. However, if you want to make sure I cover something, feel free to leave me a comment below or even tweet at me (link to my Twitter in the sidebar). Today, we’ll be covering some of the most interesting tidbits from the show and manga: my theories on the origins of Elias, the legend of Cartaphilus, the story behind the king of the cats, Silky’s dual history, the mythology behind Leanan Sidhe, and the history of changelings. As usual, I’ll provide links to all my sources, so feel free to click through them to learn more. Enjoy!
From my very limited view of the world, it seems as though the belief in the paranormal, the presence of ghosts, and all things strange has been increasing over the years. It certainly has for me. Whether this is due to the media’s attention placed on paranormal content like TV shows, radio, and podcasts or the world’s growing distance to traditional Christianity. Spiritualism has had many ups and downs over the centuries, with very clear revivals in certain decades.
The Apparitionists by Peter Manseau takes a look at the late 1800s during the invention of photography and how that came to influence people’s belief in the existence of spirits. I was introduced to this book by a colleague of mine at work who was telling me how interesting the concept was, and I’ve had this on my reading list for awhile. I finally had the chance to read it during quarantine and found it to be very interesting for the kinds of ideas it presents and the overall narrative of how photography developed in close proximity to Spiritualism and the fairly prominent court case that was spread around the US with the creation of Morse Code at about the same time. This intersectionality of technology and spirituality is super interesting to me because we are seeing it again in modern times.
How witches have been displayed in the modern media has been a contentious issue among modern Neo-Pagans and witches alike. There have been a ton of shows and movies that have tackled the witch as a character, some good, some bad, and some very comical. Seeing yourself reflected in the media you consume is an important part of how we all interact with or feel about media, whether it be TV shows, movies, books, or comics. It’s been a contentious issue within the discussion around how people of color are represented, and I think it’s an equally valid discussion to have around how pagans and practitioners of conventionally non-abrahamic religions are represented. Over the years, there have been various revivals and years where we see more interest played towards the supernatural and that eventually makes into our modern media. I think these last couple decades have definitely been another kind of revival of a sorts, if a slow burn kind of one. The Good Witch is a great example of this modern revival and the kind of show that really makes an effort to discuss and display New Age thoughts and magic in a positive light for its viewers.
This blog post was originally published on my other blog, Bloom Reviews, on January 1, 2018. It examines one of my favorite manga series and the types of mythology or folklore that the author uses to construct the world and characters. Its a very intriguing series for those of us who love seeing how authors use real-life legends to create interesting stories. So, I decided to give my readers on that blog an in-depth look into the world behind the manga’s story. This is the first of a series delving into a bunch of different instances. I figured that practitioners and followers of witchcraft, paganism, or new age practices would appreciate a different look at how mythology can be used in a medium like manga.
Ancient Magus’ Bride has wound up being one of my favorite mangas and animes so far. If you haven’t read my review of the manga, you really should, if only to get my general overview of the series before I start diving into things here. I’ve always had an interest in mythology and religion, and this anime has revitalized that interest by giving me a lot of areas to dig in to and research. Below are just a few of the origins behind the main and side characters of this anime. This will have to be a multi-part series as there is just way too much to cover. As I’m writing this right now, it’s turned out to be about four pages worth of information. For this first segment, I’ve decided to stay within the anime and its content thus far, but for later segments, I will be delving more into the manga. I’ve included some links to my sources within the text and after each segment, but if I’ve missed a better source or some piece of information, feel free to let me know in the comments. As a general note, most of this will just be a general overview, as I don’t have the space to get into every bit of a certain legend. I hope these bits will inspire you to do research of your own as well.
Are you the type of person who loves having the spooky season permeate your life all year long and not just during October? Well, what a coincidence, you’re like me! Lately I’ve been feeling the loss of the Halloween and Samhain season as more stores prep for Christmas and TV and internet ads have started adding Christmas themed promotions. I just wish I could hold onto the feel of Halloween and Fall all year long. When that feeling takes me, I turn to podcasts. It’s in podcasts that I can find communities and entertainment geared towards people like me who have a year-long interest in the supernatural, the creepy, and the unsolved. So if you’re like me, I’d like to recommend the podcasts I’ve been listening to the most as the weather turns colder outside and the Christmas season inches closer.
I’ve been going down a long rabbit hole of magic and witchcraft related content these past two months as I get back into the swing of being religious and actually practicing said religion. As I was scrolling through the sparse offerings of my library, I stumbled on this book by Alex Mar. Witches of America is an in-depth, anthropological and biographical look at witchcraft and mystery religions in America. Mar travels across America to see what she can learn from different segments of paganism and witchcraft, searching for her own brand of spirituality. She winds up getting involved with a lot of really interesting religions that make a point of only revealing the inner-working of their craft to initiates. Which got me thinking: how have mystery religions — those religions that require initiation before secrets are revealed — adapted to the modern world of social media and the general public nature of social interaction now?
The 90s was an especially influential year for the spread and development of modern neo-paganism to the point where I would label it as a third-wave (the first being in the early 19th century and the second in the 60s hippie era). This decade coincided with a lot of things that really helped boost the presence of new belief systems and especially the visibility of Wicca as a religion. First and foremost being the internet. The development of the internet, forums, chat rooms, and other means of communication allowed previously secluded practitioners to be able to communicate with others who were practicing, sharing beliefs and rituals with each other. Previously, pagan traditions were passed down through mentors and groups, many of those interested joining finding that there was a barrier of training standing between them and full indoctrination into the belief system of their choice. Or they found relevant information scattered throughout a myriad of books, many of them hard to find or especially secretive about their specific rituals.
There are some days when I question how well my personality fits into the very metaphysical and faith based practices of Wicca and magic. I spent a lot of time in high school and college studying psychology, even adding it as a secondary degree. It allowed me to view the world through a new way of thinking, to understand both myself and other people. The brain is one big mystery even now, but studying psychology helped me become more objective and learn just a little bit more about how my dysfunctional brain worked.
This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates. Check out my About page to see what this blog is all about.