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Where the Bolt of Cupid Fell: Early Modern English Love Magic
February 9 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm$10
The links between love and magic, of enchantment and sympathia, have long been considered by poets, philosophers, and magicians alike.
This talk explores the variety of occult theories and magical practices that seek to grasp both the divinity and madness of love, ranging from remedies of the ancient world, through to the love sorcery of Shakespeare’s day, and even offering some compare-and-contrast to various techniques and ingredients of modern American folk magic and hoodoo. It will consider medical ideas about the elemental Humours, as well as psychological notions of the passions, and both spiritual and physical mysteries of the heart. We will delve into the love magicians’ toolkit, examining means of seduction: from aphrodisiacal herbs to conjuring matchmaking spirits to more forceful bindings, leashes, and so-called “erotic malefic” workings.
Dr. Alexander Cummins is a historian, poet, and cosultant sorcerer whose work focuses on magical books, demonology, herbalism and folk magic as well as love divination and enchantment. His doctoral research centred on magic and the emotions in the pre-modern world.