Wednesday, August 24, 2016

It's where it came from that counts

The supernatural rites rather than a special supernatural quality of the human agents (ritual practitioners) give the namburbis’ causative speech its most significant supernatural empowerment. The rites were understood to have supernatural power because they were given by the gods. To be effective, the oral rites had to be uttered by the correct, institutionally empowered individual in the correct setting, but they did not require that this individual be a supernatural agent. Although, as Sørensen writes, ritual leaders can have their own links to the sacred domain empowering them with supernatural agency, the primary reason the āšipu could utter supernaturally effective language was that the gods were understood to have provided it.—Forestalling Doom page 91–92

<idle musing>
And again, I am reminded of the practice among some of "quoting scripture" as a magic remedy...we're still basically pagan at heart, aren't we?
</idle musing>

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