The dead are useful for understanding who we are in time

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“…the dead don’t bother us: we bother them – endlessly. Certain trades specialize in this: necromancers, sorcerers, Spiritualist mediums, and historians. Why? Because there is power in what precedes us; the dead are useful for understanding who we are in time.

“Ghosts are symbols, conduits of meaning; they are ambiguous, but that only increases their connectivity with our unconscious selves. As we saw at the beginning, witches, too, mediate between states of being: life/death, temporal/celestial, good/evil, desire/fulfilment – those opposites that we force apart but inwardly need to bridge to make sense of life.”

Ref: (emphases in blue bold, mine) p.2, chapter 8 (Culture) in e-pub version of: Malcolm Gaskill (2010) Witchcraft: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press: Oxford.

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