Witches, Werewolves, and Fairies: Shapeshifters and Astral Doubles in the Middle Ages (Paperback)
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Short Description for Witches, Werewolves, and Fairies This title reveals the nature of medieval belief in the double of the soul and demonstrates the survival of a pagan belief that each individual owns three souls, including a double that can journey outside of the body. It explains the nature of death and Other Worlds hidden beneath the monsters and superstitions in stories from the Middle Ages.
- Published: 26 August 2003
- Format: Paperback 224 pages
- ISBN 13: 9780892810963 ISBN 10: 0892810963
- Sales rank: 302,337
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Full description for Witches, Werewolves, and Fairies
Monsters werewolves witches and fairies remain a strong presence in our stories and dreams. But as Claude Lecouteux shows their roots go far deeper than their appearance in medieval folklore; they are survivors of a much older belief system that predates Christianity and was widespread over Western Europe. Through his extensive analysis of Germano-Scandinavian legends as well as those from other areas of Europe Lecouteux has uncovered an almost forgotten religious concept - that every individual owns three souls and that one of these souls the Double can - in animal or human form - leave the physical body while in sleep or a trance journey where it chooses then re-enter its physical body. While there were many who experienced this phenomenon involuntarily there were others - those who attracted the unwelcome persecution of the Church - who were able to provoke it at will: witches. In a thorough excavation of the medieval soul Claude Lecouteux reveals the origin and significance of this belief in the Double and follows its transforming features through the ages. He shows that far from being fantasy or vague superstition fairies witches and werewolves all testify to a consistent ancient vision of our world and the world beyond.