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(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

One of the coven tools used in Wicca. It is used in initiations as part of the symbolic death that is part of that rite. By some Witches, scourging is also done in magical work. One way of building power is to bind a person and scourge them, thus causing the blood to course through the body and help build up the power. However, this is a delicate balance and one that is best taught on a personal basis, for no scourging, in Witchcraft, is done to hurt.

The scourge itself is simply a handle to which is attached a number of thongs or "tails." There may be three, seven, or nine tails—all of these considered "magical" numbers. The tails are anywhere from nine to twenty-one inches in length and are attached to a short handle, which may be marked or inscribed much like an athamé. Many covens make the tails of silk cord. To avoid causing pain, the tails are not knotted and are seldom made from leather.

(See also Flagellation.)

References in periodicals archive ?
Listen: if you were scourged and beheaded are you convinced that you would go up to heaven?
The prefect Rusticus pronounced sentence, saying: "Let those who have refused to sacrifice to the gods and to obey the command of the emperor be scourged and led away to suffer capital punishment according to the ruling of the laws.