Scourge

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Scourge

(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 ?
who praises Weever's "Wit, Poetrie, and Arte" in daring to "scourge the Scourger of base villany.
A contrite Henry later thought he had better join the pilgrims with a visit to Becket's tomb and even allowed himself to be whipped, although he is supposed to have told the scourgers to go easy on him.
The contempt of his scourgers and the wounds of the lash have left him undefeated.