Witches, Werewolves, And Fairies: Shapeshifters And Astral Doubles In The Middle Ages
Witches, Werewolves, and Fairies: Shapeshifters and Astral Doubles in the Middle Ages
Reveals the true nature of medieval belief in the Double of the Soul
• Demonstrates the survival of a pagan belief that each individual owns three souls, including a double that can journey outside the physical body
• Explains the nature of death and the Other World hidden beneath the monsters and superstitions in stories from the Middle Ages
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 reenter 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...