In as brujas and brujos which means witches

In society today, anthropologists have noticed there are various cultures whose members practice magic. What is magic? According to Ember, Magic is what many believe to be “the manipulation of the supernatural for good or for evil” (Ember, 2015). In Mexico, there is a very present culture of magic due to the deeply rooted beliefs aided by the economic crisis of poverty mixed with corruption throughout the country. The people who practice magic in Mexico refer to the practice as Brujeria. What exactly is Brujeria? Brujeria is a term in Spanish that refers to witchcraft. Brujeria isn’t just limited to women, both men and women are able to practice this form of magic. The practice of magic isn’t something new, it is just about as old as humankind. Because Mexico has a strong presence of magic in its culture, many of the people living there will resort to magic to influence the outcome of things they want, they will also turn to the shamans to cure their ailments in a more holistic approach rather than using unnatural western medicine. This paper will discuss the culture of magic in Mexico, it’s history, and the presence of magic in Modern day Mexico.Witchcraft is a deeply rooted practice in Mexico, so much that there is a national convention held every year in one of Mexico’s meccas for witchcraft Catameco, which is considered to be the capital for brujas and brujos. Catameco is known to have many underground markets that have supplies to assist in their craft.Many people label the individuals who practice magic as brujas and brujos which means witches and warlocks, (Jr, J. C. 2008). According to Ember, these individuals are said to be practicing sorcery which is the use of material objects, and herbs, while witchcraft uses thoughts and emotions to invoke the supernatural malevolence (Ember,2015). Magic is a faith-based healing, the belief of protecting oneself using supernatural resources. Magic is also a ritual meant to work towards or against one’s favor and or health. “Early anthropologists and sociologists postulated magic as an evolutionary stage, contrastable with religion, or as evidence of primitive as opposed to rational thinking (Moro, 2016). Magic in many ways has shaped science and medicine for example turmeric may help curb prostate cancer. In the past magic was predominantly performed by women especially in the medieval era. Magic and science though are not the same, they do have running parallels in trying to understand the world and how it works. Anthropologists have looked into how cultures have viewed magic and religion have seen that a large part of these rituals were at some point the religious views and practices for the indigenous population of Mexico’s past tracing back to 300 B.C. (History.Com Staff, 2009). The current main population of Mexico are members of the Catholic church, which strictly forbids witchcraft. The Church believes that any type of magic or rituals that are performed and the product of evil. Out of necessity magic still has a hold on the culture due to the people of Mexico lacking basic healthcare. The presence of Magic in the culture of Mexico has been around since before the pre-Hispanic cultures emerged. The use of herbs to cure ailments, and be rid of evil spirits can be traced all the way back to the ancient civilizations of the Americas. Decapitations were used by ancient Mesoamerican tribes such as the Aztecs, Mayans, and Olmecs. The head was believed to embody personhood (Coltman, 2015). Though these practices were done for many years, they are not accepted in the modern day Mexican culture. Many parts of Mexican history did believe in the springs and cenotes and other life-giving properties of water, this belief is still relevant in the Mexican culture today. Other parts of the magic culture were introduced into the Mexican culture from the Arabs via the Spaniards during the 14th century. These beliefs and practices are still widely used today. Anthropologists have identified five different kinds of magic that are currently being practiced in Mexico today. The types of magic in Mexico include la magia negra (black magic) la magia blanca (white magic) both of these types of magic are used to differentiate between magic that acceptable versus which type of magic isn’t socially acceptable. Curanderos are the healers and practice folk magic which is associated with the lower class and is meant to have all practical purposes from money problems, physical ailments etc. Ceremonial magic is meant to have a spiritual purpose and not a physical one to influence peoples lives. This is a practice that still commonly used worldwide in various religions and cultures. Lastly, Brujeria is considered witchcraft that is a cross between folk magic and ceremonial magic. Often people who practice brujeria are accused of being bad and harmful to society. Brujeria includes rituals, spells, potions, and powders.Due to the corruption in Modern Mexico, this has caused the significant limits to the amount of western medical care that is available to the lower class. Instead, the people from the lower class are pushed towards seeking treatment from curanderos which are shamans, to help cure their ailments both mentally and physically. Although this is not a traditional form of medical treatment, it does, however, provide these people with hope and a form of relief even if it is minimal to help to get them through mental hurdles and other issues they are facing. Currently, 59 percent of the countries population is lower class (Flannery, 2013). Due to the high amount of people belonging to the lower class, this has forced many of these to seek the help of witch doctors because they can’t afford healthcare. “During the last quarter of the 20th century, new ethnographic research and theoretical assessments led to a revival of interest in magic, with the familiar term applied in new ways and in new contexts, especially emphasizing magic in connection to modernity and the power of the state” (Mojo, 2016). Anthropologists are finding that the culture of magic in Mexico is having a huge revival and become even more relevant than what it has been in the last few decades. The reason behind this is due to the economy and level of corruption that is present in Mexico. Anthropologists are also finding that the revival of magic has begun to spread in third world countries who are facing similar economic problems like Mexico.Magic isn’t something that was just adopted by the Mexican culture, it is part of what makes up the culture itself. “One-third of all Mexicans live with magic, according to anthropologists. No matter the economic background or educational level” (Arana 2016). It doesn’t matter where you are from, or what walks of life you come from the people in Mexico have been in exposed to magic in one way or another. Magic has been a practiced method of healing amongst other things for over 3000 years (Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000). It would appear as if there is a distinct line between religion and magic in Mexico. That isn’t the case though, Magic in Mexico at one point was more of religion in its distant past. It wasn’t until Mexico was colonized that the culture of Magic was almost extinguished. Magic is deeply rooted in Mexico’s culture, as it is in many different cultures around the world. The rituals that are performed to get rid of evil eye, physical pain, or even sickness is a way that the lower class and even the general public who believe in magic, can find some form of peace and healing. The magic that is thought of by most people in first world countries isn’t anywhere near what it actually means in developing countries. Magic is a unique system of beliefs that are sacred to the people that practice them. Magic is mysterious in every way, and is a topic that is very misunderstood. Whether a person wants to believe in the power of magic is their choice, but it is impossible to ignore the allure that comes the with idea of magic. 

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