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Book: The Spider Dance

Chapter: Il Mago / The Magician

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.40112


By narrating the ethnographic experience of a “pilgrimage” to Galatina in occasion of the Festival of Saint Peter and Paul the author undertook with members of the cerchio, she analyzes the scholarly discourse around pizzica and the phenomenon of tarantismo in Salento. Some of the main ideas of the scholar Ernesto de Martino, still very influential among both academics and Salentinians, are engaged critically and an argument is presented in favor of a “spiritual neotarantismo”—a relatively new phenomenon, not studied in depth (or dismissed superficially) before this ethnographic work. Some of the beliefs and practices of the Sisters, such as the pursuit of bellezza (beauty) as a spiritual practice, the importance of desire, and the notion of becoming are described in detail and their connections with what Jung called “synchronicities” are outlined.

Chapter Contributors

  • Giovanna Parmigiani ([email protected] - giovannaparmigiani) 'Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University'