This is one of my very favourite museums in the world.
Partly, just for the idiosyncratic way it was grown.
And partly just for the sheer amount of weird shit they have exhibited.
English explorers collected shrunken heads because they saw them as exotic curiosities. The tsantsas in the Pitt Rivers Museum were collected between 1871 and 1936. Due to the demand for shrunken heads by museums and private collectors many counterfeits were made. These were most often produced from animals such as monkey or goat heads, but some were made from unclaimed bodies in morgues and hospitals. More here…
They were for a while under debate as to whether they should stay:
Dr Michael O’Hanlon, the museum’s director, said: “The whole issue of human remains is, and has been widely debated in museums across the country.
“There are a range of legitimate perspectives people can take on this and, this being a university museum, we debate them. From Oxford Times
Thankfully, now, it looks as though they are safe to stay. They’ve been scaring and exciting kids in equal measure for years, and awakening the curiosity that often only the darker content is able to!
There often doesn’t seem to be too much room for magic in the modern world. At least if you discount all of the incredible advances made by science – these would certainly have been thought of as magic in different times or different cultures.
What about the types of magic that we’d associate with ghost stories, legends and religious texts?
Turns out you don’t have to search far to find individuals practicing modern day magick.
In fact, there are many blogs around the interwebs about this very subject, with incredibly earnest individuals discussing among themselves how to conjure up demons, and allsorts – here’s one such blog!
One idea that has become particularly exciting is the idea of astral projection.
It’s an idea that has been explored in most religions, and many parts of both Old & New Testaments have episodes that suggest deliberately-induced out-of-body experiences.
The idea has reached a new audience with the insidious film franchise, which sadly is not a very realistic representation.
Nonetheless it has served a purpose in bring the idea a new popularity, and for those who’ve persevered, minds will have been well and truly blown!
Here’s a good post on the subject by Walter Poon at Hubpages – he only tried it once, but the memories will last with him forever!