We don’t find freedom by knowing fear inside and out. We merely find that we can be free and hop back in the hole most times. People are in love with the devil they know.
How do the different types of sorcery differentiate themselves? By types of spirits they deal with or techniques used? Mostly by the types of spirit, spirit cultures. The maho-tsukai of China focused on what their culture considered dark kami, and though they might have been able to prepare a talisman for the repulsion of a Kitsune of a tengu or kapa or something, they would not have recognized the presence or activity of the being known as Pazuzu, not straight off, not being acquainted with that personality. But given time they could adapt their techniques for dealing with any spirit.
The techniques of sorcery are more of a craft that can be refined and advanced than anything mandated by a religious dogma, and in fact, one of the first things cultures did as they were being assimilated by the Roman empire was attempt to devise defences against the god of the Romans. A war god, even a death god, so most of the talismans and techniques used involved things that we wouldn’t associate with driving off the “holy”. There was the utilization of the symbol known as Thors hammer. Thor was originally the Norse god of honor and strength, and it was thought that he would despise the Christ.
Remember the Norse faith was more shamanic in nature, so the division between sorcery and religion was not as clear there, and among Native American cultures there was a rise in depicting snake symbolism as they thought that would drive off the spirits that were making the white men crazy. But sorcery as a practice is heavily political, more like sociology than a hard science, and in order to practice effective sorcery you have to focus on swaying the consensus in as powerful a way as possible. There are a number of animals linked to evil sorcery, and this list of supposedly profane animals had its origin in Greece.
I view the snake as a teacher. I do as well. An example from Greek legend was the event that lead to Orpheus’ decent into the underworld. His fiancé had been bitten by a black snake which was an agent of the god Hades. Snake as a totem was thought to be able to both add and remove spiritual influences, which is the definition of sorcery actually. Where a witch might seek to influence someone for better or worse using the law of sympathy.
Were snakes on the profane list because the Greeks didn’t like the gods or spirits that used them? Exactly, didn’t like them but saw them as the authorities over the various aspects of their world.
Isn’t it the Greeks who used the snake as a symbol for medicine? The Greeks do indeed, and the god of the underworld wasn’t always reviled in Greek culture, neither was the titan known as Hecate, nor the spirit known as Pan. They would all be villainized later.
So in order to affect change, rather than use the law of sympathy and attempt to affect change in a person or situation they were trying to influence by changing a smaller part of it, they would instead seek to communicate with the spirit behind it, that had authority over it, and motivate it to action.
Root cause? Root agent, if not cause. The specific observer behind that type of event.
Perhaps that is why sorcery is seen as evil. To influence the root agency would be taboo in the Christian world. Yes. To contact anything other than their god, or to do anything other than defer to divine will.
Even Jesus said this, you have no power but what the spirits have commanded. It can be argued that he was himself a sorcerer in that he used divine power often for even mundane ends.
And they killed him for it. Yes, because they feared he sought political power. Politics and sorcery yet again linked.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.