The ritual act of repeatedly striking a person, or oneself, with a whip or flail of some sort. In ancient Mystery Cults flogging was an act of purification. It was believed to drive out evil spirits and sharpen the senses. In this sense flogging was an act of regeneration.
From an occult perspective, flogging can be used to induce a state of trance. The rhythm of the lash creates a hypnotic effect, and this then combines with the release of endorphins into the brain. Some Wiccan/Witchcraft traditions incorporate ritual flogging into their initiation rituals or magickal practices—however, most do not.
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Kate Freuler, author of the new Of Blood and Bones.
Doing shadow work in witchcraft is often thought of as examining your "dark side," which makes it sound far more sinister than it actually is....