Tuesday, June 8, 2010
The pharmakhos (plural: pharmakoi) started out hisorically as a human scapegoat. Today, those who practice this ritual as part of the Thargelia tend towards a more symbolic approach. At HTAZP, this has taken the form over the years of dolls made of raffia or paper cutouts. These can be imbued with the things participants wish to banish (bad habits, negative relationships, though never actual people) a number of ways, including writing those things down and placing them into or on the dolls. The dolls, which are never named but simply referred to as the pharmakhoi, are then ritually burned.