In Lyon, the galleries of the Musée des Confluences are immersed in a strange atmosphere at the start of spring. Is it related to the darkness that reigns in the halls, to the presence in the entrance of a howling wolf? In the haunted forest setting, a little further? Or those swarms of crows and bats that hover above our heads? The public entering the “Magic”* exhibition, offered by this institution until March 2023, switches to another dimension.
After treading on a strange pentagram, inscribed on the ground, which symbolizes how the five elements regularly invoked in sorcery interact (fire, air, water, earth and, above all, the spirit), the visitor progresses with caution between showcases that describe esoteric rituals across the planet. From Nepalese shamans to Beninese marabouts, from voodoo healers to “fire cutters” and other magnetizers from Berry, passing through Breton spellcasters, no region of the world and no time seems to escape beliefs in a supernatural reality.
This exhibition demonstrates how fertile ground remains in France for what looks like a form of pagan worship. Without ever judging those who adhere to these practices, the course of the Lyon museum leads us to realize that, beyond the extreme diversity of magical rituals, there are great anthropological constants in the adherence to the existence of phenomena. supernatural.
* ““Magic” exhibition (co-produced with the Toulouse Natural History Museum). Confluence Museum: 86, quai Perrache, Lyon. Tuesday to Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Late opening until 10 p.m. on the 1st Thursday of the month. Until March 5, 2023.