“La Taranta,” means “The Tarantula,” a healing ritualistic dance practised in the province of Taranto, South of Italy, to prevent death from the poison of the spider.  The frenzied dance was performed under the rhythm of powerful and very intense play of tambourines. The dance is most probably derived from ancient Greece, more precisely from Ancient Dyioniac rites. This dance is linked to the phenomenon called tarantism, which, according to Crompton was resulted from the fact that the”ancient Bacchanalian rites that had been suppressed by the Roman Senate in 186 BC went underground, reappearing under the guise of emergency therapy for bite victims.”

The last video shows a woman performing, a more artistic version of La Taranta to exorcise COVID-19 from Italy.

Crompton, J. (1954). The Life of the Spider.


Written by

Erica Georgiades MRes Religious Experience (Candidate) UWTSD; PgD (Merit) Ancient Mediterranean Religions UWTSD; BA (Honours) in Philosophy and Psychological Studies (Open). Erica is the Editor of the FOTA Newsletter, a researcher on Theosophical History; secretary of the International Theosophical History Conference since 2018. She is the Director of the European School of Theosophy since 2016; and a member of the Theosophical Society since 1991. Recently she started practising archery where she lives, in Athens, Greece. She is also a deep ecologist, animal-rights activist, pro-non-human animals personhood.

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