Traditional Witchcraft - A Cornish Book of Ways First published in , this is a revised and expanded second edition of the author's well received book on. "First published in , this is a revised and expanded second edition of the author's well-received book on modern Cornish traditional witchcraft. As Gemma . Running time approx 4 1/2 hours. Book by Gemma Gary. Read by Tracey Norman. Traditional Witchcraft - A Cornish Book of Ways is a 21st century version of.
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Traditional Witchcraft - A Cornish Book of Ways is a 21st century version of traditional Cornish witchcraft, of the kind recorded by Hunt, Bottrell and others. This is. Gemma Gary - Traditional Witchcraft A Cornish Book of redelocidi.cf - Ebook download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read book online. Traditional Witchcraft - A Cornish Book of Ways is a 21st century version of traditional Cornish witchcraft, of the kind recorded by Hunt, Bottrell and others.
T he practice o f leaving clouties survives at M adron Well with gusto, however m ost are left today in the trees where water lies beside the path to the old baptistery, for the actual location o f the well is quite difficult to access and not widely known. Clouties are now a com m on sight at many other wells, although the very briefest examination o f the vast m ajority o f m odern-day clouties reveals that the true meaning, and purpose o f the spell, has been lost to most.
Sadly it seems to have becom e habitual behaviour to garrotte the limbs o f any tree that dares g row in the vicinity o f a holy well with any old piece o f synthetic tat.
T he practice o f bathing in, or passing children through, the waters are also healing rites that were once com m on at. D ivinatory practices, com m only involving throwing bent pins into the water and then reading the resulting bubbles, or other behaviour o f the water, occurred at a num ber o f wells, again notably at M adron and at Alsia roughly pronounced locally as ay- lee-aB Well, near St Buryan where bramble leaves were also used.
T h e practice o f bending pins to o ffe r into the waters in return for divinatory counsel seems to hark back to the practice, com m on to many ancient cultures worldwide, o f purposefully dam aging fine metal objects, such as swords and jewellery, before offering them into the depths o f sacred lakes and other bodies o f water, which were regarded as doorw ays into the Otherworld. Cornw all, Penwith in particular, is extrem ely rich in ancient sacred sites o f stone, including circles, menhirs and quoits.
T hese enigmatic sites are o f great im portance to the Cunning folk, not least because they were o f great im portance and use to our ancient sacred ancestors. W hilst the exact details o f the original ancient uses and meanings o f many o f these ancient sites may present us with a mystery, keys and clues may be seen held within their folklore, and the Charm ers, Cunners and witches o f Cornw all have always had their very effective uses for these ancient and sacred places o f power.
Here, at the full m oon, the quartz rich stones channel and enhance the flow o f the serpent, thus they becom e places w here this potent, generative and hypnotic force can be danced alive, and utilised in great abundance so that very powerful, deep, and far reaching magic may be done. A t such places the witch may becom e the vehicle for an extrem ely potent force. W hen the m oon is dark, the granite rings p ool the serpentine force in its consum ptive phase.
Here magic to be rid o f things, to end things and to curse m ay be done to great effect, but care is needed when w orking m agic o f this kind and with this dangerous force, concentrated at such places, for it can be costly. T h e archeological finding o f human remains, as either bone or ash, reveals a link with the dead.
W hether or not the stones were erected to mark these burials, or the burials were made as foundation offerings to the stones upon their erection is unknown. T h ey are places for the Wise to com m une with the ancestors, with the w isdom and forces o f the land, to walk the paths o f spirit and to travel the worlds above and below, for such stones unite the sky with the depths o f the earth.
It is almost. T he possibility that this site was once part o f a circle, or twin circles, or even the remains o f a cham bered tom b where the holed stone m ay have form ed the entrance is debated.
Like the holy wells, the magic made at the M en-an-Tol included workings o f divination and healing. T he holed stone has been seen very much as a pow erful portal o f healing, transform ation and rebirth. It is m ost widely used today for healing, for it is not uncom m on to see visitors clim bing through the hole nine or three times against the sun, in hope o f a cure for their ills, or to witness babies and young children being passed through the hole for the same.
T hese are Places o f the death rites o f the ancients, o f rituals o f sacred ancestral bones, o f offerings, o f connection, o f m em ory and wisdom. T h ey are the dwelling places o f the sacred dead, where they watch over the land and the living; places o f direct contact with the spirit world, w here the living may still visit to crawl inside and there speak with the ancestors and listen for their wisdom.
For the Pellar they are places o f im portant rites in which the vital bonds between the living and the dead are maintained.
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O ther than the sacred m onuments o f our ancestors, there are various features o f the landscape that m ay be utilised as places o f power. T h e vast rocky cam s and hills are, in Cornish lore, places o f giants and Spriggans. Beaches or even c liff edges are useful in acts o f magic making, utilising the powerful tides o f the sea to conjure or to exorcise. T h e flow ing energies o f a stream are go o d for workings to cleanse, to heal or to send a spell out on its way.
A lonely wind-distorted thorn in a hedge is an excellent place for magic in which the conjuring o f otherworldly forces or spirits is required. B E I N G out in the land, listen in g M any o f the w orking tools o f the village w ise-folk are quite different to those immaculate, grand and expensive ceremonial tools found in the m odern cults o f W icca, that m ost folk will be m ore familiar with.
T h e tools o f a traditional witch will often be found whilst poking around in hedges, or stum bled across whilst walking the land.
N atural materials not only contain the very spirit or sprowl o f the landscape in which they were found, they m ay also more easily becom e a vessel and conduit for magical. O thers are passed down, or handed on as gifts, from other practitioners and are greatly cherished. There are many items, materials and substances, used within the making o f charms and the working o f magic, and all o f these it could be argued are tools o f the practice; how ever b elow can be explored only the m ore prom inent w orking items that tend to feature within the Cornish Craft, including the tools o f ritual:.
A num ber o f stick-form ed tools are used within the Traditional C raft and the m ost im portant, it could be argued, is the personal sta ff kept by nearly all Cunning folk. It is know n in Cornw all as the gwelen, and often features a forked top to represent the H orned O ne, the dualities o f nature and pow er flow ing forth from the depths to the heights.
It is a very useful m ulti-purpose tool, kept with many practitioners w herever they go. In many ways the sta ff is the Traditional Craft equivalent o f the W iccan athame, although m ore in the level o f im portance attached to it than the m ethods o f use. It is a com panion w hen walking in the land, where it may be a useful tool to gather and store land sprowl, and a handy w eapon against unwanted attention!
It is used to mark out and conjure the w orking circle and stood in the ground it form s the altar and a bridge between the worlds. Som e practitioners like to keep a num ber o f staves o f certain w oods for different uses, but m ost will have one main staff. It aids also workings o f defensive magic and strength. T he Ash is o f airy virtue. It is associated heavily in Cornish and West Country lore with healing and regenerative magic. A s Y ggdrasil, T he Ash aids also workings o f spirit, passage between the worlds, and drawing forth the virtues o f the six ways.
T he Birch offers a w ood that aids purification, the initiation o f inception, birth and fertility. B lackthorn: T h e feared and form idable Blackthorn is o f fiery virtue. A ssociated within the Cornish Craft with Bucca D hu, it is em ployed to aid workings o f blasting, defensive magic, setting strong boundaries, toad magic and rites o f the new m oon.
E lder: O f w atery virtue, E ld er is o f aid to workings o f protection, exorcising illness and spirit conjuration. T h e Furze is o f fiery virtue, it provides a w ood to aid workings o f purification, the conjuration o f fair weather, and the discovering o f useful information.
H aw thorn: It aids also dealings with spirit folk and workings o f fertility, but is not to be em ployed as a walking sta ff for it may invite ill luck upon journeys. O f fiery virtue: H olly: T h e dark H olly is o f fiery virtue, it is o f aid to rites and workings o f death and rebirth, and o f exorcism , defensive magic, the overcom ing o f wrongdoers, and fiery potency. O f fiery virtue; the O ak is o f aid to solar rites and magic, and to workings o f strength, steadfastness, w isdom , pow er and potency.
T o the old Cornish the Oak is sacred to Taraner the Thunderer. O f both fiery and airy virtue, o f aid to the workings o f healing, prosperity, exorcism , protection, wisdom , progress and the increase o f power. T h e M ountain A sh is o f fiery virtue and o f aid to the rites o f Candlem as and to workings o f quickening, conjuring visions, lifting curses and the influence o f ill wishing from people and cattle. A walking sta ff o f Row an provides protection from evil whilst journeying.
W illow: O f w atery virtue; the W illow is o f aid to rites and workings o f the m oon, emotional healing, love, fertility and intuition. T he revered Y ew is w atery in virtue; it is o f aid to all rites o f death mysteries, Ankow, atavistic wisdom , transform ation, change and renewal. Whilst different w oods have their ow n associated magical virtues, the im portant thing is that the practitioner selects a sta ff that calls to them.
T h ey can have ways o f making themselves known that range from the subtle to the fairly dramatic.
I have known folk choose branches that they have tripped over, got their hair or clothes snagged on or that have literally smacked them in the face! G reen or living w ood how ever is m ore reliably strong. W hen deciding to harvest such w ood, it is good practice to let the tree know that you intend to take that particular branch, tie a piece o f string around where you intend to make the cut and. D o not take m ore than you need and never attempt to break o f f the branch; use a sharp pruning saw to make a clean cut.
It is better to harvest green w ood in the winter as there will be less sap, m aking the w ood less likely to split as it dries. D rying can take around a year to do properly, and the ends should be sealed by dipping them in a pot o f hot molten w ax as they will otherwise quickly split.
D ead w ood o f course does not su ffer so much from splitting and is quicker to dry. M ix 1 part O live oil with 5 parts turpentine and rub the mixture into the stick once a week. W hen it com es to finishing your staff, it is best to coat the w ood several times with boiled linseed oil. T his brings out the richness o f the w ood and can be polished pleasingly. N atural beesw ax polishes are also good.
W hether or not the bark is left on depends much on the type o f w ood and the drying process, w here it m ay start to separate from the w ood anyway and will have to be stripped, otherwise it may be best to leave the bark on.
T h e personal sta ff o f a Pellar tends not to be overly dramatic, nor overtly occult in its appearance. H ow ever, within what may appear to others nothing m ore than decorative design, various pertinent witch signs m ay be concealed and made occult in plain sight. T h e witch will kneel and drive the stick into the ground at an angle, so that the rounded forked ends rest gently against the closed eyes. T he Becom ing will be undertaken, and then the witch will feel for the flow o f the Red Serpent in the earth, conducted along the stick.
T h e rhythm o f this flow will eventually bring visions o f foresight and the answers to questions, such as the whereabouts o f anything that is lost or stolen. A nother stick tool for making discoveries is, o f course, the better known Y shaped divining rod, cut also from Hazel. W ise folk traditionally employed these, when called in by farm ers and land owners, to divine for water, a service still w idely provided today. T h e two forks o f the rod are held in the hands, palms upwards and pulling outwards, thus applying tension to the rod until it resembles the sign for Aries, with the low er point facing away from the body and the w hole thing level with the ground.
T he diviner will then walk, holding in the mind that which is being sought without thinking too much. It is a simple stick with a hooked end, form ed by a small side branch, with a point shaped into the lower end o f the main shaft. W hen sufficient required virtue has been gathered, it is sent forth, via the pointed end, in the direction o f the place, person, animal or item intended to receive it.
A blade used by the Pellar is sharp and it will cut, for that is the nature o f the tool. I f you make good practical use o f your knife in the mundane world, your faith in its ability to aid you in magical matters will be all the greater. T he knife or. It can subdue troublesom e spirits and exorcise, but it is not used to conjure the working circle.
Materials that have had life are m ost favoured to fashion the cups used by Cunning folk, the m ajority o f cups I know o f are made from horn. T h ey are used in the Troyl rite for the ritual sharing o f drink and food that is so vital to maintain the bonds between witch, Bucca, the ancestors and the serpent.
N ew ly prepared magical substances or charms are also left in the bow l on the hearth overnight, thus allowing the settling in o f the prevalent planetary or lunar virtues for which their making was timed to coincide, along with other raised powers and intent.
T h e bowl is often made from wood, clay or horn. A good bow l or basin o f copper is also sought after and kept by m ost Cornish witches. K eep a good old cauldron; it is a useful tool for both magic and ritual use. O lder ones are best for they are full o f character, and usually a better quality casting. In ritual or magic, it is a sym bolic portal o f the O therworld and a vessel o f change; a w om b o f generation or a tom b o f consum ption, depending on intent and the phase o f the m oon.
Visions and spirits can be conjured in this way, to be born forth from the O therworld during generative workings o f the w axing and full m oon. Indoors, during workings at the hearth, a candle may burn within the cauldron, with herbs sm ouldering on charcoal and other symbolic items arranged also within. A bove this are conjurations made with repetitive stirring gestures and muttered chants.
D uring the waning or dark o f the m oon, those things that are required to be gone can be placed within the cauldron fire, in the form o f symbolic items, images, knotted cords or pertinent substances, as the witch stirs or m oves quietly about it in a sinistral circle, willing the undesired thing to be gone. In seasonal rites things may be born sym bolically forth from the cauldron or sacrificed within, and it may becom e a vessel for sacred fires o f the year. Sweeping m agic was, and is, much used by Cornish practitioners.
In ritual, it may sweep the w orking circle, not only as a tool o f exorcism sweeping away influences that might impede or interfere with the work, but as a sym bolic gesture to establish that exchange between the worlds is about to take place there. T h e broom is used in magic to sweep bad influences out o f the house, and fortunate or lucky influences in at certain times o f the year. In curse magic, ill-intent and bad or unlucky influences can be swept via the broom into the doorw ay o f an enemy or wrongdoer.
Feather sweepers are traditional West Country working tools, m ost often fashioned from long goose feathers bound with w ax, or goose fat and string, to form a handle. Som etim es a left hand and right hand sweeper will be kept; the left hand one to sweep harm ful or unlucky influences. Magical sweeping gestures might also be made over a person or an animal.
In this way, sweepers may also be em ployed within healing work; to sweep away the ailment from the affected part o f the body with the left hand, and then to sweep in the healing influence with the right.
It is made by binding thirteen dried and thorny blackberry twigs together, using the string binding to form a handle. T h e ends o f the twigs are set alight in a blessed fire, and the sm oking whisk is waved and danced around the place with vigorous gestures to ward o f f all evil and harm ful influences.
Conversely, a similarly bound bundle o f twigs, such as Pine, may be employed in a similar fashion. In this case however, the West Country witch is drawing helpful spirits to the w orking place, attracted by the pleasingly scented w ood smoke. Various kinds o f drum may be kept by West Country witches, for they are useful within the circle for drum m ing up sprowl and the presence o f helpful spirits. T h ey may also be em ployed to drive away evil spirits and negative.
Cecil W illiamson gives two interesting recom m endations for West C ountry witch drumsticks — ones made o f glass, the handles o f which m ust have unfinished ends, being useful for banishing harm ful influences, calling upon the aid o f helpful spirits and for drum m ing up changes in the weather.
D rum sticks form ed from human arm bones however are recom m ended to drum up the presence o f any required spirit. T hese are em ployed by the West Country witch to attract helpful spirits and to raise spirit forces at the creation o f an outdoor w orking space, and to aid the achievement o f trance states.
Stones w ould also be carried as protective amulets and provide warning o f the presence o f poison by sweating. T h ey have been used in Cornw all by Cunning folk w ho also named them Sea Stones to make predictions by casting one or m ore and reading the directions in which they point. T h ey are also used by the Cunning to add potency to workings, sometim es being incorporated into charm s or set into the end o f curative wands.
K e p t in the hom e they would w ard o f f m isfortune and prevent snakes from entering. Tongue stones are also w orn as protective charms against evil and to protect the wearer from snake bites.
Im m ersed in red wine they would provide a cure from venom s and poisons. Toad Stones were believed by our ancestors to grow inside the heads o f toads. M ost known examples o f Toad Stones have been found to be the fossilised teeth o f the extinct fish Lepidotes. Toad stones were m ost often set into rings to provide protection and to aid healing rites.
T h e Toad Stone ring will w arn the wearer o f poison by becom ing w arm in its presence. West Country witches, male and female, will often wear a necklace o r pendant o f magical virtue. Strung beads o f serpentine, quartz and obsidian represent the serpent and the generative and introspective virtues. T he ways to em pow er the tools and to charge them with life and virtue are many and are to be determ ined by the nature o f the tool itself, it is also the case that each practitioner may have their own ways.
Follow ing the exorcism o f the item, with the aid o f purging and cleansing substances, it will be charged with the powers and virtues pertinent to its nature and use. There are also such traditional actions as the anointing o f tools with three crosses o f spittle, the breathing o f life into tools and even taking them into the bed for three consecutive nights. T h e altar and focus o f operations within the rites and workings o f the Pellar, either at the hearth or outside, traditionally includes four basic things which are the staff, stone, flame and bone.
Pitch forks or hay forks are occasionally used instead. T h e stone is the foundation stone or hearth stone around which the cultus o f the C raft operates.
In some traditional groups this is a w hetstone that keeps the blade o f Cunning ever sharp, but for the solitary witch any o f the w orking stones may be used. Quartz is a good choice for it attracts and enhances the serpentine flow and the breath, whereas obsidian would be m ore fitting specifically to the new moon. T h e flame is the flame o f Cunning, the light betwixt the horns and the light on the heath that illumines the path o f the Cunning Way.
It may be a lantern or simply a candle. D uring indoor rites and workings, w here a full. K n o w n examples are form ed from horseshoes fixed to a w ooden base, with a candle fixed between the upward pointing arms o f the shoe, or a forked section o f tree branch fixed also to a w ooden base, with the candle stuck between the forks.
Ju st as the hood- fire m ay be employed magically, so may the hood lamp assist workings to attract that which is desired and banish that which is not, often by the aid o f pertinently coloured glass headed pins once the candle is identified w ith the object o f the working.
In grand rites this m ay be an actual human skull, although other smaller human bones are m ore usefully portable and thus more often used. Animal bones and carved skulls have also been employed for this. Alongside human bones, I also som etim es make use o f a pre-historic, yet still sharp, flint cutting tool as a potent link to the ancestors.
T H E practice o f marking out a circular area to delineate a hallowed space for the perform ing o f rites, the working o f magic and to contain raised forces is a very ancient one. T h e m ost im portant function o f the circle is that o f access, for it is a place created and set aside for the ingress o f virtues, powers, spirits, atavistic w isdom , and the manifestation o f divine force into the Craft o f those w ho w ork within its boundary.
Within such a circle are the paths o f access opened to the cross quarter Ways, the planetary, solar and lunar forces and virtues o f the starry heights o f N evek, and the chthonic waters o f.
V ia the axial road also is the chthonic fire; the serpent o f the land, drawn forth from the depths to the heights. W hen placed in the centre o f the circle it stands in representation o f the axial road itself, giving access to all six Ways — above, below and the quarter crossroads. T h e cross quarter directions are assigned the follow ing attributes by som e Crafters:. E ast is the direction o f spring, dawn, and the red spirits o f the powers o f fire; above are the heavenly fires o f the Sun, w ho rises in the E ast, the planetary fires and thunder.
E a st is also the direction o f the inner flame o f Cunning and the Will. A m ongst the regalia o f the E ast road are the knife, the broom and the spirit whip.
T he virtues o f the E a st Road aid workings o f defensive magic, exorcism , strength, power, sexuality, and potency. South is the direction o f summer, noon, and the white spirits o f the pow ers o f earth; the land, the living body, and the physicality o f all things. T h e South Road familiar spirit is the leaping white hare, the regalia o f this direction include the magical stones whispering stone, Troy stone, stroking stone etc.
Workings in the areas o f stability, healing bodily hurts, the w isdom and em ploym ent o f plants, fertility, grow th, abundance and wealth are all gready aided by the virtues o f the South Road. West is the direction o f autumn, dusk, and the grey spirits o f the powers o f water; the rivers, streams, wells, seas, our ow n blood and the deep chthonic waters o f transform ation, em otion and atavistic wisdom.
T h e grey toad is the West Road familiar spirit, and the regalia o f this direction include the cauldron and horn-cup. Workings o f the m oon, sea witchcraft, well magic, transform ation, cleansing, dreams, memory, em otions, and the healing o f. N o rth is the direction o f winter, midnight, and the black spirits o f air; the haunted winds o f spirit, smoke, our ow n breath and the voice.
T h e familiar spirit o f the N orth Road is the black crow or to som e Cornish practitioners the chough. Seeing tools, the censer and the bell are other regalia o f the N orth Road. W orkings aided by the virtues o f this direction include spirit magic, atavistic com m union, blasting, binding, w isdom , augury and communication.
A m ysterious goat-headed kn ife, w ith cowrie shells and real horns. I t wasfo u n d fo r the author in H atherleigh, D evon, by a local antique dealer frien d. Facing below; A troy stone n ith exam ples o f other w orking stones.
T h e direction in which the C om pass is w orked differs according to intent, and the nature o f the rite or working. Calls are also made during the Round to the divine force. A s the repetitive, insistent circumambulations o f the witch draws the mind deeper into trance, yet fixed firm ly on its goal, glim pses and perceptions o f G odhead m ay well be achieved. D extral and sinistral circles are also em ployed within the C om pass during acts o f magic.
Gathering pow er is not quite the same thing as raising power. In acts o f banishing, binding, or blasting, a sinistral circle is em ployed again, here the gathered powers are used to restrict, or even consum e, the focus o f the working. It is the intent, and fixed will o f the Pellar, that determ ines the use and intended result o f the working. In traditional witch rites, there is often much hard w ork to be done and the Round can be quite a strain, som etim es to the point that a practitioner will collapse in trance a m om ent they will always make the fullest use of , but it is old w isdom that like attracts like.
E n erg y m ust be used in order to raise it and w ork with it. Likewise a circle o f steadily circling witches uses oxygen in the blood, and can strain the muscles and the lungs, but it will also gather, stir and raise the powers within the circle, as well as producing vision. T o raise energy, we m ust partake o f it, just as an engine or mill uses energy to create energy and produce that which is desired. Eld erly and infirm Pellar within groups will be excused the Walking the Round, and will often be given the task o f drum m ing, which not only aids the Round but will produce similar results; being a repetitive trance inducing, and pow er raising act in itself.
A lways in magic, with the aid o f a fire, the m oon, and the serpent, a sinistral circle can be used to consum e and restrict, whilst a dextral circle will generate, create, and bring forth potency. T h e rite o f the Com pass Round is not the creation o f a circle, but a conjuration o f the ancient Circle o f Cunning.
T h e true conjuration o f the Com pass is an invocation o f the path itself. W hen the witch stands within the Com pass proper, they stand with all those w h o have walked its Round from the very beginning o f the tradition. T h eir ways and w isdom s are there to be.
For everyday and simple solitary rites and workings, each practitioner will have a quick and non elaborate way o f conjuring the Com pass and gathering in the powers. This is known as the Hearthside Rite because traditionally the everyday w ork o f the Pellar is carried out at the household hearth, but in reality the rite may be used anywhere, indoors or out.
O ne such rite will follow here.
A s the ways o f the traditional witch are generally kept as simple as possible, this will be the m ethod m ost often used, with the more elaborate Com pass conjurations being kept aside for special occasions, group rites or workings and m ore com plex needs. T he Charm er will first still their mind and focus their will to undergo the Becom ing with slow and purposeful breath, to becom e m ore aware o f things and connected with the hidden.
I f it is sensed that the working area needs to be exorcised o f im peding influences, the bell may be struck nine times, or, with the presence o f a fire once lit, the w hisk may be employed in the traditional way. A candle, lantern or fire o f focus will be lit with these words quietly muttered in conjuration:. T h e Charm er m ay strike their sta ff to the ground lightly and rhythmically whilst muttering these words to conjure the circle and the spirits:.
B y road above an d road below, B y snake an d hare and toad and crow. B y red spirits, white spirits, grey spirits an d black, I conjure thee by threefold track. In addition, or alternatively, the Pellar may make traditional use o f either the drum or the wind-roarer to call the spirits, gather in the virtues, raise the powers, and strengthen the trance.
T h e Pellar is now ready to undertake the rite or working at hand. I f necessary the physicality o f the circle may be described in the earth using the stick, or delineated with chalk, flour, ash or sand.
A grove o f trees or other feature o f the land, such as a curved hedge or stream, may provide, at least in part, a natural physical circle, or an ancient circle o f stones m ay be an ideal choice. W herever the Com pass is to be conjured one must be certain o f its boundary.
T h e rite which follow s is described for im portant solitary outdoor workings and rites. In rites o f a Cunning Lodge. Set the staff, stone, flame and bone to stand in the centre o f the circle or at the required quarter point, depending on the nature o f the rite or w orking at hand. A t the foot o f the stick have also the bow l holding som e bread or other food and the horn-cup holding mead, wine or ale for the Troyl. H ave there also a crucible o f burning coals and a pertinent substance to burn.
A rrange also any other required items. O ther staves and the broom may be laid along the E ast, South or West o f the circle, but never the N orthern portal where only the altar sta ff may ever be placed to stand. H ave about your waist the cord and your knife hanging from it. T h e fire may be simply a lantern or small bonfire built within a cauldron. I f a bell is present, it is struck once to m ark the com m encem ent o f ritual. Start the sweeping or use o f the whisk with an exorcising call:.
Place som e o f the incense on the coals, to draw the desired powers and spirits to the place and to raise further your inner flam e with purposeful breath, sharpening the senses, strengthening and reaffirm ing the Becom ing and the beginnings o f trance. W hen ready the fire must be lit.
Take up the Cunning blade and hallow the fire with these words, with a slow and purposeful tone:. W ith your knife make the sign o f the six ways over the fire, then, replace your knife in its sheath.
D raw the serpent yet further with deep breath, fanning the inner fire to greater intensity. Take up now the sta ff and conjure the Com pass three times round, in the direction o f the sun for generative workings otherwise against it, with these words:. Bring the sta ff to the centre o f the circle and hold it aloft to the sky, then firm ly dow n to the ground, then crossing the arms at the chest, with these words:.
So below A n d by the cross quarter ways, So shall i t be. H ea r the call, h a il to thee, awake, arise and here be. Replace the sta ff at the centre o f the com pass, or the chosen quarter, and raise the arm s with hands in the sign o f the horns and say:.
H orned one, d a rk an d fa ir, shrine hearth an d vessel o f a ll dualities conjoined. N o w is the time to walk the round. Begin with the traditional West Country call:.
T h e C om pass is now trod, slowly but steadily in a sinistral circle around the fire or central altar. The themes of untamed, wild nature; its freedom, its spirits, its power and its magic, so repugnant and threatening to the Church, were grafted onto the diabolical; affording yet greater preservation of the Old One for those who sought to stray from the path of limitation and conformity, and tread instead the hidden ways of the witch and magician.
Historical witch-lore records varied rites of initiatory contact, via which the worker of magic and witchcraft entered into a close, working relationship and union with the Old One and the spirit world. Via such union, would the ways unto curing ailments, exorcising ill influence, the attainment of desires, and the destruction of the oppressive be known, and the old artes of the circle, the spirits, the knotted cord, the pierced candle, the witch-bottle, the magical image and the spoken, inscribed and herbal charms be mastered.
The sheer diversity of popular magic connected with sacred wells and springs is remarkable. Inseparable from the ancient cults of saints and spirits of place, the natural springs and wellheads of the British Isles have come to be famed loci of healing, divination, and spiritual revelation.
Some, possessing long traditions of votive and sacrificial offerings, have assumed powers of spirit-guardianship, or, indeed, divinities of water. Other such wells are the repositories of eldritch lore connected with the cult of the skull and the Holy Head. Additionally, bodies of magical practice have developed around some wells, serving a variety of magical purposes, including blessings and curses, healings and the dispensation of prophetic power. In almost every case, there is a specific magical relation between the waters as a medium of spirit, and the surrounding features of the land.
It examines both the lore of holy wells as well as their associated cultic activities, whether religious or earthed in the practical magic of folk-sorcery. While examining many a well in Britain and Ireland, much of the text focuses on the lore in the West Country and Cornwall.
Gemma Gary - Traditional Witchcraft A Cornish Book of Ways.pdf
Wisht Waters is available from Three Hands Press in both a standard hardback edition with letterpress dust jacket, and a full goat leather binding with marbled end-papers. Serving a vast array of needs, principally for healing, protection and the averting of evil, but also long employed within acts of cursing, the Psalms are an established feature of traditional operative magic yet also an indicium of engaging with the world of spirit, the divine and the unseen: However, due to the volume of enquiries about this title, a second cloth bound edition has now been released and is available from Troy Books.
Within the West Country, the popular belief in witchcraft and its attendant charms, magical practices and traditions continued to be observed and survived long after such ways had faded in most other parts of the British Isles. As this book affirms, these ways of the Old Craft and Cunning Arte include a belief in and working relationship with the spirit forces of the land, the Faerie, animal and plant lore, as well as the magical use of Psalms to cure or curse, the invocation of Christ and the power of the Holy Trinity.
However in this excellent book she has managed to expertly draw together a workable new tradition from historical sources and the surviving rites, charms and folk customs of Cornwall and the West Country. It provides a valuable resource and guide for beginners interested in practising Trad Craft.
However this reviewer is sure that experienced practitioners will also learn from its contents. Very highly recommended.
Gemma Gary - Traditional Witchcraft A Cornish Book of Ways.pdf
This is no neo-pagan or modern wiccan manual, but rather a deep drawing up into modern times of some of the ancient practices of lore and magic practised by the white witches, charmers, conjurers and pellars of the Cornish villages. Their presence was still current when the 18th and 19th century antiquarians and collectors recorded them, and, although the 20th century largely put paid to their activities, nevertheless their lore never completely disappeared, and it continues to provide inspiration for practitioners today.
Old-style Craft, also known as traditional witchcraft, endures as a distinct body of archaic magical practices in present-day Britain, North America and Australia. Additionally, bodies of magical practice have developed around some wells, serving a variety of magical purposes, including blessings and curses, healings and the dispensation of prophetic power.
In almost every case, there is a specific magical relation between the waters as a medium of spirit, and the surrounding features of the land.
It examines both the lore of holy wells as well as their associated cultic activities, whether religious or earthed in the practical magic of folk-sorcery. While examining many a well in Britain and Ireland, much of the text focuses on the lore in the West Country and Cornwall. We encounter the Psalms within the rites and talismanic magic of the grimoires, and their prolific employment within Charming, Cunning and folk-magical tradition.
Herein the methods of their use are varied and incorporate magical acts of utterance, inscription, bottling, burning, sprinkling, pouring and burial in conjunction with various substances and materials. However, due to the volume of enquiries about this title, a second cloth bound edition has now been released and is available from Troy Books.These precious relics were to be worn, suspended fro m the neck, fo r the cure o f prevention o f fits , an d other mysterious complaints supposed to be brought on by witchcraft.
W hether or not the stones were erected to mark these burials, or the burials were made as foundation offerings to the stones upon their erection is unknown. Here we meet the entities that dwell deep within the organic memory of the earth - the devas, the deities, the magical life force behind the surface of the wooded glen. I m yself receive, on a regular basis, requests fo r curse-lifting.
Within the West Country, the popular belief in witchcraft and its attendant charms, magical practices and traditions continued to be observed and survived long after such ways had faded in most other parts of the British Isles. The Black Toad explores potent examples of the folk-ceremonial magical practices and witchcraft of the south-west of England; dealing especially with Devon and the author's homeland of Cornwall.