A somewhat forgotten figure of Witchcraft, Cecil Williamson was somewhat overshadowed by the creator of Wicca; Gerald Gardner. Steve Patterson has managed to piece together some of Cecil’s life with as much information that was available to him and as a result we have this absolute gem. The inspiration came from the discovery of a manuscript that was found when Graham King took over The Witchcraft Museum in Boscastle and began renovations. The manuscript that was found was simply titled Witchcraft and contained an array of occult and esoteric material. The idea for the book was born.
Although Cecil is very much associated with Gerald Gardner, the fact is that he didn’t care much for Wicca. His idea of magic and witchcraft sat within the realms of the spirit world and the “wayside witch” – these being the lone witches that performed charms and spells who could heal with sticks, stones and herbs. Not a ceremonial cloak or dagger in sight.
It is a highly enjoyable read if you have a leaning towards the more traditional ways of the witch, if Wicca isn’t quite your cup of tea then this book will be an inspiration to the academic and the wayside witch.
As a lone practitioner of magic or a scholar of the subject in traditional witchcraft you will find this book a useful tool. Within these pages Fiona Walker-Craven has captured a full year in order to help those understand the seasons and what they mean to a witch.
13 Moons is a workbook as it takes you through each month and the corresponding moon. It includes anecdotes from the author plus charms to try. What is most important here is that the author encourages the reader to use their own instincts and intuition which is the absolute foundation to witchcraft.
This tome is a great read and can help someone who is new to the craft grasp what British Witchcraft involves plus it can help those already practising fine tune their skills.
It must be mentioned at this point that the book is rather rare but a regular trawl of the internet or your local bookshop will throw copies up now and then.
Paperback: 136 pages
Publisher: Ignotus Press (30 Jun. 2002)
Steve Patterson is a folklorist who has brought the magic of Cornwall into the pages of this beautifully bound book. If you have been lucky enough to venture down there or even seen some snippets on their website then you may know that The Witchcraft Museum in Boscastle have set up a scene that helps its visitors have a taste of the magical life of a cunning woman. Known as Old Joan, she sits at her table surrounded by jars of herbs, tools of the trade, candles and her familiar spirit animals.
This particular display was the inspiration for Steve Patterson’s book. It features her old book of spells, a detailed guide to the Wise Woman’s Cottage and historical facts on the cunning folk of the West Country. It is a rich tome that takes you way back to when cunning folk were the pillars of the community and it teaches us the nature of the witch and her craft. A valuable piece of work for anyone studying the old British ways.
Hardcover: 152 pages
Publisher: Troy Books 2016
Graham King is the former owner and curator of the Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle Cornwall. In this book he has gathered a wealth of traditional charms and spells used in the folk-magical tradition. If you are interested in searching deeper into the historical traditions of the cunning folk then this is certainly a book that will tickle your fancy. He has included charms for love, healing, cursing and fortune and it is a collection that is rich in history.
The content of the book has been lovingly handpicked from the vast collection of literature held within museum and put together in this brilliant book. Inside you will also find photographs and illustrations that have been taken from the museum’s collection. You can purchase it directly from Troy Books and it comes in a paperback edition and a beautiful hardback too.
Publisher: Troy Books