Welcome to the 1970’s.
Interest in the occult was rife and the rise of Wicca brought many people to the craft. Although I am not personally someone who follows Wicca, I found this documentary of interest for historical reasons. It has to be said that this is a very naive documentary in that we are faced with those that proclaim that witchcraft is devil worship and there are some, what we call, “media witches” on there. If you can put this aside and enjoy it for it is (it is very much of the time) then you will enjoy it.
It features Cecil Williamson, Doreen Valiente, Eleanor Bone and others.
Now on its second printing, The Charmers’ Psalter is a beautifully bound book printed in a handy pocket sized tome. Gemma Gary has created yet another wonderful collection of charms and spells. Gemma is an artist and writer based in the South-West of England and has written many books on her own personal tradition and practices. She has helped open the eyes of many people to creating their own traditions not only in themselves but to be inspired by their geographical surroundings.
The collection is a rather mysterious one as it isn’t quite clear what the date or origins of them are, it is thought that they possibly predate Judeo-Christian Scripture. What is bound within these pages has been used by those who practise the folk magic tradition and has served many cunning folk before us. It covers a vast array of both charms and curses, some of which can be muttered quietly hence the pocketbook version which can be taken anywhere you go. From love to broken bones to curses; a practitioner is certainly covered for all eventualities.
As usual, Troy Books have created a beautiful book. It is bound in gold foil-blocked rust cloth and is a very inspirational addition to a witch’s library. Use it as it is or use it to create your own charms. It is highly recommended.
You can buy it here.
There are a great deal of books on the craft out there that often feel rather self-indulgent, I may have just found something that isn’t. Serpent Songs is a book containing fifteen essays from practitioners and those who are well-versed in the craft of the wise.
Put together by Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold, the writers will be rather familiar to those of you who have an interest in the traditional craft. The writing runs deep, truthful and is incredibly well written; almost academically so. As quoted on Scarlet Imprint’s website the book contains the works of Cornish and Basque witchcraft, the relatively unknown Swedish Trolldom, the persecuted Bogomils, and the oft misrepresented Italian Stregoneria.Members of 1734, Clan of Tubal Cain, and a member of the Companie of the Serpent-Cross. This isn’t a book for those who wish to pick up a “how to” guide, it is an anthology that lets you take a peak inside the beliefs and workings of their craft. It is laden with history that gives the reader an insight into a world we may not know about or that some have assumed didn’t exist. It is a cornucopia of knowledge and experience that will educate and inspire you.
Controbutors include: Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold;Gemma Gary;Shani Oates;Arkaitz Urbeltz;Stuart Inman & Jane Sparkes;Tony MacLeod;Xabier Bakaikoa Urbeltz;Steve Patterson;Richard Parkinson;Francis Ashwood;Johannes Gårdbäck;Radomir Ristic;Anne Morris;Jesse Hathaway Diaz; and Sarah Anne Lawless.
It is available to buy here
As one can imagine, there will be plenty of people that would disregard the job title – witch. Not for Cassandra. She is a village witch and the Inland Revenue are fully aware of this fact.
Cassandra decided to write this book as a way of telling her story. With quite a difficult tale to tell, she opens up her life to the reader and explores the path that led her to being who she is today. The first part of the book is her personal journey from childhood and through adulthood and the second is about her approach to magic. The second half goes way above the usual books on witchcraft, she encourages you to explore it for yourself rather than just reading someone else’s work from a page. It is an encouraging book that allows you to open up your mind, to explore, educate and use your own intuition. The magic is within yourself and all around you, you wont find the answers in someone else’s words.
Paperback: 228 pages
Publisher: Mandrake of Oxford; 2 edition (21 Jun. 2013)
Photographs from villagewisewoman.co.uk
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)