Hello There

My thoughts about Traditional Witchcraft, Wicca, cooking, gardening, and anything else that catches my fancy.

Monday, March 26, 2012

A Wonderful New Book

It was my birthday last week, so I had a few different parties (one for my friends, and one for my family.) Yesterday, what should my wonderful sister give me but the newly expanded, revised version of Gemma Gary's "Traditional Witchcraft: A Cornish Book of Ways." I've only gotten to flip through it so far, but I can already tell it's amazing. It's got much, much more information than the original edition, and also includes many pages of new images as well as some quite haunting line drawings. I'll write a longer, more detailed review once I've had a chance to read it, but in the meantime here's an image of the front cover.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Icelandic Museum of Witchcraft and Sorcery

Most of us know about the Boscastle Museum of Witchcraft, but how many have heard of the Icelandic Museum of Witchcraft and Sorcery? The latter is located in Holmavik, and contains numerous examples of traditional Icelandic Witchcraft. Definitely not your NeoPagan "love and light" stuff, some of the displays include a reproduction of the infamous "necropants" (trousers made from the skin of a dead man that could render one invisible) and examples of runic charms and staves which remained in use even through the (late) Christianization of Iceland and up until the present day.

I would definitely like to visit, though of course it's a bit of a trip.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Magical Book Club!

A Witch friend of mine and I have been discussing possibly starting a kind of on-line magical book club, and I'd like to know who else might be interested. After taking part in (and being quoted in!) the wonderful discussion about "Mastering Witchcraft" over on The Use Key is Always Bright, we thought about how helpful and interesting it would be to be able to do the same thing with other Witchcraft books. For some of us, it can be hard to find other Traditional Witches nearby, and others among us just don't have the money to spend on some of the very expensive magical tomes available. A book club (and possibly a kind of mail-in lending library) would be a great to review, chapter by chapter, carefully selected texts and discuss them with others in a friendly, knowledgeable environment. It's just in the planning staged so far, but if anybody would be interested in participating, please let me know so I can keep you abreast of the latest developments.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Happy Full Moon!

The Witch's Ballad

Oh, I have been beyond the town,
Where nightshade black and mandrake grow,
And I have heard and I have seen
What righteous folk would fear to know!
For I have heard, at still midnight,
Upon the hilltop far, forlorn,
With note that echoed through the dark,
The winding of the heathen horn.
And I have seen the fire aglow,
And glinting from the magic sword,
And with the inner eye beheld
The Horned One, the Sabbat's lord.
We drank the wine, and broke the bread,
And ate it in the Old One's name.
We linked our hands to make the ring,
And laughed and leaped the Sabbat game.
Oh, little do the townsfolk reck,
When dull they lie within their bed!
Beyond the streets, beneath the stars,
A merry round the witches tread!
And round and round the circle spun,
Until the gates swung wide ajar,
That bar the boundaries of earth
From faery realms that shine afar.
Oh, I have been and I have seen
In magic worlds of Otherwhere.
For all this world may praise or blame,
For ban or blessing naught I care.
For I have been beyond the town,
Where meadowsweet and roses grow,
And there such music did I hear
As worldly-righteous never know.

-Doreen Valiente