Saturday, March 25, 2006

Definition And History Of Cunning Folk

Definition And History Of Cunning Folk Cover Who better than to define Cunning Folk than Dr. Owen Davies, a researcher of witchcraft and the role of the Cunning Folk in the British Isles:

“Cunning-folk, who were also known as wise-women, wise-men, conjurors and wizards, were an integral part of English Society right up until the Early Twentieth Century. Over the centuries hundreds of thousands of people must have consulted them regarding a wide range of problems, but particularly those concerning affairs of the heart, theft, sickness and most important of all witchcraft. They were multi-skilled, or at least professed to be so. They practised herbalism, treasure-seeking and love magic. They revealed the identity of thieves and divined the whereabouts of lost and stolen property. The more learned cunning-folk also practised astrology, while the less learned pretended to be masters of the art. The most lucrative aspect of their business was the curing of those people and animals who were thought to be bewitched, and also the trade in charms to ward off witches and evil spirits.“ (Source)

A cunning person is essentially a traditional folk-magic practitioner from the United Kingdom. It is believed those who were literate drew upon the magical grimoires and chapbooks of the times to add to their repertoires with some cunning folk’s reputations based solely on the grimoire they owned. Practices and services varied from region to region. The practices of a Cornish Pellar might be completely different when compared to that of their Scottish or Irish counterpart. In Scotland, and possibly other regions, the wise women and men were divided into two categories: those that could practice only harm (buidseach or “black magician”), and those that could practice only good (cailleach or “spae wife”). Depending on what service a person needed they would go to one or the other for a curse or a cure. However, having said that, both types of cunning crafters were known to perform curses, it depended on the individual’s ethics.

According to the 19th century Orkney folklorist, Walter Traill Dennison, the Orcadian wise-woman, or spae-wife, was said to possess:

“…all the supernatural wisdom, some of the supernatural power, without any of the malevolent spirit of witches… The women of this class were skilled in medicinal and surgery, in dreams, in foresight and second-sight, and in forestalling the evil influence of witchcraft. Such women were looked upon with a kind of holy respect.“ (Source)

From the definition, many modern pagans may think of a cunning person as a witch, but in fact they were mainly called upon to protect from or undo spells of witchcraft. Before the witch trials when witchcraft was a constant threat to the peasant mind, a cunning person would have been hired to do workings against evil spirits, the evil eye, and any mischief or harm done by fairies.

The fact that cunning folk have been in existence for over 500 years does not prove the existence of any unbroken witchcraft traditions or lines of witches as cunning folk were essentially individual practitioners and as stated above did not consider themselves to be witches. In regards to Liddell’s The Pickingill Papers: The Origin of the Gardnerian Craft, it is up to the reader to determine whether they believe Liddell and Eric Maple’s claims that Gardner’s Wicca originated from the practices of Pickingill’s infamous nine covens.

Some famous cunning folk, among many others, include Granny Boswell, Tamsin Blight (Tammy Blee), Biddy Early, James Murrell, and George Pickingill.

Downloadable books (free):

Walter Gibson - Witchcraft A History Of The Black Art
Julia Phillips - History Of Wicca In England
Joseph Ennemoser - The History Of Magic Vol 2
John Stearne - A Confirmation And Discovery Of Witchcraft

Monday, March 20, 2006

On The Anniversary Of A Loved Ones Death

On The Anniversary Of A Loved Ones Death Cover
Light a candle to the indivual's memory, and say the following prayer.

"Blessed Be Hecate, Goddess of the Underworld for she hath regenerated us from the Underworld and has saved us from spiritual death. Hecate, grant that you would preserve (N) and lead him/her to walk the earth again and stand beneath your starry skies; may our lives intertwine again and grant us the ability to remember!"

Books in PDF format to read:

David Francis Smith - The Library Of Doctor John Dee
John Dee - The Private Diary Of Dr John Dee
Prentiss Tucker - In The Land Of The Living Dead

Labels: witchs ghost supernatural  witchcraft salem review  hesiod homeric  2010 year  

Air Wand

Air Wand Cover
There is some controversy in both Ceremonial Magick and Wicca as to whether the Wand relates to the direction of the East or the South and whether it relates to fire or air as an element. I am going to share here what I use and what works for me. Others who work differently are more than welcome to share their usage.

The way I use the wand in my Magickal working is as the tool for the EAST the element of air. I can't PERSONALLY see the fire attribute, as I have problems with the idea of a tool relating to an element that can destroy it. Since some wands are made of wood and almost ALL of them were until the popularization of Crystal work with the adoption by some NeoPagans of Native American practises made the metal wand with a Crystal in it the latest thing. If I WERE to work with people who used the wand as fire, I would certainly used a metalic and stone wand of this type and NOT a wooden one. Again, this is personal taste.

The air element relates to communication, intellectual ideas, Linear Logic, Clear and intelligent THINKING, and telepathy. It relates to the concept of unity too, in that ALL of us - and all species of life - breathe the same atmosphere. (note - I realize the plants use the Carbon Dioxide while we use the air, which is why I said ATMOSPHERE)

The wand relates to the suit of RODS in Tarot and vice versa.

The Wand is a MALE tool, like the Athame. The FEMALE tools are the Chalice and the Pentacle.

The wand is used to summon the Rulers of the 4 directions and to invoke the Deities in casting a circle. In CERTAIN types of Magick it is sometimes also used to cast the circle, but it is more common to use the athame for this. (or the sword if it is a coven and they have one)

The Wand can also be used when invoking the spirits.

It is particularly helpful at times when wisdom is needed and in invoking the spirits before tranceworking where specific information or guidance is desired. It is also good for doing this for VERY important divinations when they are done in a fully cast circle.

The wand is used in some traditions in a Spring Equinox celebration to create a hole in the soil in which seeds, symbolizing people's hopes, are planted - obvious fertility symbolism.

The wand can hold a lot of power and be a very special and personal instrument.

There are some Witches/Pagans I know who use only the wand and the chalice as their tools. Their thoughts on this being that the Pentacle is drawn from ceremonial Magick - which is correct - so they want to eliminate it as they feel it is necessary FOR THEM to get back to the roots of Wicca/Paganism. These people also eliminated the knife/sword because they pointed out that in ancient times Wicca was the religion of the Masses and the Peasants - who were not allowed to carry weapons. These people use the wand to cast all their circles, replacing it for ALL the purposes for which the athame is used.

Their are other groups, most noticably the Community of ISIS and it's inner circle the TEMPLE of ISIS in Salem MA., that use the wand for casting the circle although they retain the athame - which they seem to use only for blessing the chalice in the symbolic re-enactment of the fertility theme central to Wicca. (PLEASE NOTE I SAID SYMBOLIC)

These are the major uses of the wand.

Books in PDF format to read:

Basil Crouch - Fairy Gold
Tuesday Lobsang Rampa - As It Was

Labels: krakau manuscript latin  liber augoeides  aleister crowley  witchs beverages made  liber paths portals  

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Making An Altar

Making An Altar Cover
An altar serves as a conscious reminder that you are a spiritual being. In the home, it can provide a sacred space for you to meditate, to pray and even to perform rituals.

Here's How:

1. Find a quiet space in your home where you can place your altar. If possible, have it face North. Trust yourself and use your intuition to find the 'right' place for it.
2. Cleanse and bless the space by sprinkling salt water, burning sage or ringing a clear bell.
3. Ask the spirits of the North, East, South and West to guard this sacred space.
4. Ask the Goddess and God to bless your altar space.
5. Place a low table or box in the spot.
6. Cover the table with a special cloth. You get to decide what makes it special.
7. Place your pentacle, a stone or a bowl of salt on the northern side of your altar. This represents Earth energy.
8. Place an incense burner, a feather or your wand on the eastern side of your altar. This represents Air energy.
9. Place a candle or your athame at the southern side of your altar. This represents Fire energy.
10. Place your chalice, a seashell or a bowl of water on the western side of your altar. This represents Water energy.
11. If you have statues that represent the Goddess or God, place them on the altar. You can also use candles, stones or any other objects that feel right.
12. If you have any other object that you associate with your spiritual practice, find a place for it on your altar. You might add Tarot cards, Runes, your Book of Shadows or your journal.
13. You have just created your altar. Enjoy it and use it well!


1. Feel free to improvise with your altar. It is your personal expression of your relationship with the Divine. Keep it as ornate or as simple as you like.
2. Respect your altar as sacred space and ask others to do the same. Don't allow random objects to be placed on it.
3. If you live with people who are uncomfortable with paganism, you can make your altar inconspicuous by keeping it on top of your bureau. Or, make your
entire room an altar!

Also try this free pdf e-books:

Anonymous - Odinism And Asatru
Anonymous - Magic And Wyrd
Aleister Crowley - Alice An Adultery

Tags: egyptian book dead  magickal implements  wicca magic  solitary witch  mysterious pentagram  crowther biography  make fairy wand  golden magic  lina arndt  science hidden letters  temple influences with  magick divinations  

Wednesday, March 1, 2006

Wicca Was Born In The 1930s

Wicca Was Born In The 1930s Cover Organized Wicca was begun by Gerald Gardener who, influenced by Margaret Murray’s disputed yet evocative books, God of the Witches, The Witch Cult in Western Europe, and Aradia: Goddess of the Witches by Geoffrey Leland, began putting together the first book of shadows, a compendium of spells and rituals that he gathered together in an effort to revive the ‘Old Religion’. Also included in this book were bits from the sensationalist priest, Montague Summers, and the Great Beast, Aleister Crowely. He claimed to have initiated into witchcraft by a band of hereditary witches in the New Forest, granting him the authority to create his own coven of thirteen magical practitioners.

Wicca is a fertility religion with a Priest and High Priestess who enact a rite of sacred sex for the benefit of the generative forces of all of nature. Gardener’s first High Priestess was a mysterious lady called Dafo.
Gardener initiated Doreen Valiente into his Bricket Wood Coven in 1953. She was to become his greatest High Priestes. She refined the Book of Shadows and created a sense of mystery and beauty with her fine poetry such as The Witches Rune, The Wiccan Rede, and The Charge of the Goddess. She is considered the Mother of Modern Wicca.

The Charge of the Goddess is commonly used to open Wiccan rituals invoking the Great Goddess. It has been adapted Starhawk, author of The Spiral Dance, a highly influential handbook of Faery Magic and one of the first serious books I read in the late 1970’s that stirred my Witchblood and taught me the poetry of Wicca. Though I am not initiated into any Wiccan group, I respect and admire much of what they do. As a carrier of the Witchblood, my initiation came about before I was born.

Downloadable books (free):

Scott Cunningham - Wicca A Guide For The Solitary Practitioner
Walter Gibson - Witchcraft A History Of The Black Art
Lokamanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak - The Arctic Home In The Vedas
Michael Smith - Ways Of The Asatru
John Linwood Pitts - Witchcraft And Devil Lore In The Channel Islands

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