Anyone know any good books on traditional witchcraft
Golden Bough might be worth a look, was free on Kindle at Amazon and there’s a reader program to download free if you have a desltop/laptop and no kindle device.
Depends on what style you’re looking for but I would say anything by Gemma Gary is worth reading, Huson’s Mastering Witchcraft is a good start if you’re not overly familiar with the subject.
Little mark on your proposition, I assume it’s great as always. If I could I would make you my human mentor or something
Gemma Gary’s stuff is indeed pretty good. I’d also recommend Nigel Pearson’s book Treading the Mill.
Gemma Gary comes from the Cochrane line of Traditional Witchcraft which has too much in common with Wicca to be a credible traditional alternative; think Wicca with some Cornish folklore thrown into the mix. That being said her “Traditional Witchcraft: A Cornish Book of Ways” is an excellent read, beautifully illustrated and serves as a good introduction to the folk lore practices and the importance of place that inform any authentic expressions of traditional witchcraft.
Michael Howard’s work on the local witchcraft traditions of the different areas of the British Isles are a great source of historical and folklore material that have informed the witchcraft traditionally practiced in those areas. His “West Country Witches” has informed my own practice quite a lot.
Emma Wilby’s works, particularly “The Visions of Isobel Gowdie” interprets the witchcraft practiced in North East Scotland as a visionary dream cult informed by dark shamanistic practices. She interprets the trial confessions of Isobel Gowdie in such a way as to form a good theoretical basis from which an authentic praxis might be developed and cultivated, with soul travel being the core technique involved in such a practice.
“Village Witch” by Cassandra Latham - Jones gives a biography of a traditional witch / wise woman currently working in the wilds of the Penwith Peninsula (Cornwall). It also has a short section at the back which has a collection of spells derived from authentic local sources.
Lastly, take a look at “Authentic Witchcraft: The Historical Tradition Revealed” and the accompanying “Heritage Witchchcraft: Liturgy Missal” by Grayson Magnus. They are short works but they give a comprehensive introduction to the beliefs and practices of his family tradition of witchcraft.
Also, check out the material on Sarah Anne Lawless’ website: she has a collection of fascinating and informative articles on the various facets of her practice as a traditional witch.
Hope this helped.
I forgot to mention that the source material from Margaret Murray’s “The Witch Cult in Western Europe” is also worth a read as it provides a lot of primary source material from the witch trials. The evidence she presents is well worth a read for a description of how witchcraft was viewed and practiced from those times and cultures. Anthropologists and historians have very legitimate concerns about how she interprets that evidence as supporting the existence of a goddess worshipping fertility cult that survived into the times of the trials. These conclusions have been discredited but the book is still worth a read for the trial evidence that she uses to support her theories. Some of the evidence is in German, French and Italian but there is an online version of the book and you can cut and paste the non English evidence into google translate.
Finally. There exists within the folklore of the British Isle’s several ways of self dedication where one might become a witch. The resource that follows documents one way in which this was done. This is the toad bone rite. This essay, “The Leaper Between: A Historical Study of the Toad-Bone Amulet; its Forms, Functions and Praxis in Popular Magic”, which documents the toad bone and its use was written by Andrew Chumbley, an initiate into a stream of traditional witchcraft and founder of the Cultus Sabbati. A warning: the rite is not for the faint of heart.