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A Preface to Apocalyptic Witchcraft

Peter Greys' Apocalyptic Witchcraftwills hotly be out in Portuguese in Brazil by Penumbra Livros and I was in this regard invited to write a preface for Apocalyptic Witchcraft, which yo cand read below:

Much has been written about witchcraft, its practices and beliefs, its history and the witchcraft processes. The sheer amount of literature gives us a steady red thread of the witch as malefica and venefici – and it is this that became the icon of the witch proper. The witch is a votary of Circe and Medea, a child of Cain and it is this icon of the witch as ‘other’, as opposer, as danger Peter Grey is paining out for us on the backdrop of modernity.
Peter states that the witch is what we find at the end of a pointed finger and at the end of the pointed finger we find the unruly and the rebellious bound by the otherworldly, the scapegoat and the dangerous. Hence “witchcraft is the work of the enemy. Witchcraft is the sex that other people have, witchcraft the drug other people take, w…
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On Tradition and Custom

When we speak of tradition we tend to think about a mere succession of something, a ritual repeated for a few years is established as tradition for its practitioners as much as any gnosis expanded upon arcane sources and customs can take to itself the epitaph ‘traditional’, just because it is anchored in some arcane sources.
Defining something as ‘traditional’ is not that easy, because indeed tradition in itself is perennial and always supra-human, still the purpose must be understood so we can avoid becoming habitual to doing meaningless rituals and practices. Customs repeated would hold the vestige of being traditional, but its meaning and purpose must also be in place. What often happens when meaning and understanding dissolves from the customs is that the original meaning is replaced with pseudo-rites that enable the emergence of counter-tradition, factors that show themselves when tradition itself dissolves in lack of understanding of the reasons for the ritual action and in this…

The Witch, the Cunning One and the Famulus

A Review of: StevePatterson: Spells from the Wise Woman’s Cottage (Troy Books 2016) & Giles Watson:A Witch’s Natural History (Troy Books 2013)

Steve Patterson’s book is based on the exhibition in the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic in Boscastle with the same name and using this historical depiction of a cunning woman’s kitchen/workspace Patterson is leading us into a greater presentation of folk magic and cunning practices in the West Country commonly ascribed to the wayside witches by Cecil Williamson. Also found here is Old Joan’s Book of Spells, a collection of spells demonstrating the art practiced by the wayside witches at the sea shore of the West Country since the 18th Century.
Patterson is in this presentation of spells and arsenal also occupied with time and world view and is using this presentation to also enter into the significant historical transition that marked the modern idea of Witchcraft through the friendship and eventually alienation and parting ways between Cecil W…

A Bouquet of Charms and Spells

A Review of: Graham King: The British Book of Spells and Charms. Troy Books (2016)
This compilation of spells and charms is a treasure-trove in two senses. Firstly by being a compilation of spells and charms covering all possible areas, it be about curing animals, love charms, protective charms and spells or for healing.  In this way it serves as both preserving legacy and also invite in inspiration for how to deal with particular issues grounded in traditional folk magic.
Secondly the treasure in this little book is found in the spread of spells and charms from the use of Solomonic elements and practical contemporary use exemplified in spells to bring misfortune to Hitler during the WWII there is also an impressive timeline here that embraces spells and charms dating back to the 9th Century and up to WWII, this spread across this timeline is in itself something that makes the book impressive as it allows us to see consistency and difference across time and place and in this clearly see …

The Sinful Books of a Shadow Saint

A Review ofCypriana: Old World Edited by
Alexander Cummins, Jesse Hathaway Diaz & Jennifer Zahrt,  Rubedo Press,2016
This anthology rests on two key texts, the first essay in the anthology which is a translation of Book 1 of the Acts of Saint Cyprian and Saint Justine dating to 450 CE. It is a remarkable text in many ways and as the translator, Matthew Barclay, comments: “(it is) giving us a glimpse into the marketplace of occult services that existed in the ancient world.” Not only this, in being the earliest account of St. Cyprian and his conversion, giving ample room to Saint Justina, it naturally served as an influence and inspiration for other hagiographic renderings through The Golden Legend and to the Faustbooks and Cyprians of Scandinavia and Iberia.
The dynamic of interaction, the very inconsistency that has moved the ‘Cyprianic Tradition’ is well discussed in  Alexander Cummins key article, ’ In the Manner of Saint Cyprian’ that uses the little grammar of magic known as…

Ifá: A Forest of Mystery

My book about Ifá is finally out – and yes I say, finally. This book took around two years to compose and nearly the same amount of time with the wonderful Peter and Alkistis at Scarlet Imprint to manifest in the form of ink, paper and talismanic design.
It could not have been in any other way. Ifá deems patience as a virtue that lies at the root of blessings and in this nearly 1500 day project patience have been the virtue of writer and publisher alike. And speaking of patience, I met the Araba Olayinka Babatunde Ogunsina Adewuyi for the first time in 2003 and shortly after I started study traditional Ifá with this sage and it was only a good decade later I felt I had some sort of idea of the complexities of Ifá sufficient to write a book about this traditional African philosophy.  Prior to this I went to Cuba and made Ifá there as well, but it was traditional Ifá that captivated me, because here I found philosophy and here I found tradition expressed in a timeless manner befitting e…

St. Cyprian of the Black Cat Bone

Today on the feast day of St. Cyprian and Sta. Justina on the 26th of September Sacred Alchemy Store is offering St. Cyprian of the Black Cat Bone as our offering in honor of this enigmatic and precious saint, patron of necromancy and one of many saints dressing well the garments of folk Catholicism. 
The charge has been made in the course of the nine days of Cyprian, prayers to the left and to the right along with anointments and fumigations at midday and midnight hath been done to bring in the Sun at midday and the Sun at midnight to enforce the feline sorcerous juices resting within this icon balancing the Sun both white and black equally. And in truth the black cat bone is not a metaphor here, but the nail that serves as the axis for this sorcerous offering and carried within the saint.  
St. Cyprian is amongst those powers that those of us from the old persuasion might deem a ‘witchcraft saint’, a terminology that tend to generate a great deal of resistance amongst contemporary pra…