My Definition of Traditional Witchcraft


I try and practice Irish Traditional Witchcraft. As I have no teacher, this means reading a lot of folklore and finding crumbs that will enrich my practice.

When it comes down to it traditional witchcraft is all about blood and bones and sex. If those things make you go ick or feel like running away screaming, then I would advise you to choose another path.

I would also caution readers to keep their practices safe and within the law of the country you reside in.

If you let blood, use a pin or needle sterilised by dropping it into boiling water. If you are practising sex for ritual or magical purposes, always use a condom unless you are trying to get pregnant. Also, don’t do it if you feel uncomfortable with what is happening.

Having said that, I do not practice sex magic as my husband would not be happy with me having another partner and I don’t want to wreck my relationship with him, so I find other ways.

Witchcraft is Dangerous


I often read things about people worrying about the dangers of witchcraft.

What people do not realise is that everything is dangerous in its own way. Crossing the street is dangerous because we could be killed or badly injured. Do we stop crossing the street? No. We take precautions and we have our own rituals for safety. Britain’s Green Cross Code (a ritual for crossing the road) says “look right, then left, then right again, then if it is safe cross”.

It’s the same with witchcraft. We draw circles and put safeguards in and around our workings. For example, I have a charm which protects me on all journeys, including when I dream.

East Anglian Folk Magic


Last night I went to a talk on East Anglian Folk Magic at Milford’s in London.

The talk was well presented and with a lot of information in it, but unfortuntely I already knew the majority of the information from reading the Traditional Witchcraft message board.

I was disappointed as there was nothing to separate out East Anglian folk magic with other regions’ folk magic.

If you wanted information on fairies, the horseman’s word or the toad bone rite, then it would have been a good talk.

Meeting the Other Crowd by Edward Linehan


I bought this book after hearing Edward Linehan speak about fairies on Radio 4. He is unusual in that he refreshingly states that he does believe in them and in this book he has collected stories from all over Ireland about the fairies.

It is an excellent book, covering all aspects of the fairies. From people being “carried”, which means being abducted by the fairies, to the fairy creatures to the revenge that fairies take on people for meddling in their affairs.

You really get a feel for the fairies of Ireland and in particular County Clare in this book. If you have to own just one book on fairies, buy this one. If you are looking for happy endings, buy another one because there are not very many of them in this book. This book clearly warns that no good comes of meddling with the fairies; they are best left alone and are certainly not nice.

Beltane


Normally for Beltane I attempt to gather dew on a flannel and wash my face in it. I didn’t try it this year because I had to go to work and also because it has been raining so much lately I thought I wouldn’t get any dew. I had asked for rain at the Spring Equinox and since we’re in a drought condition it’s good to have it.

After work I gathered up my paraphernalia, went to the weeping willow and cast my circle.

Beltane is when the Milesians came to Ireland. They took over Ireland from the Tuatha Dé Danaan, eventually making an agreement that they would have the half of Ireland above ground and the Tuatha Dé Danaan would have the half of Ireland below ground.

When the leader of the Milesians, Amergin, set foot on Ireland, the first thing he did was to introduce himself to the land. Then he blessed the land with fertility and especially fish. So I introduced myself to the land, let some of my blood and asked for fertility for the land and for myself.

I looked at the ritual I’d written just before I was due to perform it. A lightbulb went on in my head and I realised what Amergin’s poems were about, so the ritual was a bit clumsy as I had to improvise at the last minute. Next year’s ritual will be better.