cornish craft

anonymous asked:

hello! i've been trying to research magic, but unfortunately most books i find are specific wicca, which i'm not interested in. do you have any book reccomendations that arent wicca centric? thank you! i love your blog :^)

Oh heckin yes I do My amazon wishlist is literally like six pages long… ALL BOOKS

WARNING: This Is Going To Be Extremely Long!

First though I want to note that while I 100% understand your feelings about the Wicca stuff (being a very NOT Wiccan Witch), not all books that are Wicca leaning are bad! I’ve gotten loads of useful information from books that tended to be a little new agey. That’s where being objective comes in! With ANY book, you should take it with a grain of salt, and some with a whole shaker. But it’s up to you to pay attention to misinformation and conflation, and to know how to do research to prove or disprove that something in a book you read is true or not. Does that make sense?? 

Anywho, a couple of books that are still kind of “Wicca-y” but great:

Those are all books from my personal collection that I would recommend! Now as for the Non-Wicca Books, Let’s dive in! Not all of these have I read or owned, and they are in no particular order. You’ll notice most of them relate to “Traditional Witchcraft” or West Country, because that is where my practice is focused. 


That was a lot! Okay anon I hope this gives you a good starting place!

The Virtues of Woods for Working Staves

Alder: Of fiery virtue, Alder is Bran’s wood of fiery and divine oracular vision.It aids also workings of defensive magic and strength.

Ash: The Ash is of airy virtue. It is associated heavily in Cornish and West Country lore with healing and regenerative magic. As Yggdrasil, The Ash aids also workings of spirits, passage between the worlds, and drawing fourth the virtues of the six ways. Thus it is often the wood of choice for the Pellar’s main staff.

Birch: Also of airy virtue, and of earth, particularly when employed as the crush of the traditional Crafter’s broom. The Birch offers a wood that aids purification, the initiation of inception, birth and fertility.

Blackthorn: The feared and formidable Blackthorn is of fiery virtue. Associated within the Cornish Craft with Bucca Dhu, it is employed to aid workings of workings of blasting defensive magic, setting strong boundaries, toad magic and rites of the new moon. 

Elder: Of watery virtue, Elder is of aid to working of protections, exorcising illnes and spirit conjuration. 

Gorse: The Furze is of fiery virtue, it provides a wood to aid workings of purification, the conjuration of fair weather, and the discovering of useful information. 

Hawthorn: The Whitethorn is of fiery virtue and is associated with the rites of May’s Eve and Bucca Gwidder. It aids also dealings with spirit folk and workings of fertility, but it is nit to be employed as a walking staff for it may invite ill luck upon journeys.

Hazel: Of fiery virtue: the Hazel is traditionally of aid to the practices of divination, and the acquiring of wisdom, inspiration and visions. 

Holly: The dark holly is of fiery virtue, and is of aid to rites and workings of death and rebirth, and of exorcism, defensive magic, overcoming wrongdoers and fiery potency

Oak: Of fiery virtue; the Oak is of aid to Solar rites and magic, and to workings of strength, steadfastness, wisdom, power and potency. To the old Cornish the Oak is sacred to Taraner the Thunderer.

Pine: Of both fiery and airy virtue, of aid to the workings of healing, prosperity, exorcism, protection, wisdom, progress and the increase of power. 

Rowan: The Mountain Ash is of fiery virtue and of aid to the rites of Candlemas and to workings of quickening, conjuring visions, lifting curses and the influence of ill wishing from people and cattle. A walking staff of Rowan provides protection from evil whilst journeying. 

Willow: Of watery virtue; the Willow is of aid to rites and workings of the moon, emotional healing, love, fertility and intuition. 

Yew: The revered Yew is watery in virtue; it is of aid to all rites of death mysteries, Ankow, atavistic wisdom, transformation, change and renewal.

- Gemma Gary, Traditional Witchcraft: A Cornish Book of Ways


I am absolutely thrilled with my little haul that I made the other day. My new altar piece for the Witchfather is just beautiful, I love the hollow glass skull, as well as two new books! The Malleus Maleficarum, and The Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage. 

I’m debating on whether or not I should paint the statue any. I love how it looks currently, but I wouldn’t mind if it was white rather than gold. That being said, the gold really isn’t an issue, and I don’t want to run the risk of ruining it. I may eventually place some sigils on Him, but that would be it. 

My mind races with ideas of what I can do with Him. Besides its standalone beauty, I love how it holds candles decently in the middle. I can adorn Him with hanging decoration, and His image raises so much passion within me. He has such a definite place to inhabit in my altar now, and I feel so inspired by its presence. 

I’m very much a happy witch right now. 


Here it is. My first tattoo!

I am just beyond thrilled with how well it turned out. It’s just beautiful.

The artist was very surprised with how well I took the pain. He said I was doing so well, he didn’t even think to ask if it was my first, and then he said that it was his favorite tattoo that he’s ever done. He was so respectful of the symbolism. We even had a nice chat about various aspects of occultism, which made the arduous and painful experience more bearable.

The tattoo process itself took about three hours in total. John was a little grumpy with me because I was picky, and had the artist change it twice, which took about two hours before the process to do. But, it was so worth it!

I’m just so happy with how it turned out. This was such a beautiful form of dedication and affection to the Devil. He is a part of my life, and now, my body.

Traditional Witchcraft at Issue

Detractors of traditional witchcraft begin by using our words differently than we do to discredit a premise we never made. Traditional is wrongly defined by detractors as meaning ancient unbroken unchanged lineage and practice. And witchcraft is wrongly defined as self identified witches’ practices. Traditional to us usually means rooted in pre 1900’s folk magical traditions. Witch to us is a postmodern term that applies to a variety of folk magical practices, cunning person professions, and certain trade and fraternal lodge customs that only in some noted historical circumstances self identified as witchery, but were more often called witch as a long dangerous criminal slur. Traditional Witchcraft is a post modern term that indicates irreligious (indifferent to religion) counter-cultural and animist magical practices. In contrast, Wicca is generally understood to be a tradition of religious (organized set of worship practices and moral rules) pagan ritual magic. At this point, the differences between Initiatory Wicca and Traditional Witchcraft are fuzzy as lineages old gard wiccans include traditional witchcraft elements.

One of the problems we face is the disbelief that Gardner based his pagan religion off of anything, but in reality he did know traditional witches and did include elements of their practice in Wicca. A few entirely Wiccan elements are the three fold law and the Wiccan rede. The 8 spokes wheel of the year is from revival druidry (also a type of fraternal lodge that traditional witches draw upon).

Another problem we face is the increasing exaggeration of the level to which major source texts for Wicca and traditional witchcraft were discredited or credited. Yes, much Margaret Murray’s The witch cult in Western Europe’s conclusions were disproven and unsupported by the evidence. But she misinterpreted the evidence and her disproven conclusion was that there was a unified pagan witch tradition, but there was witchcraft and there is lots of evidence in her books that is supported. Yes Ronald Hutton wrote an excellent book about British Paganism in which he questioned the legitimacy of Wicca, but it wasn’t the final word on the matter. Previously, Aiden Kelly In his book he assumed the people Gardner claimed to know we’re entirely made up with totally fake names. Easily people found the folks Gardner claimed to know and even showed they had interest in animism and fraternal lodges which loosely supports the traditional witchcraft roots for his pagan religion. Hutton himself found the new information compelling and engaged with other scholars. His book was written 15 years ago a lot has been found since.

There has always been controversy over Gospel of Aradia, but recent scholarship has shown that Madellena was likely a real informant as Leland talked in his letters to friends and family of the mundanity of paying her and such. Clearly and by his own word he reworked what she provided him.

Finally, detractors in their requirement (again not our own definition) that the traditions be culturally pure. Cornwall is tiny, itty bitty. It’s near other parts of England, it’s not a fortified island, it’s a part of the British island. Same with nearby Wales. The entire Island of England is the size of the state I live in. The way detractors act as though there is a pure Cornish tradition unlike anything else nearby is untenable. Of course Cornish craft is alike to Wicca in some ways they come from the same island and cultures.

Finally, detractors charge that these witch authors claim their work is ancient pure cultural unbroken lineages self identified throughout as witchery. When a simple reading of the author’s own words usually says the opposite. Gardner claimed he dressed up the traditional witchcraft he found. Gemma Gary claims she wrote her own rituals based off of the local folk practice and other influences. Schulke and Chumbley claim their work is from channelled visions and personal experience on top of the traditional lineage practices rooted in the last two centuries.

Detractors also like to insult writing style and cost of books. They feel that selling nice books is capitalist. I wonder if they just imagine these witches raking in the dough. Often these authors lose money on their book sales. Writing a book is a labor of love. Schulke is a book binding artist. That is why Xoanan books are beautiful and a tad costly (no more than a school book). Gemma Gary’s books are only costly because of the exchange rate and shipping. Most of her books come out in paperback shortly after the hardback just like most mainstream publishing houses do. Like I bought Harry Potter books the day they came out in Hardback and accounting for exchange rate and shipping were about the same price.

The last detraction is based on writing style. I see no point in answering that it’s a matter of taste.

Traditional witchcraft can be written off anytime you want if you make sure to make up your own definition of what it is and then prove it doesn’t fit that definition. But if you take it at face value for what it claims to be in the fine print, then you got it.