London: Troy Books, 2014. Third Edition. Full Leather. Octavo, original red cloth titled and decorated in silver, black endpapers. 224 pp., Illustrated throughout with photographs, and illustrations by the author. This copy has been specially SIGNED by the author on the half-title leaf. A fine copy, without dust jacket (as issued). Fine. Item #312194
¶ 'Traditional Witchcraft – A Cornish Book of Ways is a 21st century version of traditional Cornish witchcraft, of the kind recorded by Hunt, Bottrell and others. This is no neo-pagan or modern wiccan manual, but rather a deep drawing up into modern times of some of the ancient practices of lore and magic practiced by the white witches, charmers, conjurers and pellars of the Cornish villages. Their presence was still current when the 18th and 19th century antiquarians and collectors recorded them, and, although the 20th century largely put paid to their activities, nevertheless their lore never completely disappeared, and it continues to provide inspiration for practitioners today. Gemma draws on this knowledge, not only from published material, but also from the experiences and workings of ‘wise women’ and country witches living today.
Topics include the Cunning Path, the Dead and the Underworld (Fairy Faith), the Bucca, Places of Power in the villages and landscape, the Tools used by Cunning Folk (working versions of what can be seen, for example, in the Museum of Witchcraft & Magic), Village Cunning, substances and charms, and Rites of the Year’s Round. This book gathers much material together, some of which has not been seen in print before, and thus provides a sourcebook of magical workings in Cornwall today, which will be an invaluable reference.’
Originally issued in 2008, this important and influential work was reissued in a Revised Edition in 2011. In 2014 the book was reissued in a series of Deluxe Editions. This edition, issued in September 2015, includes the New Preface written for the 2014 Special Editions.