London: Troy Books, 2012. First Edition. Octavo, original black boards lettered in gilt on spine panel, decorated in gilt on front panel. 140 pp., line drawings by the author (many full-page), 12 pages of black & white photographs by Jane Cox, Bibliography, Index. A fine copy, without dust jacket, as issued. A Fine Copy. Item #312280
¶ The author`s second book, following her debut work TRADITIONAL WITCHCRAFT. THE BLACK TOAD explores potent examples of the folk-ceremonial magical practices and witchcraft of the south-west of England; dealing especially with Devon and the author’s homeland of Cornwall. Within the West Country, the popular belief in witchcraft and its attendant charms, magical practices and traditions continued to be observed and survived long after such ways had faded in most other parts of the British Isles. Described within The Black Toad is a collection of some of the fascinating magical practices and lore of the West Country’s cunning folk and early modern witches; ways that have survived and evolved within the rarefied Craft of the area’s modern day witchcraft practitioners of the old persuasion. As this book affirms, these ways of the Old Craft and Cunning Arte include a belief in and working relationship with the spirit forces of the land, the Faerie, animal and plant lore, as well as the magical use of Psalms to cure or curse, the invocation of Christ and the power of the Holy Trinity. “For all those who are interested in learning about the Old Path as it is taught and practiced today by West Country witches this book of practical magic and sorcery will be a revelation. As the late Cecil Williamson, founder of the witchcraft museum in Boscastle, North Cornwall and a modern cunning man himself, said and Gemma Gary’s excellent book proves – “It still goes on today.” - Michael Howard.