Sunday, 8 March 2009

Traditional Witchcraft by Gemma Gary

Reviewed by Alex Langstone

Occasionally a book is published which really catches my eye, a book that is unique and written with authority and an understanding of the subject matter. A book where something can be read within its pages that is different and original, that hasn't been constantly regurgitated, re-written or plagiarised! Traditional Witchcraft, a Cornish Book of Ways by Gemma Gary is one of these rare books.

The author has researched and practised her Craft over many years and gives us an insight into West Country Witchcraft away from the worlds of neo-paganism and Wicca. It is a great joy to read, and will breathe new life into the often very boring world of published witchcraft books!

Traditional Witchcraft, a Cornish Book of Ways reveals a pathway into the shadowy and secretive worlds of the Cult of Cunning and Wise in modern Cornwall. A path much removed from the showy "High Priestess Wicca", and the current dreadful trend of "Secular Paganism". This book shows the reader a different, vibrant tradition. The way of the Pellar, of the Serpent path and of the Sprowl. An alternative magical current, a snaking serpentine system of sorcery that rises from the land and infuses us with the sacred mystical regional magic of the past and future.

Many will say that real Witchcraft should be secret, and it should. But, Gemma Gary has given us a glimpse of the folk practises of Cornish Cunning, and as a folklorist, I welcome this glimpse with open arms. This book is packed with fascinating lore from Cornwall and the West Country and will be a valuable addition to the bookshelves of anyone who has an interest in the folklore, legends, mystery and magic of the far west! It is also interesting to note that whilst the author speaks about regional differences within Traditional Witchcraft, I for one find it interesting to note the many similarities. Poetic chapter headings include: The Furry Nights, Bucca and The Cunning Troyl - superb stuff! There is also a useful glossary of terms and a contact and resource list.

Traditional Witchcraft, a Cornish Book of Ways is an interesting, thought provoking and entertaining read, and a book that I can thoroughly recommend.

Published by Troy Books

Priced at £13.99, available from the publisher or direct from the author via her excellent website

1 comment:

  1. In the past I have read quite a few books on traditional witchcraft but I have found most of them disappointing, this book on the other hand is packed full of useful information about traditional witchcraft as practised in Cornwall both contemporary and historical.
    This is a fantastic book I got a copy just after it came out and just couldn’t put it down until I had finished it.


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