Persecution, Plants & Poultices: the demonisation of the wayside witch
Saturday 23rd September 2017
A day of talks on traditional and wayside witchcraft in Cornwall, as well as the persecution of witches in the early modern period. Topped off by a performance of ‘Witch’ by Tracey Norman, performed by Circle of Spears. Speakers include Joyce Froome (Assistant Curator at MWM), Mark Norman (folklorist and author of ‘Black Dog Folklore’, and Steve Patterson (folklorists, researcher and author of various books on the Museum, folklore and witchcraft subjects). Not to be missed! Very limited places available. Booking essential!
The event will take place in the bibliomantific surroundings of the Museum of Witchcraft & Magic Library
£30 for the day £25 for Friends of Museum
Plan for the Day
9.30 – Registration
10.15 – Steve Patterson “Herbs, Witchcraft & Magic”
11.30 – Mark Norman “Traditional Witchcraft: Then & Now”
1.45 – Joyce Froome “‘The Healing Witch Must Die’: The demonization of traditional folk magic”
2.30 – Discussion with speakers
7.30 – Reassemble for performance of ‘Witch’ plus Q+A with cast and writer
One of our volunteers, Steve, has been hard at work exploring the large patch of overgrown land attached to the Museum. He writes:
The Museum has a secret garden. Well, I suppose it’s not strictly speaking a ‘secret’ now, but there is still much to explore and find. I have had the privilege of being set free to conduct the initial forays and report back. I am a bit passionate about it.
The garden is a triangular piece of land beside and behind the Museum, extending to approx one third of an acre. It is heavily overgrown, but there is evidence of clearings, stone walls, terracing and a ‘magic cauldron’.
It is believed that Boscastle potatoes grow in an as yet unexplored part of the garden.
This is an opportunity to rediscover and reveal the garden’s magical spaces. I am sharing a few photos of the garden as it is, with its pathways, ‘rooms’ and stunning views.
Thanks for all your hard work Steve. We look forward to seeing what else you find! As a side-note, we know that Cecil Williamson used to display a large white Saltire cross in this area, calling it the ‘Witches Mark’ – a warning to all who persecute witches and women that they will be branded with this mark rendering them outcast and ‘unforgivable’. A fascinating Williamson inversion of the mark that some authorities searched for on women’s bodies during the persecution period. – Peter
The first edition of the Museum’s new journal – The Enquiring Eye – is finally here!
The journal is the first publication of the museum’s new publishing arm, The Witchcraft Research Centre; in homage to our founder Cecil Williamson who started publishing pamphlets under the WRC moniker in the 1950s.
The Enquiring Eye is a place for anyone to publish their research into witchcraft, magic, paganism, folklore and anything in between; it is also a platform for the Museum to publish original research about its collections.