Archiving 4:  the best bits

Archiving 4: the best bits

More treasures from the Archive courtesy of our brave bunch of archivists from NJ.

The Apple Ladies of Avalon

Anna discovered a reference to a Glastonbury coven:

“THIS COVERED CONTAINER AND DRINKING BEAKER WHICH FIT ONE WITHIN THE OTHER. BOTH ARE MADE ENTIRELY FROM HORN. THEY WERE PRESENTED TO THE MUSEUM BY THE APPLE LADIES OF AVALON, FROM THE ISLE OF APPLES COVEN NEAR GLASTONBURY. [NOW DISBANDED]. THE CONTAINER WAS USED TO HOLD FRESHLY-CRUSHED APPLE JUICE AND CONVEY IT TO THE TOP OF GLASTONBURY TOR, WHERE PART WAS CONSUMED IN THE[IR] RITUAL[S] AND THE REMAINDER POURED, AS LIBATION, ON THE GROUND.”

The beaker may refer to uncatalogued object in store which we didn’t know anything about – more to follow…

Egyptian bits and pieces

Julie found some interesting references to sorcerers who wanted to borrow Egyptian objects from the Museum in Cecil’s day:

“From 1700 up to 1914 there was a tremdous[sic] demand from European sorcerers for Bits and pieces of mummies.

Mummy dust found its way into lore Love potions and elixirs for rejuvination[sic] and prolonging a persons life. Spirit raising magic in all its forms made use of mummified feet, hands, heads etc. Seen here showing signs of wear and tear after years of usage in one or another sorcerers Den.

Even today the museum has been asked time and again to lend these objects to [assist] sorcerers in their efforts to Raise up the spirits of the underworld.”

Counter-magic

Rebecca L. found out about a very interesting charm or piece of counter-magic using the “Hair of [the] Injured party” using:

“Small section of elder tree
Bind round it Victims own hair
Person hurt stick and hold glue
Now bind with black thread
Varnish

Then Smuggle into house of or office
of person who is harming one Hide in
a secret place Lining of curtain underside of table desk etc”

Urns and Sarah Killier

Nick found a fascinating piece of museum history; another piece of counter-magic this time made for the museum (which, as you probably know, has had its detractors over the years…)

“Special protection charm made for this museum by a Spanish wise man. The museum suffered from a small local clique sworn to ‘run us out of town’.  Apart from damage to the property there was the campaign of evil talk.  The basic aim of this charm is to reflect back on to these people all the harm they direct against this place.  The urns are symbolic of urns in front of the museum which were thrown over eleven times. The earth is local and comes from places upon which it is certain and ill wished must have trod at one time or another.”

Nick also found out some stuff about Sarah Killier, the Witch of Santon, Isle of Man:

“Sarah killier is a celebrated man x witch hired of santon isle of man where her ruined cottage can still be seen. When she died her next of kin were so scorned of her powers that they buried all the equipment she used for making her divinations and cures in the rubbish pit at the end of the garden. Shut up the cottage and never came back.

I recovered these items in 1954 living people here identified them and can recall seeing them in use during their childhood days.


  1. Iron Kettle used for steaming and distilling
  2. Iron Poker
  3. Pot chain from chollock chimney
  4. iron mortar and pestel
  5. small herb cutting sickle
  6. fire tongs
  7. iron fire pot much
  8. griddle plate used for divinations by reading the movement of corn and beans when heated

Calling down the moon

Rachel W. found some more beguiling Cecilisms:

“Every one from Child-hood has heard tell of THE MAN IN THE MOON. Well this is an artists impression of what it is like when one does succeed in Calling Down the Moon. Inside the swirl my mass of Vapour entrapped in the moon like sphere a human face of Large size gradually forms and gazes at me.  At this point most people turn tail and Run or Faint or — well no one can blame them for that. But if you can and do and know how you can hold a productive conversation with the Thing. Before it floats away — slowly at first gently drifting with a slight wobble and then all of a sudden with a great blast of air WHOOSH and the thing shoots off and is gone in an instant. The envy of Every Witch and her 20 M.P.H. BROOMSTICK.”

More gems from the CWOLC (Cecil WIlliamson Object Label Collection) tommorrow!  

You can search for yourself by going to our Documents search here: http://museumofwitchcraftandmagic.co.uk/document-search/

 

2 responses to “Archiving 4: the best bits”

  1. Hi Mark, so it is! A very promising lead – we’ll be able to identify the objects now. Fantastic! It is strange that the narrator conflates Margaret Ine Quane (who was burnt to death in 1617 on IoM) with Sarah Killier of Santon Isle – the latter, from all the evidence we have here, appears to be a late nineteenth century witch. Those three stones in the video sparked my interest too, and I found this:

    “This is the most important item recovered from the fire pit. They are the three small stones which for so long hung in a small leather pouch suspended by a neck cord to nestle on Sarah Killier’s chest. Think of it – they heard the steady beat of her heart, knew the warmth of her body, her laughter, her curses, heard the hours of talk and intoned enchantments. What a tale these bright eyed fragments of nature could tell us.” CWOLC Document Number 7969.

    Brilliant! Where are they?!

    Cheers Mark

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