Best of the archive Day Four



The students were busy again today cataloguing more of Cecil's personal writings, correspondences and object captions...

Here's a broad sweep of the sort of items/nuggets of information that were discovered:

Sami found out about a black lemon (stuck with pins) thought to originate in the West Country is also a charm used in Naples - the one in our collection could possibly be Italian...

The 'Madron Charm' - a piece of lead with nail struck through found in Madron churchyard (Object 263) - is also described as a means to 'break a love affair'.

Ariel wrote:

'I catalogued a lot of wish boxes which are exhibits in the museum.  Generally you would write your wish down and put it in the box and a witch would perform some sort of ritual that would make your wish come true.  I also found out many women used stockings for making various charms.'

Ariel also found out more info about our collection of coins:



Rachel found out about charms used in stables, the efficacy of bull's penis wands (these are the most powerful), and the importance of initiation rituals for witches...

Stephen catalogued lots of small caption cards that were scattered around the museum in the olden days.  These referred to the figure of the magus and possibly human skin marked with symbols...

Devin found out that Cecil engaged in a 'Blessed Be' ritual with Gerald Gardner, and that egg shells were used by sea witches to 'float away ill wishes to Never Never land'.  These witches also had a charm to protect your home from fire:  place a dried seaweed charm on the mantlepiece.

Heather noticed that Cecil's captions shed new light on some objects... a copper pot, formerly thought to be from Brent Tor in Devon might actually have been found in a Kent Church wall.  It also originally contained a pig and sheep heart.  More to follow on this one no doubt...



Isabelle found a nice card describing a witches' initiation ritual - the witch connects to the spirit world by lying naked on tree branches for days on end during the dead of winter.  Another find by Isabelle was an explanation for this curious item.  It has been in the collection since at least 1960 and we have never known its precise use until now:




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