Traditional Witchcraft?

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chowderpope
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Traditional Witchcraft?

Post by chowderpope »

I've read recently that it's important for a beginner to establish themselves firmly in one particular system of magic, this way they can learn the essentials and become practiced without getting confused, practicing ineffectively, or not establishing a solid foundation of practice/knowledge.

I'm interested in folk magic or traditional witchcraft more-so than the high ritual magic of the G.D., O.T.O. etc. but my trouble is I haven't seen any comprehensive systems to study and train with, I have only seen mixed bits and pieces of different information related to those types of traditions.

What I'm looking for is a really solid, serious and respectable system of folk magic/traditional witchcraft that will help establish myself with a daily practice. Does anyone know of good ones to recommend?
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Re: Traditional Witchcraft?

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There really isn't anything like that when it comes to traditional witchcraft. Wiccans took over the market completely and it is hard finding any good books on traditional witchcraft that isn't tainted with modern thinking.
The other problem seems to be that traditional witchcraft was never that A-B-C as you would like. There is to much variation between each practitioner and to much secrecy for us to piece it all together to a coherent system.

So, What to do?
Try and read serious books. There aren't too many but with some diligence you can find good reviews on the internet.
I've tried to include historical books about pharmacy, veterinarian and medical practices as well as modern books about herbalism, aromatherapy and other alternative medicine.
A real goldmine has been "housewife" and "household" books published in the late 19th century because they contain tips on drying, preserving and other helpful tips you'll need when working with plants, roots and herbs. As well as how to make your own soap, tee and other potions.

Older gardening and farming books can also hold serious magical tips.
Folklore and especially local history can be a great source of information. I've found more then one local historical society that has published book about old time "superstitions".

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Re: Traditional Witchcraft?

Post by chowderpope »

Thanks Desecrated for the great advice. I used to have a book about Appalachian Folk Magic and I'm kicking myself for ever getting rid of it, it was really cool. I would like to find more books like that and the ones you mentioned. I was considering checking out Wicca more thoroughly but the duo-theistic religious ideas, coupled with the younger people doing it for seemingly insincere reasons turned me off.
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Re: Traditional Witchcraft?

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Desecrated wrote:A real goldmine has been "housewife" and "household" books published in the late 19th century because they contain tips on drying, preserving and other helpful tips you'll need when working with plants, roots and herbs. As well as how to make your own soap, tee and other potions.
Do you happen to have any titles to suggest or info on where to find these household books? I'm interested in this information myself.
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Re: Traditional Witchcraft?

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I'm not into it myself, but perhaps the lower Spheres on the TOL used in combination with Liber 777 could provide a structure and maybe reveal to you some of the hidden aspects of witchcraft, or hard to find info. If I remember right though I think Crowley frowned upon Witchcraft.

Yesod is the Sephira associated with the Moon, maybe worth looking into. I would like to add that this Jewish Magick is nothing to scoff at as it is highly respected and very powerful, and does yield results. Also, when the Pentagram is inverted and placed in the center of the TOL, the lower point is at Yesod. Some sort of Key? Perhaps.

Everything you need to construct a Ritual and start practicing can be found here.

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Re: Traditional Witchcraft?

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the_spiral wrote:
Desecrated wrote:A real goldmine has been "housewife" and "household" books published in the late 19th century because they contain tips on drying, preserving and other helpful tips you'll need when working with plants, roots and herbs. As well as how to make your own soap, tee and other potions.
Do you happen to have any titles to suggest or info on where to find these household books? I'm interested in this information myself.
I've picked up most from flea markets and things like that.
The only english one I have is 'Mrs Beeton's Household management'. It was first published in 1861 and is consider a classic. There is a lot of food recipes in it, but the book is 1100 pages so there is advice on everything from childbirth, legal issue and how to keep your servants in check.

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Re: Traditional Witchcraft?

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http://www.occultforum.org/forum/viewto ... 35#p509435

There are some useful sources here, I just added Culpepper's herbal to it, as I'd forgotten to do so before. Oops. Some of this is modern attempts to preserve or work with older material, so sorry on that too.

As said already, information is scattered and can be hard to find, but after tomorrow I'll have some free time so will gather and collate some more info then. I have an active interest in folklore, traditional practices and customs, regarding witchcrafts, but mostly from my own background and heritage, which is Northern European and of the Spae variety, so my traditional may not be someone elses, but I do have stacks of stuff waiting to be added to various threads here, so maybe we can produce something that will be interesting.

I'm also hoping others may add to resource threads, so if you have something, please do share it, it's all helpful and some areas are outwith my scope, we need more non European traditions and plant lores and uses, for instance, especially.

Neopagan witchcraft is the most accessible nowadays, that is for sure and it has clouded the past and distorted so much, Celtic and Norse cultures and history, in particular, have been raided and misrepresented to the point of ridiculousness.
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Re: Traditional Witchcraft?

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I just remember another book. D. C. Jarvis - Folk Medicine.
He studied the folk traditions especially in Vermont, New England. It was written during the 40's but wasn't published until 1961 and I think it's still in print today. Very down to earth, and very helpful in daily life and health.

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Re: Traditional Witchcraft?

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Nahemah wrote:but mostly from my own background and heritage, which is Northern European and of the Spae variety, so my traditional may not be someone elses,
That is the proper way to do it in my mind.
I want to find information that is relevant to my living conditions. As interesting as I find Mediterranean and ancient magic, it just doesn't translate very well to snowy Sweden.
Although we live in a global economy/market today, and I can get a hold of eucalyptus, ylang ylang and other exotic plants: Nothing beats going to the woods/fields (neighbors garden) and finding local varieties with similar properties.
And to be honest. It feels good to know that somebody is keeping the local traditions alive, even if it's just me and my dogs.

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