Narratives of the Witchcraft Cases 1648 - 1706
These narratives of witchcraft are no fairy tales. Weird though they seem to us, they were to thousands of men and women in seventeenth-century America the intensest of realities. They were the bulletins of a war more actual, more cruel, more momentous, than any fray of flesh and blood. Nor were they bulletins alone, these messages of each latest skirmish in that age-long war of Heaven with Hell. To those enlisted in that war they were instruction, encouragement, appeal, as well; and as, in our day, to men once fascinated by world-politics, so in that to those awakened to these vaster interests of a universe, all pettier concerns seemed trivial and provincial. To count the matter a panic local to New England, or even a passing madness of the Christian world, is to take a narrow view of history.
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The majority of people who are new to spell working will acknowledge that for them common sense backed up by practical action is normally more productive than theoretical or mystical thinking. In magical working, as in everyday life, when we have to handle a wide range of circumstances, common sense in dealing with them will normally produce the best results. However, when we are confronted with the unusual or difficult, or are faced by extreme anxiety, even the most practical minded among us will theorize in order to make sense of what is happening. We have not moved such a long way since those times, in the distant past, when our ancestors and people around the world routinely believed that if the crops failed then the gods must be angry. Practices carried out then are still with us in the form of many of the festivals and feasts, which still have relevance in the societies where they began. Some of you may choose not to use the spells in this section, but they do offer a return to basics and give fascinating insights into how our ancestors dealt with everyday challenges.
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White magick, black magick. Throughout the ages controversy has raged about evil witches and good witches, bad spells and beneficial spells. Let's start with the fact tha...
I desire to call attention to certain errors in the current history of Witchcraft in Massachusetts, and must ask your indulgence for any inability to make these dry bones...
This book was originally published in 1920. To reprint it now verbatim, except for an occasional correction of a misprint, calls for an explanation. The explanation is qu...