The Lancashire Witches 1612-2012

Lancashire Witches

Lancashire Witches

The Lancashire Witches 1612-2012 as we know it

With reference to the Lancashire witches 1612-2012. It is said that not long after ten Lancashire residents were found guilty of witchcraft and hung in August 1612, the official proceedings of the trial were published by the clerk of the court Thomas Potts In his The Wonderfull Discoverie of Witches in the Countie of Lancaster.

The Lancashire Witches 1612-2012

Four hundred years on, Robert Poole reflects on England’s biggest witch trial and how it still has relevance today.

Woodcut of witches flying, from Mathers’ Wonders of the Invisible World (1689) and used in an 18th-century pamphlet about the Lancashire witches.

Four hundred years ago, in 1612, the north-west of England was the scene of England’s biggest peacetime witch trial: the trial of the Lancashire witches. Twenty people, mostly from the Pendle area of Lancashire, were imprisoned in the castle as witches. Ten were hanged, one died in gaol, one was sentenced to stand in the pillory, and eight were acquitted. The 2012 anniversary sees a small flood of commemorative events, including works of fiction by Blake Morrison, Carol Ann Duffy and Jeanette Winterson. How did this witch trial come about, and what accounts for its enduring fame?

We know so much about the Lancashire Witches because the trial was recorded in unique detail by the clerk of the court, Thomas Potts, who published his account soon afterwards as The Wonderful Discovery of Witches in the County of Lancaster. I have recently published a modern-English edition of this book, together with an essay piecing together what we know of the events of 1612. It has been a fascinating exercise, revealing how Potts carefully edited the evidence, and also how the case against the ‘witches’ was constructed and manipulated to bring about a spectacular show trial. It all began in mid-March when a pedlar from Halifax named John Law had a frightening encounter with a poor young woman, Alizon Device, in a field near Colne. He refused her request for pins and there was a brief argument during which he was seized by a fit that left him with ‘his head … drawn awry, his eyes and face deformed, his speech not well to be understood; his thighs and legs stark lame.’ We can now recognize this as a stroke, perhaps triggered by the stressful encounter. Alizon Device was sent for and surprised all by confessing to the bewitching of John Law and then begged for forgiveness.

When Alizon Device was unable to cure the pedlar the local magistrate, Roger Nowell was called in.

The Lancashire Witches 1612-2012

Characterized by Thomas Potts as ‘God’s justice’ he was alert to instances of witchcraft, which were regarded by the Lancashire’s puritan-inclined authorities as part of the cultural rubble of ‘popery’ – Roman Catholicism – long overdue to be swept away at the end of the county’s very slow protestant reformation. ‘With weeping tears’ Alizon explained that she had been led astray by her grandmother, ‘old Demdike’, well-known in the district for her knowledge of old Catholic prayers, charms, cures, magic, and curses. Nowell quickly interviewed Alizon’s grandmother and mother, as well as Demdike’s supposed rival, ‘old Chattox’ and her daughter Anne. Their panicky attempts to explain themselves and shift the blame to others eventually only ended up incriminating them, and the four were sent to Lancaster gaol in early April to await trial at the summer assizes. The initial picture revealed was of a couple of poor, marginal local families in the forest of Pendle with a longstanding reputation for magical powers, which they had occasionally used at the request of their wealthier neighbours. There had been disputes but none of these were part of ordinary village life. Not until 1612 did any of this come to the attention of the authorities.
Illustration from James Crossley’s introduction to Pott’s Discovery of witches in the County of Lancaster (1845) reprinted from the original edition of 1613.

The net was widened still further at the end of April when Alizon’s younger brother James and younger sister Jennet, only nine years old, came up between them with a story about a ‘great meeting of witches’ at their grandmother’s house, known as Malkin Tower. This meeting was presumably to discuss the plight of those arrested and the threat of further arrests, but according to the evidence extracted form the children by the magistrates, a plot was hatched to blow up Lancaster castle with gunpowder, kill the gaoler and rescue the imprisoned witches. It was, in short, a conspiracy against royal authority to rival the gunpowder plot of 1605 – something to be expected in a county known for its particularly strong underground Roman Catholic presence.

Those present at the meeting were mostly family members and neighbours, but they also included Alice Nutter, described by Potts as ‘a rich woman who had a great estate, and children of good hope: in the common opinion of the world, of good temper, free from envy or malice.’ Her part in the affair remains mysterious, but she seems to have had Catholic family connections, and may have been one herself, providing an added motive for her to be prosecuted. She was, along with a number of others named by the children, rounded up, and by the time of the trial in August the Pendle accused had been joined in the dungeons of Lancaster Castle by other alleged witches from elsewhere in the county.

All nineteen were tried in the space of two days, amid dramatic courtroom scenes.

Ten of them were hanged the next day on Lancaster Moor, high above the town and overlooking Morecambe Bay. It was probably the first time any of them had seen the sea.

Alice Nutter and several other defendants defied convention by refusing to offer any confession on the gallows. To many of those present at the hanging this would have seemed like proof of innocence, and it may have been such rumblings about the trial that prompted the trial judges to ask the clerk of the court, Thomas Potts, to take the unusual step of publishing an account of it. In truth Potts had already had a large hand in organizing the trial itself and may well have suggested the publication in the first place. He certainly used it to curry favor with King James I, whose book Demonology he cited several times, proclaiming how the authorities had followed the King’s advice on uncovering cases of witchcraft in the Lancashire trial. The Lancashire trial was then cited from the 1620s onwards as the legal precedent for using child and ‘supergrass’ evidence in witchcraft cases. Indirectly, the trial of the Lancashire witches may have influenced the notorious ‘witchfinder-general’ trials of the 1640s and even the Salem witch trials of the 1690s in New England.
Thomas Potts as he was imagined in Harrison Ainsworth’s The Lancashire witches, a romance of Pendle Forest (1850), illustrated by Sir John Gilbert.

The modern fame of the Lancashire witches is down to the publication in 1849 of an imaginative novel by Harrison Ainsworth, a friend of Charles Dickens with local connections and one of the bestselling Victorian novelists.

His novel The Lancashire Witches has never been out of print, and it was successful in part because to drew on an edition of Potts’ original book published in 1848 by Ainsworth’s friend James Crossley, the Manchester antiquarian.

The Lancashire Witches 1612-2012

Ainsworth has in turn inspired many other publications and theories. The trial began to receive serious academic attention in the 1990s, pulled together in a book of essays which I edited for Manchester University Press, The Lancashire Witches: Histories and Stories. In 2012 an international conference at Lancaster University, Capturing Witches, will bring together the latest work, both factual and fictional. No fewer than five new novels have appeared, most notably Jeanette Winterson’s At Daylight Gate, as well as a book of verses by Blake Morrison, A Discovery of Witches, and a BBC documentary, The Pendle Witch Child.

The remarkable range of new work testifies to the richness of historical themes thrown up by the trial, but I would like to single out one in particular: children and witchcraft. Much of the key evidence in the trial of 1612 was given by two children, James and Jennet Device, aged about nine and twelve. Caught up in a terrifying web of charges and arrests they panicked, and their stories, designed to clear themselves, ended up in the deaths of most of their own family members, and indeed of James himself. In some parts of the world, children continue to be accused of witchcraft and to suffer horrific maltreatment as a result.

A case of a Nigerian child in London, tortured and murdered by their own family for being a witch, recently hit the national headlines. Lancaster, home of the 1612 trials, is also home of Stepping Stones Nigeria, a campaigning charity dedicated to protecting children from accusations of witchcraft and other abuse. It has been adopted as the charity of the Lancashire Witches 400 programme. There could be no better way of marking the anniversary of the Lancashire witches trials than to visit their website and learn more about how witchcraft remains a live issue, four hundred years on.


Thank you for visiting our website may your God or Goddess be with you.

Coven Explained

Coven Explained

 Well the word coven from Latin “covenire” means to gather or come together.

Coven Explained

Coming together for the purpose of worship or spiritual meeting. Used by members of the craft and other spiritual and religious groups.

There are not really a set number of members in any one coven. There are many variations throughout different groups, but mainly it is a number of 9 to 13. Speaking from my own experience, I have attended a new coven just starting out with six members which slowly expanded in time to twelve.

You can class a coven as unique in its workings.

I have had a few not so good coven experiences over the years. I would urge a new coven seeker to do much research into the back ground of the members as possible, before joining any new coven.
It is important to ask many questions to establish the kind of coven you seek to join, ask yourself what you are looking for write down your choices take your time and as the old saying goes “if in doubt hang about “ I am not saying that the first coven you join will be the one that lasts a life time far from it people I know have searched for years to find the right coven for them and many never find a coven to tick all the boxes they Require so remain in study groups or solitary practitioners.

There are many covens out there, well established covens which can be difficult to be accepted into as the coven number may have reached its limit for that given coven. There are splinter covens as I call them which are formed when the High Priest reaches a level of which he feels confident enough to form his own coven this action is called “hiving” I have attended such a coven and found it to be splendid, as long as we remember that a coven is not just a place where we can attend now and again as you feel like it for coming and going can affect the balance of the coven and irritate other coven members. There is nothing wrong with working as a solitary practitioner until you find the right coven to join; it was only with the guidance of the High Priest who helped me that led me to my first coven meeting for which I will always be grateful to him.

There are many spiritual workshops around today which are a great way to meet others of interest and possibly guide you further on your chosen path but always remember you have your own will and if a situation does not feel right pull back and reassess.

So what can a coven offer you might ask:

A traditional High Priest/Priestess led coven is a place to be with others in a safe environment, to learn new skills, to meditate, to draw energy, to grow spiritually and to be generally enlightened in to the ways of the craft. You do not need to be cut off from your biological family and live entirely within the coven remember you can leave the coven whenever you wish without repercussions. 

You will not be asked to make financial contributions to the coven for membership however should the coven be held in a place which has to be rented for the occasion you may be asked to contribute to the rental.

You and you alone are responsible for the purchase of your working craft tools.

Many of your craft tools can be made by yourself as you go along for a coven is not a free ride for the wont of a better word. Your fellow coven members will never ask you to subsidize them nor should you expect to be subsidized by them. A coven is not a classroom with written exams and tests every now and then you are guided verbally and left to progress spiritually at your own pace releasing you from competitive pressure that occurs in the conventional classroom.

Yes worship of the gods is involved to help our spiritual growth and again as we can all raise energy of some kind we are shown by other members of the coven how to carry this out safely. You do not have to be sky clad in all covens it is a subject to research before joining a particular coven. 

A coven will not sort out all your worldly problems although an healthy connection between you and the gods will help lighten the load in your life.

The coven is for the benefit of all gathered a group mind if you like strength in numbers working in harmony for the desired goal to focus energy and there is no room for selfishness on the part of members, we prey to the gods for guidance, not to solve our everyday problems, personal non craft agendas must be addressed outside of the coven.

Should you wish to be initiated into a coven it is imperative to understand the rights and obligations of other coven members as to maintain a constant level of calm and positive energy therein, when you first visit a coven you are classed as a probationer before initiation and this time can be very intense, you may not be directly involved in all coven rituals or be allowed to share the members secret craft names straight away for after all you are entering into a family that sometimes can be more intense and loving than you own biological family. A good coven will practice perfect love and perfect trust one coven I attended had a negative member who in turn disrupted other members gathered, as a general guide the High Priest/priestess should be able to help with the majority of craft situations.
Should you decide to join a coven here are a few suggestions to help you find one. Put yourself out there as a seeker, one who is willing to go to the places where witches will gather. This could be book shops, an open air meeting, online forums or  study groups are great. Try your local coffee shop, the word will soon get around that you wish to join a coven. Only join a coven if you are willing to listen to instructions. Please remember that other members have a voice to.

A few things to beware of:

Always meet a potential coven member for the first time in a public place till you are sure they are genuine.
Never be fooled into allowing anyone into your personal space without your permission.
Avoid giving your full name, address or telephone number till you are comfortable with the person you are conversing with.
Never pay to join a coven.
If you are invited to join a coven at the first meeting “beware”.
If coven members seem to be holding information back “beware”.
If you are asked to perform sexual acts to join a coven “beware”.
Anyone can create a website and claim to be a teacher of Wicca.
A good coven will welcome questions about their background.
If you are under the age of 18years a reputable coven will not accept you without your parent/s being present as members.
You are not a slave to the house work of the coven.

I wish you well in your chosen path take care. coven explained.
Blessed Be


Featured Posts

bouncy arrowSIGIL

YULE LORE

Thank you for visiting our website, may your God or Goddess be with you.

Labyrinth of old

Labyrinth of old

I Mistress & keeper of the labyrinth challenge you to locate my whereabouts. You would be quite naive to think that this will be an easy task? I laugh at you and dare you to try.

mistress & keeper

There are many treacherous traps throughout the labyrinth of old just waiting for you to fall into. You will need all your skill and patients to continue. Will you be the one who eventually locates me or will you fail like so many poor souls before you who have now been cast aside?

Before you even enter the heart of the labyrinth, you must avoid the many perils of the forgotten wood which lays before you. The wood is filled with witches, demons, imps, fairy’s and other underworld characters. Who can you trust to guide you, who will trick and lead you astray? These are but a few questions you will discover the answers to if you continue into the forgotten wood. So, will you attempt to conquer the task ahead and become one with the Mistress & keeper of the labyrinth or will you leave the website a failure? The choice is yours.

If you accept the challenge continue reading…

So, here you stand alone and lost at the edge of the wood ready to find your first clue to help you on your way, but beware all is not what it appears to be in the labyrinth of old lol.

A word of warning: It will bear you no good to jump the pages of the labyrinth to find me. There is a correct chosen path as clues are there to guide you in order on many pages along the way.

I can be a generous Mistress & Keeper of the labyrinth and so hereby give you the first chosen path words below to click onto. Do remember the chosen path words as you go along you may just need them to save you ending up back at the edge of the forgotten wood.

Path words:        CHOSEN PATH

Always remember these path words as you may need them on your journey through the forgotten wood. You can save any page to your favourites should you wish to return.

 

© 2017 SpellsforAll.com All Rights Reserved

Sea Witches Bottle & Make Your Own Witches Bottle

sea witches bottle

Sea Witches Bottle & Make Your Own Witches Bottle great ideas indeed

Sea Witches Bottle

The Witches’ Bottle is intrinsically linked with the Craft of the Wise. Considered under the heading of sympathetic magick, its uses range from protection to success or healing magick. Their limitations rest only with your creativity.
In some cases, as the contents of the bottle chemically break down, or “work,” your magickal application jumps into motion.

Deteriorating bottles can banish sickness or move a bad situation away from you.
In other operations, the contents of the bottle are to remain intact, protected from the outside world.
While the contents remain undisturbed, the protection magick secures the situation.


sea witches bottle

Make Your Own Witches’ Bottle

First, you will need a bottle. It can be large, small, coloured, designed-it doesn’t matter.
Keep an assortment from tall and fluted to short and squat. Sealed bottles require a tight cap.
Bottles that need air circulation should have a lid with punched holes to allow the aroma to escape.
Small jelly jars with canning lids are a good choice to begin.
Now you must focus on the type of magickal operation you will employ.
Is this to heal a friend, pay off the electric bill, or protect your best friend while she vacations?
Choosing the contents to match your desire is the next step. The list below will give you an idea of the types of items to put in the bottle.
All bottles should be cleansed, consecrated, filled, and empowered within a magick circle.

sea witches bottle

Sealed Siren’s Bottle (Banish unwanted influences)

Broken Shells sea witches bottle
Driftwood
Sand
Seaweed
Sea Water
Sea Urchin Spines
Sharp Beach Glass.

If by chance you need help with material placed on our website please contact Kimberley Morgan. Kimberley will be only too pleased to help with any issues you may have. If you should have any positive suggestions for our site we will be pleased to hear from you.


Thank you for visiting our website may your God or Goddess be with you.

History Of The Tarot Cards

history of the tarot cards

Sooner or later most Witches (not all) look into divination using a deck of Tarot cards.

I would like to mention however that in by gone days, a lot of Witches and Gypsies use to use a plain set of average everyday run of the mill type playing cards for divination purposes, and it may be something for you to look into before out laying a lot of money on a Tarot deck.

History Of The Tarot Cards

Below is a basic list as to what the cards represent:

The four suits represent the four seasons – the four elements – the four
winds – the four directions – the four phases of the Moon.

The two colours represent day and night – male and female – positive and
negative.

52 cards represent the 52 weeks in a year.

13 cards in each suit represent each quarter of the year each having 13
weeks. Or can represent the 13 Full Moons of a year.

The 12 court cards represent the 12 months. Or the 12 hours between noon and midnight.

The ace to 10 add up to 55 + jack 11 + queen 12 + king 13 = 91 x 4 suits =
364 + joker 1 = 365 days of a year.

So as you can see there is a lot more to the plain old pack of cards than
meets the eye.

The evidence we do have tells us that around 1440-1550 the Tarot appeared in
Italy. Wealthy and influential patrons commissioned elaborate decks to be
created, often using gold leaf. The cards continued to develop with rich
symbolism and our modern decks of 78 cards became the standard in the later 18th and 19th centuries.

Several secret societies have embraced the Tarot, over the years, as an
oracle and mystical path to enlightenment. Many influential scholars have
drawn parallels that have shown similarities between the Tarot and alchemy
Jungian psychology, Hermetic philosophy, the Cabbala, astrology, and many
other mystery traditions. The cards now are mainly use in spiritual growth
and divination. Also to view a person’s past, present and/or future.

The Tarot deck is separated into two main parts; 22 major arcana cards and
56 minor arcana cards (arcane means hidden or secret). The major arcana
includes all the cards ever yone associates with the tarot, such as the
Devil, the Lovers, and the Magician. They are often numbered with Roman
numerals, from I to XXI. The Fool is left without a number, or is given the
value 0.

The minor arcana is similar to modern playing cards because it contains four
“suits”. These suits are labelled differently in many decks, but are usually
cups, pentacles (disks or coins), swords, and wands (rods or staves). Each
suit has 14 cards, numbered Ace through King. Each suit also includes the
Page and the Knight.

Modern Tarot readers practice and study for years to refine their skills.
Each card has several meanings, and those meanings are affected by the other cards that are drawn from the deck. The interpretation of a group of cards, or a “spread” can be quite complex, but psychics have a distinct advantage of using their powers to determine exactly what the cards are trying to tell you.


Featured Posts

  qw33222

TRAGEDY OR BLESSING

MURPHYS LAW FOR WITCHES

 

Thank you for visiting our website may your God or Goddess be with you.