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Kit Perriman

OLD DEMDIKE – A WITCH’S TESTIMONY

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December 13, 2017

Put To Question: Pressing

Torture isn’t allowed under English law –

but some folk still get pressed to death by the peine forte et dure!

pressing

“he will lie upon his back, with his head covered and his feet, and one arm will be drawn to one quarter of the house with a cord, and the other arm to another quarter, and in the same manner it will be done with his legs; and let there be laid upon his body iron and stone, as much as he can bear, or more …

(from the Curiosities of Cowel’s Interpreter)


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December 06, 2017

Put To Question: The Strappado

Torture isn’t allowed under English Law

but some unfortunates fall prey to The Strappado . . .

strappado

“They tied my hands behind my back. Then they hung me from a door. It feels like they are stretching you from all sides. My torso was twisted and my shoulders were dislocated from their joints from time to time. The pain cannot be described. The [Inquisitor] was shouting, ‘Confess or you will die here.'”


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November 29, 2017

The Toll of the Bell

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The death bell tolls:

“nine knells for a man

   six for a woman

      and three for a child.”

 

But the church bell protects from witches:

“Much the witches fear the spell

When by night they hear a bell,

Off they fly over the sky

When they hear dondo dondo.”

(Old Gypsy Song)

 


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November 22, 2017

Demdike’s Lament: Return of the Druid

Demdike’s Lament: Return of the Druid

   

In the days of old they called us

the Wise Women

and begged our aid

when the world beat against them.

The Druids crowned us

High Priestesses –

we raised storms to keep

the invaders at bay.

Dancers span spells

and wrought powerful potions,

bringing new life into being

and healing ill.

We brewed roots, bark, plants and

poisoned berries

and sang to claim the winds and wilds.

Then the clergy spoke and made

all the Cunning

into Heretics,

ostracized from the Divine.

We terrified them

and were ground down

under the boot of

the cruel Inquisition.

We became Witches

 and the burnings began.

But we never honored Satan –

only nature.

Yet those put to question

still gave up

their friends to fire and gallows.

Nesbit

We now roam the land as Vagabonds

telling futures

and changing luck.

Skilled eyes that can pierce through the veil

will be Clairvoyants,

 mastering the spirit world.

When doctors and science

fail to tame the feral –

they will label us mad and

damaged Hysterics.

Yet healers always find new ways

to combat superstition.

And when faith returns

I know Wise Women

will ride the moon once again.

Pictures:

Wilhelm Kotabinski

John William Waterhouse

Evelyn Nesbit


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November 15, 2017

The Witch Cat Charme

Voodoo 10

A lot of folk ’round here like to bury a live cat in the walls of their cottages.

This charme wards off evil and vermin. 

The cat acts as a guardian spirit and they say it protects the home from witches!

Ha ha ha . . .


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November 08, 2017

Ever Counted Magpies?

Here’s a little rhyme to tell your future by counting Magpies! 

 

      One for sorrow

 

Bird 2    Two for joy

Bird 3   Three for a girl

 

    Four for a boy

 

Five for silver

 

gold   Six for gold

secret   Seven for a secret never to be told

 

wish   Eight for a wish

kiss   Nine for a kiss

Birds 10

Ten for a bird you must not miss.

Happy counting!


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November 01, 2017

Soul Night – By Any Other Name

Call it what ye will – but the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest.

Samhain means Summer’s End.  We Wise Women celebrate on the nearest full moon afore November, after the harvest is gathered.  This is halfway between Autumn Equinox and the Winter Solstice.  It represents the end of summer and the start of the spiritual New Year.  Samhain comes from the Celtic Fire Festival when all the Druids remembered the dead.  Bonfires may be built to cleanse and protect – and sacrifices are offered to the gods.  It’s a night of divination, mummers, feastin’, guisin’, and young lads followin’ the Hobby Horse about the village.

The Church of Rome made this feast into All Hallows’ Eve, the start of All Saints’ Day to honor the Christian saints and martyrs – and All Soul’s Day that remembers the souls of the dead.  There’ll be Soul Cakes eaten instead of meat, candles lit for the dear departed, vigils, feasts, and the ringin’ of church bells everywhere.

The youngsters have just celebrated Halloween, short for Hallowed or Holy Evening, and remembered the frailty of life with skeletons, ghouls,  cobwebs, tombstones, and demons.  They hope to have chased evil and death away, by honoring the darkness. Some carved turnips into Jack o’ Lanterns for those lost souls who’ve been denied both Heaven and Hell.  There were pranks and guising to imitate mischievous spirits, costume feasts, processions, and mummers’ plays.

Aye, it’s a powerful week — but be careful to guard your own soul!


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October 25, 2017

Go Love-Nuts On Halloween!

Can’t choose between two lovers? Here’s a spell to help – but it must be cast on All Hallows:

Light a fire and take three walnuts.  Name one for yourself and one for each suitor.

nuts

Place the three nuts on the fire with yours in the middle of the other two.

If either nut cracks – or jumps away – that union is not meant to be.

The two nuts that blaze closest together will make the best marriage!


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October 18, 2017

Black Paternoster

The Wise Woman’s Bedtime Prayer:

“Four newks in this house, for haly Angels,

A post in the midst, that’s Christ Jesus,

Lucas, Marcus, Matthew, Joannes,

God be into this house, and all that belongs us.”

 

 

 

 


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October 11, 2017

The Witch Test: Ten

They call this test Swimming the Witch or Trial by Water.

Ducking Stool

Thou shalt be bound up and thrown in the water while the townsfolk watch to see what happens.

If thou sink and drown – thou proves innocent.

If thou float it’s the sign of the witch – so thou shalt hang or burn!


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