Cassandra and I decided to host a Folk Magic workshop at the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic after Simon Costin invited us to host one there. Cassandra’s book Village Witch is stocked within the Museum retail outlet, therefore a workshop provided readers with more information on the subject where they can interact and ask questions in person.
It was a glorious warm sunny day when we arrived. Simon had other commitments that day, however Fergus was around if we needed assistance. It was also good to catch up with Judith Noble who was overseeing the Artists Residency event that day.
We had 18 attendees, each on their own individual spiritual path or not actively practicing but curious about the Folk/Cunning Craft.
Cassandra has years of experience in her Craft well and good rapport with her audience. She works from an outline of subjects to discuss which makes the talk more spontaneous and more interesting for her listeners.
Cassandra is ‘down to earth’ with amusing moments, keeping the audience entertained and lifting the atmosphere when discussing serious aspects of the Craft.
After two hours of discussion, we had a lunch break, enjoying the warm sunshine and sea air.
The group returned to the Museum after lunch and Cassandra then guided them on a hedgerow walk near Minster Woods to harvest wild greenery to use in their witch bottles. I remained in the library updating our business accounts and searching for a video Cassandra wished to show the group during the afternoon session.
On their return, the subject of spell casting and energy raising was discussed. The following video was an example of how working women used chants, while engaging in repetitive work. This helped with the accurate timing of movements and also creates a bond between all workers. One member of our group made an interesting comment about the singing, stating that it would become apparent if a worker grew weary, meaning they could take a break or change the tempo.
The group then moved their chairs to form a large circle and we placed all ingredients for the witch bottles into the centre of the space, so they could help themselves to what they needed. Before they began, I suggested they held their jar or bottle for a few minutes to connect with the spirits and ancestors before their work began.
There were many conversations occurring and also sharing of greenery as they filled their receptacles. We explained that it would not be completed at the workshop as they would need to take it home, add a personal bodily fluid of their choice and seal the jar or bottle by placing a real wax candle on the lid so that the wax drips down over the seal. It can also be done by binding with twine, or a modern method of adhesive tape (although we do not recommend the use of plastic.)
A few members also visited the Museum retail outlet and purchased Cassandra’s book Village Witch while they were there and requested she signed them.
When the workshop was complete and everything was returned to its place, I took another opportunity to sit upon the fabulous Gothic chair in the library that once belonged to ‘Old Horny’ the goat God who now stands tall within the Museum.
We would like to thank the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic for inviting us to host this workshop and all who attended for being such a wonderful supportive group. I’m sure we will be seeing you again.