Halloween – the poet, the witch and the eel

Halloween is a night when witches, devils, and other mischief-making beings are all abroad on their baneful midnight errands. This year was no exception, at our dark shrouded hovel. But why am I talking about it, when I should be poeming about it? Up in old East London Things roam on claw’d feet We dare…

Killing the Corn-Spirit or Hello, Dolly!

In the village of Siddington in Cheshire in the shadow of the monolithic radio telescopes of Jodrell Bank, lives a gentleman with an unusual hobby. Raymond Rush makes corn dollies, and at Harvest Festival time decorates the local church with over 1,000 of these sinister pagan relics. In his workshop next to an old hand…

Bunny Chow & Pinch Punch

Saying “Pinch punch” and spitefully poking somebody or just saying “White rabbits!” before midday on every 1st of the month is a popular folk tradition whose origins have become hazy with the passing of time. Almost nobody remembers now that the “pinch punch” was a symbolic blow to cast out evil spirits from people around…

A Flaming Fête With Flowers

Midsummer bonfire Flowers of flame flare out bright Live on as embers As the Sun passes over the Tropic of Cancer and hangs directly overhead, we celebrate with flowers which represent the Earth’s energies, water to represent the water sign Cancer, and fire which represents the Sun.   While the mystical hordes gather at Stonehenge…

Suitable refreshment for Walpurgis Night according to Comrade Bulgakov

“We know that our forefathers very generally kept the beginning of May as a great festival, and it is still regarded as the trysting time of witches – i.e. once of wise-women and fays; who can doubt that heathen sacrifices blazed on that day?” – Jacob Grimm ‘Teutonic Mythology’  The ultimate Walpurgis Night party was…

Sapping Energy? Bring Back The Birch

Tír na nÓg are the islands of everlasting youth and beauty, not unlike Peter Pan’s fictional Neverland.  Populated by gods and spirits who no longer have any connection to our world, it is possible for humans to visit, although returning is not usually easy due to the different way in which time passes there. The…

Black Magic, or Supper at the Crossroads

November 16th is the Night of Hecate, which begins at sunset. Her ability to see into the Underworld, or the “Otherwhere” of the sleeping and the dead makes her sympathetic to those who would generally be shunned out of fear and misunderstanding.  Other gods or goddesses might not feel at home roaming city streets at…

Passion Potion

Witches have been famous for supplying aids to seduction throughout the ages. A lot of these included revolting or hard-to-find ingredients like mandrake, powdered cats eyes, or that tired old “aphrodisiac” Spanish Fly. Spanish Fly is an irritant, that’s all, and can sometimes produce an uncomfortable stiffening effect on the male. It doesn’t affect women…

Cool as a Cucumber with Sage Advice

After the recent and ongoing panic and upheaval in Europe, now is a good time to cool down and cleanse, for which we can use mainly cucumbers and sage.  Anybody behind you in the supermarket queue will be impressed by your basketful of vegetables, herbs and yoghurts as you gather some of Mother Nature’s Little…