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Witchcraft is as old as humanity. In the caves of Lascaux, in modern day France, are the images of the magic of the summoning of the hunt, painted perhaps 20,000 years ago. On the tundra of Siberia, the shaman is summoning a soul back to the body of an ill child, and they do not die. The Northern Paiute are introducing the Ghost Dance to unite the living with the dead, to achieve the numbers necessary to defeat the invaders. In Australia an Illapurinja, a woman kurdaitcha, will point the bone, and cause a just death, to avenge a severe wrong. Witch is anarchist. Witch is also heretical, in the etymological meaning of the word: the right to choose. Anarchist, not in the politically divisive slander of misrule, rioting and carnage, but in the sense of having and requiring no leader. Witch is the soughing of a breeze in the treetops and waves, like kelpies, in a hurricane. Witch is desert, and the cobbled lanes of Melbourne, Birmingham, New York, Prague and Brasilia. Witch is the whir and hum of a spindle, binding those known to harm others, with each action. Witchcraft is not a religion. We do not worship. To know more is to read these pages. This gathering of, (mainly) Celtic lore, as well as contemplations, span fifteen years of the author’ life. It is hoped some of this work will assist witches, still trapped by the bigotry and condemnation of societal stereotyping, to be true to their practices. To no longer feel the need to explain. This is for my friends, all over the world, who have long informed me they don’t want, or need another 101, or ‘how to’ manual. Come and sit with me. The woodstove is warm, and the candles are lit. I’ll make us both strong coffee, or I’ll shoot you a whisky if you’re so inclined. Put your bare feet up on my table, or the hound’s‘ll make you wish you’d taken some advice. Make yourself at home and… stick around a spell.
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