In The Witch Cult in Western Europe, Anthropologist Margaret Alice Murray (1863 – 1963) presents her pioneering and seminal witch-cult theory – an enigmatic history of European witchcraft and the rituals, beliefs and practices of an ancient, secretive pre-Christian religion that persisted covertly amidst fierce Christian persecution. The witch cult hypothesised herein unveils an underground and organised old religion, devoted to the worship of a horned god and mother goddess which survived from its pre pre-Christian origins and through the hysteria of the witch trials.
While Murray’s theories of witchcraft as an organised and surviving pagan religion have been discredited by subsequent research, her work vividly depicts the old and widely held beliefs, ideas and traditions surrounding witches which, naturally, may have long informed the operations of individuals and sporadic groups attempting to undertake a practice of witchcraft historically, and into the present. Many of her own more innovative ideas too have been hugely influential and have provided the blueprints to various modern day witchcraft traditions, leading to Margaret Murray being referred to, justifiably, as the ‘Grandmother of Wicca.’
The Witch Cult in Western Europe thus remains a valuable sourcebook for practitioners and students of the witch’s craft today.
Available in the following editions:
Paperback Edition: gloss laminated cover.
Hardback Edition: to follow.
Special Edition: a Limited Edition of 150 copies bound in a burgundy faux leather binding with black endpapers and burgundy and gold head and tail bands. 80gsm cream paper stock.
Size: Royal format 234 x 156mm
Pagination: 354 pages.
FOREWORD by Gemma Gary
CHAPTER I: The Origin of Witchcraft, Shamanism, and Sorcery—Vindictive and Mischievous Magic
CHAPTER II: Charms and Conjurations To Cure the Disorders of Grown People—Hungarian Gypsy Magic
CHAPTER III: Gypsy Conjurations and Exorcisms—The Cure of Children Hungarian Gypsy Spells—A Curious Old Italian “Secret”—The Magic Virtue of Garlic—A Florentine Incantation Learned From A Witch—Lilith, the Child-Stealer, and Queen of the Witches
CHAPTER IV: South Slavonian and Other Gypsy Witch-Lore—The Words For A Witch—Vilas and The Spirits of Earth and Air—Witches, Egg-Shells, and Egg-Lore—Egg Proverbs—Ova De Crucibus
CHAPTER V: Charms or Conjurations to Cure or Protect Animals
CHAPTER VI: Of Pregnancy and Charms or Folk-Lore Connected With it—Boar’s Teeth and Charms for Preventing The Flow of Blood
CHAPTER VII: The Recovery of Stolen Property—Love-Charms—Shoes and Love-Potions or Philtres
CHAPTER VIII: Roumanian and Transylvanian Sorceries and Superstitions Connected With Those of the Gypsies
CHAPTER IX: The Rendezvous or Meetings of Witches, Sorcerers, and Vilas—A Continuation of South Slavonian Gypsy-Lore
CHAPTER X: Of the Haunts, Homes, and Habits of Witches in the South Slavic Lands—Bogeys and Humbugs
CHAPTER XI: Gypsy Witchcraft—The Magical Power Which Is Innate In All Men and Women—How It May Be Cultivated And Developed—The Principles of Fortune-Telling
CHAPTER XII: Fortune-Telling (continued)—Romance Based on Chance, Or Hope, As Regards the Future—Folk- and Sorcery-Lore—Authentic Instances of Gypsy Prediction
CHAPTER XIII: Proverbs Referring to Witches, Gypsies, and Fairies
CHAPTER XIV: A Gypsy Magic Spell—Hokkani Baro—Lellin Dudikabin, Or the Great Secret—Children’s Rhymes and Incantations—Ten Little Indian Boys and Ten Little Acorn Girls of Marcellus Burdigalensis
CHAPTER XV: Gypsy Amulets
CHAPTER XVI: Gypsies, Toads, and Toad-Lore
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