Monday, August 17, 2009

Witchcraft in Yorkshire

The other night I picked up a copy of the first American Edition of Witchcraft in Yorkshire by Patricia Crowther. This book was written 1973 but only published in England. This new edition is a limited edition of 750 copies put out by Harvest Shadows and features a forward by my good friend Albert Busseti, who is also handling the distribution of the work. The book is a 70 page paperback with a very attractive metalic copper, black and white cover. It is a real labor of love for the people that put it out.

The text itself is a reminder of what Witchcraft books used to be like when I was coming up. No arguments about traditionalists, reconstructionists, or the myriad of lineages and traditions new and old that have popped up since. In fact there isnt even anything about modern Wicca in it at all, Garnerian or otherwise.

This book is quite simply about the history of witchcraft in Yorkshire, the area that Patricia Crowther grew up in. It contains wonderful legends from the days when witches were viewed as feared and potent practitioners of the black arts. Interspersed amongst the text are drawings from Arnold Crowther that relate to the text.

If you are interested in the stories of traditional craft from Britain or are simply a collector of texts on the Craft, you shouldnt let this one pass.

Those interested in Miss Crowthers more recent thoughts on the craft would do well to grab a copy of Covensense. It was just released this spring, and I have only gotten a chance to skim through Al's copy, but that brief skimming caused me to order my own copy the next day. Even if you are not Gardnerian or even Wiccan, it has a lot of interesting info in it. Remember, this is a woman who not only was one of the first Gardnerian Priestess's but also worked with ceremonial magicians like William Gray and even Aliester Crowley in his last years.

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