- April 29, 2020 at 5:54 am #10434
The Museum of Witchcraft is located in Boscastle in Cornwall, I think there is plenty of information on them online including their own website if you want to find out more. I think it came some time after Gerald Gardner so he did not draw from it, I think the Museum is meant to carry a legacy of witchcraft items that was created after wicca and 1951. I think some of it may be Alexandrian rather than Gardnerian. Tintagel is just down the road, this is extremely important for different reasons, Tintagel is connected with the legend of King Arthur but that is working with a completely different kind of energy. on another note, St. Nectan’s Glen is close nearby, all of these places are worth a visit so as you can imagine this whole area is a great place for pilgrimage as you might want to visit all of them. OBOD and the BDO are different but kind of connected as Carr-Gomm and Greywolf used to know each other in the past. You might find this out if you listen to some of the videos on the BDO Youtube channel or read some of the accounts, Greywolf wrote an article for Pagan Dawn once about the Free and Open Gorsedd of Caer Abiri where Carr-Gomm and Greywolf came together. OBOD is somewhat psychological and self analytical and inward and relies a lot on meditation, the BDO is a little more hands on and pagan and outgoing but that it just one point of view, I think this does broadly outline some of the differences. Both use classical literature such as the Mabinogion but in the BDO I think there is more emphasis on the medieval period and the creative arts. This is what I have seen so far.April 29, 2020 at 12:53 pm #10436DowrgiParticipant
The Museum of Witchcraft is down in my neck of the woods. The museum has an eclectic collection of items from throughout the ages, I don’t believe it’s dedicated to any specific period or path and also holds items from around the world. The museum in Cornwall was opened by Cecil Williamson in 1960. Prior to that, he’d had a museum on Mann, founded in 1949, after having also founded one in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1947 but abandoning Stratford for Mann because, according to accounts, the locals in Stratford weren’t all too keen on it! During this time on Mann, Williamson’s friend, Gerald Gardner, was the “resident witch” in the museum. The museum was renamed the Museum of Magic and Witchcraft in 1951 after the repeal of the Witchcraft Act. It then seems that Williamson and Gardner’s friendship began to suffer and they both went their separate ways. After selling the museum on Mann to Gardner, he first moved to Windsor, where he again met with opposition from the local community and then to Bourton-on-the-Water where his museum suffered an arson attack. Williamson finally ended up in Cornwall where the current museum has been since 1960. I don’t know of any opposition or hostility from Cornish people towards the museum and certainly not anything that would warrant the museum being transferred again. The museum was sold to new ownership on Hallowe’en 1996.
Apart from the colourful history of the museum(s) in question, Cecil Williamson is an interesting figure indeed, apparently he had worked for MI6 during the Second World War, investigation Nazi occult research and propaganda.
/|\April 29, 2020 at 1:00 pm #10437
Thanks Dowrgi. I remember that the Museum was severely damaged by flooding one year when most of the cars in Boscastle were swept away. That is a good piece of history, and more than I knew before. It is a shame that the reaction to the Museum was so irrational. I wonder what would happen if a similar project were attempted today?November 20, 2021 at 3:25 am #14171Dave the DruidParticipant
Peace and Harmony to all.
There is a field spotters guide to modern paganism out on the web. It’s good for a laugh.
Our wiccan sisters may be similar in their beliefs to ours at least in the natural focus and connection. There I think the similarities end. The Druid goes to a Grove to practice ritual the Wiccan goes to the alter.
I am happy to meet any other pagan and discuss belief paths. If we do it right we come out stronger knowing that there others who share similar beliefs.
I generally get a slightly cocked head when I give them the , Peace and Harmony blessing. I chanced to meet a fellow Druid, ADF. And he felt that my words were appropriate for a Druid.
I’ve been doing this for 30 years, yes I am that old, and one thing I have learned is that people are touchy about their beliefs. Respect to all, allegiance to none. Tough to reconcile with being a member of this order but I chose this path. Lately I have been considering the idea that this path choose me. Another time perhaps.
Peace and Harmony
Dave the DruidNovember 20, 2021 at 5:32 pm #14173Simon RobsonParticipant
When I myself have written books with the title witch in them I have always focused on nature and the Earth and the use of simple easy to get items for magick. I however was not writing on wiccan. In reality what witchcraft is depends on the individual because its an overused word: when occultists are beheaded they always seem to say that a witch has been killed. It has become a catch all word. I personally think that witches favour nature in their magick. Druids I don’t write a publisher mentioned the word druid on an early book and it stirred up quite a stir among druids of the time they do not understand that once a publisher has the copyright they can do almost whateveer they want and that includes advertising descriptions: In fact that book concentrated on celtic deities and that was all. The occultist is easy to describe because although an occultist need not be a satanist an occultist must know dark magick and to me is probably a practitioner with a varied set of spirts, devils whatever that he uses. The definitions sometimes get in the way of the magick. I must say though I class witchraft as new agey and that isn’t my stuff I have written 602 books and maybe a few on witchcraft so not much of them at all.November 21, 2021 at 7:22 pm #14177Angela LawtonParticipant
I’ve been to the Museum of Witchcraft at Boscastle twice, once before the flood and once after. If I recall before the flood they had a real skeleton of a deceased witch in a glass case, I didn’t think it was a very dignified way to keep someone. It was quite an interesting place.November 21, 2021 at 7:50 pm #14178DowrgiParticipant
The skeleton was that of Joan Wytte of Bodmin, who died in Bodmin Gaol in 1813. Joan was a wise woman and quite well-known throughout Cornwall. However, she also lived in the poverty of the time and was, supposedly, of an aggressive temper. She died of pneumonia at the age of 38 while imprisoned for “brawling”. Unfortunately her earthly remains were used for all kinds of 19th century séances and suchlike. Joan was finally buried in Minster in 1998 – on Hallowe’en. Now I’ve heard and read stories that the Museum had had Joan for about forty years, but then it started to report strange happenings … Make of it all, what you will. Whatever the case, Old Joan has finally been given a proper burial and had her dignity restored, in a sense.
/|\November 22, 2021 at 9:12 pm #14183Angela LawtonParticipant
Thanks Dowgri I had a quick look online and saw that she was imprisoned in Bodmin Jail in Cornwall. I’ve been there too and must say it is a very dark and oppressive place with a definite spiritual presence, I felt a spirit touching my arm whilst in there and said so to my daughters. We didn’t know anything about the jail at the time but bought a guide book and read it after our visit and it said a few people felt someone touching their arm at that particular place in the jail. It’s a very foreboding place..
At least old Joan has been put to rest now and I suppose the keeping of deceased bones is on a par with the Catholic church keeping relics of Saints, which leads me to believe that the spirit can become attached to physical bodily parts. I for one want to be cremated and I’m not donating any of my organs as I don’t want to be tied to this plane by any earthly remnains. Let the spirit go free I say.November 23, 2021 at 5:34 pm #14185
I agree that the dead woman should have been buried properly rather than put on display, it would have been more respectful. I guess that the same argument could be used for all uses of real human remains in museums
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