This is a rare colour clip of Gerald Gardner on the Isle of Mann. Here he is seen sweeping the crossroads and placing the dust into an old shoe.
Archive for the Video Category
One of my favorite places to visit in Cornwall is the Boscastle Museum of Wtichcraft. I can’t imagine a witch who wouldn’t love it there! It houses an impressive collection of documents and historical items.
This is a lovely video of the Museum produced in 2010 and gives a bit of feel for what it’s like. Produced by Tim Chick, Florence Kennard, and Tom Bailey.
Many have read and heard of the old Craft rite of the toad bone. It has certainly been popularized by the inspiring work of Andrew Chumbley and his eloquent and delicate contribution to traditional craft, ONE: The Grimoire of the Golden Toad. Karragan Griffith does an excellent overview of the ritual and book in the link I have provided for ONE.
The rite has many variations among traditional groups. It often involved either the finding or crucifixion of a toad. Its corpse was placed upon an anthill to have its bones licked cleaned and bleached white in the sun. From there the witch would cast the bones into a stream running north and with a few incantations would scoop from the waters whatever bone was willing to be caught.
Sounds easy, but I assure you, toad bones are quite light and deftly slip through your fingertips in water. One must be both quick and have eagle eyes if someone is to attempt this by moonlight. This bone was said to possess uncanny powers, it was coveted by many Toad Doctors and Cunning Folk and was held close to the body of the charmer.
Here is an old (1970s) clip from a BBC children’s tv show called Moon Stallion. It demonstrates that the legends of the bone-man and cunning magic were a part of popular culture.
Here is the entire 1969 Malcolm Leigh documentary on British Witchcraft starring Alex and Maxine Sanders and their coven as well as some wonderful footage of the Museum of Witchcraft owned by that old Cunning Witch, Cecil Williamson.
Originally a highly controversial film that was rated XXX and appeared in more shady cinemas, it is tame by today’s standards. However, Sanders’ revealing of Craft secrets, and more of the darker aspects of witchery such as animal sacrifice and Black Mass still raises controversy with many Witches today.
Hope you enjoy this little bit of history.
This short retrospective clip captures Gerald Gardner interviewed at the Witches Mill in 1957 by Daniel Farson, an early television investigative reporter and public personality. Titled “Out of Step”, the theme was “investigating people with odd views about life. Were they just cranks?”
Gardner, Farson explains, is living in an abandoned Mill, with eerie relics. For Those who might be interested in a little history, that eerie relic of the cross-legged demon (shown at 0.51) was made by Arnold Crowther. He was a talented High Priest and Magus, magician, artist, puppeteer, musician, theatre actor and ventriloquist who was married to the lovely and talented High Priestess, Lady Patricia Crowther.
What I enjoy about the clip is the opportunity to see and hear Gerald Gardner. There are very few captured moments like this and when I see his eyes light up, and hear his impish giggle explaining that witches dance in the traditional witches costume… their skin… it brings a smile to my face.
The section with Gardner is short, sweet and at the beginning of the clip. The rest of the clip from ‘Out of Step’ is spent with Daniel Farson interviewing a priest, Dr. Davies who clearly represents his view of the abnormality of nudism. Later in Farson’s retrospective, he demonstrates how his contrasting, later interview titled “Keeping Step’ established that the conservative attitudes could be just as odd as the eccentric.
The Isle of Mann has many ancient sites. This video documents a few impressive ones on the island.