Archive for One

The Toad Bone Rite

Posted in Folklore, History, Video with tags , , , , , , on April 3, 2012 by manxwytch

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.