The Wicked Shall Decay: Charms, Spells & Witchcraft of Old Britain

Three Hands Press

A gathering of historical enchantments against Foul Spirits & Maledictions  'The Wicked Shall Decay' collects spells, charms, and occult magical formulae that were once regularly in practice in rural Victorian Britain. At the birth of the Industrial Revolution, folk magic was still very much in currency, and often constituted an 'occult poetry' of the countryside. Protection from evils spirits, the Devil, and most important of all, witches, was of paramount concern. Thus, proven magical remedies and charms were passed within families, and among the cunning folk --the specialist healers, spirit charmers, and diviners-- as prized receipts. For example, a hundred new pins, thrust into the heart of a bull, was a sovereign spell to remove bewitchment. The number of these charms was vast, and 'The Wicked Shall Decay' preserves only a fraction.

From the back cover:

Even after the practice of witch-hunting and persecution began to wane, the baneful influence of malefic sorcery and the Evil Eye were still feared, particularly in rural areas during the 18th and 19th century. The arsenal of magical armaments against such powers included charms, spells, rituals, sigils, and magical squares, as well as the use of magical herbs and words of power. Many of these practices resembled in method and materiel the very evil they were meant to combat, embodying in themselves a savour of the sinister. Accessing a diverse array of historical and folkloric sources, The Wicked Shall Decay gathers together a collection of obscure British magic featuring curses, anti-witchcraft spells, and malevolent power. Greatly treasured in their day for their efficacy, these rites document a widespread tradition of 'dark folk magic' of value to the research o both scholar and esoteric practitioner alike.

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