The Museum of Witchcraft and Magic is located in the village of Boscastle in Cornwall, South West England. Founded in 1951 by English folk magician Cecil Williamson, the museum houses what is widely considered to be the world’s largest collection of objects related to folk magic, ceremonial magic, Freemasonry, and Wicca. Needless to say, we would all love to visit this magical place.
For the time being we may feast our eyes on some of the museum’s most prized artifacts thanks to a fascinating book recently published by Strange Attractor Press. Of Shadows: One Hundred Objects from the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic contains hauntingly beautiful photos by Sara Hannant, descriptions of the objects written by both Hannant and museum direction Simon Costin, and a preface written by renowned English magic historian Ronald Hutton.
“Artist and photographer Sara Hannant has captured the very essence of these carefully-selected artifacts, including wax dolls, wands, statues, daggers, pendants, robes and amulets. Each striking image tells its own vivid tale of belief and ceremonial practice.”
“Accompanying the photographs are informative texts from Sara Hannant and Museum director Simon Costin, as well as an illuminating introduction by the leading historian of British witchcraft and magic, Ronald Hutton.”
Of Shadows: One Hundred Objects from The Museum of Witchcraft and Magic is currently available from Strange Attractor Press in both paperback and limited hardback editions. It can also be ordered from the museum itself.
Whether you’re shopping for yourself or someone else, consider also ordering a copy of Cecil Williamson’s Book of Witchcraft: A Grimoire of the Museum of Witchcraft (pictured below).
“This is the first book to do justice to the remarkable role played by Cecil Williamson, founder of the Museum of Witchcraft, in preserving our magical traditions. It consists of the text of his magical notebook, together with detailed notes and a biography of Cecil by Steve Patterson (whose long relationship with the Museum and profound understanding of British magic make him the ideal editor).
In his Introduction, Steve writes, “Cecil Williamson’s ‘Witchcraft’ Manuscript falls roughly into two halves; the first two sections being a collection of folklore, witchcraft, spells and charms. The final two sections are quite different, seeking to link the magic of Ancient Egypt with the witch traditions…. One could well imagine the first part as being his record of the traditions imparted to him by his informants over the museum counter, whilst the latter part was the result of his musings and observations whilst wandering around the British Museum.”
Our thanks to the marvelous Pam Grossman for sharing the news about the publication of this captivating book.