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Morgana Post number 12637 Posted: 24th March 2011     Subject: Museum of Witchcraft, BOSCASTLE
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I was at the museum recently and was able to look at the Richel collection.
See this video clip with Graham King.

The Occult Reliquary/ the Richel collection

There is also a book of the same name which I now have. [Very happy]
I'll try and get a review out soon. It's an absolute must for anyone interest in folk and ritual magic

See also the Three Hands Press website

Also for ordering,
http://www.theoccultart ... 9cf6582359e6

Last edited by Morgana on 29th September 2017; edited 3 times in total
Ontwaken Post number 22355 Posted: 3rd December 2015     Subject: News of the Museum
Redisplaying of the Richel collection begins

Yesterday, the Director of the Museum, Simon Costin, began work redisplaying the Richel Collection in its new cabinet in the upstairs gallery.

http://museumofwitchcra ... -begins.html
Ontwaken Post number 22373 Posted: 7th December 2015     Subject: Donating or joining Friends of the museum
Donating to, or joining Friends of the Boscastle Museum of Witchcraft
On this page you can make a donation to 'Friends' in support of the Boscastle Museum of Witchcraft, or become a member of 'Friends' via PayPal by clicking the button below:

Make payments with PayPal, it's fast, free, and secure!

When joining 'Friends' via Paypal by clicking on the button above, please and enter the relevent amount and state in the message box which type of membership you are paying for. If you want your donation to be gift aided then please let us know in the PayPal comments box. Agreeing to Gift Aid your membership donation implies that you are a UK tax payer. Gift Aid enables us to reclaim the tax that you have paid on your earnings and substantially increases your donation to us without cost to yourself.
Slight Increase to PayPal joining Fee - We have taken the decision to increase the PayPal joining fee by £1.00 to cover PayPal charges. Please note this applies only to payments made via PayPal. Joining fees sent with the pdf form remain unchanged. Please note that the extra £1 is included in the joining fees quoted below.

Membership fees are:

Individual - £21
Family - £36
Group - £51

Due to UK bank charges, we request all non-UK members to please use paypal or International Money Orders when sending donations or paying for memberships.
Ontwaken Post number 22381 Posted: 10th December 2015     Subject: Poor old Ted
During the Museum's photography volunteering project, some of our recent acquisitions have been photographed. One particularly interesting donation can be seen here. They were donated by Judith Noble and came with the following text:

"These three poppets were found by caretakers over the weekend of 6th-7th June 2015 on a fire escape at the Arts University Bournemouth. There was no indication as to who had made them or why, but a pentagram had been scratched onto the wall next to where they were left. It is unlikely they were made by students as term time had finished some time previously and the students had left for the summer.

The people who found the poppets (which they referred to as "Voodoo Dolls") were very disturbed by them, as were the people who occupied the office next to the fire escape; they needed reassurance that the dolls were not intended to be images of them. One person even suggested that the police should be called.

It is unlikely that we will ever find out more about the origin of these poppets, but they (and the reaction they evoked) are a very interesting demonstration of continuing belief in the power of image magic, and, at the very least, the continuing hold witchcraft has over the popular imagination."

for photo's: http://museumofwitchcra ... old-ted.html
Ontwaken Post number 22400 Posted: 15th December 2015     Subject: Project update Photography
We had a dedicated team of photographers in the Museum at the end of November. They were absolutely brilliant - so much enthusiasm for the collection and they took such care of the objects as they cleaned every item before it was photographed. There was also a lot of technical expertise on display (which left the writer of this a little baffled!) but they have taken some great shots and have got a very professional set up and production line going. All the volunteers are Friends of the Museum and we know how lucky we have been to have them! The project continues later in January.

http://museumofwitchcra ... art-one.html
Ontwaken Post number 22427 Posted: 23rd December 2015     Subject: The museum Store
Not all things in possession of the museum can be displayed at the same time. So the store, or should we call it vault, holds some really remarkable and lovely items hidden from the broad public.

For a closer glimpse on thse items click on the url's.

http://museumofwitchcra ... m-store.html

http://museumofwitchcra ... art-two.html

http://museumofwitchcra ... t-three.html

http://museumofwitchcra ... rt-four.html

http://museumofwitchcra ... rt-five.html
Ontwaken Post number 22435 Posted: 28th December 2015     Subject: Seasonal witches
The Museum owns a series of four paintings by local artist Vivienne Shanley. They are called Imbolc Witch, Beltane Witch, Lammas Witch and Samhain Witch. For many years, they were on display in the Museum, available for sale as cards in the Museum shop and they also feature on the Museum's two chanting CDs. They are now back on display near the exit to the Museum and near the Wheel of the Year to which they have such a strong connection. They are also in the room which has the chanting CDs playing on a loop so they are in a fitting spot!

http://museumofwitchcra ... l-witch.html
Ontwaken Post number 22438 Posted: 31st December 2015     Subject: Outside the wise woman's cottage
Outside the wise woman's cottage

Over winter, the Museum team often have a bit of a tidy-up and move around. This helps us keep the displays fresh and gives repeat visitors something new to see when they visit. This year, we've moved some of the objects relating to sacred sites to the upstairs gallery and this has made space for the redisplaying of the cunning folk display outside the Wise Woman's cottage. This includes a section on Joan Wytte.

http://museumofwitchcra ... cottage.html

To all a very happy 2016
Ontwaken Post number 22443 Posted: 2nd January 2016     Subject: Imbolc Window Display[size=1.3em:41d2bf724b][/size:41d2bf724b]
We regularly change our main window display so that it is in sympathy with the Wheel of the Year. The main part of the window display is a fantastic stag's head which was created by Marti Dean. Every season, we change what is hung from the antlers and what objects are in display in the window. This informs visitors about the ritual year and provides regular visitors with something new to see every few months.

The following information is taken from the current window display:

Stag’s Head by Artist Marti Dean

Of the animals connected with witchcraft and magic, the stag is closely associated with the Horned God of Witchcraft. With roots set in the pagan histories and traditions of Europe, the symbolism of the stag has been represented in a variety of ways, from the Neolithic painting of the antlered 'Sorcerer' within the cave Trois-Frères in France, to the Gundestrup Cauldron, a piece of Iron Age silverwork depicting the Celtic antlered god Cernunnos.

For some modern witches, the stag–god Cernunnos is recognised as the horned god of nature and magic, and thus is celebrated in the rituals, art, and magic of modern witchcraft. This anthropomorphic sculpture of a green stag with branch-like antlers symbolises the magic of the regenerative force in nature. The objects hung on the antlers will be changed throughout the coming year.

For Imbolc, the stag’s antlers have been decorated with Bride’s Crosses (made by Gillian Nott).

The Wheel of the Year
The Ancient Festivals
The year can be divided into eight major festivals which mark the passage of the Sun through the year and relate directly to the agricultural cycle. This is significant to many people (including witches) The current festival is:

Imbolc or Candlemas
1st or 2nd February

Imbolc marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring. From now on the days get noticeably longer and seeds that have been dormant all winter start to stir.

Sacred to the ancient Goddess Bride, Bridhe or Bridget. A time to visit one of the many Holy wells so loved by Bride the healer. In Ireland it is the feast of St Brigid (the Christianised Pagan Goddess).

The Winter is passed, the return of the Sun King is evident. Celebrate by lighting candles.

The Christian Church has adopted this festival as the feast of the Purification of the Virgin.

This is the time of year to hang a ‘Brides Cross’, in your house as protection.

Objects in the Window Display
The stag’s antlers are decorated with various Bride’s Crosses which were made for the Museum by Gillian Nott. These were traditionally made on Saint Bridgit’s Eve (January 31st) and were hung in honour of Bridgit and to gain her protection.

There is also a Bridgit’s Girdle on the antlers (it is the large woven hoop as illustrated above from the National Museum, Dublin). The illustration was taken from “The Year in Ireland” by Kevin Danaher (1972) and the following information has been adapted from the same work.
The crios bride or Briget’s Girdle is a straw rope, eight to ten feet long, with a number of crosses plaited in straw attached to it.
A party of young people would go from house to house. At each house visited, the occupants were expected to pass through the crios, thus obtaining the protection of Bridget and freedom from illness (especially pains in the bones) for the coming year.

Peter, Judith and Tom demonstrate the correct use of the crios bride on this site:

http://museumofwitchcra ... display.html
Ontwaken Post number 22445 Posted: 5th January 2016     Subject: Temporary Halloween Exhibition
Temporary Halloween Exhibition

Dear Friends,

For our temporary exhibition in 2016, we will be exploring Samhain/Halloween/All Hallows/Allantide customs - anything to do with October 31st in whatever guise! We would like to include your memories, feelings, interpretations of this festival in the exhibition. Do you celebrate it – why? why not? What do you do? Rituals, events, things with kids, other festivities? What does the festival mean to you? We would love to share your photos of specific events/gatherings you have attended - perhaps something you will be doing this October? Please send your texts/photos to Given the limited amount of space in the exhibition, we may not be able to include everyone’s contribution, but we would of course store this material and perhaps use it for future displays (with your consent).

Many thanks,

The Museum Team
(Simon, Joyce, Hannah, Judith & Peter)
Ontwaken Post number 22448 Posted: 9th January 2016     Subject: The British Book of Spells and Charms A Compilation of Trad
Graham King is the former owner and curator of the Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle Cornwall, most famous perhaps for its central place within the modern witchcraft revival, via its origins with Cecil Williamson on the Isle of Man and the involvement of Gerald Gardner.

From a young age Graham has held a keen interest in traditional folk music and dances as well as folk magic.

During a walk in the English countryside (one of his favourite activities) in 1996, he encountered and was made welcome by a group of travelling folk gathering to celebrate the ancient Tan Hill Fair. It was this encounter that set in motion Graham’s decision to leave behind the corporate lifestyle, leading to his purchase of the Museum of Witchcraft from Cecil Williamson.

Graham made the 200 mile journey on foot to Boscastle, where at midnight on the 31st October that same year, the purchase was finalised. Graham and his team went on to develop The Museum of Witchcraft into one of Cornwall’s most popular museums.

Serving 10 years as an auxiliary Coastguard, it was Graham who raised he alert when the 2004 flood struck Boscastle leading to the incredible rescue operation which saved hundreds of lives; a role for which he was awarded the Chief Coastguard Commendation.

On the 31st of October 2013, Graham retired as Director of the Museum and appointed Simon Costin, founder of The Museum of British Folklore, as the new Director. Graham generously donated the museum’s entire collection and its massive research library and archive to the Museum of British Folklore, securing the future of The Museum of Witchcraft.

Troy Books is delighted to be publishing Graham’s first book – ‘The British Book of Spells & Charms’ which explores the wealth of traditional spells and charms of Britain’s folk-magical tradition, including those for good fortune, love, the healing of people and animals, curses and their removal, and acts of magic contained within traditional folk songs.

In writing this book, Graham has been ideally placed to draw upon examples and parallels within The Museum of Witchcraft’s collection and archives.

The text of ‘The British Book of Spells & Charms’ is complemented by numerous illustrations and photographs, drawing mainly from the museum’s fascinating collection of magical artefacts, and is Troy Books’ first title to be printed in full colour throughout.

Each pre-ordered copy will be signed by the author. ... e-order.html
Ontwaken Post number 22455 Posted: 13th January 2016     Subject: Happy to announce our next exhibition
Last year, we created a temporary exhibition space in the Museum. Our first temporary exhibition was Witches and Witchlore: the illustrations of Jos A Smith and it has been very well received (the Museum team were all sad to see it go!)

Our next exhibition will provide us with an opportunity to explore a key topic (which we haven't had space for in the Museum before) and that topic is Halloween: its history, customs and developing culture.

Here is the poster for our new exhibition. Many more details to follow soon.

http://museumofwitchcra ... ibition.html
Ontwaken Post number 22465 Posted: 18th January 2016     Subject: The Museum when it was in Bourton on the Water
The Museum received a fascinating email with attached photos from Jeremy Heath (a member of the Museum's Friends organisation. We are so grateful to him for sharing his research with us!
http://museumofwitchcra ... friends.html

Here are some extracts from the email and some of the accompanying photos:

"I read, with interest, your diary entry about the possible location of the Museum of Witchcraft in Bourton-on-the-Water. I live and work very close to Bourton... I have been a "friend" of the Museum in Boscastle for over two years, attending one of their talk days in the "Welly". I have been visiting every year since 1979, and love the collection and it's growth and change over the years. I purchased Steve Patterson's book about Cecil Williamson and found it extremely fascinating, especially the history of the different locations."

http://www.museumofwitc ... chcraft.html

S"o today I visited Bourton-on-the-Water to try and verify the location of the museum, in the 50's and 60's."

Photo: Getty Images

"I have visited the "Toyshop" many times and had no idea it was connected to the museum in Boscastle, however I did find an old photo online of the entrance and I have tried in the past, to identify exactly where it was. But today I discovered that because of a new building being erected in the last 30 years, its location was disguised. But today I discovered it's exact location thanks to your diary entry, saying about the Toy Shop."

"I found the entry doorway almost shown on the old photograph and the window above. I found the exact same street (High Street), but where there is a gap or an alley between the museum and the next shop, a new building has been erected, a gift shop called The Cedars, which I discovered has been in business for 30 years. This has altered the view, but I took several photographs to show it IS the place. Indeed, as you can see there are large stones outside the entrance, two of which are still there, and I have compared the wall stonework and it IS the correct location. I took several other views and the buildings along the street are definately identical to those in the old photo."

Photographs courtesy of Jeremy Heath Copyright of photographs on these pages is retained by the owner where acknowledged.

http://museumofwitchcra ... rton-on.html
Ontwaken Post number 22492 Posted: 31st January 2016     Subject: Some news and help wanted
Just a quick note to let you know what is happening with the Museum over the Winter.

The team at the Museum tell me -

Work has been going on at the Museum in the top gallery. "Old Hornie" is now standing up! He has new legs and a lovely new green robe. He is holding his old stang as well. The old large Sabbat painting is now up as well. The Goddess, Green Man, Horned God and Pisky displays have all been re-done. Everything is looking very fresh.

The Richel Collection has been put into a cabinet and the objects have been brought forward to allow closer examination of the smaller objects.

Our temporary exhibition for this year is called Glitter and Gravedust: Halloween past and present. It will open on March 25th so we better get cracking with it!!!

The new website is coming on well and should launch soon - we will let Friends know the date so they can look out for it.

You may remember from a previous update that the Museum were looking for some help from the Friends for the Glitter & Gravedust Exhibition. (For our temporary exhibition in 2016, we will be exploring Samhain/Halloween/All Hallows/Allantide customs - anything to do with October 31st in whatever guise! We would like to include your memories, feelings, interpretations of this festival in the exhibition. Do you celebrate it – why? why not? What do you do? Rituals, events, things with kids, other festivities? What does the festival mean to you? We would love to share your photos of specific events/gatherings you have attended - perhaps something you will be doing this October? Please send your texts/photos to They still have space for contributions and it would be nice to know Friends have played an active role in this. But please reply quickly they will need responses by February 12th to make sure everything is ready for the new season.
Ontwaken Post number 22507 Posted: 8th February 2016     Subject: Wassailing
A couple of weeks ago several members of the Museum team (and extended family) went to a wassail near Camelford. It was good fun. Here is the text that we were given. Hopefully it will continue to grow in popularity and we can go again next year.

http://museumofwitchcra ... sailing.html
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