Edmund Robinson

Edmund Robinson was a little boy with a big imagination. When he should have been spinning wool or fetching the cattle home, he was instead playing with a friend. Rather than get in trouble with his parents, he made up a hum-dinger of a story for an excuse. A mixture of local gossip and folk material, his testimony against witches reads like a heroic fairy-tale.

Upon All-Saints day last past, he being with one Henry Parker…desired the said Parker to give him leave to gather some Bulloes [wild plums], which he did; in gathering whereof he saw two greyhounds, viz. a black and a brown; one came running over the next field towards him…And the said greyhounds came and fawned on him, they having about their neck either of them a collar, to either of which collars was tied a string, which collars as this informer affirmeth, did shine like gold, and he thinking that some either of Mr. Nutters or Mr. Robinsons family should have followed them, but seeing nobody to follow them, he took the said greyhounds thinking to hunt with them, and presently a hare did rise, very near before him, at the sight whereof he cried ‘Loo, loo, loo’, but the dogs would not run, whereupon he being very angry took them, and with the strings that were at their collars tied either of them to a little bush at the next hedge, and with a rod that he had in his hand he beat them, and instead of the black greyhound one Dickinson’s wife stood up, a Neighbour whom this informant knoweth. And instead of the brown one a little boy, whom this informant knoweth not (Purkiss 164).

When Edmund tries to run away, the woman holds him, puts her hand in her pocket, and pulls out “a piece of silver much like to a fair shilling” (Purkiss 164). She offers him this if he will hold his tongue. However, he tells her he won’t take anything from a witch.

Next she produces a magic, jingling bridle.

She puts this on the boy-demon’s head, and he becomes a white horse. Seizing Edmund, she mounts the horse and carries him to a new house ‘called Houtons’ [Hoarstones]. What Edmund remembers in detail about the witch-feast is the witches pulling on ropes to obtain food: ‘flesh smoking, butter in lumps, and milk as it were sli[di]ng from the said ropes’. This Land of Cockaigne spectacle of piles of high protein and high fat food signify Edmund’s preoccupation with his belly, understandable enough in a boy from a poor artisan family in a poor area. Yet this is also an old folk-fantasy: Edmund was also influenced by stories of fairy food in describing ‘a young woman whom this informer knoweth not gave him flesh and bread upon a trencher, and drink in a glass, after the first taste, he refused, and would have no more, and said it was nought’ (Purkiss 164).

In refusing the food, Edmund shows the cunning of the folktale hero. Eating the food of supernatural beings, and of faeries in particular, was thought to have put one under their control. His story of an incandescent woman who flies up a chimney also seems to be gleaned from folktales about ghosts. Witches transforming back and forth from hares is one of the most common pieces of witch folklore in Scotland and England.

Edmund cast himself as “the saviour of his family, which both relected and assuaged his guilt. Ironically, he did end up helping his family’s fortunes, but not quite in the manner of his telling. Edmund’s father exploited his son’s stories:

The boy, his father, and some others besides did make a practice to go from church to church that the boy might reveal and discover witches, pretending that there was a great number at the pretended meeting, whose faces he could know, and by that means they got a good living, that in a short space the Father bought a cow or two, when he had none before (Purkiss 166).

Jacob Bohmen

 

Jacob Bohmen, thought he could discover the secret of the transmutation of metals in the Bible, and who invented a strange heterogeneous doctrine of mingled alchemy and religion, and founded upon it the sect of the Aurea-crucians.

He was born at Gorlitz, in Upper Lusatia, in 1575; and followed, till his thirtieth year, the occupation of a shoemaker. In this obscurity he remained, with the character of a visionary and a man of unsettled mind, until the promulgation of the Rosicrucian philosophy in his part of Germany, toward the year 1607 or 1608.

From that time he began to neglect his leather, and buried his brain under the rubbish of metaphysics.

The works of Paracelsus fell into his hands; and these, with the reveries of the Rosicrucians, so completely engrossed his attention that be abandoned his trade altogether, sinking, at the same time, from a state of comparative independence into poverty and destitution.

But he was nothing daunted by the miseries and privations of the flesh; his mind was fixed upon the beings of another sphere, and in thought he was already the new apostle of the human race. In the year 1612, after a meditation of four years, he published his first work, entitled “Aurora; or, The Rising of the Sun;” embodying the ridiculous notions of Paracelsus, and worse confounding the confusion of that writer.

The philosopher’s stone might, he contended, be discovered by a diligent search of the Old and New Testaments, and more especially of the Apocalypse, which alone contained all the secrets of alchymy.

He contended that the Divine Grace operated by the same rules, and followed the same methods, that the Divine Providence observed in the natural world; and that the minds of men were purged from their vices and corruptions in the very same manner that metals were purified from their dross, namely, by fire.

Besides the sylphs, gnomes, undines, and salamanders, he acknowledged various ranks and orders of demons. He pretended to invisibility and absolute chastity. He also said that, if it pleased him, he could abstain for years from meat and drink, and all the necessities of the body.

It is needless, however, to pursue his follies any further. He was reprimanded for writing this work by the magistrates of Gorlitz, and commanded to leave the pen alone and stick to his wax, that his family might not become chargeable to the parish. He neglected this good advice, and continued his studies; burning minerals and purifying metals one day, and mystifying the Word of God on the next.

He afterwards wrote three other works, as sublimely ridiculous as the first.

The one was entitled Metallurgia, and has the slight merit of being the least obscure of his compositions. Another was called The Temporal Mirror of Eternity and the last his Theosophy Revealed, full of allegories and metaphors.

Many of them became, during the seventeenth century, as distinguished for absurdity as their master; amongst whom may be mentioned Gifftheil, Wendenhagen, John Jacob Zimmermann, and Abraham Frankenberg. Their heresy rendered them obnoxious to the Church of Rome; and many of them suffered long imprisonment and torture for their faith. One, named Kuhlmann, was burned alive at Moscow, in 1684, on a charge of sorcery.

Bohmen’s works were translated into English, and published, many years afterwards by an enthusiast, named William Law.

Bohmen died in 1624, leaving behind him a considerable number of admiring disciples.

How To Become A Werewolf

 Here are some classical as well as some not so classical ways of becoming a werewolf. Some you have heard before, and have been mentioned before, others may be new, and some are somewhat more modernized methods.

Classical Methods

1) Get bitten by a werewolf
2) Drink water from a wolf’s paw-print.
3) Drinking from a stream where three or more wolves
   have drunk from recently
4) Wear a wolf-skin, a belt made of wolf-leather, or
   a cursed ring during full moon.
5) Commit a sacrilege
6) Hereditary
7) Curse
8) Drinking from a cursed stream
9) Affixing a lycanthropus flower to your clothes
10) Being born on a New Moon
11) Being born on Christmas day
12) Being born on Friday the 13th

Affirmation

This can work with other things as well as achiving status as a master or mistress of the night. The idea is quite simple really, compact your goal into a single clear secntence, for our case here it would be something to the tune of “I will become a werewolf” or “I will be a lycan” you get the picture. 

Now once a day you are to write the secentence down 15 times, you do not have to do it at once, that is you do not have to write all 15 in one sitting, as long as throughout the period of the day you have written 15 times.  Continue to do this untill you have reached your goal, it should happen in 2 or 3 months, but if by month 6 you still are not walking around on all fours at the full moon, that odds are it is not going to work.

Light Magic

Part 1
The first part is more of a preparation. The idea behind this is that you get to posess your own body. For this method to work, posessing and accepting your current body is required in order to start a change.Get a mirror (big enough so that you can comfortably view your head) into your room. Wait until the sun’s gone. Sunlight might destroy the magick in it’s early stages, however it will get stronger over time. Make enough artificial light for you to see yourself in the mirror. Now sit comfortably and watch your face in the mirror, capture as many details as possible. Trace the contours of the eyes, nose, ears etc. Pay special attention to the eyes, notice their humanity. IMPORTANT: Try to forget about your wish to become a wolf (or something else). Think about as a preparation prior to transformation, but do not commit yourself to a specific form. You don’t have to do this for long, but do it concentrated and seriously. Feel your body (I mean the real body and NOT the one in the mirror!), accept it, *possess* it. View yourself as human not as wolf (or whatever), be it repulsive or not. Your body will then be able to collect certain energies. Maybe your dreams will change, maybe not. Repeat this for 3 to 5 days, on the same time of day if possible. Switch to Part 2 when you thing you’re ready.
Part 2

Return the mirror to where it belongs, you don’t need it anymore. In Part one, you’ve seen yourself as human. Now you won’t see yourself anymore because you’ll concentrate on the being you want to become.
 

 

 

 

Sit down, relax and imagine the wolf (or whatever). Try to imagine the wolf as detailed as possible. He or she should look the same everytime, so imagine you personal superduper-favourite wolf. Let him run through forests, over hills, etc. The wolf should get more and more detailed every time you do it. But DON’T “summon” the wolf, DON’T see him as some kind of imaginary friend. Ever watched one of those BBC-documentations? It should look just like that, watch the details of your imaginary creature. After some days of this, try to imagine the smells of your imagination. It’s much like if you see a hamburger on TV and could almost smell/taste it. The same applies here. And after another few days try to feel his fur. Don’t try to rush things because it would lead to disappointment.
Repeat for approx. 1-2 weeks.

 

 

Part 3
Well, the last part really isn’t that spectacular: Just continue to imagine the wolf running through the forest (or whatever you want him to do) but now give him your name. It can be your real name, or any other name you’re identifying with. Sounds odd, I know. While you continue to watch him just keep in mind that his name is the same as yours. If your name is Jarod, the wolf’s name is also Jarod.
 

 

 

Quoth the Vampire

 

We are immortal but bored, evil but sad, alone and lonely. We are dressed in black, the correct garb for vampires, and equally appropriate for mourning no matter what we have lost-innocense, love, or the ability to die when we want to.  –Lord Byron

Her white burrial gown was soaked with dried blood, her fingers caked with the dirt of the grave. And her eyes…they were mindless, two pools that reflected the moon. No secrets, no truths, only despair. –Anne Rice

I am no longer young, and my heart, through weary years of mourning over the dead, is not attuned to mirth. Moreover, the walls of my castle are broken; the shadows are many, and the wind breathes cold through the broken battlements and casements. I love the shade and shadow, and would be alone with me thoughts when I may. –Bram Stroker

Am I dammned? Am I from the devil? Is my very nature that of a devil? I was asking myself over and over. And if it is, then why do I revolt against it, tremble when Babetter hurls a flaming lantern at me, turn away in disgust when Lestat kills? What have I become in becoming a vampire? Where am I to go? And all the while as the death wish caused me to negelct my thrist, my thrist grew hotter; my veins were veritable threads of pain in my flesh; my temples throbbed and finally I could stand it no longer. Torn apart by the wish to take no action-to starve, to wither in thought on the one hand; and driven to kill on the other-I stood in an empty desolate street and heard the sound of a child crying. –Anne Rice (Louis)

On swift sail flaming

from storm and south

he comes, pale vampire,

mouth to my mouth

–James Joyce

He held up his cross and pressed it against the window. She hissed as if scalded…hung suspended in the air, her body becoming misty and indistinct. Then, gone. But not before he saw (or thought he saw) a look of desperate unhappiness on her face.–Stephen King

*Image info: Artist: Victoria France

The Witch-Children of Calw

In Calw, Württemberg’s most important industrial city, trouble began in 1673. A woman was supected of poisoning some of her neighbours. However, she was released on the advice of the legal faculty from the University of Tübingen. Most of the evidence against her had come from untrustworthy children, and the remainder from jealous folk.

In 1677, ten-year-old Bartholomaeus Sieben, illegitimate son of the widow Agnew Hafnerin, was brought up on similar charges. There was insufficient evidence to prove Bartholomaeus had murdered Johann Crispen, the schoolmaster’s son, with a poisoned cookie. Bartholomaeus’ family was destitute–until he was sixteen, he had to sleep in the same bed with his mother and grandmother. When he was questioned, he explained that his elderly step-grandmother, Anna Hafnerin, had encouraged him to harm his classmates with poisoned powders. But because Bartholomaeus was so young, and because his step-grandmother was so old and weak, neither were tortured. Bartholomaeus was given a public beating instead.

In 1683 their neighbors openly suspected them of heresy. That year an 11-year-old neighbor boy, later described as having “a melancholy complexion,” began to speak strangely of witches and dances. On close questioning he asserted that Anna Hafnerin, now 80 years old, had seduced him into witchcraft, that he had renounced God in words written with his own blood, and had traveled to many witches’ dances where he met many of his classmates. This boy confessed that he had flown off to dances even when observers testified that he had spend the night in bed. Instead of concluding from such statements that he was dreaming, parents became worried that the devil was carrying off only the souls and not the bodies of their children. To prevent such occurrances, they began forcing their children to stay awake and interrogated them thoroughly after they had slept about what had happened and what they ahd seen. In such a charged situation it was natural that the children of Calw began to tell the wildest stories, often with promptings and suggestion from their parents. On September 7, 1683, 19 of these children were examined by the spiritual and secular magistrates. One was only six years old. In general their statements focused on Anna Hafnerin and on her stepdaughter’s son, Bartholomaeus (Midelfort 158, 159).

Upon further examination, Bartholomaeus and Anna admitted they were witches. Bartholomaeus also confessed to having poisoned the schoolmaster’s son six years prior, and that he had devoted himself to the devil ever since. Anna confessed the devil had seduced her long ago, promising her money which she had never received. She also admitted to having corrupted some children into practicing witchcraft. “Both suspects pleaded mitigating factors, however, such as extreme age of youth, ignorance and lack of an express pact with the devil” (Midelfort 159). Nevertheless, the two hapless witches were executed in December (Midelfort 160).

The witchcraft trials might have ended there if the town had not been so thoroughly aroused. Accusations and rumors continued to spread. The excited children began to tell of other adults whom they saw at the sabbaths. In a temperate consultation the Tübingen legal faculty on December 20, 1683, considered the 31 children now involved, ranging from three to 17, and argued that most of them were either dreaming or simpleminded. Those who confessed real crimes like blasphemy were to receive canings before their classmates. A day of lectures was to be set aside for the clergy and magistrates to tell the schoolchildren how horrible the devil’s service was. Referring to the stupendous witch panic in Sweden, the faculty urged strict prohibition of rumor and the reporting of all infractions. Despite this good advice, the faculty had to admit that several adults had serious indicia against them, and that they could be examined under torture (Midelfort 160).

Wood-Wives and Sokggra

 

The Wood-Wives are fairy species that can be found in old forests and dense groves. They are petite and dress in beautiful clothes, have long claws, and are often followed by violent whirlwinds. They are so strongly connected to the trees and the forest that it is said if a branch is twisted untill the bark comes off, a Wood-Wife dies.

Hunters are most at risk to be attacked by the Wood-Wives. In heavily infested forests, to get home safely, the hunter must first offer up part of his catch. If propituated, like many fairy species, they can be helpful. If for example a Wood-Wife asks a human to fix her broke wheel barrow and it is done nicely, the wood chips that she leaves as payment may turn to gold.

Like many ancient nature spirits, Wood-Wives abhor human hubub. Churches with thier loud bells and all destructive machienery in the forest threatens thier very exsistence. Wood-Wives destest the use of caraway seed in backed bread, since they are often lured from the forest by the smells of baking, they may apporach people in thier kitchens. It is in the cooks best interest to prepare an extra loaf for thier visit. But Wood-Wives refuse loaves that have been pricked with a fork or punctured with a finger, and never accept caraway seeds.

The Sweedish Skoggra is almost identical in apperances to the Wood-Wife, but she is often found in prowl mode. When she encounters a lumberjack or hunter she will attempt to seduce him, or perhaps in a different mood, will cause him to loose his way.

*Image info: The Woodwife, Artist: Unknown

The Beckh Boys

Velltin Bechkh, a tailor in Mergentheim, complained that his sons had been suspended from school without sufficient reason. Beckh asked Johann Caspar to look into the matter. An Inquisitio was set up on July 6 and 7, 1628 into the three sons of the tailor. Eleven children, ranging in age from eight to fifteen, gave testimony. According to the evidence, the two older sons had, at the very least, pretended to have had dealings with Satan. They allegedly attended witches’ dances, and the oldest (aged fifteen), claimed to have learned “whole handfuls” from the devil. All three sons agreed that they were called Schlotthetzen (literally, “chimney drivers” or witches).

It is also reasonably certain that the eldest son, Gerog, had publicly sung indecent songs about the Holy Ghost and had seduced a maid. When questioned concerning these charges, the boys admitted their reputation but claimed that they were joking when they spoke of learning from the devil and of flying to sabbaths, Georg was especially adamant that he had spoken “nicht im ernst sonder Narrenthey.” He admitted his dealings with the maid but insisted that “God knows I am free from witchcraft.” His younger brother, Gottfried, was not so firm. Under questioning, the boy denied that his mother flew to dances, but soon confessed that he himself had flown by use of a black salve smeared on his pitchfork. Under pressure he even denounced two women and one man, a tailor