Witchcraft

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St Bridget’s Day and the old Caillagh

On the Isle of Man every ditch had to be full of rain or snow on St Bridget’s Day so that the old Caillagh, or hag, could not gather brasnags or faggots (sticks) for firing. If she could lay in

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Caillagh ny Gueshagh / Caillagh ny Groamagh

Every ditch had to be full of rain or snow on St Bridget’s Day so that the old Caillagh, or hag, could not gather brasnags or faggots (sticks) for firing. If she could lay in a stock of firing on

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The Witch of Slieu Whallian

It was Midsummer Day, and the Peel Herring Fleet, with sails half set, was ready for sea. The men had their barley sown, and their potatoes down, and now their boats were rigged and nets stowed on board and they

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The Use of Dust in Magic

A hare, or rather a Witch in the shape of a hare, was crossing a field and stood still to stare at a team of horses employed in ploughing, when, to the horror of the ploughman, they instantly dropped dead

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The Burnt Besom

The following story was told last year by a man who is now living: “One morning as he was returning from courting – courting it should be mentioned was, and still is in the country districts, carried on at night

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Divination with Lead

A woman whom I knew in Ramsey, Mrs. C., practiced for her own benefit, and for others without payment, a method which is employed in England also.  She melted lead in a pan over the kitchen fire and dropped it

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Dance Horse, Dance!

A witch, or anyone knowing the necessary charm, or even the right pronunciation of the Manx word “giense!” (dance), could, as easily as the ringmaster in the circus, make a horse rear up and revolve on his hind legs. (source:

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Ailing Cows

In the case of animals ailing, herbs had to be boiled in some of their milk. This was supposed to produce wonderful results, described as follows by a man living at a place on the way from Castletown up South

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Völva, a Shamanic Seeress

A Völva or Vǫlva is a shamanic seeress in Norse paganism and a recurring motif in Norse mythology. The Old Norse word vǫlva means “wand carrier” or “carrier of a magic staff”. Collectively they are known as Völur. A spákona

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The Hare

The animal most intimately allied with magic in the Isle of Man is the hare, whose shape is often assumed by Witches than any other. A local lady wrote to the Rev. Sabine Baring-Gould in the latter part of the

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