Monday, August 22, 2011
Secrets of the Nameless Art
Secrets of East Anglian Magic
Nigel Pennick. Capall Bann
The Nameless Art as it is called in East Anglia has no orthodoxy or central text. It is a tradition that is fluid and ever changing yet at the same time remaining quite the same. East Anglia was once home to the Celtic Iceni tribe, the tribe of Boudicca who fought against the Romans. Later on it was taken over by Danes. Their royalty were called "Uffingas" or Wolf people. East Anglian magic is primarily Norse with several key differences. Being situated where it is East Anglia has seen many people come and go. Such people include Romans, Celts, Irish, Romani Gyspies and Jews.
In the earlier days Paganism existed side by side with Christianity. Shrines were shared by both groups and people even belonged to both tradition. Even symbols had meaning in both subset. The Battle Axe of Olaf was key. He was a Christian who died by a blow to the head from a battle axe. In both Pagan religions and Christianity it has meaning for protection. Paganism has never fully died out. Certain traditions have survived and others are being revived.
The Catholic Church tried to snuff out Paganism but was not successful. King John before the Magna Carta re institutionaliszed British pagan practices during his reign. The Protestant later banned Pagan and Catholic practice and labeled it all witchcraft.
Witch hunt in Anglia could be rather intense. Usually it was old women, the infirm, handicapped and other defenseless people that were rounded up and persecuted. The most noted Witch Hunter was Matthew Hopkins. He got paid for every witch he executed so he found as many as he could. He was notorious for his use of torture.
Many different magical groups have been operating in East Anglia. Some of them are closed groups open to initiates only. The Masons were definitely there. Of note is the "Horse Whisperers" they could tame any horse by whispering the magical word. To join them you had to be selected and you went through and initiation and training. Another group that required initiation was the "Bonesmen" they work magic with graveyard dust and bones. Part of the initiation called for the neophyte to examine a set of human bones. His job was was to determine whether they were noble bones, an Earl's bones or a a poormans bones. The Neophyte could not tell and so after death ones station in life meant nothing. Only character development counted.
The Gods and Goddesses are based on Norse mythos with several key differences. The main God is Tergamont the main sovereign. He is like Tyr save that his hand was not bit off by Fenris the wolf. His main day is Tiagunde or January thirteenth.. He is the god of great offense and defense.
Thor is the favorite over in Northern Europe over in East Anglia he is not as important. His bronze hammer or Mel destroy demon. Woden, a derivative of Odin is the God of Seers and runes. He is rather ambivalent so it can be tricky working with him. He is compared to Saint Nick as during the Yule he distribute gifts. He is also called the Devil as for the Wild Hunt that collects the souls of the dead.
Freya is the Goddess of sexuality, sensuality and magic. Drewary is her sacred form of sacred magic. Bale is a god derived from Baldur. May day and Bale fires are sacred to him. Then there is Phoebie the Sun Goddess and Lady moon. Saturn is also in their. Yarth is the name of the Earth Goddess, Way land is the god of technology and eliminating inability. Tom Hitchcraw is a blackened face giant who protects by wheel and axle. He is believes to come from the Celtic origin.
For a short book this volume is very complete. Nigel Pennick teaches the reader how to woodcraft magical materials. Warding your house and making talismans are also convered. East Anglian to this day still make use of witch bottles and herbs. For a good insight into traditional British magic I strongly advise reading this.
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