Friday, January 5, 2007


The often misinterpreted word 'witchcraft' often sends shivers down the spine of those who have, for centuries, misunderstood it. It conjures images of grim tales of voodoo, possession, sorcery, diabolical summonings, curses and witches entertaining monstrous apparitions. Many of the 'satanic panics' have been nothing more than media conjuration whereas the fascination of white magic has been somewhat clouded by the imaginary dark blanket of so-called devilish cults. Yet, during the famous witch trials of many centuries ago, there were indeed cases in witch so-called 'witches' and sorcerers were accused of cavorting with demons and raising familiars.

Condemnation of Edmund, Earl of Kent on political grounds; had obtained important information from a demon through the mediation of a friar. Edmund is brother of Edward II (murdered). Condemned in Wincester Parliament of 1330. Kent had heard that Edward was still alive and his consequent action in Edward's interest was the pretext for his conviction and execution on March 19. Whole affair engineered by Roger Mortimer (lover of Queen Isabella), young Edward III not yet in charge. On March 24 Mortimer sent a letter to the pope explaining and justifying the crime; declared that Edmund had got the info from a demon conjured by a friar. When Mortimer was condemned the following November, the parliament surely had the matter of the demon in mind, saying that he managed to convey the report that Edward was still living to Kent, whereupon the Earl investigated the matter, ' all the good means he knew of'.

During 1534 the Holy Maid of Kent vented her unhappiness in regards to a tree upon some land. Such an outburst was taken by the then King Henry as an insult. Allegedly, the maid had also told the king that should he ever leave Queen Catherine, the he would die within a few months. Of course, such remarks led to the maid's persecution.

In 1586 a Joan Cason was accused, via 'witchcraft', of killing a child named Joan Crook. She was tried at Faversham and accused of having 'familiars. She was sentenced to death.

1671 saw a Woolwich widow tried in Kent for feeding, entertaining and employing a familiar that looked like a rat.

In 1692 three women were accused of consulting and covenanting with strange creatures in the shape of mice.

Whilst the witch-craze sparked many unnecessary executions, several centuries later the public and the press still interpret 'witchcraft' as something sinister, despite the fact that it's difficult to often siphon out the yobs from the vandals, the drunken rock fans from the sicko's, with a majority of these not having a clue about either white or black magic.

During the late '60s at Fordwich a tortured kitten was discovered and reported to a local newspaper. The poor creature bore marks to suggest it had been burned, and near the body black candles were found, and according to the media, a 'witches circle'. A few years after several animal skulls were found in the chimney of a Chatham house. One of these skulls was coloured black, and a museum owner identified it as possibly belonging to a boar or a bear which have been used for ritual purposes.

The village of Cobham has a dark history, particularly in the area of the mausoleum buried in the woods. A dating couple allegedly uncovered a red circle daubed on the ground the the sacred hexagon of Solomon in the centre. A gored rabbit and an eerie doll were also found in the area. The press had a field day.

Around the same time coffins were desecrated in the Canterbury area after which the police acknowledged was indeed the work of drag-crazed vandals, although how they knew this is any one's guess, but I guess that anyone can be blamed as a satanist!!

During the '80s a local 'witch' was driven from her home in Medway , and the haunted area of Blue Bell Hill has often been associated with dark magic, although white witches often operate in the area and yet those who stumble upon such practices are obviously dramatic enough to run to the press and the police with tales of sorcery and ritual. White witch Kevin Carlyon has visited the area on numerous occasions, legend even has it that the Kits Coty house was formed by four witches on a dark and stormy night, although this is simply untrue, yet very eerie folklore. Just like much of what Wicca is about. And whilst the Devil may truly exist, those that practice witchcraft have a true connection with nature, and NOT the underworld.

No comments: