In this Lunar Shelf post, I’m going to recommend you this awesome book full of folklore, magic, superstitions and customs: A Treasury of British Folklore by Dee Dee Chainey, one of the co-founders of Folklore Thursday!
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Folklore of the Land, Plants, and Animals
The first part of the book is dedicated to the land, plants, animals, and other things directly related to Nature. So, if you are used to working some Natural Witchcraft, this part is going to offer a lot of information for you!
Surprisingly, at least for me, in the very first part, Dee Dee writes about the way people celebrate the journey of the Sun, that is, in our “language”, the Witches’ Sabbats and the Wheel of the Year! So we find here rich information on folklore and traditions related to Samhain, Beltane, Yule and all the other celebrations from a different point of view!
This part also contains some legends on stone circles and on some other “natural formations” such as mountains, valleys, and rivers. Many of them have Pagan origins and some, due to time, are attributed to the Devil. In fact, the Devil must be a really creative being!
Here you’ll also find some intriguing creatures like this Water Kelpie above, a horse-like creature which carries people to rivers to drown them. It reminds me of the “Brook Horse” from Sweden, maybe there’s a relation.
On the brighter side, you’ll also find some information on plants, like this Mandrake root to get rid of pain, and other ones.
Witchcraft, Magic and Heroic Tales
Now comes the best part – but also the darkest one. In the beginning of this part we learn about many heroes and giants. There’s much more than Arthur and Robin Hood!
Then, we are presented with Gods, Goddesses, Demons and other beings. So yes, we find the Green Man, Dôn – a Welsh equivalent to Danu – and the fact the “Many bridges, hills and dykes in Britain are named after the Devil.”
And did you know that Fairies “amuse themselves by grooming goats” on Friday? By the way, if you are into Faries, also check the book “Fairies by Yoshitaka Amano“.
Now on Witchcraft! Talking about witchcraft immediately takes you to old European customs and traditions. Here specifically, there is a lot of information on how Witches used to work on Great Britain and how they became “a public enemy” for the society, starting the witch hunts.
The last chapter of this part is on ghosts! I found very interesting the Black Shuck story. I love dogs and wolves and I guess I would try to befriend one. Yes, I would!
The Milestones of Life
In this last part, we find a lot of things related to giving birth, growing up, getting married, living and dying and etc. This part contains many spells and incantations for getting married! So, if you’re in need, you can try some of these!
Talking about getting married, avoid Thursday. On page 119 there are these verses:
Monday for health,
Tuesday for wealth,
Wednesday for the best of all,
Thursday for losses,
Friday for crosses,
And Saturday for no luck at all.
And, why would you get married on a Thursday nowadays? On Thursday we have #FolkloreThursday on Twitter! No time for getting married at all!
And remember that “presenting your love with a knife will cut the bond between you”, so if you marriage fails, you know how to be free!
This part also contains some mermaids and sea witches who used to cause storms and sink ships. I wish I could cause some storms…
To end, we learn many tips on how to avoid death and how to prevent someone else from dying. Of course, by learning these, we learn the very opposite too!
Folklore and Magic
So this is a Treasury of British Folklore by Dee Dee Chainey, a collection of folklore, magic, superstitions, customs and traditions on Great Britain. I highly recommend this book so we can understand more about these customs and some origins of celebrations and traditions we know today.
If you intend to buy this book after reading my post, please use the link I provide below. By using it you collaborate with my website and you pay nothing extra for it!
A Treasury of British Folklore
[su_service title=”A Treasury of British Folklore” icon=”icon: book” icon_color=”#9722b7″]Title: A Treasury of British Folklore: Maypoles, Mandrakes & Mistletoe
Author: Dee Dee Chainey
Illustrator: Joe McLaren
Publisher: National Trust
A Treasury of British Folklore on Pinterest
Below you’ll find an image to save to your Pinterest folders!