Tag Archives: magick

Britain’s Wicca Man – A documentary about Gerald B. Gardner.

‘But the single most powerful idea I take away from wicca is this – Where as other faiths say “This is what you should feel about the divine.” This one says… “This is how you can feel divine…”
~ Ronald Hutton

Hosted by Ronald Hutton

This is brilliant, I very much enjoyed watching it.

I’ve met Ronald Hutton and also been to Atlantis bookshop in London, meeting Geraldine Beskin as well. I love that they mention the Cone of Power from 1940, I think it’s such a fascinating, forgotten and ignored part of the Battle of Britain’s history. John Belham-Payne has done a wonderful job guarding Gerald’s rituals tools.

~ DARACHA~

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Ten films with pagan and witch themes

There are loads of them! But I will discuss 10 here that are worthy of a bit of attention. Firstly, I won’t mention the commonly popular witchy ones – ‘The Craft’ and ‘Practical Magic’ in this run-down. This list will comprise some rather obscure films that many of you may never have heard of due to their age. At the end of this post, I’ll list a few more that fit in the themes.

1. The Wicker Man, 1973

Yeah I know. Let’s get this one out of the way. But I can’t go past without mentioning it, coz really, it’s a masterpiece in my opinion. It’s perhaps one of the most famous pagan films out there and now has a cult following. People even tour the sites where it was filmed. A 30th anniversary DVD was released in 2003 into a lovely Director’s Cut – this year it’s 40. And still the best. The Nicholas Cage version of 2006 is not really worth watching, and I’ve not seen ‘The Wicker Tree’ yet, but not heard good things, however, I’ve known the story for years as I bought the novel Cowboys for Christ when it was released. Summerisle is idyllic, if you were a visiting pagan, you’d probably be very welcome (bringing in new blood and all), but if you were a Christian PC intent on forcing people to spit upon their own religion and beliefs, you might not see another day.

2. The Dark Secret of Harvest Home, 1978

The novel The Harvest Home by Thomas Tryon has elements of Summerisle within it. It is set in New England in a small isolated village called Cornwall Coombe, where a natural form of farming still occurs, and so do the festivals from the old country. The protagonist who moves with his family to Cornwall Coombe finds that the village has secrets and they are only known by the women, who appear to run the village, along with its matriarch Widow Fortune, played by the aged but fabulous Bette Davis. Outsiders are welcome, but only if they accept the villages ways, and if you are a villager, you aren’t exactly safe either – accept ‘the ways’ or be ostracized, be careful what you say and do. An interesting take on the Harvest Lord/Sacred King archetype as written in The Golden Bough by J.G Frazer. A brilliant production, however the VHS was edited heavily from close to 4 hours down to 2 hours. Yet to be remastered and released in full glory.

3. The Sorceress (Le Moine et la Sorciere), 1987, French

‘Sorceress’, or ‘The Monk and the Sorceress’, is a French film focusing upon a story from the Middle Ages. Dominican monk Etienne arrives in a small village looking for heretics in the area, because, as you know, the Church believe heretics to be absolutely everywhere. He finds a place where the local folk and their priest live with superstition and magic and accept the healing remedies and advice of the ‘forest woman.’ I thought this film would be terrible, watching the Church kill and destroy the only link to herb remedies and magic in the cunning woman, but I was pleasantly surprised, as a monk realises his own errors of his own life. Also notice the scene where he cannot for the life of him, carry a baby properly.

4. Eye of the Devil, 1966

A film by MGM, and assisted with the help from Alex Sanders himself, ‘Eye of the Devil’ is another take upon the Harvest Lord/Sacred King. Filmed at Hautefort in France (where ‘Ever After’ was also filmed), it stars Deborah Kerr, David Niven and Sharon Tate, the latter whom we know met a tragic end by the Manson Family in 1969. A prefect thriller in devilry, a brilliant film, you should all see it.

5. Apprentice to Murder, 1988

For all your pow-wow magical needs, watch this film. Apart from the bit about murder. Ignore that bit. Donald Sutherland plays a doctor obsessed with satanic influences upon the Pennsylvanian town, and performs folk rituals using hex magic. He influences a young boy to help him, create his hex symbols and educate him. It is based on a true tale.

6. Haxan: Witchcraft through the Ages, 1922

A nice old black and white silent film, showing what people believed what went on with witches and satanic worship in the old days. Really, it’s old religious drivel, and couldn’t be further from the truth. Still a great film – check out the awesome devilish tongue-work performed by its writer, Benjamin Christensen who plays the devil in it, and witches riding brooms over roof-tops in 1920s style special effects. Also a fantastic Black Mass performed half way through the film.

7. Bell, Book and Candle, 1959

Here’s a bit of Hollywood. James Stewart, Jack Lemmon and Kim Novak star in this romantic film about witches living in New York City. Several critics and witches out there don’t like the way Kim Novak as Gillian, a free-spirited woman, gives up her magical powers and stalwart, mysterious attitude, for love. Many witches cannot fathom it in our world. It was the late 50s and apparently that was all women wanted to eventually do – get married – or so the men thought. Still a delightful film, I love the beatnik bar ‘The Zodiac Club’ and Jack Lemmon playing the bongos, their Aunt Queenie, and Pyewacket the cross-eyed Siamese cat, Gillian’s familiar. I love how Queenie, Gillian and especially Nicky (Jack Lemmon) absolutely love magic and being witches. It’s clear they feel ‘above’ the rest of the human race.

8. The Moon Stallion, 1978 (6 part series)

While this is not exactly a film, but a television series like ‘The Dark Secret of Harvest Home,’ it goes for the length of a film, so could be viewed that way. Set in the Edwardian era, and exploring the Berkshire landscape of the Uffington White Horse, there is a very British Pagan sense to it all, with a mention of the Moon Goddess, Wayland the Smith, and the Wild Hunt. It’s a perfect blend of myth, magic and power, with Sarah Sutton playing the blind maiden, who respects the ‘old ways,’ probably thanks to her archaeologist father. Nice to see David Haig as the young magician, Todman (toadman) and a youthful Caroline Goodall too. Hail the Moon Goddess!

9. The Witches’ Bottle, 1975

You can always rely on Thames Television for supplying some excellent British spooky productions in a quality that can never be replicated. This short episode from season 1 of the Shadows series was written by none other than Stewart Farrar. Of course, there is a mention of Matthew Hopkins, the Witchfinder General of the 1640s. And the spirit of a burned witch. Two teenagers do a pleasant bit of exorcism by casting circle to help out a deceased witch. All good spooky 1970s fun.

10. Robin of Sherwood, 1984-6

I can’t go past the final one without mentioning Robin of Sherwood. An incredibly pagan series, and if you are a lover of classic 60s, 70s and 80s style budget filming and music, then you’ll accept this one perfectly. There are three seasons and two Robin Hoods. A brilliant suitable soundtrack by Clannad, this series makes modern day British pagans proud, as Herne the Horned One is featured a lot, as Robin Hood, Son of Herne, helps people oppressed by the nobility. That’s just how Robin Hood works in general. The fact that he says ‘blessed be’ a lot makes any pagan girl giggle helplessly. That, and it does not seem to matter that Michael Praed and Jason Connery have mullets – they are too beautiful to be laughed at. Even men have agreed with this.

Of course, there a loads more films, television shows and animations out there that cover, or have snippets of the themes of paganism and magic. More often than not there is no mention of paganism, the old Gods, and witches in some stories, but they’ll mention magic, as it’s not such a bad word. Below, there are loads of productions with the themes, but there’ll be far more that I have not added – I can’t keep up, with all the CGI possibilities of today, there is so much more out there, and I’ll admit I have not added to the list in a while because of that fact. I’ll bet there are more productions I have missed on this list, some will be so obvious, I’ll be ashamed to not to have added it, but feel free to mention them in the comments, giving release date as well, so as people can Google them. Some films out there are just horrors, and don’t do the subjects justice.

Paganism and tradition

The Wicker Tree (2012)
A Walk in the Clouds (1995 – Keanu Reeves)
Dancing at Lughnasa (1998 – Meryl Streep)
Stara baśń: Kiedy słońce było bogiem – ‘An Ancient Tale: When the Sun was a God’ (2003 – subtitled)
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001)
The Wicker Man (2006 – Nicholas Cage)
Chocolat (2002 – Juliette Binoche)
Children of the Stones (1976 – 7 parts)
Elidor (1995 – 6 parts – BBC series – by Alan Garner)
Earthfasts (1994 – 6 parts – by William Mayne)
Dinotopia The Movie (2002)
Dinotopia the Series (2003-4, 13 episodes)
Flight of the Dragons (1980 animation)

Magic, Witches & Wizards

Harry Potter (all seven films)
Practical Magic (1998)
The Craft (1996)
Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)
The Worst Witch (1985 – Fairuza Balk)
Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989 – anime)
The Witches (1990)
The Advocate (1991 – Colin Firth)
Hocus Pocus (1993)
The Mists Of Avalon (2000)
Howl’s Moving Castle (2005 – anime)
Snow White: A Tale of Terror (1996 – Sigourney Weaver)
Like Water for Chocolate (1993 – subtitled)
4 Rooms (1995, 4 parts to film, 1st part about witches)
Sleepy Hollow (2000)
Big Fish (2004)
Bewitched (1964 – 1972)
Catweazle (1970 – 1971, 2 seasons)
The Worst Witch series (1998 – 2002, 4 seasons)
Sabrina the Teenage Witch series (1996 – 2003)
Charmed (1999 – 2006, 9 seasons)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997 – 2003, 8 seasons)
Angel (1999 – 2004, 4 seasons)
Wyrd Sisters (1997 – 6 part cartoon)
Guinevere Jones (2002)
Merlin (2008 – 2012, 5 seasons)
The Legend of the Seeker (2008 – 2010, 2 seasons)
The Witches and the Grinnygog (1983 – 6 parts)

Myth and Fairytales

Dragonslayer (1981)
Legend (1985)
Labyrinth (1986)
The Dark Crystal (1982)
Willow (1988)
Secret of Roan Inish (1995)
Princess Mononoke (1997 – anime)
Fairytale:  A true story (1997)
Apparition (1997)
The Owl Service (1969 – 70, 8 part)
Monkey (1978)
Jim Henson’s The Storyteller (1987 – 9 episodes)
Jim Henson’s The Storyteller (1997 Greek Myths – 4 episodes)
Pan’s Labyrinth (2006 – subtitled)
Hellboy 2: The Golden Army (2008)

Ghosts and Hauntings

Watcher in the Woods (1980 – Bette Davis, Lynn-Holly Johnson)
Spirited Away (2003 – anime)
Moondial (1988, 6 part series – BBC1)
The Clifton House Mystery (1978, 6 episodes)

Thrillers and Divination

Appointment with Fear (1985 – Michele Little)
The Gift (2001)
Warlock (1991)
The Ninth Gate (2000)
Anchoress (1993 – Natalie Morse)

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by | April 3, 2013 · 5:11 pm

Is there a cost to Magick?

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Magick (spelled as such in a paranormal sense) to people of witchcraft and even paganism, is the quintessential natural force that witches rely upon. It is used in many different forms and with different purposes. To people like Galloway and I, it’s a part of life itself and to speak of it is normal for us. But to others, and by others I mean the Masses (muggles, normal civilians) it is a bizarre topic that never crosses their minds unless they are watching Harry Potter.

Most normal people out there are too busy with their lives to even consider that magick could be a part of their life. A lot of people find it is in their life but they do not call it magick, perhaps it doesn’t even have a name. They may even call it The Secret, which is not a new concept. I think it is becoming a common thing for open-minded people out there to be aware of magick, though.

But how does one conjure up magick, how does one work it? How do you know what it even feels like? I always feel it within energy, whether I’m drawing down the moon, or dancing in a circle chanting, or even watching an inspirational film. My empathy raises magick, which are really my emotions – like I mentioned in my other post entry about emotionally summoning what I believed to be the Goddess at dawn one morning, during a passionate, desperate moment, did I feel an astounding surge of magick. In ritual, I’ve danced around a fire with friends, raising energy for a healing, and found my hands and fingertips warm and buzzing like electricity. I had to lay them on the shoulders of the recipient and visualise the energy going in. Sometimes it is more powerful than other times. For Witches, we know it’s all about intent – what are you aiming for and where will you put it once you’ve got it??

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As I said before, during an emotional moment, I have conveyed fraught emotions directed at the Universe. And it responded, but not in a bad way – it was a message and a view, or rather, feeling of the future. Other times, I have heard of instances where reaching out to the universe during a surge of emotion has worked out badly, which I will cover in a minute. I have also heard of magical spells being cast when the witch merely thought about what ingredients they needed to cast the spell, thus the spell already felt ‘done’.

I’ve heard many a story about magick being used to retrieve stolen items – successfully. Asking witches to do this for you can be tricky, especially when the spell works. Be prepared for that, ok! In one instance, a person asking witches to do the recovery spell ended up being freaked out by the spell working, and being freaked out by even the witches themselves, as the stolen items were returned…

Why anyone should be surprised that a spell works gets me.

And then there is the spell/working/emotional outburst to the universe that has ended in disastrous results. One of the most important stories I can think of for an example of the cost of magick, was the suicide of someone. Someone I know once had an ex-partner that she did not associate with. One day, she saw this particularly horrible ex at the shops, and, feeling uncomfortable about him, she returned home, threw up her hands and implored to the universe – ‘why is he not dead yet’ – she even recalls the surge in emotion and energy and felt that something had ‘happened’ as a result of that entreaty. Within 24 hours, the ex was dead by suicide.

Of course, the person making such a request to the universe was more in shock that everything happened so quickly, but more that it was in such a coincidental situation. She even expressed to be proud of it, in a certain way. I do not recall her saying it, but it probably was her intention to do harm, without thinking it would work. Before all you readers begin to feel that the deceased was a complete innocent victim of intent magick – read this next bit – the magical worker in question attended the funeral days later, and met there person upon person who had been harmed, abused, and raped (including incestuous sibling rape) by this deceased individual to the point that the suicide was almost a blessing to those involved. Clearly the man had issues and perhaps had a moment where he could not deal with his life anymore. Could the universe assist in such wishes? I’m sure all of us have wanted people dead for a brief moment – not really thinking what that might mean, or that it could actually happen. I’m sure the person I knew did not think it would happen. Perhaps the magickal outburst of energy kick-started the Universe/Karma response toward the deceased.

Please don’t try this at home…

Perhaps it was coincidental. But it makes me wonder about the power of magick, also the power of the magician/witch/sorcerer that indulges in such magical workings. I think here, you almost need to realise how powerful your wishes could be. You may be able to work amazing magick, although your intent is the most important thing! It’s been said before – be careful what you wish for. Magick in ritual can be extremely intense, and you’ll need to know where you are directing that magick when you raise it. I was careful during a dark ritual once, where I had to break a oathbound committed relationship after a terrible break up, to NOT mention vengeful words upon the ex, but rather to think of myself, who had to heal from betrayal. I know the Gods heard me. It was a carefully constructed ritual and internal speech where no ill intent was put upon the guilty party. It all worked out for the best.

As we have seen in this post, magick, energy, the universe – whatever you call it, can come to you in the most bizarre situations and occurrences, so be aware!  And remember the Rule of Three. I have not knowingly dealt with such a rebound in the negative sense, but it can’t hurt to practise good intentions for good karma. In fact, I think I have dealt with it in the positive sense!

That’s what happens when you practise random acts of kindness upon, not just people, the earth and yourself, but the Universe as well.

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~ DARACHA ~

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