Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Confessions of a Witch

     OK this may ramble a bit, so I should get yourself a cup of coffee. And maybe a biscuit, or cake - yes, cake is always good.
     See?! And I haven't started yet!
     Alright: You know how every day I try and find something Witchy or Pagan or magical or interestingly alternative to put up on our Facebook page? Well I hope you do because most of the folk who read this will have come via the Facebook page.
     Oh heck, this is so hard!
     Right, well today is the anniversary of Issobel Gowdie's first confession of Witchcraft at Aulderne in Scotland 1662 'without torture', a happening so rare that it was noted in the records.
     And her confessions (four in all) are so detailed that they are compelling reading even after all this time. Not to mention the fact that she gives details of spells and magical workings which are either unique, or recorded for the first time. So little written about Witches historically, is in their own words, but the 'confessions' is purely the words of Issobell Gowdie, none of the questions posed to her are given, we can only surmise those from the answers of Issobell which are recorded.
     The transcripts of her four confessions can be found in the appendix to a rather dry three volume set of books recording Scottish legal cases from the 17th century (Ancient Criminal Trials of Scotland by Robert Pitcairne). They are stuck in the appendix because they are outside the remit of the main work, but they obviously fascinated the author and he felt they were so bizarre and intriguing that they had to be recorded.
     Also the author of those volumes was being sponsored in his work by another well-known author, Sir Walter Scott, and Pitcairne knew that Scott collected examples of folk lore and Witch magic (which Scott eventually published in his own book Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft where he makes reference to Isobel Gowdie).
     Last year I came across those three volumes with their incredible appendix and decided that perhaps it was time to give modern Witches the chance to read the words and learn some of the spells of a historical and almost legendary Witch. So I put them together in a book, made the language and spelling more accessible, added extensive notes and extra chapters expanding on the practise of magic and Witchcraft as revealed through the confessions, and in modern Witch practise.
     So here is my dilemma: I have written this book about Issobell Gowdie which relates directly to the post I have put on Facebook. So this is the ideal place to get some publicity for my book - so do I do it?
     Aaaaaargh! No, I didn't, because I find it soooo difficult to do the self-publicity thing. I come from a generation who were told 'It is wrong to boast.' and publicising my own stuff feels like that.
     So instead of a simple line at the bottom of the post telling you 'Issobell Gowdie - Confessions of a Witch' by C P Sempers is £5.95 and available from Raven, you have to read all this

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