The poor & witchcraft.

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Forums -> Misc Topics -> The poor & witchcraft.

The poor & witchcraft.
Post # 1
Can anyone tell me, or suggest where to find information on how the poor and witchcraft are related? I might not be asking the question right (my apologies), so allow me to explain. I don't come from money, my grandparent (especially on my dads side) struggled day to day. My dads mother was widowed with 6 children of her own, and 2 family members children that was abandoned with her by the age of 31. I was raised with simple things like...chill a crocodiles tongue for insect bites. And to keep crocodile tongues by the door for burns or cuts. My entire life was filled with remedies, superstitions, lore, etc...Even to the point of doing divination with a needle and thread, and rolling an egg over a person to remove the negative. I have met others like this, and they also come from extremely poor backgrounds. Is there a connection here?
By the way... My Grandmother never called herself a witch, all she'd say is "I'm a wise old woman, that know what works".
Any book on this that might help me out?
Thank you in advance.
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Re: The poor & witchcraft.
By: Moderator / Adept
Post # 2
Many poor people do,indeed, depend on "household remedies", herbal cures, superstitions, even witchcraft. Simply because they could not afford to pay for a doctor! Many "old wives tales" were nonsense; but quite a lot did work to some extent. If I had a sore throat my grandmother would tell me to wrap a woolen sock around my neck for a few days. After " a few" days the sore throat would get better anyway! Was it the sock? Doubtful, but you never know!
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Re: The poor & witchcraft.
Post # 3
There does appear to be a connection, historically at least, with folk remedies, lore and magic being the province of common folk. Some experts (I think Ronald Hutton may have been one) have suggested that things like folk magic was considered beneath the upper classes and that they preferred ceremonial magic, while common folk would use whatever they had to hand.

I'd suggest looking more closely into the cunning folk tradition, especially figures such as Isobel Gowdie, Tamsin Blight, George Pickingill, Joan Wytte, etc.

Some suggested books are;
The Triumph of the Moon by Ronald Hutton
The Visions of Isobel Gowdie by Emma Wilby
Cunning Folk and Familiar Spirits by Emma Wilby
The Pickingill Papers by by W. Liddell and Michael Howard
Secrets of East Anglian Magic by Nigel Pennick
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Re: The poor & witchcraft.
By: Moderator / Adept
Post # 4
Pleased to meet you, Nykti! You live in just about the most magical place in England!
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