Saturday, 20 October 2012

A charm to find who has bewitched your cow!

Talking of bewitchment..
Is your cow acting strangely?
 Is she moody and depressed?
 If so she may be bewitched.
To find who has bewitched her put a pair of breeches upon 
the cow's head and beat her out of the pasture with a good 
cudgel upon a Friday, and she will run right to the 
witch's door and strike thereat with her horns.

Reginald Scott The discovery of Witchcraft 1584

As well as guarding your cattle against witches Reginald also gives advice on how to guard your children from witchcraft.
He (the devil) teacheth witches to make ointments of the bowels and members of children, whereby they ride in the air and accomplish all their desires. So as, if there be any children unbaptized or not guarded with the sign of the cross or orisons (uh?) then the witches may and do catch them from their mothers sides at night or out of their cradles... and after burial steal them out of graves and seethe them in a cauldron until their flesh be made potable.
So to guard against this a crust of salted bread under the baby's pillow will keep off witches but to be sure  hang garlic among the bedclothes. Though efficacious against baby stealers a knife jammed point upwards near the cradle is perhaps not to be recommended for babies ( also used to deter faeries) but the best way is to get the child christened as soon as possible.

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