11 hours ago
In just over two weeks, I am starting my online Sourcebook Course examining Reginald Scot's classic text, the Discoverie of Witchcraft, offered once more through @wolf_and_goat.
Despite being written in an effort to discredit belief in magic as merely superstitious, Reginald Scot’s Discoverie of Witchcraft became an incredibly popular text with the very people Scot was trying to warn his readership about: magical practitioners!
The book became a staple in the modest libraries of folk magicians, and recent scholarship has demonstrated that this tome was in fact popularly received as ‘a treasure trove of magical information, providing spells, Catholic prayers, exorcisms, charms, talismans, and rituals on how to communicate with angels, demons, and the spirits of the dead’. One historian has even gone so far as to suggest that ‘Scot produced what amounted to the ﬁrst grimoire printed in the English language, and while he did so to prove the worthlessness of its contents he unwittingly ended up democratizing ritual magic rather than undermining it.’ It is for these reasons that I will take us through this source of traditional early modern English cunning-craft, tracing those interrelations of text and tradition.
Link to more information in the bio above.