The Black Toad. Gemma GARY, Michael Howard.
The Black Toad.
The Black Toad.

The Black Toad.

London: Troy Books, 2013. Fine Edition. Hardcover. Octavo. Eccentrically paginated. [ 140pp + xxviii full page photographic plates ], Half black leather over fine black cloth boards, leather spine is gilt stamped at sides with a double toad device, toad skin corners, gilt edges, burgundy ribbon marker, b&w in-text illustrations & frontis, bibliography and index. Housed in cloth bound silver illustrated slipcase, felt lined. The scarce "Fine edition" limited to 83 signed copies, signed by the author on the half title page, an unspecified limited edition. This copy includes a hand illustrated toadskin charm housed in small envelope with note inscribed by the author on matching paper: "A popular charm of protection - printed upon toadskin, a material hung from the cottage beams of Somerset witches, Gemma Gary, Midwinter 2013." From the publisher: "The Black Toad explores potent examples of the folk-ceremonial magical practices and witchcraft of the south-west of England; dealing especially with Devon and the author’s homeland of Cornwall. Within the West Country, the popular belief in witchcraft and its attendant charms, magical practices and traditions continued to be observed and survived long after such ways had faded in most other parts of the British Isles. Described within The Black Toad is a collection of some of the fascinating magical practices and lore of the West Country’s cunning folk and early modern witches; ways that have survived and evolved within the rarefied Craft of the area’s modern day witchcraft practitioners of the old persuasion. As this book affirms, these ways of the Old Craft and Cunning Arte include a belief in and working relationship with the spirit forces of the land, the Faerie, animal and plant lore, as well as the magical use of Psalms to cure or curse, the invocation of Christ and the power of the Holy Trinity." Contents include: Power and Preparation. Old Mother Red-Cap; Protections and defences, Cure-Charms and Protections against Ailment, Desires and Good Fortune Vision. Old Mother Green-Cap; Virtues of Trees, Infusions of Virtue, Curative Plant-Charms, Protective Plant-Charms, Plant-Charms for Love, Blackthorn Blessing-Ash, Plant-Charms for Animals. Old Mother Black-Cap; Curse-Magic and Blasting, Retaliation Magic and Counter-Blasting, Weather Witchcraft, Circles of Power In League with the Devil. A lovely copy in Fine condition housed in Fine slipcase. Item #61971

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