Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Victorian Witch

Keeping up with the spirit of things, I decided to google the phrase "Victorian American Witches." To my delight and astonishment, pages upon pages of articles were laid before me. No search engine is infallible, though, so some articles were not even remotely pertinent. However, the eighth article down on the first page gave me a short essay on the precise, generalized "history" of the practice and survival of American witchcraft in the Victorian Era.

"But Witchcraft did exist, and it can be said that it perhaps recovered due to this revision of thought. If industrialization never occurred, accusations of Witchcraft may have persisted. The fact that Victorians forgot about magic, black magic, Witchcraft, and “the devil” were beneficial to the Witchcraft revival of the 1900s. The modern magician or nature reverer may regularly consider industrialization a very bad thing, a curse upon the Earth and upon our way of life. But had science not triumphed, it is unlikely that there would be modern magicians and nature reverers of any kind whatsoever.
...
"Therefore, the Victorian age is not only important to world history, but can be considered an important part of our spiritual history as well.
"

Why is this particular time period in witchcraft of interest? Well, even if you only peruse my posts (I know, they are very lengthy), you will know that I have recently "joined" a loosely-structured anachronistic group here in New England. It is but a fledgling, now, but it will be great fun! The genres, as I have stated, are Victorian, Steampunk and Gothic Lolita. I have been told that Regency will also be accepted, as well Edwardian.
In all of the years back in grade school that I had written research papers on the "history" of witchcraft, never did I proceed past the very early American years; the "Burning Times" as they were called in Europe. Each year, I gained such a wealth of knowledge that I didn't even think to go on into the following centuries. Sure, I would mention the silliness of Hollywood and the remaining supposition by outsiders that we are Satan worshipers. But, when I think on it, I merely skipped over nearly 350 years! (Let's do a little math. I began writing my amateur, Pagan history papers when I was 14; in 1997. My Freshman and Sophomore years of high school would bring these pursuits to an end, as I had not the opportunity to continue in following history courses. The time span of the papers ranged from very early man, to the end of the Burning Times (1550-1650.) (As quoted below.)

"Although alleged witches were burned alive or hung over a five century interval -- from the 14th to the 18th century -- the vast majority were tried from 1550 to 1650."

Seeing as I hopped right up to Hollywood (an obsession I've had since early childhood), this left a 347 year gap in witchcraft history. So, in finding this article, though I plan to do some more research myself, I have realized that the Victorian era is even more comfortable for me than originally thought. I had assumed, as many witches in a Christian-dominated world that I would really have to hide my love of spirituality and nature. Then again, thinking of it just now, there was the Bohemian movement and the Victorians' version of "free love." I am far from being a Luddite, and who wants to live in poverty (though I know they did it as a statement)? Not I, but the right idea is there, and they were probably a spiritual crowd. I assume they may have been into Buddhism and Hinduism. Certainly, they may have had interests on Theosophy!
My point is: Yea! There is something else our group can do; seances, tarot readings and outings to Salem! No, but really my point is that I have a lot of research to do and am relieved to know that my spiritual set won't make immersing myself into the group difficult in any way.
That makes me happy.
Oh, yeah! I keep forgetting to tell and post pictures of my "new" sofa! Pictures will come, but I must tell you that it is perfect! The fellow who sold it to me said that his Antique Appraiser freind dated it from the 1920's. However, looking at the shape and style of her, I'd say more late-1800's to 1910's. The velvet is faded, as is expected, but maintains a lovely yellowed sage. Peeking out of the creases where the sun never touched lurks a gorgeous clay-blue with tones of seafoam green. Describing her does no justice. I shall simply have to charge my camera battery and upload some action shots! *~_^*
Also, lucky me, I ventured out to Jo-Ann Fabric yesterday with the intention of buying this pattern. Eventually, sooner rather than later, I will construct the ladies duster and post pictures, too. I knew that the President's Day sale was ending yesterday, and I had some coupons that I thought I'd use if I found anything else I'd like. I didn't end up buying material or anything, so I didn't use them. I digress, I didn't know, however, that the sale extended to patterns. Now, usually, their sales on patterns are pretty good. I bought this little beauty a week or so ago with the intention of making some nice Summer dresses. Half off! Very nice. How could I pass that up? So, imagine my surprise when I saw signs everywhere for Simplicity Patterns "5 for $5!" That's right; I bought that $17.95 pattern for $1.06. How providential! *^_^*

5 comments:

  1. Oooohhh...beautiful duster. An an action shot of yr couch would be nice ;)

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  2. Hi Renee! Thank you so much for coming by my place and posting on my "dream" post. :) I don't usually ask for help on things like this but this one disturbed me...and because I've had it more than three times it's telling me something. I'm just not very good with symbolism...ugh! Love this post about witchcraft in the Victorian times. I have this great book on witchcraft during the Victorian era (I can't remember the name of it) that might be of interest to you. I have read it...so if you're interested I could send it your way! :)

    xoxo

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  3. I know, Wizardess! Isn't it dreamy?! I'll proudly post once I've got one. *~_^*
    Vintage, wow! Three times, huh? I'll be glad to help if you post it. Or, if you'd rather email it to me, I'll take a look. But I'm not a perfect interpreter; I'm just lucky sometimes, I guess. Symbols can be fun to read if you look deeply. Really?! I couldn't ask you to part with your book! Sounds very interesting, though. *^_^*

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  4. I can't wait to see your couch. And those patterns are just lovely!

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  5. Batteries charging (finally!) as I type! Soon, my friends, soon. *~_^*

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