Tuesday 3 October 2023




As it's Halloween month I thought I'd tell you a bit more about some the research I've accumulated for my WIP on witches.

I'll start with pellars. A Pellar is a Cornish word and means someone who practises folk magic or white witchcraft. He or she would have been a healer, diviner, a breaker of spells. 

It was the tradition to visit a Pellar, once a year, usually in the spring, to get your "protection" renewed. 

There you would receive a written charm, or a small bag of earth, teeth or bones taken from a man's grave. These were to be worn around the neck to prevent any mysterious ailments supposedly brought on by bad witch craft. Sometimes you'd be given a blood stone or snake stone to wear as an amulet. These were small stones with natural holes forged by the sea. When we were kids we called them 'witch or hag stones". I have some hanging up on the back of my study door. 

Whether you believe in the magic or not they're fun to collect while beach combing on a sunny day with the sound of gulls and rolling waves in the background. 

If your cattle had been "ill-wished" or 'spellbound' you'd be given a special powder by the Pellar. 

It was a gritty substance called witch powder that looked very much like pounded brick. This must be thrown over the cattles' backs now and then to prevent bad luck. 

So if you're suffering from a mysterious ailment or your cattle are ill-wished, search out one of these charmers. They'll soon sort you out. 😊


Susan Price said...

I have some of those stones with holes, Sharon. My partner often presents me with another, and the words, "Don't say I never give you anything." -- I've always known them as 'seer-stones.' If you had second-sight and looked through the hole, you'd have a vision: either of the future or of something you couldn't otherwise know.
I've just taken a squint through one:-- the Tories are going to lose the next election!

Sharon Tregenza said...

Hi Susan, let's hope your 'seer-stones' are right. :)