Medieval Torture Museum, St. Augustine

In the nation’s oldest city there is a new exhibition of replica and restoration torture implements popular from antiquity up to 1939 (the last public execution by guillotine). Even though the dummies are pretty kitschy and the fake torches very campy, the torture devices and demonstrations offer a boldly visual exposition on how barbarous humanity can be. Of course you KNOW I focused most of my attention here on the trial and punishment of witches and sorcerers, about which I was not disappointed. Contemplating on these instruments of brutality and pain is a very powerful way to remind yourself of the needless suffering religious tyrants have caused in the past, and will continue to cause in the future unless we stop them.

Shame mask for an eavesdropper
Collection of shame masks for different offenses, gluttony, gossip, eavesdropping, adultery and so on. A 16th century invention.
Clamps, chains, brands and the Breast Ripper (center)
The Pear of Anguish. Just Google it.
Heretic’s fork. This is what happens when your belief doesn’t match mine!

Catherine wheel. Particularly nasty, and used since ancient times
Iron Maiden. Did you catch their last tour? Ghost was opening for them it was spectacular. 

Young Witches in Britain, or The Golden Age of Witchcraft

Being a more “patriarchally” minded practitioner of magic, my opinion of Wicca has not always been a positive one. My rigid and narrow-minded Christian upbringing must have confined me to believing in a religion as valid, only if it had a mysterious and nebulous ancient origin. Wicca being a modern development (Thank you Mr Gardner), I took issue with what I perceived as artificial tradition.

I still don’t have much experience with Wicca apart from a bi-annual ritual gathering I attend, but I do appreciate it more now as I see it has inspired a new and growing revival of a modern brand of witchcraft. It is bringing young people back to nature, empowering women and the LGBT, and liberating society from the prison of the Church.

BBC Radio 1 released the short documentary below, interviewing five modern witches in Britain, who discuss the rising popularity of witchcraft in the West. We may truly be experiencing the dawn of a new Withcraft Revival, and that is definitely a good thing.

#witchesofinstagram