If you are a member of the Young Archaeologists' Club then you can use your 2015 pass to visit the Museum of Witchcraft for free. There are lots of other benefits of becoming a member of this scheme so if you know a historically minded youngster with a passion for the past then this could be for them.
If you're planning a visit the Museum in Boscastle and you want to know more about the local area, where to visit, where to eat, where to stay etc. then you should have a look at the Boscastle Chamber of Trade and Commerce website. Lots of great local businesses are listed. The Museum has its own page there and there is an events calendar so you can find out what is happening in Boscastle during your visit (our Halloween event is now on there) Have a look. http://www.visitboscastle.co.uk/business-directory/in_category/attractions/
The famous Mari Lwyd (Grey
Mare) will be visiting Boscastle, Cornwall
for the first time on All Hallow’s Eve.
Two Mari or Mares will be coming - Y Fari Troellog and Mari
Trecopr and they will be welcomed by Penkevyll
the Lands End Oss at approximately outside the Museum of Witchcraft. A
short ceremony or pwnco will be
performed to bring good fortune to the Museum and this will be followed by
music and dance outside. Everyone is
welcome to join in this, so bring your musical instruments and/or dancing feet!
Later on the Mari plus musicians will visit
the local hostelries to bestow their luck and revelry on the inhabitants!
Here are some wonderful photos to give you an idea about what it is all about and hopefully to intrigue you and encourage you to come along.
Simon recently flew to New York to meet with Jos A. Smith, who illustrated Erica Jong's 1980 book, 'Witches'. The museum will host an exhibition of Smith's original water colours for the book, when we re-open in the Spring of 2015. Joe will also be coming over for the launch of the exhibition, details of which will be posted in due course. Several of the images from the show will be available to buy as signed prints too, to help raise money for the museum.
If you aren't already a member of our Friends of the Museum of Witchcraft Boscastle organisation, perhaps you can be enticed by the line up of the next Friends event in November? Held in Boscastle, this is a chance to hear interesting speakers, meet like minded people and show your support for the Museum. This event is only open to Friends of the Museum.
Every month, we review a book from the Museum Library.
The Book on the
Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are
One of our American supporters, Walter Cambra, recently
donated a copy of the 60s classic of alternative philosophy, The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who
You Are by Alan Watts.
As the title suggests, Alan Watts discusses how society and
belief systems conspire to suffocate our awareness of our true relationship
with the universe. Much of what he says, for example about our dependence on
technology most of us don’t understand, is (perhaps depressingly) even more relevant
now than it was fifty years ago.
Strongly influenced by Indian Vedanta philosophy, he argues
that the distinction between the inner self and the outer universe is an
illusion – an idea that will strike a chord with many who take a mystical view
of magic. Rather than “a separate person caught up in a mindless and alien
universe” each of us is in fact “one particular focal point at which the whole
universe expresses itself.”
This is a slim book densely packed with challenging ideas,
and written in just the right tone of wry indignation to be provocative and
inspiring. At one point Alan Watts claims, “It is
symptomatic of our rusty-beer-can type of sanity that our culture produces very
few magical objects.” It is encouraging to think that our collection at the Museum
of Witchcraft shows there are
people trying to put this right at least!
It is Food Festival weekend here in Boscastle and the Museum of Witchcraft is taking part. Luscious Lucy Cornwall have set up their beautiful stall in the Museum shop/shrine area. Visitors have been buying jams, chutneys and syrups which are all handmade from locally foraged ingredients. The hots syrup drinks have proven particularly popular and come in a variety of flavours - rosehip, rose syrup and the very popular elderberry. A lovely hot drink to leave the Museum with and to enjoy while taking in the beauty of Boscastle Harbour. Come in tomorrow if you can.
We had a good turn out for our day of talks and discussion on West Country Folklore and Magic which was hosted in the Museum library by Simon Costin and Steve Patterson. There was an interesting consideration of the origins of folklore studies and a discussions of what folklore was. We were then taken on a journey through the calendar looking at festivals and events from Cornwall from the more well known (Padstow's Obby Oss) to the less well known (sparrow mumbling) The day was insightful and interesting but also relaxed and anecdotal - a very good balance! Everyone seemed to enjoy the day which finished with a look round the Museum. Thanks to Simon and Steve for this event and to Peter for organising the details of the day. Maybe we will hold another one (or something similar) soon...
For those of you who might have missed it (or don't live in the West Country) there is a lovely article in the Western Morning News magazine which profiles the Museum's Director, Simon Costin. The in-depth interview took place a month or two ago and the article can now be viewed online as well. The article starts at page 15.
Our candlelit evenings have proven very popular. If you are anywhere near Boscastle this weekend please pop in for a special evening visit to the Museum. If you go to the Food Festival we are offering £1 off all Museum entry tickets (on presentation of a valid Food Festival ticket) This offer is also available on Saturday night so after a day at the Festival you can enjoy a bargain night at the Museum!