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Tue, Oct 10


Online Event

To Every Beast of the Field: Animal Magic in English Cunning-Craft with Dr Alexander Cummins

To Every Beast of the Field: Animal Magic in English Cunning-Craft with Dr Alexander Cummins
To Every Beast of the Field: Animal Magic in English Cunning-Craft with Dr Alexander Cummins

Time & Location

Oct 10, 2023, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM EDT

Online Event

About the event

Animals in pre-modern European understandings signified potent natural magics. Long traditions of reading passions across species barriers – from the choleric nature of the wolf to the melancholy of the cat –made proverbs and parables out of the actions and interactions of the various beasts of the field. The animals had lessons to teach us.

These lessons were heeded in various ways by the traditional folk magics of the various wise-women, village wizards, service magicians, and local spiritworkers collectively called cunning-folk: from reading meanings from these animals’ appearances in waking and dreaming life to the cunning uses of their bodies, and even the conjuration of spirits in their forms.

In this class, contemporary cunning man and historian of magic Dr Alexander Cummins will consider how animals appear and interact in the traditional English folk magics of cunning-craft. Along with close readings of the professional working-books and spell-collections of early modern practitioners, we will also consider historical and magical contexts for such animal magics.

We will examine how medieval bestiaries further embellished moral readings of the meanings and magics of animals as both living mandala and repositories of occult virtue; while medical, alchemical, and grimoiric texts experimented with animal components according to principles of sympathiaand contagion to affect positive changes as well as regulate instabilities within their patients, their magical operations, and indeed for the cunning operators and their clients. A resurgence in heraldry over the early modern period further intertwined beast in a web symbols, significations, sorceries, and solutions.

We will also explore how the Protestant Reformation re-cast the natural world in subtly more sinister lights, especially with regards to spectral hounds, diabolic horses, witches’ familiar imps, and wider religious influences on how animals were worked with (and even worked for) in pre-modern cunning-craft.

Three cunning beasts will also be given particular attention and homage: the fleet-footed fox; the cat, beloved of witches and monks alike; and the darting hoarding world-tree-climbing squirrel.

About the Presenter:

Dr  Alexander Cummins is a contemporary cunning-man and historian of magic.  His magical specialities are the dead (folk necromancy), divination  (geomancy) and the grimoires. His published works include Nazarth:  Pillars of Gladness (Hadean Press, 2022), An Excellent Booke of the Arte  of Magicke (Scarlet Imprint, 2020) with Phil Legard, The Starry Rubric  (Hadean Press, 2012), A Book of the Magi: Lore, Prayers, and Spellcraft  of the Three Holy Kings (Revelore Press, 2018) and several chapbooks and  anthology contributions through Three Hands Press, Hadean Press and  Scarlet Imprint. He is a frequent speaker on the international circuit,  co-hosts the podcast Radio Free Golgotha, and is a founding editor of  Revelore Press’ Folk Necromancy in Transmission series. Dr Cummins’  work, classes, and services can be found at and in class archives.

THIS CLASS IS ONLINE ONLY! The class link will be emailed to you in your registration confirmation. The class recording link will be emailed to you within 3-5 business days of the conclusion of the class and will be available to you for 30 days after the conclusion of the class.

By purchasing this ritual you agree to the following Non Disclosure:

This Agreement is between The Cauldron Black (“OWNER”); and the Purchaser (“RECIPIENT”). WHEREAS, OWNER has developed through substantial effort, research, time, and expense certain inventions, design concepts, methodologies, technical know-how, copyrightable material and trade secrets directed and related to this class.  (“INFORMATION”); WHEREAS, OWNER desires to disclose the INFORMATION on a confidential basis to RECIPIENT.  The OWNER wishes to maintain the confidentiality of the INFORMATION and the protection of OWNER'S intellectual property rights. NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the  mutual promises, covenants, and conditions contained herein, the sufficiency of which is hereby acknowledged, the parties agree as follows:  I. CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION A. OWNER agrees to disclose  INFORMATION to RECIPIENT for the purposes of an online class.  B. RECIPIENT agrees to receive such INFORMATION and to refrain from  copying, disclosing, using, selling, or offering for sale any and all of said INFORMATION. RECIPIENT agrees to keep confidential and refrain from disclosing any and all of the INFORMATION, and to take all necessary and reasonable steps to prevent unauthorized disclosure or  use  of any and all of the INFORMATION.  Failure to uphold this NDA may result in legal action.


  • To Every Beast of the Field

    +$0.88 service fee



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