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Agriculture formed an essential basis of the pre-modern economy, and while the early modern period in Britain saw increasing urbanisation, it was in the fields and country lanes that many cunning-folk remained – both in actuality and in the popular public imagination – tending animals, crops, and the humans that farmed them: from folk magical means of the cultivation of soil to the cunning husbandries of raising and caring for beasts, trees, and crops; and from astrologically-based almanac instructions on gelding lambs and coppicing woodlands to wise cattle-keeping and the talismans and techniques of making herds prolifically fertile.
In this class contemporary cunning-man and historian of magic Dr Alexander Cummins will guide us through these workings of the earth and the tending of its creatures. For we find plenty of workings for prosperity and protection of fruit and fowl alike – never mind the veiled and profound mysteries of bee-keeping. Along with the herbs to hang about barnhouses and outhouses alike to guard against witches, elves, revenants, and other malefic spirits, we will consider both folkloric and high occult philosophical considerations for gathering plants themselves: from timings of planetary hours and ‘lucky days’ to cardinal directions to face, charms to recite, and other observations of empowerment and alignment while gathering, including pacting with – even ‘marrying’ – potent plants.
We will also delve into the rich treasury of traditional English harvest lore: from feeding the plough to offerings of first fruits, sheaf-dollies, processions and pageantries of the May Queens, and even modern feminist readings of gleaning and related community field-keeping activities.
In considering such cunnings of ecology, environment, and landscape as well as the agricultures ploughed into and out of these natural magical dynamos, where wilderness rubs up against the domesticated, we may come to understand what being ‘close to the earth’ actually resembled beyond pastoral romanticism and post-modern idylls of nostalgia, and learn some fruitfully connected ways and means for our contemporary crafts.


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! Class recording links will be emailed out within 3-5 business days of purchase. You will have access to the class recording for 30 days. You must be 18 years old to purchase this class recording. There are no refunds or exchanges.
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The Lay of the Land: Agricultural Magic in Traditional English Cunning-Craft

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