Even after the practice of witch-hunting and persecution began to wane, malefic sorcery was greatly feared as a baneful and pernicious influence, particularly in rural areas during the 18th and 19th century. The arsenal of folk-magical armaments against such powers included charms, spells, rituals, sigils, and magical squares, as well as the use of magical herbs and words of power. Many of these practices resembled in method and materiel the very evil they were meant to combat, embodying in themselves a savour of the sinister and demonic.
Accessing a diverse array of historical and folkloric sources, A.D. Mercer's The Wicked Shall Decay gathers together a collection of obscure British magic featuring curses, anti-witchcraft spells and hedges against malevolent power. Greatly treasured in their day for their efficacy, these rites document a widespread tradition of ‘dark folk magic’ of value to the research of both scholar and esoteric practitioner alike.
The Wicked Shall Decay is 168 pages, printed offset litho in red and black inks on heavy stock, with 31 woodcut illustrations throughout.
Wicked Shall Decay: Charms, Spells and Witchcraft of Old Britain
Three Hands Press 2018. New paperback; 192 pages