review The Cunning Mans Handbook 109


  • Paperback
  • 556
  • The Cunning Mans Handbook
  • Jim Baker
  • en
  • 11 July 2019
  • 9781905297689

3 thoughts on “The Cunning Mans Handbook

  1. says:

    The Cunning Man’s Handbook by Jim Baker is an extremely ambitious book to write and the author should be applauded on that alone Coming in at 556 pages this book explores the history cosmology and magical practices of the Cunning Folks of Britain and America Baker shows how the Cunning Folks were magical practitioners with an Abrahamic worldview which permeated their culture and as such filtered their perception of reality and thus their magickBaker writes that “There was no independent or alternative “pagan” social component in England by 1550 at least Influences and adaptations from either pre Christian Britain or Greco Roman culture which were numerous either remained intellectually incoherent or generally had been modified to fit the Abrahamic pattern” In fact most of the Cunning Folks had strongly negative beliefs about witches their nature and what they did In the Cunning Folk’s mind they were the good guys and the witches were the bad guys As a non Abrahamic witch I didn’t find any of their beliefs offensive but instead found it vastly intriguing as there are parallels with Traditional Witchcraft beliefs just from a different side of the coinBaker takes a very academic approach to the subject of the Cunning Folk relying solely on historical information and primary sources without romanticizing or revising the past to fit any particular pre conceived narrative Many common misconceptions are dispelled and information clarified For example he writes “The Cunning Folk were not a homogeneous subculture consisting mainly of poor illiterate “hedge witches” but rather represented an extended continuum ranging from simple village or backstreet practitioners to uite sophisticated experts who could match the achievement of educated Renaissance magi” I personally had always thought of the Cunning Folk as poor uneducated healers on the outskirts of societyThe book is anything but a light read and took me way longer to read than most books but it was infinitely fascinating and greatly rewarding to do so The book provides the best showcase of the Cunning Folks their practices and their way of life – while also providing the most complete praxis on usable Cunning Folk Magick that anyone can get their hands on a magick that is almost 500 years old The book is full of healing geomancy treasure hunting astrology curses dream interpretation charms spells spirit conjuration and geomancy For those who are interested in historical magick or want to learn about a tradition that deeply influenced modern witchcraft this book will not disappoint you


  2. says:

    Not just a great collection of cunning man and wise woman materials representing the actual working methods of English conjure folk into the early modern era this book also presents an excellent overview of how these people actually saw themselves and their universe This is both and entertaining read for the amateur folklorist or historian of ideas it is also a valuable reference resource for today's working spiritual worker and freelance arcanist


  3. says:

    An extraordinary academic look at historic conjure and cunning men


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Jim Baker å 9 review

The Cunning Mans Handbook

Actices as a living tradition over a three hundred and fifty year span is explored in depth illustrating their practical and contemporary nature The analogous practices of African American conjure and root work are also discussed and offer insights into oral fragments of Cunning practices lost to history presenting a compelling example of how modernity modifies tradition Referencing dozens of Cunning men and women and their practices this work offers a uniue glimpse into magical history and the opportunity for readers to reclaim the practical essence of Cunning Magi

Free download Ò E-book, or Kindle E-pub å Jim Baker

The desire to understand magic in any specific cultural context is an intellectual puzzle not only for scholars but believers Jim Baker The Cunning Man's Handbook is a monumental work of phenomenal scope and scholarship a comprehensive and challenging exploration of the practices and beliefs of Cunning Folk in Britain and America between 1550 1900 their heyday Exploring the social and theological milieu of the period the author demonstrates the essentially Christian nature of Cunning practices presenting an illuminating discourse on the concept of magic and its perc

review The Cunning Mans Handbook

Eived methodologies Operating at the boundaries of the law and society between medicine and magic Cunning men and women occupied a liminal role as healers charmers and magicians Drawing from a huge range of sources the range of services offered by Cunning Folk is thoroughly expounded from divination through astrology and geomancy to dream interpretation from charms spells and curses to conjurations and treasure hunting As author Jim Baker states The focus here is on the practice of folk magic and divination for access to the preternatural The evolution of Cunning pr