The story behind …

THE SECRET PEOPLE by Melusine Draco

 Every book has a story behind the story of how it came to be written. It may be about a life-long passion, a personal journey, the need to share an experience or knowledge. It may have been fermenting in the brain for years, or sprung fully formed from a blinding epiphany.  Whether it be fact or fiction, sometimes the story behind the story is almost as interesting as the published book itself …

 The Secret People by Melusine Draco

Parish-pump witchcraft, Wise-women and Cunning Ways

 Much of what passes for ‘witchcraft’ today was everyday knowledge to our forebears, especially those who lived and worked in the countryside. Here were to be found practical household hints, remedies and family recipes that had been handed down from generation to generation, some still existing in the form of treasured journals and notebooks. There is, however, nothing fanciful or far-fetched about this information – in fact, The Secret People is a remembrance of times past and a preservation of ‘parish-pump witchcraft, wise woman and cunning ways’ adapted for use in the 21st century. It may also go a long way in helping those present generation pagans in search of an identity and answer the questions: Who am I? What am I?

Over the years I have also incorporated a great deal of this country lore into my books on witchcraft with a view to preserving the knowledge for future generations. Much of what even my grandparents’ generation once knew is now lost because it was never recorded for posterity.  The Secret People is an autobiographical and nostalgic trip back into the past where the things I’ve written about were still everyday happenings when I was growing up.

“The Secret People is all about the kind of practical folklore our grandmothers and great-grandmothers would have used in their daily lives when planting a cottage garden, foraging for herbs in the hedgerows, treating family ailments and making the most of what was around the house. It is also about the secret folklore they would have known, from love charms and fortune-telling to protection spells and magical cures. The book is both really useful and a delight to read. Mélusine said that it would take me on a trip down memory lane, and it certainly did.” Lucya Starza, author of Pagan Portals: Candle Magic and witch

“I’ve so looked forward to this book. It high time our old ways came to light again so that we can all remember and use them. Draco writes in a style that is easy to read and her knowledge of the old ways is enormous. Anyone who wants to get back into the old customs and traditions of Britain will find this book a source to be treasured.” Elen Sentier, author of Shaman Pathways: Elen of the Ways, shaman and wise woman

True there are numerous pagan books written about similar subjects but it is obvious that a large number of them don’t have the countryside in their blood and fail to reflect the magic and mystery of growing up in an unspoiled rural environment.  Strangely enough, these sentiments are often viewed as some form of elitism but I prefer to go back to the roots of learning than consult something that has been cobbled together from different popular titles without any true grounding in country lore.  Nevertheless, although The Secret People reflects traditions and customs that were usually thought of as a natural part of rural life, much of it can now be identified as integral elements of contemporary Wicca…but there is nothing in this book that cannot be transported into the towns and cities in order to make the urban witch’s quest for his or her pagan identity a little easier and more enriching

 Pagan Portals: The Secret People by Melusine Draco is published by Moon Books in e-book and paperback format.  ISBN: 978 1 78535 444 1 226 pages : Price UK£13.99 US$22.95

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