The Unfamiliar Bazaar – a Reassuringly Peculiar Virtual Market

Anybody else itching for a good old-fashioned craft market? I am!

If, like me, you delight in discovering new art, love to support independent businesses, and frankly just enjoy the simple fun of browsing unique and hand-made wares, then The Unfamiliar Bazaar is exactly the restorative tonic we’ve been waiting for.

Hosted by Amber Ankh Events, The Unfamiliar Bazaar in an online market taking place over 27th – 28th February. That’s right, doors open tomorrow! This year’s virtual venue is Facebook – you can join the event here or click the button below!

For those who may not have access to Facebook (or would like a sneaky-peak beforehand) I’m throwing a spotlight on a few of the Bazaar’s brilliant alternative traders so you can still be part of the fun. We can expect to see a variety of pagan wares, modern witchcraft necessities, spiritual art, amazing handcrafted gifts… a real plethora of peculiar products!

Here’s just a snapshot of what you’ll see at the Bazaar this weekend.


Phoenix Leather

Colourful leatherwork and intricate designs from this specialist artisan shop. They take commissions for bespoke pieces as well.

“All our products are entirely stitched painstakingly and carefully by hand. Each tiny stitch is carefully crafted to bring you the very best and durable product made to last a lifetime.

For each of our bags over 300 individual holes have been punched and 300 stitches have been made. Each bag is dyed and sealed with a waterproof finish and lined with organic cotton in a beautiful blue and grey tartan fabric.

They are each a pleasure to make and a real labour of love.”

Hayley from Phoenix Leather

See more handcrafted leather goods at https://www.facebook.com/PhoenixLeatherUK/


Dizziness Designs

An intuitive artist selling a range of art prints and artistic gifts. Also offers Spiritual Guided Art Sessions delivered online or in-person.

“My art is full of love, imagination and pure healing energies and I share it with you from my soul . I have been creating one way or another since I was young, using all sorts of media. I have been lucky to be able to connect with the universal realms, creating from the Faye World, Angelic Kingdom, Animal Spirits, Ancestors, Nature Energies and so much more.”

Nicky from Dizzy Designs

See more of Nicky’s intuitive art at http://www.dizzinessdesigns.com/


Bardware of Frog Lane

A really friendly family atmosphere at this shop selling ‘pagan,witchy and Native American Indian themed goodies’!

“Hello and welcome to our little family-run stall, Bardware of Frog Lane. Consisting of myself, Carly; my dad (Grandad); and my daughter, Jazzy. We have an eclectic mix of everything from handmade wands and drum beaters made by my dad, to aura sprays and little bits made by myself and Jazzy. All created with love and good intentions.”

Carly from Bardware of Frog Lane

For the full range of weird and wonderful items, check out their shop here: https://www.bardwareoffroglane.com/


Jacqui de Rose Art

Beautiful designs by a folk-pagan artist. Buy them as originals, prints, cards, and painted on wooden totems!

“I am a Pagan / Nature Based artist from rural Derbyshire. I am inspired by the landscape, mythology and old stories from our beautiful islands. I specialise in Pagan Portraits but also love to paint trees and animal totems.”

Jacqui from Jacqui de Rose Art

See more original art, Limited Edition prints, handmade cards, and small decorative wooden items at http://www.jacquiderose.co.uk


Wild Hart Jewellery

Jewellery by witches, for witches. Think crystals, rune stones, and lots of nature imagery.

“Hello, my name is Hayley and I am a Norse/Celtic Witch. I make handmade jewellery and pagan crafts inspired by mother nature and the elements.”

Hayley from Wild Hart Jewellery

See more pagan and nature-inspired accessories at https://www.facebook.com/Wildhartjewelleryandcrafts/


In Conversation with Adrienne Green

In addition to amazing artists and cunning craftspeople, The Unfamiliar Bazaar is hosting extra events throughout the weekend! They include a discussion panel on Paganism in Lockdown, an evening guided meditation, and a number of intriguing interviews with interesting individuals – such as the lovely Adrienne Green, The Illuminator, who will be shedding light (pun intended) on her work with the Balance Procedure.

“I am Adrienne Green The Illuminator, Lighting up your true potential. My passion is to bring out the best in people using various skills sets. In particular The Balance Procedure: a groundbreaking new tool using our heart energy and aligning our emotions to our passions. Teaching people how to align to their passions and create the life they dream of.”

Adrienne Green

Adrienne is a complementary therapist offering Soul Centred Crystal Healing, Esoteric Healing, Ear Candling, Reflexology, Reiki – and is an advanced practitioner & Trainer in The Balance Procedure.
You can find out more about her at https://www.facebook.com/adriennetheilluminator


And also… ME!

I come bearing freebies and folklore galore.

I’m giving away Episodes 1-3 of The Jack Hansard Series FREE to every attendee of The Unfamiliar Bazaar. Watch out for my posts over the weekend – I’ll be dropping short blasts of folklore knowledge in the group, and each one will contain a link to the free download.

I’ll also have signed copies of the paperback for sale, and some very nice art print postcards to accompany them. Woohoo! This is a mini-milestone for me. Practically my first book fair, right? 😉

Remember, The Unfamiliar Bazaar takes place on 27th – 28th February.
Join the group now to make sure you don’t miss it!

I’m looking forward to having a very peculiar time.
See you there, folks~

Folklore Snippets: Witchcraft

In the most recent installment of the Jack Hansard series (Episode 6: Cockermouth), Jack doesn’t encounter any new beasties, but he does spend his time hawking occult amulets and magic potions. And seeing as he did business with a witch in Episode 5, it seems fitting that today’s Folklore Snippet should be on the subject of witchcraft.

Now, this is an immensely broad topic. Belief in magic seems to be as ancient as human society, and thus witchcraft (most simply defined as the practice of magic) has its roots spread all over the globe. ‘Witches’ may be defined as people who believe in magic and perform occult rituals or other actions to employ such power, or they may be thought of as healers and wise men and women whose knowledge sets them apart from others – in past cultures ‘wise one’ may have been synonymous with ‘witch’.

There are so many topics I could cover here it is unbelievable; I had so much trouble trying to decide whether to focus on the definitions of ‘witch’, the rituals of witchcraft, the history of it, the changing perceptions of it . . . In the end I’ve settled for a more concise angle. To try and keep this brief, we’re going to take a whistle-stop tour of some key texts that show us how witchcraft has been perceived in Western Europe.

In this region, witchcraft is closely tied to Christianity; the Bible makes a number of references to witchcraft as a manifestation of evil, the most succinct of which is: ‘Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live’ (Exodus 22:18). No grey area there, then. Early Germanic law codes of the 6th and 7th Centuries AD (the Pactus Legis Alamannorum and Salic law) list witchcraft as a recognised crime (punishable by death, of course). They also more reasonably instruct that a false accusation will result in a fine for the accuser. To prove an accusation is false, the ‘witch’ would need twelve people to swear an oath on their innocence, or for a relative to defend them in a trial by combat.

Things get less reasonable as time progresses. Witchcraft, being associated with the old pagan beliefs and rituals, is of course demonised by the Church as time goes on – it gains strong connotations with the Devil and sin in much more specific terms (witches considered to be consorting with demons, for example).

In 1487 the Malleus Mallificarum was published. This text offers a description of witches and witchcraft, stating the notion of witchcraft to be a real thing, and firmly establishing the relationship between witch and Devil as one defined by a pact that grants evil powers. The main purpose of the treatise is to outline procedures for prosecuting a witch, from initially identifying them and then subsequently interrogating and convicting them – through legalised torture. The torture itself was in order to gain a confession, as a witch cannot be condemned to death without one. Handily for the prosecutor, if the accused refused to give a confession under torture, then it was a clear sign they were a witch – as they must have had the help of the Devil to withstand the pain.

This work might be considered the handbook for future witch hunters. The most infamous witch hunter of England was undoubtedly Matthew Hopkins, whose career (killing spree) flourished during the Civil War in the 1640s. Torture was far from legal, but Hopkins’ methods were similarly inhumane: techniques ranged from depriving the accused of rest and forcing them to walk until their feet blistered; to throwing them into water while tied to a chair (witches, being unbaptised, would float due to the water physically repelling them). And you’ve probably heard about the practice of pricking the skin to identify a witch – birth marks, moles, anything that could be construed as a witch’s teat (for her demonic familiar to suck upon). If the pricked area did not bleed, then she must be a witch. And of course, the inquisitors were not above using cunning, retracting pins . . .

Hopkins published his own treatise on witchcraft, detailing his justifications for the above methods to identify witches: The Discovery of Witches. It’s written like a ye olde FAQ on the subject. Although Hopkins doesn’t have sole credit for developing and employing such methods, his publication of them may have helped to spur the witch hunting craze that ensued in the New England colonies. Incidentally, you’ve probably heard of the mass hysteria surrounding the Salem witch trials of 1692; the English equivalent in terms of fame would likely be the Pendle witch trial of 1612 where 20 individuals were prosecuted.

I’m not sure if I should delve into modern witchcraft – the origins and philosophy of Wicca probably deserve an article of their own. In brief, modern witchcraft is a somewhat organised pagan religion, arguably founded by the writings of Margaret Murray and Gerald Gardner, but also echoing plenty of long-established pagan traditions. The central tenet, as I understand it, is simply ‘do no harm’ (but as with any religion there are many branches; a number of which would probably tell me my understanding is incorrect). If you’ve read Episode 6 you’ll see that Hansard’s views of this group are less than flattering, but as for my personal views I’m more of an ‘each to their own’ kind of person. In a world full of odd religions (all of them are odd) and funny traditions, it seems you can do a lot worse for your life philosophy than ‘do no harm’.

So that’s a snippet on witchcraft. You’ve no idea how hard it was to keep this short – I thoroughly recommend following the links for more interesting reading. See you next time~