Wednesday, 12 January 2011
My friend Sinead has just had her first book published. Wiccecraeft is an exploration of Dark Age English folklore, medicine and magic and contains, among other wonders, translations of Anglo-Saxon cures for menstrual pains, infertility, excessive lust, depression and water-elf sickness, as well as protection from nightwalkers and witchcraft. It is also a very personal account of her own experience of the Otherworld. Sinead gave me a copy when I saw her on Monday and I feel every bit the proud aunt.
Sinead and I became friends at secondary school. Someone told me we should meet, as she like me was into witchcraft, though she'd gone a step further and every night slept in a coffin. I tracked her down to the music department, where she hung out, playing the flute in tie-dye and tassels. We sat on the stairs and talked about the paranormal. I discovered that she didn't sleep in a coffin, but she did have a book of spells, which I borrowed. It was called Winning with Witchcraft. I used one of the spells to try, unsuccessfully, to make sixth-former Daniel Mackeldon love me. Later we discovered psychic questing and spent many days together tuning into the atmospheres of Kent and Sussex churches, channelling spirits, having visions and baffling the locals with our questions on black magic practices and witchcraft trials.
Sinead has toughened since those fey teenage years. Her interest in mysticism, particularly the Western tradition, has matured enormously and has been informed by her study of psychology and European philosophy. She is smart and intuitive, and able to hold the balance between mind and heart. Time with Sinead is always time spent learning, laughing, being inspired, excited, challenged. And she listens, picks up ideas and makes connections. She is one of the bravest, wisest and most hard-working people I have met and I am proud to have her for a soul-sibling.
You can buy Wiccecraeft from Amazon and read more about Sinead on her website.