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Welcome to...

Magic and Medicines

In this Bonus Series, Eleanor talks us through the history behind magical and folk medicine practices from across the centuries...

Examples of Bellarmine bottles dating from the 1600s.jpg

Episode 1: Witch Bottles

Eleanor and Martin talk about the uncanny tradition of Witch Bottles.

They discuss what witch bottles are, their range of uses, ingredients, and their strange connections to Renaissance-era Cardinal Bellarmine and the occultist Giordano Bruno.


That's all before they dig into some well-recorded stories about their power - some from as late as the mid-20th century!

Episode 2: Love Spells

 Eleanor and Martin discuss the morally and... well, literally sticky tradition of Love Spells.

They chat about the morality of love spells, how people view love magic today versus how they saw it in the past, and explore a series of examples from Ancient Greece and Egypt right through the Middle Ages to today.


Including some cutting edge science dedicated to creating synthetic love potions in modern laboratories!


Episode 3: Curse Reversals

Eleanor and Martin offer solutions to try if you've been hexed!

They start by briefly discussing the history and logic of curses, and offer examples from tablet fragments excavated from the hot springs at the Roman shrine to Sulis in Bath.


Then they dig into a set of case studies: what do you do if you've been hexed with prickling pains, or are a fisherman who can't net a catch, or you have been 'overlooked' by a witch and can't catch a break?


Between the prudent use of black salt, the art of capturing shadows, unsavoury acts involving toads, and more, fear not: Eleanor's got your back!

Episode 4: Ouija

Eleanor and Martin chat about the history of Ouija, including the first recorded Spirit Boards from 12th century China.

Then they dig into their next appearance: as the Ouija Board, which named itself, along with the Spiritualist Movement, the life and grisly death of William Fuld, the 'Father of Ouija,' and how perceptions of Ouija changed from that of a family parlour game into something far more sinister...


Episode 5: Druids

Eleanor and Martin dig into the ancient history and modern past of the Druids.


They begin by chatting about the Druids' interest in mistletoe, their alleged powers, practices, and unique status in Bronze and Iron Age life, and leaf through the sources of this information.


Then, they hop to the 18th century, when fraudster Iolo Morganwg (Edward Williams to his friends) revived interest in the Druids through mass scale fakery.


But what's real and what isn't? The Ogham alphabet? Human sacrifice? The power to summon storms? Eleanor has the answers.


Well, some of them, at least...

Episode 6: Poppets

Eleanor and Martin explore the history of poppets!

They start by chatting about the many roles dolls play in magic, from Worry Dolls and Kolossoi to paleolithic carvings and ushabti.


Then they dig into some strange corners of human history - from the Reader's Digest drive to curse Adolf Hitler to Scottish 'clay corpses', myths about Voodoo Dolls, Japanese doll burning festivals, and more!


Episode 7: Scrying

Eleanor and Martin peer into the arcane history of scrying!

They start by chatting about our understanding of scrying in prehistoric cultures and the earliest references to mirror divination in Ancient Greece, Egypt, Persia, and Mesoamerican societies.


Then it's on to Renaissance occultism, including what was gleaned from John Dee's obsidian mirror and Nostradamus' bronze bowl, Joseph Smith's use of scrying stones, St Agnes' Eve and Martinmas traditions, and much more besides...

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