Rowan Tree and Red Thread: A Scottish Witchcraft Miscellany by Thomas Davidson


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Oliver & Boyd, 1949. First Edition. 286 pages. Small tear to top left of jacket, unclipped, slight browning to jacket spine, minor foxing present. Very good copy of a rare title. 

Rowan Tree and Red Thread: a Scottish Witchcraft Miscellany of Tales, Legends and Ballads; Together With a Description of the Witches' Rites and Ceremonies.

'The author selects and brings together for the first time the most interesting, and entertaining examples from the host of narratives, legends and ballads which have grown up around the diablerie in Scotland. In certain respects these narratives may be said to reflect the age in which they were written; they bear witness in many ways to the character of the society then prevailing. Some posses a special antiquarian value, others offer a historic one; glimpses of the local customs and ways of thought of the people. But their most important feature is, perhaps, the illuminating light they throw on the overpowering and all-pervading influence of superstition. 
In no country in Europe did the belief in Witches flourish more widely, more intensely, and more tenaciously than in Scotland. Here we have the 'weird sisters', who romantically voyaged across seas in sieves, rode through the air on bean-straws and boars, and were in direct contact and on equal terms with, the Queen of Fairy and the Devil himself. 
The specific examples are preceded by an essay on the belief in and method of, Scottish Witchcraft, explaining the esoteric rites practiced.'