Popular belief in the power of witchcraft survived in Brittany long into the modern era; spells and curses, for good or ill, abounded in the common imagination. Thankfully, the unlucky few caught under the malignant shadow of an evil spell were not always doomed but had recourse to wise practitioners able to undo the spells cast by others and to offer their own charms of unbewitchment.
Tag Archives: spells
The Wind-Charmers of Brittany
For centuries, humanity struggled to make sense of the natural world and its unpredictable weather. Sometimes, the blood and sweat of months of hard toil could be torn apart in a matter of minutes; an uprooted crop or spoilt harvest often spelt total disaster for a poor farming family. One of the most feared natural events here was the sudden storm or violent wind and many explanations were once proffered in an effort to make sense of these; the most popular being that certain, gifted, people could control the wind and storm.
Pages from a Breton Spell Book
A handwritten book of spells set down in Brittany during the 18th century contains a varied collection of spells and enchantments to be used in order to gain good fortune, riches or love. These spells provide a fascinating insight into the popular mentality of the rural population of Brittany before the Revolution.
Spells and Curses from Brittany
Popular belief in the power of witchcraft survived in Brittany, as elsewhere in France, deep into the last century but the spells and curses of the witch were often as benign as they were malignant.