Notes made while reading “Children of Cain” by Michael Howard.
In the 19th century: “There is also evidence of home-grown grimoires or ‘Black Books’ circulating among practitioners of folk magic. These manuals of practical occultism contained spells, incantations to call on angels and summon demons, astrological data and herbal recipes.”
Regarding initiation into a covine: “In the old days a formal pact with the Horned God was signed in the blood of the initiate and their name was added to the list of existing members in the covine’s Black Book.”
The New Forest Coven & Old Craft groups in Scotland: “Liddell says in fact Gardner had contact with traditional groups in Scotland and that these covines used a ‘Black Book of Rites and Rules’. Gardner a opted this as a template for his own ‘Book of Shadows’.”
Regarding Pickingill’s initiation of priestess for the Nine Covens: He… “gave them a ‘Back Book’ that taught them the basics of how to cast a circle and summon and control spirits and elementals. It also provided information astrology, mediumship and geomantic divination as well as a few simple rules for administering a covine.”
The Horse Whisperers: “Various recipes for so-called ‘jading oils’, hexing oils’, ‘drawing oils’ or stopping oils’ were known and used by the Horsemen. They were a closely guarded secret within the society and passed down through the generations orally from member to member. If the recipe was ever written down for some reason a key part of it, such as an essential ingredient, was deliberately left out. Rumours persist of books of traditional medicines and recipes for cures being offered for sale by renegade Horsemen. If they existed, then they sound very like the ‘Black Books’ or magical manuals owned by witches.