Julia Semproniana Lecture: The thorn bush listens to our secrets’,thorn lore in Pyrenean Witchcraft and Folk magic.
There are plants which cannot easily be tamed by any gardener or the farmer, they seem to have kept an ancient and primitive connection with its Land; their presence, unexplainable and capricious, obeys no other laws but Nature’s: brambles, nettles, and thorny bushes seem to follow that premise. The mythology surrounding these apparently hostile specimens has undoubtedly nurtured their genii, as they are both revered and feared by common people. And yet, they are given special roles when it comes to folk magic and witchcraft. The spirits dwelling in their branches have acquired a taste for sorcery, for tales, and for blood, which has turned them into powerful tools of the trade, bearers of old secrets and tricks. We will observe the tales, beliefs, and customs revolving nettles, thorn bushes and brambles in the Iberian Peninsula in the Pyrenees so as to try to grasp some of the mysteries which lurk among them.
Biography Júlia Semproniana is a researcher, teacher, and practitioner of Metzineria and Pyrenean Witchcraft. She is one of the founding members of the Gremi de l’Art, an initiative whose goal is to spread the magical traditions and lore of the Iberian peninsula through academic insight and both individual and collective practice. She is a co-founder of Occvlta, an endeavour focused on crafting high-quality herbal products and artefacts for the alchemist, the poisoner, the apothecary, and the practitioner of Witchcraft since 2013. She now resides in the Pyrenees of Catalonia and the focus of her work revolves around the awakening and remembrance of forgotten Witch and Plant lore.