The Devon Witch
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Mysteries - Colin Wilson
Tom Lethbridge was fifty-six when he retired to Devon. The past few years had been hectic and soured by controversy; now he looked forward to a time of peace and relaxation--country walks, a little archaeology, perhaps some fishing and boating.
It was not io be as simple as that. To begin with, he and his wife quickly discovered that their neighbour, the old lady who lived down the hill, was a witch.
This is not as alarming as it sounds. In most country areas in England, you can find old ladies---or men-with certain curious powers-to charm warts, heal sick cattle, foretell the future, and so on. It has always been so throughout history. In primitive tribes such people are revered as shamans or priestesses; nowadays, most country people take them for granted, and ask their help on occasions.
The Lethbridge's neighbour was not a particularly frightening specimen-a good humoured, eccentric, talkative lady who enjoyed relaxing in the local pub over a glass of gin and occasionally had difficulty in navigating her way home. She told them she was able to leave her body and travel around at night, making sure that her friends were safe.
They were at first inclined to treat these claims as fantasy, but a curious event convinced them that there could be more to it than that. Their neighbour one day explained to Tom how to 'throw pentagrams' - an ancient magical ritual for protecting oneself; she mentioned that it was useful for keeping away unwelcome visitors. All that was necessary was to draw a pentagram-a five-pointed star-in your head, and irnagine it on your gate.
That night, before he fell asleep, Lethbridge lay in bed, practising drawing a mental pentagram round their two beds. A few nights later, his wife woke up in the dark to see a faint glow of light moving around the foot of their beds; then it vanished.
Shortly thereafter, they met their neighbour, who asked them if someone had been 'putting protection' on them.
'Why?' asked Tom.
'I came to your bedroom the other night and I couldn't get near the bed because there were triangles of fire round it'