200 Year Old Mysterious Notebook Contain Various Magical Charms In Australia

According to the ABC, since 1970 a mysterious notebook which contain magic almanac had just been sitting in the State Library of Tasmania. Ian Morrison, a librarian says they “hadn’t thought much about it” until an inquiry about the book came from Dr Ian Evans, a historian specializing in the practice of magic among early settlers. 

The almanac was the property of one William Allison, the manager of a farm called The Lawn, and allegedly a type of folk healer and magician known as a “cunning man.” In the back of the almanac are a number of pages of handwritten notes describing folk medicines, magic charms, and useful techniques such as how to find a lost cow.

The notebook is a rare piece of written evidence about the use of magic. Up until now the practice of magic by Australian settlers was only evident through markings on buildings and hidden objects.

"Australia was thought to be a desert as far as the practice of magic was concerned, because generations of researchers had worked their way through archives and libraries, not a word about magic," Dr Evans said.

"But these people who were looking in the archives were looking in the wrong place.

"The story of magic in Australia is written on the walls of our old houses and buildings."

Five years ago, Ian Evans found the first hints of a hidden magical tradition in Australia. It was a “hexafoil,” a charm to ward against curses, carved in the walls of a nearly 200 year old estate in Tasmania. 

Since then, Evans has found a variety of charms and wards carved in old houses and barns across the whole of Australia. According to Evans, the carvings share similarities with those found at the Tower of London.

Several tear-shaped burn marks were also discovered at Shene, and Dr Evans believes they were used to inoculate buildings against fire.

Now the symbols at Shene are being permanently preserved.

Architecture students from the University of Tasmania are mapping and photographing all of the markings.

As part of his latest research, funded by the University of Hertfordshire and the UK Vernacular Architecture Group, Dr Evans has contacted the owners of properties across Tasmania that still have original 19th-century buildings.

Since Dr Evans’ work began, researchers in England have found the same sorts of charms carved into homes and stables, and they suspect there are a lot more to be found.


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