Ornaments with magical properties, and in
contemporary Witchcraft, sometimes worn in various
rituals and as badges of rank. Garters may have been
used in rituals in Paleolithic times: an ancient cave painting
in northeastern Spain portrays nine women, wearing
pointed headdresses, dancing in a circle around a naked
man, who wears a cord or garter tied under each knee.
Garters are prominent in folklore and folk magic. The
color of a garter carries special meaning. Green, for example,
is the color of fairies and Robin Hood. Garters
are worn by Morris dancers, and “Green Garters” is the
name of an old tune used in Morris dancing. red is protection
against bewitchment; silver is associated with the
In witch trials, garter, or “pointes,” were associated
with the Devil. Accused witches often described the
Devil’s clothing as being tied with garters, as in this
description by Margaret Johnson of Lancashire in 1633:
“. . . a spirit or divell in the similtude and proportion of a
man, apparelled in a suite of black, tyed about with silke
pointes.” Margaret A. Murray, a British anthropologist,
said that the garter was a secret symbol of identification
among medieval witches; however, no evidence exists
that witches were widely or uniformly organized.
138    garlic
In Wicca, the garter is the emblem of the high priestess
of the Craft. Some garters are made of green snakeskin
or leather, or green or blue velvet, and decorated with a
silver buckle

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Categories:   Paganism and Witchcraft


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