It’s Knot What You Think

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I’ve been trying to ignore this story, which hasn’t been too hard considering the earthquake in Haiti, the recent election in Massachusetts, and the Christian gun sights story.  But the English press has been persistent, so let’s talk a bit about the mysterious horse plaits that have been plaguing Sussex.

“At least ten horse-owners in Sussex have reported finding plaits in their horses’ manes over the last two months. Police have received reports from places as far apart as Westergate in Chichester, Rother and East Grinstead – reflecting similar reports across the country.”

Despite the skepticism of many English equestrians, and the general lack of any horrible aftermath for the equines involved in the plaiting,  a couple of media-hungry Witches have decided that this is the work of other Witches, or possibly even Satanists!

“Officers in Dorset have been contacted by a warlock, or male witch, who claimed the plaits are used in rituals by followers of “knot magick”, also known as “cord magick”. But Kevin Carlyon, the Hastings-based self-proclaimed High Priest of British White Witches, told The Argus some plaits or knots could be evidence of devil-worship or black magic … Carlyon said plaiting has also been known to precede ritual mutilation of horses in black magic.”

Ah yes, Kevin “High Priest of British White Witches” Carlyon, he of the red bathrobe and Nessie-protecting. A man so outrageous in his proclamations and actions (he’s a “living god” now) that he managed to get over 900 Pagans and Witches to agree on something.

“Whilst we accept his right to practise his faith, he does not have the right to speak for us and we have no affliation with his media junkie antics. He has not been appointed for us or by us and therefore cannot present authority over us.”

Occam’s Razor suggests that the most likely culprit for this rash of plaits is a garden variety prankster, possibly even a group of them, or maybe the original plaiter inspired subsequent jokesters in braiding a bit of mane. But Witches? Satanists? Really? Even the cops seem skeptical.

“At the moment we do not know of any motive for the plaiting to start with we thought they were being marked for theft but that is clearly not the case. One motive from research by Dorset police who are also investigating a number of cases is that it may be a pagan ritual. It is hard for us to judge at the moment but any speculation will have to be considered.”

I expect this sort of press-baiting hysteria from Carlyon, but any other Pagans spreading this sort of nonsense, without a hint of proof for an occult angle, are doing the Pagan community in England a disservice. Even if, for some reason, there turns out to be a Pagan or occult motive behind the “witch knots”, the last thing we need to do is encourage wild speculation or give credence to drama-queens.