October 15, 2012

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There once was a place called Cheb in a remote corner of Central Europe. Back in the 17th century it was still in the Kingdom of Bohemia. It was a lovely village, surrounded by mountains and a magnificent forest.

For many years witches had been hunted, and as a result pagans had to hide, deny their beliefs and pretend to be ordinary members of the community. One group of them that then became a secret society. They called themselves The Friends of Euphrosyne.

Euphrosyne is the Greek goddess of joy and laughter. She is fun-loving and very wise. With her two sisters (Thalia and Aglaea) they are known as the "Three Graces", a powerful trinity whom a few ancient hidden pagan clans used to worship.

Euphrosyne is there to remind us to let go and have fun. She tells us to be proud of what we are, and to be empowered by our good humour. She also reminds us to laugh every now and then. After all, laughter is one of the greatest gifts we have.

The Friends of Euphrosyne turned to this deity after they discovered that the most effective magic was that carried out with fun, joy and the spirit of friendship. They developed their rituals over time so that they could easily be camouflaged or assimilated into social gatherings.

Madame Magdalena was the coven's High Priestess, the book writer and guardian. Her family line came from a powerful witch ancestry; she was very proud of it and was ready to protect her family's wisdom and traditions with her life. At the same time, she was also aware of the dangerous times she had to face.

The secret society practised their craft in peace for some time before they were discovered by some German witch-hunters who reported them to the Bishop of Prague. They were accused of witchcraft, but before they could be arrested, the whole coven vanished. They say the members spread around Europe and overseas. The witch-hunter never found their book of shadows.

The book containing all their rituals was called The Magic Book of Cookery. In the years after the coven was disbanded the book travelled around Europe and the Americas. For many years it was kept safe and protected, but now it is time to reveal its secrets and make it come to light. It is a book of ancient wisdom. May you enjoy it with your friends and use it to add a little extra fun and pleasure to your life.

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