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Over the last few days,I've had several ask me about Picta Witta which came up in another discussion,so I went back,pulled up references,sources and a few phone calls to Scotland......here is an answer for some of your questions,.Some directly from the Scottish Highlands.....Please feel free to comment. Since this got rebooted,thought we could update any thoughts on it.....It is  over 4 and a half years olde,so keep that in mind in reading the older comments. ANY that follow the path of Picta Witta,PLEASE feel free to add.......

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Hi Celticlass,

This is some good information on your personal beliefs but when I read it one thing (well a few) popped off the page at me that I knew was incorrect (Aidan Berac founding the Folklore Centre - info below), which launched me into full research mode...lol

I have done some Scottish based research (Past & recent) that brings up some questions about some of the data you presented, maybe you can help me with this. From my research on Pecti-Wita or Picta Witta as you put it I noted you brought up Aidan Breac among other things. My actual message below outlines some of my questions but I have also copied the full text of the research relating to your article with links below it.

Did you know it appears historians have been unable to locate any birth or death records for an Aidan Breac in Scotland? (see info below and I also, looked high & low with no supporting information aside from the references given by Buckland which seemed odd)

"The details of the tradition were supposedly provided by an "Aidan Breac" who lived from 1897-1989 and who practiced a family tradition descended from the Picts through the Carnonacae tribe. Even though a number of people have attempted, including several skilled historians, no one has been able to confirm the existence of an "Aidan Breac", and no birth or death records are on file in the areas he was said to be from. Additionally, a significant amount of the historical information said to be relating to the man is known to be in error"
http://www.mind-n-magick.com/flexphpnews/news.php?newsid=303

I have found that the vast majority of Scottish Witches I have spoken to, rubbish and reject all claims made by Raymond Buckland about Pecti Witta, as a made up figment of his imagination similar to his Seax-Wica. They point out that nobody to-date has been able to confirm the existence of an 'Aidan Breac', and that no records about him, not even a birth certificate, has ever been found or materialized?
http://greenwoman.proboards39.com/index.cgi?board=ramone&action...

Also, I think it's important to note that Ray Buckland did in fact introduce the term PectiWita in 1986 via his book Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft and expanded upon it in I believe 1991 with his title, Scottish Witchcraf (have you read the reviews on this book relating to its accuracy). Also, in your research you mention that this Aidan Breac founded the Folklore Centre of Superstition and witchcraft in 1951 but it appears that it was Cecil Williamson who founded the Folklore Centre in 1952 which was later purchased by Gerald Gardner.. Another question is you correlate Aidan Berac with the Clan Ross which you stated were decended from Carnonacae tribe but I can find no relation nor supporting information to this, could you please give me some actual references to this clan connection as it appears the Clan Ross (Anrias) and Mackenzie Clan likely intermingled (see links below).There is a reference to Clan Kenneth but Kenneth was the last name and I cannot see a correlation with Kenneth Macalpin if that is the connection you are making.

www.electricscotland.com/mackenzie/images/news394.pdf+clan+Anrias&a..."">http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:ppJWSAAI1asJ:www.electricscotland.com/mackenzie/images/news394.pdf+clan+Anrias&a...
http://www.electricscotland.com/WEBCLANS/ntor/ross2.html

Also, you said: When the Scottish became dominant in Pictland in
Cut me off... Continued...

Also, you said: When the Scottish became dominant in Pictland in the early days,under KIng Kenneth Macalpin,843CE,it was the goal to keep alive much of the ancient Pictish religion anjd way of practicing ,magick. I was a bit confused unsure if you were making a correlation between Kenneth & Witchcraft or not. Have you heard of the Macalpin Codes or Code of Macalpin? (see below taken from the Macalpin Clan website from the Macalpin Code, more info in the research data part). Although, I am aware of the revisions of this code, however it seems that their belief was one based on the Christian faith.
XVI. All witches, jugglers, and others that have any paction with the devil, shall be burnt alive

I wanted to also note that Witchcraft was not considered illegal in Scotland until 1563 and the ones who did accuse are sometimes referred to as, Witch Prickers because of their ways of proving the accusation of being a witch. Scotland's Witch Hunts declined very heavily around 1660 and out of approx 3500 Witch Trials, approx 1500 were executed. The first trial was in 1563, a woman named Bessie Boswell who was exiled and banished from the land. The next trial did not take place until almost 10 years later in 1572, she was unfortunately executed. (see data & links below).

Another thing that I could not find anything on about Aidan Breac is in almost every reference it says that he taught from the Castle Carnonacae until 1989 (I believe it was 1989). Yet, there is nothing that I can find anywhere relating to such a castle. I would love some information on this Scottish landmark.

This is great discussion material thanks for sharing it.

BB,
Starrfire

The Full Research Data that brought up many of my questions.

Celticlass: Picta Witta or Pictish Witchcraft,Pictland,being ancient Scotland ,was coined by Aidan Breac,not Ray Buckland first of all. Aidan Breac was a Scottish highlander raised in a hereditary witchcraft family off the NW coast of Scotland. He was a direct descent from the Carnonacae tribe of Picts ,which later became Clan Ross.He dedicated his life studying the "olde" ways of his ancestors.

Pecti-Wita - This tradition was first mentioned by Raymond Buckland in a synapses of traditions in his book "Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft" in 1986, and he later published more information in the book "Scottish Witchcraft: the History and Magick of the Picks" in 1991. The details of the tradition were supposedly provided by an "Aidan Breac" who lived from 1897-1989 and who practiced a family tradition descended from the Picts through the Carnonacae tribe. Even though a number of people have attempted, including several skilled historians, no one has been able to confirm the existence of an "Aidan Breac", and no birth or death records are on file in the areas he was said to be from. Additionally, a significant amount of the historical information said to be relating to the man is known to be in error. A significant number of Craft historians now believe Aidan Breac, and Pecti-Wita, to be a creation of Raymond Buckland. Pecti-Wita is a solitary tradition with little formalized ritual, few tools - usually just a dirk and a staff - and a great deal of English and Scottish folk practices. Herbal lore and divination are considered important elements of practice, and the 4 festivals are called by Gaelic names.

http://www.mind-n-magick.com/flexphpnews/news.php?newsid=303

I have found that the vast majority of Scottish Witches I have spoken to, rubbish and reject all claims made by Raymond Buckland about Pecti Witta, as a made up figment of his imagination similar to his Seax-Wica. They point out that nobody to-date has been able to confirm the existence of an 'Aidan Breac', and that no records about him, not even a birth certificate, has ever been found or materialized?

And Cont...lol

http://greenwoman.proboards39.com/index.cgi?board=ramone&action...

Pecti-Wita

Pecti-Wita is presumed an old hereditary Scottish tradition that first came to the attention of the general public when mentioned by Raymond Buckland in his book: “Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft” (Llewellyn Publications – 1986). In his book, Buckland detailed many different varieties of Wicca and such was the response he received for more information, he later published full details in another book: “Scottish Witchcraft: The History and Magick of the Picks” (Llewellyn Publications – 1991). The information in his book was supposedly provided by a Wiccan teacher Aidan Breac (1897 – 1989).

Breac was a Scottish Highlander, born and raised into a hereditary Craft family on an island off the northwest coast of Scotland. He was a descendant of the Carnonacae tribe of the Picts who lived in the northwest of what is now Ross and Cromarty Counties. Breac, a family man but without children for the last thirty years of his life, devoted himself to teaching the Pecti Wita tradition to others.

Pecti Wita is different from many other forms of Wicca, in that it is a solitary tradition. It doesn’t practice circle consecration, or the formalized rituals of most other Wiccan traditions. The basic tools of the Pecti Witan is the dirk and staff, and rather than casting a circle, he or she simply “centers” themselves. Magick is very much a part of the tradition and there are some celebrations of the seasons namely at Samhuinn, Feill-Fionnain, Bealltainn, and Feill-Sheathain. Healing is also an important part of this tradition as is herbal lore and divination.

Pecti Wita is perhaps closer to the traditional “Kitchen Witch” of the British Isles than to the more formalized traditions of Wicca. Until it was made public by Buckland, Pecti Wita was found mainly in Scotland and parts of Canada, but in recent years has expanded and is now practiced in many other parts of the world.
Note:

After much debate about Pecti Wita on several British e-mail lists. I have found that the vast majority of Scottish Witches I have spoken too rubbish and reject all claims made by Raymond Buckland about Pecti Witta as a made up figment of his imagination similar to his Seax-Wica. They point out that nobody to-date has been able to confirm the existence of an "Aidan Breac" and no records of a birth certificate has ever been found or materialized?

http://www.brenna.co.uk/ScotLife.html

He (Aidan Breac) founded the Folklore Centre of Superstition and witchcraft,on the Isle of Man 1951.

Actually, Cecil Williamson is the one who founded the Folklore Centre of Superstition and witchcraft.

In 1952, shortly after the repeal of the old witchcraft laws, Doreen read an article about Cecil Williamson who was opening a Folklore Centre of Superstition and Witchcraft based on the Isle of Man. The article mentioned a coven operating in the New Forest area, and this so intrigued Doreen that she wrote to Williamson seeking further information. Williamson in turn passed her letter on to Gerald Gardner.
http://www.bambooweb.com/articles/d/o/Doreen_Valiente.html

CECIL WILLIAMSON

Cecil Williamson also played an important part in the development of Wicca in England. Cecil Hugh Williamson was born 18 September 1909 at Devon, England and raised at Picadilly in London. His father was a naval officer and Cecil was often sent to the home of relatives during his fathers absence.

During his life he claimed to have met several village witches, who taught him craft basics. He also encountered Aleister Crowley, Sir Wallace Budge and Margaret Murray. His grandmother was an astrologer and Cecil worked for a medium as a young boy. He later worked as a tobacco farmer in Rhodesia, Africa, and for the Home Office in England during World War II; there, he was asked to set up the Witchcraft Research Centre to monitor the threat from occult activities of Nazi astrologers and occultists. He says he witnessed a large scale magical ceremony designed to undermine Hitler's power, which involved 40 Canadian airmen draped in blankets embroidered with symbols from the Key of Solomon. (This might be where the rumour of Witches doing a ritual to ward off a German invasion, might have come from.)

After the war, he tried to open a witchcraft museum in Stratford-on-Avon, but resistance from local people made him move it to Castletown, Isle of Man, where he opened the Folklore Centre of Superstition and Witchcraft. There wasn't much money to be made from this endeavor, and he funded it with money from his wife's restaurant, the Witches' Kitchen. A few years later, Williamson sold this museum to Gerald Gardner (who named it the Witches' Mill - See Gerald Gardner Above) and then opened another witchcraft museum at Windsor.

It was here he claimed to have met a hereditary witch named Rosa Woodman. She is said to have bestowed the position of Witch Protector of the Royal House of Windsor, before she died. However, Cecil's high profile brought him to the notice of the royal household, who convinced him to move away.

Cecil moved to his museum in the Cotswolds, where local Christians burned down part of it. He then moved to Boscastle in Cornwall and opened his witchcraft museum there. He retired in 1996 and turned over the Museum to Graham and Liz Crow; he died in 1999. By his own account, Williamson had worked with over 80 wise women and participated in over a thousand magical workings during his life. He died in 1999.
http://www.tylwythteg.com/WORD/WORDCH01B.html

The term is New Age,the craft however is not. Picta Witta is considered a "way of life,rather than just using magick on a special occassion. When the Scottish became dominant in Pictland in the early days,under KIng Kenneth Macalpin,843CE,it was the goal to keep alive much of the ancient Pictish religion anjd way of practicing ,magick.

Here's some good resources on King Kenneth Macalpin
http://www.netmedia.co.uk/history/week-9/
http://macalpineclan.com/sys-tmpl/aprl2000feature1/
http://www.lordbothwell.co.uk/macalpin.html
http://original.britannica.com/eb/article-9045094/Kenneth-I#196814....
http://genealogical-gleanings.com/Kenneth%20Macalpine.htm

The spirit of the "MacAlpin Code" and the justice of its enactments may be best shown by a few examples.

"I. That in every shire of the kingdom there should be a judge, for deciding of controversies, well seen in the laws; and that their sons should be brought up in the study of the laws. . . . .III. He that is convicted of theft shall be hanged; and he that is guilty of slaughter, beheaded. IV. Any woman convict of a capital crime, shall be either drowned or buried alive. V. He that blasphemes God, or speaks disrespectfully of his saints, of his king, or of his chieftains, shall have his tongue cut out. IV. He that makes a lie to his neighbour’s prejudice, shall forfeit his sword, and be excluded the company of all honest men. VII. All persons suspected of any crime, shall suffer the inquest of seven wise and judicious men, or of any number of persons above that, provided the number be odd. . . . IX. All vagabonds, sturdy beggars, and other idle persons, that may, and do not, gain their livelihood by some honest calling, shall be burnt upon the cheek, and whip with rods. . . . .XIV. He that is injurious to his father, by any member of his body, shall have that member cut off, then hanged, and remain unburied above ground. . . . XVI. All witches, jugglers, and others that have any paction with the devil, shall be burnt alive. XVII. No seed shall be sown till it be first well cleansed from all noxious grains. XVIII. He who suffers his land to be over-run with poisonous and hurtful weeds, shall pay, for the first fault, an ox to the common good; for the second, ten; and for the third, he shall be forfaulted of his lands. XIX. If you find your comrade and friend killed in the field, bury him; but if he be an enemy, you are not bound to do it. XX. If any beast be found straying in the fields, restore him, either to the owner, the Tocioderach, or, searcher after thieves, or to the priest of the parish; and whoever keeps him up for three days, shall be punished as a thief. . . . .XXIII. If your neighbour’s kine fall a fighting with yours, and if any of them happen to be killed, if it be not known whose cow it was that did it, the homyl-cow (or the cow that wants horns) shall be blamed for it; and the owner of that cow shall be answerable for his neighbour’s damage."

http://macalpineclan.com/sys-tmpl/aprl2000feature1/

Scotland Witch Hunts

In 1563 witchcraft became illegal in Scotland. Local lairds and kirk elders were against the practice and enforced tight local discipline, particularly in areas of strong government control, so there was little witch hunting in the Highlands.Witch prickers were employed, named after the way they pricked the body of someone accused of witchcraft. If the person didn't bleed, they used this as evidence to convict them and and compiled a case for the local courts to try the accused.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/scottishhistory/union/oddities_union_2...

Another site with some good info on Scotland and Witch Hunts
http://www.highlanderweb.co.uk/witjudg.htm
Listings of those executed during the Witch Hunts
http://www.sacred-texts.com/pag/burning.htm

The Celtic Encyclopedia by Harry Mountain
http://books.google.com/books?id=LTbc1GIAwcIC&pg=PA150&lpg=...
Doesnt someone know Ray Buckland here? I always assumed Aidan Breac was a :real" person too!! I grabbed popcorn. Mayhaps Ray thought it would be way more credible saying he learned and studied from "Aidan Breac?" huh? You know before i called it Picta witta,I just called it Scottish Highland Magick,maybe safer to stay with that! HA!
Hi Lady Raven,

I can't say for sure but I can say there appears to be no documents aside from Buckland's account of any such person. I would hope that I'm wrong (that is the truth as I personally have nothing against Buckland) but from a researcher standpoint I can say that if this man taught the many as has been stated, I can find no others who ever met or studied under him. I also could find no reference to this castle that he taught from, which I found odd being that it would likely be a historical landmark of Scotland because of the history associated with the name Carnonacae. Further, it appears even historians have not even been able to locate any birth or death records, and I also, looked pretty heavily with no avail.

So, I guess I really do not know for sure other than there's a definite lack of information on this person and his dwelling.

I need some chips too... will you share yours?...lol
ohhh... a Kit Kat too
YAY! I love those, you rock...hehe :-)
EXCELLENT information!! Really about Aidan Breac? GESSSSH,guess you just cant believe everything on reads in books,huh? I called Greggie in Inverness and he is a folk story teller in Inverness,so he's on the "Aidan Breac" trail in Invreness! Let's see what he turns up! I read where Cecil was 90 years old,loved the part about the kitchen witchery! There's the herbs!! Thanks for the input!! Slainte.Celticlass
Thank you very much Celticlass, keep me posted on what he finds!
Absolutely!! Also,I will check Clan Ross at the Grandfather Games next week.,mayhaps their clan historian WILL know something. Morris Gordon,in my clan traces family roots back for hundreds of years and is really good at it. Generally each clan has their own. Cecil was a very interesting man.I'm doing some more reading on him. Greg is sending me some info from the museum too on the Isle of Mann,wish I were going there!! Have a nice day!!
Something I did run across which I did not post is the name Breac which seems to now be the Dunbracks. Here's a link to some genealogy about their family.

http://dunbrack.org/

Also, I will say that another thing kinda sounded odd would be the possible correlation with the Gaelic language. The reason, Gaelic does not have a "W" which also threw me with the Wita part. The actual name Breac (Which I think means speckled?) also seems to have its origins as being Gaelic.

The only Scottish Breac information I can find w/ any real info is a family that settled in Nova Scotia in the 19th century.
I found something interesting, I'll post it in just a sec....

Here's another snip of something with the name Breac but in a different way

State of Gàidhlig in 1891
:
Apart from the teacher’s family Gàidhlig
was almost exclusively spoken by the
usually resident population. The majority of
crofters even did not speak English at all.
Bilingual persons were mostly found
among those aged between 15 and 44.
All communities were reported as almost
totally Gàidhlig speaking except An Cnoc
Breac (Knockbreck) where the local school
was situated. Four out the five English
monolingual persons found in the district
were born in the Lowlands – including of
course the teacher and his wife.
A castle associated with the name Breac in Scotland...

The ruins of Ballinbreich Castle can be seen almost three miles east of Newburgh on a steep bank on the southern shore overhanging the Firth of Tay. The ruins stand on private property but it was originally with the ancient Abernathy family before it passed by marriage to the Earls of Rothes. The Earls of Rothes took from it the title Baron Ballinbreich. Ballinbreich is a Celtic word which comes from of Balan-breac, meaning "town of trout". This is of course a reference to the salmon to be found in the waters there.

In the 14th century Ballinbreich Castle was built just a small keep on the south wall of a large oblong courtyard. Alterations and additions were made in the15th century and 16th century. It was finally a three-storey L-plan castle with a rectangular courtyard enclosed by curtain wall. There were buildings on the three sides while there was a curtain wall on the fourth. The entire structure was surrounded by moat and stood in the midst of a small plantation of trees. On the second floor of the castle one can see the remains of a chapel with certain structures like the seating for the clergy during mass and the water basin on the wall. The castle had been mined for decades and as a result one of the inner walls collapsed. It was then that the amazing 14th century masonry work was revealed, whose workmanship is considered unrivalled in Scotland.

Ballinbreich Castle, popularly known as Bambreich was a magnificent structure in its day. It was three to four stories high and had a Great Hall that was 46 feet long and 17 feet wide. Sadly, the Barony of Ballinbreich was sold by John 10th Earl of Rothes to Sir Lawrence Dundas for just £20,000. Sir Lawrence Dundas promptly recovered the amount he had paid by cutting down and selling the trees in Ballinbreich. The Barony of Ballinbreich was later sold to finance the reconstruction of Leslie House that had been burnt down in 1763. It is difficult to assess which loss was greater to the family, the loss of the original Leslie House with its contents or the selling of Ballinbreich Castle.

Check this link below to view info (copied below) & pic on this castle, which might I add is in ruin...
http://www.rampantscotland.com/castles/blcastles_ballinbreich.htm

Positioned on the south bank of the river Tay in Fife, Ballinbreich estate became the property through marriage of the Leslie family around 1312, although records show that as early as 1160 the land originally belonged to Orm, son of Hugh of Abernethy.

The name Ballinbreich is derived from an ancient Celtic name and is a corruption of "Balan-breac", meaning "town of trouts" - most appropriate with the castle overlooking the river Tay with its reputation for fishing.

The Leslies began to build a castle soon after they took over the estate, using an L-plan layout with a typical tower and internal stair at the re-entrant angle. A curtain wall was then built to create a rectangular courtyard.

The castle was considerably modified and extended in the 16th century. Mary Queen of Scots, on one of the many tours of her realm, visited the Leslies in 1565.

The Leslies were elevated to the title of Earls of Rothes in 1457 and then became Dukes of Rothes in 1680. Their coat of arms includes the Red Lion of Abernethy with a sable riband through them, showing their roots in that 14th century marriage. The battle cry of Clan Leslie is "Ballinbreich".

The estate and castle were sold to the Dundases of Kerse in the 19th century in order to finance the rebuilding of Leslie House in Fife. The Dundases became the Earls of Zetland (Shetland) in 1838 and subsequently Marquises in 1873. With their involvement in estates in Shetland, Ballinbreich was allowed to deteriorate and has become an impressive ruin.
Excellent information.You'd have a great time at the Grandfather games,I'm sure with the Clan historians!! I spend too much time dancing and in the ale tent! HA!. So many off the Scottish historians know every aspecrt of every clan,the septs,surnames,etc. it is very fascinating. I do clan research,but the depths of some of them is anmazing! I have done research on my own ,the Frasiers,and several others around Huntly and Aberdeenshire in the NE Highlands.,where my family was from. The Kenneth Maccalpin history is another research project in itself. There is a group at Grandfather Mountains called "The MacCalpins."

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