I recently came across the term ‘spiritual midden’ used for objects such
as witch bottles, mummified cats etc. Can anyone tell me when the term was
invented (I suspect fairly recently) and why, as it seem very
I always thought a midden was a rubbish dump, but these objects are usually
thought to either protect against malaeovalent magic in general or act as a
specific counter-charm. In other words they had an active role. Surely a
spiritual midden should be a place where magical or religious objects were
placed to dispose of them ‘safely’, the burial of the various cult statues
at the Walbrook Roman temple in London might be an example.
Sensible answers only please, not ,'it doesn’t fit with my own beliefs,
therefore it must be rubbish.'