Coven of the Scales: Arcanum

 If we are going to discuss the differences between traditional Craft and contemporary paganism, the first observation will be that in traditional Craft, a witch is born not made.  This is because the ‘witchyness’ of an individual is decided by their natural abilities rather than joining an organised group and progressing through the ranks.  At the same time, it is extremely difficult to give a comprehensive guide to the inner workings of traditional Craft because it is (and has always been) extremely private.

What little is written about traditional Craft will only give a superficial overview of what is meant by traditional witchcraft.  True Craft is experienced through a series of personal revelations under the guidance of a mentor.  This is similar to the Japanese Zen concept of kensho — the number of minor satori-like ‘mini-enlightenments’ that happen over a long period of time.

In truth, practitioners of traditional Craft are less concerned with ritual and dogma, and more focused on energy-raising techniques, which they use to channel or direct spells and charms according to the nature of the working.   Traditional Craft witches do not worship Nature but they are certainly proficient at working in harmony with it … and are highly spiritual beings on this level.  Unlike the majority of modern pagans, however, they accept Nature as being red in tooth and claw and do not seek to impose their will on the natural cycle of the seasons.  They also accept the timeless concept of the hunter and the hunted, and the essential inter-action of male-female energy.

Using proven personal training techniques, ARCANUM encourages magical and spiritual development within the framework of a supportive traditional Craft system.  It will help you to …

  • Understand and distinguish between the genuine and the role-playing
  • Work with the roots and triggers which underlie each magical/mystical experience
  • Practice ‘listening’ skills within Nature and develop the personal ability to empathise with the natural tides.
  • Understand the rational and intelligent basis of magical application
  • Acknowledge and accept your ‘shadow side’
  • Hold fast to the commitment of your spiritual transformation
  • Move on … and allow change and positive growth, both magically and spiritually
  • Maximise your personal capacity for learning – and lead a more fulfilled life within Craft as a result

The monthly lessons are broken down into Tasks and Exercises aimed at broadening the student’s concepts of magical practice and traditional Craft techniques as follows:

Lesson 1:  What is traditional Craft?  A practical definition of the term ‘magic’   Identifying natural ‘witch-power’ and how to use it.  Natural tides and the Craft year.

Lesson 2:  The use of visualisation and pathworking.  The power of the Circle.  Ritual equipment and regalia.  The Magical Journal.

Lesson 3:  Summoning the spirits.  The natural world.  Magical protection.   Psychic cleansing and empowerment. The Pouch and its content.

Lesson 4:  Divination.   Practical candle magic.   Sacred images and power tools.   Amulets and talismans.

Lesson 5:  Claiming the right to the omens.  A question of balance.  Spells and charms.  Natural ability or illusion.

Lesson 6:  Developing the power to call.  Should we be afraid?  Power places and guardians.   Meditation and relaxation.

Lesson 7:  Healing.  Wort-lore.  The parish-pump witch.   Coven life -fact or fantasy?  Maximising your personal capacity for learning

Lesson 8:  Cursing and bottling.  Controlling your ‘shadow’ side.       Understanding the rational and intelligent basis of magical application.  The magical mug.

Lesson 9:  Telling the Maze and crossing the Lethe.  Death — the last journey. Roots and triggers.  Glamouring and mind control. 

Lesson 10:  Rites and ceremony.  Celebration and observance. The need for psycho-drama.  Spiritual transformation.  

Lesson 11:  Walking the Path.  Moving on … allowing for change and positive growth.  Coven or solitary?

Lesson 12:  A general assessment and reflection on the year’s study.  Where do we go from here?

For more information go to:


*This beautiful painting of the ‘Triple Hare’ is by Jackie Morris. 

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