Needless to say, much of what is referred to as ‘magical energy’ often depends on what lies beneath our feet and some geological formations are better suited for magical or creative working than others; an idea mooted by Dion Fortune in her novel, The Goat-Foot God. There are, of course, many different types of rock that make up the Earth’s surface and each of them will have certain positive or negative magical-creative properties.  Like all things magical, however, the Old Craft witch knows that nothing is as simple or precise as it seems.  Just as the outcome in all magical and psychic exercises depend on the personal chemistry of the individual, so the blend of individuality, ability and Earth energies can combine to produce the most extraordinary results.  And some things work better than others …

It is, for example, the quartz element of granite that reconnects us with the spirit of the landscape.  As an accomplished Old Craft witch and having a doctorate in geology, Meriem Clay-Egerton was fascinated by the fact that for millennia humanity and quartz had interacted with each other.  She wrote that our ancestors recognizing the qualities of quartz was evident from the studies of its usage, not region by region, but over the entire area of the British Isles: “Everywhere one looks there are clear distinct traces.  To people who know its potential it was clearly no accidental employment of any material to hand.  It was sought out for use.  Why?”

She went on to explain at some length that quartz was used prolifically at prehistoric burials sites and that there was an esoteric school of thought that the quartz enabled the living to contact spirit entities “when they were in a correctly attuned state”.  Standing stones (some of which are made of quartz, other may contain a high percentage of it) are accepted by magical practitioners as being able to act as conductors of ‘earth-force’, such as that encountered at nodal points for energy lines.  “A quartz stone, or stones with high quartz content, will often appear in such a prominent position.”

Once we understand that quartz is very abundant in slate, it is not difficult to see why this particular material generates so much earth-energy.  Magical and psychic working on slate packs a very distinctive punch, especially if the slate layers are close to the surface.  Chalk, on the other hand, generates its own particular kind of energy, which is why our ancestors built their most prestigious monuments on chalkland.  By contrast if we try walking through very heavy clay, it immediately becomes obvious why earth-energy is often ‘blocked’ or sluggish.  Magical working on clay involves a lot of magical generating techniques by the practitioner, and unless there is a considerable amount of experience to draw on, things may take a long time to come to fruition.  And despite all the wealth of crystals in the world, for the Old Craft witch, natural quartz should remain the most precious of all, since a quartz pendulum used for dowsing draws on an ancient knowledge for unlocking psychic power and seeking out information not easily obtained by any other means – especially contacting spirits of the landscape.





There is an increasing  tendency these days for groups and individuals to portray themselves as being more exciting, adventurous or more magically competent by covering themselves with the mantle of ‘Darkness’.   Let’s make no bones about it – there is no such thing as Black or White Magic, and the realms of Darkness and Shadow are an intrinsic part of everyday magical practice regardless of path, creed or tradition.

Once we fumble our way past beginner stage, we quickly come to realise that magic is a tantalizing system of opposites: black/white, active/passive, male/female, dark/light, day/night and that the opposite of ‘good’ isn’t necessarily ‘evil’ – or even lukewarm wicked!  And even once we reach the path of the Initiate, we find that things haven’t changed much, except that we now realise we know nothing and have to begin again by looking at life, magic and the Universe from a different perspective.

Nevertheless, there are elements of ancient magic that an old CoS colleague of mine once described as ‘Ooo-er magic!’  meaning that it had been modernized (or bastardised)  out of all recognition, and put across as being slightly risqué or risky, depending on how one viewed the practice.   The impression was given that certain deities, who were simply Underworld or Otherworld denizens, or had an unfavorable appearance, were hailed as the ones to follow, and those who were nervous about interacting with such energies might be better served taking up macramé.

And a good rummage around in the ‘darker’ aspects of the monotheistic  or Abrahamic religions is always good for a bit of ‘Ooo-er magic’ providing those you are trying to convince don’t bother too much with  research into the background claims of the participants. Where would we be, for instance, without the supporting cast of the Book of Revelations, the  Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha?

A person’s magical inclinations are just that: personal.  They are governed by an individual’s own ethics and morality in what Meriem Clay-Egerton always described as forty shades of grey (long before THAT book came out).  My Welsh slate grey might be your black; your gun-metal grey might be my white – again, it’s all a matter of perception.

Practitioners of Craft magic  learn  to curse as well as heal but in all honesty, healing has probably caused more unintentional damage that all the cursers on the planet, if the latter could be persuaded to get up off their collective backsides to admit that they much preferred a nice bottling or binding because it is far less trouble.  All experienced witches learn to walk safely on the wild (or dark) side that they occasionally need to tread but they do it with a certain amount of fear and a hell of a lot of respect.  Because as that same colleague commented: ‘If you don’t feel that frisson of fear, you ain’t doing it right!’

So the next time you see an on-line promotion for those who enjoy walking on the dark side that reads as though it’s just come straight from ‘The Lord of the Rings’ … it probably has!


PAN: Dark lord of the Forest ad Horned God of the Witches by Melusine Draco is published in the Pagan Portals series of Moon Books in paperback and e-book format. ISBN 978 1 78535 512 7 : UK£5.99US$9.95  Available on Amazon or




New release: Divination

Divination is only a small part of a witch’s stock in trade, and although a basic introduction to the subject can be learned from books, proficiency will only come through vigorous practice. This proficiency comes through the discovery of certain secret matters by a great variety of means, correspondences, signs and occult techniques. Before a witch can perform any of these operations with any degree of success, we need to develop the art of seeing and the ability to divine with rod, fingers and birds. Divination is what could be referred to as the practical element of Craft magic, and we dont even have to be witches to be able to read the portents. But it helps! A companion volume to Pagan Portals: By Spellbook & Candle and Pagan Portals: By Wolfsbane & Mandrake Root, from popular Moon Books author Melusine Draco.

Due for publication on 31st August and available to pre-order from Amazon now …

Who we are …

Coven of the Scales is a British-based Old Craft coven that can trace its recorded lineage back to the mid-1800s. As with the majority of Old Craft groups, we are a closed Order, which means that any potential member must complete a prescribed course of study before being invited to join the coven. Although we are British-based we currently have students studying with us from the USA, Australia, New Zealand, France and South Africa.
     A few years ago we were approached by Daniel A Schulke of the Three Hands Press (USA) and invited to contribute an essay (‘Spirits and Deific Forms: Faith and Belief in British Old Craft’) to the forthcoming Hands of Apostasy: A Witchcraft Anthology, in which he describes our ways in the following manner: “Though these forms of the Old Craft are known through their exterior writings, there are other such groups who are content to remain out of the public eye, practicing their Art and training their own generation of adepts. All of these traditions share a common feature of extreme selectivity when it comes to prospective members, and the willingness to reject those proven unfit for the work. This unpopular and confrontational stance has often led to thorny relations between groups, but it has also engendered a sanctuary-like environment where creative magical collaboration can unfold according to the design of each tradition.”
     Although we are a closed Order – we are not a ‘secret’ one and are always willing to answer questions about CoS and the type (if not the manner) of our magical working.
     It was Andy Lloyd Book Reviews that first put the Traditional Witchcraft series into its proper perspective: “The ‘Traditional Witchcraft’ series provides varied information about what it means to be a practising witch in modern times. In places, it feels like a guide, or self-help book. But there is much more to it than that. What strikes me is the amount of science running through the book. To understand nature is to live as a part of nature, and ultimately to become one with its changing patterns and cycles, to synchronise one’s own psychic or magical energy with natural tidal forces and the elements. So a witch, like no other religious practitioner that I’m aware of, must study her environment carefully, and attune her life to it …  The learning is multi-disciplinary, and feels almost as if one was studying a textbook written by poet.”
     In fact, the whole Traditional Witchcraft series has been structured along the lines similar to a distance learning course (in both paperback and e-book format), so that the would-be traditional witch has a step by step guide to follow. Traditional Witchcraft for Urban Living (originally published as Mean Streets Witchcraft) is the first in the series and as the title suggests, is aimed at the majority of pagans who live in an urban environment rather than insisting that a witch must live in the country before he/she can learn about traditional British Old Craft. The second step is revealed in Traditional Witchcraft for the Seashore teaches us how to work with those natural tides within our own environment, even if we don’t live by the sea. Step three, Traditional Witchcraft for Fields and Hedgerows, covers what most of us would think of in terms of traditional Craft, and brings us back into the comfort zone where we feel safe and secure – before step four casts us back out into the more hostile world of Traditional Witchcraft for the Woods and Forests. As our tutor tells us, the magical energies differ quite considerably between these four environments.
     It was intriguing to learn why the historical view of Traditional Witchcraft and the Pagan Revival was left until step five, but Ms Draco doesn’t look at things like normal mortals! “It’s not until we’ve been studying traditional Craft for a while that we start to notice both the differences and the similarities between the various disciplines. We want to know where our beliefs come from; to trace our antecedents; and to understand why some of our ways are often diametrically opposed to those of other traditions we read about. That is why the fifth book in the series was written as a magical anthropology; simply to make sense of some of the things we’ve never recognised before.
     Not all her books, however, are favourably received. Some reviewers claim there is nothing new contained within them, or that there are no great revelations in the text. “Craft learning is about forty percent information and sixty percent intuition, but it’s also about realising when intuition is telling us that we don’t have all the information. There are books claiming to reveal the ‘secrets’ of traditional Craft – but intuition should tell us that if the secrets can be revealed in the reading of one book, then the author can’t have that much to tell. The real secret is that there are no secrets, only a system of revelation that eventually leads us to a series of guides or teachers, to further our progress along the Path to the Mysteries.”
     Mélusine Draco is an Initiate of traditional British Old Craft and author of several titles currently published with John Hunt Publishing including the best-selling six-part Traditional Witchcraft series; two titles on power animals – Aubry’s Dog and Black Horse, White Horse; By Spellbook & Candle; By Wolfsbane & Mandrake Root; Pan: Dark Lord of the Forest and Horned God of the Witches; The Dictionary of Magic & Mystery; Divination and the Power of the Elements published by Moon Books; Magic Crystals Sacred Stones and The Atum-Re Revival published by Axis Mundi Books.
     Titles published with Ignotus Press UK are Old Year, Old Calendar, Old Ways; CRONE!; Starchild I & II; Wort-lore and Root & Branch: British Magical Tree Lore. Her esoteric novels in the Temple House Archive series are available in both paperback and e-book formats – all books are available on Amazon.

The Wanderer: The Vampyre’s Tale Book 2

The Wanderer: The Vampyre’s Tale Book 2

The Wanderer

By Suzanne Ruthven

Alastor Darvell is not an ordinary vampire. He learned his survival skills at the Krypteia, the equivalent of the Spartan ‘special forces’ and his powerful esoteric knowledge has been bequeathed from a long line of ancient Egyptian magicians – which tend to make him pretty well invincible. Forced against his will to become a vrykolakas – or ‘avenger of the blood’ – Alastor embarks on an endless voyage of discovery, persecution, boredom and loneliness as he searches the world for others of his kind – hoping to find the secret of his release from the cycle of everlasting life. Not only does his story reflect the trials and tribulations of the Old World, he also finds himself embroiled in a contemporary intrigue that runs parallel with his narrative and which threatens to expose him to the unknown dangers of the 21st century. Nevertheless, he has a powerful guardian in the beautiful, but long-dead Egyptian sorceress Amenirdis whose influence reaches out from beyond the grave to protect him. The Wanderer takes Alastor on a new phase of his long and varied existence …

ISBN: 9781788763813

Type: Paperback

Pages: 216

Published: 8 June 2018



Extract from CRONE!

Earth Mysteries and Magic

The terms ‘gateways’, ‘portals’ and ‘doorways’ speak for themselves, and as a witch’s magical ability develops these psychic ‘gateways’ will begin to open – maybe in one, or even several directions simultaneously. Personal advancement along the Old Craft path depends on an individual’s willingness to pass through or stay put, since these gateways open as a result of personal progress – serving as an indication that the time has come to move on and to climb to the next level.

Sometimes this transition can be difficult and painful but in magical learning everything has a reason (and a price!), so we must never ignore the opportunity, no matter how strange or vague it feels. The price of an Old Craft practitioner’s progress can be exacting but I believe the end result is well worth it; to ignore it will only result in personal loss (in terms of both spiritual and mystical development). In time, the same situation will return and the trial begins all over again. If the opportunity is not taken, it may be many years along the line before it occurs again, in which case there are many years lost in an individual’s progress as it will be akin to starting anew; or it may not occur again in this lifetime.

Gateways or portals can appear in the Circle; during meditation; or in a dream, but we should not be afraid of these blinding flashes of inspiration, as they only appear when the ‘powers that be’ feel that we are ready for them. For an experienced witch it may be a boot in the bustle to suggest they have spent long enough at a particular level and that it is time to take the next step. Not taking the chance on these new openings will be the individual’s loss, since those who have chosen not to pass through these gateways, even after many years of practice, remain at exactly the same level as when they first began. Their magic and understanding has never altered; their progression halted due to their own fear and misunderstanding. They have tried to batter down the door for years without success; the true witch finds that the door swings open at just the lightest touch of a finger when the time is right.