The Story Behind …

Every book has a story behind the story of how it came to be written. It may be about a life-long passion, a personal journey, the need to share an experience or knowledge. It may have been fermenting in the brain for years, or sprung fully formed from a blinding epiphany.  Whether it be fact or fiction, sometimes the story behind the story is almost as important as the published book itself …

Traditional Witchcraft for Woods & Forests

As I’d already published Root & Branch: British Magical Tree Lore (ignotus press), which had said everything I needed to say about our native trees, it was extremely difficult to come up with a new slant for the Tradition Witchcraft series. Woodland was where I first had my first mystic experiences and there was no shortage of information if I came at the idea from a more esoteric standpoint. Therefore the fourth in the series was written as Traditional Witchcraft for Woods and Forests: A Witch’s Guide to the Woodland with Guided Meditations & Pathworking.

Woodland is a world that provides endless doorways and portals into Otherworld and since ancient times, woods have been places of sacred groves and nemorous temples. In fact, woods and forests have played a mystical role in all cultures where trees once dominated the landscape, so it’s not surprising that these sylvan worlds provide a fascinating backdrop for traditional witchcraft.  And yet many witches are not comfortable when the trees close in around them should they wander too far from the path.  Tree-lore is an integral part of a witch’s stock in trade since trees provided food, warmth and shelter – and there is nothing more evocative that the smell of burning wood and leaves that accompanies the fine veil of misty blue vapour that hovers between the trees in the autumn.

Or as a friend with whom I’d shared many of those woodland walks, wrote: “Took the dogs to the woods yesterday and the bluebells are out; the perfume and the rippling blue haze was absolutely gorgeous. I love the woods; they still hold that scary, unpredictable magic feeling. What might be lurking behind the next tree? The movement of the branches causing a flickering dappled sunshine effect. All in the imagination … until in the silence a pheasant suddenly goes up and you nearly pooh your pants!”

Being a creature of the Wild Wood, the author does not reflect the modern ‘theme park’ attitude to the woodlands and hopefully, this book will encourage a new generation of witches to have the courage to follow the age-old observances (in spirit if not in practice) and help return power to the genius loci of the forest.

Traditional Witchcraft for Woods and Forests: A Witch’s Guide to the Woodland with Guided Meditations & Pathworking is published by Moon Books as part of the Traditional Witchcraft series.   For more information go to www.moon-books.net

 

 

 

Blog Book Review

From time to time I will be featuring reviews of books by other authors that are complimentary to traditional British Old Craft and the Khemetic Mysteries, and which I feel are recommended or essential reading material.  For example:

Earth God Risen by Alan Richardson

This is a book that’s been around for a l-o-n-g time and is written by one of our most underrated esoteric authors.  In its first incarnation as Earth God Rising it was enthusiastically endorsed by no less than Bill Gray, an irascible English ceremonial magician, Hermetic Qabalist and writer, who published widely on the subject of western esotericism and the occult.   At the time of its original publication, he wrote:

“Richardson traces the presence of the male aspect of deity in Westerners through ancient Egypt and medieval metaphysics into modern mysticism and his own experience.  This he does with scholarly skill and a pleasant fluency.  A delight to read and a worthwhile asset to possess.  So much has been written about our Primal Goddess that it is refreshing to read of Her consort, the Primal God – which the author eventually finds in himself after looking nearly everywhere else.  Adventurous and fascinating.”

Now, all these years later, the Earth God has indeed Risen and from his lofty heights of maturity, Alan Richardson has revisited his previous work on the male mysteries. With his inimitable incisiveness and laconic humour this new commentary alongside the original text offers fresh insights into his own personal approach to the mysteries.  With all the skill of a spiritual surgeon, he also frequently manages to cut his often pretentious younger self down to size.

This innovative re-lease can offer an excellent example for other laurel-resting authors whose books have been out there for too long without any revision or added benefits of hindsight.  As always, Richardson’s writing makes me laugh out loud while at the same time bashing the reader over the head with practical common sense.  If you are a proud possessor of the original, may I suggest you add Earth God Risen to your library – it is still a delight to read and the fresh insights might trigger your own kensho moments on the mystical Path.   MD.

ISBN: 978-1-910098-00-4 : Published by Skylight Press : 174 pages : £12.99

Book News

CRONE! has gone off to the proof-reader but in the meantime here’s a taster …

CRONE! An Old Craft Witch’s Year is a rag-bag of memories, wise counsel, reflections, magic and nostalgia that make up a witch’s year – especially one who’s just stepped down as leader of a Coven and finds herself with a lot of time on her hands. Magically this is the best of times since there is nothing to prevent the Crone from doing what she likes, when, where and how – since her personal power is now greatly magnified.

CRONE! might also provide food for thought for those Craft ladies of a certain age who need to step aside and let the next generation have their turn, because often we don’t stop to think that the magical power of the group can diminish and stagnate through the lack of fresh energy. Hopefully, as far as the new Magister and Dame are concerned, I will be around for a long time to come, remaining in the background dispensing Knowledge, Wisdom and Understanding so that they in turn can train their own successors for the future, while I return to my own chosen Path.

In truth there’s comes a time in a Crafter’s life when it becomes necessary to follow a different Path and see where it takes us. We leave the security of the Coven and set off on a solitary journey … but as Aleister Crowley observed: “What an adventure!”

The Story Behind …

Every book has a story behind the story of how it came to be written. It may be about a life-long passion, a personal journey, the need to share an experience or knowledge. It may have been fermenting in the brain for years, or sprung fully formed from a blinding epiphany.  Whether it be fact or fiction, sometimes the story behind the story is almost as important as the published book itself …

Traditional Witchcraft for Fields & Hedgerows

This book was a natural progression from the first two titles in the Moon Books series and was an adapted and expanded version of the old ignotus title, A Witch’s Treasury of the Countryside that had been out of print for several years.  This had been a popular title in its time and this was an ideal opportunity to resurrect the text by putting a different spin on it for the next generation of readers.  Needless to say, when a book is re-released it has to be more than just a different title and a change of cover – it has to contain lots of new information.

The first three books in the series were aimed at beginners but Traditional Witchcraft for Fields & Hedgerows assumed a certain degree of magical understanding on the part of the reader with regard to routine divination, spell casting and Circle work.  For this reason the text deliberately omitted the basic elements of rudimentary witchcraft that can be found in the earlier titles in the series because there is nothing more irritating to read the same old introductory stuff over and over again – often just to make up the required publisher’s word count!

The aim of the book was to offer a basic guide to those wanting to adopt a pagan lifestyle with its own gentle ‘wheel of the year’ and no additional complications!  Historically speaking, fields and hedgerows are a relatively recent innovation and it stands to reason that this kind of witchcraft is going to be much more of a domestic and homely variety, not moving far from hearth or cattle byre.  It was actually the cover that spurred me on to re-write the book and every time I found the interest flagging, I only had to look at that fabulous ‘time between times’ picture of a misty summer sunset and I was inspired.

Again, there are no ‘Oh wow!’ moments in Traditional Witchcraft for Fields & Hedgerows and most of the content is common knowledge, but sometimes we all need someone to point out the obvious … more like ‘Oh yeah!

Traditional  Witchcraft for Fields & Hedgerows is published by Moon Books in e-book and paperback format.  For more details go to www-moon-books.net or Amazon.

The Story Behind …

Every book has a story behind the story of how it came to be written. It may be about a life-long passion, a personal journey, the need to share an experience or knowledge. It may have been fermenting in the brain for years or sprung fully formed from a blinding epiphany.  Whether it be fact or fiction, sometimes the story behind the story is almost as important as the published book itself …

 

Traditional Witchcraft for the Seashore

Originally called Sea Witch and published under a pseudonym by ignotus press, it was later amended and extended before being added to the Traditional Witchcraft series.  Newcomers to the Arcanum witchcraft foundation course over the years had shown a depressing lack of awareness about the natural tides that affect us magically, emotionally and mentally, and as far as most were concerned there were only the monthly moon phases to worry about – with no mention of the daily atmospheric, oceanic and earth tides. There had to be a way to illustrate the importance of these magical energies without getting bogged down with science.

Like most people I love the sea but it is not until we actively engage with it that we realise just how much its power affects our lives, even if we live miles inland.  The sea is from where all life-forms come and the oceans that give the planet that remarkable image from outer space.  My own fascination came from a library book taken out over sixty years ago that showed the remarkable creatures that exist in the darkness of the Deep – and this reaction is reflected in two of the magical exercises included in the text.

Those of us who live inland should also be aware that much of the earth beneath our feet was, once upon a time, a sea-bed, for water covered a lot of the lowlands – the central Midlands of the British Isles, for example were covered by salt water, as were vast areas of the Great Plains of North America.  The limestone deposits left by the retreating sea-water are sedimentary rocks, composed mainly of skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral and molluscs that once lived in these ‘inland’ seas. We also know this from the fossils found embedded in mountain peaks that were pushed skyward as a result of the earth’s tectonic plate movements.

Traditional Witchcraft for the Seashore was aimed at the casual beachcomber who is happy to mooch along the beach alone or with just the dog for company, and enjoy the simple pleasure of discovering what has been brought in on the morning tide.  There are suggestions of how to utilise these items magically and for the more ambitious – how to create your own inland ‘sea garden’ for meditation purposes.

The sea is a magical place and there are all manner of strange energies that can be harnessed from the seashore. This title was intended to take us on a journey that explores the mystery of the sea from the rock pools on the beach to the great life-forming ‘smokers’ – hot water vents that are home to bizarre community of life-forms that exist in complete darkness on the ocean floor.  And we should not lose sight of that final journey we must all make over the sea to the Isles of the Blessed …

Melusine Draco

 

Traditional Witchcraft for the Seashore is published by Moon Books and available in paperback and e-book format.  For more information go to www.moon-books.net or Amazon.

The Story Behind …

Every book has a story behind the story of how it came to be written. It may be about a life-long passion, a personal journey, the need to share an experience or knowledge. It may have been fermenting in the brain for years, or sprung fully formed from a blinding epiphany.  Whether it be fact or fiction, sometimes the story behind the story is almost as important as the published book itself …

Traditional Witchcraft for Urban Living

Originally called Mean Streets Witchcraft, this first title in the Traditional Witchcraft series came from a young witchlet’s comment to Meriem Clay-Egerton, that Meriem couldn’t possibly be a real witch because she lived in a town and was confined to a wheelchair.  Now Meriem loved the countryside and everything about it but a chain of circumstances had forced her and Bob to abandon rural life and to remain in a densely urbanised environment for the rest of their lives.

At the time I was also town-bound and having an awful difficulty with my magical practice since the area I was living in at the time was one of those economically depressed areas due to the mines closing two generations before, with no hope of recovery in sight.  True I had a large medieval holly wood to roam and a nearby granite out crop for energy raising, but the community feeling was that of wading through molasses.

Needless to say, many of our lengthy conversations related to the effect this type of urban environment had on psychic energies and the long-term problems it could cause.  In fact, Meriem thought ‘good’ town-bound witches were probably more proficient than their rural cousins, simply because in the countryside it is enough just to be!  The urban witch had to conduct guerrilla warfare against the constant attack of negative energies the town-dweller encounters at every turn at the office, in the supermarket, and even when walking along the street …

And since the majority of witches don’t have the luxury of the rural dream, there was obviously a niche for a book on urban witchcraft and the differences in perspective of which we all need to be aware.  There are no ‘Oh wow!’ moments in Traditional Witchcraft for Urban Living and most of the content is pure common sense, but sometimes we all need someone to point out the obvious … more like ‘Oh yeah!

Traditional Witchcraft for Urban Living is published by Moon Books and available in paperback and e-book format.  For more information go to www.moon-books.net or Amazon.

 

A brief introduction …

I am an Initiate of traditional British Old Craft and the Khemetic Mysteries. I like to think that my highly individualistic teaching methods and writing draw on historical sources supported by academic texts and current archaeological findings; endorsing Crowley’s view that magic(k) is an amalgam of science and art, and that magic is the outer route to the inner Mysteries. I have 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 published by Moon Books; also Magic Crystals Sacred Stones and The Atum-Re Revival published by Axis Mundi Books.  My esoteric novels, House of Strange Gods and Realm of Shadow in the Temple House Archive series are published by Ignotus Press UK in both paperback and e-book formats  – and all my books are available on Amazon.

The blog will feature regular extracts from my various titles and lots of background information to help people understand what tradition British Old Craft is all about.  There will be details of ‘works in progress’ and new articles of a magical nature that I hope you will find interesting.  Questions are always welcome and quickly responded to.