Book News & Reviews

Coming soon …

The Wanderer: The Vampyre’s Tale – Book 2

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 …

Publishing date to be advised …

Book New & Reviews:

Pan: Dark Lord of the Forest and Horned God of the Witches and Hearth Fire and the Primal Goddess

“As you read this, Pan is opening his strange eyes with those lucid, rectangular pupils which gives him huge peripheral vision. He is observing you very quietly. Look up from the page, look around. He is here, now. Believe what I say! Also be aware that at this same moment there is an Inner Pan within your psyche who yearns to be aware of things from this wider perspective, who aches to take you toward the dark recesses of your mind, and the wild, tangled undergrowth of your unconscious. As you make your own antic path into the Wild Woods in search of the Great Pan, your nape hairs might prickle, you might see things at the new edges of your vision and strange realms will open up. If you have a frisson of fear – you are on the right path. Keep going. There is light and love there too, in abundance.

Melusine Draco’s book is filled with pleasing seeds and roots that she has collected from obscure, musty corners of the mythological and literary forest. Just brooding upon them ensures that they will be planted and grow in your consciousness, often in startling ways. And if you ever find yourself on hilltops in Wiltshire and see an elegantly ageing and once-handsome chappie chanting: Io Pan, Io Pan, Io Pan, Pan Pan! then you’re probably hearing me putting to good use the practical evocations she gives.”

So Alan Richardson, author of Priestess and The Old Sod, biographies of Dion Fortune and Bill Gray and a dozen other esoteric titles wrote about Pan when it was published.  But of course, you can’t have a God without a Goddess, and she needs to be as archaic and primal as he was, is and ever shall be… and as a result the idea that has been festering for some time is about to manifest in Hearth Fire and the Primal Goddess.

Pagan Portal: Pan: Dark Lord of the Forest and Horned God of the Witches by Melusine Draco and published by Moon Books.  ISBN: 978 1 78535 512 7  UK£5.99/US$9.95 – available in e-book and paperback format.

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. 

Writer at Work …


Sounds better than ‘work in progress’ but there’s lots of new stuff in the pipeline and since being labeled as Moon Books most prolific author, I thought maybe it was time to slow down a bit on that front. Nevertheless, there are several titles in various stages of writing …

  • The Wanderer – the second book in The Vampyre’s Tale series – is currently at the printers and hopefully should be available by the summer.
  • Western Animism: Zen and the Art of Positive Paganism is currently out as a proposal with Moon Books for their Pagan Portals series and awaiting their readers’ reports.
  • By Hemlock, Henbane & Adder’s-tongue: Wort-lore – the Craft of Witches is almost complete at 73,000 words and currently being checked over to see if I’ve missed anything before completing the final chapter for Ignotus Press.
  • The Rosewood Madonna – the fourth book in the Hugo Braithwaite Mysteries – is currently at chapter four as the next spate of crimes hit the world of fine art and antiques.
  • The 13th Sign – the fourth book in the Temple House Archive series – is currently in the plotting stage with the opening chapter done, and should hopefully be completed by the end of the year.

Having several different titles on the go and at different stages of preparation, all at the same time is my way of avoiding the urban myth of writer’s block.  None of the titles contain conflicting subject matter so no risk of confusion creeping into the equation and prevents the brain from stagnating because of the pile of reference books required to keep the plot on the boil.

Melusine Draco ‘Books Galore’



Key: B: Beginner I: Intermediate A: Advanced N: Novels R: Reference

Books for beginners cater for those who have recently begun to explore the magical realms; the intermediate range focuses on specific subjects with more in-depth instruction; the advanced range is aimed at those with a few more years experience under their cords. Novels are aimed at all levels of esoteric interest and reference books are exactly what it says on the cover.

There is nothing arbitrary about the levels assigned to the contents of the books since magical advancement is a very personal and individual progress.  For example: Have A Cool Yule: How to Survive (and Enjoy) the Mid-Winter Festival should be common sense but the idea was stimulated by comments from members of Coven of the Scales (who should have known better) and by remarks made on social media from pagans from all different Paths and levels of experience.  Sometimes we just need an elbow in the ribs to make us look at things from a slightly different perspective.  By contrast, Magic Crystals & Sacred Stones takes us to the next step beyond an introductory text of working with crystals.


Liber Ægyptius: The Egyptian Book of Magic (1998) B

The Egyptian Book of Days (2001) B

The Atum-Re Revival (2013) B

Black Horse, White Horse (2013) B

Aubrey’s Dog (2013) B

Root & Branch: British Magical Tree Lore (2002) B

Traditional Witchcraft for Urban Living (2012) B

Traditional Witchcraft for the Seashore (2012) B

Traditional Witchcraft for the Fields & Hedgerows (2012) B

The Coarse Witchcraft Trilogy ed (2013) B

Have A Cool Yule: How to Survive (and Enjoy) the Mid-Winter Festival (2017) B

Divination: By Rod, Birds & Fingers (2018) B


The Hollow Tree: An Introduction to Qabalah and Tarot (1999) I

Traditional Witchcraft for the Woods & Forests (2012) I

Traditional Witchcraft and the Pagan Revival (2013) I

Magic Crystals, Sacred Stones (2012) I

By Spellbook and Candle : Cursing, Hexing, Bottling& Binding (2013) I

The Secret People: Parish-pump witchcraft, Wise-women and Cunning Ways (2016) I

Power of the Elements (2018) I


Starchild I & II a Re-discovery of Stellar Wisdom (2006) A

Traditional Witchcraft and the Path to the Mysteries (2014) A

Pan: Dark Lord of the Forest and Horned God of the Witches (2016) A

By Wolfsbane and Mandrake Root: The Shadow World of Plants and Their Poisons (2017) A

CRONE! An Old Craft Witch’s Year (2017) A

Power of the Elements (2018) A


The Temple House Archive I: House of Strange Gods (2015) N

The Temple House Archive II: Realm of Shadow (2015) N

Temple House Archive III: Hour Betwixt Dog & Wolf (2017) N


Old Year, Old Calendar, Old Ways (2018) R

The Dictionary of Magic & Mystery (2012) R

Wort-Lore: By Mandrake, Henbane and Adder’s Tongue (2018) R


To implement the suggestions made in Have A Cool Yule: How to Survive (and Enjoy) the Mid-Winter Festival it takes a lot of advance planning in order to make the festivities a success.  Why not invest in a copy now and circumnavigate many of the problems caused by leaving things to the last moment, especially when it comes to avoiding causing offence with family and friends.

What people are saying about it:

 “As per usual and in great style, Mélusine Draco presents a wealth of information about this historically proven pagan festival. Whichever way the reader chooses to celebrate…whether it’s a traditional family Christmas or a traditional Yule in the company of pagan friends or as a solitary – there is something for everyone. From a complete festival calendar with some simple rites and symbolism, to carol lyrics, recipes, gift ideas and feasting to the ‘art of using up’ and festive games; everything Yuletide is covered. And with generous doses of light-hearted good cheer and a sprinkling of dark humour, the author strikes a balance that is both useful, informative and entertaining. A charming little book.” Sheena Cundy, Witch Lit author The Madness and the Magic

“This certainly makes a cool yule for me! So much information, such fun too. It puts a whole new slant on our perhaps limited ideas of yuletide.  …turns all preconceptions upside-down. Do read, you’ll enjoy.” Elen Sentier, author of Merlin: The Once and Future Wizard, Elen of the Ways and The Celtic Chakras.

 “Have a Cool Yule is a lovely guide on how to truly enjoy the festive season in the depths of winter, whether you call it Christmas, the Winter Solstice, Yule or any other name. In the pages of this book you will find time-honoured traditions, recipes and sensible advice on how to avoid the worst of the commercialism and make the occasion what you want it to be.” Lucya Starza, author of Pagan Portals – Candle Magic

 Pagan Portals: Have A Cool Yule – How ro Survive (and Rnjoy) the Mid-Winter Festival is published by Moon Books ( and from Amazon in both paperback and e-book format.

Traditional Witchcraft for Urban Living

Spring might be just around the corner but for all those pagan folk living in towns and cities it might seem a long way off if we don’t know how to look for it. And for the witch whose career confines them to an urbanized environment, regular Craft practice may often seem like a futile gesture, especially if home is a small, gardenless-flat. Even the suburbs can be magically incapacitating, if there is constant noise from traffic and neighbours. People work long hours; often setting off for work and getting home again in the dark during the winter months, without having the opportunity to notice the subtle changing of the seasons. Weekends are a constant battle with family commitments, domestic chores and socialising. It’s no wonder that the urban witch has little time or strength left for magical and spiritual development.

There are, of course, others who find themselves having to remain town and house-bound because of age or disability; because they are caring for an aged/infirm parent, or partner; or because they have small children. Urbanisation often provides on-the-spot facilities to make things easier on the domestic front but it cannot give the one thing that a witch needs most – privacy and spiritual elbow-room.

So how do we manage? We get up close and personal. And we reject the textbook clichés of what is, and what is not, recommended witchcraft practice. We do not follow stereotyping when it comes to when, where and how we perform our rituals simply because it may not be practically possible to follow the instructions to the letter.

In my experience, the greatest problem a solitary urban witch faces is that an urban environment is not user-friendly when it comes to psychic activity, but then we don’t always have a choice of where we are going to live if someone else’s needs have to be catered for, too.  Under these circumstances, for me the key words have always been: acclimatise, adapt and improvise. Any animal, plant or person that is uprooted and transported to another environment quickly learns to acclimatise if it is going to survive. Over the years I have often had to adapt to my surroundings and drawn on whatever material/energy there is to hand, even if it is not what I’ve been used to working with. I improvise by drawing on existing knowledge and experience and wrote Traditional Witchcraft for Urban Living to encourage other town-bound pagans to experiment with what they have to hand.  MD

To order go to or Moon Books at