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Traditional Witchcraft for Fields and Hedgerows |
Author: Melusine Draco
Publisher: Moon Books - John Hunt Publishing
Category: Traditional Witchcraft Level: Beginner
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!’
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 a poet … it has that sense of quiet wonder about it, supported by education, knowledge and, above all, wisdom.”
In fact, the whole series was structured along the lines of a distance learning course, so that any would-be traditional witch had 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, aimed at the majority of pagans who live in an urban environment rather than insisting that a witch must live in the country before they can learn about traditional British Old Craft. The second step is revealed in Traditional Witchcraft for the Seashore that teaches us how to understand and 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: the magical energies differing quite considerably between these four environments.
TRADITIONAL WITCHCRAFT FOR FIELDS AND HEDGEROWS and TRADITIONAL WITCHCRAFT FOR WOODS AND FORESTS, Mélusine Draco (Moon Books/John Hunt Publishing Ltd £9.9911JS$16.95 167pp and 148pp) The third book in this series approaches the subject from the premise that whether we live in the city or the countryside nature is all around us. According to the author, it is the natural world that can teach us how to be a witch and release the knowledge of the Old Ways. The contents of the book are based on the twelve months of the year with the author’s own names for their fill moons, which are sometimes different from the standard ones i.e. Harvest Moon in August rather than September and Hunter’s Moon in September instead of October. The last book in the series Traditional Witchcraft for Woods and Forests begins by asking the reader to imagine an archetypal primeval wildwood called Hunter’s Wood to which they can travel to at any time. As well as the magical and foildoric significance of our native trees in the changing seasons the book contains pathworkings. However, as well as not really being part of the Old Craft, these guided visualisations are no substitute for physically going out into the woods and experiencing their arboreal magic for yourself. Overall this series is recommended as a safe introduction for absolute beginners looking for their first connect with a traditional type of witchcraft through the medium of folklore and naturalism.
Michael Howard - The Cauldron
Whether we live in the country, town or city, Nature is all around us. It cannot be suppressed, destroyed or eradicated - and if Nature suddenly ceased to be, then every living thing on the planet would die. No book ever written can teach us how to become a witch. Only Nature can do that. Only Nature can coax out those long suppressed abilities and give us back the freedom to be a witch, releasing the knowledge of the Old Ways back into the world. So let's walk through the fields and along the hedgerow together and re-discover Nature as she moves through the year.
Author's Notes: Both Traditional Witchcraft for Fields and Hedgerows and Traditional Witchcraft for Woods and Forests assume a certain degree of magical understanding on the part of the reader with regard to routine divination, spell and Circle casting. For this reason the text does not include the basic elements of rudimentary witchcraft that can be found in titles similar to Traditional Witchcraft for Urban Living.
Melusine Draco originally trained in the magical arts of traditional British Old Craft with Bob and Meriem Clay-Egerton and is the author of numerous popular books on magic and traditional British Old Craft.. Traditional Witchcraft for the Seashore is the second in the series - if you have any questions relating to any issues raised in the book contact the author at:
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