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Traditional Witchcraft for the Woods and Forests |
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 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.
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
No matter where you live, there will always be a wide variety of trees in the immediately vicinity, whether open countryside, urban parkland or municipal gardens. Get to know them, learn to recognise the different species, and draw on the magical power of the Tree. Be humbled in the presence of the trees, by their great size and beauty ... and learn to work with them as a witch.
Author's Notes: 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 Woods and Forests is the fourth in the series - if you have any questions relating to any issues raised in the book contact the author at:
Where To Buy: Amazon
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