Q&A with Melusine Draco

Aug 18th, 2013 | By | Category: Pagan Q & A

“I would love to learn more about traditional witchcraft but don’t want to join a formal group or study course, have you any suggestions?”

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 Traditional Witchcraft 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.

The historical view of Traditional Witchcraft and the Pagan Revival was left until step five, because 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 own beliefs come from; to trace these antecedents; and to understand why some of our ways are often diametrically opposed to those of other traditions we read about – and why.  That is the reason for the fifth book in the series being written as a magical anthropology; simply to make sense of some of the things we’ve never recognised before.

Not that the books have always been favourably received.  Some reviewers claim there is nothing new contained within them, or that there are no great revelations in the text, ignoring the fact that 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 shouldtell 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. 

The complete Traditional Witchcraft series is published by Moon-Books. Traditional Witchcraft and the Path to the Mysteries is currently in preparation.

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