Sabbatic Witchcraft as a path within Traditional Witchcraft is an unintentional byproduct of Andrew Chumbley’s tradition, the Cultus Sabbati. His writings inspired a whole new generation of witches as well as the magic they practice, those witches who are influenced not only by Chumbley, but also by Robert Cochrane, Nigel Jackson, Nigel Pennick, Michael Howard, and Robin Artisson. Witches who are not members of the Cultus Sabbati, but identify with the group’s beliefs and practices label their path as “Sabbatic Witchcraft”. Sabbatic Witchcraft as a path is more on the ceremonial or high magic side and, in my opinion, attracts the wealthy academic British witch, mainly male, but women are starting to become more vocal about their interest of both sabbatic witchcraft and the Cultus Sabbati.
Andrew Chumbley on Traditional Craft:
“The Traditional Craft is the Nameless Way of the Arte Magical. It is the Path of Wytcha, the heart’s calling of avocation to Cunning Man and Wise Woman; it is the Hidden Circle of Initiates constituting the living body of the Elder Faith. Its ritual is the Sabbat of Dream-made-Flesh. Its mystery lies in the Land, below the feet of Those who tread the crooked track of Elphame. Its scripture is the way of wort-cunning and Beast-charming, the treasury of lore re-membered by Those who revere the Spirits; it is the gramarye of ear-whispered knowledge, beloved of Those who hold sacred the secrets of the dead and entrusted to They who look ever onward… If any ask about the Traditional Craft, their answers lie in its native land: the Circle of the Arte of Artes!“
Andrew Chumbley (1967-2004) was the magister of the Cultus Sabbati and author of several books on Sabbatic Witchcraft, the first of which being The Azoetia which he wrote when he was nineteen. His books were published by his own company Xoanon and the copyrights for all his works are still owned by the publishing house. He has also had numerous articles published in chaos magic and witchcraft periodicals over the years. Chumbley claimed that his writings and knowledge came from two lines of traditional witchcraft from England and Wales, both of which Ronald Hutton concluded predate Wicca. According to Chumbley, Sabbatic Witchcraft “describes the way in which elements of witch-lore, Sabbath mythology and imagery were being employed in the cunning-craft tradition into which I was originally inducted”. Some of Chumbley’s occult influences included Austin Osman Spare, Kenneth Grant, Robert Cochrane, Paul Huson, as well as ancient and modern grimoire authors. Magical systems that inspired him included Chaos magic, Ceremonial magic, Hermeticism, Thelema, Goetia, Golden Dawn, Enochian magic and the Kabbalah. Some people believe that he created Sabbatic Craft based on these influences while others believe that he was a genuine initiate of traditional witchcraft. Ronald Hutton was convinced of the latter and wrote about Chumbley in Chapter 16 of Triumph of the Moon. Andrew Chumbley died on September 15, 2004 on his birthday of a severe asthma attack. After his death, Daniel Schulke took over as magister of the Cultus Sabbati. Since then Schulke has written his own books on Sabbatic Craft and some of Chumbley’s books have been re-released as special editions.
Chumbley’s Sabbatic Witchcraft is not to be confused with the writings of Michael W. Ford. Ford’s books and articles are better classified as Left Hand Path, Chaos Magic, and Satanism albeit influenced by Chumbley as well as Paul Huson.
For anyone who is interested in the Cultus Sabbati, Chumbley’s books are all high-quality limited editions by his independent publishing company. Even though they were all published fairly recently, they are rare and hard to find. Copies of some of his books go for $1000 each on Ebay – which is ridiculous and not supported by Xoanon. If you want to buy Chumbley’s books for a reasonable price get on Xoanon’s or Field’s mailing lists and stay far away from the second-hand book market. Some of Chumbley’s works were privately published as well as privately distributed and are not available to find for sale, but luckily a few will soon see the light of day when they are reprinted by Xoanon’s sister company Three Hands Press.
- Azoetia: a Grimoire of the Sabbatic Craft by Andrew Chumbley
- Qutub: the Point by Andrew Chumbley
- One: Grimoire of the Golden Toad by Andrew Chumbley
- The Draconian Grimoire by Andrew Chumbley
- The Satyr’s Sermon by Andrew Chumbley
- Viridarium Umbris: The Pleasure Garden of Shadow by Daniel A. Schulke
- Ars Philtron: Concerning the Aqueous Cunning of the Potion and its Praxis in the Green Arte Magical by Daniel A. Schulke
- Xoanon Publishing Ltd
- Fulgur Limited
- Field’s Book Store
- IXAXAAR Occult Literature and Distribution
- Three Hands Press
- “Andrew Chumbley” – Wikipedia
- “Cultus Sabbati: Provenance, Dream and Magistry”
- “Andrew Chumbley: Artist and Scribe”
- “The Leaper Between: An Historical Study of the Toad-bone Amulet; its forms, functions, and praxes in popular magic” by Andrew D. Chumbley (2001), published in The Cauldron.
- “What is the Traditional Craft?” by Andrew D. Chumbley