This post is a brief overview of the presentation I gave to the Pagan Society at Simon Fraser University on March 10, 2015. The talk was not recorded, but I am able to provide the power point slides as well as links to articles and resources for those who missed the presentation and wish to learn more about Traditional Witchcraft. All links in bold will take you to my more in-depth writings on each subject.
For a more detailed over-view of the definitions please read: Traditional Witchcraft Definitions
For an in-depth discussion on what Traditional Witchcraft is please read: Traditional Witchcraft
Ecstasies: Deciphering the Witches’ Sabbath by Carlo Ginzburg
The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries by W.Y. Evans-Wentz
The Eldritch World by Nigel Pennick
Operative Witchcraft by Nigel Pennick
The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns, and Fairies by Robert Kirk
Witchcraft and the Shamanic Journey by Kenneth Johnson
My list of forbearers will not be the same as other people’s. I think each witch has their own handful of heroes and influences who they believe fall under the category of Traditional Witchcraft.
I adore Leland and strongly believe he should be required reading, especially Aradia. Many of Charles G. Leland’s works are available for free on the internet. I highly recommend The Sacred Text Archive which hosts many of his books including: Aradia or the Gospel of Witches of Italy, Etruscan Roman Remains, and Gypsy Sorcery & Fortune Telling. If you wish to purchase a physical copy of Aradia, the best version is the new translation by Mario Pazzaglini.
Here is an example of one of the folk magic spells he collected for Gypsy Sorcery & Fortune Telling being put into practice today: Evil Eyes Who Look on Me
For more information and resources on Robert Cochrane and the traditions that stem from his teachings, please see the article: Cochrane-Based Witchcraft Traditions
Commonly written off by Traditional Witches for being a Wiccan, Doreen Valiente actually left Wicca behind when she quit Gardner’s coven. She was a member of Robert Cochrane’s Clan of Tubal Cain for a time and was a non-Wiccan witch for much of her occult life. As her passion was research, she did all the work for us, and we have only to read her books to catch up with her decades of research and experience. She is a great no-nonsense starting point for beginners. If you dig around Youtube you may just find some video interviews.
I love her and consider many of her books must-reads. Though many of her books are out of print, they have been reprinted so many times that it is easy to find inexpensive copies on the second-hand market (with the exception of Where Witchcraft Lives).
Feri is likely the first and only tradition under the Traditional Witchcraft umbrella that originates from North America and incorporates localized magic. This makes it accessible to those in Western North America who wish to join a physical group or have a physical teacher. Please see the Fairy Traditions or The Fairy Faith article for more information and resources on the Feri Tradition.
Another famous witch who, like Doreen Valiente, is often ignored because many assume she was Wiccan. She rode the Wicca wave to gain her popularity, but her own beliefs came from Traditional Witchcraft which she practiced mainly in secret as a member of the Horsa coven in New Forest, England. Some of her occult books are sketchy (Diary of Witch is mostly fiction), but she was a good astrologer and her one work The Complete Art of Witchcraft is where she stashed most of her actual beliefs, practices, and secrets.
Paul Huson, now a US resident, is most well known for his classic work Mastering Witchcraft: A Practical Guide for Witches, Warlocks, and Covens. It is a tested and nostalgic favourite of many traditional witches and perhaps one of the first openly Luciferian works which is revealed in the introduction. Read more about it here: A Discourse on the Introduction of Mastering Witchcraft.
Text, slide images, and artwork © 2015 Sarah Anne Lawless. Do not copy or use without the express permission of the author, but sharing the link is very welcome.