The Star Crossed Serpent: Volume I - Origins: Evan John Jones 1966-1998 - The Legend of Tubal Cain by Evan John Jones
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book is quite the gem. Written from the words of Evan John Jones with a preface from the current maid of Tubal Caine, Shani Oates. This is not the first time that the words of Evan John Jones have been put into words. An earlier definitive work was put out in conjunction with Doreen Valiente.
This work goes into the esoteric meaning behind the stang that is placed in the northern part of the circle and also the deeper meaning of the circle and it's directions. The stang could double up as a walking stick or pitch fork. When set up it has an iron band around it and sometime an altar placed underneath it. The north represents the realm of the dead. It is the home to the pale faced goddess called Ceridwen and the gatekeeper is the old horned king. South is the home of the corn maiden and the new king. Unlike Wicca, Traditional British Witchcraft moves in a counter clockwise direction.
The stang itself is representative of the Ygdrassil or the world tree. It connects the Earth, underworld and the heavens. Parts of it represent the god and other parts represent the facets of the Goddess. Included in this little gem are about 4 rituals. These rituals do not have the same wording that is used by the clan but the reader is given the same outline. This will allow the mysteries to live on and also allow the reader to generate their own traditions. The mysteries are not meant to serve as the ultimate truth but rather to act as a pathway to personal gnosis, or knowledge. Most of the rites are meant to be conducted outdoors. It is said that when doing the rites outdoors one can see little sparks of light flying about. These are the spirits of elemental.
Contained within the philosophy of Tubal Caine are the concepts of reincarnation and clan. Most people live there life and die without any spiritual growth, unless tapped on the shoulder by some special teacher. Members of the clan or extended family reach out to one another and draw each other back in. There is a psychic castle called the "Perilous Castle" it is the home of Cerridwen and also the members of the clan of Tubal Caine.
Of the rituals discussed, which are written in clear precise fashion and with sufficient detail that the reader and his or her group may replicate them. Most are group rituals and one can be adapted either way. The "Old Covenant" establishes a pact between clan members and the "Old Ones" it involves charging a cauldron and giving a soul candle to the maiden. This acts as a token of allegiance. "The of the Cave and the Cauldron" acts upon the sisters of Wyrd and enables a certain member to see into the clans future. It takes place in a cave. "The Castle of the Four Winds" Takes one into Caer Sidi the Northern Castle. IT is a ritual that leads to self knowledge. Remember it is the witch who crosses the river of the dead and comes back and forth during this incarnation while pagans are just dancing peasants. There is also a purification and curse braking ritual.
The appendices have some recipes for salves and making a bean cake dish. Included are letters exchanged between Robert Cochrane and Robert Graves. To top it off there are procedures for making your own rosary beads but to be honest I do not quite understand the numbering scheme.
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