Treading the Mill: Practical CraftWorking in Modern Traditional Witchcraft by Nigel G. Pearson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a book that introduces new comers to the Ancient Craft of the witch. This is not Wicca but more ancient. There are not fingers pointing to certain individuals for knowledge. The power comes from the Earth itself. Much like Wicca, the Ancient craft honor the Goddess and the God. Yet in the Ancient craft the horned God is honored perhaps more often then the Goddess yet this does not limit her importance. The Horned God has several aspects. They are not sugary sweet. As the Horned Forest God, Lord of the Hunt he can be vigorous, strong and rough. Old horney can be rapacious as well as destructive. In the more passive phase he is Lord of the Underworld. Sometimes best described as a wizard or the Tarot card of the Hermit. The Goddess has both light and dark aspects. She is not the triple moon Goddess of Robert Graves work nor is she the neolithic fertility Goddess yet she encompasses both. In the light aspect the author calls her the bright queen. In this phase she is the lover, life giver and bringer of life. The Dark Queen may represent death which is a part of life but she also represents the dark secrets of the underworld. The author gives rites and rituals to each of these aspects, most of which involve going out into the wilderness. Going out into the wilderness may not be too comfortable for some and even finding it can be a challenge.
Most Wiccans will cast a circle and with various reason behind it. The Traditional Witch will cut a compass. Much the same thing. Yet for the Traditional Witch the compass can serve a variety of purposes. It can be used just to denote a working area, a barrier to keep the energy contained or a protection to keep dangerous entities out. One's purpose will determine how complex the set up of the compass shall be.The four directions given by Wicca are not the same for the traditional craft either. For the trad craft the North is Fire (red) the East is Earth (blue), south is water (Green) and the West is Air (White) of course none of this is set in stone because depending on where you live you may find it more reasonable to have the directions mean different things. The author gives a meditation to help the practitioner find what the directions mean for him or her.
If your into wines then this book is for you. Libations are a big part of the traditional craft and different celebration call for different wines. The wines themselves are easy to make and making them is preferred to buying them even if they do not taste as good. yet there is one draw back, despite the clear concise directions, these wines take a total of one year to make. Wine making is not easy and waiting a year can be really inconvenient. Wines are not the only recipes given here there are also recipes for incense that are really simple to craft. There is also a section on wood lore and what each of the different wood may be used for.
The crafter has many traditional tools. The stang which represent the horned deity faces the north almost always.The knife for cutting your herbs and materials, your cord with knots and the wand. Oh let us not forget the cup. Wood lore is important for making your wand. The Wand is usually from your elbow all the way to the top of your middle finger. It can be procured from find dead wood on the floor,cutting a tree branch and holding part of the tree spirit in the wood to give the wand more energy. Either one will do but the third option is the best. and there is procedure for keeping the spirit in the wood.
This book has plenty of meditations , potions, simples and oils. More then enough to get started. Remember the power comes from the land and the spirits dwelling there. Always be respectful. Let the place change you as you should not change the place. Some of us do not live in the wilds so some of the material may need to be adapted. Enjoy.
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