Sacred Mask Sacred Dance by Evan John Jones
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Clan of Tubal Caine, perhaps sort of founded by Robert Cochrane or maybe a family tradition was strongly based on Shamanistic technique as opposed to heavy rituals used by Wicca which borrowed heavily from Ceremonial Magick. The author and student of Robert Cochrane believed that prior to the conversion of Europe to Christianity that followers of the old religion used masks and dancing to separate their consciousness from their body.
While Evan john Jones believes in reincorporating masks and dancing back into the rituals he does not wish to mimic exactly what they did in the past. Times are different andd things have evolved. So must the craft. What is taught in the book does not claim to ancient but rather something new that is based on the practices of the old.
Dance and masks were used to access the divine and also to access the spirit of the animals they wish to work with. For example masking the stag and dancing about was meant to access the spirit of the roebucks they were hunting. Shamans used to travel to the spirit world in animal guise to speak with the spirits and bring back wisdom needed for the tribe. The old norse used to use these techniques especially the follower of Freya who was an earthly Vanir goddess.
The book covers or recommends making masks based on thirteen animals. Among them are the Stag, fox, owl, ram, boar, raven, the hound, the cat, the goose and several others that were native to the British isles. Their symbolism, which maybe a blending of old and new along with their roles in the ritual are thoroughly discussed. At the end of the book are instructions on how to make masks. Several different rituals are described as well.
The author makes mention that masked workings are not suitable for everyone. They should be done as part of the coven but only by a select group of people, like an inner court. These masked rituals are not part of esbats or Sabbats but rather stand alone riutuals amongst themselves. They should also be done close to full moons and during warm comfortable climates. No more then 4-5 times per year should they done as they can drain away psychic energy quite easily. Different dance techniques for entering a trance are discussed as well.
For those pursuing a more traditional vein of the craft this book is a must read and a must have. Shame that Evan John Jones is no longer of the world he had a lot to offer.
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