Pagan Paths

Discover the natural magic of the British countryside and apply its
lessons to your life, wherever you roam.

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Without too much of a delay, the answer to that question must be an unequivocal : ‘Yes!’.  Not because we think we are better than anyone else on the pagan scene but because we are different. As publisher of Three Hands Press, Daniel A. Schulke observed when referring to Old Craft in his Hands of Apostacy:  All of these traditions share a common feature of extreme selectivity when it comes to prospective members, and the willingness to reject those proven unfit for the work.


Practitioners of Old Craft believe themselves to be remnants of the old shamanic beliefs of the indigenous people of these islands and will not compromise those ancient roots. That is not to say we resist experimenting with new ideas, but not to the detriment of our tradition.   For the first year any prospective member is taught on a one-to-one basis with no access to any other member of the group, to demonstrate their commitment to the Path.   Once the course of study has been completed, they are then welcomed into the coven with access to members at all levels – from those who have just completed the foundation course themselves, to those experienced practitioners who work at initiatory level – so they have the opportunity to continue learning at a pace that suits them best.


An Old Craft witch must demonstrate the natural ability to identify and interact with the spirit energy of the landscape on which they draw for all purposes of Craft practice.  Without this natural ability there is no Old Craft witch, because as Hotspur retorts to Glendower’s claim that he can ‘call spirits from the vasty deep’. “Why, so can I, or so can any man; But will they come when you do call for them?”   It is also the ability to identify whichparticular spirit energy to conjure,for what purpose; recognising that the gentle ethereal energy of the fields and hedgerows differs quite considerably from the primitive and often menacing energy of the woods and forests; or the ever-changing seashore; while mountains and rivers generate their own mystique.


As a witch’s magical ability develops, psychic ‘gateways’ will begin to open - maybe in one, or even several directions simultaneously.   Personal advancement along the Old Craft path depends on an individual’s willingness to pass through or stay put, since these gateways open as a result of personal progress, serving as an indication that the time has come to move on and to climb to the next level.


Needless to say, this closed approach to witchcraft is often resented by those who wish to label themselves ‘traditional’ but discovering they have little true empathy with the Old Ways and that Nature is red in tooth and claw. For example, one of my books is publically reviewed on Amazon, implying that the text advocates ‘appalling animal cruelty’ when in fact the piece deliberately misquoted was a genuine and at one time, widely used medical remedy included in the text for comparison.  This is the kind of defamatory misrepresentation we come to expect from anti-Craft activists but this person was professing to be some kind of witch and vilifying another tradition, purely because Old Crafters are generally meat-eaters and make no apologies for being so!                  


The people attracted to Old Craft refuse to be categorised and a cross-section of our coven members include an author, professional dancer, fire fighter, lawyer, security executive, former soldier, psychology student and a fashion entrepreneur.   Courtesy of a closed group Facebook page we are in daily contact with each other in order to exchange news, personal gossip and magical workshop exercises.  We are the first to admit there is nothing altruistic about Old Craft and that we are most certainly tribal in our outlook - but we do believe in looking after our own.  When faced with in-Craft prejudice such as that mentioned above, I don’t think we’ll be changing our outlook any time soon.

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Mélusine Draco originally trained in the magical arts of traditional British Old Craft with Bob and Mériém Clay-Egerton. She has been a magical and spiritual instructor for over 20 years with Arcanum and the Temple of Khem, and writer of numerous popular books on magic and witchcraft. Her highly individualistic teaching methods and writing draws on ancient sources, supported by academic texts and current archaeological findings.


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