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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Old Craft mythology

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
From The Sacred Songs of the Witches

Virtually all tribal societies transmit tradition through the medium of songs. In this Season of the Ancestors, we remember the Mothers and Fathers by gathering to tell their stories and sing their songs.

Green Grow the Rushes-O has been part of the Younger Witchery since the early 1960s at very least (some would say for much longer than that); Robert Cochrane, father of the modern Old Craft movement, mentions the song in his letters. This version, which I learned from Feri elder Alison Harlow in 1980, functions both as riddle-song and teaching-song. (Any teacher can tell you that making the student figure things out for herself is the most effective heuristic.)

The mysterious Eleven Words of Power are said in witch legend to be, in fact, the very basis of all existence; but of this I should probably say no more.

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  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Several years after my friend Craig's mother died, he remarked to me, "I assumed that as time went by, I'd acclimate to her being
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Steven, you are sweet and compassionate, thank you so much for your response. So I'll share a story. It feels right to do so. Eve
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Oh Steven. Alison was one of my best friends. To have stumbled across this picture of her on Pinterest, and then to have the pin l

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Of Arrows and Garlands

One of the signature symbols of the modern Old Craft movement is the crossed arrows and garland. It is a striking and evocative image which I find, as I peruse the literature, to have occasioned much discussion but little articulation. The symbol, however, has much to tell, to those who care to ask.

These days the garlanded arrow-cross receives attention mostly as an adornment for the stang, the standing forked pole that is the unembodied image of the Horned. Most discussion seems to center around the composition of the garland (what vegetation, at what season) and its presence or absence. Rarely do I find discussion of meaning.*

In its first appearance on the public stage, though, the symbol—though associated with the stang—is freestanding. I myself first saw it in a photograph in Justine Glass' 1973 book Witchcraft, the Sixth Sense—and You. There a rather sloppily-made mixed garland of leaves, flowers, and feathers is pierced by two diagonally-crossed arrows, one with black fletching and one with white. They would seem to be mounted on a wall above what is described as a “keppen rod.” This is clearly what would later be called a “stang,” in this case not a hayfork but a pole with a curved metal end-prong, probably used for removing pots from an oven.

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