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froglover

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froglover last won the day on January 8 2017

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About froglover

  • Rank
    Member
  • Birthday 10/05/1956

Converted

  • Gender
    Feline
  • Location
    Melbourne, Australia
  • Interests
    Brewing beer, attempting to learn the recorder
  • How familiar are you with witchcraft?
    Not very, have met a few witches and became fascinated with the East Anglian tradition after editing some relevant articles on wikipedia, notably one on Goerge Pickingill.

    Have been encouraged to leave at this stage two general pagan forums.
  • Have you explored other paths?
    I was brought up as a Christian, my main "path" background is I suppose Fourth Way/Gurdjieff stuff but even here my formal contact has been limited.
  • Have you ever worked with Traditional Witchcraft?
    Not really.....I did know someone who was among other things a traditional witch who showed me some stuff.
  • What does Traditional Witchcraft mean to you?
    My understanding of "traditional" witchcraft is that it is the practical operative current of of folk magical practices and beliefs. My understanding is that how it developed in the english-speaking world is heavily contested.
  • How long have you worked with witchcraft in general?
    I can't say that I have ever been an operative witch at all.
  • What brought you to our site?
    Google!
  • What do you expect to get from this site, and what do you expect to contribute to this forum?
    I am very interested in the historical angle . I hope to obtain information about British traditional witchcraft and oddly enough I might also be in a position to share some as I have been searching online records and found some intersting bits and pieces.
  • Do you belong to any other online witchcraft sites?
    Not any more. I was on Crooked Path as "froglover" (also) until it went down.
  • What are your strongest points in witchcraft?
    I'm intelligent.
  • What are your weakest points in witchcraft?
    Oi, this is a job interview?

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  1. Pretty sure that the djinn are basically the same as the fairy folk, though seen through a different cultural lens. Beings capable of "moral choice" like humans ....but their moral parameters may be different to ours, Their world intersects with ours but they are made of "fire", a more refined form of matter. Since they are mentioned in the Koran they are part of Islamic belief. I've often thought this is one reason science had a head start in Islamic culture. Christian texts don't mention a class of supernatural beings who are neither necessarily "good" or "evil" so contact with non angelic beings has tended to always be seen as contact with demons. (Although Emma Wilby records a case of a cunning man in the 17th century being acquitted of commerce with demons on the grounds that his commerce was with fairy folk, this acquittal aroused indignation among divines at the time) As best I understand it Islam forbids contact with djinn aa dangerous, rather than because they are necessarily evil.....apparently the ban is lifted for those who know what they are doing as in the stories about Solomon. I know that Islamic mystics, some at least, take the presence of djinn as a matter of course. Some of thoughts are really their voices, and I've seen what was thought to be film of djinn appearing as orbs of light.
  2. Dropping past after an absence of I think a few years, hi people! Just clarifying that yes Michael Howard in "Children of Cain" page 235 does put in print his information that Monica English's group worshipped the ancient horse goddess Epona. It may or may not be significant that there had been information on Epona in an article in Folklore about 1955. Howard describes the ritual of the group in a way that makes them sound to my mind a bit like Mevlevis, "Whirling Dervishes", that may be a completely false impression of course. But Fountaine was apparently a travelled man.
  3. Oh, and hi anybody who remembers me, I haven't been around for a while! I better put in a link to the archived thread too: http://www.traditionalwitch.net/forums/topic/5379-mother-redcap-of-horseheath/
  4. Catherine Parsons' account of Mother Redcap (although she doesn't use the name, that is who she is referring to) is often quoted but the full talk she gave in 1915 is still worth reading. We know from Enid Porter that Mother Redcap died in 1926. Parson's implies here that she had gone to the Linton workhouse shortly before the talk was given. Mother Redcap inherited her status as village witch from her sister who Parson's identifies only as "D". This may make it easier to identitfy the lady. Parson's account tells also of social witches, what Hutton for example claimed not to exist in England. And she makes it clear that toad bone magic was known in Horseheath. There is an archived thread on this Forum on Mother Redcap back from 2009. But her is the link to the 1915 Parsons' article from 1915. The good bit starts on page 31. http://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/archiveDS/archiveDownload?t=arch-1895-1/dissemination/pdf/PCAS/1915_LXVII-XIX/PCAS_LXVII-XIX_1915_000-106_ALL-reduced.pdf
  5. I learnt from my father in East Gippsland, a rural part of Victoria, Australia, to call out "send er down Hughie!" when it rained, especially when the rain was much needed. This is a custom widely known among rural Australians though less well known among the citified. No-one seems to know who Hughie is although he does seem clearly to be the rain god or angel. I always imagined him as a balding man in dress shorts. In the mid 20th century he apparentlytravelled to Hawaii and became the surf god Huey. Is he the only god or angel to arise in modern times? Here is the best easily available article from the Australin National University's newsletter Ozwords.... http://andc.anu.edu.au/pubs/ozwords/October_99/2._hughie.htm
  6. I got Gryffindor. I was hoping for Ravenclaw.
  7. Monica English's coven is said to go back either 200 years or to Saxon times, according to the Cauldron article no longer online. 200 years is quite credible. It takes us back to when Sir Andrew Fountaine built Narford Hall. He was a cultured man who might easily be imagined as founding or re-founding or protecting or being associated with an esoteric group. It also takes us back to the end of the major witchcraft persecition. Witchcraft had ceased to be a capital offence with the Witchcraft Act of 1735 by which time no-one had been hanged for witchcraft in England since 1719. So setting up a formal witchcraft group had then become relatively safe. Back to Saxon times? The clue here I think lies in the claim that the English coven worshipped the horse goddess Epona, equated with chthonic Demeter. (I don't know if that is in Michael Howard's recent book, but the claim has circulated privately anyway). Horse worship has a long history in the area, actually going back before Saxon times to the Celtic Iceni, Boudicca and all that. And of course the area was dense with Toadmen etc, whether or not there was a continous horse-magic orgaization in the area there was certainly a long standing culture associated with horse magic. Now, here is an interesting point. The connection of ostensible "witchcraft" with folk Catholicism has often been made. Now, it is a fact that in the early part of the 20th century the Catholic Church in Norfolk was closely associated with the farm workers union, which would have brought them into contact with Toadmen and the like; and there seems to have been some Catholicism in the Fountaine family too, I dug up a few references to it online. There are old aristocratic Catholic families in Norfolk. Howard mentions that a catholic priest was associated with the English coven and also that a local aristocratic couple served as its patrons.....(I'm referring to the artcle from memory). The Catholic connection really needs to be looked at.
  8. Oh course, another theory (given airspace, for example, by Robert Graves in the White Goddess) is that Satan is our friend Mercury/Hermes/Woden. The classical picture of Mercury fluffies him up quite some, he was a god of thought to be sure but also the "psychopomp", that is the power which seizes the dead soul and takes t to the underworld. I believe that in Germany the identity of satan and Woden was fairly uncontroversial and the German's still do not name Wednesday after Woden because of the hostility of the church. This fits with the "higher intelelctual centre" theory of course..... In folk religion a connection with Vulcan and Satan was also made (in the 19th century Australian poem "A Convict's Tour to Hell" for example, where Satan and crew were seen as siding with the rebellious poor) In this poem Vulcan was one of the staff of Hell (Vulcan has been identified by I think the Catholic Encyclopedia with Tubal Cain and on it goes....)
  9. Yeah, thanks Whiterose, I was worried that my rave was completely opaque.....and I somehow put up the same post twice. Haste makes waste I guess. It does seem a neat concept to me. Gurdjieff people are often very very tight-arsed which I think has tended to obscure the interest of some of the ideas. I don't think he can be left out of any discussion of Satan, after all his big book was "Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson". In a remarkable passage Gurdjieff's Beelzebub explains how the fallacy that there is an objective cosmic Good and Evil arose to plague humanity. (In a nutshell the "involutionary" or creative force and the evolutionary force are opposed to or in tension with each other, this maintains the cosmos. Each is "evil" with respect to the other. This does not do justice to the resonance of the concept.....) I worry about the devil's horns. I know horns are a symbol of wisdom, traditionally Moses had horns. But it is also part of the animal persona eh, goes with the tail and hoofs.... I haven't somehow put all this together.....
  10. OK, here is the image I referred to in the first of my posts, ie here is what is apparently a picture of the higher centres personalized as an angel and demon presiding over the enneagram, central glyph of the fourth way. These figures are familiar from folklore, in pantomime the Fairy Godmother and the Demon King etc.
  11. Anyway getting back on topic, I think the connection between the intellectual Prince of Darkness Satan who gives knowledge, and the "humans are just animals" version of Satanism is that that is precisely how the personified "Higher Thinking Centre" sees us, it sees through our pretensions to be higher than the animals, sees the drives beneath our supposed morals and so forth, but in its unbalanced state it sees all this without compassion. Because compassion belongs to the "Higher Feeling Centre" (and so does real power btw, but that is another issue.) In terms of the familiar attribution or tarot trumps to the Tree of Life, it will be remembered that the Devil is the path between Hod and Rahamin aka Tifareth (have I got that right?..urk I should check before I say something dumb, but hell who dares wins...). Now I take Rahamin to represent Gurdjieff's sex centre in its higher aspect. Gurdjieff remarks that while the sex centre can be considered as part of the physical centre it also has a higher aspect on a par with the "higher feeling centre". (Yesod is more usually connected with sexuality, I associate it with Gurdjeiff's physical centre....it will be remembered that Yesod is connected with the Moon and Ramahin with the Sun) Anyway the point of all this is that the path between the "lower thinking centre" associated as I understand it with Hod and Tifareth is the Devil. I take this to be the excercise of the "miserific vision" of the world in terms of dead matter and power relations. The trump Death, from the Netzah the lower feeling centre to Rahamin, would be the exercise of "memento mori" and Temperance, from Yesod to Rahamin, as I undertand it is the exercise moving energies back and forth in a rhythmic way from the groin to the heart or solar plexus.... And the Wheel of Fortune i would suppose is the exercise of "detachment" directly connecting the lower and higher feeling centres. The card Hanged Man would then represent the direct connection beteen the lower and higher thinking centres. I'm confirmed in this view by the old account of Odin the wisdom god hanging for nine days to gain the runes. I don't know wha tthat excise is but it doesn't sound much fun. Anyway, mustn't ramble, my poit is the place of the "Devil" card in all this......and what about those horns?
  12. A common source might seem ridiculous but not so very. Ouspensky's "In Search of the Miraculous" was published in England in 1950 and Ouspensky's group had been active in England for a couple of decades by then. The book contains Gurjieff's remark that the ancient mystery cults were a genuine way, now disappeared. We know that PL Travers of Mary Poppins fame was an Ouspensky disciple and we find her joining the Folklore Society (that Gerald Gardner presided over) at the same meeting as Monica English in the early 1960s....I mention this just to show that fourth way and Wiccan circles were in contact. Gardnder's "Witchcraft Today", 1954, explicitly related witchcraft to the ancient mystery cults. I am not a Wiccan initiate and I do not mean to insult or offend in any way, but it seems to me that the Lord and Lady of Wicca can be thought of in terms of Gurdjieff's higher centres which as I mention in the last post were at least once personified in a picture as an angelic and demonic character. So it is possible that fourth way stuff influenced Wicca. I think I'm the first person to publicly suggest this. And of course the connection may be older and deeper...
  13. Erm.....I have a fourth way "Gurdjieff" background a bit, sort of, and that has influenced my take on the whole Satan thing.....yeah 'Satan' mean the accuser. (So does 'devil' if and to the extent that 'devil' comes from 'diabolus' literally "thrower-across", mud-slinger one might say, meaning accuser). In the fourth way version of the path to enlightenment one seeks access to the 'higher centres'; the higher thinking and higher feeling centres; the lower centres being thinking feeling and physical, like the main lines of palmistry head heart and life. Gurdjieff once had them portrayed as respectively a demon and an angel (well, that is my interpretation of a well-known picture), Jesus was referring to these centres I believe when he told his disciples to be as "innocent as doves and wise as serpents". Now....the religious path involves accessing the higher feeling centre and only then the higher thinking centre. But it is possible to 'cheat' so to speak and access the higher thinking centre for help. And that is the "fourth way" aka the "way of the sly man".......which I suppose could also be translated "way of the cunning man". But it is a dangerous way because the higher thinking centre can manifest as a separate entity when accessed separately from the higher feeling centre. And when so accessed it may consider itself a higher being than humanity, and it may not think much of you....except as prey. In this sense it really is the Accuser. This is the pact making "Prince of Darkness" encountered by some magicians; in popular culture Hannibal the Lector and Sideshow Bob are examples of people in the grip of an unbalanced higher thinking centre.... In the fourth way one seeks access to the higher thinking centre to help access the higher feeling centre; to activate true conscience and so forth.....one can seek to activate the higher thinking centre without the inconvenience of acquiring a conscience but that does not usually end well......as all the folklore about deals with the devil warn us. This interpretation of fourth way stuff is partly my own but it is not really far below the surface; as just one example Gurdjieff's close disciple Ouspensky openly told the story of how the Sly Man learnt from the devil how to grow souls on condition that those souls were then the devil's food. But the Sly Man made a plan to cheat the devil which sometimes worked.... Oh well, I hope I have not bored. I once knew someone who claimed to be both an Alexandrian and traditional witch some of whose material was identical with fourth way stuff, and I always wondered about that. Did my friend just rip it off from the fourth way crew and repackage it as witchcraft or was there a common source at some stage?
  14. Well, the Nazis are pretty interesting; especially the whole pagan revival side that Savitri Devi focusses on. There were some on the Allied side who ascribed their early victories to a comparatively egalitarian structure within the army and the improved morale that led to. Surprising perhaps. Savitri's writings are fascinating as a view of what made an intelligent highly ethical Nazi tick.....fascinating and disturbing of course. She wasn't some kind of Nazi-lite, a Strasserite or whatever, she was very much the real article. The prominent Nazi Rosenberg has been claimed to be a disciple of Gurdjieff, a teacher of whose work I am fond, and an unconfirmed rumour has it that it was Gurdjieff who suggested that the swastika might be a good symbol for the Nazis. Gurdjieff however had Jews among his disciples and for other reasons also was clearly no Nazi. Still, it is too easily forgotten that the Nazis were not particularly isolated in their views before the second world war. I've sometimes thought that people can be divided into natural "Shiva" people and natural "Vishnu" people; I am on the Shiva side myself. I'm a little comforted to see that Savitri Devi was on the Vishnu side!
  15. Here below is the link I notice I failed to post in my last post, Savitri Devi at Narford in 1961. Some the other photos in this series are also of interest. Worth tracking down Beryl Cheetham, and also Diana Hughes a Nazi woman in another of the photos. They must have met Monica English. Notable though that neither Andrew Fountaine nor Monica English are in any of these photos. Fountaine was a fascist but not a Nazi; the British National party of which he was president was, I understand, a revival of Mosley's British Union of Fascists. Monica, of course, did not necessarily share his politics. We know that there were tensions within her coven at this time. http://www.savitridevi.org/photo-friends9.html May 1961 Narford, England Left to right: Bruno Ludtke, Savitri Devi, and Robert Lyons at a British National Party camp on the estate of Andrew Fountaine. Photo by Beryl Cheetham Reproduced from L’Autre Histoire, no. 18, vol. 3 (July 2001)
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