More and more often these days I get asked what books would I recommend for solitary witches who have gone beyond material aimed at beginners. The truth is, there aren't that many. The Deep Heart of Witchcraft, by David Salisbury, is one I've recommended in the past. Now I'll be adding Traditional Witchcraft and the Path to the Mysteriesby Mélusine Draco.
This book is the final in Mélusine's series Traditional Witchcraft for Urban Living, Traditional Witchcraft for the Seashore, Traditional Witchcraft for Fields and Hedgerows,Traditional Witchcraft for the Woods and Forestsand Traditional Witchcraft and the Pagan Revival.It is aimed at witches who have worked through all the earlier books, taken on board the lessons and have a thorough grasp of the techniques and practices of witchcraft. So, one might ask, what is there left to learn?
One answer is, that having mastered the basics we are ready to take that further by going on our own personal journey of self-discovery and explore by ourselves the deeper mysteries. what Mélusine offers in Traditional Witchcraft and the Path to the Mysteries, is a guidebook to that voyage of discovery.
The journey that is described within its pages is both symbolic and literal. It advocates embarking on a walk from where a great river meets the sea, back along its course past the estuary and urban sprawl, through water meadows, dark woods, and up into the hills to the original source. You can read the book and visualise the journey - but it would be far better to travel out into the real environment and experience nature in the raw. The book explains what the different kinds of environment can symbolise and also how different types of geology and environment can affect us psychologically and spiritually. As Melusine says: “Observing Nature is an equally valid expression of spirituality as meditation within the Circle.”
There are exercises to do, meditations to perform and questions to answer along the way. However, the only answers you will get are the ones you find yourself as you search for your own path and your own truth about the inner mysteries of witchdom.
Although Traditional Witchcraft and the Path to the Mysteries is aimed at traditional witches in the style of British Old Craft, I would say that the lessons offered within its pages are applicable to witches of other schools too. I am a eclectic Wiccan, yet I would happily recommend this book to other Wiccans training towards their second degree or even beyond.
Reading it has certainly given me the urge to embark on a Great Walk - using a term from the book On Walking - travelling lightly on foot along a river from sea to source.
Links and previous related posts
Traditional Witchcraft and the Path to the Mysteries