Wednesday 7 August 2019

Excerpt from Crone! - The Feast of Cromn Dubh

Today, August 7, is the ancient feast day of Cromn Dubh, here is an excerpt about it from Crone! - An Old Craft Witch's Year, by Melusine Draco. I posted another excerpt from the book, about Lammas, earlier  this month, and will share more traditional August and harvest lore in the next week or so.

Feast of Cromn Dubh
Originally a pre-Celtic god of the harvest and the Underworld, Cromn Dubh walks the earth accompanied by two black dogs. This suggests the origins of the diverse folklore legends of those many large black, mythological dogs that have roamed the British countryside for centuries. Perhaps his ancient feast day on the 7th August is a good day to give your canine companion a special treat in honour of the harvest, when dogs would have a field-day chasing prey from the corn cutting.

Being a dog person and surrounded by dogs, it’s perhaps not surprising that I turned my hand to writing Aubry’s Dog: Power Animals in Traditional Witchcraft (2013) since I draw a tremendous amount of magical energy from my pack. The title came from an entry in Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable that told the story of how Aubry of Montdidier was murdered in 1371, in the forest of Bondy. His dog, Dragon, showed a most unusual hatred to a man named Richard of Macaire, always snarling and ready to fly at his throat whenever he appeared. Suspicion was excited, and Richard of Macaire was condemned to a judicial combat with the dog. He was killed, and in his dying moments confessed the crime. A picture of the combat was for many years preserved in the castle of Montargis and ‘Aubry’s Dog’ became an expression for loyalty.

Again, dogs and man became companions a long time ago, and the dog’s attributes as a power animal include speed, agility, courage, protection, justice, nobility and loyalty. Dogs’ teeth are useful items to add to the contents of a witch’s pouch. Nevertheless, I think this is probably why I have no great love for Hecate, since she demands the sacrifice of dogs and puppies at every conceivable opportunity – perhaps she should re-locate to South-East Asia!

Crone! by Melusine Draco is published by Ignotus Press UK and available direct from the printer as a special price. You can also view Crone! on Amazon.

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