Three Hands Press. 2011. First Edition, First Printing. Hardcover. First Edition. Octavo, original cloth in dust jacket. 344 pages, illustrations, many in colour. A fine copy in a fine dust jacket. As New. Item #302719
¶ The mid-twentieth century witnessed the birth of popular occultism in the West, including an interest in witchcraft. At the forefront of popular witchcraft was Wicca, a recension of ceremonial magic and nature worship advanced by Gerald Gardner and Alex Sanders, now widely regarded as a religion. However, lesser-known streams of the witch-current thrived the shadows, having older historical roots, and linked to an ancient body of practice – witch-bottles, knotted cord spells, curses, exorcisms, sexual magic, and charms ranging from the conjuration of angels to protection of livestock and hearth. This was Traditional Witchcraft, whose origin in part lies with the sorcery of the cunning-folk of Britain and Colonial America. Though largely avoiding the popular occult limelight, from 1970 onward, elements of Traditional Witchcraft experienced a partial emergence into the public through such publications as Paul Huson's Mastering Witchcraft, the writings of Robert Cochrane and Evan John Jones, and Andrew Chumbley’s Azoëtia: A Grimoire of the Sabbatic Craft. Based on over forty years of research and private collaboration with practitioners, Michael Howard’s Children of Cain is the definitive history of Traditional Witchcraft and its key operatives in Britain and the United States. Supplemented with diverse photographs and illustrations, many appearing for the first time, the book artfully encompasses the unique legacy of Traditional Witchcraft - those who bear the Mark of the Exile as a sign of hidden power: the Children of Cain. This book will be of great interest to anyone studying or practicing "traditional" witchcraft. Tracing the roots of witchcraft, the book has in-depth essays on Traditional Witch Ways, The Clan of Tubal Cain, The Regency, The Pickingill Craft, The Horse Whisperers, American Traditional Witches, The Sabbatic Craft and The Old Craft Today, with an extensive Glossary and Bibliography. There are 16 pages of images on glossy paper stock, mostly in colour, depicting portraits of persons discussed within the text, artifacts, and art, including colour artwork by Andrew D. Chumbley and Austin Osman Spare. "The Sabbatic Craft" chapter, which runs some 26 pages, examines in depth the work of Chumbley and the Cultus Sabbati, and is perhaps the best essay extant on this curious and gifted group of initiates. Essential reading.