I'm looking for books on the Traditional path, do you have any titles on the top of your heads? What does it mean to be a traditional witch? What role, if any, does the Devil play in this form of the craft? I'm new to this and looking for literally ANY information that you can give me. Thank you so much I adore your blog!
There are a few different sects of traditional witchcraft, and the books will vary depending on what sect you’re looking at.
Just to name a few specific traditions, there is Cochrane’s Craft, Feri, Sabbatic, and Luciferian. Often times, those traditions can overlap one another. Books involving these would include all writing by Daniel Schulke, Andrew Chumbley, Nigel Jackson, Cochrane, etc.
Then you have the other half of traditional witches, who don’t really follow a defined or named path, but pull their knowledge from cultural roots, folkloric roots, and the practices/beliefs/superstitions of the European Early Modern Period. Therein, you will find a lot of books on anthropology, history of beliefs, folklore, etc. One book I would highly recommend is “Cunning Folk and Familiar Spirits” by Emma Wilby.
In essence, there are two ways to separate it. Traditional Witchcraft (being the first listed) and traditional witchcraft (the second).
It depends on the tradition, but the first set of traditions often focus much on high magic and ceremonial practices, whereas the second involved much low/folk magic (but does not necessarily exclude ceremony and vice versa).
Often times, the two forms of traditional witchcraft tend to flow into one another.
The Devil is an initiatory figure, who guides, teaches, and assists witches who choose to follow him. In traditional witchcraft, he is often described as “The Dark Man” or “The Witch Father”, as he acts as a guardian to witches. He isn’t necessarily the Devil as most know him, and at the same time, he can be. Many traditional witches found their way to this path through him, as his way of creating witches is to chew up the person and spit out the witch. He is also considered the wilderness embodied. However, while traditional witchcraft stresses a connection with the wilderness and land on which you work, it does not require that one work with the Devil, or any deity at all.