Monday, May 30, 2011

Who the Hel is Robert Cochrane?

Robert Cochrane [26 January 1931 - 3 July 1966] was the pseudonym of a British Traditional witch named Roy Bowers who worked his Craft around the same time as Gerald Gardner was promoting and developing Wicca.

Cochrane created a stir of controversy when he denounced what he called "Gardnerian" Witchcraft as a false or watered-down form of the Craft that he claimed to practice.  Cochrane claimed that he was a member of a hereditary line of craft dating back to at least the 17th century. He founded a coven known as the Clan of Tubal Cain, through which he propagated his Craft.

Cochrane's influence reached far beyond his own associates.  He corresponded with a series of gentlemen throughout the 1960's concerning his beliefs and tradition. These letters have gone on to form the basis of the American tradition of 1734 Craft.

The Clan, and the many groups influenced by it, follow a system of Craft that has roots in European shamanism, and eschews the Ceremonial Magic based forms of Wicca.

Cochrane died by his own hand at the age of 35 by poisoning with belladonna on the summer solstice.  There is still speculation surrounding his death, as some believe he committed suicide as a form of literal sacrifice.

Links for more information:
Wikipedia: Robert Cochrane Robert Cochrane
Chas Clifton: Robert Cochrane, Tregetour or Magician?
CyberWitch: The Writings of Roy Bowers

Everything Old is New Again

Welcome to American Folkloric Witchcraft. We are two witches living and practicing in southern Indiana, U.S.A. Each of us has been practicing Witchcraft since the late 1990's. In that time we have developed some opinions about what we prefer and what we don't.  We are both avid proponents of non-Wiccan Craft in the style of Robert Cochrane. We count ourselves as devotees of Tubal Cain and of the White and Black Goddesses.

We have been shaping a path -- or it has been shaping us -- for several years. We have been inspired to share this work with others through these writings, well aware that any true mystery cannot be told, it must be experienced for oneself. We hope that our work can provide a guidepost to others who seek to practice the Old Ways in a new way.

Our ways are inspired primarily by the works of Robert Cochrane/Roy Bowers, and Robert Graves.  We have borrowed elements of other American groups that also work with Cochrane's materials, American Rootwork traditions, ancient European and Native American Shamanism, and a great body of many years experience working in occult traditions.

We call this path American Folkloric Witchcraft mindful of the fact that although we work in a heavily British tradition of Craft, we ourselves are practicing in America. We are attuned to the unique energies of the land we live and work in, and understand that ours is an American expression of what began as a European mystery.

We claim no lineage to any group or tradition, although we have both worked extensively in other groups and traditions. This path is our own, and is for those who bear the Mark of Qayin. It claims no authority other than the oaths and bonds we have taken to our Gods and our Ancestors.

We hope you will join us as we walk down the Crooked Path.
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