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

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