Robert Cochrane
Time for a second look by 'initiatory' traditions.
It has been 50 years since Robert Cochrane's mysterious death in 1966. And while the animosity and divisions that some of his actions spawn still are with some today, perhaps those of us in the 'initiatory' traditions owe his work and those of his offshoots a second look.
While it is very hard to evaluate what is true of Cochrane's claims of a family tradition and background, it is as Ronald Hutton said in his “The Triumph of the Moon, “.., if he actually did compose all the rituals and their underpinning ideas himself, then the word for him is surely not 'charlatan' but 'genius'.
I would like to start a discussion of his rituals and symbolism, some of which can surely be adopted by others with positive effects. It is time that we look at Cochrane and the whole line of Regency and 1734 . Realizing that Doreen Valiente worked with him for a while and some of his successors, the 'initiatory' traditions should at least be aware of his ideas and symbolism.
To assist this discussion, I would like to offer the following bibliography as a starting point:
Hutton, Ronald “The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft” (Chapter 16 The Man in Black) ; Oxford University Press, 1999
Jones, John Evan & Cochrane, Robert, ed. Mike Howard “The Roebuck in the Thicket: An Anthology of Robert Cochrane Witchcraft Tradition” ; Capall Bann Publishing, 2015 (2nd edition)
Jones, John Evan & Cochrane, Robert, ed. Mike Howard “The Robert Cochrane Letters: An Insight into Modern Traditional Witchcraft”; Capall Bann Publishing, 2002
Valiente, Doreen & Jones, Evan “Witchcraft: A Traditional Renewed” ; Phoenix Publishing, 1990
Valiente, Doreen “The Rebirth of Witchcraft” (Chapter 8 Robert Cochrane, Magister) Phoenix Publishing, 1989
There are other unpublished sources which may be of great value since Cochrane public time was a limited 3 years. But they were very critical years for the development of what we now often call “The Craft”.
I would like you to join me in an exploration of Robert Cochrane and his works.
Blessed be, (aka Nestor)

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A fascinating article and food for thought Marcus - thank you 

Interesting presentation of concepts, and one which definitely merits further exploration..... Thank you

Blessed be to All.

   I think one concept that Cochrane and then 1734 used was the 'stang' as a ritual tool. One of the principle meaning behind that symbol was of the Horned God.  Now we do fine the use of Horns as altar throughout Europe with physical evidence dating back to the Minoan  civilization on Crete at Knossos from around 1500 BCE.   Look at the works of Evans and his digs at the site.  

  I was wondering if any one else is interested in spin off topics like this?

                    Blessed be,



The Stang is also used quite extensively in Traditional Witchcraft (not the same as Trad Wicca.) Again the symbolism is for the Horned God or even indeed the Devil as he is termed in certain Cornish Practices. for reference  see Gemma Gary's The devil's Dozen. 

Funny, I too was just recently feeling a pull to delving into other Traditional Craft books and found some great ones on Troy Books UK catalog.  Waiting to get these babies in the mail from across the pond:

The Devil's Plantation:  East Anglian Lore, Witchcraft & Folk-Magic by Nigel Pearson

The Devil's Dozen - Thirteen Craft Rites of The Old One by Gemma Gary

Traditional Witchcraft a Cornish Book of Ways by Gemma Gary

The Cornish Traditional Year by Simon Reed

Blessed be Albiana

   Thanks for the book recommendations -- I ordered The Devil's Plantation and Traditional Witchcraft and waiting for them to arrive.   I was unable to locate Gemma Gary The Devil's Dozen but still looking for that.

  There seems to be so much both traditional witchcraf and initiatory Wicca have in common -- grounds on which to build.

     Blessed be,
 aka Nestor

... your mention of stang reminded me of this article i came across a few yrs ago, has some rather interesting mentions that -may- or may not do to some degree in supporting mentionings it provides... a decent little article at any rate, for those interested in a decent site to be reliable too for the 'net surfers...

... on a "minor" {ahems} note, the cross in manner and design of concept, in some circles, is in fact styled as a three prong staff rather than the 4 prong concept and symbologies, though you'd rarely hear that mentioned in too many other circles

Now a lot of the traditional mention by Gemma Gary and Nigel Pearson have a two prong stang  and during ritual there is a candle which is put into the center for a spirit or as a sign of a God.

    M. Agrippa

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