Tag Archives: Robert Cochrane

Solve et Coagula

It seems that many wish to change the world, be it on a grand scale or on the smaller scale of one’s ‘personal’ world, being that of immediate circumstance. Fewer people, however, look to change themselves. Fewer people, scrutinise long held views, beliefs, habits and other attitudes and behaviours. Many quote that stasis is stagnation and death, that the Cauldron of Existence can never ‘be still’ but few have Faith to apply this statement to their own becoming. Note here, how I have chosen to use the word ‘becoming‘, it alludes to the idea that we are not ‘there‘ yet, we are still working through and moving ahead (we hope!) in the process of Being.

Yet many people seem comfortable in the current crafted form of their persona; ‘this is who I am, this is where I choose to stand in the world, I know my strengths, weaknesses, I know myself because I have made myself‘. If only this majority could see that they in fact do not know themselves in the way that they think they do, they only know the constructed projection of their persona. To know their true Self is indeed to know God; when God is realised the desire to nurture or hold a persona fades. In the words of the New Testament, Matthew 16:25:

“For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.”

What are we to do then?

Personally, I feel that we have been given an opportunity, through mortal life, to realise ourselves as conscious conduits and transmitters of Divine Virtue. We seek to do this with open heart and mind, being Truth-full and accepting the raw material containing impure dross in which we must initially work with. A Crafter cannot craft if they do not learn and accept the nature and properties of the raw material with which they wish to work with. We are all a composite of the ‘metals of antiquity’, though we each hold them in differing amounts and purities. The Crafter in the initial stage may wish to assess the composition of their raw material and know to what degree they hold each metal. From then they may garner insights in how to test and temper their ‘work in progress’, how to adjust the levels of each metal, so that the finished piece in which they are working towards is a Work of Strength and Beauty.

Tubal Cain, my Clan’s tutelary deity, I personally see Himself in one aspect as the Master artificer of my Being, I am his apprentice. As I ‘progress’ in life, I improve by degrees until my Work speaks for itself and I too am the Master artificer of my Being. The world as His forge, He shall raise the temperature of the Forge and adjust its environment so as to test and shape specific ‘metals’ at specific moments. There is a thought that the Divine shall place us in situations in which we shall ‘learn’ what we need to throughout existence, I propose that this is His adjusting the forge to allow us to work the metals towards the necessary balance. The more we neglect the necessary balance the greater the shock when we are forced out of the status quo; we can either work with our own initiative or be prepared to have circumstance forced upon us. As I approach a proficiency in my Crafting as His apprentice I shall be able to see in what circumstance or environment each metal is being tested, then I shall be able to act and mould accordingly, I will not be passively subject to Fate and circumstance, I will be actively working with the bestowed environment. When, in my apprenticeship, I may arrive at the lofty proficiency of Master Artificer, I will be co-creator with Tubal Cain Himself, I shall raise and lower the temperature of the Forge as necessary according to a purified perception, in changing myself I will be changing the World.

“When Man triumphs, fate stops and the Gods are defeated – so you understand the meaning of magic now. Magic and religion are aids to overcome Fate, and Fate is a cradle that rocks the infant spirit.”

~ Robert Cochrane

Flags, Flax & Fodder,

Gestumblindi

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Learning to Die: Devotion to the Cause

The words of my mentor and Magister, Robin-the-Dart, echo in my ears;

“You are the Craft.”

As seems to be his trademark enigmatic style, a single seemingly-simple statement can contain worlds of possibilities within it.

The past 15 years or so has seen a marked increase in the interest in Traditional Craft. It offers something ‘different’ to the frequently milked cash-cow that Wicca has been treated as. Unfortunately, I have seen some try to steer Traditional Craft down this same route too. McWicca, and if some had their way, McCraft, a dish that I wish not to see served.

So let me get one thing straight and possibly be provocative;

There is NO such thing as a generic Traditional Craft.

Anybody who tries to sell a notion any different as a fact should be left well alone. Ignorance shall breed more ignorance and dogma shall be a result.

What Cochrane, John (Evan John Jones) did and currently Shani Oates offers to do now is highlight to seekers of ‘Other’ that there is another way to what is commonly espoused. In Cochrane and John’s time this was to make apparent a pre-existing alternative to predominately the invention and development of Wicca; whereas in the current time the main protagonist seems to be the ‘dogmatic’ and limiting ideas of what constitutes so-called ‘real’ Traditional Craft. Personally, I only know the Old Craft based on what was passed on to Robert Cochrane, Evan John Jones and Shani Oates & Robin-the-Dart. I can speak with full awareness that I have the support and guidance of my People and our ancestors. I cannot speak authoritatively in regards to any Craft tradition that I am a ‘Cowan’ to or any path that an individual wishes to carve out for themselves. This courtesy should of course, extend both ways.

The Old Craft as I know it, as one of the Clan of Tubal Cain, isn’t concerned solely with Thaumaturgical matters, with the sole utilisation of either Folk Magic or Ritual Magic; the aspiration of the soul, seeing and living in Truth is, in my experience and opinion, a much more laudable pursuit for Crafters.

To quote Robert Cochrane:

Magic is only a by-product of the search for Truth, and holds an inferior position to Truth.

Magic, in Cochrane’s opinion and so, by a necessary extension, the opinion of the Clan, is a product of the soul in its aspiration and therefore an ‘after-thought’. How ‘topsy-turvy’ those who declare themselves stalwarts of ‘Traditional Craft’ have got it in comparison to Cochrane’s view! Instead, people want to nurture a nostalgic infatuation with bottles of piss and rusty nails! All to declare themselves followers of a historic practise and supposedly therefore ‘authentic’ Craft! Not in my ancestor’s name I’m afraid.

The value of the Old Craft today is that in it lie the seeds of the old Mystery tradition.

~ Robert Cochrane

This doesn’t equate to superstitious tomfoolery that empowers the ego but a pathway in which the tenets of Truth, Love and Beauty are not only expressed but most importantly – realised. For one cannot fool the gods without fooling themselves first in the attempt. Without awareness, one at best will be enacting a mummers play without meaning, no matter how good one’s intention may be. At worst, one deludes not only themselves but also deludes others too, if done wittingly, a great dishonour to Life, to Truth, will be occurring, and may the gods and the ancestors of the perpetrator cast them out from their kinship.

The Old Craft I know, is a path of Devotion, Surrender and Sacrifice;

Take all you are given, give all of yourself.

Any magics thence forth shall be utilised to live fully in the awareness of Truth, not to encourage banal pursuits of lovers, wealth and creature comforts. Once we have learned to die, we will find Truth, once we have found Truth, we shall truly know how to live.

Flags, Flax & Fodder,

Gestumblindi


“The Law”

“Do not what you desire,

Do what is necessary.

Take all you are given –

Give all of yourself.

What I have, I hold.

When all is lost,

And not until then.

Prepare to die with dignity.”

“The Law” by Robert Cochrane;

Magister of the Clan of Tubal Cain (d. 1966)