Serpent Songs are the works and words of those who remain untamed, from Cunning Folk to Exorcists to Pellars to Sorgin and Witches and Mystics.
A collection of fifteen essays are introduced and curated by Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold through whose contacts we encounter the worlds of lone practitioners and tradition holders, from both family and clan, and are allowed a rare glimpse into the workings of the more secretive proponents of the Craft.
Traditional Craft is intimately bound to the spirit of the land. Serpent Songs contains the works of genuine Cornish and Basque witchcraft, the relatively unknown Swedish Trolldom, the persecuted Bogomils, and the oft misrepresented Italian Stregoneria.
Members of 1734, Clan of Tubal Cain, an ex member of The Companie of the Serpent-Cross are among those who choose to share their experiences. Light is shed on such important figures as Robert Cochrane, Evan John-Jones and Andrew Chumbley amongst others, but more than illustrious ancestors, Traditional Craft is revealed as a living throng.
These are the voices of those who work the art and this book details their practices, struggles and wayward journeys. Serpent Songs takes a crooked path through the landscape, from historical studies to practical acts, from lonely stone stiles set between deep hedges to the warm entrails of animals and forays into the caves and woods. These tresses are woven into an undulating nest of serpents.
Serpent Songs is a wide ranging work that deals with the issues of witch blood, taboo, the other, the liminal state, fire, dream, art and need as vectors of the Craft. What emerges is not a narrow definition of what it means to engage in Traditional Craft, but a set of shared characteristics and approaches which become evident despite the cultural gulfs in place and time. This is a book of praxis, beliefs and their own definitions of the art itself rather than those applied to it by outsiders. These are the voices who for the most part operate in silence but now wish to be heard.
Prelude: The Other Blood – Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold
The Witch’s Cross – Gemma Gary
The Spirit of True Blood – Shani Oates
Lezekoak – Arkaitz Urbeltz
A Gathering of Light and Shadows – Stuart Inman and Jane Sparkes
The Fall and Rise of an English Cunning One – Tony MacLeod
Stregoneria, A Roman Furnace – Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold
But the House of my Father will stand – Xabier Bakaikoa Urbeltz
Bucca and the Cornish Cult of Pellar – Steve Patterson
Exorcists, Conjurors and Cunning Men in Post-Reformation England- Richard Parkinson
The Liturgy of Taboo – Francis Ashwood
Trolldom – Johannes Gardback
Bogomilian and Byzantine influences on Traditional Craft – Radomir Ristic
But to assist the Soul’s Interior Revolution, the art of Andrew Chumbley and aspects of Sabbatic Craft – Anne Morris
Passersby: Potential, Crossroads & Wayfaring on the Serpent’s Road- Jesse Hathaway Diaz
The Mysteries of Beast, Blood and Bone – Sarah Lawless
Full green leather, gilded ends, slipcased and ribboned.