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Masks of Misrule: Horned God and His Cult in Europe Paperback – Apr 1996

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Product details

  • Paperback: 164 pages
  • Publisher: Capall Bann Publishing (April 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1898307679
  • ISBN-13: 978-1898307679
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 14.6 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 352,254 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


This book presents a study of the Horned God in the Traditional Witchcraft of Britain and Europe, concentrating upon the hunting, agricultural, arboreal and mystical facets of this most compelling and enduring of divine archetypes. Subjects covered include the Primordial God; the 'Master of the Beasts', the White Stag of Annwyn and the Horned God of Celtia; Cernunnos, Gwyn and Fionn, Cycles of the Midnight Hunt and the Furious Host, Wild Edric, Herne and Harlequin; Rough Musick and 'Riding the Stang', The Christmas Fool, Saturnus and the Cult of Misrule; the Masques of Old Scrat; Houtanz: the Sabbat of the Sorcerers and the Way of Night; the Red Bones of Resurrection and the symbology of the Skull and Crossbones in Witchcraft; Wudewasa - The Knowledge of the Green Man; Wild Men, Woodwoses and the Green Mystery of the Phallus, Old Pouck, Hob-Satyrs and the God of the Goatskins, Robin Goodfellow and the Pwca: the Great God Faunus - Pan; The Cult of the Buxen; The Horned Lord of Horsemen and Shepherds; The Horned God as Coal-Black Smith; Tubal Qayin, and much more...In addition to the theoretical knowledge, the reader is given a number of traditional rituals, corresponding to specific aspects of the Old One: 'The Rite of the Horns of Misrule', 'The Ceremony of the Red Bones', 'The Knowledge of the Green One' and 'The Fire of Qayin', making this volume an esoteric grimoire of the inner Religion of the Horned One.

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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A. Moorhouse Sacred Earth on 2 Nov 2001
Covering all aspects of the Horned God, Jackson divulges a wealth of practical and theoretical lore for the modern worshipper or student. Illustrated with his own unique artwork, Jackson describes the ancient, mediaeval and modern incarnations of the God, covering His role as leader of the Wild Hunt, Lord of Knowledge, Master of the Greenwood and associated Faery lore. Throughout are presented rites and rituals for the student to attempt their own knowledge of the God and the lore of Tubal Cain is treated in depth. The real Horned One in all His glory.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 16 Sep 2003
This is one of the best examples of the Traditional Craft that I have seen for some time - written primarily from an Anglo Saxon Traditional angle but there is much that will be of interest to all paths. Well written and lots of authentic references as well as plenty of information and themes for novice and adept alike to use to adapt to their own path...Excellent
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By Leigh on 7 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase
Fantastic addition to my library. Very informative, can read as a dry detail about different local traditions etc, but hidden beneath is a wealth of esoteric mystery and with any mystery the understanding is always personal and experiential. Absolute gems of knowledge, just reading some of the rituals, which alone are worth the cost of the book, tingles the spine and awakens deep within.
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By Jasmine on 9 Jan 2011
im not going to delve into this and appraise the book, but just take my word this and the call of the horned piper is just absolutely excellent. simply excellent. please write more along these lines Nigel.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 11 reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
An Interesting Bit of Tale Telling, offering bits and bobs 27 Jan 2005
By G. T. Taylor - Published on
interspersed with rituals he wrote himself. Most amusing is his lack of command over the German Language - Old or Modern - contrary to his pretensions.

The German word 'Gabelreiterinnen' - which Mr Jackson says is a name used by MALE witches in Germany - translates exactly the same now as it would have several centuries ago - "WOMEN Who Ride Forks." Apparently Mr Jackson is unaware that the "in" suffix he applies means that one is speaking about a woman. The correct form for a male would be Der Gabelreiter and the plural could be either Die Gabelreiter or Die Gabelreitern depending on dialekt but Die Gabelreiterin remains a "Woman Riding a Fork" regardless.

Like many who cater to the Pagan Federation and the New Age, Mr Jackson's linguistic skills are inconsistent and need double checking.

Otherwise, all in all, it's an interesting stitching together of various folk customs and bits of lore.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Masculine Traditions 12 Dec 1999
By kytheriea - Published on
This book takes a more anthropological overview of the European Horned God and makes comparitives between other cultures. It also takes a look at the integration and development of concepts and beliefs surrounding the Horned God. This is then intermixed with various pieces of folklore an tradition which incidently found within traditional Witchcraft. So, you not only understand the information but also understand where it came from and how it developed.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
excellent material 18 Nov 2001
By A Customer - Published on
It is too bad to see that this book, as well as the authors other books, namely "Call of the Horned Piper" and "Compleat Vampyre" are becoming scarce. Nigel Jackson has made a lot of important observations that bear upon the "Old Ways" that no one who is serious about Wicca can afford to ignore. I would give Jackson's books fewer stars, except that the material is so good. He isn't all that good a writer, and it isn't all that easy to follow him. Often he throws ideas together in ways that are distracting and that make one wonder if he knows how to develope his subject. He would have benefited by having a good editor. Howbeit, what's most important is that he does present this deeply interesting material, and it is up to the reader to absorb and use it. If used in Wiccan practice, the material will bring a depth of experience that is most authentic and powerful. Nigel Jackson is very deeply immersed in the oldest form of Eurasian sacred shamanistic magic that there is - at least 200,000 years old, and it's still alive and kicking.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Sonny Gardner - Published on
I got this book along with 2 others of Nigel Jackson's back in the 1990's and am currently enjoying them again. Enough so to warrant this review. I concur with another reviewer that 'Masks of Misrule' (along with 'Call of the Horned Piper' & 'Compleat Vampyre', also by Nigel Jackson) can be counted as required reading for any seriously devoted student of (Traditional) Witchcraft.

The book is actually a kind of little grimoire containing the concentrated essence of the archetypal Primal Pagan God distilled from various traditions and cultures of (mostly) Europe, but also the Mid East & Asia. 168 pages with a modest glossary and index of certain terms & vocabulary. with 15 or so original illustrations by the author - artist. In reviewing this book I discovered Mr.Jackson has also a Tarot to his credit !
This is a small book but whatever it may lack in great scholastic depth, or suffer from in a few typos, it makes up for in inspired Craft nuance. This will inspire the Witch, Wiccan or Pagan in their own research and devotion.

Although THIS IS NOT a heavy, scholarly tome of dense academia, citing dry sources with endless footnotes; NOR a discourse on a particular dogmatic, hierarchal, copyrighted "Tradition", it seems to encapsulate, poetically and rather succinctly, the shadowy form(s) of the Primordial God out of the misty history of our Pagan past.

It does require some open-mindedness as THIS IS NOT your common, standard neo-Wicca workbook of the currently common type. Nor does it tell (again!) how to cast a circle, basic color & planetary correspondences, love spells (have that in about a half dozen different books by now, don't you?) nor pages of dogmatic, scripted, pre-fab, (yawn) uninspired rituals. NO! This little grimoire takes you warmly by the hand and leads you into the Greenwood deep, down the twisting, crooked path of The Horned Master of Sorcery. The author gathers strands of the Leafy Green One - Horned God's DNA from the British Isles & the Continent and weaves them together to reveal the rough texture of the Primal Male Force in Nature & the Craft.

Admittedly, the citing of resources would have been useful had the author bothered to include them. But if you are a true seeker in the Craft (in it for the long haul) you may already have some such books on your shelf (Ginzburg's 'Ecstasies' is an obvious source) or, you will be moved to seek deeper by what you find in 'Masks of Misrule'.

I give this book 4 stars because the cover art is spoiled by the intrusion of bad 90's computer generated background & titling, and (as we have come to expect from Capall Bann publishers) it suffers from grammatical hiccups as mentioned in another review. Seriously, does Capall Bann consider proofreading unessential to printing books? But it is a great place for both the new and the old on the Path and the info & inspiration provided to personal gnosis far outweighs those minor hindrances.
To give a hint of what you'll find inside, Chapter titles include:

Lay of the Arthame
In the Sign of the Horns
Chapt.1 Icons of the Primal Master
Chapt.2 The White Stag of Annwvyn
Chapt.3 Cycles of the Midnight Hunt
Chapt.4 The Christmas Fool, Saturnus & the Cult of Misrule
Chapt.5 The Man in Black & the Road to the Sabbat
Chapt.6 The Red Bones of Resurrection
Chapt.7 Wudewasa: the Knowledge of the Green Man
Chapt.8 Satyromania - In the Kingdom of the Goat
Chapt.9 The Emerald Crown & the Morning Star

Written with mystical insight {for those with ears to hear and eyes to see} in a romantic spirit based on historical fact with original, inspired, free-form germs of rituals that give the devotional - magickal feeling without any dogma. The writer gives historical examples of old cultic traditions and cross-culturally relates archetypal masks of the Old One in an easy to read manner.

AND THE ORIGINAL ART !!! WHY HAS NO OTHER REVIEW MENTIONED THE ILLUSTRATIONS? Mr.Jackson is an obviously gifted artist who manages to tap a nostalgic Pagan pulse. I only wish there were further explanations to reveal some of the magickal symbols in the talismanic images, done in an old woodcut appearing style. That may be intended as a subconscious device to be contemplated and divulged through in-sight.

In short - get this one. If you like it - get the others by N. Jackson mentioned in this review.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Fantastic 13 April 2009
By RootedHand - Published on
Like Call of the Horned Piper, this is one of the few books available that presents Traditional Craft in an honest and straight forward way without any "wiccan" nonsense or "neo-pagan" overtones. This book is highly recommended for those seeking to return more fully to true old ways.
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