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The Roebuck in the Thicket: An Anthology of the Robert Cochrane Tradition [Paperback]

Evan John Jones , Robert Cochrane , Michael Howard
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 210 pages
  • Publisher: Capall Bann Publishing (30 Jan 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1861631553
  • ISBN-13: 978-1861631558
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 513,098 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Robert Cochrane was one of the most fascinating and enigmatic figures in the history of the modern witchcraft revival. He claimed a family witchcraft tradition going back to the 17th century and also claimed that he had been taught the Craft by a family member. He was in contact with leading occult figures in the sixties such as Bill Gray and claimed links with a number of hereditary groups in the UK. Describing himself, Cochrane wrote 'I come from the country of the oak, ash and thorn...I describe myself as a Pellar (Cornish term for rural healers) ...I am a member of the people of Goda - of the Clan of Tubal Cain' This book contains information about Robert Cochrane, his coven - The Clan of Tubal Cain, their ritual, teachings and beliefs and his workings written by himself to Evan John Jones, with additional writings by Evan John Jones and editing by Michael Howard. The articles in this book form a fascinating overview of a unique form of traditional witchcraft. See also 'The Robert Cochrane Letters' and 'Genuine Witchcraft is Explained'

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Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth Every Penny 21 Oct 2007
By Mr. M. P. Duffy VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
Anyone like me who has admiration for Robert Cochrane will appreciate this volume. I would buy this in tandem with the Robert Cochrane Letters (also published by Capall Bann), because the two together greatly expound many of his ideas. Of particular interest is the introductory chapter giving an overview of Cochrane's contribution to the witchcraft movement. The only downside is that the anthology doesn't contain some of Cochrane's other articles, but these can be easily found online.

When you read a book like this it really puts things into perspective regarding the quality of many works on witchcraft. Both Cochrane and Evan John Jones writings are inspired and of great interest to those looking for something a bit more meatier than the standard "cast the circle by visualising a blue light" material that makes up the bulk of most books on the market. The great tragedy, aside from Cochranes death, is that there is not more material of this ilk in print, but then one needs only look around at the market for books on this subject to find the reason why!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Roebuck is still in the Thicket !!! 2 May 2011
By Freya
Format:Paperback
If you are looking for a book on the old ways then this book would be agood place to start, I recommend as does a previous reviewer that you read "The Robert Cochrane Letters" also. This is witchcraft at it,s best and is not for anyone wishing to follow the Wiccan path.
This book gives great insight to the brilliant mind of Robert Cochrane, he described himself as "The angry young man of Witchcraft", I would describe him as a man of great vision who, was misunderstood and dismissed by some others in the witchcraft movement.
Maybe he did embellish things slightly but what witch hasn,t, I found this book to be inspiring, insightful and very informative.
Robert Cochrane has given much to the Witchcraft movement and in our workings we have discovered that the Roebuck is still indeed in the thicket.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good book 16 Jan 2014
By J. Moyr
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Good book, I am currently looking at all aspects of the Craft and Wicca - I think that my beliefs are not 100% written in a book which is to expected as everyone is different and that every path though similar in some aspects in others are quite different, If you are interested in Wicca then this is not for you.

Still good read :)
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read 12 Mar 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a good book to read if interested in witchcraft history,it's not a'How to'guide nor does it contain any spells so do be aware of what you're buying (A great guide to witchcraft is 'Teaching witchcraft'Miles Batty if you can track it down.For spells,'The complete book of spells'by Cassandra Eason contains loads as does 'Everyday magic'Dorothy Morrison)
This book is a collection of articles,previously published in pagan magazines,written by both Robert Cochrane and Evan john Jones detailing aspects of their lesser known tradition.
Alot of the articles are very indepth,even alittle heavy going sometimes,and although I enjoyed reading it,there wasn't much I could actually put into practice as a solitary witch.
The articles were very intelligently written,and I liked the few old photos(check out page two,Robert cochrane really reminds me of Harry Potter!) and I enjoyed reading it.
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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my most loved... 5 May 2005
By Marilyn - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Beautiful glimpse into the world of the Traditional Witch! If you are "starved" for some "real food" and tired of a "cotton candy" diet of so-called witchcraft books, you may enjoy this! It is not a "how to" book, but more like reading the private diary of a Traditional Witch, as well as being filled with much wisdom. While no books can take the place of experiencing the Old Ones personally, this book does a nice little job of introducing one to the world of the Witch.
I have a great fondness for it and think every Witch who follows the Ways of Old should have a copy to call their own!
If only there were more like these...
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth every penny - why aren't there more books like this! 13 Sep 2004
By Mr. M. P. Duffy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Anyone like me who has admiration for the ideas of Cochrane will appreciate this volume. I would buy this in tandem with the Robert Cochrane Letters (also published by Capall Bann), because the two together greatly expound many of his ideas.

When you read a book like this it really puts things into perspective regarding the quality of many works on witchcraft. Both Cochrane and Evan John Jones writings are inspired and of great interest to those looking for something a bit more meatier than the standard "cast the circle by visualising a blue light" material that makes up the bulk of most books on the market. The great tragedy, aside from Cochranes death, is that there is not more material of this ilk in print, but then one needs only look around at the market for books on this subject to find the reason why!

FFFF

Martin
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Traditional British Witchcraft 16 May 2011
By S. Cranow - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is an awesome little book. Every page is chock filled with information. The book covers everything about the Clan of Tubal Caine and Robert Cochrane. Starting with a brief biography of Cochrane's life it goes all the way through philosophy,history and rituals.

Born in 1931, Robert Cochranewas born and he grew up in the slums of London. By his pown admission to William Grey, a ceremonial magician, Robert Cochrane had a violent temper. He ran through a variety of careers. He started off as a blacksmith then went on to run barges on the river. The river folks used many craft motifs such as the rose. Cochrane would later become a type face setter. While leading his clan or coven Robert Cochrane always believed that pagans and witches were not necessarily the same. Cochrane also made the controversial statement that he was descended from witches. It was his grandparents converted from the witch religion to Methodist christianity. They would be cursed by the great grandfather. This was on his father's side. after his father passed on his mother let him in on the family secret. He as trained by his aunt Lucy. Before starting the Clan of Tubal Caine he was trained in other Family Traditions. He would write for the publication belong to Witchcraft Research association under the pen name , John Math. Cochrane had a major Feud with Gerald Gardner, the founder of Wicca. He claimed tht Gardner was a charlatan and a fraud. Cochrane also made other claimss. Such claims were that pagan season festivals went out in the 12th to 13th century. it was also in the 12 century that Middle Eastern influences became prevalent. Before this time Catholicism and paganism were able to live side by side. After that the Catholics persecuted the pagan and witches.

The 1734 movement was based on correspondences between Cochrane and Joe Wilson. The tradition was brought to the United States. In 1989 the Finnins started the ancient keltic church which recieved tax exempt status. There was a lot of curiosity as to what 1734 meant. It pertained to the nature and attributes of the Goddess. Many of Cochrane's groups did not believe many of the claims that Cochrane made. one of the most famous instances revolves around a copper plate that he recieved from Doreeen Valiente. In the news he claimed it was an ancient keepsake from his family. This deception clearly annoyed Doreen Valiente. She made a good record of Cohrane's rituals. Often times they had a big fire and would dance around it chanting.

His clans theology was different from Wicca. At the head of his pantheon was a great mother goddess who was totally unknowable. She would give birth to the witch goddess and the horned god. The witch goddess was known ass the maiden, mother and crone. she was also linked to the three sisters of fate or wyrd. The witch goddess could go by three different names ; Hecate, Diana and Artemis. The male or horned god was the god of fire, magic and the underworld. He was associated with Bran,Wayland and Herne. In Cochrane's tradition he was called Tubal Cain. When these two coupled they ended up giving birth to seven god and goddesses,they corresponded to the seven planetery bodies. Each one was in charge of his or her own world. Four of them had control over the four elements.

Cochrane was often vague and his statement were difficult to prove whether they were true or false. This is what Cochrane believed in and it was called Grey Magic. The idea behind this was to never let someone be able to confirm their opinion about him. He also believed that what started out as deceit or illusion would eventually become real.

Cochrane's system of witchcraft had a unique way of casting a circle. The altar faced north and the stang which also was in the north represented the horn god. This was the gateway to the spirit world. The stang was garlanded with different flowers pending on the season. it was also crossed with arrows and libations could be left at it's base. Circle casting was done in a deosil direction going North to North. The Northern Direction was governed by the old hag, the east by the young horned god, the south by the maiden, and the west by the old horned god. These were invoked when casting the circle.

The author Evan John Jones believes that there is no unbroken or true tradition of witchcraft. There is no purity just pieces left over from the past and reconstructed. If a group or individual learned up on enough knowledge and was dedicated to finding the truth could forge their own system and initiation and it would be valid to the goddess. The system also believed that mankind were active agents of creation. After death each group of people and religion created their own after life which member of the clan went to after they passed on. After the after life the people would reincarnate. Rituals gave form to worship. When active in the craft there were several form of vision; poetic vision- inward access to dream images and symbol, vision of memory- Past life remembrance, magic was vision of the triad. Religious vision gave one access to godhead.Mystical vision was unification with godhead.

The Roebuck in the thicket was a symbol of sacrifice. In old Britain when a roebuck was killed it's head was posted on a pole. something was placed in it's mouth. This was meant as a sacrifice to the old god. The morning and evening stars were also ways of telling time. The symbol of the Rose was symbolic of things hidden.

For such a short book this is really comprehensive. This lengthy review only covers part of it. If you read this and are serious about the craft you will refer to it many times. This book gets a 5/5
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic 17 April 2005
By Shloma ben Avram HaKohain - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Really wonderful collection of essays on elements of major importance to Traditional Witchcraft. Although a smaller volume, this seems much more in-depth to me insofar as esoteric elements of the craft than Evan Jones's "Witchcraft: A Tradition Renewed" (which is also well worth finding, especially for practical ritual). Together with "The Robert Cochrane Letters" (some of which is a bit obscure to wade through), and much of the material coming out of Capall Bann Publishing, this will hopefully foment a renaissance in modern Witchcraft.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read, even for a non-witch 11 Dec 2010
By Christopher R. Travers - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book consists of three basic parts: An introduction which includes a biography of Robert Cochrane, a few writings of Cochrane's, and a larger number of writings by Evan John Jones. These come out of the Tubal Cain Witchcraft tradition.

I found the biography and introduction to be quite interesting in its own right. There isn't a lot to be said here except that it covers the basic outlines of Cochrane's life and his controversies, giving a picture of depth to the man and his works.

The writings of Cochrane himself, I found interesting to ponder as philosophy generally. His concepts of truth, magic, fate, the Gods, etc. are quite a bit different than I have come across in the neopagan scene, and indeed Cochrane certainly did not consider himself to be neopagan.

The writings of Evan John Jones generally are more pagan and operant in nature. These cover outlines and discussions of various rituals, symbolism of tools, etc. In general, as a non-Witch, I found these less interesting.

Later in the book, however, Jones turns back to discussing Cochrane's philosophy, life, and death, and in these essays something deep is touched upon.

Highly recommended.
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