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Author Topic: Anyone read Justin Glass Witchcraft, the Sixth Sense..?  (Read 5168 times)
Adare
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« Topic Start: April 21, 2011, 09:23:22 pm »

Wondering if anyone's read this, and what you thought? Based on what I've read so far I'm thinking there should be some opinions floating around here if anyone has  Grin
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« Reply #1: April 22, 2011, 12:39:46 am »

Wondering if anyone's read this, and what you thought? Based on what I've read so far I'm thinking there should be some opinions floating around here if anyone has  Grin
It's been a while, but I own a copy so I can check on details if necessary.

Fairly typical of occult books of its time (mid-'60s) - massive amounts of poorly-organized folklore, pseudo-folklore, and dubious history used to flesh out into book length, and give an appearance of context, to something that'd otherwise only be a longish magazine article.  And of course the obligatory "grandmother story"-type claims.

The core of it is Glass' interviews with Robert Cochrane, who was the progenitor of a non-Wiccan strand of religious witchcraft (current descendant trads include the 1734 Tradition and the Ancient Keltic Church; incidentally, he's also the guy who came up with the label "Gardnerian", initially as a sneer).  While it does illustrate a somewhat-contrasting approach to religious witchcraft, it's pretty well-known that Cochrane fed Glass a lot of misinformation and nonsense, apparently to amuse himself, along with more accurate info about his practices, so it's not all that good a source on Cochranist Craft.  It did, though, help to present the idea that Gardner's religious witchcraft wasn't the only possible approach.

Links and/or more commentary on request; I'm tight for time right now.

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« Reply #2: April 24, 2011, 09:59:18 am »

The core of it is Glass' interviews with Robert Cochrane, who was the progenitor of a non-Wiccan strand of religious witchcraft (current descendant trads include the 1734 Tradition and the Ancient Keltic Church; incidentally, he's also the guy who came up with the label "Gardnerian", initially as a sneer).  While it does illustrate a somewhat-contrasting approach to religious witchcraft, it's pretty well-known that Cochrane fed Glass a lot of misinformation and nonsense, apparently to amuse himself, along with more accurate info about his practices, so it's not all that good a source on Cochranist Craft.  It did, though, help to present the idea that Gardner's religious witchcraft wasn't the only possible approach.

Much appreciated! I'm slogging through it now, and that context helps in pulling out what's of value. So if a trad Wiccan HP suggested it as reading along with Valiente, Gardner (Witchcraft Today) and Cunningham's Truth About Witchcraft Today, it's prolly the differing approaches to religious witchcraft that she's highlighting? As well as a good summary, and history thereof?
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« Reply #3: April 25, 2011, 08:11:36 pm »

Much appreciated! I'm slogging through it now, and that context helps in pulling out what's of value. So if a trad Wiccan HP suggested it as reading along with Valiente, Gardner (Witchcraft Today) and Cunningham's Truth About Witchcraft Today, it's prolly the differing approaches to religious witchcraft that she's highlighting? As well as a good summary, and history thereof?
Hmm - might be either to show a contrast to the BTW approach, or to help the student develop an understanding of the zeitgeist in which the modern neoPagan movement developed, or both of course.  To really be certain, you'd have to ask her - but there's a good chance she wouldn't tell you in so many words at this point, because it's likely that at least some of the purpose is to see what you get out of it.

Looking at the reading list as a whole, it seems very much directed at differing approaches (it should be remembered that Valiente, though one of Gardner's early HPses, later broke with Gardner and took up with Cochrane [and later broke with him, too]; her books show both influences), and would give some sense of the zeitgeist whether she (the HPs who assigned it) intended it or not.  One thing that really hits me is that it's an outdated list - while Gardner is as relevant as ever for Gardnerians and other BTWs, the picture it'd give of what non-BTWs do is not at all a current one (and limited in comprehensiveness/accuracy - adequate for a very general grasp on movement development, which may well be sufficient for BTW purposes, but barely scratching the surface if movement history, even just the explicitly witchcraft-related parts of the movement, was the focal subject).

It's tricky to say for sure, on the one hand because I'm not BTW (so I'm mostly going on what I know about teaching from an Eclectic POV, and what BTWs have said about book recs and teaching - I've been on a non-oathbound BTW-related e-list for six or seven years and have picked up a lot, but it's still "from outside"), and on the other because the purpose might vary quite a bit depending on your status - the intent behind assigning this list as part of formal training with the possibility of eventual initiation (some use the term "Outer Court" for this, others don't) might be very different than the intent behind suggesting these books to someone whom one is not in an ongoing training relationship with.  (And different again as part of the training of a new initiate, though I'm guessing that's neither here nor there in this convo.)

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My blog "If You Ain't Makin' Waves, You Ain't Kickin' Hard Enough", at Dreamwidth and LJ
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« Reply #4: May 01, 2011, 03:10:51 pm »



Thank you so much - I am terrible at this kind of analysis (give me facts or numbers!), and your insight is really helpful (and deductions spot on) Smiley
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Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile,
but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.
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