The mid-twentieth century witnessed the birth of popular occultism in the West, including an interest in witchcraft. At the forefront of popular witchcraft was Wicca, a recension of ceremonial magic and nature worship advanced by Gerald Gardner and Alex Sanders, now widely regarded as a religion. However, lesser-known streams of the witch-current thrived the shadows, having older historical roots, and linked to an ancient body of practice – witch-bottles, knotted cord spells, curses, exorcisms, sexual magic, and charms ranging from the conjuration of angels to protection of livestock and hearth.
This was Traditional Witchcraft, whose origin in part lies with the sorcery of the cunning-folk of Britain and Colonial America. Though largely avoiding the popular occult limelight, from 1970 onward, elements of Traditional Witchcraft experienced a partial emergence into the public through such publications as Paul Huson’s Mastering Witchcraft, the writings of Robert Cochrane and Evan John Jones, and Andrew Chumbley’s Azoëtia: A Grimoire of the Sabbatic Craft.
Based on over forty years of research and private collaboration with practitioners, Michael Howard’sChildren of Cain is the definitive history of Traditional Witchcraft and its key operatives in Britain and the United States. Supplemented with diverse photographs and illustrations, many appearing for the first time, the book artfully encompasses the unique legacy of Traditional Witchcraft – those who bear the Mark of the Exile as a sign of hidden power: the Children of Cain.