It’s been a Devil of a Year!

It’s been a Devil of a Year!


Over the course of 2016/17, I published two books that advanced my research undertaken during the previous decade of works dedicated to the fundamental virtues of Lucifer, Satan and the Devil and how the myths and histories relating to them are configured within the Craft, and how that has primarily affected my own Tradition – The People of Goda of the Clan of Tubal Cain by Robert Cochrane, the founder of CTC and by his forebears.

The First of these is The Devil’s Crown:



Cochrane’s preference for Beowulf and for The Epic of Gilgamesh may bring surprise; his presumed ‘Celtic’ obsession has been woefully exaggerated. Here is a random compilation forecasting the body of work encompassed within these extremely in-depth, extensively researched volumes. The unfolding gnosis combines wisdom acquired through anamnesis, experience and tutelage, all requisite to that process of becoming.




The mocking Fool, the Jestor’s jape, the Grim Herlekin. – Divil’s all, bearing Her Flame, barbs of the thorn, tines of the royal beast she hunts and slays. Tangs of the staff he holds aloft, She, as the divine feminine, is the Fire to his Light. Sunna – daag.   Her flaming shin is the Tiara of the ‘Triple Mothers’ and the Three Queens of our Tradition, whose gift to the King (root of Qyn meaning ruler/monarch) ultimately manifests as the ‘Divil’s Crown.’

In one of his letters to Joe Wilson during the last few months of his life, Bowers recalls giving the following instructions in Companie, that very strongly invoke the ‘Three Mothers’ within the making and weaving of the cord as Fate. One might even allude to the Kabbalah in the assignation of blue/black with mem- water, red with shin – fire and white with aleph – air/spirit. [i]

Cochrane wanted to show the elements of his faith and how that became a reflection of culture and arte as a lived tradition.

“Flax is a common cultivated flower known as Linum. When nearly dry, beat with a mallet until the fibres are separated from the stem. This produces a linen ‘shoddy,’ combed with a teazle head .. then spun upon a distaff by a woman who ‘sings’ to the moon (sounds crazy?) This linen shoddy should be dyed red, blue, and white. Your whole length should be measured in this… seven knots tied in the plait – and then you have a cord ….which is used as a meditational device, a la 1734.  The remains should be kept in the separate colours and spun upon the distaff. This, used with Mother Broom, and symbolic herbs, will assist the cure of most illnesses ….from personal experience I know it works. I have seen the common cold cured, cancer of the womb, warts, and bleeding stopped by this yarn – but it is dependent upon the moon’s phases, and Mother Broom for the inner workings. The slow process of creating the yarn is a form of alchemy.”      ~ Robert Cochrane




The woven ‘knot’ is therefore perfectly suited in purpose as the emblem of Inanna atop her reed pillar forming a somewhat idiosyncratic ‘ankh’ also a symbol for the Virtue of life. Co-incidentally, this binding of the elements within a sacred enclosure is denoted by the graphic for salt, earth and the gateway known as Malkuth in the Kabbalah. Magickally, it represents the circle of arte and by reflux……Hekate is the three-fold gateway to Heaven, Earth and the Underworld…  ‘Hael to the Mothers Three!’ [ii]





“We work with the three pronged stave or ‘stang’”     ~ Robert Cochrane


The devil’s trident, the fools baton, the hayfork is the ubiquitous staff of the ardent crafter, masked only by intent where all ritual is prayer; all work is grist. We raise the Stang for Dame Fate and for He who manifests Her causality, Ol’ Tubal, Master Artificer and Craftsman, the Sabbat King and Hooded Wanderer.

We see the Stang as an altar standing in the forecourt of an open tomb or burial. Because the Old God was, in essence, considered to be Lord of manifest things in all their forms, this made perfect sense. The Totem, the Clan leader and the God shared the same essence and were symbolically of the same ‘family.’ Hence we say:[iii]


“The Hunter, the Hunted (Old Tubal Cain) and the Roebuck in the Thicket are one and the same.”       ~ Robert Cochrane





Bones serve as a graphic reminder of our fragile mortality, and of the blood and dust of which we are formed upon them. Stripped to this primal image, we gaze into the ‘mask’ of the Pale-Faced Goddess who at Her appointed time comes for us as the Immortal Beloved with Her kiss of death, as the late chills of autumn presage the winter to come. Looking into the Mythos of the staff and the Stang, we find their origins in the Asherah pole.







At a holy site (Baal-Bek) dedicated to this thunderous deity, Baal, there is a quivering gate named Ba-Bel, to his sacred Temple, upon the mound that inspires prophecy and oracular wisdoms induced as inspired utterances.  As a phallic fertility god of storm, Baal, is there depicted as two large stones aside a palm tree, emphasising the ‘cleft’ of Asherah.

Typically, Ishtar is another earlier form of this wisdom goddess. She rules creation from the Kur, meaning the (netherworld) mountain plundered in Her lust for the triple Crown (Koryphe – rulership by right of the Mé). These combined myths share enough to suggest confusion has arisen, possibly due to numerous translations that cloud our understanding of the symbology and significance of the crown, the head and cleft relative to the birth and to actuation of divine wisdom ‘rising’ as supreme personage. Her ‘thunder’ is that of the Seiðr.  Again, SHE is the Tree of Wisdom, and of life and death.[iv]


“Since I do not normally have eyes that see, I have to give you others’ descriptions of some of the things observed.  A woman dressed in white, pacing with us, a skull from the north, and the many others seen by the group. Necromancy? Never, just the opening of the Castle gates , these things appear for a short while only, then the big event begins. One cannot cross the Lethe without some heart-searching and nail-biting.  It is hard like this until our guide appears, then we are through.”               ~ Robert Cochrane.







The Devil’s Crown includes further chapters on Divine Providence, Watchers and Guardians, Masking and Guising, Sin-Eating, Kith & Kin, The Law, the Vølur, Divination and Sibylline Oracle, the Tetragrammaton, Sophianic Mysticism, Wyrd, The Woodwose Art, The Mothers and the ‘Mark of Cain:’

There is a natural and etymological link between the words, ‘mark’ and ‘boundary,’ that may suggest how the former denotes inclusive protection within the latter; a sense epitomised by the rune: Þurisaz, curiously known as the devil’s rune! Cain’s mark finds mention in the Anglo-Saxon Epic, Beowulf, where its pronunciation may be noted as: Öowth – ‘oath’ to the ear.’ This can mean a sign, mark, banner, remembrance, omen, warning, token, ensign, standard/guiden, or miracle, adding further credence to a presumed connection between the Mark of Cain and the act of devotion, a surrender to, an allegiance whereby, the emblem of aegis is lauded.

The arid landscape of the scapegoat looms brightly across their kaleidoscopic myopia; painful icy shards cut deeply into the heart of our humanity, blinding the seeker inwards, shattering myriad visions that petrify those devoid of an inner compass to guide them true.  Deep within the subconscious realms of Mythopoeia, Tubal Cain haunts us as the Titanic, ante-diluvium progeny of Cain. All who carry ‘that’ mark find reference even in those most ancient of days, where Gilgamesh, Enkidu and all such heroes, would dare to blaze the torch of hope through the dark trials of sacrifice, burning the lie and all false despair on that eternal dawn of all becoming.[v]




The way of Cain and of Tubal Cain manifests in praxis:

Silence is the language of the gods. Or rather, in silence we may yet hear their call. In the texture of silence, there is knowledge for those who can recognize it.

Silence: the awe-full dread places where we come to learn. To ‘know thyself,’ is true gnosis indeed.

Silence is for the soul, communion for the spirit, and social intercourse for our humanity. Three times maketh the charm. Both John (E. J. Jones) and Robert Cochrane asserted silence as the purest vehicle for the building and adept manipulation of Virtue; so it is inspiring indeed to see these maxims actualized. Moreover, universal familiarity awards the deepest validations of their testament to Truth.

Sophia Prounicos, we may recall, as the serpent of the tree, is the voice of the Father (‘I am the light of thought’), the speech of the Mother (‘I am the expression of thought’) and the word of the Christos (‘I am the unification and assimilation of both voice and speech,’ given as the revelation of the One Truth -Vac). In terms of the Trinity, Her virtue is expressed through the Word that is Her voice. The manifestation of breath is particularly clear when speaking certain vowels sequences, the hidden names are therein glorified.  The Gnostic language preserves the greatest Mystery through sacred silence.[vi]


“As you know, our methods are different, and to me they are meditational aids, builders of atmosphere, not commands to the super-consciousness. We hardly have any speaking at all, since after a certain point it gets in the way. We have chants, series of words and all that, but they are rarely used once things get moving. In fact I would find anyone who insisted on voicing words a nuisance” and “where you would use words as a key to the transformation of basic power, we again use actions.”  ~ Robert Cochrane


Within that decade this research has provided the impetus and inspiration for other chapters and articles that have featured in journals and within my own publications. That research is ongoing and in constant revision.  Themes explore the role of devil’s advocate, the intercessor, the trickster, the whisperer, the voice of sanction, reason and evolution….




“Any occultist who claims to have secrets is a fake – the only secret is that which man does not understand – otherwise, all wisdom is an open book to those who would read it.”             

~ Robert Cochrane





Glancing casually and randomly through our Craft history confirms that almost every perceived ‘secret,’ has almost certainly been absorbed, or monopolised by someone else, worked into a book, a lecture, a modality and into praxis too. And yet,… and yet, the Mysteries ‘proper,’ remain quite undiminished. [vii]


“No genuine esoteric truth can be written down or put within an intellectual framework of thought. The truths are to be participated in during comprehension of the soul.”       ~ Robert Cochrane


Progress, research; push boundaries. Explore, delight in the new, the unexpected; seek always to grow. Discover history, ancestry, the beauty of myth, and the magick of experience. Our past comes alive for us in this way.  Roy Bowers stated the most profound of all truths, and so it is worthy of stating again: All ritual is prayer.”



On a cosmic scale, we are all threads, wound upon Her Distaff. As individuals, our threads bind themselves to others, they trace descent and ascent, to and from our being. Knots may form at nodes within the matrix of life, the blood and bone of humanity. As the Folk, or People, we grow as branches from the central Core of our tree.






From that trunk, an Egregoric community stands, a pillar of bark and sinew, connected to its point of origin, at its ‘Source.’ Each family tree is maintained through its roots, grounded as they are deep within the earth. Each tree, unless en-fleshed with the spiritual Egregore of the Clan or Family, will wither and decay.

Both Roy Bowers and Evan John Jones were ‘Od’s’ men.  Bowers knew such apprehension could not be taught or learned, one simply ‘got’ it, or one did not. At best, it has to be awakened, by ritual initiation. Knowing, brings true liberation. Many things will always appeal and seduce the mind, yet where we chose to engage these matters directly, in their embrace, the soul is given true solace.  [viii]


“The student of the ‘Mysteries’ is essentially a searcher after Truth, or as the ancient traditions called it – ‘Wisdom.’”          ~ Robert Cochrane


The Mysteries, properly described, are that precise resonance distinguishable as gifts of ‘divine’ communication, rather than expressions of divination accessed by exoteric means.  Those artes, presented within a framework of spirituality and communion with the ‘Other,’ in all its forms of mediation, emanate from the ethereal realms through all vital links that earth such principles into realisation.




“I ask the interested reader to examine the Hebrew letters IHV as they would be in their original and matriarchal form, which will explain something of the basic nature of magical rite and ritual. It should be as clear as the Roebuck in the Thicket now.”   ~ Robert Cochrane


The ‘Grand Narrative’  is the totality of all we do and all that work signifies. It is an outward expression of all we ‘know,’ and how we may share it with others. This becomes the call to ‘being,’ upon the Threshing Floor. The Pentagrammatic glyph is a microcosm of the ‘glory’ or ‘splendour’ of Creation; it finds further expression through five stages of virtue as a lived testament to the Covenant. These vital core principles, treasured by Cochrane as keys to a spiritual and mystical pathway towards Truth, became the seal upon which the ‘real’ Cochrane Tradition is predicated.

The Ophite Cult especially, serves as a valuable resource, plumbed for parallel maxims that may have fuelled the ethos of cultures far removed in time and geography.  In that tautalogical regime, their reverence for Sophia set her as the divine hypostatized form of Chockmah. Evolving as Prounicos, She is the Serpent of the Tree. She embodies the Mysteries proper, of salvation and redemption in the Supernal Triad where She is the voice of all.[ix]







“We are still babies suckling at a breast whose milk is poisonous, yet we think that we flourish upon poison. Truth, no matter how we interpret it, ‘feeds demons as well as saints.”                             ~ Robert Cochrane











Which again is why paper is as dry husk, the grist of in the Mill, stings and scratches; if the narrative is not expressed, nor breathed and given life, the writing withers in the dust. Folktales are indeed replete with regard to the ‘Grand Narrative,’ the secret keys, the ‘Arcanum glorium,’ the Philosophers Stone no less. In the Structure of the Craft document (jj), Bowers’ also remarks with full conviction how: [x]


“From the Gods came seven children, who created seven worlds to rule over, and they form a halo about the Great Gods as seven stars.”               ~ Robert Cochrane

Given that the Apkallu (teaching spirits and divine ancestors) of Mesopotamian lore are also equated with the Wind, it is useful to consider another line in Roy Bowers’ ‘Basic Structure’ where he describes to us how: [xi]


 “Above the head of the Moon, as shewn [sic] in the diagram lies five (seven) other stars, known as the Goddesses, that is they are to be seen in The Plough or Haywain.”     ~ Robert Cochrane






Cochrane continues, describing the forms and landscapes that manifest elements through all creation under the aegis of four of those seven Gods.  The rest of that section of the letter concerns the description of the Castles that guard those four lands, and the Gods who rule them. In another chapter of this book, the similarities of this cosmogony to a gnostic creation myth are explored and explained.

Robert Cochrane reflects his increasing passion for self-discovery within an instinctive culture of blood and bone, of his fore-fathers that sang to his soul. The first sense of this is found in the use of a pole the (qutub), as ‘whip’ to the wind; the second through the sense of ‘winnowing,’ of being threshed, thrown about, ground in the (wind) Mill itself.

Partake of bread, as the staff of life, wine, drawing upon divine life-blood through all produce of the sacred vine and salt, raw gift of life, Manna borne of earth. In their sacred consumption, each participant observes the triune grace of the Three Mothers in salt (water); bread (earth) and wine (fire/blood). Collectively, in their gift, a well-balanced Houzle is essential to communal experience and understanding, revealing how the subtle bodies interact and fulfil our spiritual aspirations.

Ignorance of fate and of the wit to overcome it is a fearful state. Hence, as we share in the Houzle, we abjure such fate, declaring it partaken with: “Girt terror and fearful dread.” To celebrate this glorious existence, in that Round of Life, we must remain mindful as we each partake of the Houzle to include the three elements that reflect triune divinity – Wine, bread and salt. [xii]





“People either have the desire to learn or they do haven’t. If they want things easy, then it is no use. I find the most difficult job, is teaching them the first basic steps in abstract thought. They all appear to think that physical actions will have spiritual results……’ Magic’ is all science fiction to the average inquirer, and they bloody well expect miracles with two penn’oth of action and thought.”                                                                                                                                            ~ Robert Cochrane



This blog represents less than 3% of the total content published. If you wish to explore the entire volume, please note, the book may be purchased directly from:

Mandrake of Oxford or ,


NEXT BLOG IS PART TWO: The Devil’s Supper

[i]    Oates, Shani. ‘The Devil’s Crown’  (UK: Mandrake of Oxford) 2017

[ii]   Ibid.

[iii]  Ibid.

[iv]  Ibid.

[v]   Ibid.

[vi]  Ibid.

[vii]  Ibid.

[viii] Ibid.

[ix]  Ibid.

[x]   Ibid.

[xi]  Ibid.

[xii] Ibid.

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