“American Folkloric Witchcraft” is the umbrella term for a cluster of Traditions that include the Spiral Castle Tradition. Laurelei (me) and Glaux (two witches living and practicing in southern Indiana, U.S.A. at the time) coined the term and applied it to their own Trad, as others have gone on to apply it to theirs.
We started living and working together in 2008, but each of us had been practicing Witchcraft since the late 1990’s. In that time, we developed some opinions about what we preferred and what we didn’t. We were both avid proponents of non-Wiccan Craft in the style of Robert Cochrane. We counted ourselves as devotees of Tubal Cain and of the White and Black Goddesses.
Glaux and I were life and magical partners back then, and we found that we were shaping a magical path together — or it was shaping us. We were inspired in May 2011 to share this work with others through the writings on the AFW blog, well aware that any true mystery cannot be told, it must be experienced for oneself.
In the summer of 2015, we divorced. Glaux is operating her own AFW coven (Crossroads Coven), and I have continued operating Coven Caer Sidhe (the founding coven).
We have found in the years since our divorce that it hasn’t been easy for us to collaborate (magically or mundanely), and while we each continue to focus with our friends and magical Family on the important task of cutting a crooked path through the Wildwood, we no longer have each other as a touchstone. Sometimes, we find that we have come to the same glade and found the same Mystery. And at other times, our tracks look very foreign to each other (and would not seem kin to an onlooker seeking comparison between our current work). We must be at peace with this, and hope that our separate, unique work can provide a guidepost to others who seek to practice the Old Ways in a new way.
Our ways have been inspired primarily by the works of Robert Cochrane/Roy Bowers and Robert Graves. We have inherited elements of other American groups that also work with Cochrane’s materials (namely 1734 and Ancient Keltic Church), American Rootwork traditions, ancient European and Native American Shamanism, and a great body of many years’ experience working in occult traditions.
We have called this path American Folkloric Witchcraft, mindful of the fact that although we work in a heavily British tradition of Craft, we ourselves are practicing in America. We are attuned to the unique energies of the land in which we live and work, and we understand that ours is an American expression of what began as a European mystery.
The specific Tradition within AFW that is expressed within this blog is the Spiral Castle Tradition — named in honor of the twisting, revolving, ever-changing fey court the opens into every realm of existence and sits at the heart of the Compass. From this ever-moving still-point, all things are possible.
We claim no lineage to any group or tradition, although our members have worked extensively in other groups and traditions. This path is our own, and is for those who bear the Mark of Qayin. It claims no authority other than the oaths and bonds we have taken to our Gods and our Ancestors.
We hope you will join us as we walk down the Crooked Path.