Besom, Stang & Sword: A Guide to Traditional Witchcraft, the Six-Fold Path & the Hidden Landscape

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Product Details
$22.95  $21.34
Weiser Books
Publish Date
6.0 X 8.9 X 0.8 inches | 1.0 pounds

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About the Author
Christopher Orapello is an artist, witch, and animist with a background in Western occultism, ceremonial magick, and Freemasonry and has been on his journey for 30 years. He co-hosts the podcast Down at the Crossroads with his partner, Tara-Love Maguire, a signature artist with Sacred Source (a leading producer and distributor of ancient deity images in North America), and is the Magister of The Blacktree Tradition of Witchcraft. You can find out more about Christopher and Tara-Love at
As an Appalachian witch, bioregional witchcraft is the only witchcraft that touches me, the only sort that reaches backward and forward, roving the spiritual as well as the physical landscape. This knotty and fine book is old and new, too--beautifully written, deeply researched and growing from the furrows of a genuine practice. Much to learn here and much to do. Bury yourself in Besom, Stang & Sword's evocative spirit. --H. Byron Ballard, witch and author of Earth Works: Ceremonies in Tower Time--H. Byron Ballard
"Thoughtful, incredibly practical, and rooted in reality: all of my very favorite things! In their book Besom, Stang, and Sword, Chris Orapello and Tara-Love Maguire beautifully articulate everything I hold dear." --Deborah Castellano, Glamour Magic: The Witchcraft Revolution to Get What You Want--Deborah Castellano
"Besom, Stang, and Sword skillfully introduces the reader to important lessons in Traditional Witchcraft and sets them on a path of mastery. Orapello and Maguire open both their minds and hearts and guide us through a style of magic which has been intimately cultivated and thoroughly explored. This is a book that will quickly become a classic and a must-have for those who seek to discover the magic of the crooked path." -Devin Hunter, author of The Witch's Book of Power and The Witch's Book of Spirits--Devin Hunter
"With Besom Stang and Sword, Christopher Orapello and Tara-Love Maguire introduce you to The Blacktree Path, a regional form of witchcraft which employs an inviting framework of practical magic aimed at helping one to discover the power of self and place. This immersive amalgamation of practice, rooted in traditional witchcraft, weaves together the essential components of folk magic, shamanism, animism, ancestor veneration and the occult arts, while removing the excess pageantry. This leaves the reader with the blueprints for a more candid, modern approach to the craft. Invoke the power of your surrounding landscape, commune with the spirit that resides amongst it, and stir up the desire to reclaim your magical sovereignty as you tread the Blacktree Path." --Hugh F. Carey III, founder of Eclectic Artisans Pagan Marketplace, and Sabbat Box, a subscription box service for Pagans--Hugh F. Carey, III
"Besom, Stang & Sword presents Traditional Witchcraft in a clear, easy to learn manner, and it does so within the context of a complete tradition that is non-religious but filled with spirits. Most of us don't have a Traditional Witch living next door who can teach us her skills and traditions, but we can learn from Christopher Orapello and Tara-Love Maguire." --John Beckett, Druid and author of The Path of Paganism--John Beckett
"What an absolute treat to the senses it has been to delve into Besom, Stang & Sword! This text presents a cohesive system of practice, thorough in exploring the fundamentals of magic, yet unafraid to delve into the dimly lit corners of witchcraft. Christopher Orapello and Tara-Love Maguire offer their own meticulously curated system based on theory, history, folklore, and trusted praxis. They cover an astonishing array of topics in a refreshingly concise manner and offer clear instruction along with their own rituals and spell work. What they present to us is intelligent methodology, and a powerful and spirit-fueled practice that reminds you that your tradition is a living creature to be respected and nurtured. Though a primer for their own magical system, there is no feeling of witchcraft-light here. This book encourages a deepening of your magic, a connection to your own bioregion, and a passion for the work you do with the land and your own spirits. This is sure to become a foundational text among magical practitioners. Orapello and Maguire have offered a treasure to their community with this tome. "Magick is magick" they say, and this book truly is just that." --Jen (Rue) Holmes, blogger and herb mistress at Rue and Hyssop--Jen (Rue) Holmes
"Orapello and Maguire have done it, as Besom, Stang, and Sword is as comprehensive a guide to traditional witchcraft as one could ask for. Looking at the bark on their Blacktree, you can see the roots in 1734, Clan of Tubal Cain, and other traditions as the authors reach into the moonlight for future generations. From establishing yourself as a practitioner to re-imagining the Witches' Pyramid, the book's sections are in-depth without leaving the reader feeling lost and each chapter includes suggested titles for further study. Besom, Stang, and Sword may take days to read, but will keep you engaged for a lifetime." --Amy Blackthorn, author of Blackthorn's Botanical Magic and creator of Blackthorn Hoodoo Blends--Amy Blackthorn
"When I first met Christopher Orapello and Tara-Love Maguire, I knew I was in the company of witches. Despite the commonplace setting, I could feel the stir of the wind between the worlds and smell the scent of deep earth and moonlight. Their book, Besom, Stang, and Sword fulfills the promise of that first encounter. They have performed the Great Work of witches and have made the old become new and live again. Chapter by chapter, they lay out the tools and the paths of their system of witchcraft. If you do the work described, you will claim your place in a broader reality filled with majesty and power. There are a thousand and one ways to be a witch. This may be your way, but if it is not, it will still be worth your careful attention. All the magicks of the world are intertwined, each a twisting path forming the weave of things." --Ivo Dominguez, Jr., author of Keys to Perception, Practical Astrology for Witches and Pagans, and other books of magick--Ivo Dominguez, Jr.
"From this moment on, when someone in North America asks me for a book on Traditional Witchcraft, I will be recommending Besom, Stang & Sword from Christopher Orapello and Tara-Love Maguire. Why? Because this book takes what I feel is the most essential truth of any real witchcraft and places it front and center: All witchcraft is local." --Jason Miller, author of The Elements of Spellcrafting: 21 Keys to Successful Sorcery--Jason Miller
Besom, Stang and Sword: A Guide to Traditional Witchcraft, the Six-Fold Path, and the Hidden Landscape ensorcells witchcraft back to its primal roots, still hidden and alive beneath the surface of the dark soil of mainstream magickal traditions. The book reorients the Craft to return to the primordial forces, animism, baneful plants, folk magic, ecstasy, and hedgewitchery without gatekeeping, armchair pseudo-academia, pretension or pomposity; making it incomparable to other books in its niche. The unclouded and grounded manner in which Orapello and Maguire write displays that they not only fully understand what they're writing about but that they are well-seasoned, knowledgeable, and insightful regarding the cosmology and praxis contained within its pages which allows them to teach it with crystal clarity. --Mat Auryn, author of Psychic Witch and blogger at For Puck's Sake on Patheos Pagan--Mat Auryn
Besom, Stang & Sword details a beautifully wrought and immensely practical system of modern traditional witchcraft, born of personal insight, working experience and dedication rooted deeply in the spirit of place. This is a book which offers the reader both clear guidance and the freedom to craft a path of witchcraft which is personal and meaningful to them and the landscape they live in. --Gemma Gary, author of Traditional Witchcraft: A Cornish Book of Ways, The Black Toad, The Charmer's Psalter, Wisht Waters, The Devil's Dozen, and Silent as the Trees--Gemma Gary
With Besom, Stang, & Sword, Chris and Tara open the doors to their own practices, laying out the materials of magic for all to see. The results drive home the central point that magic--specifically witchcraft--is available to anyone, but that it requires time, effort, patience, and thought along with a dose of fate and a sizeable amount of risk. They build a hexagram of approachable practices that asks anyone picking up this work to root their magic in the land surrounding them and their own personal history, rather than taking secondhand sorcery from others. Chris and Tara reveal their Blacktree tradition without pretense or artifice, but instead with clarity, insight, and acid wit, which testifies to their talents as both seasoned occultists and engaging writers. This is a book that will reshape a reader's encounters with magic and the landscape around them. --Cory Thomas Hutcheson, author of 54 Devils and host of the podcast New World Witchery--Cory Thomas Hutcheson
In Besom, Stang & Sword, Christopher and Tara-Love have crafted an approachable yet artful guide to the practice of traditional witchcraft from a uniquely North American perspective. This in-depth handbook provides an inspired foundation with workable material in the form of rituals, spells, and explorations that both novice and experienced practitioners alike will find compelling and enlightening. --Laura Tempest Zakroff, author of Weave the Liminal, Sigil Witchery, and The Witch's Cauldron--Laura Tempest Zakroff
Orapello and Maguire's beautiful prose draws the reader into a modern take on traditional witchcraft. The craft as they present it is without pretension and strikingly elegant in its simplicity, and it stresses the practitioner's sovereignty and relationship with the spirits of the land. Besom, Stang & Sword is easily the most eminently practical book on traditional witchcraft available today. --Nicholas Pearson, author of The Seven Archetypal Stones and Stones of the Goddess--Nicholas Pearson
There are some who would like their witchcraft to be of the kind that would be very comfortable sitting down for tea with the local vicar. There are also those who want to keep the teeth within the practices of the tradition. If you are of the latter persuasion, you're going to love Besom, Stang & Sword. --Damh the Bard--Damh the Bard