Crafting the Arte Of Tradition by Shani Oates A Book Review by Lord Tanys
I can’t recall what I thought this book would be. Reading Crafting the Arte of Tradition obliterated any preconceived notion I held. You know, kind of like after you have just recited a long passage like the Charge of the Goddess in full Circle, and peace and stillness wash over the ecstasy you were lost in, and when you can think, the thought is “what did I just say?” Yeah - it’s like that.
Crafting the Arte Of Tradition is not necessarily an easy read - would one expect Wisdom to be easily won? It is also not a “how to” book - aren’t there enough of those? While the Maid of the Clan of Tubal Cain gives us tantalizing insights into the CTC, the book is not a manual of its practices either. Crafting the Arte Of Tradition is just shy of 400 pages of the Mysteries, Gnosis from diverse sources, and Inspiration to seek out said Mysteries. It is published by Anathema, which is a small Canadian publishing house that produces beautiful, heirloom worthy books. I was too late to purchase the hardcover edition, but even the paper back is sumptuous inside and out, with gorgeous drawings to accompany the fascinating writing.
An ancient belief is that reading a truly Sacred Text is in itself, a magical act. An interesting thing happened to me as I was reading Crafting the Arte Of Tradition. As I was driving along, listening to a documentary on the history of Yoga, ancient seals unearthed in India depicting a Horned God named Pashupati were discussed. Always interested in Horned Gods, I looked up the images and was so impressed, I shared them with our Inner Circle Sanctuary coveners. Later that night, I came across a passage on page 206 concerning that selfsame God. It seemed the book was working Magick in my life.
Shani Oates clearly has a vast knowledge of streams of Wisdom from the Sacred Writings and practices from various cultures and traditions, and she melds them expertly to achieve a resultant state of Gnosis that at once left me wanting more, and also the need to just “be” with it for a while.
There are differences between Wicca and Traditional Craft (the Founder of Clan of Tubal Cain, Robert Cochrane, was the first to use Traditional to describe his Craft) and fortunately Shani discusses those differences without disparaging Wicca as some authors seem wont to do. This makes it a more accessible book for Wiccans (and anyone else) seeking Wisdom in the written word. This set the tone for the rest of the book so that I was able to fully immerse myself in Shani’s beautiful writing.
Just like Humankind’s understanding of the Universe is ever evolving, I am ever having to rethink what I think I understand about the Clan of Tubal Cain. This is a beautiful thing, as it is an ongoing search for and revealing of Truth, which is what Robert Cochrane named the ultimate Godhead (if I even have that correct).