- Series: Llewellyn's Craft Series
- Paperback: 178 pages
- Publisher: Llewellyn Publications; 1st edition (January 8, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1567183735
- ISBN-13: 978-1567183733
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.5 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,396,467 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Sacred Mask Sacred Dance (Llewellyn's Craft Series) Paperback – January 8, 1997
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Most people think that masks are designed to conceal, but Sacred Mask Sacred Dance reveals how masks are a tool for transformation. Evan Jones and Chas Clifton have studied the use of masks and dance in ancient rituals, and incorporated masked dances into modern workings. Their approach to incorporated masked rites into a coven's rituals reflects a concern for maintaining the well being of the group while exploring the power of the masked dance to transcend the usual state of consciousness and "awaken dormant spiritual states."
About the Author
Evan John Jones first came into contact with Witchcraft and the occult during the 1960's, a time of great change in Britain which stemmed from the repeal in 1951 of the Witchcraft Act. By 1960, Witchcraft as a subject was firmly placed in the practical mind. He was one of the few people who actually worked with the late Robert Cochran, a leading figure in the British Craft revival of the 1960's. His interest in Witchcraft both in theory and as a practical system of belief has never wavered. Ex-regular Army and an engineer by profession, he was later forced by ill health to retire. He is married and now lives in Brighton, not far from the Downs where he first experienced the magic of the Witches' circle. Chas S. Clifton holds a master's degree in religious studied with an emphasis on the development of new religious movements. He lives in the Wet Mountains of Colorado where he writes about Western esoteric traditions. ~
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While Evan john Jones believes in reincorporating masks and dancing back into the rituals he does not wish to mimic exactly what they did in the past. Times are different andd things have evolved. So must the craft. What is taught in the book does not claim to ancient but rather something new that is based on the practices of the old.
Dance and masks were used to access the divine and also to access the spirit of the animals they wish to work with. For example masking the stag and dancing about was meant to access the spirit of the roebucks they were hunting. Shamans used to travel to the spirit world in animal guise to speak with the spirits and bring back wisdom needed for the tribe. The old norse used to use these techniques especially the follower of Freya who was an earthly Vanir goddess.
The book covers or recommends making masks based on thirteen animals. Among them are the Stag, fox, owl, ram, boar, raven, the hound, the cat, the goose and several others that were native to the British isles. Their symbolism, which maybe a blending of old and new along with their roles in the ritual are thoroughly discussed. At the end of the book are instructions on how to make masks. Several different rituals are described as well.
The author makes mention that masked workings are not suitable for everyone. They should be done as part of the coven but only by a select group of people, like an inner court. These masked rituals are not part of esbats or Sabbats but rather stand alone riutuals amongst themselves. They should also be done close to full moons and during warm comfortable climates. No more then 4-5 times per year should they done as they can drain away psychic energy quite easily. Different dance techniques for entering a trance are discussed as well.
For those pursuing a more traditional vein of the craft this book is a must read and a must have. Shame that Evan John Jones is no longer of the world he had a lot to offer.
The book touches on the shamanistic origins and modern adaptations of mask usage, their deeper meaning and the human transformations that can happen when our subconscious finds resonance with the symbology in the mask. That symbology is created with the choosing of an animal or other creature, and is brought to "life" with the building and wearing of the mask. Identification with your chosen character happens when logic and reason is put on hold with the rhythm and repetition of the dance and we become immerced in the process, like our ancestors did.
This book is a very powerful "do-it-yourself" aid to to ritual trance work, via ancient and effective methods, sans drugs or fasting, as explained by the authors whose group did the actual mask making and dancing. As usual, Llewellyn does not disappoint.