BY MOONLIGHT AND SPIRIT FLIGHT by Michael Howard
The "flight" of the medieval witches was a rapturous transportation to the distant, ecstatic rite of the Sabbat. As has been established by modern historians, the elements of the Witches' Sabbat to are now known to contain far more than religious heresy and the deranged projections of churchly inquisitors, and also included localized folk-beliefs and remnants of pre-Christian religion, such as the cult of the moon-goddess Diana. The witches' flight itself also contained such historical rudiments, notably the night-roving armies of the Wild Hunt, and the exteriorized or shape-shifted 'spirit-double'. Howard's text examines such elements as the ancestral horde, the flight of the Furious Host, and the entheogenic Witches' 'Flying Ointment', each of which played a unique role in the 'flight' of the medieval witches. The mythos of the Sabbatic conclave, containing infernal and diabolical elements, is taken beyond its Christian pathology to connect it with actual practices in folk-magic. Originally released in 2013 as part of the limited Three Hands Press Occult Monographs series, it has long been out of print and is now available in a redesigned stand-alone edition.
Michael Howard was the editor of THE CAULDRON witchcraft magazine from 1976 to his death in 2015. He has written numerous articles for other occult and neo-pagan magazines and since the 1970s has had over thirty-five books published on the runes, witchcraft, angelic magic, folklore, herbal remedies, and occult parapolitics. He is the author of the "Witchcraft in the British Isles" series which examines the history of witchcraft occultism and folk magic in Britain and Ireland.