The Witching-Other: Explorations and Meditations on the Existential Witch by Peter Hamilton-Giles, instigator and co-founder of the Dragon’s Column being the body of initiates that went on to contribute material that would eventually be featured albeit in edited form in Andrew Chumbleys’ Dragon Book of Essex. Also Peter Hamilton-Giles has authored The Afflicted Mirror: The Study of Ordeals and Making of Compacts and The Baron Citadel: The Book of the Four Ways both of which were published by Three Hands Press.
To propose there is something ‘other’ to the witch might seem counter-intuitive, especially so since conjugating the witch into witching suggests particular agentive actions and decisions have already been made about the topic. One where the action of witching is then further hyphenated with the other must then result in increasing this level of obfuscation to new heights. Yet in Peter Hamilton-Giles’ most explorative book to date he suggests by explicating the Witching-Other a wholly new and more profound way for understanding the witch is revealed, one which opens up the possibility for establishing an altogether more intimate and innovative relationship. This has the potential to liberate the witch icon from the shackles of history and practitioner narratives, and because of this Hamilton-Giles has preferred to concentrate on metaphysical absences than physical presences. Why this is an important re-directive proposition is that it allows individuals to move towards creating an identity which does not necessarily rely on historical location or accounts alone, but rather looks to the person’s ability to unfix or unsettle the taken for granted so as to discover progressive ways for developing a new rationale about the witch.
The Witching-Other concentrates on how witchcraft, and in particular the archetypal Witch, are used as conduits for understanding that which remains remote to us. Historical records and the workings of practitioners are inordinately connected to what is available. This book contends that what we read, see, experience only takes us so far when trying to comprehend the witch, and that there is something else dwelling beyond the veil, a daemonic intelligence compelling us to approach the witch with an already pre-scribed fascination. Accordingly, the Witching-Other appears as the absence of what is considered to be present. This sense of absence resonates with the associated silences contained within narratives, or the lack in descriptive quality, but once realised the witch becomes something more than the category to which she or he has been assigned.
Empowering the attributes of witchcraft, this explorative journey takes the reader down a path of reflection which leads to endorsing the contingency of the metaphysical and it is through this process that The Witching-Other becomes the quintessential emanation of Otherness. How we then relate the witch to ourselves is one where the grounds for engagement are exposed to scrutiny. From this position Hamilton-Giles proposes that any undertaking to know more must involve the candidate grasping the extent of division between being in the world and that of the Other. As a metaphysical emanation the Witching-Other encapsulates all that cannot be contained or limited by definition. In this way, the witch becomes more than a witch, while witching or similar agentive practices become more than a conjuration. Instead by acknowledging the Witching-Other the practitioner and researcher alike are confronted by unfathomable opportunities for expanding the way they come to know about the witch.
The Witching-Other: Explorations and Meditations on the Existential Witch not only looks to increase the dialogue between practitioner and academia, but offers the means by which to delimit our understanding of the Other and therefore the Witching-Other. Across three primary chapters the relationship to the witch is explored through aesthetic expression, intentionality and imagining. This book is then applicable for an occult philosophical audience, for practitioners who wish to expand or find the means by which to articulate their relationship to the witch, and those other interested parties who have always wondered what might be missing when it comes to understanding witchcraft. It should be understood therefore that The Witching-Other is a text that contains within it the grimoire like workings of a witch grammar. Found therein the metaphysical Witching-Other manifests significant qualities which if comprehended have the ability to exponentially expand the occult knowledge of the beholder….. for it only takes the journeyman or woman to step across the threshold towards the Witching-Other for the path to appear. While being both challenging and engaging this first of three volumes on the Witching-Other encourages the reader to transcend their own understanding of the witch. By finding new ways of knowing, The Witching-Other presents the opportunity to encounter that which has been hidden beyond the veil for far too long.