With profound sadness we announce the passing of Michael Howard, author, folklorist, publisher, witchcraft authority, and Elder of the Cultus Sabbati. He died peacefully after a short illness, in the county of Devonshire, England, with family and friends by his side. The Craft suffers a great loss at his departure.
Many know of Michael’s tireless work in publishing The Cauldron, the U.K.’s premiere journal of witchcraft, paganism, and folklore, begun in the 1970s. The publication enjoys great popularity and draws from a considerable diversity of sources and traditions. Often controversial, it has always nonetheless been substantive and original, reflecting Michael’s ability to draw together many different strands of practitioners, creating networks that endure to this day.
A member of several lodges, covines, and guilds, Michael’s magical expertise drew upon many esoteric strands, including herbalism, freemasonry, ceremonial magic, esoteric Christianity, and the folklore of his native British Isles. In particular, his understanding of Luciferian gnosis and magic was an instrumental force in shaping present-day cunning-craft. In the last two decades of his life, he devoted the entirety of his magical work to traditional craft, and was an exemplary practitioner and teacher.
The author of over 30 books, Michael published on a variety of esoteric topics over his lifetime. Perhaps his most influential books were Pillars of Tubal Cain, The Book of Fallen Angels, and Children of Cain. Some of his written ritual work, rarely published, also appeared in The Psalter of Cain, the Cultus Sabbati’s gathering of rites and charms in honour of Cain, patron of witches. Several of Michael’s unpublished texts remain in the wings for future publication through Xoanon and Three Hands Press, as was his wish.
We remember him as a man of many virtues, of great humour, insight, and courage, as well as his insistence on standing by his brethren, and defending the Craft. Above all, he exemplified the stance of Light-Bringer, and, in its function as tenebrator, the Opposer of Shadow.
In this time of mourning, we appreciate and thank our private community for all the support given to Michael and the Cultus over the years, and pledge continued honour to his memory, within the Circle and without.
Messages of condolence may be sent to:
1511 Sycamore Avenue
Hercules, CA 94547
‘Thou art our Brother past, and our Brother yet to be.’