Many thanks for your letter which I read with interest.
You appear to learn with speed. Your interpretation of 1734 is correct. the dialect name for this principle in Shropshire is the Broom, or the Seven Whistlers (so named because some of the Family summoned with a silver whistle). These first and feminine principles are Earth, Air and Water. Translated into the Broom they become Ash, Birch and Willow - the Besom broom that the Family "Turn without motion between three elements" upon. Which is the basic substance of magic, and mysticism. The fourth, and some postulate the fifth, metal, element is the one substance of power given freely to man - Fire. With fire, and its many spiritual and intellectual ramifications, man conquered the world of appearance. Therefore, the four elements conjoined come to mean Female and Male in One - represented by the figure of eternity, 8 or Union. Fire, as such is the province of Alder, the God of Fire, of Craft, of lower magic and of fertility and death. All things that are of this world belong to him, the star crossed serpent. So you come to the true meaning of the Cauldron and the understanding of the Rite of the Cauldron. Bring forth the Star son, and you have Dionysus, the Horn Child and Jesus Christ in one - So the Cauldron is Generation and Re-generation. Taliesin asked 'what two words were not spoken from the Cauldron? A question I now ask you, giving these pointers. The Cauldron at this level means movement, a becoming of life - ever giving birth, ever creating new inspiration. There is within the Cauldron all things and all future - fate. Therefore, there is one state the Cauldron cannot be - What is it? In finding the answer you will come to understand the Cauldron.
As you have gathered, we teach by poetic inference, by thinking along lines that belong to the world of dreams and images - There is no hard and fast teaching technique, no laid down scripture or law, for wisdom comes only to those who deserve it, and your teacher is yourself seen through a mirror darkly. The answers to all things are in the Air - Inspiration, and the Winds will bring you news and knowledge if you ask them properly. The Trees of the Wood will give you power, and the Waters of the Sea will give you patience and omninesense, since the Sea is a womb that contains a memory of all things.
Obviously you wish to know how one asks correctly - This is known as 'Approaching or Greeting the Altar'. There are many altars, one is raised to every aspect you can think upon, but there is only one way to approach an altar or Godstone. There is a practice in the East known as "Kundalini", or shifting the sexual power from its basic source to the spine and then to the mind.
Cattle use this principle extensively, as you will note if you creep silently up to a deer or a cow - since there is always one beast that will turn its back to you, and then twist its neck until it regards you out of its left or right eye alone. It is interpreting you by what is laughingly known as 'psi' power and that is how an altar is used - with your back to it, and head turned right or left to regard the cross of the Elements and Tripod that are as sacred to the People as the Crucifix is to the Christians.
Before you do this however, it is necessary to offer your devotions and prayers by bowing three times to the Altar, with arms crossed upon your chest and then turn about the Altar (which for normal purposes should be round, hence King Arthur) the number of the Deity you are invoking or praying to. The Maid is usually three times three - the Mother six times three, the Hag (which is anything but the true title), nine times three. Upon the last turn stop with your back to the Altar, and there begin your great chant. With a group one works in absolute silence, but by yourself it is easier to utter your prayer and meditation aloud until you begin to speak as one possessed'.
Upon this point you will feel as if you are near a great bell that has begun to toll - this is the point of mysticism and magic - then you can achieve what you desire - do not be afraid, since it will feel as if you are in a boat on a stormy sea, and your body and spirit will part company, so that you will feel sensations of being in two different places at once. then you may journey to them and they will answer you when you are ready - but not before - so there is a long path of work, experience and failure ahead of you. They will also teach you what you need to know - but never confuse what you want with what you need, or else they are loathe to help. It is better to find an old sacred place and work there - rather than attempt it in the places of man. There is sure to be one place within six miles of you - usually in your case an Indian burial ground or stone ring.
I describe myself as a 'Pellar'. The People are formed in clans or families and they describe themselves by the local name of the Deity. I am a member of the People of Goda - of the Clan of Tubal Cain. We were known locally as 'witches', the 'Good People', 'Green Gowns' (females only), 'Horsemen' and finally as 'Wisards'.
Flags are a form of rush, a plant that grows in European waters - so the answer is Flags, water, Flax, being the weavers plant and blue - thus representing the Goddess of Birth and Death (Fate) being the principle of Air, and Fodder - which means grass, the Earth. The ancients swore an inviolable oath by grass roots - the answer will come to you if you think on it.
I will go into involvement more fully next letter - since I am somewhat
Regards, 3, F's, /S/ Robert Cochrane