The Rounwytha Tradition


The Rounwytha Tradition

The word Rounwytha and the expression Rounwytha tradition occur in several ONA texts. Can you explain what this tradition is?

What we call The Rounwytha Tradition is the muliebral essence that formed the basis of the aural, esoteric, tradition I inherited from my Lady Master.  It is a tradition which, it was claimed, was indigenous to the British Isles.

The basis of this tradition was the cultivation and use of what has often been described as the natural and hitherto (at least in most human beings, especially men) latent faculty of empathy. A faculty naturally possessed in abundance in the past in those few women whom the term Rounwytha describes and names.

This natural empathy is basically a particular Occult sensitivity: to human beings, to Nature, to living-beings (animal and otherwise) and to the Cosmos. The ability of translocation beyond the personal, beyond the immediacy of the moment of one’s own passions, desires, thoughts, feelings. What I now describe as being a natural nexion, sensitive to living beings. Part of this natural ability is awareness of and respect for the numinous, as manifest for instance in Life (ψυχή), in Nature, in Art and Culture.

Such natural, such Occult or esoteric, empathy is beyond words and terms – and forms the basis of all true ‘magick’, all genuine sorcery. For instance, the character of Rachael in the story Breaking The Silence Down is a fictionalized portrayal of a young Rounwytha developing her skills and using, for example, music to enchant, as a form of sorcery.

Also, few years ago now I gave an example of this natural, this esoteric, empathy in my essay Dark-Empathy, Adeptship, and The Seven-Fold Way of the ONA, from which this is a quote:

” One illustration (and here another esoteric secret is revealed) may suffice to show the difference between a genuine Adept (someone who has followed the Seven-Fold Way to at least the stage of Internal Adept) and the pretentious or deluded mundanes who consider themselves knowledgeable about certain arcane, or esoteric, matters and who may even have given themselves some pretentious title (such as Priest, or High Priest, or even “Druid”). This illustration concerns the feast (or festival) which often goes by the name Samhain. According to mundanes pretending to be Occultists, or Wiccans, or Druids, or Sorcerers (or whatever) this feast occurs on the night of October 31st – that is, its date is fixed, and determined by a particular solar-based calender which divides the (allegedly) fixed year into certain specific months of certain durations. Why do these pretentious Occutlists say, write, and believe this? Because – for all their often pretentious (and sometimes well-meaning) drivel – they have no dark-empathy, no real esoteric-empathy, and instead just regurgitate what they imbibed from books or learnt from another pretentious mundane, or because they have deluded themselves that are they somehow and mysteriously “in-tune” with Nature and the Cosmos.

However, those who possess or who have developed the faculty of dark-empathy – who are thus in natural resonance with the abstractionless emanations of Nature and the Cosmos – know that the natural seasons we experience on Earth (such as Summer and Autumn) are not fixed and certainly are not determined by some causal abstraction called a solar calender. Neither are they, for instance, determined by a lunar calender. That is, what in northern climes is called Spring does not start on the Spring Equinox – indeed, and more empathically, the Spring Equinox is often near to mid-Spring, just as the Summer Equinox is often near mid-Summer. Instead, the beginning of Spring varies from year to year, and usually from location to location – an Adept “knows”, or feels, when Spring arises in their own particular location, because they are sensitive to, in balance with, the natural life around them, and thus feel (or rather smell) the change in the air, in the very soil; they sense, they feel, how the land around them – and its wildlife – is changing, coming back to joyous life after the cold dullness of Winter. Which is why, for instance, in esoteric-speak, we often talk and write about “alchemical seasons” – which are not fixed by some abstract solar calender, which depend on one’s location, and so on, and which are often intimated, in their beginning, by the first appearance, above the horizon where the Adept dwells, of certain stars. And which is why, for instance, many or most Adepts tend to live in rural areas.

Thus, the particular feast now often known as Samhain – and which in fact is an occurrence when the Cosmic tides (or Angles) are so aligned that it is easier to open a nexion to the acausal – varies in date from year to year and from location to location. How, therefore, does one determine its actual date? A genuine Adept – in natural resonance with the abstractionless emanations of Nature and the Cosmos – will know, and this knowing will be only relevant to their area where that Adept dwells, and cannot be abstracted out from such dwelling and thus cannot become a fixed date for others, elsewhere.

In fact, and apropos of something such as Samhain, it could be said that the ONA – with its culling, its presumption of a possible acausal existence for mortals, its understanding and use of the faculty of dark-empathy, its belief in acausal-knowing, its emphasis on the feminine, its Dark Goddess, and its testing initiatory system manifest in the Seven-Fold Way – is a far more authentic survival of Celtic Druidism (and/or primal wicca) than any of the pretentious harmless revivals that garnish so much mundane Media attention.”

That is, our Way keeps alive, and has extended, a particular ancient tradition, the Rounwytha one, once native to the British Isles.

One aspect of this tradition – of this muliebral thread that binds the nexions and individuals of the inner ONA [1] together and which thus influences the larger ONA and our kindred beyond – is the acceptance of Sapphism as natural and indeed as necessary, which is why for instance that we have and always have had many Sapphic nexions and groups.

Another aspect of this tradition is that many of our nexions and groups are led or guided by ladies of a certain breeding, because they possess qualities that we value and respect, such as manners and charm and are cultured individuals. For our inner ONA has always attached importance to good manners, and to an appreciation of music, literature, poetry, and the Arts in general. In this sense, we are quite old-fashioned, cultured, and somewhat aristocratic, and why many our kind have been and are artists, musicians, artisans, poets, academics and teachers in their exoteric lives.

It is also true to say that we often know our kind instinctively, even if they are not yet part of our family. For instance, over a quarter of a century ago I embarked upon a quest to find a few suitable individuals to guide on a personal basis; to induct into the tradition, and so expand it in what I considered was a necessary way. Over a period of several years – sometimes wearisome sometimes japerly-fun – I met with perhaps a hundred or more individuals under the guise of advocating an exoteric type of Satanism, employing various practical tests to initially screen them. All of them either failed the tests, or lacked the necessary personal qualities and the quality (if only incipient) of possessing empathy. Then I met at last, and within the space of some six months, two most suitable individuals, one a young man and one a young lady – the young man met at a rendezvous on Shrewsbury railway station, and the lady some months before through a personal introduction. I sensed immediately that both were of our empathic and cultured kind.

These qualities – empathy, manners, culture, charm, an awareness of the numinous – are not qualities that most others (and all mundanes) associate with the Left Hand Path and/or with Satanism, due in part to a misunderstanding or ignorance of what both those causal forms, those causal vehicles, represent. But these qualities are possessed by, are developed by, those involved with our tradition, both pre-ONA name and now, and serve to distinguish us from the egotistical poseurs of other LHP/Satanic groups who believe Magian clichés such as “deification of the self” and “reality is a matter of belief”, and which groups unsurprisingly attract vulgar young males and in which groups such male specimens of Homo Hubris predominate. [2]

This also explains why those of our inner Way – why the ONA itself correctly understood beyond such causal forms and restrictive terms as LHP/Satanic – melds a numinous way with a sinister way, as outlined in the first part of my essay Toward The Sinister Mysterium. And thus why our sorcery – beyond the external stages – is that of mysteriums and of esoteric empathy, with such mysteriums being our contribution to and development of The Rounwytha Tradition.

You mentioned a muliebral thread that binds the inner ONA and influences the ONA in general. Can you explain this in more detail and what muliebral means?

Muliebral is the word we use, of Latin origin, to describe a particular type of lady, one of our kind – that is, the cultured, well-mannered, lady, possessed of esoteric empathy, who has acquired a particular wisdom through some years of experience both esoteric and exoteric. This is our archetypal Lady Master, aka Mistress of Earth. She who was once a Priestess but who has developed, matured, since then.

In a more exoteric way, she is the still fecund mother of young children, and the person who holds the family together, nurtures the children, and guides them toward being cultured, resourceful, individuals with their own personalities, possessed of esoteric empathy, and yet who have all the skills and the attitude necessary to survive in a hostile world. These skills include the ability to defend one’s self, if necessary with deadly force, in a way consistent with our kindred code of honour, and also the ability, the personality, to be ruthless if necessary (again consistent with our kindred code of honour).

Thus the muliebral thread refers to the influence and importance of such a person and their qualities and abilities, as well as the striving, the quest, to acquire and develope these qualities and abilities. Note that our female archetype is neither the passive, gentle, submissive feminine archetype pedalled by the Magian and those calling themselves Wiccan, nor the strident imitation macho-man archetype pedalled by those often described by the term ‘feminists’. Instead, it is just our archetype, developed from our Rounwytha tradition – an inspiration for our new ways of living.

It can therefore be understood why our tradition, and why the Order of Nine Angles, attracts and nurtures so many women, and why our men have qualities and abilities that distinguish them from the imitation LaVey’s and the imitation Crowley’s that still so dominate certain forms of the Occult that we have become associated with, i.e. the LHP and Satanism. And if there is one expression which might usefully, if only exoterically, summarize our inner way it is that we are clans (kindred extended families) of esoteric-empaths living by our code of honour and following our own unique living tradition.

Order of Nine Angles
122 Year of Fayen


[1] The Inner ONA basically consists of individuals, known to each other personally, from traditional nexions, of the Grade of Internal Adept and above, who possess the faculty of dark-empathy (aka esoteric empathy aka sinister empathy) and who possess certain other personal qualities. These individuals have therefore all had some personal guidance, over a period of many years, from one of our kind familiar with the Rounwytha tradition, and thus the inner ONA is akin to an extended family who maintain and who continue, on a personal basis, this particular esoteric tradition. Unsurprisingly, the majority of those in this inner ONA are women.

[2] For our inner way refer, for example, to The Gentleman’s – and Noble Ladies – Brief Guide to The Dark Arts.