Initiation and the Witch

The crossroads of US 49 and 61 in Clarkesdale, MS; according to legend, the spot where Robert Johnson performed a ritual in order to gain skill as a musician. Photo by Joe Mazzola

Do you need initiation to be a Traditional Witch? I would say so, though it depends on what you mean. You don’t have to join a group or a lineage; Traditional Witchcraft as I mentioned recognizes the “red thread” of initiation into a lineage and the “white thread” of initiation by spirit, terminology which is attributed to Andrew Chumbley. However, the spirits we are talking about are the animating soul of the natural, non-human world, the denizens of Faerie: wild, not always terribly friendly to humans, and with very, very different priorities. [Read more...]

Black Hearted Innocence (part 7)

Least Weasel, Bering Land Bridge National Preserve

Understand, the Black Heart is not a goal, nor is it automatically conferred with a certain number of box tops. It can come and go. It’s not a state of enlightenment, exactly, though it bears a certain resemblance to some martial arts concepts. It’s an effect. [Read more...]

Align Your Souls (Feri part 6)

Today’s Throwback Thursday post discusses another central idea in Anderson Faery.  Originally published May 24, 2010, in the Pantheon blog. 1 Man has no Body distinct from his Soul for that calld Body is a portion of Soul discerned by the five Senses, the chief inlets of Soul in this age. 2 Energy is the [Read More...]

Feri Pentacles, Iron and Pearl (part 5)

Today’s Throwback Thursday post talks about pentacles as they are taught in Anderson Faery.  Originally published May 21, 2010 in the Pantheon blog. Therefore on his shining shield was shaped now this knot, royally with red gules upon red gold set, this is the pure pentangle as people of learning have taught. -Sir Gawain and [Read More...]

Homegrown Alchemy (Feri part 4)

We sometimes speak of “Feri alchemy.” We mean the technique sometimes ritualized as “the water trick” or “the rite of unbinding.” The other core ideas and meditations in Feri are all different means of spinning straw into gold. [Read more...]

Historical Witchcraft, Shamanism and the Modern Witch

"The Sorcerer" Cave art from Les Trois-Frères. Image by J y Lewis-Williams Clottes

This conception of witch as shaman points to a divergence in modern witchcraft. To some of us, witchcraft is a calling, a state of being, and it is ferociously personal; to others, it is a religion, one that can be practiced casually and taught in classes. If you try to fit into one when you are really looking for the other, you will find yourself disappointed or very confused. [Read more...]

Hospitality and the Witch

Jupiter and Mercury visiting Baucis and Philemon by Johann Carl Loth

If your imagination can’t stretch to accommodate another human being whose background is different from yours, or to understand the agency of a squirrel, then what’s going to happen when you try to approach the Mysterious Ones, whose ways are very, very different from our own? [Read more...]

What’s Traditional Witchcraft?

"The Storyteller" in Buckhead, Atlanta, Georgia stalks some tourists. Photo by Sara Amis

This blog, I am told, is meant to be about traditional witchcraft. Or Traditional Witchcraft. It says it right there in the tag line. However, that immediately prompts a question, which is…what do you mean by that? Jason Mankey entered the fray not too long ago, and quoted yours truly among others. I’ve since considered the matter further, in light of what I actually intend to be writing. I want you to know that I considered starting out by posting a clip of the song “Tradition!” from Fiddler On the Roof, but decided against it. You’re welcome. [Read more...]