Deepening Our Craft

Deepening Our Craft July 24, 2010

A circle. Four quarters. Candles, incense, water and salt. After years of practice it can become rote. You can get lazy. I look at my altar and although it’s a sacred, evolving space in my life, it’s also the same old thing.

I feel a need to refresh the feelings and visualizations I used when I first began practicing, and taking the basic elements of my Craft deeper. The tradition I study in has a really cool way to do this. You don’t take Wicca 101 just once. The classes that form the core training in the tradition are taken several times, and each time you get a deeper understanding of the concepts involved with the Craft. While I’m taking them for the first time this year, they are revisiting concepts that are old to me, but giving me fresh perspectives. It’s fascinating to not only revisit basic concepts but to see them through another’s eyes.

We are well acquainted with the abundance of Wicca 101 books and the dearth of advanced material. Llewellyn Worldwide once asked what an Advanced Wicca book would contain, and couldn’t get a clear answer. I think that’s because deepening our Craft isn’t about new information, but taking the basic concepts deeper and further than before. Advancing in our Craft is not so much about learning the esoteric secrets of high degrees, but pushing the lessons of the neophyte deeper and further, digging ever deeper into the Witches way.

Since I began writing at Patheos, I’ve been taking stock of my spiritual life and seeking out the shallows, the places where I need to delve deeper. Wicca has caught some flack due to it’s popularity and some not so fabulous books written about it. I struggled for years with Wicca, exploring other Pagan religions and avoiding what was known by some as a “gateway religion”. For me the reverse was true. After sampling what the Reconstructionists had to offer, and even visiting a couple of Christian churches, I found myself drawn back to the deep magic of Wicca.

It doesn’t matter to me how old Wicca is. Is it an invention, a reconstruction, a revelation? All I know is it works, that it draws from a place of deep magic that is older than the concepts we have built around magic. Though I am a hard polytheist and have been called by several Deities, the chief places in my heart are occupied by a man who has horns and a lady whose face is seen in the fullness of the moon.

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  • tanila

    This is awesome!!!!!

  • Ali

    I’d love to hear some thoughts about what this “deepening” actually involves. What kinds of insights have you discovered as you’ve gone deeper? What does the process of deepening look like in practice if it doesn’t look like rote repetition? How do you go about “seeking the shallows” and plunging deeper when you find them? I really look forward to reading more about this in the future! Thanks for the post.