Shani Oates: Maid of the Clan of Tubal Cain, Part 1

Specifically then, we can summarize these precepts as: Traditional Craft practices are rooted in the post Witch-craze resurgence of Cunning-folk traditions and folk magics of the mid 1700s—a gritty and pragmatic craft at the popular level. Neo-Paganism, conversely, was a middle-class intellectual revival borne of the Romantic movement from around the same period. Wicca attempted to merge both paradigms in the mid-20th century, and all three have diverged yet further in principle if not practice.

What is the role of the Maid in the Clan?

The Maid holds the Line and Compass. She embodies the Egregore, the Soul and Mind of her Clan. In some other Clans this role may fall upon the Magister. However, categorizing males and females into specific social roles creates binaries/polarities, in which individuals feel they have to be at one end of an artificially imposed linear spectrum and must identify themselves (unnaturally) as a man or woman. These artificial boundaries have generated much political debate and have spawned a great many theories regarding why and how gender is applied.

Saturn rules all boundaries, yet his impositions urge us to exceed them, to transcend and evolve our understanding. But to achieve this we must first explore and assimilate all that exists within those boundaries before turning our attention to those without. Conventional roles ascribed to mythological concepts facilitate this, actuating by accumulation the epicene nature of our genus. All mystical and especially Gnostic traditions have utilized this pedagogical methodology to great effect through individual anagogical epiphanies.

In many mystical traditions, especially of the Qabbalah, the Shekinah represents the feminine aspect of God's essence. Christianity considers the Holy Spirit as Neuter. For Hindus, male gods are vitalized by female virtue via their Shaktis. Only through unification of both does Shiva become the Cosmic Lord.

In the absence of Shakti, he is deemed lifeless; through her he achieves his potential. Hinduism expresses that each human carries within himself both male and female elements, which are forces rather than sexes, the union of which through realization brings Truth. This understanding obliterates all material distinction between male and female completely.

Within CTC, we follow this archaic assignation of Virtue, which is perceived as neuter, to manifest within the corporeal female form [i.e.: Maid] in order that she fulfils this role in reflection of the greater cosmic myth both she and the Magister of the Clan embody. To deny or attempt to alter this balanced pattern would negate the whole Mythos upon which it is predicated.

Of course, in theory a Magister could hold Virtue for the Clan and a Maid could uphold the Law/Covenant, but such a reversal would serve no good purpose. Their Mysteries are taught separately at first only to give definition to the third set of Mysteries by which they are transcended. Only through initial and primary study of these biased roles does this third neuter role become vividly experienced. These roles are gender biased, and deliberately so, but so finely tuned are the Clan's rituals, they facilitate the requisite Gnostic apprehension of the numinous devoid of all but their own Truths. Other Traditions will find other ways to fulfill these criteria.

Of course things may change, but this would reflect a lack of understanding of the purpose in the distinct roles of Maid and Magister, which are not bound in dogma but in the reflection of the Maid as the Tree of life and the Magister as the priest king who, as supreme psychopomp, becomes entombed (like Merlin) within it rather than upon it . . . not sacrificed, but preserved to speak, through the leaves, its knowledge.

Obviously, such metaphors do maintain the concepts of mediation and embodiment within our Mythos to gender, but I'm happy with this because in this case, there is no purpose served for a reversal of roles; nothing is to be gained by a women fixating upon the law, because as Maid she teaches those mysteries that all may transcend them in true gnosis. Similarly, for any man to be fixated upon holding virtue, rather than teaching its qualities for transcendence among the female mysteries, is again to miss their purpose. Ego becomes an uneasy distraction, a manifest obsession.

But I have to add that ours is totally unlike Wicca, a goddess-worshipping cult where the woman as High Priestess takes precedence, assuming a superior role distinctly absent from ours wherein the Magister heads the Clan. In Wicca, the HPS chooses her HP and together they perpetuate a disparate mythos based entirely on their sexual rather than gender roles. In CTC, the Magister mediates for his stream through his Maid who holds it.

This is an important distinction; the Maid receives Virtue in order for her to actuate her gender role within the mysteries, not because of her sex. This ensures that with her as his filter, the Egregoric virtue remains balanced. He appoints her (again unlike the process within Wicca) and if the stream acknowledges that choice, she may claim Virtue from him.

1/25/2011 5:00:00 AM
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