What Is British Traditional Witchcraft?

Failing that, get out and ask around some. Check with the folks who run various pagan shops and whatnot. Ask if they've heard of any Traditional covens. Don't expect them to give their contact information to you; be prepared to leave yours, and hope for the best.

  • There is also a mailing list called Amber & Jet. This is a mailing list for Seekers of Traditional Craft. It's a place where you can ask questions, chat with elders of most of the BTW Traditions, and most importantly make a good impression. I'll warn you now, though: if you show up with entitlement issues or can't mind simple manners, expect to receive a snarky welcome. If you are going to join Amber & Jet, do yourself a favor, and do the following things:Read the archives. First, figure out all the questions you want to ask, and then go searching for them in the archives. Read through them. As you do so, see whose answers seem to impress you the most. Search out their posts and read them. Don't ask that question that every new person who doesn't bother to read the archives asks. You'll just be told to read the archives, and you'll be remembered as someone who hasn't demonstrated the patience to do your own research when presented with a huge and impressive amount of information at your fingertips.
  • Lurk. Don't post anything right away. Hang out. Read posts. Save posts that you really like; learn who seems to answer questions in a way that speaks to you. Get to know some of the personalities among the posters, both Seekers and Elders. Start to feel at home. Frankly, watch other newbies show up and stick their foots in their mouths.
  • Introduce yourself. Then, when you feel like you've read some, can name two or three posters whose writing style and personalities (at least on-list ones) you can somewhat identify, write a nice, brief email introducing yourself. Short and sweet. Give your name, and where you're located first and foremost. Though Amber & Jet once used a Seeker's List, that is no longer the case; now it's up to you to make an impression and hope that someone from your local area reads your introduction and contacts you. There is also a chance that if you seem to come across as the sort of person they would want in the Craft, an elder might be willing to forward your information to someone he or she knows in your area.

What happens then?

Can't say. That varies from coven to coven. But expect some kind of training, generally. It'll be rigorous. Our Craft is one of discipline, and it's one of passion. If you are missing either of them, you will be asked to leave, as much for your good as the Tradition's. Expect to study your face off, to be challenged in ways you never imagined. Expect laughter and tears and incense in your eyes and candle burns in awkward places. Expect a place in a priesthood of the Old Gods.

In these days when everyone seems to want to take the Craft outward, into the rest of the world, to do ministry and outreach and to be a "real grownup religion," you will have taken a place beside a faith that remains hidden, a priesthood for whom coven is family, and service to the Old Gods is first and foremost.

Reprinted with permission from Axis Mundi Outer Court: From The Oak.

1/8/2011 5:00:00 AM
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