Frequently Asked Questions
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1. On what authority do I answer these questions?
I am Adrian Eglinton and I am a Traditional Crafter (a Traditional Witch) trained in the traditions of a London Trad or group (coven or denomination) with their own particular perspective, beliefs, customs, and practices. This group had no name, which is typical of many Traditionalist groups.
It is difficult to generalize the beliefs and practices of all Trads as differences between Trads co-exist abundantly. Thus so, generalisations become a tad complicated. Nevertheless, there are certain commonalities in perspective, belief, and practice that seem to predominate. That does not mean that I speak for all Trads. Far from it. It only means I present what I believe to be true to my own experiences and belief. I believe what I say to be true for many, but not for all Trads. There are always exceptions to the rule. Some will undoubtedly disagree with various points that I raise or some explanations of practices that I describe. By the nature of our proud heritage, this is to be expected. Trad Crafters are an independent lot. By our very nature we resist regimentation.
For further comment on my perspective see About This Website....
2. What is a Traditional Crafter and a witch?
A Traditional Crafter is a person that follows a British magical tradition (witchcraft) that is based on our particular spirituality and our cultural hersitage. This magical and spiritual tradition is sometimes called Traditionalism and a practitioner is a Traditionalist, Traditional Crafter, Traditional Witch, or Crafter. (However, not a Wiccan, as Wicca has its own particular and very different origin.)
Many Crafters do not refer to themselves as witches because the term originated as a derogatory Christian term and is avoided. But to be clear, this term may be used when speaking to outsiders.
Traditional Crafters revere Nature and most live in harmony with surrounding spirits, and with the Gods (collectively called God, The One, The Presence). Hopefully, we respect others that are peaceful and we try to use good judgment and fairness when dealing with others. Most Crafters are naturally environmentally-minded and work for a better, healthier planet.
3. Do Trad Crafters cast spells?
We consider witchcraft, or magic, to be a tool. It is considered to be neither innately good nor bad, as Nature which we venerate is neither innately good nor bad. We see ourselves as existing within Nature and part of it. Thus, the use of the Craft is an extension of our natural being and 'tis as natural an act as breathing air.
All Traditional Crafters cast spells. As we believe the Gods' / the Divine's essence is everywhere, including within ourselves. A spell is a projection of our Divine self-energy. Thus, the casting of spells is a spiritual act.
It is up to the individual to use common sense and their sense of right and wrong in the use of magic for healing, self-help and other constructive purposes, or for their self-defense and protection.
4. What is Trad Witchcraft?
Trad Witchcraft is a loose family of Trads (or groups, denominations, or covens) in the Traditional Witchcraft of the British Isles. It is the modern day version of what use to be The Old Craft, and which was known by many other regional and local names. It is the old magical spirituality of Britain, the Old Ways that use to be part of the religions that were popular before the arrival of Christianity and the Dark Ages. We believe that the Divine/the gods/God and Nature are the same thing. In this manner we are pantheists. Thus we believe that the divine is everywhere.
Note that while The Traditional Craft is sometimes referred to as Traditional Witchcraft, academics will point out that their use of the term "traditional witchcraft" applies to the traditional witchcraft of all societies and cultures worldwide, and not just that of the British Isles.
5. Is Trad Witchcraft the same as "witchcraft"?
No. While many Trad Crafters, including myself, do sometimes use the term "witchcraft" informally to refer to Traditional Witchcraft, the two terms are actually very different.
1) Witchcraft is the use of magic and is in itself not a religion. It is possible to practice witchcraft without any association to religion or to the spirits. Thus, it is not necessarily spiritual.
2) Traditional Witchcraft in Britain is associated with spirituality, it is not just magic. In the British Isles, witchcraft was an outgrowth of local indigenous religions, including that of those that came after, including the Saxons. It is the Saxon heritage that has come down to us. We utilize witchcraft that is cast within these inherited views and with the assistance of the spirits.
Our tradition is centered on the spirits, who are always with us. The spirits can readily hear us and may provide their support and help, especially if we ask. All Trads (or groups, denominations) work under this Traditionalist orientation.
6. Is Trad Witchcraft a form of Wicca?
No. Wicca is a much newer religion formed about 1954 by Gerald Gardner, a retired British civil servant. Wicca was based on old witchcraft only to a much lesser degree. Most Wiccan beliefs, ritual, and practices were based on external sources, especially on the secret societies of the Western Occult Tradition, particularly the ceremonial magick of the Order of the Golden Dawn, and a spirituality entirely different from that of our heritage. Therefore, there are many things in Wicca that are not seen in Trad Witchcraft.
7. Do Trad Crafters believe in God?
Yes. The vast majority of Trad Crafters have a strong belief in the Divine, the Spiritual World, and lead a spiritually-orientated life. Most believe in:
- Pantheism, and the view that "God" is a Universal Consciousness or the force of Nature rather than a "person" figure,
- Polytheism, the belief in several Gods from a religion and pantheon associated with British history, for example but not restricted to Religio Romana; Germanic, Norse, and Saxon Heathenry, Teutonic Völkisch Movement, Ásatrú, Odenism, Theodism, Forn Siðr, and others.
Most use a combination of these two belief systems in a dualism that is complimentary coexisting principles. Also, a very few are henotheists (like Wiccans), agnostics, atheists, etc. However, Traditional Crafters are never Christians, Satanists, religious Jews or Islamics. These religions are not compatible with our fundamental beliefs.
8. Are Trad Crafters the same as Satanic Witches?
No. Satanism and Trad Witchcraft are two completely different things that are not related. Satanism is not and has never been associated with Traditional Craft. Therefore, Satanic witches are not Traditional Crafters (Trad witches). Satanism is a Christian herasy. We have nothing to do with Christianity either.
I should also point out that the concepts of Satan, the devil, and hell are purely Judeo-Christian-Islamic beliefs that are alien to our belief system.
9. Don't you have animal sacrifices?
No. We do not harm animals. Trad Witchcraft is based on a reverence for Nature and that means a reverence for all forms of life. We believe life itself is sacred; And we are responsible for the welfare of all those in our charge.
10. Are there any rules of conduct in Trad Witchcraft?
Trad Crafters are taught to be responsible for their own actions. All seekers are taught that all personal and magical acts have direct consequences in the Law of Return. Also know as the Law of Cause and Effect. This means that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. This means that when we send a positive spell out to someone, the positive energy is returned to us. In the same vain, a negative spell will usually return trouble. In sending out negative spells with negative intent, we must be willing to experience the harmful consequences of our own actions.
11. Are Trad Witches nude during rituals?
Nudity is not part of Traditional Craft practice. This is prudent and practical. As you see, Britain is not known for warm weather. Why undress? We'd rather stay healthy, warm and comfy.
12. Isn't Trad Witchcraft only for women?
Of course not. The terms "Crafter" and "witch" are not gender specific and are used to refer to both males and females.
In England, at least half of all Trad Crafters are men. This is also historically true. In past ages in the old villages and townes of Britain, there would just as likely be a Cunning Man or Wizard as there might be a Wise Woman.
Today, especially in the United States, there does seem to be more women, especially in Wicca. Unfortunately, Wiccan covens have a propensity to favor women over men, and in ritual they favor the Goddess over the God. Traditional Crafters consider this gender favouritism a blatant perversity. We disapprove of sexual favouritism- it is not part of our heritage and it is ethically wrong. Traditionalists believe in the equality of the sexes. Men and women should always be treated in a fair and equal manner.
13. What is a Solitary Practitioner?
A solitary practitioner or solo practitioner is a Traditional Crafter that usually practices the Traditional Craft, witchcraft, alone.
Practicing solo has very clear and definite advantages and has a very long and noble history in Britain. In fact, it is believed that most witches throughout history practiced in private and only occasionally in groups (or covens). Many of today's new seekers (those in training to become Trad Crafters) are primarily solo practitioners.
• Continue with: What Is Traditional Witchcraft?