What Is Traditional Witchcraft?
Our Individual Spiritual Journey
The Traditional Witch ~ Beginner's Traditional Witchcraft 101
Man has always been fascinated with is own physical world as well as the spiritual world. Traditional Crafters have thoughts on a number of aspects about both of these worlds.
Transmigration of the Soul
As you may know, it is a fact that reincarnation was a commonly-held belief among many ancient peoples. The Anglos and Saxons held a belief that is close to but not the same as reincarnation, the transmigration of the spirit-soul. In this belief, and without debt or credit issues, the spirit learns and progresses in knowledge through repeated journeys to earth. The soul is reborn in each life within the family, clan, or community circle. This remains a central belief among Trad Crafters.
Nature has always been a centre around which the world revolved. But more than that, Nature is seen as the world, as the Earth, and other planets, and the heavens above. Nature symbolizes our spirituality and provides us with all life has to offer.
Nature is not seen as good or bad, but is acknowledged in its splendid neutrality. Thus, Nature is not any more positive than it is negative. But Nature is seen as the totality of the physical world as well as the Spirit World. Therefore, the Crafter is very much aware that Nature is an all-pervasive force that surrounds us in life and in death.
Most Traditional Crafters subscribe to the concept of the equality of all life forms, both on Earth and in the Spirit World. Thus, Traditional Crafters believe that males and females are innately equal. But also that the spirits of the living (us) and the spirits of the dead are also equal. The only difference is that one is in physical form on Earth while the other is in spirit form in the Spirit World.
Traditional Witchcraft can be seen by some as only magic. I believe that the vast majority of Crafters view their practice in Traditional Witchcraft has innately spiritual in nature. Through the centuries, solitary practice, family groups, and groups of friends, what outsiders call "covens," were the hallmark of witchcraft in Britain.
There has been some variance in thought concerning the popularity of groups, or covens, in past centuries. Some believe groups were common, with Crafters preferring to do their workings thither deep in the forest to avoid detection. Thus with chilly British weather they prabably used robes for warmth, thus the term "robed covens." Others believe that groups, robed or not, were less common, the exception rather than the rule. Hence, the belief that the vast majority of Crafters were solo practitioners that usually kept to themselves and did as much work in their kitchens as outside, perhaps in their gardens. This is likely one reason why many Crafter cottages had a thick hedge surrounding the property- to keep out the eyes of outsiders. No one knows for sure, but I tend to believe the latter may be more accurate, that solitary practice was much more common. It still is today.
It is common practice and natural for Crafters to do only those rituals and practices that are personally significant. Individuals tended to practice personal spirituality in their own unique manner. Whence, it is easy to appreciate why practice differs between Crafters, families, and groups.
Each Trad, whether an individual, family, or group, have their own unique blend of attitudes, beliefs, their own particular styles, practices, and customs. Within this one finds a commonality of same, especially attitudes, beliefs, and magical practices.
Trad Crafters, have always personalized their practice to their own taste and in their own unique manner. Therefore, it is easy to appreciate the fact that Traditional Craft practice differs between individuals, families, villages, and regions. While differences between Trads are common, there are also fundamental commonalities between Trads that reflect an approach that is distinctively and uniquely the domain of the Old Craft that is 'part and parcel' of Traditionalism.
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