This post was originally written in December of 2014. I have revised it to reflect information that I know to be a fact and am entitled, as an Elder of my Faith, to reveal without breaking any of my Oaths.
So I was reading an article the other day about this dude who takes a month and dips his toe in the water of various religions to see what they’re like. I get that he’s taking a reality-tv-like approach and dabbles here and there ~ we’ve all dabbled a bit in something at some point in our lives. He grabbed his ritual bling and he did a thirty-day-stint in Wicca.
What I don’t like is that he pretends to know what the fuck is going on in a religion where people have devoted their entire lives to studying and practicing but still don’t get it all. Yet, he pretends that a month is long enough to experience the true power of that religion? Baldersdash, I say! Balder-fucking-dash!
Do you seriously think thirty days as a Wiccan is going to give you any kind of real perspective on the practice? It’s worse than the time the guy tried Judaism for a month! How in the living fuck are you going to be Jewish for a month? I’m not Jewish in the slightest, but I realize that it requires a lifetime of devotion to be Jewish (and that’s if you convert, rather than are born Jewish) before you can even scratch the fucking surface of it ~ there’s no way you can get the depth of growth and personal empowerment in a religion ~ any religion ~ by spending thirty days as a dabbler.
So … having said all of that and getting it off my chest … I was reading a “rebuttal article” the other day on the ‘net where the author was basically taking the same stance that I take. Which is fine.
But then there’s this one statement:
And kudos for finding a Wiccan tradition that’s virtually unknown. Because if you were studying a known Witchcraft tradition … people might be able to call you on your crap. You might actually be representing a known Wiccan path and have some accountability.
First, let me just say that I get what the author of that statement meant ~ I think. It appears that what he means is: because specifically the Thirty-Day-Dabbler picked a non-famous Wiccan tradition, no one could really say what the dude was doing right, wrong or otherwise or verify his results. The author of the aforementioned statement is also saying ~ I think ~ that if it were a “more traditional” path of Wicca, the Thirty-Day-Dabbler wouldn’t have been able to just waltz in and waltz out. I get that. So I’m not taking personal issue with the author of the statement.
But I do take a lot of fucking umbrage with the statement itself.
There are a lot of Wiccan traditions that are not famous. And I’m not talking about some McWicca made up by a chick who read a couple of 101 books from our most famous “pagan” publishing house. I’m talking about traditions that have existed since before Gardner started publishing his works ~ traditions that are as well-established as any of the traditions that the author of the article listed. I mean traditions that are not, by and large, British Traditional Wicca.
No, the non-famous traditions might not have been handed down from generation to generation over a multitude of centuries ~ but neither was Gardner’s. The author listed the following as famous or well-known traditions:
Dianic, Gardnerian, Alexandrian, Mohsian, Central Valley, Unicorn, Reclaiming, Feri, Ravenwood, Corellian, 1734, Roebuck, Georgian, Blue Star, Aquarian Tabernacle Church, Church of All Worlds, Circle Sanctuary, N.E.C.T.W., N.R.O.O.G.D., Witch School
The implication of the above quote is that there is no one to say “you’re full of shit” in regards to a non-famous tradition, other than the people who practice it. Sure, I get that. But the further implication is that the non-famous Wiccan traditions aren’t real Wiccan traditions ~ that they are “less than” because they aren’t famous.
So yes. The quote from that author above pisses me off. And the reason, in case you haven’t guessed, is because I am part of a non-famous tradition. It is not just “virtually unknown …” It’s completely unknown. Do you know why it’s completely unknown? Because no one published books or articles on it for the specific reason that our material should not ever be made public or disseminated to the masses. It is not a religion or practice for the masses. In fact, the only group of people whom I know for a fact are practicing my Tradition are the people in my current Coven. Before them, it was the last Coven I knew of who practiced it in 1995, and I ran that Coven, too. I currently have no clue where they’re at or even if they’re still practicing because of the way our Coven split up, and I have no earthly idea whatsoever if anyone else on the planet ever had a lineage to my Initiator, since she was, technically, the beginning of this Faith.
The tradition I practice is called “Feycraft Wicca.” My High Priestess (my Initiator) was initiated into Gardnerian Wicca by Gardner himself in the 1940’s in England. She was born in Derybshire and ran her own Coven there. In 1964, her husband died and she relocated to Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, to be with her son, who happened to be her only family left. She traveled several times annually back and forth to California, where she was initiated into Feri Witchcraft in the 1970’s. Then she moved to Kentucky, where I met her, in the 1990’s and was initiated. The tradition I practice never really had a name, prior to 1980, when my High Priestess started calling it “Feycraft Wicca.” According to her, she renamed it because she was sick of the conflict from Gardnerians for combining Gardnerian Wicca and Feri Witchcraft into a cohesive whole.
Before that, you didn’t need a name for the tradition ~ you were either Witch or you weren’t, plain and simple. People “back in the day” didn’t have all these quarrels with other groups that we have nowadays because they likely didn’t know much about their existence. And even if they did know the other groups existed, there was no point in arguing with them about who was right or wrong on any given point. Why? Because different people from different geographical regions do things differently. It is what it is.
If someone were to question the High Priest or High Priestess about why Coven of the Muckety Muck did things differently, they would’ve said, “It is their way.” And that would’ve been it. Because it was their way; and if it wasn’t your way, then you were just being a nosey little shit and needed to mind your business. It’s the same way that, if you asked your grandmother about why Uncle Jimmy was an asshole to the guy at the drive thru, your grandmother would say, “Oh, it’s just Jimmy’s way,” meaning: that’s just how he is. It’s the same with the tradition. It doesn’t matter whether you think they’re right or not: it’s just how they are, it’s just their way.
So that’s why no one has ever heard of my tradition. No one wrote books about my tradition or set up famous sanctuaries or anything they would’ve called a “church” or a “tabernacle.” So I have no idea if there is even anyone out there who, as of today, knows or practices the Feycraft Tradition other than me and my Coven. I don’t even think my High Priestess taught or initiated anyone else after 1994.
So I am actually representing a known Wiccan tradition. It is just not known to you. It is known to me and I’ve seen the results it can conjure up in a person’s life. I’ve known others who have practiced it – I’m just not sure if anyone else is practicing it now, other than my Coven.
And I do have accountability. I have accountability to the Gods of Feycraft Wicca, my own Ancestors and my spiritual lineage. And I’ll have accountability to any students I train in the tradition. Just because a person can’t be held accountable by you doesn’t mean they aren’t held accountable.
No, not being a famous tradition really isn’t so bad, after all. Mostly because there’s no one to bitch at you and claim you’re doing it “wrong,” since no one actually knows if I’m doing wrong or not.