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What can I do to further follow a traditional path?


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#41 Jacno

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 05:45 PM

I feel exactly the same , I've tried to find so many traditional witchcraft groups only to find that they turn out to be Wicca . And would like some guidance in the right direction to practicing true traditional witchcraft.
Please help !

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#42 Solanaceae

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 12:24 AM

There is much advise and research suggestions on this site about this topic.

Here is a good place to start.

 Traditional Witch Home Page Articles

 

This is not a teaching site and you are unlikely to find a mentor to walk you through your path here,

but as stated there is lots of information available for you to do your own research and learning.

Enjoy the journey!


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Some are born to sweet delight,

Some are born to endless night.

 

(Fragments from "Auguries of Innocence") William Blake


#43 Zombee

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 05:43 PM

I've been looking into urban shamanism, and these don't seem much different from psychic, OOB trance travel in meditation. How you get there can be culturally theme-based if that's helpful. Vocabulary varies. Practice should be adapted to be relevant to your life. What im saying is that we don't have to imitate our ancestors lifestyle. To me, relevancy is what makes a practice authentic, and realistic to daily practice. To experience the Earth's telluric energies, reasonably I do have to get out of the house and touch the sod. My back yard or a park are accessible whereas a back pack journey into the forest is not. Like all witches I use what's available. That's very traditional :D

There are instructional books if you just search Traditional Witchcraft on Amazon books. The reviews help you decide which one's are worth buying for your situation. There just is no one, true, authentic, traditional witchcraft methodology. There are some shared practices but every geographic region has it's own style.

Check out podcasts by Peter Paddon and Trad Witch YouTube videos. Sara Anne Lawless has a good web site.

There are differences from Wicca, but the underlaying core is the same Earth, Moon and Sun. Small folk-magic differences like compass instead of circle; the tools are more "rustic" and natural,; contact with spirits, ancestors and deity without pantheons unless you are guided to them. Wicca incorporates some "high magic" methods, and in some regions, so does TW because no path stagnates and survives.

Edited by Zombee, 07 November 2017 - 09:48 PM.

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#44 Moly

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 04:45 PM

Like others have said I'm not really into the objects. Or rather I am, but imaginary objects, not physical ones. I do not actually need to go outside although I respect that others do. For me I need to get my mind to a certain state. I tend to think that it's about what happens deep in the darkness of the mind and the tools you use to cause those happenings, which could be physical tools but don't have to be, just whatever works for the practitioner. A symbol that you use within the alchemy of the mind. The mind is a natural place, as natural as sticks and rocks, it's a manifestation of some organic configuration. I can use moly wood effectively in my mind, I have grown and built a useful fairy boat of moly wood, for traveling between fairy isles, although speaking in terms that most people on Earth would agree with, moly does not really "exist".

I'm not sure though, I may be wrong, or I may just completely differ from others in a way that is totally OK, not completely sure.

Edited by Moly, 03 December 2017 - 04:48 PM.

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#45 Jacno

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 11:11 PM

Thank you for your help and advice , very much appreciated and has given me a guide as to where to start
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#46 Zombee

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 09:46 PM

Back in the days as I was learning to cast a circle, I wasn't satisfied just to follow the how-to instruction books. I questioned everything. Why a circle instead of a square? Why not a spiral? What does a maze do? I wanted to know the reason why for each part of the rite, and observe or feel it. So I experimented with everything, adding in and taking out pieces and observing the effects on the whole. Using crystals vs using water vs candles vs herbs vs sticks of incense to mark a circular path, & using a garden hose (full & empty) to lay a circle. Water increases psi senses. Flowing water increases it more. I worked indoors & outdoors; using a Stang as altar vs Western Occult style altar. I compared raising energy from Earth or calling it down from the Moon or Stars at night and Sun by day. Any variation I could think of is employed. I experienced how the energy varies & which is best for me. The colors i see surrounding me vary and tell me my status. Even the ozone smell varies. Visualized circles vs shuffle-paced circles, vs cast energies that waffle off my pointing finger or pulse by wand or beam sharply by blade. Each tool does the job but does it differently. A wand is 2-way, like a companionship, with the live-wood connecting to the massive, living pulse of the Earth. It's quite different from the forged blade that knows my imprinted Will like the steel manufacturer's stamp. I've found pacing spirals is a game changer. I've face planted in the lawn a few times, brought down just by the energies swirling around. Ive used charging the circle itself as the spell (per Gardner) and compared it to charging a chi energy-ball and letting it go, balloon-like. I wouldn't know any of this if I hadn't dug deeper into why this and not that, and then 'sperimented like a big kid.

I'm not saying everybody should go & cast circles. I just wanted to know more about them. It's what interested me. Some people dont find them useful so have other interests. Each of us goes with our talent & what peaks our curiosity and as far as our nerve will take us.

Edited by Zombee, 09 December 2017 - 06:39 PM.

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#47 Moly

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 11:29 AM

Back in the days as I was learning to cast a circle, I wasn't satisfied just to follow the how-to instruction books. I questioned everything. Why a circle instead of a square? Why not a spiral? What does a maze do? I wanted to know the reason why for each part of the rite, and observe or feel it. So I experimented with everything, adding in and taking out pieces and observing the effects on the whole. Using crystals vs using water vs candles vs herbs vs sticks of incense to mark a circular path, & using a garden hose (full & empty) to lay a circle. Water increases psi senses. Flowing water increases it more. I worked indoors & outdoors; using a Stang as altar vs Western Occult style altar. I compared raising energy from Earth or calling it down from the Moon or Stars at night and Sun by day. Any variation I could think of is employed. I experienced how the energy varies & which is best for me. The colors i see surrounding me vary and tell me my status. Even the ozone smell varies. Visualized circles vs shuffle-paced circles, vs cast energies that waffle off my pointing finger or pulse by wand or stream sharply by blade. Each tool does the job but does it differently. A wand is 2-way, like a companionship, with the live-wood connecting to the massive, living pulse of the Earth. It's quite different from the forged blade that knows my imprinted Will like the steel manufacturer's stamp. I've found pacing spirals is a game changer. I've face planted in the lawn a few times, brought down just by the energies swirling around. Ive used charging the circle itself as the spell (per Gardner) and compared it to charging a chi energy-ball and letting it go, balloon-like. I wouldn't know any of this if I hadn't dug deeper into why this and not that, and then 'sperimented like a big kid.
I'm not saying everybody should go & cast circles. I just wanted to know more about them. It's what interested me. Some people dont find them useful so have other interests. Each of us goes with our talent & what peaks our curiosity and as far as our nerve will take us.


Awesome story and knowledge of circles. I was really interested by what you wrote about casting energy with finger vs wand vs knife and also particularly your thoughts on wands as a 2-way.

In certain situations I also get these powerful sensory feedback like you describe with colours and ozone. Colours and music. A non-magical person would describe these experiences of mine as hallucinations. Which seems like such a limited and silly way to describe it.

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#48 Jacno

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 11:41 AM

Awesome story and knowledge of circles. I was really interested by what you wrote about casting energy with finger vs wand vs knife and also particularly your thoughts on wands as a 2-way.
In certain situations I also get these powerful sensory feedback like you describe with colours and ozone. Colours and music. A non-magical person would describe these experiences of mine as hallucinations. Which seems like such a limited and silly way to describe it.


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#49 Jacno

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 11:45 AM

Thank you zombee for you post , like you I'm not satisfied with books because I like to now the why's of things .i found what you said very interesting and it has inspired to experiment a bit with how I do things . This has been very helpful
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#50 Zombee

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 01:47 AM

@Jacno - glad it helps. It's good to know others see these things too. :)

@Moly - I physically see the energy like a blueish cloud around my hands. Im fairly sure im not imagining it. Ive always seen auras. Sometimes its like a cloud of breath on a cold day, rising up around my face. When i point my finger the cloud around my hands sluggishly ambles towards the ground and lazily spreads out to a circle. When I point my wand (a maple stick), I see flat ribbons that pulse like a wave from the other end, and with the blade it's a narrow beam.

When I've drawn down moonlight to use to cast with (vs raising earth energy) I pointed one end of my wand at the moon to draw the energy through it, and the other at my chest (in one end & out the other) letting light surround me like an aura; then still using the wand, pointed at the ground and used the aura to cast the circle. Just experimenting. The wand is like a conduit and energy can flow either direction.

I've also held up my open left hand towards the moon and drawn energy thru me and out my right hand holding the athame. It makes a direct line. Raven Grimassi often mentions in his books drawing down the moon onto the earth, so I took it literally and tried it. Another way would be catching the reflection in a dish pan of water sitting on the ground. It works to gaze at to get a trance effect. Sometimes gazing directly at the moon makes me dizzy, so it's reflection stands in.

I certainly don't always have the mental focus to do this, and only experiment when the mood is on me and the smokey lights are visible. These circle "play dates" were over a couple of years, weather permitting, in my back yard. Full moon lasts a couple days so why not use them all?

Another thing I noticed is incense smoke either clings to me like spider webs or, when I'm radiating, so to speak, won't touch me. If I move towards it, it slides away and no breeze involved. Just observe all you can and eventually it's useful.

Edit - oh, and when I've used my staff (pine) I find it's willing to draw earth energy up, pull it right out of the ground, to make a circle. it doesn't have to go through me, but when it does & I hold the staff, then the Earth and I are pulsing with the same beat. Sometimes there's been a crawling, tickle feeling under my bare feet that pulses in short waves.

The first time I'd ever felt anything like that was when I was out walking my dog up a grassy hill, minding my own business (Nov 1988) & a big wave shot up from below my feet and out my head like a dose of salts, and pitched me right out of body. It felt like a back flip. I looked down from waaay up high and saw radiant light lines crossing the ground. a flock of south bound Canada geese was just passing through, then I was back in my body, geese honking overhead, and a magnetic pulse rippling under foot. I stood there crying because it was one of the major experiences ive ever had. In a flash, I knew for sure the Earth is conscious, and all Nature is part of one organism. Call it my awakening. Earth was aware of me. It's what made me eventually look into witchcraft (in which, until then, I'd had no interest). I wanted to know what the heck had happened. I was familiar with OOBEs. No problem there, but that pulse! Woowhee. So, that's why I've been so intrigued by experimenting with the energy of a circle. It's all one.

Edited by Zombee, 09 December 2017 - 06:58 PM.

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#51 FancyShadowCat

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 07:05 AM

Bumping :)

One thing I’d like to add, trad craft is a good template, but it’s largely just a template. One of the reasons we shouldn’t read too much is because the witches of old only had so much knowledge and resources. It is true that trad craft was a certain way back in the day when it was practiced more widely, but as with physical human crafts, spiritual crafts can be advanced by the modern age. It’s nice to have old and authentic recipes for incenses and such, but it’s like cooking. Today we have access to so many herbs and resins and innovational thought, we should take advantage.
That old authentic recipe is likely good, just like the old trad recipe for cake. But with advances in baking we made cake much better, and we too should be trying to advance with these spiritual recipes. I was browsing The Encyclopedia of Magickal Herbs the other day and noticed that in the beginning Scott gave an example of a love incense recipe.
The recipe given included “Lemon balm, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, and vanilla” to simply include herbs associated with love is basic, and lacks passion. We no longer live in times when simply knowing which herbs are associated with love, or obtaining them is the challenge on its own. I suspect our ancestors would probably get a little annoyed watching us scower the web for days, to find one of their multiple traditional healing incenses when we could probably be making an even better one.
We have the resources to put a little more thought/creativity and effort into any aspect of the craft.
If I was making this incense/oil for a man, id like to include an herb or two for courage like masterwort, because inducing feelings of affection will do no good if he’s too shy to act on them. I might add lavender as well, because it’s associated with love- and peace, and I suspect the peaceful energy will help get us on a smoother start with less potential ‘bumps’ in the road. If this were an oil, I’d add a little sugar as well to sweeten our interactions so that he’s encouraged to talk to me. There are a lot of angles to tackle each problem we deal with (and we didn’t even get to considering planetary correspondences of the herbs yet).

Gordon Ramsey isn’t Gordon Ramsey because he settled for basic “it’s scrambled eggs so I put eggs on a pan and waited for them to get solid”. He cycles taking the eggs off the pan, and back on so that they get cooked while maintaining a softer creamier texture by not overheating. If he can put that much effort into scrambled eggs when everyone else though there was pretty much just one way to do it, there is plenty of room for advancement in the craft as well.

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#52 Guest_Gabriel999_*

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Posted 22 February 2020 - 11:09 PM

To give an example, I was always drawn to electricity and started to learn by my own and study 4 or 5 hours per night as well as going to university.

I built sound systems and amplifiers which use vacuum and they became an essential part of my spiritual cleansing as well as practicing instrument tuning, playing music, drawing. That was all part of mastering my instincts and achieve something later. 

 

Perfection like Gordon Ramsey, well said FancyShadowCat, collect wine, collect art, make art, study hard everyday, self-criticize, be humble, try never boast because we live in a continuity, there is only one stationary point in the universe.

 

Do not seek. Let it come to you. When everything is silent, everything is being prepared by the elders.   


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#53 WitchVillage

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Posted 27 February 2020 - 03:56 PM

The fact that there's no instruction manual for TW is perhaps its most attractive quality. It can also be the most frustrating thing, especially for us newbs.

I'm gonna quote RoseRed above and say "Look deeper". And while I think she was probably referring to the forums specifically, I'm going to advise to expand that to all areas of your life. Read deeper, search deeper, experience deeper, feel deeper, believe deeper. Go deeper in your connection to nature, into introspection, in exploring levels of consciousness, in reading history and folklore and religious texts. Go deeper into your family history, with your practice and rituals. Go deeper into your connection with spirits.

It can be so frustrating when you are a solitary witch and people tell you "it's not about what's in the books". It can make me want to throw my hands up and say "then where am I supposed to find it?" But yet, I do end up finding the wisdom I need and precisely when I need it. Ask your ancestors or any spirits that you have a good relationship with to help you. They will show you exactly what how they want to be worked with and can lead you to new resources and teachers and experiences. Focus in on a couple of practices and become an expert on them rather then feeling like you have to become an expert at all aspects of traditional witchcraft in all traditions at once. You've got plenty of time to explore.

It's not so much about what you read but how you read it. You're already learning how to think like witches of old...that's why Wicca didn't sit right with you. Your perspective is changing, as though you were able to step back a few feet and see a bigger picture than before. Dive into religious texts, historical documents and folklore with these new eyes. Study the culture of your ancestors, or whatever tradition speaks to you. Plus a couple of other trads for perspective. Find the common threads in beliefs and practices. Look to the shamans, or the healers, or the diviners and spirit workers and storytellers. They are present in almost every culture. Learn to be comfortable with metaphor and parables.

It's good to study the history of the occult as well, even Gardner and Crowley and all that, even when it doesn't speak to you. You're not reading their works as a how-to guide, but learning about where they got their resources and why they set up their orders the way they did. Understanding the how's and whys will help you to know what parts of their teachings you can ditch, and which parts may have some wisdom for you. It's okay to take a deeper look at Wicca, as long you do it with your new eyes. Don't blindly follow anything someone tells you is fact...get to the bottom of things and see the big picture.

The heart of Traditional Witchcraft is a connection to the ancient practices of witchcraft. You can come at it from many angles and cultural perspectives. But for the most part, there is no clear view of exactly what those ancient practices looked like, so we can gather evidence and piece it together (which is how most of our understanding of history is put together anyways). But we have the added bonus of being able to directly ask ancient spirits and teachers to help guide us on that hunt for wisdom, to help us navigate the sea of crap that is out there in modern occult teachings.

It is a tedious process to dive deeper, but trust that the process is as valuable as the end of the journey.

 

Just wanted to bump this post, it's really well said.


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Heaven above, Heaven below
Stars above, stars below
All that is over, under shall show
Happy thou who the riddle readest