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Has anyone read "The Pickingill Papers"?


Michele

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Guest 53rdspirit

Greetings, Michele.

 

I have read a little about George Pickingill (alleged cunning-man); however, I have not read The Pickingill Papers --have you?

 

Regards,

53

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Started to tonight, but only got so far as my S.O. was watching TV and kept talking to me and feeding me - lol. It goes on and on about Gardner and Crowley (sp), to the point that I'm not sure exactly WHAT point the author is trying to make (it'd probably help if I actually sat down and read it without interruption!) But, that aside, it had some interesting thoughts on hereditary craft and the spreading of craft through Europe and the Moorish influence. Some thoughts on coven initiation vs. self-initiation and/or non-initiation. I do tend to lean towards self, or non (or the "power" picks you so-to-speak). They had several bits on polarity that I'm not sure what I thought about (I'm being a bit evasive there as it was an area that I had some disagreement with my original tradition over and haven't yet decided what I believe vs. what I WANT to believe). I have a very strong connection to the craft, but my old tradition seems to feel certain things about me are, while okay, not acceptable for craft working. This does not reflect the views of my teacher (disclaimer... sorry the paralegal in me!) whom I love dearly, but it reflects the impression I got of the community in general. I could be wrong and wish to do them no injustice if I have misunderstood what I've read.

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Can you be a bit more clearer Michele and we can tell you if you are in the right place :)

 

You should believe what is in your heart no matter what mentor teaches you, you never have the same mentor .. you grow out of them after a year or so.

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Hi Michele,

 

yes I've read the Pickingill Papers, a very good read for information on various aspects of hereditary and traditional craft. The point of the book is not so much to teach, but to make people think!

 

The parts about Gardner and Crowley will become clear once you read the whole book.

 

Bear in mind that the book was not the thoughts of one person, but a series of articles written by the author's craft elders at the time and published under the pen name of Lugh. Lugh is a member here on TW under another name.

 

Read the book if you can and think and question, that is it's value. Once you have read it then ask questions, there are members on here who can answer them, but they really want you to think and form your own opinion.

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Okay :-) If my questions offend any, I apologize in advance - lol. I have a problem with Gardner's polarity beliefs. (Among other things of his). He seems to think (have thought) that if I want to do magic I must have a man who will give me power (draw down into me) consecrate my tools for me, etc., and that any working partner I have must be a man. Perhabs it is how the craft works. I am solitary. My tools (save one) unconsecrated by humans. (I did have a whole long "interaction" with non-humans about this, but that was also frowned upon by the man who was at that time teaching me. The woman teacher I ended up with, and with whom I remain friends, did NOT frown upon the experience or tell me I need to stop imagining things. She shared my wonder, delight and respect for the experience.) So I do the solitary thing. I have a close friend who is a female, and in times of need I have used her to partner me inmy magic with good results. We just click when we work together (and her energy does tend to be way more masculine than mine). AlsoI was a bit leary of the references in the P. Papers that initiation requires you to have sex with the male leader to receive power. Whatever happened to personal power? Disclaimer: None of the covens I trained with ever requested I have sex with anyone, yet I was only initiated into one coven, so I can't speak for all. Anyway, bottom line is: Why can't I just be me? Why can't I just work with the person, male or female, that I work well and click with? Why does some man have to draw his and/or other-world power into me? Why can't I just use my own power (which has done me fine so far)? I only have 2 "tools": a staff and an athame. I tend to use the staff more because it feels better to me. Why does it need some guy to "bring it to life?" It feels like it works just fine already. I have searched for the answers tothis, but there are so many posts and threads here (not to mention me being a bit computer-impaired!) that I haven't been able to follow everything. Thanks for your time, Michele.

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The having sex thing to receive power didnt sit right with me either so I refused my mentor at that time and went my own way. I am far more comfortable doing things my way, with my own energy and energy from the Universe.. if I feel the need to supplement my energy with another person whether it be male or female so be it.

 

The male/female thing is a balance like Yin Yang, some say you cant have one without the other, but it entirely depends on what you are doing - its great to have different sexes in a meditation circle but for being solitary - you don't need it - you can use the universal energy which naturally has both :)

...alternatively.. you can always evoke Pan if you get bored *wink*

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He seems to think (have thought) that if I want to do magic I must have a man who will give me power (draw down into me) consecrate my tools for me, etc., and that any working partner I have must be a man.

 

He can think all he likes, thats utter bullshit Michele - if you see that guy again tell him to go suck on his Athame, courtesy of Sandy Cristel

 

However ... you should know that having a polarity between Male and Female was one of the essential parts of magic 100s of years ago. Many traditions still incorporate and insist on this. Some may do so here as well, but at the end of the day it is ultimately up to the individual. The old saying only a witch can make a witch is a pile of crud. Most heriditary craft workers were FAMILY so they would not be shagging each other I can tell you...

 

Things change, things evolve, but I wouldn't do or follow what someone else says or suggests if it doesn't feel right in your heart.

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  • 2 months later...

Hi Michele

 

Well now this seems to have been a while back and I missed it BUT I gt a fire lit under my bum tonight and so did a search, spotted this and will try to put a few clear bits in before getting the lad off to bed!

 

First of all, as has been pointed out, bear in mind that the chapters were written by several different people and not all of them agreed on .. well very much of anything! So when it sounds a bit muddled or bicker-ey ... well now you know why ...

 

Okay :-) If my questions offend any, I apologize in advance - lol. I have a problem with Gardner's polarity beliefs. (Among other things of his). He seems to think (have thought) that if I want to do magic I must have a man who will give me power (draw down into me) consecrate my tools for me, etc., and that any working partner I have must be a man. Perhaps it is how the craft works. [/qoute]

 

On this subject I am a yes and no sort of feller. Firstly do bear in mind that those doing the promulgating in the PP were not Gardnerians and some of them didn't like him for various reasons but that aside ... There are indeed several older modes of thought which stress the need for male and female to be present in some workings. This is so one has the positive and negative influences required in a generative sense as far as there being the masculine and feminine influence.

 

That being said there were also paths that thought that was rubbish and that if you had the right connections you don't need ay such twaddle at all. As if that didn't make it bloody minded in the extreme there is also the notion that this latter is the case and that the contacts in the right places are best connected to (in the first place) by the use of both currents. *Shakes head* This sort of single mindedness (to put it politely!) makes the many factions of wicca look positively cohesive doesn't it? lol

 

In this I am not simply hedging bets, the fact is that pretty much anything anyone could possibly imagine has at some time or another been considered de-rigeur or gospel somewhere by someone and the idea that there is much or indeed any sort of hegemony or blanket agreeance amongst older traditional thought is totally off mark. I like to always remember that there was no "Traditional Witchcraft" because there is no S in it. The term rather tends tro imply that there was A way rather than countless ways and no carved in stone.

 

I am solitary. My tools (save one) unconsecrated by humans.

 

In many senses "consecration of a tool" is akin to it being worked over by a master craftsman. I have seen plenty of mass produced box cutters cut better than finely balanced swords. As a traditional witch of the line down from George I have one or two tools sure but only one of which you might find spoke about in reference to witchcraft these days. Neither of them are needed. So if no tools are *needed* per se surely the notion of who might lend their advice as to how best use the tool (by way of blessings etc) is moot I would imagine.

 

(I did have a whole long "interaction" with non-humans about this, but that was also frowned upon by the man who was at that time teaching me.

 

This is very much a yes and no. I can see easily how a teacher may very much warn you against interactions with non humans. They may not be as they present or appear and may do long term harm to you before you know it, they may even be by nature inimical to the guides and protectors of the line you were being introduced to. Or perhaps they were just being over protective or simply paranoid or any number other such options.

 

That being said, some non humans are just as they are and do come to the seeker at just the right time in order to tutor and so on. At the end of the day there are no guarantees, some meet the right teachers and they aren't like us, some meet the wrong things and get damaged, sometimes both happens and the seeker either fails and cripples or survives and just wears the results. Speaking as one who has had experience of all three - I generally say eh shit happens and nothing worthwhile comes free of risk or price.

 

So I do the solitary thing. I have a close friend who is a female, and in times of need I have used her to partner me inmy magic with good results.

 

All allegedly ancient carved in stone ideals aside - you do what works. Frankly, if that works for you and you are getting good results without paying high prices "through the nose" (as it were) then who gives a rat's what anyone else says? If you are doing what you are comfortable with and it works - that is truly all that matters. Rules are for people in clubs.

 

We just click when we work together (and her energy does tend to be way more masculine than mine).

 

Well now without having to press the obvious ... in response to this all I can say is there you go then - that would tend to make sense of it! *G*

 

Also I was a bit leary of the references in the P. Papers that initiation requires you to have sex with the male leader to receive power.

 

Some old ways did and some didn't - even within that line (and it is worth noting that there was and is not just power but what is rather poetically referred to as "the" power to say noting of the authority and so on!) Simply put not all lines down from there require it and while I have no doubt some out there still insist on it - it really only is required in specific circumstances. It is hardly an across the board thing.

 

Whatever happened to personal power?

 

Umm I don't know perhaps it fell behind teh couch as many lost things do! lol But seriously, it is different to what was being referred to.

 

Disclaimer: None of the covens I trained with ever requested I have sex with anyone, yet I was only initiated into one coven, so I can't speak for all.

 

Fair comment. It is also why I pointed out that not all even in the lines down from George insist upon it and indeed most people I know consider it something of an anachronism.

 

Anyway, bottom line is: Why can't I just be me? Why can't I just work with the person, male or female, that I work well and click with?

 

You can and you should.

 

Why does some man have to draw his and/or other-world power into me?

 

That is a curly one and should be considered like asking "why would I need wisteria for a particular spell I have a copy of in one of my books?" Short answer - you don't there are ways around it unless of course you are doing the spell I have that requires wisteria ... in which case you will need it! If the club you wish to join has rules and requirements you aren't comfortable then join a different one. The articles in the PP were deliberately confrontational and written by those (hopefully I won't get a flame under my butt for saying so!) from a very different time, who were by nature ... shall we say crotchety and inflexible in some ways! lol

 

Why can't I just use my own power (which has done me fine so far)?

 

Why not indeed? If it works ... use it. If it should stop working, try something else.

 

I only have 2 "tools": a staff and an athame. I tend to use the staff more because it feels better to me. Why does it need some guy to "bring it to life?" It feels like it works just fine already.

 

And why not after all? Symbolically all knives and stves are phallic tools anyway so why a male should be needed to bring one of them to life I will freely admit is something I have always wondered about myself! lol

 

I have searched for the answers tothis, but there are so many posts and threads here (not to mention me being a bit computer-impaired!) that I haven't been able to follow everything. Thanks for your time, Michele.

 

Hopefully, this has been of some use! If nothing else in it makes sense then just remember that the things were written by people comenting on what worked for them and those like them. If you aren't like them then no surprises it should be different. If what you do works for you then don't change it - and I say that as a part of that downline from George too! *G*

 

Fraternally

 

Scott

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