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Initiations


Patchuli

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Hello everyone!

Just had a quick question. Has anyone ever expirienced or ever heard of Initiations in Traditional Witchcraft. To my knowledge i dont think there is any. Yet this Witch who i was talking to the other day insists that there is.

What do you guys think?

Patchuli de Amor

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Hello everyone!

 

Just had a quick question. Has anyone ever expirienced or ever heard of Initiations in Traditional Witchcraft. To my knowledge i dont think there is any. Yet this Witch who i was talking to the other day insists that there is.

 

What do you guys think?

 

Patchuli de Amor

 

For some odd reason I think people are getting Traditional Witchcraft mixed up with Traditions in Witchcraft (similar to Wiccan Traditions). I am not sure if you follow me but to me they are very different. I would ask them what their definition is of Traditional Witchcraft - it just may differ from what your thoughts are.

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Greetings Patchuli

 

Hmm tricky .. I like it. My wording here is going to have to be precise and may be a tad hard to follow but it must be read carefully to get what I think on it accurately. This is an issue that really links older practice to modern permutations to my mind and so needs to be handled delicately.

 

While the line to which I belong does have an initiation amongst other bits and bobs; I do also agree with Victrola's advice. It is sound and should be investigated irrelevant of the fact that some lines require initiation under an initiated elder.

 

The reason for this is that as we often say "well there are initiations and then there are initiations aren't there?" To quote the mighty Racey: "Some girls will; Some girls won't; Some girls need a lot of lovin and some girls DON'T!"

 

The truth to my mind is that an initiation is a special moment. Some have em, some won't and just as some really need it some others won't. It is a time and place wherein one's personal dedication and supplication (if such is appropriate) is accurate, correct, desired and accepted by those one petitions. Therein to my way of thinking lies the difference between initiation and dedication.

 

When this occurs, then the one doing the petitioning is accepted in or should I say after a manner whereby their essential currents are mixed with those of they being petitioned. The connections are made. This is generally the main reward being the difference between a statement of achievement and actual said acceptance. I seem to remember an old part of a supplication to a goddess which included the words: "She whose yes is truly YES" which sums up the difference quite succinctly.

 

HOWEVER all this being said ... the careful reader will note that I have strenuously avoided specificity in at least one regard in that description. The reason is that which has created a major theme of discontent in the modern craft.

 

TRULY not ALL initiations require intermediaries such as priests/esses etc. In my opinion such are only TRULY required when that which one wishes to be admitted to, is by nature NOT the sort of thing the postulant can access by themselves or when the same is also being accepted into a group or indeed lineage or group mind agregate. This latter was very much a line pushed by old witch covens and groups to maintain their power base and also to make it easier. V. Crowley made a valid point when she likened self initiation to taking one's appendix out by yourself.

 

This also should not be confused with the notions of "passing the power" or being given one's craft "authority". Here we are dealing with many overlapping (in some ways) issues but this connection should not be deemed to be more than that. Dogs and cats both have four legs, fur, tails and can make excellent pets but the differences become all too readily apparent when one tosses a stick and tells a cat to fetch it hame!

 

So when poor ol Scott Cunningham put down his view in print implying that solitary wicca were not only possible but perhaps desirable (dare I suggest neccassary?) and this was eagerly accepted by many he was in many ways flirting with heresy. Not simply from the wicca establishment but also from some quarters of survivals of the old witches. None the less, his trueism has had far reaching effects for good and ill in the modern times.

 

It has made possible the seething mass of folly of self ordained silliness we see in most places on the net but by the same token it has also meant some people can get along without being hamstrung by the superstitions of others and made possible the idea and some factes of the old powers to some who may not have found it otherwise.

 

Most certainly those who aren't supposed to find whatever won't etc .. but the fact remains that if we accept the old power's existence as truth; then we must also by definition accept their ability to enact certain changes that will later be neccassary in order for larger plans that we may not really comprehend to occur. There are many arguments that tend to support the fact that a mess must be worked through befor ethe slate is again made clean and I believe quite strongly that however irritating teh modern widespread folly may be - it is VITAL in all senses of the word for a strong future for all.

 

The grey area that seems to pervade all of the before discussed I feel is largely the result of that which the individual understands as the difference between initiation and dedication but that again is another perhaps even bigger can of worms for another thread - especially as this answer has touched on several other threads in this forum already! lol

 

Fraternally

 

Scott

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Hhmm....good question...personally I don't think there is any "solid" form of initation...however said that...I also personally believe that one can do a "personal dedication & initation" to their own spirituality/path..and mind you this can take numerous forms/styles. Myself...gosh...kinda lost for words here (unusal for me I know LOL)...I am planning on getting a tattoo of a wolf with wings, overtop of a pentagram (somewhere on my body) as a means of my contious enlightment of my path. Did I successfully confuse you yet??? LOL!!!

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>>Myself...gosh...kinda lost for words here (unusal for me I know LOL)...<<

 

I dont think that has ever happened to you lol

 

>>Did I successfully confuse you yet??? LOL!!!<<

 

Would you be Sue if you didnt?! lol

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1 a : the act or an instance of initiating b : the process of being initiated c : the rites, ceremonies, ordeals, or instructions with which one is made a member of a sect or society or is invested with a particular function or status

2 : the condition of being initiated into some experience or sphere of activity :

 

so by my understanding..........it is a "cremony" to accept you into a group.

 

why???????????????

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I think now we are touching on the secrets of esotericism. All "secret societies" usually have an initiation of some sorts and usually when you find a mentor to teach you certain secrets of the craft you will usually have some sort of initiation. This is done in various ways and can be quite severe depending on how "far" you already are.

 

It isn't just "Traditionals" who may incorporate this, it is also many other paths as well, such as the Shamanic path. Most followers of various beliefs will have a "step wise" learning process as this is the most natural way to learn.

 

Do not be fooled into thinking you have to perform the Great Rite or some other ridiculous sexual act. Having sex with your mentor certainly doesn't suddenly turn you into whatever he/she or you wants. You should be intelligent enough to know that your beliefs and power comes from within yourself, nobody else can make that judgement.

 

Most of my friends are self initiated and just because I was initiated does not make me any different, better or worse, with or without the Great Rite.

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I doubt if it is possible to answer this question. There are so many traditional paths that it would be impossible to speak for all of them. Most family traditions had no formal initiation. Knowledge was handed down.

 

The need for initation is frequently found in wiccan or Neo-Pagan circles, as is the need for a lineage. This is the crux of the problem: people have a need to belong to something. Apparently an initation or a lineage reassures them that they really are a witch.

 

The true witch doesn't need such reassurance. The true witch just knows he or she is a witch - and to hell with anybody else's opinion. The aims and goals of each witch may differ, and they usually do. Traditional witchcraft covers a multitude of sins. LOL. However, the hallmark of a witch is that he or she lives their Craft on a day-to-day basis, and studies everything they can lay their hands on about their chosen path to become a better witch.

 

Some traditional witches have been initiated in "dreams". Others have been "impressed" by genii loci, and resolve to serve that particular natural force. Other witches read a book, or meet a person, and suddenly realisation dawns that this is a momentous event - here is what they have been seeking all their life. This is also a form of "initiation".

 

Physical initiations can be of great benefit, but they are neither mandatory nor essential. "Contacts" with god-forms do assist the witch. Membership of a group-mind is also useful. However, there is no substitute for total dedication to the Craft and the Will to succeed! Nobody is right and nobody is wrong. The traditional witch is answerable to nobody but himself or herself.

 

By the by, some people could receive 103 degrees and it still wouldn't make them a witch.

 

To answer Patchouli's question:

 

I have received four initiations into different Traditional Craft groups. They were totally different rites and concepts. Very confusing.

 

Regards

Bill

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Thank you freinds, I have been following this thread with great interest, I dont know if it answers Patchouli's questions but it has certainly answered a lot of mine. Very interesting and very informative!:thanks: :applause:

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Greetings All

 

1 a : the act or an instance of initiating b : the process of being initiated c : the rites, ceremonies, ordeals, or instructions with which one is made a member of a sect or society or is invested with a particular function or status

2 : the condition of being initiated into some experience or sphere of activity :

 

so by my understanding..........it is a "cremony" to accept you into a group.

 

why???????????????

 

Ooo it MUST be Xmas ... lots of good questions! The big one : "Why?"

 

Well all esotericism aside I shall give a few ideas on the more practical side of "Why?"

 

Apart from the fact that those who subscribe to older views tend to be innately suspicious of anyone (or anything for that matter!) new and so often require of the new some sort of dedication be shown ... and that even that obviously only suits IF you are wanting to be a PART of a group!!

 

Beginning with 1 c, (the first two being self explanatory) to be made a member, to be invested with function or status. As Bill rightly said, the need to belong is a strong one for most people. In that case therefore, it is a way of stating to the subject (and underlining it) that they now "belong", it implies what is expected of them and in some cases does so in front of others .. thereby making it not only a tad binding but also informs others that you "belong" and what they can expect of them .. and vice versa. It also often (as I have implied) forges a connection that indeed ensures that they belong by way of shared experience, ability, access to resources and so on.

 

Again of course as has been stated herein often; sometimes this involves no one else - sometimes not even other spirits etc .. the individual is simply cursed with a sudden epiphany wherein they suddenly know what they are, where they are and what should happen next. Some of you may wonder at my use of the word "cursed". I use it because in many ways this situation is and used to be viewed as such more often the further back one goes. Without guidance or a structure, many of these go simply mad by degrees and rarely wind up seeing it as a good thing. This is one of the reasosn that I feel that the widespread of info (however shonky much of it may be) is perhaps a good thing - in many ways it gives a readily available set of "blocks" that can be made into a 'play house fort" of sorts to keep them from total insanity.

 

That 2 really underlies the previous is telling I think. These days there is much placed on names and titles and grades and all sorts of high ceremonial poo bah - ery. BUT ... it is largely a crutch and in most cases meaningless. All real titles, like true affirmations are not much more than description based on OBSERVATION. The titles change as the individuals do and really only serve to describe the subject at the moment of observation. I personally have had many titles and names and these days I find that virtually none of them make much sense anymore! lol

 

Besides, every time I have looked and seen someone who has "been there" so to speak it shows - irrelevant of initiations, groups, titles etc. "The Mark" that one can "See" is really (I believe) the feeling one gains when the recognition occurs (the idea is much like that greeting "The Divine in me recognises the divine in you".) Do they "Belong" (and this need not really mean "to my clique or group" at all) .. are they one of "us"? THAT is how I "know" people. I look at them and I can tell as can we all if we "look" the right way.

 

Simply put when you look at all the people you have a good connection or bond to you will that they all have a "something" in common. It is this "something" that we see and recognise. Like all things we can recognise it sparks certain reaction - mentally, emotionally and physically and this we feel. It is also telling that is you look at all those people and think for a second you will find that funnily enough, how often those same people wind up rolling their eyes and shaking their head at the multitudes who go on with various names and so on is about the same as you! *G*

 

At the end of the day as my first mentor put it to me: "Are you getting the job done? How goes the war?" So much for fancy shmancy titles and membership cards. Hell at the end of the day when you have found your place what need have you for all these wierd and exotically long lists of affilitiations and names? *Shrugs*

 

Sandy raised an interesting notion that once in certain quarters was (and still is - again in certain quarters) a mandatory ... the sexual induction or power passing. I do have to agree with both she and Bill in saying it isn't necc. BUT I must say that this, (as usual) depends on time and subject. That is to say that it is not necc - unless of course it is absolutely necc. for that person in that time and place and from experience and experiment I can say that it is obvious to all parties involved.

 

This is something I say having experienced initiations of both kinds. (My very first initiation when I was fresh outta school all those years ago was a sexual one and it does work and it did change everything about my life and direction - as did some I have experienced since then that weren't!)

 

This certainly touches further on Sandy's statement. What is "better"? There is no "better" simply different. If you belong to a group you have access to some things you don't on your own .. and vice versa. Having experienced both sides of that coin as well as diff forms all I can relegate it to it my fave: "Different tools for different jobs".

 

I have known many rituals (initiations included) I now have no use of (or for) and when I had use of them I would have had little use for what I do now. *Shrugs* Diff tools in this case I feel is not really much more exotic that the fact that one wouldn't train for graduation into the ranks of the polic force (as an example) so that you could then work in a clothes retailer and if you had all the cash and etc you needed - why train to be accepted as either? So it is with initiations and many of those that go on at hardline without apparent and simply explained reason are often doing so due to this need for acceptance whch these days seems to be reaching epidemic proportions.

 

Some girls will some girls won't. I have and have not and thoroughly found either useful and interesamusing *Shrugs* *BG*

 

Fraternally

 

Scott

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Guest wortmistress

 

However, the hallmark of a witch is that he or she lives their Craft on a day-to-day basis, and studies everything they can lay their hands on about their chosen path to become a better witch.

 

Some traditional witches have been initiated in "dreams". Others have been "impressed" by genii loci, and resolve to serve that particular natural force. This is also a form of "initiation".

 

 

 

This is so true, Bill.. You need to live your path on a daily basis, not in the sense of workings, honouring etc, but by being alive, by being alert to the world. I connect daily with a walk by the sea, a lonely wood walk etc. I don't do a complex ritual(def. not MY style!) I simply connect... I was "impressed" by a geni loci a few months ago(the thread is on this site). I see it as a promise, an oath to protect and preserve, to follow the Old Ways.

Many Traditions DO have a degree system and initiation, but as echoed by Sandy etc.,having an initiation badge does not make you head of the class. Indeed, I know people who are probably more Trad. Craft than actual practitioners, yet they do not even see themselves as Pagan or Traditional- they are just living life in the old style,simple and in peace. I am a very non- competitive soul and would not be comfortable with degrees- I like the round table idea- everyone equal but there is a guide....

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Very well put WM...my mother was like that...she simply lived as she was...a witch...nothing more and nothing less. And that was how I was raised as well. As a child I did not notice whether she did this or that migickal wise very often...I knew she had her own ways of things and taught me some things as well. As I got older it just became my life as normally as breathing and walking upright. I supposed as a young adult I was alittle puzzled by all the chatter of degrees, rules, etc. I always brushed it off as "different strokes for different folks". As I teach my girls my life...I do it similar to my mother yet different...I give them an abundance of information of all paths so they can make their own minds up as to which path is good for them. I haven't initated them...hell I am not even initated myself...like I posted earlier I am planning on placing a tattoo on my body as a form of continious faith in my path...and to confess...that is more of a copy of my oldest daughter...she has has several tattoos...the one on her neck (spider web)...is a symbol of her magickal beliefs and ways...she has 13 on the inner part of her wrist...this her power number and has always been a good luck symbol for our family since I can remember..she a dragons eye symbol (triangle with three parts inside) because her power animal is the dragon...she also has an partial alien design on her forearm to symbolize that she is still transforming into her spirituality. I stand up and commend my daughter for doing these. My youngest daughter has one of a butterfly that symbolizes the transformation she has gone through in her spiritual growth and is planning on getting of her power animal as well...the Phoenix. To us three women...these are a form of initations.

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