Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Happy to talk...

   The other day I gave a talk at the Nova Stellar Moot, a predominantly wiccan event and a fairly mixed audience, some present were seasoned old-timers and some complete newbies. It was a friendly, happy event and people showed quite a lot of interest, but nobody actually asked what we actually did (actually). Maybe they thought this was bad form, that I'd claim everything was oath-bound, or maybe they thought from what I'd said, that they knew...we bake a lot of cakes and give them to spirits! Honestly, our baking activities are only a small part of what we do and I'm very happy to explain about how we work and why we work the way we do.
   People who come to this blog are quite likely to know that our craft is different to Wicca in its philosophy and its practices, there are overlaps, inevitably, but they are very distinct in most respects. At first, some of these things can seem terribly confusing or attractive or maybe both and all this talk of stangs and compasses might create a glamour for those who really need a different set of tools to their athames and pentacles, but that is not really the point of what we do, and it can take a long time to come to grips with how and why we use these tools and concepts. I remember one friend and colleague saying how annoyed he'd been when a couple who should surely know better, when asked what the witch's compass was, said it was  a traditional craft term for a magic circle. This was not entirely wrong, as it often is circular, but it is also very many other things and is not always circular, but might be square or a crossroads. Also, the concept is not 'circle', but could be castle, river, cave, or, within a different cultural context, mandala. It is a map of the worlds and the means of arriving at them.
   Now, somebody who is dedicated to Wicca might feel they don't need to know a great deal about this as their own craft is sufficient. I satisfied their curiosity and that was it. I have a great respect for many wiccans and it was an important part of my own journey. As for those new to any form of Craft, if one is seeking initiation, still lacking in knowledge and experience, it can be difficult to ask questions, so I certainly would not wish to judge anybody for not asking me what I would like to have answered...maybe it was my own fault for not bringing up some of these matters in my talk to provoke such questions!
   So my essential point seems to be that anybody who has a real question should be encouraged to ask it. Anything that is beneath the rose can remain there and yet quiet a lot of good information can be given, that is, if you want to know.
   And, yes, we do indeed bake quite a lot of cakes for the spirits, but that is only one aspect of what we do, which grows and develops with time as our own understanding grows and sacrifices of cake and wine, or bread and beer, sometimes have to give way to a sacrifice of self, and that might be the only real way to open the doors to the Mysteries. Is that a good subject for conversation? You tell me...
I am taking it that you have replied with an excited "yes!", well then I'll make a few posts about what we do and why, not so very different to what we have done before, but explanations, clarifications about how we view some of these matters, how they might be understood in terms of traditional witchcraft and how might, or indeed might not, be very different to how they might be understood in Wicca.