Witchcraft and Magick

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The School is now taking applications for the 13 month Witchcraft and Wicca training starting in November.

It promises to be a popular and interesting course and it follows the traditional training framework which was common in the early days of Wicca.

Whilst I (Alan) come from a broadly Wiccan background (Alexandrian Tradition 3rd Degree), Sue has a more ‘natural’, hedgewitch background supported by her training and initiation as a Priestess of Kernow.

Philosophically we are coming from the same place and this course will reflect not only or desire to question some of the origins of The Craft, but also provide a thorough training for those who may want to be formally initiated into The Craft so that they can continue to work as a solitary or be supported in establishing their own groups.

One of the key things we hope to do as a school is to offer on going support and mentorship for all of our ‘graduates’. We like to think that this is the tradition of the true mystery schools – introducing, challenging and supporting the ¬†individuals development whilst NOT limiting them to some kind of cult-like dogma.

This article, then, raises a few points and questions and will hopefully interest you in finding out more about the course we are planing.

WiccaAlexI was ‘told’ when I first started my magical training that all witches are pagan but not all pagans are witches.

By the same token it was suggested that all witches use magic but not all witches are magicians….

At first this might sound confusing, but in actuality it only takes a few moments of thinking to sort it out in your mind.

One way of thinking about it is that ‘witchcraft’ is an ancient magical tradition to do with living within and through the understanding of nature. In reality the term is used to describe a wide range of ‘traditional practices’ involving animism, spiritism, the use of herbs, ritual and magic – often portrayed in a very negative way.

Wicca, the religion, was created in the 1940’s by Gerald Gardener and his friends as a restatement and formalization of the more ‘ancient European witchcraft traditions’ – OK another oversimplification but at least its a starting point.¬†Gardner’s practice of Naturism, interest an animistic philosophies and attraction to occult teachings (through Crowley) as well as the work of anthropologist Margret Murray were combined in Gerald’s cauldron and out came the Gardnerian Wicca Tradition …. since developed by Alex Sanders and Kevin Carlyon to name two notable UK Witches.

Magic – with or without the K – like animism – has been part of history since the time human communities became communities. What it is today is a study filled with ‘frameworks’ and ‘initiatory pathways’ that serve to support the personal, mental, emotional and spiritual development of the individual. Whereas the magic of Witchcraft and Wicca is sometimes considered as Low Magic as it deals with the here and now; the seasons; healing and connections with the Cosmos, Ritual Magic is considered as High Magic – since it is about the evolution of consciousness, the development of the spirit and eventual union with The Cosmos.

What is consistent is the idea of ‘magical energies or forces’, for me perfectly summed up in Star Wars as “The Force” and Excalibur as ‘The Dragon’. It is¬†learning to work with these ‘energies’ as well as any other ‘spiritual energies’ that separates out the ‘worker’ from the ‘fashionista’ – the fashion ‘witch’ or ‘magician’ who cast a ‘galmour’ but have no substance.

We thought you might like to look at this old TV documentary about Witchcraft. The fashion, documentary style date it but some of the footage has not been seen since it was first broadcast – enjoy.

 

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