What Is The Value Of Tradition In Witchcraft?
It is here in this space that the Crone would like to share her thoughts and wisdom. If you have any questions or comments please let her know.
When we think of tradition in the relationship to our lives we think of family celebrations and holidays where we look forward to traditional customs being part of our experience. We meet up with friends for mundane ritual get togethers to stay in touch and feel connected. There is even tradition steeped in our learning of formal education and our daily routines we perform.
I am sure we can all picture a teacher standing in front of the class boring us with the details of English literature, world history or the theory of music all with the good intention of laying foundational understanding of the world around us. Or picture your craft teacher explaining the importance of doing a ritual or spell in a concise and specific way, a way that is rooted and has tradition behind it. Both classical and foundational learning and understanding is indispensable when executing a symphony or casting ritual circle.
So why would we not think that there would be value to tradition in a spiritual or religious practice?
The word “tradition” can evoke the words-old-archaic-stilted and outmoded or it could evoke the words-rooted-time honored-established-or foundational.
When we are using and practicing traditional methods, what we are experiencing is the time-honored ways things are done. Whether it be building a wall, cooking a meal, decorating a Yule tree or tanning a hide. We are using reliable time tested ways that are rooted in foundational understanding of the “way things work”—-The Old Ways.
And these “Old Ways” when practiced the same way they were practiced for generations before us, we tap into the “momentum of the past”. The “momentum of the past” is a leyline, if you will, of an energy current that has been built up by those who have practiced in this traditional way for generations. The Old Ways are the root connections to the vital essence of the wisdom and knowledge preserved and passed on by our ancestors.
A misconception of following a traditional or initiatory system of witchcraft is that it prevents you from self-expression or from changing or adding anything new. Although the latter may have some truth with reason, the self-expression limitation is not true. The “structure” of a ritual or spell, a word some people cringe at hearing, has purpose that is essential to the success of the outcome or desire of the person performing it. The “steps” that are taken in the order presented within a tradition create a pathway and keys to an altered state of consciousness. This is necessary for alignments to be made, for astral journeys to take place, for messages to be received or communion with deity to transpire. It is these steps we take, in their time tested order that allow for the transformation and evolution of the soul. The self-expression comes into play when we apply our personal style and spontaneity within the traditional format. This makes tradition ever ancient and ever new.
Typically when someone wants to add or change something within the structure of the tradition the question has to be posed ”What does it add to what already is present?” “Will it enhance what is already being done?” If it is just something that “is cute” or exotic, it may be better to add this to a personal path outside a tradition ( as things can get a little cluttered.
Part of tradition is the role of the Crone as the keeper and preserver of tradition. She writes in her book of ways, she recites the oral teachings and passes on tradition that is as simply as a recipe for cookies or a complicated enchantment for love or a beloved potion for healing. The Crone advises from a discernment using her life experience, her knowledge of tradition, her collected wisdom and inherent intuition. Her spirit is as enduring as the tenacity that continues to give purpose and vitality to her life.
It is from this viewpoint that I hope to give to you from my experience, knowledge, wisdom, intuition, and desire for yours and my spiritual journey and evolution to continue.