I was invited by Graham of Earth Spirit Fayre to talk at Glastonbury Halls earlier this year. I also submitted the talk as an article to Witchvox, and I was lucky enough to have it featured on their Home Page last week.
There have been many books written on the Craft over the last 50 years. Some of the first were published by those characters we call the founders of modern Wicca, such as Gerald Gardner, Doreen Valiente, and Ray Buckland. Since then, witches who have initiated themselves from books, without any formal initiation through a lineaged coven, have formed many covens. There is certainly nothing wrong with this process – and by writing these books, our founders themselves provided the material for this process to happen. However by the original laws, if you were not initiated by one of Gardner’s students, or indeed Gardner himself, then you were not actually ‘Wiccan’. This view has now become outdated, as the practice has expanded and the word ‘Wicca’ has grown to define a religion open to all; although, many traditional Wiccans still hold this view.
Whilst I am trained in traditional Wicca, I have also been involved in working with the Egyptian mysteries, the Old Craft, and other forms of magic and ceremony, which are very separate to Wicca. So, I describe my practice simply as Initiatory Witchcraft, which encompasses the many ritual practices of Paganism and modern witchcraft whilst incorporating much of the structure of Wicca. I believe this removes limitations that may be set by following one path alone, and allows the person to grow.
The aim of my essay today is to first give an introduction to modern witchcraft and Wicca, and briefly discuss my views on some of the practices. I also want to speak about some of the misconceptions of the Craft, and also discuss the future of the Craft, as both a religion and a practice…