In my estimation, in witchcraft, what makes someone a part of one tradition or another isn't necessarily that they have been passed certain lore or secrets, have become a guardian and receiver of information; I have ascertained in my studies that many different initiatory Houses of traditional witchcraft share the same Mysteries (with bioregional textures). None of our secrets are so unique.
What makes someone part of one tradition or another is with whom they throw in their lot—with whom they are clan, with whom they make covenants and vows. And this includes witches and spirits both living and dead.
The Craft as I know it is a familiar endeavor. In our traditions, we get up in each other's business. We hold one another dear and support each other in tangible ways, not just sentiments. We can get messy, and we work it out when we do. We *love* each other. We are a sorcerous family.
And it is as it should be—I wouldn't want to be a part of a tradition that was individualistic and whose initiates numbered many who were distant and cold and not interested in true familial bonds and responsibility. In fact, that's a big part of why I supported the split of Old Faery from public Feri.
Where the lore piece comes in, for me, is that our corpus of lore is the collection of stories we share with one another. All families have stories. Ours are about our clan and our relationships with the spirits we adore and are devoted to, and our relatives living and dead. That's why they are private, intimate, and sometimes secret. They're our "family recipes" for witching, for doing the work of a witch. Witchcraft is bound in Story, and the Cosmos is relational. To witch is to participate in the sharing and telling and furthering of Story—to participate in the weaving of reality, the Game of Fate.
And when someone comes along, and we recognize that spark of kinship, that we have shared lifetimes together before, we adopt them in. It's a process that takes time and effort; the building of trust and intimacy, just as you would when joining any family.
I choose co-reliance, cooperation, interconnection, interdependence, and true family. Love is a verb, y'all.