Updated: Mar 30, 2022
One of the deepest things I am gifted with and inherit by having trained and initiated in a red-thread or House of traditional witchcraft isn't really the orally and visually preserved lore, charms, and ritual poetry, or even the generations of insight and honed technique in sorcery, spirit congress, sex magic, witches’ flight, and skin-turning.
Rather, what has been most valuable, that I couldn't have gotten from books or on my own, is the alembic of the House itself, especially the shared, rich gnosis of how to live out one's Fate reaching ever toward Wholeness and alignment with our soul's becoming. The eschatology of our refinement through lifetimes of transformation in relation to others going through this same process. It is a nest of serpents writhing together, whose writhing sparks the Witchfire, that we may all burn in the ecstasy of Paradise on Earth.
It has been the collected and preserved body of wisdom won by the initiates of our House on how to live with honor and gratitude, like a warrior, and how to be the witchcraft—to live in a state of consciousness that is itself magic. It is in the relationships between the living and dead witches and the other-than-human spirits that live within the architecture of the tradition that this alembic is formed and heated.
There is the ever-yearning encouragement along the Road to Faery, to embodying our Wholeness. It is a multitude of lived experiences and perspectives woven into a fine tapestry. It shines, implicit, underneath all of our precious teachings, and is made explicit by the “rubbing against” of its members by one another—in the interaction of its initiates and spirits—as we traverse life with as much integrity, courage, and vulnerablility as we can muster. Creating a container wherein the lies of the world of man can fall away and the wounds wrought by our civilization can be tended as we heal together and continually encounter the Uncanny. Where we can become the Otherness and bring back the wild medicine-poison from the deep darkness.
This requires facing oneself and one's Otherness with what my teacher called "fierce compassion", and is essentially the turning of our personal demons into our familiar spirits. It requires an internal radical honesty, an unshakable intention, and a wide open imagination wed to our intellect, exercised on a daily basis.
It also requires every-so-often falling apart and being reforged by life and its ordeals. Initiation never ends.
And in our perfectly human way, we have our frailties and failures, and we incorporate them into our wholeness. We remain supported by our covenants, held accountable and answerable to our holy Oaths and commitments. There is no liberty without responsibility. The great promise of traditional witchcraft, embodied in a living coven, is to be liberated through the deep responsibility to your magical family, to build what Lee Morgan and the Anderean Tradition calls "The Oasis." This is a culture-apart within the Witch House, where the "marketplace world (where everything is for sale, trade, or theft)" can be washed away and the witch can be prepared to enter into the core Mysteries of traditional witchcraft. Guided by the cloven hoof-prints of the Master, Our Devil, we find our winding way beyond many veils to the Venusian, elfin Rose Queen in Her Bower. Our Lady is the hidden Mystery at the heart of traditional witchcraft; its source and sustenance, the Great Secret. To come into the Rose Bower is the same ecstatic state called the Black Heart of Innocence spoken of by initiates of my House. This Rose Bower is the collective beating-burning Heart of the coven, the blossoming and becoming of Paradise-on-Earth. Our Lady's Mysteries are those of Sex & Love, and it is through this medium that a coven lives and is nourished. Sex & Love are the harmonic happening of the Creative Force, the Red Serpent/The Iron Pentacle. "Sex and Creativity are the same force running along the same lines of the body for the same purposes," as my magister Gabriel Carrillo often said. The Red Serpent turns nothing away, continuously including, for it is our own Wholeness expressed in the living world--the glorious flesh, the prima materia of witchery. The body of the witch is a vessel that can transform poison into medicine, and many witching bodies conjoined heart-to-heart and root-to-root can conjure forth Paradise-on-Earth, a world apart from the marketplace, where trusted witchingkind can nourish and support one another, heal, tend, create, thrive, and transform. Binding ourselves intentionally to one another to weave our liberation together. To be truly free.
In the tying of knots is the loosing of chains.