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Excerpt from a Letter to a Dabbler

So let me end by saying this: witchcraft is not fun and games. It isn't playing dress-up, or pretend. It is mean business. It is not a nice path.

Witches put their lives on the line for their fellows, those they are sworn to. The regions of reality we navigate are often dark, sinister, harrowing—the places inside ourselves, the "not nice things" lurking in the shadows of our own soul, which we invite into the light of awareness and intentionally make friends with. Some familiar spirits were once our inner demons. And then there is the Great Dark of the Outer Spaces, outside the personal known and unknown; the vast, endless-seeming jungle of uncannily perceived Otherness beyond the boarders of waking consciousness—over the Hedge and into the Wild, to Grandmother's House we go.

It is from these regions, from the Underworld (for the Great Dark is the "in-scape" to the phenomenal, the truth-world "underneath" of reality from which it arises), we seek to gain Wisdom and dig deep into the understanding of our own and our collective lives, for none of us live without interdependence with the wholeness, the webwork of human community and the sensuous Land and its denizens surrounding us. This is not easy work. Its joys are ecstatic, its terrors are many; courage is necessary. From the soil of the ground we toil in witchcraft, we reap a mighty crop. We unearth the foundation-stone of our heart.

The cosmos is a dark Void filled with predators, and the small spark of Fire, a gift from the Master, must be tended with care and with love. It is in each of us, so we must tend and care for each other with great love. It is that which tempers the fire that we may endure the burning. Such love is a gift of Our Lady, a love that will take everything back into itself in the end. We know our final Fate.

But you can't look down your nose at these facts and deign to practice witchcraft. The Void stares back, the hungry things in the dark will eat you if you are not skillful and cunning. You must risk everything even unto death or madness, eternity chanced in an instant, a role of dice, to leap between and back again.

This is why training is of utmost import. This is why the collective knowledge of technique and lore of many sorcerers from ages past is kept, that we may benefit from it. And the hard lives of those who have come before us is testament to the practicality of said lore; if it didn't work, they wouldn't have passed it along. And of course, you need allies Unseen who can give you a good dose of Luck and Power. This is the relational aspect. Build those relationships, to your Familiar and your Ancestral Daimon. Your Ancestors and your Fetch-mate will never betray you; you are all in this together, Fate bound three-in-one mirrored to three-in-one. These are the True Self and the Others who can introduce you to the greater beings and forces you will inevitably meet in your journeying.

Remember, to enter the Grail Castle and cross into the dark places of wonder between the light of bright stars, first you must pass over the bridge of swords.

So, for your own sake, get serious or get out.

Good luck,

Troll Huldren

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