Updated: Feb 17
Sharing one's initiatory tradition of Housed witchcraft with another, entering into the kind of dynamic and deep relationship of apprenticeship, requires a radical intimacy that has been typified by the familiar phrase "Perfect Love and Perfect Trust." Another way one might evoke this state is calling upon "perfect vulnerability". This is essential when knotting the Red Thread.
A container apart from the world of the marketplace—where all is for sale, trade, and theft (to paraphrase the amazing Lee Morgan)—is essential, a place to wash away that world and embrace our full divine-human-animalness, the economy of Gift, to be fully and radically nurtured and embraced by other soul-kindred. Lee calls this the Oasis.
This kind of radical intimacy is woven of Love in the sense that bell hooks uses it, not merely affection, or what hooks calls "cathexis". It requires that we know and accept—both our beauty marks and our warts—those with whom we enter into such a relationship, co-creating a fierce closeness and sharing whose power is both healing and rending. We entrust our well-being to one another. It shatters all pretense and in-authenticity, it nurtures and tends to ancient wounds. It does not coddle, and yet it embraces frailties and vulnerability itself. This Love and Trust requires of us a lot of courage—in reaching toward wholeness together, in being whole-hearted.
It is both beautiful and terrifying, a relationship of which there is no analog in the marketplace world. And it is one of the most powerful kinds of relating I've ever encountered.
Such apprenticeship is the hammer forging the blade Truth. Oh how the hammer kisses the blade! The bellows of the forge which is the Breath of Life, feeding the Fire of witchery; the Fire itself the countless hands of a legion of spirits heating the metal, keenly giving it permission to be shaped; the quench of the waters, reifying the Deep Well, passion's spring that anoints desire with form.
We must come naked and laid bare, our hearts held before us in offering for the Pyre that burns at the heart of the Eternal Sabbat. We have poured every last drop of Blood into the Cauldron and we have made of our living flesh the Altar of Witchcraft. With only our hearts left, torn out, we give. Into the Pyre to burn Pitch Black. We must be completely accessible, destroyers of emotional distance, warriors of perfect vulnerability and compassion with those within our covenants.
Oh yes, we suffer for Wisdom. Here are the Forbidden Mysteries guarded well by the Great Hag, She who eats the bones of the Dead, who flays our skin that we may dance as shining skeletons in the revels of the dark inverted mountain, the Faery Hill.
All masks removed we hold our knives in our teeth and link our hands. Our dance makes of us a wild writhing scaffold that holds up the Myrk-Sun, a serpentine lattice of bone criss-crossing the unending Void, silver-white threads of the great web woven by Fate! Our spells are the very Breath of God Herself, words and deeds cut by Truth, the place where Love and Wisdom meet.
So Mote It Be.