I have made it no secret in the writing of this blog that I am a Traditionalist. It is something that has been on my mind lately. In the past decade the Traditional community has undergone a major shift. Once in the earlier days of the emergence of Contemporary Paganism, our doors were flooded with students and Seekers eager to know about the Craft. Then the rhetoric in the greater community changed and our ways began to be scrutinized and have judgment passed on them. Everyone seemed to join in the fun; everyone that is except for the Traditionalists.
Critical arguments against Traditional Craft have become by and large a major part of the popular rhetoric in the greater Contemporary Pagan community. These arguments continue to persist for several reasons. My mind has mulled all this over; all the reasons, all the jabs at us, and our response. Better yet I should say our lack of response. This I feel is a key point. Ever notice that the Traditional community just let's all the talk go on?
Now there may be a few individuals that fought and argued in back alley internet forums. Yahoo groups were really bad for this for a while. However; as a whole the Trad community just shut the door. The unified response has been simply not to respond. For many of the issues that come to light even now and sweep across the community in a flash are without an outward seen reaction.
The reason is simple, very very simple. It is not about secrets, it is not about being elitists, nor fundamentalists, nor unwilling to change, nor by trying to live in the past... none of that. Simply put, it is against our ways. Yep, I said it. It is against the tenets of our religion. At the core of our religion is the notion of the individual's path being their sole responsibility. We do not engage because it is not our place to tell someone about their path. Think Traditional Craft is crap? Have a million and one reasons why? Okay. We are fine with that. It is our path and we ask no one else to walk it. For that matter, we are happy you find worth in your path-truly we are.
I am going to add one thing. The Traditional community has had sixty years, give or take, to figure out our stance and how we work. In that time we have both stayed the same and have grown into something completely different. The past fifteen or so years have been especially transformative. The same catalysts in scholarship, Contemporary Pagan trends in thought, and issues have been placed on our plate that caused such change around us. I believe that the Traditional Craft community is stronger having been through such. Instead of reinventing the Craft we took the one we had and reinvented ourselves. After all, that is what one does with an arte. Just remember, there are reasons for silence.
I am a Traditionalist. This is my Craft; a Craft that begins and ends here. I keep and hold close, witnessing, creating, singing in silence the song of all existences.
"Lost in a thicket bare-foot upon a thorned path."