Conventional wisdom isn’t always; often times it turns out to be a half truth, misnomer, or flat out wrong, though not always. This applies across this board no matter the subject. Conventional wisdom, however, exists for a reason; something observable, perceived, or believed to have been must act as the catalyst. Let’s take the world being flat as an example. At one time conventional wisdom said that this was fact and it was widely believed and taught. The reason as to why is simple. The world from the viewpoint of people living at that time appeared to be flat. The point though, is that there is more to existence than our limited perspective can provide.
Science holds this as true as well. There are many forms of energy, or the like, in which we without the proper equipment don’t have the ability to perceive. In all likelihood there is much more still to be discovered via the use of our intellect and such tools.
Up until now I have mostly discussed Witchcraft as being a spiritual path, and it is. However there is another portion of the vehicle in which we ride that I have not really given much focus on. Witchcraft affirms that there are forces, energy, powers, entities, spirits, aspects, essences, whatever you want to call it, to existence that are beyond our subjective scope of perception and that these forces are not always best understood via conventional wisdom. Additionally, it is part of our Craft is to seek to interact via our practice with such so as to better understand our place in existence, mutually benefit, and open our senses to the hidden.
Those individuals that only maintain a philosophical approach to Witchcraft aren’t practicing the Craft. No matter how much one may think about the importance of cooking dinner, review recipes, and buy expensive utensils and appliances, until that individual actually beings to prepare said dinner it won’t get cooked by them. This is not to say that understanding the ins and outs of Crafting is not important, for it is, just that as some point the threshold between solely thinking about the Craft and doing has to be crossed. This is an important step to make. Our Craft is experiential and based partially on knowledge thus derived, as well as from academic study. Without the experience of the forces/spirits* the previous mentioned reasons will not begin to manifest themselves in the life of the Witch.
Although Initiation is not required to work with spirits, part of the purpose of Initiation, in addition to the reasons listed here, is for those that already have a working relationship with these spirits to then act as a bridge whereby the individual and the spirits become acquainted, and to do so in a method that is safe, proven, and familiar to both spirit and Witch. As I said though, these forces can be approached without such an introduction; it is just easier with it. Any Witch that practices regularly regardless of whether or not they have group affiliations will make allies within the myriad of the hidden.
The nature of the allies in the mist is similar to the nature of the Gods and Goddesses, which I discussed previously here and here. I have many such relationships on many different levels of interaction, but such is the way of the Craft when one practices. If for no other reason, I urge individuals to act upon practice so as to gain the benefits that unlocking the hidden brings into our sphere of influence and lives.
“Lost in a thicket bare-foot upon a thorned path.”
*Etcetera, what have you… we are just gonna go with spirits for now, for no particular reason other than my mood while writing this.