Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Secrets of the Craft Aren't Really All that Secret

The Craft is about shaping one’s life purposely and with intention. The core of which is done via experience, this is why the Craft emphasizes practice over belief. Quite frankly, when one is in the business of molding one’s inner lead into gold, belief matters little next to the process. The process is the how-to, the doing, and the experience of the mysteries.

These mysteries are talked about in passing, but rarely are they defined in such a manner that a spectator would understand the crux of the concept. It is not that people are dumb, far from it. It has to do with language and word usage. The mysteries are spoken of in a way that it conveys the idea that they are something kept secret, are known, and can be shared. As if the mysteries were some secret lore.

Let’s not get out of the woods too far just yet. Traditional Craft groups do have secrets, but rarely for the reasons popularized, and some of these groups even have Initiates only lore. This lore should not, however, be mistaken for the mysteries.

So what are the mysteries? Simply put, they are that which initiates the Witch. Again we are at a language impasse. It seems that when we speak of initiation, any number of things, often all at once, could be meant. As I know it, there are five usages of the term. I know, I know, I said three previously; but I have added a few to the list.

Initiation is:

-Joining a Group
-The ah-ha moments in life
-Any new beginning
-The integration of other spheres of influence with one’s own
-The formal introduction to a group’s spirit allies.

In our Craft, each one of these has to do with making a Witch and in a manner of speaking, is related to the mysteries. Ideally, at an initiation ritual, when one is at a new beginning, joining a group, they should have an, if not many, aha moments when their sphere is integrated with the group’s sphere and formal introductions are made to the group both seen and unseen. None of this though, is the mysteries.

The mysteries are most intimately linked to the second item on the list. Think of the mysteries as that which is revealed in the ah-ha moment of life; our own divine truth shining through the fog. In that moment of epiphany, one is born. This is why Traditionalists say that Witches are not made but born. Each and every Witch was born from the womb of the mysteries.

Here is where the water gets a bit murky though. The Craft as a process is designed based on experience to act as a catalyst to perpetually bring the mysteries to the cusp of the Witches’ sphere of influence so as penetrate their core, thus spiritually making initiation at the feet of the divine an experience that does not end. The practice is the key that unlocks the door containing the mysteries.

One of the follies that has permeated the human mind is the belief that we are the whole story. As if my story was The Story. It is an illusion though. Granted from a magickal stand point, the Witch is the creator and center of the universe and our story merges with The Story, which is a mystery unto itself. However, in this is the hidden mystery that we are all the same center of the universe. Our story is a group one.

Once the mysteries begin to seep into our consciousness we undergo the transformation that will allow the Witch to emerge. It is in that moment when the mysteries penetrate and saturate that the illusion of separation falls from the eyes. The title of Witch may be conveyed by a group, but the heart of the Witch begins beating at the touch of the divine; the ecstatic experience of which enlivens and thickens the Witch-blood.

The mysteries are both a simple idea to understand and one that just won’t quite solidify into form. This is why they are called mysteries though; they are hidden even when we look at them. The Craft’s solution is the same as that which is supposed to reveal these hidden truths, it is only by experiencing the mysteries that the Witch comes to understand them, and for this to happen we must engage the practice of life. There is no monopoly on living life and the Craft makes no such claim but the practice of the Craft at its most basic tenet is about living life and allowing the story of life to penetrate and fill our heart vessel.

Live life and make it a daily practice to celebrate the divinity therein. The divine can best be described as anything in which is worthy of our worship and adoration. For this Witch at least, life is divine and is worth celebrating.

Traditional Craft teaches that the axis around which this state of celebration can be achieved is through the passwords that allow one entrance to the mysteries. The moment in ritual when one is standing outside the ritual space is symbolic of standing at the gateway to the mysteries and when we are challenged by our fellow Covener , “How do you come?,” the key to unlocking the mysteries is in the response. So ask yourself, when you come to the circle of life, “How do you come?” Now think about your answer.

Our Craft is a practice thus designed; and it is a deceptively simple Craft.

Boidh Se!

“Lost in a thicket bare-foot upon a thorned path.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well written SM. Yes I quite agree "The title of Witch may be conveyed by a group, but the heart of the Witch begins beating at the touch of the divine; the ecstatic experience of which enlivens and thickens the Witch-blood." We may experience these Ah-Ha moments in group ritual, or in initiation, but I think mostly in our own individual contacts with the God/ess.