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Some morning thoughts on “Traditional Witchcraft”

I’ve been thinking about this thing a lot lately and it’s not quite fully formed, so bear with me.

I think when I was a wee witchling I heard the term “traditional witchcraft” and associated it with either British Traditional Witchcraft (BTW aka: Alexandrian or Gardenarian Wicca) or I confused it with hereditary or family witchcraft. Am I completely wrong about how that was presented 10 years ago? I have since learned the difference, but I was just curious if anyone else had a similar memory.

That being said, I do often run into people talking about traditional witchcraft a lot these days. Is there a raising interest, or it is just my currently perspective? I’ve seen a lot of interest in Gemma Gary and a few other writers that I have read. Sarah Anne Lawless has this interesting piece based on a talk that I just read. Which just seems to boil down “witchcraft traditions that are not Wiccan” encompassing Feri Tradition to Luciferianism to Cornish folk magic. is there more to it than that?

I don’t really consider myself a traditional witch, but a lot of my practices draw from folk magic traditions. I prefer to call myself an agnostic secular witch as it denotes my not knowing if we can know deity with my lack of religion. Some of the things in that talk appeal to me, a lot of it doesn’t. I avoid spirits (but I know they are out there) I don’t hedge-ride or any real divination in the sense of seeking out the future, I use divination as advice.  I don’t participate in ancestor worship and I’m a very mild animist., but I do enjoy learning about a lot of different magical traditions, even if they are not ones I participate in or believe in.

I’ve also been thinking that I have seen a lot of interest in Gemma Gary and her books about Cornish Witchcraft. I’m in the middle of “Traditional Witchcraft A Cornish Book of Ways” right now and I find it really interesting that a lot of people are drawn to this quite obscure witchcraft from a corner of England. Is it because it was able to more easily survive that in other place to have something to pass on? I also find the interest, well, interesting because it seems to be a witchcraft that is so tied to a specific place, yet so many people who live very far away from it are also interested in it. Why is that so? Is it a reflection in how we relate to the land that we do live in? At least, that is one of the reasons I am interested. I’m also interested in the historical aspects, the methodology, and hearing the voice of an author as they speak about what they love.

That all being said, here’s what’s going to be weighing down my bag as I head off the Yellowstone on Sunday:

  • The Flame in the Cauldron: a Book of Old-Style Witchery by Orion Foxwood (half finished)
  • Traditional Witchcraft: A Cornish Book of Ways by Gemma Gary (half finished)
  • A Dee Without A Name: Unearthing the Legacy of Traditional Witchcraft by Lee Morgan

All these thoughts aren’t full formed but I’d love to hear your idea about them.