about Traditional Witchcraft
FAQs about The Witchcraft of Britain
1. On what authority do I answer these questions?
I am Adrian Eglinton and I am a Traditional Crafter or Crafter (a Traditional Witch) trained in the traditions of a London Trad or group (coven or denomination) with their own particular perspective, beliefs and practices. This group had no name, which is typical of many Traditionalist groups.
It is difficult to generalize the beliefs and practices of all Trads as differences between Trads exist abundantly and make generalizations complicated. Nevertheless, there are certain commonalities in perspective, belief, and practice that predominate. That does not mean that I speak for all Trads. Far from it. It means I present what I believe to be normally true in my Trad and also true for many. There are always exceptions to the rule. Some will undoubtedly disagree with what I say.
For further comment on my perspective see About This Website....
2. What is a Traditional Crafter and a witch?
A Traditional Crafter is a person that follows a British magical tradition (witchcraft) that is based on our particular spirituality. This tradition is sometimes called Traditionalism and a practitioner is a Traditionalist, Traditional Crafter, or Crafter.
Many Crafters do not refer to themselves as witches because the term originated as a derogatory Christian term, but it is used when speaking with outsiders.
Traditional Crafters revere Nature and most live in harmony with surrounding spirits, and with the gods (or God). Hopefully, we respect and try to use good judgment towards all others, and most work for a better planet.
3. Do Trad Crafters cast spells?
All Traditional Crafters cast spells. As we believe the gods/God/the Divine essence is everywhere, including within ourselves. A spell is a projection of our Divine self energy. Thus the casting of spells is a spiritual act. Some Crafters like to think of spells as the Crafter's prayer.
We consider witchcraft, or magic, to be a tool. It is considered to be neither innately good nor bad, as Nature which we venerate is neither innately good nor bad. We see ourselves as existing within Nature and part of it. Thus, the use of the Craft is an extension of our natural being and is as natural an act as breathing air.
It is up to the individual to use common sense and their sense of right and wrong in the use of magic for healing, self-help and other constructive purposes, or for their self-defense and protection.
4. What is Trad Witchcraft?
Trad Witchcraft is a loose family of Trads (or groups, denominations, or covens) in the Traditional Witchcraft of the British Isles. It is the modern day version of what use to be The Old Craft, and which was known by many other regional and local names. It is the old magical spirituality of Britain, the Old Ways that use to be part of the religions that were popular before the arrival of Christianity and the Dark Ages. We believe that the Divine/the gods/God and Nature are the same thing. In this manner we are pantheists. Thus we believe that the divine is everywhere.
Note that while The Traditional Craft is sometimes referred to as Traditional Witchcraft, academics will point out that their use of the term "traditional witchcraft" applies to the traditional witchcraft of all societies and cultures worldwide, and not just that of the British Isles.
5. Is Trad Witchcraft the same as "witchcraft"?
No. While many Trad Crafters, including myself, do sometimes use the term "witchcraft" informally to refer to Traditional Witchcraft, the two terms are actually very different.
1) Witchcraft is the use of magic and is in itself not a religion. It is possible to practice witchcraft without any association to religion or to the spirits. Thus, it is not necessarily spiritual.
2) Traditional Witchcraft in Britain is associated with spirituality, it is not just magic. In the British Isles, witchcraft was an outgrowth of local indigenous religions, including that of those that came after, including the Saxons. It is the Saxon heritage that has come down to us. We utilize witchcraft that is cast within these inherited views and with the assistance of the spirits.
Our tradition is centered on the spirits, who are always with us. The spirits can readily hear us and may provide their support and help, especially if we ask. All Trads (or groups, denominations) work under this Traditionalist orientation.
6. Is Trad Witchcraft a form of Wicca?
No. Wicca is a much newer religion formed about 1954 by Gerald Gardner, a retired British civil servant. Wicca was based on old witchcraft only to a much lesser degree. Most Wiccan beliefs, ritual, and practices were based on external sources, especially on the secret societies of the Western Occult Tradition, particularly the ceremonial magick of the Order of the Golden Dawn, and a spirituality entirely different from that of our heritage. Therefore, there are many things in Wicca that do not appear in Trad Witchcraft.
7. Do Trad Crafters believe in God?
Yes. The vast majority of Trad Crafters has a strong belief in the Divine, the spiritual world, and lead a spiritually orientated life. Most believe in either:
- Pantheism, and view "God" as a Universal Consciousness or the force of Nature rather than a "person" figure, or,
- Polytheism, the belief in several gods usually from one pantheon associated with British history.
Most use a combination of these two belief systems. Also, a very few are henotheists (like Wiccans), agnostics, atheists, etc. However, Traditional Crafters are never Christians or Satanists. These religions are not compatible with our fundamental beliefs.
8. Are Trad Crafters the same as Satanic Witches?
No. Satanism and Trad Witchcraft are two completely different things. Satanism is not and has never been associated with Trad Witchcraft. Therefore, Satanic witches are not Traditional Crafters, or Trad witches.
I should also point out that the concepts of Satan, the devil, and hell are purely Judeo-Christian-Islamic beliefs that are completely alien to any form of British witchcraft.
9. Don't you have animal sacrifices?
No. Trad Witchcraft is based on a reverence for Nature and all forms of life. We believe life to be sacred and is to be treated with respect.
10. Are there any rules of conduct in Trad Witchcraft?
Trad Crafters are taught to be responsible for their own actions. All seekers are taught that all personal and magical acts have direct consequences in the Law of Return. Also know as the Law of Cause and Effect, this belief means that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction returned to the self. In the same vain, doing something negative will usually return trouble to the self.
11. Are Trad Witches nude during rituals?
Nudity is not practiced in this Trad, and is very uncommon in the Traditional Craft.
12. Isn't Trad Witchcraft only for women?
No. The terms "Trad Crafter" and "witch" are not gender specific and are used to refer to both males and females.
In England, at least half of all Trad Crafters are men. This is also historically true. In past ages in the old villages of Britain, there would just as likely be a Cunning Man or Wizard as there might be a Wise Woman.
Today, especially in the United States, there does seem to be more women especially in Wicca. Unfortunately, some Wiccan covens even favor women over men, and in ritual they favor the Goddess over the God.
Traditional Crafters disapprove of sexual favoritism- because it is not traditional. Traditionalists believe in the equality of the sexes. Men and women are treated in an equal manner.
13. What is a Solitary Practitioner?
A solitary practitioner or solo practitioner is a Traditional Crafter that usually practices the Traditional Craft, witchcraft, alone.
Practicing solo has very clear and definite advantages and has a very long and noble history in Britain. In fact, it is believed that most witches throughout history practiced in private and only occasionally in groups (or covens). Many of today's new seekers (those in training to become Trad Crafters) are primarily solo practitioners.
• Continue with: Introduction to The Traditional Craft