What Is Traditional Witchcraft?
Ritual in Traditional Witchcraft
The Traditional Witch ~ Beginner's Traditional Witchcraft 101
In learning how to become a witch, or Traditional Crafter, many seekers are interested in the rituals of the Traditional Craft. While the same type of rituals are usually practiced by all Trads, how the rituals are practiced can vary a great deal.
Thus, standardisation of detail is not a strong point in Traditional Witchcraft. I should also mention that ritual is not considered important by many Crafters. Spellwork is much more important. Spellwork is not formal ritual among most Crafters, spellwork is casial and spontaneous, although of course it has specific form and procedures, it is seldom a ritualized display. Having said that, understand that this does vary among Trads. Some are much more formal than others.
Here are a few things you may find interesting:
Some type of ritual fire is used when possible during ritual and spellwork when indoors. Most use one or two white candles. However, this is not essential. This brings me to an important point. The only thing that is essential is the mind of the Crafter. Without the mind nothing can be done. Thus, tools may be used, they are nice, but tools are never essential.
Getting back to ritual fire, it is also nice and perhaps preferable if a hearth or fireplace fire can be used. It is certainly traditional, but many do not have one handy. Even with a hearth or fireplace, most practitioners will also use candles on the table altar as they are a practical way of providing for light and adding to the mood.
Because Trad Crafters believe the world and nature to be sacred, including their homes, creating a Compass Round, or a "circle," is usually considered redundant. Of course all seekers are instructed to use a Compass Round for every ritual and their spellwork for at least a year or two. Adapt Crafters will use one if there is a specific reason, such as for concentration, or if they have a difficult spellworking, or for a group celebration.
While many Neo-Pagans are very particular about where to conduct spellwork or ritual, because we consider the world as sacred, the location where rituals and magic take place is irrelevant. British weather does tend to be a bit chilly and rainy. So, many Crafters prefer to usually do spellwork and ritual indoors.
It should be noted that old pagan sacred sites and ancient circles in Britain do hold a very special quality that should be experienced. However, it is seldom appropriate to hold a ceremony or to do spellwork at these locations because of the problem of privacy.
Of central importance is to ask for assistance from the spirits, whether from a familiar spirit, spirit guide (who is often the same thing), and land spirits, or other friendly spirits. This is always done. The request is usually simple, even casual, but always worded as a polite request and never as a command. We form a working partnership with spirits. This is an important aspect to Traditionalism.
As for tools, few are used. The most popular ritual tools are the staff or stang which need not be long, a dagger, cord, chalice (a "horn," glass, or cup), and a bowl. Others may use a besom, a cauldron, or some other tools that are handy. The tools that are used can vary a great deal.
As for ritual nudity, or what some call skyclad, Britain is often rainy and chilly. It is doubtful nudity was ever especially popular. So today, ritual nudity is not a practice in Traditional Witchcraft in Britain. Unless you are a confirmed nudist, we believe it is pointless, impractical and not appropriate to be nude. During rituals and magical workings Trad Crafters wear whatever clothing seems most comfortable and appropriate. Some dress up, others do not. Some have special cloths, others do not. A few have a robe, most do not.
Of course, there are many other customs and traditions that need to be discussed in learning how to become a witch. Look through this website, take the free Mini Cource, and if you like it, then take the Full Course.
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