The WildWood Tradition of Witchcraft
Article ID: 13929
Age Group: Adult
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Posted: May 2nd. 2010
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The WildWood Tradition is an emergent and ever-evolving form of contemporary Witchcraft originating geographically from South-East Queensland, Australia. Our Tradition is a syncretic, heuristic and ecstatic fusion of elements deriving originally from Stregheria (Italian Witchcraft/s) , Reclaiming, Traditional European Old Craft, some elements of Wicca, Anglo-Saxon Sorcery and Mediterranean-Aegean Mystery Cults (particularly Orphic) ; though this is a basis from which we constantly grow, deepen and evolve into the Tradition, as it weaves through us individually (personal gnosis and communion) and collectively (group inspiration) . We are Ecstatic and Wild Witches and our ways are woven through conscious relationship with the forces and potencies which constitute the heartland of the Witches - the WildWood.
Our Tradition focusses mystically, sorcerously and devotionally on the Cultus of the Sacred Four:
The Weaver - Old Fate - Grandmother of Space and Time - God Hirself - Bone Mother - Wyrd and Web - Seat of Sovereignty
The Green Man - Old God - Door of the WildWood - Death - Bones of the Earth - Grandfather - Stalker of Shadows
The Crescent-Crowned Goddess - Queen of Witches - Queen of Faerie - Rose Queen - WitchMother
The Stag-Horned/Wolf-Cloaked God - Prince of Paradise - Lord of the Sabbat - Promised One - Revelation
These are beings within their own right and are also considered to be embodiments of the evolutionary unfolding of the Living, Limitless Cosmos - Cosmic Consciousness in (R) evolution. We consider the former (the Weaver and the Green One) to be Old Ones, the Laws before Laws, the Grandmother and Grandfather of All Space and Time, the Void, the Pregnant Abyss, the Dream Dreaming Dreamer, the Dreamer Dreaming the Dream, the Dreaming Dream Dreamer (s) ...S/he is the All and the Nothing at once, the Zero, the Deep Well from whence all things arise and return, and the Green One is the Face and the Form of the Weaver's Mystery.
As Witches of the WildWood we are committed to active and intimate engagement (ignited awareness) with the Wild in All Things - and so we pray:
"May the WildWood flourish - in our hearts, minds and everywhere!"
The WildWood emerged accidentally at first. A tradition, contemporary thread of the 'wild weed' that is the Craft, was not intended originally or consciously by the four co-founders of the first coven - Coven of the WildWood. This coven was founded and initiated on April 30th 2006 by Gede Parma, James Atherton, Jafar and Artu. The former two are still very much involved in the tradition and the WildWood, and the latter two left the original coven before a tradition was realised to be unfolding.
Initially there was no desire for the coven to form a tradition of the Craft, and yet it became distinctly clear as the coven passed through the trials of a small group in its first year that a very unique form of Witchcraft was
beginning to reveal itself, to be woven into ever-renewing wholeness. From a basic eclectic Wiccan framework with Celtic and Greek reconstructionist influences four divinities co-evolved into a particular poetry of Cosmic Consciousness honoured and celebrated by the Coven of the WildWood. The Weaver, the Green Man, the Crescent-Crowned Goddess and the Stag-Horned God became referred to as the Sacred Four sometime in 2007. In mid-2006 our Guardians – the Horned Owl, Cunning Fox, King Stag and Mother Bear and Cub – arrived with us through trance and travel in our beloved WildWood. The Twin Serpents, Black with the White Eyes and White with the Black Eyes, also made themselves known to us in 2006 with the communally-discovered seal of the first coven. The First Witch, Ara, had Her Story first spoken aloud in 2008.
From the very beginning of the stirrings of the desire to co-create a coven for young, dedicated Witches to support and nourish each other in living relationship with the Powers and in honing and deepening magical skill, the WildWood as an Otherworld to which we travelled was present. This was very natural, organic, to us, and was likely taken for granted for some time. We realised in mid-2008 with the first branching of a new coven that indeed what marked our tradition of the Craft as unique was the shared experience of belonging in and storying relationship with the WildWood as an all-permeating presence saturating all worlds and also as a kind of Witches’ Heartland to which we would travel and drink deep of the Mysteries and Magic of our collective Craft ancestors. It has been through ever-enriching relationships with the WildWood that the Witches of our tradition have co-evolved, received and woven our lore, technique, ritual and magic.
The Tradition and our Lore and Experience continues to co-evolve and deepen.
Covens & Wanderers - Aspiration, Dedication & Initiation
WildWood Witches are all Wanderers by nature, by compulsion, by weave, by wyrd, and some of us may also belong to covens/groves/circles:
Aspirant and Aspiration – An individual who feels the WildWood and our Tradition is a present and potent thread in hir Soul-Story. To aspire one must simply approach and ask a WildWood Witch to aspire to the Tradition, and if this is done mindfully, with awareness and genuine intent, it will be received. However, not all WildWood Witches are involved as teachers in the tradition, and not all teachers are bound to train/ally with all who ask to aspire.
Dedicant and Dedication – A WildWood Witch who has committed to and fulfilled a self-pledge to aspire to the WildWood and our Tradition. In this time training in the tradition and its diverse expressions and applications is given and received and relationships are developed with a coven, network, mentors and/or teachers. Dedication is the formal ceremony, which can be viewed as a ‘little initiation’ or empowerment/endowment rite, which connects the Dedicant with the Current of the WildWood as reddened/passed from human to human, human with human, and in concert with the Powers and Spirits.
Initiate and Initiation – A WildWood Witch who has committed to the journey of Self/Cosmos-Community-Cosmos/Self and the divine revelations of the Deep Soul and Soul-Story. An initiate may or may not be consecrated as a priest/ess in the tradition, in the sense of ministry to community (human and non-human) . However, the initiatory journey is a distinctly human one and is available to all who wish to open to the challenge (s) of the Gods and Spirits, of the human community, of the WildWood, and most significantly of the Mysterious Quintessence of Self. Initiation is the formal ceremony which is held and witnessed by WildWood community and/or mentors/teachers in which particular blessings, bindings, openings, vows are undergone. A WildWood initiation ceremony typically begins just before the rising of the sun and culminates at its setting. The crux of the rites occurs alone in the Circle, in the presence of the Powers and Spirits of the WildWood and the Mystery of Self in All and All in Self.
Wanderer – A dedicated (also aspirant, potentially initiate) Witch of the WildWood who through desire and/or circumstance is unaffiliated with a coven. We decided against the language of ‘Solitary Witch’ as one of our basic premises in the Craft is synergy with the Spirits and Interrelationship with the Elements of Life. We are never solitary. The value is on relationship as empowering our sorcerous, mystic and devotional engagements with the Mystery.
Fellowship of the WildWood – The familial bond which unites all dedicated Witches of the WildWood. It surpasses the bounds of covens and wanderings and blesses us with the presence and power of community – shared/common unity.
Inner Court/Rose House – Witches dedicated to the Fellowship of the WildWood have entered into the Inner Court, or the Rose House.
Outer Court/Star Field - All are Stars, we are all born whole and holy. Any who come to the rites and gatherings of WildWood Witches is generally blessed and welcomed and as such if the Wild calls within them, the WildWood will her that call. These folk are not specifically or necessarily Witches or even Pagans.
Wildkin – A member of the Outer Court/Star Field who is perceived by the Inner Court/Rose House to be an integral part of the coven’s group-soul. A ritual is performed to celebrate this embrace.
Antheon Priest/ess - An initiated priest/ess who has branched and formed/initiated a new group.
There are several deeply resonant connecting and core realities uniting most, if not all, WildWood Witches.
A deeply intimate, often erotic, and storied relationship with landscape, Place (s) , and the interpenetration, and situation of the WildWood/Otherworld in the here and now of presence and occupation (and wandering) . Some Witches may know the WildWood as the WitchWood, the Primordial Forest, the Place of the Eternal Sabbat, etc. It is central and key to our Tradition and Fellowship and the namesake of our Tradition.
A devotional, mystic and sorcerous relationship (s) with the Sacred Four as mentioned above.
The Covenant of Ara the First Witch and All Witches, and acknowledging, celebrating, adoring, exalting and surrendering to the living lineage and legacy of Witches.
The Power, Myth, Story and Work of Paradise in Love, Truth and Wisdom - Blossoming in Beauty as we commit to the 'Perilous Quest' and Dare and Dance with All the Spirits in the Narrative of the Witch.
There are several other potent Beings and Spirits integral to the WildWood, though not all WildWood Witches will profess a personal or cultivated relationship with all or any of these:
*The Wild Tree/World Tree/Trysting Tree
*The Twin Serpents - Ananke/Andrasteia (Black Serpents with the White Eyes - Necessity/Inevitability) and Kronos (White Serpent with the Black Eyes - Time)
*The Red Serpent of Endless Desire
*The Guardians - Horned Owl (often related to Air) , Cunning Fox (often related to Fire) , King Stag (often related to Water) , and the Mother Bear and Cub (often related to Earth)
*The Elemental Spirits - Sylphs of the Air, Salamanders of the Fire, Undines of the Water and Gnomes of the Earth.
*The Elemental Powers/the 'Classical Elements' - Air, Fire, Water, Earth and Aether/Spirit.
*The Three Ancestors of Land, Blood (Genetic Ancestry) and Craft/Arte (sometimes called the Mighty Dead)
*The Spirits of the Place
*The Fae - Faery
*The Angels - Seraphic Ones
We also have especial relationship with the Three Worlds of Middleworld, Upperworld and Underworld through the poetry of the Celtic tradition of Land, Sky and Sea.
The WildWood Tradition marks the eight sabbats/festivals of the NeoPagan Wheel of the Year and the 26 moon feasts (both new and full moons) with ritual and celebration.
In the WildWood the Wheel of the Year has a distinct Aegean/Mediterranean flavour and is punctuated by the Descent and Ascent of the Crescent-Crowned Goddess (at the Autumn and Spring Equinoxes, respectively) and the birth, growth, triumph, sacrifice, decline, death, decay and rebirth of the Stag-Horned God (through and with the wisdom of his Wolf-Cloaked Brother/Lover/Other Half) . The Weaver and the Green Man watch over the Mythos as the Elders of Time and Space. We call these the Veil Mysteries and the Tree Brothers – Holly and Oak. This is very basic and there are other Mysteries, perhaps entirely idiosyncratic to the Witch, or shared collectively. We also encourage
The new moon is generally a time in which the inner court of each coven shares private ritual and discusses any issues which arise. The full moons are given to magic and celebration in honour of the fullness of the Sign of Our Lady.
The WildWood Tradition does not consider itself Wiccan and has no lineage-connection to any Wiccan coven. Therefore, WildWood Witches do not necessarily subscribe to the Wiccan Rede as given – “An ye harm none, do what ye will”. Despite this, some WildWood Witches may consider this sound advice.
Total Freedom equals Total Responsibility is often also expressed.
Self-Community-Cosmos. - "A Witch is an individual who is aware, and through ignited awareness, seeks to serve and celebrate the Life-Force inherent in Self, Community and Cosmos."
Love-Truth-Wisdom - Beauty, Peace, Paradise.
Generally-speaking personal, communal and cosmic ethical conviction and commitment is considered far more valuable than moralistic obligation.
Teachers and Priest/esses
In the WildWood, the formalised and framed (held and witnessed) aspirant journey and training generally takes at least a year and has taken up to three. This is a personal thing. WildWood teachers are those who are drawn to allying with aspirants in the WildWood in their training and journeys and commit to doing so. WildWood teachers are dedicants with several years experience in the WildWood, and mentorships/allyships may be organised between co-teachers also to support the process.
Priest/esses are those who have made such vows at their initiations and desire to aid in ministering to community, not just 'WildWood Witch community' but seeing and practising the Fellowship of WildWood in almost every facet of life - desirously so.
Art, lyricism, voice, theatre, dance, ceremony, healing arts, restoration, realignment and repair, political engagement and action, sorcerous and spirit-working strategy and skill, mystic communion and devotional relationship with deity which may include possessory and oracular work, as well as simply relating, are some of the things beloved and valued by the priestesshood and are shared more deeply, and taught and passed and revelled in in formal priest/ess training when a dedicant decides to take that initiatory journey.
Our rituals generally unfolding in the following manner (not always in this order) :
*Grounding, Centring, Alignment, Purification of the People
*Blessing and Adoration of the Spirits of the Place and the Ancestors
*Affirmation and Celebration of inherently Sacred Space by one or all of the following:
- Casting a ritual Circle;
- Opening the Crossroads and Conjuring WitchFire;
- Blessing and Adoration of the Three Worlds and the Wild Tree
- Drinking of/Anchoring in the Deep Well and mindfully occupying the Place in Space, allowing the Ever-Circle to Be
- Blessing and Adoration of the Elements of Life
*Acknowledgements, Calls and Invocations to Spirits and Powers:
- Elements, Elementals, Guardians
- Sacred Four
- Feralia (Green Flame) , Blue Flame of Faery (Feasting on the Feral) , and the Formless Fire
- Twin Serpents and the Serpent of Endless Desire
- The Faery Folk/the Fae
- Angelic/Seraphic Ones
- The WildWood
After this, there may be sorcerous workings, spellcraft, trance-journeying, spirit-flight, healing, ecstatic singing and chanting, drumming, aspecting and/or possession/drawing down, scrying, divination, dancing, consciousness-raising group work, shapeshifting/skin-turning, etc. etc.
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