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Heritage Witchcraft Tradition
Age Range/Type: Adult
Located in: Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Key Contact: Grayson Magnus
Spiritual Path: Traditional Witchcraft
Status: Established Group
Community Support: Teaching Available
Group Overview: Traditional witchcraft dates back to pre-history and represents the most ancient form of European Witchcraft. It is not Wicca or Neo-Paganism. Just plain old-fashioned "Witchcraft".
The Heritage Witchcraft tradition currently has more than 650 members world-wide and maintains approximately 100 active students in our online academy at any given time. The academy offers free courses to the public with advanced options for a nominal fee. Students may earn a diploma in historically authentic Witchcraft and initiation into the tradition.
We also maintain a local study group in the Lancaster PA area.
Local study-group members must be participating members of the online academy. In-person participation is an earned privilege. We meet quarterly at local libraries.
We recently instituted a minimum age of 18 to participate in any of our formal programs.
About our tradition.
The underlying beliefs of authentic Witchcraft comprise a world-view known as animism; from Latin anima meaning "soul” or life". The tenets of animism are rooted the earliest spiritual ideals conceived by modern humans. The fundamental ideology of animism is that there is no separation between the spiritual and physical worlds and that all things, living or not, have spirits.
While traditional Witchcraft does not involve the worship of deities, the overall theme of the tradition is that every Witch has a familiar-spirit or "Fairy-lover" who acts as a guide and interface to the spirit world. The Familiar-spirit is usually the gender opposite of the Witch and is not to be confused with the modern idea of animal-totems which are often erroneously called "familiars".
The development of the spirit romance is deeply profound as the familiar spirit is thought to represent one's own gender-opposite soul. The roots of this tradition date back thousands of years to many ancient cultures including Sumer, Greece, the British isles. It is evidenced by the stories of Inanna, Cupid and Psyche, Tamlin, Thomas the Rhymer, Oisin and the personal testimonies of accused witches throughout history.
Underlying the development of Witchcraft as a response to Christianity was the Fairy Faith. It represented the core of beliefs upon which traditional Witchcraft was built. The Fairy mysteries represent the true "meat" of the tradition and are reserved for those who have been initiated.
Ancestry is also an important element of traditional Witchcraft. Long before the first gods were ever conceived, deceased ancestors were invoked and petitioned to grant knowledge, power and favors. A fundamental tenant of ancestral worship is that the living inherit the virtues of their ancestors. Upon death, we join our ancestors and add our own unique achievements and personal power to that legacy.
Spiritual ancestry is not limited to lineal descent. A person can be spiritually “adopted” into an ancestral lineage and gain the full advantages thereof. Recently, Scottish archaeologists discovered mummified human remains consisting of bones, from several different bodies, integrated to form complete human skeletons. One theory as to why the ancients did this, 3000 years ago, is that the ritual combination of bones from different families could tie the ancestral lineages together, somewhat like a marriage ceremony for the deceased. This meant that the living descendants of those ancestors would then be considered related.
In traditional witchcraft, a similar rite involves the addition of the name of a newly initiated witch to a scroll containing the ancestral lineage of his or her mentor.
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