Wednesday, December 7, 2011

pagan art journaling {week 45}

This week's prompt: tradition

Are you part of a tradition? Do you think that being in a tradition is important?

When I first started exploring this spiritual path, it seemed like all I heard about was traditional Wicca. Of course, I know that many of you reading this blog are not Wiccan like me, but bear with me here...

I spent hours searching on the web, looking for links into traditional groups and information about the various branches of Wicca, almost desperate to find a path within a path that felt like the right fit. Eventually I became discouraged and gave up, moving towards eclectic paganism because it felt like there weren't really any other choices.

But then I started asking myself why I was so set on tradition anyways? Was it really that important? Especially given that I have always been a bit of an odd bird, ever resistant towards social convention. So why was I kowtowing to social, albeit fringe social, convention?

I knew then, as I know now, my quest for tradition wasn't because tradition was the all important, end all, be all for me, but rather, I was looking for informed, experienced teachers. And that, I believe, can be found in and out of tradition. And tradition itself is no guarantee of quality.

Of course, ironically, just when I gave up my quest for tradition, I found myself in a group full of lineage and tradition, albeit not in a conventional sense. Of course, me being contrary by nature, it comes as no surprise that this plays into how my path is unfolding. The Horned God does have a sense of humour and has always liked to laugh at my foibles!

But what about you? Do you think tradition and lineage is important? Have you had negative/positive experiences in a tradition?

And, just cause I like to stir the cauldron a bit, do you think that we can self-initiate?


  1. Our ancient Pagan ancestors had no choice - the tradition of their culture was the only tradition.

    Now we have so many choices, and so many ways to learn about all of them. I'm not sure that makes it any better, and certainly doesn't make it easier.

    I think it is very wise at the beginning to read all about any tradition that interests you. We are lucky today because in order to do this we do not have to officially join the group, just read books and websites. Sometimes that is enough to know if this tradition is for you and if it isn't there is no nasty breakup.

    This also allows for a lot of exploring. This can be good, or not so good, because sometimes it's hard for a person to decide on one tradition and he/she just keeps exploring - endlessly it seems. Most people who explore but never find a good fit often decide to go it alone and I think that's ok, especially for me as a solitary Witch because there are a long line of people just like me so in a way, no tradition is an old tradition and most likely the tradition of my ancestors.

    I do, believe, however, that we are really never alone, and I think that I have been "taught" not by a group, not by a teacher, and not by myself, but through practice, education and help from those in the otherworld. I think the way that they have taught me was similar to the ways of a coven - slowly, letting me in on secrets as appropriate, not overwhelming me. The learning may be guiding me to the write book or teacher, or it may come in the way of a sudden "knowing."

    As for self initiation, well, I don't think that it is necessary if you are a solitary witch - the regular practice is the way we demonstrate our commitment. Some solitaries perform a dedication ceremony, but for me it's implied.

    Ok, I'm going to stop now before I get a reputation for commenting too much. :) I just can't seem to resist a good pagan discussion....

  2. I don't belong to a tradition. It's for many of the same reasons you mentioned above: no tradition seems to be a good fit, I'm very much an independent person, I don't always play well in groups.... Add time and commitment issues, and that pretty much sums up why I'm not interested in being part of a tradition. Maybe my views will change someday.

  3. I also don't belong to a specific traditions, and quite honestly the rigidity of Christianity, and that you had to do this or that in order to be correct was one (of many) reasons I went searching for faith elsewhere. I think that is the whole point that you can have your own path, and still be a witch. I am a very eclectic witch, and not as adept in certain ways as others, but it's what works for me :) BB, Meadow


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