My Experiences with Traditional Witchcraft

by Krystal Rains

My adventures in the Arte of Traditional Witchcraft began in a Pirate store. I managed a store in North Hollywood and with what I learned later was a bit of encouragement from several close friends, Griffin Ced came to visit one day in 2007. After a delightful conversation, we scheduled the first of three classes at the store. My introduction to the Arte was a class named “Cosmology of the Craft”. Listening to Griffin explain the framework of a magical universe in which I could have a direct personal influence was amazing. My first Traditional Witchcraft ritual shortly after the class was with Hecate, and I carry the key I received with me to this day, nearly 10 years later. After some different locations over a few years, the classes with Griffin took root at The Green Man store in North Hollywood on Lankershim Blvd and have grown and blossomed in the most magical of paths over the last 7 years.

Traditional Witchcraft in the manner taught by Griffin is an Airts tradition, working with the spirit of things rather than an elemental system. Set on a compass, rather than within a circle, it is a way to journey and cross hedges to evolve. Over the years of classes, I have learned that it is a wonderful toolbox that can be applied in many situations with many deities and cosmologies. One of the first times I consciously used the tools of the Craft on my own was to help memorialize a friend. In setting the space for the public memorial, Griffin suggested setting the space with ‘water’ in all directions. In the North I placed the spirit of water in the air, which seemed to me, to be clouds and rain. In the East I placed the spirit of water in fire, being steam and humidity. In the South, the spirit of water in the manifest world, as rivers, streams and oceans. In the West, the spirit of water in water…the mists of our loved ones and ancestors. Water is a medium of transition and when placed in all four directions, it provided the spirit of my friend an easy crossing to the other side of the veil. On a mundane note, I noted several people were quite uncomfortable with the humidity on a normally dry day, and I realized there was certainly an effect on the manifest world, when I set the intention of spirit in this manner, or as many say, “as within, so without.”

Through classes and rituals, using every opportunity to learn, grow and evolve…my life is certainly different than I could have ever imagined. I have been taught that any cosmology could be set on the compass in this manner and had an opportunity to put this into action when opportunity arose to do a rain/water ritual with the Q’ero Peruvian Shamanic archetypes and a Meso-American Rain God named Tlaloc. My normal practice when interacting with these deities is to start in the East and continue clockwise around the Mesa. In this ritual, I called quarters from North to South and then East to West. This is an alchemical connection of Spirit and Soul, then Fire and Water. My sense when centering the ritual, was of the spirits I called being slightly confused, but willing to do the work in this manner. I can’t claim to have changed the rainfall in California, as I know that I am not the only practitioner who put some efforts to our drought problem, but I won’t deny my intentions having some effect as well.

After the 101, 201 and Practical Magic series, the next step that Griffin took was to create a community group of student practitioners. The “Green Man Grove,” of which I am a participating member, provides that community a supportive opportunity to present rituals, both public and closed. Another expanding opportunity for students has been the “Awakening the Witchblood” series that has been presented for the last two falls. Each series was quite differently amazing and provoking in the expansion of my practice and understanding. If this has piqued your interest, you should not be surprised to hear me recommend a visit to The Green Man, to talk and take classes with Griffin.

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Order of Celtic Witches

by Kimberly Berger and Doris Barnhart

The Order of Celtic Witches is an eclectic group whose foundation is based upon honoring the Celtic Deities, celebrating the traditional sabbats and full moon esbats.  Classes have been offered since 2010, which is when the coven was fully established.

Classes emphasize both traditional lore and ritual structure and performance. Herbalism, crystal work, spellcasting, and the history of the Celtic Deities are among the topics covered.  These classes provide a pathway to membership in the coven, and create a safe, accepting and supportive environment for learning and expression.

Heathenry and Kindreds

by Spencer Bennett

Heathenry is a religious path that is the revival of native Northern European traditions. These traditions include, but are not limited to, ritualized feasting, ancestor veneration, and offerings to gods such as Freya, Thor, and Odin. Heathenry often takes a pan-Germanic approach to reviving Northern European traditions by drawing on such culturally diverse material as Tacitus’s Germania, the medieval Eddas and Sagas from Iceland and Scandinavia, as well as the romanticized Grimm’s Fairytales. The Heathen movement is also interested in modern academic endeavors in the fields of Scandinavian and Norse Studies. In these materials are found the historical inspiration for two of Heathenry’s most basic conventions, the Blot and the Kindred.

Though these elements may be named differently, and vary widely in practice, the Blot and the Kindred are ubiquitous in Heathen practice. The Blot is the basic ritual format and usually includes offerings to gods and several rounds of ritualized, communal drinking. These rounds of drinking may include praising gods, remembering ancestors, boasting of your accomplishments, toasting other attendees, or oathing to future achievement. The Kindred is the basic organizational structure used by Heathens. It may consist of family, or friends, or both and is more aimed at building meaningful personal relationships than developing individual esoteric abilities. Within the Kindred, there can be a member chosen to direct group efforts, a member who leads the Blot and other rituals, and a member who cares for the drinking vessel during Blot. The revival of Norther European traditions allows for diversity in interpretation and the expression of Heathen practice is, ultimately, decided by those who are practicing it.

19489571_10155459218843988_1172407033_n (1)Spencer Bennett has been Heathen for more than 15 years and is leader of Hallowed Horn Kindred in Southern California. He is working on Religious Studies degree and will be spending the second half of 2017 in Denmark, at Copenhagen, studying Norse Mythology.  He’s a total baddas who neither looks nor acts like he is pushing forty.  Also, he also likes chocolate.

 

 

Love is the law, love under will.

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Golden lotusGolden Lotus Lodge has been serving the Orange County region for 18 years. In that time we have fostered a community sharing the principles of the Law of Thelema among ourselves as well as welcome guests to our events. Chief among these is the principle of individual liberty in harmony with and fortifying our larger social and professional communities.

We offer participation in our central celebration of the Mass of our Gnostic Catholic Church roughly 3-4 times monthly, as well as a monthly public social get together accompanied by a discussion on a variety of topics from Hermeticism to ritual practice, meditation to self empowerment and more.

We are excited to host our annual series of presentations, The Golden Lotus Discourses. We will be facilitating eight presenters this year speaking on the topic of Occult Philosophy on July 29th-30th at our space in Garden Grove. During these discussions our aim is to give examples of how we express our spiritual and philosophical beliefs and aims through art, writing, counseling, dance and other forms of expression.

Please visit our website which keeps a running calendar of our events and will have details on The Golden Lotus Discourses very soon!

http://www.goldenlotus-oto.org

Love is the law, love under will.