This subject has been grinding my gears a long time: pride in your path. In Wicca, we all seem to be proud of our lineage, where our tradition comes from and respect to those who were directly teaching us the craft. But lately I find it very hard to embrace an all-encompassing pride to my tradition.
Let me be clear though, I have great love for my own coven and HP and HPS and other people in the craft I got to know through my coven; people I like and respect. But outside that group there are people “of the same tradition” whose association and interaction I do not desire. It is easy enough not to do so as with most, if not all, there is not even the slightest change me passing them in the street or bumping into them at a venue. As it is, these people are equally happy not having me around.
Problem is that the general public does get do hear about these people and what they say, how they see as how the tradition should be practised, their politics and antics, their arrogance (only matched by their ignorance) in claiming what is Alexandrian tradition and what is not.
I have a huge problem with people dressing themselves in the shiny robes of “keeping the tradition pure” while their agenda is glaringly political; to the purpose of their self-glorification, surrounding themselves with lackeys and yes-men and women who hope some of that self-declared authority would shine upon them (idle hopes) And it angers me because I see people who I formerly respected sacrificing their moral backbone to remain on the in-crowd of what they perceive an elite group of “true Alexandrians”. The level of self-delusion defies all reason and logic in order to support their unsavoury thoughts to exert power in a cultish manner. With the arrogance of elitism they feel that a proper person properly prepared can not be transsexual, have a disability or adhere to a strict list of prerequisites and must submit to a blind obedience to follow their elders were it like they are the embodiment of the gods themselves. What definitely went too far is when I heard that is was suggested by “elders” of the craft that in cases of sexual abuse in circle, it was preferred to have this dealt with by the elders, rather then involving the police. The megalomania and arrogance displayed is of such a “do as I say, not as I do” nature becomes evident when some of these people on their high pulpit can not keep a high priestess in their own coven or not even allow a hived coven, 5000 miles away, to have their own high priest because they want to stay “in charge”.
And all of this would be bearable if it were not for people asking me if I support all that as an “Alexandrian witch”
So I can’t let this pass, I have to make it clear that I am not an Alexandrian by certain standards and certainly do not underwrite of what is flung into the world via various social media to be “Alexandrian tradtion and how hard it is to keep it pure”
But there is one thing they do achieve; their delusion of “keeping the craft pure” by trying to have control over covens and initiates, to the extend on how they should practise their rites, who to speak to, who not to speak to, who to listen is creating the exact definition of what the craft should not be like, and people are now distancing themselves from that self-declared elite group. It became more important to identify oneself as “not by those standards Alexandrian”, as this group makes all effort to declare all those who do not happily march to their tune as not being “true Alexandrian”.
But here is how the craft will survive and remain pure as envisioned by Alex Sanders:
The craft will rebel, separate itself and evolve, in the same way as it was born before and leaving the old to die or just remain in some from of bitter discussion groups, complaining about the lack of respect, while having no respectable attributes to begin with.
I’m not to hung up on labels anyway, one is a witch or one isn’t. And pride of lineage? I’m happy to have learned that my line is descended from a group that decided decades ago that having a gay initiate wasn’t a reason to leave the coven in a huff. The same line that did not hesitate when it found one of its elders to cross a moral boundary; people like that are to be shunned and all ties severed, we simply o not condone or excuse certain behaviours to “protect the honour of the lineage”; doing so would condone and facilitate such behaviours. It’s not who is in our up line what defines us, it is what we do as individuals and what we do with what is being passed to us. And it is this line from in which I was introduced into the Wiccan craft which coined the name of “Hibernian line” and it must be something good, for already there are people looking to claim it as their own. It is suffice for us to know that we know better.
“That what does not grow and evolve is dead”
So I have pride in the people who instructed me in the craft, the people I stand in circle with and the people we freely choose to associate with. the craft is what we cherish above all and the good that comes from it needs no additional labels.
So as of today, I do not define myself as “Alexandrian”, for at this moment in time, it holds too much looking for an apology, too much of a need to explain “Oh, I’m not THAT kind on Alexandrian”, too much debate on legitimacy and too little debate on authenticity of the craft.
Some people may be saddened by this, but it is no severance, it is an empowerment, an acknowledgement of authenticity, a liberation in true spirit of the goddess’ charge.
Some will be delighted, as they feel I am a thorn in their side for being Alexandrian and now they can say “he is no longer Alexandrian”, but they miss the point: I am no longer like them, whatever they wish to call themselves.
“one speaks good of a name or one says nothing at all and let the silence that follows speak tomes.”
Yesterday at the moot, my coven’s HP justly remarked “In Christian religions we see separation of traditions due to differences in dogma, but in Wicca, the separations are of a political nature”. I know my HP and HPS have been the target of slander and false accusations by people because they do not wish to join the heel licking and political games being played. I even stirred trouble for them as in certain discussions, some “elders” hastened themselves to them to ask them to “muzzle” me. They of course refused, to much chagrin of said “elders”.
“If one tries to win an argument based on authority, one has lost already.”
Having them as friends and working with them in circle for 5 years I have never heard or seen them doing anything inappropriate and while I was already magically formed before joining their coven, their friendship and teachings has helped me force the core of my craft to become stronger than I would have without them. I hold true to the tradition of the craft they demonstrated. And with that, I promised them to keep that tradition pure.
So with that, let me re-introduce myself:
I am Ratatoskr, and I am a witch of the Hibernian line.