My beliefs and practices fall into the realm of Traditional Witchcraft. It’s mostly because of my delving into Scoto-Scandinavian folk magic and witchcraft. I was drawn to and obsessed with Traditional Witchcraft from a young age before the plethora of books, forums, and websites came into existence. I was raised on the meat and bones of fairy tales, folklore, legends, and mythology. This means that, gasp, I was not influenced by Andrew Chumbley and the Cultus Sabbati nor was I influenced by Robin Artisson. I’m still not influenced by them or interested in them. I’m not attracted to the high ceremonialism and embellished language of Chumbley and Shulke (although I admit Chumbley’s poetry is gorgeous and Shulke’s illustrations can be witchy in a way that is orgasmic). Nor am I attracted to the pseudo Cornish slash Germanic craft of Artisson who borrows heavily from Cochrane and Cornish practitioners like JackDaw and Gemma Gary. I do, however, admit to having an early crush on Robert Cochrane’s brain and loving Doreen Valiente more than your average witch. But truly it is Baba Yaga, Habetrot, Holda, and the Queen of Elphame who hold my heart. Instead of joining a popular tradition I followed the Fairy-Faith and delved into spirit work.
I find it odd and amusing that, although I’m considered a Traditional Witch, I was not influenced by the same traditions and writings that most modern Traditional Witches commonly are. I didn’t read Jackson and Howard, I read Jones and wished I hadn’t (he needed a really good editor). I ignored Xoanon, Pendraig, and Fulgur and read Paul Huson, herbals, and dusty old books of folklore instead. I read the writings of Robert Cochrane and loved them, but followed the footsteps of Joe Wilson back to the earth with my drum instead. My heroes are female folklorists Dr. Hilda Ellis Davidson and F. Marian McNeill. In spite of not sharing the same influences with my fellow Witches, I still ended up one and not less of one.
What is my disclaimer to you other Traditional Witches new and old? That it is not what or who you read, but what you do that makes you what you are. An author or publisher does not define our path or make one more witchier than another. Don’t let anyone intimidate you by saying otherwise. Put away your books and grab your staff or stang and find yourself a crossroad and summon the oldest teacher of them all if you dare. Go out there and find your path.