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A Coven of WiseCraft

"We are such stuff as dreams are made of...."

History of WiseCraft

WiseCraftis a particular type of American Traditional Witchery. It is based partially on the Celtic Traditional Craft, with a large element of Druidism as well as significant influences from Old Irish Family Witchcraft, 1734 Witchcraft, Toteg Tribe, American Shamanism, and modern science, especially the theories of astrophysics and metapsychology. There are subtle but intrinsic differences in philosophy and practice between WiseCraft and other forms of American Traditional Witchcraft. Among the elements which differ are the concepts of the nature of Deity and humanity's relationship thereto, the cosmology and thea/theo/logy of the tradition, the relationship with the Realms Beyond including Faery and the lands of the Mighty Dead, ethical concepts including attitudes towards the Rede and the practice of magic, and triadic as opposed to dualistic thought. In addition, WiseCrafters almost always include certain Shamanistic practices in their individual spiritwalks, and there are specific Shamanistic and Metaphysical techniques that are taught and practiced as a part of the Tradition. There is also a heavy reliance on scientific verification of those elements of magical practice (including use of psi faculties) which can be so verified, and in pursuing an academic approach to Craft in all its aspects.

The WiseCraft Tradition was founded in Salt Lake City Utah, in the Hazel Moon of 1998, by Rowyn ni Bhrighide, a Priestess of traditional Wicca in a Welsh Clannic Tradition. After certain catastrophic events occurred to the coven and clan of which she was a part, she fouind herself Crafting a singular path (in every sense of the word!) in the company of two other survivors of the shipwreck. Along with these companions she began to attempt to rediscover the elements of her own personal path which she had abandoned in entering traditional Wiccan training, and blend these with what had proven to be of worth in the teaching they had been receiving. Over several years, she found herself adapting the teachings of her former traditional path to blend them with the elements of the hereditary folk practices she had shared with her female ancestors, and the Druidic worldview she possessed as a Celt. Further teaching and practice from and with Joseph Bearwalker Wilson in both the 1734 Witchcraft Tradition, and Toteg Tribe Spirituality, further nourished and enhanced her experience and became foundational influences on her forming Tradition. Elements of astronomy, physics, metaphysics, engineering and philosophy also were added by the other members of the new endeavor.  Having learnt both from Wiccan Priests and Priestesses, and Witches of the Old Ways, the three soon  realized that their own leanings were towards a worldview and system of mythic reality that drew from both and identified wholly with neither. Adding the triadic view of reality to which a Celtic heritage predisposed them made it clear to her and her companions that what they were doing and teaching was neither wholly Wicca nor entirely Witchcraft, and that using either of those names exclusively to describe their practice and growing tradition would speak erroneously to students and seekers of one or the other. Hence, the development of WiseCraft, a tradition in its own rite (right?) that serves as an initiatory and mystery tradition, and sees the Craft as both an Arte and a religion.

The first WiseCraft group was a teaching circle which formally committed itself into a coven in the Hazel Moon of 1999. This group has given birth to two more groups, an Inner Circle of initiatory and mystery practice, and an Outer Court of public involvement, teaching and public service in the local community. The public group's original name is Four Winds Clann, but it has, due to some developmental changes in basic structure and content, been rechristened as the DreamRange Dynamic. Further changes have resulted in the disbanding of a former church organization, and a newly-structured organization came into existence shortly after Samhain of 2003 and is still active. At the present time, no new initiates are being made by the WiseCraft tradition, since our Circle of Elders, the DreamRange Dynamic, are engaged in a serions and complex project attempting to define the specific parameters of the Tradition for the future. However,  over the ten years since its inception, members have continued, and still continue,  to afford service to the local community in various ways. These have included founding Rainbow Flame  CUUPS in 2002, which organization has become South Valley CUUPS and is still active, and founding Salt Lake City Pagan Pride in 2002. The Inner Circle of the Tradition has members associated with Aspen Grove Sabbats, the Utah Black Hat Society, the Wasatch Pagan Alliance, the Salt Lake Valley Witches Meetup,  and other community endeavors .

"WiseCraft" is a name which denotes a completely new variety of Witchen belief and practice. WiseCrafters may choose to practice Witchery as either their religion, or as a form of the Arte magickal, or both. Specific differences are found slowly as one pursues the path, but some general guidelines are listed below on this page. As members of the WiseCraft Tradition find themselves present and active in local Pagan communities, the differences between this tradition and Wicca, Traditional or hereditary Witchcraft, or other forms of Eclectic Paganism will become further evident.

this page last updated July 10, 2009


Various Elements of WiseCraft as a Tradition


Ways that WiseCraft resembles Wicca:
* Belief in the Goddess and the God, and in the sacredness of all Nature
* Consciousness of our place IN Nature, not a desire nor right to see ourselves as ABOVE Nature.
* Worldview that Deity is immanent and that all that IS is alive and Divine
* Emphasis on Self-Love as the root of transformation of Being, and Self-awareness and personal transformation as the focus of existence.
* We are a degree-based system of training, honoring the succession of teachers and accrued wisdom.
* We are a Mystery Tradition with some elements that are recognizable as Golden Dawn glosses, although we have no practice nor doctrine that is not mutable at the Will and Need of the practitioner.
* WiseCrafters may see their practice as a religion and concentrate on worship rather than Magic.

Ways that WiseCraft differs from Wicca:
* The Goddess is not superior to the God, although He issues forth from Her. They are separate and equal forces in our lives.
* Male-female polarity is neither necessary to Magical workings nor particularly desirable in itself. All beings possess both male and female qualities which are sufficient for evoking polarity when necessary.
* Our Craft bears no relationship to Gerald Gardner nor to his teachings specifically, nor is it desirous of being identified as "Ancient Hereditary Witchcraft" We are drawing something new from old roots here.
* Our Ethical Construct does not necessarily demand adherence to the Wiccan Rede. We recognize that sometimes it is impossible to avoid doing Harm if one wishes to do Good. Ethics are the purview of the individual and are developed by time, wisdom and experience.
* Mystical and philosophical questioning is encouraged. There is no shibboleth required to identify oneself with the practice of WiseCraft.
*"High Priest" or "High Priestess" is a JOB, not a TITLE.

WaysWiseCraft resembles Traditional Witchcraft:
* We honor our Ancestors and our Patron Deities and wish to enter their Realms and commune with them through use of the Arte Magickal.
* We are not constrained from working with Elemental Beings and regularly journey on the Astral for the purpose of performing the Arte.
* We do not see what we do as necessarily a religious practice, but alternately may choose to live our Craft as a lifestyle, following the practice of Wisewyves and Cunning Men before us.
* We will bind or hex when necessary, consciously aware that we are fully responsible for all that may come from this.
* We use the Compass in addition to or instead of the Circle, at need. It is our desire to go out into the WitchWorld to Work, not constrain deities and elementals to come to us.

Ways WiseCraft differs from Traditional Witchcraft:
* We do not seek to "overcome Fate"  but to discover our True Mind and True Will (which may, or may not, be in accord with our Fate) and live in harmony with that.
* We are not a Family Tradition, but accept Seekers for training.
* We initiate and elevate without regard to gender, passing lineage woman-to-woman or man-to-man, or otherwise as we are moved by Spirit.
* We honor the Old Ways but are free within our covens and circles to use new-created words and spells to work the Arte. We memorize nothing as a required "prayer" nor do we perform any "required" ceremony.
* We do not necessarily run our covens hierarchically. Power passes sideways as well as linearly. We usually prefer to work by consensus.
* "High Priest" or "High Priestess" is a JOB, not a TITLE.
Ways that WiseCraft resembles  Druidry:
* We are concerned with integrating our practice with the cycles of the earth.
* We are divided into classes of Healers, Poets, and Priests. There are several subclasses in these categories.
*  We use a system of Triadic Thought in our worldview, not adhering to the polarities nor the dualistic worldview of the Craft.
*  Our practice is based on authentic Celtic customs as far as we know these, not neo-Celtic re-creations. Some of us are Celtic reconstructionists. We are all in pursuit of authentic sources and roots for our practice, not fabrications.
*  We are seriously committed to preservation of the Sacredness of Nature. By preference we do not worship in or with temples or objects "made by hands."


Ways that WiseCraft differs from Druidry:
* We do not necessarily believe the Gods to have genuine real-world existence. Some of us work with archetypal constructs.
* We do not necessarily use Druidic ritual structure but consider it one of several options of ritual form to be selected according to the intent and needs of the rite.
* We do not confine our pantheon to the Deities of Celtic countries but are just as likely to address the Deities of the place where we are.
* We are more likely to be Pantheists than Polytheists.
* We are less formal in ritual structure, less hierarchical in organizational structure, than is a Druidic Grove.
* We do not consider any prayer, rite, practice or invocation to be "required" at any time.



Some Key Concepts of WiseCraft

We are the keepers of the Earth and are required by our humanity to take note of species of plants and animals whom our existence impacts, and attempt to the best of our ability to minimize that impact. "Keepers" is a term of Stewardship, not one of Ownership. We are not superior to the other species with which we cohabit this planet. Nor do we believe ourselves to necessarily be superior to other life forms that may exist other places in the Universe.

The Realms of the Sidhe are open to us, and we may develop friends and Guides there of the same degree of reality and mutual love and assistance as we experience with other humans. Likewise there are many avatars in realms other than Faery whom we may visit, learn and know either by Shamanic practice or other ways of developing the metapsychic faculties.

It is better to do good than evil: nevertheless it is better to do evil to an enemy than it is to endure his oppression. We attempt to live in harmony with All That Is, and take full responsibility for all that emanates from our choices if we cannot do this in a given circumstance. We may choose to follow an Ethic of "do no ill" in such circumstances as make this possible; yet many of us are Guardians and will act directly to stop evil we know of and can prevent, even if such action results in hurt to those who are not amongst the innocent.

We honor innumerable faces of the Gods and the Great Mother Goddess--nevertheless, we are aware that in some measure the Gods are constructs of our own minds in order to enable us to grasp concepts too arcane for our simple humanity to apprehend. The One is ineffable, unknowable and ever beyond our comprehension whilst we remain in mortal flesh, and indescribable by those who have experienced It outside the realm of flesh.

That which is Wise is not always Right--that which is Right is not always Good--that which is Good is not always Wise. We attempt to act in every circumstance accordance with our own best conscience, striving to minimize the ill we do and maximize the good we perform. We do not attempt to act as the conscience of another, and judge no one for divergent choices to our own. Sometimes there is no choice but to trust in our Divine Nature, and act in accordance with Hope.

Do what is necessary, not what you prefer to do. Learn Wisdom so that you may begin to prefer to do what is necessary. The True Will bears little relationship to what you want, more to Who you Are.