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Brothers and Sisters of the Art

In the context of initiation, as one encounters for the first time the phrase, brothers and sisters of the Art, one experiences the sense of kinfolk, of being reunited with one’s people. The feeling warms one, and produces a sense of the larger connected tribe, often evoking that sense of coming home that many of us feel. And down the road, depending on the preferences of your elders, as well as your own, you may come to wish to participate in the larger family.

Certainly brothers and sisters of the Art are, indeed, a family, far-flung, widespread, and funky. Alas, they also act the same as does any other family. They support, they bitch, they hug, they gossip, they wound, they heal, they backstab, and sometimes, they reconcile.

They hold reunions for family…but limit the guest lists.

Some may create lines of communication specific to a particular part of the family—email lists or Facebook groups—for Gardnerians, or Alexandrians, or members of other traditions of British Traditional Wicca, or sub-groups of the same, for Johnsonites or Olwenites or Chthonoi or LI line or Kentucky line or Dogpatch line. It is likely that any given such list will exclude a sizable portion of the family you know to be Wicca.

The concept that any single guest list or elist or roster is both open to all of a particular British tradition of Witchcraft while being firmly closed to any not of the Wicca? Delusional.

To use a Potteresque term, anyone holding the belief that they are purebloods to the Nth degree…is like to to find a mudblood in every closet. Some less than more, some much more than not. Humans have been as like themselves as they continue to be.

Coven autonomy is an idea that we’re taught is true. Respect for coven autonomy, however, lasts only about as long as it takes any one of the Wicca to become infected with the fundamentalist* principle that there is only one true Wicca.

*Dictionaries will tell you that the very term “fundamentalist” is  a Christian concept.

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