Beginner Witchcraft – Western vs. Eastern Mystery Traditions
One of the first things you need to conceptualize, if you’re interested in witchcraft, is that it’s a WESTERN mystery tradition. The important dichotomy here is outer-vs.-inner. In the Eastern traditions, the adept commonly seeks some sort of mystical union with the great Oneness, which implies a withdrawal from the common, everyday life of human beings, and a focus on one’s internal processes. In the Western traditions, the adept is very much a part of the activities and community of humankind. A witch does indeed have a special awareness of their inner world and their connection with the all-permeating Oneness (Goddess), but a witch is also a member of society–a farmer, a healer, a parent, a warrior, a writer, a scientist, an artist, a computer programmer, etc. In becoming a witch, you don’t dissociate your spiritual life from the rest of your life–rather, you apply the principles of the Craft in everything you do. You seek to take what you have learned on an inner level and MANIFEST that awareness on an outer level. This is not to be confused with the Christian dichotomy of works vs. faith. Witches don’t have to BELIEVE in anything–they are much too concrete, too practical for such notions. The rituals of the Craft all get down to the same thing: sanctifying the everyday activities of your life. When a witch makes love, writes a program, cooks a meal, rides a bike, these are all the rituals of the Goddess.