Going Within, Going Without: Exploring Multiple Traditions to Deepen Practice

I confess to being one of those people who gets a little suspicious when interacting with people who claim to be initiates in multiples traditions. In traditional Wiccan spaces, it’s common to hear tales of wayfaring strangers out to collect initiations and titles for the sake of being able to assert more authority in their community. These sorts of people are supposed to blow through, get their stamp on the forehead, and then move on to the next group. Their website biographies are usually some variant on “Lord High Priest Magnum Ravenface is a third degree high priest and magus in the ancient tradition of überwicca, as well as Tumbleweed Wicca, the Moon Raven tradition of High Witchcraft, and an adept in the Ordo Templi Golden Dawn. He’s also a Reiki master, a fourth degree black belt, and an ordained doula.”

It’s hard to take people like this seriously. The reaction they’re going for is, “Wow, that guy sure does know a lot. I should totally give him my money.” But in my case it’s usually more like, “Damn, this dude can’t commit to anything,” or “I wonder why he keeps getting kicked out of all these trads.” Rather than being impressed, I’m wary.

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