Warning: Contains material some readers may find offensive.
Paganistan: Notes from the Secret Commonwealth
In Which One Midwest Man-in-Black Confers, Converses & Otherwise Hob-Nobs with his Fellow Hob-Men (& -Women) Concerning the Sundry Ways of the Famed but Ill-Starred Tribe of Witches.
Recently I've been following with great interest an on-line discussion on the subject of reculement.
Recule is a word from the Craft's Norman French heritage; in Medieval French it meant “to draw back, withdraw.” A charming word for an unpleasant concept: in Craft contexts, it means “to revoke an initiation.”
What I find so interesting about this question is that in Old Craft thought (as I understand it, at any rate) initiation is, by definition, irrevocable. Although of course I can't speak for Old Craft as a whole (no one can), from where I live, no one can take away initiation because initiation cannot be given; it can only be taken.
An Old Craft initiation is between you and Himself. You vow yourself to Him, He takes you, and He marks you for His. That's it. There's nothing secret about it at all; it's all right there in the stories. There doesn't even need to be anyone else present, although of course in these things it's always good to have witnesses.
Just before Grand Sabbat last year, I sent out a text of the Oathing to those about to be sworn. (As was pointed out to me at the time, this could hardly be more conceptually distant from Wicca's secret initiations.) The Oath Made Crouching isn't something to enter into without knowing fully what you're letting yourself in for. An agreement made in ignorance cannot be a binding agreement.
I generally think of Wicca and Old Craft as the Crafts of the Lady and Lord respectively. As the saying goes, A crow needs two wings to fly with. It's just that, in the case of initiation at least, I hadn't realized that the wingspan extended quite so far.
Everything between my left hand and my right
I give to the Horns and the Wandering Moon.
Body and soul, whole and all, I give myself to you.
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