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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in tribe of witches

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
How Do You Extinguish a Sacred Fire?

The gathering of the Tribe is over.

The sacred Fire of Gathering, which was lighted when the Tribe first gathered, must now be extinguished.

But how do you extinguish a sacred Fire?

Well, here's how the Tribe of Witches does it.

On the final morning of our Grand Sabbat witch-moot, we gather around the Fire, and make the same offerings and prayers to It that we've made on every morning of our gathering.

Then we quench the Fire with offerings. At the Grand Sabbat, for reasons that I won't go into here, we use red wine to do this.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Why Witches Have All the Best Stories

Long ago, in the dawn of days, the Great Mother gave to each people their own proper stories.

To the Cornovii, she gave the stories of the Cornovii.

To the Dumnonii, she gave the stories of the Dumnonii.

To each people, she gave their own proper stories.

And to our people, to the Dobunni, the tribe of Witches: to us she gave the best stories of all. So it is that, to this day, our stories are the best of all stories, and our storytellers the best of all storytellers.

So it is that, when you hear an excellent story among some other people—among the Cornovii or the Dumnonii, say—it can only be that this story has been stolen from its rightful owners, which is to say, from us, from the Dobunni, to whom, in the dawn of days, the Great Mother gave all the most excellent stories.

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The Tribe of Witches: A Story for Our Day

This is the story of the Tribe of Witches.

Five hundred generations ago, a people called the Hwicce (HWICH-eh) lived in the basin of the River Severn in what is now England.

Their forebears, mostly Angles speaking a Germanic language, had come from the Continent, and settled in the tribal territory of a Keltic-speaking people called the Dobunni, the “People of the Two Tribes.”

In time, as is the way of things, these two peoples became one people: and this was the making of us. For from their union, some say, Kelt and German, sprang those that today we call the Tribe of Witches; and, indeed, we still bear their name.

And this is the main thing: that from our very beginning, we have been a mixed people.

Look at the Wheel of our Year: sunsteads, evendays, and cross-farthings together: the Keltic with the Germanic. We are a mixture of peoples, and our lore a mixture of lores.

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Was the Wansdyke Originally Built to Keep Out the Tribe of Witches?

The Wansdyke is an early medieval earthen wall-and-ditch—clearly a defensive fortification—that extends for miles across the southern English counties of Wiltshire and Somerset.

The Anglo-Saxons later named the mighty earthwork after the chieftain of their gods—Wódnes díc, Woden's ditch, of which the modern name is an eroded form—but the fortification was built, not by Saxons, but by Britons.

Traditionally the Wansdyke was thought to have been raised by southern Kelts against incursions from the West Saxons to the north but, in their 2017 The Complete King Arthur, husband-and-wife team John and Caitlin Matthews make another suggestion: that it was originally built to keep out the Witches.

It would seem that the Wansdyke marks the old border between two late Keltic tribal territories: the Durotriges to the south and the Dobunni to the north (51-2).

The Dobunni are the Keltic predecessors to the later Anglo-Saxon tribe (and kingdom) of the Hwicce, whom maverick archaeologist Stephen P. Yeates identifies as the original Tribe of Witches. He makes a strong case for cultural and ethnic continuity between the Dobunni and the Hwicce, which has been borne out by subsequent archaeological finds and genetic studies.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Ingathering

In the dream, it was the morning of this year's upcoming Grand Sabbat.

As I'm making preparations, Tall Rob comes up to me: beautiful Rob, wet-dream of the Western World, looking just as good as he did when I last saw him 10 years ago.

“Here, I wanted you to have this,” he says in his husky voice, pushing a handful of wadded bills into my hand. “Looking forward.” He smiles and moves off.

I look at the money for a moment, then push it uncounted into my pocket.

Rob has been dead for 10 years.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Whatever the "real" nature of such dreams, they do indeed serve to create a very real sense of connectedness across time. I've nev
  • Mike W
    Mike W says #
    I've had a "contact dream" a couple of times that is very real to me. In these dreams, I am sitting at a picnic table in the wood
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    When I was very young I would occasionally dream of visiting an antique store run by an old fisherman. Then one night I dreamed t
Those Old Witch Songs Are All a Little Bit Sad

There's a round that we sing in the Spring about new life rising up again out of the darkness:

Now the green blade riseth from the buried grain:

wheat that in the deep Earth many days hath lain.

Love lives again, that with the dead hath been:

love is come again, like wheat that springeth green.

The tune is delicate, poignant: a song of joy in a minor key.

This is no ignorant joy, a happiness too inexperienced (or too stupid) to know anything different. This is the joy of the wise: the happiness of those who know life and all the sorrows that it must inevitably bring, and yet choose joy.

Witches are well-acquainted with trouble. As a people, we've seen many, many sorrows down the long years, nor (alas) are they over yet. As we must, we remember them all.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Name (Tribe)

There's a conventional usage in the First Nations press which I think, for various reasons, would be a good fit for the pagan community as well.

There it's customary to identify someone both by name and by tribal affiliation:

Winona la Duke (Anishinabe)

Arvol Looking Horse (Dakota)

This makes perfect sense. In traditional societies, you don't just need to know who someone is; you need to know who her people are as well. In traditional Dine (Navajo) culture, when introducing yourself to a fellow Dine, you mention not just your own name, but your maternal and paternal clans as well. This gives you not just an identity, but a context.

Since pagans come in different kinds, it seems to me that this makes sense for us, too:

Isaac Bonewits (Druid)

Alison Harlow (Feri)

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