Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Ceci n'est pas une pretresse gardnerienne

But for good or ill, it is the blog of one, of a sort.

If I am honest with myself and you, dear reader, then I have to admit that I probably never should have been initiated, let alone elevated. Am I a good HPS? I think that I am, and I've been told that I am. Am I a good Gardnerian HPS? Gods, no, at least not in the strict fundamentalist sense. My partner was a very good Gardnerian HP, and he is far better at it than I could ever hope to be; but that's because he gets it on a level that eludes me. Things that make sense to him seem arbitrary and illogical to me; my understanding of such things is academic and intellectual when it needs to be visceral and emotional. He provides that, so we can work together and balance each other out, but I know there are things that I lack, have always lacked, that were necessary to be an effective traditional Gard HPS. And so I'm not.

But what I am is a damned effective non-traditional traditionalist. I'm a very competent ritualist, and my mojo is as strong as it ever was--maybe even more so, since I've learned to play to my own strengths and not worry about what others perceived as my weaknesses. We--that is, my partner and I--finally reached a point where we felt we could own the tradition we'd both trained in and sweated for and nearly broken up over and jumped through an inordinate number of absolutely pointless and stupid hoops for. No one but the most liberal of Gardnerians would likely recognize us as such, even though in practice what we do is about 98% indistinguishable from what you'd find in the strictest trad circle; the differences are more amorphous, more philosophical than anything, but those differences opened up an unbreachable chasm and caused what Mulder referred to in The X-Files: Fight the Future as "the shit-storm of all time." Well, it took us years to wash off the fallout, but we've sorted ourselves out. And if what's going on behind the curtain for me is different than what you've got within yourself, that's fine with me--and as long as it's fine with you, too, then there will be no problem. (Of course, it rarely plays out that way in reality, but sometimes you get lucky. The lucky cases are the people I cherish most.)

So you could just think of us as Independent Gardnerians. We won't come to your circle and expect you to welcome us. Nor will we tell you that what you're doing is wrong or invalid or tell you that you're not proper persons. We don't advertise. We don't want to be a part of some imagined "greater community." What we do want is to work our Craft, and preserve the traditions with which we were entrusted, and to do those things in the way that makes the most ethical and philosophical and magical sense to us. It's not the only thing either of us do spiritually, and it may not even be the most important thing to us, but it is important, and we have fought and worked for it. And like many other initiates who ply their craft in secret because for whatever reason they were a bad fit with the mainstream of the tradition, we will carry on, and those who come after us will do the same.

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