"Harm none and do thy will"

The Guising Traditions

In order to understand the place of the guising traditions in Wicca the difference between the left hand and right hand paths needs to be understood. In essence the right hand path is to do good for others and the left hand path is to do good for yourself, although this is superficial and the full meaning of these two terms will be dealt with separately. It is however a useful starting point. There are a number of animal guising traditions around Britain, the Derby Tup, The Obby Oss, The Ooser and the Hooden Horse to name a few. At the heart of this tradition is a cloven hooved animal, the stag. This is specifically the case in the Abbots Bromley horn dance, the strongest of these practices. Many Wiccans from the Gardnerian and Alexandrian traditions follow the Right Hand Path, whereas these guising traditions have a ‘left hand path’ feel to them. This link between the ‘left hand path’ and these native traditions leaves some uncomfortable, however is, at the heart of the tradition. Left hand path Wiccans embrace deities from the ‘Left Hand Path’ and don’t feel they have been thrust on Wicca from other traditions. They are viewed as the essence of the tradition. Guising tradition give a different perspective on the nature of chaos.

The two traditions are therefore defined. The circle tradition shows that Harm none – and do thy will is an inescapable fact of meeting in a circle. This show how to act at the heart of the tradition is one commandment, but it is actually more a statement of logic.

From the guising traditions we see the left hand path.

This allows us to start to build a picture of what Wicca is – a local folk tradition that allows for personal freedom, is wedded to a scientific world view and seeks to empower the individual to do their will.

There is a rich strain within Wicca of people working for themselves. It is not universal but it is a strong tendency. Small self employed businesses are very common. This is a goal of many people many Wiccans do visulise this and then achieve it.

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