Hi, my name is Phyllis Curott and I'm a Wiccan priestess. I am a Wiccan priestess in the ara tradition. That's A-R-A. There are quite a number of Wiccan traditions now. They've developed over the course of the last 50 years. Most of them in the last 30 years. Personally I think you have to have been practicing for at least 20 years before you can call it a tradition. Although lots of people will read a book and practice for a couple of years and are very sincere when they call what they do a tradition.
The Wiccan traditions that are have been practiced for a long time and that are fairly well known in addition to the gardenarian tradition which is the British tradition, and the Alexandrian, there's fairy Wicca which comes mostly from Victor Anderson on the west coast. The reclaiming tradition which is Star Hawk, who studied with Victor Anderson, which is a kind of Wiccan tradition. There's Celtic Wicca. There's the tradition of Ara, which I practice. Which is a Shamanic Wiccan tradition. It integrates core Shamanic practices. There are, I hesitate to start naming names because I'm going to give people out. Silver Ravenwolf has a Wiccan tradition. The Black Forest tradition.
There are a lots of them now. And when you go looking for a teacher, what you want to do is find out how long they've been practicing. Who they learned from. The experience of people who are studying with them. And it's okay to sample. It didn't used to be. You were supposed to make a commitment and work with a group for a year and a day. I think these days nobody wants people to be sort of super market shopping, but you need to know what's out there because different paths talk to different people.
Some are more formal. Some are more Native American. They have more of a Native American influence. Other's are more Shamanic. Core Shamanic which is universal Shamanic techniques. So you want to find the path that works for you. Someone more political reclaiming is very feminist. Although I'm also feminist, but reclaiming is very feminist and very political.
So it's like shopping for a home. It's an extension of who you are. It's your path to really discovering the best parts of yourself. So it has to fit. It has to feel comfortable. It has to feel right. It's not like the patriarchal religions that proceeded it. That say that they have the one true path, the only path. We understand that there are as many paths as there are expressions of the sacred in the world.
A forest is made up of, to be healthy, a forest is made up of many kinds of trees. So you have to find the one that's right for you. The one that gives you joy. Insight that challenges you. And that draws together a community of people with whom you have a feeling of kinship where you walk into a room and you feel like you know that feeling like you've met them before. It's a basis for trust.
You need to trust the people that you're working with. So you want to know that they're experienced. You want to know that they've practiced for a long time. Humor, humility, tolerance, openness, generosity, compassion, and a sense of wonder. Those are the most important things. Those are the most important things. You find that and you find the folks that you're meant to work with. And it's perfectly fine to work alone. These days obviously, you know. The internet. It's all over. It's everywhere. You look until you find the thing that fits you.