The Founding PRinciples of
Wild Thorn HOllow
By Jessi Malott
- We follow a path we refer to as the Wild Craft. Our path will grow and evolve as we do, but in general, we consider the Wild Craft a free-spirited, nature-based path of spirituality and magic, drifting between this world and the Otherworlds, and striving for balance and a positive relationship with our environment, and a deep connetion with nature and the Gods. It is more natural, primal, intuitive, experiential and rooted in folk practice than it is rigid, structured, and ceremonial. It is a path that shuns rules and prescribed methods in favor of experimentation, learning, new wisdom, and depth of personal experience. From a theological standpoint, most (though not all) followers of the Wild Craft tend to hold a hard polytheistic, panentheistic view. Observances are up to the individual or the group, but most observe the phases of the moon and the eight solar sabbats on the traditional Pagan wheel of the year as a method of connecting more deeply with the rhythms of nature.
- In Wild Thorn Hollow, much of the interpretation of the path and the practice is left to the individual, but we do strive to come together under the basic set of shared ideas outline here. If the path described above, allowing for individualization and personal tweeks, does not speak to you on any level, this probably isn't the place for you. It is up to you to use common sense to determine whether or not, on the whole, this is a place where you belong.
- In Wild Thorn Hollow, the emphasis is placed upon personal exploration and spiritual development. The point of coming together as a tradition is that we appreciate spiritual community and support, value shared spiritual experience, and seek the sharing of ideas and inspiration, collaborative learning, and the strength of numbers this type of group affords us in our community efforts. However, at all times our members are called to be true to the self above all else, even in the event that our paths may lead us elsewhere.
- At its core, Wild Thorn Hollow is a path of Witchcraft, founded by a Witch with a Wild and Discordian spirit. However, members of Wild Thorn Hollow may self-identify in any way they choose. We realize that this path may resonate with some individuals while some of the labels may not, and as long as the core values of the path remain unchanged, the terminology is less important, and anyone who feels at home here may call him/herself anything they like.
- Part of our objective in Wild Thorn Hollow is to challenge the way that people in the Pagan community think about coming together in organized groups. We are shifting the emphasis away from the infrastructure...the rules, the ranks, and the systematic processes by which a member becomes involved and progresses through membership...and placing it back upon the spirituality on both the individual and the group levels...focusing on the energy of worship, reverence, observance, academia, and the development of spiritual strengths.
- If you wish to be a member of Wild Thorn Hollow, all you have to do is register as one so we know you are here and can get you involved. Our members come together by choice, and stay by choice. While groups within the Hollow may have their own systems in place for welcoming members into their specific structure, the tradition as a whole has an open door regarding general membership. Members may join as they choose, and may leave as they choose when their path calls them elsewhere. We request notification of departure from any member who chooses to leave.
- We are a community, and a network of support, so we encourage active participation and contribution in a manner that suits the individual's personality. We believe in individual autonomy, and feel that the spiritual journey is a deeply personal one. We come together in community for support through our experiences, shared wisdom, advice, encouragement, shared ideas, etc. We get what we give. Let your voice be heard and your mark be made...claim this community as your own.
- Within Wild Thorn Hollow, we will recognize things like initiations and ordinations, but there is no specific structure in place for achieving them. We actually believe that these things tend to happen quite organically on the individual level, and as with almost all things in the Hollow, all decisions regarding these types of milestones will be handled on a case by case basis. Our general attitude is that members are members. Be here because you want to be, and be happy with that. If and when the time comes for anything beyond that, it will come up.
- Groups of Wild Thorn Hollow members may cluster together in any way they choose. If a group of members wishes to be officially recognized as such, they simply need to collectively agree to their group's terms and description, and contact the tradition's founder. In the case of a coven, they must also elect a High Priest or High Priestess. The Hollow will not micro-manage what groups do and how they meet and practice. We believe that groups will learn and grow by trial and error, and this is a valuable learning experience for all involved. Our one rule is that for a coven to be officially recognized, it must have clear leadership in place responsible for making final decisions when needed, just as the tradition itself has this type of leadership in place, so there is no room for confusion when the end of the line is reached in the decision-making process.
- We are a living, modern, and digital oral tradition. We all expect to learn from one another and our experiences here, but we are not about structured teaching and dogma. Every member of Wild Thorn Hollow contributes to the collective pool of wisdom through the sharing of ideas and information. We facilitate the sharing of information between members, and our path is continuously defined by their contribuations of essays, editorials, rituals, spells, research, art, poetry, interesting articles, etc. Members who wish to engage with a more specifically defined mentor may approach any other member of the Hollow they feel they might enjoy learning from, and if that individual is so inclined, he/she may accept the role of mentor. Everything is valid, it all defines the whole, and more prevalent ideas will rise to the surface and make a bigger impact on our evolving, collective definition of the Wild Craft. Individual takes on subjects are welcomed, and we are not threatened by differing viewpoints. We are expected to stimulate and challenge one another. If we can confront opposing ideas with fellow members, and still come together as community at the end of the discussion, we can get to the core of what a spiritual family is meant to be.
- Wild Thorn Hollow is run and lead by its founder, Jessi Arnn, with a soft hand. The expectation is that it should be rarely needed, but she does retain final authority in decisions affecting the tradition, in case it should be needed. If you can't handle this, don't join.
- Given the unstructured nature of Wild Thorn Hollow, we realize it will not last forever. This is OK. We will ride it until the wheels fall off.
- Nothing is rigid. Everything is fluid and subject to change.
- This is all there is. There is nothing else official written about Wild Thorn Hollow. All other decisions will be made on a case by case basis, either by anarchist will of the people, or by dictatorial rule of the founder.