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Explanatory Notes


Explanatory notes

by Brigantia Stone, 11 January 1999

The history of modern English Traditional Witchcraft is a difficult subject to study, because of the propensity of some of our Craft ancestors to reconsider their identity and history according to changing needs.

The authors of the Beaufort House index and its accompanying articles are coven leaders who are actually working the Mysteries of our religion, rather than academic experts on religious movements. Each article is signed by its author; copyright is reserved to the authors or such other organisation as they may have indicated. Information has been provided for non-commercial purposes only; our intent is to inform the reader, rather than proselytise on behalf of our Faith.

More extensive information, including pre-initiate teaching papers, syllabi and essays, is available for some of the Traditions, and is appropriately hyperlinked to each Tradition's entry page.

Not in this index are groups which explicitly identify as Pagan, Druid or Heathen traditions rather than as Wiccan groups; we have also excluded the Feri, NECTW and Tower groups as they pose considerable historical challenges. Also excluded are groups that are not known to stem by genealogical succession from an English source.

Dave Springer is constructing a website that will deal with a broader range of modern Craft Traditions, including groups not represented in this index. Feel free to e-mail him.

Caveat lector:Not everything that is advertised as English Traditional Craft actually is, for we have no copyrights upon the names of our Traditions, and some people have in the past taken advantage of this openness to advance their own sexual, commercial or political interests -- always ask for and checkreferences! A useful tool for those who are contemplating joining any new (or old) religious movement is Isaac Bonewits' Cult Danger Evaluation Frame, which we highly recommend.

Genealogical rationale

Dates given are our best guess (continually under review) of the date of formation of each Tradition as a coherent 'denomination' of our religion. Entries at each level are sorted chronologically.

Our basic genealogical scheme was established by interviewing numerous Craft Elders, who told us what their Initiates susbequently did when they themeselves became Elders; in many cases, new Craft Traditions resulted. Rather than attempt to impose a uniform definition of 'Tradition' we have accepted each group's definition of their unique identity, regardless of length of practice or number of active covens (the only exception being that we have refused to uncritically accept tales of grandmotherly origin, Atlantean identity or Cro-Magnon antiquity.)

Who we are, and how to get involved

The Beaufort House Association is an ad-hoc working group of Elders from various of the concerned Traditions; we draw no pay-cheques from this work, nor is it intended as a basis for proselytising or conversion. Most of the articles are written by, or based upon interviews with, Elders of the Traditions concerned. If you are a Craft Elder and wish to share non-initiatory historical, contact, or instructional articles via this web-site, please consider getting involved in this collective project.

If you feel that your coven or study group should (or should not) be listed among our contacts, or you wish to add to or modify the resource links, please do let us know: we have limited ability to search you out and only you best know what level of publicity you desire for your group.

Please feel free to e-mail the Webmistress via:

document TRADNOTE © 1999 Beaufort House Association.
this document may be freely linked, reproduced and distributed for non-commercial purposes only.
last updated: January 4, 1999
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The genealogical index of English Craft traditions.
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