To the Muse and the Gardnerian Tradition, without Whom and without which none of this would have been possible.
Prologue (…forward… thing)
We started this spiritual journey from many places: Roman Catholicism as practiced by an Italian family from New York; a rather misunderstood form of Theosophy coupled with a strong attempt at removing it through Missouri Synod Lutheranism; no particular religious background at all. We came together and found both form and substance in the Gardnerian Tradition of Witchcraft. And through a combined total of more than 50 years of experiencing, exploring and studying the core Gardnerian rituals, materials and teachings, we came to a certain relationship with the Gods. That relationship brought us a charge, and so to this website.
We wish to stress that only through our diligent adherence to our shared Tradition was this made possible. We were given clues and hints and signposts within that Tradition, which we followed both fearfully and fearlessly. For no religious or spiritual tradition is an end unto itself. All point to the Great Mysteries. Traditions are the masks of God. It is only through them that we can see past them to the Divine beyond.
Here are the fruits of our journey. These pages contain no oathbound material, nothing which is considered proprietary by the Gardnerian Tradition. Indeed, you won’t find out anything about Gardnerianism from this site – except the truth which is at the core of all spiritual paths; a way to have communion with the Divine.
Our way is but one view of the Old Religion, the Craft of the Gods. We present the Divine in the many forms which have been revealed to us. They want to be known in the world again. It is our hope that this information will help to make it so.
While this site is concerned mainly with the Gods, a word must be said regarding the idea of Familiars. The word comes from ‘family’ – our Familiars are part of our family. But the word ‘family’ comes from a root which means ‘to eat together.’ Thus, in older times, one’s family included one’s servants, hired hands, boarders and pets, as well as one’s blood relatives. It also included household spirits and the souls of one’s ancestors.
Witches’ Familiars are popularly believed to be pets, animal forms. However, careful research has shown that there were other kinds of these closely linked spirits. Familiars can and did appear as Human-looking companions. They also appear to have a strong connection to the realm of the Fae. The Witches’ Familiar was and is a spirit guide, an animal totem, a Faerie spirit, the characters in “fairy’ tales and myths – and in today’s world, UFO aliens, ‘invisible playmates,’ ghosts, characters in modern myth (i.e. television and movies) and “past-life knowledge”– for all these things are but manifestations of the Divine essence, the ways in which the Divine makes Itself known to us.
There are many who scoff at these ideas, but if the Gods are real, if spirits are real, then the Divine is available to us, and the rest simply, logically follows. We believe the Gods and spirits are real, and so we celebrate and accept the Divine essence of the Witches’ Familiars, in whatever form they appear.
What IS Sorgae?
The word ‘sorgae’ is one of the many words in Vaska, the language to which Arduina introduced us. It is related to many other Vaska words: sorg, which means male Witch; sorga, female Witch; sorgitsa, plural for Witches; sorgitsak, a collective plural meaning The Witches as one thing, a whole. Sorgae is ‘what Witches do.’
This, obviously, includes a great many things, but technically it started as a very narrow path: that which Arduina recognized, the rituals, understandings, Deities, etc. which She brought to us. Sorgae began as Her religion.
However, Vaska is a conceptual, organic language. Attempting to translate it on a word-to-word basis limits and constrains the vast interweaving of meanings and understanding, though, of course, we’ve tried. Therefore, as Arduina’s understanding and acceptance of our ways of doing things (i.e. modern Pagan and Wiccan ways) expanded, so did the concept of ‘what Witches do.’ As any polytheistic system can and does absorb other paths, so did Sorgae.
To use an analogy, think of spirituality as a vine, and religion as a trellis. The vine will grow and thrive on its own, but a trellis gives it structure, form, and direction. At first, we thought Arduina’s Sorgae, ‘what Witches do,’ was a trellis, a specific set of beliefs and ways of Magick unique to Her, to the Ardennes. And at some point in Her history, it may have been. But as we researched to confirm the things we were being told, we discovered that Sorgae was a vine, a rich strand of interconnected concepts that wound through humanity itself. Therefore, we deduced that Sorgae can, and in fact has, come to manifest in countless forms; one vine, innumerable garden trellises.
Theology, religion, mythology, reality – these things are what the world is. Witches live in the world. Therefore, these things, too, are part of ‘what Witches do.’ The name we use for this path didn’t have to change because what we present here is still what Witches do.
Sorgae, therefore, is a path, an experience. Like the language Vaska, our experiences within this path have been organic and conceptual and are not easily put into an orderly framework. What we are presenting here is what we have learned so far, as best as we are able. We offer information about the Gods as we have encountered Them; our understanding of the Directions and Elements as used within the Sorgae path; the yearly cycle within the Sorgae path; the concept and nature of the Ages of the cosmos (this IS, after all, the dawning of the Age of Aquarius); the role of Familiars within this path. We also give a glossary of Vaska with our best attempt at translating the concepts, as well as such supporting research for our information and conclusions as we have been able to find.
We may someday include actual rituals using the elements within the Sorgae path on this site. For Sorgae is what Witches do, and we’re still Doing – and exploring and discovering and experiencing.