Initiation and the Path
of the Shamanic Witch
by Gede Parma
When I was asked to write an article to complement the release of my
new book, By Land, Sky &
Sea: Three Realms of Shamanic Witchcraft, I was either at a
blank or had too many options relating to the subject matter to decide
between. Fortunately, I tend to be quite consciously reflective, and it
dawned on me to write about initiation as the path of the Shamanic
In the past few months here in Australia I have been
traveling to the major cities and presenting workshops with the same
title as this article. As I traveled and the people and cities changed,
so did my insight into the processes and teachings deepen. I began to
realise important things relating significantly to what I now proudly
call Shamanic Witchcraft. Below I will discuss several of them.
My focus in the past five years has been on what I
believe is the underlying or core teachings of the Mystery Tradition
now called Witchcraft. This foundation is essentially shamanic, meaning
our cosmologies relate to a manifold expression (generally threefold)
of realms and we may travel between and through them in order to learn,
change, deepen, and grow. In the process we actualise our divinity,
become Gods amongst Gods, and interact with the world as alive and
magickally potent. The enabling factor is of course initiation. To
empower and facilitate such an awakening the shadow must be made an
the full article.
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with Gede Parma, author of By Land,
Sky & Sea
1. You are an initiated
priest, Witch, and co-founder of the Mother Coven of the WildWood
Tradition of Witchcraft in Brisbane, Australia. How would you describe
with all Witches and Pagans, and
indeed all beings, my path changes and evolves as I do. I decidedly
define my personal path as highly syncretic, rather than eclectic,
though I do acknowledge that in order to be syncretic one must have an
eclectic framework so that inspiration may come from multiple sources.
The traditions and cultures that I weave together with purpose into a
whole (syncretism) are Greek Paganism (focusing on the mystery cults,
such as the Eleusinian and Orphic), British Traditional Witchcraft,
Stregheria, WildWood, Faerie/Feri, Reclaiming, and my ancestral
traditions of Bali and Eire. In fact I was born into a living mystical
tradition of a version of Balinese Hinduism. My family's tradition
focuses on divination, sacred mantras and prayers, rituals of the
tides of Nature (rice-harvest and lunar flow), and on communication and
possession with spirits and deities. Both of my Balinese grandparents
were strong medicine people and my Dadong (grandmother) in particular
was well-known for her prowess and potency at the hidden arts. My path
as ever is centered around the shamanic core or foundation of the Craft
and of devotion to the priesthood that means service.
2. How did your journey with Paganism begin?
As I mentioned above I was
born into a
mystical tradition; however, I was not born into Witchcraft, which I
define as a European magickal tradition of pre-Christian
origin/inspiration. When I was twelve I began to realize and unravel my
personal spirituality and I knew without a doubt that it was Pagan,
which essentially means that I experience the Earth as sacred, as
Mother and Goddess, and that I relate to matter as spirit incarnate,
and therefore all things are sacred. This attitude colors my life.
I began my path as an eclectic "Wiccan," without ever really
understanding what that meant, and it was only after the Goddess
Persephone came into my life that I truly felt I had found a path that
was of and for me. It was through Persephone and the many Gods that
followed that I became syncretic, rather than eclectic.
Your new book, By Land, Sky & Sea, discusses three
Shamanic Witchcraft. Why did you choose to focus on these three
elements of earth, air, and water?
the full interview.
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can navigate the invisible web of sound around them, guiding them
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that question is, simply, quite well.
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vampire culture, and that, like fictional characters, we too can slay
our own vampires and reign victorious over our personal demons.