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What is the Protean Tradition?

by Judy Harrow (HPS, Proteus Coven)

Proteans are values-based and service-driven. We share a common ethic. We celebrate  diversity  and creativity in expression.

Proteans are initiated priest/esses in ongoing and rigorous training. Our religious activity is a major focus, a primary creative outlet in our lives. As Witches, we dedicate ourselves to the re-creation of Pagan community and culture, to the service of the Gods, the People and the Earth. We work to build the common heritage of Witches, making contributions in ritual arts and technologies or wherever else our talents and our perceptions of the need may lead us. We also seek to share what we discover and create with dedicated, ethical Witches of any Tradition and with our own students. We hope that one of our major gifts to the Gods will be many dedicated, talented, ethical and creative priest/esses.

Proteans are geocentric. We are practitioners of Earth religion, nature spirituality. We find primary religious meaning and value within this life, in these bodies, on this Earth, here and now. We perceive Deity as immanent and seek to deepen, clarify and extend our conscious contact with the living spirit of Mother Earth. Because She is now wounded and threatened, we dedicate our energies to defending and healing Her.

We also understand that the Sacred may appear to us in many forms, speak to us through many models. We celebrate the diversity of Divinity and the divinity of diversity.

Proteans are skilled technicians of the Sacred. We study the ritual and state-altering techniques of tribal, shamanic and nature-worshipping people around the world and throughout history, and also do new experimental and developmental work of our own. We adapt and use techniques that are congruent with our values and chosen symbolic models and are also safely within the level of our skills. We work to become increasingly clear channels for Divine wisdom. Because we understand that no human channel can ever be perfectly clear, we weigh any information received in the light of our core values and our best understanding of probable outcomes. Having done so, we sincerely seek to follow the leadings we receive.

Proteans do not have a set liturgy or mythos. May the Gods forbid that any specific ritual ever become a litmus test of legitimate membership in the Protean Tradition. For this reason, there is no problem at all with a Protean Witch also being a part of any other Wiccan Tradition. Because of our emphasis on exuberant creativity, Proteans are likely to find themselves at the liberal end of any other Traditions with which they are affiliated. Most Protean Witches are also Gardnerian Initiates, although being a Gardnerian is not a pre-requisite to being a Protean. Proteus Coven itself is both Gardnerian and Protean.

We live in a time of crisis: great danger for the Earth and all whose lives depend on Hers and great opportunity for those who are co-creating the Pagan Renaissance. May we do well by both.

written by Judy Harrow (HPS, Proteus Coven)
updated: March 10, 1998
document PROTTRAD © 1997, 1998 Judy Harrow

To learn more about Protean Witchcraft:

Here's where we've stashed an assortment of papers on and by Proteus by Elders of that line.

Referral services:

Contact information, for Protean covens and study groups.
A brief history of the Protean tradition.

 You may also return to:

The index of English Traditions of the Craft.
The Beaufort House home page.