By David Salisbury
A very important value in the Firefly Tradition is intrafaith. Intrafaith (different from interfaith) in our case is the process of networking and building bonds with Pagans in other traditions and organizations. For us, this usually manifests in the form of attending the rituals of other traditions as a group and co-planning rituals with others. In March we had the opportunity to do this with the local DC chapter of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids (Seedgroup of the Oak and Eagle). Around Beltane, in addition to our own ritual, we attended the Beltane gathering of a family tradition from Kensington Park in Maryland.
It is important for members of a Witchcraft tradition to build their own bonds, obviously. Establishing that “clan mentality” is extremely valuable for the egregore (group mind) of all in the tradition. But when we look outside our own clans to gather with other folks of the ‘Witch Blood’, we build bridges of power and support that can last a lifetime if properly nurtured.
Pagan intrafaith can also provide teaching opportunities. In the case of our joint Ostara rite, we got to experience the ritual planning process in Druidry, which is both similar and different in many ways to the planning of a Wiccan ritual. In the case of our visit to the Kensington Beltane, we got to learn about the ways that family traditions come from different areas to celebrate a sabbat, which was less formal than the way we do things but also wonderfully joyous.
Many Pagans are interested in interfaith activities which indeed are important for all our religious communities. But we can’t hope to be effective in interfaith work if we’ve not yet mastered intrafaith work. This harkens back to the line from the Charge of the Goddess that says “If you find not what you seek within yourself, you will never find it without.” So true.
Photo credits of Beltane with Kensington Park’s Beltane 2013: Michael Cabrera