Drycraft is one of the two main branches of Human magic, but it is not exclusive to humans. Fae and Draconics have been known to take and give drycraft initiations and empowerments, even though they have access to forms of magic humans do not.
Drycraft is known as the necessary art, because without these initiations and empowerments, humans are unable to use Gramarye, or the “practical arts.”
This is not a single art. Drycraft is a blanket term for all of the initiatory arts. Through a series of initiations and empowerments, Humans are opened up to the subtle energies of the world, and gain access to the powers of the various “practical arts.” Every true mage has gone through some form of these rituals, which is why they are called drymenn.
The Sith Thyrsa is the dominate tradition in England, North America, Australia, and New Zealand, but it is not the only basic empowerment tradition. Irminsul is still practiced in Northern Europe, Heka in Northern Africa and Harai in Japan, just to name a few.
Empowerments and Initiations
While the particulars vary among the traditions, Drycraft initiations all follow the same basic pattern.
Every ritual is designed to initiate the student into a particular force or “deity” practice. The deities named are rarely powerful beings, and are more often personified energies that the practitioner relates to through their name.
Each initiation has three required elements: The empowered teacher shares the mythos and the theory behind the practice, sometimes through a recitation of a sacred text; instruction in how to perform the rites and duties of the art, and the actual empowerment.
Depending on the initiation being taken, the order of these three elements may differ. Other ordeals or tests may also be added.
The various orders and secret societies of the world, like the Secret Keepers and the Salians, each have their own drycraft initiations which allow the practitioner access to and use of the gramarye they utilize.
Once a student is deemed ready, the aspirant is often presented with a commitment, a vow or series of vows they much make before they receive the empowerment. Some vows are bound to the empowerment itself, tying the access to the power with the keeping of the vow.
Once the aspirant is ready, the initiation ritual is performed. While the actual processes various, all of the rituals have four basic components: the purification, the sanctification, the empowerment, and the illumination.
The purification usually involves an immersion or an anointing with oil, water, or some other symbolically cleansing substance to prepare the aspirant for their first encounter with the force or deity.
The sanctification is accomplished through either a coronation, the gift of a holy symbol, the blessing of special vestments or ritual items used in the craft. This is sometimes referred to as the first seal, since it begins the process of opening the aspirant.
The empowerment is a summoning of the raw energy the aspirant is being opened to. In some practices, like those of the Salians, unworthy aspirants have been known to die during this part of the ritual. This is sometimes called the second seal.
The illumination is the final stage where the aspirant for the first time enters the field of energy or the presence of the deity alone and invokes the power for the first time themselves. This is the so called, third seal.
Once the ritual is ended, the drymann will now have access to the art, and begin the gramarye practices.
Why is initiation necessary?
In many of the traditional scriptures, the initiation process is compared to teaching a hunter how to hunt. Before a hunter can properly hunt a deer, them must learn what a deer is, learn how to find, recognize, and follow its tracks, learn its scents, habits, and habitats. Once a hunter learns these these things, they can go into the woods and find a deer.
The subtle nature of these powers makes discerning them difficult if not impossible to the uninitiated.
What are practitioners of Drycraft called?
Drymann is the most common term employed. Children of Gramarye is the preferred poetic phrase. It is not uncommon for words like Wizard, Sorcerer, or (Spell) Weaver to be used, but they are not as common as drymann. Adepts who focus on specific gramarye arts are often called after their art: invokers, diviners, secret keepers, enchanters, but these are all specialist terms.
Can a Drymann become famous for their acumen?
Yes, but it is not easy. Since every Sith Thyrsa is a drymann, the adept must show an extraordinary level of skill to gain renown for their prowess with the arts alone.
Most often, famous/legendary drymann are known for their actions.
Schools of Drycraft
Harai is a form of drycraft practiced in Japan
Heka is a form of drycraft practiced in Northern Africa
Irminsul is a form of drycraft still practiced in Northern Europe
Sith Thyrsa refers to the people, drycraft, covenant, and kingdom. While the covenant extends to modern France, Spain, Italy, and parts of Germany, their citizens identify local government politically, with the Sith Thyrsa culturally.