The Witch

Getting Started On Your Spiritual Education Path

 Getting Started On Your Spiritual Education Path

 

Any spiritual practice requires research and study. Witchcraft is no different than any other path. Here is some basic info, words of caution, and suggestions for reading and starting your research.

How Can I Learn More? If you are one of the many people looking for information on how to become a witch, there are a few things you should ask yourself first.

1. What is your reason for wanting to be a Witch? If your reason is simply so you can cast a spell, it’s the wrong reason and you might find more information if you look for Spellcraft, than Witchcraft. If your reasons are truly from an interest in the faith or you feel drawn to the Craft as a religion, then you maybe on the right path. But you should learn more and make an informed decision.

2. Are you willing to live by the spiritual laws as a way of life? If you are, or if you’re not sure, do a lot of research on your own and find out as much as you can about the path you’ve chosen.

3. How Do I Get Started? Read, learn and read a lot more. Do your own research, and not just from magikal books or reference manuals. Through studying history, other religions and how they all inter-relate and interact. I have a favorite saying for this type of education: “Books can give you knowledge. But only your own personal experiences give you wisdom to decide your own path.”

Words of Warning.

Don’t take one persons word or teachings as the only truth or as the only way on this or any spiritual path. No one person has all the answers for you. Only you know what rings true within your own heart and soul.

When it comes time for you to chose a mentor, be very cautious. There are a lot of novice people claiming to be a High Priest or Priestess. The best advice I could give is find someone who can prove they have practiced the path for several years (my standard is 10 years or more).

Don’t just take their word for it. Find someone who is willing to answer your questions without charging you money.

Taking a class and paying for an instructors time is NOT the same thing as finding a “spiritual teacher”. (Classes are wonderful for making new friends and learning in a group.)

What you should really be looking for is a mentor or guide, not a person who thinks they have the right to tell you what to do or believe.

Lastly, always question!

Question everything you are told and everything you read.

Research other material to validate what you are being told or what you read in a book.

Make sure that a book is supported by other books and by history itself.

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The Witches Credo

The Witches Credo

Hear now the word of the Witch,the secrets once hid in the night,When darkness was for protection,We now bring forth in the light.Mysteries of the Water and Fire,The Earth and the wide-ranging Air,By hidden Quintessence we know them,and we bring honor in silence and fair.The birth and rebirth of all Nature,the passing of Winter and Spring,We share with the life Universal,rejoicing in the never-ending RingFour times in the year we give homage,come forth the Witches are seen,At Lammas and Candelas we’re dancing,so too on May Eve and old HalloweenWhen daytime and nighttime are equal,when sun is at it’s greatest and least,The four lesser Sabbats are summoned,again the Witches gather in feast.Thirteen silver moons in a year,thirteen to be the magikal array,Thirteen times at Esbat we make merry,for the work of the night and the day.

The knowledge has passed down the ages,each time between woman and manEach century unto the other,old times since the ages began.When drawn in the Magikal circle,by sword or athame of light,It’s compass between two worlds opens,in honor and love for this night.Our world has no right to know it,and the world beyond will tell naught,The oldest of Gods are invoked there,the great work of light’s Magik is wrought.For two are the mystical pillars,that stand at the gate of the shrine,And two are the powers of Nature,the forms and the forces divine.Do what thou wilt be the challenge,so be it in love that harms none,For this is the only commandment,By wisdom of faith so let it be done.

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Witches’ Pyramid

Witches’ Pyramid

Many of you have already heard of the Witches’ Pyramid, the foundation of our magickal acts:

To Know, To Will, To Dare, and To Be Silent. This pyramid is the underlying structure of any spell formula.

 

To Know

Before you can cast a spell, you need to know who you are. Ego aside, you have to come to terms with who you are, how you operate, and why you do the
things you do.

The second thing you must know is precisely what you want. This is not as easy as it seems. People rarely sit back and consider what they really want out of life. Part of this is because they are afraid. They fear they may not get what they want, and they fear that they will fail. These fears stop us
from knowing.

For example, time and time again people I know have spelled for love. They have not done the ultimate no-no by targeting a specific person, but they do something just as bad–they don’t really know what they ultimately want. When they get what they spelled for, often they are disappointed, because
there is something attached to that new lover they didn’t think of. Therefore, all spells must be specific.

One of the best ways to begin a working is to write out, in detail, exactly what you want in one straight line on a piece of paper. Underneath,
phonetically begin to pare each word down. Underneath that line, pare the
words down again. Continue this procedure until only one letter from each
word is left. Interlock the few remaining letters into a sigil. Use this
sigil in whatever magickal application you have chosen to ensure your spell
remains specific.

 

To Will

Another stumbling block in spell casting is lack of will, whether it is will power, belief, or conviction. Will depends on how badly you want to make a change. Do you believe you are capable of making the change, or do you think it is only wishful thinking? Are you willing to re-program your mind, your environment, your relationships, in order to bring about ther change you desire? Without will, a spell will fizzle. Is your mind fogged with doubt, or unnecessary problems that will prevent bringing about the change you say you want?

One of the best techniques for increasing your will power is the use of meditation on a daily basis. Once you have learned to relax, use the alpha state to program the events you wish to come to pass. You should work on both short-term and long-term goals.

Another technique that is useful in spell casting is to write down why you wish to manifest something. Let this explanation sit on your altar overnight, then re-read it. Does it make sense? Is this what you really want? Does your reasoning still appear firm, or is it full of holes?

Are you patient? Patience has a lot to do with will. Once you have a firm grip on “will,” you are a third of the way through on accurate spell casting.

 

To Dare

To dare means you are not inclined to sit around on your laurels. It means
that you are not choosing to procrastinate, rather you are choosing to move
with purpose. To dare indicates that you are no longer afraid of the outcome, or fear failure. You are confident that you control your own destiny to the point where you won’t even argue about it, either with someone else, or yourself.

Although “to dare” doesn’t appear to create a lot of work, it does require you to make an active decision. This is the next catalyst for your magickal operation. From here, you will plan the appropriate day, hour, moon phase, astrological energies, and tools required for working magic,including what divinity you will choose. To dare can lead to a great deal of work and
preparation.

To Be Silent

Even if you are an adept, you should learn to be quiet about your magickal operations. There is only one exception, which is when you are working with a group. If the group mind is actively participating on a project they should be informed of their success or failure.

In the beginning, you should be silent so that you are not affected by
others’ opinions. Don’t tell them what you are performing magic for, as you
risk failure. Why? Because they can unconsciously affect you with their
disbelief or negativity.

Likewise, once you become proficient at spell casting, don’t announce
it–especially to a novice. No real adept will ever tell a novice that “My
spells always work.” Not only is it rude, it is also untrue. Everyone
fails. Imagine what a novice would think if they knew you lost your job,your
kids are running rampant, and you are deeply in debt. If your spells always
worked, you would not be in such a fix, would you? Foolish words can ruin
your reputation, which in turn, will ruin your own self-confidence.
Therefore, keep your trap shut–this ensures success in your magickal
operations as well as keeping your reputation intact. No one likes a
braggart, and no one considers an egotistical Witch a good leader or cleric.

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The Ordains

The Ordains

(The Witches Laws)

1.   And ye harm none, do as ye will.
2.   If you know the Rede is being broken, you must work strongly against it.
3.   Watch, listen and withhold judgment; in debate you your silences be long,
your thoughts clear and your words carefully chosen.
4.   Never boast, or threaten, or speak evil of anyone.
5.   Be truthful always, save when speaking would lead to a great harm.
6.   Keep clean your body, your clothes, and your house.
7.   Should you take a task upon yourself, work hard and well to accomplish it
properly and in good time. Always do the best you can.
8.   Do not haggle over the price of your ritual tools.
9.   Witches know that there are no absolute truths.
10.  Witches understand that the universe consists of perfect balance; therefore,
everything has an opposite.
11.  Witches realize that for every action there is a reaction. (The Law of
Three).
12.  Witches know that we are all one, we are all connected.
13.  Never lie to yourself for this is the ultimate act of deceit.
14.  Witches understand that the ultimate act of spirituality is the act of
positive creation through love.
15.  Witches realize that the energy created through worship and rituals
manifests as a circular stream of positive energy.
16.  Witches should never close their minds to knowledge.
17.  Never practice a magickal system that you don’t fully understand.
18.  Do not set a price on your magickal work.
19.  A Witch uses the magickal circle as a physical and non-physical
representation of a temple on the earth plane.
20. Witches use the energies around them to assist in raising power.
21.  Witches use common sense and do not share their mysteries with fools.
22.  A Witch who knowingly breaks the Law (Ordains) will not be permitted to
incarnate on Earth again.

 

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THE LAW OF THE POWER

THE LAW OF THE POWER

1.  The Power shall not be used to bring harm, to injure or control others.  But if the need  rises, the Power shall be used to protect your life or the life of others.
2.  The Power is used only as need dictates.
3.  The Power can be used for your own gain, as long as by doing so you harm none.
4.  It is unwise to accept money for the use of the Power, for it quickly controls its taker.  Be not as those of other religions.
5.  Use not the Power for prideful gain, for such cheapens the mysteries of the Craft and magick.
6.  Ever remember that the Power is a sacred gift of the Goddess and God, and should never be misused or abused.
And this is the Law of the Power.

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Witches Rede of Chivalry

Witches Rede of Chivalry
By Ed Fitch

Magical Rites from the Crystal Well, Ed Fitch and Janine Renee, 1987, Llewellyn Publications.

Insofar as the Craft of the Wise is the most ancient and most honorable creed of humankind, it behooves all who are Witches to act in ways that give respect to the Old Gods, to their sisters and brothers of the Craft, and to themselves.

Therefore, be it noted that:

1. Chivalry is a high code of honor which is of most ancient Pagan origin, and must be lived by all who follow the old ways.

2. It must be kenned that thoughts and intent put forth on this Middle Earth will wax strong in other worlds beyond and return … bringing into creation, on this world, that which had been sent forth. Thus one should exercise discipline, for “as ye plant, so shall ye harvest.”

3. It is only by preparing our minds to be as Gods that we can ultimately attain godhead.

4. “This above all … to thine own self be true…”

5. A Witch’s word must have the validity of a signed and witnessed oath. Thus, give thy word sparingly, but adhere to it like iron.

6. Refrain from speaking ill of others, for not all truths of the matter may be known.

7. Pass not unverified words about another, for hearsay is, in large part, a thing of falsehoods.

8. Be thou honest with others, and have them know that honesty is likewise expected of them.

9. The fury of the moment plays folly with the truth; to keep one’s head is a virtue.

10. Contemplate always the consequences of thine acts upon others. Strive not to do harm.

11. Diverse covens may well have diverse views of love between members and with others. When a coven, clan, or grove is visited or joined, one should discern quietly their practices, and abide thereby.

12. Dignity, a gracious manner, and a good humor are much to be admired.

13. As a Witch, thou has power, and thy powers wax strongly as wisdom increases. Therefore, exercise discretion in the use thereof.

14. Courage and honor endure forever. Their echoes remain when the mountains have crumbled to dust.

15. Pledge friendship and fealty to those who so warrant. Strengthen others of the Brethren and they shall strengthen thee.

16. Thou shalt not reveal the secrets of another Witch or Coven. Others have labored long and hard for them, and cherish them as treasures.

17. Though there may be differences among those of the Old Ways, those who are once-born must see nothing, and must hear nothing.

18. Those who follow the mysteries should be above reproach in the eyes of the world.

19. The laws of the land should be obeyed whenever possible and within reason, for in the main they have been chosen with wisdom.

20. Have pride in thyself and seek perfection in body and in mind. For the Lady has said, “How canst thou honor another unless thou give honor to thyself first?”

21. Those who seek the Mysteries should consider themselves the select of the Gods, for it is they would lead the race of humankind to the highest of thrones and beyond the very stars.

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The Law

The Law

We are of the Old Ways, among those who walk with the Goddess and God and receive Their love.

Keep the Sabbats and Esbats to the best of your abilities, for to do otherwise is to lessen your connection with the Goddess and God.

Harm none. This, the oldest law, is not open to interpretation or change.

Shed not blood in ritual; the Goddess and God need not blood to be duly worshipped.

Those of our ways are kind to all creatures, for hurtful thoughts are quiet draining and aren’t worth the loss of energy.

Misery is self-created; so, too, is joy, so create joy and disdain misery and unhappiness. And this is within your power. So harm not.

Teach only what you know, to the best of your ability, to those students who you choose, but teach not to those who would use your instructions for destruction or control. Also, teach not to boost pride, forever remember: She who teaches out of love shall be enfolded in the arms of the Goddess and God.

Ever remember that if you would be of our way, keep the law close to your heart, for it is the nature of the Wicca to keep the Law.

If ever the need arises, any law may be changed or discarded, and new laws written to replace them, so long as the new laws don’t break the oldest law of all: Harm None.

Blessings of the Goddess and God on us all.

(* Wicca – S. Cunningham)

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Witches Reed of Chivalry

Witches Reed of Chivalry


Insofar as the Craft of the Wise is the most ancient and most honorable creed of humankind, it behooves all who are Witches to act in ways that give respect to the Old Gods, to their sisters and brothers of the Craft, and to themselves.

Therefore, be it noted that:

  1. Chivalry is a high code of honour which is of most ancient Celtic Pagan origin, and must be lived by all who follow the Old ways.

  2. It must be kenned that thoughts and intent put forth on this Middle-Earth will wax strong in other worlds beyond, and return… bringing into creation, on this world, that which had been sent forth. Thus one should exercise discipline, for “as ye sow, so shall ye reap.”

  3. It is only by preparing our minds to be as Gods that we can ultimately attain godhead.

  4. “This above all…to thine own self be true….”

  5. A Witch’s word must have the validity of a signed and witnessed oath. Thus, give thy word sparingly, but adhere to it like iron.

  6. Refrain from speaking ill of others, for not all truths of the matter may be known.

  7. Pass not unverified words about another, for hearsay is, in large part, a thing of falsehoods.

  8. Be thou honest with others, and have them known that honesty is likewise expected of them.

  9. The fury of the moment plays folly with the truth; to keep one’s head is a virtue.

  10. Contemplate always the consequences of thine acts upon others. Strive not to harm another.

  11. Though there may be differences between those of the Old Ways, diverse covens and circles may well have diverse views. These views, even if they are different than yours, should always be given respect. When a coven, circle, clan, or grove is visited or joined, one should discern quietly their practices, and abide thereby.

  12. Dignity, a gracious manner, and a good humour are much to be admired.

  13. As a Witch, thou hast power, and thy powers wax strongly as wisdom increases. Therefore exercise discretion in the use thereof.

  14. Courage and honour endure forever. Their echoes remain when the mountains have crumbled to dust.

  15. Pledge friendship and fealty to those who so warrant. Strengthen others of the Brethren and they shall strengthen thee.

  16. Thou shalt not reveal the secrets of another Witch or another Coven. Others have laboured long and hard for them, and cherish them as treasures.

  17. Those who follow the mysteries should be above reproach in the eyes of the world, and should always seek to make this so.

  18. The laws of the land should be obeyed whenever possible and within reason, for in the main they have been chosen with wisdom for the well-being of all.

  19. Have pride in thyself, and seek perfection in body and in mind. For the Lady hath said, “How canst thou honour another unless thou give honour to thyself firstly?”

  20. Those who seek the Mysteries should consider themselves as select of the Gods, for it is they who lead the race of humankind to the highest of thrones and beyond to the very stars.

    Author Unknown

 

Source:
The Celtic Connection

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