The Witch

The Witches’ Creed

We are WitchesThe Witches’ Creed

by Doreen Valiente

Hear Now the words of the witches,
The secrets we hid in the night,
When dark was our destiny’s pathway,
That now we bring forth into light.

Mysterious water and fire,
The earth and the wide-ranging air,
By hidden quintessence we know them,
And will and keep silent and dare.
The birth and rebirth of all nature,
The passing of winter and spring,
We share with the life universal,
Rejoice in the magical ring.

Four times in the year the Great Sabbat
Returns, and the witches are seen
At Lammas and Candlemas dancing,
On May Eve and old Hallowe’en.
When day-time and night-time are equal,
When sun is at greatest and least,
The four Lesser Sabbats are summoned,
And Witches gather in feast.

Thirteen silver moons in a year are,
Thirteen is the coven’s array.
Thirteen times at Esbat make merry,
For each golden year and a day.

The power that was passed down the age,
Each time between woman and man,
Each century unto the other,
Ere time and the ages began.

When drawn is the magical circle,
By sword or athame of power,
Its compass between two worlds lies,
In land of the shades for that hour.

This world has no right then to know it,
And world of beyond will tell naught.
The oldest of Gods are invoked there,
The Great Work of magic is wrought.

For the two are mystical pillars,
That stand at the gate of the shrine,
And two are the powers of nature,
The forms and the forces divine.

The dark and the light in succession,
The opposites each unto each,
Shown forth as a God and a Goddess:
Of this our ancestors teach.

By night he’s the wild wind’s rider,
The Horn’d One, the Lord of the Shades.
By day he’s the King of the Woodland,
The dweller in green forest glades.

She is youthful or old as she pleases,
She sails the torn clouds in her barque,
The bright silver lady of midnight,
The crone who weaves spells in the dark.

The master and mistress of magic,
That dwell in the deeps of the mind,
Immortal and ever-renewing,
With power to free or to bind.
So drink the good wine to the Old Gods,
And Dance and make love in their praise,
Till Elphame’s fair land shall receive us
In peace at the end of our days.

And Do What You Will be the challenge,
So be it Love that harms none,
For this is the only commandment.
By Magic of old, be it done!

Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, The Witch, Witchcraft | 1 Comment

I AM A WITCH

Witch CraftI AM A WITCH

I am many things,
I am a Daughter, a Lover,
and a Friend.
I am a Teacher, a Student,,
and a Woman.
I am many things,
Wear many costumes,
And act in many ways.
Yet beneath each mask ,
I wear, I am a Witch.

I am a Priestess,
I follow the Path,
I follow the Old Tradition,
I follow the Ways of the Wise ,
Ones. I seek to know the God,
I seek to know the Goddess,
I seek to know myself.
I am a Witch.

Though I may only dress up,
For eight sabbats a year,
And thirteen esbats in turn,
I am always a Witch.
Though I may not always,
dress in black,
Or leave my hair wild and free,
I am still a Witch.

I do not worship Satan,
I’ve never even met him,
Yet many see me as evil,
And magick as a sin.
I do what comes natural,
What the Gods have ,
taught me,
And although it does not,
conform,
I am still a Witch.

The Goddess shows me,
beauty,
The God has shown me ,
life, And Earth, and Air,
And Fire, and Water,
Teach me what is right.
And Spirit in its mystic ways,
Teaches me about myself.
That I am a Witch.

—-By: Lady Amhranai

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WOTC Extra – 5 Tips for Solitary Pagans


Egyptian Comments & Graphics

5 Tips for Solitary Pagans

 

In many modern Pagan belief systems, there are far more people who practice as solitaries than there are people who have joined covens or established traditions. Why is this? It’s partly because most people who want to learn about Paganism develop the interest long before they meet a coven or trad that they’re interested in joining. It’s also because even if you decide you want to be part of a coven or group, it’s not always easy to find one. Wiccan covens and Pagan groups don’t exactly have a listing in the Yellow Pages, so you may have five covens right up the street from you, and you’d never know it.

Certainly, practicing as a solitary can have its rewards. After all, you can make your own guidelines and follow your own set of ethics. Worship can be done at your convenience, rather than according to a schedule dictated by others. As a solitary, you’re really under no obligation to anyone but yourself and your gods. Many people spend their entire lives practicing as solitaries, and never feel a need to join a coven or group.

Occasionally, you may find some drawbacks to practicing as a solitary Pagan or Wiccan. You might sometimes feel alone, like you have no one to network with or share ideas with. You may at some point feel like you’ve stagnated — it’s hard to figure out what the next step is if you don’t have someone to compare notes. Sometimes, it’s nice to just get feedback from like-minded people — someone who can help you when you’re wondering about what to do.

If you’ve decided to practice as a solitary — either temporarily, or in the long-term — here are some tips on how to have a successful experience:

  1. Try to establish a daily routine. It’s easy to let your studies go by the wayside if you’re all by yourself, so establishing a daily routine will help you keep on task. Whether your routine includes meditation, reading, ritual work, or whatever, try to do something each day that helps you work towards achieving your spiritual studies.
  2. Write things down. Many people choose to keep a Book of Shadows, or BOS, to chronicle their magical studies. This is important for a variety of reasons. First, it allows you to document what you’ve tried and done, as well as what works and doesn’t work for you. Secondly, by writing down your rituals, prayers, or spellwork, you’re laying the foundation for your tradition. You can go back and repeat things that you find to be useful later one. Finally, it’s important to keep track of what you do magically and spiritually because as people, we evolve. The person you are now is not the same person you were ten years ago, and it’s healthy for us to be able to look back and see where we were, and how far we’ve come.
  3. Get out and meet people. Just because you’ve chosen to practice as a solitary doesn’t mean you should never come into contact with other Pagans or Wiccans. Most metropolitan areas — and a lot of smaller communities — have informal Pagan groups that get together regularly. This offers solitaries a chance to network and chat with each other, without having to form specific organized groups. Take advantage of resources like Witchvox and Meetup to see what’s in your area. If there’s nothing around you, consider starting a study group of your own for like-minded folks.
  4. Ask questions. Let’s face it, we all need to start somewhere. If your read or hear something and you want to know more about it, ask. If something isn’t clear, or contradicts something you’ve already read, ask. Don’t accept everything at face value, and remember that just because one person had a particular experience doesn’t mean that you’ll have an identical experience. Also, keep in mind that just because you read something in a book doesn’t necessarily mean it’s valid — learn to ask whether a resource is worth using or not. Don’t be afraid to be a skeptic sometimes.
  5. Don’t ever stop learning. Ask other people in the Pagan community — either online, or in real life — for recommendations about books and other resources. If you read a book that you enjoy, check the back for a bibliography and see what other books that author suggests. Remember that learning can take place by reading, but it can also develop from personal experience, and from speaking with other people involved in Paganism.

 

 

By Patti Wigington

Article found on & owned by About.com

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Let’s Talk Witch – Practicing as a Solitary Pagan


Egyptian Comments & Graphics

Practicing as a Solitary Pagan

Many contemporary Wiccans and other Pagans find that rather than joining a group, they prefer practicing as a solitary. The reasons for this as are as varied as those who walk the path – some may find that they work better by themselves, while others who wish to join a coven may be limited by geography or family and job obligations. Regardless, there are a number of things to keep in mind if you’re.

Covens vs. Solitaries

For some people, it’s hard to make the decision to practice as a solitary. For others, it’s a no-brainer. Both methods have their benefits, and you can always change your mind if you find that one isn’t working for you. Some of the advantages of practicing as a solitary Pagan include setting your own schedule, working at your own pace, and not having to deal with the dynamics of coven relationships. The downside, of course, is that you’re working alone, and at some point, you may find yourself wishing you had someone to tell you where to go and what to do next in order to expand your knowledge.

How Do I Practice?

The first thing many people wonder is “How do I practice as a solitary?” After all, you’ve got no one to suggest rituals and practice to you, no one to ask if you don’t understand. So what do you do? One of the best things to do to develop as successful practice as a solitary

Pagan is to form a routine – doing things the same way each time is really the foundation of ritual, and is a good habit to get into. Also, try networking – attending public Pagan events may be just the thing for someone who wants to meet other Pagans and Wiccans, but doesn’t want (or need) the commitment of joining an established group. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. There are plenty of people out there, both in your “real world” life and on the Internet. You’re always welcome to visit the About Pagan/Wiccan forums if you’ve got something you’d like to ask about, or if you just want to communicate with some new people.

Eclectic Practice

If you’ve decided that practicing as a solitary Pagan is the right path for you, you may find you work best not with a structured system of belief and practice, but by developing things on your own. This is fine – many people create and enhance their own traditions, taking what they need from other, established traditions, and blending it together to create a brand new system of belief. Eclectic Wicca is an all-purpose term applied to NeoWiccan traditions that don’t fit into any specific definitive category. Many solitary Wiccans follow an eclectic path, but there are also covens that consider themselves eclectic. A coven or individual may use the term “eclectic” for a variety of reasons.

Self Dedication

One of the benchmarks for many people involved in the Pagan community is the initiation ritual – it’s a ceremony that marks us as belonging to something, as being part of a community, a coven, or some fellowship that we have not known before. It’s also, in many cases, a time to formally declare ourselves to the gods of our traditions. By the very definition of the word, however, one cannot self-initiate, because “initiate” is something that must include two people. Many solitaries find instead that a self-dedication ritual fills that need perfectly – it’s a way of making a commitment to one’s spiritual growth, to the deities we honor, and to learning and finding our way.

Never Stop Learning

If you’re practicing as a solitary Pagan, it’s easy to fall into the trap of “I’ve read all my books.” Don’t ever stop learning – once you’ve read all your books, go find some new ones. Borrow them from the library, buy them (used if you prefer), or check them out online from reputable sources like Sacred Texts or Project Gutenberg. If there’s a particular subject you’re interested in, read about it. Keep expanding your knowledge base, and you’ll be able to continue and grow spiritually.

Celebrating with Ritual

When it comes to celebrating rituals, the ceremonies on this site are typically designed so that they can be adapted either for a group celebration or a solitary ritual. Browse the listings for the various Sabbat rituals, find the rite you want to perform, and tweak it to meet your needs. Once you feel comfortable with ritual practice, try writing your own! Planning and Creating a Ritual

 

By Patti Wigington

Article found on & owned by About.com

 

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What is a Witch by Ann Moura

Reprinted with permission from the author, Ann Moura. Introduction no specific page number from the book Witchcraft An Alternative Path. I wrote to Ms Moura asking her permission more than 3 years ago to post this on another site and was delighted to receive a response from the author herself. Not just a form letter but a real note she had taken the time to write to me. I have it saved as one of my most special emails ever!

Many people have asked me over the years: What does a Witch believe in?” “Are you a good Witch or a bad Witch?” “Do you put hexes and curses on people?” and other such questions. I picked up a copy of Witchcraft an Alternative Path by Ann Moura off a table in a discount book store, it was on sale for $3.00 dollars so I figured at that price it would make a nice addition to my personal library. When I got home and opened it I was so surprised to find the perfect explanation of what it means to be a modern day Witch. It is one book I go to for reference often.

“A Witch stands between the worlds of physical being and spiritual being, communicating with plants and animals, the energies of Nature, the spirit entities of other worlds, and the spirits of ancestors or the recently deceased.

She respects the world and sees herself in harmony with her surroundings and with her fellow beings. The changing of the seasons, the scents in the air, the comings and goings of animals, birds, fish, insects, and reptiles are all observed and understood as part of a vast integrated pattern of life.

She is the shaman, medicine person, healer, herbalist, and spiritualist found in both ancient and modern societies, linking the past, the present, and the future.”

While Ms Moura uses the feminine pronoun in the above excerpt; males who practice The Craft are also referred to as Witches, not warlocks or wizard as is commonly thought.

 

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Let’s Talk Witch – Which witch?


Native American Comments & Graphics

Let’s Talk Witch – Which witch?

 

As the wheel turns and times change, titles and labels are placed on just about everything, I have been asked many times: How do I know what kind of witch I am? In early years, there were two types of witches: light and dark, light casting only white, good magic and dark casting black magic. In today’s world, you may meet a green witch or a kitchen witch. Another is the earth witch along with sun and moon witches, or you could run into an element witch, so many titles that it boggles the mind! So in this short chapter, we will go over a few and how you may (find yourself ) in the witch mix.

The green witch or earth witch

How did I get to this wonderful place in life? The journey was not always easy, and my path was never straight. My early memories are of my mother out in her garden, working hard and taking time to have tea parties with my sisters and me. We would don our best dresses and make flower people and look for fairies in the rosebushes and ivy. My love for the green world and growing things marked my path in my early years, while in my teens, I found I loved lying under a tree, smelling the earth and moss, and listening to the slight sound of a whisper in the leaves (tree spirits whisper) and helping my mom pick mint and sage. Just the scent made me happy and peaceful. In my twenties, I would read every book I could find on plants, trees, and herbs, soaking in the knowledge like the green world soaks in the rain and sun; so many years later, I saw I was always a green witch (garden witch and earth witch).

The kitchen witch:

The bubble of something simmering over the stove, the scent of love filling the air as she stirs in magic to nourish those she loves. Do you love to cook? Like picking out fresh veggies and fruits, canning? Do wooden spoons make you happy? Why, you may be a kitchen witch! Grinding spices for blessing and cooking up magic.

Moon witch:

Does the moon call to you? Do you feel her pull so strongly it almost hurts? Then follow your heart and the moon. As she waxes, you feel yourself grow stronger (an opening of your third eye). In her full glory, you will shine and feel your heart melt into the silver glow of her power. As she wanes, you may feel the need to rest and refresh yourself, and in the dark moon, you can feel her ready to rise to her glory again. Moon magic is as old as time.

Sun witch:

She follows the sun with golden threads. A sun witch is a powerful healer indeed, for the sun heals the land and warms the earth (without blessings from the sun, our green world would be no more). The sun witch will use candles in her craft as the strike of match to wick, as the warmth of flame sparks to life, the sun witch spines golden magic.

Element witches:

Our four elements are a part of each of us. My element is fire, and the sun aides in my craft with the green world. Example: Fire (candle magic and earth), water may cast with the moon as she pulls the tides. Air may be pulled to cast her magic on the winds, birds, and candle (as the smoke from the flame carries her spell upon the winds). Earth will love plant magic and tree spirits. And no, I am not saying you are limited to only your element magic, but your element will make your magic stronger.

a)Water Witches

Water element: Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces

Water signs are attuned to waves of emotion and often seem to have built-in sonar for reading a mood. This gives them a special sensitivity knowing when to show love and heart at their best. They are a healing force that brings people together. At their worst, they are psychic vampires, able to manipulate and drain the life force of those closest to them. Those with the water sign have to work harder than other elements,

Water is associated with the direction west.

Water blue: Physical water, hydration, used for healing

Deep blue: Mental or emotional water

Blue black: Spiritual water, usually associated with buried unconscious issues

Water spells often involve liquid of some type , such as water, wine, or fruit juice. Pour the liquid you’ve chosen into a special goblet or chalice. Focus on your objective, mentally projecting your intentions into the liquid.

Water elements are normally very good at water gazing and or scyring.

b)Earth Witches

Earth elements : Capricorn, Taurus, and Virgo

It’s common to hear someone described as earthy. An earth element blends in with their natural habitat. They’re sensual, meaning they engage with life through the five senses. Earth signs can operate at a slower, more thorough pace than the other elements.

Symbols for this element include the pentacle, salt, most rocks and gemstones, and soil.

Winter is the season related to the earth element.

Earth element presides over the North Quarter or compass point. Using the elements of earth in ritual or spell casting: Using gemstones or crystals as focus of the spell or ritual will provide endurance and strength. Kitchen witchery or herbal magic is strongly associated with earthen elemental magic. Using the soil of earth to bury representations of problems will allow the elemental to slowly dissolve the situation away. Time heals all wounds, and earth is a master of time. Offerings to the earth will provide good health and long life.

c)Air Witches

Air Element

Air elements signs are Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius.

The air signs are social creatures . Air signs are more vulnerable to the excesses of our mind-body split, and meditation practice helps . Air signs calm the storm in the mind and sift through the rubble of their mind. They’re great conversationalists because they’re the keepers of so much knowledge, gossip, and strange facts. Air is the element of the east, connected to the soul and the breath of life. If you’re doing a working related to communication, wisdom, or the powers of the mind, air is the element to focus on.

Air is associated with the colors yellow and white and connects to the tarot suit of swords. Air is associated with various spirits and elemental beings. Entities known as sylphs are typically connected with the air and the wind. These winged creatures are often related to powers of wisdom and intuition. Air elements manage the spells and rituals for travel, knowledge, freedom, openness, disclosure of lies, and so forth. The air can be used to open new mental abilities. Air manages magic four winds, predictions, and visualization… A few plants for the element air are broom, Catechu, citron, dandelion , dill, and lavender. Colors are of sunrise.

d) Fire Witches

Fire Element

Fire element planets are Aries , Leo, Sagittarius.

Fire signs are known to be intuitive and to rely on gut-level feelings. Going on faith in their inner guidance gets them far, but they have a tendency to skip over important details or to be unaware of the emotional impact of their actions. Fire element act on instinct or sixth sense, and that makes them look reckless to more cautious types. Fire magic is good for working on increasing one’s activity for defensive magic, for protection, and, of course, for sexual magic. It can destroy, but it also purifies. It can help bolster courage and gets rid of negativity. As one would expect, fire plants tend to have a warm or hot taste (like chills). Fire scents are also warm. A good example being cinnamon or cloves, any spicy plants or tree will help in fire spell work. Other plants are stinging, thorny, hot, or stimulating plants.

Colors are also on the warm side of the color wheel in reds, oranges, and yellows. Fire elements love the sun and warmth and tends to get moody on days that are cloudy and dark.

Farmhouse Witchcraft

Penny Parker

Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, The Witch | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

A NOTE OF CAUTION FOR BEGINNERS


Native American Comments & Graphics

A NOTE OF CAUTION FOR BEGINNERS

 

If you are a beginner practitioner , this is note of caution about using spells and rituals for self defense . As a beginning practitioner, it is not uncommon to go through a period of increased awareness and sensitivity. During this period it can be easy to misinterpret increased sensitivity as being under attack. It is best to err on the side of caution when choosing a technique to employ and use those that cause lesser harm until you are sure that you are meeting the conditions appropriate for the use of magical self defense.

Learn How to Do Witchcraft Rituals and Spells with Your Bare Hands
Alan G. Joel

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Let’s Talk Witch – What Is In A Name?

Celtic & British Isles Graphics
What Is In A Name?

 

Once we own our places and power, it’s not surprising to discover that the idea of naming comes into the picture. A name defines a person or place. It gives it a unique point on the universal map. Names provide identity, they can identify associations, strengths, and weaknesses. They affect the power of place by those attributes. It is no wonder that a great deal of superstition and folklore surrounds the giving and changing of names.

From an ethical and philosophical perspective, we must consider various things when talking about the power of naming. First, most magickal practitioners choose a new name for themselves at least once in their lifetimes, as well as special names for covensteads, sacred sites, etc. These names need not follow social convention, but they do need to follow spiritual leadings.

From a mundane perspective the question would arise: why choose a new name? Meanwhile, spirit asks, why not? When we are born, our family gives us a name that’s meaningful or pleasing to them. When we become spiritually active adults, that name may no longer really “fit” who and what we’ve become. Thus, we choose a name that is more reflective of who we are and all that we hope to become.

Let’s face it, the Neo-Pagan community has hundreds of Merlins, Bridgits, Sunshines, and Moonbeams running around. While those might have been lovely names at some time in history (the sixties come to mind), and while the names may be very meaningful, there’s something about them that may turn people off, both within and without our community. Our society (the without) has, for the most part, remained relatively conventional in its naming protocols. So when these individualistically minded pagan folk start introducing themselves with names that sound like they come from The Lord of the Rings or Dances with Wolves, people naturally wonder about that individual’s sincerity along with the validity of the path they represent. It’s just too “out there” for most limited thinkers.

No, you should not give up the name to which you felt called spiritually. That would not honor your inner God/dess. However, as a potential representative of the Wiccan and Neo-Pagan community, you do have an ethical responsibility to present yourself professionally in the outside world. So either use your legal name or find an alternative normal-sounding pseudonym that you can use when dealing with people who simply don’t understand the visionary aspect of our path. This is not only considerate of their “space,” but it also reflects positively on our community as a whole. Respect is a two-way street, and sometimes it means making people more comfortable so that they can listen without prejudgment.

Three other considerations in choosing and using names are changing social awareness, cultural meaningfulness, and (most important) what energies the name evokes. For example, at one time the word “squaw” was used as part of place names without a second thought (Squaw Peak in Phoenix, Arizona, for example). However, now that we know that the word refers to the female genitalia, we have all but eliminated it from use because it’s not politically correct. Likewise, from a cultural perspective, a person may love the way a name sounds, but upon further research he or she discovers negative connotations (like naming a pet Loki, and discovering the mischief that god embodied). Remember that once something gets named, everything associated with a name goes along with that word. You can’t just take one part and leave the rest behind. Please keep those things in mind any time you’re choosing a new name for yourself, a group, or even a place (like your house).

 

 

A Witch’s 10 Commandments: Magickal Guidelines for Everyday Life
Marian Singer

 

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