Witchcraft

WOTC Extra – A Self-Dedication Rite by Scott Cunningham


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A Self-Dedication Rite

 

Prepare yourself by drawing a bath of warm water. Add a tablespoon or so of salt and a few drops of a scented oil such as sandalwood.

If you have no bath, use a shower. Fill a washcloth with salt, add a few drops of essential oil, and rub your body. If you’re performing this ritual at the sea or a river, bathe there if you so desire.

As you bathe, prepare for the coming rite. Open your consciousness to higher levels of awareness. Deep breathe. Cleanse your mind as well as your body.

After bathing, dry and dress for the journey. Go to a place in the wild where you feel safe. It should be a comfortable spot where you won’t be disturbed by others, an area where the powers of the Earth and the elements are evident. It may be a mountain top, a desert canyon or cave, perhaps a dense forest, a rocky outcropping over the sea, a quiet island in the center of a lake. Even a lonely part of a park or garden can be used. Draw on your imagination to find the place.

You need take nothing with you but a vial of richly scented oil. Sandalwood, frankincense, cinnamon or any other scent is fine. When you arrive at the place of dedication, remove your shoes and sit quietly for a few moments. Calm your heart if you’ve exerted yourself during your travel. Breathe deeply to return to normal, and keep your mind free of cluttered thoughts. Open yourself to the natural energies around you.

When you’re calm, rise and pivot slowly on one foot, surveying the land around you. You’re seeking the ideal spot. Don’t try to find it; open your awareness to the place. When you’ve discovered it (and you’ll know when), sit, kneel or lie flat on your back. Place the oil on the Earth beside you, Don’t stand-contact the Earth.

Continue deep breathing. Feel the energies around you. Call the Goddess and God in any words you like, or use the following invocation. Memorize these words before the rite so that they’ll spill effortlessly from you, or improvise:

O Mother Goddess,

O Father God,

Answers to all mysteries

and yet mysteries unanswered;

In this place of power I open myself to

Your Essence.

In this place and in this time

I am changed;

From henceforth I walk the Wiccan path.

I dedicate myself to you,

Mother Goddess and Father God.

(rest for moment, silent, still. Then continue:)

I breathe your energies into my body, commingling

blending mixing them with mine,

that I may see the divine

in nature, nature in the divine,

and divinity within myself and all else.

O Great Goddess, O Great God,

Make me one with your essence

Make me one with your essence

Make me one with your essence.

You may feel bursting with power and energy, or calm and at peace. Your mind might be in a whirl. The Earth beneath you may throb and undulate with energy. Wild animals, attracted by the psychic occurrence, might grace you with their presence.

Whatever occurs, know that you have opened yourself and that the Goddess and God have heard you. You should feel different inside, at peace or simply powerful.

After the invocation, wet a finger with the oil and mark these two symbols somewhere on your body (see figure on previous page). It doesn’t matter where; you can do this on your chest, forehead, arms, legs, anywhere. As you anoint, visualize these symbols sinking into your flesh, glowing as they enter your body and then dispersing into millions of tiny points of light.

The formal self-dedication is ended. Thank the Goddess and God for their attention. Sit and meditate before leaving the place of dedication.

Once home, celebrate in some special way.

Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner

Scott Cunningham

Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, Wicca, Witchcraft | Tags: | 1 Comment

Let’s Talk Witch – Self-Dedication by Scott Cunningham


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Self-Dedication

 

If you wish to walk the Wiccan path, you may desire to dedicate yourself to the Goddess and God. This self-dedication is simply a formal ritual marking your conscious decision to embark on a new way of life-for that is the essence of Wicca.

At first I hesitated including a ritual of this sort here, feeling that the best dedicatory rituals were self-created. I’ve read and heard numerous stories of women and men who, drawn to Wicca but lacking access of covens or books, lit a candle, drank a little wine and told the Gods of their intentions. That is perhaps the best sort of self-dedication ritual: simple and from the heart.

However, many feel more comfortable with formal rituals. It is far different from most other such rites that have appeared in print, for it is an outdoor ritual that concentrates on contacting the energies of the Goddess and God.

This ritual is open to all who wish to use it. However, before even considering dedicating yourself to the deities, be certain of your intentions for so doing, and that you have studied Wicca to the point where you know it is indeed the right way for you.

This means continued study. Read every book you can find on Wicca-the good ones as well as the bad. Subscribe to Wiccan and Pagan publications. Familiarize yourself with Wicca as far as you can. Though some authors feel that their tradition is the only true one, don’t let this stop you from reading their works. Similarly, don’t accept eveything you read simply because it appears in print.

In addition to reading, study nature. As you walk along the street, watch the birds flitting overhead, or bend down to gaze at an ant colony the way a mystic gazes into a crystal sphere. Celebrate the seasons and the phases of the Moon with ritual. You may also wish to fill your soul with music. If so, order by mail some of the Wiccan music tapes now available. If this is impossible, spend time each day listening to the music of nature-go to a place where wind blows through leaves or around tree trunks. Listen to water bubbling over stones or pounding a rocky coastline. Pinpoint your hearing to the meow of a lonely cat heralding the dawn. Create your own music too, if you are so talented.

Let your emotions be touched; whether by flute, recorder and drum, or bird, river and wind. Your decision to center Wicca shouldn’t be based solely on either your intellect or emotions; it should be a smooth product of both. This done, stay up late a few nights or rise with the dawn. Alone, write down (even in the most broken sentences) what you hope to gain from Wicca. This may include spiritual fulfillment, deeper relationships with the Goddess and God, insight into your place in the world, the power to bring order into your existence, the ability to attune with the seasons and the Earth, and so on.

Be specific, be ruthless, be complete. If you’re not satisfied with this list, if it doesn’t feel truthful, start over again. No one need ever see it. Copy down the final list in your mirror book, burn all other drafts, and be done with it.

Once this list has been fashioned, spend the next evening or morning creating a new one. On this, record what you feel you can give to Wicca. Since Wicca doesn’t condone proselytizing, has no leading figure, temples or central organizations, you may begin to wonder what you can do for Wicca.

There is much you can give. Not only your time, energy, devotion and so on, but also more concrete things. A few examples include joining a national Wiccan or Pagan group, donate to an ecological organization, organizations that help feed the hungry, recycling and caring for Mother Earth.

Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner

Scott Cunningham

Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, Wicca, Witchcraft | 1 Comment

WOTC (c) WITCHCRAFT


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WITCHCRAFT

 

Another important distinction which you need to make from the beginning is that although the terms ’Witchcraft’ and ’Wicca’ have long been used interchangeably, they don’t mean exactly the same thing. Witchcraft is used to describe a number of different practices from all around the world and although it’s popular use amongst modern Pagans may seem to indicate that all Witches are also Pagan, this is not entirely true.

“A Hebrew Witch, a Pagan Witch, a Lapland Witch, an Indian Witch, a Protestant Witch, and a Popish Witch, are different from one another; some in Honour, and some in Disgrace.”

Practitioners of Witchcraft in a global sense may follow any number of spiritual paths and some even claim to be atheists. Long before the Christian Church villainised those who practiced the Old Religions, the term was being used to describe those who used the magickal arts for negative and malignant ends. Witches were despised even by the Priesthoods of the pre-Christian Pagan Gods – in Greece, Rome, Egypt and all over the ancient world. But for one reason or another it is the term that became used by people like Margaret Murray and subsequently Gerald Gardner, for both many of the practices now associated with the modern Pagan movement, as well as for the spiritual beliefs related with it.

The term has taken on a modern meaning, which although historically imprecise, has meaning to those using it today. Due to the confusion the term may cause and to distinguish themselves from those with other spiritual practices, many Witches who have Pagan spiritual beliefs, but who may not share in the same beliefs or practices as Wiccans, use the term ’Pagan Witch’ to describe themselves, whilst others prefer to simply use the term ’Witch’. This is ultimately a personal choice. If you practice Witchcraft, you are a Witch after all!

Although Wicca contains aspects of what may be considered Witchcraft, it also contains a number of other elements – such as for example the celebration of the seasonal Sabbats, a Goddess and a God and healing. Wicca also draws from classical Paganism (in particular that of Rome and Greece) and the Western Mystery Tradition (including from Ceremonial Magick, Qabalah and Hermetic sources).

Towards the Wiccan Circle: A self-study beginners course in modern pagan witchcraft / Wicca

Sorita d’Este

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WOTC (b) PAGANISM


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PAGANISM

 

Paganism is an umbrella term used today to describe a wide range of practices, not a single belief system. The traditions that may fall under this term originate out of a range of many systems from a variety of cultural and geographical origins. When we use the term we use it to describe all the different modern Pagan religions and traditions. Many of the modern traditions are reconstructionist in their approach to their practices and beliefs, drawing from historical sources or in some instances, merging different ancient practices to create a new synthesis that is relevant to the world we live in today. Pagans today include henotheists, polytheists, pantheists, monotheists and a number of other theists. Not all Pagans acknowledge a Goddess or a God, as some work with other natural forces instead, and some with Gods, Goddesses, Nature Spirits and a number of other Spiritual creatures.

The Latin noun ‘Paganus’ was used by the Romans to refer to a country dweller or someone from the smaller villages outside of the cities and towns of the ancient world. It was not originally used as a word for a spiritual tradition, but rather to refer to someone in a derogatory way, implying that they were not as civilised or educated as those in the cities. With the increasing power of the Christian faith, those in the cities were usually the first to be converted to the new religion of Christianity, whilst those living in the countryside held onto their older beliefs and practices for longer. As a result the term Paganus became synonymous with those who followed a spiritual / religious path other than that of Christianity or one of the other ’Abrahamic’ religions, but who instead clung to the beliefs and practices of their ancestors.

Towards the Wiccan Circle: A self-study beginners course in modern pagan witchcraft / Wicca

Sorita d’Este

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WOTC (a) DEFINING WICCA


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DEFINING WICCA

 

It is likely that you already have some preconceived ideas of what ‘Wicca’ means; on the other hand you may not. What is certain is that the question “What is Wicca?” surfaces on a very regular basis and that even within the Wiccan community definitions usually vary considerably and are the subject of much debate. To start with here are a few statements which may seem contradictory at first, but are all true:

All Wiccans are Witches;

Witches are not all Wiccan;

Witches are not all Pagan;

Pagans are not all Wiccan.

In order to clarify these statements, we need to now first examine what the terms ’Paganism’ and ’Witchcraft’ are taken to mean from a universal viewpoint.

Towards the Wiccan Circle: A self-study beginners course in modern pagan witchcraft / Wicca

Sorita d’Este

Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, Witchcraft | Leave a comment

Let’s Talk Witch – Paganism, Witchcraft, and Wicca


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Paganism, Witchcraft, and Wicca

 

The magickal world is a confusing one, full of strange words, sometimes with multiple meanings. As many magickal traditions were oral traditions for centuries, before being written down, there are sometimes many difficulties in trying to establish the correct use of a word. To make matters even more complicated, the meanings of many words have also changed with the passing of time and sometimes they have come to mean different things, to different people. Add to that the fact that the world of magick and witchcraft is generally a secretive one and it becomes no surprise that sometimes things are wrongly interpreted from time to time.

Many newcomers to the world of modern Paganism are faced with the dilemma of what to call themselves, when they are not yet sure which path they wish to take. It can get extremely confusing when there are now so many different traditions, all offering something slightly different. For this reason our advice to newcomers is to describe themselves as someone who is ’interested in…’ whichever tradition they are exploring, rather than as practitioners of anything. This both avoids misunderstandings and also avoids a situation where you label yourself as being part of a tradition that you may find out in time is not the right one for you. At the end of the day, we are all many different things and applying labels can become restrictive. There is so much out there to explore, so look at a variety of traditions and paths before deciding which is right for you!

Towards the Wiccan Circle: A self-study beginners course in modern pagan witchcraft / Wicca

Sorita d’Este

Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, Witchcraft | 1 Comment

Witch’s Rede


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Witch’s Rede

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 the night.

The birth and rebirth of all nature, the passing of Winter and Spring.
We share with the Life Universal, rejoice in the Eternal Magickal Ring.

Four times a year the Great Sabbats, return, and the Witches are seen,
At Lammas and Candlemas dancing, on May Eve and ‘ole Halloween.

When daytime and nighttime are equal, when the 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 there are. Thirteen is the Coven’s array.
Thirteen times at Esbat make merry, for each year and a day.

The power has passed down through the ages, each time between man and woman.
Each century unto the other, ‘ere times and ages began.

When drawn is the Magickal Circle, by sword or Athame’s power,
It’s a compass between two worlds lies in the Land of Shadows of that hour.

Our world has no right to know it, and the world beyond will tell naught.
The oldest of Gods are invoked there, the great works of magick 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.

And do what thou wilt be the challenge, so be it in love that harms none.
For this is the only commandment, by magick of old be done.

Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, Witchcraft | 1 Comment

The Decrees of Witchcraft


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The Decrees of Witchcraft

1) Never experiment or practice with magickal applications, symbols, or systems that you do not FULLY understand. If you do not know the full gambit of what you are doing, Do Not Do It. Retribution and causalities can be far reaching and abound in more ways than you can imagine.

2) Do not link money with your magick. It will effect the outcome and the caster. Reimbursement for supplies, time, and effort is acceptable but, never demanded.

3) Never use your skills and abilities to impress or fascinate someone. The God and Goddess do not need another arrogant buffoon. You will fail miserably.

4) Do not scare or threaten others with magickal intimidations or the like. We are Witches, not thugs. Remember the Law of Three.

5) Know that thoughts are things, and that which you create may and probably will manifest in this reality.

6) Never lie to yourself or others. This is the epitome of deceit. This becomes a circle of self-destruction.

7) All things that are -bad- in your life are most often the result of low self-esteem or negative self-think, not bad luck.

8) The power of a Witch grows in direct relation to his or her wisdom and capability.

9) Nothing can harm you or control you unless you allow it to and believe that it does.

10) Never use your abilities to harm another. However, you may defend yourself, and the ones you love, the best way you see fit.

11) Always do the best that you can do. No one is perfect but, we try to constantly improve ourselves and to evolve. Have faith. The God and Goddess will take care of you in the best possible manner.

12) As long as you adhere to what you believe in, do not worry about the ridicules of others. Ridicules are the result of fear, low self-esteem and self-doubt. Do not waste your time on such nonsense.

13) Regard property of another better than you would have them regard your own. Be respectful.

14) Do nothing that would endanger the Craft or someone of the Craft.

15) Do not do something that will bring about conflict with the law of the land. Do mind your beliefs, the beliefs and laws of your Coven, and the beliefs and laws of your Clan – above all others.

16) Witches may teach to others outside of the Craft if: The environment is safe to all, The teacher is knowledgeable and responsible, The student is willing and sincere, The information is already available to the general public-no secrets, and The information Harms None.

17) Perform all magick within the circle. This is especially true for beginners. Only those of great experience and ability may work outside of the circle.

18) Do Nothing to bring Shame to yourself, your coven, and your clan. We, as Witches, have a responsibility that others only speak about but, never fully practice. Each of us is a direct representative of our religion and the Craft, as a whole.

19) Always be proud of who and what you are. Know that you are among the elite and of something far greater than most will ever know. Be proud, be compassionate, and be kind, for you can afford to be.

20) Never shed blood in circle . The God and Goddess do not want us to waste their creations and their children in such a manner. All things are of the God and Goddess. Respect theirs and ours. Killing is for defense and survival -only.

21) Always remember that the God and Goddess are with us. They will provide and protect us. We are never alone. As such, be mindful and remember.

22) Always keep the laws, the Rede, and the rules of the coven and clan. They are written for a purpose and not to fill space on the paper. Keep the laws and they will keep you.

23) Always follow your beliefs diligently, for they are who you are, and they define you for all to see.

24) Do not cast spells while sick, ill, or under the influence of drugs or heavy medication. The results can and probably be extremely baneful. Always be in complete control of yourself.

25) Do not let anyone tell you that what you believe in – the Craft- is wrong, evil, or bad. This is a trick to persuade you to be a puppet of another.

26) Always keep an open mind to the ways and beliefs of others. We are all here to learn and grow together. Keep yourself and your beliefs but, learn from and about others. The higher mind is a diversified mind.

27) Do not mock the way of others. For they may know something you may not -and you might not realize it …yet.

Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, Witchcraft | Tags: | 2 Comments

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