The Laws According To The Alexandrian Book of Shadows(Use of the Art, Resignations, Training, Punishment & Footnotes )

The Laws According To The Alexandrian Book of Shadows

(Use of the Art, Resignations, Training, Punishment & Footnotes )


138. Remember the art is the secret of the gods and may only be used in earnest and never for show or vainglory.

139. Magicians and Christians may taunt us saying, “You have no power, show us your power. Do magic before our eyes, then only will we believe,” seeking to cause us to betray the art before them.

140. Heed them not, for the art is holy and may only be used in need, and the curse of the gods be on any who break this Law.


141. It ever be the way with women and with men also, that they ever seek new love.

142. Nor should we reprove them for this.

143. But it may be found a disadvantage to the craft.

144. And so many a time it has happened that a High Priest or a High Priestess, impelled by love, hath departed with their love. That is, they left the Coven.

145. Now if the High Priestess wishes to resign, she may do so in full Coven.

146. And this resignation is valid.

147. But if they should run off without resigning, who may know if they may not return in a few months?

148. So the Law is, if a High Priestess leaves her Coven, she be taken back and all be as before.Meanwhile, if she has a deputy, that deputy shall act as High Priestess for as long as the High Priestess is away.

149. If she returns not at the end of a year and a day, then shall the Coven elect a new High Priestess,

150. Unless there is a good reason to the contrary.

151. The person who has done the work should reap the benefit of the reward. If somebody else is elected, the deputy is made maiden and deputy of the High Priestess.


152. It has been found that practicing the art doth cause a fondness between aspirant and tutor, and it is the cause of better results if this be so.

153. And if for any reason this be undesireable, it can easily be avoided by both persons from the outset firmly resolving in their minds to be as brother and sister or parent and child.

154. And it is for this reason that a man may be taught only by a woman and a woman by a man, and women and women should not attempt these practices together. So be it ordained.


155. Order and discipline must be kept.

156. A High Priestess or a High Priest may, and should, punish all faults.

157. To this end all the craft must receive correction willingly.

158. All properly prepared, the culprit kneeling should be told his fault and his sentence pronounced.

159. Punishment should be followed by something amusing.

160. The culprit must acknowledge the justice of the punishment by kissing the hand on receiving sentence and again thanking for punishment received. So be it ordained.


These Laws appear to have become part of the GBG BOS shortly after Doreen Valiente left his Coven (in 1957); they existed at the time that she left. (They were an innovation at that time, and were one of the things that the people who hived at that time refused to accept, though not themselves a reason for hiving.) See Doreen Valiente’s “The Rebirth of Witchcraft”.

Some of this material was already in the GBG BOS at the time. See the Farrars’ “The Witches’ Way”.

They also seem to be present throughout the Alexandrain stream. (See the Farrars’ “The

Witches Way”, and June Johns’ “King of the Witches”.)

The list I give here is drawn from several published sources:

June Johns,”King of the Witches”

Lady Sheba,”The Grimoire of Lady Sheba”

Janet and Stewart Farrar,”The Witches’ Way”

Sheba *may* be a more accurate source than Johns for the GBG version. (Some of what I took to be typos may well have been GBG-ism’s.) Johns is probably a better source for Alex Sanders’ own version. Covens in either lineage have probably cross referenced and ‘corrected’ what they took to be errors.