from Lady Sheba
Your High Priestess
In the Magic Circle, the words, commands, and every wish of the High
Priestess are law.
She is the earthly, living representative of our Gracious Goddess. She
must be obeyed and respected in all things. She is Our Lady and above all
others, a queen in the highest sense of the word.
All female coveners must curtsy whenever they come before her and say,
“Blessed Be.” All male coveners must bend the knee and give her a kiss on
the right cheek and say, “Blessed Be.”
Your High Priest
He is the earthly, living representative of the Great Horned God and in the
Magic Circle, He commandeth the respect due to one who is a Magus, a Lord
Counselor, and father.
1. The Law was made and ardane of old.
2. The Law was made for the Wicca to advise and help in their troubles.
3. The Wicca should give due worship to the Gods and obey Their will, which
They ardane, for it was made for the good of the Wicca, as the worship of
the Wicca is good for the Gods. For the Gods love the brethren of the
4. As a man loveth a woman by mastering her,
5. So the Wicca should love the Gods by mastering them.
6. And it is necessary that 0 (Magic Circle) which is the temple of the
Gods, should be duly cast and purified that it may be a fit place for the
Gods to enter.
7. And the Wicca should be properly prepared and purified to enter into the
presence of the Gods.
8. With love and worship in their hearts, they shall raise power from their
bodies to give power to the Gods.
9. As has been taught of old.
10. For in this way only may man have a communion with the Gods, for the
Gods cannot help men without the help of man.
11. And the High Priestess shall rule Her Coven as the representative of
12. And the High Priest shall support Her as the representative of the God.
13. And the High Priestess shall choose whom She will, if he have
sufficient rank, to be Her High Priest.
14. For, as the God himself kissed Her feet in the Fivefold salute, laying
His power at the feet of the Goddess, because of Her youth and beauty, Her
swetness and kindness, Her wisdom and Her justice, Her humility and
gentleness and generosity,
15. So He resigned all His power to Her.
16. But the High Priestess should ever mind that all power comes from Him.
17. It is only lent, to be used wisely and justly.
18. And the greatest virtue of a High Priestess be that She recognizes that
youth is necessary to the representative of the Goddess.
19. So will She gracefully retire in favor of a younger woman, should the
Coven so decide in council.
20. For the true High Priestess realizes that gracefully surrendering the
pride of place is one of the greatest virtues.
21. And that thereby will She return to that pride of place in another
life, with greater power and beauty.
22. In the old days, when Witches extended far, we were free and worshipped
in all the greatest temples.
23. But, in these unhappy times, we must celebrate our Sacred Mysteries in
24. So be it ardane, that none but the Wicca may see our mysteries, for our
enemies are many and torture loosens the tongue of men.
25. So be it ardane, that no Coven shall know where the next Coven bide.
26. Or who its members be, save only the Priest and Priestess and the
27 And there shall be no communication between them, save only by the
Messenger of the Gods, or the Summoner.
28. And only if it be safe may the Covens meet in some safe place for the
29. And while there, none shall say whence they come, nor give their true
30. To this end, that if any be tortured, in their agony, they may not tell
if they do not know.
31. So be it ardane, that no one shall tell anyone, not of the Craft, who
be of the Wicca, or give any names, or where any abide, or in any way tell
anything which can betray any of us to our faces.
32. Nor may he tell where the Covendom be.
33. Or the Covenstead.
34. Or where the meetings be.
35. And if any break these Laws, even under torture, the Curse of the
Goddess shall be upon them, so they may never be reborn on earth, and may
they remainm where they belone, in the Hell of the Christians.
36. Let each High Priestess govern Her Coven with justice and love, with
the help and advice of the High Priest and the Elders, always heeding the
advice of the Messenger of the Gods if He comes.
37. She will heed all complaints of all Brothers and strive to settle all
differences among them.
38. But it must be recognized that there will always be people who will
ever strive to force others to do as they will.
39. These are not necessarily evil.
40. And they oft have good ideas, and such ideas should be talked over in
41. But, if they will not agree with their Brothers or if they say:
42. “I will not work under this High Priestess.”
43. It hath ever been the Old Law, to be convenient for the Brethren, and
to avoid disputes.
44. Any of the third may claim to found a new Coven, because they live over
a league from the Covenstead or are about to do so.
45. Anyone living within the Covendom and wishing to form a new Coven shall
tell the Elders of their intentions and on the instand avoid their dwelling
and remove to a new Covendom.
46. Members of the old Coven may join the new one when it is formed, but if
they do they must utterly avoid the old Coven.
47. The Elders of the old and new Covens should meet in peace and brotherly
love to decide the new boundaries.
48. Those of the Craft who live outside both Covens may join either
indifferent, but not both.
49. Though all may, if the Elders agree, meet for the Great Festivals, if
it be truly in peace and brotherly love.
50. But splitting the Coven oft means strife, so for this reason these Laws
were made of old, and may the Curse of the Goddess be on any who disregard
SO BE IT ARDANE.
51. If you would keep a book (your Black Book) let it be in your own hand
of write, let Brothers and Sisters copy what they will, but never let the
book out of your hands and never keep the writings of another.
52. For if it be in their hand of write, they may be taken and engained.
53. Le each guard his own writings, and destroy them whenever danger
54. Learn as much as you may by heart, and when danger is past, rewrite
your book when it be safe.
55. For this reason, if any die, destroy their book, an they have not been
56. For, an it be found, ’tis clear proof against them.
57. And our oppressors know well: “Ye may not be a Witch alone.”
58. So all their kin and friend be in danger of torture.
59. So destroy everything not necessary.
60. If your book be found on you, ’tis clear proof against you alone. You
may be engained.
61. Keep all thoughts of the Craft from your mind.
62. If the torture be too great to bear, say: “I will confess. I cannot
bear this torture. What do you want me to say?”
63. If they try to make you talk of the Brotherhood, do not.
64. But if they try to make you speak of impossibilities such as flying
through the air, consorting with the Christian Devil, or sacrificing
children or eating men’s flesh,
65. To obtain relief from the torture, say, “I hold an evil dream, I was
beside myself, I was crazed.:
66. Not all the magistrates are bad; if there be any excuse, they may show
67. If you have confessed ought, deny it afterwards. Say you babbled under
the torture, say you do not know what you said.
68. If you are condemned, fear not.
69. Fear not, the Brotherhood is powerful, they will help you to escape if
you stand steadfast.
70. But if you betray ought, there is no hope for you in this life or that
71. Be sure, if steadfast you go to the pyre, drugs will reach you, you
will feel naught. You but go to death and what lies beyond.
The Ecstasy of the Goddess
72. To avoid discovery, let the working tools be as ordinary things that
any may have in their houses.
73. Let the Pentacles be of wax so that they may be broken at once or
74. Have no sword, unless your rank allows you one.
75. Have no names or signs on anything.
76. Write the names or signs on them in ink immediately before consecrating
them, and wash it off immediately afterwards.
77. Do not engrave them lest they cause discovery.
78. Let the color of the hilts tell which is which.
79. Ever remember, ye are the “Hidden Children of the Goddess,” so never do
anything to disgrace them or her.
80. Never boast, never threaten, never say you would wish ill of anyone.
81. If any person, not in the magic circle, speak of the Craft say, “Speak
not to me of such, it frightens me. ‘Tis eveil luck to speak of it.”
82. For this reason: the Christians have their spied everywhere. These
speak as if they were well affected to us, as if they would come to our
meetings saying, “My mother used to go worship the Old Ones. I would I
could go myself.”
83. To such as these, ever deny all knowledge.
84. But to others, ever say, “‘Tis foolish talk of Witches flying through
the air. To do so they must be light as thistledown. And men say that
Witches all be so bleary-eyed, old crones, so what pleasure can there be at
a Witch meeting such as folks talk on?”
85. And say “Many wise men now say there be no such creatures.”
86. Ever make it a jest and in some future time, perhaps, the persecution
may die and we may worship our Gods in safety again.
87. Let us all pray for that happy day.
88. May the blessings of the Goddess and God be on all who keep these Laws
which are ardane.
89. If the Craft have any Appenage, let all guard it, and help to keep it
clear and good for the Craft.
90. And let all justly guard all monies of the Craft.
91. But if any brother truly wrought it, ’tis right they have their pay,
and it be just. And this be not taking money for the Art, but for good and
92. And ever the Christians say, “The laborer is worthy of his hire” but if
any brother work willingly for the good of the Craft without pay, ’tis to
their greatest honor.
SO BE IT ARDANE
93. If there be any quarrels or disputes among the brethren the High
Priestess shall straightly convene the Elders and inquire into the matter
and they shall hear both sides, first alone, then together.
94. And they shall decide justly, not favoring the one side or the other.
95. Ever recognizing there be people who can never agree to work under
96. But at the same time, there be some people who cannot rule justly.
97. To those who ever must be chief, there is one answer.
98. Void the Coven, or seek another one or make a Coven of your own, taking
with you those who will go.
99. To those who cannot rule justly the answer be, “Those who cannot bear
your rule will leave you.”
100. For none may come to meetings with those with whom they are at
101. So, an either cannot agree, “Get hence, for the Craft must ever
SO BE IT ARDANE
102. In the olden days, when we had power, we could use the Art against any
who ill-treated the Brotherhood. But in these evil days, we must not do so!
For our enemies have devised a burning pit of everlasting fire, into which
they say their God casteth all the people who worship Him, except it be the
very few who are released by their priest’s spells and masses. And this be
chiefly by giving monies and rich gifts to receive His favor, for their God
is ever in need of money.
103. But as our Gods need our aid to make fertility for man and crops, so
it is the God of the Christians ever is in need of man’s help to search out
and destroy us. Their priests ever tell them that any who get our help are
damned to this Hell forever, so men be mad with the terror of it.
104. But they make men believe that they may escape this Hell if they give
Witches to the tormentors. So for this reason, all be forever spying,
thinking, “An I catch but one of the Wicca, I will escape this fiery pit.”
105. So for this reason we have our hidels, and men searching long and not
finding say, “There be none, or if there be, they be in a far country.”
106. But when one of our oppressors dies, or even be sick, ever is the cry,
“This be Witches’ malice,” and the hunt is up again and though they slay
ten of their own to one of ours, still they care not. They have countless
107. While we are few indeed.
SO BE IT ARDANE
108. That none shall use the Art in any way to do ill to any.
109. However much they injure us, HARM NONE and now times many believe we
SO BE IT ARDANE
110. That this Law shall ever continue to help us in our plight. No one,
however great an injury or injustice they receive, may use the Art in any
way to do ill or harm any. But they may, after great consultations with
all, use the Art to restrain Christians from harming us or tax others, but
only to let or constrain them.
111. To this end, men will say: “Such a one is a mighty searcher out and a
persecutor of old women whom they deemeth to be Witches, and none hath done
him skith, so they be proof they cannot, or more truly where be none.”
112. For all know full well, that so many folk have died because someone
had a grudge against them, or were persecuted because they had money or
goods to seize, or because they had none to bribe the searchers. And many
have died because they were scolding old women. So much that men now say
that “only old women are Witches.”
113. And this be to our advantage, and turns suspicions away from us.
114. In England and Scotland, ’tis now many a year since a Witch hath died
the death. But the misuse of the power might raise the persecution again.
115. So never break this Law, however much you are tempted, and never
consent to it being broken in the least.
116. If you know it is being broken, you must work strongly against it.
117. And any High Priestess who consents to its breach must immediately be
deposed. “For ’tis the blood of the Brethren they endanger.”
118. Do good, an it be safe and only if it be safe.
119. And strictly keep to the old Law.
120. Never accept money for the use of the Art. For money ever smeareth the
taker. “‘Tis sorcerers and conjurers and priests of the Christians who ever
accept money for the use of their Arts. And they sell dwale, and evil loves
spells and pardons, so let men escape from their sins.”
121. Be not as these. If you accept no money, you will be free from
temptation to use the Art for evil courses.
122. All may use the Art for their own advantage, or for the advantage of
the Craft, only if you are sure you harm none.
123. But ever let the Coven debate this at length. Only if all be
satisfied and none be harmed may the Art be used.
124. If it is not possible to achieve your ends one way, perchance the aim
may be achieved by acting in a different way, so as to harm none. May the
Curse of the Goddess be on any who breaketh this Law.
SO BE IT ARDANE.
125. ‘Tis judged lawful if any of the Craft need a house or land and none
will sell, to incline the owner’s mind so as to be willing to sell,
providing it harmeth it not in anyway and the full price is paid, without
126. Never bargain or cheapen anything whilst you live by the Art.
SO BE IT ARDANE.
127. ‘Tis the old Law and the most important of all Laws that no one may do
anything which will endanger any of the Craft, or bring them into contact
with the law of the land, or any of our persecutors.
128. In any disputes between the brethren, no one may invoke any Laws but
those of the Craft.
129. Or any tribunal but that of the Priestess, Priest and Elders. And may
the Curse of the Goddess be on any who do so.
SO BE IT ARDANE.
130. It is not forbidden to say as Christians do: “There be Witchcraft in
the land,” because our opressors of old make it heresy not to believe in
Witchcraft, and so a crime to deny it, which thereby puts you under
131. But ever say “I know not of it here, perchance there may be, but afar
off – I know not where.”
132. But ever speak of those as old crones, consorting with the Devil and
riding through the air.
133. But ever say: “But how many men may ride through the air an they be
not light as thistledown?”
134. But the Curse of the Goddess be on any who cast any suspicion on any
of the Brotherhood.
135. Or who speaks of any real meeting place where any abide.
SO BE IT ARDANE.
136. Let the Craft keep books with the names of all herbs which are good
for men, and all cures, so all may learn.
137. But keep another book with all the Bales and Apies and let only the
Elders and other trustworthy people have this knowledge.
SO BE IT ARDANE.
138. Remember the Art is the secret of the Gods and only may be used in
earnest and never for show or pride, or vainglory.
139. Magicians and Christians may taunt us saying, “You have no power. Do
magic before our eyes. Then only will we believe.” Seeking to cause us to
betray our 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.
SO BE IT ARDANE.
141. It ever be the way with women, and with men also that they ever seek
142. Nor should we reprove them for this.
143. But it may be found to the disadvantage of the Craft.
144. As, so many a time it has happened that a High Priest or High
Priestess impelled by love, hath departed with their love, that is, they
have left the Coven.
145. Now if a High Priestess wishes to resign, they may do so in full
146. And this resignation is valid.
147. But if they should run off without resigning, who may know if they may
not return within a few months.
148. So the Law is: If a High Priestess leaves her Coven, but returns
within rthe space of a year and a day, then she shall be taken back and all
shall be as before.
149. Meanwhile, if she has a deputy, that deputy shall act as High
Priestess for as long as the High Priestess is away.
150. If she returns not at the end of a year and a day, then shall the
Coven elect a new High Priestess.
151. Unless there be a good reason to the contrary, the person who has done
the work should reap the benefit of the reward.
152. If somebody else is elected, the deputy is made maiden and deputy of
the High Priestess.
SO BE IT ARDANE.
153. It hath been found that practicing the Art doth cause a fondness
between aspirant and tutor, and it is the cause of better results if this
154. But if for any reason this be undesirable, it can easily be avoided by
both persons from the outset firmly resolving in their minds that if any
such ensure, it shall be that of brother and sister, or parent and child.
155. And it is for this reason that a man may be taught by a woman and a
woman by a man and that woman and woman and man and man should never
attempt these practices together.
156. And may all the Curses of the Mighty Ones be on any who make such an
SO BE IT ARDANE.
157. Order and discipline must be kept.
158. A High Priestess or a High Priest may and should punish all faults.
159. To this end: all the Craft must receive their correction willingly.
160. All, properly prepared, the culprit kneeling, should be told his
fault, and his sentence pronounced.
161. Punishment should be the $ followed by something amusing such as
several S S S S, or something of this nature.
162. The bulprit must acknowledge the justice of the punishment by kissing
the hand of the Priestess and by kissing the $ on receiving sentence; and
again thanking for punishment received.