In Memory of WOTC Founder Lady of the Abyss

I type this with tears flowing because I still think about our Lady A everyday especially when I still pick up the phone for our daily phone call. I had very few people in my life that helped and guided me as a sister and friend as much as she did when I was lost after my mother crossed in 2015. Lady A has touched the hearts and minds of so many people both face to face and through WOTC. She would find time to reply to emails from people needing help or just to say hi to her.

Her and I had a running joke that she twisted my arm hard to come out of retirement and once again help people who want to learn about witchcraft, and/or attend an online coven gathering. There have been times I wanted to throw in the towel on Coven Life, but she always had a way to talk me out of it. Now when I have those thoughts, she comes to me in my dreams and first kicks my ass for even thinking of doing that and then give me a pep talk about all the people I have helped become a safe practicing witch. I gave Coven Life to a former student in 2021 so I could put all my efforts into WOTC.

I am thankful for all the years I got to know and love our Lady. I am trying to keep WOTC the kind of website she would be proud of. I might not have everything posted every day that she had but I am trying to do my best for her and all of you dear Sisters, Brothers, and Guests. Am I succeeding?

Please leave your thoughts and memories of Lady of the Abyss in the comments section below as we honor her crossing into the Summerlands 4 years ago.

The Various Paths of Witchcraft: Celtic Witchcraft

Celtic Witchcraft

 

The History of Celtic Magic

Celtic witchcraft has as its basis a strong sense of spirituality and a love of the earth. Central to this love are the Goddesses and Gids, who play a strong role in Celtic worship. The Celtric religion recognises two main deities; the Earth Mother Goddess and the Horned God. But Celtic Wiccans also worship many othre minor deities who each represent specific qualities important to Celtic individuals. Celtic worshippers celebrate the same Sabbaths, perform rituals and magic, and have a strong faith in their spirituality, just like any member of the Craft. The main differences between Celtic witchcraft and other forms of the Craft is that with Celts, magic is everywhere. Magic is woven into their jewellery, their tattoos and all their artwork and everyday items such asclothing and cutlery.

The Druids are the religious leaders of the Celtic people,the wise and magical priestd and priestesses whose special blend of wisdom and magic provided a powerful role model for all the Celtic people. The Druidic priesthood was orginally all-female, which male initiates only becoming accepted after many years.

According to Laurie Cabot, Druidesses were divided into three levels, or classes: the highest class were celibate and lived in convents, and were eventually assimilated into Christianity as nuns. The other two levels could be married and lived either with their husbands, or in the temples. With the onset of Christianity these wise women were called witches.

Spirituality is of primary import to Celtis, and their devotion to the earth, their goddesses and gods and the effeort which they put into their worship is proof of their highly spiritual nature. Although the names of the deities worshipped and the titles of the SAbbats may be different to other Pagan practices, despite the regional dialects which occur in the Celtic rituals, there are strong similarities between Celtic witchcraft and Wicca practiced elsewhere on the globe.

Faerie Magic

Despite the interest in the Celts, there is a great deal of confusion as to who the Celtic people actually were, and where they came from. DJ Conway in her book Celtic Magic explains that the Celts were not only inhabitants of Wales Ireland and Scotland, as is commonly thought, but resided in much of Western Europe. They were a strongly spiritual, artistic and creative people, with a distinctive artwork, orginal alphabet (the Ogham) and a deep respect for faeries, elves, pixies and gnomes.

One need not be of Celtic heritage to practice Celtic magic. Each person who is interested in Paganism will follow a basic set of guidelines, but will adapt the rituals and spells to suit her/himself. One aspect which sets Celtic magic apart from others is their respect for the “little people”: faeries, elves and gnomes, whom the Celts called “Good Neighbours” and treated with honour. Much of the Celtic magic calls for the assistance of their Good Neighbours, with those who were familiar often using the little folks’ fairy circles of mushrooms found in fields, rather than casting their own magic circle. However the Celts realised that it is very important to use another’s circle with respect, and with permission, they are aware that you should never encroach upon another’s magic.

The Warrior Goddess

The Celts were unique in the level of power they attributed to their female Gods. Warrior Goddesses were relatively common, and it was not unusual for Celtic women to fight alongside the male warriors during wartime. Subsequently, women were highly regarded in the Celtic community, with children taking their mother’s name, and daughters inheriting the mother’s property upon her death.

Celtic magic is rooted strongly in the four natural elements: earth, air,fire and water, with many spells and rituals corresponding to at least one of these elements. As in all Wiccan magic, each of the elements is associated with a colour, and with certain powers. For the Celts the colours were North, black; South, white; East, red and West, grey. The Celts also placed a great deal of faith in stones and plants and in their ability to heal. Therefore any practitioner of Celtic magic would be well versed in plants and herbal medicine.

Ritualsinterwined the use of colours, stones, incense and elements representing the natural elements, which are all extremely powerful tools in Celtic magic.

Magical Lives

With the Celts, magic was a common part of everyday life, completely accepted and never questioned. In order to practice Celtic magic one needs to suspend disbelief, turn around the conventional ideas and accept magic into your life. Magic becomes s natural as breathing, sleeping and smiling : a completely normal part of life. As one becomes more familiar with magic, the more accepting one becomes, until there’s not even a second thought about the magic in one’s life.

The White Moon Goddess and the Honrned God are the two deities which personify nature for the Celts, and while the Celts, like Wiccans, believe that all Gods and Goddesses are one God united, is is these two which are the most prominent. Celts worship the triple Goddess: the deity recognised as the maiden, mother, crone. The maiden is Anu, the mother Badb and the crone Ceridwen: each representing woman at three important phases of her llife cycle.

Just as the lunar calendar is important to all witches, it plays a strong role in the Celtic lifestyle. The thirteen lunar months in the Celtic calendar are all named after certain plants and trees. The new year for the Celts starts the day after Samhain (on November 1, its origins being in the Northern hemisphere). Nights were counted, not days, and feasts, rituals and celebrations were always based around the moon. The Celtic day began at midnight.

The Celts were an extremely spiritual people, so when Christian leaders looked down upon their magical tradition, the Celts moved underground: or more specifically to the nearest forest. The Celts were not a sexually repressed people, sexuality was encouraged, and women with children were paid a higher dowery than virgins to become wives – so much was fertility prized. Beltane was considered a most auspicious festivals were often held during this time.

Celtic Rituals

In Celtic witchcraft, rituals honour the essential elements of earth, air, fire and water, and the deities that personify them. Rituals are held in honour of the seasons, the Sabbats and to celebrate auspicious moments in pagan history. Numbers are extremely important to the Celts, with three, five, seven, nine and thirteen holding special significance. Therefore it is auspicious to repeat rituals or affirmations a specific number of times.

Ritual is vital for Celtic magic. The wearing of ceremonial robes, the burning of incense and candles, and the tools on the ceremonial altar – all play an important role in setting the scene for magic. Magic is an oft overused term, but those in the Craft know that it works. With spellcraft one can practice and see the results of magic, constantly gaining strength with each day that passes.

Candle magic was greatly favoured by the Celts, although they preferred tallow lamps and bonfires using specific woods to modern candles we use today. Candle rituals are specific to the individual, but there are a few simple rules to follow unless the ritual specifies otherwise. To perform a spell to increase or obtain, burn during a waxing moon (the period leading up to the full moon). To decrease or remove, burn during a waning moon (the period after the full moon).

Use candles of a specific colour relevant to your spell. Anoint the candle with incense or oil, working from bottom to top for a spell to increase or from top to bottom for a spell to remove. You may also wish to etch words, such s your desires or the name of the deity to whom you are appealing, along the side of the candle to strengthen the purpose of the spell. When performing a ritual with a candle, unless otherwise stipulated, allow the candle to burn out to the end.

 

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Celtic Witchcraft – A Distinct Tradition

In the last decade or so, people have been obsessed with anything that is Celtic, from myth to music.

While witchcraft based on the Celtic tradition has been increasing in popularity, there are many followers who are still not very sure about how this kind of witchcraft is different from the other types of Pagan worship.

This is the kind of witchcraft that loves the earth and it also believes strongly in theology. As such, Gods and Goddesses are important to the followers of this form of Wicca.

The Celtic witchcraft identifies two chief deities. These are the Horned God and the Mother Goddess. Celtic Wiccans do worship other deities as well apart from these two deities, but these are by far the most prominent figures in this tradition.

The Celtic Wiccans are of the opinion that all goddesses and gods are one – but that the Horned God and the Earth Mother Goddess possess real authority. Another deity who is worshipped to a similar degree the Triple Goddess who is identified as the maiden, the mother and the crone. This underlines the female aspect to Celtic Mythology.

The followers of this religion carry out the same magic/rituals as other Wiccans. They tend to celebrate the same holidays or sabbats and they are also very dedicated to spirituality – just like any other Craft member.

Perhaps the main difference between the Celtic followers and other Wiccans is that when it comes to the Celtic tradition, their brand of Magick pervades everything, and it has a very ancient sense of history. Celtic-themed tattoos, jewelry, everyday items and artworks have the presence of magic and they hark back to an ancient but much cherished past.

The religious leaders of the Celts were the druids, a profession that now has a strong modern follower. Those were intelligent priestesses and priests that possessed the perfect blend of magic and wisdom. Only the most respected members of Celtic society rose to the level of becoming a druid. There was a time when the priesthood of the druids included only the females. However, this changed later on and the druidic orders started to accept males too. Again, this points to the very strong female basis that underpins the Celtic outlook on life.

Druidesses were said to be of three classes or categories.

DruidsThe first class was the celibate class and the priestesses of this class lived in convents. The other two levels of Druidesses had the freedom to marry and live with their husbands. They could also live in the temples.

The Celtic Wiccans of today are extremely spiritual people and you will be able to see this when you see how much work they put in to their worship. They are also very dedicated to earth as well as their gods and goddesses. While at first glance there seems to be very little difference between the Celtic followers and other Wiccans from all over the world, they have an outlook and a world view that is quite unique.

However, the fact remains that the Celtic Wiccans have a lot in common with non-Celtic Wiccans worldwide. The philosophy and ‘world view’ which emphasizes the power of nature remains central amongst all Wiccans.

When it comes to Magick, the Celts have woven it into each and every aspect of their lives. This outlook often has complete acceptance amongst all followers. If a person wishes to become a Celtic Wiccan then he or she will have to completely believe in magic and accept it into his or her life. People consider magic as normal as smiling, sleeping and breathing.

The Celts honor the earth’s essential elements like air, water, earth and fire in their rituals and they also pay respect to the deities that represent these elements. Rituals are held by the Celtic Wiccans to pay respect to the Sabbats, the different solstices and the various seasons. Harking back and celebrating the ancient past in a constant in these ceremonies.

The Celts believe that numbers are of vital importance to them and some of the numbers that have special meaning. These include 13, 9, 7, 5 and 3. The Celts are also of the opinion that rituals are of vital importance for their magic.

They pay attention to each and every minute aspect when it comes to creating a setting for Magick, such as using candles and incense, the necessary tools and wearing the correct ceremonial robes.

What you may not know is that the Celts are very religious people. In the ancient Celtic nations, women who had children were given a higher ranking in society than women who were virgins. This was because the Celts prized fertility.

For many, the Celts represent a freedom and an alternative society to the modern day one. The ancient Celts of northern Europe strongly resisted the advance of ‘civilization’, in the form of the Roman Empire, upon their lands.

They were outsiders and connected directly to the land, so the idea of instead aligning themselves with a foreign emperor clashed directly with their beliefs. It is this free-spirited nature that still attracts people to the Celtic ideal.

 

Reference

Cormac O’Dwyer, Librarian and Senior Witch
7 Witches Coven

Flashback 2011 – The Rise of Wicca and Neo–Paganism in the United States


Author: Govannon Thunderwolf

Wicca is becoming the fastest growing religion in the United States. This statement was something I was hearing and reading more and more. Being a member of the Pagan community, I didn’t really notice any of this growth happening. The more books and articles on the Internet that I read, the more I kept seeing this statement. The research into this declaration became my focus of interest. What fascinated me the most about this account was the fact that Wiccans and neo – Pagans do not go around with the specific intent of finding converts. In the teachings and ideas of Wicca and Paganism, the idea of looking for converts is not encouraged and is looked down upon. Anyone seeking converts into Wicca or Paganism is breaking a cardinal rule.

Even though Wicca is generally a female dominated religion, there are men involved as well. Wicca is a religion that recognizes women and men as equals, but it does put a slight emphasis on women and the Goddess. Female witches out number males two to one in the United States, according to the Covenant of the Goddess’s estimates. Covenant of the Goddess is one of the oldest and largest Wiccan groups in the United States. They also state that much of the recent growth in Wicca and neo – Paganism has been among women. (Sanders xiv)

Where would someone look to find followers of Wicca and Pagans? They can be found anywhere and everywhere. The actual number of Wiccan and Pagan followers in the United States changes constantly, but in 1999 Helen Berger, a sociologist who spent ten years as a member of the neo – Pagan community, estimated that there are between 150, 000 and 200, 000 Pagans in the United States. It is suspected that there are many more among the ranks of Pagans today. Berger’s census also found that California has the highest amount of Pagans living within its boundaries at 15.7 percent, followed by Massachusetts at 7.6 percent, and New York at 7.3 percent. (Sanders xiv)

While there were many contributors to the construct of Wicca since the 1890’s, there was one man, who in 1954 wrote and published Witchcraft Today, and that man was Gerald Gardner (1884 – 1964) . Even though Druidism, Witchcraft, and other forms of Paganism were originally oral traditions, their revival is attributed to written text. (Clifton 14 – 15)

Very little is known about Gerald Gardner except for what is public record. He was a civil servant for the United Kingdom, and spent most of his career in Britain’s Asian colonies before he retired and settled in southern England. Gardner was one of the many who thought it more prestigious to have learned the “craft”, a term used for Witchcraft, an elder of one’s own family. Gardner didn’t claim to have learned Wicca from an elder of his own family, but did claim to have learned it from elders with family ties that went way back many generations. For most people in the Pagan community, it was well know that Gardner was considered a bit of a pervert due to his tendency toward bondage and ritualized punishment. It came through in his writings and ideas of practice, but the resurgence of “the craft” is mainly attributed to him. The people of Britain have always made changes to religions to try and make them their own, but Wicca is the only religion that originated in the United Kingdom. (Clifton 14 – 15)

Wicca is generally a solitary religion and seventy percent of its followers are solitary, taking personal responsibility for their own religious practice, rather than following an authority figure. Without a strict set of beliefs, “each practitioner can add or subtract beliefs at will, ” this is a part of what makes Wicca so popular. (Sanders 5)

Now I will continue this paper on three main reasons that I found the most compelling reasons for people of all walks of life to be drawn to Wicca and Paganism, beginning with a concern for the Earth.

The fear of Global Warming and preserving what we now have for future generations is a major common concern among contemporary Pagans. Most of modern society has lost an important connection with nature. In some cases there is even a fear of nature. To be fearful of the natural world, in which we as human beings came from, just as all life has, is quite a cause for alarm. When the system of Wicca was originally developed, its focus was on fertility, just as the ancients were focused on fertility. As history has shown, fertility was a main concern for all people in ancient times.

Life was hard for our ancient ancestors and fertility of the land, animals, people, etc. was the only way for them to continue life and surviving. With human fertility becoming less of a concern in modern times because of improvements in science, the focus has now shifted to nature. This change is another way in which Wicca and Paganism can remain a positive religion. It is a religion that recognizes change and changes with it. If something can’t change with the times, it will get left behind and become history.

The American mainstream religions have done very little to foster concern for nature. Never, have I heard of any sermons given on how people should be encouraged to care for the environment, be good caretakers of nature, and preservation of natural resources. This again, leads many to view Paganism and Wicca more approvingly. (Sanders 22)

Paganism also acknowledges nature by following the cycles of the seasons and life. Pagans and Wiccans are encouraged to live their lives by looking to nature as their guide. They live in the here and now as opposed to living and planning for the end of life. Through this view of nature, Wiccans and Pagans acknowledge their connection to all life and the greater cosmos. Many mainstream religious writers believe that honoring nature is not enough for religion or life because it contains violence and brutality. (Harvey 187) This worldview on life and nature is the basis for Wiccans and Pagans to believe in no absolute good or evil. All things in nature are good and evil at the same time and therefore it applies to life as well.

The second reason for the attraction to Paganism and Wicca is empowerment for women. The Christian church has treated women like “second – class citizens” for much of its history. This treatment of women is also prevalent in much of the Western world as well. (Sanders 22) Many women have become quite discontent with the Christian church. When women have expressed an interest in becoming more involved in the church, they are usually directed to make coffee and teach Sunday school. With the concerns of equal rights coming more and more to the forefront in our society, how do the patriarchal religions expect women to remain subservient? (Sanders 22)

For the last several thousand years of patriarchal religions domination of the Western world, large numbers of women have been searching for a spiritual existence free from the patriarchal dogma. With Wicca’s emphasis on Goddess worship, it attracts those women who want to find a spiritual side to their feminism. (Adler 207 – 24)

The feminist views of women have been the main driving force pushing Wicca to be accepted as a religion. Not all Wiccan groups are feminist though. Most Pagans and Wiccans have a more moderate view of the feministic ideas. Feminist Wiccan groups have dropped a lot of common beliefs in the Pagan community in favor of an all female belief system. By doing such things as only recognizing the female deities and eliminating the male deities, they are alienating themselves from the rest of the Pagan and Wiccan community. (Adler 180 – 81)

Many women have become quite discontent with the Christian church. When women have expressed an interest in becoming more involved in the church, they are usually directed to make coffee and teach Sunday school. With the concerns of equal rights coming more and more to the forefront in our society, how do the patriarchal religions expect women to remain subservient? (Sanders 22)

One doesn’t need to look very hard to see the atrocities that have been committed against women in history by patriarchal societies. One common saying in modern Pagan communities that can be found imprinted on t – shirts and bumper stickers is, “Don’t forget the burning times.” This refers to the days of the infamous witch-hunts. Malleus Maleficarum (The Hammer of Evildoers) published in 1486/87 by Jacob Spenger and Heinrich Krämer was the authoritative witch hunter’s manual. One key phrase from this manual that modern Pagan writers like to quote is: “All witchcraft comes from carnal lust, which in women is insatiable.” (Clifton 100) This “authoritative” work also stated that women were created from the bent rib of Adam, therefore women are “imperfect animals” if they are even animals at all. (Pearson 302)

In the Malleus Maleficarum, inquisitors, the ones who were authorized to verify involvement in witchcraft, were informed that guilty women would make sexual pacts with Satan. Therefore, after this pact was made, any event in the local community that disrupted the well being of the people was most certainly caused by a witch in their ranks. (Pearson 302 – 3)

When the inquisitors were in search of a “witch”, one could be found quite readily. More often than not, the accused was just a woman that someone had a grudge against. Many also speculated that these “witches” might have been highly learned women, such as early scientists. Because of the ridiculous information contained in the Malleus Maleficarum on how to proceed with the “trials” of the accused, there generally was “no mistake” of finding them guilty. Guilty women and a few men as well, were relatively few in the colonies of America. On the other hand, in Europe the numbers of the accused were astronomical. Imagine the amount of people that lost their lives due to the feelings of resentment of some sort or other, such as the amount of land they owned or a person’s general success. Many Wiccans and Pagans feel that the amount of people who were actually true witches during these “trials” was closer to none. (Gibson 112 – 18)

The final main reason that I would like to point out for the attraction of Wicca and Paganism is the attraction of the supernatural. While Pagans and Wiccans accept the belief in an unseen world, forces, and entities, many, if not all, Christian churches, in these modern times, ignore this belief. In many cases, a person could stir up quite a bit of trouble for themselves by stating a belief in an unseen world in the Christian church. (Sanders 23 – 26)

Reading ones future by using tarot cards and runes are very popular forms of divination among Pagans and Wiccans. There are many other popular forms of divination and occult sciences such as the use of crystals. Even though many of these beliefs forms were allowed by Christianity in their early years of development, now these systems have no place in Christianity. Many people have speculated when and why this shift occurred. Modern science has been trying to validate these occult sciences for quite some time now, but with limited success. The simple fact that the occult sciences are being tested gives valid support in their existence. (Handbook of Contemporary 425)

There are still many things in the world that can’t be explained by modern science. In the acknowledgement of this fact is where modern Pagans revel. It still gives room for belief in the ideas of fairies, mythical beings, and other such beliefs.

Discussions of the supernatural will quickly conjure up visions and ideas in relation to recent popular movies such as Harry Potter, The Seeker, Lord of the Rings, and many, many other movies. While these movies and books quickly catch the imagination, their similarities to actual supernatural occurrences are very, very limited. For the most part, these movies and books are purely fantasy. Even so, there have been some Christian based groups that are in opposition of these forms of entertainment. They believe that it sways people, especially children, to take an interest in Wicca and Paganism. (Handbook of New 459 – 60)

As Catherine Edwards Sanders, a Christian journalist, points out, “most Wiccans [and Pagans] have thought more seriously about spirituality and some of life’s big questions than many in the secular and even Christian cultures. They have not been content to skate through life seeking the gods of fashion, peer pressure, or materialism, reserving religion for weekends and special holidays.” (30)

Most Pagans and Wiccans actually view their lives as being interconnected with the rest of the world as a whole. They realize that there are, in fact, fewer events in their lives through this interconnection with the rest of the world.

With the impending end of the Mayan calendar in 2012, there have been many theories in reference to the end of the world. In fact, recently the “dooms day” movies have been coming out more and more frequently. One can only speculate that as 2012 draws nearer, the apocalyptic world movies and theories will by coming out at a frantic pace.

In the Wiccan and Pagan groups though, ideas of the world coming to an end are not so prevalent. Many think that the date of 12 December 2012 will be a beginning of a ‘New World Age.’ Many experts believe that this will be an age of peace and interconnection with the rest of the world and beyond for the next 5, 200 years. The experts are also saying that the ‘veil’ that separates our world from the spirit world will be lifted. The descendents of the Ancient Mayan’s say that we are already in the twenty – five year timeline of this change. (Rennison np.)

This information of the coming change according to the Mayan calendar is something that modern Pagans and Wiccans are looking forward to.

In conclusion, is there a rise in the Wicca and Pagan belief system? Given the research, the answer would definitely be a resounding yes. The movement is very broad and difficult to pin down, but it has been noticed. Many authors and professionals are calling on others to try and do research on the subject. With others taking an interest in the movement, maybe someone or maybe a group of individuals will come forward with some new views or theories on this movement. With these new views and theories we can only hope to find a definite reason for this shift.

Until then, there will be many I’m sure who will take on this daunting task. There are hundreds of theories already studied or in the process of being studied. I’m sure that there are many other ideas out there that have not yet been discussed or found in the public forum. With the case of the ancient Mayans, their descendants have said that there is plenty more information that they are in possession of, but have yet to let the rest of the world know about it. Whether there is more information yet to come remains to be seen.

I’m sure that there other ancient civilizations out there that have possessed knowledge or information, now lost. Unfortunately, just as these civilizations have disappeared, so has their immediate knowledge of this information. They did leave behind recordings of information that are in the processes of being deciphered and theories investigated. The only problem is that many individuals in the modern world have a very difficult time believing what the ancients were saying. This in turn leads to very different ideas in what is being told, many times the information is right there, but many misinterpret the information only because the obvious is just too difficult to comprehend.

 



Footnotes:
Works Cited:

Adler, Margot. Drawing Down the Moon Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America. New York: Penguin (Non-Classics) , 2006. Print.
Berger, Helen A., Evan A. Leach, and Leigh S. Shaffer. Voices from the Pagan Census A National Survey of Witches and Neo-Pagans in the United States (Studies in Comparative Religion) . New York: University of South Carolina, 2003. Print.
Clifton, Chas S. Her Hidden Children: the Rise of Wicca and Paganism in America. Lanham: AltaMira, 2006. Print.
Gibson, Marion H. Witchcraft Myths in American Culture. New York: Routledge, 2007. Print.
Handbook of New Age (Brill Handbooks on Contemporary Religion) . New York: Brill Academic, 2007. Print.
Handbook of Contemporary Paganism (Brill Handbooks on Contemporary Religion) . New York: Brill Academic, 2009. Print.
Harvey, Graham. Contemporary Paganism Listening People, Speaking Earth. New York: NYU, 2000. Print.
Pearson, Joanne. Belief Beyond Boundaries Wicca, Celtic Spirituality and the New Age (Religion Today-Tradition, Modernity and Change) . Grand Rapids: Ashgate, 2002. Print.
Sanders, Catherine. Wicca’s Charm Understanding the Spiritual Hunger Behind the Rise of Modern Witchcraft and Pagan Spirituality. Wheaton: Shaw, 2005. Print.
“Susan Rennison’s Website.” Susan Joy Rennison’s Website. Web. 18 Dec. 2009. .

The 161 Laws of Wicca

by Gerald B. Gardner

1. The Law was made and ordained 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 ordain, for it was made for the good of Wicca as the worship of the Wicca is good for the gods. For the gods love the brethren of Wicca.

 

4. As a man loveth a woman by mastering her.

 

5. So the Wicca should love the gods by being mastered by them.

 

6. And it is necessary that the Circle, which is the temple of the gods, should be truly cast and purified. And that it may be a fit place for the gods to enter.

 

7. And the Wicca shall 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 men have communion with the gods, for the gods cannot help man without the help of man.

 

11. And the High Priestess shall rule her coven as the representative of the God.

 

12. And the High Priest shall support her as the representative of the God.

 

13. And the High Priestess shall choose whom she will, be he of 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 sweetness and kindness, her wisdom and justice, her humility 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 recognize that youth is necessary to the representative of the goddess.

 

19. So she will gracefully retire in favor of a younger woman should the Coven so decide in council.

 

20. For a true High Priestess realizes that gracefully surrendering pride of place is one of the greatest virtues.

 

21. And that thereby she will return to that pride of place in another life, with greater power and beauty.

 

22. In the old days, when witchdom extended far, we were free and worshipped in all the greater temples.

 

23. But in these unhappy times we must celebrate our sacred mysteries in secret.

 

24. So be it ordained, that none but the Wicca may see our mysteries, for our enemies are many and torture loosens the tongue of man.

 

25. So be it ordained that no Coven shall know where the next Coven bide.

 

26. Or who its members be, save only the Priest and Priestess and messenger.

 

27. And there shall be no communication between them, save 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 great festivals.

 

29. And while there, none shall say whence they came nor give their true names.

 

30. To this end, any that are tortured in their agony may not tell if they do not know.

31. So be it ordained that no one shall tell anyone not of the craft who be of the Wicca, nor give any names or where they bide, or in any way tell anything which can betray any of us to our foes.

 

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 remain where they belong, 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 cometh.

 

37. She will heed all complains 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 council.

 

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 to the Brethren and to avoid disputes.

 

44. Any of the third may claim to found a new Coven because they live over a league away from the Covenstead, or that they are about to do so.

 

45. Anyone living within the Covendom and wishing to form a new Coven shall tell the Elders of their intention and on the instant avoid their dwelling and remove to the 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 new and the old Covens should meet in peace and brotherly love to decide the new boundaries.

 

48. Those of the craft who dwell outside both Covendoms may join either 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 off means strife, so for this reason these Laws were made of old and may the CURSE OF THE GODDESS BE ON ANY WHO DISREGARD THEM. So be it ordained.

 

51. If you would keep a 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 found in their hand of write, they may be taken and arraigned. Let each guard his own writings and destroy them

 

53. whenever danger threatens.

 

54. Learn as much as you may by heart and, when danger is past, rewrite your book, an it be safe.

 

55. For this reason, if any die, destroy their book if they have not been able to.

 

56. For, if 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 friends 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 arraigned.

 

61. Keep all thoughts of the craft from your mind.

 

62. If the torture be too great to bear, say, “I will confess. I can’t bear this torture. What do you want me to say?”

 

63. If they try to make you speak of the Brotherhood, do not.

 

64. But if they try to make you speak of impossibilities such as flying through the air, consorting with a Christian devil or sacrificing children, or eating men’s flesh.

 

65. To obtain relief from torture say, “I had an evil dream I was beside myself, I was crazed.”

 

66. Not all magistrates are bad, if there be an excuse, they may show mercy.

 

67. If you have confessed ought, deny it afterwards, say you babbled under torture, and say you knew not what you said.

 

68. If you are condemned, fear not.

 

69. The Brotherhood is powerful and will help you to escape if you stand steadfast, but if you betray ought there is no hope for you in this life or in that to come.

 

70. Be sure, if steadfast you go to the pyre, drugs will reach you, you will feel naught you go to death and what lies beyond, the ecstasy of the goddess.

 

71. To avoid discovery, let the working tools be as ordinary things that any may have in their houses.

 

72. Let the pentacles be of wax so that they may be broken at once or melted.

 

73. Have no sword unless your rank allows it.

 

74. Have no names or signs on anything.

 

75. Write the names and signs on them in ink before consecrating them and wash it off immediately afterwards.

 

76. Let the color of the hilts tell which is which.

 

77. Do not engrave them unless they cause discovery.

 

78. Ever remember ye are the hidden children of the Goddess so never do anything to disgrace them or Her.

 

79. Never boast, never threaten, never say you would wish ill of anyone.

 

80. If any person not in the Circle, speak of the craft, say, “Speak not to me of such, it frightens me, `tis evil luck to speak of it.

 

81. For this reason, the Christians have their spies everywhere. These speak as if they were well affected to us, as if they wouldn’t come into our meetings, saying, “My mother used to worship the Old Ones. I would I could go myself.”

 

82. To such as these ever deny all knowledge.

 

83. But to others, ever say, “Tis foolish men talk of witches flying through the air. To do so they must be as light as thistledown. And men say that witches all be blear eyed old crones, so what pleasure can there be at a witch meeting such as folks talk on?”

 

84. And say, “Many wise men now say there be no such creatures.”

 

85. Ever make it a jest, and in some future time perhaps, the persecution may die and we may worship our gods in safety again.

 

86. Let us all pray for that happy day.

 

87. May the blessings of the Goddess and God be on all who keep these Laws which are ordained.

 

88. If the craft hath any appendage, let all guard it and witchcraft in the land,” because our oppressors of old make it heresy not to believe in witchcraft and so a crime to deny it which thereby puts you under suspicion.

 

89. And let all justly guard all monies of the craft.

 

90. And if any Brother truly wrought it, `tis right they have their pay, an it be just. An this be not taking money for the art, but for good and honest work.

 

91. And even 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 but to their greater honor. So be it ordained.

 

92. If there be any dispute or quarrel among the Brethren, the High Priestess shall straightly convene the Elders and enquire into the matter, and they shall hear both sides, first alone and then together.

 

93. And they shall decide justly, not favoring one side or the other.

 

94. Ever recognizing there be people who can never agree to work under others.

 

95. But at the same time; there be some people who cannot rule justly.

 

96. To those who ever must be chief, there is one answer.

 

97. Void the Coven or seek another one, or make a Coven of your own, taking with you those who will go.

 

98. To those who cannot, justly the answer be, “Those who cannot bear your rule will leave with you.

 

99. For none may come to meetings with those whom they are at variance.

 

100. So, an either cannot agree, get hence, for the craft must ever survive, so be it ordained.

 

101. 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 priests, spells and masses. And this be chiefly by giving monies and rich gifts to receive his favor for their great god is ever in need of money.

 

102. But as our gods need our aid to make fertility for man and crops, so is the god of the Christians ever 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.

 

103. But they make men believe that they may escape this hell if they give victims to the tormentors. So for this reason all be forever spying, thinking, “And I can catch but one of these Wicca, I will escape from this fiery pit.”

 

104. So for this reason we have our hides, and men searching long and Doth finding, say, “There be none, or if there be, they be in a far country.”

 

105. But when one of our oppressors die, 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 thousands.

 

106. While we are few indeed. So be it ordained.

 

107. That none shall use the art in any way to do ill to any.

108. However much they injure us, harm none. And now times many believe we exist not.

 

109. 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 Brothers, but only to constrain them and never to punish.

 

110. To this end men will say, “Such a one is a mighty searcher out, and a persecutor of old women when they desire to be witches, and none hath done him harm, so it be proof that they cannot or more truly there be none.

 

111. 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.

 

112. And this be to our advantage and turns suspicion away from us.

 

113. In England and Scotland `tis now many a year since a witch hath died the death. But any misuse of the power might raise the persecution again.

 

114. So never break this Law, however much you are tempted, and never consent to its being broken in the least.

 

115. If you know it is being broken, you must work strongly against it.

 

116. And any High Priestess or High Priest who consents to its breach must immediately be deposed for tis the blood of the Brethren they endanger.

 

117. Do good, an it be safe, and only if it be safe.

 

118. And strictly keep to the Old Law.

 

119. Never accept money for the work of the art, for money ever smeareth the taker. “Tis sorcerers and conjurors and the priests of the Christians who ever accept money for the use of their arts. And they sell pardons to let men escape from their sins.

 

120. Be not as these. If you accept no money, you will be free from temptation to use the art for evil causes.

 

121. All may use the art for their own advantage or for the advantage of the craft only if you are sure you harm none.

 

122. But ever let the Coven debate this at length. Only if all are satisfied that none may be harmed, may the art be used.

 

123. 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 UPON ANY WHO BREAKETH THIS LAW. So be it ordained.

 

124. “Tis judged lawful if ever 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, provided it harmeth him not in any way and the full price is paid without haggling.

 

125. Never bargain or cheapen anything whilst you buy by the art. So be it ordained.

 

126. 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 persecutors

 

127. In any dispute between the Brethren, no one may invoke any laws but those of the craft.

 

128. Or any tribunal but that of the Priestess, Priest and Elders.

 

129. It is not forbidden to say as Christians do, “There be witchcraft in the land,” because our oppressors of old make it heresy not to believe in witchcraft and so a crime to deny it which thereby puts you under suspicion.

 

130. But ever say, “I know not of it here, perchance there may be but afar off, I know not where.”

 

131. But ever speak of them as old crones, consorting with the devil and riding through the air.

 

132. And ever say, “But how may many ride the air if they be not as light as thistledown.”

 

133. But the curse of the Goddess be on any who cast suspicion on any of the Brotherhood.

 

134. Or who speak of any real meeting place or where they bide.

 

135. Let the craft keep books with the names of all herbs which are good, and all cures so all may learn.

 

136. But keep another book with all Bills and Apices and let only the Elders and other trustworthy people have this knowledge. So be it ordained.

 

137. And may the blessings of the gods be on all who keep these Laws, and the curses of both the God and the Goddess be on all who break them.

 

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

 

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 have 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.

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 is a good reason to the contrary.

 

152. The person who has done the work shall reap the benefit of the reward, maiden and deputy of the High Priestess.

 

153. It had 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.

 

154. And if for any reason this be undesirable, 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.

 

155. 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.

 

156. Order and discipline must be kept.

 

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

 

158. To this end all fault and his sentence pronounced.

 

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

 

160. Punishment should be followed by something amusing.

 

161. 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.

Alaska’s Arctic waterways are turning orange, threatening drinking water

Dozens of once crystal-clear streams and rivers in Arctic Alaska are now running bright orange and cloudy, and, in some cases, they may be becoming more acidic. This otherwise undeveloped landscape now looks as if an industrial mine has been in operation for decades, and scientists want to know why.

Roman Dial, a professor of biology and mathematics at Alaska Pacific University, first noticed the starkest water-quality changes while doing field work in the Brooks Range in 2020. He spent a month with a team of six graduate students, and they could not find adequate drinking water. “There’s so many streams that are not just stained, they’re so acidic that they curdle your powdered milk,” he said. In others, the water was clear, “but you couldn’t drink it (because) it had a really weird mineral taste and tang.”

Dial, who has spent the last 40 years exploring the Arctic, was gathering data on climate-change-driven changes in Alaska’s tree line for a project that also includes work from ecologists Patrick Sullivan, director of the Environment and Natural Resources Institute at the University of Alaska Anchorage, and Becky Hewitt, an environmental studies professor at Amherst College. Now, the team is digging into the water-quality mystery. “I feel like I’m a grad student all over again in a lab that I don’t know anything about, and I’m fascinated by it,” Dial said.

Most of the rusting waterways are located within some of Alaska’s most remote protected lands: the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the Gates of the Arctic National Park and …

Click here to read the rest of this article from hcn.org

Witches and Wiccans: A New Take on the Great Debate

Author Taryn Anu

Wicca and Witchcraft are by nature surrounded by myths and misconceptions, and though we often try to clear up such misconceptions, there are some issues upon which even we in the pagan community cannot agree. “The Great Debate, ” as those like myself jokingly call it, is one such matter that is at a stand still. In The Wicca Handbook by Eileen Holland, published in 2000, she states, “All Wiccans are witches, but not all witches are Wiccan.” This statement is based on the assumption that all Wiccans must practice witchcraft in their worship, but that witchcraft can be practiced without the moral code or spiritual purpose of Wicca.

However, in The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Wicca and Witchcraft Third Edition, published in 2006, writers Denise Zimmermann and Katherine A. Gleason, along with reviser Miria Liguana, state that “Not all Wiccans are witches, and not all witches are Wiccans, but a lot of them are.”

Instantly there is a giant rift formed between subscribers to either idea. At first glance, one could easily say that it must be a matter of opinion. I would say that is untrue, though to prove my point entails a little bit of research.

First, we will begin by addressing the simplest issues. What is Wicca? What is a witch? According to The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Wicca and Witchcraft, a witch is someone who uses magic in everyday life, and Wicca is an earth based religion that honors both the God and the Goddess. Of course, these definitions can be expanded upon, but to do so would mean going further down the path of exploration, which makes identifying their differences more difficult as paths diverge and converge. So, we’re just going to stick with the barest forms of each. In other words, what makes you either a witch or not, a Wiccan or not.

Next, let’s take a look at what practicing Wicca entails. Some say that by engaging in Wiccan ritual you are practicing magic and therefore by default must also be a witch. However, ceremony is not witchcraft. Most, if not all, religions hold firmly to some type of ceremony. This does not translate to witchcraft or spell craft. So what separates ritual from witchcraft? In order to better understand exactly what Wiccans use in everyday practice, we must delve further in its basic examination.

Let’s examine what ritual is in its most basic form. Wiccans rely heavily on the use of rituals in their daily lives and worship. “Ritual”, by definition from The American Heritage Dictionary is: 1. The prescribed form of a ceremony, 2. A system of ceremonies or rites, 3. A ceremonial act or a series of such acts, 4. A customary or regular procedure. Nowhere in this definition of there mention of witchcraft or spell craft. In fact, there is not mention of anything remotely linked to witches at all.

Now, the definition from the same dictionary for witchcraft is magic and sorcery, and we have established from The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Wicca and Witchcraft that a witch is someone who uses magic in everyday life. So, in their more basic definitions we have already found that witchcraft and ritual are different.

Let us take a look at Wicca. The great debate revolves around Wiccans by default practicing witchcraft. So, in order for us to get a clear view of the issue, we must look at the cornerstone of all Wicca, the Rede. Of course, varying traditions and paths of Wicca have evolved to be more extensive than the Rede. However, it remains the indisputable separator of Wicca from other pagan paths, and in order to follow Wicca in any of its eclectic forms, one must subscribe to the Rede’s laws. Looking closely at the Rede, we find beautiful poetry mixed with wise words as in verse two, “Live an’ let live / fairly take an’ fairly give, ” that not only give us advice but also offer simple instruction on practicing as a Wiccan. Never take without giving back, and take only what you need. Live and let all other life live.

There also seems to be other more extensive verses on how to practice Wicca, examples being verse six through thirteen. In verse twenty-three the Threefold Law is spoken of, akin to Karma, and in verse three one is instructed to cast a circle three times to keep evil out. The only verse that could even remotely be labeled as magic is three, but as we’ve established, that does not necessarily mean magic is involved. Casting a circle is simply a ritual in which magic can be included. The Rede also states that to bind a spell one must speak it in rhyme, but I believe this is to advise Wiccans on spell casting should they choose to use this type of magick in their work.

Finally, I’ve demonstrated that nowhere in the practice of Wicca is there a mandate that magic must be used, but before we can completely solve this debate, we must examine what is magic. Again, let us look at the definition of the word. Using The American Heritage Dictionary we learn that magic is the art that purports to control or forecast natural events, effects, or forces by invoking the supernatural through the use of charms, spells, or rituals. Immediately, one could claim that said invocations using ritual constitutes magic, but as I stated before, many religions use ritual in their practice. That fact combined with the definition of ritual boiling down to a ceremony or series of ceremonies shows conclusively that just because magic is used in ritual doesn’t mean that a ritual must be exclusively magic.

At last, we can apply our gathered logic to our original issue. I have proven that (using the law that to be Wiccan in its simplest form means one must follow the Wiccan Rede) Wiccans must perform some type of ritual in their worship. I have also proven that witchcraft is the active practice of magic, which can be explained spiritually as the manipulation of energy or by definition as the purported control on forces through charms, spells, or ritual. However, going back to the basic definition of a ritual demonstrates how ritual does not have to include the practice of magic. In fact, most consider ritual to be more of a celebration of your spiritual path rather than manipulating energies. (Stay with me!) Applying the same logic to Wicca shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that to be Wiccan means engaging in some sort of ritual but not necessarily magic.

There are those who will claim that the origins and meanings of the words “Wicca” and “witch” change everything I have just presented. At this point, though, I don’t think the words’ origins matter. We are not talking about the practicing differences or similarities of our predecessor witches and Wiccans. The meanings of words change over time, so it is the modern context with which we should be concerned. I know much of following any pagan path is remembering and holding true to its roots, but I firmly believe in the evolution of religion. Not to mention that Wicca is not even an ancient religion at all, no matter where its roots come from (but that is another article for another time) .

The Goddess has had many names and faces over the centuries, after all. Too often do we cling to the past because we are afraid of the future. So what if Wicca and witchcraft were once one and the same? So what if they have evolved into two different practices? So what if Wicca is a modern, fairly young religion with really no ancient roots and often categorized as New Age?

So what?

We need to accept that our religions, our words, and their meanings are constantly changing. Why fight to stubbornly stay constant when all one has to do is experience the Wheel of the Year or look back at the history of nature to see that the world and everything in it is far from unchanging? Wicca is about spirituality and a journey along the path. Whether you perform magick in the sense of witchcraft or simply religious rituals to celebrate your spirituality, the journey is yours all the same. We should embrace all the things that make what we each do unique, rather than fighting to lump them all together.

So celebrate yourself if you are a Witch and a Wiccan, and celebrate yourself if you’re simply a Witch, and celebrate yourself if you sorely practice Wicca! Celebrate just because you’re on that journey, and revel in all the similarities and differences we share!

Happy and Prosperous Chinese New Year 2023 – The Year of the Water Rabbit

How to Say Happy New Year in Chinese

(This includes the Chinese characters if you want to write it somewhere. You can copy and paste the characters from here. I have alternated the colors so each character stands out.)

新 Xīn 年 nián 快 kuài 乐 lè!

Click here for more information about the Chinese YEAR OF THE RABBIT from chinesenewyear.net

(I came across this website with a lot of information about the Chinese New Year please click on the link above if you want to read more about this than the couple of paragraphs I have copied and pasted.)

It covers the topics of:

FOOD

DRINKS

DESSERTS

SNACKS

CLOTHES

DECORATIONS

MYTHS

GALA

RED POCKETS

LANTERN FESTIVAL

Chinese New Year 2023 Dates

(I would have gotten this information up sooner if I had realized that celebrations begin 8 days before the actual New Year’s date.)

8 DAYS JAN 14TH–21ST

Little Year

Preparations for the new year begin on January 14th, 2023, and last until New Years Eve.

11 DAYS JANUARY 22ND–FEB 1ST 

Spring Festival

Chinese New Year officially begins on January 22nd, 2023, and ends on February 1st.

4 DAYS FEB 2ND–5TH

Lantern Festival

Preparations begin the 2nd, and the Lantern Festival is held on February 5th.

Spell for Today – Sunday Pagan Worship

(YOU CAN COPY AND PASTE TO A DOCUMENT TO PRINT OR SAVE ON YOUR COMPUTER)

Finally, it’s Sunday, the official day of rest. Not only do Christians acknowledge this day but I’m sure many pagans appreciate this day, as well. Everyone needs rest and a lot of people need a good day to worship their creator (whomever or whatever that may be), however they deem fit to do so. With the Sun being the central theme of many ancient rituals, Sunday just seems to fit, in name and theory.

Sunday Pagan Worship

What you will need:
Your voice
Your body
1 bell (optional)

Find a quiet, private area, without distraction. Sit down in a comfortable position. Take a few, slow, deep breaths. Allow your body to become very relaxed. When you have done this, if you brought a bell, ring it seven times. Allow the last ring to resonate throughout your body. If you have something you want to say, to God or The Goddess, now would be a good time to do this. When you are finished, say this prayer or chant:

“I know there is a higher
being than me.
I am not alone.
You are with me,
Day and night.
You’ve rode the lows
And watched the heights.
If angels are real,
I’m sure to have a guardian.
I am so thankful
And so grateful for your hand.
You’ve blessed me.
You’ve fed me
You’ve quenched my thirst
And even dressed me.
A ‘man,
A ‘man,
And Blessed Be.”

When you are finished, ring the bell seven more times, to end the ceremony

 

–The Modern Day Spellbook: A Collection of Spells for the Modern Day Witch
R. Marten

Friday the 13th the First of Two for 2023

For many people, Friday the 13th is a holiday that carries ominous overtones and is considered unlucky in Western culture. It’s a day which occurs at least once every year and may occur up to 3 times in a calendar year. However, while some people consider the day to be unlucky or even evil, statistical analysis has shown that fewer accidents happen on this day than on any other day. Which is probably due to more people staying home and being extra careful on this day.

History of Friday the 13th

Unfortunately, the history of this day is somewhat obscured by time, so it really isn’t known why it has come to be known as an unlucky day. Throughout much of modern human history, Friday has been considered unlucky and the number 13 has been unlucky, but the combination of the two wasn’t considered especially unlucky together until about the late 19th century or early 20th century.

Since ancient times, Friday has always been a day of bad luck. On Fridays, sailors avoided starting new journeys, seamstresses would avoid needlework on this day and businessmen would avoid writing letters on this day. The superstition that this day was unlucky was so prevalent that farmers would avoid starting their crops on a Friday. However, not every Friday was considered equal. Good Friday was a day that was seen as a day that brought good luck – especially if you were a sailor who just so happened to have made their maiden voyage on Good Friday.

Likewise, the number 13 has been unlucky since ancient times as well. However, it really isn’t known when that superstition began. Some people think that it goes back to the last supper of Jesus Christ. Counting Jesus and his 12 disciples, there were 13 people at the table. This is considered unlucky because the 13th guest,  Judas Iscariot would betray Christ and died by his own hand. This led to the belief that if 13 people sat down to a meal together, one of them would die by the end of the year. The “unluckiness” of the number 13 became extremely popular during the 19th century. During this time, people would avoid having anything to do with this number. So much so, the number was often skipped when numbering hotel rooms and the 13th floor of buildings were often mislabeled as the 14th floor.

The Horror Movie Franchise …

Click here to read the rest of this article from holidayscalendar.com

Lest We Should Forget Friday the 13th and The Knights Templar

Today is Friday the 13th. Many people of the superstitious sort consider Friday the 13th to be unlucky. There are people who wear good luck charms all day and some who go so far as to refuse to leave home, lest something unlucky happen to them.

But many don’t know that one legend of the origin of Friday the 13th as unlucky comes from the persecution of the Knights Templar in the 14th Century. On Friday, October 13th, 1307, King Philip IV of France, in league with Pope Clement V ordered all Templars to be rounded up and thrown in prison. The Knights were accused of numerous crimes including heresy and treason. For two hundred years the Knights Templar had been the most dominant force in Christendom, but after their defeat at the Siege of Acre and the loss of the Holy Land, their influence began to wane.

Yet they still held enormous power and great amounts of wealth. Pope Clement sought to merge the Knights Templar with the Knights Hospitaller another powerful order at the time. Neither group found such a merger ideal. And despite the loss of the Holy Land, the Templars were still a part of of everyday life in the Middle Ages. Their houses, churches and …

Click here to read the rest of this article from theknightstemplar.org

WoTC’s School of Witchcraft Outline of Novice Course Lessons

Novice Course Lesson Outline 

1. Making Your Book of Shadows/Grimoire – This is that magickal tool that is highly recommended to have.

1A. What type of things should or could be written or included in your Book of Shadows/Grimoire?

Make sure you write down the date you receive the reply for this lesson as that is the date your 1 year and 1 day of study as a novice is done. All lessons must be completed by this date unless given an extension by Lady Beltane. To request an extension, you will need to submit a 300-word explanation on why you need it. Than email it to ladybeltane@aol.com

2. Definition of Common Words and Phrases used in Witchcraft

3. Explain what defines each Moon phase

4. What are some of the magickal correspond for each day of the week?

5. Explain where objects representing the elements go when setting up a pentagram.

5A. Research 6 Gods and 6 Goddesses than explain why you pick those particular Gods and Goddesses to research.

  1. What is a Witch’s Familiar?
  2. What are Magical Tools? Please describe any that you have or might want to have someday. (NOTE: Not all the tools you may read about are needed for performing rituals and/or spells.)

7A) Explain why should choose which magickal tools you feel you will need and/or want to practice witchcraft.

8. How would you set up a Basic Altar?

9. What are the basics of meditation?

  1. How would you cast a Sacred Circle?

10A. Why is it important when performing any type of magick to do so in a sacred circle?

10B. After doing your first sacred circle explain in detail how it felt being in the circle, what you felt went right if you felt anything went wrong, etcetera

  1. Explain the questions you should ask yourself whenever you write a spell

11A. Write a Self-Protection spell. Submit it for review before casting it

  1. Write a Ritual to perform to cast your self-protection spell in a sacred circle.

12A. Submit for review before attempting to do your ritual and spell.

12B. After doing the ritual explains in detail how it felt doing it, if you think anything went wrong, etcetera

  1. What is an Esbat?

13A. How often can an Esbat gathering occur?

  1. Write an Esbat ritual for a New Moon

14A. Submit the Esbat ritual before performing it.

14B. Please explain in detail how do you felt your ritual went

14C. Write an Esbat ritual for a Full Moon

14D. Submit the Esbat ritual before performing it.

14E. Please explain in detail how do you felt your ritual went

14 F. Explain in detail what a Sabbat is

14 E. What the date or dates each are normally observed on for the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

14 G How they are Placed of the Wheel of The Year explains what each Sabbat is observed for.

14 H. Explain the difference in how the Sabbats are celebrated in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres

  1. 15. Write a Sabbat Ritual for the next Sabbat on the Wheel of the Year for whichever hemisphere you live in (Please put which hemisphere you live in next to the lesson number in the emails subject line). Submit ritual before preforming it.
  2. 16. Write a Ritual for Your Personal Dedication to The Craft. DO you want to do your dedication privately, or with just the Elders or the whole coven?
  3. 17. 14 Question You Should Now Be Able to Answer
  4. 18. Write a Review about Being a Novice Within Heart’s Spirit Coven

All lessons must be in the body of an email, except lesson one. Your lesson will be reviewed, and you will receive a reply within three days from the date when you lesson is due.

If you have any questions about any lessons or anything having to do with witchcraft, please email me at ladybeltane@aol.com 

If you want to attend WOTC’s School of Witchcraft, please email Lady Beltane at ladybeltane@aol.com for an application.

A FULL OR WAXING MOON SPELL TO REVIVE A WITCHES MAGICKAL POWERS

(COPY AND PASTE TO A DOCUMENT TO PRINT OR SAVE ON YOUR COMPUTER)

A FULL OR WAXING MOON SPELL TO REVIVE A WITCHES MAGICKAL POWERS

 

At the Full or Waxing moon phase just before midnight anoint a PURPLE candle with real VANILLA essential oil or extract. Raise energy by tightening yourself up and pumping your hands, fingers to palms, up and down, and envisioning the moonlight as entering your body and flowing to the candle whilst you anoint it. Do this outside or before a window opened to the moonlight. Place the candle on the ground or windowsill and light it. Say:- 


“Fair Selene, Goddess of the Moon, love and light, I ask you to send me your magickal 
powers this moon lit night, By the power of the myriad starlight above me. 
And your moonlit heavens, so shall it be! ” 


Visualize your outstretched arms as soaking up the moonlight and the moonbeams being absorbed into you. You will feel the Goddess giving you her awesome power, snuff (NEVER blow out) your candle and leave it overnight on your altar or where it is. 


Either at the sunrise, or just before mid-day. Place the candle in the same place and 
stand arms outstretched towards the sun soaking up the energy of its heat and sunbeams, Say: 


“Great Ra, Lord of the sky and solar power, Lend your fiery magick to me. 
Let this witches powers be reawakened and be as powerful as the forces of the cool Moon and burning sun, By soil, wind, flame and sea, 
Grant my desire. So mote it be! ” 


Now your Magickal powers and your desire to use them will have been reawakened. 
Take your snuffed out candle to your altar and relight it there to burn out as a mark of 
respect to the God and Goddess. Spells are far more powerful if you write them yourself.

Full Moons and Their Spells

Full Moons and Their Spells
January – Wolf Moon
Spells and Rituals:

Spells involving organization, ambition, career, politics; healing for the knees, bones, teeth, skin.

 

February – Ice Moon
Spells and Rituals:

Spells involving science, freedom, friendship, breaking of bad habits or addictions; healing for the calves, ankles, blood.

 

March – Crow Moon
Spells and Rituals:

Spells involving music, art, telepathy, dreams; healing for the feet and lymph glands.

 

April – Planter’s Moon
Spells and Rituals:

Spells involving authority, rebirth, leadership; healing for the face and head.

 

May – Flower Moon
Spells and Rituals:

Spells involving love, money, acquisition; healing for the throat and neck.

 

June – Strawberry Moon
Spells and Rituals:

Spells involving communication, writing, travel; healing for the arms, hands, and lungs.

 

July – Blood Moon
Spells and Rituals:

Spells involving the home and for honoring lunar gods and goddesses; healing for the chest and stomach.

 

August – Corn Moon
Spells and Rituals:

Spells involving authority, courage, fertility; healing for the upper back, spine, heart.

 

September – Harvest Moon
Spells and Rituals:

Spells involving employment, health, diet; healing for the intestines and nervous system.

 

October – Hunter’s Moon
Spells and Rituals:

Spells involving justice, unions, balance (spiritual and otherwise), artistry; healing for the lower back and kidneys.

 

November – Snow Moon
Spells and Rituals:

Spells involving power, psychic growth, sex; healing for the reproductive organs.

 

December – Cold Moon
Spells and Rituals:
Spells involving travel, sports, truth; animals; healing for the liver and thigh.

Some of the Witchcraft/Magickal Correspondence for Friday

Venus/Water/East/West/South/Dawn/Female/Libra/Taurus

Magickal Intentions: Love, Romance, Marriage, Sexual Matters, Physical Beauty, Friendship and Partnerships, Strangers, Heart

Color: aqua, blue, light blue, brown, green, pale green, magenta, peach, pink, rose, white, all pastels

Number: 5, 6

Metal: copper

Charm: green or white garments, scepter

Stone: alexandrite, amethyst, coral, diamond, emerald, jade, jet, black moonstone, peridot, smoky quartz, tiger’s-eye, pink tourmaline

Animal: camel, dove, elephant, goat, horse, pigeon, sparrow

Plant: apple, birch, cherry, clematis, clove, coriander, heather, hemlock, hibiscus, ivy, lotus, moss, myrtle, oats, pepperwort, peppermint, pinecone, quince, raspberry, rose, pink rose, red rose, rose hips, saffron, sage, savin, stephanotis, strawberry, thyme, vanilla, verbena, violet, water lily, yarrow, and all flowers

Incense: ambergris, camphor, mace, musk, myrrh, rose, saffron, sage, sandalwood, sweetgrass, vanilla, violet, all floral scents

Goddess: Aphrodite, Asherah, Baalith, Brigid, Erzulie, Freya (Passionate Queen), Frigg, Gefion, Harbor (Beautiful One), Hestia, Inanna, Ishtar (Lady of Passion and Desire), Lakshmi, Lilith, Mokosh, Nehalennia, Nerthus, Ostara, Pombagira, Sarasvati, Shakti, Shekinah, Sirtur, Al Uzza, Venus (Queen of Pleasure), Vesta

God: Allah, Bacchus, Bes, Cupid, the Dagda, Dionysus, El, Eros (God of Love), Freyr, Frit Ailek, Shukra

Evocation: Agrat Bat Mahalat, Anael, Hagiel, Mokosba, Rasbid, Sachiel, Uriel, Velas

Can Full Moon Rituals Be Done Inside?

Can Full Moon Rituals Be Done Inside?

Question: Can Full Moon Rituals Be Done Inside

A reader writes in asking, “I want to do a full moon ritual this month, but it’s getting really cold. Will the ritual still be effective if I do it inside?

Another reader asks, “If I’m doing a full moon rite outside and the clouds cover the moon, should I start over again?

Answer:

The short answers to those are yes and no. Yes, your ritual will still be effective if you do it inside.

No, you don’t have to start over if the moon goes behind a cloud. Here’s why:

Just because you can’t see the moon doesn’t mean it’s not there, or that it’s no longer full. You’re basing your working or ritual on the energy of the full moon, and that never changes — whether you can see it or not.

 

Looking for seasonal full moon rituals? Try one of these to get you started, depending on the time of the year!

  • Autumn Full Moon Ceremony

  • This ritual can be held during any of the Autumn full moon cycles. Celebrate the Corn Moon in September, the Harvest Moon in October, and November’s Blood Moon. Although this ceremony is designed for a group, it could easily be adapted for a solitary practitioner.
  • Winter Full Moon Ceremony

  • Instead of a regular Esbat rite, some Wiccan and Pagan groups tailor their full moon celebrations to the season. This ceremony is designed for a group of at least four people, and can be held during any of the chilly winter months.
  • Spring Full Moon Ceremony

  • Celebrate the arrival of spring with a seasonal full moon. Welcome spring with a water-themed ritual adaptable for either groups or solitaries.
  • Summer Full Moon Ceremony

  • Instead of a regular Esbat rite, some Wiccan and Pagan groups tailor their full moon celebrations to the season. This ceremony is designed for a group of at least four people, and can be held during any of the sunny summer months.

 

Source: Paganism/Wicca Expert