The Laws According To The Alexandrian Book of Shadows
(Curses, Payment, Law of the Land, Wortcunning)
100. 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 favour for their great god is ever in need of money.
101. 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.
102. 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, “An I can catch but one of these Wicca, I will escape from this fiery pit.”
103. 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.”
104. 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.
105. While we are few indeed. So be it ordained.
106. That none shall use the art in any way to do ill to any.
107. However much they may injure us, harm none. And nowtimes many believe we exist not.
108. 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.
109. 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 harm, so it be proof that they cannot or more truly there be none.”
110. 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 sieze, 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.
111. And this be to our advantage and turns suspicion away from us.
112. 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.
113. So never break this Law, however much you are tempted, and never consent to its being broken in the least.
114. If you know it is being broken, you must work strongly against it
115. 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.
116. Do good, an it be safe, and only if it be safe
117. And keep strictly to the Old Law.
118. Never accept money for the use of the art, for money ever smeareth the taker. ‘Tis sorcerors and conjurers and the priests of the Christians who ever accept money for the use of their arts. And they sell pardons to let men ascape from their sins.
119. Be not as these. If you accept no money, you will be free from temptation to use the art for evil causes.
120. All may use the art for their own advantage or for the advantage of the craft only if you are sure you harm none.
121. But ever let the Coven debate this at length. Only if all are satisfied that none may be harmed, may the art be used.
122. 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 ordained.
123. ‘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.
124. Never bargain or cheapen anything whilst you buy by the art. So be it ordained.
LAW OF THE LAND
125. “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.
126. In any dispute between Brethren, no one may invoke any laws but those of the craft.
127. Or any tribunal but that of the Priestess, Priest and Elders.
DISCUSSION OF WITCHCRAFT
128. It is not forbidden to say as Christians do, “There be witchcraft in the land,” because our oppressors of old make it a heresy not to believe in witchcraft and so a crime to deny it which thereby puts you under suspicion.
129. But ever say, “I know not of it here, perchance there may be but afar off, I know not where.”
130. But ever speak of them as old crones, consorting with the devil and riding through the air.
131. And ever say, “But how may many ride the air if they be not as light as thistledown.”
132. But the curse of the Goddess be on any who cast suspicion on any of the Brotherhood.
133. Or who speak of any real meeting-place or where they bide.
134. The craft keep books with the names of all herbs which are good, and all cures so all may learn.
135. 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 ordained.
136. 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.