Senate, Congress, White House Contact Information and Commentary

Ok, it is time for Witches and Pagans to come together to speak as one voice no matter what traditions you follow. Write, email, and call your Senator and Congressperson as often as you can. Let them know that although we are a minority in this country when it comes to religions we will step up as one to help our sacred Mother Earth and all living things upon her including the waterways that flow through her and the oceans that surround her land as well as the air above us. As the USA spend billions helping other countries almost yearly we ask… How much is being spent yearly in the United States of America to help our homeless, children going to bed hungry every night, to help those that have willing serve in our military to get proper medical, dental, and vision care, the same goes for the millions of Americans that for whatever reason cannot afford to pay for medical, dental, and optical insurance and make just a little too much to qualify to get insurance from the state they live in.

Are you ready and willing to make your voice heard with ours? Then start today by finding who your congressperson and senators are. Then write, email, call and let your voice be heard every day you can please. 

We the ordinary people are the ones who are going to make America stand out as a leading country around the world again by forcing those in Washington D. C. to vote for bills, budgets, etc as the people who voted them into the office they now hold want them to? Here is the Preamble to the US Consitution. I ask you …Do you think those people sitting in their warm homes with plenty to eat and warm clothes to wear this winter are living up to our given rights under the constitution this wonderful country of ours was founded upon?


“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

If you want to know more about the USA Constitution and what those who think they are so high and might in Washinton D.C. are walking all over until the paper it was written is no more to them then a piece of toilet paper click on the following link and read one or more of the information that comes up. I did and it was very eye-opening.

United States of America Constitution and Bill of Rights

Just click on the state you live in to get your states senators contact information

All US Senators

To find the US federal district you live in and your specific congressperson contact information. Do not bother writing to a congressperson outside of your own district because your letter or email will wind up in the trash.

Find Your US Federal District

To write to the White House directly

White House Contact Information





Smokeless Way to Smudging with White Sage and Sweet Grass

I know there are people for one reason or another that can not burn the White Sage and Sweetgrass to cleanse their self or home because of the smoke. So I tried this alternate way yesterday and got the same results as burning them. White Sage takes away the negative energy in your home and Sweet Grass brings in the positive energy.

Crush the White Sage into a powder and tear the Sweetgrass into very tiny pieces and combine them in a bowl or on a plate used only for this purpose. Than walk each room in your home counter-clockwise starting at the door people use the most to enter and exit your home. As you are walking ask the Mother Goddess and the Father God or whatever deity you have as your patrons to take away all negativity, anger, resentment, etc from your home and replace it with love, positive energy, and harmony while you asking for this energy exchange sprinkle the White Sage and Sweet Grass mixture on the floor in the center of the room in the shape of a pentagram and put some in each corner of the room. The pentagram does not have to be perfect or even completely solid. Leave the pentagram in place until you feel it is time to sweep it up, do not vacuum it up.  Leave the mixture you put in the corner of each room there this helps to keep your home environment a more positive space. Take the mixture you have swept up and dump it in your yard to be reclaimed by Mother Earth.

You can use these links to Magical Necessities to buy lose White Sage, not the bundles and a rope of Sweet Grass

White Sage 1 oz. White Sage

Sweetgrass Braid24 Inch Sweetgrass

Now for using White Sage to cleanse yourself Magical Necessities carries a soap made with White Sage. Use it when taking a shower again asking for all negativity to be removed from you and for positive, loving energy to replace it. All your negativity will just disappear down the drain. This soap can also be used before you do a ritual to cleanse yourself for it.

Here is the link from Magical Necessities to order the soap

White Sage Soap


A Short Introduction to Celtic/Druid Ogham or Ogma Alphabet and How to Use it For Divination

The Celtic’s used a writing system called Ogham or sometimes spelled Ogma which dates hundreds of years BCE (Before the Current Era). Most of the time the credit for the alphabets origins are given to the Druid Priests. As only they could read the meanings of the “Ogham Staves” when they were thrown. The Ogham alphabet consists of 25 different symbols which in turn are associated with specific trees or shrubs.

The alphabet can either be written vertically or horizontally but the actual marking for the symbol or letter always appears on the same side and location on the straight line that all the symbols/letter stem off of.

The Ogham Staves are used as a form of divination. You can use them the same as you would Runes or Tarot cards. To make Ogham Staves they should be craved into a piece of the tree or shrub they are associated with, all 25 pieces of wood should be the exact same length and when possible diameter.

How to use the staves is simple you hold them together in both hands, and roll them on your palms while you ask your question of them (be sure to keep your question clear and concise). When you feel it is time and with the question firmly fixed in your mind you let the staves drop from about 4 to 6 inches off the ground. Those closest to you are the future, the middle ones are for the present, and those furthest away are read for the past which led up to the present which will lead into the future.

Here is a picture of the alphabet writing, name of symbol/letter, and which tree or shrub is associated to it:

Other examples of the alphabet:

Here is are the symbols/letters on the tree or shrub they are associated with:

This is the first in a series of posts on the use and meanings of the Ogham alphabet and staves. I will also be posting an Ogham Symbol for the day starting Monday, August 13th both on here and on WOTC.

If you have questions about this topic please write to LAdy Beltane at Please put Ogham Question in the “Subject line”


2016’s Lammas/Laughnasdh Ritual for Online Coven Gathering

This year ritual is borrowed from Patti Wigniigton on About com. To read all the information for this please click on the following link:

I am sorry for taking an easy way out but because of pain from a medical problem, I have been unable to write one for us this time. There will be only a circle cast this time and no Watchtowers. Some traditions of The Craft do not call the Watchtowers.

Remember ALL Pagans are welcome to attend.

How To Hold a Lammas Harvest Ritual”

In some Pagan traditions, Lammas is the time of year when the Goddess takes on the aspects of the Harvest Mother. The earth is fruitful and abundant, crops are bountiful, and livestock are fattening up for winter. However, the Harvest Mother knows that the cold months are coming, and so she encourages us to begin gathering up what we can. This is the season for harvesting corn and grain, so that we can bake bread to store and have seeds for next year’s planting.

This ritual celebrates the beginning of the harvest season and the cycle of rebirth, and can be done by a solitary practitioner or adapted for a group or coven setting. Decorate your altar with symbols of the season — sickles and scythes, garden goodies like ivy and grapes and corn, poppies, dried grains, and early autumn foods like apples. If you like, light some Lammas Rebirth incense.

Have a candle on your altar to represent the Harvest Mother — choose something in orange, red or yellow.

These colors not only represent the blaze of the summer sun, but also the coming changes of autumn. You’ll also need a few stalks of wheat and an un-sliced loaf of bread (homemade is best, but if you can’t manage, a store-bought loaf will do). A goblet of ritual wine is optional. Also, if you have celiac disease or are otherwise sensitive to gluten, be sure to readCelebrating Lammas When You Eat Gluten-Free.

If your tradition requires you to cast a circle, do so now.

Light the candle, and say:

The Wheel of the Year has turned once more,
and the harvest will soon be upon us.
We have food on our tables, and
the soil is fertile.
Nature’s bounty, the gift of the earth,
gives us reasons to be thankful.
Mother of the Harvest, with your sickle and basket,
bless me with abundance and plenty.

Hold the stalks of wheat before you, [You can print a pictur of wheat stalks from an online picture] and think about what they symbolize: the power of the earth, the coming winter, the necessity of planning ahead. What do you need help planning right now? Are there sacrifices you should be making in the present that will be reaped in the future?

Rub the stalks between your fingers so a few grains of wheat fall upon the altar [Cut the picture into small pieces]. Scatter them on the ground as a gift to the earth. If you’re inside, leave them on the altar for now — you can always take them outside later. Say:

The power of the Harvest is within me.
As the seed falls to the earth and is reborn each year,
I too grow as the seasons change.
As the grain takes root in the fertile soil,
I too will find my roots and develop.
As the smallest seed blooms into a mighty stalk,
I too will bloom where I landed.
As the wheat is harvested and saved for winter,
I too will set aside that which I can use later.

Tear off a piece of the bread [From your own loaf or slice of whole wheat, if you eat it or feed the rest to the wildlife,]. If you’re performing this ritual as a group, pass the loaf around the circle so that each person present can take off a small chunk of bread. As each person passes the bread, they should say:

I pass to you this gift of the first harvest [Type this in after you have tore off your own piece of bread]. When everyone has a piece of bread [Has typed in the above sentence], say:

Everyone eats their bread together. If you have ritual wine [or your chosen beverage take a drink symbolic of passing it around] pass it around the circle for people to wash the bread down. Once everyone has finished their bread], take a moment to meditate on the cycle of rebirth and how it applies to your own life – physically, emotionally, spiritually. When you are ready, if you have cast a circle, close it or dismiss the quarters at this time. Otherwise, simply end the ritual in the manner of your tradition.

Preparing for Ostara/Spring Equinox Coven Gathering Ritual

Merry meet and merry greet. The coven gathering is open to any witch who would like to attend. It is being held on Saturday, MArch 19, 2016 at 7:00 PM CT. For more information go to the Home page on and scroll down to the announcement for this gathering.

Ostara is the start of spring when day and night are in perfect balance. It is the time when the Triple Goddess starts out as a Maiden and conceives her child. The eggs represent this quickening of the womb. The Ying/Yang symbol represents the male and female energy all living things have inside of them.It is a time to plant your seeds to nurture them into seedlings to plant on or around Beltane when the Triple Goddess enters the Mother aspect.

Below are the things that should be prepared ahead of time for our ritual. I suggest not making the eggs more than 2 days in advance because we will be eating them during the ritual.

Items Needed:

1 White Candle (any size is fine) Represents Ostara

1 Green Candle (same size as white one) Represents Oak King

Lighter or Matches

Water Proof Markers in 2 colors – 1 Light and 1 Darker

2 Previously Hard Boiled and Colored Eggs – 1 Colored the Darker Shade

                                                                                   1 Colored the Lighter Shade

Something to put the egg shells in when you eat them

Pair of Pointy Scissors to cut circles out of Ying/Yang Symbol

1-8×11 Inch Piece of Plain White Paper – With Ying/Yang Symbol Drawn on it.  I suggest using a dessert plate to draw the circle on the paper and then cutting around the outside of the mark.

Holes cut out to fit 1 egg in large part of each side of the symbol. I suggest using a shot glass or something the same size to draw th circles,  then cut inside the lines. Keep circles you cut out. One should be colored the lighter color and the other the darker one (you will be taping them back into the Ying/Yang symbol.

When coloring the eggs and Ying/Yang symbol use the lighter shade on one side and 1 egg. Then use darker side to do other side of symbol and egg.

Black Sharpie or similar Marker to write on the eggs with.

Before the ritual the eggs should be colored, the Ying/Yang symbol drawn and colored. Cut the circles out of each side of the symbol to nestle the eggs in. The reason for putting the opposite color egg into the symbols is to show how if it is the masculine side they have some feminine qualities and vise versa. 

Below will be a drawing of what each step in making the symbol and eggs will look like. My drawing with the Paint program on my computer is not that good but at least it will give you an idea of what I am talking about above.

Ying Yang Drawing

Mark each egg with as many runes as needed to convey your wishes/goals for yourself to sprout and grow thought out the summer and to be harvested in the fall. Below is a list of  one type of runes and their common meanings. You can find other types of runes by doing a search on or



First should have all ritual items as close to your computer as possible, so you can follow along with ritual easily.

Prepared Ying/Yang Symbol

2 Prepared Hard Bile Eggs

1-3 inch Black Candle

1-3 inch Yellow Candle

Plate or something to put egg shells on

Something to save egg shells in -you will be “planting” these either in your garden outside or in a pot inside with some type of seeds (flower or leafy plant or a vegetable- whatever kind of seed is your choice) You can refrigerate or freeze egg shells until you are ready to plant them on Beltane.The egg shells will help nourish what ever seeds or plant you chose to use them with.

Any questions about this post? Please email Lady Beltane at

The actual ritual will be posted one week before our gathering in the post that has the date, time and place. Just scroll down this page to find it.

Imbloc Gathering


Anyone is welcomed to join us!


Monday, February 1, 2016


6:00 to 7:00 PM CT

The Sacred Circle starts at 6:15 PM CT SHARP. Please be considerate and be on time or wait until 7:00 PM CT to join us for visiting after the circle has been opened!


Coven Life Chat Room

For information on how to find and get into the chat room or to figure out your local time please check out the banner on the left side of Coven Life Home Page.


Plan for the gathering will be posted at least one week before the gathering.

Just because it says coven does not mean you have to be in the coven to attend. All Pagans are welcome to join us! If you have any questions about the gathering please email stregga@ I look forward to many of us coming together to celebrate this wonderful Sabbat.

Let’s Talk Witch – Smudging Rituals

Smudging Rituals

While burning incense is traditionally associated with Wicca and other forms of contemporary Witchcraft, the practice of smudging has been used in sacred rituals around the globe since ancient times. Both incense and smudging involve the use of dried herbs, but incense is usually made from a more complex blend of powdered herbs, oils, resins, and bark, which creates a richer, more perfume-like scent. Incense is often an ingredient in spellwork, and various types of incense have specific correspondences with particular magical purposes. Smudging, on the other hand, is usually done before spellwork, and generally has a singular purpose: purifying the energy of a space, or a person.

The particular herbs used may depend on the reason for the purification, which can range from healing from a physical illness to eliminating negative, “haunted” energy from a house. (Incense can also be used for purification, but because it doesn’t tend to burn as cleanly as simple dried herbs, many Witches prefer smudging for this purpose.)

These days, you can find smudge sticks— bundles of dried herbs tied with string— at most New Age shops, as well as other places where medicinal herbs are sold.These are easy to handle and tend to last a long time, so they can be used repeatedly.

However, you can also burn loose sprigs of dried herbs for a “single use” smudge, which requires a bit more caution, but allows you to choose exactly which herb( s) you want to burn, depending on your purpose. (The two workings described below make use of loose herbs, but you can substitute a pre-made smudge stick if you prefer.)

The easiest way to approach smudging with loose herbs is to find sprigs of the dried herbs, ideally four inches long at a minimum, that you can hold with your fingertips. However, you can also place the herbs inside a fire-proof dish, and then place the dish in a skillet, using the handle of the skillet to carry the smoldering herbs. Whichever method you choose, be sure to thank the spirits of the herbs before lighting them. Remember that it’s the smoke from the herbs that does the cleansing, so only light them enough to get them smoldering, rather than trying to set them completely on fire. As with anything involving flame, use extreme caution. And if you’re working indoors, be sure to leave at least one window cracked open so that the energy being removed from the space has a way to get out.

When the smudging is finished, you can put out the burning herbs in a pot of soil or leave them to burn out on their own in a heat-proof dish. Many smudging traditions use a feather to fan the smoke around the space, or over the person, being purified. This is symbolic of the element of Air.

Likewise, many use a sea shell to catch the ashes from the smoldering herbs, which honors the element of Water. (Earth and Fire are already represented by the herbs and the flame.)

Whether you incorporate these items is up to you— you can also use your hand to wave the smoke around, and a bowl to catch the ashes, if you like.

Lisa Chamberlain, Wicca Herbal Magic: A Beginner’s Guide to Practicing Wiccan Herbal Magic, with Simple Herb Spells

Let’s Talk Witch – Ever Wonder Where The Grimoire Came From & Why We Keep One?

Magic of Dragons

Ever Wonder Where The Grimoire Came From &  Why We Keep One?

The religious practices upon which Wicca is partially based were primarily an oral tradition passed down to neophytes by more experienced practitioners. It’s said that small groups of practitioners met in secret and would possess little knowledge of the whereabouts or practices of other groups. This was done for protection, so that if one group was discovered there would be no way for the members to reveal or disclose the whereabouts of other practitioners. Unfortunately, this fragmented approach has left us severely wanting in the area of verifiable information. It is very difficult to piece together the rites and rituals of an oral tradition when the practitioners are scattered and disjointed and few written records exist. Consider this excerpt from the Preface to the Book of Shadows as recorded by Doreen Valiente, who adapted selected works of Gerald Gardner, considered by many to be the father of modern Wicca:

Keep a book 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, for if
found in their hand of
write they may well be
taken and tortured. Each
shall guard his own
writing and destroy it
whenever danger
threatens. Learn as much
as you may by heart, and
when danger is past,
rewrite your book if it be
safe. For this reason, if
any die, destroy their book
if they have not been able
to for an’ it be found ‘tis
clear proof against them,
and “ye may not be a
witch alone,” so all their
friends be in danger of
torture. So destroy
everything not necessary.
If your book be found on
you ‘tis clear proof against
you alone and you may be
tortured. Keep all thoughts
of the cult from
your mind an’ say you had
bad dreams, a devil
caused you to write this
without your knowledge.
Think to yourself “I know
nothing. I remember
nothing. I have forgotten
all.” Drive this into your mind …

While this preface has never been proven to be authentic, it is certainly a fascinating representation of the threat of capture that many witches experienced.

When so much information is missing, it becomes our responsibility to rewrite the rituals and legends as they relate to our modern experience. We may never go back, only forward.


Judy Ann Olsen, A Witch’s Grimoire, Create Your Own Book of Shadows

Winter Solstice/Yule Online Coven Gathering


Anyone is welcomed to join us!


Sunday, December 20, 2015


6:00 to 7:00 PM CT

The Sacred Circle starts at 6:15 PM CT SHARP. Please be considerate and be on time or wait until 7:00 PM CT to join us for visiting after the circle has been opened!


Coven Life Chat Room

For information on how to find and get into the chat room or to figure out your local time please check out the banner on the left side of Coven Life Home Page.


Please click on this link to read the ritual we will be doing:

Just because it says coven does not mean you have to be in the coven to attend. All Pagans are welcome to join us! If you have any questions about the gathering please email me at I look forward to many of us coming together to celebrate this wonderful Sabbat.




(Part 1)

When witchcraft became an underground organisation, the Craft of the Wise, it shared a characteristic common to all secret societies. Admission to it was by initiation.


Such initiation required the newly admitted member to swear a solemn oath of loyalty. When witchcraft was punishable by torture and death, such an oath was a serious matter. Today, when witchcraft has become like Freemasonry, not a secret society but a society with secrets, the idea of initiation still remains.


Initiations into witch circles nowadays take varying forms, as they probably always did. However, the old idea that initiation must pass from the male to the female, and from the female to the male, still persists. A male with must be initiated by a woman, and a female witch by a man. This belief may be found in other forms, in traditional folklore. For instance, the words of healing charms are often required to be passed on from a man to a woman, or from a woman to a man. Otherwise, the charm will have no potency.


There is also an old and deep-seated belief, both in Britain and in Italy, that witches cannot die until they have passed on their power to someone else. This belief in itself shows that witchcraft has been for centuries an initiatory organization, in which a tradition was handed on from one person to another.


The exception to the rule that a person must be initiated by one of the opposite sex, occurs in the case of a witch’s own children. A mother may initiate her daughter, or a father his son.


In general, for their own protection, covens have made a rule that they will not accept anyone as a member under the age of 21. Witches’ children are presented as babies to the Old Gods, and then not admitted to coven membership until they have reached their majority.


This rule became general in the terms of persecution. Secrecy upon which people’s lives depended was too great a burden for children’s shoulders to bear. It is evident, from the stories of witch persecutions, that witch-hunters realized how witchcraft was handed down in families. Any blood relative of a convicted witch was suspect.


The witch-hunting friar, Francesco-Maria Guazzo, in his ‘Compendium Maleficarum’ (Milan, 1608, 1626; English translation edited Montague Summers, London, 1929), tells us that “it is one among many sure and certain indications against those accused of witchcraft, if one of their parents were founded guilty of this crime”. When the infamous Matthew Hopkins started his career as Witch- Finder General, the first victim he seized upon was an old woman whose mother had been hanged as a witch.


There are a number of fragmentary accounts of old-time witch initiations, and from these a composite picture can be built up. The whole-hearted acceptance of the witch religion, and the oath of loyalty, were the main features. There was also the giving of a new name, or nick-name, by which the novice was henceforth to be known in the novice was given a certain amount of instruction, and, if the initiation took place at a Sabbat, as it often did, they were permitted to join in the feast and dancing that followed.


In some cases, in the days of really fierce persecution, a candidate was also required to make a formal renunciation of the official faith of the Christian Church, and to fortify this by some ritual act, such as trampling on a cross. This was to ensure that the postulant was no hypocritical spy; because such a one would not dare to commit an act which he or she would believe to be a mortal sin. Once the postulant had formally done such an act, they had in the eyes of the Church damned themselves, and abandoned them-selves to hellfire; so it was a real test of sincerity, and an effective deterrent to those who wanted to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds. Such acts are not, however, to my knowledge, required of witches today.


One of the ritual acts recorded as being part of a witch initiation is that described by Sir George Mackenzie, writing in 1699 about witchcraft in Scotland, in his book ‘Laws and Customs of Scotland” (Edinburgh, 1699): “The Slemnity confest by our Witches, is the putting one hand to the crown of the Head, and another to the sole of the Foot, renouncing thier Baptism in that posture.” Joseph Glanvill’s book ‘Sadducismus Triumphatus’ (London, 1726), had a frontispiece of pictures illustrating various stories of mysterious happenings, and one of these old woodcuts shows a witch in the act of doing this.


Her initiation is taking place out of doors, in some lonely spot between two big trees. With her are three other women, one of whom seems to be presenting her to the devil, who appears as the conventional figure of a horned and winged demon. In practice, however, the devil of the coven was a man dressed in black, who was sometimes called the Man in Black, for this reason. The “grand array” of the horned mask, etc., was only assumed upon special occasions.


A variant of this ritual was for the Man in Black to lay his hand upon the new witch’s head, and bid her to “give over all to him that was under his hand”. This, too, is recorded from Scotland, in 1661. Information about the initiation of men into witchcraft is much less than that referring to women. However, here is an account from the record of the trial of William Barton at Edinburgh, about 1655, evidently partly in his words and partly in those of his accusers, which tells how a young woman witch took a fancy to him, and initiated him:


One day, says he, going from my own house in Kirkliston, to the Queens Ferry, I over-took in Dalmeny Muire, a young Gentlewoman, as to appearance beautiful and comely. I drew near to her, but she shunned my company, and when I insisted, she became angry and very nyce. Said I, we are both going one way, be pleased to accept of a convoy. At last after much entreaty she grew better natured, and at length came to that Familiarity, that she suffered me to embrace her, and to do that which Christian ears ought not to hear of. At this time I parted with her very joyful. The next night, she appeared to him in that very same place, and after that which should not be named, he became sensible, that it was the devil. Here he renounced his baptism, and gave up himself to her service, and she called him her beloved and gave him this new name of John Baptist, and received the Mark.



The Devil’s make was made much of by professional witch-hunters, being supposed to be an indelible make given by the devil in person to each witch, upon his or her initiat-ion. However, it would surely have been very foolish of the devil to have marked his followers in this way, and thus indicated a means by which they might always be known. From the confused descriptions given at various times and places, it seems evident that the witch-hunters knew there was some ceremony of marking, but did not know what it was.


In witchcraft ceremonies today, the new initiate is marked with oil, wine, or some pigment, such as charcoal. However, as Margaret Murray has pointed out, there is a possibility, judging by the many old accounts of small red or blue markings being given, the infliction of which was painful but healed after a while, that this may have been a tattoo mark. Ritual tattooing is a very old practice; and some relics of this survive today, in the fact that people have themselves tattooed with various designs ‘for luck’. However, when persecution became very severe, it would have been unwise to continue this form of marking.


The most up-to-date instance I have heard, of the marking of new initiates, is the practice of a certain coven in Britain today, which uses eyeshadow for this purpose; because it is available in pleasing colours, is easily washed off, and does no harm to the skin. One wonders what old-time witches would think of it!


Source: “Lid Off The Cauldron. A wicca Handbook”, Patrica Crowther, 1992, Samuel Weiser inc., Maine. pp.34-




(Part 2)


To become a witch you must have a natural inclination to worship the Old Gods. It must be a feeling which springs from the heart and carries you on towards your goal, in exactly the same way it happened to the first witches thousands of years ago.


The approach must be in this manner. Any other attitude, such as vulgar curiosity, a desire for power over others, or the selfish intention of using magic to gain material ends, will only end in failure and disillusion.


The Old Gods are ancient archetypal images of the divine powers behind all Nature. They are the oldest gods known to man. Pictures of them are painted all over Europe and show the great influence they had, even at the Dawn of Time.


Just because they are so old, is no reason to believe they are in any way ‘out of date’. Our ancestors were no fools: their way of life and their culture is gaining more and more respect as the years go by. Continuous discoveries about their skills and beliefs growing admiration and amazement.


Their deities were a Mother Goddess and a Horned God, representing the twin forces of life: male and female, light and dark, positive and negative, Sun and Moon, etc. These complimentary aspects in nature are ‘fact’ and cannot be disputed. And, because the Gods are true representations of the divine powers behind all manifestation, they have endured through millennia, and will always endure.


Unlike many other religions, where contact with divinity is sought through prayer and meditation, witchcraft teaches development of the soul through the Eight Paths of the Witches’ Wheel. These ways are part of the Western Mystery Tradition. The West and the East are two very different places. Eastern religions teach their followers to look ‘within’ for enlightenment, and although the West uses this method in meditation, it is only ‘one’ of the Eight Paths. The Western mind looks ‘outward’ and seeks spiritual grace by helping others. Thus, the witches use their powers to help those in sickness or trouble.


The Awakening can begin as an urge which rises from the depths of the soul. A state of boredom or desperation, which every human being comes to at some point of incarnation, can become as a beacon to the spirit. It is born to the struggling soul and to the complacent alike. Many lives may be endured before it is realized that the true self must take the initiative and begin to fight its own way out of the Cycles of Incarnation, which, without the control of the Higher Self, may continue indefinitely. Once the realization is born, and the quest begun, the soul is on its way from manhood to godhood.


Regarding the Craft, it is wise to seek initiation from a ‘genuine’ coven. This is not as easy as it sounds, as genuine adherents do not seek converts, and therefore do not advertise for members. they believe that if a person is sincere and determined enough in their desire to belong to the Craft, they will, sooner or later, make contact.


There are, however, various ways of speeding things up a little, such as contributing to one of the privately printed occult magazines, which are usually run by people ‘in the know’. Or even placing a small advert in one of these papers. You can also write to the author of a book on the subject, and send the letter via the publishers. It might then be forwarded to a coven in your area, although I must add here that even if this happens, and you are invited to meet someone from a coven, it would not be indicative of entry.


There are certain conditions which have to be fulfilled, such as blending in with the personalities of the members, having read widely on the subject, a willingness to submit to a waiting period, usually a year and a day, among others. Yet these conditions are valid ones; you cannot expect to be accepted quickly, but you will know that the witches you meet have undergone similar obstacles themselves.


The ways of the witches are those of caution, especially where strangers are concerned. After all, who would admit a stranger to their home without an introduction, let alone to a temple of the Mysteries.


Care must be taken, too, in finding a coven which is in close ‘rapport’ with your own life-style, culture and character. But, once contact is made, there is hope in finding a group where conditions, on both sides, can be fulfilled.


Although some covens wear robes, the traditional way of working in the Circle, is to be sky-clad, or naked. When you are brought into the Craft, you enter as you were born, without clothes or ties of any kind. The first initiation is virtually an introduction to a new way of life. You are made a ‘Child of the Goddess’; you are shown the tools of the Craft; told the ways of working magic, and made to swear an oath to keep the secrets of the Art. This is called the First Degree.


The Second Degree is the initiation proper. This involves the concept of symbolic death and symbolic resurrection, when you are re-born with the new magical personality. A new name (of your own choice) is given to you which represents the transformation, and by which, henceforth, you will be known when in the Circle.


The drama of this mystery play implants its ideas firmly in the subconscious mind of the adherent, and the mystery, which is enacted on the material plane, sets the seal on the future. It is not to be supposed that by initiation and teaching you will automatically be ‘re-born’. A way will be shown, and knowledge imparted, yet the journey is always ‘alone’ and the true ‘will’ tested to the very brink of breaking point.


In a sense, when initiation takes place it is very much like daring Fate to do its worst. One has taken a stand: “I announce to all creation that I will endure to progress.”


In witchcraft the soul develops a deeper understanding of ‘being’. This entails practice, which is why the Craft has grades of advancement. The highest grade is the consummation of the mysteries, where ritual yields to what is termed, ‘The Secret of the Silver Wheel’. There is also the imparting of certain ‘secret’ words, which, in themselves, convey very little, but their secret intention ‘is’ important and gently ‘nudges’ the aspirant onward.


By: Alex Rigel Source: “An ABC of Witchcraft”, Doreen Valiente, 1973, Phoenix publishing inc., Wash. pp.203-4.