Remember to harm none!

Katydid's Site Index

Class on Wicca Law

A Pagan Pledge Helping Mother Earth Heal Those in Need It Harm None, Do As Ye Will Book Of Law
Pagan Serenity Prayer The Wiccan Law of the Power The Witches Rede of Chivalry The Wiccan Three-Fold Law
The Magic Of The Three-Fold Law The Divine's Post-It Note Basic Wicca For Beginners Wiccan Beliefs: Gods and Goddesses
Wicca For Beginners - The Universal Elements Wiccans and Witchcraft Basic Wicca: Spellcasting Wiccaning
Creed Of The Green Witch Your Rights under the Constitution Principals of Wiccan Beliefs The Five Points of Wiccan Belief
The Law The Modern Witch's Manifesto The Spiritual Laws of Witchcraft The Temple Laws
The Ten Commandments of Mother Earth The Witches’ Creed
A Pagan Pledge I am a pagan and I dedicate myself to channeling the spiritual energy of my inner self to help and to heal myself and others. I know that I am a part of the whole of nature. May I grow in understanding of the unity of all nature. May I always walk in balance. May I always be mindful of the diversity of nature as well as its unity and may I always be tolerant of those whose race, appearance, sex, sexual preference, culture, and other ways differ from my own. May I use the force (psychic power) wisely and never use it for aggression nor for malevolent purposes. May I never direct it to curtail the free will of another. May I always be mindful that I create my own reality and that I have the power within me to create positivity in my life. May I always act in honorable ways: being honest with myself and others, keeping my word whenever I have given it, fulfilling all responsibilities and commitments I have taken on to the best of my ability. May I always remember that whatever is sent out always returns magnified to the sender. May the forces of karma move swiftly to remind me of these spiritual commitments when I have begin to falter from them, and may I use this karmic feedback to help myself grow and be more attuned to my inner pagan spirit. May I always remain strong and committed to my spiritual ideals in the face of adversity and negativity. May the force of my inner spirit ground out all malevolence directed my way and transform it into positivity. May my inner light shine so strongly that malevolent forces can not even approach my sphere of existence. May I always grow in inner wisdom & understanding. May I see every problem that I face as an opportunity to develop myself spiritually in solving it. May I always act out of love to all other beings on this planet – to other humans, to plants, to animals, to minerals, to elementals, to spirits, and to other entities. May I always be mindful that the goddess and god in all their forms dwell within me and that this divinity is reflected through my own inner self, my pagan spirit. May I always channel love and light from my being. May my inner spirit, rather than my ego self, guide all my thoughts, feelings, and actions. "So mote it be!" Helping Mother Earth Heal Those in Need For those not skilled in magick and spells, you can lend strength and energy to those in need simply by lighting a green candle and doing the following: Picture a white ball of energy coming out of your chest (near the sternum or breastbone). At this point you may wish to say a few words or simply focus on the pain and suffering coming from the group you are focusing on (refugees, starving children, etc). You are offering this energy to any and all who need it, so try not to focus on any one person or face from the papers. From deep in your chest, *push* the ball. You will feel the muscles in your chest pushing and your shoulders drawn in toward the center of your torso. This will send the energy to the place and group you were thinking of. Remember, one person can make a difference. In addition to magick, why not call the Red Cross. Find out what groups are doing relief work in Albania, Somalia, Serbia, etc. Volunteer to collect canned goods, clothes, blankets, etc. It Harm None, Do As Ye Will One aspect of Paganism that draws people to the religion is the seemingly lack of dogma and strict set of rules that other religions hold their members to. There are many core beliefs to all Pagan paths but not every Pagan follow each of their rules. What sets Wicca apart from other paths is what is called the Wiccan Rede. The rede, for short, states "An it harm none, do as you will." You may find many versions but they all mean the same. If you are new to the Wiccan religion, this statement may first appear as a free ticket to run wild, creating havoc, and unbridled self-centered activities. For those of us who have been around for awhile know it is far from that free ticket! The Rede teaches us to think before we act. I may want that expensive outfit in the mall but I can't afford it. Does the Rede mean I can do what I want to get that outfit by the action of stealing? No. I must stop to think how having that outfit for free will affect my environment. If I steal, the store loses money. The store losing money can cause the cashier to lose her job. Or the prices of everything goes up to cover the cost of my theft. if prices go up, customers stop shopping in the store. This can cause the store to close and many people will lose their jobs. The Wiccan beliefs (and all Pagans really) make each individual person responsible for their own actions. We Wiccans can not place blame for our wrong doings on a scapegoat such as the devil, satan, or another human! Only you can be responsible for the positive and negative actions you perform. We must always be mindful of how we can cause the least harm to the planet around us and even to our own bodies. Avoiding recreation drugs, drinking alcohol excessively, and smoking cigarettes are all ways we harm our bodies. Killing animals for sport is usually looked down upon by Wiccans. In fact, many Wiccans become vegetarians of some degree because of the way animals are treated for food products. Wiccans and Pagans have a high reverence for nature. Recycling and reusing items is an obvious way to cut down on the harm done to the Earth. Making compost from food scrapes is a great way to give back to our Earth. Book Of Law 1. The Laws were created to give our lives form and order, that all might be balanced throughout all of the planes. In truth there are two sets of laws, which govern us -- one setting forth the ways of the Wiccan, and the other the ways of the Universe. Both are important; each should be observed with respect and treated with honor. The Laws were shaped and molded to govern us, to teach us, to advise us, and to counsel us during our time of mortal life on earth. 2. Honor the Gods, for They are the channels and the manifestations of the Source. Honor yourself, for this divine Force also lies within you. Love the Gods as They love you; for as you love yourself and your brothers and sisters, so the Gods shall honor you. As the love of a man and a woman flowers and grows when nurtured with respect and cultivated with understanding and honor, so should you love the Gods. 3. The Goddess is the Great Mother, the God is the Great Father, and we are their children; and we worship them, because they are the Rulers of the Universe and all that is therein. Therefore, O Children of the Gods, try them not, nor attempt to test them, lest they show you that the Ways of the Craft are not to be belittled or mocked. 4. Let the Power of the Craft flow from you only in love -- or not at all. For it has always been known that the energy webs which we weave and maintain shall eventually return to encircle their creator. Thus our works become either the net which entangles and binds us, or the web of light by which we are linked to the Gods. 5. Let the Rites of the Wicca be a way for the children of the Gods to be as One -- for the Power flows only when the circle is unified. Always should you revere the Earth, and heal and tend Her, for She is our life, our Mother Ship, on which we navigate the dark currents of space. 6. When you reap the harvests of your lands, then you shall not reap one corner of the field, nor glean the herb gardens, nor the fallen fruits of the orchards. These you shall offer to the Earth Mother, in direct return, or through offerings made to your circle, or to sustain its Priests and Priestesses. 7. Always be proud to be of the Wicca, but never allow your pride to become vanity -- for those who are self-important become as stumbling blocks, and like stumbling blocks, they are cast aside for their vanity. 8. Observe and listen, reserving your judgment, for until all the silver is weighed, who can know the worth thereof? 9. As like breeds like, even more does good beget love and joy. Your life will be full of love and joy if you are honorable and happy. 10. Your teachers are the servants of the Gods. Their duty is to plant the seeds of knowledge within the minds of their students, and they shall use their power for the good of the Wicca. Yet it is each student's duty to tend the seeds, which are planted, and to make the final harvest. Those who misuse the power and trust of the teacher's position shall have to answer to the Lords of Karma, and adjust the balance accordingly. 11. The Temples of the Gods, which are Their abode on Earth, shall belong to all Their children, and each circle shall be as a special family. Do naught against any of the Wicca, lest you do that thing against the Gods, and against yourself. 12. You must not be a teller of tales amongst the children of the Goddess, and you must hold no malice or evil thoughts towards others of the Wicca. 13. You must not lie, nor give false testimony before your Elders, or those who are of the Wicca -- for liars are fools, and a menace unto themselves, and to the Wicca. Be truthful in all your works and deeds, especially within the circle, for what you say within the presence of the Gods becomes manifest. 14. You must not put stumbling blocks in the way of those who do not follow the way of the Wicca. You must make no unrighteous judgments of their ways, and you should aid them with an attitude of love when it is asked for. Yet ever should you keep the Counsel of the Elders, and reveal naught to others where our circles may be. Nor may you reveal our ways without the consent of the Priestess. 15. When you make a vow to the Lord or the Lady, or you swear an oath to another of the Wicca, then you must do all that has come forth from your mouth, for a covenant with the Gods, or with the Wicca, is your honor. Woe and trouble shall befall those who care not for the fetters they attach to their souls by not keeping their word. 16. The Great Mother and Great Father would not have Their children suffer the indignities of oppressors for Their sake, for what is within the hearts of Their children is dear and true to Them. The Ancient and Mighty Ones shall cause the balance to be made for those who desecrate the worship of the Lord and Lady, Their Temples, or Their creations. 17. Never shall you use Magick or the Craft to cause harm, for this is misuse of the Power, and is not to be condoned. To cause pain and death of another through the Craft shall require pain and death of the self in sacrifice. 18. Never betray any of the brethren, nor the lore of our people, for you are all servants of the Gods, and must live by the virtues of love, honor, and wisdom. Let truth, loyalty and honor be your creed and your guides, but let them ever be tempered by love and wisdom. 19. The order of the Gods shall you keep, and within Their Circles shall you walk. You must not say, "I believe" when in truth you doubt, nor shall you claim to obey the Lord and Lady's word when you never enter into their presence. You must not profess with your lips that which is not within your heart. 20. Use not the names of the Gods in negative or evil ways, for They love and cherish Their children above all others. All others They love, even those who know Them not. Those who hate and curse in Their name shall have the Mighty Ones take the measure of their worth. 21. In any disputes between the children of the Goddess, no one may invoke any laws but those of the Craft, or any tribunal but that of the Priestess, Priest, and Elders. 22. No one of the Wicca may do anything, which shall endanger the Craft, nor bring any of the Wicca into conflict with the law of the land, or with any of our persecutors. 23. Your magickal tools are channels to that which is most precious and pure within you. Cheapen them not by haggling over their price when you acquire them. 24. Never accept money for the use of the Power. It is sorcerers and charlatans who accept money for their fraudulent spells and prayers. If you accept no money, you shall be free from the temptation to use the Craft for evil or unworthy causes. 25. You shall never take unduly from any human, animal, or elemental that which is not yours to take: for if you steal from another, in the end you shall have to sacrifice something dearer to you in order to maintain the balance. 26. Show honor to all people, that they may look up to you, and respect you; and their eyes shall become a mirror for your soul. 27. Those who are of the Wicca shall not own slaves. One person may not own the spirit of another; for only the Great Mother and the Great Father have our souls in Their keeping. Nor shall you take as a pledge any person's life, for to do so is to place yourself betwixt two grindstones. 28. If strangers sojourn with you, you shall do them no wrong; they shall be treated as one of the Wicca, born amongst you, and you shall deal with them as you would with yourself. 29. Just weights and just balances shall you use, and just value shall you give, and thereby receive threefold. 30. Your altars must be kept clean, pure, and holy; and all that is brought into Circle shall be cleansed and blessed, for the joy of the Gods, and of the Wicca. 31. A clean mind requires a clean body. Keep clean your body, your clothes, and your house, doing this in honor of the Mother, Who gives these things to you. 32. Let none die without honor, without love, or without respect, unless their actions have decreed otherwise. 33. Couple not together if it will cause pain, jealousy, or deprivation to another by doing so. Union for malicious or evil reasons such as these upsets the balance, and the Lords of the Universe shall make adjustments accordingly. 34. Let those who would love one another, and would be as one and bear child, be handfasted. For the sharing of love in this manner is beauteous, and love's union shares in the energy of the Gods, and brings good heritage to the child. It is important for children to know and to identify with those who brought them here. 35. The Law of the Goddess is that they of the Wicca never take and wed someone whom they do not love, whether it is to harm another, or for some form of material gain. 36. Remember that your children are Goddess-spawned, and are free spirits. You do not own nor control them. They are your brethren, come to visit for a while, that they may share in the vision of your love and wisdom. Let each parent realize that we must teach and guide with love, yet the child shall also teach the parents, and aid them in their growth and development. 37. The etheric web and energy vortices of the Earth are in constant flux and motion to adjust to the needs of the planet. The sacred trust of the Wicca is to create and to maintain centers of light and knowledge, using the Divine spark within us to focus and channel the forces of the Universal fire. These webs are the channels established between the worlds of the stars and the realms of the Earth, bringing in and regulating the Spirit flames, which energize and activate all life forms. Thus we tend and guard the threads of creation, and we weave the patterns of life and manifestation in an ever-evolving tapestry. 38. Never use your heritage or position for self-glorification or gain. Respect both your magick and our ways. We must always recognize that while others may look to us to lead them, they too are our guides. 39. Keep your body strong, your mind keen, and your purpose pure, for within your being you shall channel the Power, and it needs to be strong and pure. And these are the keys to the path of Oneness, and to communication with the Gods. Yet first you must learn to speak to Them in such a manner as They can comprehend. For the children of the Wicca must aid the Gods, and work with Them, otherwise the Gods cannot aid and work with us. Ever remember that the Priest and Priestess are the living representatives of the God and Goddess Forces, and likewise that all humans carry these forces within them, though they may lie dormant and unawakened. 40. As the Great Mother and Father come unto one another and create with pure vibration of Love-Wisdom, so should you strive to make your Circle pure in vibration, a fitting place wherein you may invite the Gods. Thus, your Circle should always be duly purified and cast; and likewise, those who would use the gateways and travel the Circle between the Earth and other Realms must also be duly prepared and purified. 41. The Goddess hath said, "I shall not carry thee, yet neither shall I hinder thee, nor keep thee from having the same opportunities as all of My children. Thou art free, yet thou shalt not be coddled like babes in the storm. If thou hast true devotion within thee, then all obstacles may be overcome." 42. The laggard is but half a person -- and though half is better than none, the whole is twice as good as the half. Those who work not, or who lack the will and desire to learn the ways of the Gods, unto them it is said, "The Ancient and Mighty Ones shall not keep you within Their house, if ye learn not." 43. You shall make a sanctuary unto the Gods, that They may dwell amongst you. And you shall fashion it to the best of your ability, according to all that your Elders shall show you, and pure energy shall you place therein. 44. You shall make an altar unto the Lady, and you shall make due reverence unto Her, for every place where She enters is exalted. She will come to you and bless you. And you shall fashion your altar out of wood or stone, and burn incense and candles thereon, at the proper times, in observance of Her ways. 45. You shall set aside at least one day during each Moon unto the Goddess. On that day you shall do Her work; and on that day She will renew Her children and bless them. 46. Learn to build your own Temple, and to craft your own sacred Circle, and all tools that are used therein -- for to be a person of the Craft is to be a person of consequence. 47. Let each of you inscribe your own record of our ways and teachings. For the course of all Wiccans should be charted, that the patterns of their lifewebs may be made known and utilized. Let all Wiccans keep their Book of Light with the teachings and lore of their Tradition, yet let every Book of Light contain the rites and ways of each individual, which are the harvest of each child of the Wicca, to use the wisdom of their heritage as the seeds of their own personal wisdom. Thus shall our lore and knowledge continue to grow and unfold, like a beautiful flower. 48. It is right to study and to understand the sigils, statues and stories of the Gods, for they shall guide your thoughts to Them, and They shall hear you. Yet you must ever remember that you worship not the sign nor the statue, but the Gods, which inspired them. 49. If your Circle owns any land, let all guard it, and help to keep it clean. Let all justly guard all monies of the Circle, as well as the rights and property of all members of the Circle. 50. If any Wiccan truly labors, just payment becomes a personal right. This is not considered the taking of money for the Art, but good and honest work. Yet if any Wiccan works willingly for the good of the Craft, or a brother or sister without pay, then it becomes the cause of great honor. 51. If any Wiccan should willingly forswear some pleasure or material indulgence in order to do service in the Circle, this person shall be blessed and remembered. For the spirit shall be uplifted in any who gives for the greatest good of all. 52. Know also that if you gift the Lady's Priests and Priestesses, or Her Circles, this is an offering made unto the Mother Herself, for a true Priest or Priestess strives always to do Her work, and to be of service to Her children, so to honor and respect them is to honor and respect the Queen of All. 53. And the offerings which are considered the most pleasing to the Gods are these: the fruits of the orchards the scents of the trees and herbs the metals of the Earth the waters of the Earth the flowers of the meadows and the milk of all mothers. Yet offerings of labor or money are honest too, and these will also be accepted -- more so if you work with love in your heart, for always there is work to be done for the Gods, and service to be given to the children of the Wicca. 54. If your offerings are made to restore the balance, they must be of a nature that is not offensive to the Gods. They must be of value, yet given with a free heart. Thus shall the harmony be restored. If your offerings are given with a heart filled with love and devotion, or are of service to the Gods, or to the Craft, then shall you receive blessings manifold. 55. And when you make an offering unto the Gods, you should offer it through the most proper medium, at the proper times, and in such a manner as to make it acceptable. Any and all remains of the rituals shall be consumed in the fire, or buried within the Earth, as a way of returning to the Source all that we use in the observance of our ways, thus ensuring the continuity of the cycle. 56. All may use the Craft to help and aid them, or for the advantage of their Circle, or the Craft -- yet only if you are sure that you harm none. Let each Wiccan and Circle always debate these matters at length. Only if all be satisfied that none be harmed in any way, may the Art then be used. If it is not possible to achieve your ends one way, then perhaps the goal may be achieved by acting in a different way, so as to harm none. 57. Throughout the world it has been many a year since Wiccans have been burned. Yet misuse of the Power might raise the persecutions once again. So never break the Laws, however much you might be tempted, and never consent to their being broken. And if you know they are being broken, then you must work strongly against it. 58. In days of old it was decided by the Mighty Ones who came before us that the Art might be used to restrain others from harming the Craft or its children, yet only after great consultation with all members of the Circle, and only then to deflect or to constrain them. 59. And such were the ways of the Lady that She brought us forth in joy, and such were the ways of the Lord that His reign gave all life pleasure. Offer love in your worship and all shall be joyous in beauty. 60. In the dimly remembered dawn of ages past, the Wicca were truly free. Then, in Atlantis came the Age of Misuse of Power, followed by the Ages of Persecution and Suffering. So the people of the Wicca hid themselves and cloaked their knowledge, and wove veils of secrecy and silence. And this is how the Ways of the Wicca have been preserved through the time of darkness. Yet much of the knowledge of our people was lost in that darkness. 61. Yet the cycle ever revolves - and the Age of the Earth Mother once again draws nigh. We must be strong - one with our birthright, and one with our Gods, if we are to bring forth the balance. Those who would harm us, or attempt to enslave us, we must overcome - yet only through light and love, and never through violence or the evil of chaos. And through our efforts the time of our people will come into being once more. In the times which lie ahead, there is much work to be done, so that once more the cycles of life are drawn to the path of light, and the balance achieved through the power of love. 62. In order to bring the ways of the Light and Love and Light to the peoples of the Earth, our secrets are slowly becoming secrets no more, and it is good that this is so - for the age of shadow and secrecy is passing. Yet the sharing of our ways needs always to be guided by wisdom and by love. Let our rites and our mysteries always be sacred. Let no one defile our worship or our heritage, for the defilement of our ways is loss of honor, both for self and for the Craft. 63. Let each High Priestess govern her Circle with justice and love, and with the help and advice of the Elders and the High Priest, always heeding the messages of the Gods when they come. 64. Ever remember that although the Priest is the force with which the Circle is built, the Priestess is the ruler therein - for it is through her that the Goddess created the world, and all things therein. 65. Let each Circle of Light decide how it shall be known -- whether by earthly name or magickal one. For each child of the Wicca knows best the safety or dangers of the chosen homeland. 66. Let each Circle of Light maintain and dedicate unto the Goddess and the God all things that are required for Their rituals, for what is blessed in the name of the Gods rightly belongs to Them, and the Priest or Priestess shall be the caretakers thereof. 67. Any of the Circle, who are of sufficient rank, and wish to form a new Circle, shall tell the High Priestess and the Elders of their intentions. Members of the old Circle may join the new Circle when it is formed, but if they do so they must leave the other Circle, unless otherwise instructed. For it is an old law that while each Wiccan may join the Circle of choice, no Wiccan's energy should be divided between two or more Temples. 68. The Elders of the old and new Circles shall meet in peace and with respect, to decide the level of interaction and connection between the Circles. Yet it is known that the splitting of a Circle often means strife. So only if it is truly in a spirit of peace and harmony should the Circles meet for the celebration of the Great Festivals. 69. None shall enter the Circle with a sickness or an ailment, which may be passed on to the Lady's other children - for to do so causes harm to yourself, as well as to others of the Circle. Rather should the Elders go unto the sick one, that through the love of the Gods they shall be made well and whole once more. 70. It has been judged that if any of the Craft need a house or land, and none will sell, it shall be lawful to incline someone's mind so as to be willing to sell, providing it harms none and the full price is paid without haggling. 71. The High Priest or High Priestess shall heed all complaints of all Pagans and Wiccans, and strive to settle any differences between them, with reason and with justice. 72. In the matter of quarrels or disputes between the members of the Circle, the High Priestess shall convene the Council, and inquire into the matter. The Council shall hear each person privately, and then both together. And they shall decide justly, not favoring one side nor the other. 73. If an agreeable resolution cannot be reached, then the dissenting Wiccan must void the Circle, for a Circle of Light cannot be properly formed where there is disagreement and discord. And when a Circle is not properly formed, the energy within is either dissipated, or turns ugly, festering like a hidden sore. So let dissenters leave, but only with love in their hearts and yours, for even though your paths may diverge, you are still all children of the Wicca, and there must be no violence between us. Bear no grudges, hold no thoughts of vengeance, for this will rot away the foundation of your power. 74. It has ever been recognized that there are some people who can never agree to work under any others. At the same time there are also people who cannot rule justly. To those who must ever be chief there is but one answer: "Void this Circle, and seek another one, or if ye be of sufficient rank, then form a Circle of your own." To those who cannot rule justly, the answer shall be: "Those who cannot bear your rule will leave you". For none may circle with whom they are at variance, because to do so angers the Gods, and hinders the Craft. 75. Those that do wrong without knowledge shall be held innocent; those that do wrong through carelessness shall be judged lacking in wisdom, and dealt with according to the nature of the transgression. Those who do wrong with deliberation and forethought shall be thrice punished, and the Lords of Karma shall lay low their pride. 76. Each person must make a balance between words and actions, and the judgment of the Elders should incline toward making good come from the injustice or wrongdoing. Many are the ways to restore the balance, so let the judgments of the Elders and the Priestess be in keeping with this. 77. Do not turn aside those who seek the ways of the Wicca for want of an offering or lack of a robe. You are the servant of the Gods, and the servants of Their people, and those that seek for the Gods you must aid in their quest. 78. When you meet with those who would inquire as to the ways of the Goddess, or who wish to become of the Wicca, you shall search their hearts, and even into their spirits shall you look, as you are able. For the Wicca do not look to acquire mere numbers. Let none be turned away whose heart is true, and whose desire is earnest. 79. The hidden children are like the strings of a harp; each one may give a clear note, and when gathered together in sympathy and accord, they give rise to a beautiful symphony. Yet when struck without reason or thought, these notes may cause discord or disharmony. Therefore the Gods decree to Their Teachers and Priests that all must be taught to master their instruments, that there may be no discord or imbalance. 80. Choose the Priests and Teachers of the Wicca with diligence and with care. The qualities that you should search for within them are Wisdom, Faith, Belief, Knowledge, Ability, Patience, Leadership, Humility, and a loving nature - for they must lead and teach the children of the Goddess, and will thereby have the power to do great good, or to cause great imbalance. 81. Let the greatest of the Priests and Priestesses guide the rituals within each of the Temples of the Old Gods, and let all worshippers strive to be content with the advice and guidance given by them. Yet each rite and ritual must be given so that it is clear and understandable, for within the Temple of the Wicca there walk only free men and free women who must be able to recognize and to understand our ways and their implications. Therefore those Priests and Priestesses who will not or cannot explain the inner workings, or give just cause and reason for their decisions, may be questioned, and the wisdom of the advice weighed. 82. Let the Priestess and Priest lead as long as they are able, and let their leadership be wise and strong, and to the benefit of the Wicca. Yet if their health is ill favored, or if the next generation needs to try its hand, then let them have the vision and the wisdom to step away from their position, and pass the duties of the Circle to another. Let them not become overly attached to the office, nor too fond of the power. 83. If a Priestess or a Priest should tire of the Temple's duties and charges, then she or he may step down, but only after having trained and acknowledged a successor. But a Priest or Priestess who deserts the Circle loses the right to lead again within this life, so great is the trust that has been broken. If such a person returns to the Circle within one turn of the Wheel, and shall be judged to have true atonement, and gained new insight and growth, then she or he may be forgiven, and allowed to return to the Circle. Yet that person shall worship only, and hold no office or title. Leadership is a sacred commitment and an honor, and it will not be committed twice to those who have shown that they cannot be trusted with such responsibility. 84. Any Priestess, Priest, or Elder who consents to a breach of the Laws regarding the use of the Craft to cause harm to others must immediately be relieved of office, for it is the lives of the children of the Goddess which they endanger, as well as the honor of the Craft. 85. The High Priestess may take a Sabbatical from her Circle, if her personal life and duties require it, for up to a year and a day. During that time, the Maiden shall act as High Priestess. If the High Priestess does not return at the end of a year and a day, then the Initiates of the Circle shall name a new Priestess. Unless there is good reason to the contrary, the person who has done the work of the Priestess should reap the reward. If someone else is named, then the Maiden should continue in that office. 86. Each Priestess and Priest shall choose their own consorts, yet let them select from those who are wise in the learning of our people, and thus others shall abide by the wisdom of their choice. Yet if the Circle feels the decision is ill-advised, or that they cannot abide and work in honor and trust with that consort, then they may request a gathering of all concerned to meet and to talk, and to resolve the balance with love and honor. For only those who are pure and strong, keen and wise, patient and loving, can effectively and properly carry out the duties of a Keeper of the Circle. 87. Those of the Priesthood shall not neglect their mates, or their children, or their house, nor anything, which is in their possession; nor shall the sick and the needy be neglected for the sake of the Circle. Therefore let them adjust the one thing against the other, that neither should suffer, and that which is given by the Gods is treated with love and respect. 88. Long ago, at the time of Creation, it was deemed that the female should hold the power of life giving. So mightily was the male force drawn to the love and beauty of the Creation of life, that he surrendered unto her keeping the force of his powers in the furtherance of life. Yet the Priestess must always remember that the flames which light the fires within her come from the Priest. Therefore she must use the force wisely, and only with love, and she must honor and respect him, who is the activator of the Life Force. Pagan Serenity Prayer God & Goddess grant me: The Power of Water, to accept with ease and grace what I cannot change. The Power of Fire, for the energy and courage to change the things I can. The Power of Air, for the ability to know the difference. ..And the Power of Earth, for the strength to continue my path. So Mote in Be! Wiccan Serenity Prayer My Lady, give me the strength To be tolerant of those who would change me And to love those who love me for how I've changed My Lord, give me the courage To stand fast in my faith And not to stray from the path of good and knowledge My loving parents, give me the wisdom To harm none And honor you in all ways So mote it be! The Wiccan Law of the Power The Power shall not be used to bring harm, to injure or control others. But if the need rises,the Power shall be used to protect your life or the lives of others. The Power is used only as need dictates. The Power can be used for your own gain, as long as by doing so you harm none. It is unwise to accept money for use of the Power, for it quickly controls its taker. Be not as those of other religions. Use not the Power for prideful gain, for such cheapens the mysteries of Wicca and magick. Ever remember that the Power is the sacred gift of the Goddess and God, and should never be misused or abused. And this is the law of the Power. The Witches Rede of Chivalry Insofar as the Craft of the Wise is the most ancient and most honorable creed of humankind, it behooves all who are Witches to act in ways that give respect to the Old Gods, to their sisters and brothers of the Craft, and to themselves. Therefore, be it noted that: Chivalry is a high code of honor which is of most ancient Pagan origin, and must be lived by all who follow the Old Ways. It must be kenned that thoughts and intent put forth on this middle-Earth will wax strong in other worlds beyond, and return...bringing into creation, on this world, that which had been sent forth. Thus one should exercise discipline, for "as ye do plant, so shall ye harvest." It is only by preparing our minds to be as Gods that we can ultimately attain godhead. This above thine own self be true... A Witch's word must have the validity of a signed and witness oath. Thus, give thy word sparingly, but adhere to it like iron. Refrain from speaking ill of others, for not all truths of the matter may be known. Pass not unverified words about another, for heresay is, in a large part, a thing of falsehoods. Be thou honest with others, and have them known that honesty is likewise expected of them. The fury of the moment plays folly with the truth; to keep one's head is a virtue. Contemplate always the consequences of thine acts upon others. Strive not to harm. Diverse covens may well have diverse news on love between members and with others. When a coven, clan or grove is visited or joined, one should discern quietly their practices, and abide thereby. Dignity, a gracious manner, and a good humor are much to be admired. As a Witch, thou hast power, and thy powers wax strongly as wisdom increases. Therefore exercise discretion in the use thereof. Courage and honor endure forever. Their echoes remain when the mountains have crumbled to dust. Pledge friendship and fealty to those who so warrant. Strengthen others of the Brethren and they shall strengthen thee. Thou shall not reveal secrets of another Witch or another coven. Others have labored long and hard for them and cherish them as treasures. Though there may be differences between those of the Old Ways, those who are once-born must see nothing,and must hear nothing. Those who follow the mysteries should be above reproach in the eyes of the world. The laws of the land should be obeyed whenever possible and within reason, for in the main they have been chosen with wisdom. Have pride in thyself, and seek perfection in body and in mind. For the Lady has said, "How can thou honor another unless thou give honor to thyself first?" Those who seek the mysteries should consider themselves as select of the Gods, for it is they who lead the race of humans to the highest of thrones and beyond the very stars. The Wiccan Three-Fold Law Ever mind the rule of three, What ye send out comes back to thee. The Three-Fold Law is not only a Wiccan law. And it's not dependent on an All-Knowing God watching and meting out punishment. Far worse than that! It is one of the essential threads of the universe, the fabric of which life is made. So no matter what you do, you can't sidestep it. Best to really understand it, then, so you can get in the flow of the Universe. After all, don't you want to be on the Divine's good side? Be aware of the Three-Fold Law and you can get - and keep - the Universe on your team! Religious Rule or Universal Law? The Three-Fold Law is one of the basics of Wiccan belief. Despite the name, the Three-Fold Law isn't a Wiccan law, exactly, but rather a universal spiritual principle. We call it a law, I think, because in our respect-deficient culture we associate laws with punishment, and when what we put out comes back to us Three-fold, it often feels like we're being punished! The Three-Fold Law is a principle understood in many spiritual traditions in various forms . . . What you give out comes back to you 10 times. The sins of the fathers are carried forward for 7 generations (for those who don't believe in reincarnating and reaping it in future lives). What you do to others will be done to you. Etc. In essence, the Three-Fold Law is this: What you give out returns to you, multiplied. Obey The Three-Fold Law You Should, Three Times Bad And Three Times Good In computer lingo, they call this: GIGO. Garbage in… garbage out. This Wiccan law works equally well with positive choices. BIBO - Beauty in… beauty out. Or JIJO - Joy. You can use Kindness, Peace, Love, Smiles, Trust. Play around with it. No matter how you phrase it, though - for good or bad - it's still very real. How Does The Three-Fold Law Affect You? The Three-Fold Law is pagan Karma. Karma is simply an acknowledgement that choices have repercussions. Not least of which is the energy generated by the choice. If you will hurt someone in anger, you generate anger first in yourself. Then you transfer it to someone else and the ripples spread throughout the world. Maybe this is why it's called Three-fold. But the tricky bit is, at each step, your anger hurts you . Anger is unhealthy - this is well-known in medicine and psychology. Anger is linked with many fatal diseases, like heart attacks and cancer. Hurting someone else makes you feel bad about yourself, if only on subconscious levels. You know in your hidden heart that you have done wrong, and so you lose respect and trust in yourself. As you send out anger, making people around you angry, what do you think you are going to encounter later on? Anger! The ripples of your choices always return to you. In the big picture, the energy of that anger is creating suffering for all beings. After millennia of this energy swamping our planet, we find anger leading quite possibly to our extinction. The spiritual fact is that if anger is an issue in your life, you magnetically draw more of it towards you. Like attracts like. Much more than anyone else, we harm ourselves by hurtful thoughts, feelings, words, and actions. Revenge and resentment look rather foolish from that perspective, don't they? This is the Three-Fold Law in action. But it is not punishment. That's a common mistake people make about karmic balance. The Wiccan Law is not retribution but a gift! The Three-Fold Law - Punishment Or Gift? You can blame the gods, you can blame someone else, you can blame anything and everyone, you can even blame yourself. The thing is, blaming isn't going to get you anywhere. Because the issue isn't who's at fault and who gets punished. It's what you can learn. Each time the unpleasant situation arises, the Divine is asking you . . . "Here, would you like to be free of this miserable thing yet?" Each time, you're offered the opportunity to notice how you're hurting yourself (not to mention other people, the Earth, and the gods and goddesses). Each time, you are given the opportunity to make another choice. Karma in Wiccan law is an offering of healing. Beware The Seeds You Plant Every choice you make plants seeds for the future. Whether you plant sweet juicy crops or bitter stinging weeds is entirely up to you. That's the gift of free will but whatever you sow, you will reap. Unavoidably. Every choice, every action, every thought bears fruit. And since the "fruit" is inside you, you can't escape reaping it. The most you can do, perhaps, is delay. Poison Fruit And these choices are not merely in the physical realm. It's not as simple as you hit someone and they hit you back. When you cherish a grudge or resentment in your heart - even if it's never expressed - you are feeding yourself poison. Every uncharitable thought has real repercussions… in your physical and mental health, and in the world. Do You Have To Change? That is why the great sages say, as Gandhi did, that you must be the change you want to see in the world. There is no other way. Regardless of whether the world around you is peaceful, you will never see that peace, unless you have a peaceful heart. And without peace in your heart, how could you ever create it around you? That's like trying to bake bread without any flour. This is fundamental to Wiccan philosophy - nothing is lost. It all comes back around. If you want a peaceful, loving world, it starts in your heart. Your heart! - and mine, of course, and everyone's. But your heart is the only one you have influence over. This Horrible World Is Your Doing? The state of the world is not an accident. It is not fate. It is not out of human control. The world is exactly what we - all of us - make it. It is the sum total of what we each allow our thoughts and feelings, our speech and actions to be. You are in command of all these - or you're not. Our choice. Either way, the responsibility is entirely yours. The world is your creation. God Set The World In Motion But We're The Ones Steering! The Divine doesn't like the suffering we create here. Our pain is Her pain. Yet She promised us free will, and She honours Her promises, no matter how badly we mess it up. It's our game, and She'll let us play it through. How we play is up to us. How the game ends, well, that's the Three-Fold Law in action. The Magic Of The Three-Fold Law And the wondrous gift of the Three-Fold Law is that one little thought of compassion, one little act of kindness, one little choice for forgiveness . . . multiplies! And keeps multiplying, as the ripples spread out to infinity, and back again. Your Infinite Power This means you have much greater influence on the world than you can imagine! Use your Power consciously, and the world must shift in response. The Earth not only must shift, but desperately desires to accommodate such loving conditions. She is waiting, she wants the opportunity to express these higher states. She is waiting for you to help Her create a world of beauty, peace, and joy. The Divine's Post-It Note The Three-Fold Law is not punishment. It's not even a rule - more like a reminder. Humans need reminders, because even though we're pure in our souls, we often forget to act like it. So the Three-Fold Law reminds us to choose consciously, carefully. Because we reap the benefits and hazards of our choices. How would your life be, if you really lived by this Law? Basic Wicca For Beginners The road of Wicca for beginners can be a windy one for those who are completely new to the faith. While the foundation of Wiccan beliefs are constant among most practitioners, you will find that no two people practice their faith in quite the same manner. While this could easily lead to a great deal of confusion when it comes to learning what basic Wicca is all about, here we aim to cover most of the fundamentals in order to give you a general understanding of what Wiccans believe and how they celebrate those beliefs. Wiccan Beliefs: Gods and Goddesses Wiccans respect the duality of male and female. In fact, Wiccans believe that there are pairs of Gods and Goddesses, each of them a match for the other and both held in equal esteem. The Goddess gives life to the God, who joins with her, dies, and is reborn again. There are many different Gods and Goddesses, though many believers choose a single one on which to focus their energies. Wicca For Beginners - The Universal Elements The five universal elements contain the spirits of the power of the universe, and living in harmony with those spirits is a central tenet of the Wiccan lifestyle, as well as their festivals and rituals. The five universal elements are: earth, fire, air, water, and spirit. These five elements make up the five points of the pentacle, the most commonly known symbol of Wicca. Wiccans and Witchcraft When people hear the word, "witchcraft," especially those who spent a great deal of time in predominantly Christian surroundings, they immediately begin to think of dark spells, evil spirits, and deals with the devil. This occurs before they even begin reading any information about what Wicca really is. When it comes to Wicca, beliefs like that have to go out the window if you really wish to understand. This brings up one of the only rules in all of Wicca, the Wiccan Rede. It states, "An it harm none, do as ye will." One of the most important parts of Wicca for beginners to learn is that any action comes back on the practitioner three times as powerfully. For this reason, very few Wiccans actively harm others. The term, "Wicca," was created, in fact, to distance modern practitioners from the stigma that witch has gained over the years, but they are essentially the same thing. There are, however, many Wiccans who do not perform any sort of spellcasting whatsoever. For those who do, the process and intent is far from what most people believe. Basic Wicca: Spellcasting For many people, the reason that they become interested in the first place is the spellcasting aspect of Wicca. For beginners to the lifestyle, they are actually very surprised when they learn that casting spells is not about creating miracles of any kind. It is about showing respect to the world around them by recognizing the energies around them and working in harmony. In fact, many spells learned in Wicca for beginners become more powerful and useful when the practitioner adapts them for his or her own needs. Wiccaning This is a ritual to introduce, formally name and welcome your new baby into the Wiccan community. This ceremony does not bind your child to the Wiccan religion, it is seeking blessings upon the child and celebrating his or her birth. Wiccans are adamantly for freedom of choice and although the child will be raised in the old ways, he or she will also learn about other religions and will choose the right path when the time comes. A simple idea for a wiccaning ritual is laid out here. Feel free to alter it to suit your needs and so that it feels natural. Invite all those who care for the child to attend and if they feel moved to do so, bring something symbolic of their wish for the child's future. These things will be kept for when he or she grows old enough to have them. The altar can be set up however you like. For instance, my altar is covered by a cloth that I worked on during my pregnancy with symbols of protection, health, love etc. embroidered on it. I also try to embroider at least one herbal design as I draw much of my own power from herbs and plants. I include a white candle and inscribe my son's name in Futhark(Rune alphabet). Real flowers are placed o the altar if it is the right time of year and homemade flowers made by the rest of the children if it is not. I burn a small bundle of appropriate herbs in my conch shell. Salted water in a glass vessel of some sort. I use a teeny vial that was given to me years ago. I have pictures of my children's grandparents that have passed , a letter that I write to each child before they are born and my own private gift to him that I have made during my baby moon(the first days after the child is born). Once the Altar is set up as you wish, call the quarters, cast the circle and invite the deities that are closest to your desires for this ceremony. I enjoy this part as I love to learn more about gods and goddesses who apply to my sense of spirituality. I have done three other wiccanings for my other children and each time chose deities that moved me at the time. As the parent holds the infant, walk clockwise around the circle and bless him in each direction. We then all sit and sing our own family baby song that is the same for each child except their name is changed. This is an example of how you can change a ritual to fit your needs. Our singing raises the energy level until the cone of energy is released into the air above the child. Finally cake and juice or cider is passed to ground us all, the circle is broken and a special thank you to all deities called. We then celebrate the wonderful addition to the family! All that brought a special something can present it to the baby at this time. Special poems and wishes for the baby's future are most welcome. Creed Of The Green Witch I Acknowledge the Unity of the Divine, symbolized by the Divine Androgyne, aspected as female and male, Goddess and God, form and energy, lunar and solar powers, honored during the Wheel of the Year as Esbats, Sabbats, and sacred days. I Acknowledge the immanence of the Divine, whose Spirit resides in all things and worlds, creating a unity of All in Oneness and kinship through the Goddess and the God. I Acknowledge that the Elementals Earth, Air, Fire, and Water are extensions of the Goddess and the God, both external and indwelling kith and kin, connecting all through Spirit. I Acknowledge the immortality of the individual spirit, comforted by the God in Underworld, refreshed by the Goddess in Summerland, choosing incarnation by form, place, and soul purpose. I Acknowledge that the God lovingly demonstrates the life cycle in His yearly passage through the Sabbats. He is born as the Oak King of the Goddess as Mother at Yule; cleansed and carried by the Crone into the arms of the Mother at Imbolc to be nourished by the milk of Her love. At Ostara, the Goddess transforms as Maiden and joins the God that They may walk as the Lady and the Lord of the Wild Wood to awaken the Earth from the sleep of Herself as Crone of Winter. The God and Goddess unite at Beltane to bring renewal to the Earth, and at their Litha wedding, the God shows His face of wisdom and age, turning from Oak King to Holly King as He begets Himself of the Goddess. At Lughnassadh, the God enters into the Goddess aspected as Mother Earth, filling Her abundance with the life essence of His solar energy. He enriches the vines and barleycorn with the essence of His Spirit at Mabon. He enters into Underworld, leads the Wild Hunt as the Horned Hunter, gathering the dead to His realm, He rules Underworld as the Lord of Shadows, where He offers rest, solace, and release of burdens to spirits at the end of each incarnation. At Samhain, the God passes His Spirit through the Goddess, making thin the veil between the worlds by their union of shadow and light, turning the Tomb of the Crone into the Womb of the Mother. At Yule the God as Sage offers His blessings and farewell to the children of the world, then turns His face to join them as the Infant Oak King reborn. Through the Wheel of the Year is the path of perfect love and perfect trust in the Divine demonstrated, that we may walk with the Goddess and the God in the bond of love. I Acknowledge the three great Mysteries: the Ancient God as Father and Son; the Maiden Goddess as Mother and Crone: and the Union of Tomb and Womb for the eternal cycle of Life Immortal. Pagan Bill Of Rights 1 Pagans shall have the same freedom to worship that is granted to followers of other religions. 2 Pagans shall have the same respect of all elected officials who represent them that is afforded to followers of other religions. 3 - A Pagan parent's religion shall not be used as evidence for the purpose of deciding child custody issues. 4 Pagans shall be free to work without regard to their religion, and should be free from proselytizing and harassment at the workplace. 5 Pagans shall have the same freedom to conduct their lives that is given to followers of other religions, within the boundaries of the law, without interference by or discrimination from representatives of their local, state or federal government. 6 School district personnel and classroom visitors shall not proselytize or harass Pagan children while on public school property or at public school functions. 7 Pagans shall have the same freedom to exercise all of their rights as do all other American citizens. 8 Pagans are entitled to the free exercise of their beliefs and rituals and must be protected from the interference of others during the practice thereof. 9 Pagans shall have the right to redress when their religious rights are abused. 10 Pagans shall be able to wear sacred symbols of their faith in environments where followers of other faiths are free to express themselves similarly. Your Rights under the Constitution Witchcraft is recognized in the United States as a legitimate religion. In 1985, Dettmer v Landon (617 F Supp 592) the District Court of Virginia pursuant to rule 52 (a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure ruled that Witchcraft is a legitimate religion and falls within a recognizable religious category In 1986 in the Federal Appeals court fourth circuit. Butzner, J. affirmed the decision (799 F 2d 929) Since in most cases Federal law, even case law supersedes state law in this type of matter, the affirmation by judge Butzner clearly sets Witchcraft as a religion under the protection of constitutional rights. The Church of Wicca (or Witchcraft) is clearly a religion for First Amendment purposes. Members of the Church sincerely adhere to a fairly complex set of doctrines relating to the spiritual aspect of their lives, and in doing so they have ultimate concerns’ in much the same way as followers of more accepted religions. Their ceremonies and leadership structure, their rather elaborate set of articulated doctrine, their belief in the concept of another world, and their broad concern for improving the quality of life for others gives them at least some facial similarity to other more widely recognized religions. While there are certainly aspects of Wiccan philosophy that may strike most people as strange or incomprehensible. The mere fact that a belief may be unusual does not strip it of constitutional protection. Accordingly the Court concludes that the Church of Wicca. of which the plaintiff is a sincere follower. is a religion for the purpose of the free exercise clause.” Williams. J. 1985 Dettmer v. Landon Supra. ³We agree with the district court that the doctrine taught by the Church of Wicca is a religion.” Butzner. J. 19864th Circuit. Dettmer v. Landon Supra. The first amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees the right to freedom of religious belief. The USCA states that a practice is a religion if it is for an individual a belief system for their whole life. The constitution does not wish to dictate what an individual should hold as a belief system or how it is practiced and will not enter into a ruling on that. “Court may not inquire into worthiness of parties’ religious belief to ascertain whether they merit. First Amendment protection, but need only consider whether beliefs are ‘religious’ in parties’ own scheme of things and whether their beliefs are sincere. USCA Const. Amend. I “To be a bona fide religious belief entitled to protection under either the First Amendment or Title VII, a belief must be sincerely held” and within the believers own scheme of things religious. USCA Const. Amend. 1: Civil Rights Act 1964 701 et seq., 717 as amended 42 USCA 2000e-16? The equal protection clause is guaranteed to all people and groups. If one group of people is entitled to equal protection than all groups are. Witchcraft is accepted as a religion, therefore, Witches are entitled to the same protections as al] other religious groups; under the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. ³First and Fourteenth Amendments insures without qualification that a state may not forbid the holding of any religious belief or opinion, nor may it force anyone to embrace any religious belief or to say or believe anything in conflict with his religious tenets. USCA Const. Amend. 1, (14 Africa v. Anderson 542 F. Supp. 224.”) (16 FPD 212-216) USCA ARTICLE VII # 2 states: “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be The Supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.” In light of the fact that Dettmer v. Landon supra, being a Federally Adjudicated case. it is thereby protected by the Constitution. No state can override this Federal adjudication. No Witch can be denied his/her civil liberty and right to be a Witch, open and free, in any state in the land; within the parameters of the Law. Principals of Wiccan Beliefs 1. We practice rites to attune ourselves with the natural rhythm of life forces marked by the phases of the Moon and the seasonal quarters and cross-quarters. 2. We recognize that our intelligence gives us a unique responsibility towards our environment. We seek to live in harmony with Nature, in ecological balance, offering fulfillment to life and consciousness within an evolutionary concept. 3. We acknowledge a depth of power far greater than is apparent to the average person. Because it is far greater than ordinary, it is sometimes called “supernatural,” but we see it as lying within that which is naturally potential to all. 4. We conceive of the Creative Power in the Universe as manifesting through polarity – as masculine and feminine – and that this same Creative Power lives in all people, and functions through the interaction of the masculine and feminine. We value neither above the other, knowing each to be supportive of the other. We value sexuality as pleasure, as the symbol and embodiment of Life, and as one of the sources of energies used in magickal practice and religious worship. 5. We recognize both outer worlds and inner, or psychological, worlds – sometimes known as the Spiritual World, the Collective Unconscious, the Inner Planes, etc. – and we see in the interaction of these two dimensions the basis for paranormal phenomena and magickal exercises. We neglect neither dimension or the other, seeing both as necessary for our fulfillment. 6. We do not recognize any authoritarian hierarchy, but do honor those who teach, respect those who share their greater knowledge and wisdom, and acknowledge those who have courageously given of themselves in leadership. 7. We see religion, magick and wisdom- in living as being united in the way that one view the world and lives within it - a world view and philosophy of life, which we identify as Witchcraft and the Wiccan Way. 8. Calling oneself “Witch” does not make a Witch, but neither does heredity itself, or the collecting of titles, degrees and initiations. A Witch seeks to control the forces within one’s self that make life possible, in order to live wisely and well, without harm to others, and in harmony with Nature. 9. We acknowledge that it is the affirmation and fulfillment of life, in a continuation of evolution and development of the consciousness, that gives meaning to the Universe we know, and to our personal role within it. 10. Our only animosity toward Christianity, or toward any other religion or philosophy of life, is to the extent that its institutions have claimed to be “the one true right and only way” and have sought to deny freedom to others and to suppress other ways of religious practice and belief. 11. As American Witches, we are not threatened by debates on the history of the Craft, the origin of various terms, the legitimacy of various aspects of different traditions. We are concerned with our present and our future. 12. We do not accept the concept of “absolute evil” not do we worship any entity known as “Satan” or “the Devil” as defined by Christian tradition. We do not seek power through the suffering of others, nor do we accept the concept that personal benefits can only be derived by denial to another. 13. We work within Nature for that which is contributory to our health and well-being. The Five Points of Wiccan Belief This specific form, the “Five Point of Wiccan Belief”, is particular to UEW. However, the points contained within are issues held in belief by nearly anyone calling themself Wiccan, even if they phrase them differently. 1. The Wiccan Rede – An it harm none, do as ye will 2. The Law of Return – Also known as the Threefold Law 3. The Ethic of Self-Responsibility – We, and only we, are responsible for our own actions. 4. The Ethic of Constant Improvement – The desire to improve the world around us, guided in part by the Law of Return. 5. The Ethic of Attunement – Divinity is within us and around us, and becoming in-tune with this power is a major facet of Wicca. The Law ~ Scott Cunningham We are of the Old Ways, among those who walk with the Goddess and God and receive Their love. Keep the Sabbats and Esbats to the best of your abilities, for to do otherwise is to lessen your connection with the Goddess and God. Harm none. This, the oldest law, is not open to interpretation or change. Shed not blood in ritual; the Goddess and God need not blood to be duly worshipped. Those of our ways are kind to all creatures, for hurtful thoughts are quiet draining and aren’t worth the loss of energy. Misery is self-created; so, too, is joy, so create joy and disdain misery and unhappiness. And this is within your power. So harm not. Teach only what you know, to the best of your ability, to those students who you choose, but teach not to those who would use your instructions for destruction or control. Also, teach not to boost pride, forever remember: She who teaches out of love shall be enfolded in the arms of the Goddess and God. Ever remember that if you would be of our way, keep the law close to your heart, for it is the nature of the Wicca to keep the Law. If ever the need arises, any law may be changed or discarded, and new laws written to replace them, so long as the new laws don’t break the oldest law of all: Harm None. The Modern Witch's Manifesto I am a witch. That is sufficient for you to know. Witches need not disclaim the Wiccan tradition/religion nor apologize to its members for what they are and are not. We are part of a long and proud tradition of the art, craft, philosophy, and way of life that is Witchcraft. We were here before Wicca and we will be here after. We are set apart. Simply naming yourself “witch” does not make you a witch any more than naming yourself “neurologist” makes you a brain surgeon. To be a witch requires study, learning, practice, experience and talent. Being a witch is a calling, not a choice. You either are or you aren’t. The lot is cast at birth by the Universe and there is nothing you can do about it. Not everyone can be a concert pianist or a best-selling author; not everyone can be a witch. Wicca is a religion. Witchcraft is a craft. The comparison of the two is a comparison of apples and oranges. Witchcraft can be used to express the religion Wicca just as sculpting can be used to express Christianity. However, Wicca is not Witchcraft anymore than Catholicism is sculpting. Witchcraft is not a religion, the witch is free to believe or not believe as they wish. Witches may worship a Goddess, a rock, Satan, Will Rogers, The Force or nothing at all. It is the witch’s choice how to relate to the Universe and none may gainsay that choice. The witch is self-empowered and relies on no one else to get through life. This means we make our own moral choices, from our own ethics, and decide our own course. An artificial morality may not be forced upon us. We will not be intimidated with “karma” or threats of “three-fold” retribution. We will not be told that these will “get us no matter what we believe.” The wisdom we hold is sacred and has been handed down from the Ancients through many generations. Our families and traditions have perfected it and people hav4e both lived and died for it. We will not bear the insult of being told that we are wrong because what we know and practice does not agree with the author of some shallow, mass marketed book from the New Age shelf at Barnes & Noble. Being a witch does not require you to be a Socialist, a Democrat, a feminist, ecologically conscious, politically correct, or even socially acceptable. Each witch makes her own way through the world and sets the terms and conditions of how they interact with it. Externally imposed ideas of “right and wrong” and “good and bad” have no meaning to the witch. Witches live and work from within the shadow. This is the ancient and honorable way. We are called out from the Coven and wish to live separately from them. We don’t need nor even want good public relations. We are not concerned with being “persecuted” or fighting for our “civil rights.” Our validation comes from within ourselves, not from the President, the media, the Christian church or the IRS. We are unique individuals and no one speaks for us. Wiccans may not say what witches believe or how witches think. We have no problem allowing others to follow the course that they choose – or assisting them in it – so long as they afford us the same courtesy. We are not your enemies or your adversaries. We just want the right to be who and what we are; the same right you claim for yourselves. I am a witch. That is sufficient for you to know. The Spiritual Laws of Witchcraft Witches know that no truths are absolute. There is no one absolute truth for anything. There is no one way to interpret reality, behave, think, or live. Therefore there is no single way to practice magick, pray, celebrate the seasons or spirituality. The idea that there is only one truth to any question leads to fanaticism, compulsion, and persecution. Witches understand that the Universe is in perfect harmony and balance. Therefore, everything has an equal and opposite, not necessarily equated to a negative. For example: male and female, light and darkness, up and down, positive and negative, left and right. Witches realize that for every action there is a reaction. Most of us view this as the Law of Karma. Therefore if you create evil, you will receive evil inn return, create good and receive good in return. Harmony begets harmony, evil begets evil, and balance begets balance. Witches know and realize that we are all one. We are connected. Everything that you do to another, influences yourself either directly or indirectly. A Witch should never close his or her mind to knowledge of any kind. It is through the continuous process of learning that we raise our personal vibration and our attunement to Deity. A Witch acknowledges the Magickal Circle as Holy Ground. Therefore a Witch shall purify him/herself before entering or casting a Circle. All notions of hatred, arguments, or prejudices of any kind have no place within Circle. Witches use the energies around themselves to effect change within their lives and the lives of others. These energies are manifest as the 5 Elements ( Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Spirit). The Witch becomes a conduit for the Divine and Earthly energies used during Magick and Ritual. Witches use common sense and wisdom and do not share the Mysteries with common fools. The Mysteries are not to be wasted in this, or any other manner. Witches do not point out the identity of other Witches. Discrimination still haunts many of us. If one brings about such an incident, he/she is directly responsible for the harm that befalls the one revealed. The Temple Laws (Comments on The Abbreviated Laws) In order of precedence, you are accountable to: The Gods, your Self, your High Priestess, your Teacher. Initiates are also accountable to the Craft as a whole. “Pagan Standard Time” gives you 15 minutes leeway for an announced class or ritual. If you’ll be any later or won’t make it, CALL! Questions are expected, desired, and anticipated.. The only “dumb question” is the one the student doesn’t ask. Common courtesy in all things. When in doubt, it is preferable to err on the side of caution and silence. Ultimately, you are responsible for your own development. Independent thought and research are strongly encouraged. The Wiccan Rede, while it has been taught widely, is not a part of the Laws, although it may be considered derivative of them. There is nothing in the Laws that says that “in case of trouble, the Coven will be disbanded”. There are, in fact, quite a few possible solutions to specific instances, not just for “trouble”. There is nothing in the Laws about unaffordability equaling inappropriateness in the purchase of a magickal tool. What the heck are “L.T. Initiates”? Long Term? Why is it OK for them to form a Coven when it is plain that you have to be of the Third Degree? The traditional way to hear complaints, at least in my set of the Old Laws, is for the High Priest or High Priestess to convene the Elders. It says nothing about whether the HP or HPs are included in this group, but it is assumed that BOTH, not just the HPs, are so included. There is also nothing in the Old Laws about a “time of waiting” for a decision. In the Old Laws, the only thing the year-and-a-day rule pertains to is the leaving of a High Priestess. Everything in the “Temple Laws” falls in the good-to-very-good category of advice; NONE of it is in the Old Laws. And I have known a good many pagans to take PST to mean anytime during the calendar DAY. There are a number of teachers in my experience to whom you NEVER ask a question, at penalty of being kicked out of the class; still, a teacher who can accept this rule is probably a good teacher. In general, this sheet appears to be a worksheet handed to new students and gone over with them for a quick rundown of the Craft in order to go on to other things; in my opinion, giving them this sheet and NOT reviewing the entire set of the Old Laws (in whatever form) is doing the students a disservice; having this sheet around for later reference, on the other hand, is probably a Good Thing. The Ten Commandments of Mother Earth 1 Thou shalt love and honor the Earth for it blesses thy life and governs thy survival. 2 Thou shalt keep each day sacred to the Earth and celebrate the turning of its seasons. 3 Thou shalt not hold thyself above other living things nor drive them to extinction. 4 Thou shalt give thanks for thy food, to the creatures and plants that nourish thee. 5 Thou shalt educate thy offspring for multitudes of people are a blessing unto the Earth when we live in harmony. 6 Thou shall not kill, nor waste Earth's riches upon weapons of war. 7 Thou shalt not pursue profit at the Earth's expense but strive to restore its damaged majesty. 8 Thou shalt not hide from thyself or others the consequences of thy actions upon the Earth. 9 Thou shalt not steal from future generations by impoverishing or poisoning the Earth. 10 Thou shalt consume material goods in moderation so all may share the Earth's bounty. The Witches’ Creed Hear now the words of the witches, The secrets we hid in the night, When dark was our destiny’s pathway, That now we bring forth into light. Mysterious water and fire, The earth and the wide-ranging air, By hidden quintessence we know them, And will and keep silent and dare. The birth and rebirth of all nature, The passing of winter and spring, We share with the life universal, Rejoice in the magical ring. Four times in the year the Great Sabbat Returns, and witches are seen At Lammas, and Candlemas dancing, On May Eve and old Hallowe’en. When day-time and night-time are equal, When the sun is at greatest and least, The four Lesser Sabbats are summoned, Again witches gather in feast. Thirteen silver moons in a year are, Thirteen is the coven's array. Thirteen times as Esbat make merry, For each golden year and a day. The power was passed down the ages, Each time between woman and man, Each century unto the other, Ere time and the ages began. When drawn is the magical circle, By sword or athame or power, Its compass between the two worlds lie, In Land of the Shades for that hour. This world has no right then to know it, And world beyond will tell naught, The oldest of Gods are invoked there, The Great Work of magic is wrought. For two are the mystical pillars, That stand to at the gate of the shrine, And two are the powers of nature, The forms and the forces divine. The dark and the light in succession, The opposites each unto each, Shown forth as a God and a Goddess, Of this did our ancestors teach. By night he’s the wild wind’s rider, The Horn’d One, the Lord of the shades, By day he’s the King of the Woodlands, The dweller in green forest glades. She is youthful or old as she pleases, She sails the torn clouds in her barque, The bright silver lady of midnight, The crone who weaves spells in the dark. The master and mistress of magic, They dwell in the deeps of the mind, Immortal and ever-renewing, With power to free or to bind. So drink the good wine to the Old Gods, And dance and make love in their praise, Til Elphame's fair land shall receive us, In peace at the end of our days. An Do What You Will be the challenge, So be it in Love that harms none, For this is the only commandment, By Magick of old, be it done. Eight words the Witches’ Creed fulfill: If it harms none, do what you will. Remember to harm none!!!! Click for the Site Index