I am the echo you hear in the forest deep
And the warmth of the sun upon your face
I am the ageless sound of the ocean’s roar
And the power that’s felt in every wild place
I am the wheat that rustles low on the breezes
And the spark that ignites the hearth fire
I am the passion and power and ecstasy
That is reached at the end of desire
I am the squirrel who plays games in the treetops
And the young stag who runs wild and free
I am the clatter of hooves on an old gravel road
And the strength of the ancient oak tree
I am found in the wrinkles of the old crippled man
I am found in the child, young and strong
I am found in the joy of the union of love
In the passionate kiss, slow and long
I am your Lover, your Father, the Ancient One.
Take my hand and I’ll teach you the Dance
Of the change of the seasons and the eye of the storm
Of fertility, love and romance
Remember always, my children, be merry
Hear the lilt of my music, so light
And hold sacred My realm and all it sustains
As you dance to My tune in the night
I am the echo you hear in the forest deep
Listen to the words of the Great Father, who of old was call Osiris, Adonis, Thor, Pan and many other names.
My law is harmony with all things. Mine is the secret that opens the gates of life and mine is the dish of salt of the earth.
I gave my knowledge of the everlasting, and beyond death I give the promise of regeneration and renewal. I am the sacrifice, the father of all things, and my protection blankets the earth.
Hear the words of the dancing God, the music of whose laughter stirs the wind, whose voice calls the seasons.
I am the Lord of the Hunt and the Power of the Light, sun amongst the clouds and the secret of flame. I call upon your bodies to arise and come unto me. For I am the flesh of the earth and all its beings.
Through Me all things must die, and with Me all things are reborn.
Let My worship be in the body that sings, for behold all acts of willing sacrifice are my rituals. Let there be desire and fear, anger and weakness, joy and peace, awe and longing within you.
For these too are part of the mysteries found within yourself. Within Me, all beginnings have endings, and all endings have new beginnings.
I am the harmonious tune of the songbird
And the laughter of a gleeful child.
I am the bubbling sound of the running brook
And the scent of the flowers wild.
I am the floating leaf upon the breeze
And the dancing fire in the forest glade.
I am the sweet smell of rains upon the soil
And the rapture of passion when love is made.
I am the germination of seed in the spring
And the ripening of wheat in the Sun.
I am the peaceful depth of the twilight
That sooths the soul when a day is done.
I am found in the twinkling of an aged eye…
And found in the birth of a newborn pup…
Yes… Birth and Growth and Death, am I
I am the gracious Earth, on whom you sup
I am your Sister, your Mother, the Wise One.
I wrap you gently in the warmth of my love.
That which you seek you shall find within:
Not without…not below…not above!
Remember always, my children, be reverent
Be gentle, loving, and kind to each other
And hold sacred the Earth and its creatures
For I am the Lady, Creatrix, and Mother!
Listen to the words of the Great Goddess, who in ancient times was named Artemis, Diana, Astarte, Ishtar, Aphrodite, Venus, Cerridwen, the Morrigu, Freyja, the White Lady, and many other names.
Whenever you have need of My aid, assemble in a secret place at least once a month, especially at the Full Moon. Know that My laws and love shall make you free, for no man can prevent your worship of Me in your mind and heart. Listen well when you come into My presence, and I shall teach you of deep mysteries, ancient and powerful.
I require no sacrifices or pain of your bodies, for I am Mother of all things, the Creatress who made you out of My love, and the One who endures through time.
I am the One who is the beauty of the Earth, the green of growing things. I am the white Moon whose light is full among the stars, soft upon the Earth.
From Me all things are born, to Me all things, in their season return. Let My joyous worship be in your hearts, for all acts of love and pleasure are My rituals. You see Me in the love of man and woman, the love of parent and child, the love of humans to all My creations.
When you create with your hands, I am there. I blow the breath of life into the seeds you plant, whether of plant or child. Always I stand beside you, whispering soft words of wisdom and guidance.
All seekers of the Mysteries must come to Me, for I am the True Source, the Keeper of the Cauldron. All who seek to know Me, know this. All your seeking and yearning will avail you nothing unless you know the Mystery: for if what you seek you find not within, you will never find it without.
For behold, I have been with you from the beginning, and I will gather you to My breast at the end of your earthly existence.
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 the witches are seen
At Lammas and Candlemas dancing
On May Eve and Hallowe’en.
When day-time and night-time are equal,
When sun is at greatest and least,
The four Lesser Sabbats are summoned,
And Witches gather in the feast.
Thirteen silver moons in a year are
Thirteen is the coven’s array.
Thirteen times at Esbat make merry,
For each golden year and a day.
The power that was passed down the age,
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 of power,
Its compass between two worlds lies,
In land of the shades for that hour.
This world has no right then to know it,
And world of beyond will tell naught,
Th oldest of Gods are invoked there
The Great Work of magic is wrought.
For the two are mystical pillars,
That stand 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 our ancestors teach.
By night he’s the wild wind’s rider,
The Horned One, the Lord of the Shades.
By day he’s the King of the Woodland,
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,
That dwell in the deepths 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,
Till Elphame’s fair land shall receive us
In peace at the end of our days.
And Do What You Will be the challenge,
So be it Love that harms none,
For this is the only commandment,
By Magic of old, be it done!
- … intentionally hurt people. This means physically, mentally, spiritually, or magickally.
- … use “black magic”. Wiccans don’t believe in black magic for that matter, we believe that magic is neutral. This doesn’t mean, however, that we use magic to cause bad things to happen.
- … use illegal drugs. You don’t need to be high to perform rituals or cast spells. Drugs will only make things more difficult for you and even lessen your inner power and energy.
- … think you have “powers” because you are studying pagan. Let’s be realistic here. Wiccans do not fly (unless they are in an airplane) and they can’t change their hair color in the blink of an eye. As for psychic gifts, these really have nothing to do with Wicca.
- … sacrifice animals. That’s just plain disgusting. Wiccans respect all living things. Besides, the Goddess does not wish blood to be shed in her name.
- … tell lies to manipulate another person. Don’t try to control people by making them think you have power over them.
- … call yourself a warlock (for guys). Warlock comes from ancient covens… it means “Oath-Breaker”. Isn’t this an insult?
- … use Wicca as an excuse to take part in any kind of sexual act (this includes rape). Any kind of magic that involves sex without love is a no-no. Wicca is not some excuse to have sex, it never was. So get that idea out of your minds right now. (this doesn’t mean, however, that Wiccans don’t see sex as being a beautiful and sacred thing between two people who love each other)
- … drink or use blood in magic. Ok, this is just sick… I’m not going to go there.
- … take part in criminal activities.
- … destroy or deface the symbol of another religion. Wiccans show respect for all religions. Our religion is not the only way, it is just our way.
- … worship Satan. Sorry, Wiccans do not even believe in Satan.
- … try to recruit people. Wiccans don’t go around trying to get everyone they can to join Wicca. If someone wants to learn about Wicca, they will come to us. You came to my website in your own free will didn’t you?
- … think you have become a Wiccan overnight. Just because you read a book on Wicca does not mean you are automatically Wiccan. Wicca is a way of life, it is not something that can be learned with one book or in one day. I have been practicing Wicca for almost 14 years now, and there is still a LOT that I don’t know.
- … think you absolutely have to belong to some coven to be Wiccan. There are many solitaries out there… we perform self dedications to dedicate ourselves to Wicca. (Yes, I am a solitary.) There are Wiccans who do practice in coven settings and they are initiated. There is nothing wrong with either way of practicing… they are just different and each has its own advantages.
- … attack people. This doesn’t mean you can’t defend yourself if you are attacked.
- … brag to everyone that you are a witch. Don’t just walk up to people and say “Guess what! I’m a witch!”. Sorry, this is just going to get you into trouble. Also don’t brag to people about your magical knowledge and tell them you can do all of these wild things (when you probably can’t)… this too will also get you into trouble. Wiccans follow the Witches’ Pyramid (a creed and stucture of learning that witches follow) which states: To know, To Dare, To Will, and To Be Silent.
- … charge money to help another person through magic or prayer. You should help someone who is in need because it feels good, not because you think you can make a profit from it.
- … cast love spells that are directed at a certian person or persons in particular. A love spell is a form of manipulation and that is against the Wiccan Rede. Never, ever cast any spell to make someone fall in love with you or to break two people up. Wiccans do, however, work to bring love into their life… but this is not directed at any person in particular.
Wait! I thought Wicca was a free belief system. Why are you making all of these rules?
The statements listed above are not “the rules” of Wicca. They are examples of things that people who have claimed to be Wiccan or Pagans, have done in the past… and said it was OK to do those things because of their religious choice. Sorry guys, but real Wiccans do not do any of those things. The examples above are all against the Wiccan Rede… the one rule that Wicca does have. Wicca is a free belief system, but that doesn’t mean you can do immoral things. The free belief system lies mostly in the ritual techniques and worshiping methods.
What happens if you did something immoral? I’m not going to say that it was OK, but I believe if you learned a lesson from your mistake then you will be forgiven by the God and Goddess. If you didn’t learn your lesson and you continue to do immoral things due to your false belief that Wicca is a way to get what ever you want… well then, my friend, you are not a true Wiccan.
Also, on another note, if you do immoral things that are outside of your religion… then please let it be known that you are doing these things because they are your choice. Not because you “have” to do them because you are Wiccan. That’s just spreading the misconceptions more. So if you’re going to be naughty, don’t use Wicca as a safety net.
1. Saying the words “I am a witch” does not a witch make thee, nor by heredity itself, nor the collecting of initiations, titles, or degrees. A witch works to control the forces within themselves that make life possible to live in harmony with nature wisely and well without harm to others.
2. Yes, we practice rites, rituals, but… The rites we practice are only to attune ourselves with the natural rhythm of life forces that are marked by the phases of the moon, the seasonal quarters, and the cross quarters.
3. We believe that we should seek that which contributes to our well being and health within Nature herself.
4. We recognize that our intelligence gives us a unique responsibility to our environment. We live in harmony with Nature, in an ecological balance that offers fulfillment of life and consciousness within an evolutionary concept.
5. We conceive of the Creative Power in the universe as manifesting through polarity – as feminine AND masculine – and that this same Creative Power lies in all people, and functions through the interaction of the feminine and masculine. We value neither above the other, knowing each to be supportive of the other. We value sex as a pleasure, as the symbol and embodiment of life, and as one of the sources of energies used in magical practice and religious worship.
6. We believe in the affirmation and fulfillment of life in continuation of evolution and development of consciousness giving meaning to the universe we know and our personal role within it.
7. We see religion magic and wisdom in living as being united in the way one views the world and lives within it – a world view and philosophy of life which we identify as Witchcraft – The Wiccan Way.
8. We acknowledge a depth of power far greater than that apparent to the average person. Because it is greater than the ordinary it is sometimes called “supernatural” when it is actually lying within what is naturally potential to all.
9. We recognize both the outer and inner, or psychological, worlds, and we see in the inter-action of there two dimensions as the basic magical exercises. We neglect neither dimension as both are necessary for our fulfillment and balance.
10. We are not threatened by debate on the history of the Craft, the origins of carious terms, the legitimace of various aspects of different traditions. We are concerned with our present and future.
11. We do not accept the concept of absolute evil, nor do we worship or even believe in any entity known as “Satan” or “The Devil” as defined by the Christian tradition. We do not seek power through the suffering of others, we do not accept that personal benefit can be derived only by denial to another. “An ye harm none…”
12. We do not recognize any authoritarian hierarchy, but do honor and respect the teachers who share their greater wisdom and knowledge.
13. Our only animosity toward Christianity or any other religion or philosophy of life is to the extent that its institutions have claims to being “the only way” and have sought to deny freedom to others, attempting to suppress the other ways of religious practice and belief.
Attention other religions, sects and paths (including earth-based religions disagreeing with anything stated below) :
Let us not quarrel among ourselves.
Leave us be and we shall do the same for you.
Worship as you see best and allow us the same right.
This is the true Wicca way…and the free way.
What is a witch?
A witch above all worships the Triple Goddess and her Consort, The Horned God, in one form or another. A Witch works magick within a definite code of ethics. A Witch acknowledges and uses the male-female polarity in her rites. A Witch takes total responsibility for her actions, herself, and her future.
Witch comes from the Anglo-Saxon wicce (meaning witch), which in turn derives from an Indo-European root word meaning to bend or change or do magick/religion (making it related to wicker, wiggle, and even vicar). It is possibly also related to the Old Norse vitki (meaning wizard), derived from root words meaning wise one or seer. Warlock (rarely used, for male Witches) is from the Old Norse varlokkur, spirit song (not oath-breaker). Related words are Pagan, meaning a country dweller, and Heathen, a dweller on the heath, both of which peoples were the European equivalent of the Native Americans and other indigenous, nature-worshiping people.
Today, a Witch is a woman or man who practices a life-affirming, Earth- and nature-oriented religion, honoring Divinity in female as well as (or instead of) male aspects, and practicing Magick (which some Witches spell magick, to distinguish it from stage illusions). There are many different traditions of Wicca, encompassing many beliefs in addition to these. Some traditions are practiced by women only, and recognize only the Divine Feminine, the Goddess. Others include men and recognize a male god in addition to the Goddess. Some traditions may date back to before the Spanish Inquisition, others have been in existence for only a few years. The strength of the Witches’ religion (also called the Craft or Wicca) lies in its diversity; it is a living, growing religious tradition.
Witchcraft today may be seen as the sum total of all a Witch’s practices, including but not limited to: spell-casting, divination (fortune telling), meditation, herbalism, ritual and ritual drama, singing and dancing to raise energy, healing, clairvoyance and other psychism, creative mythology, and more.
As a religion, the Craft is a revival and/or reconstruction of the per-Christian religions of Europe, especially Northern Europe (giving us Celtic or Norse traditions), sometimes elsewhere giving us Greco-Roman, Egyptian, or Levantine traditions). Many of us have turned for inspiration to the still-living indigenous traditions of other lands, such as Australia, Asia, India, and the Americas. Some of us , recognizing that we are American Witches, work with deities and land-spirits of local Amerindian tribes, though we do not claim to be members of any Amerindian tradition. As Margot Adler, a Witchcraft authority, has written, The real tradition of the Craft is creativity.
What is Wicca?
There are many differences between the various sects but on the whole Wicca is an ancient religion for love of life and nature. The word ‘Wicca’ can be defined as ‘the wise’ or ‘to bend’, from a much older word ‘Wicce’. The Wicce believe in duality and the laws of karma, celebrating life through the seasons and the old Pagan season festivals.
What is Witchcraft?
Synonymous with ‘Wicca’ (although some traditionalists strongly disagree), the words ‘Wicca’, ‘Wicce’ ‘Witchcraft’ and ‘Witch’ all have the same basic meanings.
What is Magick?
Magick is simply the movement of natural energies to create needed change! Magick is not a supernatural process, it just uses energies that sometimes cannot be explained. Magick DOES NOT use powers derived from the “devil.” Magick is not anti-religious or anti-God, its simply NON-RELIGIOUS (though it can be used in religious ways). Magick is simply used to bring about needed change. The goal of magickal rites should ALWAYS be positive. ……..”an Ye Harm None.”
About the Energy…….
The energy used in magick is natural. We all have it… it’s within our own bodies as well as in physical objects…earth, water, sand, fire, air…just to name a few. Disregard people that claim to have “magickal powers”, we ALL have it…we just need to accept that we have it and learn how to use it.
Are you really a witch?
That’s not an easy question to answer, so I’ll do my best. What I am is considered by most to be a Neopagan. Neopaganism is a beautiful and complex religion. We are not in opposition to Christianity, just different. However, many of the people that the Catholic church condemned and persecuted and murdered as “witches” were people who practiced the same beliefs I do. In identification with them and the suffering that they went through, many of us Neopagans call ourselves witches. Some of us are people whose ancestors were the village healers, herbalists, midwives, and so forth, many of whom had, or were to believed to have had, mental, psychic, or magickal powers, which were passed down through the family in the form of oral tradition. These such people are most often called “Traditional Witches” I could go on about the different groups of witches, but for now I won’t. Maybe one of these years, as I’m proofing this page again, i will add a section on the different types of witches. For now, I’ll leave it at a list of a few other types, such as Feminist Witches, Neopagain Witches, Gothics, and Neo-Gothic Witches, among the long list of them.
Do Witches worship Satan?
No. ‘Satan’ or ‘The Devil’ is an ‘evil’ aspect of Christianity. Wiccans do not believe in divine good nor divine evil, as divinity is always reflected through each individual. The unfortunate claims that the male aspect of Wicca (usually in the form of The Horned God of the Wild) is the same as the Christian Devil, is a good chunk of the reason why many Christians and others harshly persecute and ridicule those of The Craft.
I once saw a meme that said: “Accusing a Pagan of worshiping Satan is like accusing an Atheist of worshiping God.” It is so true. To be a Satanist, one must believe in Satan. Witches do not believe in Satan, as such. The popular image of the goat-hooved, pointy-horned devil is a deliberate corruption by the early missionary church of the European Pagan Horned God, who has been depicted in Greece as Pan, and in ancient Gaul as Cernunnos (who is pictured having a stag’s antlers). Making indigenous gods into evil beings was the early church’s most reliable method of gaining converts. Some missionary Christian groups continue the practice to this day, in areas that have retained their old religions.
Our Horned God is neither evil nor a source of evil; He is the energy of nature, of plant and animal life, which energy manifests for people in music and dance, intoxication and ecstasy, and all joyous activities, including lovemaking.
As one source of my information so eloquently put it once: “Devil worship, including Satanism, is a Christian heresy. If you don’t believe me, ask an expert – say, any well-read pastor or theology professor. In order to worship Satan, you have to believe in him – and there are no references to Satan outside of the Christian Bible. So to be a Satanist or a devil worshiper, you have to believe in the accuracy of the Christian Bible, then identify yourself with God’s Enemy, proclaim that you are ‘evil’, and then try to ‘fight against Jesus’ or similar nonsense. Neopagans do not accept the Christian Bible as the ultimate source of religious truth. As a source of some beautiful poetry, sometimes, or as a source of myth, and even a source of some wisdom and truth with some qualifications, but neo-pagans do not accept it as the revealed word of God in the sense that believing Christians do. We are a separate, non-Judaeo-Christian religion somewhat in the sense that Hindus or American Indians have non-christian faiths.”
Is Wicca related to Satanism?
No, absolutely no affiliation. Once again ‘Satan’ is an aspect of Christianity worshiped by ‘satanists’. There are no similarities, much less equalities, to join the two paths.
Who do Witches worship?
Everything in nature to a Wiccan is a true aspect of deity. However, the aspects most often celebrated are the Triple Goddess of the Moon (Who is Maiden, Mother, and Crone) and the Horned God of the wilds . These figureheads represent the duality (in gender and every respect) of everything in nature.
Can a Witch also be Christian?
No. (Though I have 2 friends who swear they are “Christian-Pagans”. I am still trying to get them to explain that to me!) Craft folk believe in a beneficent universe, the laws of karma and reincarnation, and divinity inherent in every human being. Yet laughter and pleasure are part of their spiritual tradition, and they enjoy singing, dancing, feasting, and love. Where-as Judaeo-Christianity incorporates concepts such as original sin, vicarious atonement, bodily resurrection, and divinity inherent in the Godhead alone. Besides, you’d have to ask how serious a person who practiced two religions was about either one. Being Jewish is an exception, since it is a race and culture as well as a religion. There are many Wiccan Jews, but they practice Wicca, not Judaism.
Are witches opposed to Christianity?
Some Wiccans are ex-Christians, and I’m not going to deny that some may hold a grudge against the Church because of what they perceive as attempts to control their minds. I have to admit that I am not happy with many Christians or the Church for many of the prejudices that they hold. Further, many neopagans are suspicious of the Church, I know I am, because it was in the name of Jesus Christ that as many as nine million of our kind were murdered. Neopagans oppose anyone who uses force to control the minds of others. Does that include you? If not, then it means neopagans as such are not opposed to you. Do you work for the benefit of mankind, are you respectful to the Earth? If so, it makes us allies, whether or not either of us wants to admit it.
A little known fact: The Bible states that Jesus Christ says not to worship him, but instead worship his father, God. Yet the Christians worship Jesus as well as , sometimes more… religiously… than God himself.
How do I become a witch?
One is not born a witch, nor does calling oneself a witch make one a witch. Through atonement of nature, practice and ritual, one can learn the ways of the Wicce. The peace, joy and love for everything in nature are the only required quality; the knowledge, mindset and satisfaction through Wicca are LEARNED. Read a book, attend a festival, open your mind.
The Craft does not actively seek converts. We do not proselytize.
We are willing to inform when asked, and training is available in varying degrees of formality.
Some Witches believe that one must be born with the talent to become a Witch. Others believe that all people have the ability, and that becoming a Witch is simply a matter of training.
Some people know from an early age that they are Witches; others come to the Craft as adults. Most of us grew up in a tradition other than the Craft.
And there are many out there who do what we would call Witchcraft who have no idea what to call it, or even that there are others like them in the country or the world.
Being a Witch, like doing magick itself, is a matter of symbolism and intent.
Do We Pray? Who Do We Pray To?
Some Witches pray (in the popular sense of the word), some don’t . Some Witches regularly meditate on the deities of their choice; some only invoke deities to empower a ritual or work of Magick.
As to who or what our deities are, you will get nearly as many answers as there are Witches. Consensus opinion seems to be that there is a transcendent Divine, the sum of all that is and more, and that everything that is partakes of that Divinity. However, that Divinity is more than the human mind can encompass or experience. So the idea of Divinity is broken down into few or many mind-sized pieces. One cannot look at the sun but through a filter; one can only experience a piece of the Divine. These pieces are conceived of in many forms. One of the primary forms Divinity takes for us is the Goddess, the Divine Feminine. She can have many names and many aspects; some Witches worship only the nameless single Goddess, and others worship Her under all the names by which she has been known to the ancients: Ishtar, Diana, Ceridwen, Athena, Amaterasu, Brigantia, Venus, Hecate, Isis, Demeter, and more. In addition, the Goddess can be seen in three aspects: the Maiden (youth, self-sufficiency, often love), the Mother (nurturing, fulfillment), and the Crone/Wise Woman (wisdom, mystery, initiation, and death/rebirth). The Moon, the Sea, and the Earth can all be personified as Goddesses.
Some Witches stop there. Other Witches include the Divine Male, the God. Our God is not limited to the Father aspect, though there are Divine Fathers. The Sun is often personified as a God, as is plant life; the dying and reborn Grain God is common to nearly all agricultural myths. Some name Him merely the Horned One; others call him by the names he had of old: Apollo, Osiris, Dionysos, Odin, Pan, Freyr, Adonis, Tammuz, and many others.
When we invoke deities and/or manifest them in ourselves, where do they come from? Are they somewhere out there and do they come in? Or are they inside us, in our psyches, and do they come out? Do we put on a deity, or do we remove our shell of humanity to let the divinity show through? Nobody has the answer, nor do we pretend to. Deities may be archetypes , they may be nature spirits, they may be forces outside our ken. Who or whatever they are, they are. Our deities are both transcendent (out there) and immanent (right here).
What about Evil? What are our ethics and morals?
Okay, I have to way this first, before going on with this question. The beginning of the Wiccan Rede states: “Bide ye wiccan laws you must, in perfect love and perfect trust.” Evil does not love, nor does it trust. The end of that same Rede states: “Eight words the Wiccan Rede fulfill: An ye harm none, do what ye will.” Harm none. ‘Nuff said?
When I first met my ex-husband’s parents, they asked me this question. It didn’t go well from the moment I told them I was Wiccan. As soon as they heard that they did like most Christians do and closed their mind to learning anything else about me. From that moment on, I was no good for their son or their granddaughter, my (step)daughter. I put it that way because in my heart she was, and still is, my daughter, never my step child, even though her father and I are not together anymore.
We believe that life is essentially good, and creation and destruction are part of natural cycles. Clearly, though, there is evil in the world. We believe its source is not any kind of devil or demiurge, but human action (note: not human nature). Evil is also subjective: what is good for one may be evil for another and vice versa. For example, a tiger kills an antelope – the antelope’s death is bad to the antelope, but good to the tiger, who does, after all, have to eat. The deities of the Craft, if they have any inclination at all, incline towards the positive; most are neither good nor evil, they just are, in the same way any elemental force, like fire or the weather, is. Our deities give us power; how we choose to use that power is up to us.
That use is directed, first and foremost, by the Witches’ Rede: If it harm none, do what ye will. It is also directed in part by the Law of Threefold Return: what you give out returns to you threefold. If you work ill, threefold ill comes back to you. If you work good, threefold good comes back to you.
Witches (and members of other indigenous religions) have known all along what science is only beginning to acknowledge: that all systems on the planet are interconnected, all life is one. When imbalance is caused in one area, the whole system is thrown out of balance. Acts of evil cause imbalance. The works of Witchcraft are toward balance and harmony. We are healers, protectors; we will act swiftly and forcefully in defense against aggression, but we do not ourselves attack.
Do We Do Animal or Human Sacrifice?
No. Never have and never will. Remember, “An ye harm none, do what thou will.”
Our own internal life-force is sufficient to whatever task we may require; we have no need of stealing the life-force of another. As offerings to our deities, Witches may burn incense or candles, pour out libations, place sacred herbs or food in some outdoor spot, bury talismans or money. Some female Witches use their own menstrual blood in spells; other Witches may prick themselves (in these enlightened days, usually with sterile lancets) and offer a drop or two of their own blood. But the only blood a Witch has a right to offer is her/his own. The sacrifice of another’s is against the Rede.
Do We Have Gurus, Leaders, Priests, Etc.?
Every Witch is her or his own priest/ess. That’s part of the point of the Craft. We need no intermediaries between us and Divinity; each of us can have our own personal Revelation. Mostly, the Craft is too diverse to follow any one leader. We all partake of Divinity, and no one person has exclusive knowledge of the Divine or sole power to decide the directions of our lives. We have no infallible leader, no Grand High Exalted Poobah, no dogma. Nobody can have all the answers. So many of us have our own ideas about what the Craft should be and how it works, that we can rarely agree on points of religion – the idea of all of us agreeing to follow one person is manifestly absurd.
Each Circle or Coven may have a High Priestess or High Priest, or it may be democratic and operate by consensus. There will always be people with leadership tendencies; these are people who tend to do outreach work, networking between Wiccan groups or outside the Craft, or even teaching.
Do We Believe in an Afterlife or Heaven and Hell?
As it has been said, Witches don’t believe in life after death, we believe in life after birth. The emphasis of the Craft is on working to make this life good for as many people as possible, oneself included.
We do not believe in a hell, sin, or redemption. As mentioned above, evil is imbalance. But we have no concept of original sin for which we must be redeemed – indeed, that concept has been the source of oppression and even killing of women for centuries, since medieval Christian philosophy had it that woman was the source of all sin and evil. Witches are reclaiming Eve as the one who gave us self-knowledge through her courage and curiosity. Nor, for that matter, do we believe in a heavenly reward for good behavior. Spiritual bribery is not the way of the Witch; the results of good or evil acts are felt in this lifetime. No celestial carrot or infernal stick.
On the other hand, Witches have quite a few opinions about what does happen after death. Most believe in reincarnation of some sort or other. Some have it that between death and rebirth the soul undergoes some sort of transformation (for which there are a number of metaphors) to prepare it for rebirth. Others believe that the dead join the Blessed Ancestors, who watch over, protect and advise their descendants. Still others have it that the souls of those who chose pain or evil when they were alive may be trapped after death in a state of suffering because that is all they can understand. Most Witches are honest enough to say, We don’t really know, and there isn’t any way to know.
What is Our Magick – Does it Work?
There are a number of sayings about magick. It is the act of changing consciousness by Will. It is the science of coincidence. As the root word of Witch indicates, we are shapers and changers; what we shape and change is our own life force, our own consciousness, our health and that of the planet. We believe that we can change our lives be spiritual as well as physical means. Very little is preordained, except that we will die, some day. In the meantime, many Witches do divination to find out the possible directions their lives might take, and then act on the information accordingly.
YES … It works. We can’t turn people into frogs or levitate tables by mind-power; we can work healing, change our lives for the better, and discover the workings and balance of the whole system. Our Wills are our tools. Faith without works is meaningless, and we work in the world, too; we are active in our communities and for the environment, but we back up our actions with magickal intent. It is a potent combination.
Do We Practice Black Magick?
No. Some of us do not even recognize black or white magick.
Magick is magick, and what its nature is depends on how we use it.
Remember that we try to temper all our magick by the Rede.
The movie ‘The Craft’ said it the best that I have ever heard: “True magic is neither black, nor white – it’s both because nature is both. Loving and cruel, all at the same time. The only good or bad is in the heart of the witch. Life keeps a balance on its own.”
Do We Cast Spells?
Yes. THAT’S part of being a Witch. There are those who wish merely to worship the Goddess (and God), observe the turning of the seasons with ritual, and honor the Earth. These are what may be called Neo-Pagans (to distinguish them from indigenous, aboriginal pagans). Nearly all Witches are Neo-Pagans (believe it or not, a few Witches are Christian or Jewish); not all Neo-Pagans are Witches.
For us, spells and rituals are a matter of arranging elements to encourage a frame of mind conducive to working Magick. This may involve burning candles and/or incense, making talismans of stone or wood or paper, chanting rhymed formula, using herbs or essential oils, turning down the lights and playing some atmospheric music, or whatever the imagination of the Witch can devise.
The Threefold Return works powerfully here: if someone wishes to curse someone else, the curser must first build up the curse within her/himself – guess who gets to feel it first! Acts of healing, on the other hand, are acts of profound love, and the healer often finds her/himself healthier after healing someone else. It is always easier to cast a spell on oneself than on another. Only in very limited circumstances, if at all, should a spell be cast on another without that person’s knowledge and consent.
Sometimes, late in the night, when the wind whistles through the trees and the night birds sing their songs of sleep, I can close my eyes and see your handsome body. Your smiling eyes watch my sleeping form deep in slumber.
Sometimes, late in the night, when the rain pours down like angles’ tears, the lightening flashes in the dark sky, and thunder cracks through the stillness with a crashing roar, I can feel your body next to me. Your warmth calms my tortured rest and makes me yearn for your arms to he around me always.
Sometimes, late in the night, when there is not a single sound to disturb my dreams, I can love you freely, without hiding how I feel. Your love I can feel curled around my slumbering body.
Sometimes, late in the night, when you are with me, I can show the world what 1ife has dealt me and how I played my hand. I can do anything in the universe when you are with me, Only when you are with me.
Sometimes we feel lonely
And we have the need to be held and loved
There is nothing wrong when two people
Want to fulfill the needs and desires of one another
With no promises to break or strings attached
No one will he hurt of rejected
When that urge to be embraced
Calls in the night
It’s good to know that there is always
Someone who feels the same way
Someone who will try to be there
When you pick up the phone
Someone who will hold you
Until after the break of dawn
And fill that emptiness
That gnaws at your soul.