Spiritual Laws of Magick

1. Witches know that no truths are absolute. Indeed, the downfall of humanity relies on the belief that there is an absolute truth for everything. There is not one absolute way to interpret reality, to behave or to live. Therefore, there is no single correct way to practice magic, pray, celebrate the seasons, or reach our peak of spirituality. The idea that there is only one truth to any question leads to fanaticism, compulsion, and persecution.

2. Witches understand that the universe consist of perfect balance. Therefore, everything has an opposite, not necessarily equated to a negative. A perfect example to this is male and female — the two compliment each other in balance, yet one is not better than the other. Easy opposites that come to mind are light and dark, right and left, up and down, et cetera.

3. Witches realize that for every action there is a reaction. Most of us see this as the law of karma. Witches use the poem “Ever mind the rule of three, what you manifest comes back to thee.” Therefore, if you create evil, then you will receive evil back. If you create harmony, then you will experience harmony in kind.

4. Witches know that we are all one. We are all connected. Everything you do influences yourself as well as someone else. We are not as separate from humanity as we perceive ourselves to be; therefore, when we make decisions for one, we invariably make decisions about or for others.

5. The witch understands that the ultimate act of spirituality is the act of positive creation through love. Positive creations manifest harmony; negative formulations create chaos. As much as possible, we should attempt to concentrate our energies on positive creativity. In essence, all humans were born to create through love; this is our primary mission statement.

6. Witches realize that the energy created through worship and ritual manifests as a circular stream of positive energy. What we give to Spirit will return to us.

7. A witch should never close their mind to knowledge, because through the continuous process of learning that we raise our personal vibrations.

8. A witch uses the magical circle as a physical/non-physical representation of a church or temple on the earth plane. A witch needs to purify themselves physically, mentally, and spiritually before casting or entering a magic circle. There are no arguments, hatreds, or any sort of evil allowed inside the circle.

9. Witches use the energies of the elements around them along side their own energies to assist in raising power. Witches know that the greatest energy manifests as love.

10. Witches use common sense and do not share their mysteries with fools. Good energy was never meant to be wasted on idiocy.

11. Witches do not point out the identity of other Witches to the general public, as discrimination still haunts many of our brothers and sisters. If one Witch brings discrimination on the head of another Witch, then he or she is directly responsible for the harm and will reap the karmic consequences. It is also said that if a Witch knowingly breaks the Laws or Ordains, then he or she will not be permitted to incarnate on Earth again and will instead be delegated to the mythical hell that the standard religions have created. It is their thought form after all.

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What Pagans Are NOT!

Okay, it’s time to banish a few common misunderstandings and misconceptions about the pagan path. Yeah, I’ve probably got this same information on other pages, but there are certain things I like to repeat to stress, to make sure that the message is clear.

What Devil?

First and foremost, pagans are not devil worshipers. They never were. They never will be. Why would members of one belief system worship the bad guy of another belief system? Anthropologists have seen how the Gods (and Goddesses) of the old religion comes to be regarded as the evil ones or devils in the new faith when a culture changes religions.

Modern pagans try to take on a balanced view of history. They reject the propaganda that seeks to link the old Gods with the Christian devil, and in doing so, pagans are free to accept, learn about, and revere the old Gods on their own terms.

No Blood Sacrifices, Please…

Modern pagans renounce the practice of human and animal sacrifices. They reject the notion that their Gods require blood sacrifices. That is not to say pagans do not make sacrifices.  There are appropriate ways, which are defined as “offerings to the Gods.” These are usually in the form of prayer, song, flowers, oil, a token of food, or even pouring wine on sacred ground or leaving a small meal for wild animals, instead of shedding blood. Even giving up a bad habit can be a sacrifice if done in a spiritually intentional manor.

Pagans and Sex

It is very commonly thought –wrongly I might add– that pagan worship always involves a hot, sweaty orgy. If all you are interested in is group sex, you would have better luck at a swingers club! While pagan beliefs about sex are a bit more liberal than most people’s, their sexual behavior is pretty much the same. Pagans are just like everyone else in their opposition to adultery, rape and child molestation.

When it comes to such things as homosexuality, bisexuality, and sex between unmarried couples, pagans are probably more liberal than most, but that is because for pagans sex is natural and therefore good.

Some pagans, especially those who practice Wicca, sometimes perform rituals in the nude, also known as “skyclad”. This is not true of all Wiccans, and certainly not all pagans, but it does seem to get a lot of press. But even those Wiccans who do practice skyclad rituals tend to be as middle-of-the-road in their sexuality as most pagans. In other words: They think sex is great, but an orgy?  No thanks!!

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Wiccan Ethics

As Scott Cunningham says in Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs:

Magic is love. All magic should be performed out of love. The moment anger or hatred tinges your magic you have crossed the border into a dangerous world, one that will ultimately consume you.

Biding the Rede is the only thing you have to do to be Wiccan. Do no harm. That is the essence of the Wiccan faith, our one law. No one imposes this on us. A Wiccan is a witch who chooses of his or her own free will to be bound by this law. We see life as magickal and magick as sacred, so Wiccans are white witches who do not hex or harm.

To assume that white magick is less powerful than black magick would be to mistake kindness for weakness. Certainly we defend ourselves, but we generally do so by deflecting attacks rather than by attacking

Magick itself is neutral, a tool. Like a hammer, it can be used to smash or to build. It is colored by your intent. White magick is a term used to describe that which is positive, constructive, or helpful. Black magick is that which is negative, destructive, or harmful. If you have a business and you work spells to make it prosper, that’s white magick. Casting spells to destroy your competition would be black magick. These are not racial terms. The terms good and evil, or dark and light, are often used to express this same concept.

Why black and white, and not some other colors? To answer this question you have to go back into prehistory and imagine how terrifying the night was for humans before we learned to use fire. The black of night was full of unseen threats, a dangerous time that you might not survive. The white light of day brought illumination and safety, welcome relief.

White magick is the right-hand path, black magick the left. The symbolism of right and left is also very ancient. The right hand was used for eating, the left hand for bathroom functions. Imagine life without toilet paper and you’ll understand why it’s customary to shake hands with your right hand! This has nothing to do with being right- or left-handed. It does, however, explain why, in the past, left-handed people were often forced to learn to write with their right hands.

The term green witchcraft is sometimes used to describe Celtic magick, fairy magick, Earth magick, or any combination of these. There are several theories of “gray magic,” but I think gray magic is what Hindus call maya illusion.

Do murderers balance nice people? Do child abusers balance loving parents? If they create balance, does this excuse their crimes? Try telling that to a judge! “Well your honor, I only stole that car to create balance in the universe.”

There is another polarity theory, which states that if you do two hexes and two healings, they balance one another or cancel each other out. Although there may be some logic to this, it’s still just a self-serving excuse, a way to delude yourself that you are a white witch when you practice black magick.

Some traditions hold that those spells you cast on yourself constitute white magick, while those you cast on others constitutes gray magick. I think a spell that harms you or anyone else is black magick; one that helps or heals anyone, including yourself, is white magick. There is no gray in this area as far as I am concerned. Being of service to people in need or distress is one of the things witches do best. I therefore see nothing wrong in casting spells that help others, with their permission, of course.

Some witches argue that there are evils too great, situations too grave, to be handled with white magick. The end justifies the means, they say, making black magick necessary for the greater good. Although there is some merit to this argument, I have never encountered a situation I couldn’t handle with white magick. Binding, banishing, and transformation are the powerful tools of a white witch.

There are excellent moral and ethical arguments against practicing black magick. If you are not convinced by those, however, here is a practical one:

What goes around comes around.

Everything we put forth is eventually returned to us. Moreover, Wicca recognizes the Law of Three, which states that this return is triple. Black magick may provide instant gratification, but it ultimately does you more harm than anyone else. Many white witches have learned this lesson the hard way.

Carefully examine any spell or magickal working before you perform it to be sure that it is in accord with Wiccan law. Ask yourself if you are casting the spell for the person, or on the person. If you do harm inadvertently, try to right it. Many witches work a phrase into their spells that prevents accidental harm, something like, “And let no harm be done by this.”

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The Witches Pyramid

In some circles the Witch’s Pyramid is known as the Four Powers of the Magus or the Four Secrets of the Sphinx, whose energy is considered to be the foundation and four pillars of all practical and esoteric magick. Whether you are conjuring the weather for a great day at the beach or concentrating on empowering the Witch within, the basic building blocks are always the same: To Know, To Dare, To Will, and To Be Silent, known in some circles by their Latin names as Noscere (to know), representing the element of air; Audere (to dare), designating the element of water; Velle (to will), stands for the element of fire; and Tacere (to be silent) linked to the element of earth. Together they become voces mysticae. The most difficult lesson to learn of the four corners is the last, to be silent. When the four powers are gathered together, then the fifth sacred power occurs – that of quintessence, or Spirit, which represents the top of the pyramid, sometimes called ire, meaning “to go” – the movement of energy toward manifestation guided by the hand of the Witch. Without this solid foundation the cone of power will stutter and fall and the enchantment will break apart before it can reach your desire.

To Know means that you will strive to learn as much as you can in this lifetime and that you will apply this knowledge to your daily life. It also means that you will seek truth in all things and be willing to change your perceptions to meet your awakening spirituality.

To Dare says that you have pushed fear behind you and that you will be courageous and proactive in all that you do. You will believe in yourself and have faith in the universe and in your own abilities.

To Will means that you will learn to focus your thoughts and practice meditation and visualization in order to reach your goals. It means that you won’t sit back and let the world pass you by – you will work toward your dreams. You will meet obstacles and find positive solutions to overcome them.

To Be Silent is, perhaps, the most important. It means that you will keep your mouth shut about the magick that you do, lest your friends and others destroy the magick with their negativity before it ever manages to manifest. It also means that you will think before you speak, and you won’t give good advice to bad people. Finally, it means that you will follow the etiquette of Wicca and not blab about what happened in ritual (if you work with a group), carry gossip about the other members, nor harm others intentionally through your words. For adults and teens this is by far the most difficult promise to keep.

To Go means that you will master the four pillars (energies) of the base of the pyramid and use them in a positive way to help yourself as well as others. To Go is the ultimate meaning of the Witch’s Oath of Service.

If we trace the pentacle with our finger, starting at the bottom left point with To Know, up at To Dare, over at To Will, down at To Be Silent, up to Spirit, then finish by moving back down at To Know, not only have we made a pentacle, we have also worked through the four corners before moving to Spirit. Coming back down again at To Know, we have the occult maxim “As Above, So Below”. Not only must you begin by studying and believing you can do anything, you must end that way as well – faith followed by magick followed by faith.

Source: The Ultimate Book of Shadows for the New Generation Solitary Witch, by Silver RavenWolf

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What Is Wicca?

The Craft is accepting, generous, and loving. It’s gentle, unobtrusive, and supportive. It’s an ethical way of life that, once embraced, brings immeasurable joy and wonder to everyday living.

Who are the Wiccans and Witches of Today?

Witchcraft is not merely legendary; it was, and is, real. It is not extinct; it is alive and prospering. Since the last laws against Witchcraft were repealed (as recently as the 1950s), Witches have been able to come out into the open and show themselves for what they are.

And what are they? They are intelligent, community-conscious, thoughtful men and women of TODAY. Witchcraft is not a step backwards; a retreat into a more superstition-filled time. Far from it. It is a step FORWARD.

Witchcraft is a religion far more relevant to the times than the vast majority of the established churches. It is the acceptance of personal and social responsibility. It is acknowledgement of a holistic universe and a means towards a raising of consciousness. Equal rights; feminism; ecology; attunement; brotherly/sisterly love; planetary care–these are all part and parcel of Wicca/Witchcraft, the old yet new religion.

Wicca, the religion of the “Witches,” has long been shrouded in secrecy. Anyone interested in learning “The Craft” had to content themselves with hints from books and articles. The Wiccans wouldn’t say much, save that they weren’t looking for new members.

Growing numbers today are dissatisfied with traditional religious structures. Many are searching for a personally-involving religion, one which celebrates both physical and spiritual realities, in which attunement with deity is coupled with the practice of magic.

Wicca is just such a religion, centering around reverence for nature as seen in the Goddess and the God. Its spiritual roots in antiquity, acceptance of magic and mysterious nature make it particularly appealing.

Since we have arrived at a point in time where one mishap could end our planet as we know it, there has never been a time when Wicca as a nature-reverencing religion has had more to offer.

WICCA (sometimes called Wicce, The Craft, or The Old Religion by its practitioners) is an ancient religion of love for life and nature; a personal, celebratory religion in which there must be balance in all things. We are Pagan, celebrate the Goddess and the God, and are joyous creatures. Blessed is the Pagan that walks with their head bathed in sunlight, shoulders among the clouds, feet treading the moonlight, heart warmed by nature. Blessed is the Pagan that casts the magic Circle in the name of the Goddess, for their magic shall always be blessed. Blessed is the Pagan that preaches not, hates not, doubts not. The Pagan heart is full of joy, love and magic. The Lady and the Lord watch over Their Priest/ess with perfect Love, perfect Trust, and is honored that such a creature would praise them. Blessed is the Pagan that walks the Wiccan Path.

In prehistoric times, people respected the great forces of Nature and celebrated the cycles of the seasons and the moon. They saw divinity in the sun and moon, in the Earth Herself, and in all life. The creative energies of the universe were personified: feminine and masculine principles became Goddesses and Gods. These were not semi-abstract, superhuman figures set apart from Nature: they were embodied in earth and sky, women and men, and even plants and animals.

This viewpoint is still central to present-day Wicca. To most Wiccans, everything in Nature — and all Goddesses and Gods — is true aspects of Deity. The aspects most often celebrated in the Craft, however, are the Triple Goddess of the Moon (Who is Maiden, Mother, and Crone) and the Horned God of the wilds. These have many names in various cultures.

Wicca had its organized beginnings in Paleolithic times, co-existed with other Pagan (“country”) religions in Europe, and had a profound influence on early Christianity. But in the medieval period, tremendous persecution was directed against the Nature religions by the Roman Church. Over a span of 300 years, millions of men and women and many children were hanged, drowned or burned as accused “Witches.” The Church indicted them for black magic and Satan worship, though in fact these were never a part of the Old Religion.

The Wiccan faith went underground, to be practiced in small, secret groups called “covens.” For the most part, it stayed hidden until very recent times. Now scholars such as Margaret Murray and Gerald Gardner have shed some light on the origins of the Craft, and new attitudes of religious freedom have allowed covens in some areas to risk becoming more open.

How do Wiccan folk practice their faith today? There is no central authority or doctrine, and individual covens vary a great deal. But most meet to celebrate on nights of the Full Moon, and at eight great festivals or Sabbats throughout the year.

Though some practice alone or with only their families, many Wiccans are organized into covens of three to thirteen members. Some are led by a High Priestess or Priest, many by a Priestess/Priest team; others rotate or share leadership. Some covens are highly structured and hierarchical, while others may be informal and egalitarian. Often extensive training is required before initiation, and coven membership is considered an important commitment.

There are many branches or “traditions” of Wicca in the United States and elsewhere, such as the Gardnerian, Alexandrian, Welsh Traditional, Dianic, Faery, Seax-Wica and others. All adhere to a code of ethics. None engage in the disreputable practices of some modern “cults,” such as isolating and brainwashing impressionable, lonely young people. Genuine Wiccans welcome sisters and brothers, but not disciples, followers or victims.

Coven meetings include ritual, celebration and magic. Wiccan magic is not at all like the instant “special effects” of cartoon shows or fantasy novels, nor medieval demonology; it operates in harmony with natural laws and is usually less spectacular — though effective. Various techniques are used to heal people and animals, seek guidance, or improve members’ lives in specific ways. Positive goals are sought: cursing and “evil spells” are repugnant to practitioners of the Old Religion.

Wiccans tend to be strong supporters of environmental protection, equal rights, global, peace and religious freedom, and sometimes magic is used toward such goals.

Wiccan beliefs do not include such Judeo-Christian concepts as original sin, vicarious atonement, divine judgment or bodily resurrection. Craft folk believe in a beneficent universe, the laws of karma and reincarnation, and divinity inherent in every human being and all of Nature. Yet laughter and pleasure are part of their spiritual tradition, and they enjoy singing, dancing, feasting, and love.

Wiccans tend to be individualists, and have no central holy book, prophet, or church authority. They draw inspiration and insight from science, and personal experience. Each practitioner keeps a personal book or journal in which s/he records magical “recipes,” dreams, invocations, songs, poetry and so on.

To most of the Craft, every religion has its own valuable perspective on the nature of Deity and humanity’s relationship to it: there is no One True Faith. Rather, religious diversity is necessary in a world of diverse societies and individuals. Because of this belief, Wiccan groups do not actively recruit or proselytize: there is an assumption that people who can benefit from the Wiccan way will “find their way home” when the time is right. Despite the lack of evangelist zeal, many covens are quite willing to talk with interested people, and even make efforts to inform their communities about the beliefs and practices of Wicca.

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