Home Welcome Resource Center Bookstore

Svenska

Norsk Deutsch Espaņol
               

 

Witchcraft
Founder: Unknown

Overview
Witchcraft is a pagan religion. They believe in a central supernatural power to which petitions for help may be addressed. Witches view themselves as part of the universe finding wisdom and happiness by living in harmony with nature.  They believe that much of nature can be manipulated if one knows the key to communicating with this "cone of power", and that sexuality and fertility is the basis of all life. It is by the glorification of sex that humanity is liberated from its earthbound limitations.

Witchcraft does not follow a list rules or regulations, rather they abide by one rule; "do as you will but harm none."

Witches believe in magic as a reality. They believe everyone has innate psychic abilities, they are natural and we all have them. Witches also believe in the power of thought, this is one of the basics of magic. Magic is the art of causing change through the power of will and natural energies. It is natural and it works with, and not against, the forces of Nature. Witches use magic to bring about needed change in harmony with natural forces, to aid spiritual growth by understanding the Self and the universe and thereby the evolution of man/womankind.

Esbats are the rituals/meetings held on the Full Moon. There are 13 Esbats. There are 8 Sabbats, four Greater and 4 Lesser. The four Greater Sabbats are Imbolg, Beltane, Lughnassadh and Samhain. The four Lesser are the Winter solstice, Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice and the Autumn Equinox.

The Law of Three is very prominent in the Old Religions. "The Maiden, the Mother and the Crone", Who symbolize, the beginning, the middle and the end, birth, life and death. The moon phases, Waxing, Full and Waning.

There is also a strong belief throughout the Old Religions in the Law of Three. Whatever you give out, comes back to you threefold. Whether it is good or bad.

One of the symbols of witchcraft is the five-pointed star. A white witch wears it, uses it with one point pointing straight up. If a witch wears it with two points pointing up, resembling horns, that witch is a black witch, a Satanist.

The book that has been used through the centuries is called "The Book of Shadows". Every witch when initiated must hand-copy their own book, which is a manual of witch law. Very few witches today understand the old chants in this book.  It is a book of beliefs, witchcraft laws, rituals, herbal and healing law, incarnations, chants, dances, divination methods, spells, and other information which serves as a guide for witches in practicing their craft and religion. In addition individual witches add their own personal material and is supposed to be destroyed upon their death.

One of the most famous witches in the world during the last century was the magician Houdini.

In order to become a witch a person must present them self for membership to a local coven. A coven is local group of witches, both male and female, consisting of more than 13 members. Since it is impossible for the coven to release a member, a person must be thoroughly instructed in what is involved in becoming a witch before being initiated. Most ceremonies today are held indoors since all rituals are done in the nude. A cold salt water bath is used to cleanse the newcomer, and they are actually totally immersed (baptized). After this, the initiate is led into the circle where they stand with legs and arms outstretched and are greeted with the abasing five-fold kiss where five parts of the body are kissed by someone of the opposite sex. After the end of the initiation ceremony, the member is given an "athame", the traditional witch's knife which is traditionally a double-bladed knife with a black handle on which mystic symbols are engraved.

Cult Beliefs:

  • They

The 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 Witchcraft 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.

Wiccans celebrate eight festivals, called "Sabbats," as a means of attunement to the seasonal rhythms of Nature. These are January 31 (Called Oimelc, Brigit, or February Eve), March 21 (Ostara or Spring Equinox), April 30 (Beltane or May Eve), June 22 (Midsummer, Litha or Summer Solstice), July 31 (Lunasa or Lammas), September 21 (Harvest, Mabon or Autumn Equinox), October 31 (Samhain, Sowyn or Hallows), and December 21 (Yule or Winter Solstice.) Some groups find meetings within a few days of those dates to be acceptable, others require the precise date. In addition, most groups will meet for worship at each Full Moon, and many will also meet on the New Moon. Meetings for religious study will often be scheduled at any time convenient to the members, and rituals can be scheduled whenever there is a need (i.e. for a healing).

Ritual jewelry is particularly important to many Wiccans. In addition to being a symbol of religious dedication, these talismans are often blessed by the coven back home and felt to carry the coven's protective and healing energy.

ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE: Most Wiccans meet with a coven, a small group of people. Each coven is autonomous. Most are headed by a High Priestess, often with the assistance of a High Priest. Some are headed by a High Priestess or High Priest without a partner, and some regard themselves as a gathering of equals. Covens can be of mixed gender, or all female or male, depending on the preferences of the members. Every initiate is considered to be a priestess a priest. Most covens are small. Thirteen is the traditional maximum number of members, although not an absolute limit. At that size covens form a close bond, so Wiccans in the military are likely to maintain a strong affiliation with their covens back home.

While many Wiccans meet in a coven, there are also a number of solitairies. These are individuals who choose to practice their faith alone. The may have been initiated in a coven or self initiated. They will join with other Wiccans to celebrate the festivals or to attend the various regional events organized by the larger community.

WORSHIP: Wiccans usually worship in groups. Individuals who are currently not affiliated with a coven, or are away from their home coven, may choose to worship privately or may form ad-hoc groups to mark religious occasions. Non-participating observers are not generally welcome at Wiccan rituals.

Some, but not all, Wiccan covens worship in the nude ("skyclad") as a sign of attunement with Nature. Most, but not all, Wiccan covens bless and share a cup of wine as part of the ritual. Almost all Wiccans use an individual ritual knife (an "athame"_ to focus and direct personal energy. Covens often also have ritual swords to direct the energy of the group. These tools, like all other ritual tools, are highly personal and should never leave the possession of the owner. Other commonly used ritual tools include a bowl of water, a bowl of salt, a censer with incense, a disk with symbols engraved on it (a "pentacle"), statues or artwork representing the Goddess and God, and candles. Most groups will bless and share bread or cookies along with the wine. All of these items are used in individual, private worship as well as in congregate rituals.

OTHER: With respect to attitude toward military service, Wiccans range from career military personnel to conscientious objectors. Wiccans do not proselytize and generally resent those who do. They believe that no one Path to the Sacred is right for all people, and see their own religious pattern as only one among many that are equally worthy. Wiccans respect all religious that foster honor and compassion in their adherents, and expect the same respect. Members are encouraged to learn about all faiths, and are permitted to attend the services of other religions, should they desire to do so.

The other "Law" of Witchcraft is the "THREE-FOLD LAW OF RETURN". Basically, this is the natural law of "cause and effect". The Goddess charges us to exercise great care in all that we, as Witches, do and say and even think. The Threefold Law takes the notion that "what we reap, we will sow", a few steps further..in fact, THREE steps further. For what we do "for good or for ill, shall be returned to us threefold." In light of this fact, Witches are loath to cause any harm, lest it be returned to them in spades!

When we come to really understand the Three-Fold Law and it's ramifications, we can see that although on the surface, it acts like a prohibition, it also serves as a source of blessing. Witches seek to heal and to help all of Life, and when we are working for "the good of all", it is natural that the "good" will come to us also. But it falls on us multiplied and empowered..three-fold is quite an increase no matter what mathematical method you use!

The word "just" is defined as" that which is merited or deserved." With that definition in mind, you can see why Witches believe in the exercise of "justice" over "revenge". We are assured that what is merited by a persons actions will come to pass. We need only to ask the God and Goddess for "justice to be done". Since this is in line with natural laws and the promises of the Ancient Ones, we can rest in the knowledge that we are asking in a correct manner for the situation to be taken care of. Then we can release it to them to handle and go about our business.

"Revenge" on the other hand, is defined as "an urge to get even" (we've all been there!) or "to inflict harm in reaction to an insult" (we cannot go THERE! see: Witches Rede) It is difficult sometimes, especially when our loved ones have been hurt, to follow the principles outlined here...VERY difficult. Never the less, that is what we are instructed to do. It is a matter of trust...trust that the God and the Goddess will take care of it...trust that the Universal Laws apply to everyone equally...trust in the Three-Fold Law...and trust in yourself as a Witch, strong in your beliefs. We all go through deep soul searching when confronted with this issue. How we decide to respond tells us a lot about ourselves, what we give lip service to and what we really believe. It can be a valuable lesson that can change our life.

"The Great Mother and 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" *

  1. The basic history of Witchcraft and its cultural origins.
     

  2. Some of the different Traditions and Ways that Witchcraft is practiced today.
     

  3. The basic ethical guidelines, such as the Rede or Law of Three.
     

  4. A basic overview of karma and reincarnation (or transmigration).
     

  5. An understanding on how Magick works.
     

  6. Deity Names and Aspects.
     

  7. The Elements and correspondences.
     

  8. Basic Tools of the Craft and their use in ritual work.
     

  9. Some divination, visualization and meditation techniques.
     

  10. Folklore and Mythology.

 

Back to Cults