The WOTC aka Witches Of The Craft is an old established Witchcraft site, an organization on the net at well as off the internet. Our mission is to dispel all the old myths and stereotypes about Witches and Witchcraft. To spread the truth and beauty about our religion, Witchcraft to every corner of the planet. You know the old horror stories about Witches, now we welcome you to find out the truth.

Our Broadcasting Schedule

Every Day - We offer a Spell-Of-The-Day

Wednesdays - Discussion on Witchcraft topics such as our History, How to Become A Witch, Spells, Rituals, Curses, Hexes, Potions, Notions & Lots More

Saturday - Weekend Divination including Horoscopes, Daily Tarot Card, Daily Rune and other forms of divination you won't find any place else.

Sunday - Also includes Weekend Divination such as on Saturday

Full Moons - Online rituals will be offered for all Full Moons

Sabbats - Rituals & Information concerning our High Holy Days will be offered at least two to three days before the Sabbat for your celebrations.

Current Moon Phase

Moon Phases for June

First Quarter
June 1, 2017
Full Moon
June 9, 2017
Last quarter
June 17, 2017
New moon
June 23, 2017
First Quarter
June 30, 2017

June's Moon Names

Rose Moon
Windy Moon
Lotus Moon
Green Corn Moon
Moon When June Berries Are Ripe
Moon of Horses
Planting Moon
Dyan Moon

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Northern Hemisphere Dates

Imbolc - Feb. 2
Ostara - Mar. 21/22
Beltane - Apr. 30/May 1
Litha - June 21/22
Lammas - Jul. 31/Aug. 1
Mabon - Sept. 21/22
Samhain - Oct. 31
Yule - Dec. 21/22


Southern Hemisphere Dates

Imbolc – August 1st
Ostara – September 21st/22nd
Beltane – Oct 31st/Nov 1st
Lithia – Dec 21st/22nd
Lammas – Feb 1st/2nd
Mabon – March 21st
Samhain – April 30th/May 1st
Yule – June 21st

 

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The Witches Guide to Mondays

June 12, 2017 @ 5:39 pm

                                    witch_doing_magick.jpg

The Witches Guide to Mondays

 

This episode includes everything you can imagine. We start with the magick of Monday, the spellwork associated with today, magickal applications, deities of the day, plants associated with today, two spells (one for traveling and the other for the magus in all of us). Like we said this episode has everything in it except for the kitchen sink. We do one on the WOTC and we wanted to make this one different and we did just that. We hope you enjoy it and perhaps learn a thing or two.

 

 

 

Excerpts from:

Book of Witchery: Spells, Charms & Correspondences for Every Day of the Week
Ellen Dugan

 

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Filed under Witchcraft, Deity Spells, The Witch · Comments

Circle and Circle Structure

June 7, 2017 @ 7:02 pm

                               

                                  pentagram_elements.jpg

                                          

Circle and Circle Structure

 

A circle is a safe, sacred space that we create. It is "between" the worlds, the magickal and the mundane worlds. It marks a "place that is not a place, in a time that is not a time". What we mean by this is that it is sort of a nexus, a place that can touch and reach all other places and people in time and space.

 

How does this happen? By intent and the will of the person or people who "cast" the circle. This vision is created so strongly on the astral plane that we can manifest it in the physical plane, and it creates a boundary past which energy will not pass, unless you send it out. The circle is used as a container, to hold the magickal energy that you raise (also called the "cone of power") until you are ready to send it out for a purpose. Ceremonial magicians will also use a circle at times for protection, to keep unwanted energies or spirits out. I use a circle more for containment rather than protection, but the protective element is good to have there anyway.

 

There are many reasons to have a circle, but they pretty much boil down to one of three:

To work
To worship
To play

 

Work would be magick, healing, self inner work such as meditation, or whatever you are doing that has a specific purpose, and these circles would mainly be done at the times of the Full Moons, New Moons, or Dark Moons, and are called Esbats.

 

Worship can be done at Esbats as well, but is always done for the Sabbats which are the Wiccan Holidays, and there are eight: (see the Sabbats Menu for more detail on these) the four greater Sabbats and the four lesser Sabbats. We believe in our tradition that we should avoid doing magick for personal gain at the Sabbats, but that magick for greater spriritual growth, and growth in our lives, or for healing the earth is all right. On these eight days, we give back to the Gods thanks for the blessings that we receive.

 

And to play, well, those circles are mainly for fun, or learning, and can be done at any time. They are also called Esbats, and can be done anytime and anywhere you like. Wicca is a religion that allows for play, indeed ritual is mostly to have younger self come out and play and be active.

 

So now you may want to know how to actually cast a circle for yourself. Well, there are dozens of books on the subject, all giving you different directions for the four elements, and all giving you different words to say, etc. I have to tell you that the directions of the elements and the words used to cast the circle don't really matter - what matters is what goes on inside of you!

 

What should be going on in YOUR head is a strong visualization of what you are doing, not worrying about if you have gotten the words correct or not. Words do not cast a circle, strong intent does!

 

Before I begin to give instructions on this, I have to emphasize that each group that I have circled with does things their own way. No one way is always right. I will be telling you what MY tradition follows, without giving away anything that I have vowed to keep secret, and offer you some ideas for words that you can use. Please do not email me to tell me that I am doing it wrong! Each tradition has it's own way, and if there is another way that works better for you then by all means, use it. This way works beautifully for myself and the people that I work with, and I am simply sharing it with you. This is NOT written in STONE! Please use only what works for you.

 

You should always cleanse yourself and your ritual area before beginning any ritual. To cleanse yourself, take a ritual bath. To cleanse your ritual space, you will take a besom (or broom) and astrally "sweep" the space clean of any unwanted energy. This is especially important if you are using a room that is otherwise used by the family, such as your livingroom, or bedroom, or office. Start at the back of the room, and going widdershins (or counter-clockwise) and visualize and clouds or muddinesss in the atmosphere being swept away, take it all around the room, to the door, and sweep it all the way out the front doorway. If there is a lot of negative energy in the area you need to use, then go around first with sage, burning it strongly and smudging the area well prior to using the besom.

 

There is a chant that our group uses for doing this:

"Tout, tout, tout
Within and without
All negativity
Get out, out, out."

 

Another verse I have heard used for this purpose is a bit longer:

"Besom, besom, long and lithe,
Made from ash and willow withe,
Tied with thongs of willow bark
In running stream at moonest dark,
With the pentagram indited as the ritual fire is lighted.
Sweep the circle deosil,
Sweep out evil, sweep out ill.
Make the round of the ground where we do the Lady's will."

 

"Besom, Besom, Witches broom,
Sweep out Spirits, sweep out doom.
Rid the Lady's Hallowed ground of demons, imps, and hell's red hounds.
Then stand thee down on her green earth,
By running stream, or Mistress' hearth
Till called upon for Sabbat's rite,
To cleanse once more the dancing site
To guard us all from evil might."

 

I suggest using something simple, along the lines of the first one, for Esbats, and if you have others present, or are doing a more elaborate Sabbat ritual, you might want to use the first, or both, verses of the second invocation. (I do not know the author of the second set of verses, and if you do know I would appreciate an email so that I can give proper credit to the author. Please use the email link on the home page.)

 

Next you can set up your altar area, being sure to double check that you have everything you plan to use in the ritual. It interrupts the energy flow if you suddenly find you forgot something. Don't worry, it won't "ruin" it, it is simply better if you have everything at hand.

 

Think of ritual work as if you were cooking from a recipe. You read over the recipe first to see if it sounds good to you, then you check your cupboards to make sure you have all the ingredients before you start. Ritual is the same way! Read it over first to be sure it sounds good to you, then assemble all the "ingredients" so that you know you have everything the "recipe for ritual" calls for.

 

One other note here, the steps above are not necessarily done in that order. For example, often I will get the altar and all the tools ready first. Then I will take my ritual bath, then cleanse and besom the area. Sometimes I assemble the tools, then cleanse the area with my besom, then to relax and get in a completely magickal frame of mind, I will take my bath last. The order, in other words, doesn't matter. Do it however it feels right. If you use the same room over and over again for ritual, and it rarely gets used for any other purpose (like a spare bedroom), then you can forgo doing the besoming every time. The room will remain cleansed and charged from all the rituals done in it. You may want to besom the room again after someone else has been in the room, though. If you show it to friends, or if you do end up having to use it for when company sleeps over. Take a moment to stop and FEEL what the space feels like. You can tell if it needs to be cleansed or if it is fine. Use your own judgement - that is how you will develop your knowledge of these things. If it feels fine to you, then it probably is. If you are unsure, then besom it anyway.

 

Now you are ready to begin.

 

The circle is usually cast three times, once with the staff or the athame, then again with the salt and water, then a third time around with incense in the censor. Start in the east and walk slowly, deosil (clockwise or sunwise) around the circle, and say something like:

 

"I cast this circle in power and strength
To be a place between the worlds
For all who worship the Old Gods."

 

Then next you will go around with the salt and water, completely around the circle and you can say the same thing again, or something different, like:

 

"I cast this circle with water and salt,
That it shall be cleansed and purified."

 

Then lastly you will go around with the incense in the censor (you CAN use a potholder if this thing gets hot - just consecrate the potholder also!) and say something like:

 

"I cast this circle with air and fire,
That it shall be cleansed and purified."

 

While you are doing this, it is most important for you to SEE in your mind's eye the power or energy flowing out from your staff or your athame, and creating a blue or blue-white "flame" or barrier, which is the boundary of the circle. You will see this boundary being created each time you go around and cast the circle. And remember, that this circle is not a flat two-dimensional circle on the floor, but a complete globe that encircles the entire room, both below your feet and also over your head. Make sure that your visualization is complete in that respect. And remember, practice makes perfect.

 

Casting the circle is the beginning of the ritual, and so by definition has more power the more often you do it the same way. If you are working alone, this is no problem, you just find a way that you like to do it, and memorize that way. Do it the same way every time, and soon you will feel the words and the power flowing out without any trouble at all. When you decide to work with a group, however, you will all need to be casting the same way, so that all can participate in your "vision" and help create sacred space. So, whatever way you decide to do this as a solitary practitioner, don't get so "set" in your ways that you can't change or adapt later if you happen to find a group you want to work with.

 

Now that you have cast the circle, you will want to purify yourself. The space has been purified by your actions, (and you may have swept the space astrally beforehand with your besom or broom as well.) Some groups do this after they call the elements, some do it before. Either way, it is done BEFORE you would invite in the Lord and Lady.

 

To bless and purify yourself and the other participants, you can use oil mixed with salt water, and mark a pentagram on your forehead and ask:

"May the blessings of the Lord and Lady be upon you."

 

Or you can say other words that are appropriate to the rite you plan to do. Either way, this is a simple blessing, which is sealed with a kiss, say "Blessed Be" and hug. Our group does a much more formal and head to toe blessing in which we annoint each other starting at the head, and bless each part of the body for the purpose it was created, and then also end with a "Blessed Be" and a hug. In most groups with both sexes, the men bless the women and vice versa. If this isn't possible, it's ok to have the same sexes bless each other. The power and magick in Wicca is traditionally passed on from one sex to the other and uses the power of the sexual tension thereby created, however, as in everything else, different groups will have their own way of doing things, and this is also fine.

 

After the Ablutions (the blessing of the participants), then you can call in the elements, or rather, we call in the Guardians of the elements. You see, the elements, or elementals, in their natural state, can be difficult to control by a novice, or even a long time initiate at times. So for our own safety, we call upon the Guardians of the Watchtowers of each direction to which we have assigned an element in our tradition. So, for example, we would call (starting in the east) the "Guardian of the Watchtower of the East, the power of Water." (Our tradition differs with many published books regarding the placement of the elements in the directions, but there is no ONE right way to do this!) We will also list some of the attributes we wish to share, or say a few words regarding the rite or the magick we are about to do. We ask that they come at our command, and we end with "So mote it be", a phrase which means "so it must be."

 

Go around to each of the directions in the circle, the east, south, west and lastly north, and call upon the Guardian of the element you have assigned to that direction, according to the system you have decided to use. When you have finished, return to the center of the circle, or to the place where you have set up your altar.

 

Calling for the presence of the Lord and Lady is different than the elements. We "command" the elements to come, but we invite the Lady and the Lord, or the Goddess and God. They are actually always with us, within us, and so we are actually evoking from inside of ourselves their presence so that we can feel them manifesting in the circle. This can be a very powerful and strong feeling, and the more strongly you can evoke these energies, I believe the faster your spiritual growth can progress. To invite the Gods and Goddesses, we will sometimes use poetry, sometimes read something beautiful and reverent or just close our eyes and say the words from our hearts. The last method is the one I prefer for private worship and for my group's inner circles, but for Sabbats I will often use poetry or read something. That way all who attend can participate and call upon the Lord and Lady also in their own ways, privately.

 

Now that the God and Goddess are present, this is the time that you would do the work, or the purpose for which the circle was intended. Magick, healing, psychic readings, private meditations, inner work with the Goddess, creating something, channeling poetry or songs; whatever your purpose for the circle will be done at this time. You are only limited by your own imagination!

 

After the work is finished, you will need to ground and center, to start to bring yourself out of the "altered state" of the circle and back into the mundane state of regular day to day living. This is best accomplished by sharing what is commonly called "Cakes and Ale" or "Cakes and Wine". This is where you will bless and consecrate the wine (or beverage) and the cakes (or food) that you are going to eat and share with all the participants. Before you eat, however, many use this time to perform the Great Rite symbolically.

 

The Great Rite is the union of female and male that is sacred to all life, and is the basis for all life. This is done symbolically in the circle by using the symbols of the athame to represent the male, and the chalice to represent the female. Wine (or some beverage) is poured into the chalice, then both are held up for all to see, with the two people preforming this rite (usually the High Priestess and the High Priest) facing each other in front of the altar. The athame is plunged into the chalice, but gently, and this symbolizes the sacred union. There are many, many different words that can be said at this point, and most will be along these lines:

 

"As the athame is to the male
So the chalice is to the female
And joined together, they are one
For the greatest magick is Love."

 

After this is done, the cakes are also blessed, and the wine and cakes are passed out to all participants. Many people will say as they pass them out "May you never hunger" or "May you never thirst" which comes from the book by Robert Heinlein called "Stranger in a Strange Land". These are used by many groups, and are wonderful for the message they convey. Other groups may simply say "Blessed Be". Use what you prefer, or create your own special blessing. This is also a time for sharing, and bonding, for telling stories, for laughter, and for answering any questions that might arise. Don't be fooled into cutting this time short, this is an important part of the ritual too, and should be enjoyed to the fullest.

 

Now that the work is finished, you are properly on your way to being grounded, it is time to thank the Lord and Lady and give them leave to depart. This is done respectfully, and often with a wish that they aid us and guide us in the work we are doing, or in the coming season.

 

Remember we don't command them, we simply invite them.

 

To dismiss the Watchtowers is next before the circle can be opened and completed, and this is done in the same manner as they were previously called. Some groups will start in the North and go widdershins (counterclockwise) to do this, and some groups will still start in the east and end in the east as they did for casting the circle. Use either way, whatever feels right and comfortable for you. Please do be sure, however, to thank the elements and to send them safely on their way. Failure to do that can sometimes result in "accidents" happening for a few days around the house, depending on how well you called them in. Our group also adds a "harm ye none on your way" to the end of our dismissal, and end this with "So Mote it Be".

 

To dissipate the energy of the circle, to take it down, or open it, is to visualize the energy that you put down, either being expanded out and into the earth to be absorbed and used by the earth, or as being taken back into your tool (staff or athame) and being absorbed or stored there. Both are valid, and are used by different groups. We send the energy out to the outer edge of our "covenstead" to protect our members as they drive home, and then to dissipate naturally into the earth from whence we called it forth.

 

At this point, you have started in the east and ended in the east and taken up or opened the circle, and the rite is ended. Many people will use the traditional:

 

"The circle is open, but never broken,
Merry meet, merry part, and merry meet again!"

 

Which is also followed by a lot of hugging, and saying "Blessed Be" to each other, and in general making sure that everyone gets hugged. It's also customary after Sabbats and sometimes Esbats to feast. This is because you should eat very lightly before a circle where you plan to do magickal working, or even fast for a time (not long, consult your doctor if you have any health concerns). And magick is hard work! Raising energy and sending off that cone of power is a lot of work, and a hearty appetite is usually to be expected after a long circle, so feast is pot-luck and self-serve most often.

 

Circle etiquitte is pretty elementary, and usually just plain common sense and consideration. Unfortunately, some people leave that at the door when they come to circle, or so it would seem. So here are a few do's and don't's:

 

DO bring something to every circle you are invited to, such as a dish for feast, or some wine, or soda. Or ask the hostess what she would like you to bring.

 

DO stay and help clean up afterwards! Your host or hostess are not your servants, and they were kind enough to invite you into their home, be kind enough not to leave it messy. Pick up, and wash if necessary, dishes, or glassware you have used. If you borrowed a robe or a tool (such as a chalice or athame) make sure it gets properly put away where it belongs.

 

Show proper respect for other people's belongings, especially their altars and tools. Touch nothing without permission.

 

DONT be late! If you are running late and it's unavoidable, at least call to let them know you are late and just how late you think you will be. Many times I have waited rituals for people who had decided at the last minute they weren't going to attend. If you do find that you can't come and you had commited to coming, the courtesy of a phone call is always appreciated.

 

DONT bring guests without permission!

 

DONT put anything on the altar unless you ask first!

 

DO make sure you say Thank You to your hosts!

 

A word now about children... they are our future, and they should certainly be invited to attend outer court Esbats and Sabbats, when they are old enough to know what is going on and to behave accordingly! If you do bring your children to circles, please do not expect everyone else to keep an eye on them. They are your responsibility, and your problem. Before anyone gets put off by my attitude, please be aware that I am a mother, and a grandmother, and my children have always attended any circles that they were allowed and asked to attend. AND they behaved themselves. Children can either be the most wonderful addition to a circle, or the most disruptive. You as the parent have the obligation to see that they know what is going on beforehand and will be comfortable with it. If they are disruptive, and won't behave, and are bothering other people, then please ask for a door to be cut in the circle and take them out, and go with them to supervise them. If the circle is not appropriate for children, and they are old enough to be left to their own devices for the time, maybe they could watch a movie that would be appropriate for them, or have some kind of activity planned for them.

 

Some groups with lots of young children take turns in supervising activities for them that are Wiccan related, while the other adults have their circle. I have also done circles exclusively for the children, and they have been some of the most fun too! In one we "pretended" we were each of the elements in turn and acted as we thought that element might act. In another, each child had a percussion type instrument, like maracas, cymbols, drums, etc, and we had our own "cone of power" through chanting nursery rhymes and drumming. These directed activities will be more meaningful for your child than a ritual aimed at adults, and are a wonderful way to introduce the "sacred circle" to them, before you expect them to be able to sit or stand still for any length of time. These work for very young children as well as for older ones.

 

In closing, I would just like to emphasize again, that these are the practices that our coven chooses, and in no way mean that you can't do/see/feel something very different! The strength of Wicca, in my opinion, lies in it's diversity, and in the ability of the practitioners to adapt to whatever circumstances they need and abilities they have. So use this information in whatever way is useful to you, and don't use whatever doesn't feel right to you. Most importantly to me, though, is that you ENJOY

 

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Circles, Why Use Them?

June 7, 2017 @ 6:55 pm

                                     pentagram_elements.jpg

                

Circles, Why Use Them?

 

They say that the longest journey begins with a single step. So, too, the exploration of Magickal studies begins with a single step. Though the first step in a physical journey is often self-evident, the First Step on a Magickal journey is often not quite so clear. While formally organized groups often have a path of lessons to instruct newcomers, the solitary or isolated student is often left standing in perplexity on this broad plain of knowledge, wondering just where in the heck to begin. And wondering, too, if it's "okay" to start just anywhere.

 

While it's true that studies can begin in any direction that attracts you, the necessary first step must be learning to make psychic shields. There are "Things of the Dark" out there. There are any number of explanations for what these things might be-- ghosts, demons, or simply uncontrolled urges of the subconscious mind. In truth, it doesn't matter what they are. What does matter is that their effect is very real and unless they are put under your control, they will drag you over the borders of sanity into psychosis. You are most vulnerable to them while you're in an "open" trance or meditative state. That's why the wise practitioner always begins by taking steps to define exactly what will be permitted through the portals of their psychic shields-- no matter how simple the ritual. And this, in a nutshell, is what "protective magic" is about.

 

There are a number of ways to do this. The most common is to begin by drawing a circle (around a group or yourself) and invoking the one or more protective powers. Generally, this is done by candlelight, in front of an altar that holds certain magical objects. The circle may be further "secured" and "cleared" by using salt, salt water, rum, incense, or some other method. You may be wearing a special robe and will have taken a bath ( or performed a cleansing ritual) earlier. The powers that protect you will be called on and THEN you will begin your ritual.

 

Is it psychological? Absolutely! Is there a reason why protection rituals always take this form? Positively! Let's take a step back and see what you're actually doing and how the process works-- from a psychological standpoint-- and how to use this knowledge to help you refine your circles to enhance your rituals.

 

Psychologists and psychics alike view the mind's structure as a three-part entity: The ego (that which you think of as yourself), the superego (the "higher self") and the Id (the child within). The Id is, in a sense, a computer. Like most computers, it operates on the "garbage in-garbage out" principle. There's an old superstition "as you name something, so will it become." Tell yourself that you're very unlucky and your id will obligingly give you bad days by enhancing any negatives in your environment. Tell yourself that you are clumsy, and your id-computer will obligingly arrange for you to break a leg while stepping off the sidewalk. The bad news is that the Id can't make a judgement as to whether or not this is a good idea. It only knows that it's received these "instructions" and must carry them out. The good news is that you can actually program/reprogram this portion of your mind.

 

You begin programming this Internal Servant of yours by first drawing its attention to what you want done and then explaining what you need done in a simple and clear manner. Repeating the instructions in a chant help fix the goals for the Id-- rhymed chants seem to be easier for it to process. Each time you perform the ritual and repeat the chant, the programming is strengthened. Never mind that your ego and superego understand that you're going to program the child-like Id. It works just the same.

 

To direct the Id's attention to the process, you first have to impress it. Using special tools and clothing alert it that something unusual is going on and that it must pay attention. Acquiring hard-to-obtain items, drawing symbols, performing a symbolic sacrifice (donating money, say, to a good cause) are all ways of reinforcing the Id's impression that this ceremony is very special and that the result will be very powerful. Organized, meaningful symbols, speak to your subconscious mind in ways it understands, reinforcing the goals you have set.

 

Drawing the circle itself establishes boundaries within your environment ("The rest of the world can do what it likes Out There. All within this circle is in MY control"). Purifying the circle and consecrating it (sprinkling water which has been blessed and salt added) further enforce your territory, defining the borders where you are "safe". Nothing can enter this area except what you invite inside. You further tighten these borders by calling on certain Powers.

 

You can call on any powers you like. Some use traditional Christian images. Others call up deities from the religion they are most comfortable with. And many people use the thought/image of a beam of light that represents either God/Goddess (whichever one they like) OR The power of light and life and goodness in the Universe.

 

The number of powers called as guardians varies. You may choose to invoke one powerful being to protect your circle. Or you might call on the Universal Being/Light AND four guardians (one for each quarter of the compass). A third approach is to use a guardian for the four quarters of the compass and no higher being. There is no "absolutely correct" system; the correct system is the one that YOU are comfortable with.

 

Take time to choose the guardians of your circle carefully. You should select guardians (gods or animals or some form of life) which have a deeper meaning to you and whose qualities are in harmony with your goals. For the new student, it's best to have all your Powers and Guardians from the same belief system/religion/mythic universe so that the symbols will be consistent and not confuse the Id.

 

You CAN use people-- saints, movie actors, figures from favorite books as guardians. DO, however, pick someone who's dead or non-existent. The dead can't argue with your interpretation of them, whereas the living may be highly offended to be approached as gods/ guardians).

 

As your studies continue, you will find that your totems or guardians change. This is to be expected; as you explore new realms in your studies, you may find you need guardians who deal with very specific areas to strengthen and guide you in these new fields.

 

But don't make the mistake of assuming that you'll become so powerful that you will never need the protection of the psychic shielding circle in some form. And don't assume that you will not need a circle for "positive" magicks such as healing. Open is open-- and open is vulnerable. And circles strengthen and protect you by defining what psychological influences will be allowed to work with you.

 

by Mel White, distributed in the public domain

 

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Witch’s Charge

May 22, 2017 @ 8:26 pm

                        covenlife.jpg

 

Witch's Charge

 

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 the light.

 

Mysterious Water and Fire,
The Earth and the far-reaching Air,
By hidden quintessence we know them,
And will 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 magcial ring.

 

Four times in the year the Great Sabbat
Returns, and the witches are seen
At Lammas and Candlemas dancing,
On May Eve and old Hallowe'en.
And when day time and night time are equal,
When 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 at 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 ages began.
When drawn is the magical circle,
By sword or athame of power,
It's compass between the two worlds lies
In the land of shades that hour.
This world has no right to know it,
And the 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 at the gate of the shrine,
And two are the power of nature,
The forms and the forces of the divine.
The dark and the light in succession,
The opposites each unto each,
Shown forth as a God and a Goddess:
This did 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.

 

The bright silver lady of midnight,
The crone who weaves spells in the dark.
She is youthful or old as she pleases,
She sails the torn clouds in her barque,

 

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,
Till the Summerland shall receive us
In peace at the end of our days.
And Do What Thou Wilt
Shall be the challenge,
So be it in love that harms none,
For this is the only commandment,
By magic of old, be it done!

 

Eight words the Witches Creed fulfull:
It if Harms None, Do What Thou Will!

 

 

distrubuted in the public domain via the Internet by Seastrider

 

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The Witches Pyramid

May 21, 2017 @ 5:46 pm

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The Witches Pyramid

 

To Know

To Dare

To Will

To Keep Silent

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Nine Noble Virtues

May 18, 2017 @ 7:34 pm

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Nine Noble Virtues

 

The Odinic Rite lists the 9 Noble Virtues as Courage, Truth, Honor, Fidelity, Discipline, Hospitality, Industriousness, Self-Reliance, and Perseverance.

 

It would be hard to get much argument on any of these values from anyone. They simply and briefly encapsulate the broad wisdom of our Gods and ancestors.

 

Courage

In virtually every statement of values applied to Asatru, Courage is listed first. As Stephen McNallen has said, courage and bravery are perhaps the values which the Vikings are best known for. However, despite our history, few of us face such turmoil as a literal battle for ones life. In fact, I believe it might be easier to manifest courage in such a situation than to do so in the many smaller day to day occurrences in which courage is called for.

 

The most common of these occurrences for modern Pagans, is the courage to acknowledge and live ones beliefs. It is also, sadly, the one that we most often fail at. While we may often be full of the type of courage that would lead us to face a shield wall, many of us quake at the thought of the topic of religion coming up at the office or a friend asking what church we attend. We won't offer easy answers, but we ask this: if you toast the courage of your ancestors to fight and die for what they believed in, can you trade away your religious identity for a higher salary or social acceptance?

 

In an essay on values there is also the question of moral courage. The way of Tyr is difficult to lose ones hand for ones beliefs but, Tyr thought the price worth paying. In a million ways modern society challenges our values, not just as Asatruar who are estranged from mainstream religious practice, but for religious people in an increasingly not just secular, but anti-religious culture. Values are also not in favor in modern society. Breaking or getting around the rules is encouraged to get ahead. Living honorably is simply too inconvenient. I think most people, Asatru or otherwise, find this repugnant, but the only way to change it is to have the courage to refuse to take part in it.

 

Truth

The second virtue, that of Truth, is the one that most led our kindred to embrace the Odinic Rite's statement of values as our own. Early in our discussions, we decided that no matter what values we chose to hold out as our own, truth must be among them. It is a word that holds so much in its definition, and includes such a wide variety of moral and philosophical beliefs that we were all drawn to it as a simple statement of what we stood for.

 

At least one of the reasons we wanted to adopt it was the simple issue of honesty. As Bill Dwinnels said at a recent sumbel while toasting truth and honesty: if you don't want people to know about something, don't do it. Truth, in the sense of honesty, is essential to personal honor and also to any system or morality that is not based on rigid legalism. If one is to uphold an honor code, one must be brutally honest with oneself and with others.

 

Truth is also the Truth that comes with a capital T, the kind of Truth that one talks about in terms of religion or morality. It's common to talk of different peoples having different "truths," but it's equally important to remember that while we acknowledge that each person or people has their own belief as to what Truth is or where to find it, there finally is a single Truth. This is not the Truth as we believe it, but ultimate Truth. While we may respect other people's truths and seek our own, we must never forget our search for The Truth. Like the Holy Grail of Christian legend, it may never be ours to reach, but when we cease to search we perish.

 

Honor

Honor is the basis for the entire Asatru moral rationale. If anything comes out in the Eddas and Sagas it is that without honor we are nothing. We remember two types of peoples from ancient times: those whose honor was so clean that they shine as examples to us and those who were so without honor that their names are cursed a thousand years after they lived. Good Asatruar should always strive to be among the former.

 

However, honor is not mere reputation. Honor is an internal force whose outward manifestation is reputation. Internal honor is the sacred moral compass that each Asatruar and God should hold dear. It is the inner dwelling at peace which comes from living in accordance with ones beliefs and with ones knowledge of the Truth of what one is doing. It is something deeply personal and heartfelt, almost akin to an emotion. It's a knowing that what one is doing is right and decent and correct.

 

In many ways while the most important of all the virtues it is also the most ephemeral in terms of description. It is all the other virtues rolled together and then still more. The best way I have found to describe honor is that if you are truly living with honor, you will have no regrets about what you have done with your life.

 

Fidelity

Fidelity is a word that is far too often defined by it's narrow use in terms of marital fidelity. By the dictionary it simply means being faithful to someone or something. In marriage this means being true to ones vows and partner, and this has been narrowly defined as limiting ones sexual experience to ones spouse. While I have found this to be great practical advice, many treat fidelity as if there were no other ways in which one could be faithful or unfaithful.

 

For we Asatruar fidelity is most important in terms of our faith and troth to the Gods. We must remain true to the Aesir and Vanir and to our kinsmen. Like marriage, Profession (the rite in which one enters the Asatru faith, similar to Christian confirmation or Wiccan initiation) is a sacred bond between two parties; in this case an Asatruar and the Gods. In order for such a relationship to work, both must be honest and faithful to each other.

 

Asatru, although currently being reborn, is at its roots a folk religion and we also uphold the value of fidelity to the ways of our ancestors. This is why historical research is so important to the Asatru-folk: it is the rediscovering of our ancient ways and our readopting of them.

 

Discipline

In any discussion of the values of Asatru, discipline is best described as self-discipline. It is the exercise of personal will that upholds honor and the other virtues and translates impulse into action. If one is to be able to reject moral legalism for a system of internal honor, one must be willing to exercise the self-discipline necessary to make it work. Going back to my earlier criticism of society, if one rejects legalism, one must be willing to control ones own actions. Without self-discipline, we have the mess we currently see in our culture.

 

Looking at discipline in terms of fidelity, we see a close connection. Many Pagans go from faith to faith, system to system, path to path. Asatruar are much less likely to do this. The discipline of keeping faith with our Gods and the ways of our ancestors is part of our modern practice. In this way, we limit ourselves in some ways, but we gain much more in others.

 

Hospitality

Hospitality is simply one of the strongest core values at the heart of virtually every ancient human civilization. In a community/folk religion such as our own, it is the virtue that upholds our social fabric. In ancient times it was essential that when a traveler went into the world he could find some sort of shelter and welcome for the night. In modern times it is just as essential that a traveler find friendship and safety.

 

In our modern Asatru community, we need to treat each other with respect and act together for the good of our community as a whole. This functions most solidly on the level of the kindred or hearth where nonfamilial members become extremely close and look out for each other. It can mean hospitality in the old sense of taking in people, which we've done, but in modern times it's more likely to mean loaning someone a car or a bit of money when they need it (that's need, not want).

 

Part of hospitality is treating other people with respect and dignity. Many of our Gods are known to wander the world and stop in at people's houses, testing their hospitality and generosity. The virtue of hospitality means seeing people as if they were all individuals with self-respect and importance. Or perhaps from time to time, they are literally the Gods in human form. This has profound implications for social action in our religion. Our response to societal problems such as poverty (that's poverty folks, not laziness) is in many ways our modern reaction to this ancient virtue.

 

In terms of our modern community as a whole, I see hospitality in terms of frontier "barn raisings" where a whole community would come together and pool their resources. This doesn't mean we have to forget differences, but we must put them aside for those who are of our Folk, and work for our common good.

 

Industriousness

Modern Asatruar must be industrious in their actions. We need to work hard if we are going to achieve our goals. There is so much for us to do. We've set ourselves the task of restoring Asatru to it's former place as a mainstream faith and by doing so reinvigorating our society and culture. We can't do this by sitting on our virtues, we need to make them an active part of our behavior. Industry also refers to simple hard work in our daily vocations, done with care and pride.

 

Here's a few concrete examples. If you are reading this and don't have a kindred, why not? Stop reading now. Go and place ads in the appropriate local stores, get your name on the Ring of Troth, Wyrd Network, or Asatru Alliance networking lists, and with other Pagan groups. Put on a workshop. Ok, now you're back to reading and you don't agree with what I'm saying here? Well, be industrious! Write your own articles and arguments. Write a letter to the editor and suggest this material be banned better that than passivity. Get the blood moving and go out and do it. That's how it gets done. The Gods do not favor the lazy.

 

The same holds true for our non-religious lives. As Asatruar we should offer a good example as industrious people who add to whatever we're involved in rather than take from it. We should be the ones the business we work in can't do without and the ones who always seem to be able to get things done. When people think of Asatru, they should think of people who are competent and who offer something to the world.

 

This doesn't just apply to vocational work, but to the entire way we live our lives. It is just as much a mentality. The Vikings were vital people. They lived each day to its fullest and didn't wring their hands in doubt or hesitation. We should put the same attitude forward in all that we do whether it is our usual vocation, devotion to the Gods, or leisure time.

 

Self Reliance

Industry brings us directly to the virtue of Self-Reliance, which is important both in practical and traditional terms. Going back to the general notion of this article, we are dealing with a form of morality that is largely self-imposed and thus requires self-reliance. We rely on ourselves to administer our own morality.

 

Traditionally, our folkways have always honored the ability of a man or woman to make their own way in the world and not to lean on others for their physical needs. This is one of the ways in which several virtues reinforce and support each other. Hospitality cannot function if people are not responsible enough to exercise discipline and take care of themselves. It's for those that strive and fail or need assistance that hospitality is intended, not for the idle who simply won't take care of themselves.

 

In terms of our relationships with the Gods, self-reliance is also very important. If we wish the Gods to offer us their blessings and gifts, we must make ourselves worthy of them and the Gods are most pleased with someone who stands on their own two feet. This is one of the reasons for the Asatru rule that we do not kneel to the Gods during our ceremonies. By standing we acknowledge our relationship as striving and fulfilled people looking for comradeship and a relationship, rather than acting as scraelings looking for a handout from on high. It takes very little for a God to attract a follower, if worship simply means getting on the gravy train. We, as Asatruar, are people who can make our own way in the world, but who choose to seek a relationship with the Gods.

 

In mundane terms being self-reliant is a simple way to allow ourselves the ability to live as we wish to. In simple economic terms, if one has enough money in the bank one doesn't need to worry as much about being fired due to religious discrimination. We can look a bigot in the face and tell him just where he can put it. It's also nice to have something in the bank to lay down as a retainer on a good lawyer so we can take appropriate action.

 

On the other side of this is self-reliance in the sense of Henry David Thoreau, who advocated a simple lifestyle that freed one from the temptations of materialism. Again, here we are able to live as we wish with those things that are truly important. Religious people from all faiths have found that adjusting ones material desires to match one's ability to meet them leaves one open for a closer relationship with deity and a more fulfilling life. While our ancestors were great collectors of gold goodies, they didn't lust for possessions in and of themselves, but for what they stood for and could do for them. In fact, the greatest thing that could be said of a Lord was that he was a good Ring Giver.

 

Being self-reliant also means taking responsibility for ones life. It's not just about refusing a welfare check or not lobbying for a tax exemption, but also refusing to blame ones failures on religious intolerance, the patriarchy, or an unfair system. The system may, in fact, be unfair, but it's our own responsibility to deal with it.

 

In societal terms, we have become much too dependent on other people for our own good. As individuals we look to the government or to others to solve our problems and as a society we borrow billions from our descendants to pay for today's excesses. Most problems in this world could be solved if people just paid their own way as they went.

 

Perseverance

The final virtue is Perseverance which I think most appropriate because it is the one that we most need to keep in mind in our living of the other values. Our religion teaches us that the world is an imperfect place, and nothing comes easy. We need to continue to seek after that which we desire. In this imperfect world there are no free lunches or easy accomplishments especially in the subjects we have set before ourselves. If we truly wish to build an Asatru community that people will hold up as an example of what committed people can do, then we must persevere through the hardships that building our religion is going to entail. We must be willing to continue on when we are pushed back. If one loses a job for ones religion, the answer is not to go back and hide, but to continue until one finds a vocation where one can more forward and live as an Asatruar should.

 

Finally we must persevere when we simply fail. If one's kindred falls apart because of internal strife, one should go back and start over. Pick up the pieces and continue on. If nobody had done this after the disintegration of the Asatru Free Assembly, this would probably never have been written. We must be willing to continue in the hard work of making our religion strong not just when it is convenient and easy to do so, but when it gets hard, inconvenient, or just plain boring. To accomplish without striving is to do little, but to persevere and finally accomplish a hard fought goal brings great honor.

 

 

(Written by Lewis Stead from the Raven Kindred's ritual book)

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Let’s Get Down To Brass Tacks, A Serious Talk About Witchcraft

May 12, 2017 @ 8:50 pm

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You have heard all the old myths, tales and stereotypes about Witches. Now listen to the truth about Witches and Witchcraft. Lady of the Abyss give a very frank and open discussion about Witchcraft, from the beginning of time through the Burning Times up until modern day. Hear the stories and the truth that mainstream religion and Hollywood don't want you to know. Also after Lady Abyss' discussion, there are two reading from the Pagan author, Scott Cunningham from his Book of Shadows called "The Standing Stones." Both of these readings are accepted as being part of our Craft. Mr. Cunningham is a well known and recognized authority on Wicca and Witchcraft. Between Lady Abyss and Scott Cunningham, you will have a clearer view of what Witches and the Craft are really about. 

One of his readings, Words to the Wise & the other, The Nature of Our Ways both can be found in his book, "Wicca, A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner."

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The Theban Alphabet or the Witches Alphabet (Concluded)

March 26, 2017 @ 9:59 pm

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The Theban Alphabet or The Witches Alphabet

 

To be honest with you, I can't take you by the hand and guide you step by step in learning this alphabet. But I believe if you put your mind to it, you can do it. All it required is a little patience and lots of practice. Just imagine a beautiful Book of Shadows with all the spells and rituals inscribed in this ancient language, beautiful and oh, so magickal!

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The History Behind the Theban Alphabet or The Witches Alphabet

March 26, 2017 @ 9:01 pm

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The History Behind The Theban Alphabet or The Witches Alphabet

 

Take a brief journey back in time with us. Think you know who exactly created the Witches Alphabet? Might want to rethink that as I did. The Theban Alphabet is first given credit to a Roman Emperor by the name of Honorius and the plot thickens. As time goes on, and the centuries pass, you will really be amazed at who all have laid claim to and used the Alphabet.

Enjoy!

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You Don’t Need A Clock To Perform Magick, You Need Magickal Correspondences…..

March 6, 2017 @ 3:39 pm

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This special edition of the WOTC's podcast covers magickal timing for your spells and really you don't need a clock to cast spells & rituals. Most witches automatically know when the time or hour of the day shifts. It is in their DNA. In this session, Lady of the Abyss discusses the timing of each phase of the day, the magickal correspondences for each day and the magick pertaining to it, the astrological associations within magick, the moon and last but not least the Esbats.

 

This is a very informative session with our dear Lady. Not only does she give you insightful advice in the correspondences and their relationship, she add some very informative "witchy" tips just for you. Enjoy!

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