Witchcraft has a long eventful history,
some of those events are joyous while others serve to
remind us of the consequences of seeking to live freely.
Witchcraft is often called the oldest religion existent
in the West. It is pre-Christian. It is also
pre-Judaism, pre-Buddhism, pre-Islam and pre-Hinduism.
Many statements made about Witchcraft are disputed and
judged even by those with no real research or knowledge
of their own. In actuality, it is closer to Native
American traditions and the early Shamanic traditions of
many areas. Unlike many of the more modern religions,
those currently referred to as mainstream, Witchcraft is
not based on dogma and scriptures. Witchcraft, the Old
Religion, takes its teachings and inspirations from
nature. The Sun, Moon and Stars are looked to for their
insights and information, as well as trees, birds,
animals, seasonal cycles and other vibrational
It is probably important to note here
that Wicca or Witchcraft is not Shamanism, and that
Shamanism is not a religion but rather an ancient
mystical practice that uses altered states to contact
Gods, Spirits and other energies from this realm and
others. These efforts were made to bring healing,
wholeness and guidance into the life of the Shaman and
his or her tribe. Shamanic practices exist within
Witchcraft and many other religions. The Shamanic view
is "that for wholeness all realms must be incorporated
including the mental, physical and spiritual realms."
Anthropologist Dr. Margaret Murray felt
that she had traced back and saw Witchcraft¹s roots in
Paleolithic times some 25,000 to 30,000 years ago. She
felt that it was a fully organized religion throughout
Western Europe. Many recent scholars have disputed and
sought to dismiss her findings with regard to
Witchcraft, but few have disputed or found fault with
her opinions regarding the existence of a religio-magick
We can see throughout anthropological
research that early man and woman tended to deify that
which they held in awe or did not understand. This is a
process now called animism. Early man and woman also
practiced what we now call sympathetic magick.
Sympathetic magick is the art of showing a deity what
one wants or needs by acting out the symbolism necessary
to bring about an understanding of that need or desire.
Tribes gathered to show the deity that food was needed
through successful hunts or that fertility was required
within the tribe or animal population. In this way the
act of ritual was born and became a part of the Old
Religion then and now.
The primitive people of those thousands
of years ago were hunters who followed animal herds.
Some of those primitive people were called Shamans.
These Shamans were said to be able to attune themselves
with nature and the animals. Early man believed the
concept of a Mother (female) lifegiver and a Father
(male) who hunted and protected.
Early man respected animals and their
lives that had to be taken for the tribe's survival. To
show this respect, after hunting, the unused parts and
skins were filled with rocks and given to the waters or
the womb of the Great Mother. Their skulls were kept and
used for portents and guidance. During these times, many
symbols of the Goddess were carved in stone, and womb
cave openings were honored as symbols of the Mother.
Symbols of the God were also carved on cave walls along
with symbols of the animals that came to sacrifice
themselves for the survival of the tribe.
The phases of the Moon were marked, as
well as the Sun's cyclic journey through the sky. As
time passed, fishing and wild food collection became an
important part of life. During all this time the Shamans
were working with the energies of the times and as
villages grew from settling tribes, the people combined
their energies and efforts for the good of the clan. In
this we see what probably represented the first covens.
These groups continued working with the
energies of the land. Working more and more to attune
with the areas they had settled in. Learning the ways of
planting and growing crops. Marking the seasonal wheel
and watching the signs of the earth and sky, planet and
star, animal and plant became magickal sciences. As
these magical sciences became more understood they could
be more easily worked with and further studied.
During this time other cultures, more
organized and Warrior based were coming into power.
Sometimes these Warrior clans would drive the followers
of the Old Religion into the hills and mountains where
they became known as the Faeries, the Sidhe or spirit
people. In some cases the Goddess of the Old Religion
would be married to the invading clans Gods within newly
created mythology. The Celts, like others, adopted many
of the Goddess features and incorporated them into the
incoming Druidic Mysteries. Through this intermingling
and marriage the "faerie blood" was implanted into the
When Christianity first arrived there
was no real change. The people viewed the
Mother/Child/Sacrificial King of the Christ mythos as
simply another version of their own earlier tales. The
mythology of the Goddess cycle with Consort/Mother/Child
was often adjusted by conquering Patriarchies. The
Priest of the new Christian Religion would often work
with the Priest of the Old Religion in the celebrating
of seasonal rites. The early groups of the Old Religion
(the covens) became known as the benders and shapers of
the subtle forces that they had knowledge of. They
became known as the "Wit", "Witta", "Wicca", "Wicce",or
"Vitki", Irish, Anglo Saxon and Germanic words
respectively meaning " to bend or shape".
During the 12th and 13th century many
temples were built for this new religions' Goddess
"Mary." By now Pope Gregory The Great decided to make an
attempt to mass convert to Christianity. He did this by
building new Christian churches over ancient pagan
worshiping sites. He was somewhat successful since the
artisans who built the churches were most often pagans.
Because of this many of the churches to this date can be
seen full of Green Men, quarter guardians and pentacles.
At this time the Church began to truly
realize how difficult a rival the Horned God and
Fertility Goddess were in their created battle for
followers. The early Old Religion had a much more
attractive P.R. package than the religion of
Christianity with all of its restrictions. Christianity
incorporated this information when creating the concept
of a totally evil opponent to their own deity. It was no
accident that this figure resembled the Horned God.
Poetry and the music of the Goddess were
still widespread compensating the peoples need for the
Goddess in some manner. Pope Gregory also instituted the
first Papal Bull in 1233. In 1324, an Irish coven led by
Dame Alice Kyteler was tried by the Bishop of Ossory for
worshiping a Non-Christian god. Dame Kyteler was saved
because of her title but the rest of her group were
burned for heresy.
During the next centuries' wars, plagues
and crusades advanced over Europe. Joan of Arc lead the
armies of France to victory. She was popularly bruited
as a sorceress and originally alleged a witch, but she
was officially condemned as a heretic and was burned at
the stake on May 30, 1431, as a relapsed heretic. This
fact indicates the embryonic stages of Witchcraft
accusations, when in 1431 it was much simpler to secure
a conviction for heresy rather than sorcery.
Unfortunately within the century the reverse would be
During this time the stability of the
Medieval Church was shaken and the feudal system was
breaking down. The Christian Church was swept by
religious revolts that Church felt it could no longer
tolerate. In 1494 The Papal Bull of Innocent the VIII
unleashed the inquisition against the Old Religion.
Issued on December 5, 1494, it served as justification
for pitiless persecution. It instituted the of combating
the "Devil" and saving mankind from "his" clutches.
(Three earlier Bulls "Sixtus 4th," were the first to
equate sorcery and black magic with heresy, thereby
facilitating the task of the Witch hunters. 1473, 1478 &
In 1486 the Malleus Maleficarum, "the
Hammer of the Witches," was produced by Dominicans
Kramer and Springer, two of Pope Innocent¹s Inquisitors.
This laid the ground work for a reign of terror that
gripped Europe well into the 18th century. All of this
indelibly equated the incorrect definition of the word
Witch, created by the Christian Church, as a reality in
the minds of many.
During this period it is estimated that
9 million men, women and children were tortured, some
estimate 85% of those were women and children. They were
tortured and killed under this incorrect and convenient
(for the Church) definition. Misogyny (hatred of women)
is evidenced as a strong element in the medieval
Christianity. Because women gave birth they became
acutely identified with sexuality, and due to the views
at that time regarding sexuality, they were associated
with evil. The Malleus stated "All Witchcraft stems from
carnal lust, which is in women, insatiable." Anyone
could be accused of this concocted evil and anyone could
accuse anyone else, including children. In those days it
was "Guilty until proven innocent."
These so called Witches (per Christian
definition) were held prisoner, stripped, tortured (at
the time it was legal), deprived of sleep, food and much
more, all in an effort to obtain a confession to the act
of Witchcraft, as the Church defined it. Even after
confessing to the inquisitors many times, the torture
would continue until a full coven of thirteen names were
given. Confessions were all written entirely by the
Inquisitors to be signed by the prisoners. Occasionally
torture would bring a merciful strangulation before the
pyre, but this was not usually the case.
The job of inquisitor became quite
profitable since these hunters were paid for each
conviction. Midwives (who were considered threatening to
the patriarchal medical society), up-spoken women, the
elderly and any other possible problem creators for the
Church were targeted. Many say that few who died were
actually members of any covens of the Old Religion, but
due to the sheer numbers some may have been. In
the Bishopric of Trier in Germany, in 1585, there were
only two villagers left and only one single female
inhabitant after the arrival of the Inquisition.
In 1586 the Archbishop of Treves accused
the local Witches of causing severe weather. After
torture and confession one hundred and twenty men and
women were burned to death for interfering with the
elements. Those who could escape did, but those who
could not suffered a cruel fate.
By the late 17th century the surviving
craft was well underground. During this underground
period Christianity published much on its version of
Witchcraft. When James the Sixth of Scotland became
James the First of Scotland and England in 1603 he
brought with him new versions of his "Demonology". In
1604 he convinced Parliament to pass his new act
changing the emphasis from the Malleficarum to "a pact
with the Devil" type thinking, to heighten the acts
against Witches. By the end of his reign even though his
attitude had changed, his act remained in effect until
1736. It was then replaced in England with an act from
George the Second that stated there was no such thing as
Witchcraft and to pretend to have occult powers was
Most of the Salem Witch trials were
persecuted under the King James the First statute. On
December 14, 1692, the Massachusetts General Counsel
enacted the 1604 bill to give "more particular direction
in the execution of the laws against Witchcraft." It
remained Massachusetts Law until 1695.
In 1692 there were many areas of tension
in New England. Those included political, land related,
disease and those related to religious repression.
Because of the strict religious society of the time with
its strict upbringing of children and adherence to the
Bible, it created a very strong societal belief in the
Devil and so called Witchcraft that had already been
accepted overseas. Though the Witchcraft craze abroad
was starting to subside (the last execution was in 1685)
New England was heading into its own crazed entanglement
with the inaccurate Christian definition of Witchcraft.
The onset of hysteria in New England was
related to a group of young girls, one of them being the
daughter of Rev. Samuel Parris. Their meetings with a
West Indian slave Tituba to do divinations about future
husbands and other things prompted their guilt and
anxiety. When some of the girls started "taking fits",
no one could make sense of the behavior or discover
medical causes for the episodes. This led to the opinion
of bewitchment as the cause. Questions started being
asked, the first was always "Who is bothering you ?" As
the calls came out for names the accusations against
more vulnerable members in society started. Some believe
it was easier for the girls to name these people and
view their punishment rather than admit to their own
lies. Others had explored theories of an alkaloid type
toxin called "ergot", a mold that produces the fits and
Regardless of the causes the accusations
started to spread. The difference in the New England
trials was none of those who confessed were put to
death. Those who denied the accusations and fought to
clear their names were the ones who were hanged. What
started with the vulnerable people in society spread to
the more prosperous members in society, Martha Corey was
one of these people. Martha Corey was believed to have a
good position in the church and politics of society, but
she was very outspoken against the Witchcraft Trials.
During her trial Sheriff Corwin, appointed by those who
did the hangings, surprised even her when he presented
her husband as a witness. He claimed he could not say
his prayers one evening while they were home. After
Martha Coreys' conviction floods of people from all
society were accused. Even Martha's husband Giles did
not escape the trials. He found himself accused and when
he refused to speak or present a plea so that he could
be tried, he was pressed to death in the attempt to get
that plea. This was probably done by Giles Corey because
he knew that people who went to court were always found
These incidents brought about the
beginning of the end of the New England Witchcraft
Trials. Soon after the fifty prisoners still confined to
jail were released. It is claimed that one hundred and
fifty people were accused and fifty five were found
guilty, but even today more records are being uncovered
and reviewed about the accuracy of those claims.
Finally in 1711, the General Court
declared the use of spectral evidence unlawful, and
reversed twenty-two of the thirty one convictions. It
was not until 1957 that the Commonwealth of
Massachusetts reversed the remaining guilty verdicts
finally acknowledging the errors of that time.
During the Witch Trials much misinformation came to the
forefront. Most of the actual Witches had gone
underground and most were not very enthusiastic about
volunteering information regarding the real practices to
try to combat the misinformation.
In 1921, Dr. Margaret Murray produced
her book "Witch Cult in Western Europe". In that book
she discussed the Pre-Christian religion of Witchcraft.
Though many of her opinions have disputed there is still
important information in her book. In 1931, her second
book "God of the Witches" elaborated on some of her
In 1949 "High Magicks Aid" by Squire
(Gerald Gardner) was written. It combined Witchcraft and
some ceremonial magick in a fiction book to spread
information safely. Finally , in 1951 England repealed
its last Witchcraft Laws and replaced them with the
Fraudulent Mediums Act. This opened the way for two more
books by Gardner; "Witchcraft Today" and "The Meaning of
Other Witches followed. Raymond Buckland
was initiated in Perth Scotland, and is considered
responsible for bringing Gardnerian Witchcraft to the
USA. Sybil Leek and Laurie Cabot brought other family
traditions and European traditions to the forefront in
America. Today there are many well known Witches, some
from the more modern traditions, and others from older
traditions, all providing a wide range of choices for
the beginning Witch. Some resent the more public
Witches, while others believe that their involvement has
enabled many people who would not otherwise have known
about the Craft, to become involved. Many early Witches
have taken much abuse so that those of us who follow in
their path can have the hope of suffering less.
Today Witchcraft is growing as more and
more people are drawn to reconnect with the Old Ways,
and through them, to the Earth.
The Witches' Sabbats
The Witches' calendar follows the cycles of nature, and
in honoring those cycles our holidays were born. Each
holiday, or sabbat as we call them, represents a
transitional point in the seasons Spring gives way to
Summer which will eventually give way to Autumn, and so
on... We mark these transitions at eight times during
the year. There are the four "cross quarter days", the
solstices and equinoxes, and the four "greater sabbats"
at roughly midpoints between them. While we mark the new
year with Samhain, Witches see the cycle of the year as
endless without any real beginning or end. Each time we
gather to celebrate a sabbat, we turn the Wheel once
Samhain is the Witches' New Year.It is a
time when the veils between the worlds are thin. This
allows us to communicate with our loved ones who have
passed on and our ancestors.We invite them to take part
in our celebrations.
Witches gather to celebrate the final harvest with
family and friends. We leave out offerings of food for
our passed on kin. Today, we see this custom carried on
as the giving of treats to children dressed as spirits.
To a Witch, this is a powerful magickal time, and not
the fearsome time that some other groups would have us
believe. It is a time to release the incorrectness in
our lives and project for a future of balance, harmony,
joy and health. Witches and their children often dress
in clothing and costumes to project out these wishes and
For Witches this is also a time of thanks as we remember
all those in the past who fought to win the rights we
have today. Many of them paid the ultimate price. We
include those who were tortured and killed under the
inaccurate definition and description applied to Witches
and Witchcraft during the Burning Times. In remembering,
we share the knowledge gained from the past and ensure
that truth and wisdom will prevail in the future.
Yule is the Winter Solstice. The Winter
Solstice is when the sun enters Capricorn. It is the
longest night and shortest day of the year. It is the
beginning of the waxing part of the year. Even though
it is in the heart of winter, the days still begin to
grow longer. It gives us the hope and thoughts of
spring with the knowledge of the suns rebirth
This is a time that many traditions recognize the
battle between the Holly King and the Oak King. The
Holly King reaches his time to go to the underworld and
allow the Oak King to be reborn and grow to become ready
to fertilize the land in spring. In days of old,
families would gather for feasts and celebrations to
call back the sun. Families spent much of the cold
months together to share food and the warmth of the
fire. Yule logs were burned as a symbol of calling back
the sun. Wreaths were made to hang on the door as a
symbol of the wheel of the year and the cycles of life.
Here are some ideas on how you can celebrate Yule in
your life as we carry on the traditions of past and
begin our own.
On Imbolc, we become aware that the
Sun's energy is slowly growing stronger. The Earth
Mother is slowly awakening under the Sun's revitalizing
energy. At this time, we call to the Mother to accept
this energy and use it to bless us and renew the Earth.
We call to the young Sun God to empower him and draw his
feritlizing energy back into the Mother.
The day and night are now equal. As the light takes
over the dark we celebrate the fertility of the Earth
and the growing of the young Sun God's energy. In
symbolic ritual, the young God is armed with the tools
necessary to conquer the darkness as he rides out across
the sky. We give thanks for the upcoming light half of
We celebrate the marriage of the God and
Goddess. We share in the fertility and growth that it
brings into the Earth. We move into a time of community.
We open our hearts to other seekers on the path. We also
project for growth, belonging, and blessings for all who
seek the old ways and all who respect the Witches path.
The dancing of the Maypole is a time-honored Beltane
At this time, we celebrate the Sun at
his peak of power. We draw his energy into the Mother
Earth for continued growth. We give thanks for the
fertility and growth of things both in and around us. We
prepare for the subtle changes that start as the Sun's
power begins to wane.
This is the first of the three harvest
festivals, the Grain Harvest. We give thanks for the
crops and for the fertility of the Earth. We honor the
weakening Sun God and give thanks for the seeds and the
plants that went through the death process (harvest) in
order to be reborn next season.
(September 21 )
Mabon is the Witches' Thanksgiving. It is the second
Harvest Festival of the Witches' calendar, and it
celebrates and gives thanks for the bountiful harvest of
fruit, squash, grains, and vegetables.
Witches meet and share celebration feasts with family
and friends. Though joyous, this is also a serious time.
At Mabon, Witches of many traditions prepare for the
season of sleep, the dark time of Fall and Winter.
Witches call to the animal spirits for guidance and
insight as we enter this time of inner searching. We
prepare to meet our true inner self and grow and further
our journey toward self enlightenment. We undertake this
journey so that when we return to the coming cycle of
light, the seasons of Spring and Summer, we can do so in
a more peaceful, harmonious and balanced state. Our
energies can then touch the community around us and help
to promote peace and harmony within it.
Witches often look to mythology for the insights that
its symbolism offers. Celtic mythology tells us the
story of Mabon Ap Modron (son of Modron) in the
Mabinogion. Mabon is stolen from his mother Modron when
he is only 3 days old. While Modron grieves for her
loss, Mabon, the bright child of promise is hidden or
locked away ( depending on the version of the myth that
you read) in a castle for many years. His rescue becomes
a quest for one of Arthur's knights. Kai, Arthur's
adopted brother, and Gwrhyr, the translator of animal
languages, set out to find and rescue Mabon. In their
journey they must seek out many ancient animals, each
older and wiser than the one before. They visit a
Blackbird, a Stag, an Owl, an Eagle, and a Salmon. Each
of these animals symbolizes a part of the journey and
the lessons that we must each take and learn, until
finally we can emerge from our own self quest
transformed after having embraced our own inner child.
Our own journey, much like the victorious end of our
myth story when Kai and Gwrhyr return to Arthur with the
young Mabon after the struggle to set him free,
culminates when we emerge from our season of inner
searching, into the season of light. We then come into a
time when we can share this gained knowledge with others
in our community.
The freeing of "Mabon", our intuition, wisdom and inner
child occurs with the aid of "Gwrhyr" our own inner
spirit voices and "Kai, the Steward of Soverignity", the
knowledge of our own personal connection to the energies
around us, enabling us to return the "child of promise"
our higher self back into the arms of "Modron, the
Mother", the soverign land that sustains us, so that we
may comfort her "grief" the disharmony and destruction
of the world with the return of the "young Mabon", a
wiser and stronger and more connected child.
The Tools of the Craft
The sacred tools of the Witch have been
around for thousands of years and we present the basics
here. There are many books that go into further detail
and always remember that Witchcraft is truly a Life's
As we all know there are numerous tools that are used
world over by Witches on a daily basis. Some of these
tools are a considered essential to certain
individuals/or traditions and others may consider these
same tools a hindrance or unnecessary.
The following is just a brief introduction to the
most basic tools of Witchcraft. This is not meant to be
an iron clad end all and be all of what a person has to
have or should have, nor does it mean that if a person
or tradition uses items other than those mentioned here
that what they are doing is incorrect. Other traditions
or persons may use the same tools to represent the
elements differently from what I have here. In fact I
have seen some excellent rituals done without the use of
any tools what so ever. As I stated before this is just
a simple list and explanation of the most basic, common
tools of the Craft.
I hope that what follows gives each individual a
basic understanding of what I consider to be the basic
tools of the Craft.
ROBES: Most people do not consider our robes
when discussing the tools of the Craft, I however do
feel that they are of importance. The robe is usually
very basic in style, and designed for comfort to the
wearer, but also enables us to do our work more easily.
Robes come in all colors but mostly we use black.
The primary reason that we use black is that when all
colors are mixed together they become black. Black also
is a great conductor of energy, an example would be to
think of how hot a black item becomes in the sun due to
the absorption of the suns light rays versus a white
item that reflects the light rays away. In our magic it
is very important for us to be able to feel and absorb
the energies around us so that we may focus that energy
in a constructive and correct way in order to perform
our magic. The color black helps us to absorb the
energies that are around us as black is an excellent
conductor of energy via the absorption of light rays
which carry an abundance of information. Just take a
moment to stop and think that light travels at 186,282.396
miles per second and consequently how much information
is absorbed by that energy as it travels through the
In the old days (and unfortunately still at times
today) the traditional black robe and cape served an
additional purpose. When a Witch or group of Witches
worked outside at night, especially during the days of
the burning times, should someone come along that would
threaten your safety it enabled the Witch to fade away
into the darkness so as not to be seen by blending with
the surrounding terrain.
In addition to all of this, being human as we are the
other thing that it helps us with is that when we look
at each other we began to realize that we are all equal
in the eyes of the Goddess as we are all attired the
same so there are no differences.
ATHAME: The next tool I would like to discuss
briefly is the athame. The athame is usually a black
handle, double edge knife and is strictly a ritual tool.
It is a symbolic representative of the element of fire.
It can be used as a tool for laying down a circle and
also as a symbol representing the male aspect. Athames
can be used to invoke the quarters, release the
quarters, and are customarily used to assist with
blessing the waters of life inside of the chalice, this
blessing being symbolic of the Great Rite.
The athame should not be used in any case to cut
anything except in certain situations such as cutting a
door way in the circle to allow others to pass through,
cutting a cord in the event of a release or a passing
over ritual, also the blessing of the bread during
ritual of the great rite, and of course a handfasting
SWORD: The sword is another ritual tool that
can be used as a tool for sovereignty and authority. It
is like the athame a symbolic representative of the
element of fire. It is considered a representation of
the male aspect and can be used in the same manner as
CHALICE/CUP: The chalice or cup is
representative of the female aspect. The cup is the
symbolic representative of water. It is used to hold the
waters of life, and is used again in the symbolic ritual
of the Great Rite. Once the waters of life have been
blessed during ritual, the chalice is often passed
around the circle so that all may share in it by
symbolically ingesting the Goddess and the bringing of
the Goddess within.
CAULDRON: The cauldron represents the gift of
birth, death and rebirth, also knowledge and
inspiration. The cauldron is a female aspect and is a
symbolic representative of water, and it may also be
used as a representation of fire. It is often referred
to in connection with Cerridwen.
PEYTON: The peyton is a circular disk with a
pentacle or sacred symbol inscribed on the face of it.
The peyton can be made out of many different materials,
in the olden days it was made of beeswax so that in the
event that someone came around that may be a threat, it
could be broken and tossed into the fire and melted down
quickly. It is placed at the center piece of the altar,
where all consecrations of salt and water occur, and
other objects as well. It is also the focal point of the
altar. The peyton is the symbolic representative of
earth and because of that it is of the female aspect. If
you have second peyton available then this may be used
as another tool for invoking the quarters, and releasing
WAND: The wand has been known as a tool that
is gentle in nature and has the male aspect, it is the
symbolic representative of air. It is another tool that
can be used for casting circle, invoking and releasing
the quarters, and casting of spells, and some have used
this in place of the athame or sword in the performance
of the symbolic ritual of the Great Rite.
BROOM: The Witches broom is used for sweeping
any harmful energies from the area that the broom is
cleansing I.E.. house, room, circle, sacred space etc.
Of course on the practical side you can use it too to
sweep your floors.
BOLEEN: Usually a white handled knife, used in
rituals for carving and cutting I.E.. magical symbols we
may want to engrave on a wand, staff, candles, etc., so
as not to harm the energy within the athame.
STAFF: Usually a wooden pole often of shoulder
height, used basically in the same manner as the wand.
Like the wand the staff may be decorated with crystals,
symbols, feathers, or just about anything that makes it
THURIBLE: (incense burner) A heat resistant,
or preferably fire proof container used to contain a hot
coal for burning incense. The incense is symbolic of
air, while the coal is symbolic of fire. It is used to
cleanse and purify the air within the sacred space, or
used in cleansing of a home.
Of course all tools are not complete without the
individual's own charge and energy to make it whole. All
tools are an extension of oneself to direct and focus
ones energies and power on the purpose of spell or magic
intended. Most people purchase their tools as they
progress and find tools that are comfortable for
themselves, however, if you are talented and skilled
enough to make your own this is even better.
The Dos and Don'ts of Witchcraft
Witches do not do evil...
They believe that doing evil and harm is against all
ethical and moral laws. Witches simply do not do
harm (even to themselves)
Witches DO NOT worship Satan...
Simply put: He's Their Boy... NOT Ours!
Witches do not have a Satan/Devil or any all-evil
deity in their religious structure. Witchcraft is a
religion that underscores polarity and views the God
and the Goddess as equal entities.
A Male Witch is not a Warlock...
The word Warlock is a Scottish word meaning "oath
breaker", and became a term designating a male Witch
during the "burning times". A Male Witch is simply
Witches wear clothing of every colour and every
Many Witches do choose to wear black clothing or
ritual robes. The colour black is the culmination of
all vibrational rates of light on the material
plane. Black absorbs light information and helps
Witches be more receptive to psychic impressions and
Witches come from every socio-economic and ethnic
Many Witches are professional people holding
positions of responsibility such as Doctors, Nurses,
Police Officers, Teachers etc. Witchcraft does not
discriminate against color or ethnic origin and does
view everything as equal in the eyes of the Goddess
and the God.
Witches do use Spells...
A spell is a thought, a projection, or a prayer.
Other religions use prayer, meditation, projection
and ritual to produce an intended result. The word
"spell" does not imply doing evil or harm.
Witches do use Magic Wands...
Often you see the use of magic wands in children's
cartoons and movies making the idea seem frivolous.
In actuality they are used in healing for directing
Witches do use Witchcraft as a science, an art and
They use their knowledge and magic in harmony with
the Universe and Nature around them.
The word "Witch" has a deep and rich history...
As defined by the English Oxford dictionary
"Witchcraft" is a Celtic (pronounced Kell-tick) word
meaning the wise, good people. "Wicce" (wick-kay)
designates a female Witch whereas "Wicca" (wick-kah)
designates a male Witch.
In the religion of Witchcraft we view the pentacle
as an amulet and a symbol for protection...
The five-pointed star represents the human body and
the earth. In combination, the star surrounded by
the circle represents the human body encompassed by
the protection of the Goddess/God force. The
pentacle is the symbol for Universal Wisdom.
Witches do concern themselves with ecology...
They have never forgotten this basic fact: the world
is not our enemy. Neither is it inert, dumb matter.
The earth and all living things share the same
life-force. They are composed of patterns of
intelligence, of knowledge, and of divinity. all
life is a web. We are woven into it as sisters and
brothers of All. Witches need to be grounded in both
worlds and awake to their responsibilities for both
worlds. It is only by being responsible human beings
that we can be responsible Witches and only
responsible Witches will survive*
* Excerpt from "Power of
the Witch" by Laurie Cabot,
Delacourt Press. (Dell Publishing) N.Y., N.Y., October
The Witches' Rede
(also known as The Rede of the Wiccae
and the Witches' Creed)
Generally credited to Doreen Valiente
Hear now the word of the Witches, the secrets we hid in
When dark was our destinys pathway, That now we bring
forth in the light.
Mysterious Water and Fire, The Earth and the
By hidden Quintessence we know Them, and we 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 Magical
Four times in the year the Great Sabbat, returns, and
the Witches are seen,
At Lammas and Candelas dancing, on May Eve and old
When daytime and nighttime 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
Thirteen times at Esbat make merry, for each golden year
and a day.
The power has passed down the ages, each time between
woman and man
Each century unto the other, ere times and the ages
When drawn is the Magickal circle, by sword or athame of
Its compass between two worlds lies, in the land of
shades of that hour.
Our 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 powers of Nature, the forms and the
And do what thou wilt be the challenge, so be it in love
that harms none,
For this is the only commandment, By Magick of old be it
Eight words the Witches Rede fulfill:
As it Harms none, Do what Thou Will!