The Parts of The Soul: A Greek System of Chakras

The priest had no legal right to perform that ceremony.

     By the way, in the Catholic Church, under certain special
conditions, anybody can baptize, including (are you ready for
this?) a non-Christian!  In cases of emergency.

Morning Glory:  Oh, for Last Rites and stuff!

Eldoreth Grey Squirrel:  Interestingly enough, in the house I
grew up in, the crucifix opened up, and it had all the
paraphernalia in it for Last Rites.

Mike Nichols:  Which raises some interesting questions for
Pagans.  You know, Whitley Streiber recently told that wonderful
story about how he was taken by this group of people to perform
some sort of "witchcraft" ceremony, and it turned out these
people were Fundamentalists in disguise who did something
horrible to a goat, sacrificed it or something, and went through
this whole thing...  Let's say, for some reason, that some Fundie
took it upon herself to portray the role of a Pagan priestess and
took somebody through a Pagan initiation.  Is it valid?  What if
they copied the rites exactly out of whoever, Starhawk, Adler,
Farrar, Gardner, whoever?

(unidentified):  "Valid but illegal".  (LAUGHTER)

Mike Nichols:  What if the person who undergoes the rite has a
wonderful experience?  Let me suggest to you how the Catholic
Church responded to that.  It is valid for the same reason that a
Baptism performed even by a non-Christian is valid because the
person who confers the effects of the rite is not the minister,
but God!  So in this case, we could say it is the Goddess, or
Whoever, who bestows that feeling on the initiate of having been
initiated.  And the minister's part was negligible.

     But that leads us into other problems, doesn't it?  That's
saying that the rite itself, not the minister performing the
rite, is what gets it done.  In the case of the Catholic Church,
this concept was legally defined by the Latin phrase "ex opere
operato", "by the work worked".  In other words, it is the rite
itself, the power was in the ritual, not in the person who
performed the ritual.  Yes, Otter?

Otter Zell:  Well, there's got to be criteria we're dealing with
here.  I mean, the fact that the Church decides what makes it
valid, that seems to be beside the point.  To me, the person who
has to decide is the person who experiences it.  I mean, if you
say "Okay, Domine Domine, you're all Catholics now" and somebody
says "Not me!", then they're *not*... aren't they?  (LAUGHTER)

(unidentified):  If it's the Middle Ages, they're *dead*. 

Otter Zell:  They used to do that.  The Church would come and
they would just march an entire village through the ford, you
know, and they would say "Now you're all Christians."  And the
people would say, "Wait a minute!  I'm not a Christian.  I'm
going to continue worshipping Thor or Odin or whatever" (because

it was mostly Scandinavian countries they did this to).  How can
you say they're Christians anyway, in spite of the fact they
don't want to be?  I mean, aren't we missing something here?

Mike Nichols:  I think you're right.  And I think the whole focus
of this is to start people thinking on questions about validity,
and legality if it comes to that, in terms of Pagan rites.  I am
not for a moment suggesting we follow the Christian precedent in
these matters.  But they can indicate questions we need to think
about in terms of what *our* response to that, as Pagans, should

     Here's another example.  If the rite *itself* is
effective...  I bet any of you have gone through this.  You have
a student and you're teaching the student to do a ritual, right? 
How to cast a Circle for the first time.  (Where's the sun? 
Okay...)  Start in the North, start with your Sword, and say
"Okay, student, now *do this*!  'Oh thou Circle, be thou a
meeting place--'  And you walk the thing out for them.  You come
back around to where you were and you say "Okay, did you see
that?  That's how you cast a Circle."  And then you go "Wait a
minute!  Did I just cast a Circle?"  We've all thought about
that.  Morning Glory?

Morning Glory:  Yes, but, yes, but when I have done this, or when
I do a demonstration at all, I don't put the power out.  You can
even say the words, or you can walk it out, but you don't put the
astral fire down.  You don't lay down the astral fire.  Unless
you're showing someone how to lay the astral fire down, in which

Mike Nichols:  You're doing it.  (LAUGHTER)  Well, the same
question arose in the Catholic Church, and the answer is
remarkably similar.  It came up this way.  If a priest was
teaching a novice priest how to say Mass, how to perform the
Eucharist, and he actually pronounces the words of consecration,
and unbeknownst to him there is a small crumb of bread on the
table in front of him, is that now a holy crumb?  Because the
Catholic Church had by now decided, remember, that the power was
in the ritual itself rather than in the person.  So if the ritual
is done correctly, the proper words are said (and we'll get into
that in a minute, too: What are the proper words?  What are the
proper gestures?), that crumb now is "the body and blood of
Christ", isn't it?

     Again, this took a lot of quibbling, but before it was all
over the Catholic Church decided no, that crumb would NOT be the
body of Christ because of one little thing that was left out. 
One thing that the minister does have to supply:
"intentionality".  Intent!  The person performing the rite has to
have the intent to be performing this sacred, magical rite.  This
was also true, by the way, of that non-Christian who was
baptizing somebody.  If the non-Christian was doing it as a joke,
it would not be considered valid.  However, if a non-Christian
sincerely wanted to baptize somebody else as a Christian, and had
that intent, and did the rite with all of its elements properly,
that person was, in the eyes of the Catholic Church, baptized. 

Otter Zell:  Now, here's a question that concerns a lot of us
Pagans directly.  A lot of us, when we were newborn babies and
unable to speak in our own best interests, were baptized. 
(LAUGHTER)  So, now, theoretically, once you're baptized, you're
a Christian.  Well, uh...  How do you deal with that?  I know I'm
not a Christian.  I sure don't feel like a Christian.

Morning Glory:  It's like getting a tattoo removed, or something. 

Otter Zell:  Is there any way to get un-baptized?  I mean, what
do you do about that?

Dix:  Even if you go through, as I did, a free-choice baptism,
when you weren't screaming and protesting, then later on you
decide that this is all bullshit, it doesn't exist, I don't
believe in this stuff any more.  Now maybe you're still a
Christian in the eyes of the Church, but that doesn't matter any
difference, because I don't care about the Church.

(unidentified):  Right, I was just wondering, is there some way
the Church could recognize an way of un-baptizing yourself?  

(unidentified):  There is.  Sitting through their boring rituals. 

Otter Zell:  But if you're not a Christian anymore,...  I mean,
there has to be some way of dealing with that.

(unidentified):  Otter, in whose eyes are you not a Christian? 
In your eyes or their eyes?  And at what point do their eyes
start mattering to you?  Whatever they consider has no bearing on

Otter Zell:  It's not a matter so much of whose eyes.  I'm just
kind of wondering, from the point of view of magical stuff, you
know, how one would interpret this.  I mean, I know I'm not a
Christian and I'll certainly be happy to argue the case with any
of you that might wish to do so.  But from a purely magical,
ritual perspective, if this magical ritual is done that has this
effect--  *Does* it have this effect?  Do all these people who
were baptized, does that make them Christian?  Or is it just

Eldoreth Grey Squirrel:  Look at it this way, Otter.  They stole
almost everything from us anyway, so what difference does it
make?  (LAUGHTER)

Mike Nichols:  (laughing)  What you are doing, and what we're all
doing here, is beginning to develop questions about Pagan
liturgical theology.  We are breaking new ground here, is what I
think.  Well, I hope the word structure, if it has to be used at
all, is used very advisedly.  I think Otter has already suggested
one possible Pagan response to this question, and that is that
the validity depends to some extent on the person upon whom the
rite is performed.  That's one possibility.  But what are all the
ramifications of this response, this theological stance?  Okay,
there was somebody over here, yes?

(unidentified):  One point about what the Church was doing is
that they had no competition.  People were not given a choice,
and the Church had the military to back them up.  So that when
they said "This village is now Christian," they *knew* that that
village was not Christian.  But they knew that, with no
information and no rituals allowed or anything, that the great-
grandkids would probably be Christian.  Eventually they would be
assimilated into what they wanted, into the type of person they
wanted, because any radical would be killed.

(unidentified):  I think you could make an analogy between
becoming un-Christian and getting a divorce.  When I got my
divorce, I didn't have a special ritual for that, but I needed
that, that sense of closure, that sense of separation in a ritual
form.  And I think that could be developed very easily.  And I
think that also could apply to becoming un-baptized.

Mike Nichols:  Good.  This whole things raises a very important
question just from the psychological point of view for most
Pagans.  Do we *need* an un-Christening rite?

(unidentified):  From my viewpoint, when I was getting baptized,
for some reason I swear to God I thought he was going to drown
me, and I came up halfway through the "Father, Son, and Holy
Ghost" which he snarled at me later for.  So I sorta screwed up
mine whether I knew it or not.

(unidentified):  On the question of Baptism, in the Christian
church, in a metaphysical sense, Baptism is not all that's
required for salvation.  It must still be worked out within the
Christian faith.  If you do not work it out, then the Baptism is
a ritual that has not been fulfilled.  It's the fulfillment that
makes you a Christian or not.

Mike Nichols:  That's exactly right.  Good point.  Ellen?

Anahita:  I have two things to say.  One,
regarding my Baptism, I had the opposite experience.  I mean, I
took swimming lessons, and they'd all prepared us, and I was
ready to go under and hold my breath and come out transformed. 
And they did it so casually and so intellectually, it was like,
okay this is enough.  And the tip of my nose didn't go under! 
(laughing)  My Achilles heel is the tip of my nose!  So this is
where I got to be Pagan!  (LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE)

     The other thing had to do with a Pagan ritual that we did
that might have some applications in this, where we just recently
formed a Circle from a Circle that had existed previously.  And
we did a ritual to very gently and caringly disband the other
Circle in the best possible light and bring all the good things
in.  I would hate to see a Pagan ritual that just cancelled
somebody's past, because however you come into Paganism is what
you were, in toto, including your Baptism.  And what many of us
are mentioning, our religious experiences contribute to our
ability to relate to the Goddess as a Pagan, because that's who
you are.  And if it was a fantastic Baptism, then so be it.  I
mean, I've had screaming, crying, evangelical services, and
that's how I learned about spiritual ecstacy.

Eldoreth Grey Squirrel:  You know where they got that from.  They
stole it from Voudoun, historically.

Anahita:  They stole it from every place.  But it
was a real experience, you know, and that's your basis for

Mike Nichols:  Let me comment on that point.  One of the big
educational experiences I've had recently--  One of my dear
friends here in Kansas City is someone you've all seen here in
the last few days, Rhiannon, the one who stood on the chair-- 
She's a High Priestess that I respect with all my heart and love
very much as a good friend, but we had never actually worked
together until relatively recently.  And I was astounded at the
difference in our approach.  She, coming from a very Protestant
background, encourages you at every point in the ritual to speak
from your heart, practically never do anything the same way
twice.  You know, you go to the Watchtower and invoke it using
words that come into your head at that moment, etc.  Me, with my
stolidly Roman Catholic background, doing the same rituals and
the same repetitive patterns almost mantra-like time after time
and expecting the same results.

     We'll get into, if we have time, the pros and cons of these
two approaches.  Obviously, both of them valid approaches, right? 
Both of them seem to work for each of us.  Vastly different.  And
obviously conditioned by our original religious upbringing.  Yes?

Morning Glory:  I want to bring up this question of validity
again.  If you were initiated by a particular Alexandrian couple
who shall remain nameless, as many friends of mine were, and this
Alexandrian couple have repudiated their Craft credentials and
have become born-again Christians, and they're going around on
the circuit with their story of "I was a Pagan"--  All of the
people that those people initiated--  It would be like the
priests who went out and killed someone and then--

Mike Nichols:  Or perhaps a better analogy, like the schismatic
bishops who split away from the Church and continue to ordain new
priests.  Are those valid priests?

Morning Glory:  Exactly.  Yes.  Well, that is an issue that we as
Pagans need to think about.

Mike Nichols:  You know, in all of this discussion,  I am working
from the premise that we are at too early a stage to formulate
answers.  But I think it's high time we started articulating the

Anahita:  Well, I can speak to that a little bit,
too.  I just went to the 20th anniversary ritual for NROOD.  And
I was amazed, because I had a lot of contact with them about 13
years ago when they were a seven year old religion.  And the
*changes* that they have gone through in 20 years, I'm here to
tell you, are just really amazing!  I mean, they were light and
free and it's so wonderful!  Now, it's like, a lot of dogma.  It
*was* a wonderful ritual and a wonderful time was had by all. 
But they had changed some things in a very valid way, something

that didn't work and was probably better this way.  But 13 years
ago, it was "Oh, those!  Name it:  Alexandrians, Gardnerians,
Orthodox Druids, whatever!  You just have to have enough stars in
your hat to hang out with them."  Well, now, guess what?  You
have to have enough stars in your hat to hang out with NROOD! 
(LAUGHTER)  I mean, it's just really amazing.  So, we can ask
questions till we're blue in the face, but the answers are gonna
be different in five years.

Mike Nichols:  I hope that somebody chronicles those changes as
they go.  They're going to be fascinating.  Let me throw out
another important question of liturgical theology.  Is there a
way to *botch* a Pagan ritual so that it is non-valid or non-
effective, so that it doesn't work or *worse*, causes some kind
of magical boomerang effect that causes some sort of detriment?

     For example, what if you teach somebody how to invoke the
Watchtowers, and you only tell them about three of them?  What's
gonna happen in the Circle when they only invoke three?  Is
anything?  Does it matter?  Does anything matter?  (LAUGHTER)  I
mean, does it, are there certain things that have to be there? 
Are there certain elements?

     From the perspective of the Catholic Church, for example, a
Baptism had to have certain specific components to be valid.  A
certain set of materials had to be present: the water, the salt
to put on the baby's tongue, etc.; a certain set of words had to
be present; the minister who performed it had to be a valid
minister (which, in the case of Baptism, could be anyone), and so

     Let me give you a quick example.  It's been quite a few
years ago, but in my own Coven we were training somebody who was
new as a priestess.  She had actually been instructed correctly
in invoking all four of the Watchtowers but, as it happened, when
she took the four elements around, things were confused that
night.  It was her first ritual.  And, somehow, something got
left out.  And a little bit later, during the Circle, we were
doing some divinatory work, with a Ouija board.  And please!  In
my tradition, we use a Ouija board for divinatory work.  At any
rate, halfway through the ritual, there was some kind of
manifestation which at least a good portion of us saw.  It looked
like a kind of cloudy, dark hand had reached over the planchette. 
(I hate to be telling a bad Ouija board story because they're
maligned enough!)  (LAUGHTER)

     But this kind of cloudy-looking hand reached in over the
Ouija board.  And everybody sort of jumped back like they were
shocked.  And I think most people there were thinking, "What the
heck is that?"  But my first thought (again, maybe because of my
religious upbringing) was "How did that thing get into a
carefully warded Circle?"  There should not *be* any extra energy
or entity in here that we didn't call ourselves, or want!  And I
started going back over the procedure and realized that (in our
system, it is the incense that represents the element of Air)
this particular priestess had not taken the incense around the
Circle at the time of the consecration of the Circle.  So, from a
purely legalistic point or whatever, the Circle had not been

consecrated by the element Air.  Which theoretically would allow
some sort of sylph or air-related entity to get through.  You
know, it wasn't properly warded by all four elements.

     Can you screw up a rite?  I mean, what things *have* to be
present in order for there to *be* a Circle?  And what things can
be left out?  What things can you change?  What things can you
*not* change?  Yes, Carolyn?

Carolyn Clark:  I have a story that relates to that.  One day a
long, long time ago, when I was very, very new to the Craft, I
knew a girl named Michelle who liked to dabble in Ceremonial
Magick.  And I knew a little bit about Ceremonial Magick. 
(Famous words:  "I knew a little bit about Ceremonial Magick.") 
(LAUGHTER)  So we did a Mars ritual.  We did it on the right day,
Tuesday night.  And it was a little bit out in the country
because Michelle was into cultivating certain controlled
substances.  And, in the middle of the ritual, there were red
lights flashing in all the windows, and I thought "Oh, shit! 
It's the fuzz!"  So we hurried up and finished the ritual,
banished the Circle, looked out the window and...  there weren't
any cops there.  There was nobody there.

Mike Nichols:  I think a very *common* experience of this sort,
which most of us probably have experienced in the course of our
magical training at one time or another, is how it feels to be
psychically kicked in the head when power is not correctly
grounded.  (EXCLAMATIONS OF AGREEMENT)  Right?  How many can
relate to that?  Otter?

Otter Zell:  One that I've encountered a number of times in
rituals I've gone to over the years, in particular with a group I
prefer not to mention because Ellen has already done that
(LAUGHTER) is this sort of arbitrary choice of directions. 
"Well, which way feels like East today?"  And I've actually
attended these things where with great pomp and ceremony someone
will face the south and invoke the East.  And then we'll maybe
turn to the west and invoke the South.  You never know where
they're gonna go.

Mike Nichols:  There are actually instructions like that in some
popular book on the Craft.  Is it the Farrars?  It actually says
in it that it doesn't matter where the directions are as long as
everyone agrees upon them.

Eldoreth Grey Squirrel:  They call that "consensus reality". 

Chris:  It also raises the question of basic styles, and various
traditions.  I've been in this situation where I was doing some
chakra work, and this person I was working with just didn't
understand the symbolism.  And I was in pain for days. 

Mike Nichols:  I think the best analogy here is "small child with
chemistry set".  (LAUGHTER)

Morning Glory:  "Talking Wicca Blues", I think, is the final word
on that.  (LAUGHTER)

Mike Nichols:  Yes, yes!  Okay, but see, all of these questions
all bear on the same point:  What is really necessary for that
ritual to be done effectively (and *safely*, in many cases)? 
What things about a ritual can you change without hurting the
nature of that ritual?  What things can't you change?  Morwen? 
Morwen:  I've seen a lot of recipe books and I've seen a lot of
possible recipes for the same dish.  If you're going to be
attending a Circle where you invoke the four quarters, then you'd
better remember to do the correct things at each one, or you
could leave a gap.  Just like if you're baking a cake, you'd
better remember the baking soda, and remember to butter the pan. 
But if you're going to do a Circle where you're not going to do
the quarters, you could invoke the magic Circle without even
thinking about the four directions.  Because you're invoking a
magic Circle based on a different structure. 
Eldoreth Grey Squirrel:  There was a guy at Pagan Spirit
Gathering whose particular approach to Paganism was to get ideas
from the old Celtic traditions.  And he says he can't find
anything that justifies the invocation of quarters, the quarter
points.  He was convinced there was no such thing as quarter
points in the way the Celts practiced their religion. 
Mike Nichols:  I might argue with that, based on their stone
circles and such.  But on the other hand, I'd be willing to bet
that the way quarter points got into modern Wicca was through
ceremonial magick.  I don't think there's any doubt about that. 
Morning Glory:  But isn't it interesting that Native Americans
have the same thing in the Medicine Wheel?  It may be that
there's a certain universality in the four quarter points. 
Otter Zell:  It also connects with the natural world.  We're all
trained in levels of metaphor and the magic Circle itself is a
metaphor for so many different cycles.  It's a metaphor for any
cycle, and cycles can be broken up in different ways.  But
certainly the four-quarter system works awfully well on a planet
that rotates around its axis, which gives you four directions. 
Mike Nichols:  The basic question we're raising here is, can
somebody just create their own ritual system from scratch?  Or
does it have to link up to the real world around us? 
Otter Zell:  I've seen certain systems that are just made up out
of whole cloth, and they're presented as valid traditions by the
people who just make them up, and they're just somehow cuckoo. 
They don't feel right.  Remember, there was this anti-astrologer
guy running around, Owen Rachel, and he was anti-magic, and
anti-Pagan and everything else.  So then he came out with this
book of weird astrology, called "Sky Triangles" or something like
that, or "Sky Diamonds".  And it was supposed to be his
astrological system, and it was supposed to be more valid.  And
he just made up this weird bullshit, and none of it made any
sense, and none of it worked.  But he sold a lot of books. 
Anahita:  But sometimes you can make up a system
and it *does* work.  And I loved your answer, incidentally, Mike. 

I didn't have to ask my question because you answered it.  The
way you were talking about it was, "In my tradition, it's
important to invoke the four quarters..."  And I thought, "Aha! 
But you can decide to have a Circle that doesn't use four
Eldoreth Grey Squirrel:  And even when you think you're making
something up from scratch, you find out later that somebody else
thought of it already.  I created a magical ritual based on the
"Silmarilion", which Mike and I actually performed.  And it had
six quarter points.  And I found out later on that some Native
Americans in Oregon and Washington have six.  It was exactly the
same thing that I did.  I had up and down in mine.  I had never
heard of that before.

Otter Zell:  If you understand the concept of how the energy
works, of how the elements of the thing work...  It's like, you
can make up a recipe yourself if you understand how to cook, if
you understand how to season, and so on.  You can get to where
you're making this stuff up and it'll work.  But if you don't
understand the patterns and the elements that well...

Morning Glory:  "Small child with chemistry set".

Eldoreth Grey Squirrel:  It gives a whole new meaning to "Magic
Chef".  (LAUGHTER)

Mike Nichols:  Let me bring this back to something here...  As
far as the final determination of the Catholic Church as to what
consists of a valid sacrament, they came up with these things. 
And it might be interesting to at least note them, to see what we
would have to say about them from a Pagan perspective.  But to be
a valid sacramental rite -- And again, this is magic in the views
of the Ca-- I mean, they don't call it magic, but a sacrament to
the Catholic Church is an "effective" ritual, meaning that it has
an actual objective effect.  Magic, in other words.

     So, a rite had to have what was called the proper "matter"
and "form", first of all.  "Matter" pertains to the materials
used, as well as the gestures used.  The "form" had to do with
the words that were spoken.  In magical contexts, you might think
of this as the incantation, that part of the spell which is
spoken.  It had to be performed by the proper minister.  Now,
this could vary depending on the particular rite.  Only a bishop
could ordain a priest, but anyone could perform a Baptism, even
non-Christians.  And finally, it had to have intentionality on
the part of the performing minister.  So, in the view of the
Catholic Church, it is impossible to accidentally, or
inadvertently, perform a sacramental rite.  That is not possible,
from the point of view of Canon law.

     Now, I'm not suggesting that Paganism take this same
approach.  I'm just suggesting that we in the Pagan movement
think about it.  Canon lawyers were then assigned the task of
codifying which things were needed for a particular rite.  Think
of the way rites were elaborated.  You know, a Baptismal rite, in
terms of Canon law, consisted of a very few things.  Actually, it
didn't even include the salt.  Just the pouring of the water, and

the speaking of the words, "I baptize you in the name of the
Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit."  That was sufficient for
the rite.  Now, if you've ever actually gone to a Church Baptism,
you know that it is elaborated endlessly.  This thing can be
carried out for hours if the minister wants to.  But the only
thing that's really *necessary*, the bare minimum requirements
for a valid right, are just those words, and those elements,
performed by the right minister, with proper intention.

     Interestingly enough, when the Catholic Church started doing
this, it led to a kind of minimalist approach in terms of
rituals.  The priests had been taught that the power of the rite
was in the rite itself.  It only needed to have A, B, and C in
order to be effective or valid.  Therefore, they only did A, B,
and C.  And it didn't matter what kind of state of grace the
minister was in.  So they started rushing them through pretty
quickly.  This is one of the main things that Martin Luther took
exception to, and it gave birth to the Protestant Reformation. 
Because priests had been performing these ceremonies almost by
rote, with the bare minimum standards in terms of Canon law as to
what was required for an effective or valid sacrament.

Morning Glory:  There was a lot of issue about that, especially
in regard to marriage, whether a marriage was valid or legal. 
And whether the children of that union were legitimate or
illegitimate depended upon how it was done, and whether there
were elements that were missing.  If somebody didn't say, or
refused to say, "I do", for instance.  Because lots and lots of
women were married against their will.  It's like in "The
Princess Bride":  "Did you say 'I do'?"  "No, I didn't."  "Well,
in that case, you weren't."  (LAUGHTER)

Dix:  What you were saying about elaborating a ritual...  That
brings up a question.  When you are doing a rite, and you are
adding more stuff, can you detract from it?  At what point do the
additions, the accretions that you keep adding on, where does it
begin to take away from the rite?

Mike Nichols:  I know that certainly it can diminish the
psychological dimension of a rite.  I've seen so many examples
where, say, you're doing an initiation tonight.  Now that means,
to me, the whole thing should focus on this person's initiation. 
It is *their* night.  But somebody else over here has another
spell they want to do, and somebody over here has something they
want to do, and by the time the whole thing is done, it's this
incredible mish-mash with no central focus whatsoever.  To me,
very bad in terms of liturgical design.

Morning Glory:  It's aesthetically piss-poor.  (LAUGHTER)

Mike Nichols:  Right.  I meant to conclude this whole workshop
(or whatever the heck it is) with a section on liturgical design
or aesthetics, which we're just beginning to touch on.  It's
obvious that we won't be able to get into that too much, but I
think it's good that we bring up at least some points about
aesthetics.  Yes?

(unidentified):  Yeah, but what if you have the proper elements

of the ritual, and you do things in the right order, and you
intend for it to be a magical ceremony, and it's just dead.  No
one's excited, half the people can't remember their lines, or are
making them up on the spot without putting a lot of thought into
it.  There's no spirit there.

Morning Glory:  Their hearts are pure, but their theater is
lousy.  (LAUGHTER)

Mike Nichols:  Yes.  Good intentions is not a valid excuse for
poor ritual.  Absolutely.  To me, well, I've often used a
communications model for rituals.  To me, like language, rituals
have a certain grammar, a certain syntax that it needs to follow,
a certain order.  For example, let's say you're doing a Circle
and it's a high holiday, so you're doing a typical holiday
celebration but, as a part of that, you're also doing an
initiation.  When does the initiation come?  Well, to me, it
seems obvious that the initiation should come during the early
part of the evening ceremonies so that, once that person is
initiated, they may now participate fully in the seasonal
celebration.  Right?  Rather that leaving them out for it, and
doing their initiation at the end.

     So, it seems to me that there is sort of a logic of rituals,
a grammar, a syntax, for doing ritual.  Now, just because you
learn the rules of that grammar (and I suspect there are some
very definite rules that we could get into if I had the time),
but just because you know the rules of grammar doesn't make you a
great writer.

Morning Glory:  Persistence is nine-tenths of any art, not that
it helps to be nine-tenths of an artist.  (LAUGHTER)  There's
another part of this, which is the problem of the hodge-podge
ritual.  When you have conflicting elements.  When somebody wants
to do a ritual to heal the earth.  And someone else wants to do a
ritual to get prosperity for their Aunt Sadie.  And someone else
wants to do something to get a new house.  And some things are
really quite conflicting.  One group wants to do a ritual to heal
the earth, and so they want to put this mellow energy out.  But
someone else says, "Yeah, but we wanna stop those bulldozers that
are coming in, so we wanna get this martial energy to zap their
transmissions and make them fall out on the road!"  And so then
there's this conflict on how to approach things, and things can
get really out of hand.

Carolyn Clark:  Where we see that a lot is where somebody will
come to the Circle and say, "I really need to get in touch with
the Demetre part of me."  Or, I really need to get in touch with
such-and-such god-form.  And my response is, "Yes, you need to do
that.  Then, do it.  But not at this Circle."

Morning Glory:  It's like chocolate icecream and limburger
Mike Nichols:  I find the same problem in combining elements from
different traditions.  That's a problem for me.  Now,
theologically, I might agree that all the names of the Goddess
are merely different aspects of the same Goddess.  Fine.  But I

still have a problem thinking, how is the goddess Demetre going
to get along with the goddess Arianrhod or Cerridwen?  (LAUGHTER) 
They're very different forms, and to me, well, another analogy I
sometimes use is, let's say you're in a new home and you want one
room of this home to be a library.  You know you want certain
things to be in that library, to make it a library.  You're gonna
want shelves for the books.  You're gonna want the books.  You're
gonna want a comfy chair to sit in and read.  You're gonna want a
reading lamp near it.  You're gonna want a library table,
perhaps, or a writing desk.  And so forth.

     But let's say you go out and you buy early American
bookshelves.  You buy an Edwardian writing desk.  You buy
Victorian chairs.  You buy modern chrome and glass lighting
fixtures.  What you have is a library, granted, because all of
the elements are there.  But nothing fits aesthetically.  It's
like a ritual smorgasbord.  To me, the elements have to fit
together aesthetically in order to work right.

(unidentified):  I've tried to walk a fine line between Feminist
and Traditional Wicca, because I like both.  But how does this
work for a solitary, or a person who has little access to a
Coven?  I've had a very hard time designing my own rituals.  I
found a little books that tells the elements on what goes in a
ritual, and I try to follow that.  Even though I may take a
little bit from Doreen Valiente, because I like the way she says
this one thing.  But then the Farrars have a lot.  And then I'll
stick in a little Starhawk.  But the thing is, they're all geared
more to Covens.  Now, does that make it invalid for a solitary? 
Mike Nichols:  I would-- Please!  Don't start asking me what's
valid!  (LAUGHTER)  See, there's a danger in even discussing this
because there's always a danger of falling into that trap. 
(unidentified):  Is there a way to get in touch with other
Morning Glory:  There is a Solitary convention. 
Chris:  Single rooms everywhere!  (LAUGHTER) 
Mike Nichols:  Scott Cunningham has a book coming out geared to
Solitary Craft work.  Let me answer the first part of your
question first.  I think it is possible to be eclectic and yet to
avoid eclecticism within one particular ritual.  Do tonight's
ritual as a Celtic ritual, and next month's ritual as an Egyptian
ritual if you want to, but don't mix Celtic and Egyptian in the
same ritual.  That's at least my point of view, my bias.  I'm not
saying that's some sort of dogma or rule about liturgics.  It's
my aesthetic, and I think aesthetics are important to ritual. 
Carolyn Clark:  When you're working on certain things, when
you're doing a very tight ritual--  For instance, if I'm doing a
ritual to get in touch with that part of the Mother and that part
of me which fructifies and causes creativity to flower, then I
would probably call on all the Goddess names, all the aspects of
the Goddess from all cultures, that do that one thing. 

Mike Nichols:  Yes, I understand that completely.  As a matter of
fact, one of the forms I most love that I learned from the Roman
Catholic tradition is that called a litany, a reading of a long
list of petitions or names of Goddesses and Gods.  And that is so
effective in a Pagan ritual, especially if its done as a
responsorial.  That can build power like you just wouldn't
believe!  I use that quite a lot in my own rites. 
     Let me jump to another subject which was raised earlier: the
tension which exists between those things which are spontaneous
in a ritual, where you just think up something to say on the spur
of the moment, as the spirit moves you, as it were; or those
people who follow rites that are very patterned, very
repetitious, very rhythmic, if you will.  Now, I was certainly
brought up in that school of thought.  And one thing that I've
read recently, which I found to be a fascinating argument in
favor of that tradition -- not invalidating the other, but in
support of the repetitious tradition -- is that recent studies of
the left hemisphere / right hemisphere brain split have shown
something very interesting. 
     Language, as you know, is a very linear system.  And
typically, that is a left hemisphere brain function.  Anytime you
are composing a sentence -- what I'm doing up here right now --
is very left hemisphere.  Whenever someone is confronted with
making up the invocation at each Watchtower, they are virtually
working entirely left hemisphere.  Whenever you are working with
language, I was originally taught, you are working with left
     There is an interesting exception.  Those things that are
words that are commonly repetitious.  When you sing a Christmas
carol year after year after year, to the point you don't even
have to think about the words as you sing it, your right brain
hemisphere is operating just about on a par with the left,
according to studies. 
Carolyn Clark:  I do that with chanting.  While my left brain is
occupied with that, my right brain is free to do all kinds of
other things. 
Mike Nichols:  Right!  It's sort of like a mantra.  You know, for
people from Protestant backgrounds, it sometimes comes off like,
well, those Catholics just say their prayers by rote. 
"HailMaryfullofgracetheLordiswiththee."  They can toss those off
in no time at all.  There's no power in it, there's no feeling in
it, there's no spirit in it.  The other point of view, however,
is that the actual words themselves sort of take a back seat to
the meaning, which is superimposed on top of those.  And I can
tell you from doing rituals in my life in the highly repetitive
way, I feel like you, that it has freed my mind to go to perhaps
deeper levels than if I had to do it differently every time. 
     And by the way, notice how that's true in group rituals,
too.  If the High Priestess -- and I see a lot of this today --
she will not do the same ritual twice!  And consequently, the
entire Coven is sort of sitting back watching the High Priestess,
saying, "Okay, what's she gonna do *this* time?"  Never allowing

them to really get into the ritual in a psychological way.  When
you're already familiar with something, like that Christmas
carol, it enables everybody to participate fully, because they
know what's going to happen, they know what to expect.  They're
not looking for changes in the script. 
     Another thing that's interesting about that kind of
repetitive work is that, when you do throw in a change, for a
particular seasonal variation or something, it stands out.  It
stands out in contrast to the way you've always done it before. 
At a Handfasting, when you invoke the blessing of the Lord and
Lady, instead of "onto ALL who stand before Thee", you say "onto
TWO who stand before Thee", the changing of the words immediately
focuses on the couple becoming handfasted.  You hear that change;
it registers.

Anahita:  But isn't that same thing true for an
aesthetic, well-worded, channelled experience, that a Priestess
may have?

Mike Nichols:  Yeah, but it sorta does put everyone else in the
position of spectator.  It becomes a spectator sport nine times
out of ten.  Or else, you are actively, consciously, left-
hemispherically being involved in the production of this dramatic
play.  You're not getting to relax and simply experience the
*known*, and the comfortable.  And that's what I think we need to
have more of.

     By the way, whenever you have repetition, you also have
rhythm.  And this brings in a whole different dimension.  The
drumming, the chanting, and everything else that goes with
repetition.  I think good ritual pacing has a rhythm of its own.

     Something else that we totally ignore these days in
liturgical design is the use of silence, which can be VERY
powerful.  You know how something happens which is really
meaningful and everyone's wowed by it, and somebody else just
goes right into the next thing.  Doesn't let you have the chance
to absorb that at all.  I'm not talking about that kind of deadly
silence where nothing is happening and no one knows what to do. 
No.  I'm talking about those quiet moments that really empower
what you've just experienced.  Yes, Eldoreth?

Eldoreth Grey Squirrel:  Well, as someone else who was "lowered"
Catholic (as opposed to "raised" Catholic), there is a problem
when you have something that is repetitious.  Unless the person
really wants to be empowered by this, what their mind is most
likely to do is to think about anything BUT the ritual.  At least
as a child, I found this true.  "Okay, time to daydream.  It's
the same old thing again."

Mike Nichols:  I think a great deal of the blame there has to do
with the fact that as children, you were indoctrinated into this
before the time you were ready to think about it.  You didn't
understand the rite.  Nobody had explained it to you.  You were
simply going through the motions.  To me, that's not magic,
that's superstition.  When you just go through the motions.  It's
just mumbo-jumbo.

     I don't want to run overtime, and we already are a minute or
two.  Let me just conclude by saying that what I feel we've been
doing here is ground-breaking work.  I was *delighted* to have a
group of people already so involved and so experienced, to have
made such wonderful contributions.  I'd like to welcome you all
as being, I think, some of the first Pagan liturgical theologians
around.  (LAUGHTER)  And I hope you'll continue working on it. 
Thank you!  (APPLAUSE)

Eldoreth Grey Squirrel:  Mike, I have an alternate title for your

Mike Nichols:  What's that?

Eldoreth Grey Squirrel:  "The Rite Stuff."  (LAUGHTER AND GROANS

                   Editorial: Web of Wyrd number 10 
                            Julia Phillips

During the Middle Ages, a great many men and women were put to death on
charges of heresy. Nearly all of them were innocent of any crime; nearly
all of them were guilty of no more than being a scapegoat for someone
else's accusations and projected fears.

Fortunately, today we have grown beyond such barbaric inhumanity - or
have we?  As a race, have we truly evolved, or is humanity still groping
around in a mire of discontent, seeking for victims on which to project
its fears and failures?  If we consider the way in which the medieval
witch was hunted, accused and held up to public condemnation, and then
compare this process with the way in which modern society deals with its
victims, then I would say that the human race has not evolved in the

Consider: often for no reason other than he or she offended someone, a
man or woman living in medieval Europe could be taken as a heretic, and
with evidence (sic) being no more than hearsay, tried and found guilty
of charges of which they were mostly entirely innocent. Their accusers
were not interested in truth, but in judgement; and justice certainly
had no role in their scenario.  To absolve themselves of any blame in
this autocratic process, the accusers made sure that public opinion was
swayed against the victim. How? By publishing details of the "crime"-
(sic), which were then distributed to as wide an audience as possible.

Students of English Literature will know of the enormous influence which
the humble pamphlet cast on the population - which, despite high
illiteracy, had sufficient numbers able to read aloud to a gathering in
a town square. We all know how quickly rumour and innuendo spreads - any
grapevine in any social group is proof positive of just how quickly
information can passed along; and sadly, we all know that there need be
no shred of truth in that information for it to be spoken about,
considered, and accepted as fact.

The medium of the pamphlet proved to be so efficient and effective that
it developed, and in time became the newspaper, newsletter, and
ultimately, the magazine. In all cases, the emphasis is upon the
distribution of information to as large a number of people as possible.
In all cases, those reading (or hearing) the information have a
predilection to believe what they read to be the truth. Modern print is
often no more truthful than that of a 16th century pamphlet, which might
describe how a witch succumbed to the charms of the Devil, flew to the
Sabbat riding on a goat, where she devoured unbaptised infants, and took
part in many lewd and disgusting practices. Unfortunately though, having
"read about it in the paper/magazine/leaflet..." most people assume that
they are reading the truth, and are often willing to believe the worst.

There are numerous examples of this process at work in modern society:
in some countries, information is manipulated deliberately by politic-
ians and journalists. In other countries - and I would include all of
western civilisation in this - the manipulation is as pervasive, but
less obvious. As the saying goes:  "you can believe nothing you read in
the papers but the date, and they sometimes get that wrong".

Unfortunately though, people do believe what they read in the papers,
see on television, and hear on radio, just as our ancestors believed

that the woman led screaming to her death was a concubine of the Devil,
a devourer of babies, and that she copulated regularly with her cat, or
other animals. We are quick to condemn the Christian Fundamentalist for
spreading lies and propaganda, but what about the lies and propaganda
spread by Pagans and occultists? It offends my intellect to read of
claims by self-professed witches of traditions handed down since time
immemorial, or of secret arcane traditions known only to an elect few,
but it offends my sensibility that these people, claiming to be
following a spiritual path,  have such contempt for Truth.

We are no less human or fallible than our non-Pagan neighbour, but we
are engaged in a continual search for Truth: both within and without. We
are not perfect, but we do seek for our highest ideal, and we do strive
ever towards it, no matter what our particular path. Therefore to me it
seems a particularly unpleasant kind of action for a writer knowingly to
misrepresent his or her background and/or experience, simply to acquire
some spurious prestige.

The editor of a Pagan/occult newsletter or magazine has an even greater
responsibility, for rarely is the publication subject to professional
editorial control, and yet it is generally fairly widely distributed,
and its readers tend to believe what they see. As an example, we can
look at the sad death of Scott Cunningham; within hours of his death
being announced, the rumours that he died of AIDS were widespread. The
fact that his family and his closest friends have stated any number of
times that he died of meningitis is neither here nor there: to a great
many people around the world, Scott Cunningham will have died of AIDS.
Why? Because it was reported in Pagan magazines, and they can't be wrong
- can they?

Not only can they be downright wrong, they can also be inaccurate or
misleading - sometimes deliberately so. I have seen newsletters recently
where a matter best dealt with quietly, between those concerned, has
been fought in the public arena using very much the same means as the
medieval inquisitor. Defamatory and highly emotional printed leaflets,
with scant attention to the truth, have been published and circulated
throughout the Pagan/occult communities in the USA, Britain and
Australia during the last year. Highly respected writers in Britain
have recently been subjected to threats, with accusations and counter-
accusations filling countless pages in pamphlets, newsletters, and

What, you might wonder, has this to do with a personal quest for Truth?
Very little, in my opinion, hence my remarks above that the human race
appears to have made no progress at all in its essential characteristics
in hundreds of years. The only difference is that today, we have far
more efficient means of spreading the information to greater numbers of

I have seen too many attempts at character assassination over the last
year or so to believe that it is an isolated incidence, perpetrated only
by one or two people. It has happened in Britain; in Australia; in the
USA. The modus operandi has been identical in every case: an untruthful
statement has been made about one or more individuals, sometimes
supported by evidence (sic) of a spurious nature; the accusations have
been published in print, or electronic media, and distributed to a wide
audience. Even where the statement is so absurd, that no-one knowing the
accused would believe it for a moment, those who do not know the accused

are left wondering. This kind of trial by media is sick, and those who
perpetuate it - usually self-professed "Pagans" - are, quite frankly,

If we, as a community, are to come of age, then we must rid ourselves of
these contemptible troublemakers. We can't stop them publishing their
pamphlets, or typing out their lies, but we can ignore them, and stop
giving credence to their venomous pens. As with the victims of the
Middle Ages, the victims within our own community are being used as
scapegoats for someone else's fears and guilt; the only way to fight
this particular plague is to ignore it. Deprived of an attentive
audience, the pamphlet bandits will soon give up and go away.

                               PR Flyer 
                               By Raven

This may answer some of the questions being asked about Wicca on
PODSNet. If you print it up nice, it may also help in answering
questions OFF PODSNet.

Mind you, it is only ONE possible rendition; opinions are GUARANTEED to

About three years ago, I did a little PR flyer to hand out when Wiccans
were doing public events (for instance, Beltane Maypole dancing in the
local park) and curious passersby would ask just what the heck was going
on.  If you like the idea, use it -- and feel free to adapt it as
needed, for your own group.

Written 1991 by Raven.  NO COPYRIGHT.  This is placed into the public
               What You Wanted to Know about Witches *

                    * (but were afraid to ask)

Q.  Do you worship the Devil (Satan)?

A.  No, for three reasons.

    First, we don't venerate evil in any form:  our chosen religion is
    a celebration and affirmation of life and living things, as opposed
    to their destruction or harm.  As we believe that good or evil done
    will return upon the doer, this does not encourage doing evil.

    Second, Satan is a figure in Judeo-Christian beliefs -- originally
    not even an opponent of Yahweh, but more like his prosecuting
    attorney (as in the Book of Job).  Those who do worship Satan
    actually accept the later Christian theology, with Satan as
    Yahweh's opponent, but choose to support Satan's side of the
    battle.  We are not Christians or Satanists, and do not accept
    their theology or worldview, so we would no more worship Satan
    than, for instance, Christians would worship the Aztec God
    Quetzalcoatl; he simply has no place in our beliefs.  (We prefer
    the figure of Pan, who does have horns but is a much nicer fellow.)

    Third, we think history shows that, if you invest belief and
    emotion in any idea or thought-form, you give it strength and power
    in your own life -- it becomes more real TO YOU.  We have no wish
    to invite hostile entities into our lives and give them such power
    over us, which is why we don't venerate any form we consider evil.
    That's also why we're shocked to see how much energy some
    Christians invest in Satan.

Q.  Then why do I hear those things about you?

A.  "Devil-worship", baby-killing, cannibalism and all that?  These
    are typical accusations made by one religion against another.
    The Syrians accused the Jews of ritual murders long before Christ;
    then the Romans accused the Christians (who at least claimed to be
    eating someone's body and blood every week); then the Christians

    accused the Jews and Muslims and every other religion; today
    different Christian denominations even accuse each other.  Making
    wild accusations not only sells newspapers, and books, and movies;
    it helps drum up support for the Religion Of Your Choice.  This is
    a cynical use of hate, fear, and ignorance, but as long as it works,
    it will be used. (And there will always be psychotics willing to
    live up to the image -- then claim "the Devil made me do it.")

Q.  If not Christian theology, what do you believe in?

A.  Life.  We see the entire Universe, all matter and energy, as
    bursting with life, loving its own living parts -- including us --
    and gathered in one eternal dance.  We try to catch the tune and
    dance to the beat.

    Sometimes we call the leading dancers Light and Dark, or Sun and
    Moon, or the Lord and the Lady, Cernunnos and Ceridwen, Pan and
    Diana, or by other names.  These represent the duality in all
    things -- male and female, yang and yin -- neither side of which
    can be denied or ignored, even within ourselves.

    (We hope this helps us avoid the error that some worshippers of a
    single deity have made, such as thinking that "since God is all
    good and God is male, therefore anything female or feminine is

    Our feeling about the Gods is that they are teachers, family
    members, and fellow dancers:  not some untouchable abstraction
    infinitely distant, but an intimate part of our own lives.  Our
    feeling about other religions is that they, too, are part of the
    universal dance: not enemies, but fellow strugglers seeking as we
    do, to live and learn to keep time with the music.

Q.  What is this ceremony you're doing?

A.  It depends on the moment.  You may be watching a circle dance, or a
Maypole dance, or a feast of "cakes and ale", or just a group hug.
(We like to have fun.)  Possibly, since you were handed this, you're
watching us "cast a circle".  That's one of our basic religious

When we "cast a circle", we mark off a space as dedicated and protected
for our use, rather like Christians consecrating a church.  (The
difference is, we don't need a building, and we let the space go back to
normal after we've used it.)  Within this circle, we ask for the
protection of guardians -- call them the four elements of Air, Earth,
Fire, and Water, or the four archangels Gabriel, Michael, Raphael, and
Uriel -- again, the names may vary.  Then we invite the Lord and the
Lady to be with us for a time.  We have a nice visit, a little snack of
cookies and wine (or fruit juice), and then everyone goes home.  It's
very friendly.

Along the way, sometimes we ask for help with our problems, such as
healing an injury or illness; if you believe in the power of prayer,
it's the same sort of thing -- but we try to put our own energies into
the task, rather than asking someone else to do all the work.

Q.  How will what you are doing affect me?

A.  If you're not participating, then probably no more than any other
religious service you watch from outside.  If you're shocked by other
religions, you might choose to be shocked by ours.  (Ours is just out
where you can see it, instead of hidden by walls.)  Or you might choose
to accept our part of the universal dance as valid if different from
your own.  You might even choose to participate -- and people of good
will are generally welcome among us.

Even if you do participate, there's no reason to take any effect from
our services that you don't choose to accept.  Since -- for our own
sakes -- we ask for nice things to happen, the biggest possible results
involve no danger.  If we ask for more harmony in the world, and your
life becomes more harmonious, then you benefit from the same general
effect as if a church's prayer for world peace had worked. (After that,
if you don't like harmony, you could always work to make your own life
more discordant; whatever suits you.)

Q.  Do all Witches practice the same way you do?

A.  There are about as many "denominations" of Witches as there are of
Christians, and since no-one is forced to keep One True Orthodox Way,
even a single group may do things differently from time to time.  The
two mottoes that apply here are "If it works, use it" -- and "AN IT HARM
NONE, do as you will."

Q.  How can I find out more about you?

A.  Ask one of us.  We're easy to talk with.  Or read some books.  Good
books include Vivianne Crowley's WICCA: the Old Religion in the New Age,
Margot Adler's Drawing Down the Moon, Starhawk's The Spiral Dance, and
Raymond Buckland's Complete Guide to Witchcraft.

There's also a lot of shocking nonsense and pulp fiction out there
-- notably in movies, paperback thrillers, and the sort of newspapers
sold at supermarket cash registers; we can only ask you to take anything
you find there with a skeptical pinch of salt.

    (This was written in May 1991 as a general information handout for
    the use of the CUUPS group of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
    Please feel free to copy and adapt this for use by your own group.)


                               The Coven 
                          By: Julia Phillips
                          Wed 20 Apr 94 19:03

This article was written by me several years ago, but I thought it might
be of interest here, as it discusses several issues relevant to modern
Witches. Any thought or feedback most welcome! Please remember, that
although the historical stuff is pretty general, the other parts of the
article are my own ideas, and not necessarily applicable outside of my
own tradition :)

Covens and Witches

In 1662, Isobel Gowdie of Auldearne made four separate confessions of
being a Witch, and in the process, gave the word "Coven" to the world.
Although there is no other historical evidence for this word, it has
proven to be one of the most lasting facets of Witchcraft - ask anyone
today what Witches do, and the answer will almost certainly include the
fact that they meet in groups, called "Covens".

So given that a number of modern Witches do, in fact, either run, or
belong to, a Coven - just what is its purpose in 20th (and 21st) century
Western Civilisation? Why has this word of such dubious historical
veracity survived over three hundred years? Is there a place in our
modern world for a social group which, as far as we know, occurred only
in 17th century Scotland?

The very fact of its survival for over three hundred years argues that
there is a place for such a group. In my own case, I have been a member
of, and run, Covens of Witches for a number of years, and it is a social
model which fits extremely well within modern society.

The structure of a coven varies, but generally has one or two leaders,
and a number of members of varying levels of experience. In a sense, the
modern Coven has replaced the tribal family, and its members often
fulfill familial roles, which are no longer available to them in the
family in which they were born.

Some researchers have commented that many modern Witches come from a
background which was disrupted; i.e., did not provide a safe family
environment during their formative years. As I know a great many Witches
for whom this was not the case, I think this is only a partial reason,
and only for some people.

Humanity itself seems to be inherently tribal; any common bond between
people will generally result in the creation cults or sub-cultures,
where those of a like-mind will bond together. They will evolve their
own social order (generally hierarchical), have their own common
language, and often are identifiable by their demeanour and appearance.

Witches gather together in Covens for very much the same sorts of
reasons; we are apart from general society by virtue of our beliefs and
practices. Meeting with others who think and feel similarly to ourselves
gives us the opportunity to share ideas and skills, as well as being
able to practise our Craft.

A modern Coven provides a family-style environment, where the "Elders"
can, by virtue of their experience, give encouragement, support, and

advice to those seek to learn about Witchcraft. As with all families,
Covens have very unique and individual ways of approaching this. Just as
no two families are the same, neither are any two Covens.

Some Covens are run by people with an academic bent, and as would be the
case in any family, this characterises the way in which their "children"
are brought up. Other groups are oriented towards a more simple
approach, and the oral traditions play an important role in the way in
which the Coven is structured.  Some combine the these two approaches,
and the variations upon the basic themes are endless.

For any "family" to exist harmoniously, everyone within the group must
feel a part of the group, and wish to learn and grow within that group
environment.  With a path such as Witchcraft, with its emphasis upon
personal growth and development, it is likely that individuals who may
at one time have been happy within their family group, will change, and
wish to move away. This is a perfectly natural process, and the wise
coven leaders will send those people off with their love and blessing.
Trying to keep them would be like trying to keep your sons and daughters
tied to your apron strings forever!

Ultimately, and despite the popularity of the word "coven", I do believe
that most Witches are solitary in nature, and will generally spend at
least part of their lives without being a member of, or running, a
coven. I think the inward exploration during these periods is vital to
self-development, just as we believe it is important to encourage
social-awareness in children. However, I also believe that at some stage
it is important to learn the practices of Witchcraft from another
person; to be an apprentice, if you will; because the act of passing
knowledge from one person to another cannot be replicated by books,
correspondence courses, or be self-taught. This may seem an almost
impossible task to some people, but as all the magical traditions teach:
when the student is ready, the teacher will appear! What's more, it's

B*B Julia

              The Public Contents of the Book of Shadows 

There is really no such thing as the text of the Book of Shadows,
because Gardner never bothered to word things the same way twice;
whenever he copied something, he simultaneously rewrote it.  But this,
of course, is the way that an author treats his own original material;
it is not how anyone treats authoritative texts preserved from an
earlier generation. I have grouped the documents according to the dates
when they were written; these dates are accurate to within a year or so,
and the point to providing them, of course, is to emphasize that these
documents are modern creations, NOT anything preserved from ancient or
medieval tradition.  Material or comments added to these documents later
on I have enclosed in square brackets [these things].

A.1. Casting the Circle (1949)

It is most convenient to mark the circle with chalk, paint or otherwise,
to show where it is; but marks on the carpet may be utilized.  Furniture
may be placed to indicate the bounds.  The only circle that matters is
the one drawn before every ceremony with either a duly consecrated Magic
Sword or an Athame.  The circle is usually nine feet in diameter, unless
made for some very special purpose.  There are two outer circles, each
six inches apart, so the third circle has a diameter of eleven feet.

[1] Having chosen a place proper, take the sickle or scimitar of Art or
a Witch's Athame, if thou mayest obtain it, and stick it into the
center, then take a cord, and 'twere well to use the Cable Tow for this,
and loop it over the Instrument, four and one half feet, and so trace
out the circumference of the circle, which must be traced either with
the Sword, or the knife with the black hilt, or it be of little avail,
but ever leave open a door towards the North.  Make in all 3 circles,
one within the other , and write names of power between these.

[2] First draw circle with Magic Sword or Athame.

[3] Consecrate Salt and Water: Touch water with Athame, saying, "I
exorcise thee, O creature of Water, that thou cast out from Thee all the
impurities and uncleannesses of the Spirits of the World of Phantasm, so
they may harm me not, in the names of Aradia and Cernunnos."

[4] Touching Salt with Athame, say, "The Blessings of Aradia and
Cernunnos be upon this creature of Salt, and let all malignity and
hindrance be cast forth hencefrom, and let all good enter herein, for
without Thee man cannot live, wherefore I bless thee and invoke thee,
that thou mayest aid me."

[5] Then put the Salt into the water.

[6] Sprinkle with exorcised water.

[7] Light candles; say, "I exorcise thee, O Creature of Fire, that every
kind of Phantasm may retire from thee, and be unable to harm or deceive
in any way, in the names of Aradia and Cernunnos."

[8] Caution initiate (if any); warn companions; enter circle and close
doors with 3 pentagrams.

[9] Proclaim object of working

[10] Circumambulate 3 times or more before commencing work.

[11] Summon: "I summon, stir, and Call thee up, thou Mighty Ones of the
East, South, West, and North."  Salute and draw pentacle with Magic
Sword or Athame, the first stroke being from the top down to the left.

A.2. Drawing Down the Moon (1949)

High Priestess stands in front of Altar, assumes Goddess position (arms
crossed). Magus, kneeling in front of her, draws pentacle on her body
with Phallus-headed Wand, invokes, "I Invoke and beseech Thee, O mighty
Mother of all life and fertility.  By seed and root, by stem and bud, by
leaf and flower and fruit, by Life and Love, do I invoke Thee to descend
into the body of thy servant and High Priestess [name]." The Moon having
been drawn down, i.e., link established, Magus and other men give
Fivefold Kiss:

(kissing feet) "Blessed be thy feet, that have brought thee in these

(kissing knees) "Blessed be thy knees, that shall kneel at the sacred

(kissing womb) "Blessed be thy womb, without which we would not be";

(kissing breasts) "Blessed be thy breasts, formed in beauty and in

(kissing lips) "Blessed be thy lips, that shall speak the sacred names."

Women all bow.

If there be an initiation, then at this time the Magus and the High
Priestess in Goddess position (Arms Crossed) says the Charge while the
Initiate stands outside the circle.

A.3. "Lift Up the Veil"

[The Charge] (1949) Magus: "Listen to the words of the Great mother, who
of old was also called among men Artemis, Astarte, Dione, Melusine,
Aphrodite, Cerridwen, Diana, Arianrhod, Bride, and by many other names."

High Priestess: "At mine Altars the youth of Lacedaemon in Sparta made
due sacrifice. Whenever ye have need of anything, once in the month,
and better it be when the moon is full, ye shall assemble in some secret
place and adore the spirit of Me who am Queen of all Witcheries and
magics. There ye shall assemble, ye who are fain to learn all sorcery,
yet  have not won its deepest secrets.  To these will I teach things
that are yet unknown. And ye shall be free from slavery, and as a sign
that ye be really free, ye shall be naked in your rites, both men and
women, and ye shall dance, sing, feast, make music, and love, all in my
praise. There is a Secret Door that I have made to establish the way to
taste even on earth the elixir of immortality.  Say, `Let ecstasy be
mine, and joy on earth even to me, To Me,'  For I am a gracious Goddess.
I give unimaginable joys on earth, certainty, not faith, while in life!
And upon death, peace unutterable, rest, and ecstasy, nor do I demand
aught in sacrifice."


Magus: "Hear ye the words of the Star Goddess."

High Priestess: "I love you: I yearn for you: pale or purple, veiled or
voluptuous. I who am all pleasure, and purple and drunkenness of the
innermost senses, desire you.  Put on the wings, arouse the coiled
splendor within you. Come unto me, for I am the flame that burns in the
heart of every man, and the core of every Star. Let it be your inmost
divine self who art lost in the constant rapture of infinite joy. Let
the rituals be rightly performed with joy and beauty.  Remember that all
acts of love and pleasure are my rituals.  So let there be beauty and
strength, leaping laughter, force and fire by within you. And if thou
sayest, `I have journeyed unto thee, and it availed me not,' rather
shalt thou say, `I called upon thee, and I waited patiently, and Lo,
thou wast with me from the beginning,' for they that ever desired me
shall ever attain me, even to the end of all desire.

This much of the rites must ever be performed to prepare for any
initiation, whether of one degree or of all three.

A.4. The Initiation (1949)

[First Degree]

Magus leaves circle by the doorway, goes to Postulant, and says, "Since
there is no other brother here, I must be thy sponsor, as well as
priest.  I am about to give you a warning.  If you are still of the same
mind, answer it with these words: `Perfect Love and Perfect Trust.'"
Placing the point of the sword to the Postulant's breast, he says, "O
thou who standeth on the threshold between the pleasant world of men and
the domains of the Dread Lords of the Outer Spaces, hast thou the
courage to make the Assay?  For I tell thee verily, it were better to
rush on my weapon and perish miserably than to make the attempt with
fear in thy heart." Postulant: "I have two Passwords: Perfect Love and
Perfect Trust." Magus drops the sword point, saying, "All who approach
with perfect love and perfect trust are doubly welcome." Going around
behind her, he blindfolds her, then putting his left arm around her
waist and his right arm around her neck, he pulls her head back, says,
"I give you the 3rd password, a Kiss to pass through this dread Door,"
and pushes her forward with his body, through the doorway and into the
circle.  Once inside, he releases her saying, "This is the way all are
first brought into the circle." Magus closes the doorway by drawing the
point of the sword across it three times, joining all three circles,
saying, "Agla, Azoth, Adonai," then drawing three pentacles to seal it.
Magus guides Postulant to south of altar, and whispers, "Now there is
the Ordeal." Taking a short piece of cord from the altar, he ties it
around her right ankle, saying, "Feet neither bound nor free."  Taking
longer cord, he ties her hands together behind her back, then pulls them
up, so that the arms form a triangle, and ties the cord around her neck,
leaving the end dangling down in front as a Cable Tow. With the Cable
Tow in his left hand and the sword in his right hand, the Magus leads
her sunwise around the circle to the east, where he salutes with the
sword and proclaims, "Take heed, O Lords of the Watchtowers of the East,
(name), properly prepared, will be made a Priestess and a Witch." Magus
leads her similarly to the south, west, and north, making the
proclamation at each quarter. Next, clasping Postulant around the waist
with his left arm, and holding the sword erect in his right hand, he
makes her circumambulate three times around the circle with a

half-running, half-dancing step. He halts her at the south of the altar,
and strikes eleven knells on the bell.  He then kneels at her feet,
saying, "In other religions the postulant kneels, as the Priests claim
supreme power, but in the Art Magical, we are taught to be humble, so we
kneel to welcome them and say:

"Blessed be thy feet that have brought thee in these ways." (He kisses
her feet.)

"Blessed be thy knees that shall kneel at the sacred altar." (He kisses
her knees.)

"Blessed be thy womb, without which we would not be." (He kisses her
Organ of Generation.)

"Blessed by thy breasts, formed in beauty and in strength." (He kisses
her breasts.)

"Blessed be thy lips, which shall utter the sacred names." (He kisses
her lips.)

Take measure thus: height, around forehead, across the heart, and across
the genitals. Magus says, "Be pleased to kneel," and helps her kneel
before the altar.  He ties the end of the Cable Tow to a ring in the
altar, so that the postulant is bent sharply forward, with her head
almost touching the floor.  He also ties her feet together with the
short cord. Magus strikes three knells on the bell and says, "Art ready
to swear that thou wilt always be true to the Art?"

Witch: "I am."

Magus strikes seven knells on the bell and says, "Before ye are sworn,
art willing to pass the ordeal and be purified?"

Witch: "I am."

Magus strikes eleven knells on the bell, takes the scourge from the
altar, and gives a series of three, seven, nine, and 21 strokes with the
scourge across the postulant's buttocks. Magus says, "Ye have bravely
passed the test.  Art always ready to help, protect, and defend thy
Brothers and Sisters of the Art?"

Witch: "I am."

Magus: "Art armed?"

Witch: "With a knife in my hair."

Magus: "Then on that knife wilt thou swear absolute secrecy?"

Witch: "I will."

Magus: "Then say after me. `I, (name), in the presence of the Mighty
Ones, do of my own will and accord, most solemnly swear that I will ever
keep secret and never reveal the secrets of the Art, except it be to a
proper person, properly prepared, within a circle such as I am now in.
All this I swear by my hopes of a future life, mindful that my measure
has been taken, and may my weapons turn against me if I break this my

solemn oath.'"

Magus now unbinds her feet, unties the Cable Tow from the altar, removes
the blindfold, and helps her up to her feet.

Magus says, "I hereby sign thee with the triple sign.

"I consecrate thee with oil."  (He anoints her with oil on the womb, the
right breast, the left breast, and the womb again.)

"I consecrate thee with wine." (He anoints her with wine in the same

"I consecrate thee with my lips" (he kisses her in the same pattern),
"Priestess and Witch."

Magus now unbinds her hands and removes the last cord, saying,  "Now I
Present to thee the Working Tools of a Witch. "First the Magic Sword.
With this, as with the Athame, thou canst form all Magic Circles,
dominate, subdue, and punish all rebellious Spirits and Demons, and even
persuade the Angels and Geniuses.  With this in your hand you are the
ruler of the Circle. [Here "kiss" means that the initiate kisses the
tool, and the Magus then kisses the Witch being initiated.]

"Next I present the Athame.  This is the true Witch's weapon and has all
the powers of the Magic Sword [kiss].

"Next I present the White-Handled Knife. Its use is to form all
instruments used in the Art.  It can only be properly used within a
Magic Circle [Kiss].

"Next I present the Wand. Its use is to call up and control certain
Angels and geniuses, to whom it would not be mete to use the Magic Sword

"Next I present the pentacles.  These are for the purpose of calling up
appropriate Spirits [Kiss].

"Next I present the Censer of Incense. This is used to encourage and
welcome Good Spirits and to banish Evil Spirits.[kiss]

"Next I present the scourge. This is a sign of power and domination. It
is also to cause suffering and purification, for it is written, to learn
you must suffer and be purified. Art willing to suffer to learn?"

Witch: "I am."[Kiss]

Magus: "Next, and lastly I present the Cords.  They are of use to bind
the sigils in the Art, the material basis, and to enforce thy will. Also
they are necessary in the oath.  I Salute thee in the name of Aradia and
Cernunnos, Newly made Priestess and Witch." Magus strikes seven knells
on the bell and kisses Witch again, then circumambulates with her,
proclaiming to the four quarters, "Hear, ye Mighty Ones, (name) hath
been consecrated Priestess and Witch of the Gods." (Note, if ceremony
ends here, close circle with "I thank ye for attending, and I dismiss ye
to your pleasant abodes.  Hail and farewell." If not, go to next


[Second Degree]

Magus binds Witch as before, but does not blindfold her, and
circumambulates with her, proclaims to the four quarters, "Hear, ye
Mighty Ones, (name), a duly consecrated Priestess and Witch, is now
properly prepared to be made a High Priestess and Witch Queen." Magus
now leads her thrice around the circle with the half-running,
half-dancing step, halts south of the altar, has the Witch kneel, and
ties her down to the altar as before.

Magus: "To attain this sublime degree, it is necessary to suffer and be
purified.  Art ready to suffer to Learn?"

Priestess Witch: "I am."

Magus: "I prepare thee to take the great oath." 

He strikes three knells on the bell, and again gives the series of
three, seven, nine, and 21 strokes with the scourge as before.

Magus: "I now give thee a new name: _______. [kiss]

Magus: "Repeat thy new name after me,  I, (name), swear upon my
mother's womb and by mine Honor among men and among my brothers and
sisters of the Art, that I will never reveal to any at all any of the
secrets of the Art, except it be to a worthy person, properly prepared,
in the center of a Magic Circle, such as I am now in.  This I swear by
my hopes of Salvation, my past lives, and my hopes of future ones to
come, and I devote myself to utter destruction if I break this my solemn

Magus kneels, placing left hand under her knees and right hand on her
head, thus forming magic link.

Magus: "I hereby will all my power into you." Wills.

Magus now unties her feet, unties the Cable Tow from the altar, and
helps the Witch to her feet.

Magus: "I hereby sign and consecrate you with the great Magic Sign.
Remember how it is formed and you will always recognize it. 

"I consecrate thee with oil." (He anoints her with oil on her womb,
right breast, left hip, right hip, left breast, and womb again, thus
tracing a point-down pentacle.)

"I consecrate thee with wine." (He anoints her with wine in the same

"I consecrate thee with my lips" (he kisses her in the same pattern),
"High Priestess and Witch Queen."

Magus now unbinds Witch's hands and removes the cord, saying, "Newly
made High Priestess and Witch Queen" [kiss] "you will now use the
working tools in turn.

First, the Magic Sword; with it you will scribe the Magic Circle [kiss]


"Secondly, the Athame" (Form Circle) [kiss]

"Thirdly, the White Handled Knife" (use) [kiss]

"Fourthly, the Wand" (Wave to 4 Quarters) [kiss]

"Fifthly, the Pentacle" (Show to 4 Quarters) [kiss]

"Sixthly, the Censer of Incense" (Circle, cense) [kiss]

"Seventhly, the cords; bind me as I bound you." Witch binds Magus and
ties him to Altar.

Magus: "Learn, in Witchcraft, thou must ever return triple.  As I
scourged thee, so thou must scourge me, but triple. So where you
received 3, return 9; where you received 7, return 21; where you
received 9, return 27; where you received 21, return 63." Witch scourges
Magus as instructed, 120 strokes total.

Magus: "Thou hast obeyed the Law.  But mark well, when thou receivest
good, so equally art bound to return good threefold."

Witch now unbinds Magus and helps him to his feet. Magus, taking the new
Initiate by the hand and holding the Athame in the other, passes once
round the Circle, proclaiming at the Four Quarters, "Hear, Ye Mighty
Ones, (name) hath been duly consecrated High Priestess and Witch Queen."
(Note, if ceremony ends here, close circle with "Hail and farewell." If
not go to next degree.)

[Third Degree]

Magus: "Ere we proceed with this sublime degree, I must beg
purification at thy hands."

High Priestess binds Magus and ties him down to the altar.  She
circumambulates three times, and scourges Magus with three, seven, nine,
and 21 strokes.  She then unbinds him and helps him to his feet. Magus
now binds the High Priestess and ties her down to the altar. He
circumambulates, proclaiming to the four quarters, "Hear, ye mighty
Ones, the twice consecrate and Holy (name), High Priestess and Witch
Queen, is properly prepared and will now proceed to erect the Sacred
Altar." Magus scourges High Priestess with three, seven, nine, and 21
strokes. Cakes and wine may now be taken [see section A.5].

Magus: "Now I must reveal to you a great Mystery." [kiss].

Note: if High Priestess has performed this rite before, omit these
words. High Priestess assumes Osiris position.

Magus: "Assist me to erect the Ancient Altar, at which in days past all
worshipped, the Great Altar of all things.  For in the old times a woman
was the Altar.  Thus was the altar made and so placed [Priestess lies
down in such a way that her vagina is approximately at the center of the
circle], and the sacred place was the point within the center of the
circle, as we of old times have been taught, that the point within the
center is the origin of all things.  Therefore should we adore it."


"Therefore, whom we adore, we also invoke, by the power of the lifted
lance." Invokes. "O circle of stars [kiss], whereof our Father is but
the younger brother [kiss], "Marvel beyond imagination, soul of infinite
space, before whom time is ashamed, the mind bewildered and
understanding dark, not unto thee may we attain unless thine image be of
love [kiss].

"Therefore, by seed and root, and stem and bud and leaf and flower and
fruit do we invoke thee, O, Queen of space, O dew of light, O continuous
one of the Heavens [kiss]. "Let it be ever thus, that men speak not of
Thee as one, but as none, and let them not speak of thee at all, since
thou art continuous, for thou art the point within the circle [kiss],
which we adore [kiss], the fount of life without which we would not be
[kiss]. "And in this way truly are erected the Holy Twin Pillars Boaz
and Jachin [kisses breasts].  In beauty and strength were they erected,
to the wonder and glory of all men."

(Eightfold Kiss: 3 points, Lips, 2 Breasts and back to lips; 5 points)

"O Secrets of secrets that art hidden in the being of all lives.  Not
thee do we adore, for that which adoreth is also thou.  Thou art that
and That am I [kiss].

"I am the flame that
burns in every man, and in the core of every star [kiss].

"I am Life and
the giver of Life, yet therefore is the knowledge of me the Knowledge of
Death [kiss].

"I am alone, the Lord within ourselves whose name is
Mystery of Mysteries [kiss].

"Make open the path of intelligence between us.  For these truly are the
5 points of fellowship [on the right appears an illuminated diagram of
the point-up triangle above the pentacle, the symbol for the third
degree], feet to feet, knee to knee, groin to groin, breast to breast,
arms around back, lips to lips, by the Great and Holy Names Abracadabra,
Aradia, and Cernunnos. Magus and High

Priestess: "Encourage our hearts, Let thy Light crystallize itself in
our blood, fulfilling us of Resurrection, for there is no part of us
that is not of the Gods."

(Exchange Names.)

Closing the Circle High Priestess Circumambulates, proclaiming, "The
twice consecrate High Priestess greets ye Mighty Ones, and dismisseth ye
to your pleasant abodes. Hail and Farewell."

She draws the banishing pentacle at each quarter.

A.5. Cakes and Wine (1949)

Magus kneels, fills Cup, offers to Witch [she is seated on the altar,
holding her athame; Priest kneels before her, holding up the cup].

Witch, holding Athame between palms, places point in cup.

Magus: "As the Athame is the Male, so the Cup is the female; so,
conjoined, they bring blessedness."

Witch lays aside Athame, takes Cup in both hands, drinks and gives
drink. Magus Holds Paten to Witch, who blesses with Athame, then eats
and gives to Eat. It is said that in olden days ale or mead was often
used instead of wine. It is said that spirits or anything can be used so
long as it has life.

A.6. The Sabbat Rituals (1949)

November Eve Walk or slow dance, Magus leading High Priestess, both
carrying Phallic wand or broom, people with torches or candles.

Witch chant or song:
  "Eko, eko, Azarak Eko, eko, Zomelak Bazabi lacha bachabe Lamac cahi
  achababe Karrellyos  Lamac lamac Bachalyas cabahagy sabalyos Baryolos
  Lagoz atha cabyolas Samahac atha famolas Hurrahya!"

Form circle.

High Priestess assumes Goddess position.

Magus gives her Fivefold Kiss and is scourged.

All are purified [that is, bound and scourged with forty strokes, as in
the initiation rituals].

Magus assumes God position.

High Priestess invokes with Athame:  "Dread Lord of the shadows, god of
life and the giver of life. Yet is the knowledge of thee the knowledge
of death. Open wide, I pray thee, thy gates through which all must pass.
Let our dear ones who have gone before, return this night to make merry
with us.  And when our time comes, as it must, O thou the comforter, the
consoler, the giver of peace and rest, we will enter thy realms gladly
and unafraid, for we know that when rested and refreshed among our dear
ones, w e shall be born again by thy grace and the grace of the Great
Mother.  Let it be in the same place and the same time as our beloved
ones, and may we meet and know, and love them again.  Descend, we pray
thee, upon thy servant and Priest (name)."

High Priestess gives Fivefold Kiss to Magus.

Initiations if any; all others are purified.

(Note: Couples may purify each other if they will.)

Cakes and Wine.

The Great Rite if possible, either in token or truly.

Dismiss [the guardians, and close down the magic circle; the people then
stay to] feast and dance.

February Eve


After usual opening, all are doubly purified [that is, with eighty

Dance round outside circle, High Priestess with sword girded on and
drawn, Phallic wand in left hand.

Enter circle.

Magus assumes God position.

High Priestess gives Fivefold Kiss, invokes: "Dread Lord of death and
Resurrection, life and the giver of life, Lord within ourselves, whose
name is Mystery of Mysteries, encourage our hearts. Let the light
crystalize in our blood, fulfilling us of resurrection, for there is no
part of us that is not of the gods. Descend, we pray thee, upon this thy
servant and Priest (name)."

All should be purified in sacrifice before him.  He then purifies the
High Priestess with his own hands, and others if he will.

Cakes and wine.

Great Rite if possible, in token or real.

Games and dance as the people will.

Dismiss [the guardians, and close down the magic circle; the people then
stay to] feast and dance.

May Eve

If possible ride poles, brooms, etc. High Priestess leading, quick dance
step, singing

"O do not tell the priests of our arts.For they would call it sin, For
we will be in the woods all nightA conjuring summer in.

And we bring you good news by word of mouth. For women, cattle, and
corn: The sun is coming up from the south,With oak and ash, and thorn."

Meeting dance if possible.

Form circle as usual, and purify.

High Priestess assumes Goddess position; officers all give her the
fivefold kiss. 

She purifies all.

High Priestess again assumes Goddess position.

Magus invokes, draws down moon, "I invoke thee and call upon thee, O
mighty Mother of us all, bringer of all fruitfulness, By seed and root,
by stem and bud, by leaf and flower and fruit, by life and love, do we
invoke thee, to descend upon the body of thy servant and Priestess

Magus gives Fivefold Kiss to High Priestess.

All should be purified in sacrifice before her, and she should purify
Magus and some others with her own hands.

Cakes and wine.


Great Rite if possible, in token or truly.

Dismiss [the guardians, and close down the magic circle; the people then
stay to] feast and dance.

August Eve

If possible, ride poles, broomsticks, etc.

Meeting Dance if possible [the double-spiral dance described in
Witchcraft Today, p. 167].

Form circle.


High Priestess stands in pentacle position.

Magus invokes her: "O mighty Mother of us all, Mother of all
fruitfulness, give us fruit and grain, flocks and herds and children to
the tribe that we be mighty, by thy rosy love, do thou descend upon thy
servant and Priestess (name) here." 

Magus gives Fivefold Kiss to High Priestess.

Candle game:  Seated, the men form a circle, passing a lighted candle
from hand to hand "deosil".  The women form circle outside, trying to
blow it out over their shoulders.  Whoever's hand it is in when it is
blown out is 3 times purified by whoever blew it out, giving fivefold
Kiss in return.  This game may go on as long as the people like.

Cakes and wine, and any other games you like.

Dismiss [the guardians, and close down the magic circle; the people then
stay to] feast and dance.

 B.1. On Chants (1953)

Of old there were many chants and songs used especially in the Dances.
Many of these have been forgotten by us here, but we know that they used
cries of IAU which seems muchly like the cries EVO or EVOHE of the
ancients.  Much dependeth on the pronunciation if this be so.  In my
youth, when I heard IAU it seemed to be AEIOU, or rather, AAAEEIOOOOUU.
This may be but the natural way to prolong it to make it fit for a call,
but it suggests that these be possibly the initials of an invocation as
Agla is said to be, and of sooth 'tis said that the whole Hebrew
alphabet is said to be such, and for this reason is recited as a most
powerful charm, but at least this is certain, these cries during the
dances do have profound effect, as I myself have seen.

Other calls are IEHOUA and EHEIE; also Ho Ho Ho Ise Ise Ise.

IEO VEO VEO VEO VEOV OROV OV OVOVO may be a spell but is more likely to
be a call.  'Tis like the EVOE EVOE of the Greeks and the "Heave ho!" of
sailors.  "Emen hetan" and "Ab hur, ab hus" seem calls; as "Horse and
hattock, horse and go, horse and Pellatis, ho, ho, ho!"

"Thout, tout a tout tout, throughout and about" and "Rentum tormentum"
are probably mispronounced attempts at a forgotten formula, though they
may have been invented by some unfortunate being tortured, to evade
telling the real formula.

 B.2. To Help the Sick (1953)

[1] Ever remember the promise of the goddess,  "For ecstasy is mine and
joy on earth" so let there ever be joy in your heart.  Greet people with
joy, be glad to see them.  If times be hard, think, "It might have been
worse.  I at least have known the joys of the Sabbath, and I will know
them again."  Think of the grandeur, beauty, and Poetry of the rites, of
the loved ones you meet through them.  If you dwell on this inner joy,
your health will be better.  You must try to banish all fear,  for it
will reall y touch you.  It may hurt your body,  but your soul is beyond
it all.

[2] And ever remember, that if you help others it makes you forget your
own woes.  And if another be in pain, do what you may to distract his
attention from it.  Do not say "You have no pain," but if you may,
administer the drugs which sooth as well as those that cure.  But ever
strive to make them believe they are getting better.  Install into them
happy thoughts.  If you can only get this into his inner mind so that it
be always believed.

[3] To this end it is not wrong to let people think that we of the cult
have more power than we have.  For the truth is that if they believe we
have more power than we really possess, we do really possess these
powers, insomuch we can do good to them.

[4] You must try to find out about people.  If you tell a slightly sick
man, "You are looking better.  You will soon be well," he will feel
better, but if he is really ill, or in pain, his Knowledge that he is in
pain will cause him to doubt your words in future.  But if you give him
one of the drugs and then say, "The pain is growing less.  Soon it will
be gone," because the pain goes, the next time you say, "The pain is
going," he will believe you and the pain will really get less.  But you
must ever say so with conviction, and this conviction must come from
your believing it yourself, because you yourself know that if you can
fix his mind so that he believes you, it is true.

[5] 'Tis often better to look exactly between their eyes, looking as if
your eyes pierced their heads, opening your eyes as wide as you may and
never blink.  This continued gazing oft causes the patient to grow
sleepy.  If they show signs of this, say "You are growing sleepy.  You
will sleep, you are tired.  Sleep.  Your eyes grow tired.  Sleep."  If
they close their eyes, say "Your eyes close, you are tired, you cannot
open your eyes."  If they cannot, say "Your arms are tired, you cannot
raise them."  If they cannot, say "I am master of your mind.  You must
ever believe what I tell you.  When I look like this into your eyes you
will sleep and be subject to my will," then tell them they will sleep
and wake up refreshed, feeling better.  Continue this with soothing and
healing drugs, and try to infuse into them the feeling of ecstasy that

you feel at the Sabbath.  They cannot feel it in full, but you can
command them to feel what is in your own mind, and try to concentrate on
this ecstasy.  I f you may safely tell that you are of the Cult, your
task may be easier.  And it were well to command them to know it only
with their sleeping mind, and forget it, or to be at least unable to
tell anyone about it when awake. A good way is to command them that, if
they are ever questioned about Witchcraft or Witches, to immediately
fall asleep.

[6] Ever remember if tempted to admit or boast of belonging to the cult
you be endangering your brothers, for though now the fires of
persecution may have died down, who knows when they may be revived?
Many priests have knowledge of our secrets, and they well know that,
though much religious bigotry has calmed down, many people would wish to
join our cult.  And if the truth were known of its joys, the Churches
would lose power, so if we take many recruits, we may loose the fires of
persecution against us a gain.  So ever keep the secrets.

[7] Think joy, think love, try to help others and bring joy into their
lives.  Children are naturally easier to influence than grown people.
Ever strive to work through people's existing beliefs. For instance,
more than half of the world believe in amulets.  An ordinary stone is
not an amulet but if it hath a natural hole in it, it must be something
unusual, so if the patient hath this belief give him one.  But first
carry it next your skin for a few days, forcing your will into it, to
cure pain, to feel s afe, or against their particular fear, and this
amulet may keep imposing your will when you are absent.  The masters of
talismans knew this full well when they say they must be made in a
circle, to avoid distraction, by someone whose mind is on the subject of
the work.

[8] But keep your own mind happy.  Remember the Words of the Goddess: "I
give unimaginable joys on Earth, certainty, not faith, while in life,
and upon death, peace unutterable, rest, and ecstasy, and the promise
that you will return again."  In the old days many of us went to the
flames laughing and singing, and so we may again. We may have joy in
life and beauty, and peace and Death and the promise of return.

[9] The Bible speaks sooth, "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine
but a broken spirit breaketh the bones."  But you may not have a merry
heart.  Perchance you were born under an evil star.  I think that the
effects of the stars are overestimated, but you cannot make a merry
heart to order, you say.  But you can, in the Cult; there be secret
processes by which your will and imagination may be influenced.  This
process also affects the body, and brings it to joy.  Your body is
happy, so your mind is happy .  You are well because you are happy, and
you are happy because you are well.

[10] Prayer may be used with good result if the patient believes it can
and will work.  Many believe it can, but do not believe their God or
saint will help.  Prayers to the Goddess help, especially the Amalthean
Horn Prayer, as it causes stimulation to the body as well as to the

 B.3. The Scourge and the Kiss. (1953)

[1] Invocation


(Feet, knees, and wrists should be tightly bound to retard blood.)
Scourge 40 or more, to make skin tingle, then say, invoking Goddess,

Hail, Aradia, from the Amalthean horn
     Pour forth thy store of Love.  I lowly bend
 Before Thee!  I invoke thee at the end
     When other Gods are fallen and put to scorn.
Thy foot is to my lips!  My sighs inborn
     Rise, touch, curl about thy heart.  Then spend,
     Pitiful Love, loveliest Pity, descend
 And bring me luck who am lonely and forlorn.

Ask the Goddess to help you to obtain your desires, then Scourge again
to bind the spell. This be powerful in ill luck and for sickness.  It
must be said in a Circle, and you must be properly prepared and well
purified, both before and after saying, to bind the spell. Before
starting you must make a very clear picture in your mind of what you
wish.  Make yourself see the wish obtained.  Be sure in your own mind
exactly what it is and how it is to be fulfilled. This spell is the one
that was taught to me long ago and I have found it works, but I don't
think there is any special virtue in these words.  Any others can be
substituted provided they ask the goddess's (or gods') help, and say
clearly what you wish and you form the clear mental image; and if it
doesn't work at first, keep on trying till it works.  Your helper, who
wields the scourge, must know what you wish, and also form the mental
image.  And at first at any rate, it will be better for you to work the
spell, then for the girl to take your place and work it also; you
scourge her.  Don't try anything difficult at first, and do it at least
once a week till it works.  You have to get into sympathy with each
other, before anything happens, and regular working helps this. Of
spells, the exact words matter little if the intent be clear and you
raise the true power, and sufficient thereof.  Always in rhyme they are.
There is something queer about rhyme.  I have tried, and the same seem
to lose their power if you miss the rhyme.  Also in rhyme, the words
seem to say themselves.  You do not have to pause and think: "What comes
next?"  Doing this takes away much of your intent.

[2] Order and discipline must be kept.  A High Priest or Priestess may
 and should punish all faults to this end, and all of the Cult must
 accept such corrections willingly.  All are brothers and sisters, for
 this reason: that even the High Priestess must submit to the scourge.
 Each fault should be corrected separately.  The Priest or Priestess
 must be properly prepared and call the culprit to trial.  They must be
 prepared as for initiation and kneel, be told their fault and sentence
 pronounced.  Punishment should be the scourge, followed by a forfeit
 such as several fivefold kisses or something of this nature.  The
 culprit must acknowledge the justice of the punishment by kissing hands
 and scourge on receiving sentence and again when thanking for
 punishment received.*

[3] The scourgings are 3, 7, 9 (thrice three), and 21 (thrice seven) 40
in all.  It is not meet to make offerings [scourgings] of less than two
score to the Goddess, for here be a mystery.  The fortunate numbers be:
3 and 5.  For three added to two (the Perfect Couple) be five.  And
three and five be eight; eight and five be thirteen; thirteen and eight
be twenty-one. The Fivefold Kiss is called 5, but there are 8 kisses,
for there be 2 feet and 2 knees and genitals and 2 breasts and the lips.
And 5 times 8 be two score.  Also, fortunate numbers be 3, 7, 8, and 21,

which total 40, or two score.  For each man and woman hath ten fingers
and ten toes, so each totals a score.  And a perfect couple be two
score. So a lesser number would not be perfect prayer. If more are
required make it a perfect number, as four score or six score. Also
there be Eight Elemental Weapons.

[4] To make the anointing ointment, take some glazed pans filled half
full with grease or olive oil.  Put in one sweet mint, marjoram in
another, ground thyme in a 3rd, and it you may have it, patchouli, dried
leaves pounded.  Place pans in hot water bath.  Stir and cook for
several hours, then pout into linen bags, and squeeze grease through
into pans again, and fill up with fresh leaves.  After doing this
several times, the grease will be highly perfumed.  Then mix all
together and store in a well-corked jar. Anoint behind ears, throat,
armpits, breasts, and womb.  Also, for all ceremonies where the feet are
kissed, they should also be anointed.

 B.4. The Priestess and the Sword (1953)

It is said, "When a woman takes the main part in worship of the Male
God, she must be girt with a sword." Note.  This hath been explained as
meaning that a man should be Magus representing the God, but if no one
of sufficient rank and knowledge be present, a woman armed as a man may
take his place.  The sheath should be worn in a belt.  She should carry
the sword in hand, but if she has to use her hands, she should sheath
the sword.  Any other woman in the circle while this worship is
performed shall be sword in hand.  Those outside the circle only have
the athame. A woman may impersonate either the God or the Goddess, but
man may only impersonate the God.

 B.5. The Warning (1953)

Keep this book in your own hand of write.  Let brothers and Sisters copy
what they will, but never let this book out of your hands, and never
keep the writings of another, for if it be found in their hand of write,
they may well be taken and tortured.  Each should guard his own writings
and destroy them whenever danger threatens. Learn as much as you may by
heart, and when the danger is past, rewrite your book.  For this reason,
if any die, destroy their book if they have not been able to, for, if it
be fou nd, 'tis clear proof against them.  "Ye may not be a Witch
alone";  so all their friends be in danger of the torture.  So destroy
everything not necessary. If your book be found on you, 'tis clear proof
against you.  You may be tortured.  Keep all thought of the cult from
your mind.  Say you had bad dreams, that a Devil caused you to write
this without your knowledge. Think to yourself,  "I Know Nothing.  I
Remember nothing. I have forgotten all."  Drive this into your mind. If
the torture be too great to bear, say, "I will confess.  I cannot bear
this torment.  What do you want me to say?  Tell me and I will say it."
If they try to make you talk of the broth erhood, do not, but if they
try to make you speak of impossibilities, such as flying through the
air, consorting with the Devis, sacrificing children, or eating men's
flesh, say, "I had an evil dream.  I was not myself.  I was crazed." Not
all Magistrates are bad.  If there be an excuse, they may show you
mercy.  If you have confessed aught, deny it afterwards.  Say you
babbled under the torture; you knew not what you did or said.  If you be
condemned, fear not.  The Brotherhood is powerful.  They may help you to
escape if you are steadfast.  If you betray aught, there is no hope for

you, in this life, or in that which is to come. But, 'tis sure, that if
steadfast you go to the pyre, drugs will reach you.  You will feel
naught, and you go but to Death and what lies beyond, the ecstasy of the
Goddess. The same with the working Tools.  Let them be as ordinary
things that anyone may have in their homes.  The Pentacles shall be of
wax that they may be melted or broken at once.  Have no sword unless
your rank allows you one.  Have no names or signs on anything.  Write
them on in ink before consecrating them and wash it off at once when
finished. Never boast, never threaten, never say you wish ill to anyone.
If any speak of the craft, say, "Speak not to me of such, it frightens
me, 'tis evil luck to speak of it."

 B.6. Of the Ordeal of the Art Magical (1953)

Learn of the spirit that goeth with burdens that have not honour, for
'tis the spirit that stoopeth the shoulders and not the weight.  Armour
is heavy, yet it is a proud burden and a man standeth upright in it.
Limiting and constraining any of the senses serves to increase the
concentration of another.  Shutting the eyes aids the hearing.  So the
binding of the initiate's hands increases the mental perception, while
the scourge increaseth the inner vision.  So the initiate goeth through
it proudly, like a princess, knowing it but serves to increase her
glory. But this can only be done by the aid of another intelligence and
in a circle, to prevent the power thus generated being lost.  Priests
attempt to do the same with their scourgings and mortifications of the
flesh.  But lacking the aid of bonds and their attention being
distracted by their scourging themselves and what little power they do
produce being dissipated, as they do not usually work within a circle,
it is little wonder that they oft fail.  Monks and hermits do better, as
they are apt to work in tiny cells and coves, which in some way act as
circles.  The Knights of the Temple, who used mutually to scourge each
other in an octagon, did better still; but they apparently did not know
the virtue of bonds and did evil, man to man. But perhaps some did know?
What of the Church's charge that they wore girdles or cords?

 B.7.  The Eightfold Way. (1953)

Eightfold Path or Ways to the Centre.

1 Meditation or Concentration.  This in practice means forming a mental
image of what is desired, and forcing yourself to see that it is
fulfilled, with the fierce belief and knowledge that it can and will be
fulfilled, and that you will go on willing till you force it to be
fulfilled.  Called for short, "Intent"

2 Trance, projection of the Astral.

3 Rites, Chants, Spells, Runes, Charms, etc.

4 Incense, Drugs, Wine, etc., whatever is used to release the Spirit.
(Note. One must be very careful about this.  Incense is usually
harmless, but you must be careful.  If it has bad aftereffects, reduce
the amount used, or the duration of the time it is inhaled.  Drugs are
very dangerous if taken to excess, but it must be remembered that there
are drugs that are absolutely harmless, though people talk of them with
bated breath, but Hemp is especially dangerous, because it unlocks the
inner eye swiftly an d easily, so one is tempted to use it more and
more.  If it is used at all, it must be with the strictest precautions,

to see that the person who uses it has no control over the supply.  This
should be doled out by some responsible person, and the supply strictly

5 The Dance, and kindred practices.

6 Blood control (the Cords), Breath Control, and kindred practices.

7 The Scourge.

8 The Great Rite.

These are all the ways.  You may combine many of them into the one
experiment, the more the better.  

The Five Essentials:

1. The most important is "Intention": you must know that you can and
will succeed; it is essential in every operation.

2. Preparation. (You must be properly prepared according to the rules of
the Art; otherwise you will never succeed.)

3. The Circle must be properly formed and purified.

4. You all must be properly purified, several times if necessary, and
this purification should be repeated several times during the rite.

5. You must have properly consecrated tools.

These five essentials and Eight Paths or Ways cannot all be combined in
one rite.  Meditation and dancing do not combine well, but forming the
mental image and the dance may be well combined with Chants.  Spells,
etc., combined with scourging and No. 6, followed by No. 8, form a
splendid combination.  Meditation, following scourging, combined with
Nos. 3 and 4 and 5, are also very Good. For short cuts concentration,
Nos. 5, 6, 7, and 8 are excellent.

 B.8. To Gain the Sight (1953)

[1] This cometh to different people in diverse ways. 'Tis seldom it
cometh naturally, but it can be induced in many ways.  Deep and
prolonged meditation may do it, but only if you be a natural, and
usually prolonged fasting was also necessary.  Of old monks and nuns
obtained visions by long vigils, combined with fasting, flagellation
till the blood came, and other mortifications of the flesh, and so
undoubtedly had visions.  In the East it is tried with various tortures,
at the same time sitting in cramped postures, which retard the flow of
blood, and these torments, long and continued, give good results.  But
in the Art we are taught an easier way to intensify the imagination, at
the same time controlling the blood supply, and this may best be done by
using the ritual.

[2] Incense is also good to propitiate the Spirits, but also to induce
 relaxation and to help to build up the atmosphere which is neces-sary
 to suggestibility. (For our human eyes are so blind to what really is,
 that it is often necessary to suggest that it is there, before we may
 see it, as we may point out to another something at a distance before

 they may see it themselves.  Gum mastic, aromatic rush roots, cinnamon
 bark, musk, juniper, sandalwood, and ambergris in combination are all
 good, but patchouli is best of all.  And if you may have hemp, 'tis
 better still, but be very careful of this.

[3] The circle being formed, all properly prepared, and the Rites done,
and all purified, the aspirant should warlock and take his tutor round
the circle, saluting the Mighty Ones, and invoke them to aid the
operation.  Then both dance round till giddy, invoking or using chants.
Scourge.  Then the Tutor should warlock very tightly, but not so to
cause discomfort, but enough to retard the blood slightly.  Again they
should dance round, chanting, then scourge with light, steady,
monotonous, slow strokes.  lt is very good that the pupil may see them
coming (this may be arranged from position, or if a big mirror is
available, this can be used with excellent effect) as this has the
effect of passes, and helps greatly to stimulate the imagination, and it
is important that they be not hard, the object being not to do more than
draw the blood to that part and so away from the brain.  This with the
tight warlocking, which should be warricked, slows down the circulation
of the blood, and t he passes soon induce a drowsi ness and a stupor.
The tutor should watch for this.  As soon as the aspirant sleeps, the
scourging should cease.  The tutor should also watch that the pupil
become not cold, and if they struggle or become distressed, they should
be at once awakened.  (Note: if it cannot be arranged for the pupil to
see, the wand may be used, for a time, then return to scourging.)

[4] Do not be discouraged if no results come after two or three
attempts.  It will come, when both are in the right state.  When you get
some result, then results will come more quickly.  Soon some of the
ritual may be shortened, but never neglect to invoke the Goddess, and
the Mighty Ones, or to form the Circle and do everything rightly.  And
for good and clear results, it is ever better to do too much ritual than
too little.

[5] It hath been found that this practice doth often cause a fondness
between aspirant and tutor, and 'tis a cause of better results if this
be so.  If for any reason it is undesirable that there be any great
fondness between aspirant and tutor, this may be easily avoided, by both
parties from the onset firmly resolving in their minds that if any doth
ensue, it shall be that of brother and sister or parent and child.  And
it is for this reason that a man may only be taught by a woman and a
woman by a man, a nd that man and man, and woman and woman, should never
attempt these practices together. And may all the Curses of the Mighty
Ones be on any who make the attempt.*

[6] Remember, the Circle, properly constructed, is ever necessary to
prevent the power released from being dissipated.  It is also a barrier
against any disturbances of mischievous forces, for to obtain good
results you must be free from all disturbances.  Remember that darkness,
points of light gleaming amid the surrounding dark, incense, and the
steady passes by a white arm are not stage effects. They are the
mechanical implements which start the suggestions, which later unlocks
the knowledge that it is p ossible to obtain the divine ecstasy, and so
attain knowledge and communion with the Divine Goddess.  When once you
have attained this, Ritual is not needed, as you may attain the state of
ecstasy at will, but till then, or if you having attained this yourself,
and wish to bring a companion to this state of joy, ritual is best.


 B.9.  Power (1953)

Power is latent in the body and may be drawn out and used in various
ways by the skilled.  But unless confined in a circle it will be swiftly
dissipated.  Hence the importance of a properly constructed circle.
Power seems to exude from the body via the skin and possibly from the
orifices of the body; hence you should be properly prepared.  The
slightest dirt spoils everything, which shows the importance of thorough
cleanliness. The attitude of mind has great effect, so only work with a
spirit of reverence.  A little wine taken and repeated during the
ceremony, if necessary, helps to produce power.  Other strong drinks or
drugs may be used, but it is necessary to be very moderate, for if you
are confused, even slightly, you cannot control the power you evoke. The
simplest way is by dancing and singing monotonous chants, slowly at
first and gradually quickening the tempo until giddiness ensues.  Then
the calls may be used, or even wild and meaningless shrieking produces
power.  But this method inflames the mind and renders it difficult to
control the power, though control may be gained through practice.  The
scourge is a far better way, for it stimulates and excites both body and
soul, yet one e asily retains control. The Great Rite is far the best.
It releases enormous power, but the conditions and circumstances make it
difficult for the mind to maintain control at first.  It is again a
matter of practice and the natural strength of the operator's will and,
in a lesser degree, of those of his assistants.  If, as of old, there
were many trained assistants present and all wills properly attuned,
wonders occurred. Sorcerors chiefly used the blood sacrifice; and while
we hold this to be evil, we cannot deny that this method is very
efficient.  Power flashes forth from newly shed blood, instead of
exuding slowly as by our method.  The victim's terror and anguish add
keenness, and even quite a small animal can yield enormous power.  The
great difficulty is in the human mind controlling the power of the lower
animal mind.  But sorcerers claim they have methods for effecting this
and that the difficulty disappears the hig her the animal used, and when
the victim is human disappears entirely.  (The practice is an
abomination but it is so.) Priests know this well; and by their
auto-da-fs, with the victims' pain and terror (the fires acting much the
same as circles), obtained much power. Of old the Flagellants certainly
evoked power, but through not being confined in a circle much was lost.
The amount of power raised was so great and continuous that anyone with
knowledge could direct and use it; and it is most probable that the
classical and heathen sacrifices were used in the same way.  There are
whispers that when the human victim was a willing sacrifice, with his
mind directed on the Great Work and with highly skilled assistants,
wonders ensued  bu t of this I would not speak.

 B.10. Properly Prepared. (1953)

Naked, but sandals (not shoes) may be worn.  For initiation, tie hands
behind back, pull up to small of back, and tie ends in front of throat,
leaving a cable-tow to lead by, hanging down in front.  (Arms thus form
a triangle at back.)  When initiate is kneeling at altar, the cable-tow
is tied to a ring in the altar.  A short cord is tied like a garter
round the initiate's left leg above the knee, with ends tucked in.
Another is tied round right ankle and ends tucked in so as to be out of
the way while mov ing about.  These cords are used to tie feet together
while initiate is kneeling at the altar and must be long enough to do
this firmly.  Knees must also be firmly tied.  This must be carefully
done.  If the aspirant complains of pain, the bonds must be loosened

slightly; always remember the object is to retard the blood flow enough
to induce a trance state.  This involves slight discomfort, but great
discomfort prevents the trance state; so it is best to spend some little
time loosening a nd tightening the bonds until they are just right.  The
aspirant alone can tell you when this is so.  This, of course, does not
apply to the initiation, as then no trance is desired; but for the
purpose of ritual it is good that the initiates be bound firmly enough
to feel they are absolutely helpless but without discomfort.

B.11.  The Meeting Dance. (1953)

The Maiden should lead.  A man should place both hands on her waist,
standing behind her, and alternate men and women should do the same, the
Maiden leading and they dance following her.  She at last leads them
into a right-hand spiral.  When the center is reached (and this had
better be marked by a stone), she suddenly turns and dances back,
kissing each man as she comes to him.  All men and women turn likewise
and dance back, men kissing girls and girls kissing men.  All in time to
music, it is a merry ga me, but must be practices to be done well.
Note, the musicians should watch the dancers and make the music fast or
slow as is best.  For the beginners it should be slow, or there will be
confusion.  It is most excellent to get people to know each other at big

 B.12. To Leave the Body. (1953)

 'Tis not wise to strive to get out of your body until you have
 thoroughly gained the Sight.  The same ritual as to gain the Sight may
 be used, but have a comfortable couch.  Kneel so that you have your
 thigh, belly, and chest well supported, the arms strained forward and
 bound one on each side, so that there is a decided feeling of being
 pulled forward.  As the trance is induced, you should feel a striving
 to push yourself out of the top of your head.  The scourge should be
 given a dragging action, as if to drive or drag you out.  Both wills
 should be thoroughly in tune, keeping a constant and equal strain.
 When trance comes, your tutor may help you by softly calling your name.
 You will probably feel yourself drawn out of your body as if through a
 narrow opening, and find yourself standing beside your tutor, looking
 at the body on the couch.  Strive to communicate with your tutor first;
 if they have the Sight they will probably see you.  Go not far afield
 at first, and 'ti s better to have one who is used to leaving the body
 with you. A note: When, having succeeded in leaving the body, you
 desire to return, in order to cause the spirit body and the material
 body to coincide, THINK OF YOUR FEET.  This will cause the return to
 take place.

 B.13. The Working Tools (1953)

 There are no magical supply shops, so unless you are lucky enough to be
 given or sold tools, a poor witch must extemporize.  But when made you
 should be able to borrow or obtain an Athame.  So having made your
 circle, erect an altar.  Any small table or chest will do.  There must
 be fire on it (a candle will suffice) and your book.  For good results
 incense is best if you can get it, but coals in a chafing dish burning
 sweet-smelling herbs will do.  A cup if you would have cakes and wine,
 and a platter with the signs drawn into the same in ink, showing a
 pentacle.  A scourge is easily made (note, the scourge has eight tails
 and five knots in each tail).  Get a white-hilted knife and a wand (a

 sword is not necessary).  Cut the marks with Athame.  Purify
 everything, then consecrate your tools in proper form and ever be
 properly prepared.  But ever remember, magical operations are useless
 unless the mind can be brought to the proper attitude, keyed to the
 utmost pitch. Affirmations must be made clearly, and the mind should be
 inflamed with desire.  With this frenzy of will, you may do as much
 with simple tools as with the most complete set.  But good and
 especially ancient tools have their own aura.  They do help to bring
 about that reverential spirit, the desire to learn and develop your
 powers.  For this reason witches ever try to obtain tools from
 sorcerers, who, being skilled men, make good tools and consecrate them
 well, giving them mighty power.  But a great witch's tools also gain
 much power; and you should ever strive to make any tools you
 manufacture of the finest materials you can obtain, to the end that
 they may absorb your power the more easily.  And of course if you may
 inherit or obtain another witch's tools, power will flow from them. It
 is an old belief that the best substances for making tools are those
 that have once had life in them, as opposed to artificial substances.
 Thus wood or ivory is better for a wand than metal, which is more
 appropriate for knives or swords.  Virgin parchment is better than
 manufactured paper for talismans, etc.  And things which have been made
 by hand are good, because there is life in them.

 B.14. Skyclad (1953)

 It is important to work naked from the start, so it becometh as second
nature, and no thought of "I have no clothes" shall ever intrude and
take your attention from the work.  Also, your skin being so accustomed
to unconfinement, when power is given off the flow is more easy and
regular.  Also, when dancing you are free and unconfined. . . . And the
greatest of all, the touch of the body of your beloved thrills your
inmost soul, and so your body gives out its utmost power; and then it is
most important of all that there is not the slightest thing to divert
the attention, for then the mind must seize and mold the power
generated, and redirect it to the desired end with all the force and
frenzy of the imagination. It has been said that no real knowledge may
be gained our way, that our practices are such that they can only lead
to lust; but this is not really so.  Our aim is to gain the inner sight,
and we do it the most natural and easy way.  Our opponents' aim is ever
to prevent man and woman from loving, thinking that everything that
helps or even permits them to love is wicked and vile.  To us it is
natural, and if it aids the Great Work it is good. 'Tis true that a
couple burning with a frenzy for knowledge may go straight to their
goal, but the average couple have not this fire.  We show them the way,
our system of props and aids (i.e., magic ritual).  A couple working
with nothing but lust will never attain in any case; but a couple who
love each other dearly should already be sleeping together, and the
first frenzy of love will have passed, and their souls will already be
in sympathy.  If the first time or two they do stay a while to worship
Aphrod ite, 'tis only a day or two lost, and the intense pleasure they
obtain only leads them again to the mysteries of Hermes, their souls
more attuned to the great search.  Once they have pierced the veil they
will not look back. This rite may be used as the greatest of magics if
it be done with both partners firmly fixing their minds on the object
and not thinking of sex at all.  That is, you must so firmly fix your
mind on your object that sex and all else are naught.  You inflame your
will to such an extent that you may create a strain on the astral such
that events happen.

 C.1.  A Revision of the Casting Procedure (1957)


[1] Magus consecrates salt and water.

[2] High Priestess kneels at Altar, takes up Sword, says, "I conjure
thee, O Sword of Steel, to serve me as a defence in all Magical
Operations.  Guard me at all times against mine enemies, both visible
and invisible.  Grant that I may obtain what I desire in all things
wherein I may use Thee, Wherefore do I bless Thee and invoke Thee in the
names of Aradia and Cernunnos."  Gives Sword to Magus.

[3] Magus kneeling hands her vessel of consecrated Water and
Aspergillum.  He Casts the Circle, three circles, on the lines marked
out, starting at the East and returning to the East.  High Priestess
follows, Asperging Circle (sprinkling it to purify it) and all present
and finally herself.  Then she goes round again censing it.  (Everyone
in the circle must be sprinkled and censed.)  She returns vessel, etc.,
to Magus, who places them on altar, or convenient place, and hands her
Sword [handwritten].

[4] She walks slowly round Circle, saying, "I conjure Thee, O Circle of
Space, that thou be a Boundary and a Protection and a meeting place
between the world of Men and that of the Dread Lords of the OUTER
SPACES, that Thou be cleansed, Purified, and strengthened to be a
Guardian and a Protection that shall preserve and contain THAT POWER
which we so earnestly desire to raise within thy bounds this night,
wherefore do I bless thee and entreat thee to aid me in the endeavor, in
the names of Aradia and Cernun nos." Hands sword to Magus [handwritten].

[5] Magus then summons the Mighty Ones as usual.

[6] High Priestess stands in front of Altar (which may be pushed back
for this).  High Priestess assumes Goddess position (arms crossed).
Magus kneeling in front of her, draws pentacle on her body with
Phallus-headed Wand, Invokes (Drawing down the Moon), "I Invoke and
beseech Thee, O mighty MOTHER of all life and fertility.  `By seed and
root, by stem and bud, by leaf and flower and fruit, by Life and Love,
do I invoke Thee' to descend into the body of thy servant and High
Priestess (name)." (The Moon hav ing been drawn down, i.e., link
established, Magus and all male officers give fivefold kiss; all others

[7] High Priestess in Goddess position says, arms crossed,

"Mother, Darksome and Divine,Mine the Scourge and Mine the Kiss,The
Five-point Star of Love and Bliss; Here I charge ye in this Sign. (Opens
out Arms to pentacle position)

Bow before my Spirit bright                     (All bow)
Aphrodite, Arianrhod,Lover of the Horned God,
Queen of Witchery and Night.

Diana, Brigid, Melusine,
     Am I named of old by men,
     Artemis and Cerridwen,
Hell's dark mistress, Heaven's Queen.

Ye who ask of me a boon,
     Meet ye in some hidden shade,
     Lead my dance in greenwood glade
By the light of the full moon.

Dance about mine altar stone,
     Work my holy magistry,
     Ye who are fain of sorcery,
I bring ye secrets yet unknown.

No more shall ye know slavery
     who tread my round the Sabbat night.
     Come ye all naked to the rite
In sign that ye are truly free.

Keep ye my mysteries in mirth,
     Heart joined to heart and lip to lip.
     Five are the points of fellowship
That bring ye ecstasy on Earth.

No other law but love I know;
     By naught but love may I be known,
     And all that liveth is my own:
From me they come, to me they go.

 C.2.  The Prose Charge (1957)

THE CHARGE, to be read while the initiate stands, properly prepared
before the Circle.

[Magus]: Listen to the words of the Great mother, who was of old also
called among men, Artemis, Astarte, Dione, Melusine, Aphrodite,
Cerridwen, Diana, Arianrhod, Bride, and by many other names.

[High Priestess]: "At mine Altars the youth of Lacedaemon in Sparta made
due sacrifice. Whenever ye have need of anything, once in the month, and
better it be when the moon is full. Then ye shall assemble in some
secret place and adore the spirit of Me who am Queen of all Witcheries.
There ye shall assemble, ye who are fain to learn all sorcery, yet who
have not won its deepest secrets.  To these will I teach things that are
yet unknown. And ye shall be free from slavery, and as a sign that ye be
really fre e, ye shall be naked in your rites, and ye shall dance, sing,
feast, make music, and love, all in my praise.' "For mine is the ecstasy
of the Spirit, and mine is also joy on earth.  For my Law is Love unto
all beings. "Keep pure your highest ideals.  Strive ever towards it.
Let naught stop you or turn you aside. "For mine is the secret which
opens upon the door of youth; and mine is the cup of the Wine of Life:
and the Cauldron of Cerridwen, which is the Holy Grail of Immortality.
"I am the Gracious Goddess who gives the gift of Joy unto the heart of
Man. "Upon Earth I give the knowledge of the Spirit Eternal, and beyond
death I give peace and freedom, and reunion with those who have gone
before.  Nor do I demand aught in sacrifice, for behold, I am the Mother
of all things, and my love is poured out upon earth."

[Magus]: Hear ye the words of the Star Goddess, She in the dust of whose
feet are the hosts of Heaven, whose body encircleth the universe.

[High Priestess]: "I who am the beauty of the green earth; and the White

Moon amongst the Stars; and the mystery of the Waters; and the desire of
the heart of man. I call unto thy soul: arise and come unto me. "For I
am the Soul of nature who giveth life to the Universe; `From me all
things proceed; and unto me, all things must return.'  Beloved of the
Gods and men, thine inmost divine self shall be enfolded in the raptures
of the infinite. "Let my worship be within the heart that rejoiceth, for
behold: all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals;  and therefore let
there be Beauty and Strength, Power and Compassion, Honour and Humility,
Mirth and reverence within you. "And thou who thinkest to seek me, know
that thy seeking and yearning shall avail thee not unless thou know the
mystery, that if that which thou seekest thou findest not within thee,
thou wilt never find it without thee, for behold; I have been with thee
from the beginning, and I am that which is attained at the end of

 C.3. CAKES AND WINE. (1957)

High Priestess seated on Altar, God position.

Magus, kneeling, kisses her feet, then knees, bows with head below her
knees, extends arms along her thighs, and adores.

Magus fills cup and offers it to High Priestess, who, holding Athame
between palms, places point in cup.

Magus says: "As the Athame is the male, so the cup is the female, and
conjoined they bring blessedness."

High Priestess lays Athame aside, and takes Cup and drinks, gives Cup to
server, who puts a little in each glass.

Magus presents Pentacle with cakes to High Priestess, saying, "Oh Queen
most secret, bless this food unto our bodies, bestowing health, wealth,
strength, joy and peace, and that fulfillment of love that is perpetual

High Priestess blesses them with Athame, takes Cake and eats, while the
Magus gives her the Cup again and kisses knees and adores.

All sit as Witches, and invite High Priestess to join them.

 C.4.  The Sabbat Rituals (1957)

 Spring equinox

The symbol of the wheel should be placed on the altar upright, decked
with flowers, flanked with burning candles.  The Cauldron, containing
spirits, is in the east.  Magus in west,  High Priestess in east with
Phallic wand or pinecone-tipped wand, or broomstick, or riding pole,
broom upwards.  
High Priestess lights Cauldron, saying,

"We kindle fire this day!
In the presence of the Holy Ones:Without malice, without jealousy,
without envy.
Without fear of aught beneath the sun.But the High Gods.

Thee we invoke: O light of life:Be thou a bright flame before us:

Be thou a guiding star above us:Be thou a smooth path beneath us;

Kindle thou in our hearts within,A flame of love for our neighbor, To
our foes, to our friends, to our kindred all:To all men on this broad

O merciful son of Cerridwen, From the lowest thing that liveth
To the name that is highest of all."

High Priestess draw pentacle upon Magus with wand, kiss, gives it to
him.  He does likewise.  They lead the dance round the circle, all
couples leaping burning fire.  The last couple as the fire goes out
should be well-purified three times, and each should give Fivefold Kiss
to all of opposite sex.

Cakes and wine.

If the people will, the Cauldron dance can be done again, many times, or
other games can be played.

 Summer Solstice

Form circle.  Invoke,  Purify.  Cauldron is placed before altar filled
with water, wreathed with summer flowers.  The people, men and women
alternately, stand round circle. High Priestess stands in north, before
Cauldron, holding raised wand, which should be Phallic or tipped with a
pinecone (anciently the thyrsus) or a riding pole or a broomstick,
invokes the sun.

 "Great One of Heaven, Power of the Sun, we invoke thee in thine ancient
names, Michael, Balin, Arthur, Lugh, Herne.  Come again, as of old, into
this thy land.  Lift up thy shining spear of light to protect us.  Put
to flight the powers of darkness, give us fair woodlands and green
fields, blossoming orchards and r ipening corn. Bring us to stand upon
thy hill of vision, and show us the path to the lovely realms of the

High Priestess draws invoking pentacle on Magus with wand.

Magus comes forward sunwise and takes wand with kiss, plunges wand into
Cauldron and holds it upright, saying, "The spear to the Cauldron, the
lance to the Grail, spirit to flesh, man to woman, sun to earth." He
salutes High Priestess over Cauldron, then rejoins people, still bearing

High Priestess takes aspergillum, stands by Cauldron, says, "Dance ye
about the Cauldron of Cerridwen the Goddess, and be ye blessed with the
touch of this consecrated water, even as the sun, the lord of light,
arriveth in his strength in the sign of the waters of life."

The people dance sunwise about the altar and Cauldron, led by Magus
bearing wand.  High Priestess sprinkles them lightly as they pass her.

Ritual of cakes and wine.

Any other dances, rites, or games as the Priestess and people wish.

Autumn equinox

The altar should be decorated with symbols of autumn, pine cones, oak
sprigs, acorns, or ears of corn, and should have fire or burning incense
on it as usual.  After usual purification, the people stand round, men
and women alternately.  Magus at west of altar in God position.

High Priestess stands at east of altar, facing him, and reads the

"Farewell, O Sun, ever returning light. The hidden god, who ever yet
remains.  He departs to the land of youth, through the gates of death,
to dwell enthroned, the judge of gods and man.  The horned leader of the
hosts of air.  Yet, even as stand unseen about the circle the forms of
the Mighty Lords of the Outer Spaces,. So dwelleth he, `the lord within
ourselves'.  So dwelleth he within the secret seed, the seed of new
reaped grain, the seed of flesh, hidden in the earth, the marvellous
seed of the stars. 

 `In him is life, and life is the light of men [John 1:4],' that which
 was never born and never dies.  Therefore the Wicca weep not, but

The High Priestess goes to the Magus with a kiss.  He lays aside Athame
and scourge, and kisses her.  The High Priestess hands him her wand,
which should be Phallic, or a branch tipped with a pinecone, Or a riding
pole, or a broomstick (anciently the thyrsus).  They lead the dance, she
with a systrum or rattle, he with wand, the people falling in behind
them, dancing three times round the altar.  Then the candle game is

Cakes and wine.

Great Rite if possible.

Dances and games.

 Winter Solstice

Form circle in usual manner, invoking the Mighty Ones.

The Cauldron of Cerridwen is placed in the circle at the south wreathed
with holly, ivy, and mistletoe, with fire lighted within it.  There
should be no other light except for the candles on the altar and about
the circle.

After all are purified, the Moon should be drawn down.

Then the High Priestess stands behind the Cauldron in pentacle position,
symbolizing the rebirth of the sun.  The people, man and woman
alternately, stand round the circle.  The Magus stands facing the High
Priestess with a bundle of torches, or candles, and the book of words of
the incantation.  One of the officers stands beside him with a lighted
candle, so that he may have light to read by.

The people begin to slowly move round the circle sunwise.  As each
passes him the Magus lights his candle or torch from the fire in the
Cauldron, which may be simply a candle, till all have lighted candles or
torches.  Then the people dance round slowly as he reads the

incantation.  (A real fire must now be kindled in the Cauldron.)

Queen of the Moon, Queen of the Sun. Queen of the Heavens, Queen of the

Queen of the Waters, Queen of the Earth. Who ordained to us the child of

It is the Great Mother who gives birth to him, He is the Lord of Life
who is born again, Darkness and tears are set behind,And the star of
guidance comes up early.

Golden sun of hill and mountain illumine the land, illumine the world,
illumine the seas, illumine the rivers,Grief be laid, and joy be raised.

Blessed be the Great Mother, Without beginning, without ending, To
everlasting, to eternity, I O. Evohe, Blessed be."

The dance commences slowly, in rhythm with the chant, all taking up the
call "I. O. Blessed be."  The Priestess joins dance and leads them with
a quicker rhythm.  The cauldron with burning fire is pushed so that the
dancers leap or step over it, in couples.  Whichever couple is passing
it as it goes out, should be well-purified, three times each, and may
pay any amusing forfeit as the High Priestess may ordain.  Sometimes the
cauldron is relighted several times for this purpose.

 C.5 The Eightfold Path or Ways. (1957)

1. Meditation or concentration, actually by the firm knowledge that you
can and will succeed -- forming a clear picture in your mind or your

2. Trance states, Clairvoyance, Projection of the Astral etc.

3. Drugs, Wine, Incense.

4. Dance, Performing Rites with a purpose.

5. Chants, Spells etc.

6. Blood control (Cords etc), Breath control.

7. Scourge

8. The Great Rite


The great thing is to combine as many of these paths into the one
operation.  No 1 must be in all -- for if you have no clear picture of
what you wish and no certainty you will not succeed -- 'tis useless.  No
2 can be combined with this easily.  Nos 3, 4, and 5 are all good
preliminaries- also 6 and 7; but No 3 is dangerous and therefore if
possible should be avoided, except for incense, which is harmless if too
much is not used.

The best combination is Nos. 1, 4, 5 and 7, for small purposes, with no
8 if great force is necessary.  Also a combination of 1, 6 and 7 is good

if more can not be done; this if properly performed leads to No. 2.

 C.6.  The First-Degree Initiation (1957)

Draw Circle with Magic Sword or Athame.

Sprinkle with Exorcised Water.

Go round Circle with Magic Sword or Athame, Saying, "I conjure thee, O
Circle of Power, that thou beest as a Boundary and a Protection to
contain the magic power which I will raise within thy bounds.  So do I
bless thee, in the names of Aradia and Cernunnos."

Go round, saying at East, South, West, and North, "I summon, stir, and
call thee up, ye Mighty Ones of the East (South, West, North), to
witness the rites and to guard the circle."

Magus draws down Moon on High Priestess.

Read Charge, then say, "O thou who standest on the threshold between the
pleasant world of men and the dread domains of the lords of the outer
spaces, hast thou the courage to make the assay?" (Place point of the
Magic Sword or Athame to Postulant's heart.) "For I say verily it were
better to rush on my blade and perish than to make the attempt with fear
in thy heart."

Postulant: "I have two perfect words: perfect love, and perfect trust."

Say, "All who have are doubly welcome."

Entering position: "I give you a third to pass you through this dread
door."  Gives it [kiss].

Lead Postulant sunwise to south of altar, and say, "O thou who hast
declared intent to become one of us, hear then that which thou must know
to do.  Single is the race of men and of Gods; from a single source we
both draw breath, but a difference of power in everything keeps us
apart, for we are as nothing, but the Gods stay forever.  Yet we can, in
greatness of minds, be like the Gods, though we know not to what goal by
day or in the night Fate has written that we shall run.  Beyond all seas
and Earth's la st boundaries, beyond the Spring of night and the
Heavens' vast expanse, there lies a majesty which is the domain of the
Gods.  Thou who would pass through the Gates of Night and Day to that
sweet place, which is between the worlds of men and the domains of the
Lords of the outer spaces, know that unless there is truth in thy heart,
thy every effort is doomed to failure.  HEAR THEN THE LAW: that thou
lovest all things in nature; that thou shalt suffer no person to be
harmed by thy hands or in thy mind; that thou walkest humbly in the ways
of men and the ways of the Gods.  Also it is the law that contentment
thou shalt learn, through suffering, and from long years and from
nobility of mind and of purpose, FOR THE WISE NEVER GROW OLD.  Their
minds are nourished by living in the daylight of the Gods, and if among
the vulgar some discoveries should arise concerning some maxims of thy
belief in the Gods, so do thou, for the most part, keep silent.  For
there is a great risk that thou mayest straightway vomit up th at which
thou hast not digested, and when someone shall say to thee, "Thou
knowest naught," and it bites thee not, then knowest thou that thou hast
begun the work. And as sheep do not bring their food to the shepherd to

show how much they have eaten, but digesting inwardly their provender,
bear outwardly wool and milk, even so, do not thou display the maxims to
the vulgar, but rather the works that flow when they are digested.  Now
there is the ordeal." [This speech was added after about 1960.]

Tie cord around Postulant's right ankle, leaving ends free; say, "Feet
neither bound nor free."

Leading postulant, proclaim at four quarters, "Take heed, ye Lords of
the Watchtowers of the East (South, West, North), that (name) is
properly prepared to be made a priestess and a witch."

Three times round the Circle with Dance step and chant.

Place Postulant in East; say, "Kneel."

Postulant kneels.

Strike eleven knells on bell; say, "Rise. In other religions the
postulant kneels while the priest towers above him, but in the Art
Magical we are taught to be humble, and so we kneel to welcome them, and
we say:

"Blessed be the feet that have brought you in these ways [kiss];

"Blessed be the knees that shall kneel at the sacred altar [kiss];

"Blessed be thy womb (or organ of generation), without which we would
not be [kiss];

"Blessed be thy breasts, erected in beauty and in strength [kiss];

"Blessed be thy lips, which shall utter the sacred names [kiss].

"Before ye are sworn, art willing to pass the ordeal and be purified?"

Postulant "I am."

Take measure: height (tie knot); around head (tie knot); around heart
(tie knot); around hips (tie knot).  Prick postulant's thumb; catch
blood on measure. Place measure on altar.  Have postulant kneel, tie
postulant's feet together, and secure cable tow to altar.  Three strokes
on bell.  Say, "Art ready to swear that thou wilt always be true to the

Postulant "I am."

Strike seven times on bell and say, "Thou must first be purified."
Scourge 3, 7, 9, 21.

Say, "Ye have bravely passed the test.  Art always ready to help,
protect, and defend thy brothers and sisters of the Art?"

Postulant "I am."

"Then say after me:  I, (name), in the presence of the mighty ones of
the outer spaces, do of my own free will most solemnly swear that I will
ever keep secret and never reveal the secrets of the Art, except it be

to a proper person, properly prepared, within such a circle as I am in
now, and that I will never deny the Secrets to such a person if they be
vouched for by a brother or Sister of the Art.  All this I swear by my
hopes of a future life, and may my weapons turn against me if I break
this my solemn oath."

Loosen cords from ankles and from altar, and remove blindfold; assist to

 "I hereby sign thee with the triple sign [the point-down triangle
 formed by touching the genitals, the right breast, the left breast, and
 the genitals again.] I consecrate thee with oil. I consecrate thee with
 wine. I consecrate thee with my lips, Priest (Priestess) and Witch."

 Remove Cords [kiss].

 "I now present to you the working tools.  First the magic sword.  With
 this, as with the athame, thou canst form all magic circles, dominate,
 subdue, and punish all rebellious spirits and demons, and even persuade
 angels and good spirits.  With this in your hand, you are ruler of the
 circle." [kiss]

 "Next I present to you the athame.  This is the true witches' weapon,
 and has all the powers of the magic sword." [kiss]

 "Next I present the white-handled knife.  Its use is to form all
 instruments used in the Art.  It can only be used in a magic circle."

 "Next I present the wand.  Its use is to call up and control certain
 angels and genie to whom it would not be meet to use the sword or
 athame." [kiss]

 "Next I present the pentacle.  This is for the purpose of calling up
 the appropriate spirits." [kiss]

 "Next I present the censer of incense. This is used to encourage and
 welcome good spirits, and to banish evil spirits." [kiss]

 "Next I present the scourge.  This is a sign of power and domination.
 It is also used to cause purification and enlightenment, for it is
 written, `To learn you must suffer and be purified.' [kiss]

 Art willing to suffer to learn?"

 Postulant: "I am."

 "Next and lastly I present the cords.  They are of use to bind the
 sigils of the art, also the material basis.  Also they are necessary in
 the oath." [kiss]

 "I now salute you in the names of Aradia and Cernunnos, Newly made
 Priestess and Witch."

 Lead round and proclaim to four quarters, "Hear, ye Mighty Ones, (name)
 has been consecrated a priestess of the Goddess."

 Now present new Witch to coven members.  All should kiss and hug new

 Witch as welcome into membership.

 To close circle proclaim to four quarters, "Ye Mighty Ones of the East
 (South, West, North), I thank you for attending and, ere ye depart for
 your lovely realms, I say hail and farewell."

  C.7.  The Second-Degree Initiation (1957)

  Form Circle in usual manner, invoking the Mighty Ones at the Four
 Quarters.  The Initiate should be properly prepared and bound with the

 All are purified, including Initiate.

 Circle once, proclaiming at the Four Quarters: "Hear Ye Mighty Ones, .
 . . (N), a duly consecrated Priestess and Witch is now properly
 prepared to be made a High Priest and Magus (High Priestess and Witch

 Circle three times, with dance step and chant.

 Initiate then kneels before the Altar and is secured with the Cords.

 Priestess or Magus: "To attain to this sublime Degree it is necessary
 to suffer and be purified. Art willing to suffer to learn?"

 Initiate: "I am."

 Priestess or Magus: "I purify thee to take this great oath rightly".

 Strike three strokes upon the bell. Scourge 3, 7, 9, 21. "I now give
 thee a new name: . . ." [kiss]

 "Repeat thy new name after me, saying, `I, . . ., swear, upon my
 mother's womb and by mine honour among men and my brothers and sisters
 of the Art, that I will never reveal to any at all any of the secrets
 of the Art, except it be to a worthy person, properly prepared, in the
 center of a Magic Circle such as I am now in. This I swear by my hopes
 of salvation, my past lives and my hopes of future ones to come and I
 devote myself and my measure to utter destruction if I break this my
 solemn Oath.'"


 Place Left Hand under Initiate's Knee and Right Hand on Head, thus
 forming Magic Link, saying: "I will all my power into thee."


 Loose, assist to rise.

 Consecrate: "I consecrate thee with oil [on genitals, right breast,
 left hip, right hip, left breast, genitals), I consecrate thee with
 wine, I consecrate thee with my lips, High Priest and Magus (High
 Priestess and Witch Queen)." Loose remaining cords. [kiss]

 "You will now use the working tools in turn, "First the Magic Sword
 (Form Circle) [kiss]

 "Second the Athame. (Form Circle) [kiss]

 "Third the White-Handled Knife  (use) [kiss] "Fourth the Wand.  (Wave
 to 4 Quarters) [kiss]

 "Fifth the Pentacle. (Show to 4 Quarters) [kiss]

 "Sixth the Censer.  (Circle, cense) [kiss]

 "Seventh the Cords.  (Use) [kiss]

 "Eighth the scourge: for learn, in witchcraft you must ever give as you
 receive, but ever triple.  So where I gave thee 3, return 9; where I
 gave 7, return 21; where I gave 9, return 27; where I gave 21, return
 63." (Use, 9, 21, 27, 63; i.e., 120 in all [kiss])

 "Thou hast obeyed the law.  But mark well, when thou receivest good, so
 equally art bound to return good threefold."

 The Priestess or Magus is then loosed from the cords and says: "Having
 learned thus far, you must know why the Wicca are called the Hidden
 Children of the Goddess".

 Then the Legend of the Goddess is either read or acted out.  If it is
 possible to act it out, the new Initiate may take one of the parts.
 One of the Coven should act as Narrator, and another as Guardian of the
 Portal. The Priestess, or another woman, may act the part of the
 Goddess, and the Magus, or another man, may act the part of the God.
 The Priestess -- or whoever is taking the part of the Goddess -- takes
 off her necklace and lays it on the Altar.  Then she goes outside the
 circle and is dressed in a veil and jewellery.  The Magus -- or whoever
 is taking the part of the God -- is invested with a horned crown and
 girds on a sword, which he draws and stands in the God position with
 sword and scourge, by the altar.

Narrator: "In ancient times our Lord, the Horned One, was, as he still
is, the Consoler, the Comforter; but men knew him as the Dread Lord of
Shadows -- lonely, stern, and hard.  Now our Lady the Goddess had never
loved, but she would solve all mysteries, even the mystery of Death --
and so she journeyed to the Nether Lands. The Guardians of the Portals
challenged her:"

(The Priestess -- or whoever is taking the part of the Goddess  --
advances  to the side of the Circle. Whoever is taking the part of the
Guardian of the Portal challenges her with the Sword or Athame.)

Narrator: "`Strip off thy garments, lay aside thy jewels, for naught may
ye bring with ye into this our land'.  So she laid down her garments and
her jewels and was bound, as are all who enter the realms of Death the
Mighty One".

(The Priestess takes off the veil and the jewellery and lays them down
outside the Circle.  The Guardian of the Portal binds her with the Cords
and brings her inside the Circle.)

Narrator: "Such was her beauty that Death himself knelt and laid his
sword and crown at her feet and kissed her feet."


(The Magus -- or whoever is playing the part of the God -- comes forward
and lays the Horned Crown and the Sword at the Priestess's feet and
kisses her feet)

Narrator: "Saying, `Blessed be thy feet that have brought thee in these
ways.  Abide with me, but let me place my cold hand on thy heart'. And
she replied, `I love thee not. Why dost thou cause all things that I
love and take delight in to fade and die?' `Lady,' replied Death, `'Tis
Age and Fate, against which I am helpless.  Age causes all things to
wither; but when men die at the end of time, I give them rest and peace
and strength, so that they may return. But you, you are lovely. Return
not; abide with me.' But she answered, `I love thee not.'  Then said
Death, `An you receive not my hand on your heart, you must receive
Death's scourge.'"

(The Magus rises and takes up the Scourge from the Altar.)

Narrator:  "`It is fate, better so,' she said, and she knelt."

(The Priestess kneels before the altar, and the Magus uses the scourge
3, 7, 9, 21.)

Narrator:  "And Death scourged her tenderly, and she cried, `I feel the
pangs of love'. And Death raised her, and said, `Blessed be,' and he
gave her the Fivefold Kiss, saying, `Thus only may you attain to joy and

(The Magus raises the Priestess, gives her the Fivefold Kiss and unties
the cords)

Narrator: "And he taught her all the Mysteries and gave her the
necklace, which is the Circle of Rebirth."

(The Magus takes the Priestess's necklace from the Altar and replaces it
about her neck.  The Priestess takes up the Sword and the Horned Crown
from the floor, where the Magus placed them, and gives them back to him.
Then he stands as before by the Altar, in the position of the God, and
she stands by his side in the pentacle position, as Goddess)

Narrator: "And she taught him the mystery of the sacred cup, which is
the cauldron of rebirth.  They loved and were one; and he taught her all
the Magics.  For there be three great mysteries in the life of man --
love, death, and resurrection in a new body -- and magic controls them
all.  To fulfill love you must return at the same time and place as the
loved one, and you must meet and know and remember and love them again.
But to be reborn you must die and be ready for a new body; to die you
must be born; without love you may not be born -- and these be all the
magics.  And our Goddess ever inclineth to love and mirth and happiness,
and guardeth and cheriseth Her hidden children in life; and in death she
teacheth the way to have communion, and even in this world She teacheth
them the Mystery of the Magic Circle, which is placed between the

The Priestess or Magus then replaces the Sword, Crown, Scourge, etc.,
upon the Altar, and taking the new Initiate by the hand and holding the
Athame in the other, passes once round the Circle, proclaiming at the
Four Quarters, "Hear, Ye Mighty Ones, . . . hath been duly consecrated
High Priest and Magus (or High Priestess and Witch Queen)."

 C.8.  The Third-Degree Initiation (1957)

Magus gives Fivefold Kiss.

Magus: "Ere we proceed with this sublime degree, I must beg purification
at thy hands."

High Priestess binds Magus and ties him down to the altar.  She
circumambulates three times, and scourges Magus with three, seven, nine,
and 21 strokes.  She then unbinds him and helps him to his feet.

Magus now binds the High Priestess and ties her down to the altar. He
circumambulates, proclaiming to the four quarters, "Hear, ye mighty
Ones, the twice consecrate and Holy (name), High Priestess and Witch
Queen, is properly prepared and will now proceed to erect the Sacred

Magus scourges High Priestess with three, seven, nine, and 21 strokes.

Magus kisses her feet. "Ere I dare proceed with this sublime degree, I
must again beg purification at thy hands." 

She binds and scourges him.

Note: if High Priestess has not performed this rite before, he says,
"Here I reveal to you a great mystery."  [Kneel and place couch in
position so as to face north.]

     Assist me to build
               As the Mighty One willed,
     An Altar of praise,
               From beginning of days,
     Thus doth it lie,
               Twixt the points of the sky,
        For thus it was placed
                When the Goddess embraced
        The Horned One, Her Lord,
                Who taught her the word,

[Priestess lies down in such a way that her vagina is approximately at
the center of the circle]

        Which quickened the womb,
               And conquered the Tomb.
     Be thus as of yore,
               The Shrine we adore,     [kiss]
     The feast without fail,
               The life-giving Grail,   [kiss]
     Before it uprear
               The Miraculous Spear,
     And invoke in this sign
               The Goddess divine.       [kiss]

Invoke:   "Thou who at moon of night doth reign,
                              Queen of the starry realm above,
               `Not unto Thee may we attain
                              Unless Thine Image be of Love.'[kiss]


               By moon-rays silver shaft of power,
                              By green leaf breaking from the bud,
               By seed that springeth into flower,
                              By life that courseth in the blood.[kiss]

               By rushing wind and leaping flame,
                              By flowing water and green earth,
               Pour us the wine of our desire
                        From out Thy Cauldron of Rebirth.        [kiss]

               Here may we see in vision clear
                              The Secret Strange unveiled at length,
               The wondrous Twin-Pillars rear
                        Erect in Beauty and in Strength.       [kiss

                 Altar of Mysteries manifold,
                        The Sacred Circle's central point,
                  Thus do I sign thee as of old,
                        With kisses of my lips anoint.

(Eightfold Kiss: 3 points, Lips, 2 Breasts and back to lips, & 5
points*, with oil, wine, & kisses)

               Open for me the Secret Way,
                              The pathway of intelligence,
               Between the Gates of Night and Day,
                              Beyond the bounds of time and sense.

               Behold the Mystery aright,
                              The Five True Points of Fellowship,
               Here where the Lance and Grail unite,
                              And feet and knees and breast and lips."

Magus and High Priestess: "Encourage our hearts, Let thy Light
crystallize itself in our blood, fulfilling us of Resurrection, for
there is no part of us that is not of the Gods."

                (Exchange Names.)

 C.9.  The Witches' Chant or Rune (1957)

Darksome night and Shining Moon,
     East, then South, then West, then North,
Harken to the Witches Rune:
     Here come I to call thee forth.

Earth and Water, Air and Fire,
     Wand and Pentacle and Sword,
Work ye unto my desire,
     Harken ye unto my word.

Cords and Censer, Scourge and knife,
     Powers of the Witches Blade,
Waken all ye into life,
     Come ye as the Charm is made:

Queen of Heaven, Queen of Hell,

     Horned Hunter of the Night,
Lend your power unto the Spell,
     Work my will by Magic Rite.

If chant is used to reinforce a work already begun, end with this:

By all the power of land and sea, by all the might of moon and sun,

What is my will- "So mote it be,"What I do say- "It shall be done."

 C.10. Consecrating Tools (1957)

(Note: if possible lay any new weapon touching an already consecrated
one, Sword to sword, Athame to Athame, etc.)

[1] Prepare Circle and purify.  All tools must be consecrated by a man
and a woman, both as naked as drawn swords; they must be purified,
clean, and properly prepared.

[2] Place tool on pentacle on altar.  Magus sprinkles it with salt and
water.  Witch passes it through smoke of incense, replaces it on
pentacle.   Touching with already consecrated weapon, they say the First

[2a]  For sword or athame, say "I conjure thee, O Sword (or Athame) of
Steel, that thou servest me for a strength and a defence in all magical
operations, against all mine enemies, visible and invisible, in the
names of Aradia and Cernunnos.  I conjure thee anew by the Holy Names
Aradia and Cernunnos, that thou servest me for a protection in all
adversities, so aid me."

[2b]  For any other tool, say, "Aradia and Cernunnos, deign to bless and
to consecrate this [tool], that it may obtain necessary virtue through
thee for all acts of love and Beauty."

[3] Again they sprinkle and cense, and say the Second Conjuration:

[3a]  For sword or athame, say, "I conjure thee, O Sword [Athame] of
Steel, by the Great Gods and the Gentle Goddesses, by the virtue of the
Heavens, of the Stars, of the Spirits who preside over them, that thou
mayest receive such virtues that I may obtain the end that I desire in
all things wherein I shall use thee, by the power of Aradia and

[3b] For any other tool, say, "Aradia and Cernunnos, bless this
instrument prepared in thine honour."  (For the scourge or cords, add,
"That it may only serve for a good use and end, and to thy Glory.")

[4] All instruments when consecrated should be presented to their User
by giving the [point-down triangle] sign salute (if they are working in
the 1st degree, or the sign of the higher degree if they are working

[5] Then the one who is not the owner should give the Fivefold Kiss to
the owner.  For the final kiss, the tool should be placed between the
breasts, and the two workers should embrace for as long as they feel
like, it being held in place by their bodies.  The new owner should use
it immediately, i.e., cast (trace) Circle with Sword or Athame, wave

wand to 4 quarters, cut something with white-handled knife, etc.  Cords
and scourge should be used at once.

The tool should be kept in as close connection as possible to the naked
body for at least a month, i.e., kept under pillow, etc.  When not in
use, all tools and weapons should be put away in a secret place; and it
is good that this should be near your sleeping place, and that you
handle them each night before retiring.  Do not allow anyone to touch or
handle any of your tools until they are thoroughly impregnated with your
aura; say, six months or as near as possible.  But a couple working
together may own the same tools, which will be impregnated with the aura
of both.

 D.1 The Old Laws (1961)

[A] The Law was made and Aredan of old. The law was made for the Wicca,
to advise and help in their troubles. The Wicca should give due worship
to the Gods and obey their will, which they Aredan, for it was made for
the good of the Wicca, As the [5] Wicca's worship is good for the Gods,
For the Gods love the Wicca. As a man loveth a woman, by mastering her,
so the Wicca should love the Gods, by being mastered by them. And it is
necessary that the Circle, which is the Temple of the Gods, should be
truly cast and purified, that it [10] may be a fit place for the Gods to
enter. And the Wicca should be properly prepared and purified, to enter
into the presence of the Gods. With love and worship in their hearts
they shall raise power from their bodies to give power to the Gods, as
has been toughed us of old, [15] For in this way only may man have
communion with the Gods, for the Gods cannot help man without the help
of men.

[B] And the High Priestess shall rule her Coven as representative of the
Goddess, and the High Priest shall support her as the representative of
the God, And the High Priestess shall choose whom she [20] will, if he
have sufficient rank, to be her High Priest), For the God himself,
kissed her feet in the fivefold salute, laying his power at the feet of
the Goddess, because of her youth and beauty, her sweetness and
kindness, her wisdom and Justice, her humility and generosity.  So he
resigned his lordship to her. But the Priestess should [25] ever mind
that all power comes from him. lt is only lent when it is used wisely
and justly. And the greatest virtue of a High Priestess is that she
recognizes that youth is necessary to the representative of the Goddess,
so that she will retire gracefully in favour of a younger woman, Should
the Coven so decide in Council,  For the true [30] High Priestess
realizes that gracefully surrendering pride of place is one of the
greatest of virtues, and t hat thereby she will return to that pride of
place in another life, with greater power and beauty.

[C] In the days when Witchdom extended far, we were free and worshipped
in Alther Greatest Temples,  but in these unhappy times [35] we must
hold our sacred mysteries in secret. So it be Aredan, that none but the
Wicca may see our mysteries, for our enemies are many, And torture
looseth the tongues of many. It be aredan that each Coven shall not know
where the next Coven bide, or who its members are, save the Priest and
Priestess, [40] That there shall be no communication between them, save
by the Messenger of the Gods, or the Summoner. Only if it be safe, may
the Covens meet, in some safe place, for the great festivals. And while
there, none shall say whence they come, or give their true names, to the
end that, if any are tortured, in their agony, they can [45] not tell if

they know not.  So it be Aredan that no one may tell any not of the
Craft who be of the Wicca, nor give any names, or where they bide, or in
any way tell anything which can betray any to our foes, nor may they
tell where the Covenstead be, or where is the Covendom, [50] or where be
the meeting s or that there have been meetings. And if any break these
laws, even under torture, The Curse of the Goddess shall be upon them,
so they never reborn on earth, And may they remain where they belong, in
the Hell of the Christians.

[D] Let each High Priestess govern her Coven with Justice and [55] love,
with the help of the advice of the elders, always heeding the advice of
the Messenger of the Gods, if he cometh. She will heed all complaints of
brothers, and strive to settle all differences among them, but it must
be recognized that there be people who will ever strive to force others
to do as they will. [60] They are not necessarily evil, and they often
do have good ideas, and such ideas should be talked over in council. And
if they will not agree with their brothers, or if they say, "I will not
work under this High Priestess," it hath always been the old law to be
convenient for the brethren, and to void disputes, any of the Third [65]
may claim to found a new Coven because they live over a league from the
Covenstead, or are about to do so. Anyone living within the Covendom
wishing to form a new Coven, to avoid strife, shall tell the Elders of
his intention and on the instant void his dwelling and remove to the new
Covendom. Members of the old Coven may join the New one when it be
formed, but if they do, must utterly void the old Coven. The Elders of
the New and the Old Covens should meet in peace and brotherly love, to
decide the new boundaries. Those of the Craft who dwell outside both
Covendoms may join either indifferent, but not both, though all may, if
the Elders [75] agree, meet for the Great Festivals, if it be truly in
peace and brotherly love. But splitting the coven oft means strife, so
for this reason these laws wer e made of old,  And may the curse of the
Goddess be on any who disregard them.  So be it aredan.

[E] If you would Keep a book let it be in your own hand of write. [80]
Let brothers and sisters copy what they will, but never let the book out
of your hands, and never keep the writings of another, for if it be
found in their hand of write, they well may be taken and Engined. Each
should guard his own writings and destroy it whenever danger threatens.
Learn as much as you may by heart, and when danger is [85] past, rewrite
your book an it be safe. For this reason, if any die, destroy their book
if they hav e not been able to, for an it be found, 'tis clear proof
against them, And our oppressors well know, "Ye may not be a witch
alone" So all their kin and friends be in danger of torture.  So ever
destroy anything not necessary. [90] If your book be found on you. 'tis
clear proof against you alone.  You may be engined.  Keep all thoughts
of the Craft from your mind.  Say you had bad dreams; a devil caused you
to write it without your knowledge.  Think to yourself, "I know nothing.
I remember nothing.  I have forgotten everything."  Drive this [95] into
your mind.  If the torture be too great to bear, say, "I will confess.
I cannot bear this torture.  What do you want me to say?  Tell me and I
will say it."  If they try to make yo u speak of the brotherhood, Do
NOT, but if they try to make you speak of [100] impossibilities, such as
flying through the air, consorting with the Christian Devil, or
sacrificing children, or eating men's flesh, to obtain relief from
torture, say, "I had an evil dream.  I was not myself.  I was crazed."
Not all Magistrates are bad. If there [105] be an excuse they may show
mercy.  If you have confessed aught, deny it afterwards; say you babbled
under torture, you knew not what you did or said.  If you are condemned,

fear not.  The Brotherhood is powerful.  They may help you to escape, if
you stand steadfast, but if you betray aught, there is no hope for you,
in this [110] life, or in that which is to come.  Be sure, if steadfast
you go to the pyre, Dwale will reach you.  You will feel naught.  You go
but t o Death and what lies beyond, the ecstasy of the Goddess.

[F] 'Tis probable that before you are engined, Dwale will reach you.
[115] Always remember that Christians fear much that any die under
torture.  At the first sign of swoon, they cause it to be stopped, and
blame the tormenters.  For that reason, the tormenters themselves are
apt to feign to torment, but do not, so it is best not to die at first.
If Dwale reaches you, 'tis a sign that you have a friend somewhere.
[120] You may be helped to escape, so despair not. If the worst comes,
and you go to the pyre, wait till the flames and smoke spring up, bend
your head over, and breath in with long breaths. You choke and die
swiftly, and wake in the arms of the Goddess.

[G] To void discovery, let the working tools [125] be as ordinary things
that any may have in their houses.  Let the Pentacles be of wax, so they
may be broken at once. Have no sword unless your rank allows you one.
Have no names or signs on anything.  Write the names and signs on them
in ink before consecrating them and wash it off immediately after.  Do
not Bigrave them, [130] lest they cause discovery.  Let the colour of
the hilts tell which is which. 

[H] Ever remember, ye are the Hidden Children of the Gods.  So never do
anything to disgrace them. Never boast, Never threaten, Never say you
would wish ill to anyone.  If you or any not in the Circle speak of the
Craft, [135] say, "Speak not to me of such. It frightens me.  'Tis evil
luck to speak of it." For this reason: the Christians have spies
everywhere. These speak as if they were well affected, as if they would
come to Meetings, saying, "My mother used to go to worship the Old Ones.
I would that I could go myself."*  To these ever deny all knowledge.
[140] But to others ever say, "'Tis foolish men talk of witches flying
through the air; to do so they must be light as thistledown," and "Men
say that witches all be bleared-eyed old crones, so what pleasure can
there be in witch meetings such as folk talk on?"  Say, "Many wise men
now say there be no such creatures." Ever [145] make it a jest, and in
some future time, perhaps the persecution will die, and we may worship
safely again.  Let us all pray for that happy day.

[I] May the blessings of the Goddess and the God be on all who keep
these laws which are Aredan.

[J] If the Craft hath any Appanage, let all brothers guard it, and help
to keep it clear and good for the Craft, and let all justly guard all
monies of the Craft. But if some brothers truly wrought it, 'tis right
that they have their pay, an it be just, an this be not taking [5] money
for the use of the Art, but for good and honest work.  And even the
Christians say, "A labourer is worthy of his hire."  But if any brothers
work willingly for the good of the craft without pay, 'tis but to their
greater honour.  So it be Aredan.

[K] If there be any disputes or quarrels among the brethren, the [10]
High Priestess shall straight convene the Elders and enquire into the
matter, and they shall hear both sides, first alone, then together, and
they shall decide justly, not favouring the one side or the other, ever
recognizing that there be people who can never agree to work under

others, but at the same time there be some people who [15] cannot rule
justly.  To those who ever must be chief, there is one answer, "Void the
Coven and seek an other, or make a Coven of your own, taking with you
those who will to go."  To those who cannot rule justly, the answer be,
"Those who cannot bear your rule will leave you," for none may come to
meetings with those with whom they are at [20] variance;  so, an either
cannot agree, get hence, for the Craft must ever survive. So it be

[L] In the olden days when we had power, we could use our Arts against
any who ill-treated any of the Brotherhood, but in these evil times, we
may not do so, for our enemies have devised a burning [25] pit of
everlasting fire, into which they say their God casteth all the people
who worship him, except it be the very few who are released by their
priests' spells and Masses, and this be chiefly by giving money and rich
gifts to receive his favour, for their Alther Greatest God [Greatest God
of all] is ever i
n need of Money. [30] But as our Gods need our aid to make fertility for
men and crops, So the God of the Christians is ever in need of man's
help to search out and destroy us. 
Their priests tell them that any who get our help or our cures are
damned to the Hell forever, so men be mad for the terror of it. But they
make men [35] believe that they may scape this hell if they give victims
to the tormenters.  So for this reason all be forever spying, thinking,
"An I can but catch one of the Wicca I will scape this fiery pit." But
we have our hidels, and men searching long and not finding say, "there
be none, or if they be, they be in a far country."
[40] But when one of our oppressors die, or even be sick, ever is the
cry, "This be Witches Malice," and the hunt is up again.  And though
they slay ten of their people to one of ours, still they care not; they
have many thousands, while we are few indeed.  So it is Aredan that none
shall use the Art in any way to do ill [45] to any, howevermuch they
have injured us.  And for long we have obeyed this law, "Harm none" and
nowtimes many believe we exist not.  So it be Aredan that this law shall
still continue
to help us in our plight.  No one, however great an injury or injustice
they receive, may use the Art in any to do ill or harm any.  [50] But
they may, after great consultations with all, use the Art to prevent or
restrain Christians from harming us and others, but only to let or
constrain them and never to punish, to this end.  Men say, "Such an one
is a mighty searcher out and persecutor of Old Women whom he deemeth to
be  Witches, [55] and none hath done him Skith [harm], so this be proof
they cannot, o
r more truly, that there be none," For all know full well that so many
folk have died because someone had a grudge against them, or were
persecuted because they had money or goods to seize, or because they had
none to bribe the searchers.  And many have died [60] because they were
scolding old women, so much so that men now say that only old women are
witches, and this be to our advantage, and turns suspicion away from us.
In England 'tis now many a year since a witch hath died the death,
but any misuse of the power might raise the Persecution again; so never
break this law, [65] however much you are tempted, and never consent to
its being broken.  If you know it is being broken in the least, you must
work strongly against it, and any High Priestess or High Priest who
consents to it must be immediately deposed, for 'tis the blood of the
Brethren they endanger.  Do good, an it be safe, and only if [70] it be
safe, for any talk may endanger us.


[M] And strictly keep to the Old Law, never accept money for the use of
the art.  It is Christian priests and sorcerers who accept money for the
use of their Arts, and they sell Dwale and evil love spells and pardons
to let men scape from their sins. [75] Be not as these. Be not as these.
If you accept not money, you will be free of temptation to use the Art
for evil causes.

[N] You may use the Art for your own advantage, or for the advantage of
the Craft, only if you be sure you harm none.  But ever let the Coven
debate the matter at length.  Only if all are satisfied that none may be
harmed [80] may the Art be used.  If it is not possible to achieve your
ends one way without harming any, perchance the aim may be achieved by
acting in a different way, so as to harm none.  May the Curse of the
Goddess be on any who breach this law.  So it be aredan.

[O] 'Tis adjudged lawful an anyone need a house or land, an none will
[85] sell, to incline the owner's mind to be willing to sell, provided
it harmeth him not in any way, and that the full worth is paid, without
haggling.  Never bargain or cheapen anything which you buy by the Art.
So it be Aredan.

[P] It is the Old Law and the most important of all Laws [90] that no
one may do or say anything which will endanger any of the Craft, or
bring them in contact with the law of the land, or the Law of the Church
or any of our persecutors.  In any disputes between the brethren, no one
may invoke any laws but those of the Craft, or any Tribunal but that of
the Priestess and the Priest and the [95] Elders. And may the Curse of
the Goddess be on any who so do. So it be Aredan.

[Q] It is not forbidden to say as Christians do, "There be Witchcraft in
the Land," because our oppressors of old made it Heresy not to believe
in Witchcraft, and so a crime to deny it, which thereby put [100] you
under suspicion.  But ever say "I know not of it here, perchance they
may be, but afar off. I know not where."  But ever speak so you cause
others to doubt they be as they are.  Always speak of them as old
crones, consorting with the Devil and riding through the air. But ever
say, "But how may men ride through the air an they be not [105] as light
as thistledown?" But the curse of the Goddess be on any who cast any
suspicion on any of the Brotherhood, or speaks of any real meeting
place, or where any bide. So it be Aredan. [R] Let the Craft keep books
with the names of all Herbs which are good for man, and all cures, that
all may learn.  But keep [110] another book with all the Banes [poisons]
and Apies. and let only the elders and trustworthy people have this
knowledge. So it be Aredan. [S] And may the Blessings of the Gods be on
all who keep these Laws and the Curses of both God and Goddess be on all
who break them So it be Aredan. [The following two sections were added
after 1960.] [T] Remember the Art is the secret of the Gods and may only
be used in earnest and never for show or vainglory.  Magicians and
Christians may taunt us, saying, "You have no power.  Do magic before
our eyes.  Then only will we believe," seeking to cause us to betray our
Art before them.  Heed them not, for the Art is holy, and may only be
used in need.  And the curse of the Gods be on any who break this law.
[U] It ever be the way with women, and with men also, that they ever
seek new love, nor should we reprove them for this, but it may be found
to disadvantage the Craft, as so many a time it has happened that a High
Priest or High Priestess, impelled by love, hath departed with their
love; that is, they have left the coven.  Now, if a High Priestess
wishes to resign, she may do so in full Coven, and this resignation is

valid.  But if they should run off without resigning, who may know if
they may not return w ithin a few months?  So the law is, if a High
Priestess leaves her coven, but returns within the space of a year and
day, then she shall be taken back, and all shall be as before.
Meanwhile, if she has a deputy, that deputy shall act as High Priestess
for as long as the High Priestess is away.  If she returns not at the
end of a year and a day, then shall the coven elect a new High
Priestess.  Unless there be a good reason to the contrary.  The person
who has done the work should re ap the benefit of the reward,  Maiden
and deputy of the High Priestess.

 D.2. The Verse Charge (1961)

I the Mother, darksome and divine,
Say to thee, Oh children mine
(All ye assembled at mine Shrine),
Mine the scourge and mine the kiss
The five-point star of love and bliss
Here I charge ye in this sign.       (Assume Goddess position.)

All ye assembled here tonight
Bow before my spirit bright
Aphrodite, Arianrhod, Lover of the Horned God,
Mighty Queen of Witchery and night

Astarte, Hecate, Ashtaroth, Dione,
(Morrigan, Etain, Nisene),
Diana, Brigid, Melusine,
Am I named of old by men, Artemis and Cerridwen,
Hell's dark mistress, Heaven's Queen.

(Whene'er trouble comes anoon)
All who would learn of me a Rune
Or would ask of me a boon, Meet ye in some secret glade
Dance my round in greenwood shade,
by the light of the full moon.

(In a place wild and lone)
With the comrades alone
Dance about my altar stone.
Work my holy Magistry,Ye who are fain of sorcery,
I bring ye secrets yet unknown.

(Whate'er troubles come to thee),
No more shall ye know slavery
Who give due worship unto me,
Who tread my round on Sabbat-night. Come ye all naked to the rite,
In token ye be truly free.

I teach the mystery of rebirth,
Keep ye my mysteries in mirth
Heart joined to heart, and lip to lip,
Five are the points of fellowship
That bring ye ecstasy on Earth.

I ask no offerings, do but bow,
No other law but love I know,

By naught but love I may be known,
All that liveth is mine own
From me they come, to me they go.

 D.3. Casting and Charging (1961)

[1]  Forming Circle.  Light candles.

1. Draw Circle with Magic Sword or Athame.

2. Sprinkle with consecrated water.

3. Cense.

4. Say, "I conjure thee, O Circle of Power, that thou be a Boundary and
a Protection and a meeting place between the world of men and the realms
of the Mighty Ones, A Guardian and a Protection that shall preserve and
contain the Power which we shall raise within thee, Wherefore do I Bless
and Consecrate thee."

5. Say "I summon, Stir, and Call Thee up, Ye Mighty Ones of the (East,
South, West, North) To witness the Rites and to guard the Circle."

[2]  Closing Circle.

Say, "Mighty Ones of the (East, South, West, North), I thank you for
attending, and ere you depart for your lovely realms, I say Hail and

[3]  Consecration of Water and Salt.

Touch water with Athame, saying, "I exorcise thee, O Creature of Water,
that thou cast out from thee all the impurities and uncleannesses of the
spirits of the World of Phantasm, In the names of Aradia and Cernunnos."

Touching Salt with Athame, say, "Blessings be upon this creature of
Salt.  Let all malignity and hindrance be cast forth hencefrom and let
all good enter herein.  Wherefore I bless thee that thou mayest aid me,
In the names of Aradia and Cernunnos."

[4]  Drawing Down the Moon.

"I invoke Thee and call upon Thee, Oh Mighty Mother of us All, Bringer
of all Fruitfulness. By Seed and Root, by Stem and Bud, by Leaf and
Flower and Fruit, by Life and Love, Do We invoke Thee to descend upon
the body of Thy servant and Priestess (name)."

High Priest and other men give Fivefold Kiss.  Women all bow.

 D.4.  Forming the Circle. (1961)


[1] Must have a man and a woman, properly prepared, i.e., naked.

[2] Mark a circle nine feet across on the floor with chalk, etc.  The
best way is to get a string.  Tie 2 loops four foot, six inches apart.
Put one loop over a nail or something in the center.  Put chalk in the

other and run it round.  If you can't make marks on the floor, put
furniture, etc., round to form it.  Have a table, etc., as an Altar,
with all tools, etc., on it.  Have a bowl of water, and some salt.

[3] Place Athame on the bowl of water.  Say, "I exorcise thee, O
creature of Water, that thou cast out from Thee all the impurities and
uncleannesses of the Spirits of the World of Phantasm in the name of
Aradia and Cernunnos.  But ever mind that Water purifies the body, but
the scourge purifies the soul."

[4] Then place Athame on the salt.  Say, "Blessings be upon this
creature of Salt.  Let all malignity and hindrance be cast forth
hencefrom, and let all good enter herein.  Wherefore I bless thee that
thou mayest aid me, in the name of Aradia and Cernunnos.

[5] Then trace Circle on the lines you have marked out, starting at the
East and returning to the East.  (Always go round the circle with your
Right hand to the Altar.  Never go Widdershins.)   Then put the Salt
into the water. and go round the circle again, sprinkling it to purify
it.  Then go round again censing it.  (Everyone in the circle must be
sprinkled and censed.)

[6] Then go to the East, Sword or Athame in hand.  Draw an invoking
pentacle in the Air, starting at the top and going to the lefthand
corner, saying, "I summon, and call thee up, O Ye Mighty ones of the
East, to guard the Circle and witness our rites."  Then holding the
point of sword or Athame upwards, do the same to the south, west, and
north, and return to the center, to the south of the Altar.

[7] Then each girl should bind her man,  hands behind back and cable Tow
to neck.  He should kneel at altar, and be scourged.  When all men are
thus "purified," they purify the girls in turn.  No one may be in the
circle without being thus purified.

[8] Then do whatever work wanted.

[9] When closing the Circle, the High Priestess, or whoever she tells to
do it, saying, "Hail, ye mighty ones of the East.  I thank you for
attending, and ere ye depart for your lovely realms, We say, Hail and


These are books you should read in order to see the sources Gardner used
to create these rituals.

Crowley, Aleister.  Magick in Theory and Practice. Castle, n.d. [ca.

Gardner, Gerald B.  High Magic's Aid.  Michael Houghton, 1949.

------.  Witchcraft Today.  Jarrolds, 1954.

------.  The Meaning of Witchcraft.  Aquarian Press, 1959.

Glanvil, Joseph, and Henry More.  Saducismus Triumphatus: or, Full and
Plain Evidence Concerning Witches and Apparitions.  London: Lowndes, 3d
ed., 1689.  Scholar's Facsimiles, 1966.  One of Murray's major sources

of information.

Leland, Charles Godfrey.  Aradia: The Gospel of the Witches of Tuscany.
Scribner's, 1897.  Buckland Museum reprint, 1964.

Mathers, S. L. MacGregor, ed. and trans.  The Greater Key of Solomon.
De Laurence, Scott, 1914.

Murray, Margaret A.  The Witch-Cult in Western Europe.  Oxford
University Press, 1921.  Oxford paperback, 1962.

------.  The God of the Witches.  Oxford University Press, 1934.
Doubleday Anchor, 1960.

Regardie, Israel.  The Golden Dawn: An Account of the Teachings, Rites,
and Ceremonies of the Order of the Golden Dawn.  1937-1940.  Hazel
Hills, 2d ed., 1969.

* Gardner appended this paragraph to the Craft Laws in the early 1960s.

* Gardner appended this paragraph to the Craft Laws in the early 1960s.

* These are shown by a drawing to be: genitals, left foot, right knee,
left knee, right foot, and back to genitals.

* My Lady Epona points out that this is precisely what Charles Cardell
had claimed; that is, this paragraph is a response to Cardell, and so it
was probably inserted into the Craft Laws after the run-in with the
Cardells and Olive Green in 1959.  This again is an indication that
Gardner did not promulgate the Craft Laws as a document for the Book of
Shadows until about 1960, when Mr. Q was initiated.


Classification:     IT.IV.C.2.e
Title:              Symbolism
Author:             Grand Master of the Order of Shuti
                    Temple of Set
Date:               December,  XXIV
Published:          Dialogues  I.3
                    (The section on "Neters" was published in
                    issue I.4)
Subject:            Symbolism
Reading List:       2L, 2V

[copyright 1989, Temple of Set.  Permission for electronic
distribution by echo and on PODS has been given by the author.
No not copy or distribute further without permission of the
author or the Temple of Set.]

The first session of the year-XXIV Order of Shuti Workshop
discussed symbolism.

While the study of symbolism itself is not a primary concern of the
Order of Shuti, several of the Order's activities do involve
working with forms of symbolism, or are discussed using various

The symbols of the twin lion gods, Shu and Tefnut, who together are
Shuti, are obviously of importance in understanding the activities
of the Order.  The topic of symbolism was therefore chosen for the
introductory session of the workshop.


In discussing this session and what would be discussed, the Grand
Master stressed that symbolism wasn't to be discussed simply as an
intellectual exercise, but that all participants should try to
apply the Setian yardstick of "application" to this discussion.

Each and every topic of this session (and all sessions in the
workshop) should be measured by the questions of a) Can it be
applied? b) Is it useful? c) Does it work?

                         What is symbolism?

One answer suggested by workshop participants is that symbolism is
a language of the unconscious.

It is a dynamic language in which one image, a single symbol, can
conjure up archetypical impressions, complex or complete concepts
and/or meanings, rather than being a structured language in which
many words and/or several sentences are needed to put together an
equivalent concept or meaning.

Another purpose of symbolism offered by the participants is to
serve as a metalanguage which has two levels or multiple levels of

Each symbol or set of symbols can have one meaning to the
initiated, and another meaning to the uninitiated.  That symbol or

set of symbols could also have /different/ meanings to the
initiated, depending upon how the symbols are communicated, and how
they are mixed with other symbols.  A statement in a symbolic
language could even have multiple meanings communicated at the same
time to the same person.

A lot of the symbols Setians use in our writings are like that.
When we read through the _Scroll of Set_ or the jewelled Tablets,
those of us who have been using the language of the Temple of Set
for a while will see certain words, and will know just from the way
the words are used that the author is writing symbolically as well
as grammatically, and he therefore means "this type of thing".

This symbolic use of language lets us add meaning to an article
without adding substantially to the size of that article.

Those who haven't been in the Temple of Set long enough to pick up
on that symbolic use of language will miss almost all of that
meaning on their first reading.

This is one of the reasons why we all find it useful to reread past
issues of the _Scroll_ and to reread Tablet articles.  It enables
us to read meaning in an article that we may have missed on an
earlier reading.

It sometimes happens that "unintended" meaning is found in an
article during such a rereading.

Even though the author may not have consciously intended to convey
a certain meaning, that author's Higher Self may have influenced
the writing in such a way as to symbolically give a specific
message in the writing.  These messages remain hidden except for
those who can perceive and understand them.

On the other side of the scale, if our writings are read by someone
totally unfamiliar with occult symbolism, then the message can be
totally lost, and the reader may never see it.

Symbolism can be visual (examples are the Pentagram of Set,
pictures of the Egyptian Neters, etc), and verbal (the closing we
use on our letters, "Xeper and Remanifest", is a statement and
reminder of our dedication to this Formula, a way of developing and
keeping the habit of Xeper and Remanifestation going strong).

Each Word itself is a symbol (Xeper, Indulgence, Thelema, etc.),
as is each Neter (Shu, Tefnut, Sekhmet, Bast).  A lot of principles
can be used as symbols which have more meaning to the initiated
than they do to those who just read about them in a dictionary.

Visual and verbal/written symbols involve just one of our senses
(sight).  If you include verbal/spoken symbols, we then involve a
second sense (hearing).  We then asked the question, "Are there
symbols which are perceived and communicated through each of our
other senses?"

The first examples offered by workshop participants were incense
and music: Incense can bring about different emotions and responses
through the sense of smell.  Music can bring about different

responses through the sense of hearing, in ways totally different
than the verbal symbols do (the difference between right brained
behavior and left brained behavior).

                   Where does symbolism come from?

When dealing with incense and music, we are leaving the mental
processes and intellectual reactions that visual symbols will
evoke, and going instead to the more reactive, bodily, reactions.

We react to the smell of bodily feces with distaste because of the
body's reaction to that sort of an input.  We find the fragrance
of a rose very pleasing.

One of the reasons we use fragrant incenses during a ritual is to
bring about bodily reactions which enhance a ceremony because of
the smells and our reactions to the smells.

The discussion of one question leads to another.  We learn the
reactions / interpretations / meanings of visual and verbal symbols
(at least those discussed above).  Do we also learn reactions to
incenses and music, or are those reactions more innate?

The first response was that our reactions and interpretations, even
our likes and dislikes of music are learned.

The example given was classical music, which strikes some people
as very soothing and relaxing, and which is likely to put these
people to sleep.  But others who are aware of the intelligent
dynamics and many other ingredients of classical music will find
the same music very stimulating.

(We believe that the workshop participant was thinking about the
lighter classical pieces, such as "Tales from the Vienna Woods,"
and not the more active pieces such as "Night on Bald Mountain.")

The second response disagreed with the first, pointing out that
regardless of whether they are used in classical, modern, or any
other form of music, harps and strings tend to evoke emotional
(peaceful) moods, while drums are more primal and physical, evoking
more active responses.

The next example we discussed referred to the sense of smell.  To
a farmer, feces and fertilizer are pleasing and filled with
promise, a smell of promised growth and life, a totally different
reaction than most people will have (especially after scraping a
dog's refuse off the bottom of one's shoe).

Similarly, an inlander's first pleasant reaction to sea gulls on
wing, grace in motion, can be compared to the reaction of those who
live on the beach and have to live with the noise and the mess and
the droppings left behind by those very same sea gulls.

These examples tend to support the theory that we learn our
interpretations of the sounds and smells around us.

It seems from these examples that our reactions to inputs are
learned, or at least they arise from our experiences.  The question

then becomes, can symbols have innate visceral responses, or is the
response to a symbol necessarily a learned one?

To look at innate responses, the original responses to stimuli, we
necessarily looked at children.

For instance, children generally have no innate response to feces,
and will often eat them until they learn not to.  They later learn
to either react with disgust to feces, or to view them as
fertilizer and the source of life.

The first example of a possibly innate response brought to the
discussion was that of the ephemeral beauty of a butterfly on the
wing.  None of the participants could envision any child's reaction
other than awe and delight at such beauty (or at least none would
admit to any other vision).

This brought forth remarks concerning innate childish "awe", where
almost everything is new and wonderful.

Children as they begin to distinguish between the multiple events
and objects in their world are simply delighted at the beauty and
diversity they find around them.  There is no "evil" during this
time -- only the beauty of nature.

Few of us have any reason to unlearn this initial response to the
butterfly.  These reactions can therefore be considered innate,
stemming from the earliest days of our consciousness.  Other
reactions, unpleasant reactions and also more complex reactions,
seem to be learned over time.

Therefore, there's some of both types of reactions.  People will
have initial reactions to many meaningful symbols and inputs, but
their reactions can be modified by their experience and training.

This discussion raised yet more questions, for which no answers
were attempted during this workshop.  The questions were, how much
of our symbolism is learned, and how much of our symbolism is
innate? And if some form of consciousness or memory can survive
from one life to another, then how much might be remembered from
past lives?

Symbols may or may not come to one's attention.  An extremely
visually-oriented person may not notice or respond to other types
of symbols, such as a room's smell, or a background level of music,
while those who are oriented towards those senses will respond to
those inputs, but perhaps not to others.

Symbolism may have personal and/or experiential meaning (such as
the manure used to plant your garden or that you step in), or
symbolism may be abstract (learned and used in writing, teaching,
or jewelry, but not something that's impacted upon you in the
past).  This is the difference between a) the visceral response,
which may be innate and may also be a learned response, modified
through experience or training, and b) the mental response which
must always be learned or developed.

The Grand Master wishes to note that the discussion at this point

had unintentionally left the strict topic of symbolism, and was
dealing instead with experience and reaction to stimuli, on the
unspoken assumption that these reactions applied to our use of

We feel this to be a valid assumption, since the pleasant reaction
we have to a butterfly or to a unicorn extends to and impacts our
use of those images as symbols.  Those with differing reactions to
sea gulls as described above would similarly have different
reactions to Johnathon Livingston Seagull's story.

Also, by concentrating on experience and reaction rather than
symbolism, we temporarily lost sight of the most important measure
of symbolism -- that of meaning.

Yes, music has impact, but that music is symbol only if its impact
includes meaning, such as the sense of freedom and power that
accompanies the visual image of the "Flight of the Valkyries" and
similar images of meaning those who are familiar with the movie
will get from various pieces in the sound track from 2001.

Likewise incense is symbol only if its impact includes meaning.

That meaning may be supplied by the smell, or that meaning may be
supplied by knowledge of the ingredients within the incense.
Meaning may also be supplied by the words used during the censing
of the chambre.  Without some meaning, incense is not symbol, but
only smell.

Closely related to the sense of smell is the sense of taste, and
it's fairly easy to see that certain tastes can have meaning as

During Passover Seder, a ritual meal of thanksgiving and freedom
(celebrating the Exodus), Jews will dip greens into salt water and
eat the salty greens, to remind them of tears shed by the Jews in
bondage.  They will eat bitter herbs to remind them of the
bitterness of slavery.

Likewise, there can be kinesthetic symbols as well.

We feel different when we hold a sword in ritual as opposed to when
we hold a dagger.  We feel different when we are standing up than
we feel when we are sitting down, and different still when we are
kneeling or laying down.  We feel different in charged rooms, dry
rooms, wet rooms, hot rooms, cold rooms, still rooms, breezy rooms.
Uncontrolled, these latter experiences are just stimuli.
Controlled and used meaningfully, these latter experiences can be
symbols, manipulated and understood as such.

                    How should symbolism be used?

The first obvious use of symbolism is in the communication of
ideas, whether written, spoken, or communicated through one or more
other senses.

Based on the idea that a single symbol can have a whole galaxy of
meaning, a useful communications skill is the ability to use

symbols in the proper places, in the proper ways, to communicate
more meaning in a smaller package (with fewer words).

Perhaps of greatest importance within the Temple of Set are the
magical aeonic Words: Xeper, Remanifestation, and Xem, and the
preceding Words of Indulgence and Thelema.  By using these Words
in writing or other forms of communication, we communicate the
meanings associated with those Words.

If I say the word "Xeper" to an initiate, it means something
totally different than it would mean to someone off the street, and
it means something totally different to a Setian than it would mean
to an Egyptologist who /thinks/ he knows the Egyptian god Xepera.
Our use of the Word is quite different and the symbol carries so
much more meaning than just the word "Xeper" would carry in a
modern Egyptian dictionary.

This use of symbolism doesn't apply just to magical Words or
Formulae, but applies to symbols of many different kinds, in many
different uses.

You'll sometimes find certain words capitalized in text, as are
"Words" and "Formulae" above.  When not overly used, this is a
clear indication that the author wishes you to view these words
with their symbolic meanings, rather than their normal meanings.

During group ritual, certain words will be spoken more
flamboyantly, perhaps louder, perhaps longer, and often with more
gesturing.  These words are then generally being used symbolically,
with special meaning at least to the speaker, if not to other

Symbolism can also be used in Lesser Black Magic, as tools to
influence certain people (singular or multiple) in certain ways.
The magician (or politician or religious leader or arts director
or other manipulator) will use lighting, music, fragrance, and
other symbols in ways particular to their audience's response to
the symbols.

Symbolism can be used upon ourselves in a similar manner, to bring
out responses from us that we want to bring out, as in ritual or
as an aid to Xeper.

Words which have become symbols to us can be used as a means of
increased concentration, as a visual mantra or as a sensual mantra.
Such mantras can be used in ritual, in nonritual meditation, or
whenever we choose to remind ourselves of the principles carried
within that symbol.

Over time, some symbols can become richer and can carry more and
more meaning to those people who work with the symbol.

These symbols can become "magnetic", in that each use of the symbol
brings forth yet another repetition of the symbol.  Each reference
brings forth a constellation of meaning, with one meaning and use
leading to another.  Each use of the symbol sparks, or attracts,
another use of the symbol.


In these cases the symbols will often be repeated over and over
throughout a conversation or other communication, each time
exercising one or more of those meanings, and through the course
of the communication this symbol can almost hold or reflect an
entire world view.  This is the way the people influenced by the
symbol see their world.

At a political rally the symbol might be "America", "Democracy",
or "the Party" (citizens of other countries may substitute those
symbols meaningful in your domain).  To some, the symbol might be
"the Environment".

The symbol "Xeper" has a similar impact within the Setian culture.

Group consensus is important for communication through symbols.
Different groups can have differing uses of symbols, and attempts
to communicate between these groups using the symbols particular
to one group (or those symbols which are viewed differently by
different groups) can result in confusion or worse.

Because Setians come from such diverse backgrounds, we have various
communication problems related to these diverse backgrounds.

Members from the O.T.O. may know all of the Qabalic
correspondences, while members from the Wiccan background couldn't
care less about the Qabalic attributions, and have correspondences
which are totally different.  Numerologists apply different
meanings to their numbers than do the Qabalists.  And all of these
symbolic systems work.

But very, very few of them work for all Setians.

Qabalists within the Temple of Set who write articles and/or
letters steeped in Qabalic symbolism find that very few others care
enough about their symbols to wade through the text.  Those from
other backgrounds with intensive use of symbols similarly find
difficulty communicating within the Temple of Set, since our
symbolic vocabulary is so much less cohesive.

This lack of similarity in symbolism affects not only written
communication, but also ritual activity.

Each pylon seems to develop its own pattern of symbolism, and
inter-pylon rituals can at times be very difficult.  Fitting many
diverse magicians with their diverse backgrounds into one
meaningful ceremony can be a challenge, a challenge faced at each
Conclave, and at each activity like the Order of Shuti Workshop.

                    Language of the Unconscious?{fn 1}

The first question asked by the Grand Master was, "What is
symbolism?" The first answer received was, "A language of the

Parts of the workshop's discussion might seem to support this
definition, while others contradict it.  So let the Grand Master


Symbols have many attributes.  Among the more important of these
attributes is their ability to cause reaction in their audience,
visceral if not innate reactions, as discussed above.

Elizabeth S. Helfman, in her book _Signs and Symbols around the
World_, defines symbol as being: "anything that stands for
something else."

Look in your dictionary.  Mine includes several definitions of
symbol and symbolism, including:

>> Symbol: 2: something that stands for or suggests something
else by reason of relationship, association, convention, or accidental
resemblance. 5: an act, sound, or object having cultural significance
and the capacity to excite or objectify a response.

>> Symbolism: 1: the art or practice of using symols esp. by investing
things with a symbolic meaning or by expressing the invisible or
intangible by means of visible or sensuous representations; as a: the
use of conventional or traditional signs in the representation of divine
beings and spirits, b: artistic imitation or invention that is a method
of revealing or suggesting immaterial, ideal, or otherwise intangible
truth or states. 2: a system of symbols or representations.

Symbolism is an art, a practice, something which is done.  It is used to
communicate meaning.  It is a language.

Our visceral responses to symbolism may be unconscious, but if
that's all there is, then have we received and/or responded to

The transmission and communication of *Meaning* requires some
form of consciousness.

Let's use the word /Awake/ to mean the highest form of consciousness.  
Remember -- the capital letter indicates I'm using a symbol; Setian use
of this specific symbol (Awake) most often refers to Ouspenski's
heightened state of consciousness and awareness, a state of being
totally awake.

For simplicity, let's assign a whole range of various levels of
conscious awareness to the name "conscious".  This name can apply to
heightened states of consciousness which those we would call Awake,
those that barely miss being Awake, down to the almost somnabulent
states in which most of mankind spends their day.

Finally, I would call the preconscious state one of consciousness in
this case, a state in which meaning can be received, interpreted, and
acted upon, without the individual being "consiously" aware that this
has happened.  But if the individual's attention is brought to the
subject, then the symbol and its meaning can be recalled and the process
repeated without any difficulty.

If symbols are generated and communicated, if they are transmitted
and received, in one of these three states, then I believe we can
correctly talk about symbolism, about language.

However, if the generation and/or reception of the symbol is uncon

scious, and/or totally unintended, then I propose that that instance is
not an example of symbolism, not language or communication, but rather
the accidental generation of and/or visceral response to sensory input.

[Now let us return to the discussion as it took place in the 

                      Planetary Symbol System?

We know there are differences in the meanings of many symbols.
"Patriotism" can be exceedingly important to a Republican and
also to a Libertarian, but the meanings that this symbol will have can
be quite different in many ways.

This leads us to ask the question of whether there might perhaps be a
"planetary symbol system" in which some symbols at least can be found
commonly used in many or all cultures.

The cross, square, circle, and most or all simple symbols have been
found in use all over the earth.  We therefore can ask whether their
meanings are similar, or are the symbols used simply because they are
simple geometric figures, but with meanings arbitrarily assigned by the
individual cultures?

One participant brought forth Ouspenski's example that "Table" has a
function, an innate form or essence, which can be perceived beyond
words, and beyond a learned experience.

"Table" provokes an image, feeling, or essence that is evoked through a
willed perception that extends beyond the actual set of tables that a
person may have ever experienced.

Ouspenski claims that at a certain state of consciousness the Aware
individual can see this deeper meaning or essence, and that this deeper
meaning or essence can be commonly perceived by all who reach this level
of consciousness.

Similar ideas were offered by Plato, and the concept of Platonic Forms
is very prevalent throughout the Setian use of symbolism.  We often
speak of the Egyptian Neters as being Forms, the original or specific
essence of an Ideal.

This is certainly an area that needs deeper investigation.  The workshop
session discussion however left the topic of abstract Forms, and instead
investigated the historic use of symbols in various cultures.

Looking first at the more complex god forms, it seems each major
culture has a "trickster" god:  Coyote fills this niche in several
Amerindian cultures, Loki in the Norse mythos, and Thoth (Hermes
and Mercury) in the Egyptian (Greek and Roman) mythologies.

The Trickster is that Spirit who makes you Think.  He is the Spirit
who is unpredictable in his actions or reactions, who gets himself
and everyone else into trouble.  In the process of doing so -- most
often after everyone is already in trouble -- he makes people
Think, and in the end he generally gets everyone out of trouble by


To represent the Trickster, each culture used that type of symbol
or god form which for them was most appropriate for that type of

The coyote is a fairly independent and hard to track animal in
America, requiring more than the usual amount of intelligence and
stealth to catch.  Monkeys similarly were appreciated for their
seeming intelligence and playfulness, and so Egyptians assigned the
Trickster attribute and the monkey's form to Thoth.

The question becomes ... is this type of being, this symbol,
something which is universal, cross-cultural, or is it something
which happens in just a few cases, and many other societies never
had any use for it?

Jung was exploring this area.  He defined specific symbols which
he felt were common to many or all cultures.  They were fairly
common within his culture and Jung did manage to validate them with
some cross-cultural study.

We still need to ask how complete his studies were, how extensive
and wide spread.

Given people in extremely different environments, such as the
Eskimo, Hawaiian, Indian, Tibetan, etc., cultures where the people
have many different experiences, totally different social and
physical environments, it can be expected that these people would
have very different reactions to the symbols that Jung thought he
had commonality on.

Jung's _Man and his Symbol_ was recommended by one participant as
containing documentation on his cross-cultural studies in this

Not having access to any resource materials that would answer our
questions at the time, the workshop session then proceeded into the
topic of Egyptian Neters and the use of Neters in symbolism.


The Workshop discussion of Egyptian Neters started with a brief
discussion of the Egyptian languages.

The ancient Egyptians used three different written languages, the
hieroglyphic, hieratic, and demotic.

The demotic language was a mostly alphabetic language used for
common communications among those who could read and write.  Its
primary uses were for social and business reasons.

The hieratic language was a pictographic language related to the
hieroglyphic, but in which the pictographs were abbreviated and
simplified to speed writing.  It was used for important state
documents and many later religious texts.

The hieroglyphic language was the most ornate of the three
languages, the most ancient of the three languages, and the most
symbolic.  It was used for the most important religious and

philosophical statements, and for the most important state

Many of the symbols used to form the hieroglyphic language had
assigned sounds, and many others did not.  In addition to the
sounds and symbols used to form words, the Egyptians used
determinatives, signs added to specifically identify each word.
Through the use of the determinative, it was impossible to mistake
one written word for another, even if verbal sounds were the same,
even if the letters used were the same.

This use of a purely symbolic, picture-oriented language encouraged
the ability in the learned ancient Egyptians to think with right
brained methods while doing the left brain activity of reading.

It also encouraged these educated and intelligent Egyptians to work
with symbols as they worked with language.  They were able to
communicate ideas and ideals in a language particularly well suited
to this purpose.

Setians use the ancient Egyptian neters as symbols, representing
aspects of the world, or aspects of the individual.  We feel this
is very close to the way the higher initiates of the ancient
Egyptian Temples, the priests of the Temples, and the smarter
pharaohs used and viewed their neters.  The neters were concepts
that could be communicated to and shared among the initiated,
rather than being actual gods and goddesses.

The common man may very well have believed in the literal existence
of his many gods and goddesses, but we believe the elite of the
Egyptian society understood that these neters were purely symbols.
When the Egyptian elite paid homage to the neters, they paid homage
to the aspects of the universe or of the self represented by those

One neter of obvious importance is Set.  In dealing with this
symbol, we try to identify the original meaning of the symbol, and
try to eliminate the corruptions of the symbol imposed by the later
rule of Osirian religion.

Rather than take space here to discuss the corruptions and
distortions that were applied to the symbol of the neter Set
through the Osirian culture, we'll simply refer the interested
student to appropriate books in the reading list: 2A, 2E, 2G, 2W,
and 2AA.

It is rather clear that the use and peripheral meanings of the
neter Set changed over time.  The study of Set must therefore
include the careful consideration of the source of whatever
writings are being studied.  Fortunately most other Egyptian
symbols/god forms did not change significantly over time, and such
care need not be used in studying and working with them.

The neters were used and viewed as symbols.  But the Egyptian
temples _were_ temples, and were recognized as religions, not
simply as centers of enlightened philosophy.  This brings up the
question: Do/did the Egyptian Neters actually exist? Were these
religions founded to worship or work with beings that actually

existed? Or were they simply the creations of the ancient Egyptian

Rather than tackle immediately the question of whether the Neters
actually existed, workshop participants first chose to examine ...

                        Egyptian Priesthoods

The first statement made about these priesthoods was that each
temple in Egypt taught a different area of philosophy or knowledge.

Those temples dedicated to a major neter or god taught that their
primal Form was the First Cause.  These were the major temples of
the land, and an initiate who studied at temple after temple would
be presented with the opposing claims that each god was the god,
The Creator.

We noted in our discussion that the priesthoods of several of the
"minor" neters did not make any such claims.  Thoth as a single
neter never seemed to be treated as the creator god; nor was Geb.
However, many of the major neters were treated as creator gods, and
many gods were intentionally combined into units (such as
Amon-Thoth-Ra) in order to form a god which would be powerful
enough to qualify as The creator god.

                          Neters as Symbols

We returned to discussing the neters as ways of viewing possibility
and potentiality, and ways of viewing different aspects of the
universe and of the individual.

For example, Ra, the sun god, was a most pervasive and powerful
being, since every single day, there he is in the sky.  Ra was
consistent, reliable, and therefore powerful.

Similarly each force in nature was given a personality, because
each force in nature has a personality (or seems to, to those who
humanize such things).  This is the basic principle behind most
spirits of most animistic religions.

These personalities are generally reliable.  A rain cloud is going
to rain; it isn't going to add to the day's heat.  The Nile was not
going to dry up -- it was going to overflow once a year, and
deposit good, rich, fertile earth upon the ground.  Each force of
nature, each personality, was given a name, a face, and a story.

The most powerful stories, faces, and names are those that belong
to the creator gods.  There are so many creator gods, that it's
really difficult to pin down an actual order of precedence.

This brings up the fact that there are many apparently conflicting
stories within the Egyptian mythology.

The Grand Master pointed out that in several Egyptian myths, Shu
and Tefnut are self-created.  In others they were created by tears
of the master creator god (whoever he happened to be according to
the story teller).  In yet others they were created by the master
god's masturbation.

Shu and Tefnut by definition are the first male and female.  The
master god's masturbation in these latter stories was always male
masturbation, but Shu is the first male.  Shu and Tefnut begat Geb
and Nut, but Nut was the all-pervasive universal sky that preceded
the first god...

This confusion is the result of centuries of Egyptian story
telling, and while some of it appears to be contraditory, most of
it is useful.  We certainly must hesitate to consider this
mythology as one consistent symbolism, and must be careful if we
wish to communicate consistent meanings using these symbols, but
we have found value in this mythology.

Each story is a different way of looking at the world, a different
way of looking at the first cause, and of looking at the symbols.
By using these symbols, we can then indicate not only a symbol, but
also which way we are looking at the world.

Hence, if in ritual or other communication we call upon
Ptah-Geb-Nu, we are calling upon the creator of the earth and sky,
the god who created the physical universe.  If instead we call upon
the Neter Ra-Ptah-ankh, we are calling upon the god who brought
light and life to this planet.

Having discussed these differing views of the world as expressed
by the many symbolic neters, we felt that this was a good point
from which to launch into a discussion of one of the ways in which
we look at Neters.

Set, the prime source of intelligence and the ageless intelligence
himself, is a wee bit complex for someone a mere 20 or even 200
years old to understand, regardless of whether we look at Set as
an actually existing being or instead as a master symbol.

So rather than try to encompass all of Set, intellectually or
emotionally, rather than try to understand all of Set, we can work
with neters which are facets of Set's being, facets of Set's
symbolism.  Each neter can be thought of as a specific element of

As examples, Shu is one set of symbolism, one set of ideas, that
an initiate can work with to "get somewhere" with, to accomplish
certain initiatory goals.  Tefnut is another set of ideas, as is
Geb, Isis, etc.

Rather than trying to encompass and work with the entire universe
simultaneously, grab whatever you can hold onto, work with that
handful, study that symbol or symbols, and see what it leads to.

We had originally intended to discuss whether or not the Neters
might or might not exist in their own right.  Having discussed the
above, it seemed somewhat unimportant as to whether the Neters
actually exist.  That topic will be left for a later discussion.


While the following books and papers were not necessarily discussed

nor referenced during the workshop discussion (or in completing
this article), the initiate interested in studying symbolism as a
subject on its own would be well advised to begin with this
bibliography.  Additions to this bibliography are welcome, and
should be sent to the Grand Master.  (_RT_ entries are from _The
Ruby Tablet of Set_.)

Barrett, Ronald K., "Book of Opening the Way (Key #4)".  _RT_

Barrett, Ronald K., "Stele of Xem".  _RT_ IT.II.A.4.a.(3).

Cavendish, Richard, _The Black Arts_.  4C (TS-3).

Crowley, Aleister, _The Book of Thoth_.  9L (TS-4).

De Lubicz, Isha Schwaller, _Her-Bak_.  2L (TS-1).

De Lubicz, Isha Schwaller, _Symbol and the Symbolique_.  2V (TS-4).

Fisher, Leonard Everett, _Symbol Art:  Thirteen Squares, Circles,
and Triangles from Around the World_.  NY: Four Winds Press,
MacMillan Publishing Company, 1985.

Helfman, Elizabeth S., _Signs and Symbols Around the World_.  NY:
Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Co., 1967.

Jung, Carl G., _Man and his Symbols_.  Garden City: Doubleday &
Co., 1964, 1968.  Also NY: Dell Publishing Co., 1968, and London:
Aldus Books, 1964.

Menschel, Robert, "Remanifestation:  A Symbolic Syntheses", _RT_

Menschel, Robert, "Tarot Primer", _RT_ IT.II.B.3.e.(3).

Norton, Lynn, "Golden Section Tarot Working", "Atu XV: The Devil",
and "The Dialogue".  _RT_ IT.II.A.3.k.(1), 4.h.(1), and 4.h.(2).

Regardie, Israel, _777 and Other Qabalistic Writings of Aleister
Crowley_.  9M (TS-4).

Schaefer, Heinrich, _Principles of Egyptian Art_.  2R (TS-4).


1. The Grand Master wishes to digress temporarily from the workshop's
discussion, and to comment at this time on one of the first statements
offered during this discussion.


                              The God Set 
                              by Setnakt

The best English study of Set is Te Velde's _Set, God of
Confusion_ Brill 1977. If this particular text is unavailable through
your library, I recommend a a short cheap and very reliable book by
George Hart: _A Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses_, Routledge &
Kegan Paul, 1986. This very ambiguous god was alternately deified
and demonized depending on the cultural/political currents running
through Egypt. Allow me to present here a brief history of Set.

Predynastically: Set was an important deity appearing in the art of the
Hamitic peoples living in the Ombos and Naquada regions. Interestingly,
his was the only god-figure not composed of parts from recognizable
Earth animals.

(The Hamitic speakers donated most of the terms to religious philosophy
to the Egyptian langauge that seperate it from other Semitic languages
including ba, ka, neter, etc. If somebody really wants to find the roots
of the Egyptian religion, they should go up the Nile and do some serious
anthropology among Hamitic speaking native cultures-- the roots of the
Nile may hold keys to Egyptian thought that mute stones do not).

Archaic Egypt: Set generally occupies a secondary role to his enemy
Horus, champion of the people of the North (except in the 2nd dynasty
when one pharaoh took a "Set" name rather than a Horus name.) Set is
intimately connected with teaching astronomy,the methods of agriculture,
medicine, and above all magic. He is said to have opened the mouth of
the other gods, and is the patron of the sem ritual. His cult titles
include "Great of Magic" and "Eternal". There is indeed evidence that
Set is set apart from other gods to die (Bonnet's commentaries on the
Pyramid texts).

The astronomical cult, which placed the afterlife in the region of the
Northern heavens -- particularly in and around the constellation of the
Great Bear was replaced in the Fourth dynasty by a growing sun cult
centering on Re and Horus. The great stellar monument that Imhotep
designed were replaced by the solar pyramids of the Fourth and Fifth
dynasty's.  (Notably Cheops took no chances in the great Pyramid's
design -- although outwardly a solar monument he had a hole bored
through the stones aligned with the position of Alpha Draconis (a star
in the Great Bear called Thuban = "the Subtle One" a Set cult
title?) just in case that was where his ka was heading. 

During the next few dynasties (4 - 17), Set is generally
ignored. His functions are absorbed into other gods. Thoth picks up the
attributes of magic, Osiris picks up the attributes of Mysterious time
_djet_ as opposed to exoteric time _neheh_. Set keeps his attributes a
storm and stellar god, and gradually comes to be associated with all
night fears -- nightmares, desert fiends, and bad animals such as the
hippo and the jaguar of the South. He is mentioned in a famous 12th
dynasty writing called _The Discourse of a man with his ba_ in which his
solar aspect IAA is referred to. Bikka Reed has a great translations of
this text.

In the 18th dynasty a remarkable Pharoah Hatshepsut reintroduced the
worship of Set by building a Temple dedicated to him and Horus the Elder
at Ombos. This marked a strong interest in Set's eternal nature, for

example in Hatshepsut is the prophecy (which she had placed in her tomb
at Der el-Medina) that "She will not only enjoy the days of Horus, but
the days of Set will be added to her span."

She was also interested in the antinomian nature of the Set cult -- in
fact she preformed one of the most scandalous acts available to a woman
-- she acted as a man. This early feminist clearly found Set, a great
archetype to Work with. Set was popular among her family until the
Kingship of Akhenaton (may he be reborn forever drowning in the jaws of
Sobek the crocodile god).

The very militaristic pharaohs of the Nineteenth dynasty, who were
probably descended form a family of Set priests at Tanis, delighted in
Set both in his militaristic role and as God of Foreign places. Ramses
II for example called himself the Son of Set. The Set cult too was very
popular with foreigners coming to live in Egypt. His worship has always
been connected with the outsider.

The Twentieth Dynasty began by looking very favorably on this god, as is
shown in the name of its founder Setnakt, "Set is Mighty." There is also
considerable evidence that the set cult was favored among artisans of
the time (see Romer's _Ancient Lives_, Henry Holt, 1984, and if you've
got as copy of Stephen Quirk's _Ancient Egyptian Religion_ check out the
beautiful Stella of Aapehty -- probably the most beautiful surviving
example of Setian art).

By the end of the Twentieth Dynasty, as the funerary cult of Osiris
became the dominate force in popular Egyptian religion,more and more,
Set as the murderer of Osiris became the Evil One. In fact by the Twenty
Sixth dynasty it was a common practice to disfigure any representations
of Set. He became --for all practical purposes the Christian devil. Some
scholars have even derived the name Satan from Set-Hen, a cult title
meaning the Majesty of Set, but I am dubious of this particular

However Set was not down for the count. During the Ptolemaic period Set,
merged with the Greek titan Typhon, became the figure for the _goes_ or
sorcerer to use. After Hermes the most often invoked god in the Magical
papyri is Set-Typhon. This entity was used to bring spirit helpers (
bird would fly down and announce that the magician was now under the
protection of a god -- a popular Typhonic practice outside of Egypt as
well see Morton Smith's _Jesus the Magician_). Set was also the god to
invoke to send dreams, perform healings on the head or spinal column,
and to cause enmity between enemies.

There seems to be a few common threads running through the Set cult: the
quest for immortality, antinomianism, and the practice of magic. Perhaps
this is why Michael Aquino's current Temple of Set finds this figure so
appealing as an archetype for the Left Hand Path. Like Hatshepsut before
Aquino has Opened the Mouth of this ancient god, and the articulation of
the Principle of Isolate Intelligence is available to us today.


                   Sources and Resources for Asatru 


The Asatru Alliance of Independent Kindreds P.O. Box 961; Payson AZ

The Alliance is the linear descendent of the Asatru Free Assembly. They
are a democratically run national  confederation of independent kindreds
who meet once a year in an Allthing to conduct business. It is 
essentially conservative and libertarian. "The Alliance is based upon
the ancient model of tribal  democracy known as the Thing, and member
kindreds support a code of laws we feel necessary to  preserve and
protect Asatru from those who would dilute, subvert, or in any way harm
our religion.  Membership in the Alliance is encouraged for those who
actively promote and believe in the Aesir and  Vanir and our collective
Heathen Heritage. Anyone interested in joining the Alliance should
contact the  kindred of choice for acceptance. There is no membership in
the Alliance except through a kindred.  Applicants must subscribe to the
membership requirements of the kindred of choice and uphold the  bylaws
of the Asatru Alliance."

The Ring of Troth P.O. Box 18812; Austin TX 78760 The Ring of Troth was
founded by Edred Thorsson. He resigned in Spring of 2242 (Runic
Reckoning - 1992 C.E.) and has been replaced by Prudence Priest, most
well known as the editor of Yggdrasil.  Due  to the resignation of
Thorsson and several other members of the High Rede (i.e. Board of
Directors) the  Ring is currently in reorganization, and it appears that
it will emerge much stronger than before.

The Ring is governed by an appointed High Rede of 9 persons who guide
the national affairs of the Ring.  They offer a number of programs
include an Elder training program for prospective clergy, The Rune Ring 
for study of the magickal properties of the Runes from within a Germanic
Pagan context, and recognition  for local Kindreds.

The Ring of Troth requires that "its members affiliate for cultural and
religious reasons rather than for  racial and political reasons. The use
of the Ring of Troth as a platform for any type of political or racial
propoganda will not be tolerated"

Dues are $24 and include a subscription to Idunna. If one does not wish
to join, Friends of the Troth may  receive Idunna for $24 as well.


Vor Tru - $12/year. The Journal of the Asatru Alliance (see above
address).  Concentrates on community  issues within the Alliance, news
of kindreds, letters, etc.

Idunna - $24/year. The journal of the Ring of Troth. Idunna concentrates
on fairly heavy academic  subjects, runelore, etc.

Mountain Thunder - $15/year, 1630 30th St #266; Boulder CO 80301. Glossy
covered and well put  together. Usually excellent articles on relgious
issues of Heathenry, scholarly stuff, reviews, and opinion.

Uncle Thorr's Newsletter - $12/year, P.O. Box 080437; Staten Island NY

10308-0005. Simple newsletter  with ranting and raving from Uncle Thorr
and company, news from NY, and articles on lifestyle, runes,  and other


American Church of Theodish; 107 Court St, Suite 131; Watertown NY 13601
(Anglo Saxon Theodism)

Am Church of Theodish West; 9353 Otto St; Downey CA 90241

Arizona Kindred; P.O. Box 961; Payson AZ 85547 (Asatru Alliance)

Barnstokker Hearth; P.O. Box 1972; Seattle WA 98111-1972

Eagles Reaches; P.O. Box 382; Deer Park TX 77536 (Ring of Troth)

Mountain Moot; P.O. Box 328; Elizabeth CO 80107

Nerthus Heart; 27 Gap Rd; Black Hawk CO 80422

Northern California Kindred; P.O. Box 445; Nevada City CA 95959

Norvegr Kindred; 219 Lewis St; Wash Court House OH 43160

Oak Rune Kindred; P.O. Box 3392; Galveston TX 77552

Raven Kindred; P.O. Box 970; Amherst MA 01004-0970

Skelland Kindred; P.O. Box 7608; Clearwater FL 34618

Thorr's Hammer Kindred; 9461 Bella Vista Rd; Apple Valley CA 92308

Torwald Kindred; 1630 30th St #266; Boulder CO 80301

Vinland Kindred; P.O. Box 15431 PSS; Stamford CT 06901

Wulfing Kindred; P.O. Box 18237; Chicago IL 60618 (Asatru Alliance)

Yggdrasil Kindred; 1709 West Midvale Village Dr; Tucson AZ 85476

Recommended Books:

The Poetic Edda, Lee Hollander translation (basic mythology in an
excellently translated poetic version.)

The Prose Edda, Jean Young translation (basic mythology)

The Norse Myths, Kevin Crossley Holland (basic mythology in modern
language and retelling, excellent  for readings or meditation)

A Book of Troth by Edred Thorsson (Not my favorite author and not a book
without many imperfections,  but the only mass market book of the basic
rituals of Asatru)

The AFA Rituals, three volumes available from World Tree Books ($18 from
World Tree) The original  ritual volumes from the Asatru Free Assembly.


Introduction to Ritual and Invocation Tape ($7 from World Tree Books) A
basic cassette tape that goes  through a ritual step by step, the other
side is a variety of invocations and prayers.

The last two are from World Tree Publications; P.O. Box 961; Payson AZ
85547 (checks payable to the  O.F. of Arizona). World Tree is a service
of the Asatru Alliance and carries a number of tapes and  booklets as
well as Thor's Hammers and statuary.


                      ADF BASIC RITUAL NUMBER ONE 
              by P.E.I. Bonewits, Sally Eaton and others

Procession, lead by D1 and D2:

    D1: Ta muid anseo leis na Deithe a adhradh.
    D2: We are here to honor the Gods.
    D1: A Dheithe, an Airde, a Thabharthoiri ar Bheatha - eistigi
    agus freagairt orainn!
    D2: O Gods, High Ones, Givers of Life - hear and answer us!

Processional song:

    We come from the mountains,
    Living in the mountains,
    Turn the world around.

    We come from the oceans,
    Living in the oceans,
    Turn the world around.

    We come from the fire,
    Living in the fire,
    Turn the world around.

    We come from the breezes,
    Living in the breezes,
    Turn the world around.

Settling song:

    She changes everything she touches,
    And everything she touches changes.

Tree Meditation:

    When e'er we stand in a sacred place
    Beneath the Sun's or Moon's bright face,
    In a circle's rim or shady grove,
    Our spirits go to the Gods we love.

    Let all our minds go clear and free,
    and form the image of a treee,
    A youthful sapling of the glade,
    Whose budding branches cast no shade.

    Around this tender, supple youth,
    Are seen its sturdy forbearers growth,
    Those forest Elders strong and wise,
    Who nurture those of lesser size.

    So close your eyes, and in your mind
    Become one of the spirit kind.
    Cast off your cares and disbelief,
    and enter tree from root to leaf.


    Relax and breathe and center will,
    Then let the peace within you swell
    Until it is a thing profound.
    Now send it deep in the ground.

    In every little tender root
    Feel water flow, and and then transmute;
    The sap will flow through ever vein,
    Our links to our ancestors regain.

    Now let the sap rise in a flood,
    And race to every branch and bud;
    Each branch extend into the air,
    Each leaf unfold in green so fair.

    The gentle zephers toss each bough,
    And to you calming breaths endow,
    While rays of golden summer light
    Give warmth and lend their power's might.

    Let water rise and fire descend,
    And lively air the branches bend;
    Thus firmly planted in the Earth,
    The elements give us rebirth.

    Now let the green entwine,
    And form our sacred grove devine.
    With branch and root our circle form,
    And magic from mundane transform.

    We all are rooted just the same,
    We feel the same supernal flame,
    We drink the water free to all,
    We hear the gentle airy call.

    Now let us feel our spirits surge,
    And into one great spirit merge
    To let the Lord and Lady know
    That we are ready below.

    And let us all link hand to hand,
    Before all of the gods we stand,
    And in this hallowed space we start
    To show all that is in our heart.


Specifacation of ritiual:

Invocation of Ogma the Gate Keeper, or Mannanon in English and Irish:
(English by Sally Eaton, Irish by James Duran)
(visualization is a triangle shaped iris opening)

        D1: A Oghma, a thiarna na nGeatai, a thiarna an Fheasa, oscail
        na geatai duinn. Ta muid ag siul i do lorg, ta' muid ag siul ar
        do bhealach. Scaoil duinn do theagasc taispeain duinn cen chaol
        a siul faidh muid slan. Molann muid thu mar gheall ar do
        chumhacht. Siuil linn a Oghma!


        D1: A Mhanannon, a thiarna na nGeatai, a thiarna an Fheasa,
        oscail na geatai duinn. Ta muid ag siul i do lorg, ta' muid ag
        siul ar do bhealach. Scaoil duinn do theagasc taispeain duinn
        cen chaol a siul faidh muid slan. Molann muid thu mar gheall ar
        do chumhacht. Siuil linn a Mhanannon!

        D2: O Ogma, Lord of the Gates, Lord of Knowledge, open the ways
        for us. We walk in your footsteps, we walk your roads. Reveal to
        us your teaching, reveal to us the way to walk in safety. We
        praise you for the brightness of your power. Walk with us, Ogma!


        D2: O Manannon, Lord of the Gates, Lord of Knowledge, open the
        ways for us. We walk in your footsteps, we walk your roads.
        Reveal to us your teaching, reveal to us the way to walk in
        safety. We praise you for the brightness of your power. Walk
        with us, Manannon!

    D1: Siuil linn a Oghma...
    D2: ...walk with us Ogma!
    D1: Siuil linn a Oghma...
    D2: ...walk with us Ogma!
    D1: Siuil linn a Oghma...
    D2: ...walk with us Ogma!


    D1: Siuil linn a  Mhanannon...
    D2: ...walk with us Manannon!
    D1: Siuil linn a Mhanannon...
    D2: ...walk with us Manannon!
    D1: Siuil linn a Mhanannon...
    D2: ...walk with us Manannon!



    We invoke thee Ogma, Opener of every Gate
    We invoke thee Ogma, Opener of every Gate.
    You shall reach us, You shall teach us and reveal our fate.
    You shall reach us, You shall teach us and reveal our fate.
    (repeat nine times)


    We invoke Manannon, Opener of every Gate
    We invoke Manannon, Opener of every Gate.
    You shall reach us, You shall teach us and reveal our fate.
    You shall reach us, You shall teach us and reveal our fate.
    (repeat nine times)

Invoke Matron of Bards (Bridget nominally)

    O Bridget, our heart, Our brightest Queen;
        Cast your blessings unto us.
    We are your children, You are our mother;
        So harken unto us.
    You are the Cauldron now in our grove;
        Earth-Mother inspire us.
    O fire of love, O fire of life;
        Please Bridget, come to us!

Triad invocations and consecrating of the waters:

Nature: Fill main chalice with whiskey and secondary chalice with water.
Hold them up and say:

        D2: O spirits of the old times and of this place, our
        companions, our teachers, hallow these waters. Share with us the
        renewal of the Earth. Share with us comfort, knowledge, and
        blessing. Speak to our hearts, that we may become one with you
        all...Behold the waters of life.

        D1: A sprideanna na seanaimsire, agus na haite seo, a
        chomhghuaillithe,a mhuinteori, beannaigi na h-uisci seo duinn.
        Roinnigi orainn athbheochan na Talun. Roinnigi orainn
        suaimhneas, eolas, agus beannacht. Labhraigi linn inar gcroi, le
        go mbeadh muid in  aon bhall libhse...Seo iad uisci na beatha!

Sip from each chalice and passes to D2 then to sunwise (left), saying:

    Behold the waters of life.

Asperging song/chant (Fur and Feathers) for while waters being passed.

    Fur and feather and scale and skin,
        Different without, the same within.
    Many of body but one of soul,
        Through all creatures, the Gods made whole.
    (repeat nine times)


        D2: O people of the old times, our ancestors, our kindred,
        hallow these waters. Share with us the bond of life upon the
        Earth. Share with us comfort, knowledge, and blessing. Speak to
        our hearts, that we may become one with you all ... Behold the
        waters of life!

        D1: A sheana, a shinseara, a mhuintir, beannaigi n h-uisci seo
        duinn. Roinnigi orainn ceangal na beatha ar Talamh. Roinnigi
        orainn suaimhneas, eolas, agus beannacht. Labhraigi linn inar
        gcroi, le go  mbeadh muid in aon bhall libhse .... Seo iad uisci
        na beatha!

Asperging song/chant:

    It's the blood of the ancients,
        That runs through our veins.
    And the forms pass,
        But the Circle of Life remains.

Gods as a whole:

        D2: O Gods of the old times, our mothers, our fathers, hallow
        these waters. Share with us your power to regenerate the Earth.
        Share with us comfort, knowledge, and blessing. Speak to our
        hearts, that we may become one with you all ... Behold the
        waters of life!

        D1: A Dheithe na seanaimsire, a mhaithreacha, a aithreacha,
        beannaigi na h-uisci seo duinn. Roinnigi orainn bhur gcumhacht
        le go nginfeadh muid an Domhan. Roinnigi orainn suaimhneas,
        eolas, agus beannacht. Labhraigi linn inar gcroi, le go mbeadh
        muid in aon bhall libhse ... Seo iad uisci na beatha!

Asperging song/chant:

    Mother I feel You under my feet. Mother I hear your heart beat.
    Mother I feel You under my feet. Mother I hear your heart beat.
    Father I see You where the eagle flies.  Spirit going to take me
    Father I see You where the eagle flies.  Spirit going to take me

Praise offerings and major power raising:

The sacrifice: (see FESTNAME.TXT for diety names of holidays)

        D2: Our praise goes up with thee on the wings of eagles; our
        voices are carried up to thee on the shoulders of the winds.
        Hear now, o Name, o Name, we pray thee, as we offer up this
        sacrifice of life. Accept it we pray thee, and cleanse our
        hearts, giving to us of your peace and life.


        D1: Teann ar moladh suas chugat ar sciathain iolar; beitear ar
        nglortha suas chugat ar ghuailne na gaoithe. Eistigi anois,
        a..., an ..., mas e bhur dtoil e, agus sinn ag ofrail na
        h-iobairte seo ar son na beatha. Glacaigi lei, mas e bhur dtoil
        e, agus glanaigi ar gcroithe, ag roinnt arainn do chuid siochana
        is do bheatha.

The Omen:

    D2: Have you accepted our sacrifice of life and human effort?
    D1: Give unto us an omen!

Possible repitition of Praise offerings and Omen seeking, if needed.

    D1: Rejoice! The NAME and NAME have accepted our sacrifices!

Meditation on personal needs:

Repetition on group needs: done by D1 & D2

Induction of Receptivity:

        D1:  Of what does the Earth-Mother give, that we may know of the
             continual flow and renewal of life?
        D2: The waters of life.
    D1: From whence do these waters flow?
    D2: From the bosom of the Earth-Mother, the ever changing All-Mot-
    D1: And how do we honor this gift that causes life?
    D2: By partaking of the waters of life.
    D1: Has the Earth Mother given forth of Her bounty?
    D2: She has.
    D1: Then give me the waters!

Final consecration and sharing:

        D1: A NAME, an NAME, Eistigi agus freagairt orainn!  Bean- naigi
        na h-uisci seo duinn.  Muide do chlann, a mhol thu, agus anois
        iarrann muid ort leigheas, beannachtai, cumhacht agus
        tinfeadh... Seo iad uisci na beatha!

        D2: O NAME, O NAME, hear us and answer us! Hallow these waters!
        We your children have praised you, and now we ask from you
        healing, blessing, power and inspiration .... Behold the waters
        of life!

Passing song/chant:

    Burn bright, flame within me,
        Kindled of eternal fire.
    Of the people I do be,
        And the people part of me,
    All one in many parts,
        A single fire of flaming hearts!

Meditation on reception of blessings and reinforcement of group bonds:


Affirmation of success:

    D1: NAME and NAME have Blessed us!

    D2:Every time we invoke them, they become stronger and more alert
    to the needs of their people.

    D1: With joy in our hearts, let us return to the realm of mortals,
    to do the  will of the Gods and our own.

    D2: Yet, before we leave, we must give thanks to those whom we
    invited here today.

Thanking of the Entities involved:

    D2: O NAME and NAME,
    D1: A NAME, an NAME,
    D2: We thank you!
    D1: Go raibh maith agaibh!

    All: Go raibh maith agaibh!

    D2: O Gods and Goddesses of the old times,
    D1: A Dheithe na seanaimsiri -

    All: Go raibh maith agaibh!

    D2: O people of the old times, our ancestors, our kindred,
    D1: A sheana, a shinseara, a mhuntir -

    All: Go raibh maith agaibh!

    D2: O spirits of the old times, and of this place,
    D1: A sprideanna na seanaimsire, agus na haite seo -

    All: Go raibh maith agaibh!

    D2: O Bridget, Fire of Life and Fire of Love, Mother of Bards
    and Goddess of inspiration, we thank you.
    D1: A Bhrid, a Thine Bheatha agus a Thine Ghra, a Mhathair na
    Bardai agus Bheandia na Thinfeadh, go raith maith agat!

Closing of the Gates:

    D2: O Ogma, Lord of the Gates, Lord of Knowledge, we thank you.
    Now let the Gates Between the Worlds be closed!
    D1: A Oghma, a Thairna na nGeatai, a Thairna an Fheasa, go raith
    maith agat. Anois biodh na geatai idir na saolta a druidte!


    D2: O Mhannon, we thank you. Now let the Gates Between the Worlds be
    D1: A Mannonon go raith maith agat. Anois biodh na geatai idir na
    saolta a druidte!


Reversing the Tree meditation:

    Our sacred grove the Gods do love,
    The Earth beneath, the sky above,
    But now this ritual must end,
    Toward our home and hearthstone fend.

    Again we cleat our mind and heart;
    The branches shrink and pull apart.
    The roots untie and backward turn,
    And spirit fire less brightly burns.

    Let water sink, let fire go,
    Let gentle zephers homeward flow,
    And as if in a cleansing rain
    Become a single tree again.

    Then from this solitary tree
    Your soul breaks loose, a being free.
    Your body calls, your spirit flies,
    Returns, you slowly open your eyes.


        D1: To thee we return this portion of thy bounty, o NAME our
        Mother, even as we must someday return unto thee.

Final Benediction:

        D1: Let us go out into the world,  secure in the knowledge that
        our sacrifices have pleased the Gods and Goddesses, and that we
        go forth upon the Earth under their protection.

    D2: We have finished this ceremony!
    D1: So be it!
    All: Biodh se!

Recessional song/chant: Walk with Wisdom

    Walk with wisdom
        from this hallowed place.
    Walk not in sorrow,
        our roots shall ere embrace.
    May Strength be your brother,
        and Honor be your friend.
    and Luck be your lover until we meet again.

From:THE DRUIDS PROGRESS, Report #6. The DRUIDS PROGRESS is  published
semiannually (Gods Willing) and is sent primarily to the subscribing
members of ADF. For Further information write:  ADF, PO Box 1022, Nyack,
NY USA 10960-1022 (include a SASE). All Items accredited to "the
Archdruid" have been written by and are (C) 1990 by P.E.I. Bonewits. All
items created by other parties are (C) 1990 by them. All opinions
expressed, save those specifically attributed to the Board of Trustees,
are the opinions of the individuals expressing them and are Not official

ADF policy.  Reprint Procedure: Neopagan, Druidic, Medievalist and all 
cultural publications may reprint any material written by P.E.I.   
Bonewits, but his copyright notice must appear in full. If more than 250
words are excerpted, one cent per word should be donated to ADF.  


                           PAGAN MANNERS OR 

                Are There Any Dead Animals in The Soup? 
                     by Grey Cat, Members Advocate
 I can hear the outraged screams already. there are people out there who
believe that the very idea of "Pagan Manners" is a conflict in terms;
that "manners" are outdated, dishonest and hypocritical. Well,think
again.  Manners constitute the only successful technique ever discovered
by humankind to enable groups and individuals, holding moderately
disparate views, customs or beliefs, to get along together.  There are
things more important than manners; but, without manners,its unlikely
that a discussion will ever go to them.    Pagan manners are fairly
simple and have nothing to do with which fork you use or how to word an
invitation. They have to do with respect for others' feelings and
beliefs. They most specifically have to do with recognition of the fact
that you should "judge not the path of your brother or sister for their
path is sacred." Manners are also the only way of attempting to grant
everyone the personal space which each of us needs.  There have been a
number of attempts to write down a list of "thou shalts" and "thou shalt
nots" which will cover Pagan life. Here are several tries made by four
different people: 
     MY OWN OPINIONS 1. Never assume that you are invited to a ritual or
a non public gathering just because your friend is invited. Have your
friend call the group doing the event and ASK! (or call yourself). 2.
When participating in a ritual led by a group of which you are nota
member, ask ahead of time what will be done. SHould there be something
in the explanation, or in the set-up of the ritual area which bothers
you, just quietly don't participate in the ritual. 3. Ask the person(s)
officiating at a ritual before you place anything in the ritual area;
wear clothing or tools which might be considered unusual; or add private
energy workings to the ritual being done. 4. Never just walk out of a
cast ritual circle. Ask someone in the group sponsoring the ritual to
cit you a door if your really and truly absolutely have to leave. 5.
Don't make comments on the ritual, its leaders or the amount or quality
of the energy raised during the ritual unless such opinions are asked
for by the leaders. Save it for your friends, privately,after the ritual
is over. 6. Vegetarians, Vegans, Strict Carnivores, Diabetics, and any
others with very strong food preferences: no one minds your asking
quietly and politely "Which dishes have meat (sugar, spices, hot pepper,
etc.)in them?" When planning a meal for mixed Pagan/Wiccan groups, it is
strongly suggested that at least some of the dishes be vegetarian, sug-
ar-free, relatively non-spicy etc. At all times, within and without the
ritual context, always provide an alternative to alcoholic beverages. 7.
While many people have become far less secretive about their membership
in a Pagan group, it is never, EVER, permissible to "blow someones
cover".  Do not ever call a friend or acquaintance by their Pagan name
or mention their membership in a mundane situation. It is also bad
manners - and a symptom of social climbing - to call an individual by
his/her mundane name in a Pagan situation. It always reminds me of an
extra calling John Wayne "The Duke" at a local bar. 8. Whether you
drink, take drugs or indulge in other similar behavior is completely
your own business. It is always wrong to urge such behavior on any other
individual. The majority of serious Pagan groups absolutely do NOT allow
anyone under the influence of drugs or alcohol to participate in ritual.
Do not be offended of you are turned away for this reason. If you are
taking a psycho-active drug for a medical reason it is very wise to
check with the ritual leader(s) so they will understand and can advise

you if they feel the ritual might be harmful  to you. 9. Just because
most Pagans/Wiccans are under 40 and in reasonably good physical
condition, never assume that everyone is. Rituals and gatherings should
be planned so that those with physical problems aren't barred totally
from participation. Particularly in ritual, be aware that many more
people than you might think are "mobility disabled." Group ritual should
take place in an accessible area and some thought should be given to
designating a safe place for those not taking part in dancing to stand
or sit. Please be alert to anyone to whom help would be welcome. Help
them to find a campsite which minimizes walking - to the ritual area, to
the privies, to the eating area - whatever. Help them pitch their camp.
Don't make them feel unwelcome - most handicapped people have worked
extra hard on their magickal skills and may be able to add a great deal
to the power in ritual and to the success of the gathering. 10. When at
any sort of gathering, please be thoughtful. Particularly please observe
true quiet after midnight. No one minds if you and others want to stay
up all night talking or whatever. Everyone else minds a great deal if
you stay up talking and laughing loudly and/or drumming. Those hosting
a gathering should take the responsibility of keeping the noise level
very low in at least some of the sleeping areas - and designating it as
a quiet area. 11. Do not allow yourself to get the idea that you know
the One True,Right and Only Path! Even if you really do have the
conviction that what someone else is doing is "wrong", "incorrect",
"Left-hand path"or whatever, just don't talk about it. It is perfectly
permissible to refrain from participating in the activities of those
with whom you cannot feel comfortable.  It is not acceptable to express
the idea that they "shouldn't" be doing it.  This is not to say that if
you know of criminal behavior on the part of a so-called Pagan/Wiccan
group you should not report it. We must also be responsible for cleaning
up our own act.    Paganism is glorified by its diversity. Please do not
allow yourself to express judgement by categories. Whether or not you
like or dislike blacks, Indians, Homosexuals, women, men, or whatever,
keep it to yourself! If you really and truly cannot feel comfortable
taking part in a ritual which isn't conducted according to the tradition
you follow or if you cannot be pleasant in company mixed with groups you
disapprove of, please just stay home.

                 PAGAN/CRAFT ETIQUETTE by Soapbox Sam 
Listed below are not hard and fast rules, but some helpful guidelines
for those who would function smoothly in a craft/Pagan environment. 1.
Should you write to someone for information, always enclose an SASE
(Self-addressed, Stamped Envelope). Many of us receive several inquiries
a day. Sometimes just answering them, much less having to pay the
postage and buy envelopes, is a time-consuming, expensive task! 2.
Should your inquiry be about Pagan/Craft folks in your area, tell about
yourself, and how you came to have our names and wrote to is -after all
the Inquisition is alive and sick here in the heart of the Bible Belt.
Do not expect names and addresses unless they are already"public". Most
of us, even the "public" Pagan/Craft folks prefer to meet people slowly
and carefully over a cup of coffee in a public place, before we start
introducing you to our groups and our friends.Why should we risk when
you have risked nothing?  ((Sometimes I get mail that simply has a name
and address on it and demand that I send the latest copy of my newslet-
ter or the names and addresses/phone numbers of all Craft people in the
writer's areas. One man sent me a letter raising hell because he has
(according to him) sent me $0.33 in the mail and was waiting on the copy
of my newsletter "I owed him"!Sadly, this type of letter is more common
than not... his letter and 33 cents, is ever sent, was never received.

Do I really have to explain to grown mature adults about sending money
through the mails???)) 3. If you are invited to a gathering or festival,
whether by written or oral invitation, before you invite others, get
permission. Because of space, or other considerations, the number of
people that can be accommodated might be limited, or certain individuals
or groups may not be welcome because of personality conflicts and
resulting disharmony. Also, if a weekend gathering is scheduled and you
can only arrive for the ritual and then must leave, ask if that is
OK...sometimes the ritual is the climax of the entire gathering, rather
than an event in itself; in that case to show up only for the ritual not
having been part of the entire event is to 'take-away' from the meaning
of the whole for those who were there! 4. Always inquire what you should
bring to any gathering. If you have received an official invitation, you
should have been told. But,assume nothing! Ask if you need to bring
food, robes, candles, drinks,eating utensils (forks, cups, plates, etc).
It is unreasonable and rude to assume that an invitation to a gathering
means that people just like yourselves, will expect you to come and eat
their food, use their utensils and leave a mess for them to clean up
after you have gone. If you cannot take food, then at least offer the
gatherings sponsors a cash donation to help defray their cost. If you
can't stay to help clean up afterwards, at least be considerate enough
to get your own refuse to a garbage container. 5. To be invited to
participate in another's ritual is NOT your right, but rather a
privilege and an honor. If you are unfamiliar with their tradition,
common courtesy demands that you at least inquire about enough informa-
tion to participate in a positive fashion, and most certainly, make no
assumptions about adding anything to the circle or placing your
"special' crystals, totems, whatever in the circle or at a specific
place within the circle without getting permission. Also, do not remove
anything from a circle even should you feel it doesn't belong, without
explaining why and getting permission. 6. It should not have to be said,
but then neither should any of the above: If these Pagan/Craft rituals
have no meaning in your life, and if you have just come for the fellow-
ship, then enjoy the fellowship and please do not attend the ritual. The
circle is a significant part of our entire way of life, not a reenact-
ment of some past event just for the sake of the pageantry. When we can,
we are pleased to share it with you, and we do so in Love and Light with
Peace and Laughter. 
     IDEAS FROM MERLIN THE ENCHANTER 1. Be Yourself... if you worry
about what others think, then you won't think for yourself... and if you
don't think for yourself, you may as well be dead! 2. Allow all others
to be themselves... just because Joe Blow from kokomo has blue candles
on his altar and you use only white ones, that doesn't mean he is the
son of Satan. We must each one be allowed our own Pagan path in freedom,
for if we cannot do that, then we have no freedom! 3. Let's stop all the
silliness of who is and is not a Witch, and what one must do to be a
witch. 4. Don't ask for someone's opinions unless you really want it!
More Witch wars are started because someone asked for another's views
and didn't like the answer they got! 5. Add a dose of good humor (the
worst Witches are the ones that take everything so S-E-R-I-O-U-S-L-Y!)
     IDEAS FROM BEKET ASER EDITHSDATTERIt is necessary that we learn to
be just plain adult about working together - or even, just existing on
the same planet. 1. If you can't tolerate any slightest deviation from
your own tradition, do not take part in public or cross-cultural rituals
or gatherings. 2. If you have ideas of what should be in the ritual; or
what should not - go to the planning meeting and express your opinions.
3. If you delegate a task to someone else - you have made it their job.
The only thing you have to say is "Thank you". When and how they do it

is their business so long as it is done at the moment it is required. 4.
Appoint somebody to keep notes of the planning meetings - as things are
said, not afterwards, or, inevitably, there will be disagreements about
the ground rules. 5. Gossip : There are a few situations wherein it is
legitimate to pass on "gossip". the following suggestions are not all
inclusive but may serve to give guidelines for judging:   a. When a
major life change definitely is occurring to someone with  whom you and
the person to whom you pass on the information -  frequently work.   b.
When you are acting as resource to help someone decrease a  situation of
disagreement.   c. When you really plan to take positive action to
alleviate the  situation the gossip refers to.   d. (This situation
really does not occur all that often.) When  warning someone about an
individual whose practices are definitely  undesirable for a reason
other than that you don't like them.   e. When you have truly accurate
information to counteract damaging  and inaccurate rumor. 6. When
examining a situation to decide whether or not you, yourself,are under
psychic attack, be sure to ask yourself if it couldn't be because being
under attack makes you feel important. 7. Within the group or group
structure, the High Priest and or High Priestess are generally entitled
to your respect and a certain amount of deference. If they really,
really don't know as much as you do, perhaps it is time that you take a
fond and friendly leave of them/him/her and begin a group of your own. 
  Obviously, group or group affairs are appropriate subjects for
discussion among all the members, and the HP/S definitely should be
willing to listen to reasonable suggestions. However, you joined the
group in order to learn from its leaders; a year or two of study prob-
ably doesn't qualify you to suddenly object to all their teachings,
methods, and beliefs. Above all, it is inappropriate to try to stir up
the whole group and "take over" the group. The leaders have put a good
deal of time, patience, thought and teaching into building the group and
giving it a good name - if you want to be Witch Queen of the Universe,
start your own group from scratch and try to become good enough to earn
status yourself. The goal is not big groups, it is the best possible
groups. For group leaders: They need to be grown-up enough to know that
everydisagreement isn't necessarily a personal attack. They need to
developleadership skills to avoid confrontation and inflexibility. They
needto know how to lead without dominating and they need an inten-
seinterest in the health of the group. The HP/S needs to listen to
theideas of the members and to use their ideas whenever posssible.
Theyshould be able to explain rationally why certain ideas cannot be
used.                                #30#