A. Gravettian-Aurignacian Cultures (25000 BC-15000 BC)

    1. The Upper-Paleolithic period, though most of its sites have been 
    found in Europe, is the conjectural foundation of the religion of 
    the Goddess as it emerged in the later Neolithic Age of the Near 

      a. There have been numerous studies of Paleolithic cultures, 
      explorations of sites occupied by these people, and the apparent 
      rites connected with the disposal of their dead.  

      b. In these Upper-Paleolithic societies, the concept of the 
      creator of all human life may have been formulated by the clan's 
      image of women, who were their most ancient primal ancestors.  

        (1) It is believed that the mother was regarded as the sole 
        parent of children in this culture.  

        (2) Ancestor worship appears to have been the basis of sacred 
        rituals and ancestry is believed to have been reckoned through 
        the matriline.  

           (a) The beginnings of Roman religion were based on survivals 
           of the Etruscan culture and ancestor worship was the earliest 
           form of religion in Rome.  

           (b) Even today, the Jewish people determine who is and is not 
           a Jew through the matriline.  

     2. The most tangible evidence supporting the theory that these 
     cultures worshipped a Goddess is the  numerous sculptures of women 
     found throughout most of Europe and the Near East. Some of these 
     sculptures date as far back as 25,000 BC.  

       a. These small female figurines, made of stone, bone, and clay, 
       most of which are seemingly pregnant, have been found throughout 
       the widespread Gravettian-Aurignacian sites in areas as far apart 
       as Spain, France, Germany, Austria, and Russia.  

         (1) These sites and figurines appear to span a period of at 
         least 10,000 years.  

     3. Johannes Maringer, in his book 'The Gods of Prehistoric Man' 
     says- "It appears highly probable then that the female figurines 
     were idols of a Great Mother cult, practiced by the non-nomadic 
     Aurignacian mammoth hunters who inhabited the immense Eurasian 
     territories that extended from Southern France to Lake Baikal in 

        a. It was from this Lake Baikal area in Siberia that tribes are 
        believed to have migrated across a great land bridge to North 
        America about this time period, and formed the nucleus of what 
        was to become the race of American Indians.  

          (1) This tends to support the observation that European 
          witchcraft and American Indian shamanism have similar roots.  

  B. The Roots of Western Civilization 

    1. Western Civilization began in Mesopotamia and the Nile Valley, 
    where it traveled into Palestine and Greece.  

      a.  From Greece civilization traveled to Rome,and as the Roman 
      Empire grew it spread to Spain, France, Germany and England.  

    2. Mesopotamia ( 3500 BC - 539 BC ) 

      a. Mesopotamia ("the land between the rivers") is the name used to 
      describe the region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, the 
      southern area of which is mostly lowlying swampland and marshes.  

        (1) The fertile lands of Mesopotamia lie between the desert and 
        the mountains. The northern part has regular rainfall while the 
        southern part, stretching down to the Arabian Gulf, suffers dry 
        scorching summers from May to October.  

           (a) In what is now the southern part of Iraq, Sumer existed 
           as one of the world's first civilizations.  

      b. Between 2800 and 2400 BC the city-states of Sumer were at their 
      strongest and wealthiest.  

        (1) The Goddess was worshipped under various names which were 
        epithets, or characterizing phrases, such as 'Queen of Heaven' 
        and 'Lady of the High Places'. The name of the city or town that 
        She was the patroness for, was often attached to Her title 
        making Her name even more specific.  

           (a) An example of this is the temple erected about 3000 BC in 
           the city-state of Uruk which was dedicated to the Queen of 
           Heaven of Erech.  

           (b) This city was made a major power and rival to its sister 
           city Ur by Gilgamesh's son.  

        c. About 2350 BC an ambitious king, named Sargon, attacked 
        Sumer, and made it part of his huge Empire. His capitol of Agade 
        gave us the name by which Sargons empire is known- the Akkadian 

          (1) The Akkadian Empire was the first successful attempt to 
          unite a huge area under the rule of one man. It eventually 
          gained supremacy in about 1900 BC and gradually superseded the 
          Summerians as the cultural and political leaders of the 

             (a) The Akkadian language of the Babylonians became the 
             international language of the Near East, just as French 
             would become the language of diplomacy thousands of years 

             (b) The new Babylonian culture incorporated the Sumerian 
             religion, and the Sumerian language was adopted as the 
             language of the liturgy much as Latin is used as the 
             language of liturgy for Roman Catholics.  

             (c) The sumerian Goddess, under the names Inanna, Eriskegan 
             and Irnini, evolved into the great Babylonian Goddess 

        d. Approximately 1600 BC Babylon was sacked by an Indo-European 
        people known as the Hittites who came from Anatolia, off to the 

          (1) During the confusion that ensued, the Kassites seized the 
          throne of Babylon and ruled peacefully for 400 years.  

             (a) Ishtar's power waned as the Babylonians were influenced 
             by the warlike Hittites and Her temples were taken over by 
             a male-dominated priesthood, which called the Goddess 
             Tiamat and wrote stories of how their god Marduk had killed 
             Her in the struggle for control of the region.  

        e. In the centuries following 1103 BC the Assyrians rose to 
        power and expanded into most of Mesopotamia from their homeland 
        which lay between the cities of Asher and Nineveh on the Tigrus 

          (1) In the eighth century, the Assyrians conquered most of 
          Syria, Palestine, Phoenicia and had invaded Egypt as far as 
          Thebes (Luxor) before the Egyptians drove them back.  

             (a) Looking to legitimize their new empire, they 'married' 
             their god Asher to Ishtar, whose followers had secretly 
             kept Her worship alive.  

             (b) The joining of Ashur with Ishtar produced a son named 
             Ninurta, and this is the first formally recorded triad of 
             Goddess, Consort, and Divine Child in the Near East.  

           (2) From 631 to 539 BC much inter-city warfare occurred as 
           the Assyrian empire fell apart.  

              (a) In 539 BC Nabonius, the last king of Babylonia, 
              surrendered to Cyrus II of Persia who was busy building 
              the greatest empire ever attempted.  

    3. Anatolia 

      a. Anatolia, which is also called Asia Minor, is a broad peninsula 
      jutting westward from the Asian continent itself. To the north 
      lies the Black Sea, to the south the easternmost part of the 
      Mediterranean. At the entrance to the Black Sea are the 
      Dardanelles and it is here that Asia comes closest to the 
      continent of Europe. Not surprisingly, Anatolia has always been 
      the main link between the Orient and the Occident.  

     b. In Neolithic  Anatolia (present day Turkey) the Great Goddess 
     was worshiped in the shrines of Catal Huyuk around 6500 BC.  

     c. Anatolia was invaded sometime before 2000 BC by the Indo-
     Europeans and a group of them settled in a part of Anatolia known 
     as Hatti. The invaders and local people came to be known 
     collectively as the Hittites.  

       (1) These are the same Hittites who sacked Babylonia in 1600 BC 
       and suppressed the worship of Ishtar in favor of their god 

     d. Most of the references to the Goddess in the literature and 
     texts of Anatolia alluded to the older Hattian deities despite the 
     fact that the only records allowed to survive were written after 
     the conquest of Anatolia by the Indo-Europeans.  

       (1) One of the most important female deities to survive was the 
       Sun Goddess Arinna. After the conquest she was assigned a husband 
       who was symbolized as a storm god.  

          (a) At the time of the Hittite invasions of other lands, many 
          of the people who were Goddess-worshippers may have fled to 
          the west. The renowned temple of the Goddess in the city of 
          Ephesus was the target of the apostle Paul's zealous 
          missionary efforts (Acts 19:27). This temple remained active 
          until 380 AD.  

    4. Crete 

      a. The Aegean Sea is an area of the Mediterranean, lying between 
      the mainland of Greece and the western coast of Anatolia. The 
      Aegean Sea is dotted with a great number of mountainous islands 
      and the largest of these is Crete, which is just about 60 miles 
      southeast of Greece.  

        (1) Crete was the society that is most repeatedly thought to 
        have been matrilineal and possibly matriarchal from Neolithic 
        times to the Dorian invasion.  

           (a) Reverance of the double headed ax as a symbol of the 
           Mother Goddess and a reverence for the sexual vitality of 
           bulls were two notable aspects of Crete's early culture.  

           (b) Bull leaping is thought to have been the origin of 
           Spain's bullfighting, although in Crete the bull was never 

        (2) After viewing the artifacts and murals at Knossos, the 
        Archaeological Museum at Iraklion and other museums in Crete, 
        there is little doubt that the principal sacred being on Crete 
        for several millenia was the Goddess and that women acted as Her 

    5. Egypt (3100 to 30 BC) 

      a. Egypt is a hot, desert land divided by the fertile valley of 
      the Nile river. Hardly any rain falls there and the summers are 
      scorching hot. Even today, most of Egypt is  arid desert.  

       (1) The Cultivation, a strip of land on each side of the Nile 
       river, is one of the most fertile stretches of land in the world.  

          (a) Although the Cultivation is only 12 1/2 miles wide, it 
          runs for about 620 miles from Aswan in the south to the broad 
          farmlands of the delta where the Nile empties into the 

      b. In prehistoric Egypt, the Goddess held sway in Upper Egypt (the 
      south) as Nekhebt and She was depicted in the form of a vulture.  

        (1) The people of Lower Egypt, including the northern delta 
        region, worshipped the Goddess as Ua Zit (Great Serpent) and 
        depictions of Her show Her as a cobra.  

      c. From about 3000 BC onward the Goddess was said to have existed 
      when nothing else had been created.  

        (1) She was known as Nut, Net, or Nit which was probably derived 
        from Nekhebt.  

           (a) According to Egyptian mythology, it was the Goddess who 
           first put Ra, the sun god, in the sky.  

           (b) Other texts of Egypt tell of the Goddess as Hathor in 
           this role as creatrix of existence, explaining that She took 
           form as a serpent at the time.  

      d. In Egypt the concept of the Goddess always remained vital. 
      Eventually the Goddess evolved into a more composite Goddess known 
      as Isis.  

        (1) Isis (Au Set) incorporated the aspects of both Ua Zit and 
        Hathor. Isis was also closely associated with the Goddess as 
        Nut, who was mythologically recorded as Her Mother; in paintings 
        Isis wears the wings of Nekhebt.  

           (a) Isis was also associated with another triad which 
           included Her husband, Osiris, and their son Horus.  

           (b) Isis' cult was introduced into Rome and the last temple 
           of Isis was closed in 394 AD by Theodosios.  

    6. Canaan (8000 - 63 BC) 

      a. The biblical land of Canaan, the 'land of milk and honey' was 
      an area about 90 miles wide running north and south along the 
      eastern coast of the Mediterranean.  

        (1) In modern times the region includes the states of Israel, 
        Jordan, Lebanon, and part of Syria. The area made up of Jordan 
        and Israel used to be known as Palestine.  

      b. Images of the Goddess, some dating back as far as 7000 BC, 
      offer silent testimony to the most ancient worship of the Queen of 
      Heaven in the land that is most often remembered today as the 
      homeland of Judaism and Christianity.  

        (1) In exploring the influence and importance of the worship of 
        the Goddess in Canaan in biblical times, we find that as 
        Ashtoreth, Asherah, Astarte, Attoret, Anath, or simply as Elat 
        or Baalat, she was the principal deity of such great Canaanite 
        cities as Tyre, Sidon, Ascalon, Beth Anath, Aphaca, Byblos, and 
        Ashtoreth Karnaim.  

      c. In Egypt, the Hebrews had known the worship of the Goddess as 
      Isis or Hathor. For four generations they had been living in a 
      land where women held a very high status and the matrilineal 
      descent system continued to function at most periods.  

        (1) Judging from the number of Hebrews who emerged from Egypt in 
        the Exodus, as compared with the family of the the twelve sons 
        who supposedly entered it four generations earlier, it seems 
        likely that a great number of those Hebrews known as Israelites 
        may actually have been Egyptians, Canaanites, Semitic nomads and 
        other Goddess-worshipping peoples who had joined together in 

      d. Archaeological records and artifacts reveal that the religion 
      of the Goddess still flourished in many of the cities of Canaan 
      even after the Hebrews invaded it and claimed it as their own on 
      the authority that their god had given it to them.  

        (1) And just to the east, all most at their doorstep was 
        Babylon, where the temples of Ishtar were still going strong.  

    7. Persia (3000 - 331 BC) 

      a. Throughout its early history Iran was often invaded by nomadic 

        (1) Some came through the Elbruz mountains east of the Caspian 

           (a) Others, like the Medes and Persians, entered Iran through 
           the Caucasus mountains in the Northwest.  

      b. By the 9th century BC the most powerful group in Iran was the 
      Medes, who kept the Persians as their servants.  

        (1) In 612 BC the Medes, together with the Babylonians, captured 
        Nineveh, Ashur, and Kalhu, which were in the heart of the 
        Assyrian empire.  

           (a) The Assyrian empire collapsed and its vast territories 
           were divided between the Medes and the Babylonians.  

      c. About 550 BC the king of the Persians led a revolt against the 
      Medes and from that point on the Persians, led by their King Cyrus 
      the Great, ruled over Iran.  

        (1) Cyrus captured Babylon and gained control of the whole 
        former Babylonian empire.  
           (a) Virtually all of western Asia was now under Persian rule.  

        (2) The nest two kings extended Persian rule to Egypt in the 
        south and to the borders of India in the east.  

           (a) Egypt revolted later and won its independence for a short 
           time, but was forced back into the empire just in time to be 
           part of the prize won by Alexander the Great of Macedonia 
           when he conquered the Persian empire in 331 BC.  


   A. Definition of Poemagogic 

     1. Term coined by Anton Ehrenzweig 

       a. The special function of inducing and symbolizing the ego's 

         (1) It has a dreamlike 'slippery' quality.  

            (a) One aspect slips into another just like a dream.  

   B. Legend of the Universal Goddess 

     1. The craft is a religion which has an unbroken tradition that 
     dates back to Paleolithic times (approximately 35,000 years).  

       a. As the last ice age retreated the tribe of nomadic hunters 
       worshipped the Goddess of the Wild Things and Fertility and the 
       God of the Hunt.  

         (1) Semi-permanent homes were set up in caves carved out by the 

            (a) Shamans and Shamanka conducted rites within hard to 
            reach portions of the caves, which were painted with scenes 
            of the hunt, magical symbols and the tribes totem animals.  

     2. The transition from Hunter-Gatherers to agriculturists was 
     reflected in the change of the 'Lady of the Wild Things and 
     Fertility' to the 'Barley Mother' and the 'God of the Hunt' to the 
     'Lord of the Grain'.  

       a. The importance of the phases of the moon and the sun was 
       reflected in the rituals that evolved around sowing, reaping, and 
       letting out to pasture.  

     3. Villages grew into towns and cities and society changed from 
     tribal to communal to urban.  

       a. Paintings on the plastered walls of shrines depicted the 
       Goddess giving birth to the Divine Child - Her son, consort and 

         (1) The Divine Child was expected to take a special interest in 
         the city dwellers, just as His Mother and Father had taken an 
         interest in the people who lived away from the cities.  

       b. Mathematics, astronomy, poetry, music, medicine, and the 
       understanding of the workings of the human mind, developed side 
       by side with the lore of the deeper mysteries.  

     4. Far to the east, nomadic tribes devoted themselves to the arts 
     of war and conquest.  

       a. Wave after wave of invasion swept over Europe from the Bronze 
       Age onward.  

         (1) Warrior gods drove the Goddess' people out from the fertile 
         lowlands and the fine temples, into the hills and high 
         mountains, where they became known as the Sidhe, the Picts or 
         Pixies, and the Fair Folk or the Fairies.  

       b. The mythological cycle of Goddess and Consort, Mother and 
       Child, which had held sway for 30,000 years was changed to 
       conform to the values of the conquering patriarchies.  

         (1) In Canaan, Yahweh fought a bloody battle to ensure that his 
         followers had "no other gods before me." 

            (a) The Goddess was given a masculine name and assigned the 
            role of a false god.  

            (b) Along with the suppression of the Goddess, women lost 
            most of the rights they had previously enjoyed.  

         (2) In Greece, the Goddess in Her many aspects, was "married" 
         to the new gods resulting in the Olympic Pantheon.  

            (a) The Titans, who the Olympians displaced were more in 
            touch with the primal aspects of the Goddess.  

         (3) The victorious Celts in Gaul and the British Isles, adopted 
         many features of the Old Religion and incorporated them into 
         the Druidic Mysteries.  

            (a) The Faerie, breeding cattle in the stony hills and 
            living in turf-covered round huts preserved the Craft.  

            (b) They celebrated the eight feasts of the Wheel of the 
            Year with wild processions on horseback, singing and 
            chanting along the way and lighting ritual bonfires on the 

            (c) It was said that the invaders often joined in the revels 
            and many rural families, along with some royalty, could 
            claim to have Faerie blood.  

            (d) The College of the Druids and the Poetic Colleges of 
            Ireland and Wales were said to have preserved many of the 
            old mysteries.  

     5. In the late 1400's the Catholic Church attempted to obliterate 
     its competitors, and the followers of the Old Religion were forced 
     to 'go underground.' 

       a. They broke up into small groups called Covens and, isolated 
       from each other, formed what would later be known as the Family 

         (1) Inevitably, parts of the Craft were forgotten or lost and 
         what survives today is fragmentary.  

     6. After nearly five centuries of persecution and terror, came the 
     Age of Disbelief.  

       a. Memory of the True Craft had faded as non-members who could 
       remember how they once had met openly died and those who came 
       after never knew of them.  

         (1) All that was left were the hideous stereotypes which were 
         ludicrous, laughable or just plain tragic.  

     7. With the repeal of the last Witchcraft Act in England in 1954, 
     the Craft started to re-emerge as an alternative to a world that 
     viewed the planet as a resource to be exploited.  


  A. The Craft has always been a religion of poetry, not theology.  

    1. The myths, legends, and teachings are recognized as metaphors for 
    'That which cannot be told'; the absolute reality our minds can 
    never completely express because of the limitations placed on it 
    through biology.  

      a. The mysteries of the absolute can never be explained - only 
      felt or intuited.  

      b. Symbols and ritual acts are used to trigger unusual states of 
      awareness in which insights that go beyond words are revealed.  

        (1) When the phrase 'secrets that cannot be told' is used, it is 
        not a matter of oaths taken or the threat of penalties that 
        might be imposed.  

           (a) The true meaning is that the inner knowledge literally 
           cannot be expressed in words.  

           (b) It can only be conveyed by experience and no one can 
           legislate what insight another person may draw from any given 

           (c) This is why the Craft is not a spectator religion, where 
           you can refuse to put any effort in and gain anything 
           meaningful for your own development.  

           (d) This is also why entrenched priesthoods foster the belief 
           that non-priests must go through a hierarchy of priests, 
           heads of churches, and eventually through chosen prophets and 
           sons of the deity in order to receive special attention by 
           the deity.  

  B. The primary symbol for 'that which cannot be told' in the Craft is 
  the Mother Goddess. She has an infinite number of aspects and 
  thousands of names because She is the reality behind many metaphors 
  for the creation of the universe.  

    1. Unlike patriarchal systems, the Craft sees the Goddess as giving 
    birth to the world rather than creating it out of nothing.  

      a. The fertile Lands were made from Her Flesh, the Waters from Her 
      own bodily Fluids, the Mountains from Her Bones, and the Winds 
      from Her own Breath.  

        (1) The Goddess does not rule the world, She IS the world and 
        since She gave birth to us all, we have the potential to 
        reconnect with the  spirit of Her in all Her magnificent 

        (2) Religion for us, then is a matter of relinking with the 
        divine within and with Her outer manifestations in all the human 
        and natural world.  

           (a) One of the basic beliefs that the Craft is founded upon 
           is what Stewart Farrar call the 'Theory of Levels', which 
           recognizes that reality exists and operates on many planes.  

           (b) A simplified but generally accepted list would be - 
           physical, etherical, astral, mental and spiritual.  

           (c) It is recognized that each of these levels has its own 
           laws and that these laws, while special to their own levels, 
           are compatible with each other and their mutual resonance 
           governs the interaction between the levels.  

           (d) The point of this excursion into the esoterica of how the 
           universe works, is to point out that we do not separate our 
           physical existence from our spiritual existence. In the 
           Craft, spirit and flesh are joined together and physical 
           aspects of being human such as sex are not considered 'dirty 
           ' or 'sinful'.  

  C. The importance of the Craft for women, is a direct outgrowth in the 
  decline of Goddess religions and the rise of God dominated religions.  

    1. Male images of divinity are characterized in both western and 
    eastern religions today, and women are thus deprived of religious 
    models and spiritual systems that can speak to female needs and 

      a. In the extremes of male dominated religions, women are not 
      encouraged to explore their own strengths and realizations.  

        (1) They are taught to submit to male authority, to identify 
        masculine perceptions as their spiritual ideals, to deny their 
        bodies and sexuality, and to fit their insights into a male 
        mold, no matter how ludicrus that may seem.  

     2. The image of the Goddess inspires women to see themselves in a 
     very different light.  

       a. As Daughters of the Goddess, they are divine, their bodies are 
       sacred, and the changing phases of their lives are holy.  

         (1) Their aggression is healthy, and their anger can be 

            (a) Their power to create and nurture as well as their 
            ability to limit and to destroy, when necessary, is seen as 
            the very force that sustains all life.  

         (2)  Through the Goddess, women can discover their strengths, 
         enlighten their minds, own their bodies and celebrate their 

            (a) They can move beyond narrow constricting roles and 
            become whole people.  

    3. For women, the Goddess is the symbol of the inmost self and the 
    beneficent, nurturing, liberating power within all women.  

       a. The cosmos is modelled on the female body, which is sacred.  

         (1) All phases of life are sacred and age is a blessing, not a 

            (a) The Goddess does not limit women to their bodies. She 
            awakens their minds and spirits and emotions.  

            (b) Through Her, they can know the power of anger and 
            aggression, as well as the power of love.  

  D. The Image of the Goddess has a great deal to offer men as well as 

    1. Men are also oppressed in a God ruled, patriarchal society.  

      a. Men are encouraged to identify with a model that no human being 
      can possibly live up to.  

        (1) Men are expected to be mini-rulers of their own very narrow 

           (a) Men are internally split between a spiritual self, that 
           is supposed to conquer their baser animal instincts, and 
           their emotional selves.  

           (b) They are at war with themselves. In the west, they are 
           expected to overcome the tendency to sin, while in the east 
           they must suppress the desires of the ego.  

         (c) Needless to say, no man comes away from this type of 
         struggle undamaged.  

    2. Every male who is raised by a mother, will from birth carry 
    within him a strong feminine imprint.  

      a. This is so, because women give birth to males, nurture them at 
      their breast, and in our culture, are primarily responsible for 
      their care until they reach adolescence.  

        (1) The symbol of the Goddess allows men to experience and 
        integrate the feminine side of their nature without danger of 
        losing those feelings which are the touchstone of their 

           (a) The Goddess becomes: the mother who will never abandon 
           her child: refuse to nurture him when he is feeling his most 
           vulnerable: tempers her justice with compassion and 
           understanding, all these in ways not always possible in human 
           women and other men.  

    3. For a man, the Goddess is his own hidden Female self, as well as 
    being the Universal Life force.  

      a. She embodies all the qualities society teaches him not to 
      recognize in himself.  

        (1) His first experience with Her may therefore be somewhat 
        stereotypical, in that She appears as the cosmic lover, the 
        gentle nurturer, the eternally desired Other, or the Muse. All 
        that he is not.  

           (a) As he becomes more whole and becomes aware of his own 
           'female' qualities, She seems to change, to show him a new 
           face. Always holding up a mirror, She shows what may seem 
           ungraspable to him.  

           (b) He may chase Her forever and She will elude him, but 
           through the attempt, he will grow until he too learns to find 
           Her within.  


  A. The Horned God is born of a Virgin Mother 

    1. He is a model of male power that is free from father-son rivalry 
    or 'Oedipal' conflicts.  

      a. He has no father, because He is his own father.  

        (1) As He grows and passes through the changes on the Wheel, He 
        remains in relationship with the prime nurturing force of the 

           (a) His power is drawn directly from the Goddess and He 
           participates in life through Her.  

    2. The Horned God represents powerful, positive male qualities that 
    derive from deeper sources than the stereotypical violence and 
    emotional crippling of men present in our society.  

      a. When a man strives to emulate the God, he is free to be wild 
      without being cruel, angry without being violent, sexual without 
      being coercive, spiritual without being unsexed, and able to truly 

    3. For men the God is the image of inner power, and of a potency 
    that is more than merely sexual.  

      a. He is the undivided Self, in which mind is not split from the 
      body, nor spirit from flesh.  

        (1) United, both can function at the peak of creative and 
        emotional power.  

      b. Men are not subservient or relegated to second class spiritual 
      citizenship on the Craft.  

        (1) But neither are they automatically elevated to a higher 
        status than women, as they are in other religions.  

           (a) Men in the Craft must interact with strong, empowered 
           women who do not pretend to be anything less than what they 

           (b) Many men find this prospect disconcerting at first.  

    4. For women raised in our present culture, the God begins as a 
    symbol of all those qualities that have been identified as male, and 
    that they, as women, have not been allowed or encouraged to own.  

      a. The symbol of the God, like that of the Goddess, is both 
      internal and external.  

        (1) Through meditation and ritual a woman invokes the God and 
        creates his image within herself.  

           (a) In this way she connects with those qualities that she 
           may lack.  

        (2) As her understanding moves beyond culturally imposed 
        limitations her image of the God changes and deepens.  

           (a) He becomes the Creation, which is not simply a replica of 
           oneself, but something different and of a different order.  

           (b) True Creation implies separation as the very act of birth 
           is a relinquishment or letting go.  

           (c) Through the God, women know this power within themselves, 
           and so, like the Goddess, the God can empower women.  

    5. In the Craft, the cosmos is no longer modeled on external male 

      a. The hierarchy is dissolved and the heavenly chain of command is 

        (1) The "divinely revealed" texts are seen as poetry not the 
        "word of God." 

           (a) Instead, a man must connect with the Goddess who is 
           immanent in the world, in nature, in women, and in his own 

           (b) She is immanent in everything that childhood religions 
           taught needed to be overcome, transcended, and conquered, in 
           order to be loved by 'God'.  

      b. The very aspects of the Craft that seem threatening also hold 
      out to men a new and vibrant spiritual possibility: that of 
      wholeness, connection, and freedom.  

        (1) Men of courage find relationships with strong powerful women 
        exhilarating and they welcome the chance to know the Female 
        within the self.  

           (a) They enjoy the chance to grow beyond their culturally 
           imposed limitations and become whole.  

      c. Within Covens, women and men can experience group support and 
      the affection of other women and men.  

        (1) They can interact in situations that are not competitive or 

           (a) Men in Covens can become true friends with other men, 
           without giving up any part of themselves, or subjecting 
           themselves to derision or ridicule.  


  A. The ethics of the Craft are more positive than negative.  

    1. Rather than being exhorted with a plethora of "thou shall nots" 
    the Craft is guided by principles more along the lines of "blessed 
    be they who...." 

     a. The Craft is a joyous creed; it is also a socially and 
     ecologically responsible one. Witches delight in the world and 
     their involvement in it on all levels.  

      (1) They enjoy their minds, their psyches, their bodies, their 
      senses and sensitivities; and they delight in relating, on all 
      these planes, with their fellow creatures and the Earth Herself.  

    2. Wiccans believe in a joyful balance of all human functions.  

      a. This outlook is perfectly expressed in the Charge of the 
      Goddess, which is an integral part of most of the rituals of all 

        (1) "Let My worship be within the heart that rejoices; for 
        behold, all acts of love and pleasure are My rituals, and 
        therefore let there be beauty and strength, power and 
        compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you." 

           (a) This provides a model of a balanced ethic which presents 
           eight qualities that are positive and not restrictive.  

           (b) Compassion means empathy, not condescension; humility 
           means a realistic appraisal of your own stage of development; 
           reverence means a sense of wonder.  

           (c) The Wiccan is always conscious that compassion must be 
           partnered with power, humility with honor, and reverence with 

    3. Love of life in all its forms, is the basic ethic of the Craft.  

      a. We are bound to honor and respect all living things and to 
      serve the Life Force.  

        (1) It has been said that we all serve the Goddess, even if only 
        as compost.  

    4. Witchcraft recognizes that life feeds on life.  

      a. We must kill in order to survive, but life is never taken 
      needlessly, never squandered or wasted.  

        (1) To ensure the survival of the species, females are not 
        hunted as game, for they share the sacred bond of motherhood 
        with the Goddess.  

           (a) Serving the Life Force also means working to preserve the 
           diversity of natural life, preventing the poisoning of the 
           environment and the destruction of species.  

    5. The World is seen as the manifestation of the Goddess 

      a. What happens in the World is important because the Goddess is 
      directly affected.  

        (1) While the seasons of the year renew the Goddess, She needs 
        the participation of Her creations to keep the cycle going.  

           (a) This is the real function of the Sabbats. They reinforce 
           the ties between humankind and the Planet that gives us life.  

           (b) Unlike other gods, that allow humanity to exist at their 
           sufferance, the Goddess needs us just as much as we need Her, 
           and we are partners in the pageant of Life.  

    6. Justice is seen as an inner sense that each act brings about 
    consequences that must be faced responsibly.  

      a. This is based on the belief that all things are interdependent 
      and interrelated.  

        (1) Therefore, we are all mutually responsible because an act 
        that harms anyone harms us all.  

           (a) This is summed up in the form of a law known as Karma, 
           which dictates that all actions bring about changes.  

        (2) There is a saying in the Craft that illustrates the effects 
        of Karma known as the 'Threefold Law of Return' 

           (a) 'Whatever is sent out is returned three times over.' 

           (b) It is a sort of amplified 'Golden Rule' 

    7. Honor is a guiding principle of the Craft.  

      a. It is an inner sense of pride and self respect 

        (1) Refusing to do anything which would make you ashamed of 
        yourself strengthens your magical will and leads to the self 
        respect that comes from setting your own course, guided by your 
        own inner sense of right or wrong.  

           (a) This makes you rightfully proud of past accomplishments 
           and encourages you to stay the course.  

      b. The Goddess is honored in oneself and in others.  

        (1) Women are respected and valued for all their human 

           (a) The Self, one's individuality and unique way of being, is 
           highly valued.  

        (2) Like Nature, the Goddess loves diversity.  

           (a) Oneness is attained not through losing the Self, but 
           through realizing the Self's potential.  

    8. Self development and the full realizatin of one's unique yet many 
    aspected potential is a moral duty for a witch.  

     a. Life is seen as a gift from the Goddess and it is up to us to 
     push the evolution to mankin 

        (1) If suffering exists, it is not our task to reconcile 
        ourselves to it.  

           (a) We must work for change in all ways at hand.  

      b. That which helps this evolution to come about is seen as good 
      and desirable while actions that thwart it are to be avoided 
      because each of us is a factor in the cosmic evolutionary process.