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Public Domain Articles & Food for Thought

 

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Back in the day when Prodigy was the main vehicle for having online discussions with others about paganism or Wicca there were always files and texts floating around from group to group and these became standard reading material for those who were seeking information about a particular path. The W/P (Wiccan/Pagan) publishing industry had not taken off quite yet and books had to be obtained locally at a bookstore who actually did special orders so these files represented some of the easiest information that someone could lay their hands on. These days we Google something and we have enough websites returned that we could spend days sifting through the results. We have gone from famine to feast. And yet on sites like Sacred Texts you can still lay your hands on these old files or bulletin board posts (you do remember using bulletin boards don't you?) and see how the information has held up over all the intervening years. Since websites come and go the more places that these texts are stored the more likely they will be around in the years to come as examples of what it used to be like when it came to finding. The information in these articles does not necessarily reflect the views of TWPT but rather the author who wrote it. Please research for yourself the truth of these articles and if you agree then make it a part of your practice. If you don't agree keep looking until you find a way that seems right to you.


American Council of Witches
April 1974

 

The American Council of Witches' Principles of Wiccan Belief

1. We practice rites to attune ourselves with the natural rhythm of life forces marked by the phases of the Moon and the seasonal Quarters and Cross Quarters. 

2. We recognize that our intelligence gives us a unique responsibility towards our environment. We seek to live in harmony with Nature, in ecological balance offering fulfillment to life and consciousness within an evolutionary concept. 

3. We acknowledge a depth of power far greater than that is apparent to the average person. Because it is far greater than ordinary it is sometimes called "supernatural", but we see it as lying within that which is naturally potential to all. 

4. We conceive of the Creative Power in the universe as manifesting through polarity-as masculine and feminine-and that this same Creative Power lies in all people, and functions through the interaction of the masculine and feminine. We value neither above the other, knowing each to be supportive of the other. We value sex as pleasure, as the symbol and embodiment of life, and as one of the sources of energies used in magickal practice and religious worship.

5. We recognize both outer and inner, or psychological, worlds -- sometimes known as the Spiritual World, the Collective Unconscious, Inner Planes, etc. -- and we see in the interaction of these two dimensions the basis for paranormal phenomena and magickal exercises. We neglect neither dimension for the other, seeing both as necessary for our fulfillment. 

6. We do not recognize any authoritarian hierarchy, but do honor those who teach, respect those who share their greater knowledge and wisdom, and acknowledge those who have courageously given of themselves in leadership. 

7. We see religion, magick and wisdom-in-living as being united in the way one views the world and lives within it -- a world view and philosophy of life which we identify as Witchcraft, the Wiccan Way. 

8. Calling oneself "Witch" does not make a Witch -- but neither does heredity itself, nor the collecting of titles, degrees and initiations. A Witch seeks to control the forces within her/himself that make life possible in order to live wisely and well without harm to others and in harmony with Nature.

9. We believe in the affirmation and fulfillment of life in a continuation of evolution and development of consciousness, that gives meaning to the Universe we know, and our personal role within it. 

10. Our only animosity towards Christianity, or toward any other religion or philosophy of life, is to the extent that its institutions have claimed to be "the only way," and have sought to deny freedom to others and to suppress other ways of religious practice and belief. 

11. As American Witches, we are not threatened by debates on the history of the Craft, the origins of various terms, the origins of various aspects of different traditions. We are concerned with our present and our future. 

12. We do not accept the concept of absolute evil, nor do we worship any entity known as "Satan" or "the Devil", as defined by Christian tradition. We do not seek power through the suffering of others, nor do we accept that personal benefit can be derived only by denial to another. 

13. We believe that we should seek within Nature that which is contributory to our health and well-being.


Charge of the God
by
Siobhan July 1994

Charge of the God 1 By: Siobhan Tue 12 Jul 94 10:33 Here's something I picked up recently. The writer felt that there should be a Charge of the God to go with The Charge of the Goddess. *****

Listen the the words of the Great Father, who of old was called Osiris, Adonis, Zeus, Thor, Pan, Cernunnos, Herne, Lugh and by may other names:

"My Law is Harmony with all things. Mine is the secret that opens the gates of life and mine is the dish of salt of the earth that is the body of Cernunnos that is the eternal circle of rebirth. I give the knowledge of life everlasting, and beyond death I give the promise of regeneration and renewal. I am the sacrifice, the father of all things, and my protection blankets the earth.

" Hear the words of the dancing God, the music of whose laughter stirs the winds, whose voice calls the seasons:

"I who am the Lord of the Hunt and the Power of the Light, sun among the clouds and the secret of the flame, I call upon your bodies to arise and come unto me. For I am the flesh of the earth and all it's beings. Thru me all things must die and with me are reborn. Let my worship be in the body that sings, for behold all acts of willing sacrifice are my rituals. Let there be desire and fear, anger and weakness, joy and peace, awe and longing within you. For these too are part of the mysteries found within yourself, within me, all beginnings have endings, and all endings have beginnings." So Mote It BE!

Charge of the God 2 By: Siobhan

This is the second Charge of the God I have. **** THE CHARGE OF THE GOD

Listen to the words of the God, who is the son, brother, lover, and consort of the Lady:

I am the fleet deer in the forest, I am the beach which receives the waves, I am the sun which warms the earth. I am the Lord of the Spiral Dance of Life, Death and Rebirth, the gentle reaper, the Winter stag and the Spring fawn. All things are of me, for I am of the Goddess, opposite, yet not opposing. I bring birth forth from the womb that is a tomb, for I am the seed which fertilizes. I am abundant Life, for I am the grain that grows and I am death, the harvest in the Fall. And I am rebirth after darkness, for I am the seed that springs forth anew.

I am fertility, the spreader of Life, and I am the Lord of Death, which adds value to life.

I am the Guardian of the gate between Life and Death. I am King of the Underworld, where no living being may venture, but I am also the King of Rebirth, turning the tomb into a womb.

I bring love and strength, peace and passion, hope and joy, for I am the gentle lover in the night. All that I am comes from the Great Mother, the Divine Star Goddess, who is Mother of us all.

********** Feel free to use this one as is, or to adapt it in whatever way feels right to you. Blessed Be! -- PattiMom -- The Crazy Lady in the Wheelchair (Pattimom and Ariadne wrote this one) If you like it, snag it and use it. :-) Blessed Be! Siobhan 


The Threefold Goddess
by Eileen Turner

To understand the concept of Goddess requires more than the ability to visualize God as a woman. The Goddess concept is built around the myth and mystery of the relationship between God and Goddess, and beneath that, and part of it, Her Threefold Aspect ... Maiden, Mother and Crone.

One of the oldest recognized Goddess forms is the first Greek Goddess - Gaia, the Earth Mother; the Universal Womb; Mother of All. The most ancient Goddesses were most often Earth and Mother Goddesses. The were worshipped and revered as bearers of life ... fat, healthy, pregnant and fruitful. As the Goddess concept developed, then came the Harvest Goddesses, who were also Earth Goddesses. Understand that this was a time when people did not even understand the basic mechanics of procreation. Life was very sacred and mystical indeed!

Gradually, myth and mystery developed and revealed themselves, creating the legend which we honor in the modern Wiccan Craft.

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That Old Black Magic: Getting 
Specific About Magical Ethics 
by Judy Harrow

Sometimes a cliche just wears out. It loses meaning or, worse, begins to say things we never meant. I think it's time to retire the phrase "black  magic."

Saying"black" when we mean "evil" is nasty nonsense. In the first place, it reinforces the  racist stereotypes that corrupt our  society. And that's not all. Whenever we  say "black" instead of "bad," we  repeat again the big lie that darkness is wrong. It isn't, as people who profess to love Nature should know.

Darkness can mean the inside of the womb, and the seed germinating within  the  Earth,  and  the  chaos  that gives  rise  to  all  truly  new beginnings. In our myths, the  one who goes down to the  underworld returns with  the treasure. Even death, to the Wiccan understanding, is well-earned rest and  comfort, and a preparation  for new birth. Using  "black" to mean "bad" is a blasphemy against the Crone.

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Becoming a Witch
by Morgaine
©Morgaine 2001

This article may be reproduced for non-commercial purposes, providing that this original copyright notice stays in place at all times.

I am often asked how one becomes a witch. Do you find someone who is a witch and they make you one? Or are you a witch just by saying you are? Can you make yourself a witch?

The process of becoming a witch doesn't happen overnight. It is a life change, a new path upon the journey of your life. It takes consideration, study and work. If you have previously followed a mainstream religion, you may have things that take time to let go, and new things that take time to absorb. I have heard many people say it is often hard, coming from a life of Christianity, to feel comfortable praying to the Goddess. All new things take time, but if you are serious upon this path, you will find your way. The Gods call their own home to them.

No matter how you have came about finding the Old Religion, here you are. So where do you go? To the book store. For a novice, books are like the air you breathe. You must have them, or access to them in some way. If you cannot afford, or do not feel safe having books on the Craft, the internet is the next best place.

In both books and on the internet you will find a wealth of knowledge that will help guide you upon your new path. Of course, as with anything else, there is good information and bad information. Avoid any kind of book, or internet site, that speaks of controlling another person in any way, harming them, doing love spells on a specific person, or tells you to chant in latin, even though you have no idea what you are saying (yes, I have seen sites like that). These books/sites will not fulfill your need for knowledge in the Craft and will only serve to confuse you.

Once you have read a variety of books and feel called to this path, the next step is to find a teacher. If you have access to a teacher, in my opinion this is the best course of action. A teacher or a coven can often be found if there is a new age book store in your community. Also, the Witches Voice is a site that offers networking in every state. It has grown extremely large over the past few years and is a valuable resource in the Craft community. All of my coven members have found me on the Witches Voice.

Having a mentor can offer so much to you when you are beginning. There will be things you come across that you have a hard time understanding and need clarification. If you have a teacher, they are just a phone call or email away. If you do not, you must try to decifer things on your own, and may not come to the correct end on them. If you do not have a teacher, again, the internet is the next best place to look.

If you are only looking for a 'how to' on casting spells, then the Craft is not for you. Witchcraft is a serious spiritual path, in which magick is performed, but is secondary to the religion itself. I would suggest you look to ceremonial magick for that.

A couple of things need to be said about beginning this path, in light of recent attitudes about the Craft. Here lately it seems that you have a people who, after reading a few books, feel as if they can call themselves a master of the Art. They throw on a title like Lady/Lord, or HP/s, add some black clothes, a pentacle the size of a hubcap, and they are ready to go. This is not what the Craft is about. If you have spent years following a particular path, have worked hard for the spiritual lessons that have been presented to you, and through this have attained the title and rank, then by all means use it. But think of how you would feel if, after all that, you have a newbie with 6 months and 5 books unde their belt walking about calling themselves Lady Starry Ski or Lord Thunderbutt. It is very offensive. Just like your parents told you when you were growing up (or maybe you still are) 'don't rush things, it will all come to you in the end, and be sweeter for the waiting'. This is true with the Craft. Using titles, putting on airs, and in general acting high and mighty are not going to make you any more spiritual. And that is what this path is about. What it will do is alienate you from people whom you may actually want to meet and get to know!

All of this being said the way to become a witch is through study and dedication. Gather all of the information you can. Find the best teacher possible. Read whatever you can get your hands on. Go outside in nature and commune with the Goddess and God. Listen to the trees and the wind and the rush of the water, for this is the witch's world.


Wiccan Fundamentalism
by Ben Gruagach

Religious fundamentalism is characterized by literal belief in specific spiritual claims, often about a particular religion's history, regardless of any available evidence. A particular dogma is promoted as the One True and Only Way and anything that deviates is considered heretical.  

The Roman Catholic church has an office within its organization called the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith. In previous times this office had another name: the Holy Office of the Inquisition. Despite the name change the office's role has remained the same. It is responsible for keeping doctrinal discipline and confronting and eliminating deviations in doctrinal thought. It's all about maintaining the authority of the Vatican and the Pope and ensuring that all Roman Catholics are following the same religion and respecting the established hierarchy. 

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The Origins of Halloween
by Rowan Moonstone

In recent years, there have been a number of pamphlets and books put out be various Christian organizations dealing with the origins of modern-day Halloween customs.

Being a Witch myself, and a student of the ancient Celts from whom we get this holiday, I have found these pamphlets woefully inaccurate and poorly researched. A typical example of this information is contained in the following quote from the pamphlet entitled "What's Wrong with Halloween?" by Russell K. Tardo. "The Druids believed that on October 31st, the last day of the year by the ancient Celtic calendar, the lord of death gathered together the souls of the dead who had been made to enter bodies of animals, and decided what forms they should take the following year. Cats were held sacred because it was believed that they were once human beings ... We see that this holiday has its origin, basis and root in the occultic Druid celebration of the dead. Only they called it 'Samhain', who was the Lord of the Dead (a big demon)".1 When these books and pamphlets cite sources at all, they usually list the Encyclopedia Britannica, Encyclopedia Americana, and the World Book Encyclopedia. The Britannica and the Americana make no mention of cats, but do indeed list Samhain as the Lord of Death, contrary to Celtic scholars, and list no references. The World Book mentions the cats and calls Samhain the Lord of Death, and lists as its sources several children's books (hardly what one could consider scholarly texts, and, of course, themselves citing no references).

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