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All One Wicca:Introduction

This has nothing to do with "New Age."

Footnote:The word "faith" is used here as opposed to Religion. A Faith is a non-specific religion
or religious Philosoph! li"e #hristianit. Religions within the #hristian Faith include #atholicis$!
Funda$entalis$! Protestantis$! %ineard #hristianit and $ore.
...It has e&erthing to do with religion.
The reason people 'ustif the classification of things li"e this with such a $asterpiece of
euphe$is$ is si$ple: This religion! ( religion! is unco$$on enough to )e passed o&er ) $ost!
and co$$on enough to scare the pro&er)ial "*ell" out of those who fear an change +and ha&e
such a thing to )e scared out of., We are e&erwhere! and if the idea of a non-#hristian )a)-
sitter or doctor frightens ou! then )e frightened.
The $thical "Agressi&e New Age" of funda$entalist fret! where $ilitant les)ian &egans rule o&er
$en ensla&ed as )reeders or sorcerers plot $assi&e role-plaing ga$es to get inside children-s
$inds! does not It was $ade up to frighten people! )ut frightening is har$ing! and we do
not har$. We ha&e no hidden agendas! no sche$es! no secret societies! no passwords... our
"secrets" are open for all. We are nor$al citi/ens! our children! parents! neigh)ors! teachers
and friends! no $ore or less "e&il" or "sche$ing" than anone...$a)e e&en a little nicer! a little
saner! a little $ore polite. I a$ sure there are a few $isguided Wiccan souls out there with
delusions of grandeur or who are in serious need of "attitude ad'ust$ents!" )ut personalit and
insanit transcend religion! "there-s one in e&er )unch." We are not stereotpes. (ost of the
shared )eliefs of Wiccans are here for ou to see. That-s it. No secrets. O)&iousl I ha&en-t
included in depth detail a)out e&er ritual... that-s insane! I couldn-t create a dis" or )oo" large
enough to fill with e&erthing a)out Wicca.
0i"e 1udeo-#hristianit and other world faiths! Wicca is a religion that is di&ided into sects. The
sects within 1udeo-#hristianit range fro$ &astl differing )road groupings +i.e.: 1ewish! #atholic!
Protestant, to the indi&idual or s$all sects of &arious te$ples and churches +Weslean! 2e&enth-
3a Ad&entists! 2outhern 4aptist! A$erican 4aptist! etc., The sects of Wicca are called
"traditions" +or "trads", and are e5uall as di&erse. A tradition usuall includes fa$il and
personal )eliefs! passed down through the ears! or the )eliefs and &alues of a group of people.
(ost Wiccan traditions fall into one of three categories! although )orrowing )etween trads is
fairl tpical. These categories are 6ardnerian )ased! 3ianic )ased and the $an Fa$-Trads!
which are )ased on the practices of fa$ilies which $a go )ac" hundreds of ears.
6ardnerian traditions and those traditions which ha&e sprung out of 6ardnerian traditions are
)ased on the )oo"s of and practices detailed ) 6erald 6ardner! )ut the ter$ "6ardnerian
Tradition" also applies to $an Fa$-Trads which pre-date 6ardner and see$ si$ilar to those
practices descri)ed ) hi$. (ost $odern "6ardnerians" actuall practice an eclectic a$alga$ of
infle.i)le earl twentieth-centur Wiccan )eliefs fro$ 7urope! incorporating &arious Fa$-Trads in
their 5uest for the "Original" Wicca. The oldest proof of a pre-6ardnerian tradition $entioned in
this )oo"! the (archand Fa$- Trad! dates +at least, to 89:;! )ut has onl considered itself
"Wiccan" since the se&enties. This is tpical of the older trads! $an of which ha&e changed to fit
a "Wiccan" $old in the past fort ears.
Fa$-Trads range fro$ the well "nown to the o)scure. 2o$e are strict! li"e the (archand trad
which has an epic poe$ that details )oth the histor of the fa$il and the rules of Ritual in
e.plicit detail. 2o$e! li"e the To$as Fa$il Tradition! ha&e no written rules and consist of the
teachings of one person-s lifeti$e. The histor and si/e of a trad doesn-t $atter in Wicca!
although it can feel nice to ha&e a huge group of colleagues and a stac" of )oo"s to refer to.
2o$e trads clai$ lineages thousands of ears old and so$e are )eing created right now! )ut the
)eaut of Wicca is that neither is $ore legiti$ate. For this reason! si/e! which can $ean the
difference )etween "a cult" and "a real church" in #hristianit! doesn-t $atter in Wicca. 2o$e
traditions consist of onl one or two indi&iduals! and the largest ha&e thousands. In Wicca! it is
the shared )eliefs! not their age or the nu$)er of )elie&ers! that $a"e a tradition.
<ni&ersal 7clectic Wicca! which this )oo" is a)out! is a )road-)ased tradition! originall created to
)ring together the followers of se&eral different groups whose leaders had learned fro$ the
sa$e training circle. Although none of our co&ens were ali"e! we decided to write a "tradition"
enco$passing all of our )eliefs. This is the result of that wor".
To the 2"eptic! reading with the purpose of ridicule or da$nation! I as" ou to re$e$)er that
this is not so$e frea" cult...this is our religion! respect it as ou respect our own! for our )eliefs
are as deepl held. I charge the #hristian s"eptic to read (atthew =:8: "1udge not" and )ide )
To the traditionalist! the Wiccan who sas! "No! It $ust )e done this wa!" I sa "6row!" our
si$ilarities outweigh our differences. This $a not )e >O<R tradition. I ne&er said it was.
To all! I challenge ou with our Affir$ation of Ac"nowledg$ent... Wiccan! #hristian!
1ew...whate&er. Now is the ti$e to lo&e all $an"ind in peace.
#hapter One:Achie&ing the First #ircle
defines eclectic as "selecting or selected fro$ &arious sources." <ni&ersal 7clectic Wicca +<7W, is
)ased on not one or two sources )ut an infinite nu$)er of sources... an source its students find
useful. (uch as the "Witch-#ult" grew and changed with the addition and su)traction of &arious
people throughout the 4ritish Isles! our $odern Wicca! fueled ) the rapid changes of the
co$$unication age! grows and changes with the people we $eet through networ"ing and a free
#ould 6ardner! or a $ore recent author! ha&e predicted the ritual on 6allows *ill in 2ale$!
(assachusetts in 899?! where Pagans of e&er creed and color $arched to honor those
persecuted in the na$e of religion@ #ould the sha$ans of the *unted >ears ha&e predicted the
thousands of non-nati&e see"ers a)andoning their "7uropean was" to )eco$e one with the
spirits of the land@ #ould an of us predicted the &ast Pagan co$$unit of the Internet@
In order to understand the changes in Wicca! we $ust $a"e the reali/ation that no one was )orn
without the a)ilit to contri)ute to hu$an"ind! that each life! no $atter how insignificant! creates
so$e s$all change. A hu$an"ind without change is an ugl thought! indeed. An old )ardic law
reads "7&er changing! e&er learning! e&er growing!" and that is our $odern Wicca. We li&e in a
)eautiful ti$e! for all its strife and hardship! and the pace of change is alwas growing. As
children! $ grandparents had no tele&ision! $ $other +despite her dependenc on it now, had
no co$puter... I cannot co$prehend $ life without either. Who "nows what $ son will ha&e at
$ age@
The changing nature of the world calls for fle.i)ilit! not 'ust cultural fle.i)ilit! )ut spiritual
fle.i)ilit. Religion that is static ceases to )e religion and )eco$es so$ething frightening! so we
$ust )e constantl &igilant in our preser&ation of our open- $indedness. Fear of change is the
greatest cause of persecution in our histor! especiall the histor of North A$erica! the cradle of
$odern 7clectic Wicca.
Fro$ the Aapatistas to the Inuit! the $a"eup of this entire continent is a list of the oppressed.
(an of the first settlers were escaping persecution when the ca$e here and dished it out to
the indigenous people ) the sho&elful. (an found their religion focusing not on their god+s,!
)ut on their persecutors! and to this da! entire sects of religions tal" of nothing )ut "Not letting
-e$ get to us!" and spend hours wee"l tring to pre&ent change. The $ost frustrating aspect of
this "fear of change" is that it is $ore consu$ing within the groups who face the least
persecution! the world of the professional white $ale! and his affluent su)ur)an #hristian
co$$unit. #ontact with harsh world of the underpri&ileged see$s to gi&e those persecuted
dail )etter things to do than worr a)out conspiracies or for$ $ilitias. Those currentl
persecuted can onl loo" at those who ha&e fallen and tr to )e stronger! focusing! not on the
past! )ut on the future and the change it pro$ises.
When no longer persecuted! #hurches $ust change or face )eco$ing focused on the past. If
the fail to change! walls of fear and $isunderstanding can rise up! cutting the #hurch and its
$e$)ers off fro$ realit and allowing insane! corrupt or downright e&il leaders to run their li&es.
Fro$ 1i$ 1ones to the Tele&angelists that )il" senior citi/ens out of e&erthing the own! it is a
scenario that replas itself e&er few ears. #areers! li&es! e&en souls are destroed in $o$ents
while we 'ust sha"e our heads and $ourn $ore "frea"s" who ha&e followed a leader we don-t
"It is an "<s" and "The$" and anone who isn-t with the church is against it!" a for$er
funda$entalist told $e of her e.perience! shortl after lea&ing such a church. "We-re no longer a
church! )ut a set of issues...if ou-re not anti-ga! anti-choice and anti- wo$an! ou are not
welco$e." This sa$e person noted a frightening trend: "Not once were the teachings of #hrist
not attached to the church-s political agenda. We were )uffeted with tales of the past! and how
e&erthing is corrupted." "That wasn-t a church!" she added! "That was a conspirac cult."8
The percei&ed persecution! at worst! can )eco$e real persecution. There is a $etaphsical "law"
which sas "4elief creates Realit." Nowhere does it co$e into effect $ore &isi)l than when the
ccle of persecutor and persecuted )eco$es continuous. Ta"e the e.a$ple of 3a&id Boresh-s
4ranch 3a&idians: Thin"ing the$sel&es persecuted the )egan to prepare for a "war." Their
preparations led to their persecution! and then their war happened. The force of )elief is &er
To pre&ent )eco$ing another conspirac cult! Wicca +or an religion, $ust )e eclectic! and ta"e
fro$ all of its $e$)ers. The $th of the (anna of the Atha$ pro&ides a para)le for our
eclecticis$! and perhaps was one of our ancestor-s wa of telling us this.
The (anna of the Atha$ ?
...Fro$ the s$o"e of the fire a wo$an-s for$ arose! the i$age at once of the sacred $other and
The #hristians- sacred &irgin of #hrist. The nine daggers! one )ro"en! danced afore her li"e a
circlet of sil&er. To each of us! eight in all! the daggers flew! and we felt that the were ours. The
Wo$an raised our )rother-s )ro"en dagger and we saw it refor$ed with a )ea$ of $oonlight
$ade hard . 2he then )ade us pass the daggers thrice around! hilt first! so all touched hilt and
)lade. The third ti$e! I saw the sigils of $ 2isters and $self upon the )lades! hanging for a
$o$ent as if traced in 5uic"sil&er and then $elting! fading into the )lade. " The great sword
li&es in each of ou now! and ou in it! a part! as are all who touch the hol instru$ent! a part of
it! as are all who ha&e touched the$! and the$! and so forth." 2he spo"e! each word hanging
)riefl in the air li"e a fractured rain)ow. "0et none touch! e&en see the 4lade that are not
worth! )e the of The Faith or #hristian! for destruction co$es to those who do not use caution
in their choice of co$patriots. >et see"! if ou $a! the honora)le and true! that our )lade! and
theirs )ear the $ar"s of their goodness." "Ware those who see" to )eco$e a part without
in5uir!" she charged us! "lest ou allow the$ to taint life and faith and dishonor >our )rother!
and those of his )lood! or the )lood of those slain that ou $a carr such tools. For that which
ou are colors that which ou touch! and the actions of one are the constant to those who "now
not all."
In this stor! there is a sort of pschic residue left ) each person who touches the )lade! $uch
as a person-s residue in Wicca relates to us all.. The 6oddess figure in the stor warns us to )e
selecti&e in who we trust! that if the pu)lic $eets onl one of a group! it is that person who the
group is 'udged ). #ertainl the wor"s of 2cott #unningha$! 6erina 3unwich! and the li"e do
Wicca a great honor when used as e.a$ples! )ut negati&e e.a$ples
(an people )elie&e that (odern Wicca! in its earliest incarnation! was created in its entiret )
Aleister #rowle. 7&en 6ardner! in the afore$entioned wor"! ac"nowledges that possi)ilit! while
proposing the idea that #rowle learned fro$ Witchcraft. : No good interpretation of the wor"s
of #rowle is co$plete without at least an o&er&iew of the writings of the founders of earl
(odern Wicca. 2i$ilarl! an understanding of earl twentieth centur Wiccan authors is onl
reached ) understanding the paradig$ created ) #rowle and his conte$poraries.
<nfortunatel! an uninfor$ed o&er&iew of #rowle can create wild ideas in those searching for a
wa to conde$n Wicca. #ertainl his philosophical fingerprint was apparent on the )lade of
Wicca when an Northern New >or" #hristian Acti&ist referred to Wiccans as "Followers of the
dar" (agician #rowle who clai$ed to )e 2atan hi$self."
#aution! therefore! is the guideword in our 7clecticis$! what we include reflects what we are.
This does not negate it-s i$portanceC A religion co$prised of so$eone else-s rules falls into
ine&ita)le decline. We $ust )e inclusi&e and war$! 'ust as the ancient peoples who practiced the
foundations of (odern Wicca were. 0i"e the$! we $ust welco$e and process new ideas while
$aintaining the old.
7clecticis$ in Wicca is not! as so$e traditionalists ha&e clai$ed! a loss of our ancestral histor as
Wiccans! )ut a cele)ration of the *istor we are $a"ing now as hu$ans. 4 e$)racing
7clecticis$! we are $erel doing what was done )efore.... i$pro&ing. The earliest Witches did it!
the Witta! 2ha$an and 3ruid. In a natural religion! eclecticis$ and e&olution are una&oida)le. It
is not our wa to fight nature.
#hapter One:Achie&ing the First #ircle! continued
Part Two:<ni&ersal
As I wal"ed into a class he was teaching! a friend and $etaphsical scholar had written the
following in a )old hand across a wall of )lac")oards in a run down high school. The students!
waiting for a 5uestion and answer session on Wicca! read:
#ONT7(P0AT7 T*7 FO00OWIN6 2TAT7(7NT2:
8. (atter e.ists in e&er gala.! it is uni&ersal.
?. Air is a need we all share! it is uni&ersal.
:. That screwdri&er wor"s on all screws it is uni&ersal.
Three $eanings! one word. This isn-t that unco$$on in the 7nglish language. <ni&ersal $eans
e&er-present! e&erwhere! throughout the uni&erse. It also $eans the 7ntiret! e&erthing that
was! is or will )e. It also $eans usa)le ) and for e&erthing.
Wicca confor$s to all of these definitions. It is e&er-present! if we could tra&el to an location! at
an point in ti$e! Wicca! that is! the laws and )eliefs that co$prise Wicca! would still )e in
effect. O)&iousl the ethics would differ fro$ situation to situation! )ut the )asic religion would
sta the sa$e. Wicca is not li$ited ) one-s location.
At the sa$e ti$e! Wicca enco$passes The All! and The All is enco$passed in Wicca. <nli"e
$an faiths! we do not )elie&e the soul has a part of di&init that is separate fro$ our )od and
$ind. While philosophers li"e Plato taught that the di&init $anifested ) the unit of the &arious
parts of the PscheD2oul was a state to )e achie&ed ?! we teach that total integration is there
fro$ the start! gi&ing us unli$ited power! control of our own destin and the Will to do anthing!
)est descri)ed in the catchphrase fro$ Ro)ert *einlein-s "2tranger in a strange land."-coined )
The #hurch of All Worlds :
"T*O< ART 6O3":
We are 6od+dess., This does not $ean we are not hu$an! or )etter! onl that di&init! with all
its $eanings! is within us! a part of us. In Wicca! this is so$eti$es called (anifest 3i&init! and
$eans that e&erthing is di&ine. 7ach $o$ent in life is &iewed spirituall! so each ordinar thing
)eco$es a lesson! with wor"! the littlest things ha&e huge re&elations! as shown in this tid)it
fro$ The 6reen:E
T*7 3ON<T
Inspiration co$es fro$ strange places! in this case! a donut.
Not 'ust an donut! )ut a plain donut....lonel! )oring! )rown! tasteless! perfectl nor$al and
sitting there in a )o. that started out with nine! three cinna$on! three sugared! and three plain.
For two wee"s! this donut sat alone in a )o. at $ lo&er-s parent-s house! unwanted and
unattended. When it disappeared! )o. and all! I was too e$)arrassed to as" where it had gone!
so I didn-t! 'ust let it la! and thought on it. >ou "now! I felt sorr for that donut! depri&ed of a
sweet coating! it dried out! aged! and was thrown awa! 'ust )ecause it wasn-t special.
That donut was li"e hu$an"ind! li"e too $an people who )rush up against the cinna$ons!
sugared and chocolate gla/ed to get a spar"le of difference! a dusting of significance! or! worse
et! the ga/e up at hea&en waiting for so$e celestial custard filling! or Rasp)err #rea$! or
3utch Apple (ousse to $a"e the$ different! special! I(PORTANT.
>ou "now! there is a )eaut in a plain donut.
There is no distinction $ade )etween the spiritual and the phsical...7&erthing is di&ine! a
lesson. 7&erthing is Wicca.
The uni&ersalit of Wicca also $eans that Wicca can )e used ) all and anthing can )e used in
Wicca. As long as the Fi&e Points of Wiccan 4elief are there! and the other )asic )eliefs are $et!
an religion can )e called "Wiccan!" there is Wiccan 3ruidr! Wiccan 1udais$! e&en Wiccan
The laws of Wicca are rele&ant to A00 religion +e&en 2atanis$ is reined in ) Wiccan laws! and I
can show ou for$er 2atanists with the Bar$ic de)t to pro&e it., This is )ecause the laws of
Wicca are not $erel Wiccan )ut! <ni&ersal! li"e the laws of phsics or (agic".
Those laws that are $etaphorical! such as the law of return or Bar$ic law! when pro&en )
phsics such as "For e&er action there is an e5ual and opposite reaction"! or laws of phsics
with e.traordinar proofs! are said to )e $etaphsical. (etaphsical laws! while often
discounted! can )e pro&en! with e.peri$entation! as surel as can gra&it.
<ni&ersalit also $eans that we are all! 3ianic! 6ardnerian! 7clectic or what- ha&e-ou! practicing
the sa$e thing! Wicca...All One Wicca. This does not $ean that each tradition is uni$portant!
onl that all traditions are e5uall as i$portant! whether co$prised of one! or one hundred
Rather than di&ide our $e$)ers into 2olitar and #o&en Practitioners! in <ni&ersal 7clectic Wicca!
we ha&e what are called "#ircles." These circles represent two things: *ow $uch ou "now
a)out Wicca and *ow $uch ti$e and effort ou put into our religion! the co$$unit! and our
"learning 5uest." +The learning ou ha&e alread done pro)a)l places ou within a circle! )ut
s$all pro'ects are as"ed of students wishing to switch into <ni&ersal 7clectic Wicca. These are
usuall papers! or de)ates! or in- depth con&ersations to deter$ine how $uch ou "now., The
&ariances in our )eliefs and the ne.t Wiccan-s are &itall i$portant so not! tr to thin"
li"e the ne.t gu. 4egin to let our philosophies wander! if ou create so$ething that isn-t
Wiccan! oh well! our loss. 4eing "Wiccan" is not the goal here! )eing ourself is.
All religion is created ) hu$an"ind! regardless of its inspiration. >our religion is our religion!
and $ine is $ine. We $a use the sa$e words! rituals! etc.! )ut unless e&er wa ou thin" is
the sa$e as $ine! our religions are indi&idual. All religion is li$ited to one practitioner! e&en if
we call the practitioners of si$ilar religions ) the sa$e na$e! Bat (ac(organ-s personal Wicca
is not Ta$rn-s Wicca! or 0ad 3iana-s Wicca! or 1ohn F. Pagan-s Wicca! it is the religious )elief
within her soul! $uch of which cannot )e e.pressed in words. This fierce indi&idualit is reflected
strongest ) our deit concepts! our worship of 6aea! or 3iana! or Apollo. Although we $a e&en
call a 6od or 6oddess ) the sa$e na$e! how can I "now e.actl what +s,he loo"s li"e to ou@
The faces of the gods are shown differentl to each person! and the sa$e na$e! and e&en the
sa$e i$age is different fro$ one person to another. This is what I li"e to call a "What is )lue@"
dile$$a. We "now that )lue is the color of so$ething! )ut how do we "now that $ )rain
doesn-t see )lue things as a color ou-d call red@ *ow do ou e.plain )lue to a )lind
person...>O< don-t! ou 'ust "now it is )lue. Perception is ne&er identical! although the le&el of
perception $a )e. ( "god" $a )e fe$ale! or )lond! or dar" s"inned! or called "1ane 3ough!"
)ut it-s $ inner god! and $ inner religion! and it doesn-t need to $ean anthing to ou.
A few $a feel strongl that the 6ods ha&e onl one na$e! and one face! and as a priestess! )ut
$ostl as a (etaphsicist I )elie&e that-s true. *owe&er! hu$an )eings are li$ited in their a)ilit
to percei&e things ) the di$ensions the within. We can onl co$prehend those things
with length! width! depth and ti$e and our linear te$poral e.istence +$eaning that we $o&e
onl one wa in ti$e in these )odies! forward! without the a)ilit to go )ac"wards or circu$sect,
li$its what we "now of ti$e. Thus! )eings of $ore than these four di$ensions would )e
i$possi)le to grasp in their ter$s! and our own inade5uacies would )e filled ) our i$aginations!
creating our personal na$es and faces of 6od+s,.
The gods are no $ore upset ) our ina)ilit to percei&e their 7ntiret than one is ) a )lind
person percei&ing without sight. It is si$pl lac" of a sense! a fault of our species. We can wor"
to )etter understand the gods +lose the o)session with linear ti$e first, with the senses we do
ha&e $erel ) appling the *er$etic $a.i$ "As A)o&e! 2o 4elow." 4 noting the effects of our
wor"s on "lesser" creatures and creations we can glean! to a degree! what is going on "upstairs"!
and I wouldn-t put it past the gods to ha&e a hand in assisting us.
<ni&ersalis$ includes e&erthing in one )road sweep. The religion! its laws! its gods are uni&ersal
in scope and usage! and our a)ilit to percei&e the$! as li$ited +or unli$ited, as it is! still reflects
an 7ntiret. In our culture! it is eas to consider oursel&es as uni$portant as a single drop of
water in an ocean. The Wiccan learns to "now )etter...It onl ta"es one drop to $a"e wa&es.
#hapter One:Achie&ing the First #ircle! continued
Part Three:The Fi&e Points of Wiccan 4elief
While <ni&ersal 7clectic Wicca e$)races a person-s e.ploration into his or her own religious
paradig$! we $ust draw a line )etween what we will accept as part of Wicca and what we wont.
These li$its to our religious uni&ersalit are The Fi&e Points of Wiccan 4elief. Within the$! we
can find $ost of the principles of the &arious traditions of Wicca. These fi&e ethics are )oiled
down fro$ $an traditions! and in al$ost all for$s of Wicca! although the na$es and
para)les attached to the$ change fro$ group to group. Practices that don-t uphold these
standards are difficult to classif as "Wiccan."
The Fi&e Points are:
8. The Wiccan Rede
?. The 0aw of Return
:. The 7thic of 2elf-Responsi)ilit
E. The 7thic of #onstant I$pro&e$ent
G. The 7thic of Attune$ent
The #entral )elief in Wicca! the Wiccan Rede is the oldest of "nown ethics! the use of &arious
phrasings of this law in pre-6ardnerian Fa$-Trads leads to the conclusion that if there once was!
as so$e clai$! a unified pre-#hristian Pagan religion! this was a tenet of it. The $ost co$$on
phrasing of The Rede is "An- it har$ none! do as ou will!" Which is often reduced to "*ar$
none." In <ni&ersal 7clectic Wicca we also ha&e an e.panded reading of the Rede which is
especiall helpful when descri)ing it to people who )elie&e in co$$and$ents and long lists of
rules. It states: "If an action will cause har$! phsicall! e$otionall! or $entall! to another
person or one-s 2elf! refrain fro$ doing it. 2tri&e to alwas )e helpful and ne&er willingl cause
strife or har$ to )efall so$eone. Weigh our actions against each other! would ou wish our
actions ta"en against ou@ Ta"e no action ou would not wish to recei&e."
The entiret of (oralit can )e defined ) the Rede! e&en 1udeo-#hristian $oralit. While 7.odus
and other parts of the 4i)le list "cri$es and punish$ents!" the were intended to pre&ent! not
cause har$! the sa$e purpose as an "laws." #hristianit )egan with the idea of har$ none!
e&en if $an of its laws were $isinterpreted! slanted! and later downright per&erted into )earing
little rese$)lance to their initial state$ents.8.
With the e.ception of so$e of the dia)olic fads! all religion is )ased in "goodness". (an"ind is!
as a rule! co$fort-see"ing! and thus inherentl good. A $an would rather craft a war$ sweater
than a sword! and we-&e "nown for ears that a good deed is a far easier sell than donning
ar$or and inflicting one-s Will. >ou-ll attract $ore ants with hone! sas the fa)le! than with
The 2econd of the Fi&e Points! the 0aw of Return +also "nown as the "ar$ic law, $eans! 5uite
si$pl! that what ou do affects what happens to ou. If ou do good! good is going to happen
to ouH if ou do e&il! that-ll happen too. (etaphors for the 0aw of Return in e&er religion!
there are ancient ones and $odern ones.
Thin" of this law as a &ideo ga$e. 7ach ti$e ou do so$ething good! ou get ""ar$a points"!
and each ti$e ou do so$ething )ad! ou get ")ad "ar$a points". >ou-ll still get attac"ed )
life-s $onsters and pitfalls! )ut an e.cess of )onus points will help ou reco&er 5uic"l.
It-s not $ere $etaphsical $u$)o-'u$)o! either. If ou-re a )etter! nicer person! ou ha&e $ore
true friends. When ou ha&e $ore friends! ou ha&e a support networ" to pic" ou up and set
ou on our feet again. It wor"s in the other direction! too.
In so$e traditions! the 0aw of Return is gi&en a $ultiplier! good and )ad are said to co$e )ac"
upon ou three- or tenfold! )ut e&en those traditions ad$it that an e.act retri)ution ratio is
i$possi)le to co$e up with.
Perhaps for so$e it-s )etter to thin" of this law as a giant "no) on so$e celestial radio. If ou do
good on a regular )asis! ou find ourself on the "good stuff station" and $ore of the rando$
and se$i-rando$ e&ents ou are destined to encounter will lean in $ore positi&e directions.
The less good ou do! the less our rando$ e&ent $odifier. >ou-ll hit the high end of the scale
less often! and )ad "stuff" will happen $ore often.
The $ore ou act positi&el! the )etter our rando$ e&ent $odifier +ran-$od, )eco$es.
Ad$ittedl! this is $ost easil understood ) logicians! $etaphsicists! technosorcerers and
co$puter and role-plaing ga$ers +who greatl o&erlap! I $ight add!, )ut this is not a new or
far-out concept. 7&en in those religions furthest fro$ Wicca! "*ea&en" can )e achie&ed ) doing
$ore good than e&il.
0i"e the 0aw of Return! The 7thic of 2elf-Responsi)ilit is a law of $etaphsics incorporated into
Wicca . (ore than an other aspect! this turns people +especiall those with da$aged Wills or
reduced sense of 2elf!, awa fro$ Wicca. It can )e a scar thing for anone not raised with it!
si$pl! when ou $ess up! it-s our fault.
In Wicca! there is no "The de&il $ade $e do it." We don-t )elie&e in de&ils! and e&en if we did!
we don-t )elie&e an e.traplanar creatures could control us! not e&en the gods. We $a"e our
own destin! and set up $ost of our own "trials and tri)ulations".
"I a$ $ own person! I a$ not a sla&e to $ desires! nor a$ I sla&e to a person! drug or god.
No )eing controls $e )ut $e."
A)use or other trau$a! drugs or )odD)rain che$istr can alter our perceptions of who and what
we are and onl ) wor"ing as an Integrated Total 2elf! with no separation of $etaphsical!
e$otional! phsical! $ental! spiritual and auric sel&es! can we gra) the reins. 2elf-responsi)ilit
re5uires that we as" for help when we need it! that we )e prepared to go to whate&er lengths
necessar to )e responsi)le for who we are and what we do.
The 7thic of 2elf-Responsi)ilit should )e a gi&en with The 0aw of Return. With this ethic ou are
accepting the "ar$a or "stuff" ou gi&e ourself! good or )ad. Put together! The 0aw of Return
and the 7thic of 2elf-responsi)ilit e.pect us to change positi&el! thus necessitating the fourth of
our points! The 7thic of #onstant I$pro&e$ent.
In Wicca! we see" )e "e&er growing!" li"e the )ardic law. The )asest of these i$pro&e$ents are
ta"en care of ) the 7thic of 2elf-Responsi)ilit! )ut e.tending that responsi)ilit )eond the
inner self! falls into this real$.
2cott #unningha$ tal"s of 7arth 2tewardship in 0i&ing Wicca: A Further 6uide for the 2olitar
Practitioner ! an i$portant facet of #onstant I$pro&e$ent. 7colog is &ital in a religion that
re&eres nature as di&ine! and e&en the si$plest of chores can )e turned into an act of holiness
when done ecologicall.
Teaching and preaching tolerance! racial har$on and re&erence for art and histor are also a
part of this ethic! and li&ing one-s life toward peace is &ital. Onl ) )eing constant in our
learning! and eclecticis$! do we pre&ent intolerance.
The 0ast of the Fi&e Points of Wiccan )elief is the 7thic of Attune$ent. Attune$ent! the act of
)eco$ing in-tune with di&init is the purpose )ehind the $a'orit of ritual. In Wicca! we )elie&e
in three groupings of di&init:
8. The 2elf is di&ine.
?. The 6odsDother powers are di&ine.
:. The <ni&erse itself is di&ine.
8. The 3i&ine 2elf +thou art god, is e.pressed within The 7thic of 2elf- Responsi)ilit. No one is
in control of the 2elf e.cept for the creator of the 2elf! the person that "owns" the )od. We see
oursel&es as di&ine! therefore! we "now that we can do anthing. (agic" )eco$es possi)le
through faith in the 2elf! )ecause faith is $agical! as detailed in The Pscholog of Religious
7.periences +7rwin Ra$sdell 6oodenough! 89IG,:
"The $agic of faith - is it religion or $agic@ The 5uestion has )ro"en down into tautolog. Faith
that we can do the superhu$an! such as "illing or healing another person ) suggestion! gi&es
us power to do what is )eond ordinar hu$an powers. Through faith we do control the
uncontrolla)le - so$e of it! a little. Where there is faith! there is religion. Not intellectual assent
)ut faith! deep e$otional acceptance! $a"es a #atholic or a %oodooist. Those who ha&e "lost
their faith" often spea" of the loss as though the had lost their sight or hearing! a facult of
so$e sort that $ade the$ a)le to do things to the$sel&es and for the$sel&es which the cannot
now do. The are 5uite rightH the ha&e lost a real potenc! a real power of control. 2o I $ust
sa that! to call a )elief "superstition"! a ritual "$agic"! is onl to pronounce a &alue 'udg$ent.
These are religious )eliefs and acts which the person calling the$ "superstition" or "$agic" does
not li"e. In calling the$ so! we are... li$iting "religion" to what we oursel&es appro&e."
Our rites of Attune$ent to the di&ine self include the practice of Ritual! and occasionall! *igh
(agic"! )ut also includes $editation! dance! dru$$ing and anthing else that $a"es us feel "in
touch" with our 2el&es.
?. The 3i&init of the 6ods! or the "Other Powers" defies i$$ediate e.planation as do the gods
the$sel&es. In Wicca! our gods are $ore li"e parents! the 3i&ine Father and the 6reat (other!
and less li"e the fur-fueled 'ealous 6od of #hristianit. Our rites of Attune$ent to the 6ods are
nearl all cele)rator in nature! with the $ore intensi&e rituals co$)ining the di&init of the gods
with the di&init of the <ni&erse in worship of the lunar and har&est ccles.
:. The 3i&init of the <ni&erse is su)di&ided into three groups. In 6aeis$!the Planet 7arth is a
creature and each indi&idual )eing! plant! ani$al or $ineral is a part of that )eing! which is
usuall! )ut not alwas! na$ed for the 6oddess 6aea or 6aia. In Ani$is$!each thing )e it a
windstor$ or a roc"! has a spirit of its own. In #clic Totalit! or #clicis$!it is the laws of the
<ni&erse which are di&ine! )e the the ccles of celestial deca! or the har&ests! or the )irth-
death-re)irth of the nitrogen ccle.
The co$)ination of these three for$s of <ni&ersal di&init are used in Wicca in &aring degrees
with lipser&ice! if not full ritual gi&en to e&er su)grouping.
The Fi&e Points of Wiccan 4elief are the )asis for <ni&ersal 7clectic Wicca! and a pro'ect
pro&iding "proof" of one-s literac within the$ is the onl re5uire$ent e.pected of a student who
wishes to practice within the First #ircle. If ou wish to use this )oo" as a lesson plan for the
First and 2econd #ircles! I suggest that ou use a two or three page paper focusing on a current
issue as a pro'ect )efore ou start. Anal/e the issue against the Fi&e Points of Wiccan )elief!
and as" a s$pathetic teacher! fellow Wiccan or friend to read it.?
*a&e the person reading our paper as" the following 5uestions of it:
-Are each of the Fi&e Points $entioned@
-3oes the author $a"e his or her point clearl@
-3oes the author $a"e 'udge$ents )ased on the points! or $erel state the facts of the issue@
-Whether ou agree or not! does the author $a"e a good case@
-3oes the author show an effecti&e wor"ing "nowledge of the Fi&e points@
In a co&en or training circle! the proof of "nowledge usuall focuses on a few 5uestions as"ed )
a leader and responded to ) the student! 5uestions are then as"ed ) the other students! and
defense of our point is e.pected. A paper is often easier than defending to a co&en! )ecause
co&eners and students alwas see$ to find the one or two things ou $issed.
Once ou-&e co$pleted this tas"! ou-&e achie&ed the First #ircle....#ongratulationsC
#hapter Two:Redefining our 2piritualit
To the "new" Wiccan! that is! the &ast $a'orit of us who are not )orn into the religion! a lot of
the so-called "si$ple" ter$inolog had )een )eaten and )urned out of us! their $eanings so lost
in intolerance that we cannot use the$ without feeling a least a little )etraed. It is one of our
first steps! therefore! to "reclai$" the ter$s of our relationship with di&init. "Religion!" "sacred"
and "spiritual" all $ean $ore than #hrist or "The One 6od!" )ut it can )e hard for so$e to
reali/e this.
An eas e.a$ple is our earl teachings. Now! with the e.ception of a few well- intentioned ears
in the )eginning! I was fortunate enough to go to a pu)lic school where the 1udeo-#hristian
)eliefs were onl slightl pushed! li"e in the Pledge of Allegiance! and I was allowed to e.plore
the &arious religions of other cultures. ( earliest interests were the 6ree" 6ods! especiall
3e$eter! )ut the were ne&er listed as a "religion" dead or ali&e. 7&erthing that wasn-t 1udeo-
#hristian was either "$tholog" or "philosoph" and an religion )ased on those things was
either "ro$antic" or "unci&ili/ed!" and alwas! alwas! 'ust plain "sill." 2o for ears! while at
night I drea$t that a far off 3e$eter heard $ hushed praers! I )eat $self up o&er it! wh
was I sill@ Wh was I childish@ *ow could I glean faith fro$ an Archetpe@ When I first reall
)egan to stud Wicca! $ teacher said four words that ha&e held i$$ense i$portance for $e.
"7&erone $a )e right."
Tr the following &isuali/ation: I$agine a great sphere! 'ust slightl s$aller than infinite. If ou
/oo$ close enough to the sphere! ou-ll notice that it-s actuall $ade up of )illions of little
he.agons! and that each he.agon faces a different direction! li"e facets of a huge 'ewel. The
sphere is all one thing! )ut each facet! &iewed fro$ close enough! see$s to )e independent of it.
Truth is that sphere! and those facets all are created ) truth! and ha&e an e5ual portion of
truth. There is roo$ for $an different truths in the uni&erse! and li$iting oursel&es to seeing
one facet is li$iting oursel&es to $issing the )eaut of the whole thing. Personal truth $a )e
$erel one facet of this great o)'ect! et it is no $ore or less i$portant than an other facet.
4efore ou )egin loo"ing at the sphere! loo" at our facet. The sphere will co$e! )ut for now!
onto this 5uest.
-The 0earning Fuest-
Pic"ing up this wor" pro)a)l indicates that ou alread ha&e found our wa to the learning
5uest....A00 of 0ife is The 0earning Fuest! a 'ourne fro$ )irth to )eond in which the goal! the
hol grail! so to spea"! is to learn.
4 the ti$e we-re teenagers! we understand $ost of the tangi)le world! and our )asic "nowledge
of things li"e phsics! )iolog and the other sciences has gi&en us the tools to understand the
rest. A learning lull de&elops! where our pri$ar negati&e reaction to so-called "new" infor$ation
can either )e A. "Tell $e so$ething I didn-t "now." or 4. "Tell $e so$ething I couldn-t ha&e
figured out for $self." The teenage attitude then of "I "now it all" which frightens parents so! is
'ustified )ecause! co$pared to the rest of hisDher life! the teenager does "now it all.
In our last ears of high school! and into our twenties the learning lull causes us to see" out a
new side! a new direction. 2i$ilar lulls happen after life changes! $arriage or di&orce! or for no
apparent reason! so$ething we often call a "$id-life crisis." For so$e! further research into
so$ething we alread ""now" is enough to satisf this &ander'ahl! )ut for $an a whole new
thing has to )e sought! and spiritualit is the perfect "new 5uest."
We all $a"e $ista"es along the wa! so$e s$all! so$e great )ig ones. The i$portance is not
how "perfectl" the 5uest goes! )ut how $uch we learn fro$ howe&er it goes. A record of our
5uest is funda$ental to this learning.
If ou don-t alread "eep a 'ournal! start now. Write at least e&er other da. If ou can-t find
so$ething worth writing a)out! tr a ponderance +Appendi. *, or use $editations fro$ an
nu$)er of religions. (a"e lists! do freefor$ poetr! ou-d )e a$a/ed ) how $uch nonsense
$a"es sense later in life.
(ost i$portantl! )e ourself. 3on-t tr to write the 3iar of Anne Fran"! or great $e$oirs to )e
pu)lished after ou die. If it helps ou! tag a note to our 'ournal addressed to our spouse!
parents! or "ids! as"ing the$ to destro it upon our death. If ou feel ou "$ust" lea&e
so$ething )ehind of great i$portance! write it separatel! )ut "eep a 'ournal for ourself! and
"eep it casual and truthful.
(an of us grow up with a slanted idea of what is sacred. We were told that this statue or that
space was sacred and thus APART fro$ oursel&es. One of the first steps toward redefining our
spiritualit is to "gi&e up" our pre&ious notions of things li"e "what is sacred@" and create new
definitions. 2acred $ust cease to )e separate! for we de&alue things "ept fro$ us! and it $ust
)egin to $ean so$ething $ore! so$ething different.
Our new 2acred could )e defined as "Those things which! ) )ringing us closer to oursel&es!
)ring us closer to di&init." A child is sacred! a gro&e! a hiding place where we once "ept our tos
and ga$es! an engage$ent ring! a nec"lace gi&en ) a dear friend! all these things are personal
relics! as i$portant as a scrap of so$e saint-s s"in or a sli&er of so-called crosswood. Perhaps
these things are $ade e&en $ore sacred ) their general nor$alness! a pair of old slippers! for
instance! that )ring co$fort! 'o and a feeling of )eing "at ho$e" are sacred ) their &er
nature! li"e the war$ wishes of The 6ods intended 'ust for ou.
The student of Wicca $ust ree&aluate "sacred" under these rules:
J8: 3o I consider it sacred )ecause I need it@@
Those things that are &ital...shelter! food! water! are sacred to e&erone! and we should respect
and honor the$ as sacred! )ut a $ore personal "sacredness" is what we-re see"ing.
J?: 3o I consider it sacred )ecause I-&e )een told it is@
These things $a )e sacred to others! )ut if our onl reason for considering the$ as personall
sacred is )ecause so$eone has told ou so! it is pro)a)l not sacred to ou. This doesn-t $ean
ou shouldn-t respect another person-s sacred ite$s! 'ust that the ha&e no sacred $eaning for
J::Is it religious@
0i"e the things a)o&e! these things should inherentl hold so$e respect! howe&er! those things
that are not of our religion are pro)a)l not sacred to ou. If the ha&e non-religious &alue +a
grand$other-s rosar! for instance, than that &alue should )e wh it is considered sacred! not
what it represents.
JE: 3oes it call to $ind a )elief! friendship! or other undefina)le part of $ 2elf@
Ite$s li"e this range fro$ Tote$ic relics to things that appeal for no apparent reason! $an
people consider these things e.planator of their life. 2o$e of these ite$s! roc"s! feathers!
)au)les! $a ha&e no apparent &alue! others $a ha&e o)&ious e$otional attach$ent! li"e an
engage$ent ring. Others $a appear ordinar! )ut )e far fro$ it! li"e the feather ou found the
da after 7agle spo"e to ou or the stic" fro$ the tree that died at our parent-s house! )ut ha&e
great $eaning. 0i"e a 'ournal! creating a collection of sacred things tells ou a)out ourself....for
$an Wiccans! these things )eco$e altar decorations! or are placed around a circle to lend their
power to the proceedings.
These things are powerful! and we can use the$ to learn so $uch a)out oursel&es. Ta$rn! a
colleague of $ine! once ga&e his students the assign$ent of listing personall sacred things! and
gi&ing a )rief description of wh the considered those things in that wa. 2tudents listed things
li"e their children-s )a) teeth! $usical instru$ents! gra&estones and old lo&e letters. With each
list! students wrote how the assign$ent $ade the$ feel! and the surprising $a'orit felt that
the had "learned" so$ething a)out the$sel&es. This is 'ust one e.a$ple of the soul-searching
we as" of our students! a single $ethod of re&ealing the inner $steries and a step toward
understanding the greater uni&erse. This tpe of see"ing! si$plified in the co$$and "Bnow
thself" is &ital to learning an religion. 0et $e ta"e this $o$ent to re$ind ou that if at an
ti$e ou find that the religion ou are in is $a"ing ou feel unco$forta)le! change it! and if it
resists change! fight! or see" again. At least in our hu$an race! ou "now ou )est...the goal is
to "now ou )etter.
#hapter Two:Redefining our 2piritualit! continued
-2piritual &s. phsical-
A necessit in our li&es is the finding of the spiritual in the phsical. When we don-t! we run the
ris" of )eco$ing "Ao$)ies" who-&e lost touch with their spiritualit. (undane life is &er $uch
li"e cholesterol! and a diet of nothing )ut the $undane is as li"el to "ill ou as dail )acon and
eggs. The ina)ilit to create an e&erda spiritualit is at the root of a good deal of societ-s
pro)le$s. 4 )eco$ing a li&ing e.a$ple of how life is li&ed! we can undo these societal ills! and
)e a )etter person for it.
In reaching for the perfect Integrated Total 2elf! we are )eginning to ta"e control of our li&es!
and our world. The i$portance of this and the self-respect that co$es with it is i$$easura)le!
and the healing it )rings is a necessit in a world with all the faults of ours. 4 acting each
$inute as a religiousDspiritual )eing! we full reali/e the )eaut of what we can )e! and the initial
fra$ewor" of this spiritual li&ing are The Fi&e Points of Wiccan 4elief. + 4 $ nature! as a
Wiccan! I relate an e&erda spiritualit into Wiccan ter$s! )ut it is essential! regardless of
religion! to the well-)eing of hu$an"ind.,
0i&ing the Fi&e points of Wiccan )elief:
0I%IN6 T*7 WI##AN R737: <pholding the Rede can )e a )ig part of li&ing each da as a
Wiccan. For the $ost part! li&ing the Rede is o)&ious! 'ust don-t cause har$! )ut let-s face it!
"don-ts" aren-t enough. We "now what not to do. The following are so$e to-dos:
-Tell the truth! and gi&e up the facades we de&elop to deal with that which we disli"e. 6et
e$otional! cr when ou ha&e to! and a)o&e all! learn fro$ our $ista"es.
- 3o things for no purpose other than )eing "ind and creating a )etter uni&erse. In <ni&ersal
7clectic Wicca we re5uire co$$unit ser&ice of our $e$)ers! )ut &er few $e$)ers need to )e
pushed that wa. Rando$ acts affect the <ni&erse. I$agine how ou-&e felt when a par"ing
$eter-s )een paid for ou. Well! go out and pa so$e $eters! for crin- out loudC
-2low down and s$ell the roses. Ta"e a "ti$e out" for )eaut each da. %isit a $useu$! sniff a
flower! conte$plate our lo&e interest. 4eaut and lo&e are li"e &ita$ins for our spiritual )od.
-2top co$plaining and 3O so$ething. If ou co$plain a)out politicians! )ut ou don-t &ote! ou
are a part of the pro)le$ . If the s$og )others ou on our dri&e into wor"! $a)e ou need to
stop dri&ing into wor"C If ou li"e to wal" through an uncluttered par"! then pic" it upC
-Respect each person e5uall whether 8K or K;! whether fa$il or foe. If ou feel ou $ust gi&e
$ore respect to "elders" reali/e that each person is an elder co$pared to so$eone else. 6i&e an
e.tra degree of respect to those who-&e ta"en the ti$e to listen to their inner sel&es and show
the wisdo$ to pro&e it! regardless of age. With age co$es wisdo$! )ut onl when it-s nurtured.
The older person who has spent their life gathering wisdo$ instead of wool is the true "elder."
I-&e $et $an an K; ears old without enough wisdo$ to fill a thi$)le! and a few toddlers
who-&e $ade $e rethin" $ actions. A person-s genetic relationship to ou! their age or what
the-&e "done" for ou does not $a"e the$ )etter than ou. If e&er so$eone does not treat ou
with hu$an respect! de$and it! it is our )irthright! it is part of )eing a hu$an )eing! and e&en
the $ost &ile hu$an out there deser&es )asic hu$an respect! e&en if we so$eti$es $ust ta"e
$an rights awa to protect the rest of hu$an"ind.
-Reali/e people $a"e $ista"es! forgi&e! )ut do not forget! an "I-$ sorr" without a pro$ise of
change is not an apolog.
-Notice distur)ing trends in our )eha&ior! what do ou do that-s negati&e@ What pro)le$s do
ou ha&e with our friends! our co$$unit. What do ou need to change@
0I%IN6 T*7 0AW OF R7T<RN AN3 T*7 7T*I# OF 270F-R72PON2I4I0IT>:
These two things! when put into e&erda life! are insepara)le...and si$plistic: 8., Reali/e each
action has conse5uences. ?., 3on-t co$$it an action that ou are not read to deal with the
conse5uences of. :.,Ta"e control of our faults and possession of our doings. E., 3on-t ta"e the
law into our hands unless that-s our 'o). G., If so$ething is wrong! change it! within the Rede
and within the law. I, <n'ust laws $ust change.=, Bnow the Whs of the laws of our land. The
#onstitution is listed in the appendices of this )oo"! sit down and read it.
0I%IN6 T*7 7T*I# OF #ON2TANT I(PRO%7(7NT:
Again! this is fairl si$ple...2tri&e toward positi&e change at all ti$es. 3on-t stop learning. Fi.
what-s )ro"en. I$pro&e the 7arth.
0I%IN6 T*7 7T*I# OF ATT<N7(7NT:
We li&e ) the 7thic of Attune$ent ) setting aside a period of ti$e on a regular )asis +once a
da! once a wee"! whate&er, and using it to attune oursel&es to the Three-fold 3i&init. This
attune$ent $a )e praer! an offering! sacred ti$e in a garden! or the perfor$ance of Ritual.
We "eep in $ind at all ti$es that what we do affects e&erthing a)out us! 'ust as tossing a stone
in still water affects it for $eters in an direction.
OT*7R was of li&ing each da spirituall are less religious! PA> ATT7NTION is $ fa&orite.
Re$e$)er that to )e a good person is alwas )etter than )eing a )ad person. An child can tell
ou wh heroes are )etter than &illains! the-re 47TT7RC *igh Wiccan 0aw@ no. 2i$ple co$$on
2TOPCCC 3on-t run awa. I "now! (oralit is another one of those )ad words we aren-t supposed
to use! e&er. Well! guess what! we need to reclai$ our $oralit! and 5uic"l...
What does (ORA0IT> $ean! anwa@@
(oralit is! &er si$pl! li&ing our life ethicall! within the of our religion and our philosoph. It is
li&ing our life with (ORA02! ideals and archetpes which! ) e.a$ple teach us the difference
)etween right and wrong. Again! the effect of the 'ournal is felt here! so get it out and ha&e our
pen read...o"a. Read@
J8: 1ot down 8; things that ou feel are "wrong" to do...e&er.
J?: 1ot down 8; things that ou thin" are 2O#IA00> wrong with our culture.
Now! using the Fi&e Points! and our other )eliefs! as" ourself the following 5uestions a)out
each of these ite$s.
Wh is it wrong@ 3oes it fall into a larger categor of wrong-doing +i.e.: ling! in'uring@, If so!
create a heading on our page with the title of the larger categor and list all of our ite$s with
that specification. What would cause this pro)le$ to )e eli$inated or greatl reduced@ What
si$ple rules can I follow to pre&ent doing these things@
Now! on a )lan" page! turn the a)o&e $aterial into "I will not" state$ents. For e.a$ple:
Wrong: Religious intolerance.
2ocial Wrong: Persecution of non-#hristians in supposedl non-religious go&ern$ent.
Answers: These things are wrong )ecause the cause har$! and put a single group-s )eliefs
a)o&e e&erone elses-.
(ORA0 3I2#O%7R73 FRO( T*727 FA#T2: Religious persecution is har$ful. Will not state$ent:
I will not pre'udge so$eone )ased on their Religion.
When ou ha&e finished our will not state$ents! re-read the$. This is a good deal of our
personal code of ethics. Add will-not state$ents that ou feel are $issing! then la)el the page
"#ode of 7thics"
Following these ethics is li&ing a $oral life...not so )ad when ou thin" of it now! huh@ The )est
thing a)out this $oral code is that it can change when it has to. It is not a $oralit ser&ed on
stone ala )urning )ush! so ou can disagree with ourself on so$e things when ou
change...and we 3O #*AN67.
-Bar$a *appens-
The Wiccan )elief in Bar$a can easil )e used ) the confused as a tool of &icti$i/ation! and to
sa I-&e ne&er heard a so-called Wiccan sa that an innocent &icti$ deser&ed their trau$a would
)e an outright lie. Things happen! and &er often the are not in our control. One of the reasons
that $an of these people will gi&e for )la$ing the &icti$ is "past life "ar$ic de)t"...that-s 'ust
e.cre$entC (ost of what we are taught a)out "past- li&es" doesn-t point to such things! and if
the did! I don-t thin" reincarnation would )e incorporated into Wicca so often. 2ure!
reincarnation into a $isera)le life $a )e punish$ent! )ut $ost reincarnationists sa that ou
are reincarnated into a non-hu$an as punish$ent! or into a hu$an life that is pre-doo$ed! and
ou can alwas "escape" de)t with wor".
When so$ething )ad happens! the onl reason that $a is the need for a celestial "wa"eup
call!" a lesson! so to spea". 2o$e a)use sur&i&ors! when as"ed what the would do if the
could "erase" the a)use fro$ their past actuall sa the wouldn-t... not )ecause what happened
to the$ wasn-t )ad! )ut )ecause what happened to the$ $ade the$ what the now are! and
what the are now isn-t )ad. Facing trau$a is a wa of learning hard taught lessons! and the
s"ills learned in sur&i&ing these trau$a are incredi)l &alua)le in our li&es. We-&e all seen the
stereotpe of the "id who "has it all" and un"nowingl creates strife to learn how to deal with
other pro)le$s! for $an of those who )elie&e in reincarnation! the trau$a ou li&e is $erel
that strife ou-&e created to learn.
A negati&e ccle is created ) this idea that "ar$a! and reincarnation for that $atter! are
te$porall linear. With that thin"ing! anthing )ad $ust )e our fault! if not for a wrong ou-&e
done! than so$ething ou-&e )rought upon ourself for an nu$)er of other reasons! and 2TI00
our fault. This is 'ust plain wrong! and in )elie&ing this ou are contri)uting to trau$a! and
adding into our )ad "ar$a pool. >es! $uch of what happens in our life can )e attri)uted to
so$ething ou ha&e done! )ut not all of it.
These $aster lessons! especiall the una&oida)le ones! $a appear without an fault of our
own. Three $a'or reasons for this "uncalled for" "ar$a The first is the si$plest! ou were
in the wrong place at the wrong ti$e. 3id ou e&er notice that when ou hang out with the
wrong crowd ou get dragged unwillingl into whate&er happens to the$@ This tpe of "ar$a is
called "2$pathetic Bar$a!" what that $eans is that through no fault of our own! ou feel the
effects of another-s "ar$ic )aggage. This person $a )e our friend! a passing stranger!
whoe&er! and there is nothing ou can do a)out this e.cept to )e careful who ou hang out with!
good ad&ice for an reason.
The second tpe of this Bar$a is not reall Bar$ic at all. *a&e ou e&er heard so$eone ha&ing a
)ad da sa "I ha&e the feeling so$eone is tring to tell $e so$ething@" That is an e.a$ple of
what we call "<nconscious Inter&ention!" what that $eans is that so$ething! )e it an e.tra-
personal )eing or our su)conscious! is saing! "*old it! we need to teach ou a lesson and we
need to teach it nowC" <nconscious Inter&ention is usuall recogni/ed ) the i$$ediate effects!
su$$ed up in a "I-ll ne&er do that again" tpe state$ent. A )latant e.a$ple of this happened to
a friend who was $ugged. 2he had fre5uented a nightclu) in a )ad part of town! and was
wal"ing there one night against the ad&ice of friends when she was 'u$ped! and her purse
stolen. On an other night that she had wal"ed! she would-&e had her purse full of credit cards!
her phone card and cash! )ut she had accidentall left her wallet at ho$e! causing the loss of
the purse to )e onl a $inor incident. Fro$ that da forward! she ne&er wal"ed that route alone!
the lesson had )een taught.
The third tpe of "ar$a! and perhaps the $ost difficult to grasp is Preacti&e Bar$a. That is!
"ar$a for things ou ha&en-t done et. This all goes )ac" to our )elief! upheld ) science! that
ti$e is not linear! despite our linear $o&e$ent within it. What this $eans! in theor! is that ou
$a )e getting "whapped" ) negati&e "ar$a ou ha&en-t earned et. I-$ not saing that this
$eans ou are predestined to earn this "ar$a! )ut this can $ean that if ou continue on this
path ou will earn it. Not changing our life after such a warning can )e &er detri$ental to our
spiritual and $a)e phsical health. It is $ opinion that when these e&ents are preacti&e! we
generall "now it! "now wh! and are capa)le of change.
4 e.ercising the Integrated Total 2elf and li&ing $orall! we control the controlla)le "ar$a! and
learn fro$ wh we can-t control the rest. 4 acting on our $orals! and )eco$ing ter$inal dogooders!
we alter our ran-$od! and "ar$a )eco$es $ore friendl. In <ni&ersal 7clectic Wicca!
$e$)ers are as"ed to contri)ute at least four hours a wee" to co$$unit ser&ice e.clusi&e of
their co&en. This $a in&ol&e en&iron$ental or social issues! or 'ust )e si$ple acts of goodness!
)ut each ti$e we do good! we get good! it-s 'ust that eas.
-A #ulture of 6uilt-
Forgi&eness is difficult in a culture as steeped in guilt as ours! and let-s face it! scapegoating!
na$e calling and the )la$e ga$e are our national pasti$es. One has onl to turn on an
tele&ision and s"ip a few channels )efore we see the tal" show with the du)ious topic of "wh I
can-t forgi&e LLLLLLL." We ha&e )eco$e 2O wrapped up in conde$ning our fellow $an that
we-&e forgotten the i$portance of forgi&eness. We all $a"e $ista"es! and I-$ afraid I ha&e to
5uote #hrist here and sa "0et he who is without sin cast the first stone" +Punchline:
"Thwappp....Awww (o$C",
The first forgi&eness needed to $o&e toward change is 270F forgi&eness! and fro$ there! we
$o&e on to our wrongs. For so$e! the si$ple ac"nowledg$ent of "I $essed up" is
enough! )ut for $an others! forgi&eness is to )e di&ided into specific penance! and the )asic
Wiccan recipe for penance is fairl si$ple. Repa thrice o&er what ou ha&e ta"en! )ut ne&er
twice in the sa$e wa. For instance! if ou ha&e da$aged so$eone-s car! first pa for the repairs
and an other $onetar repercussions! secondl! find so$ething ou can do for the person
without )eing noticed! and lastl! "eep a watchful ee on that person and present ourself in a
ti$e of need! perhaps $ore so than ou nor$all would.
If ou feel ou $ust! "eep a running total of "de)ts owed" in our $ind! or e&en in our 'ournal.
When ou get the chance! pa off those de)ts! )ut don-t write off the person afterwards...$erel
use the$ as a path to disco&ering our helping niche.
(ore i$portantl! though! stop tring to )e perfect! no one is falling for it! and it-s doing ou no
good....'ust )e ourself! and $a"e that as good as possi)leC
#hapter Three:The Powers of the <ni&erse
-The EM8 7le$ents-
The power that Wiccans )elie&e inherent in all things is )ro"en down into The Four 7le$ents!
which! co$)ined with a fifth! 2pirit! $a"e up the )asic )uilding )loc"s of our nature. These
ele$ents are 7ART*! WAT7R! AIR and FIR7! and the correspond to the four states of $atter. In
Wicca! these ele$ents also are lin"ed to co$pass points! called "5uarters" and the "cardinal"
colors! and are said to represent di&ineD$etaphsical action.
#olor:>ellow OR White
Altar tool:#enser
2phere of Influence:#leansing
Altar tool:#andleDAtha$!Torch+&aries ) trad,
2phere of Influence:1ustice!%engence or (asculine power
Altar tool:Water!6o)let
2phere of Influence:#o$fort!support! relief of pain or Fe$inine power
#olor:6reen or 4lac"!4rown+&aries ) trad,
Altar tool:2altor pentacle
2phere of Influence:6rounding! Focus
The a)o&e represents the $ost co$$on ele$ental correspondence! )ut it &aries greatl
depending on sect and location. One group on the Northeastern New 7ngland coast places Water
to the 7ast and Air to the West! to recogni/e the power of the sea and the land winds near their
ho$es. Although $ost Wiccans )egin their Rituals to the east and circle around to represent the
passage of the sun! $an choose to )egin at the North or 2outh! and a group of 4ardic Wiccans
that I "now go North to south to east to west and around! to represent the wandering of the
ancient 4ards which alwas )rought the$ ho$e.
In <ni&ersal 7clectic Wicca! the ele$ents also represent states to achie&e! and in larger circles
and so$e pri&ate ones! the ele$ents are in&o"ed as e.a$ples of our inner power! "That we $a
)e" li"e that ele$ent. %isuali/ation8 is often used to "initiate" the Wiccan to the path of that
ele$ent! and the inner powers or "states" disco&ered are used in Ritual and e&erda life. These
&isuali/ations include each ele$ent! with a focus on the power of one and the state to )e
achie&ed. In group situations! these &isuali/ations are read ) one person! often with dru$$ing
or instru$ental $usic in the )ac"ground! at ho$e! a tape plaer should )e used to record the
words of the &isuali/ation until ou no longer need the$. Wear co$forta)le clothes! e&en use a
)lan"et if ou wish! and lie on our )ac" with our hands on our sto$ach. 4reathe in slowl!
then hold the )reath for three seconds! then slowl e.hale. >ou should feel our sto$ach rise
with each )reath! if not! put a )oo" or so$e s$all weight on our sto$ach and practice $a"ing
it $o&e up and down slightl with our )reathing. 3on-t worr a)out doing the &isuali/ations
NOW! 'ust slow down! )e still! and wait for it to co$e. >ou $a wish to practice these )reathing
techni5ues without &isuali/ation for a short ti$e each night until the )eco$e co$forta)le....if
ou fall asleep at an point! don-t fret! it 'ust $eans ou reached a %7R> intense point of
rela.ation! and ou pro)a)l needed the sleep $ore than ou needed the &isuali/ation.
3istraction during &isuali/ation should )e a&oided! and this includes "Oh$igods I gotta go to
wor" in two hours" so practice &isuali/ation with a loose schedule! and turn off the tele&ision and
the radio. After a while! the states ou $a achie&e through &isuali/ation $a )eco$e instant!
and then distraction doesn-t $atter. Feel free to change an aspects ou feel unco$forta)le with
in the &isuali/ation. If sitting in a chair or a >oga stance wor"s )etter for ou! then do it. These
are all suggestions! none of this is written in stone.
-6rounding:The 7arth %isuali/ation-
0ie flat on our )ac" in a field! if ou do not ha&e access to a field! la on a floor and first
&isuali/e through the steel! wood and concrete. Feel ourself falling until ou are ling in the dust
)elow our foundation! and "Touch" the per$ea)le earth that-s there....
Reach through the earth into the tin wor$ holes per$eating the soil. Feel each ner&e on our
finger e.tend forward li"e a root hair sste$. >ou cannot $o&e our fingers.
The creatures of the soil! things ou once feared perhaps! pass o&er ou! through the strands of
our hair. >our hair grows i$possi)l fast! rooting itself to the ground! entangling itself with our
fingers. >ou cannot $o&e our head...
An energ tingles in our chest! and all the stresses and an.ieties grow out as roots through our
)od and hairs! strengthening ou! reaching $iles and $iles down to an underground la"e. >ou
feel fro$ a)o&e as each root plunges into the earthwar$ed water! and as the &er last root
plunges in! ou feel a )itter cold ta"ing o&er the rest of ou! tring to suc" e&er inch of war$th
fro$ our )ones. >ou feel the cold suc"ed through the rest of our )od toward the roots! heat
slowl returning to our face. >ou see the cold suc"ed into the water! for$ing a sil&erish slic"
which )u))les slowl as the pure water $il"s it fro$ our roots.
A wind springs up in the underground ca&ern! twisting the ends of our roots and tossing the
sil&er a)out franticall! painting the walls with it and throwing our roots around &iciousl. Onl
the "narled roots of our worries are affected! twisting! )ending! )ut ne&er )rea"ing! still holding
ou as fir$ as ou need.
Without warning! the wind su)sides. The sil&er light co&ers e&erthing e.cept the water! which is
clear once $ore. The roc"s! our roots! e&en the walls of the ca&ern all glow with the light.
The war$th of the la"e pushes into ou! replacing what the stor$ drained. >ou feel the pulse of
the water! though ou...though the earth...the )eat rushes through e&er inch of ou! and ou
)egin to notice the light flowing! $o&ing with the pulse! slowl creeping toward ou. A closer
loo" shows the sil&er light to )e thousands of )iolu$inescent creatures! no larger than fleas! and
the swar$ silentl to ou! co&ering ou in a li&ing! pulsing shield.
A colu$n of stea$ rises fro$ the water! and ou feel the heat )loc"ed ) the creatures. The
$elt into e&er inch of ou as the stea$ and water )uffet ou! "eeping ou fro$ )urning and
te$pering into a solid coat of light. >our stresses thus trans$uted! the stea$ stops! and our
roots slowl retract! )ringing the light into our )od...ou feel it 'ust )eneath the s"in! a tingle
of deeper strength. As ou open our ees! ou "now it-s there...ou are aware of the difference!
and this feeling! this $e$or is fore&er. >ou are changed...ou are grounded.
(an +)ut not all, people e.perience grounding the first ti$e the practice this &isuali/ation. It is
not actuall a "$eta$orphosis!" )ut a wa of rerouting power into a force ou alread possess.
For so$e! $erel ling in )ed! or an other "personal" place! is a wa to achie&e this
state...e.peri$ent. When ou achie&e that "anchored" feeling! tr to re$e$)er the sensation in
detail. Practice will $a"e it co$e easier.
-The Wo$):The Water %isuali/ation-
For this e.ercise! ou want to lie on our )ac"! with our ar$s crossed o&er our chest. The
*ealing state we-re atte$pting to achie&e here is the "$ental pure" state that so$e rituals!
especiall healing rituals call for. If ou ha&e alread achie&ed a grounded state! tr grounding
ourself )efore atte$pting the &isuali/ation. Transference fro$ one state to the ne.t is easier
than transference fro$ "e&erda" action to (etaphsical action. I-&e listed the states in order of
easiest to hardest for this purpose.
+If ou ha&e a tape of ocean wa&es! pla it now! if ou ha&e an Ocean 3ru$! tr sitting in a
co$forta)le chair with the Ocean 3ru$ on our lap and slowl roc" in a circular $otion! if ou
ha&e no wa to hear wa&es! ou-ll 'ust ha&e to listen to our heart)eat and i$agine the rushing
in and out of sound.,
4reathe in! and let that )reath )e the slow roll of the wa&es co$ing in to shore! )reathe out! feel
it roll awa let this continue! the rolling in and out! until ou )egin to feel a lightness around our
)od...i$agine the soft feel of )od-war$ water as it laps at our toes! our feet! our an"les!
lifting the$ fro$ the ground and gentl pulling ou into the water. >our legs! hips! )ac"! touch
the water as ou float up! carried on the surface of the water effortlessl! and at once! ou-re
floating! carried ) the war$ water with no fear of sin"ing. The Wa&es increase in speed! pulling
ou further fro$ land with each new down)eat! and ou )egin to feel the sun )eating upon ou!
tring to sin" ou )eneath the wa&es with a heat ou feel li"e a phsical pressure. The water
)eneath ou ru$)les in fierce protecti&eness! and ou are rushed upward toward a deep )lue
s". I$possi)l light! ou are tossed off of the cresting wa&es and into the s"! where ou gentl
lift into an updraft! then spiral down onto a outstretched ar$ of water! which caresses our )od
as ou land! pulling ou down )eneath the wa&es. >our first )reath as ou sin" is difficult! )ut
our )od read'usts to the act of water )reathing! re$e$)ering pre-infanc instinct. The war$th
fills ou! inside and out! as ou are tossed gentl! current to current. The water gentl flows
through our hair! pulling awa the dirt of the co$$on world and lea&ing ou pure and innocent.
>ou see ourself rushing toward the s"in of the water! the sunlight plaing on it li"e a
frag$ented $irror! that see$s $ore and $ore solid as ou flow closer. >ou hit the )arrier! and
feel it refuse to ield. The pressure )uilds up )ehind ou! pushing harder! and ou are thrust out!
ta"ing our first )reath of air &iolentl and loud! the pressure e.ploding fro$ our )od. Pulled
on ) a $illion gentle fingers! ou are carried to the shore! where the earth grows solid )eneath
our feet. >ou are trul re)orn.
As with the other &isuali/ations! this is onl a suggestion! a techni5ue that $a or $a not help
ou e.perience this sensation. Again! we deal here with the difficult of our languages! for these
states! )eing personal and &aried! are indescri)a)le as well.
#hapter Three:The Powers of the <ni&erse! continued
-Astral #onsciousness: The Air %isuali/ation-
Air is not onl an ele$ent of purification! )ut is also the ele$ent of the free $ind. For that
reason! students of astral pro'ection often use &isuali/ations as "launching )oards" into their
astral tra&els. I $a"e no clai$s a)out the &alidit of Astral Tra&el! )ecause there is no strict
definition of it! and no grounded scientific proof. In no wa a$ I saing it does not either!
discussion of such le&els of $etaphsics are )est left to $etaphsical to$es! not )oo"s on Wicca.
0et $e reiterate here! that (agic"! (etaphsics and "New Age" practices are so$ething $an
Wiccans do! )ut are not part of the actual religion. Ritual (agic"! which is reall ad&anced
praer! will )e co&ered in a later chapter.
2elf-hpnosis is reco$$ended for this &isuali/ation! or a period of $editation preceding it. If ou
find that the i$ager $a"es ou unco$forta)le! )ut not enough to want to not do it! ou $a
which to cast a circle +ne.t chapter, or wear a "protecti&e" piece of 'ewelr. Another idea! carr a
s$all stone in our hand! to re$ind ou of "earth" The deep )reathing ou do here should )e
enough to "eep ou fro$ feeling "weird!" )ut if ou feel that ou are out-of-)od prone! do what
ou need to do to ground ourself or gi&e ourself "protection" fro$ a possi)le negati&e
e.perience. If ou ha&e enough (etaphsical )ac"ground to enter "Re&erie" while perfor$ing
this &isuali/ation! all the )etter for ou.
4egin with the )reathing ou-&e used in other e.ercises! )ut with each e.hale! feel our
e.tre$ities slowl )egin to go nu$)...first our fingers and toes! the our hands and feet! all the
wa up to our nec" not to $o&e these nu$) parts! )ut let twitches! and other unconscious
$o&e$ents happen. When onl our head see$s $o&ea)le! &isuali/e a networ" of threads of
light holding ou down. >ou can feel these threads holding down our power! )ut as ou assert
ourself! the tin threads )egin to snap! our )od slowl raising as each thread ceases to hold
ou down. >ou float carelessl through the air! turning to see our $otionless )od ling on the
floor )ehind ou. >ou s$ile! and a few seconds pass )efore the s$ile reaches our face )elow
ou. >ou notice a sil&er u$)ilical cord ting ou to our )od! which is safe on the guardian
earth! without a further care! ou turn and drift up! through the rafters! the roof! whate&er! into
the night s". >ou push ourself up! +optional: past the lights of the cit! the s$og and heat until
ou co$e to pure air, into a )lac" s" dotted with $illions of stars. A wind! carring an electric
charge so fierce that ou can s$ell it! pushes ou around until ou are inches awa fro$ a wall
of glowing light! which shi$$ers with pulses of color li"e $inute lightning flashes. >ou reach out
and touch the wall! and are suc"ed into a fast $o&ing strea$ of light and air! which carries ou
i$possi)l fast. Fro$ our position within the wall! ou can see the se$i-sphere of a far-off
earth! )lue-green and )rown )ehind ou. the lights of cities twin"le li"e #hrist$as lights! adding
to its splendor! and a networ" of paths si$ilar to the one ou are on encircle it in a war$ net.
>ou step out of the wall into another and are pulled in another direction! toward )lac" clouds
which )utt up against each other in angr protest. >ou enter these clouds! dropping out of the
energ strea$! and feel the caress of lightning as it passes through ou. A weight )egins to fill
ou! and ou drop se&eral inches! the pressure strong enough to $a"e ou feel as if ou-re
a)out to e.plode. With a great rip of thunder! the rain )egins and the pressure )egins to ease!
the water pouring through the clouds and through ou onto the ground )elow. Rained out! ou
feel a little drained! so ou hoo" the energ strea$ once $ore! feeling its energ re&itali/e ou.
>ou float so$e $ore! allowing ourself to )e tossed a)out ) the wind and the energ fields!
until ou see a circle of stones )eneath ou! li"e 2tonehenge! onl s$aller. >ou touch upon the
stone at the center of the ring and feel an energ fro$ it! si$ilar to the one in the wall. ou
allow ourself to 'oin with the stone-s energ for a $o$ent! then press off once $ore! finding an
e5uili)riu$ )etween the draw of the earth stone and the air fields of energ. >ou point a finger
at the stone! and a line of energ crac"les fro$ our hand and reaches it. >ou can see energ
fro$ the stone tric"ling into the line! and feel it filling our hand! with our other hand! ou
create a line )etween our )od and the energ field a)o&e ou! and for a few $o$ents! ou
are pulled ) the two forces! which ield to ou and )egin to strengthen ou. After a few
$o$ents! ou allow the lines to disintegrate! "nowing ou can draw in no $ore power. >ou
place our hands pal$ to pal$ and a glo)e of energ for$s around ou. >ou concentrate for a
$o$ent! noticing the u$)ilical that stretches the $iles to our )od. >ou watch as it detaches
fro$ ou and attaches to the )u))le. There is a suc"ing sound! and our ears pop! and ou find
ourself standing a)o&e our )od. >ou stretch out our hands! and the )u))le $elds into the
)od as energ crac"les fro$ our hands and is pulled into the )od. >ou allow our left hand to
drain itself dr! and then watch as our right hand )egins to disintegrate! fingers! ar$s!
shoulder! all for$ing into lines of light! ou loo" )riefl )efore ou allow ourself to )e full
drawn )ac"! and notice the s$ile is still there! peaceful! and serene....>ou notice as ou regain
control of our li$)s that the little threads do not refor$! ou-&e escaped the$! and if the co$e
)ac"! it will )e at our re5uest.
-This is onl a test...The Fire %isuali/ation-
The Fire %isuali/ation creates the $indset of a challenger! a &er powerful thin"ing and feeling
$ethod! which we train oursel&es in. The Fire consciousness is usefull in&o"ed at an ti$e
where we $ust )e grounded through pain! or e&en in so called "lesser stresses" li"e e.a$s! or
defending a thesis. There is a feeling of )eing drawn or directed in this &isuali/ation! li"e the soul
has $ore i$portant things to do than the )od. This can help put ou into perspecti&e a)out
our life. Are our greatest worries reall as )ad as all that@
4egin this &isuali/ation li"e the others! onl )e sure ou-re war$ when ou do it. a friend of $ine
suggests using the &isuali/ation while tanning! )ut I lo&e $ s"in too $uch to tr. This
&isuali/ation is )est done during the da! although a $ore i$aginati&e person $ight i$agine
tra&eling around the world )efore rising into the sun. If! at anti$e! ou are unco$forta)le! then
change the &isuali/ation. re$e$)er! ne&er do anthing ou don-t want to doC
>ou feel our )od dissol&ing! )rea"ing down into spherical $olecules of )lac" car)on. >ou are!
all at once! $ore aware of our )eing than e&er. >our heart still )eats! our lungs still )reathe!
)ut ou are $ade of $illions of seething particles. 4reathe deep and let the particles float li"e a
floc" of swallows into the s". >ou cur&e! ou undulate! )ut all the while ou are one! held
together ) the in&isi)le threads of $olecular )onding! >ou are a great cloud of s$o"e across
the s"! turning the sun )lood red as it passes through ou. >ou stand! at once! )oth under and
a)o&e ourself. >ou touch the $olecules of s$o"e and the cling to our $ind-s fingers! lifting
ou up! up into the )lood red sunlight. >our $ind-s ees close for a $o$ent and the are the red
of our eelids! when ou open the$ again ou see onl the sunlight! i$possi)l close and
i$possi)l red. The sunlight illu$inates our particles as the lift our $ind-s )od toward the
red sun! and i$possi)le carpet of red and gold that war$s as ou approach the sphere. >ou feel
our )lood pounding and notice it-s the pounding of the sun. In! hold! out! ou )reathe! red!
gold! orange! it flashes. The )eat grows louder. Red. Orange. 6old. >ou stretch our fingers
toward the sun and the are tinged with the clear white of dia$onds and 5uart/! the color
drained awa into the pounding sun. >our )od tingles with the heat! li"e a hot shower after a
cool swi$! and ou )reathe through it! in! out! in! until the heat )eco$es soothing instead of
harsh. The colors change! Red. Orange. 6old. %iolet. White. 4lue. The heat is so intense it
actuall cools ou. This is the heat of wintergreen! of $enthol! and the dust of our $agic carpet
is the crstal )lue-white of ash so pure it rese$)les snow. A ellow ha/e for$s )etween ou and
the sun! so large now that ou can see nothing else. The ellow ha/e co$es closer and ou see
that it is a wall of pale fire! it-s color the color of fresh le$ons! tinged on the outer edge with the
)lue-white of the hottest fla$es. With a whoosh ou pass through it! and it clings to ou li"e
so$e "ind of $e$)rane. The sun is now the deep red color of )urning coals and ou turn! feet
towards the sun and gentl float to the surface! held aloft for ages ) the heat while pulled
forward ) the inescapa)le gra&it. >our feet touch the spong surface of the sun! and ou feel
no $ore than the deep heat of our )lood. The pounding turns $etallic! and ou wal" towards it.
A )eing of pure fire appears )efore ou! ha$$ering a crstal )lade at a forge. *e points )ehind
ou and ou see our footprints lingering on the sun! a patch of )lac"-red coals that ignite slowl
into the red of the fla$ing ground )eneath ou. >ou turn )ac" to hi$ and he holds the sword
out to ou! hilt first. >ou ta"e it! and he turns into a giant li/ard of fla$e! the great sala$ander.
*e roars at ou! and ou recogni/e it as a challenge. The sword pulses in our hand as the
sala$ander swipes at ou. >ou dodge and he swishes his li/ard tail at ou! ou dodge once $ore
and swing the sword in a wild arc at the creature. In the $o$ent of connection! the
sala$ander-s li/ard-li"e face is aglow with pride in ou! his student. *is head connects with the
)lade and disappears in a puff of white s$o"e. The )od fi//les awa in a cloud of stea$ and
ou find ourself wal"ing through dense orange-tinged fog. The ruins of a great $ar)le te$ple
are )efore ou! and ou step up upon a $ar)le dais! soft and cold )eneath our ash co&ered
feet. A wo$an! clad in a white gown nods at ou and holds her hand out. >ou gi&e her the sword
and she gestures for ou to reach into a s$all well and re$o&e the huge ge$ that lies within it.
As ou lift the ge$ a 'et of white fla$e pushes ou up! up into the s" and awa fro$ the
surface of the sun. The ge$ pulls ou into )lac"ness! and then! slowl. ou approach the earth.
The )lac"ness turns to )lue as the ge$ points our feet towards ho$e. It 5ui&ers in our grip
and pulls awa fro$ ou! and ou find ourself plu$$eting )ac" toward the earth and sla$$ing
ou into our )od as the ge$ cli$)s deeper into space.. 4efore ou can )reathe another
)reath! ou see the ge$! through the roof! through the s"! as it e.plodes in white hot fire and a
star appears in the hea&ens. >our star.
This &isuali/ation is optional! $ore so than the others! in a <ni&ersal 7clectic Wicca #ircle!
instead of using &isuali/ation to "disco&er" the fire consciousness! we usuall suggest a "test" of
so$e "ind! a fear one $ight need to con5uer. A "trial ) Fire" often has &er little to do with the
actual ele$ent! and $ore to deal with what is called its "2phere of Influence." The 2phere of
Influence of an ele$ent includes the spiritual and $thological $eanings a person attri)utes to
-The Pentacle and the 0esser 7le$ents-
The four ele$ents ha&e a great deal of s$)olis$ attached to the$. Indi&iduall! the are often
represented ) shapes or other s$)ols. #ircular s$)ols! li"e the ones )elow! are often used in
place of the na$es of the ele$ents when writing a ritual. When writing in a runic alpha)et
without capital letters or writing in a second language li"e the 0atin! French or 6aelic! this can
$a"e it $uch easier to distinguish )etween a fire +light a fire, and Fire +0ight a candle to
represent Fire.,
2pirit! the Fifth 7le$ent! is usuall not s$)oli/ed. This could )e )ecause it is not a part of the
)oundar of the #ircle or )ecause $an traditions don-t consider 2pirit as so$ething in&o"ed )
the person casting the circle. It is a $ore ethereal ele$ent! )rought to the circle ) the
practitioner and s$)oli/ed ) the altar. When represented as a group! the fi&e ele$ents are
often s$)oli/ed ) the pentacle.
In so$e traditions! The areas )etween the points on the pentacle enco$pass what are called the
"lesser" ele$ents. "0esser" 7le$ents are co$)inations of two 6reater 7le$ents! although a su)-
ele$ent is often i$plied! for instance! s$o"e! which is suspended pieces of solid $atter +earth,
is said to )e of 7arth and Air! )ut a su)-ele$ent of Fire can )e i$plied. In so$e Fa$-Trads!
there is $ention of the 7&er-#ontinuing Pentacle. In its )asest for$! this pentacle can )e )egun
) for$ing a second pentacle within the first! with each of its lines the "children" of the
ele$ents. It-s i$portant to notice that the #ircle or pentagon around the pentacle also represents
a series of lines and ele$ents. The following is generall agreed to )e the First set of "lesser"
ele$ents in&o"ed in so$e Wicca! )ut there is little if an corro)oration )etween trads of the
lesser ele$ents )eond the$.
I-&e onl seen a few Wiccan circles where the "lesser" ele$ents were in&o"ed! and the were
either weather-related or large group circles where in&o"ing each of these ele$ents ga&e $ore
people $ore to do. The are useful! howe&er! when planning circles relating to things li"e rain or
stor$s. A )lessing ritual I "now of has protected one house in a tornado-prone spot for ears!
and the words "fire" and "spirit" are car&ed in The)an script on a friend-s lightning rod...3o the
wor"@ 2tatisticall! we reall don-t ha&e the nu$)ers to sa! )ut no one offers a "char$" or
"spell" as a panacea. ( friends in Tornado Alle in Bansas still ha&e a &er solid house and a
stor$ cellar! $ friend with the lightning rod didn-t write the words on his roof to "eep the
lightning awa! )ecause that 'ust wouldn-t ha&e wor"ed.
Another friend su$$ed it up this wa... "If ou see a /ealous #hristian wal"ing into a 0ion-s den!
ou "now he-s got a lot of faith. If ou see a Wiccan wal"ing into a lion-s den! ou "now he-s a
lion ta$er." Now! this isn-t $eant as a sla$ against #hristians! nor do I )elie&e all lion ta$ers to
)e Wiccan! this 'ust illustrates an aspect of our religion. In Wicca! we )elie&e that the 6ods full
intend for us to ha&e a plan 4! and that using that plan is a part of li&ing within our Religion. The
"nowledge of things li"e lightning rods and structural da$age capacit are tools to forge our plan
4s... tools gi&en to us ) the 6ods! andDor the Inner di&init. <sing these tools e.presses their
The 7le$ents are also tools! tools that we use to $a"e things wor" "that $uch $ore" in our
fa&or. We do not tr to control the 7le$ents! or anthing else for that $atter. (an feel that the
use of Ritual (agic"! which is $erel ad&anced praer! is an atte$pt to supersede 6od! and
wrest power for oursel&es. >es! we do see" power and control! )ut onl power and control o&er
the one thing we ha&e the right to control...our 2elf. Re$e$)er! #ontrol of other peopleDthings
destros their Will! destroing the Will is causing har$....Wiccans do not har$.
#hapter Four: The Wiccan #ircle
-2acred 2pace-
In #hapter two we redefined the word "2acred" as $eaning "those things which! ) )ringing us
closer to oursel&es! )ring us closer to di&init." In our culture of o&er- population and
possessi&eness! the idea of space as sacred is prett hard to grasp. In Wicca! we )elie&e that
e&erthing is sacred! especiall the land! and our )elief is that ou can )u land! )ut ou can-t
own it. The idea of an area as sacred and therefore "special" is hard to grasp in a standard
conte.t! and we find oursel&es once $ore with the spiritual )lue pencil! editing the dictionar in
our heads.
In Wicca! sacred space co$es in two distinct tpes. The first! a new trend! in&ol&es the )uing!
sal&aging and naturali/ing of land! or the act of )uing and "setting aside" land in trusts and
pri&ate par"s. There is a land rush going on! and one need onl loo" at the side of an highwa
to see )uildings where fields were a ear! e&en a $onth ago. The purpose of "entrusting" land is
to assure that our children ha&e land and that we ha&e o.gen. One group of people )uing land
has stated that if we each )u one s5uare $ile of land and allow it to produce o.gen with
indigenous plants and organic gardens! we can grind the outward growth of cities to a halt!
$a"ing co$$unities turn inward to restoration of ding neigh)orhoods and reuse of da$aged
land. Their theor wor"s li"e this: When ou dri&e along an interstate and see a few acres for
sale here! and a few acres for sale there! don-t loo" at it and sa "I-d )u it! )ut I don-t want to
li&e ne.t to a highwa!" sa! "I )etter )u it )efore so$e fool stops that o.gen fro$ undoing
so$e of the da$age of this highwa." 3on-t loo" at unused land as needing to )e put to good
wor"! see it doing its 'o). 4 )uing it! and not )uilding on it! we are putting it to the )est wor"
there is.
The second! and &astl different for$ of sacred space that Wiccans use is "worship space!" our
te$ples or churches. Wicca needs no )uildings for its practice! )ecause the "circle" or te$ple of
Wicca can )e )uilt! used and ta"en down in $ere $o$ents...It is a )uilding $ade of energ!
)elief and Will! and can )e outside! inside! underground or where&er else the practitioners wish
(an Fa$-Trads state that the reason for the $o&ea)le church is a $atter of persecution or
politics! the need to hide when the preachers co$e and act li"e good #hristians. This $a well
)e true! )ut if it were the whole truth! Wicca would now operate out of churches as surel as an
other $inorit religion. Other people si$pl sa it-s a $atter of $one! and that Wiccans! as a
population! 'ust don-t ha&e the funds. This! too! $a )e true! )ut the $ost definite reason for
this transporta)le church is pro)a)l the Wiccan )elief that! since all the world is sacred! all the
world can )e used as a church.8
If ou as"ed fift Wiccans "what" a circle is! ou-d pro)a)l get a hundred answers! half of which
would see$ to conflict. The Wiccan #ircle defies total e.planation. In its si$plest for$! it-s an
area $ar"ed out! declared in a cere$on! and used during a ritual as a "place." In $etaphsical
ter$s! the circle is a place where the phsical world is left outside and the 2piritual world is as
touched upon as $uch as it can )e ) phsical )eings. The #ircle contains the power or energ
"raised" until it is released! and "eeps negati&e energies out. It is $ar"ed out through &aring
$ethods! a few of which I-ll detail later in this chapter.
The a&erage #ircle is open to all! and all those who stand within are charged "0et none )e here
)ut of their own free will." and "0et none lea&e )ut with good reason till the te$ple )e cleared."?
The #ircle is a receptacle for energ! and "lea&ing" in the $iddle of a ritual without good reason
is not onl a fau.-pas of the Wiccan culture! )ut is said to "disrupt" those energies gathered
within. Onl when "let go" ) those within the circle do the energies ha&e direction! and onl )
)eing gathered within the #ircle do the energies achie&e the "critical $ass" needed to )e pushed
toward that direction. In a religion that )elie&es energ inherent in all life! the idea of a circle to
"contain it " $a see$ a)surd! )ut did ou e&er tr to drin" a rainstor$@ Onl ) using a cup can
we gather enough water to 5uench our thirst. The #ircle is the cup we contain those energies in.
2tarhaw"! in 2piral 3ance: A Re)irth of the Ancient Religion of the 6reat 6oddess! refers to the
casting of the #ircle as "an enacted $editation!" which "resonates through laers of $eaning to
awa"en an aspect of oursel&es.": Indeed! the #ircle is the ho$e of the 2piritual 2ide that we
need to integrate to )eco$e "whole" entities! and the practice of Ritual is to that aspect of the
Total 2elf what food is to our phsical )od. The #ircle is the gatewa to the 7le$ental 2tates
detailed earlier! a $ental and su)conscious trigger that tells our inner sel&es to "pa attention!
this is i$portant." #asting the circle is li"e tapping into our soul and letting our inner thoughts
and feelings rule us instead of societ-s rules! at least for a ti$e.
When ou find so$ething that "wor"s" for ou when casting a circle! tr to integrate that aspect
into the casting of e&er #ircle. I-$ not saing that a perfect set of words or gestures will wor"
e&er ti$e! )ut a few things used $ost of the ti$e can enhance the e.perience for ou! and help
ou achie&e that inner "hol" state the circle calls for! these can include:
-Wearing a special gar$ent! li"e a ro)e! or going 2"clad!
-Wearing our hair differentl or Ritual faceD)od painting.
-2pecial 1ewelr onl worn in circle! or al$ost alwas worn! )ut onl &isi)le in circle
-2pecial anointing oils or perfu$es! such as clar sage oil! or washing first with a certain "ind of
-2pecial incense or s$udge used e&er ti$e! )ut ne&er used "outside" of the circle.
-A special place where our circle is cast! or certain tools ou use often.
A&oid using the sa$e words e&er ti$e ou cast the #ircle! and if ou do ha&e a special relic!
don-t feel that ou can-t do a circle without it in a pinch. 2u)stitution and adaptation are a )ig
part of Wicca! and are nothing to )e asha$ed of. Re$e$)er! as long as ou are following the
)asic tenets of Wicca! ou are as Wiccan as anone else! and NOT*IN6 $a"es ou an $ore or
less "right." If it wor"s for ou! it-s right for ou.
-The Fi&e Fuestions <suall As"ed ) 2o$eone a)out to #ast Their 8st #ircle
In $ ears as a student! and later as a priestess! I-&e heard these 5uestions as"ed $ore than
an others ) people who want to cast a circle )ut are afraid that the-ll get it "wrong:"
J8: *ow do I "now I ha&e "the stuff" to cast a circle! don-t I need to )e initiated to ha&e the
power to do it@ When does the PriestDPriestess "gi&e" $e the power for this@
If ou are ali&e! ou ha&e the power to cast a circle. In an initiation! ou are not "gi&en" power.
In so$e circles! the initiation $a include so$e directions for raising and using this power! )ut
<ni&ersal 7clectic Wicca has no $andator "initiations." We )elie&e )irth to this planet is initiation
enough. A dedication rite +see part three of this )oo", is $ore than suita)le. Initiations are onl
pro&ided at special re5uest! usuall in instances where the student has had a trau$atic life
e.perience and feels a need to )e "re)orn."
When an initiation is done! it should )e an initiation into a new life! not into Wicca or a tradition
of Wicca. An initiate should alwas )e a)le to ta"e hi$Dherself out of the religion without dening
the new life the-&e $ade.
J?: *ow do I "now if I-$ getting it right@ OR J:: *ow do I "now if I-$ doing it wrong@
0i"e )reathing! casting a circle for ritual use is a natural )odD$ind function that can-t trul )e
done WRON6. With practice! further &isuali/ation! repetition! research and the ine&ita)le change!
our circle will grow to $etaphsical perfection! )ut until then! ou still can-t get it "wrong."
If ou intend to pursue #ere$onial (agic"! ou $a ha&e &er intricate #ircle rituals! designed to
protect ou fro$ "the forces" ou are wor"ing with. That-s that set of )eliefs! not Wicca. A
Wiccan circle can )e as co$ple. or as si$ple as ou want. It-s >O<R call.
JE: What if I ha&e to lea&e during the #ircle@
It happens. A)out 8DE of <7W-s current standing #lerg are doctors! so it pro)a)l happens $ore
to us than to $ost. In a personal circle! it-s )est to end it! go do what ou need to do! then recast
when ou-re done. In a group circle! it-s )est to )e "let out" ) the person who cast! )ut
larger circles are unco$forta)le to disrupt. It-s )est to plan for these contingencies with the
person casting the circle! and get per$ission to lea&e if so$ething co$es up. (ost of the ti$e!
the circle is left through a "door" cut in the side of the circle with the Atha$! and repaired fro$
outside ) )eing "undrawn" and sealed with a pentacle drawn in the air a)o&e the cut. In the
e&ent that the person who created the circle has to lea&e! a second should ta"e o&er leading the
circle! so$eone chosen ahead of ti$e to pre&ent the $o$ents of ine&ita)le chaos that "ta"ing
o&er" in&ol&es.
With the caster-s per$ission! trace a door in a rough o&al or rectangle in the air of the circle with
the Atha$ or right hand! if ou-re left handed! or a$)ide.trous! ou $a wish to use )oth
hands! or use the so$e circles! the )elie&e that left handed people wor" energies
)ac"wards! and our priest+ess, or teacher $a as" ou to cast our circles countercloc"wise
and other such re&ersals. 2ince our circles incorporate the land! I don-t thin" handedness is that
i$portant. Although so$e Wiccans in the southern he$isphere $a wor" differentl! I thin" that
#loc"wise is the wa to go for $ost of us. After ou-&e stepped through! close the door )
retracing the shape with the Atha$ or hand and &isuali/e the undoing of the cut. 3epending on
our group! ou $a then trace a pentacle or a #eltic cross to strengthen the wea"ened space.
JG: What degree do I need to achie&e to cast a #ircle for a co&en@
>ou can cast a circle at an degree! )ut casting a circle for a co&en in <ni&ersal 7clectic Wicca is
done ) whoe&er the co&en feels co$forta)le with! usuall a second or third circle $e$)er or a
Priest+ess., It-s generall a 5uestion of e.perience! if ou "now how! do it for a group! if ou
don-t! practice at ho$e. As with anthing in Wicca! if casting for a group $a"es ou
unco$forta)le 3ON-T 3O IT.
-The #ircle ...6uidelines
Al$ost e&er Wiccan circle follows a set of guidelines! so$eti$es sarcasticall called a "recipe."
Thin" of it as a list of ingredients and an order of operations. No $atter what tradition ou
)elong to! chances are ou cast our circle along these lines:
Phsical 3e$arcation of 4oundar: #hal" lines! string! colored tape and other was of phsicall
"drawing" a circle on the ground. This also includes placing of the altar in the center or east of
the circle and using candles to $ar" out the )oundaries.
Announce$ent: the priest+ess, or caster announces the intention of the #ircle and sets rules!
often reciting the Wiccan Rede or a #harge specific to their tradition.
#reation of 7le$ental 4oundaries: 0ighting of the candles to represent the ele$ents and
especiall Fire! lighting incense to purif and in&o"e Air! use of 2alt +earth, and Water. <suall
this also in&ol&es wal"ing around the circle! another wa of phsicall $ar"ing the circle.
%isuali/ationDcreation of (etaphsical 4oundaries: <suall this is done ) tracing the circle in the
air a)o&e the phsical )oundaries! while &isuali/ing white or )lue light surrounding the circle.
Welco$ing of #o&eners:+o$it in solitar circles, (ost 7clectic trads cast the circle with the
co&eners alread inside the area! to a&oid wea"ening the circle ) cutting a door in it. At this
point! the #o&eners in these trads are generall greeted ) the leaderDpriest+ess, with a
handsha"e! hug! "iss! whate&er! +again! this is ) tradition., In the other trads! this is when the
circle is opened and the co&eners are let in.
Welco$ing of 6ods: This is when the 6ods are in&ited into the circle to )e a part of and )ear
witness to the rites. Ne&er 37(AN3 of the 6ods! it-s 'ust not the wa we do things. In a
<ni&ersal 7clectic Wicca #ircle! the "6eneral 6ods!" the 0OR3 and 0A3> are welco$ed here.
When the ter$ "0ord and 0ad" are used! the indi&idual is encouraged to insert their
PatronD(atron 6ods! "eeping in $ind that all gods are facets on that ge$ of truth we $entioned
earlier and it is i$possi)le to welco$e in a part without welco$ing in the whole.
Announce$ent of #o$pletion: The caster announces the circle is co$plete! and warns people to
not lea&e without reason until it is dissol&ed. <suall the caster then sas "so $ote it )e!" which
$eans essentiall "so it shall )e!" or "$a"e it this wa!" all of which are definitions of the non-
Wiccan ter$ "a$en." In groups who are co$forta)le with it! "A$en" is a reasona)le replace$ent
for "2o $ote it )e!" )ut 2o (ote It 4e is a ter$ which earlier Wiccans and (agic"ians used and it
so$ehow see$s to reach deep inside of us. I! personall use! "(a ( Will and Th Will )e one!"
and $a)e I-ll e.plain it in depth so$eti$e! )ut not now. I don-t feel I can stress enough the
i$portance of doing what wor"s. If A$en carries power for ou! then use it.
#hapter Four: The Wiccan #ircle
-T*7 TOO02-
In Wiccan practice there is a set of tools co$$onl used in Ritual. 2u)stitutions are encouraged!
so ne.t ti$e ou-re )u$$ed out a)out not )eing a)le to afford that o)sidian Atha$ at "Ritual
2tuff is <s!" re$e$)er the First Witches and thin"! "a "now! what did the ha&e@" I-&e listed the
tools fro$ $ost often used to $ost o)scure! with co$$on snon$s and eas pronunciation.
Atha$: "7th-uh-$a" spelled with or without an accent also called the Right-handed "nife!
4lac"-hilted "nife! 2orcerer-s "nife! the 4lade! 3agger! air dagger! s"tooth! e.cali)ur +$eaning
sword of 5ualit! I a$ told!, and pro)a)l a couple hundred other na$es. This is the "$ule" of
Ritual ite$s! the $ost co$$onl used ite$ that can )e used as a su)stitute for $an others. It
is a dagger that is usuall triangular and dou)le )laded +in places where dou)le-)laded "ni&es
are illegal! $an Wiccans lea&e one side of the )lade "thic"" or unsharpened! since the "nife is
not used as a weapon! and usuall isn-t sharpened co$pletel anwa! wh )other with a court
case when neglecting a whetstone $a"es it legal@, It is al$ost alwas $ade of $etal! different
trads call for iron! copper! steel or sil&er! )ut since <ni&ersal 7clectic Wicca operates on a )elief
of personal di&ine aspects! the (DPatron 6ods! it would depend on personal attune$ent. For a
follower dedicated to 3iana the )est "ni&es are pro)a)l sil&er! for Thor! pro)a)l steel. +one
Thor sect I "now uses a ha$$er instead of a "nife...)ig surprise., 2o$e 6ods won-t )e that
o)&ious! feel free to e.peri$ent. 2i/e &aries fro$ a)out K-8I inches. The Atha$ is ne&er used
as a weapon! although so$e spea" of "Traitors" to the craft )eing slain ) their own )lade. I find
this &er unli"el since $ost of the older trads spea" of "Ne$esis ta"ing her own!" or another
for$ of ""ar$ic" retri)ution. <sed instead of : wand! hand! sic"le! sword! )olline! staff
*and: located on the side of our wrist opposite our ar$! usuall used in ritual with the first two
fingers e.tended and the thu$) holding the other two! I-&e included "hand" as a tool )ecause it-s
used so often and is considered to )e "different" when used this wa. When using our hand
instead of an Atha$ or wand! &isuali/e it as a focus point for all of our energ. The hand has
the uni5ue )enefit of )eing the one tool ou pro)a)l alread ha&e. <sed instead of: Atha$!
wand! sword! cord! go)let! anointing stic"! staff.
Wand: a length of wood! either 8: inches long +the nu$)er of full $oons in a ear, or the length
fro$ the user-s el)ow to the tip of hisDher longest finger. A wand should alwas )e $ade of
wood! although whether that wood is stripped of its )ar" or shaped in an wa in up to its
crafter. Ash! >ew! Oa"! White Pine! Apple! *awthorne! 4lac"thorn! 4irch! Willow and Rowan are
the $ost co$$on woods used in wand creation! and a wand of lightning struc" wood is
supposed to )e e.ceptional. <sed instead of: Atha$! hand! sword! staff. A uni5ue wand! the
Priapic Wand! is used in the fertilit festi&als and *andfastings of so$e trads. Its use see$s to
ha&e greatl declined in the past ten ears or so! )ut it still is the stand) at *andfastings. Its
use is included in the rituals of $an eclectic groups across the countr. Na$ed for Priapus! the
Ro$an 6od of Procreation! the wand is "The length of a $an-s ar$ with the last )it the si/e and
shape of a $ale $e$)er +phallus,"8 for this reason it is so$eti$es referred to as the Phallic
Wand. Other for$s of the Priapic wand end with an acorn or pine cone! and are used as s$)olic
phalluses. Fe$inist Wicca see$s to prefer these alternate for$s. Also called the (apole Wand
or the (ale or 6od-s Wand.
2word: The Wiccan 2word is a larger &ersion of the Atha$! and it used for $an of the sa$e
purposes. There are two tpes of Wiccan 2words! the #o&en 2word! which is used in group
rituals ) a leader or priest+ess,! and a personal sword! which is usuall used instead of an
Atha$ for drawing solitar circles. It is ne&er used as a weapon! although in older ti$es a
person-s own )attle sword was their sacred weapon! and since the were A0R7A3> "illing with it!
often defensi&el! the considered those deaths to )e sacred.
7&idence of sword rituals range fro$ the wa a (arine polishes a sa)re to a Bnighting! and the
sword has alwas s$)oli/ed $ore than $ is the sword of 'ustice! or peace! or
&engeance. It is used to draw a circle in the earth to protect those within and to )rea" the
handfasting cord! and the "gi&ing" of the co&en sword to a leader or priestess is a profound act
of lo&e and trust. (an feel that the onl sword used in ritual should )e a "Wiccan 2word"
crafted according to their tradition and using certain $etals and s$)ols. <nfortunatel! finding a
"Wiccan 2word" is near i$possi)le. I "now of three 2$iths who craft the$! and NON7 of the$
are eas to find. I assu$e that there are $an others out there! and that a few words as"ed at
renaissance faires $a help ou find one. A "regular" sword will also do! and one of the $ost
)eautiful I-&e e&er seen was a #i&il War-era sa)re etched with s$)ols for freedo$! including a
portrait of 3r. (artin 0uther Bing 1r. 3on-t )e afraid to include #hristian heroes in our practice!
or to e.peri$ent. Re$e$)er...All religion is eclectic ) design. >our personal sword should
represent ourself.
<nli"e the Atha$! which can easil )e created or altered into e.istence! I-&e alwas felt that the
sword will "co$e to ou!" either as a gift or as a ""ar$ic occurrence" +li"e finding it at a flea
$ar"et or garage sale 'ust when ou ha&e the $one., I also feel that there is NOT*IN6 wrong
with helping Bar$a along +ou can-t find it if ou don-t loo"!, )ut don-t o)sess on finding a
sword! patience is a Wiccan &irtue too.
2taff: 0i"e the 2word! the 2taff is essentiall a larger &ersion of another tool! the wand. It is
so$eti$es used to draw the circle in the earth! )ut it see$s $ore i$portant as a wal"ing stic"
than anthing else. In at least one )ardic tradition! the staff is a $ar" of le&el! with the larger
staff a $ar" of a high ran". In so$e Nati&e A$erican-fla&ored trads! the staff is the 2pea"ing
2tic"! passed around the circle so each $e$)er $a spea" without interruption! coupled with
eagle! falcon! or seagull feathers +depends on area,! the staff is a Praer 2tic"! and the ani$al
spirits deli&er the $essages to the s". +As long as a Wiccan incorporating Nati&e aspects into
hisDher rituals is not clai$ing to practice an indigenous religion! $ost people ha&e no argu$ents
against the$. In North A$erica! the power of indigenous religion cannot )e put aside. For $ost
of us! the spirits of the land are co$ing ali&e! and if those spirits are those of 7l"! 7agle! 4uffalo
and #oote! $a)e it-s )ecause we-&e listened hard enough., <sed instead of: Wand! 2word!
#enser: The censer is a container in which incense is )urned. The censer sits on the Altar! )ut is
wal"ed around the circle! for this reason! $an prefer *anging #ensers. A si$ple hanging censer
can )e $ade with a )rass planter +prefera)l one with "feet!" if ou can-t find a footed one!
dou)le the sand., Ta"e the planter! and use a ha$$er and a sharp nail +a long carpet tac"
wor"s )est, to place :!E! or G holes e&enl spaced around the lip. <se open )rass rings! a&aila)le
at hardware and craft stores! to connect the holes to lengths of 8DE-8D? inch thic" )rass chain.
6ather the e5ual lengths into a slightl larger ring! and connect that to an additional loop of
)rass chain. Fill the planter with 8DE inch of sand! and )urn cone incense or charcoal and resin
incense in it. The )urning of the incense purifies the air and helps to )ring on the correct $ental
state for circle casting. <sed instead of: 2$udge
Ro)e: The ro)es worn for ritual in <ni&ersal 7clectic Wicca circles are al$ost alwas white or off-
white! and $ade of cotton or other natural fi)ers. 4lac" ro)es in&ite too $uch negati&e pu)licit!
)ut are fine for pri&ate circles. Our use of white is s$)olic of our )elief that we incorporate all
the aspects into one whole! li"e white light is! in realit! all colors. In the Third #ircle! so$e
people choose to wear a special colored ro)e to identif the$ i$$ediatel as a $aster of a path.
Although considered "out$oded!" the colors still stand at festi&als and larger gatherings! the
are: Artisan: 4rown! 4ard: 2" 4lue! 2cri)e: 4lac"! 2ee"er: Red +Rust for 2ee"erD3ruidic or
"6eo$ancer",! #ouncilor: 3ar" 4lue for councilor! 6reen for teacher. Priest+ess,: either %iolet or
one of the other path colors with )ands.
For certain festi&als! li"e 4eltane! people dress in )rightl colored ro)es! with ri))ons and flowers
e&erwhere. This is widel different fro$ co&en to co&en.
2"clad! which $eans "clad onl in the s"!" is another wa of dressing +or non- dressing, for
rituals. Although funda$ental to Wicca in the ees of so$e trads! for $an people! 2"clad is
not an option. 6oing around unclothed is a state we should find natural! )ut our culture! and its
$istreat$ent of e&er person who loo"s different! has destroed the ease we should ha&e nude.
A few well-intentioned people feel that the wa to fi. a person-s disco$fort is to "shoc"" the$! or
$a"e 2"clad $andator! so the ha&e to choose )etween )eing Wiccan or going in the )uff.
The "ind of trau$a this causes to the student needs to constantl )e "undone" ) other Wiccan
teachers! and fran"l! we don-t need the additional stress. The following is fro$ a letter to
$e$)ers of Religion: Other! which does not ad$it groups where going s"clad is $andator:
It is as difficult for a sur&i&or of se.ual or si$ilar a)use to go s"clad as it is for a deaf person to
hear....If a co&en #ANNOT $a"e itself a&aila)le to those with different needs! we cannot $a"e
oursel&es a&aila)le to that co&en. We are 4> NO (7AN2 saing that those co&ens are to
suddenl #7A27 to act s"clad! onl that it should )e on a $e$)er ) $e$)er )asis! with no
e.planation needed. It is not right that societ has $ade it difficult for so $an to )e
co$forta)le nude....)ut it is still a fact! and ignoring it does no good. For $an! the "state"
achie&ed ) re$o&ing clothing is not a positi&e state! and $a"ing that a re5uire$ent is a good
wa to $a"e an ene$. If the person-s pro)le$ is 2O )ad that the idea of OT*7R2 )eing nude
causes trau$a! we will do our )est to find another co&en for that person.
Our reco$$endation is that group rituals )e ro)ed! and personal rituals )e s"clad. If e&en the
idea of )eing nude A0ON7 )others ou! ou should pro)a)l re- e&aluate wh! and go ro)ed until
such ti$e as ou feel co$forta)le.
In groups where s"clad rituals are preferred! there should )e no special attention paid to those
who are not s"clad! 'ust as one would pa no attention to a )irth$ar" or scar. Acceptance helps
#ord: The use of the cord in Wiccan rituals has )eco$e so unco$$on that it is listed here onl
)ecause of its inclusion in $an other )oo"s on Wicca. (ost cord cere$onies are (agic"al! and
non-religious in nature! although so$e of these $agic"al rites are added to rituals. 0i"e Tarot
cards and astrolog! use in a ritual does not $a"e the cord innatel religious. While it-s use in
(agic"al practices is widel "nown! in religious practice the chief propert of the cord see$s to
)e as a nift )elt. In $ fa$il! $ lo&er and I ha&e two cords which we use to )elt our ro)es!
when we are handfasted! these cords will )ind us. We-&e tied the$ into floral wreathes on our
door for 4eltane! hung the$ on our "#han"aul$as" tree and a)out a $illion other things. The
are a deep s$)ol of our faith! and help to $a"e the act of dressing for ritual into a hol act
unto itself. The cord is supposed to )e the user-s height! although so$e traditions sa I: inches.
4olline or 4oline: also "nown as the white-handled "nife or 6oddess "nife. 6enerall used for
cutting her)s! cords! sacred ca"es! etc. I ad$it a lac" of "nowledge of this tool! we alwas used
the Atha$ for $ost of these things. In the traditions I "now! a sic"le was used to cut her)s!
howe&er! in 4uc"land-s #o$plete 4oo" of WitchcraftG! a si$ilar tool is called a 4oleen. In the
sa$e )oo"! a 4urin is said to )e so$eti$es )e called a white-handled "nife! and I-&e heard this
too! e&en though the )urin isn-t reall a "nife! )ut a tool +so$eti$es $ade of )one, for
engra&ing. (an cere$onial $agicians call their "(agic"" "nife an Atha$! and $an cere$onial
$agicians who are A02O Wiccan call their +ritual, Atha$ a 4olline. This is an e.a$ple of how
the necessar eclecticis$ of Wicca can produce differing results! each one 'ust as legiti$ate.
<sed instead of: Atha$! sic"le.
2alt: The salt used in ritual represents )oth 7arth and! when $i.ed with water "The seed of life"
or se$en. It is purifing! $ale and grounding in this for$. *OW7%7R! +didn-t a 'ust e.pect a
howe&er@, in so$e trads! salt! or salted water! represents the tears of the )irthing goddess!
which were shed and )eca$e the sea. I prefer to thin" of salt in scientific ter$s! as the chief
co$ponent! along with water! of our )od. It is also a natural crstal! as )eautiful as 5uart/ +ou
$a need a $icroscope to full grasp that., Another co$$on Wiccan )elief: 2alted water is the
union of $ale and fe$ale into wholeness...the )lood. OR The sea is the )lood of 6aia! thus salt
water is sacred....this list goes on. For e&er trad that gi&es a uni5ue reason for the use of salt!
there are E or G that gi&e no reason at all! I prefer to tell people to find their own...#onsider it "a
Wiccan (ster." Note: 2ea 2alt is the preferential &ehicle here! although in certain parts of the
world "0a"e" or "7arth" salts are pro)a)l )etter.
Oil: Anointing oils are usuall &egeta)le )ased! and are charged with energ and used to con&e
that energ to so$ething else. In one rite! for instance! #lar 2age is used to anoint the head of
a Priest that he $a thin" his wa through a difficult scenario. Oils for clear thought are
co$$onl used on the forehead of $e$)ers of a circle. 2age! 1as$ine and Pine are co$$on.
<sed instead of: 2$udge +ash,.
#auldron: Although relics point to the use of hea&il sculpted )owl-li"e cauldrons ) The Ancient
3ruids! its use in Wicca has du)ious )eginnings. (ost non-3ruidic traditions and Fa$-Trads do
not use #auldrons! and $ost of the (agic"al traditions that Wicca shares roots with use a
wooden )owl or a flat scring dish +filled with water, on a tripod. If the cauldron was used in
earl traditions! it was used )ecause it was a )ig household i$ple$ent! not a great $etaphsical
A cauldron is )ul" and see$s to )e a sharp turn fro$ the idea that the Wiccan circle is a
porta)le church. Apart fro$ )eing a reall cool wa to )rew her)al concoctions! and for coo"ing
those )ig feasts and doing our laundr! the huge iron cauldron is rarel used in Wicca these
das. If a cauldron is present in a ritual! it is usuall an K-8? inch dia$eter "replica" fro$ a $ail
order catalog or New Age store. When ou e.a$ine Rituals calling for caldrons the are often
used onl as a place to light fires without )urning our house down or a place to put candles so
the won-t )low out. Other uses such as holding water or ite$s to )e "charged" with energ can
)e done ) the chalice or atop a pentacle +easil $ade out of cla or car&ed fro$ wood, I won-t
sa that a cauldron is useless! )ut )ecause the see$ to )e a lefto&er of a )gone "shoc"- the-
pu)lic" for$ of Wicca! the see$ )etter sent off to the 0ocal *igh 2chool for their ne.t
production of (ac)eth than used in a ritual.
When lighting a s$all fire indoors a cauldron can )e &ital! )ut good cauldrons are 2O hard to find
that I feel a necessar su)stitution should )e $ade in ad&ance. Those sa$e )rass planters
pre&iousl $entioned often appear in larger &ersions! holding a)out ?-: cups of li5uid! $an of
which are shaped li"e s$all cauldrons. For an instant cauldron fire that won-t set off s$o"e
detectors! place a s$all piece of stiff +wired, candle wic"ing in the center of a cauldron-planter
filled :DE of the wa with wa. crstals or pellets +these are tin spheres of wa. used instead of
)loc" wa. ) so$e candle $a"ers! these are widel a&aila)le at craft stores at reasona)le prices.
There is no need to $elt the wa.! 'ust sprin"le a little scented oil or powdered her) near the wic"
and light...a caldron candle. If ou ha&e the ti$e! ou could use )loc" wa. and regular
candlewic"ing! too. For rituals calling for a cauldron full of water! seeds or flowers! use a our
chalice! a )ig )owl or pot! or +if ou 'ust $ust ha&e that "witch" loo", one of those awful )lac"
plastic cauldron things that people put in the $iddle of their lawns as planters. I$pro&iseC <sed
instead of: #halice! Pentacle! Firepit! #enser.
#halice or 6o)let: 2o$eti$es called a grail! the go)let holds the sacred wine or water! or salted
water. I saw a )eautiful ritual where the priest and priestess of a co&en poured too" two go)lets
full of wine fro$ a )ig plastic cauldron and poured all )ut so$e of the wine into the go)lets of
two co&eners who "ept so$e and poured the rest into the ne.t person-s! who "ept so$e and
poured the rest into another! so that the two strea$s went around to $eet in the $iddle with
the co&en-s newest $e$)er! who offered a toast to the gods and was welco$ed ) the circle.
The )enefit of this! I was told! as opposed to the $ore usual drin"ing fro$ one $ug! was that no
ger$s were passed. On a da without a newco$er! the strea$s would continue until a s$all )it
was poured to the priest and priestess. I-&e ne&er seen a co&en since that could do it without
spilling all o&er the place! )ut it was still )eautiful. Of course! apple 'uice or anthing else can )e
used in the ritual instead of wine.
2ic"le: +see 4olline! a)o&e, The sic"le is used to cut sacred her)s at certain $oonphases. It
represents "#ronehood" and is often gi&en to a $enopausal co&ener as a recognition of a new
life phase. I thin" the $odern usage of the sic"le as the "6ri$ Reaper-s" tool $a"es this a )it too
$or)id! )ut $an fe$inist Wiccans disagree. <sed instead of: 4olline! Atha$.
2$udge: In 7uropean practices! her)s were thrown on the fire to produce clouds of scented
s$o"e. 2$udge! which is either a )undle of her)s for )urning or the ash of sacred her)s used
for anointing! is )orrowed fro$ Nati&e A$erican Practices and can usuall )e held in the hand
instead of thrown on a fire. For a nice change! )urn rose$ar instead of the traditional sage or
sweetgrass. 2tic" incense can )e used as )urning s$udge! it-ll do in a pinch! )ut the ash is fairl
worthless. <sed instead of :#enser! oil.
Pentacle: A piece of cla! wood or $etal used on the altar as a decoration and a place to put
ite$s to )e "#harged" with power or purified. Purists often use wa. pentacles which are )ro"en
or thrown in a fire afterwards to honor those who had to hide their religion. (an own and use
$etal or cla $olds to $a"e these pentacles! which see$s to defeat the purpose. <sed instead
of: #auldron.
#rown of 2tars and *orned *el$: The #rown of 2tars is worn ) the priestess in a cere$on
in&o"ing the 6oddess! the *orned *el$ is the $asculine for$. The often represent *erne or
Pan! and 3iana! and are o$itted ) trads using other gods. A #rown of 2tars shows the crescent
$oons and the $oon full! or a horned $oon! often with stars around the )and. A horned hel$ is
usuall what could )e called a "%i"ing" hel$! or the "*el$ of *erne" which uses a deer-s head
and nec". Anti-hunting andDor &egetarian Wiccans tend to frown on this.
6od+dess, figures: Representations of the deities of choice of the solitar! these range fro$
statues to tarot cards. An personal o)'ect that represents one-s deities or )elief can )e placed
on an altar to lend it-s power to the proceedings. In group situations! we reco$$end onl a pair
of candles! so that the personal gods of the co&eners aren-t in an wa suppressed.
Anointing stic": A piece of greenwood! with one end $ashed! used to appl oil to things.
4oo" of 2hadows: Also called "The great to$e." A Wiccan-s pri&ate )oo" of rituals and other such
things. I call $ine a "4oo" of 0ight" )ecause what I do is "out there"! open for anone to see. In
the 4urning ti$es! it would not ha&e )een so. I-&e included the 4oo" of 2hadows as a ritual tool
)ecause so$e use it in the rituals. A 4oo" of 2hadows is li"e a 'ournal of the sacred aspects of
life! rituals! the na$es of co&eners! the laws of Wicca. In groups where one of the (AN>
&ersions of the "#harge of The 6oddess" is read! it is usuall on page one.
NI(6O"IN37NT.6IF"The #harge of The 6oddess used ) $ost trads was written ) 3oreen
%aliente! and onl recentl has )een portraed ) "Funda$entalist Wiccans" as an actual e&ent
+not a stor, and disagree$ent with this idea could land ou in a shouting $atch.. I disli"e the
whole notion of the words of one person-s 6oddess )eing spo"en as an a)solute truth....If
#hristianit! which had access to li)raries and $on"s! and all sorts of stuff li"e that can-t "eep a
single state$ent of the 4i)le the sa$e for hundreds of ears! how can one )elie&e Witches!
running and hiding at all ti$es could@ The #harge of the 6oddess should )e seen li"e all Wiccan
literature as an inspirational piece of writing! not as "The word of the law put down for all to
see." The le&el of )elief in the words of the #harge should not )e lin"ed to a )elief of its histor.
I-&e included two "7clectic" &ersions of the #harge in the )ac" of this )oo" )ecause this )oo" is
a)out a tpe of 7clectic Wicca. This should not )e ta"en as a "sla$" against $ore standard
&ersions of the #harge! onl as portraal of lesser "nown wor"s of Pagan inspiriational writings.
Other: I ha&en-t included candles! $atches! a fire e.tinguisher! altar cloths and nu$erous other
ite$s which are co$$on enough in their usage to )e fairl self- e.planator. The altar is the
ta)le or whate&er upon which these things all sit. ( fa&orite altars open up to stow all the ritual
gear and )eco$e a nice place to put a &ase! a fish)owl! whate&er. 2o$e people feel an altar
should )e free fro$ $etal or plastics! )ut $an is a part of the earth! so thus $an-$ade is as
$uch of the earth as anthing else! and $etal! wh! that-s &er earth. I thin" it-s $ostl a
$atter of hard to feel hol a)out a )right pin" $il" crate
#hapter Four: The Wiccan #ircle
-#asting a #ircle-
The following is a solitar circle! a $ulti-use circle will )e gi&en in 4oo" Three: "A 4oo" of 0ight."
#asting the #ircle: #aster places white or appropriatel colored candles at the co$pass points!
the altar is at the center of the circle. A s$all white or )eeswa. candle! two larger candles! the
censer with unlit incense! the Atha$! a dish of salt! a go)let of water! s$all ca"es or coo"ies for
"ca"es and ale!" a go)let of wine! an offering dish and an ite$s for wor" to )e done within the
cast circle. The caster ta"es a short $o$ent! ees closed! to )eco$e "At peace" )efore standing
)efore the altar. The s$all candle is lit! and the caster wal"s toward the east. +2,*e lights the
ellow or white candle fro$ the s$all candle! saing " *ere I call forth the powers of air fro$ the
east! that I $a )e li"e the air! unfettered and pure." +2,*e ta"es a $o$ent to re$e$)er the air
&isuali/ation! and to conte$plate the $eaning of the east! air and freedo$ )efore continuing
onward. +2,*e lights the red or white candle to the south with the s$all candle saing. "*ere I
call forth the powers of fire fro$ the south! that I $a )e li"e fire! enduring all hardships to
)eco$e strengthened."
*ere the caster recalls hisDher own "trials ) fire" and conte$plates the possi)ilit of $ore! the
$eaning of the words spo"en is thought on! and the caster continues. +2,*e lights the )lue or
white candle to the west! saing! "*ere I call forth the powers of water! that I $a )e li"e water!
supporting and protecting all that I encounter!" *ere the caster conte$plates the water
&isuali/ation and the $eaning of the west in hisDher life. +2,*e $o&es on to the North! lighting
the green or white candle. "*ere I call forth the power of 7arth! that I $a )e li"e earth!
grounded at all ti$es." *ere! the caster grounds and thin"s )efore $o&ing to the east to sa.
"Welco$e Air! Fire! Water! 7arth! shine our light and lend our strength to this $ circle to
2till $o&ing cloc"wise! caster returns to altar! and lights incense saing. "Negati&e forces
)egone! ou are not welco$e here." +2,*e )reathes deepl of the incense and )anishes awa
negati&e forces within )efore circling cloc"wise thrice with the censer! &isuali/ing hate! 'ealous
and the li"e fleeing fro$ the s$o"e. +2,*e returns to the altar! pic"s up the Atha$ and pic"s up
a $easure of salt with its tip. Inserting the tip of the )lade into the water +s,he sas. "As $an to
wo$an so )lade to chalice! I purif this water with lo&e! light and power. " The caster then wal"s
around the circle! sprin"ling the salted water a)out the circle thrice. Returning to the altar! +s,he
raises the Atha$ to the s" and &isuali/es a )ea$ of )lue light filling it! +s,he then wal"s once
around the circle! using the Atha$ and its light to "cut" a space )etween the worlds. This done!
+s,he $o&es to the altar and lights the two candles. "0ord and 0ad! I in&ite ou to this $
worship! that ou $a loo" upon $ de&otions and cele)rations and )e heartened and
strengthened ) the$." The caster turns toward the west and announces. "Now is $ circle cast!
un)rea"a)le and without har$. Thus is sacred space decreed! and no act goes unnoticed. 2o
$ote it )e.
Rituals such as healing! $inor (agic" and cele)rator rites then ta"e place! followed ) "ca"es
and ale" in which the 0ord and 0ad are in&o"ed into food and drin" and ingested! $uch as with
the #atholic sacra$ent or the si$ilar rites of nu$erous indigenous people in which certain foods
or drin"s are prepared to in&o"e gods within the )od or within the food. A tpical )lessing of the
ca"es and ale $a )e as si$ple as "Now I parta"e of our )ount! that I )etter appreciate $
own!" to ela)orate acts with chalices! Atha$s or songs. I alwas "share" the food and drin"
with the gods ) lea&ing the li)ation dish outside o&ernight. The food alwas
disappears...Whether it is a)sor)ed into nothingness! or pec"ed ) )irds and our local stra cats!
I don-t "now! I also don-t care! who the gods wish to share with is up to the$.
3uring #a"es and Ale! than" the gods for their attention...don-t tell the$ "ou can lea&e now." If
ou order the gods around li"e so$e pett astral spirits! e.pect to )e ignored. Alwas in&o"e
our Will as it har$oni/es with the Will of the gods! ne&er e.ert Will o&er the gods. 6i&e as ou
wish to get! in ritual as well as life.
#losing the circle: Than" the 6ods for their attentions! snuff their candles. 3is$iss indi&iduall
each ele$ent and than" it for lending its strength! Wal" around the circle! drawing the )lue light
)ac" into the Atha$! )reathe deep! and ta"e so$e of the power )ac". A closing state$ent
usuall follows! ending in! "The #ircle is open! )ut e&er un)ro"en...2o $ote it )e" 8"
I can-t stress enough the )eaut of personal rites. (an good )oo"s and teachers are out there
with great rituals! )ut ou "now ou )est. Personal sacred space is 'ust that! personal! and I
can-t presu$e to tell ou what-ll wor" for ou. I-&e gi&en ou the tools! use the$.
#hapter Fi&e:The Wiccan 6ods
In <ni&ersal 7clectic Wicca! there are two sets of 6ods! the first )eing the 0ord and
0ad! who represent the natural dualit of the uni&erse and are "unna$ed." The 0ord
and 0ad are in&o"ed in pu)lic group rituals unless the $e$)ers of a group all agree
on a na$e for the$ for ritual use. #o$$onl! groups that ha&e ")eco$e" <ni&ersal
7clectic Wicca organi/ations $aintain all of their rituals unchanged! adopting our
laws and was of teaching! )ut in large "festi&al" situations! the ter$ "0ord and
0ad" will replace their chosen na$es so that an person who is fa$iliar with
<ni&ersal 7clectic Wicca will feel at ho$e in a ritual the lead.
The 0ord and 0ad! put in that order not )ecause of so$e patriarchal plot! )ut
)ecause of its easier to spea" rhth$! represent all of the aspects of the di&ine force
tied into one dual-di&init. In drawings! the 0ord and 0ad are a two sided face! li"e
the Ro$an god 1anus! with one side $ale and the other fe$ale. The are insepara)le!
a single coin with two sides! and each side $ade up of a )illion facets. To sa "0ad"
is to pa tri)ute to one side of that coin! to sa 0ord and 0ad is to pa tri)ute to the
coin as a whole. <ni&ersal 7clectic Wicca is dualistic in that wa...we do not consider
groups who worship a "6oddess" without a "6od" as AN> (OR7 Wiccan than a group
which worships a "6od" without a "6oddess."
A case can )e $ade here! and it often is! that the "6od" has )een )eing worshipped
for two thousand ears! to the e.clusion of the 6oddess. There are two &er
legiti$ate reasons to not use this as an e.cuse to e.clude the 6od. The first is the
si$plest! two wrongs don-t $a"e a right! another "indergarten$ that hasn-t
ceased to appl. The second is a )it longer! put si$pl! the 6od worshipped ) the
#hristians I2 NOT the Wiccan 6od! and the fact that he is not dependent on a
fe$inine force pro&es this. The 6ods of Wicca are interdependent! $ale needing
fe$ale! fe$ale needing $ale. 8 I a$ not saing that a celestial therapist is needed to
alter so$e great co- dependenc crisis in the hea&ens! $erel that The 6ods are
incapa)le of creation separatel. >es! the can replicate! and I-$ sure when we find a
wa to create egg-egg and sper$-sper$ e$)ros! we! too! will )e a)le to replicate
into little )eings e.actl one- half of our sel&es! )ut actual 3NA crosso&er won-t )e as
effecti&e! and an all-wo$an! or all-$an co$$unit would find its gene pool getting
s$aller and s$aller and s$aller! until it died out...interdependenc in action. True
uni5ue creation re5uires $ore than one se.! fro$ the s$allest one-celled creatures
to hu$an )eings! so the )elief in a single creator! or creatri.! 'ust doesn-t hold up to
the$ shared ) Wiccans and *er$etic philosophers! "As a)o&e! so )elow." A
philosopher once told $e! "If ou are loo"ing out of a window at the cal$ waters of a
la"e! and ou cannot see the $oon )ehind ou! stud its reflection." We are the
reflections of di&init! and at least for now! the reflection it casts is two-se.ed.
-The Faceted 3i&init-
We interact directl with the 6ods! the interact directl with us! )ut the facet of
their totalit that we see is dependent upon an nu$)er of social! personal and
e.periential factors. In Wicca! the priests are not there as liaisons to the 6ods! )ut as
tour guides to inner de&elop$ent. No one needs a priest+ess, in their li&ingroo$ ?E=!
$an )oo"s +often written ) priests, can pro&ide answers to si$ple 5uestions
a)out Wicca.
In our 'ournal right now! I want ou to dedicate the last fi&e pages as a "Resource
6uide." In those pages! write down )oo"s! people! we)sites! whate&er has helped
ou in the past! "eep a list of phone nu$)ers and organi/ations which appeal to ou.
If ou su)scri)e to an on-line sste$! tr using a netsearch! inde.! ta)le of contents!
"6O" or "eword feature to find Wiccans! 3ruids and other Pagans that also
su)scri)e. Our fle.i)ilit has created a world-wide net of Pagans that are out there
reco$$ending and ad&ising on e&erthing fro$ ro)e color to Neo-Rastafarianis$. If
ou don-t ha&e a co$puter! see if our local li)rar has an on-line ser&ice! if it does!
ou $a find that the hourl prices are fairl reasona)le! and A 0OT of infor$ation
can )e downloaded in one hour.
We all find! create! and respond to e.periences differentl! and as ou search for the
$eaning of di&init! ou $a well find that a certain god andDor goddess appeals to
ou. This is wh <ni&ersal 7clectic Wicca supports the )elief in Personal 6ods. The
idea of gods as i$personal! unchanging statues is archaic and unli"el. We see so
$uch of our li&es differentl! wh can-t we )elie&e we &iew the un&iewa)le
differentl@ These 6ods! called Patron +and so$eti$es (atron, gods! are the aspects
of di&init that appeal to our inner spiritualit. A &er lo&ing person! for instance! who
is &er sensuous and se.ual! $a cele)rate the aspects of Pan and Aphrodite. A
person who is reall interested in drea$s and the night $a choose (orpheus!
2o$nus! or N.. A sailor $a )egin each &oage with a praer to Aegir! (annanon
(ac0ir! Neptune or A$phitrite. When a person replaces "0ord and 0ad" with Patron
gods! he isn-t e.cluding 6ods! he is focusing his energ in one or two particular
directions. It-s si$ilar! in a wa! to putting "ATTN." on a letter to a large corporation!
without it! the letter would e&entuall get to the right depart$ent! )ut with it! ou
ha&e a )etter chance of ha&ing it recei&ed 5uic"l and answered.
The Patron gods are in&o"ed in personal rituals! often a healing god for healing! or a
ancestral god for fa$il pro)le$s. The are central to the )elief in uni&ersal religion
that A00 is ON7. There are $an paths to the sa$e end! each with its own pleasures!
pains and lessons! it-s up to ou to choose a path! or ta"e a new one altogether... the
Patron gods are a step on a path.
-The 6oddess+es,-
The 6oddess! for)idden to us for ears ) a cruel patriarch which cast wo$en in the
dual role of helpless creature and originator of all sin! is gloriousl e$)raced )
Wicca. As the fe$inist $o&e$ent too" up her call! a wealth of 6oddess and pro-
wo$an literature was created. A generation ago! when the first )oo"s of fe$inist
Wicca ca$e out! the word 6oddess ca$e to our lips with difficult. Now! e&en
$ainstrea$ $edia is influenced ) her touch! and crisis has caused her to )e $ore
rele&ant than e&er.
The 6oddess is ali&e and well in A$erica. Fro$ her lighted torch o&er New >or" to
0ad The$is in all her Washington! 3# incarnations! the 6oddess is around us e&er
$o$ent! so is it so surprising that others finall hear her call@ As we witness this
glorious re)irth! perhaps resulting fro$ two thousand ears of an inherentl flawed
social sste$ that now cru$)les and is forced to change! we are re$inded of the
legend of Persephone! one of the central $ths in the Wiccan "Wheel of the >ear:"
"Persephone +per-seph-oh-"nee,was gathering flowers along a ri&er)an" when she
noticed )loo$s of e.ceptional )eaut on the opposite )an". 3espite the warnings of
her $other to ne&er cross the ri&er! Persephone crossed! $o&ing at once to the side
of a large well. As she gathered the )loo$s! her face was reflected in the well! and
her s$ile shown down through the well and into the real$ of *ades hi$self! who at
once decided that Persephone would rule )eside hi$ as 5ueen of the underworld.
2purned ) 6oddesses in the past! *ades wasted no ti$e and rode up through a rift
in the earth! stealing Persephone awa and dragging her! screa$ing! into his real$.
*e set out feast for the girl to no a&ail! for she swore she would neither eat nor drin"!
$erel wait out ti$e for the Fates to cut her cord! whereupon she would )e called to
the 7lsian Fields! for she had done no e&il in the world and was thus pro$ised
eternal )liss.
A)o&e! 3e$eter +3e$-it-er, loo"ed e&erwhere for her daughter! and ta"ing the
torch of *ecate! she wandered for nine das and nights )efore she ca$e to a )ou5uet
of wilted flowers and hoof $ar"s. 2he as"ed the fountain where the girl had gone
and the sprite within told her of *ades "idnap of the girl. Bnowing that none had e&er
)een rescued fro$ the underworld! 3e$eter was inconsola)le! and withdrew into the
deepest ca&e of Ol$pus! ignoring the crops and forests and lea&ing the$ to wither
and die. (an-s pleas were ignored! )ut Aeus! eldest )rother to 3e$eter and Patron of
(an"ind could not stand the destruction and sorrow. *e sent down rain! )ut the
were not 3e$eter-s gentle stor$s! the were rough-hewn thunderstor$s that tore at
the earth and caused $ore da$age. *e )ri)ed! threatened and i$plored 3e$eter to
co$e out! )ut she would not listen. *e )ri)ed! threatened and i$plored *ades! )ut
3e$eter was his! he had ta"en her $aidenhood! and in su)$ission she had eaten si.
seeds of the po$egranate fro$ his hand.
The lea&es of the trees had turned )rown! and Aeus de$anded that Iris paint the$ so
that their sic"ness would )e hidden! and as )idden the rain)ow goddess painted
the$ red! orange and gold! the colors of her &eil. 3e$eter see$ed to )eco$e a )it
heartened at the sight! and a gentle rain fell! )ut as she turned her face toward the
well she turned cold at the thought of her daughter! who could not see the )eaut of
Iris-s painting! and in a rage co&ered the ground and trees with a laer of white snow
to hide their )eaut. The sound of her howling in sorrow shred e&er last leaf fro$
the tree and the world was plunged into dar"ness! with onl *ecate-s torch to light
the da.
Aeus &isited the Fates and i$plored their "nowledge as to how Persephone could
possi)l )e retrie&ed! and the declared that if the girl had not eaten of the food of
the underworld she $ust )e freed.
Aeus flew at once to *ades and de$anded her release! for the po$egranate was not
the food of the underworld! )ut food of 3e$eter-s real$! and thus the girl should )e
Persephone! $uch changed ) now! spo"e with no trace of childhood in her &oice and
decreed that she should spend one $onth in *ades- real$ for each of the seeds she
had eaten! thus gi&ing 3e$eter her daughter and *ades his 5ueen! and to this da!
Aeus- stor$s! Iris- painting and *ecate-s torch help $an to sur&i&e fro$ the grief of
Persephone-s descent until the 'o of her return."?
3e$eter! goddess of agriculture! and Persephone! goddess of 2pring! together with
6aea +usuall pronounced 6u-ah or 6a-ah!, goddess of the 7arth in its entiret!
for$ the original pantheon of 6ree" Nature 6ods! with their e5uall powerful
counterparts 3ionsus! Pan and 2ilenus. These three generations represent the three
states of wo$anhood! the $aiden! the $other! and the crone! a powerful i$age in
6aea was an old 6oddess! sister to Pontus! the sea! and daughter of Aether and
*e$era! 0ight and 3a. 6aea! with <ranus had twel&e children! the Titans! who
<ranus i$prisoned. With his $other-s help! #ronus rose up to "ill his father! and fro$
the )lood of <ranus-s death wound rose the 6iants! the (elian N$phs and the
Furies. After the War )etween the Titans and the 6iants! the ti$e of the 6olden Age
ca$e! and #ronus had si. children! Poseidon! *ades! Aeus! *estia! *era and
In the setting of the (th of Persephone! we ha&e not two! )ut three wo$en! with
6aea! the grand$other! s$)oli/ed ) the ca&e in which 3e$eter hides for co$fort.
6aea was goddess of the 7arth with a focus on the actual planet! included in her
sphere are such things as earth5ua"es and ca&erns. 3e$eter! on the other hand was
the 6oddess of the 4iosphere! the crust of the earth! rain! wind and agriculture. *er
sphere was an aspect of 6aea-s! while Peresephone-s was an aspect of her own!
furthering the )elief that power! used correctl! )egets power.
The aspects of $aiden! $other and #rone! or the Triune 6oddess are also represented
with Arte$is +Art-e$-iss, or 3iana! %irgin 6oddess of the hunt! as the $aiden. 2he is
s$)oli/ed ) the crescent $oon! her )ow! fro$ which her arrows +$eteors!, are
If Arte$is is the $aiden! then 2elene! ancient and little "nown goddess of the $oon
and cousin to 6aea! is an ideal (other! her fullness the )ell of a wo$an in
pregnanc. 2elene is little written of )eond "6oddess of the (oon!" )ut her powers
were near infinite! as she charged wo$)! her) and e&erthing else with energ.
*ecate! +hec"-ah-ta, the third in this triuneE! is not trul s$)oli/ed ) the $oon!
)ut ) a lac" of it! and a dar" s" is said to )e her sto$ping ground. It is *ecate who
points 3e$eter toward the N$ph who tells of *ades- acts! and *ecate-s penchant
for ca&es and earth5ua"es )rings her closer to 6aea in nature than an other
goddess. *er cauldron and her place as the $other of all Witches gi&es her a special
place in the ees of $an Wiccans! )ut the witches of *ecate-s creation are far fro$
oursel&es. One legend sas that all witches are )rewed in *ecate-s caldron in groups
of three! and that one da she had started a )atch )efore reali/ing she was al$ost
out of ee)alls! the one that went in the pot was shared ) the three! and in return
for the $ista"e the were gi&en great powers and endless life. In tpical *ecate
fashion! the endless life didn-t $ean endless outh! and to this da the 2tgian
Witches age and age! growing in power dail! )ut sharing one ee )etwi.t the three.
(entioned rarel is the forth face of the 6oddess! Ne$esis! 6oddess of 4alance! who
is )elie&ed in ) Wiccans as the force of Bar$a! and is e&er watching! silentl. If
Ne$esis is seen! it is onl ) those who ha&e su$$oned her ) their actions! a
du)ious distinction at )est. While ne&er outwardl $entioned! Ne$esis is alwas
i$plied! one of the reasons Wiccans stri&e toward positi&e "ar$a. The #ult of
Ne$esis is a Wiccan su)- group that integrates (artial Arts into their worship and
see$s to )e )ased in a s$all town in Fue)ec! whether we hear $ore of the$ or not!
their affect on Wicca! li"e their 6oddess- affect on $an"ind! is felt! if not understood.
I should note here that I-&e chosen to use 6ree" $tholog )ecause nearl e&erone
should recogni/e at least half of the na$es of the 6ods in these legends! whereas an
7gptian! Assrian or Norse &ariation or si$ilar $th would ha&e $uch less
recognition to the $asses of people out there learning. I don-t feel the 6ree" (ths
are in an wa )etter than other $ths! 'ust $ore accessi)le! the necessit of our
own research! praer and e.peri$entation to full understand the facets of the
goddesses can-t )e stressed enough. Fuest onward.
#hapter Fi&e:The Wiccan 6ods
-The 6od+s,-
The 6od of Wicca is represented in general as the consort of the 6oddess and $ore
specificall as the Triple-6od! 2on! Father and 2acred Bing or *unter. A rarel used
et poignant archetpe of the Triple 6od are the 4rothers Thanatos and 2o$nus
+3eath and 2leep,! sons of N.! and 2o$nus-s son! (orpheus! 0ord of 3rea$s.
(orpheus! who! contrar to the "2and$an"of co$ic )oo" fa$e! is portraed as a
puc"-li"e outh with wings to deli&er hi$ fro$ $ind to $ind faster! is repeatedl
offered the chance to "grow up" +i.e.: )eco$e se.ual!, )ut he refuses rather than lose
his powers. In this wa! (orpheus represents the ulti$ate "Peter Pan!" the )o who
ne&er grows up.
The line drawn )etween outh and $aturit are &er se.ual. If he is old enough to
ha&e se. he $ust pass into the ne.t phase! and the freedo$s of childhood are gone.
The passage rites destroed ) #hristianit ha&e created the #hristian $oral dile$$a
of pre-$arital se.! )os are )os until the are $arried! so what the do )efore then
doesn-t count. <nli"e the changes wo$en go through! $uch of a $an-s changes are
e.clusi&el internal! $ental and e$otional! In Pre-#hristian societ! the sha$an
noticed these changes! and assisted the parents. Now! direct co$$unication fro$
parent to child is the essential for$ula. Pagan parents $ust )e aware of a son-s
passage into $anhood and prepare hi$ for the additional responsi)ilities he will now
ha&e. The tools are there! )ut the tools don-t wor" unless the are used.
Representations of the two adult paths are found in Thantatos and 2o$nus. Thanatos
is the $ore powerful of the two! )ut is "inco$plete!" alwas searching for $ore out
of his powers. *e is cold! and li"e *ecate! eternall )itter toward wasted outh.
2o$nus! while less powerful! has three sons! Icelos! Phantasos and (orpheus! and
reli&es his outh and earl adulthood through the$. (orpheus! is in fact! seen as
alwas ) his father-s side! another price of eternal childhood.
Another 6ree" triarch are 2ilenus! the 6od of Fruit-4earing Plants and their
#ulti&ation! 3ionsus! his pupil and 6od of Wine and Pan! the wild child god of the
Wilderness. 2ilenus! the half-tips 2atr or #entaur +sources &ar!, tra&eled the world
with 3ionsus! teaching the secrets of the &ine! $uch as 3e$eter taught the secrets
of grain. Pan represents unta$ed $ale outh! and is god of 2hepherds! Forests and
Fishing! and considered as 'ester to the 6ods. The idea of Pan as incredi)l se.uall
acti&e is a $odern one! as his $isfortune with n$phs! drads and the li"e is a large
part of his legend. *e represents se.ual energ pent up into frustration and read to
)urst. If (orpheus is the eternal child! then Pan is the eternal teenager.
The lac" of respect ) the 6ods for Pan is due to his refusal to gi&e up his wildness!
and (orpheus is li"ewise disrespected. 3ionsus and 2o$nus see$ to represent the
ideal! an e&er e.panding adult teaching and learning at the sa$e ti$e! and 2ilenus
and Thanatos represent the adult who stops learning and stagnates. The three
archetpes are so i$portant to our understanding of $aleness! our own or another-s!
and in teaching the$! we are raising $ore co$plete! e&er-growing hu$an )eings
instead of $atriarchal drones with no self-estee$.
#hapter 2i.:Reclai$ing our Identit
-Personal Identit-
4efore )eing allowed to achie&e the second circle! a student is as"ed "Who are ou@"
The 5uestion see$s fairl si$ple! )ut redisco&ering one-s identit is difficult in a
world where passage rites are shunned. The first step for $an people into a "New
2elf" is a new na$e. (an )irth na$es are li"e luggage that we-re hauling around!
and people feel li)erated ) changing their na$es. Wiccan na$es are )eautiful acts
of li)eration! freeing us fro$ an nu$)er of chains and allowing us to $o&e on.
The people $ost affected ) our change of na$e are our parents! who ine&ita)l
wonder wh in the na$e of whate&er ou want to change our na$e! which the
usuall feel $ore possessi&e of than ou do. 7.plaining to the$ that our na$e was
accepta)le as a child )ut that the adult ou are now is not that child so$eti$es
helps! )ut I-$ afraid I-$ in the Wiccan $a'orit without the guts to do it. ( $other
"nows I-$ Bat! $ lo&er calls $e Bat! $ son sas that his $other-s na$e is Bat! )ut
to her! I-$ 3awn.
3awn is a good na$e! 'ust enough of the si.ties in it to )e re)ellious without facing
the hardships $ friends Peace! 2"! Ocean and 0o&echild $ust-&e had. A lot of
Wiccans change their na$e to 3awn! )ut to $e! it has )aggage. 3awn was that
o)no.ious! selfish teenager! a phase I grew out of. Bat was a fresh start and the
Wiccan co$$unit accepted that. It was a passage rite. I can go on for hours a)out
what $ na$es $ean to $e! )ut the su$$ation is si$ple! $ na$es aren-t what I-$
called! the are what I a$.
I can thin" of three $en! #hristian! 3a&id and (atthew! who felt co$pletel content
with their na$es! and found the Wiccan co$$unit couldn-t grasp it! and that-s a
side-effect of this new freedo$ that we ha&e to a&oid. 1udeo-#hristian na$es are as
accepta)le as an other as long as the person is content with going ) that na$e.
(en see$ $ore inclined to prefer their )irth na$es! and this $a )e )ecause $en
are "nic"na$ed" $ore as a child! gaining their full na$e as an adult. (en also are
$ore li"el to ha&e ancestral na$es! and the power in owning the na$e our
forefathers did can-t )e denied.
Wiccan na$es are usuall chosen fro$ $tholog and religion! and if! at this $o$ent
e&er person choosing a na$e a)stained fro$ 3iana! anthing with "wolf" in it!
(organ! (erlin! A$)er and Phoeni.! there would still )e too $an people with those
na$es! so thin" a)out repetition in our choosing. 4uc"land-s #o$plete 6uide to
Witchcraft has an interesting nu$erological spin on choosing a na$e! and ne&er
forget our fa$il tree. Ancestral na$es are incredi)l i$portant to Wiccans tring to
preser&e their identit.
One wa of disco&ering our identit is to do genealogical research! )ecause the
power of fa$il is &er significant! especiall if ou disco&er "witch" people in our
research! li"e the local her)alist or $adwo$an +who $a )e the local her)alist., The
disco&er! for instance! that ou aren-t the first one in our fa$il tree who "nows
the secret properties of that her) which grows locall can )e refreshing. Or $a)e
ou )elong to one of the "great clans" of (etaphsics! fa$ilies which! in the ees of
people who stud such things! turn out generation upon generation of powerful
people. Re$e$)er! though! that pride in so$e of our ancestors doesn-t grant
auto$atic pride to all of the$. In Fact! in fa$ilies where the parents and
grandparents are not the greatest people in the world! finding ancestors who were
"neat" gi&es ou a chance to find so$ething to )e prideful a)out.
A word here $ust )e spo"en a)out racis$! and the difference )etween racis$ and
pride. RA#I2( is a detri$ent to societ. If our $other or father! spouse or child is in
an wa pro$oting racis$! it is our dut! as one of "The 6ood 6us" to tr and fi.
that. Racis$! li"e all for$s of ignorance! is so$ething that is added to when ou
allow it to occur. When a parent allows a child to )eco$e racist it is an act of
negligence! and anti$e that racis$ is )rought )efore our children and we do not
react to it negati&el! we are pro$oting it. *o$opho)ia! Religious Intolerance and
other for$s of hate through ignorance are e5uall as intolera)le in an co$$unit!
especiall one which lo&es free will as passionatel as we do. When ou help
so$eone get rid of their ignorant indoctrinations! ou are not har$ing the Will! ou
are releasing it fro$ the control of other Wills! a &er i$portant difference. 0i"e
$urder and rape! ignorance is an "a)solute" wrong! so$ething no one! of an
religion! should allow to happen.
Pride! especiall ethnic pride! is co$posed of "nowing our ethnicit +we are all one
race...Irish! 4antu and #hinese are ethnicities of the hu$an race, and )eing proud of
our roots. There is no pride of color! there is pride of ancestr. We aren-t proud
)ecause we were )orn into a fa$il with )lue ees or )rown s"in! we-re proud
)ecause our ancestors escaped ad&ersit and created us. Pride isn-t a)out what we
are! although *<(AN pride is a glorious thing! pride-s a)out what we-&e done! how
we-&e suffered and sur&i&ed. ( $aternal fa$il-s red hair and hot te$pers $a
indicate a 2cotland that 7ngland will ne&er ta$e! )ut the pride isn-t in the hair color!
it-s in the #elt )lood! the strength of our ancestors! and it-s so$ething to )e proud of.
A friend of $ine is 7nglish...&er 7nglish! and we dispute constantl o&er how awful
the 7nglish are! and how &iolent we A$ericans +or 2cottish, are. We s$ile o&er it!
and laugh. We aren-t saing that we-re responsi)le for the entiret of our nations!
onl that we-re glad we-re not another nationalit )ecause what we AR7 is reall
cool. A $utual friend! positi&e that we hated each other! tried to help us ) telling us
all the things that the 7nglish and A$ericans ha&e in co$$on! it too" nearl an hour
for us to con&ince her that we weren-t ethnocentric! and we felt e5uall as positi&e
a)out all cultures. Our ancestral cultures are a part of us! and cele)rating our
si$ilarities and differences are a wonderful part of $ulticulturalis$ and ethnic
di&ersit. Bnowing what we co$e fro$ helps us figure out where we are going! and
the $ore di&erse our cultural )ac"ground! the $ore "nowledge we ha&e to draw on
to )eco$e aware of our pride.
-#lan Identit-
Adoption confuses pride for a lot of people! )ut the fa$il that ou feel is our fa$il
should )e where ou place our pride! and for $an of us! not 'ust those who-&e
faced adoption! the fa$il isn-t genetic. #lan is a strong word! it includes our fa$il!
uncles! aunts! e.-wi&es of uncles! e.-hus)ands of aunts! step-children! for$er wi&es
and hus)ands and their fa$il! grandparents! great-grandparents! lo&ers! fa$il
friends! clerg people and e&erone else in our sphere of e.tended fa$il! including
all the "li"e a )rotherDsister to $e" people ou-&e pic"ed up along the wa.
( $other-s people are an easil defined clan! and! since their ethnicit is pri$aril
2cottish! the ter$ "#lan" co$es easil to the$. Anti$e a large nu$)er of the fa$il
was together when I was growing up! so$eone would sa "loo"! the whole #a$p)ell
#lan is here."8 +Which isn-t true! )ecause #lan #a$p)ell has $an $ore $e$)ers
than 'ust our little section of fa$il., It was a word which I alwas understood! and
as I e.plored $ ethnicit! reading of all the Irish and 2cottish legends I could find! I
disco&ered that #lan $eant so $uch $ore than e.tended fa$il.
A "Wiccan" #lan is usuall co$posed of se&eral fa$ilies practicing as a co&en or
whose $e$)ers practice as a co&en. Rules defining who is and who is not clan &ar
fro$ culture to culture! fro$ tradition to tradition. One tradition put it this wa: "#lan
$e$)ers are our fa$il and friends who share our religion and traditions." In
addition! so$e clans include present and for$er co&en $e$)ers or are actuall large
groupings of se&eral co&ens or fa$ilies that are gathered under one na$e for one
purpose! )e it unit! a political pro'ect or 'ust an atte$pt to for$ co$$unit.
The #lan sste$ can gi&e pride in fa$il to those of us who! for whate&er reason!
can-t feel accepted ) our natural fa$il. In these instances! #lan consists of )oth
Wiccan and non-Wiccan $e$)ers focused in general around a fa$il unit. What is
often created is an e.tended fa$il with its own rules which go&ern such things as
relationships and responsi)ilities. >our clanspeople! or clans$en and clanswo$en!
are our i$$ediate co$$unit and are the people ou consider "fa$il." I-$ not
saing ou should gi&e up our )irth fa$ilies! 5uite the contrar. The $ore people
ou can turn to in ti$e of need! the )etter off ou are in a crisis. Recreating the #lan
sste$ offers a structured alternati&e fa$il focusing on unit and independence!
and often pro&ides a positi&e en&iron$ent in which to raise children.
#hildren who grow up within a clan ha&e a sense of identit! and! in larger clans! a
peer group of "safe" "ids to pla with. The unified fa$il! with its open and fran"
discussions a)out personal rights! reduces child a)use ) $a"ing the solitar
necessities of a)use i$possi)le. 4 creating a large fa$il group! with well-stated
rules for conflict and $ediation! the #lan heals its $e$)ers of detri$ental up)ringing
and produces new $e$)ers with a sense of 2elf and $oralit unco$$on in toda-s
The ulti$ate outgrowth of the clan is the intentional co$$unit! and Wiccan
intentional co$$unities that grow their own food and raise sheep and the li"e are
e.periencing a re)irth that las the co$$unes of the si.ties to waste. As a whole the
Wiccan population is artistic! a)o&e a&erage! co$puter literate and $ulti-s"illed! and
when a lot of people with those talents gather in one place the effect is!
-Religious Identit-
(an Wiccans can-t get o&er their lac" of religious identit. There is no unifing )elief
or standard that can )e pointed toward and said of "That-s what I a$!" and to a
degree! that-s )eautiful. A pro)le$ occurs howe&er! in the treat$ent of people )
Wiccan #lerg. Religion:Other! An Alliance of Alternati&e Religion! is one of se&eral
organi/ations that pu)lishes a charter which includes strictures on what a Wiccan
priest should or shouldn-t do. The purpose of Religion:Other! and other groups isn-t to
tell anone that the are practicing their religion incorrectl! onl that the need to
consider the affect of their actions upon the Will of other people. Freedo$ of Will is
co&ered ) the Wiccan Rede and The 7thic of 2elf-Responsi)ilit as clearl as
Freedo$ of religion is co&ered under the <2 #onstitution and the #anadian #harter of
Rights and Freedo$s.
Religion:Other #ode of 7thics and #harter:
Part Two: Organi/ational 2trictures
J8: All groups represented ) RO $ust follow the Wiccan Rede: "An it har$ none! do
as ou will!" whether Wiccan or not. This includes not onl phsical har$ to
indi&idual people! )ut "4rainwashing!" )od altering! and ani$al sacrifice.
J?: No group represented ) RO $a charge education fees! or an fees )eond
suppl fees +suppl fees include rent of a space to hold $eetings! candles! food and
)oo"s! )ut NOT ad&ertising., 0i"ewise! no group represented ) RO $a designate a
store or crafter fro$ who$ supplies (<2T )e )ought. The sole e.ception to this are
groups )elonging to larger! national or international organi/ations! these groups
should charge the $ini$u$ possi)le to co&er $e$)ership fees! or nothing if no fees$ to Article ?: 8 April 9E: 6roups charging fees and putting those fees
&isi)l )ac" into their religion are here) e.cluded fro$ state$ent one of article ?
pro&ided that e.ceptions are $ade for those una)le to pa an said fees.,
+Addendu$J?! Article?! 8 1anuar 9G: #lasses not relating directl to the religious
practices ha&e ne&er )een included under article J?,
J:: All groups represented ) RO $ust e.clude $inors fro$ religious acti&ities
unless the parent or guardian acco$panies the $inor or gi&es written consent for the
$inor to attend. Rituals at which people under the age of eighteen are present $a
not )e perfor$ed "2"clad."+Addendu$ to article ::8 1anuar 9G (inors $a attend
2"clad rituals if the $inor! the $inor-s parent+s, or guardian+s, and the entiret of
the group gi&e written consent....It is still not reco$$ended.,
JE. If the priest or priestess of a group is under the age of eighteen! he or she $ust
)e super&ised ) a person of at least twent-one ears of age.
JG. If the leader of a group has sa o&er the personal li&es of hisDher followers
)eond the real$ of ad&ice! or should clai$ to )e a $essiah! re-incarnation of a god
or of a person! or otherwise super-hu$an and de$and worship! RO will NOT! under
an circu$stances! refer people to! protect! ad&ertise or in an wa endorse said
JI. RO will not endorse or represent groups that de$and that its $e$)ers go
2"clad! de$and oaths of fealt or o)edience! or e.pect se.ual fa&ors fro$ its
$e$)ers! including those groups that e.pect $e$)ers to )e in&ol&ed with se.ual
rites to "ad&ance" within the circle. 0i"ewise groups de$anding self- or other-
$utilation +i.e.: tattoos! )od piercing, or drug use! cannot )e endorsed or
J=. 2e.ual rites $ust )e consented to ) )oth partiesH a $inor! under law! cannot
gi&e consent. 2uch rites $a not )e attended ) $inors! and an participation )
anone $ust )e &oluntar! without penalt for those who choose not to attend.
JK. Represented groups $a not discri$inate on AN> 4A2I2! including se.ual
orientation! age +see J:!, race! religion +those opposing an organi/ation or
educator-s &iews in an o)structi&e or offensi&e $anner should )e as"ed to lea&e!,
political ideals! past religious histor! or se. +unless the organi/ation ad&ertises as
wo$en onl or $en onl! with no e.clusion of those who $a ha&e started life with
another! no! or )oth gender+s,.,
J9. RO will represent onl Pagan organi/ations as )eing non-1udeo-#hristian! as
such! no organi/ation )asing its )eliefs on a #hristian (thos! including 2atanis$!
will )e represented. +addendu$ to Article 9-8 1anuar 9G: Pagan 1udeo- #hristian
organi/ations will )e endorsed on a group ) group )asis if all other articles appl
and the President! %P and Representati&e of said group-s area agree upon said
representation and endorse$ent,
J8; +A$ended 8 1anuar 9G, Those groups whose purpose is to con&ert! or who
preach an "Onl wa" and do not e.tend )asic respect to those who$ the disagree
with will )e e.cluded fro$ RO-s $e$)ership. We )elie&e such actions to )e contrar
to The Wiccan Rede and thus contrar to Article J8."?
The strictures listed a)o&e are prett standard as such things go! and if a Wiccan
clerg person! OR AN>ON7 e&er tries to get ou to do so$ething that ou feel wrong
a)out! then get awa fro$ the$! fast.
Forging a personal religious identit can-t )e gi&en a for$ula. #reating a $oral code!
disco&ering our patron and $atron 6ods! creating )asic rituals and "eeping a
'ournal are first steps! though! and when the ti$e co$es when ou can honestl sa
"I "now who I a$!" the second circle is read for ou. 2ure! a tas" is usuall as"ed of
so$eone who wishes to achie&e the circle! things li"e creating our first ritual or
gi&ing so$ething )ac" to the co&en. If ou trul want to gi&e so$ething )ac" to
Wicca at this point! I suggest! if it-s possi)le! co$ing out of the closet as a "ind!
gentle and Wiccan Wiccan. Others decide what Wicca is ) e.a$ple! and for $an
people the e.tent of e.a$ple are two or three weirdoes )usted on the national news
for raping little girls and calling it "Witchcraft". We "now that the are not Wiccan!
)ut how can other people $a"e infor$ed decisions without accurate infor$ation@
Our countr! at least! protects ou fro$ religious persecution! and there is a huge
co$$unit out there that wants to help )ut is afraid. 2tand up...4ecause if ou
don-t...who will@
I! na$e! or "craft na$e! also called $undane na$e"! swear to li&e $ life ) the Fi&e Points of
Wiccan 4elief! ta"ing responsi)ilit for $ actions and educating of $ religion when as"ed. I will
not turn an in need of help awa without good cause! nor will I allow slander and $isuse of
Wicca to go unchallenged! )ecause so$eda I $a ha&e need of help or )e slandered.
Within $ practice! if I teach! I as" nothing in return! and e.pect nothing in return )ut the
respect that I! as a teacher! deser&e for the ti$e and effort I put into each student.
I ta"e so$e responsi)ilit for those I teach! and if I find I ha&e taught the$ incorrectl! it falls to
$e to undo the wrongs done.
I affir$ that I practice Wicca! and all aspects of $ practice! with a free Will! and I will ne&er
den! or in an wa restrict the Will of a student.
I a$ full aware of the ra$ifications of this Oath and I signDswear it )efore the ees of The 0ord
and 0ad in truth. 2o $ote it )e.
#hapter 2e&en:The 2econd #ircle and The Wheel of the >ear
-The 2econd #ircle and the Oath-
In a co&en! entr to the 2econd #ircle is usuall a two-$eeting process. In the first! the student
announces that he or she wishes to )e part of the second circle. +2,*e de$onstrates "nowledge
of the aspects of the First #ircle or has )een told ) a teacher that +s,he has ad&anced into "the
ne.t stage" of education. In the ne.t $eeting! two 5uestions are as"ed of the student "Who are
ou@" and "What do ou )ring to the 2econd #ircle@" The student answers! telling the co&en
whoDwhat the are honestl and with no glorification! then tells the co&en what +s,he )rings to
the co&en. ( fa&orite answers ca$e fro$ one of $ friend-s students! who answered! "I a$
Nicole! I-$ a hu$an girl fro$ the #it of 4uffalo in the 2tate of New >or" of the #ountr of The
<nited 2tates of A$erica! on the continent of North A$erica! on the planet 7arth! also called
Terra! third planet fro$ the star called 2ol. I )ring a war$ s$ile! a shoulder to cr on! friendship!
good )rownie recipes and fu// )a) ha$sters if anone wants one."
#ertain guidelines as to what ou ")ring" to a co&en $ust )e esta)lished. A co&en $a not
de$and! or e&en e.pect! $aterial goods +e&en fu// )a) ha$sters., What ou )ring is an
aspect of ourself that ou are proud of! and this is our chance to show it. "I-$ a good
counselor!" " ( couch is a&aila)le for crashing out!" "I )rea" up fights!" and "I can do our!" are all things I-&e heard $entioned. In the Third #ircle! one-s stud is tailored to suit their
uni5ue a)ilities and their desires! ) declaring what need ou fulfill as a 2econd #ircle co&en
$e$)er! ou )egin that tailoring ahead of ti$e.
#ere$onies for the 2econd #ircle differ! a tradition in a co&en I te$poraril led was to )ring a
dish to pass upon announcing our intention! usuall coo"ies or so$ething li"e that! to represent
what the co&en has gained ) ha&ing ou as a $e$)er. An astrologer who )rought "0o&e!
insight and togetherness" $ade sugar coo"ies with frosting drawings of hearts! ees and infinit
s$)ols. I-&e )een in a)out se&en <ni&ersal 7clectic Wicca co&ens! and led three or four! and
ne&er encountered such a practice again! )ut it was a nice $ethod of self e.pression for the
group! in which at least si. $e$)ers were proficient )a"ers.
The Oath is the aspect of the 2econd #ircle which reall separates the $e$)ers fro$ the First
#ircle. If e&er a co&en e.pects ou to swear fealt or secrec! ou should wonder a)out their
reasons. #ertainl! re&ealing the na$es of co&en $e$)ers to $odern in5uisitors is )ad for$! )ut
if ou trul follow the Wiccan Rede ou wouldn-t do that anwa! so wh would anone de$and
that ou swear not to@ The Oath isn-t a)out what ou do! it-s a)out what ou are! and the
responsi)ilities of )eing Wiccan. A side point of The Oath is the si$ple fact that it auto$aticall
rules out those people who ta"e ad&antage of the word "Wicca!" for their own gain. It gi&es us
so$ething to point to and go! "2ee...that-s what we are! and we don-t condone what the-&e
done and we ne&er ha&e and we ne&er will."
In <ni&ersal 7clectic Wicca! ta"ing the Oath is i$portant )ecause if ou ha&en-t ta"en it ou $a
not teach "<ni&ersal 7clectic Wicca." #ertainl! anone can teach aspects of Wicca! )ut within the
2econd #ircle ou gain the pri&ilege of teaching with a defined curriculu$ and a networ" of
teachers who can help ou. I "now I sound li"e an info$ercial at this point! )ut I spea" fro$
e.perience. 3on-t! 3O NOT! don-t e&er tr to teach a co&en without a curriculu$! ou will end up
confused and frustrated! and our students- interests will )e lost a$id the chaos.
A phsical $anifestation of The Oath is a co$$on thing a$ong the sacred relics of <ni&ersal
7clectic Wicca co&en $e$)ers! and in at least one group! signing a cop of The Oath is part of
their cere$on. If ou are serious a)out 2econd #ircle studies and are a solitar! signing a cop
of the oath easil replaces a co&en cere$on! and prepares ou for teaching if that-s our desire.
If! as a solitar or co&en $e$)er! ou achie&e the 2econd #ircle! I want to "now. As far as I
"now! <ni&ersal 7clectic Wicca is the first tradition with the co$$it$ent to )e aware of its
practitioners. We-re a growing and changing tradition and we want and need the input of our
practitioners. We ha&e co&ens in the <2! #anada and now Austrailia +'oC!, so we tr to "eep in
touch &ia the internet. The We) address for correspondence with the #hurch of <ni&ersal 7clectic
Wicca in Philadelphia! PA is Nhttp:DDho$e.att.netDP$ac$$lQ
hopefull $ore <7W groups will post sites soonC
-#o$$it$ent through cele)ration-
7ntr in the 2econd circle $eans that ou )egin to put $ore "into" )eing Wiccan than 'ust the
$oralit and the )eliefs. The $ost &isi)le aspect of 'oining the 2econd #ircle is the inclusion of
seasonal! and perhaps lunar rituals into our personal practice. At least in <ni&ersal 7clectic
Wicca! and in $ e.perience! $ost other co&ens! the cele)rator rituals are open to all parties.
What we $ean ) inclusion is not that ou $erel "go" to the ritual )ut ou ta"e part in the
ritual )eond a $ere audience $e$)er. For so$e! the 2econd #ircle is their first introduction to
the practices of the eight earl "hol das" of Wicca! for others! it-s 'ust a co$$it$ent to
cele)rate! or at least )e aware! when the hol das occur.
I feel it necessar to add here that we all forget hol das! or $a"e plans without reali/ing it will
interfere with the$. This $a"es ou a nor$al person! don-t sweat it. An anecdote I-$ fond of
relating is that of Ta$ara! a student of $ine! whose first teacher was a fairl well-"nown New
>or" #it priestess who-d )een ")rought up" ) parents who were Witches! and had ne&er )een
anthing )ut Wiccan in her life. I-ll shorten the stor to sa that she was rather stressed out! and
sla$$ed her apart$ent door on so$e "ids who were dressed in costu$es! "harassing her." Onl
when her co&en showed up later that night did she re$e$)er "oh! eah! it-s 2a$hain!" and the
spent the night loo"ing a)out the apart$ent )uilding for the "ids she-d sla$$ed the door on.
Whene&er I tell so$eone "Oh! no! it can-t )e the 2olstice et! it was 'ust 4eltane"! I thin" of
Ta$ara-s priestess. We all get a)sent $inded now and then! and often! it-s the first sign of stress
related pro)le$s. As with an circle! if ou-re stressed out at a holida cele)ration and ou feel
that the cele)ration will add to the stress! then don-t do it. 2o$eti$es! the cele)ration will
actuall relie&e the stress! so anal/e and disco&er what-s causing it first. I-&e actuall seen
references to "stress" in older 4oo"s of 2hadows! it-s usuall referred to as "3rain" and is gi&en
as reason J8 to not cele)rate an ritual where personal energ will )e needed. (an rituals for
relie&ing stress are out there! and one appears in part three of this )oo": "A 4oo" of 0ight." As
alwas! su)stitutions and personal creations are reco$$ended.
This "co$$it$ent to cele)rate" in&ol&es $aintaining our religious identit! and feeding the
Integrated Total 2elf. It-s too eas in a world )uilt on phsical gratification to ignore the rest of
the 2elf and )uild upon the phsical. I$)alanced! fractured 2elf is a cause of addictions: alcohol!
se.ual! food! whate&er! and as we )alance our spiritualDphsicalD(agic"alDe$otional 2el&es! we
feel less "pulled" ) an one side and $ore har$oni/ed! $ore integrated. 4 cele)rating the
rituals of the seasons! we are )oth "feeding" our spiritual! (agic"al and e$otional parts! and
strengthening the )onds that "hold it all together." 4 incorporating $ore of our di&erse parts
into each ritual! we $a"e the$ $ore than a cele)ration of a da and into a cele)ration of the
6ods! the seasons! the 2elf and $ore. For this reason! a self-created ritual is especiall
prefera)le to a ")oo" ritual" when that ritual is a cele)rator one.
-The Wheel of the >ear-
An understanding of the nature of rituals is i$portant )efore full defining The Wheel of the
>ear. There are three pri$ar for$s of ritual in Wicca. #ele)rator rituals are the opposite of so-
called "sole$nities" such as *andfastings and funeral rites. 2ole$nities +which are rarel
sole$n!, cele)rate oursel&es and the &arious life changes that we go through. #ele)rator Rituals
are rituals which are held to cele)rate the turning of the seasons! the glor of the 6ods! and
nu$erous other cele)rational things. The third tpe of ritual! Wor"ing Ritual! is ritual with a
defined purpose! such as healing! or releasing negati&e energ. Wor"ing Rituals $a )e to aid
disasters which ou are too far awa to phsicall help! or to co$fort and heal those who ou
can-t )e with. Wor"ing Rituals fulfill all the sa$e purposes as "Praing for" so$ething or
so$eone! and praing is a tpe of Wor"ing Ritual. Re$e$)er! all ritual is $erel "ad&anced
The Wheel of the >ear is co$prised of four solar or "celestial" holidas! called "Fuarters" and
four har&est holidas! called #ross-5uarters. The solar holidas are held on the and
solstices. An 75uino. +ee-"win-o. or! alternatel! e-"i-no., is a point of intersection )etween the
2un-s annual path and the celestial e5uator.8 At those $o$ents! the 2un is e.actl o&er the
e5uator and da and night are of e5ual length. The 2pring or %ernal 75uino.! called Ostara
occurs around (arch ?8st! The Autu$nal e5uino.! or (a)on! occurs around 2epte$)er ?8st.
The are considered the "First da" of 2pring and Fall . A 2olstice is when the sun is
furthest fro$ the e5uator and the da is either the longest or the shortest da of the ear. The
longest! around 1une ?8st! is the 2u$$er 2olstice! called (idsu$$er and 0itha! which is the
"first da" of 2u$$er. The shortest! around 3ece$)er ?8st! is >ule! or (idwinter! and is the
"first da" of Winter.
In ancient traditions! there were onl two seasons! 2u$$er! the light half of the >ear! which was
said to relate to the 6oddess! and Winter! which was the ti$e of the 6od. This is easil related to
earl agricultural societ! in which the field is i$portant for su$$er and the hunt for fall. A
hunterDgatherer societ would find the )elief in the 6oddess and 6od as near instinctual!
whereas the industriali/ed world would find itself $ore dis'ointed and separated fro$ "natural"
)elief. The idea of the "no)le sa&age" fro$ $uch earl industrial age writings e.presses this
feeling. 4 writing )oo"s a)out African and Nati&e A$erican heroes fro$ "the wild!" "untainted
) the corruption of societ!" our $ore recent ancestors were e.pressing the tortures of
unfulfilled spirit. 4 redisco&ering The Wheel of The >ear! we fulfill that spirit.
The #ross-Fuarters! na$ed 4eltane! 0ughnasa! 2a$hain and I$)olc! are har&est festi&als
"tac"ed on" to the Wheel of The >ear as societ )eca$e $ore agricultural. 4eltane +)ell- tane,
$ar"s the co$pletion of planting! 0ughnasa +loo-nah-sah, $ar"s the first har&est! 2a$hain +so-
when, was the second har&est and the ti$e for the first slaughter! the slaughter of those ani$als
destined for the dinner ta)le. >ule +oul, represented the second slaughter! the slaughter of
ani$als who would not $a"e it through the "season of stor$s" and was the har&est for winter-
apples! potatoes and other second-crop winter fruits. I$)olc +i$-)ol", represented first thaw!
the turning of the soil and was the ti$e when ani$als and wo$en ali"e got pregnant. 7ach
festi&al had its own share of traditions and rituals! that stretched cross-culturall and religiousl.
#hristianit! Ro$an in&aders and 3ruids passed the rituals )ac" and forth )etween the$! and
the $odern Wiccan Wheel of the >ear is a snthesis of these! and our di&erse cultures.
-The 3ing Bing-
A predo$inate $th in Wicca is the (th of the 3ing Bing! who is )orn! in this pre- #hristian
$th! at >ule. The 6oddess rests after his )irth! and the land "hi)ernates" resulting in the cold!
harshness of Winter. 2he )egins to awa"en at I$)olc! and the infant 6od! the 2un! )egins to
e.ert power with her. 4 Ostara! she has e$)raced the land in fertilit! and her son wal"s with
the land! )ringing forth the hidden and new-)orn ani$als. 4eltane co$es! and a $ature 6od and
the 6oddess are 'oined as one! she concei&es! and at the 2u$$er 2olstice! the appear
together! gloriousl full of power. At 0ughnasa! as the sun )egins to "Wea"en" so too does the
6od . The 6oddess pa&es the wa for his death! ) )eginning to withdraw fro$ the 7arth so that
the people "now to har&est and ) the 2olstice! she! )eginning to slow down with the increasing
)urden of the pregnanc! and he! steadil growing older! are e5ual in power. The $utuall
decline until 2a$hain! where the 6od dies! and the 6oddess rests in preparation for the long
la)or ahead. In one tradition! a feast is held for the 6oddess in her last $onth! and after the
feast! she )egins the arduous la)or that parodies 3ece$)er! with periods of pain and relief!
alwas with the anticipation of the final re)irth of the "2un Bing." In this tradition! the feast was
held thirteen das )efore >ule! to represent the thirteen $onths of the lunar ear. In $
#lanDFa$il! we-&e e.tended this period! and ! as ou $a-&e guessed! we hold "The Final Feast"
on Than"sgi&ing! and sa&e our $one! "eeping all $eals in 3ece$)er as frugal as possi)le until
the )ig feast cele)rating the )irth of the 6od. This helps us "eep in $ind the "feeling" of this
ti$e of the ear for our ancestors.
The 2pring! or %ernal 75uino. is also called Ostara! 7ostra! Festi&al of the Trees! Al)an 7ilir!
Ostra and Persephone-s da! and represents the "co$ing to life" of the earth. Wiccan rituals of
this da often in&ol&e seed planting! dancing! egg painting +an ancient Pagan custo$, and huge
)an5uets of her)ed )read! spring )erries and rhu)ar). #hildren )orn or concei&ed on Ostara are
said to )e health! strong! i$aginati&e and "green thu$)ed." Ostara is the ti$e to wor" "re)irth"
(agic"s! and an old tradition of Ostara is to call "off" de)ts. 2o$e peoples )elie&e that )
"holding on" to the past! ou pre&ent the future! so! to speed the future up! ou ha&e to "gi&e
up" the past. <nfortunatel! the utilit co$pan doesn-t see$ to understand that. A $odern wa
to cele)rate the se&ering of the past is to tr to ha&e all of our 3ece$)er )ills paid off )
Ostara. Pa the )ills! sa&e the paperwor" that co$es with it! clip off the part ou "eep for our
records! and )urn the$ in a great stac" in a fire set Ostara $orning. Tr to spend the period
)etween Ostara and 4eltane acco$plishing as $uch as possi)le. Open the windows! clean the
house and "finish off" the dar" half of the ear so that ) 4eltane! the ear is "fresh and new."
Re$e$)er! the ritual-s 'ust half of the practiceC
The Autu$nal 75uino.! also "nown as Al)an 7lfred! (a)on! or The Feast of 2econd *ar&est! is
'ust that! a feast! held after the second har&est. The cele)ration often includes feasts of grain
foods! do$estic $eats li"e $utton or )eef! and apples and tender oung pu$p"ins. Autu$n is
construction season where I grew up! and $an Pagan groups hold "4arn-raising" tpe festi&als! lea" roofs! )uilding te$ple spaces! or e&en wor"ing to )uild houses for $e$)ers who
$a not ha&e the $one to )u or hire a contractor. This is! of course! full dependent on the
nu$)er of people ou ha&e! )ut a hard da of phsical la)or! topped ) a feast! reall helps
citified fol" to get the "feel" of a da at har&est. #hildren )orn at (a)on are generall co$pared
to the har&est. If it was good! the child is said the "6row tall and prosper li"e the grain!" )ut a
poor season usuall )oded )adl for an infant! not )ecause of hisDher date of )irth )ut )ecause
of the food suppl! and the child was said to )e luc" to sur&i&e past >ule.
-The 2olstices+2olstia,-
0i"e the! the 2olstices are said to )e "lesser" cere$onies. The 2u$$er 2olstice! called
0itha! is when the 6od and 6oddess reign with the $ost power. It is a ti$e of "high (agic"" a
ti$e for feasts! dancing! ga$es of strength and endurance and warfare +usuall of the
reenact$ent &ariet., #hildren )orn on the 2u$$er 2olstice are supposed to )e fier! s$art!
strong! te$pera$ental and willful! red haired children )orn on the 2olstice are said to )e
"$ar"ed" ) the 2un Bing! and will recei&e special )lessings. Feasts of The 2u$$er 2olstice are
of "orange" foods! carrots! wild )erries! peaches! and an fruit which has a )rief period of
sweetness! especiall persi$$ons in 2outhern Wiccan traditions. This is the night of (orpheus!
Psche! 3e$eter! Apollo and *orae. Prophetic drea$s of this night are said to alwas co$e true.
The Winter 2olstice! or >ule! is )oth the cele)ration of (idwinter and the conte$porar Wiccan-s
"#hrist$as." In $ fa$il! we ha&e a >ule Tree?! which we decorate with star and $oon 2antas!
)roo$s! coo"ies! cran)erries! popcorn! our sacred cords and all sorts of relics! a crstal fro$ this
&acation! an orna$ent fro$ another. Our son is taught of 2t. Blaus! Woden deli&ering gifts fro$
his s"-sleigh pulled ) reindeer! and of the )irth of the )a) "2un" 6od. We tell #hristian friends
that our fa$il is Wiccan! that "happ holida" and "happ >uletide" cards are accepta)le! and
"(err #hrist$as" is not. Frost the 2now$an! a %isit fro$ 2t. Nic"! Rudolph the Red-Nosed
Reindeer and such things can )e &er secular! and we )a"e coo"ies of crosses! stars of 3a&id!
stars! angels! 2antas! dredels! peace s$)ols and crescent $oons and gi&e the$ out in great
huge )atches to our friends! as "<nit" coo"ies. We-&e learned to accept "3ece$)er *olidas" as
a ti$e to cele)rate our <nit as a hu$an race and our indi&idual )eauties! too! the true goal of
(ulticulturalit. At Ritual! we gi&e each other hand$ade gifts! usuall of food! and we each pic"
a na$e out of a hat and gi&e a gift to a co&en $e$)er at a feastDpart on the actual "#hrist$as"
night +face it! )eing alone for #hrist$as suc"s! e&en if ou-re not #hristian.,.
A child )orn on >ule is said to ha&e the power of the 2un 6od! and the $other is said to )e
)lessed too! of especial sacredness are infants with )lac" hair! who are said to ha&e the powers
of the stor$s! and &er pale children )orn on >ule are said to co$e fro$ the wo$) of the
6oddess and )e great wor"ers of (agic". The "gift" child is often a changeling! sa the old was!
and will die ) spring! )ut )ring great prosperit to the fa$il! not $ idea of a "4lessing."
A &enison 2tew the night of >ule! rich with potatoes! carrots and turnips is the "traditional" >ule
feast! ser&ed with pan )read and >ule Wine! which is often a cran)err-apple wine $ade at
2a$hain! or (ulled #ider. A &egetarian Wiccan $eal I went to consisted of 2tewed Pu$p"in with
carrots and a )unch of other indistinguisha)le &egeta)les and grains. As I alwas sa! "Whate&er
#hapter 2e&en:The 2econd #ircle and The Wheel of the >ear
I$)olc +Fe)ruar 8st or ?nd, is the Festi&al of the )eginning of the end of Winter. Fires are
"indled! and a light is placed in each window to show good fortune the wa to the house. It is
said that to turn out a )eggar on I$)olc is to ris" turning out the wea"ened 6oddess in disguise.
One older trad sas! "Ta"e a )eggar into our house on I$)olc! gi&e hi$ our )est chair! our
)est $eat! our )est )lan"et! if he stas until Ostara! ou shall )e greatl rewarded."
I$)olc is also the festi&al of the unsung deed! when we li&ed in su)-artic 2racuse! N>! this
consisted of snea"ing out and sho&eling the whole neigh)orhood! or dri&ing around to 'u$p start
cars. #hildren )orn on I$)olc are said to )e the "first children of 2pring" and will alwas )e one
step ahead of e&erone else. Feasts of I$)olc are of potatoes! turnips! )read! ra))it and
&enison! and are supposed to )e )oth $eager and hopeful! often using the last of the spices! salt
and other supplies of the winter.
4eltane +(a 8st, is a festi&al which so$ehow escaped total a)sorption ) #hristianit! and! e&en
in $odern ti$es! has )een practiced al$ost instinctuall ) count fol"! usuall as (a 3a.
Pin"! white and red are the colors! with spring pri$roses! &iolets! pansies and crocus the flowers
of choice. Irises! sacred flower of the rain)ow goddess! are said to )ode a glorious su$$er if in
)loo$ ) 4eltane! and a rain)ow on 4eltane is a powerful $stic sign. #hildren! especiall girls!
)orn on 4eltane are the "children of the 6oddess"! and children concei&ed on 4eltane are said to
ha&e "luc" and fortune )eond the world." In cele)ration of Persephone-s ho$eco$ing! )owls of
flowers are placed e&erwhere! and nosegas are placed on the doors of a)solute strangers.
4eltane is the fertilit cere$on supre$e! with (a Pole dances! and caldrons and )owls of wine
free-flowing . A word of caution here! 4eltane see$s to )e the trigger for $an powerful
instincts! and the $ost responsi)le! least fertile people I "now ha&e little 1anuar children to
show for it. 0i"ewise! if ou are finding it difficult to concei&e! tr waiting a wee" and atte$pting
on 4eltane. I ha&e two glorious "nieces-who-aren-t- reall" as a result of a good friend ta"ing $
ad&ice. With fertilit clinics running in the tens of thousands for si$ple treat$ents! can faith! a
little (a Wine and a night of passion reall )e that ris"@
"Wo$anhood" cere$onies! new )usiness deals! real estate )uing and other rites of passage are
all for 4eltane! as are the "passion" fruits! li"e straw)erries! cherries! passion fruit and "iwi.
7ating a po$egranate on 4eltane is said to )e in )ad taste! howe&er! and this is a )asicall
&egetarian holida! no $eat at the feast unless it-s spring chic"en or the first fish of the season.
The essence of 4eltane is "part!" starting all o&er and getting it right this ti$e. No dou)t of the
#ele)rator nature of 4eltane is possi)le.
0ughnasa! +August 8stD1ul :8st, is the feast of the first har&est! and its feast is usuall of grains!
corn and )lue)erries. #hildren )orn on 0ughnasa! li"e children )orn on (a)on! are said to )e li"e
the crop that is )rought in. %er little is written of 0ughnasa! and it see$s to )e a fairl recent
holida! appearing within the past G;; ears. Often (a)on and 0ughnasa are co$)ined into
great har&est festi&als once e&erthing is done! and the suggestion of defined "first" and
"second" har&ests con'ures thoughts of $achiner and single crops. (ore li"el! 0ughnasa was
the )eginning of the har&esting season! with (a)on its end. 0ughnasa! without a dou)t! is the
$ost often o&erloo"ed festi&al of the ear.
2a$hain! +Octo)er :8st, pronounced "so-When" li"e "so-when is 2a$hain@!" is the holida that
has )een confiscated! wrapped up in a )right pin" "happ" )ag and returned to us )arel
recogni/a)le as "*alloween." #ontrar to )i/arre portraals ) Wiccan re&isionists! 2a$hain was
a ti$e for sacrifice in the ancient world! sacrifice of those cattle and sheep that wouldn-t li&e
through winter! )ut also occasionall of a person! who! ) "ding with" the 6od could sort of
"plead the case" of a pleasant winter with the #elestial forces.8 #hildren )orn on 2a$hain are
said to )e great in power )ut attracted to "necro$anc! gra&eards and other ghoulish things!"
and children concei&ed on 2a$hain were said to )e the incarnations of unsettled dead! so se. on
2a$hain is fairl ta)oo.
It is said that the "&eil" )etween the worlds is thinnest on 2a$hain! and co$$unication with!
and e&en attac"s )! the dead are part of its $sticis$. Welco$ing the ancestors to the 2a$hain
feast is co$$on! as is wearing $as"s so dead ene$ies can-t find ou. #ele)rations in honor of
)elo&ed people who ha&e passed awa are co$$on on 2a$hain! and it is the Wiccan New >ear!
)ecause of the Ancient 3ruidic )elief that da )egan with the setting of the sun! and thus the
dar" half of the ear was the )eginning. New >ears resolutions are $ade on 2a$hain! and it is
the traditional da to raise a co&ener within the circle.
-Other *olidas-
2ecular *olidas are practiced as $uch ) Wiccans as anone! and rituals for Than"sgi&ing! New
>ear-s! etc. are practiced ) $an Wiccans as a wa of ")ringing ho$e" the $eanings of these
das. #o$$unit! not 'ust of Wiccan fol"! )ut of all hu$an "ind is )uilt on the fact that! while we
are $uch different! we are also $uch the sa$e! )lessed di&ersit once $ore.
#hapter 7ight: 0ife #hanges: 4irth! (arriage! 3eath
-4orn Wiccan-
4lessed indeed are those children )orn "into" Wicca! who don-t need to lose the #hristian
indoctrination of their parents. I $self! while not )eing ")orn" Wiccan! was "raised right" in the
Wiccan sense! that is! gi&en the right and a)ilit to e.plore! create! and "disco&er" religion as I
grew. When I first )eca$e in&ol&ed in Wicca! the co&en I was in consisted of fe$inist 0es)ians
and "Wild (en!" a )i/arre co$)ination of two co&ens! lead ) a priestess and priest who were
li"e si)lings and who were atte$pting to counter the Anti-$an! and Anti-wo$an aspects of their
respecti&e co&ens ) integrating the$. Fro$ da one I learned that Wicca! li"e an religion! has
its roc" $o$ents! which pro)a)l sa&ed $e fro$ the disgust and disillusion$ent that so$e
Wiccans face as the disco&er the$sel&es and their differences fro$ the "nor$"! causing the$ to
lea&e co&ens and organi/ations.
As head of Religion:Other! An Alliance of Alternati&e Religion! I $anaged to corner se&eral
Wiccans who-d left co&ens! or left Wicca altogether. Although the reasons gi&en were uni5ue! we
fit $an of the$ into ten categories! and la)eled the$! fro$ 8; +E of :;, to 8 +8E of :;, +(ost
of the people inter&iewed ga&e answers that included two or $ore categories., It loo"ed li"e this:
Wh I left $ #o&enD6roupDWicca as a whole:
8;: ( Profession wasn-t respected ) other Wiccans +E,8
;9: Nothing was )eing acco$plished. +G,
;K: Focusing too $uch on one or two people +G,
;=: Personalit clash! not co&en leader +I,
;I: Personalit clash with #o&en leader+9,
;G: 3id not respect $ gender +8;, ?
;E: 3id not respect $ se.ual orientationDhistor +8;,:
;:: Was causing too $uch stress in $ life. +88,
;?: 3idn-t respect $ spouseDpartner andDor "ids. +8?,
;8: 7.pected too $uch of $ ti$e +8E,
The Wiccan Fa$il! with its children! deser&es $ore respect than it gets ) its co$$unit. A part
of that is the $a"e-up of Wicca! )ecause we attract di&erse populations! especiall those
populations "e.iled" ) the #hristian world! we don-t ha&e as $an "ids. We ha&e a large ga
population in Wicca! )ecause "lo&e is ne&er e&il!" and a large population of childless-)-choice
heterose.ual couples. Wiccans! as a $a'orit! are pro-choice! pro-world tpe people! so when
children are )orn to a Wiccan couple! it-s usuall planned! and! far too often! it-s decided against.
The Wiccan fa$il with children faces serious dile$$as. Wiccan gatherings rarel ha&e dacare!
and often )ringing children is frowned upon! or 'ust an e.cuse to get treated rudel )
inconsiderate people who ha&e no clue a)out child rearing. I-&e )een told I-$ adding to the
population crisis )ecause of $ son and the fact that I plan to ha&e at least one $ore child
)efore $ life is up has caused rifts )etween $ fa$il and so$e of $ co&eners! )ut the
answer is si$ple. We! as Wiccans! are going to raise peaceful! respectful children to counter all
the "ids )eing )rought up wrong throughout the world. Our $oralit! passed generation to
generation 3727R%72 to )e continued! and the children out there shouldn-t )e denied it )ecause
we ha&e so few parenting role $odels who are Wiccan. Far )etter to tr than die out.
A child! raised Wiccan! taught the "nowledge that can )e taught and shown the wa to the rest
is gi&en $ore clearl those tools we felt depri&ed of ) other up)ringing. Parents atte$pting to
raise a child in this &iolent! #hristian-weighted world deser&e our respect and assistance! not
further hindrances. A few wee"s )efore this was written! I got together with two other Wiccan
$others! one a fellow priestess! the other a second circle teacher! )etween the three of us! we
created the "Wiccan (other-s 3e$ands" for the 2u$$er 2olstice Issue of The 6reen:
The Wiccan (other-s 3e$ands:
We! the $others of our future! in order to produce a $ore perfect generation! de$and the
following of our co$$unit! or else:
8: 4eing a $other $eans responsi)ilit! so$eti$es we can-t drop what we-re doing to co$e to a
circle! please gi&e us ad&ance notice.
?: #hildcare at Wiccan 6atherings should )e a&aila)le! peaceful and producti&e.
:: Our children! not our co&ens! co$e first.
E: Our children! when the are at gatherings! are going to )e nois! plaful! de$anding and
occasionall disrupti&e. The are children! that-s part of their 'o).
G: We ha&e the right to )ring our children with us! and no one has the right to stop us.
For us! at least! and the few other Wiccan Parents we "now! )ringing our children up Wiccan
$eans )ringing our children up free! and that if that freedo$ causes our children to choose
another religion! then so )e it. ( child is not Wiccan! he is a child! and religious decisions aren-t
his dut! )eing a child is. If I can )alance teaching hi$ $ )eliefs! and the )eliefs of other
people! he-ll pro)a)l choose $ wa! )ut it will )e a choice. The Wiccan parent! at least! "nows
that the s$aller )eing that li&es with the$ is a hu$an )eing! and he has choices! too! e&en if
the are $ore restricti&e.
-Pu)ert: Wo$anhood! (anhood-
While we raise our children! we loo" forward to the trials of pu)ert! and start fro$ the $o$ent
of )irth to teach respect for the! self-control and responsi)ilit. One e.a$ple! in a 4oo" of
2hadows of a $odern trad! reads : "At the age of a)out fi&e! a child should )e gi&en so$ething
to ta"e care of! so$ething little! li"e a ha$ster! or a goldfish. If the child doesn-t do what is
needed to ta"e care of the ani$al! de$and it! and! if! after a few ears! the child shows
responsi)ilit! ou $a wish to gi&e hi$Dher so$ething larger. 4 pu)ert! the child understands
that ta"ing care of things re5uires wor"! and ou-&e done a great set-up for a fran" tal"."
We need to teach our children fro$ da one that ha&ing se. $eans "gi&ing up" childhood to an
e.tre$e degree. Responsi)ilit! self-control! and the de$ands of a se.ual life are taught in our
para)les and $ths! and the punish$ents for things li"e rape and e.cess in those $ths are
swiftE! se&ere and $e$ora)le. A co$ing of age cere$on! designed ) the parents and child!
should ta"e place when the parties decide that the child is read to )e a self-responsi)le adult.
The actual $o$ent of transition aids a child in the "a$ I too oung to@" decisions! and
"nowledge of a parent-s respect and e.pectations changes the dna$ic of the relationship
<nli"e #hristianit! Wicca teaches auto$atic response! "if ou do this! ou will )e punished now!"
and "this life $atters! don-t $ess it up." 4 showing our children that the are responsi)le for
their actions and the are accounta)le for the$ fro$ da one! we teach control and
responsi)ilit. 4 teaching co$passion! forgi&eness and the a)ilit to change! we teach di&init.
It is eas for us to )elie&e! "I a$ 6od+dess,!" )ut what we ha&e to teach our children is: "2o are
#hapter 7ight: 0ife #hanges: 4irth! (arriage! 3eath
-The Wiccan (arriage-
The Wiccan (arriage! or *andfasting! is a &ital part of the religious li&es of thousands
of Wiccans worldwide who ha&e decided to )e 'oined in the ees of the 6oddess and
6od rather than in a ci&il cere$on. Few Wiccan priestDpriestesses are trul licensed
to do ci&il $arriages! and a secondar wedding ta"es place at the 'ustice of the peace
or si$ilar office for $an Wiccan couples. The *andfasting is $ore than a docu$ent!
howe&er! and $an choose a handfasting which $arries the$ in the ees of the
6ods! )ut not the ci&il $arriage! freeing the$ for non-traditional $arriages that the
state $a not appro&e of:
When The 3efense of (arriage Act was )efore the <nited 2tates #ongress! $an
congress$en and wo$en recie&ed a &ersion of the following letter fro$ Wiccan
#lerg. The letter de$onstrates the ideals co$$onl held ) WiccanDPagan clerg
concerning sa$e-se. $arriage:
To who$ it $a concern:
6i&en the nature of the continuing de)ate for and against the legal $arriage of 6as
and 0es)ians! it see$s i$portant to define what $arriage is. 2o$e people want to
define $arriage within strict 1udeo-#hristian ter$s. The flaw in this is that people of
an religion $a )e 'oined together regardless of their religion! (arriages within
1ewish and #hristian faiths! within Isla$ and <ni&ersalis$! #atholicis$ and Atheis$
are all recogni/ed ) the state! e&en though $arriage within these )elief sste$s all
$ean different things. To define $arriage within one religious group! to define
$arriage fro$ a particular 4i)lical translation! or translations! as the "3efense of
(arriage Act" and si$ilar docu$ents atte$pt to do! is to den the &alidit of all
$arriages not perfor$ed within the religious sect or sects fro$ which this definition
co$es. 3O(A and the li"e should )e seen as an act not against "$erel" 6a and
0es)ian couples! )ut as an act against Isla$! *induis$! 4uddhis$! Atheis$! and an
religion or )elief sste$ that defines $arriage with an rules a)o&e and )eond the
$ere union of $an and wo$an as defined in 3O(A-s fra$ers- &ersion of #hristianit.
6a and 0es)ian couples ha&e )een )eing $arried religiousl ) $inisters for ears!
and so$e religions! such as Wicca! a religion recogni/ed ) the <nited 2tates +$ost
nota)l in The Ar$ed Forces- guide for #haplains!, ha&e o)'ected to 3O(A not
)ecause of a secret "ga agenda" )ut )ecause 3O(A acti&el pro$otes dening
$inisters of certain faiths their right to ha&e $an of their $arriages recogni/ed )
the 2tate! effecti&el dening tens of thousands of people their freedo$ of religion.
No rational person e.pects religions that are against ho$ose.ualit to )egin to hand
out $arriages )etween sa$e-se. couples. As alwas! each religion has the right to
deter$ine the 5ualifications to )e $arried within their church! )ut the 2tate does not
ha&e the right to li$it those 5ualifications )eond e.pecting that all participants are
not ha&ing their rights &iolated ) the church. A religious $arriage is a contract
)etween those )eing $arried and the church that is $arring the$! a sacred contract
that is li$ited onl ) the religion-s rules and "nowledge that all parties are capa)le
+i.e.: 2ound of $ind! of legal age and not under duress, of consenting to that
contract. It is against )oth the letter of the #onstitution and the spirit of it! in
essence! 3O(A tells the pu)lic that onl those religions of which certain people
appro&e $a )e gi&en the full protection of the First a$end$ent.
>ou don-t ha&e to agree with 2a$e-se. $arriage to disagree with 3O(A! )ut the
carefull practiced di&ision of the pu)lic into "good! $oral fol"" and "godless li)erals"
$ust )e seen through li"e the tactic that it is! a $ere $ethod of telling people what-s
good to thin" and what-s )ad to thin". ( $oralit! $ thoughts and $ )eliefs are
not regulated ) or registered with the #ongress of the <nited 2tates! and although I
disagree with the tactics of secession "Free$en" groups! I a$ $ore than willing to
fight the 6o&ern$ent if the e&er e.pect $e to 'oin their church! thin" their wa and
do their )idding li"e a $indless 1esse *el$s clone. I a$ an A$erican! patriotic and
proud of $ countr! and I will not watch the #onstitution )e destroed in the na$e
of "defending $arriage."
There are two $ain tpes of *andfasting! $ostl )ased on practices of the ancient
#elts. The first! which appears to )e uni5ue to Wicca in the $odern age! is the ">ear
and a 3a" handfasting! which is renewed +or not, e&er ear and one da. The
co$$it$ent here is not te$porar! )ut! at the end of the period if the couple can not
honestl sa that the still lo&e each other! the )egin proceedings to fi. or end the
$arriage. A Priest+ess, will ad&ise participants in this cere$on to not ha&e children
unless a contract stipulating custodial rights is created in ad&ance.
The 2econd handfasting is $uch li"e the 1udeo-#hristian $arriage! and is for "As long
as lo&e shall last!" as opposed to "till death do us part." The reasoning )ehind this is
two-fold! firstl! Wiccans )elie&e a $arriage without lo&e is a sha$! and should )e
dissol&ed as soon as possi)le. 2econdl! Wiccans don-t )elie&e that death "parts"
lo&ers! and $an Wiccan widow+er,s tal" a)out "feeling" their spouse! who often
con&inces the$ to "$o&e on." 2o$eti$es! a ear and a da handfasting is re5uired
)efore a priestess will handfast a couple indefinitel.
In order to )e $arried in <ni&ersal 7clectic Wicca! and $an other Wiccan traditions!
a couple is as"ed to inter&iew with the Priest+ess!, first as a couple! and then
indi&iduall. The purpose of this is not so that the Priest+ess, can &eto the
handfasting! )ut so that +s,he can find hidden issues the couple $a ha&e! and help
the$ decide if the are reall read to "ta"e the leap."
An old tradition currentl )eing adopted ) the $asses! the pre-nuptial agree$ent
has e.isted in Wicca as "The #ontract" for ti$e eternal. This is fairl self-
e.planator! a couple sits down and hashes out the contingencies for di&orce and the
rules for $arriage. Part of the #ontract is the (ediation #o$$it$ent! a state$ent in
which the couple $a"es the co$$it$ent to ta"e an decision that alters the contract
to $ediation with a neutral third part! prefera)l the priest+ess, or co&en scri)e who
helped write the contract.
Once that is ta"en care of! the $arriage ta"es place! often incorporating an nu$)er
of &aried traditions into each cere$on. #o$$onest is the ")roo$ 'u$ping" of
po&ertDsla&er weddings! with the )roo$ then decorated and hung on the couple-s
door to announce their handfasting to the co$$unit. *andfasting actuall ta"es its
na$e fro$ the act of )inding the couple-s hands with their cords or a special
handfasting cord! often wo&en fro$ two-colored fa)ric. (an priest+esse,s actuall
schedule "chec"-ups" to insure a health $arriage! and ta"e a $uch $ore acti&e role
than $ost clerg.
#hoosing a "ci&il" $arriage to )ac" up our spiritual one is a delicate choice. On one
hand! ou gain a docu$ent and recognition that ou are $arried ) the go&ern$ent!
this can help ta.wise and insurancewise and is especiall helpful if ou wish to adopt
our spouse-s na$e! howe&er! the pri$ar purpose of the $arriage certificate is to
$a"e $one! and ) choosing to )e $arried ) a religious cere$on and not a ci&il
one ou are not onl sa&ing $one! )ut lodging a for$ of protest. <ntil such ti$e as
alternati&e $arriages are recogni/ed ) the go&erne$ent! a "ci&il" $arriage is
spirituall worthless.
-The Wiccan 3i&orce-
Ine&ita)l! an discussion of $arriage needs a discussion of di&orce! and Wiccan
$arriages are no different. A good point a)out ha&ing a religious-onl $arriage is
that the di&orce fees! which generall ha&e a $ini$u$ of one-hundred dollars! are
a&oided. This does not $ean that the $arriage 'ust pic"s up and dissol&es. (an
pschologists who don-t shun all things e&en re$otel religious reco$$end a
"cere$on" for di&orce to aid in the grief process that di&orce causes! and $ore and
$ore 1udeo- #hristian churches +those recogni/ing di&orce, are adopting the$.
We-&e alwas had one! and it-s called a *andparting.
*andparting! li"e *andfasting! isn-t ta"en lightl! although $an *andfastings that
fall apart "peacefull" don-t trul need to )e parted! and the couple goes their $err
was! si$pl affir$ing "it-s o&er" to all parties in&ol&ed. With a >ear and a 3a
*andfastings! it is custo$ar to call the friends! clerg and fa$il and tell the$
ou-&e opted not to renew our *andfasting at the end of the ter$! a *andparting is
onl done in $atters of e.tre$e difficult in these cases! and is $ade $ore difficult
when the parties don-t follow their wedding contracts. In long-ter$ *andfastings
gone sour! the participants are encouraged to *andpart rituall for pschological
purposes! )ut again! if an easier for$ of ")rea"ing it off" wor"s for ou! than do it.
I feel it necessar to sa here that $arriages! Wiccan! #atholic! whate&er! are held
together ) words and lo&e! and that no (agic"al act $a"es a couple insepara)le.
People change! and the person ou handfast with $a not )e the sa$e person ten
ears fro$ now. As we grow! and change! handpartings happen! and filling our
handfasting with tal" of "eternit" and "through all our li&es and incarnations!" is
da$ning an possi)le *andparting to increased difficult. 7arlier! I $entioned "plan
4-s!" this is another e.a$ple of one! and 'eopardi/ing it in ad&ance doesn-t $a"e
$arriage an$ore secure. If ou lo&e each other so $uch that ou wish to )e
together until the world ends! then sta in lo&e! and )e handfasted! "as long as lo&e
shall last." Who needs a greater ti$e period than that@
When a handfasting goes sour! $an Wiccan Priest+esse,s e.pect a trial separation
of those the-&e *andfasted! a sort of "tring it on for si/e!" si$ilar in $a"eup and
reasoning to the trial *andfasting! this pre&ents unnecessar *andpartings.
*andpartings that are finali/ed re5uire an inter&iew! contract and $ediation! 'ust li"e
the *andfasting! and is ta"en &er seriousl ) the Wiccan population! )ut unli"e a
state di&orce! a *andparting can easil )e tailored indi&iduall! allowing the
participants $ore leewa in their decisions. Often! a *andparted couple with children
will sta together as friends under the sa$e roof to raise their children together! with
a good contract! respect and praer! anthing is possi)le.
-The 0ater >ears-
In $an traditions! passage rites $ar" the passage into later $aturit! )ut so$e feel
that the e$phasis placed on "cronings" and si$ilar rituals lessen the e.periences for
people at other stages of life! or e&en discredit those people. ( own teacher! newl
oung at IE! flat out refused a "croning" ) her co&en! saing "age is )ut a pair of
dates and the length )etween the$! and if cronings are indicati&e of e.perience! wh
offer it now! not ten or twent ears ago@" If a person desires one! and is willing to
see" out the ritual in a tradition that "officiall" pro&ides such rites! then the
priest+ess, should assist in all was possi)le! )ut should refrain fro$ reco$$ending
it. One person! upon reco$$ending it of 4ell #o&en-s oldest $e$)er recei&ed a
sandal upside the head! shot fro$ a)out :; feet ) so$eone who $ost people would
descri)e as a "little old lad" with perfect accurac! who screeched! "call $e a crone
again and the other one-s going so$ewhere worse." I ha&e seen wo$en who re&el in
the title! )ut since <ni&ersal 7clectic Wicca teaches that e.perience and acti&e
learning +not 'ust age!, create wisdo$! $uch of the "point" of such rituals is lost.
-"The Final Ritual"-
Perhaps at no ti$e in our life does religion count $ore than the $o$ent when we
reali/e we-re ding. I re$e$)er a drea$ I had! earl on in $ studies! I was in the
ele&ator of the #N tower +I despise ele&ators, and had gotten in at the top with a
#atholic priest and another Wiccan. At the $o$ent the doors closed! the ca)le
snapped and we were all going to die in fi&e $inutes +crashing in ele&ators in drea$s
is slow! I guess,. The other Wiccan and I i$$ediatel praed to either )e rescued or
die painlessl! then I turned to the priest and confessed e&erthing I-d e&er done that
was non-#atholic in $ life + I don-t "now how! )ut I condensed it to a few phrases!,
and! upon confession de$anded a reall 5uic" penance +the priest said that
con&ersion was enough!, and I was "forgi&en." Then! I wo"e up.
I i$$ediatel went to $ priestess! near so))ing! I didn-t understand what $
su)conscious was saing! was I not reall Wiccan@ Was I a closet #atholic@ What
happened after I was forgi&en! did I die@ 2he told $e to $editate on the $eaning of
that drea$ )efore )ed! and sure enough I had the sa$e drea$! onl we were
rescued $ere seconds after the drea$ had ended )efore. As we got out! the other
Wiccan +$ conscious, loo"ed at $e! confused! "ou-&e one of the $ost de&out
Wiccans I "now! what happened in there@" she de$anded. The drea$ $e thought for
a $o$ent! then said! "well! if we had died! and he was right! I sa&ed $ )utt! if he
was wrong! I "now our 6ods would understand." The priest ca$e up to us at that
point! and the drea$ $e felt e$)arrassed for ha&ing said that in front of hi$. I tried
to stutter out an apolog! )ut he )rushed it off! saing! "That-s o"a! e&erone is
#atholic right )efore the die!" then I wo"e up again.
I-&e told nu$erous students this drea$! finding that while aspects of it were fairl
uni5ue! si$ilar issues had )een )rought up in the drea$s and dialogs of nu$erous
Wiccans. #onfession! and the idea that a few words and actions will settle all of our
post-life pro)le$s! is &er appealing. Wicca is one of the few religions that doesn-t
sa! )eond a shadow of a dou)t! what happens after we die. In general! Wiccans
)elie&e in reincarnation! that the soul goes on to )e ")orn again" into a new )od! to
learn new lessons and continue its learning 5uest! )ut we don-t pro$ise that we ha&e
the answer. There is si$pl &er little proof. Out of )od e.periences of #hristians
so$eti$es include wo$en instead of 1esus! and 1esus has appeared in the out of
)od e.periences of Wiccans! alwas s$iling and e$)racing the$! so e&en the
")eond a shadow of dou)t " )eliefs of new age #hristians don-t ring true. I-ll put it
si$pl! we don-t "now.
To pre&ent the detri$ent of the growing gra&eard! $an Wiccans choose cre$ation
after donation as their $ethod of choice once the die. This allows the parts of the
)od that can gi&e life to go on! and the parts that cannot are reduced ) the
cre$ation process. The ashes are traditionall $i.ed with soil in which a tree is
planted! $an people choose to ha&e a plate placed near or on the tree! or a
$e$orial )ench with an inscription )eside the tree. The actual planting cere$on is
written ) friends! fa$il! and occasionall pre-written ) the plantee. One is
included in 4oo" Three: A 4oo" Of 0ight. It-s )est to loo" into the legalit of this in
our area )efore ou perfor$ a planting! in $an places! an urn is re5uired and in
others the ashes $a )e planted in a gra&eard! )ut not on pri&ate land.
#hapter Nine: 7thics! 2ituational 7thics and the "T" word.
7arlier! we tal"ed of the Fi&e Points of Wiccan )elief! and forging a personal $oralit. 7thics are
)eliefs! $orals and teachings all rolled into one! a sort of catch-all phrase for what we )elie&e to
)e true. Occasionall we as"! "Is so$ething 7thical@!" )ut ethical $erel $eans that it follows! or
is li"e ethics! and ethics can )e )ad or good! so we need a personal definition of "ethical" in hand
)efore we tr to deter$ine whether or not so$ething is ethical.
One definition of 7thical contains onl those ethics that are "6ood!" or "Right!" )ut the difference
)etween "good" and "right" raises the 5uestion of the worth of wondering "what is ethical@"
again. With these this state$ent well in hand! a student once le&eled a lecture of $ine. "Wh
tal" a)out ethics at all in a discourse on Wicca@" he as"ed! "It-s co&ered ) the Fi&e Points! isn-t
To a degree! I-&e alread said all there is to sa a)out ethics! and put it in such a wa that ou
can glean the rest fro$ personal e.perience. The Fi&e Points of Wiccan 4elief are a circle! The
Rede i$plies the Bar$ic 0aw i$plies 2elf-Responsi)ilit i$plies #onstant I$pro&e$ent i$plies
Attune$ent i$plies The Rede! constantl rotating! de&eloping new le&els of interdependenc and
indi&idual strength. To a degree! an discussion could end there! "these are the fi&e Points!
)oo$! ou-re done!" et the feeling of "so$ething $issing!" would continue.
In the past! I ha&e as"ed people! "which is )etter! to )e good or right@" This is one of the pri$e
5uestions of Wiccan )elief! often as"ed ) Wiccans of #hristians. We cannot co$prehend that a
6od would set down a set of rules that were restricti&e to the hu$an race! and conde$n that
person for a $atter of se$antics. To an e.tre$e degree! the ethical Wiccan )elie&es in right and
wrong! and in what we li"e to call "4asic *u$an Truths." 4asic *u$an Truths are those things
that nearl e&er culture considers right! )eond a shadow of a dou)t! things li"e helping those
in need and respecting e&erone e5uall. #ultures with fewer 4asic Truths! and thus fewer )asic
rights! are usuall ruled ) the corrupted few! and the su)'ugated $asses are $isera)le!
regardless of religion.
To the #hristian! settling North A$erica! the indigenous peoples were "wrong" )ecause the
weren-t #hristian! and when star&ing Puritans were helped ) nati&es! the reasoning the
Pl$outhites ga&e was along the lines of "6od is acting through the$!" or! " the-&e learned to
)e #hristian ) watching us." (ore li"el! the Puritans were recipients of a 4asic Truth! ">ou
don-t let our neigh)or star&e! no $atter how cra/ he is." While Wicca is pacifistic! $ost
Wiccans )elie&e in the upholding of truths! in )asic hu$an rights! and $ost of us would willingl
die if it would sa&e or return the hu$an rights of another person. There is a large population of
$ilitar Wiccans! who are as"ed "how can ou )e a part of the industrial war $achine and still )e
Wiccan@!" and this is si$pl not fair. The $ilitar Wiccans are fighting for hu$an rights and the
deser&e our respect! not our criticis$! $an of the$ do what we aren-t )ra&e enough to do for
oursel&es. As we grow! and our population swells! the $inorit of good-intentioned )ut
'udg$ental Wiccans will need to unlearn their Puritanical traits and decide to )e "good" instead
of "right."
It I2 )etter to )e good! e&en if ou-re not right. It was )etter to "ill Na/is to sa&e 1ews! Ro$! and
e&erone else i$prisoned in World War Two than to allow the Na/is their right to conde$n
"cri$inals." Technicall! $an countries in World War Two weren-t )eing "right" ) fighting
*itler! it wasn-t "our" )usiness! )ut to )e "good" we needed to act! not in the na$e of 6od or
#ountr! )ut in the na$e of *u$anit. *u$anit is so$ething we all share. Ad$ittedl! if a
%ulcan starship pulled into the <N par"ing lot and said! "there are other worlds out there!" the
rest of hu$anit would )eco$e a lot $ore unified! )ut I don-t predict that for another few ears!
if e&er! so if we can )egin thin"ing on a planetar le&el now! thin" of the welco$ing co$$ittee.
In at least two )oo"s on Wicca! I-&e seen the 5uestion! "Is Wicca Political@!" )oth ti$es! this was
answered "No." This is WRON6. Wicca is a religion and religion! courtes of the Radical Right! is
now political. As Wiccans! we ha&e to get in&ol&ed in the preser&ation of free speech and the
right to practice our religion! the sal&ation of the earth and "eeping praer O<T of pu)lic schools.
We need to &ote! )ecause no &ote $eans no &oice! and our &oice! shouting! cring or singing!
needs to )e heard.
-2ituational 7thics-
When "desperate ti$es call for desperate $easures!" we in&o"e what are called 2ituational
ethics. In Wicca! 2ituational ethics often include actions that )rea" the Wiccan Rede! )ecause the
Wiccan Rede is so all-enco$passing. I ha&e! ou ha&e! and we will in the future. There is an
actual wa of e&aluating the situation along Wiccan guidelines! de&eloped ) $self! Ta$rn and
0ad (artia of 4ell #o&en! it is: Wiccan 2ituational 0aw
The Rede is the law of the 6ods! and in our growth and education! we are presented with the
occasional $o$ent where the Rede does not appl. These $o$ents are:
8: When *ar$ing one sa&es $an.
?: When *ar$ing the 2elf sa&es $an.
:: In cases where a person-s 'ustifia)le Will $a )e against the law! or the 2pirit of the 0aw.
E: When 4asic truthsD*u$an Rights are )eing %iolated.
G: Other $o$ents si$ilar to those a)o&e not full defined )ut still containing "1ust cause."
Actions defined ) 2ituational 7thics $ust )e ta"en onl with full "nowledge and acceptance of
The 0aw of Return and the 7thic of 2elf Responsi)ilit! and are the actions of an indi&idual and
group actions $ust )e decided on an indi&idual )asis.
(ost Wiccan #lerg are grilled on 2ituational 7thics and are good people to tal" to when the
decision 'ust can-t )e $ade alone. No Wiccan #lerg $e$)er would 7%7R tr to $a"e our
decision for ou! howe&er! so go with the "nowledge that the decision will )e ours.
-Teaching! the 3readed T word-
The decision to "widen the circle" ) teaching is not to )e ta"en lightl. It-s &er eas to get
")urned" ) people who practice their for$ of Wicca without the )enefit of $oralit. 7.pect at
least one student in e&er )unch who is going to steal our )oo"s and glean no a$ount of
$oralit fro$ ou. If ou don-t get one! consider ourself luc"! and if ou get $ore than one!
ree&aluate how ou are finding our students! or $a)e our "ar$a. I can sa happil that such
students ne&er 2TA> in Wicca! )ecause their antics aren-t condoned and the instant "wa&e our
$agic wand!" tpe of power the desire isn-t found here +or anwhere else! although so$e
groups ad&ertise it.,
Teaching is a part of learning! so teaching in order to learn is i$portant in Wicca! and a group of
e5uals in a sharing circle is as good! if not )etter than the a lecture set up. >ou are "good
enough" to teach when ou feel read to! so tr! e.peri$ent! and if ou fall! get )ac" up. (an
<ni&ersalist <nitarian churches rent roo$s! and I reco$$end teaching outside our house
+classes at ho$e can )e disastrous!8, so ou $a wish to loo" into such things.
Networ"ing! so$eti$es called "We) Wea&ing!" is i$portant to anone teaching! and there is
a)solutel nothing wrong with as"ing a student for references and chec"ing the$. Alwas "eep a
record of the students who-&e )urned ou! and warn anone who as"s a)out the$. Feel free to
use euphe$is$ instead of accusation. "Well! all $ )oo"s went $issing when he was here!"
won-t cause a lawsuit and "he stole all $ )oo"s!" $ight.
Ne&er start a class with "friends" if it-s going to )e the sit and teach tpe! )ecause the stresses of
the teacher-student and "friend" relationship can )e straining. Friends are friends! not students!
so teach the$ as e5uals and let the$ teach ou. ( e.perience has taught $e howe&er! that
when a student decides to )eco$e a teacher +s,he "nows e.actl how +s,he wants it done! and
no a$ount of ad&ice can change that. I-ll let ou do as ou will! then! with one last warning fro$
an old 4oo" of 2hadows! "When thrice as"ed of secrets or (agic" ) the sa$e student! when
rushed towards those things $stical and potentiall powerful! re$o&e that student li"e a cancer
fro$ our class! lest all our students )e un)alanced ) greed."
#hapter Ten:(agic"
+I should $ention here that (agic" and Wicca are not insepara)le! so$e Wiccans use (agic"!
so$e don-t. The 6ods gi&e us tools! this is one of the$.,
What is (agic"@ Well! there is the Wiccan stoc" answer +let $e pull it here fro$ $ )ag of
standard trin"ets..., "(agic" is the art of getting results."8 Of course! there is the $ore
i$pressi&e "(agic" is the 2cience and Art of causing #hange to occur in confor$it with Will!" of
#rowle-s (agic" in Theor and Practice! )ut unless ou wish to i$press that reall cute
(etaphsicist at wor" the first one-s easier. I chose to define the (agic used in Wicca with Wicca
in its definition "Wiccan (agic" is change! directed ) the 2elf! e$powered ) the Will and
decided ) (oralit." An old na$e for alche$ists and (ages ali"e is trans$uter! one who
trans$utes +alters, one thing into another. The practice of (agic" is ta"ing one thing! and
creating another.
There are four )road groupings of (agic" in Wicca! along with #ere$onial and *igh (agic"!
which! while done ) $an Wiccans in ritual! are not religious in nature. These are #ele)rator
(agic"! Ritual (agic"! *ealing (agic" and personal $agic"s.
#ele)rator (agic"! (agic" done in ritual to honor the 6ods! is ad&anced praer! as is Ritual
(agic"! which is the (agic"al aspects of our rituals and cere$onies +to clarif! Ritual (agic" is
done at cere$onies! and #ere$onial (agic" has nothing to do with Wiccan ritual practice.,
*ealing (agic"s are self-e.planator! and Personal (agic"s co$)ine #ele)rator! *ealing and
Ritual (agic"s with "lesser" or "low" (agic" for personal reasons. A e.a$ple of Personal (agic"s
in a non-Wiccan setting are no&enas pu)lished in co$$unit newspapers. The usuall in&o"e
2t. 1ude! and follow a ritual where) the no&ena is praed for a set nu$)er of das! then
pu)lished! and the praer co$es true. This is a )it "ho"e" for $ost Wiccans! )ut I "now of two
#atholo-Wiccan trads using #atholic saints that use no&enas $uch as other Wiccans use wish-
)uring and si$ilar rituals.
#ele)rator (agic" usuall is power raised in the circle! directed toward the earth for its own
usage! or directed toward a god or goddess as a sort of to"en with a praer. Thin" of #ele)rator
$agic and regular praer li"e a deli&er ser&ice! anone can deli&er a telegra$ +praer,! )ut
#ele)rator (agic" is li"e deli&ering a singing telegra$! co$plete with flower )ou5uet and four-
part har$onies. We wish to show praise! glor! welco$e and lo&e for our welco$e is
an intoned cere$on! co$plete with stifled awns and ra$pant )oredo$. The 6ods want us to
)e happ! to sur&i&e to the fullest and )est of our a)ilities. "If I can dance wildl )eneath the full
$oon! the sand )etween $ toes and $ shouts of 'o echoing in the night air! how di&ine! how
perfect! how hol."?
There are pri$aril two )ranches or "sciences" of (agic" used in all Wiccan (agic"! 2$pathetic
(agic"! which in&ol&es doing a s$)olic action to achie&e a real action! and 3na$ic (agic"!
which in&ol&es using the )od-s powers in a non-standard wa. A few 2$pathetic #har$s are
gi&en in part three! )ut a good lesson on s$pathetic (agic" can )e found in an discourse on
Wicca! and I-ll lea&e tal" of it to those with e.pertise. Pschic a)ilities! *ealing touches! etc.! are
$indD)od dna$ics! as are all of the "untapped" powers loc"ed within the 2elf.
The "2elf!" or "Integrated Total 2elf!" which we spo"e of earlier! is the entiret of the $entalit
and personalit of a )eing. "Will!" "True Will" or "Total Will!" is the force of the 2elf. One of $
students ca$e up with the ter$ "IT2 Will!" to re$e$)er the two and their relationship. >ou $ust
understand that "The Will is the sla&e of the 2elf! and has no li$itations.": With that in hand!
and a health dose of $oralit! the Wiccan i$pro&es hisDher life as $uch as +s,he can. 2trength
of Will i$pro&es the le&el of "can"! as does )elief! )ut it see$s that! as ou grow in Will! ou
need less and find $ore en'o$ent in the s$aller things! so it-s a )it self-defeating.
I had the good fortune to "Fall in" with a group of (etaphsicists! nic"na$ed "the old $en"
)ecause $ost of the$ were o&er G; and argued o&er (etaphsics as easil as the argued o&er
Tal$ud! and since! of the eight! se&en were 1ewish and the eighth a self-proclai$ed heretic!
Tal$udic argu$ents ca$e easil. 0i"e a "id in a fantas no&el! I duc"ed into a coffee shop to get
out of the rain and heard this whispered argu$ent in the corner where four of the $en were
sitting. 4eing nos! I got a drin"! sat at the ta)le ne.t to the$! put on $ headphones +which
were off, and pretended to read $ )oo"! listening intentl.
Now! as a teenager! I-d tried 2atanis$! I thin" $ost of us do when we reali/e "con&entional"
religion doesn-t fit us. Fro$ there! I went into a &er "dar"" neo-goth #rowle sect and wore all
)lac"! )ut I was the onl fe$ale there! and I 5uic"l reali/ed that )eing the lo&e o)'ect of a
)atch of intelligent )ut wasted +in $ore was than one, teen)oppers was not $ idea of stud!
and I-d read in passing $ore #rowle then the-d read in "serious stud." At the ti$e of the
"$eeting" with the old $en I was a)solutel lusting for intelligent $etaphsical con&ersation! )ut
$ tea was gone! and I had to go )ac" to the counter for another.
Pro&idence! or $a)e the rituals praing for serious discussion! stepped in! and while I was at
the counter! one of "the Old (en" told the wo$an the were out of sugar at his ta)le. 2he was
)us as hell! so I gra))ed the sugar carrier fro$ a near) ta)le and told her "Finish what ou-re
doing! I-ll gi&e the$ this one." I had se&eral pieces of 'ewelr $ade ) a )ofriend in copper and
I was wearing a thic" )racelet on $ right ar$ with &arious $etaphsical phrases and s$)ols of
protection upon it! and a few choice phrases fro$ $etaphsical to$es.E
I purposel stretched $ ar$ a few inches fro$ the gu-s nose to place the sugar carrier on their
ta)le! repeating "notice it! notice it! notice it!" inside $ head! and sure enough! he saw it! and
as"ed $e a)out it. I as"ed hi$ if he "new what it $eant! and he said es! and as"ed if I did! and
I translated. I-ll tell ou right now! a few nights )efore I had 1onah! a good friend and #lans$an!
write the inscription out for $e! )ecause I could not read the 2cript. I )luffed $ wa in! though!
with a few choice #rowle 5uotes! a )it of *er$etic philosoph! and a $ental note to "do $
ho$ewor"" if the in&ited $e )ac". I was as"ed to pull up a was the first of se&eral
ti$es. I learned that ear two &ital lessons! (agic" WORB2 and as a rule! (etaphsicists are pigs! and the older the are the worse it is.
If ou wish to do "$ore" $agicall than the si$ple healing char$s and such! )egin our
"training" ) the da$aged Will and the da$aged 2elf. 6et rid of our addictions +s$o"ing!
too, ) affir$ing that ou Will to not ha&e the$. If ou find ou cannot 5uit! our Will is wea"er
than the addiction. I-&e )een "hoo"ed" on things )efore! and ) inflicting $ Will! I stopped.
Anone can! it-s 'ust a $easure of the ethic of 2elf- Responsi)ilit. It-s willpower! and if I ha&e
one thing! it-s willpower. I-&e "deto.ed" people ) going for the ego! and if anone out there is
addicted I-ll tell ou right here that I-$ a coward! a great! shi&ering coward who cries at $o&ies
and is so agorapho)ic that the forest at night scares $e half-witless! and I was strong enough to
5uit...what-s our e.cuse@
Once our Will is )eginning to heal! test it and strengthen it with little affir$ations of Will! li"e
con5uering fears. (ost of us are wal"ing wounded! ) affir$ing the Will! ou heal so$e wounds
and "eep fro$ )eco$ing wal"ing dead. I-ll warn ou right now that as ou grow and learn in
$etaphsics! ou will )egin to detest it. The stronger ou )eco$e the $ore ou "now! the $ore
ou "now the less ou li"e. I cannot stress enough how $uch )etter it is to gain enough power
$etaphsicall to ha&e Total 2elf and Total Will and choose to use the$ onl for inside
i$pro&e$ent. I-&e seen so $an good friends go into the "3eath" of "nowledge that I wouldn-t
wish it on anone. (an of us! strong Will or not! don-t li&e through that stage of de&elop$ent!
and fran"l! I thin" $ost of us don-t want to.
If ou use our Will outside of a religious and $oral conte.t! it-s not Wiccan! and a decision $a
co$e as ou grow in (etaphsics that $oralit isn-t a 5uestion an$ore! )ut a hindrance. I
would ne&er )e so )old as to tell anone that the are wrong! )ut if it gets to this point! ta"e a
$ental "&acation" for a few wee"s! do no (etaphsics and no ritual! then read o&er our
'ournal+s., >ou $a find that our changes are the wor" of an outside force! $a)e a "teacher"
and that ou need to "ad'ust" our path. 4alance reigns supre$e in (etaphsics and nature! and
a slow descent into dar"ness or o&er-/ealous goodness will )egin to cause har$.
As we integrate our 2elf! we need to i$pro&e all of it to sta ")alanced." 1ust as ou wouldn-t
ha$$er a nail with a rusted ha$$er with a loose head and a )ro"en handle! doing (agic" with
an i$perfect tool +2elf, is doo$ing the act to i$perfection. I$pro&e the )od! i$pro&e the $ind!
i$pro&e the Bar$a! i$pro&e it all. It-s not eas! )ut re$e$)er #onstant I$pro&e$ent. An
essential if ou plan to incorporate (agic" into ritual is that ou "now what ou )elie&e and wh!
and that ou-&e answered $an of our )asic life-5uestions.
-Ritual (agic"-
There are three (agic"al acts in $ost Wiccan Ritual +and for detail )eond what I gi&e! I suggest
d-s #o$plete 4oo" of Witchcraft
chapter 88! and on (agic" in general! #rowle-s (agic" in Theor and Practice is indispensa)le.,
These three acts are #asting the #ircle +detailed in #hapter Four! and in Part three of this wor"!
na$ed "A 4oo" of 0ight"!, For$ing the #one of Power and 6oal-directed release! and 3rawing
3own the (oonD2un. 4oth 3rawing 3own and #one of Power (agic"s re5uire our confidence in
the #ircle ou-&e cast! so practice.
The #one of Power is raised energ focused on a point a)o&e the e.act center of the cast circle.
The 7nerg $a )e raised ) chanting! dancing! toneing or an other for$ of power raising that
wor"s for ou +there are fi&e was listed in Part Two of this )oo" la)eled: "A 6ri$oire"., Once
the cone is )egun! the energ is increased and increased until it e&entuall e.plodes fro$ the
tension point of the top of the circle and is directed! usuall ) &isuali/ation! towards a goal!
either so$ething personal! li"e the healing of a friend or the ac5uisition of a new 'o)! or
so$ething esoteric and spiritual li"e "gifting" it to the 6ods or the 7arth. 4 using &isuali/ation!
i$agination or well-trained "other sight" one can see the power as a field of swirling light which
fills the circle and is contained ) the (etaphsical )oundaries of the #ircle and the Will of the
#ircle-s caster+s.,
3rawing 3own The (oon and 3rawing 3own The 2un are trad-related rituals in which the 6ods
are in&o"ed into a person. <suall this in&ol&es an ela)orate ritual! with the reading of one of the
&ersions of the #harge of the 6oddess! and si$ilar $ale charges are read for the solar &ersions!
and the "gods and goddesses" that spea" within the cere$on are fro$ )oo"s! )ut I ha&e seen
the occasional 7cstatic Wiccan group where the person who has the 6ods "drawn into" the$
actuall see$s to "channel" another )eing who spea"s to the co&en! and once! on a 4eltane
night! 0ad (artia! a &er respecta)le and not easil e.cita)le Wiccan Priestess of so$e fort
ears! )egan to recite the #harge and was seen to change drasticall )efore a)out thirt people!
and cease reading it. A surprised loo" on her face! this priestess told us how pleased she was
that we "ept our rites that e&ening! and told a co&en $e$)er who was infertile that he and his
wife would ha&e a child ) I$)olc! whereupon the priestess fainted! and didn-t co$e -round for
se&eral $inutes.
I suppose if I were reading that! I couldn-t )elie&e it! )ut I was there! and I )elie&e +as does
(art! , that we $et a Priestess of old that night! +no one thin"s it was a 6oddess! although I-&e
heard stories of 6oddesses and astral )eings 'u$ping in to cere$onies and interrupting the$ to
gi&e i$portant news! warnings and the li"e!, and she appro&ed! so we $ust )e doing so$ething
rightC +Their child! a )o! was concei&ed that night or therea)outs and )orn 1anuar ?;th! 899G,
(agic"! li"e an science! re5uires ethics! and practice without ethics or in the for$ of (agic" for
(agic"-s sa"e $a result in an nu$)er of pro)le$s. As with an science! use caution in our
e.peri$entation and start s$all.
#hapter 7le&en:Religious <nit and #o$$unit
2tudies within the 2econd #ircle also focus on the part that Wicca and the Wiccan pla in the
greater societ. A "e ele$ent of this is the e.tention of Wicca )eond personal religion and into
societal religion. What this $eans is! as we )eco$e $o&e acti&e R70I6IO<20>! we ha&e to
)eco$e $ore acti&e 2O#IA00>. 0i"e so- called "(ainstrea$" religion! as Wicca grows +and it is
growing!, it needs to pro&ide $ore for its internal co$$unit. I-&e seen $an the case of
priest+ess, )urnout fro$ Wiccan #lerg tring to pro&ide the sa$e ser&ices that the other
religions pro&ide without the )enefit of a huge congregation and "re5uired" donations.
Priest+esse,s are alread our counselors! and $ost of the$ pro&ide other ser&ices related to their
secular professions. I "now of Wiccan clerg who are $idwi&es! doctors! lawers! )an"ers and
architects! and our co$$unit is fairl good at internal referral! )ut other needs $et ) larger
churches are denied to us.
I-&e )een ho$eless! and had to sleep in a shelter! and get $ $eals ser&ed with a side of 1esus!
and let $e tell ou! it $ade it hard to not feel oppressed. I-&e had to gro&el at the feet of their
6od to sta ali&e and feel nauseous to $ &er soul while pretending to pra! so housing the
Wiccan ho$eless and feeding the Wiccan poor are &er real concerns of $ine. In the #hristian
co$$unit! "Ta"ing care of our own" is a status 5uo! )ut too often we )elie&e that we do not
ha&e the resources needed to pro&ide. The Wiccan co$$unit is huge! and those resources are
An e.a$ple fro$ real life is a wo$an we-ll call "2ara"! who had an old )arn in the )ac" fort
which connected to the road a $ile up fro$ her house. ">olanda" was a wo$an with three "ids
and an a)usi&e hus)and! and was an e.pert at redecorating! and had learned such things as
sheetroc"ing and laing floors. Aach! 2ara-s hus)and was an electrician! and had rewired the
)arn! which alread had a hoo"up with the house lines! and with 2ara-s help! he altered the
plu$)ing! putting in a second toilet and a shower upstairs and the created this wonderful tiled
)athtu) fro$ an old water trough and put it in the large tac" area of the )arn! de$olishing the
little )athroo$ to its left and creating an e.pansi&e )athroo$ co$plete with a stained glass
window $ade of whole old )ottles set in a panel of plastic! +The )ro"en and then sanded shell of
one that faces outside now houses a )ird-s nest ou can watch fro$ inside without distur)ing the
)irds., >olanda and Aach spent the su$$er &acation laing floors while >olanda-s hus)and was
awa on assign$ent! and that winter Aach added a new furnace to his own house! using the old
to heat the )arn! which the insulated and turned into one of the $ost gorgeous four )edroo$
)arn con&ersion houses I-&e e&er had the pleasure to )e in. >olanda! after a fight that left her
with a sprained wrist! )lac" ee and worse! pac"ed up the "ids one $orning and $o&ed in!
finall ha&ing a safe place fro$ which to settle their di&orce! tuc"ed awa on a )ac" road that
friends could $onitor once the restraining order was issued. After things were settled! >olanda
and her "ids $o&ed to a larger house in a cit! )ut to this da Wiccan +and 6a and 0es)ian,
wo$en and $en fleeing a)use ha&e staed in the )arn! earning their "eep ) doing chores and
wor"ing the land. Aach and 2ara-s large co&ens pro&ide food and necessities to the )arn! and
ha&e a networ" to pro&ide aid when needed! and this has caused the co&ens to grow! e&en in a
conser&ati&e area.
The total cost of refur)ishing the )arn! with donated and reccled supplies was a)out two
thousand dollars. 3i&ided )etween the fort-two $e$)ers of their two co&ens! this ca$e to
a)out EK dollars a piece o&er si. $onths. I-$ not saing we all need to )uild )arn houses! )ut
how hard would it )e to start a food )as"et progra$ for i$po&erished co&eners@ We cannot
e.pect the #hristian #hurches to pic" up ta)s for us! although dire circu$stances $a turn us to
the$! and certainl an progra$ of ours would welco$e an in need! not 'ust Wiccans...without
Pro&iding help to our own in need is especiall i$portant as the federal go&ern$ent pulls the rug
out fro$ under aid progra$s! and as churches tighten their )elts ou can )et that anone not
)elonging to $ainstrea$ religion is going to slip through the safet net. 2ince we don-t "recruit"
li"e other religions! Wicca needs to ta"e care of its $e$)ers or ris" e&entuall losing $ore than
we gain.
-A Religion of 6ood 6us-
Part of )eing Wiccan is dealing with the ideas of the $ainstrea$ churches and healing old
wounds. I! and a great nu$)er of $ co&en $e$)ers choose to call oursel&es "Wiccans" not
"Witches." This doesn-t $ean we practice a different religion! or that we-re going with the
stereotpe of the Wic"ed Witch of the West! and it doesn-t $ean we-re "wea"" or selling out. I
a$ not a Witch! I-&e said that )efore. I don-t e&en li"e the ter$ Wiccan! )ut Wittan +wise one,
isn-t recogni/ed!8 so I ta"e the lesser of two e&ils. If ou stud the word! and loo" at serious
secular discourses on its $eanings! +not pop et$ologies, ou-ll pro)a)l find that "Witch" and
"Wiccan" don-t co$e fro$ Wei5! to shape or Witan! fro$ whence we get "wit!" )ut
%icD%icceD%icca! $eaning e&il strength! fro$ which we get "%ictor!" "%ice!" and a )unch of other
dou)le-sided words. When ou sa Witch! ou fill the un"nowing ones- heads full of stereotpes!
when ou sa "Wiccan!" the either as" "what@" or ha&e heard of it. Wh )other with )aggage
we ha&e little clai$ to@ 7&en those e.ecuted "for Witchcraft" were rarel WitchesC It-d )e li"e the
6aD0es)ian! Polish and Ro$DRo$aniD6ps populations saing "we-re 1ewish" )ecause $illions
of the$ were "illed in Na/i concentration ca$ps too. >es! the persecution of the 4urning Ti$es
was )ad! es! it was an e.cuse to root out non-#hristians! )ut $ost of the Wittan were spared
)ecause of talents the-d perfected fro$ da one. 4elief creates realit! we need to cease
)elie&ing doors will sla$ and start turning the "no)sC
4 asserting our religious sel&es! and acting in unison with other religions! Wiccans gain a &oice.
One politician I spo"e to a)out school praer +she was against it alread!, said she had "Not
reali/ed" the i$pact that such praer would ha&e on non- 1udeo-#hristian religions. The Radical
"#onser&ati&e" Right sas with one side of its $outh that a $inorit has the right to affect a
change! and with the other side it tries to restrict all other $inorities. Open our $outh and
shoutC We are hereC We are readC We-re the 6ood 6us! tooC
A pa$phlet handed out to Funda$entalist #hristians ) our organi/ation contained this phrase!
"Once we-&e rid the world of child a)use! $urder! rape! lac" of respect! hunger and strife! then!
if ou still feel that wa! ou can tr to con&ert us! )ut for now! let-s get our priorities straight. If
we can-t wor" together toward the sa$e goals! we can at least not hinder each other." Wiccans
need to wor" side ) side with those who agree with our causes! and pro&e that we don-t ha&e
so$e &ast "con&ersion agenda." To us! the idea that we-re laing in wait to turn the reins of the
world into the hands of so$e fe$inist o&erseer and indoctrinate children into se.less! nationless
clones with $andator a)ortions and se.-filled free lo&e schools see$s )i/arre! e&en insane! )ut
there are &ast nu$)ers of people who actuall )elie&e thisC Perhaps ou-&e e&en accidentall
pic"ed up their )oo"s or perused their we)sites@ If ou ha&e! ou understand that the onl PR
that Wicca gets is created ) our ene$ies! and that wonderful )oo"s li"e those of 2cott
#unningha$ and others that 2*O<03 )e read ) non-Wiccans aren-tC A good part of this is this
idea of the "New Age" I spo"e of earlier . It is a fig$ent! a thing drea$ed up to classif us as
fads! a wa that those who hate us use to illustrate Wicca! classing it as a "Pet Roc"!" so$ething
that the can ignore )ecause in a few ears it will )e gone. As we grow and swell in nu$)ers! as
our secrec ends! as we la clai$ to the pre-#hristian past and show that we are not the New
Age! )ut the Old Age co$ing out of hiding ! we can as" "Who-s the Pet Roc" now@"
#hapter Twel&e: Narrowing >our Field
Although $ost people in <ni&ersal 7clectic Wicca re$ain in the 2econd #ircle
indefinitel! there are a few who choose to narrow their field and dedicate
the$sel&es to one or two aspects of The #raft. These people for$ the "Third #ircle"
of <7W.
<nli"e $an 6ardnerian-)ased trads! <7W-s Third #ircle is not seen as the ine&ita)le
conclusion to studing Wicca. It is the 2econd #ircle of <7W that #orresponds to the
"Third 3egree" of other trads! with all the powers that go with it. a 2econd #ircle
leader $a e&en )eco$e a la-$inister! a tpe of non-ordained Priest+ess,. The Third
#ircle is )oth difficult to attain and ti$e-consu$ing to )elong to! hardl the place for
the $a'orit of us! who need to "eep real! secular 'o)s or star&e awa in the
In order to )eco$e a part of the Third #ircle! ou are as"ed to $a"e a <ni5ue
contri)ution to Wicca as a whole. The creation of a Pagan Alliance! a series of articles
in Pagan $aga/ines re5uiring wor" and research and writing a )oo" are all e.a$ples
of "<ni5ue contri)utions." The point of the contri)ution is not to further Wicca! )ut to
e.pand the contri)utor. If one disco&ers nothing new in hisDher creation! the point of
it has )een lost.
There are Fi&e "schools" within the Third #ircle! called paths. (ost people who
narrow their field of stud do it within these paths! The Wa of The 2cri)e! The Wa
of The 4ard! The Wa of The Artisan! The Wa of The #ounselor and The Wa of The
2ee"er. The Fi&e Paths are si$ilar to the techni5ues of at least one 3ruidic 2chool!
and were originall created ) Ta$rn Wr$star and The 4rothers of The Wolf (oon
)ased on their e.periences with se&eral 3ruidic! Neo-3ruidic! 2ha$anistic and
Wiccan traditions which the originall incorporated into Wolf (oon Wicca! a defunct
all-$ale trad which! in its literature said it "Pic"ed up where the 3ianic tradition
du$ped us." Originall )ased on the thought that "e&er $an has his own face!" the
Fi&e Paths are traced ) its $e$)ers to a 6aulic +not 6aelic, Fa$-trad of sur&i&ing
3ruids who gathered in fi&e groups of fi&e and one "$aster circle" which consisted of
the leaders of each group. The Fi&e paths! (age! *unter! 2cri)e! 4ard and 2$ith!
reflected the practices! passed down father to son of these groups! and each $e$)er
of the group was a $aster of their path.
In <ni&ersal 7clectic Wicca! we changed the "(age" path! which supposedl has also
)een called "Alche$ist!" to "2ee"er" to represent the $odern Alche$ists who range
fro$ hard-core $etaphsicists to la) technicians to in&estigati&e reporters! anone
who uses a science to disco&er so$ething "new." 0i"ewise! "s$ith" was )oth
outdated and too narrow a grouping! so we changed it to Artisan to include anone
who phsicall creates "stuff" with his talents. 2cri)e and 4ard are relati&el
unchanged! although the su)categories of )oth are nu$erous fro$ group to group!
and "*unter" didn-t sit well with the &egetarian $e$)ership! who were nice enough
to a)stain fro$ our ritual hunts on sacred +preser&ed, land without faulting those
who chose to participate. We added the categor "counselor" )ecause of a trend we
noticed of people who see$ed to )e poor at leadership positions )ut great as
listeners! and su)di&ided it into teacher and counselor.
The 2cri)e! called First Path! includes those who choose writing as their e.pression
and those who organi/e the co&en and its wor"s into a unit. In "deep" ritual
situations! the scri)e-s ro)e is )lac"! often e$)roidered with $ulti-colored runes
representing "nowledge and 6ods of the (ind and "nowledge. Appearing in the
World of the 2cri)e is the "#ult of Psche Arisen"! which consists of at least four
people with fascinating &iews. If e&er I con&ince the$ to pu)lish their 4oo" of
2hadows or at least let $e adapt it! $a)e we-ll "now what-s going on inside their
)rains! if not their rituals.
The 4ard! called the 2econd Path! is the )ringer of "nowledge and the )earer of
news. In ritual! the 4ard is dru$$er! storteller and an nu$)er of other e.pressi&e
parts. I ad$it that I ha&e a certain fondness for this path! ha&ing worn the 2"ro)e
at $ first Third #ircle cere$on. The 2"ro)e! the ritual 4ardic ro)e is a light )lue!
often with e$)roidered #eltDPict-li"e "notwor". Occasionall! a #o&en led ) a 4ard
chooses to practice one of the 4ardic trads! and all of the $e$)ers are trained
toward the Third circle and the 2"ro)e. This tpe of 4ardic Wicca is 'ust one of a
nu$)er of <ni&ersal 7clectic Wicca su)-groups and one of the infinite possi)ilities for
speciali/ation within the trad.
The Artisan! The 7arthro)ed Third Path! is the creator! the one who wor"s with
herDhis hand to for$ the o)'ects used in Ritual. The Artisan-s talents range fro$ chef
to gardener to weapons$ith! and &ar widel fro$ person to person. One Artisan I
"now sas he is a person who "ga&e his heart to Wicca ears ago and now needs to
plunge )oth hands into it and $a"e it grow." Of <ni&ersal 7clectic Wicca Third #ircle
$e$)ers who consider the$sel&es "3ruid! non-Wiccan!" 'ust under one half are
Artisans! $ost of the rest are 2ee"ers.
The Path of The 2ee"er! the Fourth path! see$s to attract the lion-s share of
(etaphsicists and "standard" scientists. In the trad fro$ which we learned of the
2ee"er! he is the (age! disco&ering new things to teach the co&en. Two i$portant
su)groups currentl are for$ed on The 2ee"er-s Path! The (age! one who has
dedicated hi$self to (agic"! and The 6eo$ancer! one who has dedicated his (agic"
to the studDhealing of the 7arth. Another na$e for 6eo$ancer is 2ee"er-druid! and
was "added" ) the initial $e$)ers of <ni&ersal 7clectic Wicca! who! as I-&e said!
)rought a lot of their 3ruidis$ into <ni&ersal 7clectic Wicca.
The oungest path in <ni&ersal 7clectic Wicca is The Path of The #ounselor! which
has e.isted for a)out two ears and is generating so$e e.cite$ent and reshuffling in
the #ircles. Originall! The #ounselor was an inacti&e priest+ess,! )ut a large nu$)er
of people appeared who wanted ad&isor or teacher positions )ut not leadership! and
this Path appeared to us with the$. (an Third #ircle #ounselors )eco$e non-
ordained priests or ad&isor to a Priest. In Ritual situations where a co&en has decided
to use the traditional ro)e colors! counselors either wear deep! co)alt or na& )lue or
e$erald green. The green represents the fertile $ind sown ) a teacher! the deep
)lue is a co$)ination of 4ard and 2ee"er! a person whose 'o) it is to "eep the
co$$unit aware of the new de&elop$ents and disco&eries and use tales of histor
to help with present da situations.
I find it hard to )elie&e in a tradition in which ou cannot achie&e a position without
contacting a *igh Priest and tra&eling to undergo so$e rite in which ou $agicall
"4eco$e" what ou "now ou alread are. In <ni&ersal 7clectic Wicca! the Third
#ircle is the onl "#ertified" #ircle! and the reason for this is unfortunate! )ut si$ple.
There are people out there who "clai$" to ha&e a degree )ut don-t. I don-t $ean the
people who )elong to strange traditions or ha&e trained the$sel&es! I $ean people
who sa "I a$ a u$pteenth-degree whate&er with this tradition!" without e&er
gaining that degree. In <ni&ersal 7clectic Wicca we as" that a person see"ing a
#ertificate of the Third #ircle )e inter&iewed ) a Priest+ess, and that that person
sign a docu$ent that sas that the will follow the Rules of <ni&ersal 7clectic Wicca.
This can )e done o&er the phone and ) $ail when needed. When The #hurch of
<ni&ersal 7clectic Wicca has the person-s signed 3eclaration of Intent and a cop or
picture of hisDher <ni5ue contri)ution the priest+ess, recei&es a #ertificate! which
has a eight-digit rando$ nu$)er attached to it. The onl nu$)ers on file are those
nu$)ers we-&e issued! and the na$e on the certificate is the onl na$e those
nu$)ers will go with. This sste$ isn-t perfect! )ut it does see$ to $a"e fraud a
little less pre&alent in <ni&ersal 7clectic Wicca than in so$e traditions I won-t
-On clerg-
<ni&ersal 7clectic Wicca has three tpes of clerg! 0a (inisters! 7lected Priests and
Ordained Priests. Regardless of title! all #lerg are elected ) their co&en! either in
pairs or separatel. Positions are held for a ear and a da! with elections held the
da a ter$ runs out. Regardless of a person-s clerical title! so$eone who is re-elected
for ten ears straight is said to )e a "*igh" Priest+ess, OF T*AT #O%7N and is
e.pected to step down for at least a ear and let another hold the reins! acting as an
ad&isor to the co&en-s leader. 4efore a person can as" for a &ote and )e considered
for the position! +s,he needs to pro&e that the ha&en-t $erel sat around ")eing" a
priest+ess, and that the-&e pro&ided a significant ser&ice to the co&en. A lea&e of
a)sence ) a priest or priestess with a theological purpose! such as studing for a
degree rele&ant to their position or writing the tradition-s te.t)oo" allows "ti$e off"
for those holding the position of Priest+ess, without loss of title. 0i"ewise! anone
who has e&er held the title is still called a "priest+ess,! although not $an choose to
do so.
(an <ni&ersal 7clectic Wicca #o&ens ha&e no Third #ircle (e$)ers! their leaders!
2econd #ircle $e$)ers who-&e )een elected to the co&en leadership are called "0a-
(inisters." A 0a-(inister can do e&erthing a Priest+ess, can do e.cept teach people
a)o&e the 2econd #ircle! perfor$ ci&il *andfastings or $ediate *andfasting
contracts. The $a'orit of <7W-s co&en leadership are 0a-(inisters. 0a-(inistr
allows for a lessening of accounta)ilit to the co&en and is the $ore effecti&e
position for those without the ti$e to dedicate to intense Theological discourse! crisis
inter&ention and e&erthing else the co&en $ight re5uire of the$.
7lected Priest+esse,s are Third #ircle $e$)ers who ha&e )een elected to #o&en
0eadership. Their position as a $e$)er of the Third #ircle allows the$ to teach other
people at that le&el! as no one in <7W can teach )eond their own le&el. 7lected
Priest+esse,s $a perfor$ *andfastings! )ut the are not recogni/ed ) the state.
7lected Priest+esse,s whose secular careers as Fa$il 0awers! 2ocial wor"ers or
Professional (ediators gi&e the$ special talent in $ediating a handfasting contract
$a do so! )ut those without such e.perience $a not.
Ordained Priest+esse,s ha&e gone a step )eond election. Ordination &aries fro$
2tate to 2tate! and place to place and it is the ordained Priest+esse,s who$ the state
recogni/es as Religious 0eaders. While $an states ha&e ordination procedures that
the candidate will ha&e to follow! The #hurch of <ni&ersal 7clectic Wicca has
guidelines which $ust )e $et )efore we allow so$eone to )eco$e ordained. I will
)e fran" with ou! these ordination Procedures were not in place when I first )eca$e
a Priestess! if the had )een! I would not ha&e )een ordained. I a$ pleased to sa!
howe&er! that I ha&e since gone through each and e&er one of these re5uire$ents.
Ordination Procedures of The #hurch of <ni&ersal 7clectic Wicca
"#andidates for Ordination $ust )e Third #ircle (e$)ers who-&e )een elected to two ter$s as
co&en leader. One of these ter$s $a-&e )een as a 2econd #ircle 0a-(inister. The #andidate
$ust-&e studied for at least one ear each in an two of the $ain paths of The Third #ircle!
either under an Ordained Priest+ess, or under a Third circle $e$)er of that path. The #andidate
$ust )e sponsored for Ordination ) an Ordained Priest+ess,! this Priest+ess, will ser&e as the
#andidate-s Ad&isor throughout the proceedings. In addition to these ecclesiastical re5uire$ents!
the candidate for ordination $ust )e a *igh 2chool 6raduate with a true diplo$a! 673 graduates
are ta"en on a case ) case )asis and e&en then! &er rarel. The candidate $ust de$onstrate
an in depth "nowledge of Wicca! <ni&ersal 7clectic Wicca and #o$parati&e Theolog )
discourse )efore a council consisting of a pre-first circle student! graduates of the First! 2econd
and Third #ircle and an Ordained Priest. In addition! the candidate for ordination $ust-&e
co$pleted at least 8K hours of college-le&el course wor" in *u$an 2er&ices! the 2ocial 2ciences
andDor #o$parati&e theolog! in order to count toward ordination! this course wor" will not )e
counted if the final andDor cu$ulati&e grade was less than 4 +:.;,. 4efore The #hurch of
<ni&ersal 7clectic Wicca will recogni/e a Priest+ess, as "ordained" +s,he $ust co$plete se&eral
tas"s re5uested ) the ordained Priest+ess, ad&ising hi$Dher. These tas"s $ust )e designed to
help point out and correct a fault or wea"ness in the candidate-s stle of 0eadership."
As ou can see! ordination is not for e&erone! and ) no $eans should anone e&er
feel "Pushed" in that direction. As alwas! whate&er wor"s for ou is the )est thing
for ou to do.
In the Third #ircle! $uch of our stud is self-directed! and those who li"e to ha&e
tas"s! hard or si$ple! set out )efore the$ in neat little rows are warned out of the
Third #ircle. I ad$it! howe&er! that I ha&e seen a few 2cri)es who were $ore
"secretar to this or that priest" than "2cri)e." One assu$es that such arrange$ent
is ) choice.
>ou $a-&e noticed we spea" $ore of "co&ens" in the Third #ircle! this is )ecause we
)elie&e that ad&anced wor" in Wicca re5uires an e.panding circle! people to )ounce
our ideas off. It $a ta"e ears )efore ou find e&en two people who ou wish in
our co&en! )ut a co&en of three is )etter than solitude at this le&el! so a co&en of
three it is.
A co&en in <ni&ersal 7clectic Wicca isn-t alwas a group of people gathering to do
their rituals together. A <7W-s definition of co&en also includes )ands of solitaries
gathering together for discussion and decision $a"ing! and one should ) no $eans
feel that the need to gi&e up anthing to 'oin a co&en. If it isn-t a $ostl positi&e
e.perience +e&er co&en 3O72 ha&e "off" das!, then lea&e. 0i"ewise! don-t $a"e the
$ista"e of "holding together" a co&en that has no "che$istr!" it onl leads to anger
on the part of the ill-suited co&en and the ill-suited priest+ess., <nfortunatel! I
spea" fro$ e.perience.
#hapter Thirteen: Personal Re$e$)rances.
Well! there it is! all of <ni&ersal 7clectic Wicca in its entiret! with so$e o$issions of course!+I
could spend a whole chapter on "septs" the traditions within the tradition! )ut I thin" ou-&e had
enough of $e ) nowC, and so$e nice little additions courtes of Ta$rn Wr$star! who has
decided to use his old craft na$e to preser&e his identit and 1onah Windsinger! who also
declines to spea" openl. >ou $a )e wondering how! or wh e&en! the tas" of writing this wor"
ca$e to $e! I $ean! I-&e )een a priestess since 899? or so! and $ initial priestesship was held
in dispute ) $ co&en for 5uite a while. I was a relati&e newco$er to Wicca! although I feel $
$o$ raised $e $ore Wiccan than she "new! and the co&en had a hard ti$e with $ "sailing"
into the Third #ircle.
I-&e alwas )een a tad $entall hper-acti&e! I get one thing in $ $ind and I )loc" e&erthing
else out. I )reathed <7W in when I encountered it. It said! I disco&ered! e&erthing I-d )een
saing for ears. I won-t den that $ personal introduction to Wicca was less than spectacular.
The first )oo" anone ga&e $e on Wicca was The 2piral 3ance! and I "new that the traditions
and practices 'ust weren-t writen for the earth >an"ees of the snow)ound northeast. Than"full!
I had a &er cool 3ianic Priestess go! "well! $a)e this isn-t the right wa for ou." 2he
introduced $e to a wo$an fro$ $ area who I-d $et in passing a)out a $illion ti$es. This
wo$an! a 6ardnerian Priestess! was creating a tradition after lea&ing the 6ardnerian group she-d
)een with since the si.ties! and she-d gathered up a $icroco&en of dissenters who i$$ediatel
lo&ed $e to death. I re$e$)er snea"ing out to go to rituals! e&en though! in retrospect! $
$other pro)a)l would-&e let $e go! and running to $ teacher-s house after high school so that
I could ha&e a lesson! then )e dri&en ho$e in ti$e to pass the )us and get in )efore $o$ called
to chec" on $e fro$ wor".
I-&e had so$e of the )est disco&eries of $ life since then! li"e finding out that the girl in *igh
2chool that I wanted to tell so )adl that I was a Wiccan! and training to )e a priestess! was the
daughter of a Wiccan Priest and wouldn-t- ha&e laughed at $e at all. Or disco&ering that a
Priestess na$ed "2tardancer" was actuall a friend fro$ *igh school and that $ lea&ing a cop
of a )oo" on Wicca at her house was what started her. I went to 4oston and disco&ered a co&en
with the sa$e na$e! trad and difficulties as ours! and again and again found $self swept awa
in this )eautiful group of people.
I left Wicca for a few ears )ecause the #o&en I-d trained in had dis)anded with our priestess-
$o&e to #alifornia! and I faced personal crisis after crisis! finall turning )ac" to Wicca after the
)irth of $ son. When I ca$e )ac"! I thought at first that the changes I noticed were in
"e&er)od else!" )ut slowl! I reali/ed that I was noticing what people had )loc"ed out for $e!
or that I had $anaged to )loc" out for $self! that Wiccans had a dar" side! and that it infused
e&erthing with those sa$e superficial attitudes I hated in *igh 2chool. #o&ens were popularit
and $anipulation organi/ations for the $ost part! )ut e&en with a shelf full of 4uc"land!
#unningha$! et al! I didn-t feel right with solitar Wicca.
I achie&ed the Third 3egree of the tradition that would )eco$e <7W in a cere$on with a
priestess who was "in town!" and a few wee"s later was offered the position of Priestess! I
declined )ecause I couldn-t stand what I was seeing in Wicca and had )egun to loo" elsewhere.
2o$ehow! I ended up )eing in a co&en who-s leader "see$ed" )etter than all of the others I-d
$et! and it too" that sa$e wo$an who )rought $e to Wicca saing! "wh do ou follow hi$ if
he treats ou li"e crap@" for $e to reali/e that I was reall suffering in this co&en! and steadil
)eginning to treat $self as )adl as I was )eing treated. I reali/ed then that there is a $a'or
generation gap in Wicca! the "old" Wiccans! who resist change! and the "new" Wiccans who are
the children of the si.ties and "now nothing )ut change. I got out.
I for$ed a horri)le co&en. I was $essed up! $ co&eners were $essed up and we left hating
each other. It happens. I grew fro$ it! returned to $ first priestess and "too" the step!"
)eco$ing <7W-s oungest priestess. Fro$ $ new position! I launched "R70I6ION: Other! the
#entral New >or" Pagan Alliance." I was told I was corrupt! power hungr and "had no right"
gathering people together! )ut the solitaries spo"e. "Than" >ou for our &oice )ac"!" the said!
and when a $an clai$ing to )e Wiccan seduced his 8I ear old $e$)ers it was Religion: Other
that called the Police! Religion:Other who shut hi$ down and Religion:Other who warned the
That was $ first trial ) fire. I went to )ed e&er night for two wee"s with tears in $ ees
)ecause if RO had )een $ore "out there" it wouldn-t ha&e happened. Not long after! a
$etaphsical )oo"store ga&e us a list of people! who we called and sent infor$ation pac"ets to.
For legal reasons! we-&e alwas listed the person! organi/ation! etc. that refers people to
Religion:Other! )ut the store too" offense at us using their na$e on the for$ letter. To this da
the store! which also sponsors &er price courses in Wicca! refuses to "eep our signs on their
"pu)lic" )ulletin )oard! the fight with the$! which left $e nauseous with anger at their )latant
lac" of respect for their own co$$unit! was the second trial ) fire! )ut RO went on.
It got nast! I-$ sorr to sa! and for a while I was the &icti$ of a nast whisper ca$paign I
later disco&ered to )e the wor" of the sa$e person who RO had ousted. (ost of the whispers
were ignored ) e&erone! )ut I was confronted on a few of the$. >es! when I was in *igh
2chool I tried 2atanis$! no! I a$ not a 2atanist! no! I ne&er perfor$ed an "ind of sacrifice! and
neither did an of the 2atanists I hung out with. It was a group of "ids getting wasted and
tal"ing )ac"wards! it lasted two wee"s in su$$er! I was there for two das of it and left )ecause
I had no interest either in drugs or the "group-s" leader. I thought that those ru$ors and the
need to defend $ past was a trial ) fire! )ut it wasn-t.
( last trial ) fire ca$e when the #o&en I had )een in announced that fi&e of the original
$e$)ers! including $ priestess and two close friends! were *I% positi&e! as was a good chun"
of the co&en the had co$e fro$! where unprotected se. (agic" +in the eighties, was a co$$on
occurrence. When I wrote the first draft of this wor"! we-d alread lost one person! and the
others had "withdrawn" fro$ their friends with the idea that this so$ehow $ade it easier on us.
4 the Will of the 6ods! I-&e tested negati&el repeatedl! pro)a)l )ecause I )eca$e of age into
an AI32 aware Wicca! and to this da the guilt I so$eti$es feel of ")eing spared" )urns inside
far worse than an other pain I-&e faced.
Perhaps wrongl! I feel I was spared in part to carr on the legac! I was alwas the "id of our
co&en! the drea$er. ( priestess! who has since passed on! cried when I read her the rough
draft of All One Wicca )ecause it represents her drea$s and $ine! $ingled into realit.
The idea of <nit! of peace and friendship $a )e a drea$ right now. 3i&isi&eness is ra$pant!
and it $a )e ears! or e&en decades! )efore we full reali/e the drea$ of those who went
)efore. Won-t ou 'oin us in the drea$@