Who we are
First, who we are not: we are not Satanists. We do not worship the devil. In fact, we donít even have a devil. (see history of witchcraft) Moreover, we are not old crones who ride broomsticks and cast spells on unsuspecting people, perhaps to turn them into toads.
We are not all women, though it may be that the majority of witches are womenóthis from millennium of disempowerment by the male dominated Judeo-Christian tradition. Women have always had the Power if they seek it in themselves; and that threatens clergymen right down to their bones. Men have the Power too. Just that It may be a little hard to find within themselves, as they tend to be out of touch with their hearts, their soul, perhaps. Some men, that is. However, a male witch is not a warlock but a witch. The warlock is often the name for the head of a coven, though it may be that the term "warlock" was just another pejorative, like the word witch itself, another way to call a person a devil.
We are not evil. Donít look for curses here. You will find none, only positive life affirming spells and magical rites. If youíre angry at your lover or estranged you will find a wealth of free witchcraft love spells to find someone better to help you forget your present heartache. The best revenge is living a good life.
Really, that pretty much describes us: witches are just ordinary people who use the Powers to enjoy a good life. Witches above all else are good, above all else natural, the very children of Nature.
There is no such thing as a black witch, no matter what the color of their skin. No black magic, only magic used for negative purposes, and little of that. A witch skilled enough in the Craft to invoke an effective curse knows better than to bring ruin down on herself. Iíve often heard it said that that you get back what your give out three times over, though I always wonder who makes these things upówhy not twice or four times?
Ever mind the Rule of Three
Three time what thou givest returns to thee
This lesson well, thou must learn,
Thee only gets what thou dost earn!
Seriously, we are not dour folks. Come to a gathering and see!
What we do
The Ways of Wicca can be divided into two acts: Magic and Devotion.
In short, devotion involves a sort of union with the Powers of the Universe. This is often done through specific rites and ceremonies but can be done anywhere anytime by simply closing your eyes in a position where no effort is needed to hold perfectly still. Breath normally until all tension is released from your body. You can do this by meditating, or simply by letting your consciousness roam freely up and down your body until you find a tense spot. Then tighten the spot on your inhale and release on the exhale. When youíre ready, simply stop your exhale half way in the middle where it feels the most comfortable. Now, let your thoughts fly like birds and feel, really feel. With a little practice you will experience the Power tingling through you like electricity flowing through your Being. At first you may find the feeling uncomfortable, even frightening, and may only be able to stand it for a few seconds. But with a little practice you will be able to get there any time you wish. This is a great retreat when things get too overwhelming in your life.
If you canít get this to work for you, donít worry. You still have the Power, just that this technique may work best for those who have already been consecrated. Iím not really sure, most everyone that I know who can do it have started in a more traditional manner, though some have gotten there just that easy as I describe. Let me know how you make out.
What about Goddesses and Gods? Yes, by all means! Wicca and the larger Pagan practices from which it springs, are a rich well of wonderful supernatural Beings--of which over 400 have been recorded for the Celtic religions alone (though most are local deities not widely known). You probably will find yourself drawn to one pantheon or another. That's as it should be.
Just one thing . . . the images of Gods and Goddesses are not so much entities as ideals, metaphors for what we strive to become, the best in each of us.
think you will soon find that honoring or invoking them is important to your
quest. However, the True Nature of the Universal Power is the
highest mystery, and as such beyond mortal comprehension. The
closest I can come is to visualize a Universal Energy at the very
roots of the existence we perceive all around us. In fact, this
seems to be what science has discovered, that all matter is a construct of energy E=MC2,
Just the same, knowing that our beliefs are in keeping with science may be reassuring but not that useful. Ever try invoking an energy field? No, thatís thinking with the head not the heart.
Nor are we petitioners. We do not pray for favors from our Gods. The Horned God and the Goddess are metaphors for the male and female powers in each of us. When we honor them we are honoring that which is power in each of us. When we invoke them we are invoking not only our power but the power of all creation. The Universe is unfolding as it should, whether we know it or not. We do, however, have a say in the future, as children of the Universe. Through our focused intention we can do wonders. This is what we call magic.
So on special days of celebration (see Wiccan holidays) itís good to honor our chosen gods and goddesses. Itís one of the most enjoyable of the beautiful acts we perform as solitaries and great in groups. You may not think there are groups in your area but there are.
But you donít need a special day to honor your
A simple thank you is all you need. Try this;
when good things happen, when youíre lucky, raise your arms up
to the sky
and open your palms, the tip your
head back and close your eyes. Thank Her and let Grace flow down
The other thing we do is Magic Magic is the act of effecting reality through non-cartesian means. In other words, making things happen without apparent cause.
However, donít expect to make cars fly and things like that. Thatís Hollywood. Real magic must always conform to the Laws of Nature, whether they are presently known or not. As I said, witches are not unnatural; we are the very soul of Nature.
What can you do?
You can bring prosperity, health and joy into your life and the lives of those you love. This is true.
Who can do magic?
Anyone except those enfeebled of mind, infants and young children, the insane, or intoxicated.
How does it work?
Simply raise your consciousness to a higher plain or existence and will what you want to occur.
How do you raise your consciousness?
Well, there are many ways; spells are how witches do it. But donít think that a spell is some kind of recipe that simply needs to be read out loud while adding a few newt eyes and batsí tongues to a cauldron. Nope, wonít work. Sorry.
The spell is the vehicle, no more. You can even write your own, though you probably want to start with a few classics. (see Spells) The real beauty of an authentic spell is that it has often been practiced for hundreds of years and that it was created by someone who knew what she was doing, or had learned it from someone orally. How do you know which spells are the most effective? Try them. In general, our magic is time tested. If something doesn'tít work itís forgotten quick enough.
And thereís a beauty in doing something the way it was done in the distant past.
Magic and Prayer
One last point, the difference between magic and prayer is that prayer beseeches gods and semi-gods to grant personal favors. This is a throwback to the concept of God as an old white guy with a long beard and snowy robes that lives up in the clouds. This divine king granted favor to some and punishment to others much in the way kings did at the time. It was natural to conceive of the Big Cheese that way since the world of biblical times was limited. It was bounded by the sea on the west, the mountains to the north, the desert to the east and the jungle to the south. It reached as high as the clouds and as deep as the earth. Now we understand that the Universe extends in every direction in unimaginable scale. Moreover, most of us have flown above the clouds and thereís nothing up there besides more clouds. (see Is Magic Real)
The real God must be bigger and more powerful than we could ever imagine. To assume that this God grants favors is a bit naive. I canít imagine God saying something like, ďWell, Reni, I thought I had things going pretty much the way they should but since you think otherwise I must have been mistakenĒ.
What we do when we do magic is to order future probability to favor our position. Donít worry if that doesnít make any sense. It will. For now, know that your Being is pure energy. It survives your death, though perhaps not as an individual. Is it so strange to conceive of the energy of your consciousness affecting the Energy that makes up reality? Thatís why itís best to let fate favor your agenda in less specific ways. Use magic to get that great new job, that hunk of a lover, health, insight, money, even happiness, in short, anything in the realm of possibility. Donít bother trying to light a fire with magic; use a match. Save magic for getting Fate working for you.
Also, I've assembled a list of my favorite books for beginners on WitchCraft Spells page
so may it be