From: J_RANDOM FOLKSINGER
YOUR HIGH PRIESTESS
In the Magic Circle, the words, commands, and wishes of the High Priestess are Law. She is the earthly representative of our gracious Goddess. She is to be obeyed and respected in all things. She is our Lady and, above all others, a Queen in the highest sense of the word. All female coveners will curtsy and say "Blessed Be" when they come before Her, and all male coveners will bend their knee and kiss Her on the right cheek and say "Blessed Be".
YOUR HIGH PRIEST
In the Magic Circle, the High Priest is the earthly representative of the Great God. He commands the respect due a Magus, Lord Counselor, and father.
THE LAWS WERE MADE FOR THE WITCHES TO ADVISE THEM IN THEIR TROUBLES. DO NOT CHANGE THEM LIGHTLY.
1. The Witches should worship the Gods as is their due, and obey their will. For the worship of the Gods is good for the Witches even as the worship of the Witches is good for the Gods: For the Gods love all their Witches.
2. As a man loves a woman more by acquiring more knowledge of her wants and desires, so should the Witches love the Gods by the learning (mastering) of them.
3. It is necessary that the Magic Circle, which is the Temple of the Gods in these times, be case and purified such that it may be a fitting place for the Gods; and the Witches should be properly prepared and purified to enter into the presence of the Gods.
4. With love and worship in their hearts the Witches shall raise power from their bodies (and the elements around them), and they shall offer this power to the Gods so that the Gods may help their Witches.
5. The High Priestess shall rule her coven as the representative of the Goddess, and the High Priest shall support her as the representative of the God. The High Priestess will choose any member of the coven to be her High Priest, if he has sufficient standing in the cover. As the God Himself kissed our Lady's feet, gave Her the five-fold salute, and offered Her His power because of Her youth and beauty, Her sweetness and kindness, Her wisdom and justice, Her humility, gentleness, and generosity, and shared His power with Her, so therefore the High Priestess should always be aware that all power comes from Him; it is only lent, to be used wisely and justly.
6. The greatest virtue of a High Priestess shall be recognition that youth is necessary to the representative of the Goddess. She will, therefore, gracefully retire in favor of a younger covener should the coven so decide in council. The true High Priestess should realize that gracefully surrendering the pride of place is one of the greatest virtues, and that thereby she will return to that pride of place in another life with even greater power and beauty.
7. In the Old Days, when there were many Witches, we were free and worshipped freely in the greatest temples; but in these times, we must celebrate our sacred mysteries in secret. Therefore, none but the Witches is to see our mysteries; no coven shall know the location of any other coven or who its members are, except the High Priest, the High Priestess, and the Messenger; and that there shall be no communication among the covens, except by the Messenger of the Gods or the Summoner. Only if it is safe may the covens meet in some safe place for the Great Festivals; and while there, none shall give their true names or any information about their coven or its members. This law is made for this reason: no one can tell our enemies what they do not themselves know.
8. It is ordained that no one shall tell any person not in the Craft who other Witches are, or give them names, or addresses, or in any way tell anything that can betray a Witch to their face. Nor may anyone tell where the covendom or covenstead is, where any meetings are held, or any other information about the coven unless directed to do so by the coven in council.
9. If anyone breaks these laws, even under torture, may the Curse of the God and the Goddess be upon them, so that they may not be reborn upon the Earth (but shall live forever in the Hell of the Christians).
10. Let each High Priest and High Priestess govern their coven with justice and love, with the help and advice of the other and of the elders of the coven, always heeding the advice of the Messenger of the Gods if he should arrive. They will heed all the suggestions of their coveners and strive to settle any differences among them.
11. It is recognized that there will always be people who will try to make everybody agree with their ideas: these people are not necessarily bad --they often have good ideas, and these ideas should be discussed in council. But if they will not come to agree with their other coveners, or if they say, "I will not work with this High Priestess," then the elders will have them leave. It should be suggested that they might join another coven, or if they are of sufficient standing they may be encouraged to found their own coven. For it is better this way, to avoid strife among the family of Witches.
12. When using geographic boundaries, whenever anyone of Third Degree lives more than a league from the covenstead (or are about to), any of these may found a new coven; indeed, any Witch living within the covenstead who wishes to form a new coven will inform the elders of this intention, and immediately move to a new dwelling beyond the boundaries of known covensteads. Members of any coven may choose to join the new coven when it is formed, but they must totally avoid their old coven if they choose this course. The elders of the old and new covens should meet in peace and love to determine the boundaries of the covens. Any Witch living outside of any two covens may choose to join either coven, but never both. All may meet for the Great Festivals if the elders agree, so long as they meet in peace and love. Let the elders confer as to the use of this law when it is not directly applicable. Always be aware that the splitting of a coven breeds bad feelings; this law was made chiefly for this reason. And may happier times come!
13. If you would keep a Book (whether it is called a Black Book, Book of Shadows, Book of Light, or whatever), write it in your own hand. Let your brothers and sisters in the Craft copy as they will from your book in their hand, but never let your Book out of your hands and never keep the writing of another. Every Witch should keep and guard their own writings, that none may be discovered through their Book being found in another's possession.
14. Destroy your Book whenever danger threatens, and commit as many as possible of these Laws to memory. Destroy the writings of a deceased Witch if they did not have time to do so themselves. If any of their writings are found, it is clear proof against both the writer and the holder, for our enemies firmly believe that "one may not be a Witch alone": their family and all who are known to be friends may be suspected as Witches. Be responsible with your writings and you will protect all who love you.
15. If your Book is found on you, it is clear proof against you alone unless you tell our enemies what you know. You may be taken and tortured, but keep all thoughts of the Craft from your mind. If the torture is too much to bear, tell them, "I cannot bear this torture. I will confess. What do you want me to say?" If they try to make you talk about the Craft, do not; but if they try to make you speak of absurd things, such as flying through the air, consorting with the Christian devil, sacrificing children, or eating men's flesh, say, "I held an evil dream; I was beside myself; I was crazed," or words to that effect, to obtain relief from the torture. Not all magistrates are bad -- if there is any semblance of an excuse, they may show mercy. If you have to say?" If they try to make you talk about the Craft, do not; but if they try to make you speak of absurd things, such as flying through the air, consorting with the Christian devil, sacrificing children, or eating men's flesh, say, "I held an evil dream; I was beside myself; I was crazed," or words to that effect, to obtain relief from the torture. Not all magistrates are bad -- if there is any semblance of an excuse, they may show mercy. If you have confessed to anything, deny it afterwards: say that you babbled under torture, or that you don't remember what you said. If you are condemned, do not be afraid, for the Craft is powerful and your escape will be aided if you stand fast. If you go steadfast to the flames, be certain that drugs will reach you and you will feel nothing of the pain. You will only go to death and what lies beyond -- the ecstasy of the God and the Goddess. If you betray anything, however, there is no hope for you in this life or that which is to come.
16. To avoid being discovered, choose your working tools to be ordinary items which you would have around the house. Make your Pentacles out of wax so that you can break and melt them at once. Do not keep a sword unless its presence would alarm no one. Have no signs or names visible on anything: write the signs in ink or water immediately before consecrating the tool, and wash them off immediately after. Do not engrave anything, for this will only help you be discovered. Keep your athame and kerfan (working knife) among your kitchen knives, and let the colors of the hilts determine the one from the other and from the other knives. Always remember that we are the Hidden Children of the Goddess. Never do anything to disgrace the Craft or Her --never boast, never threaten, and never say that you wish ill of anyone.
17. It is not forbidden to say, "There is Witchcraft in the land," for the Christians say so themselves and have made it heresy not to believe so; but always say, "I know nothing of it here, though it may be elsewhere." If any person speaks about the Craft outside of the Circle, say, "Don't speak of such things -- it frightens me. It is bad luck to talk about such things." Say this for this reason: the Christians have their spies everywhere. These spies have been known to talk as if they were drawn to the Craft and as if they would want to come to our meetings, and they say such things as, "My fathers and forefathers worshipped the Old Ones, and my mother; I would like to worship in this way myself." To all of these, tell them that you do not know what they are talking about, and that you wish they would stop. But to others, say, "It's silly to talk about Witches flying around in the air; they would have to be lighter than feathers or thistle-down. Besides, everyone knows that Witches are all bleary-eyed old hags; what fun could they possibly have at their meetings, and why should I want to participate? And besides, you know we were taught in school that there are no such things as Witches." Always make fun of the subject, that we may worship in peace when the persecution ends: let us all work for that happy time. May the blessing of the God and the Goddess be upon all who keep this law.
18. If any in the Craft holds any property, let all Witches guard it and keep it clear and good for the use of the Craft. It is the further responsibility of all Witches to guard Craft funds wisely.
19. If any Witch offers a well-made item, it is proper to pay them for it according to the value of the work; this is not taking money for the Craft, but payment for honest work -- even the Christians believe that "the labourer is worth his hire". Still, if any Witch works willingly for the good of the Craft and will not accept payment, this shall be to their greater honor.
20. It is known that a coven may be bound together by sexual ties, and that this is often not desirable. When it is found that this is not desirable, the coven should be made up of loving couples, and there may also be single coveners. In such cases, it is required that the search for new love be undertaken outside the coven except when two single coveners find love with each other; otherwise, it will often cause division in the coven. For while all acts of love and pleasure are indeed the rituals of our beloved Goddess, She is not inclined to favor acts which divide her covens and scatter Her Witches unnecessarily.
21. If there should arise quarrels or disputes among the Witches, the High Priestess or High Priest shall immediately convene the elders and inquire into the problem. The elders shall hear each side separately, and then both together. Their decision should be just, not siding with one side until the matter is determined, recognizing that there are people who cannot work under others, and others who cannot make wise decisions. To those who must always be in charge, the possible solutions for them are to void the coven alto-gether, find another coven for them, or for them to found a new coven (taking with them all who will go). To those who cannot rule wisely, the solution is that those who cannot bear the rule will leave the coven. No one can truly worship the Gods when personal conflicts among the coveners are not resolved; all who cause strife in the coven must be told, "Go away from us, for the Craft must ever survive."
22. In the Old Days, we could use the Art against anyone who treated the Witches badly; but in these times, we must not do so. Our enemies have invented a burning pit of everlasting fire into which their God throws everyone who does not worship Him, except for those few who buy their penance from His priests (for their God always seems to be in need of money). Even as our Gods need our aid to make fertility for people and crops, so it is that the God of the Christians is always needing men to find and destroy us. Their priests tell them that any man who is helped by us will be damned to their Hell forever, to the point that men are mad with the terror of it. But the priests also make them believe that they may escape this Hell if they give up Witches to be tortured, so that these men are always thinking, "If I catch only one Witch, I will escape the fiery pit." For this reason we have our hiding places, and when no Witches are found, the searchers will say, "There aren't any Witches, or at least not in this area." But as soon as one of our oppressors dies or even catches a cold, the cry will go up that it is "Witches' work", and the hunt will be on again. And while they may kill ten Christians for every Witch, them that any man who is helped by us will be damned to their Hell forever, to the point that men are mad with the terror of it. But the priests also make them believe that they may escape this Hell if they give up Witches to be tortured, so that these men are always thinking, "If I catch only one Witch, I will escape the fiery pit." For this reason we have our hiding places, and when no Witches are found, the searchers will say, "There aren't any Witches, or at least not in this area." But as soon as one of our oppressors dies or even catches a cold, the cry will go up that it is "Witches' work", and the hunt will be on again. And while they may kill ten Christians for every Witch, they will not care, for they are countless millions while we are few indeed.
23. THEREFORE, IT IS ORDAINED that none shall use the Art in any way to harm anyone or even wish them ill. However much they may injure us, HARM NONE, and may the Christians forget that we exist.
24. These laws are ordained to help us in our difficulties. No person, no matter how large the injury or injustice they incur, may use the Art in any way to do evil or harm anyone. But they may use the Art, after great consul-tation with the elders and fellow coveners, to keep the Christians and their tools from harming anyone -- but only to constrain them. To this end, some day men will say, "That man says he is a mighty persecutor of Witches, but all we ever see him torture are old women -- we cannot see that they have hurt anyone, and if they are all such powerful Witches, why has he not been harmed?" They will see him as an evil person regardless of his professed beliefs. We know that too many people have died because someone had a grudge against them, or were persecuted because another wanted their wealth or because they were too poor to bribe the witch-hunters. And many have died only for being old women -- so many that most men now seem to believe that only old women are Witches. This is to our advantage, for it turns many suspicious eyes away from us; but we mourn deeply for the old women. Still, in England and Scotland, it has been hundreds of years since a Witch "died the death"; be vigilant, for the misuse of our power might begin the persecutions again. Never break this law no matter how much you are tempted. Never consent to the breaking of this law: even a High Priestess who merely consents to the breaking of this law must be deposed immediately, for it is the blood of all the Witches that she endangers. DO ONLY GOOD, and then only when it is safe to do anything at all.
25. Never accept money for the use of the Art, for money always smudges the receiver. Christians take money for the use of their arts, and they sell pot-metal charms, pardons, and potions to men so that they may escape from their sins. Do not act like these men; as long as you refuse to take money, you will be free from the temptation to use the Art for evil causes. All may use the Art for their own advantages, or for the advantage of the Craft, but you must always be certain that no one will be harmed by its use. Let the coven debate the use of the Art at length, and only when all are satisfied that none will be harmed by its use will the use be allowed. Remember that if you cannot achieve your means in one fashion, your aim may still be reached through another -- always harming none.
26. If anyone in the Craft needs a house or land and there is no one willing to sell to them, you may use the Art to incline an owner's mind to be willing to sell, provided that the spell does not harm the owner or the property and that the full value is paid without haggling. Never bargain or cheapen anything wile living by the Art.
27. The most important of laws: Do nothing that will endanger anyone in the Craft or which will bring them into conflict with the law of the land or any of our persecutors. In this regard, it is NEVER permissible, in any dispute involving the Craft, to invoke any laws other than those of the Craft, nor may any tribunals be held other than one consisting of the High Priestess, the High Priest, and the elders.
28. The coven is to keep two books on herbalism: one of these will list the names and uses of all herbs which are cures for ills or are otherwise good for humans, and all may have access to this book to learn these things. But keep a separate book with the names of all poisonous herbs and those used in dark spells, letting only the elders and other trusted Witches know of these secrets or even of this book's existence.
29. Remember that the Art is the secret of the Gods and may only be used in earnest -- never for show, or pride, or personal glory. The Christians may taunt you saying, "You have no power: Perform some magic for us, and then we may believe." Do not listen to them, for the Art is holy and is to be used only in need.
30. It has always been the way of men and women that they should seek after love, and while no one should be reproved for this, it may be to the disad-vantage of the Craft sometimes. It has happened too many times that a High Priestess has found a new love and run off with him, giving no word to the coven of this. A High Priestess may resign in full coven at any time, and this resignation is valid; but if she has not resigned, the coven shall wait for her to return for a year and a day (for she may return sooner, having left for love). If she has a deputy, that deputy is to act as Priestess for as long as the High Priestess is away. If she returns within this time, all will be as if she had never left; but if she does not return within this time, a new High Priestess shall be elected in full coven. Unless there is a good reason to the contrary, the deputy, having done the work, should reap the reward and be chose as the new High Priestess. But if another is chosen, the deputy shall be the maiden and deputy of the new High Priestess.
31. The High Priest serves at the pleasure of the High Priestess. If the High Priestess is gone for more than a year and a day, he shall continue in his office while the deputy serves in her place. However, once a new High Priestess has been chosen, the new High Priestess will appoint her own High Priest (and it may be the current High Priest or not). Neither the prior High Priest nor his friends may be angry if a new High Priest is chose, for pride must always give way to harmony in the coven.
32. The Art is sacred: it is the Art of the working of energies, and it must always be taught inside of the Magic Circle. It has been found that teaching the Art frequently leads to a sexual attraction between the teacher and student -- and that this often improves the result. If for any reason this is not desirable, it should be avoided at the beginning by both persons firmly - and verbally - resolving that their relations will be limited to that of brother and sister, or parent and child. It is for the reason that shared love often increases the result of working magic that teaching should always be done from man-to-woman and from woman-to-man. When a coven is made up of members of all one sex, the masculine-to-feminine energy exchange should be adhered to whenever possible. Teaching people about the Craft, however, may be done whenever and wherever it is safe, so long as the teacher is knowledgeable, the student is willing, and the information taught is available publicly or is not a secret of the Art. No one may charge for teaching, unless it is to cover such expenses as the cost of the room, books or other printed materials, refreshments, and so forth.
33. Order and discipline must be kept within the coven: the High Priestess of the High Priest should and may punish all faults. To this end, all in the Craft should receive their correction willingly. With the culprit kneeling, all in the Circle should be told of the offense, and the sentence will be pronounced. Punishment might include the scourge or the recasting of the Circle, followed by something silly such as several kisses. The culprit must acknowledge the justice of the punishment by kissing the scourge upon receiving sentence, and afterward by thanking everyone for their loving correction.
SO MOTE IT BE!
Note to MagickNet friends and acquaintances: The above is a combination of what I was taught and what I learned. Many different sources, including my NeoGardnerian training, two different sets of Celtic Craft laws, four versions found in print, and the picked brains of several of my students, went into it.
(J. Random Folksinger)
From: L.A. HUSSEY
To: J_RANDOM FOLKSINGER
Subj: THE LAWS
I am disturbed and disappointed. "The Christians are our enemies." "They will torture you to make you talk about the Craft." "Lie about the Craft." "Covens splitting up makes for bad feelings."
What depressing garbage. This is the 20th century, and this is America, this is not Inquisition days. The more we keep secret, the more the ignorant will assume that we have horrible secrets to keep. The true secrets of the Gods cannot be given away, because they cannot be spoken -- they are beyond all language. And as for bad feelings when covens break up, maybe that is how it is where you are, but around here, there is rejoicing when one coven becomes two. Seems to me like my best possible response to your "Laws" is the following song:
BURNING TIMES The songs are sung to rouse our anger of martyred Witches gone to the fires, But what is served by righteous singing, if all we do is stew in our ire? Nine million dead in four hundred years; More in that time simply died of disease. Why do we dwell on long past dead When we are alive in times like these? (cho) Rise up, Witches, throw off your masks And cease crying guilt for ancient crimes. Earth and all Her children need us For ALL face now the Burning Times. In the face of that hostile power, how did the old knowledge stay alive? How have we still a Craft to practise? Our ancestors knew how to fight and survive! How do we honour our blessed dead? Slavery threatens us all but few. We must teach their cunning ways -- EVERYONE needs the skills they knew! (cho2) Rise up, Witches, gather your strength, And let your power spread and climb; Earth and all Her children need us For ALL face now the Burning Times. I will not cast off Science's works -- Witches all forces to Will can bend; I'll not accuse for war and waste some patriarchy of faceless men. Men do not cast the only votes; Women alone do not demonstrate. Rather than shut out half the race, Who if not we will change that state? (cho2) I will not blame a Father's Church -- blame and guilt are their tools, not mine, And even in the shuls and churches, allies there will I seek, and find! I will not answer hate with fear, Nor with a smug, cheek-turning love. I will not answer hate with rage; By strength alone will I not be moved! (cho2) I will not hide in my sacred grove -- the fact'ries and cities yet ring me about; I will not climb my ivory tower -- the real world exists tho' I shut it out. I will not work for Church nor State Who serve themselves while they serve us lies, Nor only for my Witchen kin, But for the family of all alive! (cho2)
So if rebellion means to fight a State lost sight of why it was built, If heresy's to reject a Church that rules with force or fear or guilt, Then let us all be rebels proud, And shameless heretics by creed -- A tyrant's hand subjects the Earth, More heretic rebels are what She needs! (cho2)
Did it ever occur to the writers of your antique laws that the Craft migh actually be WELCOMED by a great number of people? That there might actually be more of us than of those who wish us ill? That the only reason those who fear us are so active nowadays is because they see us becoming more and more welcomed by more people? As I say in another song, "When folk in sorrow turn away/ From paths that lead to misery/ And seek new ways for wholeness' sake/ Then waiting, ready shall we be."
All I can say is, I'm Goddess-glad I'm not in your tradition.
B*B Leigh Ann
06/29/88 00:15:00 From: L.A. HUSSEY To: ALL Subj: NEW BOOK OF THE LAW, PREFACE THE NEW BOOK OF THE LAW
[sources: The Book of The Law, The Old Laws for the Old Religion, The Great Book of the Law, The Dragon Law]
Preface: In my years of teaching and running a group, I have always had a dissatisfaction with the popular "Book of the Law" available to most Seekers. I felt it to be too archaic in its wording and perspective -- and while it was valuable in the Burning Times, it simply does not deal with the concerns and needs of "modern-day" Witches. Over the years I became familiar with several other sets of Laws. Each of these had many good points, yet they also had their disadvantages as well.
Recently, I decided to do something daring -- I took the four different versions of the Laws which I had, and combined and reworked them. I deleted what was no longer pertinent or meaningful, rewording others to make them clearer and more understandable, as well as throwing in a few new ones which I felt had been lacking.
I believe that what has evolved out of this work is a set of Laws which are readable, usable, and most importantly, pertinent to the needs of today's Witches and Neo-Pagans. It is with these thoughts and hopes that I would like to share them with you. If you should find merit or worth in them, then I will feel as though I have accomplished something. The material in this booklet has not been copyrighted, so you may reproduce the Laws for students or friends, or reprint them in your publication. It is my sincere hope that the New Book of the Law will be of use to the Craft Community.
From: L.A. HUSSEY
Subj: NEW BOOK O' LAW
1. The Laws were created to give our lives form and order, that all might be balanced throughout all of the planes. In truth there are two sets of laws which govern us -- one sets forth the ways of the Wiccan, an dthe oter the ways of the Universe. Both are important, both should be observed with respect and treated with honor. The Laws were shaped and molded to teach us, to advise us, and to counsel us in our time of mortal life on earth.
2. Honor the Gods, for They are the channels and the manifestation of the Source. Honor yourself, for this force also lies within you. Love the Gods as They love you, and by loving yourself and your brothers and sisters, so the Gods shall honor you. As the love and joy of a man and a woman [or "lover and beloved" -- LAH] flowers and grows when nurtured with respect, and cultivated with understanding and honor, so should you love the Gods.
3. The Goddess is the Great Mother, and the God is the Great Father, and we are Their children; and we shall worship Them, for They are the rulers of the Universe, and all that is therein. Therefore, O Children of the Gods, try Them not, nor attempt to test Them, for They shall show you that he Ways of the Craft are not to be belittled or mocked.
4. Let the Power of the Craft flow from you only in love -- or not at all. For it has always been known that the energy webs which we weave and maintain shall eventually return to encircle their creator. Thus our works become either the net which entagles and binds us, or th eweb of light by which we find the Gods.
5. Let the Rites of the Wicca be a way for the children of the Gods to be as One -- for Power only flows when unified. Always should you revere the Earth, and heal and tend Her, for She is our life, our Mothership, on which we navigate the dark currents of space.
6. When you reap the harvests of your lands, then you shall not reap one corner of the field, nor glean the herb gardens, or the fallen fruits of the orchards. These you shall offer to the Earth Mother, in direct return, or through offerings made to your Circle, or to sustain its Priests and Priestesses.
7. Always be proud to be of the Wicca, but do not allow your pride to become vanity -- for those who are conceited are a stubling block at the door of the Temple, and they shall be cast adrift, to swim within their own vanity.
8. Observe and listen, reserving your judgement, for until all the silver is weighed, who can know the worth thereof?
9. As like breeds like, even more so does good beget love and joy. Your life will be full of love and joy if you are joyful and happy.
10. Your teachers are the servants of the Gods, and they shall plant the seeds of knowledge within the minds of their students, and they shall use their power for the good of the Wicca. Yet it is each individual's duty to tend the seeds which are planted, and to make the final harvest. Those who misuse the power and the trust of the teacher's position shall have to answer to the Lords of Karma, and adjust the balance accordingly.
11. The Temples of the Gods, which are Their abode on Earth, shall belong to all Their children, and each Circle shall be as a special family. Do naught against any Temple or any family of the Wicca, lest you do that thing unto the Gods, and against yourself.
12. You must not be a teller of tales amongst the children of the Goddess, and you must hold no malice or evil thoughts towards others of the Wicca.
13. You should not lie, nor give false testimony before your Elders, or those who are of the Wicca -- for liars are fools, and a menace unto themselves, and to the Wicca. Be truthful in all your works and deeds, especially within the Circle, for what you say within the presence of the Gods becomes manifest.
14. You must not put stumbling blocks in the way of those who do not follow the Path of the Wicca. You must make no unrighteous judgements of their ways, and you should aid them with an attitude of love when it is asked for. Yet ever should you keep the Counsel of the Elders, and reveal naught to others of where our Circles may be, nor may you reveal our ways without the consent of the Priestess.
15. When you make a vow to the Lord or the Lady, or you swear an oath to another of the Wicca, then you must do all that has come forth from your mouth, for a covenant with the Gods, or with the Wicca, is your Honor, and woe to those who care not for the fetters they attach to their souls by not keeping their word.
16. The Great Mother and Father would not have their children suffer the indignities of oppressors for their sake, for what is within the hearts of Their children is dear and true to Them. The Ancient and Mighty Ones shall cause the balance to be made for those who desecrate the Lord and Lady, Their temples, or Their creations.
17. Never shall you use Magick, nor the Craft, to cause harm, for this is misuse of the Power, and it is not to be condoned. To cause the death of another through the Craft is to require the death of the Self in sacrifice.
18. Never betray any of the brethren, nor the lore of our people, for you are all servants of the Gods, and must live by the virtues of love, honor and wisdom. Let truth, loyalty and honor be your creed. Let them be your guides, tempered by love and wisdom.
19. The Order of the Gods shall you keep, and within Their Circles shall you walk. You should not say "I believe" when you doubt, nor claim to obey the Lord and Lady's word when you never enter into the Temple. You must not profess with your lips that which is not in your heart.
20. Do not use the names of the Gods in negative or evil ways, for They love and cherish Their children above all others. All others They love, even those who know them not. Yet those who hate and curse in Their name shall have the Mighty Ones take the measure of their worth.
21. In any disputes between the children of the Goddess, no one may invoke any laws but those of the Craft, or any tribunal but that of Priestess, Priest, and Elders.
22. No one of the Wicca may do anything which will endagner the Craft, nor bring any of the Wicca into conflict with the Law of the Land, or with any of our persecutors.
23. Your magickal tools are channels to that which is most precious and pure within you. Do not cheapen them by haggling their price when you acquire them.
24. Never accept money for the use of the Power. It is sorcerors and charlatans who accept money for their spells and prayers. If you accept no money, you will be free from the temptation to use the Craft for evil or unworthy causes.
25. You shall never take unduly from any human, animal or elemental that which is not yours to take -- for if you steal from another, in the end you will have to sacrifice something dearer to you in order to attain the balance.
26. Show honor to all people, that they may look up to you, and respect you, and their eyes shall become a mirror for your soul.
27. Those who are of the Wicca shall not own slaves, for one person may not own the spirit of another, for only the Great Mother and Father own our souls. Nor shall you take as a pledge any person's life, for to do so is to take upon yourself both a mill and a millstone.
28. If a stranger sojourns with you, you shall do them no wrong; they shall be as one of the Circle, born amongst ye, and you shall deal with them as you would yourself.
29. Just weights and just balances shall be given by you, and just value shall you give, and thereby receive threefold.
30. Your altars shall be kept clean, pure and holy, and all that is brought into the Temple or the Circle shall be cleansed and blessed, for the joy of the Gods, and of the Wicca.
31. A clean mind should have a clean body. You should keep your body, your clothes, and your house clean, in honor of the Mother, who gives these things to you.
32. Let none die without honor, without love, without respect, unless their actions have decreed otherwise.
33. You should not couple together if it shall cause pain, jealousy or deprivation to another by doing so. Union for malice or evil reasons such as these upsets the balance, and the Lords of the Universe shall make adjustments accordingly.
34. Let those who would love, and would be as one, and bear child, be handfasted. For the sharing of love in this manner is beauteous, and love's union in the energy of the Gods, and the heritage of the child. It is important for children to know and to identify with those who brought them here.
35. The Law of the Goddess is that none of the Wicca shall take and wed someone who they do not love, whether it is to harm another, or for some form of material gain.
36. Remember that your children are Goddess-spawned, and are free spirits. You do not own nor control them. They are your brethren, come to visit for a while, that they may share in the vision of your love and wisdom. Let each parent realize that although they may teach and guide with love, the child shall also teach the parent, and aid them in their growth and lessons.
END OF PART ONE
37. The etheric web and energy vortexes of the earth are in constant flux and motion to adjust to the needs of the planet. The sacred trust of the Wicca is to create and to maintain centers of light and knowledge, using the magick of the divine spark within us to focus and channel the forces of the Universal fire. And these are the channels established between the worlds of the stars and the realms of the earth, bringing in and regulating the spirit flames which energize and activate all life forms. Thus we tend and guard the threads of creation, and we weave the patterns of life and manifestation in an ever-evolving tapestry.
38. Never use your heritage or position for self-glorification or gain. Respect your magick and our ways. We must always recognize that while others may look to us to lead them, they too are our guides.
39. Keep yor body strong, your mind keen, and your purpose pure, for within your being you shall channel the Power, and it needs to be strong and pure. And these are the keys to the path of Oneness, and to communication with the Gods. Yet first you must learn to speak to Them in such a manner as They can comprehend you. For the children of the Wicca must aid the Gods, and work with Them, otherwise the Gods cannot aid and work with you. Ever remember that the Priest and Priestess are the living representatives of the God and Goddess Forces, and likewise that all humans carry these forces within them, though they may lie dormant and unawakened.
40. As the Great Mother and Father come unto one another and create with the pure vibration of Love-Wisdom, so should you strive to make your Temple pure in vibration, and thus a fitting place wherein you may invite the Gods. Thus, your Circle should always be duly purified and cast, and likewise, those who would use the gateways and travel the Circle between the earth and other realms should also be duly prepared and purified.
41. The Goddess hath said, "I shall not carry thee, yet neither shall I hinder thee, nor keep thee from having the same opportunities as all of my children. Thou art free, yet thou shalt not be coddled like babes in the storm. If thou hast true devotion within thee, then all obstacles may be overcome."
42. The laggard is but half a person -- and though half is better than none, the whole is twice as good as the half. Those who do not work, or who lack the will and desire to learn the ways of the Gods, unto them is said, "The Ancient and Mighty Ones shall not keep thee within their house, if ye learneth not."
43. A sanctuary you shall make unto the Gods, that They may dwell amongst you. And you shall fashion it to the best of your ability, according to all tha your Elders shall show you, and pure energy shall you place therein.
44. An altar shall you make to unto the Lady, and you shall make due reverence unto Her, for every place where She is exalted, She will come to you and bless you. And you shall fashion your altar out of wood or stone, and burn incense and candles thereon, at the proper times, in observance of her ways.
45. You should set aside at least one day during each moon unto the Goddess, and on these days you shall do Her work; and on those days She shall renew Her children and bless them.
46. Learn to build your own Temple, and to craft your own sacred Circle, and all the tools that are used therein -- for to be a person of the Craft is to be a person of consequence.
47. Let each of you inscribe your own record of our ways and teachings. For the course of each Wiccan should be charted, that the patterns of their life-web may be made known and utilized. Let each Wiccan start their Book of Light with the teachings and lore of their tradition, yet let it also contain the rites and ways of each individual, which are the harvest of each child of the Wicca, to use the wisdom of their heritage as the seeds of their own wisdom. Thus shall our lore and knowledge continue to grow and unfold, like a beautiful flower.
48. It is right to study and to understand the sigils, statues and stories of the Gods, for they shall guide your thoughts to Them, and They shall hear them. Yet you must ever remember that you worship not the sign nor the statue, but the Gods which inspired them.
49. If your Circle owns any land, let all guard it, and help to keep it clean. Let all justly guard all monies of the Circle, as well as the rights and property of all members of the Circle.
50. If any Wiccan truly labors, then it is right that they should have their just pay. This is not considered the taking of money for the Art, but good and honest work. Yet if any Wiccan works willingly for the good of the Craft, or for their brothers and sisters without pay, then it is to their greatest honor.
51. If any Wiccan should deny themselves some pleasure or material indulgence in order to do service in the Circle, this person shall be blessed and remembered. For those who give for the greater good of all shall have their spirit uplifted.
52. Know also that if you gift the Lady's Priests and Priestesses, or Her Circles, this is an offering made unto the Mother Herself, for a true Priest or Priestess strives always to do Her work, and to be of service to Her children, so to honor and respect them is to honor and respect the Queen of All.
53. And the offerings which are considered the most pleasing to the Gods are these:
the fruits of the orchards
the scents of the trees and herbs
the metals of the earth
the waters of the earth
the flowers of the meadows
and the milk of all mothers.
Yet offerings of labor or money are honest too, and these will also be accepted -- moreso if you work with love in your heart, for always there is work to be done for the Gods, and service to be given to the children of the Wicca.
54. If your offerings are made to restore the balance, it must by of a nature that it not offensive to the Gods. It must be of value, yet given with a free heart. Thus shall the harmony be restored. If your offerings are given with a heart filled with love and devotion, or are of service to the Gods, or to the Craft, then shall you receive blessings manifold.
55. And when you make an offering unto the Gods, you should offer it thru the most proper medium, at the proper times, and in such a manner as to make it acceptable. Any and all remains of the rituals shall be consumed in the fire, or buried within the Earth, as a way of returning to the Source all that we use in the observance of our ways, thus ensuring the continuity of the cycle.
56. All may use the Craft to help and aid them, or for the advantage of their Circle, or the Craft -- yet only if you are sure that you harm none. Let each Wiccan and Circle always debate these matters at length. Only if all be satisfied that none be harmed in any way, may the Art then be used. If it is not possible to achieve your ends one way, then perhaps the goal may be achieved by actng in a different way, so as to harm none.
57. Throughout the world it has been many a year since Wiccans have been burned. Yet misuse of the Power might raise the persecutions once again. So never break the Laws, however much you might be tempted, and never consent to their being broken. And if you know they are being broken, then you must work strongly against it.
58. In days of old it was decided by the Mighty Ones who came before us that the Art might be used to restrain others from harming the Craft or its children, yet only after great consultation with all members of the Circle, and only then to deflect or to constrain them.
59. And such were the ways of the Lady that She brought us forth in joy, and such were the Ways of the Lord that His reign gave all life pleasure. Offer love in your worship and all shall be joyous in beauty.
END OF PART TWO
60. In the dimly remembered dawn of ages past, the Wicca were truly free. Then, in Atlantis came the Age of the Misuse of Power, followed by the Ages of Persecution and Suffering. Thus the people of the Wicca hid themselves and cloaked their knowlege, and wove veils of secrecy and silence. And this is how the Ways of the Wicca have been preserved through the time of darkness. Yet much of the ways of our people were lost to the ignorance of others.
61. Yet the cycle spirals ever on -- and the Age of the Earth Mother once again draws nigh. We must be strong -- one with our birthright, and one with our Gods, if we are to bring forth the balance. Those who would harm us, or attempt to enslave us, we must overcome -- yet only through light and love, and never through violence or the evil of chaos. And through our efforts the time of our people will come into being once more. In the times which lie ahead, there lies much work to be done, so that oncemore the cycles of life are drawn to the path of light, and the balance acheived through the power of love.
62. In order to bring the ways of Light and Love and Life to the peoples of the Earth, our secrets are slowly becoming secrets no more, and it is good that this is so -- for the age of shadow and secrecy is passing. Yet the sharing of our ways needs always to be guided by wisdom and by love. Let our rites and our mysteries be kept sacred. Let no one defile our worship or our heritage. For the defilement of our ways is an honor loss to self, and for the Craft.
63. Let each High Priestess govern her Circle with justice and Love, and with the help and advice of the Elders and the High Priest, always heeding the messages of the Gods when they come.
64. Ever remember that although the Priest is the force with which the Circle is built, the Priestess is the ruler therein -- for it is through her that the Goddess created the world, and all things therein.
65. The High Priestess will heed all complaints of all Pagans and Wiccans, and strive to settle any differences between them with reason and with justice.
66. Let each Circle of Light decide how it shall be known -- whether by earthly name or magickal one. For each child of the Wicca knows best the safety or dangers of their homeland.
67. Let each Circle or Temple maintain and dedicate unto the Goddess and the God all the things that are required for Their rituals, for what is blessed in the name of the Gods rightly belongs to Them, and the Priest and Priestess shall be the caretakers thereof.
68. Anyone of the circle who is of sufficient rank, and wishes to form a new Circle, shall tell the High Priestess and the Elders of their intentions. Members of the old Circle may join the new Circle when it is formed, but if they do so they must leave the other Circle, unless otherwise instructed. For it is the Old Law that each Wiccan may join the Circle of their choice, yet their energy should not be divided between two or more Temples.
69. The Elders of the old and new Circles shall meet in peace and with respect, to decide the level of interaction and connection between the Circles. Yet it is known that the splitting of a Circle often means strife. So only if it is truly in a spirit of peace and harmony should the Circles meet for the celebration of the Great Festivals.
70. None shall enter the Circle that have a sickness or an ailment which may be passed on to the Lady's other children -- for to do so causes harm to yourself, as well as to the others of the Circle. Rather should the Healers go unto the sick one, that through the love of the Gods they shall be made well and whole once more.
71. It has been judged lawful that if any of the Craft need a house, or land, and none will sell, to incline someone's mind so as to be willing to sell, providing it harms none and the full price is paid without haggling.
72. In the matter of quarrels or disputes between the members of the Circle, the High Priestess shall convene the Council, and inquire into the matter. The Council shall hear each person privately, and then both together. And they shall decide justly, not favoring one side nor the other.
73. If an agreeable resolution cannot be reached, then that Wiccan must leave the Circle, for a Circle of Light cannot be properly formed where there is disagreement and discord. And when a Circle is not properly formed, the energy within is either dissipated, or turns ugly, festering like a hidden sore. So let them leave, but only with love in their hearts and yours, for even though your paths may diverge, you are still all children of the Wicca, and there must be no violence between us. Bear no grudges, hold no thoughts of vengeance, for this will rot away the foundation of your power.
74. It has ever been recognized that there are some people who can never agree to work under any others. At the same time there are also people who cannot rule justly. To those who must ever be chief there is but one answer: "Void this Circle, and seek another one, or if ye be of sufficient rank, then form a Circle of your own." To those who cannot rule justly, the answer shall be "Those who cannot bear your rule will leave you." For none may come to Circle with those with whom they are at variance, for to do so angers the Gods, and hinders the Craft.
75. Those that do wrong without knowlege shall be held innocent; those that do wrong through carelessness shall be judged lacking in wisdom, and dealt with according to the nature of the transgression. Those who do wrong with deliberation and forethought shall be thrice punished, and the Lords of Karma shall lay low their pride.
76. Each person must make a balance for their words and actions, and the judgements of the Elders should incline to try to make good come from the injustice or wrong-doing. Many are the ways to restore the balance, so let the judgements of the Elders and the Priestess be in keeping with this.
77. Do not turn aside those who seek the ways of the Wicca for the want of an offering or the lack of a robe. You are the servants of the Gods, and the servants of Their people, and those that seek for the Gods you must aid in their quest.
78. Of those who would inquire as to the ways of the Goddess, or who wish to become of the Wicca, ye shall search their hearts, and even into their spirits you shall look, as you are able. For the Wicca do not look to acquire mere numbers. Let none be turned away if their hearts are true, and their desire earnest.
79. The hidden children are like the strings of a harp: each one may give a clear note, and when gathered together in sympathy and accord, they shall give rise to a beautiful symphony. Yet when struck without reason or thought, these notes may cause discord or disharmony. Therefore the Gods decree to Their Teachers and Priests that all must be taught to master their harp, and to pluck their strings with care, that they cause no discord or imbalance.
80. Choose the Priests and Teachers of the Wicca with diligence and with care. The qualities that you should search for within them are Faith, Belief, Knowledge, Ability, Patience, Leadership, Humility, and a loving nature -- for they must lead and teach the children of the Goddess, and will thereby have the power to do great good, or to cause great imbalance.
81. In practice it should be that the greatest of the Priests and Priestesses should guide the rituals within each of the Temples of the Old Gods, and truly you should be content with the advice and guidance given by them. Yet ever it should be given so that it is clear and understandable, for within the Temple each of the Wicca is free, and thus they should be able to recognize and to understand our ways and their implications. And those who cannot explain the inner workings, or give just cause and reason for their decisions, may be questioned, or the wisdom of the advice weighed.
82. Let the Priestess and Priest lead as long as they are able, and their leadership be wise and strong, and to the benefit of the Wicca. Yet if their health is ill-favo red, or if the next generation needs to try their hand, then let them have the vision and the wisdom to step away from their position, and pass the duties of the Circle to another. Let them not become overly attached to the office, nor too fond of the power.
83. If a Priestess or a Priest should tire of their duties and charges, then they may step down, but only after having trained and acknowledged a successor. If a Priest or Priestess deserts their Circle, then they have lost the right to ever lead again w ithin this life, so great a trust they have broken. If they should return to the Cir cle within one turn of the Wheel, and are judged to have true atonement in their hear ts, new insight and growth, then they may be forgiven, and allowed to return to the C ircle, yet they shall worship only, and hold no office or title. Leadership is a sac red commitment and an honor, and they have shown that they cannot be trusted with suc h responsibility.
84. Any Priestess, Priest, or Elder who consents to a breach of the Laws regarding th e use of the Craft to cause harm to others must immediately be relieved of their offi ce, for it is the lives of the children of the Goddess which they endanger, as well a s the honor of the Craft.
85. The High Priestess may take a Sabbatical from her Circle, if her personal life an d duties require it, for up to a year and a day. During that time, the Maiden shall act as High Priestess. If the High Priestess does not return at the end of a year an d a day, then the Initiates of the Circle shall name a new Priestess. Unless there i s good reason to the contrary, the person who has done the work of the Priestess shou ld reap the reward. If someone else is named, then the Maiden should continue in tha t office.
86. Each Priestess and Priest shall choose their own consorts, yet let them be wise i n the learning of our people, and thus others shall abide by the wisdom of their choi ce. Yet if the Circle feels the decision is ill-advised, or that they cannot abide a nd work in honor and trust with that consort, then they may request a gathering of al l concernted to meet and to talk, and to resolve the balance with love and honor. Fo r only those who are pure and strong, keen and wise, patient and loving, can effectiv ely and properly carry out the duties of a Keeper of the Circle.
87. Those of the Priesthood shall not neglect their mates, or their children, or thei r house, nor anything which is in their possession; nor shall the sick and the needy be neglected for the sake of the Circle. Therefore let them adjust the one thing aga inst the other, that neither should suffer, and that which is given by the Gods is tr eated with love and respect.
88. Long ago, at the time of Creation, it was deemed that the female should hold the power of life-giving. And such was the male force drawn to the love and beauty of th e Creation of life, that he surrenders unto her keeping the force of his powers in th e furtherance of life. Yet the Priestess must always remember that the fuel of the f lames which light the fires within her Temple comes from the Priest. Thus she must u se the force wisely, and only with love, and she must honor and respect he who is the activator of the Life Force.
HERE ENDS THE NEW BOOK OF THE LAW.
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To this I would add only one more admonishment, based on my own experience: It is as important not to take oneself, one's power, and one's Craft too seriously as it is not to take them too lightly. Moderation in all things, including moderation. And remember that all acts of love and pleasure are the rites of the Goddess, and this includes HAVING FUN.
B*B Leigh Ann