Solitary Witchcraft

Solitary Witchcraft

There are many reasons for performing witchcraft alone: your personal circumstances or the location of your home may mean that you cannot travel to a group, or you may live in an area where there are few others who share your interests. Many witches like myself choose to practise alone, drawing in my family and close friends to celebrate with me on the festival days. Most solitary witches initiate themselves, though some traditions, such as the Saxon Seat Wicca founded by Raymond Buckland in
the USA, do admit solitary witches.

Indeed, solitary practitioners are said by some to have been witches in seven previous lifetimes and to possess within them all they need to know about the Craft. Truth or myth, no one should underestimate the number of private practitioners who do work alone, some coming together occasionally in small, informal groups.

Solitary witches can use ceremonial magick very successfully, but many do follow the less formal folk magick, linked to the land and the seasons, that was practised by our ancestors in their homes.For this reason, some call themselves hedge-witches, from the times when a hedge, often of hawthorn, bounded the witch’s home, and it is sometimes said that they are walking on the hedge between two worlds. Such a witch may be in the tradition of the village wise women who knew about herbs and about the cycles of nature and used the implements of their kitchens rather than ceremonial tools.

She may also be gifted in divination, in spell-casting and in astral projection. Usually a woman, but occasionally a man, the solitary witch practises eclectic magick drawn from a variety of traditions. Those expert in brews and potions are also called kitchen witches.

Indeed, many of our grandmothers and great-grandmothers who possessed a remarkable intuition, read the tea leaves and made herbal concoctions, were jokingly called witches by their own families – and were just that!

You have your choice of groves, stone circles, the ocean shore, your garden or balcony, where you can connect with the powers of nature and
work unobtrusively. Whether you are working alone, or in a group, or coven, you will share the same aims and will need much the same equipment.

Tools And Treasures

You will need to collect some basic tools for your spells and rituals. If you are working in a group,these can be kept either by different members or in a safe place and brought out at meetings. They need not be at all expensive. Magick was traditionally carried out with the equipment of the home: the broom for sweeping the magical circle was the besom used for sweeping dirt (and negativity) out of the door and was stored with its bristles upwards to protect the home.

The cauldron was the iron cooking pot on the black kitchen range that served to heat the home as well as for cooking. Items often can be gathered from around your home: for example, a silver bell, a crystal bowl or a large wine glass. Attractive scarves or throws make ideal altar cloths. Car boot sales are an excellent source of magical equipment. Keep your magical tools separate from your everyday household equipment in a large box or chest, so that you can keep them charged with positive energies for magical and healing work.

Some items, such as the pentacle, you can make from clay, and herbs can be grown inpots or in gardens and chopped in a mortar and pestle. Fresh herbs have more immediate energies than dried, though the latter are better in sachets and poppets.

Always bear in mind that the magick is in you, not in your tools, and a wand cut from a fallen hazel or willow branch in the right hands can be more magical that the most elaborate crystal-tipped one purchased from a New Age store.

Practical Guide to Witchcraft and Magic Spells
Cassandra Eason

Folk Magick And Ritual Magick

Folk Magick And Ritual Magick

Whether you are casting a simple spell, using items from your kitchen cupboard, or performing a
complicated group ceremony, the source of the power behind it is the same. Every spell or ritual
involves channelling the life force that runs through all forms of existence and transforming it into
higher spiritual energies. These spiritual powers include our own evolved self, which some say is
formed through many lifetimes, and the higher divine cosmic energies, such as a supreme god or
goddess, or, more abstractly, some sort of divine light, spirit and goodness.

Magick for healing, it must be said, is not so far removed from the prayers of conventional religions,
whose positive influence is well documented. The same effect can be created whatever the focus or
faith, and I know from personal experience that positive results can be achieved when a Wiccan coven
sends healing light to a sick member or a friend.

For hundreds of years, angels have been invoked in magick, just as in religion, both for protection and
to act as vehicles for healing or positive energies. Practitioners of white magick may focus on
particular aspects of a god or goddess figure, or benign power, personified through different deities
from many age and cultures.

When I began practising magick ten years ago, I found it very artificial to invoke a goddess who
belonged to another time and culture. However, I have since found that such symbols do hold a great
deal of power and therefore can concentrate specific energies. I have listed in Chapter 4 a number of
deities that seem to be especially potent in ritual or as a focus for meditation. But if you do not find
them helpful, there is no need to use them.

In past time, the well-being of the planet was considered to be the responsibility of peasant as well as
king through paying tributes and enacting age-old ceremonies to invoke the necessary energies for the
Wheel of the Year to turn. So individual prosperity or fertility was attained both through private spells
and charms and by sending positive energies to the Earth and the cosmos and, in a sense, receiving
bounty as those beams were amplified and returned to the sender.

Folk or domestic magick was an important part of people’s everyday lives right up until the nineteenth
century. In rural areas, the implements used in and around the home and garden could be easily
adapted for use in magick; and for town-dwellers, flowers and herbs could be gathered on a day in the
country or grown on allotments or in urban back gardens.

In the days before central heating systems, the focus of the home was the family hearth. Focus is Latin
for ‘hearth’ and from Ancient Rome to China, the household deities have always had their place, being
offered morsels of food, nectar and flowers and consulted on family happenings.

It was believed that the ancestors as well as the living gathered around the family hearth, and so it
became a natural focus for magick. The witches’ cauldron started off as the iron cooking pot that hung
over the fire (such pots are still used in country regions of Europe – I saw one for sale quite recently in
the market in Rouen in France).

Herbal brews were not only created to cure coughs and colds but also, with magical words spoken
over them, transformed into potions to bring a desired lover, employment or an unexpected helping
hand in times of sorrow. A grandmother would put any small coins she could spare into a money pot
and warm it near the fire to ‘incubate’ the money into sufficient to mend the roof or buy new coats for
the winter.

A young wife eager to be pregnant would secretly prick a fertilised hen’s egg with a needle on the
night of the full moon immediately before making love. Such actions were quite a normal part of life,
a way of tapping into the same energies that made the cattle fertile and the corn set seed.

Farmers would leave milk for the faeries that they might bring good fortune, young girls recited love
charms while planting herbs in soil embedded with a would-be lover’s footprint. On Hallowe’en,
housewives opened their windows and placed garlic on the window ledge so that only the good family
dead might enter and take shelter from the cold.

This simple folk magick, rather than ceremonial magick, forms the basis for the majority of spells. As
above, so below’, the words of the semi-divine father of magick, Hermes Trismegistos, may originally
have evolved from popular magick that is practised in many different cultures around the world to this
day. They are certainly as applicable today as they ever were.

Whatever the aim of your magick may be, if you look around your home, garden, workshop or even
office, you have the necessary tools for the spells you require. What is more, rooted as they are in
domesticity and the daily world, these implements could not be safer: fruit, vegetables, salt, sand,
seeds, flowers, coins, pots and jars, together with your crystals, candles, incense and oils, and perhaps
a few coloured scarves or ribbons to tie knots. Whether your spell is small and personal, or vast and
universal, whether you are working to attract love, harmony in the home, prosperity or fertility for
yourself or loved ones, for people in the wider environment or the planet, these are all you need.
A Practical Guide to Witchcraft and Magic Spells
By Cassandra Eason

 

Different Kinds Of Magick

Different Kinds Of Magick

What is certain is that whether folk customs or more formal ceremonies are used, the underlying
principles of all types of white magick are the same throughout the world, and can be categorised
under the following headings.

Sympathetic Magick
This involves performing a ritual that imitates what you would desire in the outer world, so bringing
on to the material plane a desire or need or wish from the inner or thought plane. This is done using
appropriate tools and symbols. So in a spell for the gradual increase of money, for example, you might
grow a pot of basil seedlings (a herb of prosperity) and light a green candle.

Contagious Magick
This involves transferring and absorbing power directly from a creature or an object, such as an
animal, a bird, a crystal, a metal, the wax of an empowered candle or even the Earth itself. This
principle is central to the potency of talismans and amulets; for example, traditionally, hunters might
wear the pelt of a lion to bring them the beast’s courage and ferocity. So, by the same token, if you
wished to become pregnant, you might make love in a newly ripening cornfield (near the edge so as
not to damage the crops); alternatively, you might try one of the ancient power sites of Earth, close to
the phallus of the chalk Cerne Abbas fertility giant that is carved in the hillside at Cerne in Dorset.

Attracting Magick
This type of magick embraces both sympathetic and contagious magick to bring you something you
desire. For example, you could scatter pins across a map between the places you and a lover live and
with a magnet collect them, while reciting:

Come love, come to me, love to me come, if it is right to be.

You would then place your pins in a silk, heart-shaped pincushion or a piece of pink silk, also in the
shape of a heart, and leave it on the window ledge on the night of the full moon, surrounded by a
circle of rose petals.

Banishing And Protective Magick
This involves driving away negative feelings, fears and influences by casting away or burying a focus
of the negativity. For example, you might scratch on a stone a word or symbol representing some bad
memories you wished to shed, and cast the stone into fast-flowing water. Alternatively, you could
bury it, together with quick-growing seeds or seedlings to transform the redundant into new life.

Binding Magick
Binding magick has two functions, one to bind a person in love or fidelity and the other to bind
another from doing harm. This may be done in various ways, using knots in a symbolic thread, or by
creating an image of the object or person and wrapping it tightly. But all binding can be problematic
in terms of white magick, for whatever method you use, you are very definitely interfering with the
person’s karma, or path of fate.

However, it is tempting to think that if someone is hurting animals, children, the sick or elderly, you
may be justified in binding them. And what if your partner has deserted you on the whim of passion,
taking all the money and leaving you and your children penniless? These are very real dilemmas; in
dealing with them, I have always performed such rituals adding the proviso”… if it is right to do so.

I believe that it is essential to include that phrase in all binding magic rituals.

My friend Lilian, a white witch and healer, used to wrap the perpetrators of crimes in a mantle of pink
and visualise them in a sea of tranquillity so that they might be diverted from a destructive course of
action. However, I usually cast a protective barrier around the victims and I think this is the best
answer to a very difficult problem. We must harm none, not even the evil, hard though it is, and we
should leave the punishment to natural justice.

In my own experience, few who find happiness at the expense of others achieve more than temporary,
superficial pleasure, and in time they do seem to end badly. We should never use magick in order to
act as judge and jury. After all, some who do act badly do so only out of unhappiness or ignorance.
A Practical Guide to Witchcraft and Magic Spells
By Cassandra Eason

The Purposes Of White Magick

The Purposes Of White Magick

There are three distinct and yet related types of magick, all of which can be used informally, in spells,
or formally, in ceremonial rituals.

Personal Magick
As I have already said, it is quite permissible to use magick to empower your personal needs, though
this does not bring lottery wins or the object of your romantic fantasies delivered gift-wrapped to your
door. Magick has traditionally encompassed material needs, and spirituality is very difficult to achieve
at a time when there is a crisis of physical need or emotional shortfall in your life. For example, in
days when having sufficient food and heating was an ongoing concern, abundance for the coming
winter months was a prime focus of Mabon, the harvest festival at the autumn equinox. Many kitchen
witches would carry out private spells using the equinox energies, to empower talismans and cast
spells to ensure their own family would survive the inhospitable months of winter.

In the modern world, concerns are different, but no less urgent, and for many of us still centre on the
home, family and employment. We need money to fulfil obligations, help for a child who is studying
for exams or perhaps suffering bullying, a partner to share joys and sorrows, better health for
ourselves and our loved ones. There are subjects for spells for yourself, your partner or lover, your
children, close relatives and friends. They are usually the strongest in terms of emotion and so can be
very simply carried out at home, in the garden or on the balcony, often with everyday items.

Magick For Others
You may, however, wish to carry out rituals for people or groups with whom you are less intimately
involved, who are vulnerable or to whom you relate in a caring, social or a professional capacity.
These might include the people in your workplace, a sick neighbour, or a colleague you know is
unhappy or worried; or perhaps it could be an animal park or environmental project that is under
threat or needs help financially, legally or practically or even a local disaster.

As you send out loving or healing energies, so you will receive them in return, often in unexpected
ways or perhaps at some future time when you yourself are vulnerable. This is part of the cosmic
banking system and in practice there is considerable overlap between this and personal spells.

Magick To Increase Positivity
These are the least focused kind of spells. They are used to send out energies to whoever needs them,
for example of love, happiness, health or abundance. They may be for an endangered species, a wartorn
land, a country in need of water or the planet itself. If a large number of people do send positive
energies either to a large-scale project or into the cosmos, followed where possible by practical help
or support, then this can really make a difference. Again, by sending out healing you will receive in
return threefold healing in indirect but powerful ways.

 

 A Practical Guide to Witchcraft and Magic Spells
By Cassandra Eason

 

The Four Stages Of Magick

The Four Stages Of Magick

Although there are many different kinds of magick, in practice all spells and more formal magical
rituals tend to follow four stages, though informal spells may combine one or more steps.

The Focus
This defines the purpose of the ritual or spell and is generally represented either by a symbol or a
declaration of intent. These could take the form of a candle etched with the name or zodiacal glyph of
a desired lover, a little silver key charm or an actual key in a spell to find a new home, a picture of an
ideal holiday location, and so on.

In a sense, this part of the spell begins before the actual rite and involves verbalising the purpose. As
you define it in a few words or a symbol, you may realise that what you are really seeking lies beyond
the immediate external purpose. Spending time at this stage is quite vital as it is said we tend to get
what we ask for, so we should take care to ask for what would truly fulfil our potential, rather than
what we think we need immediately.

If you are working alone, hold the symbol while speaking words that summarise the purpose of the
magick. You may be surprised to discover that it is your wise psyche speaking, guiding the intention
towards what you truly need or desire – and afterwards you realise it could have been no other way.

If you are working in a group, a declaration of intent, created by the group collectively before the
ritual, is a good way of focusing the energies. After the initial circle is cast, the symbol can be handed
round while the person leading the ritual speaks the intention. Alternatively, each person can add his
or her special interpretation while holding the symbol and so the declaration is worked as part of the
ritual. As others are holding the symbol, visualise it within your own hands; this provides the
transition to the next stage of the ritual.

Concentration is the key to this first stage.

The Action
This is the stage where you use actions to endow the symbol with magical energies. This is part of the
continuous process of translating your magical thoughts and words from the first stage, the inner plan,
to manifestation as the impetus for success or fulfilment in the everyday world. These energies
amplify your own. For example, passing incense, representing the Air element, over the symbol
activates the innate power of rushing winds that cut through inertia and bring welcome change,
harnessing the energies of wide skies in which there are no limits, soaring like eagles, carrying your
wishes to the Sun. You can unite other elemental forces by using the appropriate tools and substances.

Similarly, you might begin a chant, a medley of goddess names or a mantra of power linked with the
theme, or a slow spiral dance around the circle. You could try drumming or tying knots either on
individual cords or in a group, creating a pattern with the longer cords of fellow witches, perhaps
looped around a tree.

The action of the magick is limited only by the environment and your imagination. You may find that
improvisation enters quite spontaneously as the energies unfold and spiral.

Movement is the key to this stage.

Raising The Power
This is the most powerful part of the magick, as the magical energies are amplified and the power of
the ritual carries you along joyously. Ecstasy forms a major part of shamanic ceremony and the old
mystery religions; it is akin to the exhilaration you experience riding on a carousel or running barefoot
along a sandy shore with the wind lifting your hair.

You might repeat a chant of power, dance faster, drum with greater intensity, bind your cords in ever
more intricate patterns or add more knots if working alone, visualising a cone of spiralling, coloured
light, rising and increasing in size and intensity as this stage progresses.

Stretch your arms and hands vertically as high as possible to absorb power from the cosmos. If you
are in a group and have been linking hands, as the power increases to a great intensity, this is the time
to loose them.

As the power builds, you will create what is known as a cone of power. The cone-shaped hats
traditionally associated with witches and bishops’ mitres reflect the concentration of spiritual potency.
The purpose of the cone, like the sacred pyramid, is to concentrate energy in a narrowing shape so that
it reaches a pinnacle of power, which can then be released at the end of the ritual to carry your wishes
or desires into the cosmos. In order to create a cone of power in magick, you can visualise these
energies as coloured light or as gold.

Alternatively, you can visualise different rainbow colours to create a cone of every colour that merges
to brilliant white at the apex. In healing work, some people see this as silver blue light that becomes
brilliant.

Whether working alone or in a group, as you build up the power, breathe in pure white light and
exhale and project your chosen colour, seeing it become ever more vibrant and faster-moving as the
intensity increases. After you have been practising magick for a while, you will notice that the cone of
colour builds up quite spontaneously, with no apparent effort. It has also been described as a cloud of
energy. At the point when the climax is reached, comes the release of power.

Note that for some people the cone concept interferes with their own natural magical abilities – some
of the most skilled witches and healers see circles of light, shimmering golden beams or rainbows
with their psychic eye. Some see nothing at all, but instead feel power pushing their feet almost off the
ground.

Growth is the key to this stage.

Release Of Power
When you release the power in the final stage, you may see the cone exploding and cascading as
coloured stars or light beams, which surge away into the cosmos and break into brilliant rainbow
colours.

If you wish, you can direct the energy after the final release of power by pointing with your hands, or
a wand or knife, so that the energies cascade horizontally and downwards, for example into herbs on
the altar that you are empowering to make into herb sachets. Or you can direct the cascading energies
in a specific direction, perhaps towards a person who is ill or in need of magical strength.

Release is the key at this stage.

This release may take the form of a final shout, a leap, or words. As you extinguish your candle of
need, you may shout:

 
It is free, the power is mine!

Or, at the point of release, you may throw your extended hands wide in an arc above your head. If the
ceremony is formal and you are using an athame, you can at this moment bring it in front of you to
mark the invisible cutting of the knot holding the power. Pull your visualised or actual knots tight, cut
them, leap into the air, shouting:

The Power is free! or It is done! Sometimes there is just a sudden stillness, as the power leaves.

Afterwards, you need to ground the energies by sitting or lying on the ground and letting excess
energies fade away into the Earth as you press down with your hands and feet

 

A Practical Guide to Witchcraft and Magic Spells
By Cassandra Eason

THE PHILOSOPHY OF WITCHCRAFT

THE PHILOSOPHY OF WITCHCRAFT

The Craft is a religion of love and joy. It is not full of the gloom of Christianity, with its ideas of “original sin”, with salvation and happiness possible only in the afterlife. The music of Witchcraft is joyful and lively, again contrasting with the dirge-like hymns of Christianity.

Why is this? Why are Wiccans more content; more warm and happy? Much of it has to do with their empathy with nature. Early people lived hand-in-hand with nature through necessity. They were a part of nature, not separate from it. An animal was a brother or a sister, as was a tree. Wo/Man tended the fields and in return received food for the table. Sure, s/he killed animals for food. But then many animals kill other animals in order to eat. In other words,

Woman and Man were a part of the natural order ofthings, not separate from it. Not “above” it.

Modern Wo/Man has lost much, if not all, of that closeness. Civilization has cut them off. But not so the Witch! Even today, in this mechanized, super-sophisticated world that this branch of nature (Woman and Man) has created, the Wicca retain their ties with Mother Nature. In books such as Brett Bolton’s The Secret Power of Plants we are told of the “incredible”, “extraordinary” healthy reaction of plants to kindness; of how they feel and react to both good and evil; how they express love, fear, hate (something that might be borne in mind  by vegetarians when they become over-critical of meat-eaters, perhaps?). This is no new discovery. Witches have always known it. They have always spoken kindly to plants. It is not unusual to see a Witch, walking through the woods, stop and hug a tree. It is not peculiar to see a Witch throw off her shoes and walk barefoot across a ploughed field. This is all part of keeping in touch with nature; of not losing our heritage.

If ever you feel completely drained, if ever you are angry or tense, go out and sit against a tree. Choose a good, solid tree (oak or pine are good) and sit down on the ground with your back straight, pressed up against the trunk. Close your eyes and relax. You will feel a gradual change come over you. Your tension, your anger, your tiredness will disappear. It will seem to drain out of you. Then, in its place, you will feel a growing warmth; a feeling of love and comfort. It comes from the tree. Accept it and be glad. Sit there until you feel completely whole again. Then, before leaving, stand with your arms about the tree and thank it.

Take time to stop and appreciate all that is about you. Smell the earth, the trees, the leaves. Absorb their energies and send them yours. One of the contributing factors to our isolation from the rest of nature is the insulation of our shoes. Whenever you can, go barefoot. Make contact with the earth. Feel it; absorb it. Show your respect and love for nature and live with
nature.

In the same way, live with other people. There are many whom you meet, in the course of your life, who could benefit from their encounter with you. Always be ready to help another in any way you can. Don’t ignore anyone, or look the other way when you know they need help. If you can give assistance, give it gladly. At the same time do not seek to take charge of another’s life. We all have to live our own lives. But if you are able to give help, to advise, to point the way, then do so. It will then be up to the other to decide how to proceed from there.

The main tenet of Witchcraft, the Wiccan Rede, is:

“An’ it harm none, do what thou wilt.”

Do what you will… but don’t do anything that will harm another. It’s as simple as that.

In April, 1974, the Council of American Witches adopted a set of Principles of Wiccan Belief. I, personally, subscribe to those principles and list them here. Read them carefully.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Source:

Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft

THE POWER WITHIN

THE POWER WITHIN

There are many people who seem, very obviously, to have some sort of “psychic power” (for want of a better term). They are the sort who know that the telephone is going to ring before it actually does, and who is on the other end of the line before they pick up the receiver. People like Uri Geller are able to demonstrate this power in more dramatic ways, by bending keys and teaspoons without physical contact. Others have “visions” or seem to be able to make things happen. Often these people have a peculiar affinity with animals.

You may not be like this. You may.well feel somewhat envious of such people. Yet you shouldn’t feel that way, for the power that these people have—and it is a very real power—is inherent in all of us. To be sure, that power comes out quite naturally in some, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be brought out in others. The aura (which will be dealt with extensively in a later lesson) is a visible manifestation of this power. Those able to see the aura—and you will become one of these—can see it around everyone; again demonstrating that the power is within everyone. Witches have always had the power and used it. Most of them seem to have it naturally, but not all by any means. For that reason the Witches have their own ways of drawing it out; ways that are especially effective.

In the magazine Everyday Science and Mechanics, for September 1932, appeared the following report:

Human Tissues Produce Deadly Radiations

“Rays emitted from human blood, fingertips, noses and eyes, kill yeast and other micro-organisms, according to Professor Otto Rahn, working at Cornell University. Yeast, such as used in making bread, was killed in five minutes merely by the radiation from the fingertips of one person. When a quartz plate, Vz inch thick, was interposed it took fifteen minutes for the yeast to die. In tests of fingers it was found that the right hand was stronger than the left, even in left-handed persons.”

Professor Rahn continued his experiments and published results in Invisible Radiations Of Organisms (Berlin, 1936). Speaking at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, he explained how the “rays” seemed to come out most strongly from the fingertips, the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, the armpits, the sex organs and—in women only—the breasts. Dr. Harold S. Burr, of Yale University, spoke of similar experiments and conclusions when addressing the Third International Cancer Congress.

Witches have always believed in this power coming from the body and have developed ways to increase it, collect it and use it to do what we term magick. Professors Rahn and Burr showed the destructive use of this power, but it can be used equally effectively constructively.

Here is a simple experiment you can try with a friend. Have the friend strip to the waist and sit with his back to you. Now, extend your hand, with the palm down and fingers together, straight out to point at his (or her) back. Keep the tips of the fingers an inch or so away from the surface of the skin. Now slowly move your hand up and down along the line of his spine. Try to keep your arm straight and concentrate your thoughts on sending all your energies out along your arm and into your hand and fingers. You will probably get quite a reaction from your friend as your power makes contact. He might feel a strong tingling sensation, heat, or even what seems like a cool breeze … but he will feel something.

Experiment. Try with the left hand; with the fingers together; at different distances from his back. See if he knows where your hand is. Does he feel it moving up when it is moving up; down when moving down? You will find that the intensity of the power varies dependant upon your physical health and also upon the time of the day and the day of the month. Keep records and note when it is the best time for you to “generate”.

 

Source:

Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft

THE GOD AND GODDESS OF WITCHCRAFT

THE GOD AND GODDESS OF WITCHCRAFT

A general complaint about Christianity by Witches is that there is the worship of the male deity to the exclusion of the female. In fact this is one of the main reasons for people (women especially) leaving Christianity and returning to the Old Religion. And yet it’s a strange paradox that many—if not the majority—of Witchcraft traditions are guilty of this same crime of
Christianity, if in reverse … they laud the Goddess to the near, or even total, exclusion of the God!

Witchcraft is a religion of nature, as any Witch will tell you. Everywhere in nature there is male and female, and both are necessary (I have yet to meet anyone who does not have both a mother and a father). It follows, then, that both the God and the Goddess are important and
should be equally revered. There should be balance. But balance is as woefully missing in most traditions of the Craft as it is in Christianity.

We are all—every single one of us—made up of both masculine and feminine attributes. The toughest, most macho man has feminine aspects just as the most traditionally-feminine woman has male aspects. So it is with the deities. The God has feminine aspects as well as masculine, and the Goddess has masculine as well as feminine.

What names you use for your deities is a matter of personal preference. In Saxon Witchcraft the name Woden is given to the God; in Gardnerian the Latin term Cernunnos is used; in Scottish, Devla. Each tradition has its own name. But names are only labels; they are only a
means of identifying. You should identify, then, using a name with which you can feel completely comfortable. For, after all, religion is a most personal thing, at the core, and—to be of real purpose—should therefore be related to on the most personal level possible. Even if you join an established tradition this is still valid—find a tradition that seems right for you (as I spoke about in Lesson One) but… don’t be afraid to modify where necessary to make it totally right for you. If the name used to identify the God, in the tradition you have chosen, happens to be Cernunnos (for example) and you have difficulty relating to that name, then choose another for your own use. In other words, respect the name Cernunnos in group worship and all matters pertaining to the coven but, in your own mind—and in personal rites—don’t hesitate to substitute Pan or Mananna or Lief or whatever. A name, as I have said, is a label. The God himself knows you are “talking” to him; he’s not going to be confused! (This all
applies equally to the Goddess of course).

It may well be for the above reason that the name Cernunnos is found in so many branches of the Craft. As I’ve mentioned, it is simply the Latin word for “the Homed One”. To add your own personal identification, then, in no way conflicts.

Traditionally the “dark half” of the year is associated with the God. But this does not (or should not) mean that he is “dead”, or incommunicado, in the “light half” of the year (and vice versa with the Goddess). During the light half he is fully active in his feminine aspect; just as the
Goddess is active in the dark half in her masculine aspect. So, both deities are active throughout the year, even though deference may be given to one over the other at certain times.

There is a common theme of death and resurrection found in myths throughout the world. The symbolism is frequently furthered in a descent to the underworld with a later return. We find it with Ishtar’s descent and search for Tannaz; with Sif’s loss of her golden tresses; with Idunn’s loss of her golden apples; with Jesus’ death and resurrection; with Siva’s death and resurrection, and many more. Basically all represent the coming of fall and winter followed by the return of spring and summer; the lead figure represnting the spirit of vegetation. From Witchcraft here are “The Myth Of the Goddess” as found in (a) Gardnerian Wicca and (b)
Saxon Wicca.

“Now G* had never loved, but she would solve all the Mysteries, even the Mystery of Death; and so she journeyed to the Nether Lands. The Guardians of the Portals challenged her, ‘Strip off thy garments, lay aside thy jewels; for naught may ye bring with ye into this our land.’

So she laid down her garments and her jewels and was bound, as are all who enter the Realms of Death the Mighty One. Such was her beauty that Death himself knelt and kissed her feet,
saying, “Blessed be thy feet that have brought thee in these ways. Abide with me, let me place my cold hand on thy heart.’ She replied, ‘I love thee not. Why dost thou cause all things that I love and take delight in to fade and die?’

‘Lady/ replied Death, ‘it is Age and Fate, against which I am helpless. Age causes all things to wither; but when men die at the end of time I give them rest and peace, and strength so that
they may return. But thou, thou art lovely. Return not; abide with me.’

But she answered, 1 love thee not’.

Then said Death, ‘An’ thou receive not my hand on thy heart, thou must receive Death’s scourge’.

It is Fate; better so’, she said and she knelt; and Death scourged her and she cried, ‘I feel the pangs of love’.

And Death said, ‘Blessed be’ and gave her the Fivefold Kiss, saying, ‘Thus only may ye attain to joy and knowledge’.

And he taught her all the mysteries. And they loved and were one, and he taught her all the Magicks.

For there are three great events in the life of Man: Love, Death and Resurrection in a new body; and Magick controls them all.

For to fulfill love you must return again at the same time and place as the loved one, and you must remember and love them again. But to be reborn you must die, and be ready for a new
body; and to die you must be born; and without love you may not be born. And these be all the Magicks.”

–The Meaning of Witchcraft
Gerald B. Gardner, Aquarian Press, London 1959

REINCARNATION

REINCARNATION

Reincarnation is an ancient belief. It is part of many religions (Hinduism and Buddhism, for example) and was even one of the original Christian tenets, until condemned by the Second Council of Constantinople in 553. It is believed that the human spirit, or soul, is a fragment of the divine and eventually it will return to its divine source. But, for its own evolution, it is
necessary that the soul experience all things in life.

It seems the most sensible, most logical, explanation of much that is found in life. Why should one person be born into a rich family and another into poverty? Why should one be born crippled, another fit and strong?…if not because we must all eventually experience all things. Reincarnation seems the most logical explanation of child prodigies. A musical genius, composing concertos at the age of five (as did Mozart), is obviously carrying-over knowledge from one lifetime into the next. This does not usually happen, but it can. In the same way, homosexuality might well be explained through reincarnation: a person male in one lifetime and then female in the next (or vice versa) might have carried over feelings and preferences from one life to the next.

For someone who does not believe in reincarnation, it is difficult to understand the death of a child. What was the point of the child living at all, if only for a few short years? For the reincarnationist it is obvious that the child had learned all that had been set to be learned
in that particular lifetime and so was moving on. A very good simile for this is the grades of a school. You enter school in a low grade and learn the basics. When you have mastered these you graduate, take a short vacation, then come back into a higher grade to learn and
experience more things. So it is in life. In each life you have a certain amount to learn and to experience. When you have done that, you graduate (i.e. you die). To come back into a higher grade you are reborn in a new body. Occasionally remembrance of previous lives, or parts of them, is experienced but more generally you do not remember (it is possible, of course, through such procedures as hypno-regression, to go back to previous lives and bring them once more to the surface). Perhaps one of the most common of occult experiences is that
of deja-vu—the feeling that something has happened before—so often attributed to reincarnation (though by no means is reincarnation the only possible explanation of all cases of deja-vu); the feeling being a brief flash of memory of something that happened in a previous life.

In what form do we return to the earth? Some believe (the Hindus, for example) that it is not necessarily in human form each time. Certain Hindu sects teach that the soul may be reborn as a plant or an animal. However, such beliefs are not generally held in Western civilization. Some say there is a progression from the lowest life-forms to the highest— putting humans at the top. But then who is to say the order? Is a dog higher than a cat, or a cat higher than a dog? Is a centipede higher or lower than an earwig? Does this mean, when every soul has finally passed up the scale and graduated, that in the afterlife there will be no plant, animal or insect life? It seems unlikely. In Witchcraft the belief is that all things have souls. In Saxon Witchcraft, for example, it is believed that a dog will go through many incarnations, but always as a dog; a cat always as a cat; a human always as a human. There is reason for all things to be here … what we term the “balance of Nature”. It seems we certainly have a choice, within our species, of being either male or female, in order to experience and appreciate the different aspects.

One argument often put forward by non-rein-carnationists is “If what you say is true, how
do you explain the fact that the world population is continuously growing?” Of course it is! So is the population of souls/spirits. There are not simply x number of souls who all started their development together. New souls are being introduced all the times. So we have so-called “new souls”—those on their first incarnations—and “old souls”—those who have been through a large number of lives. It is possible that eventually, when the gods decide enough souls
have been introduced, there will be a stabilizing of the population followed later by a decline, as old souls in their final incarnations make their graduations. There is yet another thought that might be considered here … where do these souls originally come from and where do they go after that final graduation? One possibility, of course, is that we not only experience lives here on Earth, but also on other planets and in other reality systems. Who knows? …
perhaps we go through the cycle here having already been through it a dozen times or more on other worlds. There is obviously much food for thought, very little (if any) proof of preferences and great scope for new tenets.

 

Source

Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft

RETRIBUTION/BETWEEN LIVES

RETRIBUTION/BETWEEN LIVES

RETRIBUTION

Along with reincarnation go thoughts of Karma.

Karma is usually thought of as a reward-and-punishment system stretching throughout all lifetimes: if you do evil in one life you will have to pay for it in the next. However, it seems that there is always talk of “karmic debts” and “karmic punishments” but seldom of “karmic rewards”. The Witchcraft view seems to make more sense.

First of all there is a Wiccan belief in retribution within each life. In other words, rather than being rewarded and punished after death, for what you have done in life (the traditional Christian view), Witches believe that you get your rewards and punishments during this lifetime, according to how you live it. Do good and you will get back good. But do evil and evil
will return. More than that, though, it is a three-fold retribution. Do good and you will get back three times the good; do evil and you will receive three times the evil. Obviously there is here no inducement for you to ever harm anyone. Of course it is not a literal threefold return. If you were to punch someone in the eye, it does not mean that you will get punched in the eye yourself three times. No. But, sometime in the future, you may “just happen” to break a leg … something which might be considered three times as bad as being punched in the eye.

In the Witchcraft belief, then, one lifetime’s experiences are not dependent on the previous one’s. For example, if you suffer physical abuse in this life, it does not necessarily mean that you were an abuser in your previous life. It is possible you were, yes. But it is just as possible that you were not but are going to be in the next life. In other words, it is a case of experiencing all things—being both the abuser and the abusee, but one is not necessarily dependent on the other. Several lifetimes could even take place between the one experience and its apparent correlative.

Just because you have chosen a particular lifetime and are to undergo the set experiences does not mean that you can just sit back and say “Everything is preordained. I’m just along for the ride.” The God and the Goddess will make sure that you do get all the particular experiences but your job is to progress; to strive your hardest towards perfection. YOU CREATE YOUR OWN REALITY. Whatever you want, you can achieve. But always remember the Wiccan Rede: “An’ it harm none, do what thou wilt.”

 

Whenever possible, help those less fortunate than yourself. By “help” I do not mean “interfere”. Help can be given by simply offering advice; by showing compassion; even, sometimes, by actually refusing direct assistance. For, in this latter case, it is sometimes of the greatest help and to the other’s benefit to make them give a little more effort: to make them think for
themselves.

BETWEEN LIVES

The length of time spent between lives may vary, depending on your study of the lessons learned and their integration with previous lessons; also on the necessary preparation for the next “semester”.

 

While between lives you might also become involved in helping some other spirit here on earth. Just as there is development and advancement in this life, so there is in “the between times”. You may have heard of such things as “Guardian Angels” and “Spirit Guides” and wondered if they really exist. In a sense they do. It means that a spirit is always watching over a less developed spirit here on earth. Since time does not exist in the between-times (it is a human-made concept, for the sake of reference only) then to watch over an earth-bound spirit for its whole earthly lifetime would not actually hinder the watcher’s progress. In fact, it would add to it in the sense of gaining “student-teacher” experience.

Witches always hope that they will be reborn in the next life with those they have known and loved in this one. From psychic experiences, etc., it seems that this is often the case. Many times a couple will stay together throughout a number of lifetimes, in different relationship
roles (e.g. lovers; husband-wife; brother-sister; mother-daughter).

Source

Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft