Lighten Up – Circle Etiquette

Circle Etiquette

Never summon Anything you can’t banish.

Never put asafoetida on the rocks in the sweat lodge.

Do not attempt to walk more than 10 paces while wearing all of your ritual jewelry, dream bags and crystals at the same time.

When proposing to initiate someone, do not mention the Great Rite, leer, and say, “Hey, your trad or mine?”

Never laugh at someone who is skyclad. They can see you, too.

Never, ever set the Witch on fire.

Looking at nifty pictures is not a valid path to mastering the ancient grimoires. Please read thoroughly and carefully from beginning to end so that your madness and gibberings will at least make some sense.

A good grasp of ritual and ritual techniques are essential! In the event of a random impaling, or other accidental death amongst the participants, (see next rule) a quick thinker can improvise to ensure successful completion of the Rite. Make them another sacrifice, Demons like those.

Watch where you wave the sharp pointy items.

Avoid walking through disembodied spirits.

Carry an all purpose translators dictionary in case the ritual leader begins talking in some strange and unknown language.

Avoid joining your life force to anything with glowing red eyes.

If asked to sign a contract or pact and you are experiencing doubts or reservations, sign your neighbors name. Malevolent entities rarely ask for photo ID.

Blood is thicker than water. Soak ritual garments an extra 30-45 minutes.

While drunken weaving may be mistaken for ecstatic dancing, slurring the names of Deities is generally considered bad form.

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Lighten Up – Top 10 Reasons Why Athame Handles are Black

10. So they’ll go with any color of robe.

9. So you can cover up nicks & scratches with shoe polish.

8. It’s slimming (can’t have fat athames, can we?)

7. It doesn’t show dirt.

6. Because finding a dropped athame in an outdoor ritual in the dark is a test of loyalty to your faith.

5. It’s so much more dignified than chartreuse.

4. Seemed like a good idea at the time.

3. Someone spilled all the paints together and that’s what ended up.

2. No, no! Black is for winter rituals–use white before Labor Day!

And the #1 reason athames handles are black….

1. So that we’d have something to argue about other than how “athame” is pronounced!

Light and Dark Dragons

Light and Dark Dragons

 

The white (light) and black (dark) dragons rule the center of the circle and balance all the elements. Through invocation of these dragons of light and darkness, the magician is able to mix a blend of elements that will bring forth the desired manifestation.

This family of draconic creatures works with all the other elements, but particularly with those of chaos and destruction. It may seem paradoxical for dragons of light to join forces with those of darkness and chaos, but it makes perfect sense to the knowledgeable magician. Sometimes, in order to create something better, old ideas, old forms, and old ways of living must be broken down and re-created. Most creatures and especially humans, are comfortable with the way things are and do not anticipate with joy any upheavals. We think we would be happiest if there were never any negative occurrences in our lives, if everything always ran smoothly without hitches. But a static life would be very boring indeed. And universal law will not tolerate static conditions. Everything is required to keep growing and changing, or it is recycled into another, more productive form. I do not say this is pleasant. At times it can become overwhelming, unnerving and downright frustrating.

I dislike using the terms “good” and “evil” when discussing light and darkness, because this does not give a true picture of the actual forces. Every element, including light or dark, has a negative side. The element of darkness has a definite place in magick, if properly used. The negative current of power is just as important to life and magick as is light or positive power it is just as important to life and magick as is light or positive power. We are not talking about Satanism; that is totally different type of magick, and never has anything to do with the balance of elements.

I was taught that the most effective magician is one who uses a balanced blend of light and darkness. Certainly no magician worth the salt on his/her altar is going to be a doormat. She/he will protect themselves and their loved ones when necessary, but will not go out of their way to dominate or harm other beings if at all possible. A magician cannot possibly understand and work with the light without acknowledging the existence of the dark. What she/he does with either light or dark comes down to understanding her/himself and practicing self-discipline and good morals.

Since elemental-type dragons of whatever color can be unpredictable, working either for or against the magician, the pentacle disk (a five-pointed star on a wooden disk) and the dragon pentacle are kept on the altar. These keep the elements within the control of the magician. To do this properly, the pentacle disk is used with one point upward, symbolizing that the dragons of light and darkness (or elements of Spirit) always rule over all elemental kingdoms.

Dancing With Dragons

D. J. Conway

The Creation of Modern Witchcraft

The Creation of Modern Witchcraft

The Evolution of Labels

Before we can discuss how Witchcraft came to be, we need to come to a common perspective of the labels and titles used in this article.
This evolution in language is what etymology is all about. Etymology is the study of or branch of linguistics dealing with word origin and development. Where a word was created or formed and it’s development through history. Words evolve, that’s a given. Proof of this can be found in the twenty-volume Oxford English Dictionary (O.E.D.), which is known by scholars as the definitive resource for word origin and definition. A word that had definition 1 in 1492 will still hold that meaning; but it will also evolve into a new version or use of that meaning, creating definition 2. Both meanings are correct and the application of the definition of the word will depend on it’s usage in conversation or context.
When it comes to using a word as a label, we have to think about how the word was used when it originated and not just how it’s perceived today. Warlock is a good example of this. It’s origination was to define a liar, a traitor. But today many non-pagans use it as the title for a male witch. Which most witches don’t care for.
So let’s first define a common understanding of some of the labels used in the pagan community.
Old Latin (OL)
Low Latin (LL)
Latin (L)
Old English (OE)
Middle English (ME)
Modern English (E)
Classical Greek (CG)
The latin language used before 75 BC
Nonclassical Latin, esp. in the medieval period 600 – 1500 AD
Modern Latin, used since 1500 AD
Anglo-Saxon English used primarily between 400 – 1100 AD
English language used between 1100 – 1500 AD
English language used since the 1500 AD
Greek language used between 700 – 300 BC
Wicca
From LL – the Saxon wicca/wicce
1. Old English: An old Saxon noun with a masculine ending, pronounced “witch’-ah” (not “wick’-ah”). 1a. The feminine form “wicce”, pronounced “witch’-eh”.
2. Modern English: A modern label for the pagan tradition of Wicca, established by Gerald Gardner.
Witchcraft
From OE wiccecraeft, ME wicchecrafte
1. Old English: the power or practices of witches; black magik. The craft of the wise.
2. Middle English: A neopagan religious practice such as shamanism, wicca, voodoo, diabolism, diablerie, demonology, Satanism.
Pagan
From LL paganus, L pagus
1. A person who is not a Christian, Muslim, or Jew; (Any Abrahamic origin belief system)
2. Heathen: formerly, sometimes applied specifically. to a non-Christian by Christians
Neopagan
From CG neos, L paganus
1. Any group of nature based revival pagan religions.

From the old world, using wicca/wicce and witch interchangeably is correct. But in our society today; the creation of Gerald Gardner’s Wiccan tradition clouds the use of these words. In common conversation, when someone mentions Wicca they’re rarely referring to witch; and more often referring to the traditional practice of Gerald Gardner. Using these words in the old world communication creates confusion. Now while it’s technically accurate; thanks to good old Gerald, the word has evolved into something new with a stronger or more prevalent meaning.
In the old world Witchcraft was a practice, a craft of magik. Technically it’s the correct usage of the word prior to 1100-1200 AD. Today it is a label used to define a specific set of neo-pagan traditions. It’s not a new concept; it actually started during the 13th century and is thanks to the early Christian Church. But we’ll get into that later on.
Over time, the category of religions under Witchcraft has slowly returned to their own roots and stand on their own. In part due to the neopagan revivals. For instance, Satanism isn’t considered to be part of Witchcraft. They stand on their own as a pagan religion, but not related to Witchcraft. Part of the delineation comes from the attempts to revive the old pagan religions in the late 1700s.