Main Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft (Llewellyn's Practical Magick)
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The text is complete but some of the front matter is missing: preface by Fitch, author's bio, second page of the table of contents, the copyright, dedication, and acknowledgments pages. There is OCR text (but couldn't a witch just conjure up her own text?). Booga booga!
14 September 2016 (05:20)
Magic isn't real, lol.
03 April 2021 (06:31)
Hey poop butt magic is very much real
17 April 2021 (20:23)
Poop Butt, why don't you practice it then, coward.
22 April 2021 (13:42)
My child try it before saying anything
22 April 2021 (13:51)
K poop no one cares
29 April 2021 (20:03)
Me and my brother are studying witchcraft, so I am very excited to look over this book <3
18 May 2021 (23:10)
Poop butt by the sound of your name I have to guess thus is your level if intelligence, no one cares what you say negative little child. So away with you while the adults talk.
13 June 2021 (14:40)
Please I need help with magic and witchcraft
21 June 2021 (17:35)
Is it real? I mean, sorcery, witchcraft, spells ... Are they real? Will it work for everyone?
07 July 2021 (23:14)
Yes, Witchcraft is very real if you want to get into it there's a lot of researching. If you want I can give you some books and if you're in the broom closet (family of extremely religious people) I can give you tips on how to hide your practice.
Yes, Witchcraft is very real if you want to get into it there's a lot of researching. If you want I can give you some books and if you're in the broom closet (family of extremely religious people) I can give you tips on how to hide your practice.
09 July 2021 (20:14)
Give me tips sir. I really want to know more
12 July 2021 (23:54)
Pooo butt let me get a piece of your hair then and you’ll see if it’s real or not ?
20 July 2021 (15:37)
INTRODUCTION Witchcraft is not merely legendary; it was, and is, real. It is not extinct; it is alive and prospering. Since the last laws against Witchcraft were repealed (as recently as the 1950s), Witches have been able to come out into the open and show themselves for what they are. And what are they? They are intelligent, community-conscious, thoughtful men and women of TODAY. Witchcraft is not a step backwards; a retreat into a more superstition-filled time. Far from it. It is a step forward. Witchcraft is a religion far more relevant to the times than the vast majority of the established churches. It is the acceptance of personal and social responsibility. It is acknowledgement of a holistic universe and a means towards a raising of consciousness. Equal rights; feminism; ecology; attunement; brotherly/sisterly love; planetary care—these are all part and parcel of Witchcraft, the old yet new religion. The above is certainly not what the average person thinks of in relation to "Witchcraft". No; the misconceptions are deeply ingrained, from centuries of propaganda. How and why these misconceptions came about will be examined later. With the spreading news of Witchcraft—what it is; its relevance in the world today—comes "The Seeker". If there is this alternative to the conventional religions, this modern, forward-looking approach to life known as "Witchcraft", then how does one become a part of it? There, for many, is the snag. General information on the Old Religion—valid information, from the Witches themselves—is available, but entry into the order is not. The vast majority of covens (groups of Witches) are still wary enough that they do not throw open their doors and welcome all and sundry. They are happy to straighten the misconceptions, but they do not proselytize. This leads many would-be Witches, out of sheer frustration, to simply declare themselves "Witches" and start their own practices. In doing so they draw on any, and oftimes all, available sources. T; he danger here is that they do not know what is valid and relevant and what is not. Unfortunately there are now many such covens, operating with large chunks of Ceremonial Magick happily mixed-in with smatterings of Satanism and odds and ends of Voodoo together with Amerindian lore. Witchcraft is a very "loose" religion, in terms of ritual practices, but it does have certain basic tenets and there are established ritual patterns to be adhered to. The purpose of this book is to give this necessary information. With it, you—as an individual or (with like-minded friends) as a group—can then either do your own thing, happy in the knowledge that it is at least as valid as any of the more established traditions, or you can, on locating a coven, become an initiated participant with training and knowledge as good as (if not better than) any of the other coven members. In Christianity there are many denominations (e.g. Episcopalian, Roman Catholic, Baptist, Methodist). So it is in Witchcraft. Just as there is no one religion that is right for all people, there is no one denomination of Witchcraft that is right for all Witches. And that is as it should be. We are all different. Our backgrounds—both ethnic and social—vary greatly. It has often been said that there are many paths, but they all lead to the same center. With so many paths, then, you are able to find the right one for YOU; the one path you can travel comfortably and securely. To be of the most use to you, the information I give in this book—the training you will get—is non-denominational. I take examples from different traditions (e.g. Gardnerian, Saxon, Alexandrian, Scottish), giving you both general information and specifics. This is drawn from my more than twenty years active participation in the Craft, and nearly twice that in the occult generally. By the time you have finished this training (presuming that you take it seriously), you will be the equivalent of the Third Degree, in Gardnerian or similar. From there you can then, as I have said, go on to other perhaps more specific training if you wish, in the sense of being tailored to a particular tradition. But from this present work you can get all of the basics and build from an excellent foundation. This is a workbook... it is something you must work through. Consequently, rather than Chapters, I have divided it into Lessons. At the end of each lesson you will find workbook exercises. At the end of the book in Appendix B you will find examination questions for each lesson. Read through each lesson. Read and absorb. Read through two or three times if necessary. Go back and pay special attention to anything you find was not easily absorbed. When you are finally happy with what you have learned, answer the examination questions. Answer in your own words, without referring back to the text. In this way you can see what has sunk in and what has not. Do not go on to the next lesson until you are completely happy with the previous one. Answers to the questions are to be found in Appendix C. The book has been carefully put together in specific order. Don't try to jump ahead to "more exciting" lessons ... you may well find that you don't have the necessary basics for them! When you have carefully worked through the entire book, then will be the time to go back and dip into it as a refresher. This book is based on the very successful Seax-Wica Seminary course that was enj oyed by over a thousand students worldwide. From that experience I know that the formula works, and works well. I would hasten to add that while based on that course, this present work is not the same course. The Seax-Wica course was designed specifically for the Saxon tradition; this is not. There is some duplication of the more general Craft material, yes, but not enough that a prior student of the Seminary course could not also enjoy this book. So, if you are a serious student of Witchcraft, or Wicca, either as a would-be practitioner or as one purely academically interested, then I welcome you. I hope you get as much out of this material as did my previous students. Bright Blessings Raymond Buckland San Diego, California \ \ CONTENTS INTRODUCTION XI LESSON ONE 1 The History and Philosophy of Witchcraft History and Development. Persecutions. Re-emergence. The Philosophy of Witchcraft. Principles of Wiccan Belief. The Power Within. Spells and Charms. LESSON TWO 13 Beliefs Deities; The God and Goddess of Witchcraft; Reincarnation; Retribution; Between Lives. Your Temple. Your Altar and its Furniture. Magick—an Introduction. LESSON THREE 27 Tools, Clothing and Names Working Tools; Knife; Marking in Metal; Sword; Other Tools; Dress; Jewelry; Horned Helmet. Inscriptions. Your Witch Name. LESSON FOUR 41 Getting Started Rites of Passage. Circles. Self-Dedication. Coven Initiation. LESSON FIVE Covens and Rituals 53 *i Covens and Degrees. Hierarchy and Priesthood. Covensteads and Covendoms. The Book of Rituals. Consecration of Tools. RITUALS—Erecting the Temple; Clearing the Temple; Esbat Rite; Full Moon Rite; New/Dark Moon Rite; Cakes and Ale. LESSON SIX Sabbats Samhain; Beltane; Imbolc; Lughnasadh. 67 79 LESSON SEVEN Meditation, Dreams and the Minor Sabbats Meditation— How Meditation Works; Technique; Posture; Area; Time of Day: Method. Dreams—The Source; Dream Interpretation and Symbology; Remembering Dreams; Personal Symbols; The Repetitive Dream; Group Dreams; Dreams vs Out-of-Body Experiences. Rituals—Spring Equinox; Summer Solstice; Autumnal Equinox; Winter Solstice. LESSON EIGHT 97 Marriage, Birth, Death and Channeling Handfasting Rite'; Handparting Rite; Birth Rite; Crossing the Bridge. The Intuitive Process-Categories of Channeling; Clearing the Channel; External Focal Points; Interpreting Channeled Information. The Aura. Sensory Deprivation. The Witches' Cradle. LESSON NINE 111 Divination , Tarot; Scrying; Saxon Wands; Cheiromancy; Tea-leaf Reading; Numerology; Astrology; Fire Scrying. LESSON TEN 135 Herbalism Herbal Lore; Getting the Most Out of Herbs; Simples, Syrups, Salves, Poultices and Powders; Herb Simples; Definition of Medical Actions; Herbs in Materia Medica. Botanicals—Alteratives, Anthel-mintics, Astringents, Bitter Tonics, Calmatives, Carminatives and Aromatics, Cathartics, Demulcents, Diaphoretics, Diuretics, Emollients, Expectorants, Nervines, Nerve Stimulants, Refrigerants, Sedatives, Stimulants. Vitamins in Herbs. The Art of Prescribing Medicine. Some Simple Treatments— Medicinal Drinks, Syrups, Decoctions, Teas, Mixtures, Ointments. Witches' Pharmacopoeia. Sources. LESSON ELEVEN 155 Magick Physical Body. Circle. Cone of Power. Dancing and Chanting. Feeling. Drawing Down Power. Releasing the Power. Timing. Cord Magick. Candle Magick. Love Magick. Sex Magick. Binding Spell. Protection. Form of Ritual. LESSON TWELVE 175 The Power of the Written Word Runes. Ogham Bethluisnion. Egyptian Hieroglyphics. Theban. Passing the River. Angelic. Malachim. Pictish. Talismans and Amulets. Power Raising Dance. General Dancing. Music and Song. Sabbat Games. Wine and Ale. Bread and Cakes. LESSON ONE THE HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY OF WITCHCRAFT Before really getting into what Witchcraft is, perhaps we should take a look back at what it was—the history of it. Witches should be aware of their roots; aware of how and why the persecutions came about, for instance, and where and when the re-emergence took place. There is a great deal to be learned from the past. It's true that much of history can seem dry and boring to many of us, but that is far from so with the history of Witchcraft. It is very much alive and filled with excitement. There have been many books written on the history of Witchcraft. The vast majority have suffered from bias—as will be explained shortly— but a few of the more recently published ones have told the story accurately... or as accurately as we can determine. The late Dr. Margaret Murray traced back and saw Witchcraft's origins in Palaeolithic times; 25,000 years ago. She saw it as a more or less unbroken line through to the present, and as a fully organized religion throughout western Europe for centuries before Christianity. Recently scholars have disputed much of what Murray said. She did, however, present some tangible evidence and much thought-provoking material. As a probable development of religio-magick (rather than Witchcraft, per se), her theories are still respected. Twenty-five thousand years ago Palaeolithic Wo/Man depended upon hunting to survive. Only by success in the hunt could there be food to eat, skins for warmth and shelter, bones to fashion into tools and weapons. In those days Wo/Man believed in a multitude of gods. Nature was overwhelming. Out of awe and respect for the gusting wind, the violent lightning, the rushing stream, Wo/Man ascribed to each a spirit; made each a deity... a God. This is what we call Animism. A god controlled that wind. A god controlled the sky. A god controlled the waters. But most of all, a god controlled the all-important hunt... a God of Hunting. Most of the animals hunted were horned so Wo/Man pictured the God of Hunting also as being horned. It was at this time that magick became mixed in with these first faltering steps of religion. The earliest form of magick was probably of the sympathetic variety. Similar things, it was thought, have similar effects: like attracts like. If a life-size, clay model of a bison was made, then attacked and "killed"... then a hunt of the real bison should also end in a kill. Religio-magickal ritual 1 2 / Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft was born when one of the cavemen threw on a skin and antlered mask and played the part of the Hunting God, directing the attack. There are, still in existence, cave paintings of such rituals, together with the spear-stabbed clay models of bison and bear. It is interesting to see how this form of sympathetic magick survived right through to relatively modern times. The Penobscot Indians, for example, less than a hundred years ago, wore deer masks and horns when performing rituals for the same purpose. The Mandan Indians' Buf-falo Dance is another example. Along with this God of Hunting there was a Goddess, though which came first (or whether they evolved together) we do not know, and it is immaterial. If there were to be animals to hunt, there had to be fertility of those animals. If the tribe was to continue (and there was a high mortality rate in those days) then there had to be fertility of Wo/Man. Again sympathetic magick played a part. Clay models were made of the animals mating, and in an accompanying ritual the members of the tribe would copulate. There are many carved and modeled representations of the Fertility Goddess extant. Generally known as "Venus" figurines, the Venus of Willendorf is one of the best known. Other examples include the Venus of Laussel and the Venuses of Sireuil and of Lespugne. All are similar in that the feminine attributes of these figures are greatly over-emphasized. They have heavy, pendulous breasts, large buttocks, an oftimes swollen belly—as though pregnant—and exaggerated genitalia. There is invariably complete lack of identity with the rest of the body. The face is not defined and the arms and legs, if there at all, are barely suggested. The reason is that Wo/Man was solely concerned with the fertility aspect. Woman was the bearer and nurser of the young. The Goddess was her representative as the Great Provider and Comforter; Mother Nature or Mother Earth. • With the development of agriculture there was a further elevating of the Goddess. She now watched over the fertility of the crops as well as of tribe and of animal. The year, then, fell naturally into two halves. In the summer food could be grown, and so the Goddess predominated; in the winter Wo/Man had to revert to hunting, and so the God predominated. The other deities (of wind, thunder, lightning, etc.) gradually fell into the background, as of secondary importance. As Wo/Man developed, so did the religion—for that is what it had become, slowly and naturally. Wo/Man spread across Europe, taking the gods along. As different countries developed, so the God and Goddess acquired different names (though not always totally different; sometimes simply variations on the same name), yet they were essentially the same deities. This is well illustrated in Britain where, in the south of England, is found Cernunnos (literally "The Horned One"). To the north the same god is known as Cerne; a shortened form. And in still another area the name has become Herne. By now Wo/Man had learned not only to grow food but also to store it for the winter. So hunting became less important. The Horned God came now to be looked upon more as a God of Nature generally, and a God of Death and what lies after. The Goddess was still of Fertility and Lesson One: The History and Philosophy of Witchcraft / 3 also of Rebirth, for Wo/Man had developed a belief in a life after death. This is evidenced from the burial customs of the period. The Gravettians (22,000-18,000 BCE) were innovators here. They would bury their deceased with full clothing and ornaments and would sprinkle them with red ochre (haematite, or iron peroxide), to give back the appearance of life. Frequently family members would be buried beneath the hearth so that they might remain close to the family. A man would be buried with his weapons; perhaps even his dog—all that he might need in the afterlife. It is not difficult to see how a belief in a life after death came about. At the root of it were dreams. To quote from Witchcraft From the Inside (Buckland, Llewellyn Publications, 1975): "When Man slept he was, to his family and friends, like one of the dead. True, in sleep he occasionally moved and he breathed, but otherwise he was lifeless. Yet when he awoke he could tell of having been out hunting in the forest. He could tell of having met and talked with friends who really were dead. The others, to whom he spoke, could believe him for they too had experienced/ such dreams. They knew he had not actually set foot outside the cave but at the same time they knew he was not lying. It seemed that the world of sleep was as the material world. There were trees and mountains, animals and people. Even the dead were there, seemingly unchanged many years after death. In this other world, then, Man must need the same things he needed in this world." With the development of different rituals—for fertility, for success in the hunt, for seasonal needs—there necessarily developed a priesthood: a'Select few more able to bring results when directing the rituals. In some areas of Europe (though probably not as generally widespread as Murray indicated) these ritual leaders, or priests and priestesses, became known as the Wicca*—the "Wise Ones". In fact by the time of the Anglo-Saxon kings in England, the king would never think of acting on any important matter without consulting the Witan; the Council of Wise Ones. And indeed the Wicca did have to be wise. They not only led the religious rites but also had to have knowledge of herbal lore, magick and divination; they had to be doctor, lawyer, magician, priest. To the people the Wicca were plenipotentiaries between them and the gods. But, at the great festivals, they almost became like gods themselves. With the coming of Christianity there was not the immediate mass-conversion that is often suggested. Christianity was a man-made religion. It had not evolved gradually and naturally over thousands of years, as we have seen that the Old Religion did. Whole countries were classed as Christian when in actuality it was only the rulers who had adopted the new religion, and often only superficially at that. Throughout Europe generally the Old Religion, in its many and varied forms, was still prominent for the first thousand years of Christianity. An attempt at mass conversion was made by Pope Gregory the Great. He thought that one way to get the people to attend the new Christian churches was to have them built on the sites of the older temples, where the people were accustomed to gathering together to worship. He instructed his bishops to smash any "idols" and to sprinkle the temples with holy water and rededicate them. To a large extent •Wicca (m); Wicce (f). Also sometimes spelled Wica or Wita. 4 / Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft Gregory was successful. Yet the people were not quite as gullible as he thought. When the first Christian churches were being constructed, the only artisans available to build them were from among the pagans themselves. In decorating the churches these stonemasons and woodcarvers very cleverly incorporated figures of their own deities. In this way, even if they were forced to attend the churches the people could still worship their own gods there. There are many of these figures still in existence today. The Goddess is usually depicted as very much a fertility deity, with legs spread wide and with greatly enlarged genitalia. Such figures are usually referred to as Shiela-na-gigs. The God is shown as a horned head surrounded by foliage; known as a "foliate mask", and also sometimes referred to as "Jack of the Green" or "Robin o' the Woods". Incidentally, these carvings of the old God should not be confused with gargoyles. The latter are the hideous faces and figures carved on the four corners of church towers to frighten away demons. In those early days, when Christianity was slowly growing in strength, the Old Religion—the Wiccans and other pagans—was one of its rivals. It is only natural to want to get rid of a rival and the Church pulled no punches to do just that. It has frequently been said that the gods of an old religion become the devils of a new. This was certainly the case here. The God of the Old Religion was a horned god. So, apparently, was the Christian's Devil. Obviously then, reasoned the Church, the pagans were Devil worshippers! This type of reasoning is used by the Church even today. Missionaries were particularly prone to label all primitive tribes upon whom they stumbled as devil-worshippers, just because the tribe worshipped a god or gods other than the Christian one. It would not matter that the people were good, happy, often morally and Ethically better living than the vast majority of Christians ... they had to be converted! The charge of Devil-worship, so often leveled at Witches, is ridiculous. The Devil is a purely Christian invention; there being no mention of him, as such, before the New Testament. In fact it is interesting to note that the whole concept of evil associated with the Devil is due to an error in translation. The original Old Testament Hebrew Ha-satan and the New Testament Greek diabolos simply mean "opponent" or "adversary". It should be remembered that the idea of dividing the Supreme Power into two—good and evil—is the idea of an advanced and complex civilization. The Old Gods, through their gradual development, were very much "human" in that they would have their good side and their bad side. It was the idea of an all-good, all-loving deity which necessitated an antagonist. In simple language, you can only have the color white if there is an opposite color, black, to which you can compare it. This view of an all-good god was developed by Zoroaster (Zarathustra), in Persia in the seventh century BCE. The idea later spread westward and was picked up in Mithraism and, later, in Christianity. As Christianity gradually grew in strength, so the Old Religion was slowly pushed back. Back until, about the time of the Reformation, it only existed in the outlying country districts. Non-Christians at that time became known as Pagans and Heathens. "Pagan" comes from the Latin There were other more definite adoptions from the old religions, especially in the early formative years of Christianity. The idea of the Trinity, for instance, was taken from the old Egyptian triad. Osiris, Isis and Horus became God, Mary and Jesus. December 25th, as the birthdate of]esus, was borrowed from Mithraism—which also believed in a second coming and indulged in the "Eating of God'. In many religions of the ancient world were found immaculate conceptions and sacrifice of the god for the salvation of the people. Witchcraft Ancient and Modern Raymond Buckland, HC Publications, NY 1970. Some of the instruments of torture used in the Bamberg witch trials Lesson One: The History and Philosophy of Witchcraft 15 Pagani and simply means "people who live in the country". The word "Heathen" means "one who dwells on the heath". So the terms were appropriate for non-Christians at that time, but they bore no connotations of evil and their use today in a derogatory sense is quite incorrect. As the centuries passed, the smear campaign against non-Christians continued. What the Wiccans did was reversed and used against them. They did magick to promote fertility and increase the crops; the Church claimed that they made women and cattle barren and blighted the crops! No one apparently stopped to think that if the Witches really did what they were accused of, they would suffer equally themselves. After all, they too had to eat to live. An old ritual act for fertility was for the villagers to go to the fields in the light of the full moon and to dance around the field astride pitchforks, poles and broomsticks; riding them like hobby-horses. They would leap high in the air as they danced, to show the crops how high to grow. A harmless enough form of sympathetic magick. But the Church claimed not only that they were working against the crops, but that they actually flew through the air on their poles ... surely the work of the Devil! In 1484 Pope Innocent VIII produced his Bull against Witches. Two years later two infamous German monks, Heinrich Institoris Kramer and Jakob Sprenger, produced their incredible concoction of anti-Witchery, the Malleus Maleficarum (The Witch Hammer). In this book definite instructions were given for the prosecution of Witches. However, when the book was submitted to the Theological Faculty of the University of Cologne—the appointed censor at that time—the majority of the professors refused to have anything to do with it. Kramer and Sprenger, nothing daunted, forged the approbation of the whole faculty; a forgery that was not discovered until 1898. Gradually the hysteria kindled by Kramer and Sprenger began to spread. It spread like a fire—flashing up suddenly in unexpected places; spreading quickly across the whole of Europe. For nearly three hundred years the fires of the persecutions raged. Humankind had gone mad. The inhabitants of entire villages where one or two Witches were suspected of living, were put to death with the cry: "Destroy them all... the Lord will know his own!" In 1586 the Archbishop of Treves decided that the local Witches had caused the recent severe winter. By dint of frequent torture a "confession" was obtained and one hundred twenty men and women were burned to death on his charge that they had interfered with the elements. Since fertility was of great importance—fertility of crops and beasts— there were certain sexual rites enacted by the Wicca, as followers of the nature religion. These sexual rites seem to have been given unnecessary prominence by the Christian judges, who seemed to delight in prying into the most minute of details concerning them. The rites of the Craft were joyous in essence. It was an extremely happy religion and so was, in many ways, totally incomprehensible to the gloomy Inquisitors and Reformers who sought to suppress it. A rough estimate of the total number of people burned, hung or tortured to death on the charge of Witchcraft, is nine million. Obviously not The Malleus Malleficarutn is in three parts, the first of which treats 'the three necessary concomitants of Witchcraft are the Devil, a Witch, and the permission of Almighty God'. Here the reader is first admonished that to not believe in Witchcraft is heresy. Points are then covered on whether children can he generated by Incubi and Succubi; Witches' copulation with the Devil; whether Witches can sway the minds of men to love or hatred; whether Witches can hebetate the powers of generation or obstruct the venereal act; whether Witches may work some presti-digitatory illusion so that the male organ appears to be entirely removed and separate from the body; various ways that the Witches may kill the child conceived in the womb, etc., etc.. The second part, Treating of the methods by which works of Witchcraft are wrought and directed, and how they may be successfully annulled and dissolved;' deals with 'the several methods by which devils through Witches entice and allure the innocent to the increase of that horrid craft and company; the way whereby a formal pact with evil is made; how they transport from place to place; how Witches impede and prevent the power of procreation; hoiv as it were they deprive man of his virile member; how Witch midwives commit horrid crimes when they either kill children or offer them to devils in most accursed wise; how Witches—injure cattle, raise and stir up hailstorms and tempests and cause lightning to blast both men and beasts'. Then follow remedies for the above. The third part of the book 'Relating to the judicial proceedings in both the ecclesiastical and civil courts against Witches and indeed all heretics', is perhaps the most important. It is here that the order of the trial is dealt with. 'Who are the fit and proper judges for the trial of Witches?'is the first question. It goes on to The method of initiating a process; the solemn adjuration and re-examination of witnesses; the quality and condition of witnesses; whether mortal enemies may be admitted as witnesses'. Here we are told that 'the testimony of men of low repute and criminals, and of servants against their masters, is admitted... it is to be noted that a witness is not to be disqualified because of every sort of enmity'. We learn that, in the case of Witchcraft, virtually anybody may give evidence, though in any other case they would not be admitted. Even the evidence of young children was admissable. It is obvious from the above that the authors of the Malleus Maleficarum had certain obsessions. A large number of the chapters are, for example, concerned with sexual aspects of Witchcraft ... who were the authors of this infamous work? They were two Dominicans named Jakob Sprenger and Heinrich (Institor) Kramer. Witchcraft Ancient and Modern Raymond Buckland, HC Publications, NY 1970 6 / Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft all of these were followers of the Old Religion. This had been a wonderful opportunity for some to get rid of anyone against whom they bore a grudge!' An excellent example of the way in which the hysteria developed and spread is found in the case of the so-called Witches of Salem, Massachusetts. It is doubtful if any of the victims hung* there were really followers of the Old Religion. Just possibly Bridget Bishop and Sarah Good were, but the others were nearly all pillars of the local church up until the time the hysterical children "cried out" on them. But what about Satanism? The Witches were called worshippers of the Devil. Was there any truth to this? No. Yet as with so many of the charges, there was reason for the belief. The early Church was extremely harsh on its people. It not only governed the peasants' way of worship but also their ways of life and love. Even between married couples, sexual intercourse was frowned upon. It was felt that there should be no joy from the act, it being permitted solely for procreation. Intercourse was illegal on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays; for forty days before Christmas and a similar time before Easter; for three days prior to receiving communion, and from the time of conception to forty days after paturition. In other words, there was a grand total of approximately two months in the year only when it was possible to have sexual relations with your spouse ... but without deriving pleasure from it, of course! It was no wonder that this, together with other such harshness, led to a rebellion—albeit a clandestine one. The people—this time the Christians—finding that their lot was not bettered by praying to the so-called God of Love, decided to pray to his opposite instead. If God wouldn't help them, perhaps the Devil would. So Satanism came into being. A parody of Christianity; a mockery of it. It was a revolt against the harshness of the Church. As it turned out the "Devil" did not help the poor peasant either. But at least he was showing his disdain for the authorities; he was going against the establishment. It did not take Mother Church long to find out about this rebellion. Satanism was anti-Christian. Witchcraft was also—in their eyes—anti-Christian. Ergo, Witchcraft and Satanism were one and the same. In 1604 King James I passed his Witchcraft Act, but this was repealed in 1736. It was replaced by an Act that stated that there was no such thing as Witchcraft and to pretend to have occult powers was to face being charged with fraud. By the late seventeenth century the surviving members of the Craft had gone underground; into hiding. For the next three hundred years, to all appearances Witchcraft was dead. But a religion which had lasted twenty thousand years, in effect, did not die so easily. In small groups—surviving covens, oftimes only of family members—the Craft continued. In the literary field Christianity had a heyday. Printing had been invented and developed during the persecutions, therefore anything published on the subject of Witchcraft was written from the Church's point of view. Later books had only these early works to which to refer so, not unnaturally, they were heavily biased against the Old Religion. In fact it was not until 1921, when Dr. Margaret Alice Murray produced The Witch Cult In Western Europe, that anyone looked at Witchcraft with anything like an unbiased light. From studying the records of the trials of the Middle Ages, Murray (an eminent anthropologist and then Professor of Egyptology at London University) picked up the clues that seemed to her to indicate that there was a definite, organized, pre-Christian religion behind all the "hogwash" of the Christian allegations. Although her theories finally proved a little far-fetched in some areas, she did indeed strike some chords. Wicca was by no means as far-reaching and widespread as Murray suggested (nor was there proof of a direct, unbroken line of descent from the cavepeople), but there can be no doubt that it did exist as an indubitable religious cult, if sporadic as to time and place. She enlarged on her views in a second book, The God of the Witches, in 1931. In England, in 1951, the last laws against Witchcraft were finally repealed. This cleared the way for the Witches themselves to speak up. In 1954 Dr. Gerald Brousseau Gardner, in his book Witchcraft Today, said, in effect, 'What Margaret Murray has theorized is quite true. Witchcraft was a religion and in fact it still is. I know, because I am a Witch myself." He went on to tell how the Craft was still very much alive, albeit underground. He was the first to give the Witches' side of the story. At the time of his writing it seemed, to him, that the Craft was rapidly declining and perhaps only hanging on by a thread. He was greatly surprised when, as a result of the circulation of his books, he began to hear from many covens throughout Europe, "In New England the law was as in England: Witches were hung. It was in Scotland and Continental Europe that they were burned at the stake. Lesson One: The History and Philosophy of Witchcraft / 7 all still happily practicing their beliefs. Yet these surviving covens had learned their lesson. They did not wish to take the chance of coming out into the open. Who was to say the persecutions could not start again? For a while Gerald Gardner's was the single voice speaking for the Craft. He claimed to have been initiated into an English coven, near Christchurch, just before the start of the Second World War. He was excited by what he found. He had spent a lifetime in the study of religio-magick and now was a part of it. He wanted to rush out and tell everyone. But he was not allowed to. Finally though, after much pleading, he was allowed to present some of the true Witch beliefs and practices by weaiving them into a novel: High Magic's Aid, published in 1949. It took five more years for him to persuade the coven to let him do the factual treatment. Complementing Witchcraft Today, his third book was published in 1959, titled The Meaning of Witchcraft. From his lifetime study of religion and magick, Gardner felt that what he found as the remains of Witchcraft was incomplete and, in places, inaccurate. For millenia the Old Religion had been a purely oral tradition. It was not until the persecutions, with the separating of covens and the resultant loss of intercommunication, that anything was put into writing. At that time, when the Witches were having to meet in the shadows, the rituals were finally written down in what became known as The Book of Shadows. The Book was then copied and recopied as it passed, over the years, from coven leader to coven leader. It was only natural that errors would creep in. Gardner took the rituals of the coven to which he belonged—a basically English/Celtic group—and rewrote them as he felt they should have been. This form then became known as "Gardnerian Witchcraft". In recent years there have been many wild and wonderful theories and accusations advanced, from "Gardner made up the whole thing" to "He commissioned Aleister Crowley to write The Book of Shadows for him". Such charges scarcely bear the dignity of a response, but details of Gardner's preparatory work can be found in Stewart Farrar's books: What Witches Do and Eight Sabbats for Witches. However, whatever one's feelings about Gardner, whatever one's belief in the Wicca's origins, all present-day Witches and would-be Witches owe him a tremendous debt of gratitude for having had the courage to stand up and speak out for Witchcraft. It is because of him that we can enjoy the Craft, in its many forms, today. In America the first Witch to "stand up and be Dr. Gerald Gardner 8 / Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft recognized" was myself, Raymond Buckland. At that time there were no covens visible in this country. Initiated in Scotland (Perth) by Gardner's High Priestess, I set out to emulate Gardner insofar as to try to straighten the long-held misconceptions and to show the Craft for what it truly is. Soon Sybil Leek arrived on the scene, followed by Gavin and Yvonne Frost and other individuals. It was an exciting time as more and more covens, and many different traditions, came into the open or at least made themselves known. Today the would-be Witch has a wide selection from which to choose: Gardnerian, Celtic (in many variations), Saxon, Alexandrian, Druidic, Algard, Norse, Irish, Scottish, Sicilian, Huna, etc. Details of some of these different traditions are given in the Appendix. That there are so many, and such varied, branches ("denominations" or "traditions") of Witchcraft is admirable. As I said in the Introduction to this work, we are all different. It is not surprising that there is no one religion that suits all people. In the same way, then, there can be no one type of Witchcraft to suit all Witches. Some like lots of ritual, while some are for simplicity. Some are from Celtic backgrounds, others from Saxon, Scots, Irish, Italian, or any of a number of others. Some favor a matriarchy; others a patriarchy and still others seek a balance. Some prefer to worship in a group (coven), while others are for solitary worship. With the large number of different denominations, then, there is now more likelihood of everyone finding a path they can travel in comfort. Religion has come a long way from its humble beginnings in the caves of pre-history. Witchcraft, as one small facet of religion, has also come a long way. It has grown to become a world wide religion, legally recognized. Today, across America, it is not at all unusual to find open Wiccan festivals and seminars taking place in such unlikely places as family campgrounds and motels such as the Holiday Inn. Witches appear on television and radio talk shows; they are written up in local and national newspapers and magazines. Witchcraft courses are given in colleges. Even in the Armed Forces is Wicca recognized as a valid religion— Department of the Army Pamphlet No. 165-13 "Religious Requirements and Practices of Certain Selected Groups—A Handbook for Chaplains" includes instructions as to the religious rights of Witches right alongside those of Islamic groups, Sikh groups, Christian Heritage, Indian Heritage, Japanese and Jewish groups. Yes, Witchcraft has a place in past history and will have a definite place in the future. 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 of things, 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 Lesson One: The History and Philosophy of Witchcraft / 9 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. 10 / Auckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft 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. 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 Lesson One: The History and Philosophy of Witchcraft / 11 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 (see illustration). 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". SPELLS AND CHARMS Spells and charms are the part of Witchcraft most commonly used by the solitary Witch. Spells are done by full covens, certainly, but there are very effective ones that can be done by the individual. The most important ingredient in a spell is emotion. You must want something to happen. You must want it with all your being, and through that desire you will drive all your power into the magick. This is the reason that it is far better to do magick for yourself than to ask someone else to do it for you. If you are doing a spell for another person there is no way that you are going to put the same amount of emotional drive into it that they could. Spells and charms are not necessarily tied in with the religious side of Witchcraft. To work a spell within the Circle, immediately following an Esbat rite would, almost certainly, be extraordinarily effective. Yet you can cast a simple Circle and work your spell at any other time and still get results. The actual mechanics of casting a spell; of working magick? Well, let's leave that until you are somewhat better versed in the religious side; after all, Witchcraft is a religion. NOW ANSWER THE EXAMINATION QUESTIONS FOR THIS LESSON IN APPENDIX B 1. It is often helpful to examine our feelings/attitudes toward a philosophy or topic we are interested in. What is your understanding, feeling of Witchcraft? Examine your impressions, preconceptions, biases, etc. How have your reactions changed regarding Witchcraft throughout your life? 2. There are many different denominations of Witchcraft. (Information is found on these in Appendix A). Based on what you know at this point, which denomination do you think you'd like to practice, and why? 3. The earliest conceptions of primitive magic dealt with sympathetic magic. How can sympathetic magic help you today? In what ways can you foresee using it? List some possibilities. Make a tape recording outlining the principles of Witchcraft which you intend to adhere to. Keep the tape for future use for recording favorite rituals on. Speaking out loud helps to consolidate beliefs, and make them clearer to you. LESSON TWO BELIEFS DEITIES As different as are the many religions of the world, in essence they are all the same. It has frequently been said that they are simply different paths all leading to a common center, and this is true. The basic teachings are all the same; all that differs is the method of teaching. There are different rituals, different festivals and even different names for the gods... notice that I say "different names for the gods" rather than, simply, "different gods". Friedrich Max Muller traced religion back to "an ineradicable feeling of dependence" upon some higher power that was innate in the human mind. And Sir James George Frazer (in The Golden Bough) defines religion as being "a propitiation or conciliation of powers superior to Man, which are believed to direct and control the course of nature and of human life". This higher power—the "Ultimate Deity"—is some genderless force which is so far beyond our comprehension that we can have only the vaguest understanding of its being. Yet we know that it is there and, frequently, we wish to communicate with it. As individuals, we wish to thank it for what we have and to ask it for what we need. How do we do this with such an incomprehensible power? In the sixth century BCE the philosopher Xeno-phones remarked on the fact that deities are determined by ethnic factors. He pointed out that the black Ethiopians naturally saw their gods as negroid, whereas the Thracians' gods were white, with red hair and gray eyes. He cynically commented that if horses and oxen could carve they would probably represent their gods in animal form! About seven hundred fifty years later Maximus of Tyre said much the same thing: that men worship their gods under whatever form seems 13 intelligible to them. In Lesson One you saw how, in their early development, people came to worship two principle deities: the Horned God of Hunting and the Goddess of Fertility. These, then, were our representations—our understandable forms—of the Supreme Power which actually rules life. In the various areas of Wo/Man's development we see that these representations became, for the ancient Egyptians, Isis and Osiris; for the Hindus, Shiva and Parvati; for the Christians, Jesus and Mary. In virtually all instances (there were exceptions) the Ultimate Deity was equated with both masculine and feminine ... broken down into a God and a Goddess. This would seem most natural since everywhere in nature is found this duality. With the development of the Craft, as we know it, there was also, as we have seen, this duality of a God and a Goddess. DEITIES' NAMES As mentioned in Lesson One, the names for the deities would vary depending upon locality. And not only locality. With the Goddess, especially, the question of names could become quite involved. For example, a young man with problems in his love life might worship the Goddess in her aspect of a beautiful young woman. Yet a woman in childbirth might feel more at ease relating to the Goddess as a more mature "middle-aged" female. Then again an elderly person would tend to think of the Goddess as herself being elderly. So there we have three separate and very distinct aspects of the same Goddess, each having been given a different name yet all being the same deity. As if that weren't enough, the deities would have names known to the general worshippers but also other, secret, names (often two or three) known only to the priest- 14 / Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft hood. This was a protective measure. In Witchcraft today there are many traditions that continue this multiplicity of names. Traditions with degree systems, for example, frequently use different deity names in their higher degrees than in their lower. Gardnerian is one example of this. So we have this idea of an Ultimate Deity, an incomprehensible power, and in trying to relate to it we have split it into two main entities, a male and a female. To these we have given names. It would seem that by so doing we are limiting what is, by definition, limitless. But so long as you know, and keep always in the back of your mind, that "It" IS limitless you will find that this is the easiest path to follow. After all, it is pretty difficult to pray to a "Thing", a Supreme Power, without being able to picture someone in your mind. IN JUDAISM there is this problem to an extent (though Judaism is a theocentric faith); the Supreme Power there has a name which may not be uttered and may not be written. Yahweh is the vocalized form often used, but it is derived from the four letters YHWH (the "divine Tetra-grammaton"), signifying "that name too sacred to be pronounced". IN CHRISTIANITY there was developed the use of a human male, Jesus, to play the part of the "Son of God", the Christ, thus giving a recognizable form to deity; a form to which the followers could relate. With the addition of Mary, the mother figure, the duality was complete. Bo it was much more comfortable to pray to Jesus, as the extension of God/Supreme Being, yet all the time knowing that there was the indefinable, the incomprehensible, beyond him. Jesus and Mary were the intermediaries. So IN WITCHCRAFT; those we know as the God and the Goddess are our intermediaries. Different traditions use different names, as already mentioned. These are the names used for the "understandable forms" of the Supreme Power; the Ultimate Deity. They are the deities honored and worshipped in the Witchcraft rites. 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 "PAN—A Greek nature and fertility deity, originally native to Arcadia. As such he is god of goatherds and flocks and is usually represented as a very sensual creature; a shaggy human to the loins with pointed ears, goat's horns and legs. He wanders among the mountains and valleys, pursuing nymphs or leading them in their dances. He is quite musical and is the inventor of the Syrinx, or 'Pipes of Pan'. He is considered to be a son of Hermes." Putnam's Concise Mythological Dictionary Joseph Kaster, Putnam, NY 1963 Lesson Two: Beliefs / 15 with the deities. The God has feminine aspects as well as masculine, and the Goddess has masculine as well as feminine. I will examine this in more detail in a later lesson. 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. There can be surprises in discovering names used for the deities in different traditions. One very-strongly Welsh tradition uses the name "Diana" for the Goddess and "Pan" for the Cod... Diana, of course, was a ROMAN Goddess and Pan was a GREEK God! Their connection with the Welsh must be one of the mysteries! Traditionally the "dark half" of the year (see Figure 2.1) 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 •Goddess: Arada/Arawhon Figure 2.1 16 / Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft 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 "All day had Freya, most lovely of the goddesses, played and romped in the fields. Then did she lay down to rest. And while she slept deft Loki, the Prankster, the Mischief-Maker of the Gods, did espy the glimmering oiBrosingamene, formed of Galdra, her constant companion. Silent as night did Loki move to the Goddess' side and, with fingers formed over the ages in lightness, did remove the silver circlet from about her snow-white neck. Straightway did Freya arouse, on sensing its loss. Though he moved with the speed of the winds yet Loki she glimpsed as he passed swiftly from sight into the Barrow that leads to Dreun. Then was Freya in despair. Darkness descended all about her to hide her tears. Great was her anguish. All light, all life, all creatures joined in her doom. To all corners were sent the Searchers, in quest of Loki; yet On the subject of deity names, let me explain the ones chosen for the Seax-Wica. From time to time I hear comments from people who haven't troubled to check beyond the ends of their noses, to the effect that Woden and Freya were not the original "pair" of Saxon deities. Of course they were not and nobody—least of all myself—has claimed they were. Here is how the founding of the tradition was first explained, back in 1973:— "It seems that most people who are Wicca-oriented are also tradition-oriented (perhaps this explains the battle for the 'Oldest Tradition' title?). For this reason I have given my tradition an historical background on which to lean. Namely, a Saxon background. By this I most emphatically do not mean that there is any claim to its liturgy being of direct descent from Saxon origins!... But, for example, names were needed for the deities ... the main male and female deities of the Saxons were Woden and Frig. Unfortunately 'frig'has certain connotations today which would be misplaced! 1 therefore adopted the Norse variant, Freya. So WODEN and FREYA are the 'labels' used for the God and Goddess worshipped by the Seax-Wica." (Earth Religion News, Yule 1973) The Seax-Wica does not claim to be a reconstruction of the original Saxon Craft—such a task would be impossible. It is merely a workable tradition built on a Saxon framework, and the deity names were chosen specifically and for the reasons given. Any comment regarding their being "incorrect" is, then totally erroneous. Lesson Two: Beliefs /' 1 7 knew they, they would find him not. For who is there may descend into Dreun and return again from thence? Excepting the Gods themselves and, alack, mischievous Loki. So it was that, still weak from grief, Freya herself elected to descend in search otBrosinga-mene. At the portals of the Barrow was she challenged yet recognized and passed. The multitude of souls within cried joyfully to see her yet could she not tarry as she sought her stolen light. The infamous Loki left no trail to follow, yet was he everywhere past seen. Those to whom she spake held to Freya (that) Loki carried no jewel as he went by. Where, then, was it hid? In despair she searched an age. Hearhden, the mighty smith of the Gods, did arise from his rest to sense the bewail-ment of the souls to Freya's sorrow. Striding from his smithy, to find the cause of the sorrow, did he espy the Silver Circlet where Loki Mischief-Maker had laid it: upon the rock before his door. Then was all clear. As Hearhden took hold ofBrosingamene, (then did) Loki appear before him, his face wild with rage. Yet would Loki not attack Hearhden, this Mighty Smith whose strength was known even beyond Dreun. By wiles and tricks did he strive to get his hands upon the silver circlet. He shape-shifted; he darted here and there; he was visible then invisible. Yet could he not sway the smith. Tiring of the fight, Hearhden raised his mighty club. Then sped Loki away. Great was the joy of Freya when Hearhden placed Brosingamene once more about her snow-white neck. Great were the cries of joy from Dreun and above. Great were the thanks that Freya, and all Men, gave to the Gods for the return of Brosingamene." The Tree: The Complete Book of Saxon Witchcraft Raymond Buckland, Samuel Weiser, NY 1974 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 18 / Auckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft 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. RETRIBUTION Along with reincarnation go thoughts of Karma. Karma is usually thought of as a reward-and-punish-ment 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." Lesson Two: Beliefs /19 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). YOUR TEMPLE Although many Witches meet, and work, outdoors - perhaps in the corner of a field or in a clearing in the woods - it is not always possible for everyone to do that. Many live in cities and towns and are unable to get out into direct contact with the earth. This does not mean they cannot function. Your temple can be an outdoor one or an indoor one. Let's look at indoor possibilities. The area you need, in which to perform your rituals and work your magick, could be a whole building, a single room, or a small section of a room. Whatever its shape or size, this is your Temple. A complete room—perhaps in the basement or attic of a house—is the ideal. If you have such a room that can be turned into your temple and kept solely as that, you are very fortunate. Let's look at such a possibility first and then work along to those who can only use a small part of their regular living quarters. First of all, take a compass and establish the alignment of the room. Mark the north, east, south and west. Your altar is going to be placed in the center of the room and it is preferable that it be set up so that when standing before it you are facing EAST. You can keep an altar candle and your representations of the deities on the altar at all times, but more on that below. On the floor around the altar you will be marking a circle, the Figure 2.2 20 / Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft exact dimensions and construction of which you will be taught in the next lesson. When entering and leaving the Circle, before and after a ritual, you will do so from the EAST, so if your room is rectangular rather than square you might wish to leave extra room on that side (see Figure 2.2 for example). Closets, for the storing of your Craft supplies, might also be placed in this larger area. Unless you live alone, or share your beliefs with everyone in your home, you will need closets that can be locked. You will be storing candles, incense, charcoal, wine and, most importantly, your Working Tools and Book. Of course, if you can lock the room itself then it is possible to leave your altar permanently setup and have your supplies on open shelves. Actually this is much the better arrangement. Decoration of the temple room is a matter for individual taste. It can vary from all walls being done in a neutral color, to vivid realistic murals being painted. There are temples varying from those that look like prehistoric caves—complete with reproductions of the early cave paintings—to those that look like a clearing in a forest, with trees all around and stars on the ceiling above. Others (usually those oriented exactly north-south, east-west) follow the magickal symbolic colors, with the north wall painted green, the east yellow, the south red and the west blue.* Obviously before any decoration or use of the room, it should be thoroughly cleaned. The floor, walls and ceiling should be scrubbed, with sea salt added to the water and cleaning agent. It is not necessary to do any elaborate cleansing ceremony at this point, since the Circle will be consecrated before each and every ritual you perform in it. However, once any decoration of your room is finished (other than the actual marking of the Circle itself) you should do an initial purification, as follows:This should be done on the night of the' New Moon. < Fill a dish (a saucer will do) with water and, kneeling, place it on the floor in front of you. Place your right forefinger (left, if you are left-handed) into the water. Imagine a bright white light streaming down from above, into the crown of your head. Feel it surge through your entire body and then direct it down your arm. Concentrate all your energies to send it down your arm, down the finger and into the water. It may help to dose your eyes. When you feel you have directed all the power you can manage into the water, keep your finger there and say: "Here do I direct my power, Through the agencies of the God and the Goddess, Into this water, that it might be pure and clean As is my love for the Lord and the Lady." Now take a teaspoonful of sea salt and pour it into the water. Stir it nine times, clockwise, with your finger and three times say: "Salt is Life. Here is Life, Sacred and new; without strife." Take the dish of salted water and sprinkle it (use your fingers to sprinkle) in each and every corner of the temple room. If the room is irregular in shape, with alcoves and closets, sprinkle every corner of every alcove and closet also. As you sprinkle, say one of the below (or make up something of your own, along these lines): "Ever as I pass through the ways Do I feel the presence of the Gods. I know that in aught I do They are with me. They abide in me And I in them, Forever. No evil shall be entertained, For purity is the dweller " Within me and about me. For good do I strive And for good do I live. Love unto all things. So be it, Forever." Seax-Wica Psalm or "Soft is the rain, it gently falls Upon the fields beneath. It lulls the heart, it stills the wind, Gives solitude I seek. It patters down, so gentle yet It ne'er does bend a leaf, "There are some magickal traditions that equate different colors with the four quarters, but these are the generally used ones. Lesson Two: Beliefs / 21 And yet the water that is there Will wash away all grief. For smoothness follows in the wake, And quiet and peace and love - Are all around in freshness new, Come down from clouds above. All evil go, flow out from here And leave all fresh and plain. Let negativity not come Into this room again. For love I now find all around, So soft, so still so sure; I can perform my rituals As peace and quiet endure." Now light some incense. Stick incense or cones will do but you will find that, for ritual and magickal work, it is better to burn powdered incense on a charcoal bric-quet, in a hanging censer (More on this below). Go again about the room, this time swinging the censer in each and every corner. Again say the lines you said when you sprinkled the water. But what if you do not have a whole room to dedicate as a temple? That is all right. You can take the corner of any room—living room, bedroom or kitchen and make that your temple. Again, let's look at the ideal first. An area at least five feet square is needed. You might like to arrange rails and curtains so that the area can be curtained off from the rest of the room, though this is not a necessity. You may paint this section of the wall differently from the rest of the room, to suit your desires. If you can choose an area in the east it is preferable. Keep your working tools and supplies locked away in any convenient place but, here in your temple area, keep your altar. You may keep it pushed up against the wall when not in use, if you wish. On the altar always keep an altar candle (generally white but, as we progress, you will learn of other colors and their times for use) and your representations of the deities. These can be either statuettes or pictures, as outlined below. This temple area should be cleaned, sprinkled and censed in the same way as the full room temple detailed above. The last consideration is for the person who, perhaps, has a very small apartment or who shares a room with someone not necessarily sympathetic to the Craft. Again there should be no real problem. The main thing is to have somewhere to lock away your Working Tools. If you can have an altar and leave it set up with candle and deity figures, you can put it anywhere convenient in the room. Again the east is preferable. Try to keep your roommate (s) from using it as a coffee-table/catch-all, if you can! If it is not possible to have a regular altar—specially made or adapted and kept for ritual use—then you can get by using a coffee-table or similar. In this case keep your deity figures wherever convenient... on a table, shelf or sideboard. They should be respected by your roommate (s) in the same way that you would respect their, or anyone else's, crucifix or Virgin Mary figure, or whatever, should they have such. When you are able to do your rituals (presumably alone) all you need do is clear enough floor space anywhere convenient and set up your Circle, altar, etc.. Afterwards you will have to clear everything away again. There are many full covens who meet regularly in one-room apartments. A little light furniture moving and a Circle can be cast and a ritual enjoyed. So, you see, there is nothing to prevent you from having a temple. One final word: as mentioned earlier, some Witches/ covens hold their rituals outdoors. In fact the majority certainly prefer this, though it isn't always possible due to (a) lack of a site, or (b) unsuitable weather. If you are lucky enough to have access to a small clearing in the woods, or any piece of ground where you can be private, then don't hesitate to use it. There will be no need for the cleansing ritual detailed above; you will proceed as will be shown in Lesson Three—Circles of Power and Protection. YOUR ALTAR AND ITS FURNITURE You can use virtually anything as an altar. If you are holding your Circle outside, then a large rock or a tree stump is ideal. If you are indoors, then you can utilize a small coffee-table, a wooden box or even some boards resting on bricks. It is better to have an altar that does not contain any steel, so a ready-made table is not really the best (unless glued or pegged together). If there has to be metal in the table, brass is acceptable. Why is this? It has to do with conductivity. The Witch's Knife and Sword (and Wand, if used) are the only tools that are used for storing and directing energies. They, then, can be of a conductive metal—iron or steel. All other items should be non-conductive—silver, gold, brass, stone, wood—since they are not used in that fashion. But why not have a little aestheticism with your altar? 22 / Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft Why not do things properly? You are working in a circle, so why not a circular altar? To me, a rectangular altar in a circle always looks somewhat incongruous. This is one of the reasons a tree stump is so ideal. In fact a beautiful altar can be made by putting legs on a section of tree-trunk. The legs should be glued on. One such altar I have seen was made truly beautiful by the maker—a Craftsman in both senses—carving figures of the God and the Goddess into the legs. The "Altar Furniture" consists of a candle, or candles; incense burner (known variously as a "censer" or "thurible"); two dishes, one for salt and one for water; libation dish; goblet(s); and figures to represent the deities. Of course this is not a hard-and-fast list. Feel free to add or subtract according to your needs (it is understood, also, that individual traditions dictate certain items, e.g. Gardnerian has cords and a scourge). Most Witches "do their thing" in the evenings (not a necessity, of course) and so illuminate with candles around the Circle and on the altar. A candle on the altar is also helpful so that you can read from the book of rituals. Whether you have one candle or two is up to you. An incense burner is pretty much a necessity. Incense has been used in religious rites for thousands of years. The old belief was that the Lesson Two: Beliefs / 23 smoke of the incense carried your prayers up to the gods. Certainly it adds immeasurably to the atmosphere of the ritual. Since there is frequent need to move the incense-burner about the Circle (e.g. to cleanse, or "cense" the Circle itself during the consecration part of a ritual), a simple dish to hold a cone or stick of incense is not ideal. It is far better to have a hanging (swinging) censer. These can be bought or can be made. A special charcoal briquet is then placed in the censer and lit, then powdered incense is sprinkled on the charcoal. This is much more economical than burning cones or sticks and one briquet will burn for two hours or more. Both briquets and powdered incense can be bought at most church supply stores. There is nothing against cones or sticks, of course, if you prefer them. Choose an incense that you enjoy; nothing too sweet and sickly. If you feel you must have a specific incense for a particular ritual, fine, but generally I find it doesn't make any difference which ones you use. I personally enjoy a good sandalwood or frankincense or one of the better "high altar" mixtures of the Christian Church. Incidentally, if you have nothing else, you can burn incense in any saucer-like vessel. If you are using charcoal briquets and are afraid of the vessel cracking, simply fill it with sand and that will absorb the heat. Salt and water dishes are found on most Witch altars. Salted water represents life (salt itself symbolizes semen, as is detailed in an interesting essay by Ernest Jones, titled The Symbolic Significance of Salt). Baptismal water, or "Holy Water", is nothing more than salt and water. The dishes you use can be of any type. Some people even use sea-shells as containers. During rituals it is usual to drink some wine (or fruit-juice, if alcohol is not possible). To toast the gods, a libation is always poured first. When meeting outdoors this can simply be poured on the ground. But when indoors the best, and usual, way is to pour the offering into a dish; the Libation Dish. Later—after the ceremony—the dish can be taken outside and the wine poured out on the ground. Like the salt and water dishes, the libation dish can be of any type. ' The wine goblets of the Priest and Priestess stand on the altar; those of the other celebrants are placed on the ground at their feet. Again the goblet can be to suit yourself. It could be simply a glass or it could be a decorative drinking horn. The latter can be made from cow-horns (obtainable from handicraft stores, such as the Tandy Leather Company chain), with stands either separate or attached, made from bent silver or copper wire or from wood. Some Witches refer to their goblet as a "chalice" but, to my mind, this smacks of the eucharistic cup of Christianity so I tend to avoid it. Some Witches do not care to have deity figures on their altar. The majority, however, do. You can seek out actual statues, though good ones are not easy to come by (copies of Boticelli's "Birth Of Venus"— irreverantly known as "Venus On a Half-Shell"!—are ideal for the Goddess). Many Witches search for years to find a statuette that exactly fits the mental image they have of the deity. Antique stores and flea markets/ swap meets seem to be the best places to look. Some Wiccans use symbols, such as a sea-shell for the Goddess and an antler for the God. I have seen candles used, also various chess pieces, rocks, plants, etc.. One 24 / Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft possibility is pictures. I have seen beautiful deity representations made by decoupaging appropriate colored pictures to attractive pieces of wood. If you have the talent, of course, there is no reason why you shouldn't sculpt or draw your own figures. MAGICK—AN INTRODUCTION Magick will be dealt with in detail later, in Lesson Eleven. There you will learn all the many and varied forms of magick and their workings. However, here I would like to take a quick look at some of the rudiments of magick; the basics. First among these is TIMING. You may know that the Moon is frequently associated with Witchcraft, but you may not know why. One of the reasons is that the phases of the Moon are important to the proper working of magick. Taking the two main phases: the time from the New Moon, through the First Quarter, to the Full Moon is known as the Waxing Moon. From the Full, through the Last Quarter, to the New is known as the Waning Moon. When the Moon is growing in size, it is waxing; when it is decreasing in size, it is waning. extermination. There is a certain element of sympathetic magick just in this time of working. For example, as the Moon grows, so grows the opportunity (or whatever) for which you are working. Or, as the Moon dwindles, so declines the bad habit you are trying to overcome, or the wart you are trying to remove. The second basic of magick is FEELING. You must want whatever you are working at to really happen. You must want it with all your being. You must put every infinite particle of power into that desire, that urge for the act to come to pass. For this reason it is usually far more effective to do magick for yourself than to do it on someone else's behalf. It is seldom that another person can feel as intensely about something as the one directly concerned. This strong "feeling" is, in effect, the raised "Power" used in magick. As an aid, a booster, to your power there can be used a number of amplifiers. One of these is Chant and another is Rhyme. The rhythmic chanting of a spell, with a solid, regular beat, can do much to intensify your feeling and, thereby, increase your power. Similarly, dancing can raise the power and so can a number of other treatments, including sex, all of which will be discussed in detail in Lesson Eleven. One other aspect might be mentioned here. When performing magick it is advisable to have a clean body. This means cleansed externally and internally. Bathe the body (with a spoonful of sea salt added to the water. This can be bought at most supermarkets or, failing that, at health food stores). Also prepare the inner body by the removal of toxins. This is done by fasting for twenty-four hours before working magick. No alcohol, no nicotine and no sexual activity (more specific details later). Whenever doing magick, always consider the Wiccan Rede. Will your action harm anyone? If the answer is "Yes"... don't do it. More later. NOW ANSWER THE EXAMINATION QUESTIONS FOR THIS LESSON IN APPENDIX B Basically, constructive magick (for growth) is done during the waxing cycle and magick for destruction is done during the waning cycle. Constructive magick would include such things as love, success, protection, health, fertility. Destructive magick would include such things as binding spells, separation, elimination, 1. This Lesson deals with Beliefs. Examine your present beliefs on reincarnation. Do you have any past-life memories? 2. Construct/draw an altar table. Indicate what will be placed on it, and show their arrangement. ALTAR 3. Construct a diagram of a temple which would be ideal for your needs. Indicate the area which would best reflect your affinities (outside, inside). What actual items would you like it to contain? Make this a realistic layout of what your temple will actually be like. TEMPLE 4. List some examples of magickal workings appropriate for your needs you would do during the waxing cycle of the Moon. 5. List examples of magick you would do during the waning cycle of the Moon. LESSON THREE TOOLS, CLOTHING AND NAMES obtain the iron from the ore and to harden it. Indeed we find many peoples regard their blacksmiths as magicians ... among them Wayland stands out as the smith par excellence. The figure of this wondrous (Saxon) smith symbolizing at first the marvels of metalworking... was made the subject of heroic legend." WORKING TOOLS The working tools are dictated by the tradition to which you belong. In Gardnerian, for example, there are eight working tools which include Athame (knife), Sword, Wand, Scourge, Cords, White-Handled Knife and Pentacle. In the Saxon tradition there are fewer: Seax (knife), Sword and Spear. If you are creating your own denomination then you can decide for yourself which to have and which not to have. All tools, after they have been made, are ritually cleansed and purified before use, to remove any negative vibrations. They are then personally charged and consecrated. Details for this are given next lesson. For now, as you finish making each tool, wrap it in a piece of clean, white linen and store it away safely until you are ready for the consecration. So iron, or steel, would seem to be the best material to use. The size of the knife should be to suit yourself; whatever feels comfortable. This is your personal tool— a magical tool—and as such is something very special. It will not do, then, to simply go to a store and buy a ready-made knife (though more on that later). The best thing, by far, is to make your own from scratch. Of course, not everyone is capable of this but, for those who are, let me start by looking at how to make one. If you can't buy a suitable piece of steel, use an old file or chisel and work with that. Whatever steel you have, it is going to be hard so your first job will be to soften it for working. Heat the steel till it is a dull red. If you have no other way of doing it, lay it on the burner of a gas or electric stove. You may have to leave it there, with the control turned full on, for several hours but it will eventually heat up to a dull red. Once it has reached that color, turn off the heat and let it cool down naturally. That's all there is to it. It will now be softened and easier to work. Mark on the metal, with a pencil, the shape you want it to be (see Figure 3.1). With a powered bandsaw (if you have one), or a simple hacksaw, cut out the profile and file off any rough edges. Then start shaping the blade for sharpness. A grinding wheel would come in handy here, though you can work with rough and KNIFE Every Witch has a personal knife. In many traditions this is called an athame (pronounced "a-tham-ay"). In the Scottish tradition it is a yag-dirk and in the Saxon a seax ("see-ax"). The knife usually has a steel, double-edged blade, though one exception is in the Frosts' tradition, where it is a single-edged brass knife. It might be worth quoting from Anglo-Saxon Magic by Dr. G. Storms (Gordon Press, NY 1974), an annotated translation of various ancient Anglo-Saxon manuscripts: "Iron manifestly takes its power from the fact that the material was better and scarcer than wood or stone for making tools, and secondly from the mysterious way in which it was originally found: in meteoric stones. It needed a specialist and a skilled laborer to 29 30 / Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft smooth files. The blade is going to be double-edged, so you are aiming for a diamond-shaped cross-section (see Figure 3.2). Finish off the blade with two grades of wet and dry paper. Now your blade will need to be hardened and tempered. Heat it up again, this time until it is red hot. Then take hold of it with a pair of pliers and plunge it into a bowl of tepid water (not cold, or the blade will crack) or oil. Allow it to cool off then clean it with wet and dry paper. Next, to temper it, reheat the blade to a dull red. Again plunge it, point downwards, into the tepid water or oil, moving it up and down in the liquid. Clean it with wet and dry paper, then heat it up again. Watch the blade carefully this time as it changes color. It will go to a bright, light, straw color, then to a medium straw color. Immediately plunge the blade into water and let it cool off (don't let it get past the straw color; it would go on to blue, then purple and green). Watch the point as that will change color first. At the first sign or "blueing" on the point, plunge the blade into the water. NOTE: The colors appear quickly. Keep the point the furthest from the heat. Once the blade is cold take it outside and plunge it into the ground a couple of times. Now you have AIR, Moved the blade through the Heated it with Plunged FIRE it into and Showed it to the WATER For the handle, take two pieces of wood. Draw around EARTH. the tang (the handle part of the blade) on each of the pieces of wood (see Figure 3.3 and 3.4). Then chisel out the marked sections, each one to half the thickness of the tang. When finished, the two pieces of wood should lay together Figure 3.2 Figure 3.1 Figure 3.3 Figure 3.4 Lesson Three: Tools, Clothing and Names / 31 perfectly with the tang inserted between them. When you are satisfied they fit well, slightly roughen the inside wood and then spread a good epoxy resin glue all over. Put the tang in place, press the two wooden handle halves together and clamp. When clamping, put on the pressure slowly so as to give a better "spread" to the glue. Leave clamped for at least three days. When removed from the clamp, draw a profile of the ha