Whenever we work magic in order to change things around us, the power of will is nothing more than us directing energy towards the universe in order to construct that in which we desire from a spell. For us to understand these changes, we must be aware of what Energy means.

"The human body is an energy system... which is never a complete structure; never static; is in perpetual inner self construction and self destruction; we destroy in order to make it new..."
- Norman O Brown, Love's Body

The word ENERGY evokes images of power lines and outlets, or your metabolism, or a person running and being all hyper. However, the energy around us flows through an invisible web that connects us all to each other. A witch needs to become sensitive to that flow of energy; connecting through the channels and let it flow through you is the only sure way that your magic will work effectively. Even though we - as living things - are filled with energy (personal energy), we must also use the energy around us so that our own personal stach does not weaken and thus bring the body to an unhealthy state.

There are many forms of energy, being the one which is visible to us the most common (like a rainbow in the sky after a rainy day, or the light that the moon brushes out). As I've stated before, personal energy is the energy that we have in our bodies, the one that makes us go round and round. Metabolism, nerve impulses, body heat, all those count as personal energy. In order for the body to stay healthy, this energy has to be in perfect balance within.

The Earth energies are the ones we connect to when we are in ritual. It is the energy of the planet, the one that gives birth to all living things. It has been called mana or shakti kundalini. Avobe the Earth is the energy of the sky, the energy of the Sun and stars. Then we have the divine energy. This kind of energy is the one that does not belong to the polarity of Earth and Sky. It's pure divine energy, what we call unconditional love, used to create sacred spaces and rituals. The energy that is all loving, all knowing, beyond all good and evil.
During ritual, the things we use during our encounter with the God/Goddess is a symbol of an energy that exists on another plane. How well we understand the representation of such symbols and the energy that they carry is how efficient our magic can be. In order to bring through this divine energy, a circuit of communication must be set up in the form of visualization, symbols, ritual, and meditation. To keep the energy from dissipating, we use the magic circle.

Conway, D.J. Magick of the Gods and Goddesses: Invoking the Power of the Ancient Gods.
Cuhulain, Kerr. Full Contact Magick: A Book of Shadows for the Wiccan Warrior.
Penczack, Christopher. The Inner Temple of Witchcraft: Magick, Meditation, and Psychic Development.

Beltane Fire Burns

In this holy night we turn,
Let the Beltane Fires burn!
Bless the lady and the lord
Call to them and beg threefold
Dance and sing and call out loud
Turn around and shout it out

In this night the gates are down
See the fairy folk dance till dawn
In this night let the fires burn
Dance and dance ‘till the night will turn
Shout out loud and bless the love
Call it out and dance above

Fire! Fire! Burn so high
Shine so high in the Beltane sky
Warm our hearts with your heat
Till they are drumming in the same beat
Spring sky over our heads
Leaves and flowers are our beds
Let us dance and let us love
Beltane sky is high above

Fire! Fire! Burn so high
Burn into our hearts and the Beltane sky
Brothers and sisters, bless this night
Call out loud and celebrate bright
Lord and lady, blessed be

I’m calling out so mote it be!


Beltane Ritual for One

A Ritual for One from Rae Beth's 'The Wiccan Path'

Prior to this rite you should have made ready a wooden wand. This should be a branch from an Oak or Hazel tree. Remember, do not take the wood from a living tree!

The wood can be cut into the rough shape of a phallus in which case it should be of the appropriate size and shape. On the other hand, a simple branch, peeled of its bark, and about 13 inches long and half an inch thick is also acceptable. Place the wand upon your alter within the Circle.

Prepare a dish of earth and place it upon the alter beside the wand.

The Rite
Cast the Circle and invoke the Lady and the Lord. After the invocation, dance and chant to raise power for magical activities and then earth the power into an unlit candle, placed inside the cauldron, at the center of the circle. Chant the following (or make up your own!):
I dance with delight
on Beltane's night.
All senses freeing,
I dance for being.
The flower and the flame
of love's own rite
shall blossom. Sun
embrace Earth, bright.

Light the candle to the Sun. This is the Beltane fire, our modern substitute for the hilltop bonfires of our ancestors. The Bel fire is an invocation to the Sun God to bring blessing and protection for the coming year. This is sacred fire with healing and purifying properties. As you light the candle, be aware of its power and significance. Say:
I light this candle to the Sun.
Now take up a dish of earth. Bless it in the name of the Goddess.

Lay your hands upon it and say:
I bless, consecrate, and set apart this earth,
in the name of the Triple Goddess. May this
be sacred earth, set apart for magic. For
earth is of the Goddess, being her sacred body.
Remember that the Goddess is not only of the Moon, but of the Earth and of the farthest stars. She is the Triple Goddess of the Circle of Rebirth, the Mother of All Life. Decorate the dish of earth with flowers.

Now, take a wooden wand and oil it with vegetable oil. Bless it in the name of the Lord of the Day, the youthful, ardent one, the Lord of Life, the God of the greenwood. Pass it swiftly through the candle flame, the Bel fire, so that it becomes magically imbued, 'charged', with power. Place the wand upon the dish of earth, saying as you hold it there:
As the wand is to the earth,
so the male is to the female
and the Sun to our blossoming world.
Joined, they bring happiness.
May the God of Life give ___
{something you want, for example, peace on Earth}
May the Goddess bring it forth!
Sit quietly for a while, and picture the blossoming of what you have desired in life. The spells and invocations of all of us, all working on themes like these, must eventually bear fruit, because life is on the side of peace. Leave the earth and wand upon the alter.

Walk deosil three times around the circle, then spiral into the center. Go evenly, with grace, meditatively. Sit beside the candle flame, allowing yourself to feel peaceful. Gaze into the flame.

The next part is different depending on whether you are man or woman.

For a Woman: visualize a red rosebud in your womb. Always your womb is the source of your creative power, whether you are pregnant with a child, an idea, a work of art or an intention. Close your eyes and picture the light from the candle streaming into your womb so that the rosebud blooms, unfolds. Hold the image for a while, feeling the silkiness, smelling the scent, the freshness, seeing the color of the fully open rose within you. Feel the strength and power of your own fully blossomed capabilities. Say:
I am woman,
strong to conceive and to create,
to give birth and to tend.
As I am daughter of the Goddess,
and blessed by the God, may I ___

{here name what you wish to bring forth in life. For example bring healing to others or write my book whatever matters to you}

Feel the strength and creative force within your womb, the center of your being. See the power being channeled, flowing into the desire you have just voiced. Open your eyes. Always, the rose is within you.

For a Man: Visualize a bright flame. This burns within your sexual center, a point at the base of the stomach, just above the pubic hairline. It is your own male strength and energy which may rise through your body to be released as giving, fertilizing power, in any form, or may be the potency which impregnates, creating a physical child. It is the force which blesses and bestows, a healing and creative energy, like the shining Sun. Visualize also that you are sitting in a garden and that a rose tree is in front of you, the roses in bud. Say:
I am man,
and in my passion is beauty,
in my warmth is life.
As I am son of the Goddess,
and blessed by the God,
I offer my strength and vitality to ____

{name the area of life, the place, activity, or committment you choose}
Visualize the light streaming from you to a rose upon the tree causing it to unfold, to blossom. Your flame is lowered by this effort. Much has gone out of you, the flame sinks down. Wait and watch, until a pink light streams from the rose towards your body. At its touch, just above the pubic hairline the flame resurges. It burns highter and stronger than before. Open your eyes. The flame is always within you.


Beltane Rituals

Basic Requirements
Altar/Altar Cloth/Altar Candles: The altar should be in the center of the circle area, facing the Eastern quarter. The altar cloth should always be yellow for the High Earth Rite of Balemas. (This is only if you are using a regular rectangular altar.) The two main altar candles should be yellow.
Other Candles: The four quarter candles should be blue in the West, red in the South, yellow (or gold) in the East, and green in the North. All other secondary candles used for extra lighting in the ritual area should be of various shades of forest green or suited to personal taste.
Special Items: A small wreath of flowers will be needed to serve as a crown for the May Queen. These can be easily made. Another optional item is the May pole and its ribbon streamers. A large candle will be needed for the cauldron as a symbol for the balefire unless the rite is held outdoors, in which case kindling in preparation for a small balefire will be needed in the area of the Southern quarter.
Circle Area/Casting the Circle/Assemblance of the Quarters
Prepare the circle with decorations of cut flowers or greenery, as appropriate. (The author recommends hawthorne blossoms.) The circle should be cast according to you or your coven's preference and the Quarters will be called in accordance with the coven's or your personal needs (the author reminds us that East has preeminence for Balemas).
Invocation of the Goddess
Hallowed Lady of the Hawthorn,
Godddess of the greenwood groves,
we call upon Thee in the season of Thy Sensuality,
as Thy blossom opens to the amorous advances of our Lord, Thy Lover.
In Thy union is the fertility of Spring,
and the beckoning whisper of young desire.

Touch us with the breath of Thy passion,
that we might seek for the ectasy of life!
Inflame us with the fever of Thine inmost longings
that we not be satisfied until our oneness
with the God is consummated!

Capture us with the fragrances of Thine allurement,
that we may be overwhelmed with an obsession for Thy presence!
Bright Maiden of May, be here among us as we celebrate
the Beltane blessings of Thy bridal-bed!
Blessed Be!
Invocation of the Satyr Lord
Horned God of power and play,
we hear the music of Thy melodious pipes
enchanting our ears upon the evening wind!
Beneath the fullness of the May-night Moon
Thy silhouette plays hide-and-seek
among the shadows of silver-tipped trees;
Thy hooves striking sparks like shooting stars
as they step in spritely patterns
to the rhythm of the Ways of the Wild.

Holy Pan of the shepherds' shrine,
Goat-footed God, Faunus of the forest glades,
we beseech Thee to be here among us
as we revel in Beltane abandon
beneath the swirling streamers of Thy phallic staff,
dancing by the light of the balefire's glow!

Sovereign Satyr Lord, be pleased within this Circle to remain,
as we celebrate Spring and the beginning of Thy reign!
Blessed Be!
Kindling of the Balefire
The preistess and the priest will go to the kindling prepared for the fire (if the rite is held outdoors) located near the Southern quarter of the circle. Otherwise, a candle within the cauldron is substituted. The priest will light the balefire as the following incantation is recited by the priestess:
Strike the fire and let it rise,
Beltane flames 'neath Spring-night skies!
Ancient customs we now renew,
'Tween dusky dark and evening dew!
Fire with warmth of Summer shine,
Invoking Gods from Older Times
For fertile crops with Sun-fed rays,
Gardens of plenty and golden days!
Crowning of the May Queen OR Floral Offering to The Goddess
At this point, the priest (or acting Satyr Lord) shall go to the altar and take up the garland-crown of flowers. He will then stand facing the priestess (or acting Maiden), lifting the crown above her head as he speaks the words of her coronation as the May Queen.
The Satyr Lord:
I give priase to Thee,
vibrant Goddess of youth and sensuality;
Lady of Spring, exuberant Earth maiden,
dancing in joyous abandon across hillside and field
in vivacious hues of brightness,
exuding the wondrous essence of waving wildflowers.

Wherefore I offer unto Thee
this floral crown of Thy creation,
laid now upon Thy daughter's head
as the woven splendor of Nature's art;
the many-colored Crown of May,
scented with the mystery and majesty
that is the Maiden!

All Hail, Lady Fair,
with flowered garlands for Thy hair!
All Hail, Lady Fair,
with flowered garlands for Thy hair!
A solitary alternative is the Floral Offering to the Goddess. The garland of flowers will be initially placed in the Eastern quarter of the circle. At this time, the solitary celebrant will pick the the flower-crown, and standing or kneeling before the altar, will begin this prayer:
We give praise to Thee,
vibrant Goddess of youth and sensuality;
Lady of Spring, exuberant Earth Maiden,
dancing in joyous abandon with the goat-footed God
across hillside and field in vivacious hues of brightness,
exuding the wondrous essence of waving wildflowers.

Wherefore we offer unto Thee
this floral crown of Thy Creation,
laid now upon Thine altar as the woven splendor of Nature's art;
the many-colored Crown of May,
scented with the mystery and majesty
that is the Maiden!

All Hail, Lady Fair,
with flowered garlands for Thy hair!
The crown of flowers is then laid upon the altar as an offering to the Goddess.
The Great Rite
If this is a custom practiced within your coven, please follow your traditions.
Parting Prayers
Maiden Lady, Queen of May,
bestow upon us in overflowing measure
Thy youthful passsion for love and life
as we rejoice in the sensual stirrings of the season.

All Hail, Farewell, and Blessed Be!
Sovereign Satyr Lord, Pan of the Pagan Ways,
at this Sabbat of Springtime's warmth,
bestow upon us the heated breath of Thy lust for living
as we depart this sacred space with the joyous blessings
of Thy Beltane benediction.

All Hail, Farewell, and Blessed Be!
Dismissal of the Quarter-Regents/Releasing the Circle
At this time the quarters can be dismissed and the circle released, per your tradition. It's time for the the Beltane festivities to begin! The priestess may close with this benediction.
This rite of Balemas is ended!
May the love of the Maiden and the Satyr Lord
go with us as we venture onward
into the warming fullness of Summer's promise!

Merry Meet and Merry Part!

Beltane Celebration (April 30 - May 01)

 BELTANE: Celebration of May Day
by Mike Nichols
'Perhaps it's just as well that you won't be here...to be offended by the sight of our May Day celebrations.'
--Lord Summerisle to Sgt. Howie from 'The Wicker Man'
There are four great festivals of the Pagan Celtic year and the modern Witch's calendar, as well. The two greatest of these are Halloween (the beginning of winter) and May Day (the beginning of summer). Being opposite each other on the wheel of the year, they separate the year into halves. Halloween (also called Samhain) is the Celtic New Year and is generally considered the more important of the two, though May Day runs a close second. Indeed, in some areas -- notably Wales -- it is considered the great holiday.

May Day ushers in the fifth month of the modern calendar year, the month of May. This month is named in honor of the goddess Maia, originally a Greek mountain nymph, later identified as the most beautiful of the Seven Sisters, the Pleiades. By Zeus, she is also the mother of Hermes, god of magic. Maia's parents were Atlas and Pleione, a sea nymph.

The old Celtic name for May Day is Beltane (in its most popular Anglicized form), which is derived from the Irish Gaelic 'Bealtaine' or the Scottish Gaelic 'Bealtuinn', meaning 'Bel-fire', the fire of the Celtic god of light (Bel, Beli or Belinus). He, in turn, may be traced to the Middle Eastern god Baal.

Other names for May Day include: Cetsamhain ('opposite Samhain'), Walpurgisnacht (in Germany), and Roodmas (the medieval Church's name). This last came from Church Fathers who were hoping to shift the common people's allegiance from the Maypole (Pagan lingham - symbol of life) to the Holy Rood (the Cross - Roman instrument of death).

Incidentally, there is no historical justification for calling May 1st 'Lady Day'. For hundreds of years, that title has been proper to the Vernal Equinox (approx. March 21st), another holiday sacred to the Great Goddess. The nontraditional use of 'Lady Day' for May 1st is quite recent (since the early 1970's), and seems to be confined to America, where it has gained widespread acceptance among certain segments of the Craft population. This rather startling departure from tradition would seem to indicate an unfamiliarity with European calendar customs, as well as a lax attitude toward scholarship among too many Pagans. A simple glance at a dictionary ('Webster's 3rd' or O.E.D.), excyclopedia ('Benet's'), or standard mythology reference (Jobe's 'Dictionary of Mythology, Folklore & Symbols') would confirm the correct date for Lady Day as the Vernal Equinox.

By Celtic reckoning, the actual Beltane celebration begins on sundown of the preceding day, April 30, because the Celts always figured their days from sundown to sundown. And sundown was the proper time for Druids to kindle the great Bel-fires on the tops of the nearest beacon hill (such as Tara Hill, Co. Meath, in Ireland). These 'need-fires' had healing properties, and sky-clad Witches would jump through the flames to ensure protection.
Sgt. Howie (shocked): 'But they are naked!'
Lord Summerisle: 'Naturally. It's much too dangerous to jump through the fire with your clothes on!'

--from "The Wicker Man"
Frequently, cattle would be driven between two such bon-fires (oak wood was the favorite fuel for them) and, on the morrow, they would be taken to their summer pastures.

Other May Day customs include: walking the circuit of one's property ('beating the bounds'), repairing fences and boundary markers, processions of chimney-sweeps and milk maids, archery tournaments, morris dances, sword dances, feasting, music, drinking, and maidens bathing their faces in the dew of May morning to retain their youthful beauty.

In the words of Witchcraft writers Janet and Stewart Farrar, the Beltane celbration was principly a time of '...unashamed human sexuality and fertility.' Such associations include the obvious phallic symbolism of the Maypole and riding the hobby horse. Even a seemingly innocent children's nursery rhyme, 'Ride a cock horse to Banburry Cross...' retains such memories. And the next line '...to see a fine Lady on a white horse' is a reference to the annual ride of 'Lady Godiva' though Coventry. Every year for nearly three centuries, a sky-clad village maiden (elected Queen of the May) enacted this Pagan rite, until the Puritans put an end to the custom.
The Puritans, in fact, reacted with pious horror to most of the May Day rites, even making Maypoles illegal in 1644. They especially attempted to suppress the 'greenwood marriages' of young men and women who spent the entire night in the forest, staying out to greet the May sunrise, and bringing back boughs of flowers and garlands to decorate the village the next morning. One angry Puritan wrote that men 'doe use commonly to runne into woodes in the night time, amongst maidens, to set bowes, in so muche, as I have hearde of tenne maidens whiche went to set May, and nine of them came home with childe.' And another Puritan complained that, of the girls who go into the woods, 'not the least one of them comes home again a virgin.'

Long after the Christian form of marriage (with its insistance on sexual monogamy) had replaced the older Pagan handfasting, the rules of strict fidelity were always relaxed for the May Eve rites. Names such as Robin Hood, Maid Marion, and Little John played an important part in May Day folklore, often used as titles for the dramatis personae of the celebrations. And modern surnames such as Robinson, Hodson, Johnson, and Godkin may attest to some distant May Eve spent in the woods.

These wildwood antics have inspired writers such as Kipling:

Oh, do not tell the Priest our plight,
Or he would call it a sin;
But we have been out in the woods all night,
A-conjuring Summer in!
And Lerner and Lowe:

It's May! It's May!
The lusty month of May!...
Those dreary vows that ev'ryone takes,
Ev'ryone breaks.
Ev'ryone makes divine mistakes!
The lusty month of May!
It is certainly no accident that Queen Guinevere's 'abduction' by Meliagrance occurs on May 1st when she and the court have gone a-Maying, or that the usually efficient Queen's Guard, on this occasion, rode unarmed.

Some of these customs seem virtually identical to the old Roman feast of flowers, the Floriala, three days of unrestrained sexuality which began at sundown April 28th and reached a crescendo on May 1st.

There are other, even older, associations with May 1st in Celtic mythology. According to the ancient Irish 'Book of Invasions', the first settler of Ireland, Partholan, arrived on May 1st; and it was on May 1st that the plague came which destroyed his people. Years later, the Tuatha De Danann were conquered by the Milesians on May Day. In Welsh myth, the perenial battle between Gwythur and Gwyn for the love of Creudylad took place each May Day; and it was on May Eve that Teirnyon lost his colts and found Pryderi. May Eve was also the occasion of a fearful scream that was heard each year throughout Wales, one of the three curses of the Coranians lifted by the skill of Lludd and Llevelys.

By the way, due to various calendrical changes down through the centuries, the traditional date of Beltane is not the same as its astrological date. This date, like all astronomically determined dates, may vary by a day or two depending on the year. However, it may be calculated easily enough by determining the date on which the sun is at 15 degrees Taurus (usually around May 5th). British Witches often refer to this date as Old Beltane, and folklorists call it Beltane O.S. ('Old Style'). Some Covens prefer to celebrate on the old date and, at the very least, it gives one options. If a Coven is operating on 'Pagan Standard Time' and misses May 1st altogether, it can still throw a viable Beltane bash as long as it's before May 5th. This may also be a consideration for Covens that need to organize activities around the week-end.

This date has long been considered a 'power point' of the Zodiac, and is symbolized by the Bull, one of the 'tetramorph' figures featured on the Tarot cards, the World and the Wheel of Fortune. (The other three symbols are the Lion, the Eagle, and the Spirit.) Astrologers know these four figures as the symbols of the four 'fixed' signs of the Zodiac (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius), and these naturally align with the four Great Sabbats of Witchcraft. Christians have adopted the same iconography to represent the four gospel-writers.

But for most, it is May 1st that is the great holiday of flowers, Maypoles, and greenwood frivolity. It is no wonder that, as recently as 1977, Ian Anderson could pen the following lyrics for the band Jethro Tull:

For the May Day is the great day,
Sung along the old straight track.
And those who ancient lines did ley
Will heed this song that calls them back.

Magickal Attributes and Chants for Various Cat Species

This magickal information various members of the cat family are all written by D.J. Conway in her book Animal Magick: The Art of Recognizing and Working With Farmiliars (Llewellyn Publications, Copyright 1996). She describes the attributes, folklore and such of many different animals, and discusses how to work with real and astral familiars. This is pretty handy since most of us don’t’ have the option of having a lion in the living room! She also says the chants can be used along with visualization to attract an astral animal to help with a specific spell, ritual or purpose. Here I have included her magickal Attributes and chants dedicated to each type of cat. The book contains much more detail, as well as information on other types of animals.

Domesticated Cat

Magickal Attributes:
A strong protector, especially when faced with a confrontational situation, Knowing when to fight your way out of a bad situation or when to retreat. Independence, being self-assured. Searching for hidden information. Seeing spirits.

Littlest lion, panther in miniature,
Help me in my magickal endeavor.
Teach me to see my path through dark places.
Help me to sift the necessary from the unnecessary
And to relax and enjoy life.
Strengthen my magick and carry it to it’s destination.


Magickal Attributes:
Swiftness and speed. Increasing self esteem so that you move with a regalness of bearing. Making events occur more quickly.

Swift wind-runner, beautiful, strong,
Aid me in success,.  Take me along
On your otherworld journeys to places of light
Help me over the barriers, Give me clear sight.

Cougar (mountain lion)

Magickal Attributes:
Savagery, fiery, remorselessness cunning, hunting and seeking, freedom Using power in leadership, balancing power, intention, strength, self confidence when facing crowds or troublesome people.

Muscles rippling, free on the mountains
Great cat of cunning, hunting and seeking
Teach me quietness and stealth of purpose
Show me the secrets of quiet magick.


Magickal Attributes:
Developing the ability to walk without fear in otherworld realms. Releasing fears.
Shape-shifting jaguar, fearless and bold
Reveal to me doors to the Otherworld lands
Teach to me courage, self-confidence strong,
That I may be firm in conviction of plans
Let me ride with the thunder, that energy great,
And walk with the jaguar a path of true fate.

Leopard (panther)

Magickal Attributes:
Swiftness, cunning, strength, perseverance, boldness, beauty, gaining confidence for astral travel and otherworld journeys

Leopard gliding, through shadows sliding,
Intent on the plans in the dark of the night
Like the leopard I go, with the energy flow
On the pathway to Otherworld light
I journey for growth, for creating true worth,
For the learning of wisdom and might
With wisdom I’ll burn, while I confidently turn,
All darkness about me to conquering light.


Magickal Attributes:
Learn to relax, don’t carry the stress of one situation into another, strengthening family ties, strength, courage, energy, learning to release tension.
Creature of the Sun Lord, Beloved of the Lady
Reveal to me the ancient methods of magick
Walk beside me as I grow in strength and courage.
Sow me when to keep ties strong, and when to break them
Help me understand the times for work and the times for rest.
Mighty Lion, lend me your energies.

Lynx (bobcat)

Magickal Attributes:
Suspicion, vigilance, keenness of sight, Can lead you to understanding of mystic mysteries and occult secrets. Can help with divination skills and developing psychic senses. Uncovering secrets, either about yourself or those close to you. Sometimes one sees the lynx when one needs to turn inward and see the truth of what one is. At other times it may signal the approaching ability to move through time and space via astral travel.

Keeper of the ancient secrets
Teacher of the hidden skills
Open my heart and mind to wisdom
Fill my days with strengthened will
Reveal the fearful truth of being
The part of us we fail to see
O lynx of smiling hidden secrets
Bring aid and wisdom now to me.


Magickal Attributes:
Power, energy. If action is called for don’t’ analyze it to death, just do it! Unpleasant but necessary action only gets worse with procrastination. Finding strength and willpower to tackle an unpleasant situation.
Striped terror of the Jungles
Walker of secret paths and ancient ways
Give me the strength and courage to do what is necessary
Teach me not to cringe from actions that may cause pain, but must be done
Tiger of action, lead the way that I may know how to go confidently through my life.


Lessons not found in books...

1) Within a Circle trust is an absolute necessity.
If you attend a ritual be SURE you trust those involved. Many feel this, in today's society to be archaic. It has always proved out when I have tried to work with unknown people, those I was unsure of or who were in some way unsure of me, failure, disaster or heated debate resulting in dissent has always been the end point. Know a person before you are willing to enter sacred space with them.

2) Never spellcast too soon.
Magic should not be a first resort. The use of non-magical means should be applied when possible and convenient. Overuse of magic, like anything else, becomes a crutch that can unbalance your life.

3) Prophecy is a two-edged sword.
Remember this, whether you read Tarot, I-Ching, Runes or whatever other means of divination or personal analysis, be prepared to have the reading to go in directions you do not expect and be prepared for them NOT to be in a way you will like. Remember the Lesson of Cassandra (in Greek Mythology) that sometimes you can change the future and sometimes you cannot, and only time will tell which is which. If you cannot deal with the possibility of your personal wants or expectations being wrong, then you should not be consulting a means of divination. I have seen even long-time craft-folk who forget this lesson in the heat of emotion.

4) There is not a magical answer behind everything.
I have known some folks who became so obsessed in their personal paranoia of some form of 'magical attack' or 'magical influence' that such became their excuse for everything that occurred around them, even when very simple non-magical answers existed to explain what had occurred. The number of magical practitioners at present is VERY small,and most have a range of influence that doesn't extend far on their own. The gathering of hateful or vindictive emotional energy to achieve a magical attack on another is not done easily or quickly, and tends to harm the attacker more often then the target. Look with logic on a situation.

5) Diversify.
Don't depend on or look into only a single philosophy or magical application - a specialist is usually someone who is refusing to grow beyond boundaries they have set for themselves.

6) A single teacher is NOT enough.
You will spend a lifetime as a real student, even if others one day declare you a teacher, leader or High Priestess. Gather from many to find what your lifepath is. Do not let anyone tell you there is ONLY one true belief system, one true Divinity, one way to approach a situation or one teacher to follow.

7) In the end you ARE Solitary.
All Magickal workers are eventually forced to depend upon their own company, separated from the many communities and groups by distance, time or belief. You will probably spend more time solitary then in a group. Be prepared to face this when it happens. The Pagan Community is too small to be everywhere for everyone or to even always help its own (though trying to do so is a goal I feel vital to expand the community).You must become sufficiently balanced and grounded to deal with being alone and to practice your beliefs alone, especially in times of hardship and adversity.

8) Don't be too fast to assume the role of a teacher, or to assume that a student cannot teach you something in return.
Can you really explain what you believe and do within your belief coherently? Does the person to be taught really want to learn it all and are they sincere, or are they merely curious or on a 'power trip'? Learning to know when someone is ready to learn is one of the hardest lessons you must learn if you purposely teach. Don't give a hand grenade to a three year old and expect positive results.

9) Not all paths and philosophies are desirable.
There are many that are self-destructive, purely self-indulgent or a combination of both. If a path cannot teach you some form of inner peace with yourself and what you are doing in life, or is devoted to manipulating others to achieve your personal benefits, then it is a'dead-end path', one that is a cul-de-sac on the path of growth.

10) Don't do what feels uncomfortable.
If performing a ritual, using a magic form, reciting a chant/prayer or performing an activity feels personally painful, uncomfortable or'wrong' then it is not for you to be involved with it at that time. Listen to the inner voice of your spirit and follow its lead. Intuition is a powerful gift, don't waste it by always opposing it.

11) You will have to take chances.
Magic doesn't work on its own, and positive karma won't help you if you fight it when it seeks to restore balance around you. It is not enough to cast a prosperity spell and then sit home and wait for a letter in the mail from Ed MacMahn with a check in it! You must take non-magical action to help things along. Cast a spell fora new job? Sure, but then don't turn down a chance to read job listings, mail resumes or attend an interview! Working to heal a sick spouse? Ok,but make sure they are getting medical advice, enough to eat, attention, care, therapy, etc. to help the magic on its way!

Messages in the Moonlight 

10 Things About Wicca

1. No conversion or recruitment is necessary... Wiccans have no insecure compulsion to convert everyone to their way of thinking (they are not evangelical). People come to Wicca when and if they are interested and ready. Also, you are not required to accept or do anything that you are uncomfortable with.

2. No artificial code of morality... Out of all the creatures of this earth, just humans are forced to live under unnatural moral codes. Wiccans believe: "An it harm none, do as ye will".

3. Progressive reincarnation... Wiccans believe we are all here to learn and progress, not suffer eternal damnation if we "slip up" in someone else's eyes, or disagree(they don't believe in sins and do believe that we live many lifetimes on earth).

4. No discrimination... There's no such thing as being the "right" race, color, gender, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin to be Wiccan; ALL are welcome.

5. No middle man (or woman)... Once you know all of the basics, you can be your own "minister" or "priest/ess". You need never bow before (or reply upon) some religious dictator for spiritual guidance. You choose what to believe, you don't need anyone to tell you what is there or what is "right."

6. Be yourself... By sharing a common interest with others in Wicca, you do not lose your identity as an individual. You are unique and should stay the way you were before and avoid becoming a blob in a homogeneous mass.

7. No repression... Wiccans are not forbidden from reading, learning, eating, drinking, believing, or saying anything. You can actually disagree with someone without being considered ignorant.

8. Contribution... Not money, knowledge. The craft has always, and will always, be an experimental religion. If it works, we use it. Then share it with others so that all in the craft may benefit.

9. No rigid dogma... Wiccans do not believe that their path is "the one and only". The only true path is the one that works best for you. All paths are valid if they harm none.

10. Self-empowerment... Wicca allows you to truly feel your own power and a real sense of self.

Messages in the Moonlight 

Herb Brews

by Valerie Worth
(extracted from "Crone's Book of Charms and Spells")

"It is better than the herbs from our gardens or the wild woods and fields be taken in this way - drunk fresh in all their strenght - than wasted and weakened in flavorings for victuals, thus to comfort only the vain palate. These brews are true powers, whereas the same herbs cooked in food are poor wraiths of themselves. Honor them as they deserve, and they sall not fail.

"The fair leaves or other necessary parts should be gathered as young and fair as possible, and a handful placed in a plain brown teapot of good size. Fill the pot then with fresh-boiling water, and allow this tea to steep for twelve minutes by the hourglass or clock. Pour it out then straightaway into a cup; sweeten it with a teaspoon of honey, and drink the infusion while it is hot.

"A few of the well-known herbs that may be used fir such purposes follow here:

"Anise, the Amorous: The seeds, to strengthen passions.

Basil, the Courageous: Against faintness of heart.

Borage, the Inspiring: Against aches in the limbs.

Caraway, the Sweet: The seeds, for mental vigor.

Catnip, the Subtle: Against fever and chills.

Mint, the Comforting: Against afflictions of the stomach.

Nasturtium, the Pungent: Against the headache.

Parsley, the Stout: Against pallor and frailty.

Red Clover, the Succulent: The flowers, for good temper.

Rosemary, the Fair: To soothe the nerves.

Rue, the Mysterious: To assuage guilt and sorrow.

Sage, the Powerful: Against melancholy and distress of the mind.

Thyme, the Sovereign: Against coughs.

White Pine, the Healthful: Against colds and catarrh.

Wild Ginger, the Profound: The root, against lassitude."

 Worth, Valerie. "Crone's Book of Charms & Spells". Llewellyn Publications, 2007. 

The Art of the Craft

To be a witch doesn't mean to just expand your magic through the universe via potions, lotions, recipes, and spells. It also means that you can expand that magic via art. Today I bring you the collection of images I did a while back for a friend and that are now part of the portafolio you can see at DeviantArt. Enjoy!

 Elemental Incense and Insence Tablets I and II

Kitchen Witch: Lavender Cookies

Lavender is bound to Mercury and Air. Because of its delightful fragrance and its light, flowery taste, it has been used for thousands of years magically for its calming, peaceful, and sedating effects.  It is often included in love spells and rituals because of it's attractive scent, and is used as an ingredient in spells for attracting money.

For love, peace and good health, place Lavender flowers in a sachet to be carried on the person. Carrying a sachet or amulet containing lavender is also said to attract spirits or otherworldly entities. Fresh flowers can be rubbed on clothing for attracting love.  For peaceful sleep, use a few drops of essential oil on the sheets or pillows before bed.    For relaxation, purification baths, or aromatherapy purposes, run bathwater over fresh sprigs or place a few drops of oil in the bath.  If bathing is not convenient, simply inhale the scent from a bottle of essential oil for the same effects.  Make a tea from fresh or dried lavender flowers for relaxation, peace, health, longevity, protection, and love - however, do not use a tea directly before a night of passion, as due to its relaxant and sedative properties, it will decrease sex drive.

Dried lavender stalks burn like incense sticks, and can be included in spells and rituals aimed attracting money, love, protection, and success.  Individual flowers can also be dried and burned similarly for the same purposes.

For sleep divination, place lavender sprigs under the pillow before bed while thinking about your desire.  If you dream about anything related, you will get what you desire.

Lavender Cookies

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon dried lavender blossoms, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder

Preheat oven to 375F. In a med. bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, vanilla, and lavender: mix well. Combine the flour and baking powder and add to the lavender mixture. Stir until will blended. Drop by teaspoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake eight to 10 minutes or until lightly browned on the edges. Let cookies cool.

Fairy Cakes 
1 yellow cake mix (your favorite brand)
1 T culinary lavender 
1/4 cup milk
1 T culinary lavender
3/4 - 1 cup confectioners sugar or Lavender Sugar

Place a paper cupcake liner in each tin of a cupcake baking pan. Prepare cake mix according to package direction and add 1 tablespoon culinary lavender to the batter. Mix well and pour into prepared cupcake tins. Fill each tin only 1/4 full. Bake in preheated oven (see package directions) for about 10 minutes. Check with wooden toothpick to make sure cake is done (the pick will come out clean after inserted into middle of cake). May need to bake a couple of minutes longer depending on your oven. Remove from oven when done and cool on racks with paper liner intact. 

Once cool, remove cakes from paper cupcake liner. Dollop some of the prepared icing on each cake and immediately sprinkle with a few culinary lavender flowers or garnish with fresh lavender flowers if available. (Best if you place the icing while the cakes are still just a little bit warm)

Lavender Fairie Cookies
Serves 24 cookies, Ready in 30 minutes

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 tablespoon finely chopped lavender flowers
1 1/2 cup plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder

Cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the sour cream and vanilla; stir in the dry ingredients until well blended. Drop by half-teaspoons on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, and cool slightly on baking sheet before transferring to plates.



Kitchen Witch: 4 Thieves Vinegar

Legend has it that during the bubonic plague four thieves were caught stealing from houses where everyone had died from the plague. When the judge asked them how they were able to do this without contracting the plague, they claimed they drank and washed with this vinegar every few hours. In return for the recipe, the thieves got their freedom. 

The primary purpose of Four Thieves Vinegar is to provide personal protection from disease and magical attack, especially if the attack is ongoing and looks to continue for a time. In addition, it is used to strengthen you and weaken your enemies while you work to drive away unwanted people or to make a family quarrel and fall out among themselves.

Drink it by the teaspoonful, use it in salad dressing, or even add a spoonful to your bath water for personal protection. Sprinkle or dash it against an enemy's doorsteps or serve it to an enemy as a condiment to protect yourself while you lay other tricks get them out of your life.

What You'll Need for 2 quarts of vinegar :
2 tablespoons each:

  • lavender
  • rosemary
  • sage
  • rue
  • mint
  • wormwood
  • garlic
Soak and shake all of the herbs for two weeks and strain.

Take some 4 Thieves Vinegar and put it in a small bottle. Write the name of the person you want out of your life on a piece of paper and put it in the bottle with the vinegar. Seal the bottle tight and then throw the bottle into "moving" water (river or??) where it will be carried away from you.

As you throw it in the water, visualize the person moving out of your life and far away from you.




The Witches Creed

 The Witches’ Creed

 By Doreen Valiente

Hear now the words of the witches,
The secrets we hid in the night,
When dark was our destiny’s pathway,
That now we bring forth into light.

Mysterious water and fire,
The earth and the wide-ranging air,
By hidden quintessence we know them,
And will and keep silent and dare.

The birth and rebirth of all nature,
The passing of winter and spring,
We share with the life universal,
Rejoice in the magical ring.

Four times in the year the Great Sabbat
Returns, and witches are seen
At Lammas, and Candlemas dancing,
On May Eve and old Hallowe’en.

When day-time and night-time are equal,
When the sun is at greatest and least,
The four Lesser Sabbats are summoned,
Again witches gather in feast.

Thirteen silver moons in a year are,
Thirteen is the coven's array.
Thirteen times as Esbat make merry,
For each golden year and a day.

The power was passed down the ages,
Each time between woman and man,
Each century unto the other,
Ere time and the ages began.

When drawn is the magical circle,
By sword or athame or power,
Its compass between the two worlds lie,
In Land of the Shades for that hour.

This world has no right then to know it,
And world beyond will tell naught,
The oldest of Gods are invoked there,
The Great Work of magic is wrought.

For two are the mystical pillars,
That stand to at the gate of the shrine,
And two are the powers of nature,
The forms and the forces divine.

The dark and the light in succession,
The opposites each unto each,
Shown forth as a God and a Goddess,
Of this did our ancestors teach.

By night he’s the wild wind’s rider,
The Horn’d One, the Lord of the shades,
By day he’s the King of the Woodlands,
The dweller in green forest glades.

She is youthful or old as she pleases,
She sails the torn clouds in her barque,
The bright silver lady of midnight,
The crone who weaves spells in the dark.

The master and mistress of magic,
They dwell in the deeps of the mind,
Immortal and ever-renewing,
With power to free or to bind.

So drink the good wine to the Old Gods,
And dance and make love in their praise,
Til Elphame's fair land shall receive us,
In peace at the end of our days.

An Do What You Will be the challenge,
So be it in Love that harms none,
For this is the only commandment,
By Magick of old, be it done.

Eight words the Witches’ Creed fulfill:
If it harms none, do what you will.

The Witches’ Chant

Darksome night and shining moon,
Hearken to the witches’ rune.
East then South, West then North,
Hear! Come!  I call thee forth!
By all the powers of land and sea,
Be obedient unto me.
Wand and Pentacle and Sword,
Hearken ye unto my word.
Cords and Censer, Scourge and Knife,
Waken all ye into life.
Powers of the witch’s Blade,
Come ye as the charge is made.
Queen of Heaven, Queen of Hell,
Send your aid unto the spell.
Horned Hunter of the night,
Work my will by magic rite.
By all the powers of land and sea,
As I do say, “So mote it be.”
By all the might of moon and sun,
As I do will, it shall be done.
By Lady Sheba – 1974  



Witches here, witches there,
Witches everywhere.
White witch, Black witch,
Good witch, Wicked witch,
Who can tell the difference?
Contemporary witch, Coven witch,
Traditional witch, Kitchen witch,
Hereditary witch, Heath witch,
Who and what are they?
Gardnerian witch, Eclectic witch,
Alexandrian witch, Solitary witch,
Nordic witch, Celtic witch,
Feri witch, Wicca witch.
But which 'Witch' is which?
(George Knowles)

What is Magic?

I do not believe in using the term "magick" to explain what magic is. Magic is an art, the art of transforming everything around you by the power of will. Crowley defined it as "the science and art of causing change in conformity with will", and, like science, Magic can be sustained under the same standards as science: it has basic rules and structures, laws, and, much like art, it is amoral and it cannot be defined as "good" or "evil".

A spell is a specific act of magic to cause a specific change (Penzack, 2005). A spell is a means for Magic to reach the universe and work the change we are intending to make. Usually in the written form (with rhytmic verses), a spell can be compared in many ways with Christio-Judeo prayers, aimed at different deities for different purposes of change. For a spell to work, it needs object to channel the energy -- athames, wands, etc., as well as to be executed at a specific time. But most importantly, a spell has to be meant.

To create Magic one must understand all parts of oneself, and for this we need to acklowledge all three minds that create our Magical mind. According to Penzack, the first one is the conscious mind, the one that is more familiar to us. We are awake, we know who we are, we record the day-to-day activities in this part of our mind and it is here where we generate the need and desire of our life and, thus, the Magic we intend to create upon it. The problem of this mind is the perception we have of the world. This limits our ability to process energy in the shape of information. The second mind is the psychic mind, key and doorway to our talent. This part of our mind allows us to process the energy and release it in the shape of intuition. What we think is going to happen or what "our gut" tells us is going to happen. It is also called the lower self, the inner child who wonders upon the imaginary realm and makes us see that all we perceive in "the real life" is actually bendable to our needs and desires. The third mind is called the divine mind because it connects us with the higher self, the creative self. We create the world around us; we create it, we bend it, we transform it. And much like the gods and goddesseses, we do this by the power of will. If we will it, we can create it, we can destroy it, we can bend it, and we can transform it. The divine mind allows us to proyect that energy and release it upon the universe and in return it also works kind of like a short wave radio: the universe reveals itself to us in the shape of epiphanies, revelations, burst of insight, and dream-like states (Penzack, 2005). So, by knowing all this, we know that a spell is actually a request given to our third mind so that it can proyect it on to the universe and shape it.

Penzack, Christopher. The Inner Temple of Witchcraft. Llewellyn Publications, 2005

My path, my way

I am a witch. There, I've said it. With all full letters, W I T C H. To say this implies all the complicated explanations I have to make to my aunts who are determinated to save my soul from damnation... but, as they say, "if I go to hell, at least I'm going honest".

My love for animals and their magic led me to become a veterinarian and then to get a specialty in natural and homeopathic veterinary medicine. In my country, that's the same thing as to say that I am some sort of witchdoctor who heals animals with blood and voo-doo rituals... Yes, we are still pretty closed-minded here in Mexico.

My branch is to be eclectic. I respect all branches of magic and I respect all other faiths as long as they respect mine.

My familiar's name is Mikuni. She's a year old cat now, and she is the sunshine in my household. The only ones who seem to have problems with her are the faeries who live in my backyard because Mikuni enjoys sleeping on top of their homes...

This blog is created for the sole purpose to plunge all I know here for others to find. I will also post some interesting articles that I have found around the web, giving the all-too deserved credit to their authors and linking the pages in which I have found them. The blog roll will be filled with pages in which witchcraft and wicca come together in the midst of knowledge. I will accept critics and I promise to answer all questions with respect. I ask for nothing more.

The beginning is here. Slowly but surelly, this blog will grow. Com'on in, enjoy the ride. Welcome to a blog filled with magic, love, music, food, friends, knowledge, wisdom, and good faith. This is Acbal's Moon, and we're all welcome to it.


Becoming a Witch

Becoming a Witch

by Morgaine

© Morgaine 2001.
This article may be reproduced for non-commercial purposes, providing that this original copyright notice stays in place at all times.
I am often asked how one becomes a witch. Do you find someone who is a witch and they make you one? Or are you a witch just by saying you are? Can you make yourself a witch?

The process of becoming a witch doesn't happen overnight. It is a life change, a new path upon the journey of your life. It takes consideration, study and work. If you have previously followed a mainstream religion, you may have things that take time to let go, and new things that take time to absorb. I have heard many people say it is often hard, coming from a life of Christianity, to feel comfortable praying to the Goddess. All new things take time, but if you are serious upon this path, you will find your way. The Gods call their own home to them.

No matter how you have came about finding the Old Religion, here you are. So where do you go? To the book store. For a novice, books are like the air you breathe. You must have them, or access to them in some way. If you cannot afford, or do not feel safe having books on the Craft, the internet is the next best place.

In both books and on the internet you will find a wealth of knowledge that will help guide you upon your new path. Of course, as with anything else, there is good information and bad information. Avoid any kind of book, or internet site, that speaks of controlling another person in any way, harming them, doing love spells on a specific person, or tells you to chant in latin, even though you have no idea what you are saying (yes, I have seen sites like that). These books/sites will not fulfill your need for knowledge in the Craft and will only serve to confuse you.

Once you have read a variety of books and feel called to this path, the next step is to find a teacher. If you have access to a teacher, in my opinion this is the best course of action. A teacher or a coven can often be found if there is a new age book store in your community. Also, the Witches Voice is a site that offers networking in every state. It has grown extremely large over the past few years and is a valuable resource in the Craft community. All of my coven members have found me on the Witches Voice.

Having a mentor can offer so much to you when you are beginning. There will be things you come across that you have a hard time understanding and need clarification. If you have a teacher, they are just a phone call or email away. If you do not, you must try to decifer things on your own, and may not come to the correct end on them. If you do not have a teacher, again, the internet is the next best place to look.

If you are only looking for a 'how to' on casting spells, then the Craft is not for you. Witchcraft is a serious spiritual path, in which magick is performed, but is secondary to the religion itself. I would suggest you look to ceremonial magick for that.

A couple of things need to be said about beginning this path, in light of recent attitudes about the Craft. Here lately it seems that you have a people who, after reading a few books, feel as if they can call themselves a master of the Art. They throw on a title like Lady/Lord, or HP/s, add some black clothes, a pentacle the size of a hubcap, and they are ready to go. This is not what the Craft is about. If you have spent years following a particular path, have worked hard for the spiritual lessons that have been presented to you, and through this have attained the title and rank, then by all means use it. But think of how you would feel if, after all that, you have a newbie with 6 months and 5 books unde their belt walking about calling themselves Lady Starry Ski or Lord Thunderbutt. It is very offensive. Just like your parents told you when you were growing up (or maybe you still are) 'don't rush things, it will all come to you in the end, and be sweeter for the waiting'. This is true with the Craft. Using titles, putting on airs, and in general acting high and mighty are not going to make you any more spiritual. And that is what this path is about. What it will do is alienate you from people whom you may actually want to meet and get to know!

All of this being said the way to become a witch is through study and dedication. Gather all of the information you can. Find the best teacher possible. Read whatever you can get your hands on. Go outside in nature and commune with the Goddess and God. Listen to the trees and the wind and the rush of the water, for this is the witch's world.

So... Your Friend Is a Witch?

So...Your Friend Is a Witch?
From Witchbox Page

Author: Danjia Water Fae
Posted: June 3rd. 2007
Times Viewed: 19,723

A Bare Bones Guide to Understanding Pagans and Witches –

Consider that you’re spending time with a good friend over a nice meal, some good wine, and friendly conversation. Your friend tells you that she is Pagan. As a matter of fact, she says, she’s a practicing Witch. What does this mean to you? What’s the first thing that goes through your mind? It’s likely that on at least some level, you found the idea of someone in this day and age being a “Witch” to be laughable. It’s very possible that you conjured the image in your mind of her dressed all in black, riding a broom through the night sky – like some Halloween cartoon.

It is also likely that some part of you was at least a little frightened by the word. As if, suddenly, this person whom you have trusted in your home, in your life, and with your friendship, has become some force of darkness. In truth all your friend has done is shared with you something which shouldn’t have to be a secret. Your friend has trusted you with information about her faith, her spirituality. If your friend were Baptist, would the announcement that she followed that path cause you any discomfort? Not likely. In the simplest of terms, your newly found (no matter how fleeting) doubt about your friend is the result of a centuries long media assault on the Pagan way of life. As you’re gathering your thoughts on this newly discovered facet of your friend, and wondering how it affects you and how you feel about her, try to keep an open mind. And try to keep in mind that your friend has trusted you with something very dear, and traditionally very dangerous. The truth about who she is. Remember, for centuries, Witches have been burned, and hanged for nothing more than their faith.

So, What Does It All Mean?

Let’s start at the beginning. Paganism is not a single religion. It is an umbrella term generally used to cover all those religions, which are not considered to be “main world religions”, i.e. Christianity, Judaism and Islam. A person who follows one of the “other” faiths is considered to be a Pagan. Many Witches, and other Neo-Pagans simply identify themselves as "Pagan" in order to simplify the conversation when talking with someone (like, perhaps you) who may or may not be familiar with the different belief systems. This, rather unintentionally, often makes it sound as though "Paganism" is a religion – as opposed to a collection of religions. Just for the record, Neo-Paganism is not the same as the "New Age" movement. Generally, Pagans are involved in a distinctive religion. The New Age movement draws its spirituality from varied sources, as almost a supplement to the religion already practiced by that person.

A What? A Witch?

A Witch is a practitioner of a nature-based, nature-revering or “folk” belief system. Witches believe that our planet should be revered, and respected, as the manifestation of Deity. Not all Witches follow the same belief system. There are many different belief systems, only some of which will be discussed here – for the sake of brevity. Some Witches practice what is often referred to as the "Old Religion". This system is rooted in beliefs, which pre-date the monotheistic belief systems, and it follows the agricultural seasonal cycles. The Earth is a living thing and therefore a gift, for us, from the God and Goddess. Many Witches believe in a polytheistic deity structure usually based upon the local gods and goddesses of their area of origin. Most Witches feel that a monotheistic belief structure is only half of the whole. If based upon only one all-powerful male God, and often presided over by only male clergy, it is unbalanced and only half-effective. Worship, for Witches, is centered on both the male and female personifications of Deity. The most widely known sects of witchcraft are Wicca and Druidism. “Wiccan” is often used, by the misinformed, as a description for all Witches. This tendency is likely due to the increased exposure of Wicca, thanks to many movies and TV shows of recent years. All Wiccans are Witches, but not all Witches are Wiccan. Think of it this way – All Baptists are Christians, but not all Christians are Baptist. Make sense now?

So, you’re sitting at the table, listening to your friend, and wondering what this is supposed to mean for you? How does this affect your friendship? Is she trying to recruit you into her cult? Is she going to try to make you participate in some scary rituals? Is she going to have to leave your birthday party early because it’s a full moon, and she’s “gotta fly”? Is there some room in her home, where she keeps snakes and shrunken heads, and all manner of frightening and evil accoutrements? Does she worship the devil? Make sacrifices? Curse those who make her angry?

Chances are that your friend told you this, because she trusts you and trusts your friendship to be strong enough to handle something out of the ordinary. She will likely have things in her home, which you may not understand – although you may never see them, even when they’re in plain sight. Your friend wants to be able to welcome you into her home, without the worry that you’ll see something “odd” and make a snap judgment based on misinformation. Your best source for information, when dealing with anything surprising or confusing, as it relates to your friend, is to go straight to her. If you see something in her home that you simply don’t understand, particularly if it has some negative connotation for you, ask your friend. She has shared her path with you, and as such, has invited you to ask her questions about anything you don’t understand. There’s a good chance that she uses herbs, incense, and oils to express her faith – and that the biggest danger from that is that she may set off her smoke detector!

Witches do not “recruit” new members. They revere their faith as a very personal choice, and a personal path. Witches also believe that no one path is right for everyone, and that everyone’s path, be it Christian, Wiccan, Hindu, etc., is a valid path. You should know that, as a Witch, your friend does not believe in the Devil. There is no “Lord of Evil” in her faith, lurking around every corner, waiting to trick a human into relenting their soul through some list of sins. She does not worship something in which she does not believe…so please put the devil-worship scenario to rest. Your friend believes in the Earth…the changing of the seasons…and the cycles of Life. There is good and bad in most things, and we – as people – know the difference. Witches believe that we, as humans, are responsible for our own actions. When we do something wrong, and something happens to us, we must accept the blame and try to learn the lessons being handed to us by the universe. When we have done right, and something good happens, we are entitled to pat ourselves on the back. And there are lessons to learn from the good things, as well.

Witches live by many rules, but perhaps the most concise and encompassing rule is – ‘And it harm none, do what ye will’. Your friend is, in a sense, prohibited from “cursing” someone who has made her angry. Witches live by the rules of Karma – the law of threefold return. Whatever we do comes back to us threefold. If your friend were to wish someone ill, she would be in line for a threefold return on those ill wishes. This is something taken very seriously by a Witch. Bear in mind that the good wishes are also returned threefold. So, it’s very possible that your friend just happens to be a fairly positive person, who wishes the best for most people. Your friend is also prohibited from making blood sacrifices. Quite obviously, that goes against the “harm none” principle. Now, before we go any further, take a good look at your friend and remember – NOT all Witches are old hags, riding around on broomsticks. Some of them are bright, attractive, outgoing people!

So, What’s Different Now?

Now that your friend has told you about her faith, what’s different now? Nothing. Chances are, that if you have an open mind, and really think about it, you’ll see that nothing has changed. Your friend has simply put a label on some of the things that likely drew you to her, from the beginning. She is telling you that she is an independent thinker, and a bit of a free spirit. She holds nature in a very high regard. She is probably the friend who reminds you to stop occasionally and smell the flowers!

So, ask your friend questions, look into her faith; research the things you don’t understand. And embrace the knowledge that your friend trusts you with such a wonderful gift.
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