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1701 AphroditeofferedHelen, mostbeautifulofall Humans.She won and thus caused the Trojan War. Eros was the primordial god of in- stinct. When Aphrodite appeared he adapted himself and joined forces with her. At this time the sexes became distinct. Aphrodite's kingdom was the place of desire. Young girls were said to pass from the place of Artemis (chastity and games) to the place of Aphrodite, where they become women. Considered by some to be an affliction or madness that women must bear. She represents female lust and passion, and demonstr- ates its potential for destructive effect. Young girls gave their vir- ginity to the Goddess by living in her temples and offering themselves to passing strangers. ARTEMIS (DIANA)-Daughter of Zeus and Leto. The huntress, she is seen as the forever young goddess. She is proud of her shapeliness and keeps her virginity to protect it. She was a warrior, joining Apollo to kill Python and other exploits. Anyone who offended her or tried to win her virginity paid dearly. They were killed, transformed, or mutilated. She defended modesty and punished illicit love and exces- ses. She avenged rape. She also took out her anger on those virgins who gave in to love. She did not mind marriage, but when a virgin married she was to give up all the things of childhood, toys and dolls, locks of hair, etc., leaving them on her altar. ATHENA (MINERVA)- Daughter of Zeus and Metis. Metis was swallowed by Zeus, and when it was time for Diana's birth, he had Hephaestus crack open his skull and she came forth in full armor shouting a war cry. Also a virgin Goddess, she lived among men without fear due to her warrior's skills. She was the protectress of Odysseus and other men. She was a warrior who used strategy, ambush, cunning, and magic rather than brute force. Her shield bore the head of a gorgon and she paraly- zed her adversaries and made her companions invincible. She was against excess, both in war and every day life. She taught men to control their savagery and to tame nature. Was the initiator of all skills. Taught Pandora to weave, trained horses and invented the chariot. She was the patroness of blacksmiths and carpenters. She built the first ship and the boat of the Argonauts. CYBELE- Was born as Agditis, a hermaphrodite monster, from a stone fertilized by Zeus. The Gods decided to mutilate him(?) and made the Goddess Cybele from him. Her love for Attis, a human shepherd, drove him insane and he castrated himself for her. Her priests were eunuchs dressed as women. It is from the temple of Cybele that the reference in the Wiccan Charge of the Goddess to "At mine Altars, the youths of Lacedζmon in Sparta made due sacrifice.", comes. DEMETER (CERES)- Daughter of Cronos (Saturn) and Rhea, the Goddess of corn and grain. Demeter bore Persephone. She renounced her duties as goddess and began a fast and went into exile from Olympos when her daughter was abducted into the underworld until her daughter should be returned to her. She caused the spread of the knowledge of the cul- tivation of corn. During herexilethe earthbecamebarren untilZeusdemanded that Hades return Persephone. She had eaten from a pomegranate, however, and was forever bound to the underworld. As a compromise, she was allowed to rise up into the world with the first growth of spring and return to the underworld at seed sowing in fall. And so the Earth is barren in the winter, while Demeter mourns, and becomes fruitful again when Persephone is released. Demeter made herself known to the children of Eleusis, who raised her a temple and instituted the 1702 Eleusinian mysteries. In Sept.-Oct., the candidates for initiation purified themselves in the sea, then processed down the sacred path from Athens to Eleusis. The rites remain secret, but involve a search for a mill for grinding corn, and a spiritual experience. During the rites, men women and slaves were all treated as equal. ERINYES, THE- Alecto, Tisiphone, and Megaara. They were born from drops of blood that fell from Uranus's severed Penis, and did not recognize the authority of the gods of Olympos. They hounded and tortured their victims, driving them mad. Also called the Eumenides, The Good Ones, to divert their wrath. Assimilated by the Romans as the Furies. They were implacable and demanded punishment for every murder. To them murder was a stain. The murderer had to be banished and driven mad before purification could occur. They were blind and carried out their punishments indefinitely. HARPIES- Greek genii/spirits- Daughters of Thaumes and Electra: Nicotho or swift-footed, Ocypete or swift of flight, and Celaeno, the dark one. Were either women with wings or birds with the heads of women. Called the 'hounds of Zeus' and seized children and souls. Skillful at torture, they could pester a victim into madness. HERA (JUNO)- Daughter of Cronos (Saturn) and Rhea brought up by Oceanus and Tethys. Married Zeus. It was claimed that each year Hera regained hervirginity by bathing in the spring of Canathus. According to some traditions Hephaestus, Aries, and Hebe (Youth) were conceived by her alone without male assistance. As Zeus' legitimate wife, her fury at his infidelities was boundless, and she took vengeance on his lovers and any progeny of the affair without distinction. Zeus was often reduced to hiding or disguising his children to protect them. HESTIA/VESTA- Daughter of Cronos (Saturn) and Rhea. Goddess of the hearth, she had the privilege of retaining her virginity forever. Her symbol was the fire, which was never allowed to go out. The young bride and newborn child were presented to her and she was invoked before each meal. Her temple in Rome was served by the young vestal virgins. MOERAE (PARCAE)- The Three Fates. Atropos, Clotho, Lachesis, daughters of Zeus and Themis. The first spins a thread symbolizing birth. The second unravels it, symbolizing life's processes, and the third cuts it, symbolizing death. They too were blind and ruled destiny. They were also symbols of a limit which could not be overstepped. Were connected to their sisters, the furies, who punished crime. MUSES- Nine daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne (Memory). Calliope ruled epic poetry, Clio ruled history, Polyhymnia mime, Euterpe the flute, Terpsichore dance, Erarto lyric art, Melpomene tragedy, Thalia comedy and Urania astronomy. They delighted the Gods and inspired poets. The Muses created what they sang about. By praising the gods, they com- pleted their glory, by boasting of valiant warriors, they wrote their names in history. Theywerecelebrated bythe Pythagoreansasthe keepersof the knowledge of harmony. 1703 NEMESIS- Daughter and Night. Ruled over the distribution of wealth, looked after balance, took revenge on arrogance and punished excess, including excessive happiness, riches and power. Moderation in all things was her creed. NYMPHS- Daughter of Zeus and usually part of a greater god(esses) entourage. Not immortal, though long lived. Mostly lived in caves. Were dark powers whose beauty alone could lead to madness. Were seducers of many of the gods. Were considered secondary deities. THETIS- Daughter of the old man of the sea. Very beautiful. Mother of Achilles. Saved Zeus from a plot to overthrow him and was an ally of Hera. Saved the Argonauts as they passed between the clashing rocks. 1704 Against The Witch Hunters Robin Culain "All this has happened before. And all this will happen again. But this time it happened to ..." Well, us. Thebeginning of Sir James Barrie's PeterPan must echo what many of us are feeling, as we watch a new and loosely-knit conglomerate of yellow journalists, right-wing eco-spoilers and Evangelical and Fundamental Christians move slowly towards a Witch hunt for the 90's. Our spiritual ancestors faced similar problems in many times and many lands. Recall the Priestesses of Eleusis, last of an ancient line, in decline, falling at last to the stratagems of Theseus and his new Attic Gods. Recall the Etruscans, their vision of sexual-political balance overpowered by the might and organization of the husband- headed Roman empire. And most tender to the touch, recall the agony of the middle ages, as the Catholic, then Protestant churches consolidat- ed their grip on the rural population, killing six million alleged or actual Witches in the process. The hunt is in a beginning stage and beginnings are important. The formal focus of the television specials, Redbook articles, diatribes in the LaRouchite New Federalist, "Occult Crime" seminars and newspap- er articles is some thing called "Satanism", which bears little or no relationship to Wicca and Neo-Paganism. In fact, media "Satanism" bears little resemblance to any histori- cally verifiable Satanism. It is neither classical Egyptian Set- worship", Romantic Ceremonial Satanism a la Huysmanns nor modern Egoist flamboyance per La Vey. Sometimes it's heavy metal sullenness, drugs and violence, but that's usually only for starters. The heavy metal boys, we're usually told, are just dupes of the Great Conspira- cy. And when you get down to the real stuff, the genuine complaint, it's generally the stuff of horror movies and nightmare -- baby- eating, virgin-sacrificing bloodsucking monsters! All this has happened before. And all this will happen again. There's a limited range of things that can be used to stir up the anger of a populace against a group, or deaden moral sensitivity to a persecution. It pretty much boils down to baby-eating, virgin-sacrifi- cing and bloodsucking. This has been the century of Hitler's Holocaust. but the Russians who butchered entire Jewish villages in the Pogroms, the inhabitants of York who slaughtered nearly every Jew in the city in the 1100's didn't merely think the Yiddim dressed and talked funny. The accusa- tions were the same. By Jesus, those Jews ate babies! They were just like Satanists, with one exception. You could find the Jews. 1705 There probably aren't any "Satanists" as portrayedin the articles, seminars and diatribes. If there are, they're certainly not Neo-Pagans or Wiccans. But in the lucrative atmosphere in which the press, missionaries and so-called "Crime Advisers" publicize and proselytize, the word "Witch" creeps in every third sentence. Naturally,we Witches and Neo-Pagans have spent a certain amount of effort pointing out that we love children like anybody else, have no particular attraction to virginity, and tend, in the most extreme of our diets, to vegetarianism. In short, we have tried to educate our detractors and the media to our harmlessness. This tactic is true, andthis tactic is good, but I thinkthat if it becomes our primary response to persecution we will ultimately fail to endure. Imagine a Witch inthe Middle Ages in front of aCatholic or Protes- tant tribunal. In some cases she has been denounced by a business competitor, or an envious rival in love, or a spiteful neighbor. In other cases she has been brought to the dock by an expert in "Occult Crime" -- the traveling Witch Finder. She stands bound before her Inquisitors,plain or pompous depending on their religious persuasion. Perhaps there's a crowd around. She tries to educate them to the simple fact that she's a worshipper of the Old Gods, loves children like anybody else, has no particular attraction to virginity, and tends, in the most extreme of her diets, to vegetarianism. They, in turn, accuse her of worshipping a living fiend, blighting the cattle, and eating babies. She doesn't stand a chance. Now picture another scene, one that has not occurred often. She stands before those assembled, and begins, shall I say, to point out some facts. She points out the medieval physician with the two per cent live delivery rate who wants the local midwifery practice shut down. She points out the priest and bishop who are terrifying the once fun-loving populace into penury and pestilence with the twin threats of damnation and the noose. She denounces the Christian nobles who will brook no interference with their rule, least of all from the old Nobility of the land. She'd be shut up in short order, but in a different way, for she would be addressing the real issues. The nonsense about babies, Black Men and cattle was then, and is now nothing more than a smoke screen to mask real and significant religious and political differences. It's all a cheap trick, a coward's cheat, a way of throwing muck until some sticks. It is only used when the real terms of debate cannot stand the light of day, and it works only if we permit it! Our situation is in no way as dire as that of our ancestors. Only now have things moved to the stage where one group, the far-right and sometimes farcical Limonites, actively bait Wiccans and Neo-Pagans as being "as bad as Satanists". And unlike our ancestors, we have a freedom of speech they could only dream of. We will not be silenced if we speak, certainly not at this time. 1706 So let's not waste our opportunity! Whenever the "Witch-Hunters" bait us or attempt to smear us with their cannibal taunts, let's find out what the real agenda is, and address it. Make the Lyndonite defend himself against whipping up the population against a minority religion as Hitler stirred hatred against the Jews. Make the entire La Rouche crew explain their suicidal environmental policies, and their editori- al statement that "the worship of Mother Earth does indirectly lead to mass murder ..." Engage them on the real issues -- just what the worship of the Mother really means, and what people are really like that scapegoat innocents and despise nature! Likewise with the "Occult Crimewatch". Ask them about theirsources of revenue. About their religious agendas and connection with Evan- gelical missions. Ask the if they support religious freedom, and if non-Evangelical religious belief, in their opinion, is a hazard to the public. Ask them, if you can corner them into a frank reply, what on earth they are doing lecturing hate to police officers sworn to protect all the public, Christian and Pagan! The media deserve the same. Let's not spend more than a breath denying lurid charges. Instead, ask them why they are sensationalizing and smearing a legitimate religion to make sales. Inquire as to whether the German press in the 30's had a responsibility for the slanders on the Jews that they printed. Ask them how they'll feel if harm comes to one Pagan woman or man, girl or boy through their negligence, indifference to non sensational fact and search for sales. In every case we have an opportunity to turn the tide, by coming right out with our real differences in front of the public, and insisting that the terms of debate be on genuine issues. We must refuse to be backed into a defensive posture, denying ever wilder charges. Instead let us bring our active advocacy and love of our Gods, of Mother Earth, of our families and children and ourselves to the fore in every debate. We must require our opponents to bare their genuine beliefs and motives, and contrast them clearly with our own in full view. We must sharpen the terms of debate so keenly that no person can leave the scene without having to make a clear and conscious choice about what they value and believe is right. There's no point in lecturing to the Cardinal. The audience for every debate is not the Witch Hunter, it is the neutral observer. Let them see the love of the Earth, and contrast it to nearsighted greed and poverty of emotion. Let them see the love of the Old Gods and contrast it to a cringing fear of the Father's judgment. Let them see generosity and intelligence and refusal to be sacrificed, and contrast them to venality, cunning and scape goating. In every debate, let us rise to the height of our capability, and let our opponents have it in the Values -- right where it hurts! 1707 Charging Crystals Ian Kesser Crystals,as many of you know, are extremely useful for practition- ers of the Magickal arts. They can be used to channel power, to store power, to heal, and many other ways. Due to space considerations, I have chosen to limit myself to the charging aspect in this article. Thefirst and most important part of charging a crystal is choosing the crystal itself. For most general uses, Quartz is the best one. For specific use, there are many others. I have found that Diamonds are useful in storing Good energy, and Zircons (my birthstone!!) for Evil energy. If you have a specific purpose in mind, please consult one of the many fine tables of crystal affinities. The next step, and also important, especially the first few times, is to prepare yourself for the actual channeling of energy. In my case, music helps, as well as pranayama and other forms of breath control. The first one I used is simple . Pranayama, simply, is control of breath. Most forms amount to hyperventilation or subventilation. The one I used first, and still use, is this: take four quick inhalations, filling the lungs. This should be over the space of about one and a half seconds. Then exhale in four short bursts, again over one and a half seconds. Repeat as necessary. The first few times this is done, I recommend you desist after about one minute. Over the course of time, this can and should be increased, but until you are used to the effect this gives, a shorter time is suggested. Now that you're in the mood, take the crystal in your right-hand (left hand for those of you who are lefties). Visualize a door within the heart of the crystal. Until this visualization is firm and steady, wait. Then open the door. Behind it you should see a store of diffuse energy, which varies with the type of the crystal. Some crystals, usually the inferior ones, have little or nothing back here. These are generally not good to use. Close the door, but keep it in mind. That was just to check on its energy. Decide which energy you wish it to house. Usually only one will be needed, such as for talismans and storage of energy for later use, but in some cases, such as a divination tool, more is suggest- ed/required. DO NOT TRY THIS ON YOUR FIRST ATTEMPT! YOU WILL FAIL! The energy you will be handling is powerful, and trying to handle more than one world at a time is strenuous. Trying to handle all three, plus personal and other energies, is straining to the limit. As with all other bodily systems, an ability used beyond its capacity will overload and break or refuse to perform, as with a man trying to lift 300lb barbells on his first try at weight lifting. For general use, I find nature's energy is best for multipurpose storage. Those in the Church of Set would probably find differently, as would those in the Church of Christ. Use what you feel comfortable with. 1708 Now, the fun part. For the three major energies, I find there are certain ways of drawing them tat are easiest on the practitioner. For Good energy, try it like this: Form a cone with the base connecting to your skull in the region just between and above your eyebrows. "suck" the energy (visualize it as you will, I use a light, golden yellow) into the cone, then through a tube into your brain. The visualization on this is a bit tricky, but it can be done. For Nature's energy, visualize a "hose" going down into the Earth from the base of your spine. This hose should ideally connect with the center of the Earth, but some people simply cannot conceive the distance involved with that, and can therefore not visualize it. Go as deep as you can, with time, you should improve. I "see" this energy as a ruddy, glowing red, as with magma. Use what works. Draw this energy up the tube, then through your spinal column into the brain. Now, the Evil energy. This is trickyfor me, but here's how I doit. Place the feet together (if they already are, so much the better! It means this isn't uncomfortable for you, as it is for me.) and visual- ize a siphon, with the hose connecting to a cone connecting to your feet, about two inches in diameter, one inch on either foot. Then, on the other end, a hose entering a black, inky void(or whatever color you perceive evil energy to be). One last connection: another hose running from that area of your feet to the previously mentioned area in the skull. This aligns nicely with the Chakra theory, to which I subscribe, in that a Chakral spinal-type column connects all the major power centers of ones body. If you know this system, so much the better! Draw the energy through the siphon(sometimes visualizing the bulb on the siphon squeezing helps) into the feet, then into the skull, then into the brain. Other objects you wish to draw energy from, use the door anal- ogy/visualization given above( for powerful things such as the Tarot, I see it as a gate more than a door. Again, whatever works for you), and draw from your use hand. If you plan on using that object again, take only a token amount of energy, and DON'T FORGET TO CLOSE THE DOOR! Personal energy: This varies so much with the individual! Some people draw from their auras, some from the Chakras, some from the Astral Body. Just use the method you feel most comfortable with. For those of you who have no preference, or no knowledge of such things, I use the Astral approach. I draw a bit of the substance of the Astral body, generally the feet, into the brain. After I finish all else, I "spread out" the Astral body to make up for this loss. Astral bodies DO heal. Well, that's most of it. Draw the energy you need, then draw from the crystal. Take it in your use hand again, open that door, and take out the energy, and bring it to the brain. Generally, I use the hose again, connecting to that spot in the skull, but this one generally runs INSIDE y body, such as along the arm bones, then up the neck bone. Mix the energy up. If it helps, visualize a cosmic Cuisinart or whatever. If it won't mix, like oil and water, you have failed. This crystal will not hold this energy. Give up, put back the crystals power, ground yourself(later...), and try again later with another energy. 1709 Once you've achieved the mix, refill the crystal. Sometimes, the energy won't go back in. This usually means you've put too much of the energy you're using in, and not enough of the crystal's own energy. Bring it back to the brain, and remix. How do you refill the crystal, you ask? Switch hands on the crystal, then visualize that handy hose again, but this time flow backwards, through the door. There will come a point, especially early on in your practice, that the crystal is full when you have energy left over. Slam that door and ground your- self(later...), don't overfill it! Doors have their bursting point, and that's a wonderful way to destroy a good crystal. OK, it's later. You've finished the job at hand (Applause, you've earned it!) but have all this energy left! There are many ways of grounding energy, use the one you are comfortable with(I know I keep saying that, but it bears repeating. Don't do anything against your Will). The one I use is simply grounding it. Take that handy-dandy all-purpose hose again, connect it to the base of the spine, and thence into the Earth. Flip the switch to reverse, and push that energy out! Be careful not to let out yourself as well! That's it. I hope you find this helpful to you. 1710 Tarot Divination Tuppence Not long agoan on-line friend told methat he saw no reasonto use the Tarot in divination; in fact, he felt that no one should use them for divination as this was a profane use of the cards. He preferred to use the cards solely for contemplation. At the time Idid not feel inclinedto respond to thisnarrow view, but after a night of thinking about it, I was prompted to write the following in defense of Tarot Divination (and I don't mean fortune telling!) Divination: 1) The art or practice that seeks to foresee or foretell future events or discover hidden knowledge usually by means of augury (divination from omens) or by the aid of supernatural powers 2)Unusual insightor intuitiveperception (thesedefinitions from Webster's) According to theBrotherhood of Light there are fourmain uses for the Tarot: 1) Science of Vibration 2) Divination by cards 3) Divination by number 4) Spiritual Science (themethod of putting the resttogether to develop a philosophy) Is it wrong to USE the cards? 1) Playing cards is fun! Without such use perhaps Tarot would long ago have died as other games have faded from use. Chess may be considered to be a child's game or a highly developed intellectual discipline. The same is true of using the Tarot card's. 2) Have you ever played Taroc? It is a very interesting game like bridge using the Major Arcana as Trumps...in profane decks the court cards and majors may have two heads (to be read either up or down.) Some versions of the game have certain mystical aspects. 3) In studying the history of the Tarot you will see that the decks (except those belonging to aristocrats who had hand-painted decks made for them by great artists) used long ago were very primitive and made from wood cuts. We have come far from those crude representations...but the ideas expressed in the Tarot remain the same - they are still there in those early decks. 4) Where did the Tarot come from? We have only theory and conjec- ture: a) Ancient Egyptians b) They always have existed buthave been revived from timeto time c) Gift of Divine Origin d) etc. 1711 It's validity and usefulness are what count a) it works when used b) it contains Universal symbology and archetypes found elsewhere c) it is numerically correct and corresponds with ancient systems of wisdom (especially to the Qabala) 10 = sephiroth (ace through 10 in the Minor Arcana) 22 = paths (22 Major Arcana cards) 4 = elements (four suits) (etc.) The Tarot is MUCH MORE than mere pictures on pasteboard. The pictures on the Tarot cards are physical symbols for spiritual con- cepts. One definition I use for the Tarot is as follows: Asymbolic representationof ArchetypalForces and/orBeings which have always existed and have been identified and passed on to us by ancient initiates and which provide a focus for us to use in self- initiation, spiritual development, and the perception of hidden wisdom. A few notes regarding the above........ 1) Jung says of Archetypes that they exist for us at birth...they emanate from the collective unconscious....they are NOT self-crea- ted or generated. 2) Aleister Crowley says in his book the Book of Thoth: "Each card is, in a sense, a living being." "It is for the student to build these living stones into his living Temple." "...the cards of the Tarot are living individuals..." "Howis he to blendtheir life with his? Theideal way is that of contemplation. But this involves initiation of such high degree that it is impossible to describe the method in this place. Nor is it attractive or suitable to most people. The practical everyday com- monplace way is divination." 3) In Magick without Tears he says: "...theTarot itself as a whole is an universal Pantacle...Each card, especially this is true of the Trumps, is a Talisman; ...It is evidently an Idea far too vast for any human mind to comprehend in its entirety. For it is 'the Wisdom whereby He (God) created the worlds.' " As regards these Lively Forces: 1. These Forces can communicate with us...or rather we can interpret their currents through our subconscious intuitive minds....this is one use of divination (and contemplation). This is the level, as Jung says, at which we are all connected. 2. These Forces can be directed by us Magickally if we are so trained. First we must master divination; then direction. 1712 3. The Tarot is a Magickal Weapon In the hands of a trained initiate the mere placement of one card between two others can alter the forces involved and affect physical (and ethereal) reality. 4. The Tarot is a philosophy as well, with an Ancient Message about the Soul's journey. 5. Yes, the Tarot is useful to study and contemplate....the colors and symbols are specifically designed and arranged to stimulate things within us (forces, archetypes, subconscious). 6. The Major Arcana are especially sacred to us because they represent the Paths, Steps, Forces which are necessary for us to rejoin the Godhead and attain enlightenment. I maintain that the best wayto understand that the Tarot cards are ALIVE and ACTIVE FORCES is to USE/HANDLE/EXPERIENCE them and so Divine (and perceive) what they are all about. The cards are a focus for our minds upon forces which are ever-changing and evolving (even as humankind is evolving). We are fortunate that modern printing is so good and that the Tarot decks and books which we have today are easily available to us. This was not always the case for our brothers and sisters in times past. Today one can afford to smile and say: "I only need to con- template the cards to understand them." But there is more to the use of the cards in Divination than many have been taught; for it is a mysterious process. Just as one muststudy and practice upon amusical instrument to become a virtuoso, so too the Tarot takes many years of study and practice to use correctly. One must be well developed spiritually, emotionally, and intuitively, or (as in music) naturally gifted to make full and accurate use of the cards in divination. In the hands of a gifted Diviner or Initiate the Tarot is a formidable weapon. It can even talk and spell out sentences! Hence the Hebrew letters correspon- dence to the Major Arcana. However, since we do not all learn in the same ways....the Tarot may not be the DIVINATORY METHOD for everyone.- ..although everyone can learn from it and should study it. Other methods which may suit: a) Astrology b) Numerology c) I Ching d) Pendulum e) Runes f) etc. Ashumankind evolves spiritually (and in other ways) so too the Tarot evolves. Take for example the reconstruction of The Chariot (Arcanum VII) and The Devil (Arcanum XV) cards by Levi. He gave them a new presentation based upon his advanced knowledge at the time. Also, note how The Lovers (Arcanum VI) has changed from earlier decks. It still has the same basic meaning, but the symbols have changed. No longer are there two women...one good one bad...with the man in between...now it is two people with an Angel above them. New Tarot decks continue to be made as our knowledge and understanding evolves. 1713 A noteon The Book ofThoth, Aleister Crowley's Tarotdeck, is as seen by him from the Astral Plane. This is why it is so different from many decks; why it is so striking; and, why the energy felt has such strong effects upon many people. Some cardscome and go....thereare morecards on theastral plane than we have on the physical....between the cards, above and below the cards are others...as with the Quaballa. When workingwith the Tarot ifone is in aMagickal State (Asana, etc.) and reads the cards it is a Magickal or Divine (hence the term divination) operation. I take the forces into myself when using the cards thus they affect me and I them. Because ofthis knowledge, I respect the Tarot as a Living Thi- ng/Force and I do not bother it with profane questions. I treat it as a Magickal Weapon and thus with care and respect. Fortune telling, while not wrong, is the profane use of the cards. Contemplationof thecards isuseful; withoutDivination, however, one could not experience the forces within them in the same way. Also, there are hidden uses for the Tarot. The Tarot is indeed a Teacher. It is also a door, a gateway, an entryway into other realms which is partly how it was used in Egyptian Initiation Rites. We may use it in some of the ways listed below: 1) Scrying/meditation 2) Ritual (invocation and evocation) 3) Works/spells 4) Talisman use/focus 5) Divination Some of the goals of initiates(after perfecting divination and the Tarot's philosophy) are 1) to read with a blank deck and to use a spread with no set meanings, and 2) to develop one's own Astral Deck. Magick (in Theory and Practice), Crowley's famous book, calls Divination an important branch of Magick, and defines it thusly: 1. "We postulatethe existence of intelligence's, either within or without the diviner, of which he is not immediately conscious. (It does not matter to the theory whether the communicating spirit so- called is an objective entity or a concealed portion of the divi- ner's mind.) We assume that such intelligence's are able to reply correctly - within limits- to the questions asked." 2. "We postulate that it is possible to construct a compendium of hieroglyphs sufficiently elastic in meaning to include every possible idea, and that one or more of these may always be taken to represent any idea. We assume that any of these hieroglyphs will be understood by the intelligence's with whom we wish to communicate in the same sense as it is by ourselves. We have therefore a sort of language...." 3. "We postulate that the intelligence's whom we wish to consult are willing, or may be compelled, to answer us truthfully." 1714 He goes on to discuss divinationas shown in some of the quotes below: "In a system of divination each symbol stands for a definite idea." "As regards theHoly Quaballa, based as it ison pure number, (it) evidently possesses an infinite number of symbols. Its scope is conterminous with existence itself; and it lacks nothing in precision, purity, or indeed any other perfection. But it cannot be taught, each man must select for himself the materials for the main structure of his system." "It is always essentialfor the diviner to obtainabsolute magical control over the intelligence's of the system which he adopts." "Experienceis the only teacher. One acquires what one may almost call a new sense. One feels in one's self whether one is right or not. The diviner must develop this sense." "In order to divine without error,one ought to be a Master ofthe Temple. The faintest breath of personal preference will deflect the needle from the pole of truth in the answer." "One mustprepare oneself by generalpurification and consecration devised with the object of detaching oneself from one's personality and increasing the sensitiveness of one's faculties." "The muscles with which hemanipulates the apparatus ofdivination must be entirely independent of any volition of his. He must lend them for the moment to the intelligence whom he is consulting." (note:one of the first steps indivination is the invoking of the Angel HRU) "He must have succeeded in destroying the tendency of the ego to interfere with the object of thought. He must be able to conceive of a thing out of all relation with anything else." "He should allow the question entire freedom to make for itself its own proper links with the intelligence directing the answer." "Hemust sink his personality in that of the intelligence hearing the question propounded by a stranger to whom he is indifferent, but whom it is his business to serve faithfully." "He should exhaust the intellectual sources ofinformation at his disposal, and form from them his judgment. But having done this, he should detach his mind from what it has just formulated, and proceed to concentrate it on the figure as a whole, almost as if it were the object of his meditation." "The concluding operation istherefore to obtain a judgmentof the figure, independent of all intellectual or moral restraint. One must endeavor to apprehend it as a thing absolute in itself." 1715 "Divination is in one sense an art entirely separatefrom that of Magick; yet it interpenetrates Magick at every point. The fundamental laws of both are identical. The right use of divination has already been explained: but it must be added that proficiency therein, tremen- dous as is its importance in furnishing the Magician with the informa- tion necessary to his strategic and tactical plans, in no wise enables him to accomplish the impossible. It is not within the scope of divination to predict the future with the certainty of an astronomer in calculating the return of a comet. There is always much virtue in divination." "One must not assume that the oracle is omniscient." "The Magician ought therefore to make himself master of several methods of divination; using one or the other as the purpose of the moment dictates. He should make a point of organizing a staff of such spirits to suit various occasions. These should be 'familiar' spirits, in the strict sense; members of his family." "Divination ofany kind is improper inmatters directly concerning the Great Work itself. In the Knowledge and Conversation of his Holy Guardian Angel, the adept is possessed of all he can possibly need. To consult any other is to insult one's Angel." "Although the adept is in daily communication with his Angel, he ought to be careful to consult Him only on questions proper to the dignity of the relation. One should not consult one's Angel on too many details, or indeed on any matters which come within the office of one's familiar spirits. One does not go to the King about petty personal trifles. The romance and rapture of the ineffable union which constitutes Adeptship must not be profaned by the introduction of commonplace cares." Thus wemay use Divinationfor those worthy questionswhich we need answered but cannot find out in any other way...either through our own research or by the contacting of one's Holy Guardian Angel. If we can attain the necessary magickal states discussed above and if we com- plete the necessary study and work which he suggests, we can become masters of Tarot Divination. 1716 The Dangers Of Magical Thinking In Magick Nihasa . Magicalthinking is a psychological term for making a naive assump- tion of cause and effect without consideration of intervening mechan- isms. In plain English, it is the assumption that if I do THIS, then THAT will happen even though I have no idea how or why. Prominent examples of magical thinking can be found in Economics (if we cut taxes on the Corporations, they will invest more money in upgrading their production facilities and create more jobs) and Politics. It is typical of the world-view of very young children, who have a somewhat simplistic model of How-Things-Work. . To many outsiders,most Magick seems to bebuilt on this basis...so- me guy mutters some weird words and waves his hands and expects to get a lot of money soon (sounds like a Management Consultant, come to think of it), or to make it rain, or to be rid of an enemy. Then they shake their heads, call the Magick-users children or worse, and go on with their lives. . Within real Magick-use, this sort of sloppy thinking can lead to anything from disappointing 'fizzles' to disastrous misfires of spells. Our cultural heritage's are filled with "monkey's paw" type stories of the results of ill-thought-out Magick use. While dilettante New Agers are more likely to blindly 'cookbook' a spell or ritual, some of us have been known to skip a few steps in the process as well. . Just think of the consequences of invoking Diana or Aphrodite in a ritual designed to "keep those foolish women in their place." (Anyone remember "Good-bye, Charlie"?) . While I am not saying thatyou need to understand thephysics/chemi- stry/etc. of each step down to the subatomic level, I am suggesting that you think through each step and each mechanism (and likely consequences) of any major working BEFORE you perform it. A black-box understanding (detailed knowledge of the inputs and outputs of a mechanism and the relationship between them without an understanding of the internal details of the mechanism) is usually enough for mot purposes. For instance, if invoking or evoking a deity, make sure you know the strengths, weaknesses, character, and personality of that deity. If using herbs (ingested or in balms or incense) be sure you know the pharmacological and combinational effects of each. Most of all, when going for a long-term effect think of the ecology of that effect: where it can come from and what it may causelater. You can't always anticipate all side effects, and you certainly can't always avoid them, but with a bit of work you can give yourself a shot at handling them. . Do a reality check before you start a working. If you just pay attention to the beginning (the ritual or working) and the end (the desired effect) and leave the rest to wishful thinking, you are asking for trouble. . NOTE: The above is an excerpt of a 1988 seminar on Magick and Psychology: Insights and Interactions. . 1717 Satanism As Media Hype News article: From the Phoenix Gazette 24 June, 1989 SCAPEGOAT: Satanism scareis mostly hype, experton cults says.... by Michelle Bearden Judging by Satan's popularity in news accounts and police reports these days, you'd think Satan had been elected to Congress or won the Pulitzer Prize. But it's not true, says J. Gordon Melton, director of the Institute for the Study of American Religion in Santa Barbara, Calif. and one of the country's leading experts on cults. In fact, there is no surge at all in Satan's popularity. "The only surge we're seeing is the spread if mis-information," Melton says. "Malicious, suspicious, and ritualistic acts are being attributed to satanism, and people are buying into it." Melton has launched a one-man crusade to get what he considers the truth out to the public. Using an extensive survey he completed in 1986 as his guide - "The Evidences of Satan in Contemporary America" - Melton makes his case frequently before groups and in interviews. Most misinformation regarding satanism comes out of police agencies, Melton maintains. That's because, in the absence of true satanic groups, law officials have to blame "something concrete," he says. "What we've got is creation of imagination, paranoia, and general ignorance," Melton says. "We've got wild speculation and jumps in logic. What we don't have is the truth. One story perpetuates another, and, before long, 'experts' in police departments are conducting seminars on a topic they don't really understand." At the Phoenix Police Department, police spokesman Andy Hill says the agency analyzes every incident that has satanic overtones. He blames a majority of these crimes on "kids caught up in experimen- tation." "It's safe to say that most of it isn't hard-core. We're usually dealing with copycat crimes," he says. " I wouldn't consider satanism a big problem here in Phoenix. We know it exists, but it's more underground than anything else." According to Melton, onlythree established satanic cults exist:The Church of Satan, a San Francisco based group headed by founder Anton LaVey; a splinter group, the Temple of Set, also in San Francisco and headed by Michael Aquino; and the Church of Satanic Liberation in New Haven, Conn., led by Paul Douglas Valentine. Total membership in all three groups is "probably less than 3,000," Melton says. Those fol- lowers are the true satanists, and their numbers haven't varied much in the last two decades, he says. Many of the acts blamed on satanism are committed by teenagers who are bound together b drugs and violence rather than demons. While they may use satanic imagery in their deeds, Melton says they are "play- acting" the role of worshipping the Prince of Darkness. "It's true we're hearing a lot of satanic references in today's music, but that's pure commercialism," he says. "Just because your teenager gets wrapped up in certain rock'n'roll doesn't mean he's into the occult." Someof the conclusions that support Melton's studies to combat the theory of international satanic conspiracy include: 1718 * The existence of a large number of nonconventional religions, such as cults, that have nothing to do with occultism, much less satanism. * The growth of witchcraft as a new religion and how it is confused with satanism. Melton labels contemporary Wicca as a nature religion that places great emphasis upon the preservation of life and non- violence. * Reports of cattle mutilations, which ignore the facts that most are mistaken observations of predator damage. * The discovery of common symbols, such as an inverted cross, pentagrams, and bloody altars, which lead investigators to con- clude that satanic activity has taken place. However, no evidence of any conspiracy involving the kidnapping and transportation of children for ritual purposes has emerged. * Fantasies of people who make "confessions" of their involvement on satanic cults.Typically, they cannot supply independent corrobora- tion of the stories. Moreover,a good portion of the mis-information on satanism - which Melton says is really a "parody of religion" - comes out of evangeli- cal Christian publishing houses. With that bias, "it;s easy to see how misinformation breeds," he says. Melton contends that opensatanic groups pose no publicthreat. If there is cause for concern, it would be the small, ephemeral satanic groups, mostly consisting of young adults or teenagers and possibly led by psychopaths or sociopaths. "These are the groups that cause immediate danger to themselves and society at large. That's where police should be concentrating their efforts," he says. "In the meantime, we've got to get out of this satanic mentality and get our labels straight." 1719 Why I Don't Believe The "Survivors" Of Occult Groups by Rowan Moonstone Recently onthis echo, several people have taken Pagans to task for naysaying the Christian sources dealing with former practitioners of various occult disciplines. I have researched this area thoroughly for the past five years. I've bought or read all the Christian books on the subject that I can get my hands on. I have over 1,000 clippings in the files dealing with this subject, I've got over 100 audio tapes and 20 videotapes on this subject, and I've got reams of Christian litera- ture, and police training material to draw from. In addition to this, I grew up as a Southern Baptist and was a Sunday School teacher at the age of 16. I know whereof I speak when it comes to Christian sources. I've also been a Witch for nigh on to 8 years now, and have net- worked with other Pagans all across the country, attended festivals in various states, and subscribed to many Pagan publications both in this country and abroad. I've read many books on modern and ancient Pagan religions, and can furnish a complete bibliography for anyone that's interested. After a concentrated search through this material, I must conclude that most of the allegations of the "survivors" are fabricated and insupportable. In the rest of this report, I will give documented reasons why I believe this to be true. 6-17-82 -Province Victoria Bulletin - "A misunderstanding appeared to be the root of a satanic scare in Victoria this weekend, police sources said Wednesday. Police, hospitals and human resources ministry workers had gone on the alert following a report that a satanic group was planning Tuesday to sacrifice a human baby. The report came through the child abuse prevention HELP line in Vancouver. Victoria police said they had traced the source of the report to a church group in Vancouver. The group apparently had heard rumors of a rise in satanic activities in Victoria and had prayed that no atrocities would occur. Somehow someone interpreted that to mean that a sacrifice was actually planned, police said. That was the report that got to the HELP line. However, Tuesday passed peacefully with no evidence of any satanic activity. " 5-4-86 - New York Times-" Derry Knight told an astonishing story about his membership in a secret Satanic cult called the Sons of Lucifer and his heroic efforts to take over the leadership of the cult to free himself and 2,000 members from the coils of the devil. As he told it, it was an incredibly dangerous mortal struggle he was waging against the most evil forces in the universe, personified by some prominent politicians, including Viscount Whitelaw, the deputy Prime Minister, who were, he said, the secret masters of Britain's Satanic orders ... In little more than a year, before Mr. Knight's activities aroused the suspicions of Bishop Eric Kemp of Chichester, who called in the police fraud squad, the support group contributed at least $313,000 to the anti-Satanism struggle. A jury that convicted Mr. Knight April 25 of 19 counts of fraud heard that much of the money raised by Mr. Baker had been spent by his supposedly struggling friend on call girls, fast cars, and a life of dissipation." 1720 January 1988 New York Folklore"Satanism, Where are thefolklorists? by Phillips Stevens, Jr. p 12 ( Mr. Stevens is referring to a murder of a 13-year =old girl in this incident) "While preparing me for the taping of some commentary to be aired locally following the National Geraldo Rivera TV special on Satanic cults on October 25, 1988, an investigative reporter for a Buffalo TV station was discussing That incident [the murder]. There were 13 people at that party, he said, the murdered girl being the 13th. Since the murder, six of the party goers had committed suicide.....I noted that it was strange that six suicides with such a factor in common had not been reported in the news; how did he know the details? The mother of the most recent suicide had told him. ...I advised him to wait and check out the facts before airing this story; he called me a few days later saying no, the other suicides could not be confirmed." 1-19-89 Joplin Missouri Globe News (front page) - "Jasper County Sheriff Bill Pierce said he had no figures available on how much time and money that department has spent investigating claims. He cited a November case as an example of the fruitless searches that have been undertaken because of claims eventually fount to be false. ...a Blytheville, Ark. woman told authorities there she had watched satanic cultists cut the stomach of an infant, pour gasoline on the baby, and set it on fire....After agreeing to take a polygraph examination, the woman admitted the story was false. She told deputies she made the false accusations to get attention." 3=6=89 - HoustonChronicle - "A Houston -area womanwho claims to be a former satanic priestess and has told audiences she witnessed the ritualistic murder of an 8-year-old Tomball girl has left law enforce- ment officers frustrated in their attempts to investigate her allega- tions. 'We have no homicide to link it to. Why she would make those claims and then be hesitant to talk with authorities is reason to question her motives,' Harris County Assistant D.A. Casey O'Brien said" The previous three messages should tell you why I don't believe in the hysteria being generated. If anyone wants to see the entire articles that these quotes were taken from, send a SASE with 3 stamps to P. O. Box 1842, Colorado Springs, Co 80901. BB Rowan 1721 "22 Commandments" For The New Age Ann Waldrum 1. You shall learn of Honesty and attempt to heal your fear of it, to use this in daily living. 2. You shall learn to Love Unconditionally--beginning with your- self. 3. You shall help all people in your worlds come to physical heal- ing. 4. You shall dwell on things of high and pure energy in others and self to change Earth. 5. You will learn and practice Pure Service -- unconditional and with love energy. 6. You will release Judgment into the Void--You will see, identify and choose for yourself Only. 7. You will Recognize One God --the God that corresponds to your vision. 8. You will destroy no one in any way -- through gossip -- through killing their gifts -- discouraging self love by injuring the physical body by foreign substance -- incorrect foods -- incorrect labor. 9. You will use your mind in the way the Source prepared -- by faithfulness of prayer -- by study and spiritual growth. 10. You will learn self discipline so that you respond to the Earth with wisdom. 11. You will take full responsibility for your own life -- blaming no other. 12. You will seek to learn about your God -- seeing the Connection clearly. 13. You will be known for your Gentleness, your Loyalty, your Kindness, according to your beliefs. 14. You will grow in Peace by change of attitude and understanding of others. 15. You will learn to respond and act from the Highest Center of Inner God -- the Love Response. 16. You will learn to Love All Mankind by seeing the Highest in all people without exception. 17. You will promote the healing of Mind, Body, and Spirit by teaching and living the belief in Man's Divinity. 18. You will show faithfulness in your study of yourself and your persona (masks) in order to Free All Parts of Self. 19. You will Live your life as ordained by your faithfulness to the Truth, as you understand the Truth. 20. You will Speak in Love, Honesty and Wisdom. 21. You will Think in Love, Honesty and Wisdom. 22. You will live in Moderation (Balance) in All Areas of your life. 1722 Theforegoing was delivered on July 20, 1989, through the trance- mediumship of Carla Neff Gordan by the Spirit Guide "Mary." Mary stated that these ideas will also be released through other mediums in six different areas of the world. In preface to these "Commandments" Mary said the following: "Youare a loving,connected community oflike-minded souls assist- ing through our inner connection. You are becoming a profound source of awakening for your world. These rules are to open your hearts, to teach you self-love, to calm your emotion to help you to live in reality that you have wished. To grow, first you must become a source of service. There must be a difference in earth because you have walked here. Now is the time of shifting your energy into a higher place through unconditional love. A part of your purpose is to heal the earth through holy, or wholeness, relationships. You will begin now." 1723 Risk Assessment Within The Craft Community By Weyland Smith There seems to betwo schools of thought within the "Craft Com- munity" concerning the dangers faced by Pagans in general and witches in particular. One school thinks that we are now in the Age of Aqu- arius and that all danger has passed. The other camp seems to feel that we are beset with dangers and that our only safety lies in remaining "the hidden children of the Goddess", telling no one of our religious faith (including our fellow practitioners), and being ready to fly or fight on a moment's notice. Who's right? Do we know? Have we even tried to find out? On theone hand, we live in a countrywith a Bill of Rights. Times have certainly changed since witchcraft was a hanging offence in Massachusetts. People have been known to proclaim their faith and live unmolested. On the other hand, there are about 3 million people in the United States who profess themselves to believe that the Bible is the literal word of God. If Leviticus says "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.", then there should be 3 million people out there ready to drag me out of my house and kill me. Fortunately, the answer does not lie with either extreme and therefore our reaction should likewise avoid either extreme position. We live in a world beset by dangers. We could be in a traffic ac- cident. We could have our house burglarized. Our child could be abducted on the way home from school. We could be struck by lighten- ing. Do we stay home, guard the house and family and avoid living? Of course not! What we DOis to act in sucha way as to recognize therisks we run and to minimize them. We try to live in reasonably safe neighborhoods. We keep good locks on our doors. We drive defensively and wear seat belts. We teach our children to run from threatening situations. This isn't paranoia, just good sense. Is thereany danger that we as witches and pagans might be sub- jected to another violent suppression? Any Jew with an eye to recent history would tell you that of course there is! Is that danger great here in this country? Not at present, but we do live in a world subject to rapid changes. Within my lifetime, people of Japanese extraction in this country were summarily rounded up and shipped off to remote camps. This action was contested all the way up to the Supreme Court to no avail. 1724 So what should we do? Well for a start, recognize that there is SOME residual risk whenever anyone takes an ethical position. We must understand that this risk is present whether we think it should be so or not. Further, we must each decide what level of hazard we are personally willing to run and to which we would subject our families. Finally, we should avoid doing anything which might subject ourselves and those around us to risks when such risks are avoidable. Especially, we should respect one another's right to manage his own dangers. Just because I choose to take a risk doesn't give me the right to endanger you! Should wereturn to living ourlives under perpetual cover?I hope not. But I do respect the individual rights of my brothers and sisters of the Art to each make that decision on their own. It is on this middle ground where I suggest we should all try to live for the present. 1725 Supreme Court And Peyote (Articles) The following 13 messages, retrieved from PeaceNet, discuss the recent Supreme Court ruling permitting states to prohibit sacramental use of peyote. Supreme Court Continues Chipping Away At Citizen's 1st Amendment Rights, Part 1. Excerpts fromthe following articledetailing the April17th ruling by the US Supreme Court which decided that Native Americans could no longer use peyote in their religious practices: "For all practical purposes,a majority of the SupremeCourt has eliminated the Free Exercise clause of the First Amendment from our Bill of Rights," said American Jewish Congress Executive Director Henry Siegman. "The court's decision in the peyote case can have the most far- reaching consequences for all religions, but primarily for religious minorities," continued Siegman. "It is precisely such minorities the Bill of Rights sought to protect, for it is they who are particularly vulnerable to the depredations of momentary and localized majorities." Dr.Robert L. Maddox, executive directorof Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said the "Smith" ruling is cause for concern... "We are concerned," he continued, "that this ruling will have a negative effect on minority religions. Mainstream faiths will probably have little difficulty getting the exemptions they need; smaller groups with less political influence will have a tougher time of it. That is unfortunate. Religious freedom should not be left to the whim of state and federal lawmakers. "No one wants anarchy in the name of religion," headded, "but do we really want more and more government regulation of religion? What bothers us most is the movement away from individual liberty and toward statism--whatever the government wants, goes." [2] The following article appeared in the June 1990 issue of "Church and State", a publication of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, 8120 Fenton St., Silver Spring, MD, 20910, and is reprinted here w/permission. 1726 The Day 'Sherbert' Melted by Rob Boston Discarding A 27-Year-Old Test For Religious Liberty Cases, The Supreme Court Says Government May Restrict Religiously Motivated Conduct Alfred Smithconsiders himselfapolitical; he's noteven registered to vote. But, in light of what the Supreme Court did April 17, the 70- year-old Oregonian is ready to jump into politics in a big way. The highcourt ruled 6-3 thatday that Native Americansdo not have a constitutional right to use the drug peyote during their religious ceremonies. Smith, one of the plaintiffs who helped bring the case before the nation's highest court, is angry enough to take his fight to the polls. "I'm encouraging all peopleto register and vote thisyear," Smith said. "This is the time for it. I have never voted before because I don't care to condone the system, but I have made a stand here with this case." The political route Smith proposes may be one many members of minority religions are forced to take in the future, thanks to the Supreme Court's decision in the "Employment Division v. Smith" case. The justices' ruling marks an abrupt shift in free exercise jurisprud- ence, granting government broad new powers over religious practices. What makes the "Smith"decision so significant is thatin reaching it five justices voted to abandon the court's doctrine of "compelling state interest," a move with far-reaching implications for religious liberty. In a nutshell, the 27-year-old doctrine says that the government can restrict religious freedom only when it proves there is a compell- ing interest to do so and that there is no less intrusive alternative available to achieve the state's goals. The judicial rule grew out of the 1963 "Sherbert v. Verner" decision and is usually called the "Sherbert" Test. Inthe recent peyote case the court rejected the "Sherbert" stan- dard in favor of a much narrower test, holding that government may offer religiously based exemptions from generally applicable laws if it chooses, but it is under no constitutional obligation to do so. Wrote Justice Antonin Scaliafor the majority, "We havenever held that an individual's religious beliefs excuse him from compliance with an otherwise valid law prohibiting conduct that the State is free to regulate." Scalia went on to say that applying the doctrine of compelling state interest in the peyote dispute and similar cases would create "a private right to ignore generally applicable laws [which would be] a constitutional anomaly." Rigorous application of the "Sherbert" approach, he said, would be "courting anarchy." 1727 Later in the opinion, Scalia admitted that the ruling will force minority religious groups to seek relief from oppressive laws by lobbying elected officials, and some may fail in their efforts. But he excused this as unavoidable. "It may fairly be said," observed Scalia, "that leaving accommodation to the political process will place at a relative disadvantage those religious practices that are not widely engaged in; but that unavoidable consequence of democratic government must be preferred to a system in which each conscience is a law unto itself or in which judges weigh the social importance of all laws against the centrality of all religious beliefs." The court majority acknowledged that judicial exemptions from neutral laws have sometimes been granted for religious reasons. But, Scalia argued, such exemptions have generally been granted in conjunc- tion with another constitutional right--such as free speech. He called these examples "hybrids" and implied they are special cases. Other than that, said Scalia, the only legal disputes where the "Sherbert" analysis has been applied consistently and usefully are unemployment compensation rulings, such as the line of decisions approving jobless benefits for workers who are fired for refusing to work on their sabbath. Ironically the "Smith" case involved just such an unemployment controversy. It started in 1984 when Smith, a Klamath Indian, and another man, Galen W. Black, a non-Indian, were fired from their jobs as drug counselors after the agency they worked for learned the pair had used the drug peyote during ceremonies in the Native American Church. The Council on Alcoholand Drug Abuse Prevention Treatment(ADAPT) had a policy stating that all employees must be drug free. Smith and Black thought an exemption would be made for their religious use of peyote, a mild hallucinogen derived from some cactus plants, but ADAPT officials saw things differently: Both men were dismissed. When Smithand Black subsequently appliedfor unemployment bene- fits, they were turned down. Officials with the state Employment Dvision said the two had been fired for misconduct and therefore did not qualify. The duo took the case to the courts. Fouryears later the OregonSupreme Court ruledthat the ceremonial use of peyote is permissible under state law and is even protected by the First Amendment. The Supreme Court's recent action overturns that decision. The "Smith" majority drew upon a somewhat unusual alignment of justices. Scalia, Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Justices Anthony Kennedy and Byron R. White were predictable allies. All four have argued for a narrower reading of the First Amendment's religious liberty clauses. Justice John Paul Stevens, however, provided the key fifth vote. Stevens, often thought of as a member of the court's liberal wing, favors a strict separationist reading of the Establishment Clause, but has argued in past cases for a less expansive reading of the Free Exercise Clause. 1728 Justice Sandra Day O'Connor concurredin the "Smith" outcome, but wrote a separate dissent that accused the majority of going too far. "Although I agree with the result the Court reaches in this case, I cannot join its opinion," asserted O'Connor. "In my view, today's holding dramatically departs from well-settled First Amendment jurisp- rudence, appears unnecessary to resolve the question presented, and is incompatible with our Nation's fundamental commitment to individual religious liberty." The free exercise of religion, O'Connor added, is a "preferred constitutional activity," entitled to "heightened judi- cial scrutiny." The "Sherbert" Test, she continued, has worked well to "strike sensible balances between religious liberty and competing state interests." Justices Harry A. Blackmun, William J. Brennan Jr. and Thurgood Marshall indicated agreement with O'Connor's opinion, although they said they would have gone further and upheld the Native American Church members' claim. The court's liberal wing criticized the maj- ority for "mischaracterizing this Court's precedents" and engaging in a "wholesale overturning of settled law concerning the Religion Clauses of our Constitution." Wrote Blackmun, "One hopes that the Court is aware of the conse- quences, and that its result is not a product of over-reaction to the serious problems the country's drug crisis has generated." The justice insisted that ritual peyote use by Native Americans could be tolerated without jeopardizing the nation's campaign to curb drug abuse. He noted that the federal government allowed the Roman Catholic Church to employ sacramental wine at masses during Prohibi- tion. Said Blackmun, "Ido notbelieve the Foundersthought theirdearly bought freedom from religious persecution a 'luxury,' but an essential element of liberty--and they could not have thought religious in- tolerance 'unavoidable,' for they drafted the Religion Clauses precis- ely in order to avoid that intolerance." Even though the case dealt with the sensitive issue of drug use, several religious organizations had sided with the Native American Church members, most notably the American Jewish Congress, which filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of Smith and Black. "For all practical purposes, a majority of the Supreme Court has eliminated the Free Exercise clause of the First Amendment from our Bill of Rights," said AJC Executive Director Henry Siegman. "The court's decision in the peyote case can have the most far- reaching consequences for all religions, but primarily for religious minorities," continued Siegman. "It is precisely such minorities the Bill of Rights sought to protect, for it is they who are particularly vulnerable to the depredations of momentary and localized majorities." Three weeks after the decision the AJC and an extraordinarily diverse coalition of religious and civil liberties groups filed a petition for rehearing before the Supreme Court. The petition urged the justices to hear the case again so the organizations will have the opportunity to address their free exercise concerns in friend-of-the- court briefs. 1729 Groups joining the AJC include: the Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs, the National Council of Churches, the National As- sociation of Evangelicals, People for the American Way, the Pres- byterian Church U.S.A., the American Civil Liberties Union, the Christian Legal Society, the American Jewish Committee, the Unitarian- Universalist Association, the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the Worldwide Church of God and the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod. Americans United for Separation of Church and State also signed the petition. Attorney OliverS. Thomas of theBaptist Joint Committee saidit is important that religious and civil liberties groups have the oppor- tunity to express their views to the court. He said the court's abandonment of the "Sherbert" Test could have a wide impact. "Taxation ofchurch assets, regulationof church schoolsand child- care centers, zoning and other land-use questions are all areas of the law where we've relied upon the compelling state interest test to provide churches with exemptions," Thomas told the Baptist Press. "With a stroke of his pen, Justice Scalia has overturned 27 years of legal precedent and made the 'first liberty' a constitutional step- child." The Rutherford Institute, a conservative legal aid group that frequently litigates free exercises cases, was also dismayed by the ruling. Said Institute President John W. Whitehead in a press state- ment, "Justice Scalia's opinion rejects the notion that free exercise of religion is a preferred right. Rather, in most situations it is valid only when coupled with another constitutional right. "Armed with this opinion, a state may draft a law that violates religious liberty, claim it is `religiously neutral' and those af- fected by it may have no recourse under the Constitution." Constitutional scholars wereparticularly amazed that themajority in the peyote case relied heavily on "Minersville School District v. Gobitis," a 1940 Supreme Court decision that said Jehovah's Witness children in public schools could be forced to say the Pledge of Allegiance. "Gobitis" was overturned three years later in the "Ba- rnette" decision and has been roundly criticized ever since as one of the court's biggest mistakes. Observed Douglas Laycock, law professor at the University of Texas, "The court repeatedly quotes "Gobitis" without noting that it was overruled in "Barnette," and without noting that it triggered a nationwide outburst of violence against Jehovah' s Witnesses. Until the opinion in this case, "Gobitis" was thoroughly discredited." But not all courtwatchers were chagrined by the ruling. Jules B. Gerard, a constitutional law professor at Washington University in St. Louis, told Religious News Service there has been a lot of overreac- tion. Gerard said the decision "overturns very little" and accused those who have protested it of "hysterical talk." Bruce Fein, a conservative constitutional scholar, went even further, applauding the ruling in a column in "The Washington Times." Fein wrote, "It is both counter-intuitive and contrary to American political experience to suppose the "Smith" ruling portends an epitaph for religious tolerance and accommodation in generally applicable 1730 legislative enactments. And when religion must yield to secular law, the former continues to prosper." Fein went on to saythat religions can drop fundamentaltenets and still survive, pointing out that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints (the Mormons) in 1890 dumped its support for plural marriage after the Supreme Court refused to allow the practice for religious reasons. Conservative columnist George Will also was pleased with the "Smith" decision. "A central purpose of America's political arrange- ments is the subordination of religion to the political order, meaning the primacy of democracy," he observed. "The Founders, like Locke before them, wished to tame and domesticate religious passions of the sort that convulsed Europe....Hence, religion is to be perfectly free as long as it is perfectly private--mere belief--but it must bend to the political will (law) as regards conduct." However, Dr. Robert L. Maddox, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said the "Smith" ruling is cause for concern. "If a majority ofthe justices did not believe theNative American Church members had a valid claim, they could have rejected them by relying on the doctrine of compelling state interest," said Maddox. "But a majority chose to go much further, effectively weakening the protection the court has extended to religious free exercise. "We are concerned," he continued, "that this ruling will have a negative effect on minority religions. Mainstream faiths will probably have little difficulty getting the exemptions they need; smaller groups with less political influence will have a tougher time of it. That is unfortunate. Religious freedom should not be left to the whim of state and federal lawmakers. "No one wants anarchy in the name of religion," he added, "but d we really want more and more government regulation of religion? What bothers us most is the movement away from individual liberty and toward statism--whatever the government wants, goes." The decision has already had a practical consequence for one minority faith. Just six days after the "Smith" ruling, the justices, by a 7-2 vote, ordered the Minnesota Supreme Court to reconsider a recent decision it made exempting an Amish group from complying with a highway safety law. Members of theOld Order Amish had protesteda state law requiring them to display orange safety triangles on their horse-drawn buggies. The Amish said the bright symbols violated their belief in a plain lifestyle. The Minnesota high court agreed in 1989, but now may be forced to reverse the "State v. Hershberger" decision in light of the "Smith" ruling. In Eugene, Ore., meanwhile, Al Smith has no more faith in the courts. After joining about 100 people in a protest of the decision that bears his name at a Eugene federal building April 20, Smith told reporters he is backing proposed legislation suggested by state representative Jim 1731 Edmunson of Eugene thatwould allow Native Americans touse peyote in religious rituals in Oregon. If that fails, Smith said, the Oregon Supreme Court could decide Native American peyote use is permissible under the state constitution. Smith told"Church & State" heis also working withNative American groups in the United States that are considering filing a protest before the International Court of Justice (commonly called the World Court) in The Hague, Netherlands. "The UnitedStates is saying theoriginal people of thisland can't worship," Smith told Church & State. "We were worshipping a long time before the white man ever set foot on this turtle island. "The issue is not dead, by no means," continued Smith. "I'm not giving up; I have committed no crime. It's not a crime to pray in the old way." KOYAANISQATSI ko.yan.nis.qatsi(from theHopi Language) n.1. crazy life. 2.life in turmoil. 3. life out of balance. 4. life disintegrat- ing. 5. a state of life that calls for another way of living. __________________ Excerpts from the following article analyzing the effects the US Supreme Court ruling on the Native American Church's use of peyote as being illegal: -------------------------------- Native American churchmembers stripped oftheir rights underthe Constitution are now subject to the will of the legislative branch of our state and federal governments. Not an enviable place for Indian people; as a distinct racial and religious minority Indians have always had an uphill struggle in the halls of Congress and elsewhere to have their rights recognized and respected. The legislativebranch ofany governmentis anexceedingly unusual place for individuals to look to have their rights under the First Amendment vindicated. Courts are traditionally looked to as protectors of these rights, against majoritarian legislatures. Justice O'Connor, in a separate concurring opinion which joined the result of the majority but sharply criticized its method, reasoned that "the First Amendment was enacted precisely to protect those whose religious practices are not shared by the majority and may be viewed with hostility." As a result of "Smith," minority religions, in Justice Scalia's opinion, may be at a disadvantage in the political arena. But that is, in his estimation, "an unavoidable consequence of democratic govern- ment," preferable to "a system in which each conscience is a law unto itself." Justice Scalia had to strain to defend his decision, citing the need to prevent "anarchy" in our democratic society. Indian people simply want to be left alone in our societyto worship the god of their choice. Is that asking too much? The Court's decision in "Smith" strips Indians of their pride and integrity, and makes many of them criminals in the eyes of the law. Only history will judge the Court's decision in "Smith;" but for now the remote specter of anarchy may very well have been the preferred choice. 1732 1733 ------------------------ The following article appearedin the Spring 1990 issueof "Native American Rights Fund Legal Review", a publication of the Native American Rights Fund, 1506 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80302, andis reprinted here w/permis- sion. ------------------------ Supreme Court Deals Devastating Blow to Native American Church by Steve Moore On Tuesday, April 17,1990, the United States SupremeCourt struck a gut wrenching blow to the religious lives of many of this country's Native Americans, in a decision which invites the return to an era of religious persecution one would hope a presumably enlightened and tolerant society such as ours had left behind. In the case of "Oregon Department of Employment v. Alfred Smith," Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for a five member majority, and describing the First Amend- ment's Free Exercise Clause as little more than a "negative protection accorded to religious belief," held that a member of a religious faith may not challenge under the free exercise clause of the First Amend- ment to the United States Constitution a legislature's criminal enactment of otherwise general application which produces infringement on a particular religious practice. In the "Smith" case this amounted to a challenge to the constitutionality of an Oregon drug law which the Court Interpreted as a general criminal prohibition on all uses of the drug peyote, considered by Indian members of the Native American Church as an essential sacrament, the physical embodiment of the Great Spirit. The Native American Church, which claims over 250,000 members nationwide, and additional Indian practitioners in Canada and Mexico, and which can be traced back archaeologically several thousand years in North America, was not absolutely destroyed or driven underground by the Court's action. The Court did not go so far as to rule that any state or federal law exempting the religious, sacramental use of peyote was an unconstitutional establishment of religion, at the other end of the religion clauses of the First Amendment. In the Court's terms, a peyote exemption, while constitutionally *permitted*, is neither constitutionally *required* or *prohibited*. A kind of con- stitutional limbo-land for the Native American Church and its members. In real terms the decision leaves the fate ofthe peyote religion to the whim of majoritarian legislatures and Congress. Eleven states currently have exemptions on the statute books protecting the relig- ion; another twelve tie their exemption to a federal Drug Enforcement Agency regulation which rests on questionable foundation since the decision. A small handful of states, notably California and Nebraska, in which are located some of the largest Indian and Native American Church populations, have based their protection on court decisions. The others, and the federal government through Congress, have no statutory or common law protection. Indian reservation lands will provide some safe haven from possible prosecution, given the par- ticular Public Law 280 configuration in any given state, but problems of transportation of the sacrament into Indian country through "il- legal" territory will reduce peyote ceremonies to complex and danger- ous liaisons. 1734 Native American church members strippedof their rights under the Constitution are now subject to the will of the legislative branch of our state and federal governments. Not an enviable place for Indian people; as a distinct racial and religious minority Indians have always had an uphill struggle in the halls of Congress and elsewhere to have their rights recognized and respected. The legislative branchof any government is anexceedingly unusual place for individuals to look to have their rights under the First Amendment vindicated. Courts are traditionally looked to as protectors of these rights, against majoritarian legislatures. Justice O'Connor, in a separate concurring opinion which joined the result of the majority but sharply criticized its method, reasoned that "the First Amendment was enacted precisely to protect those whose religious practices are not shared by the majority and may be viewed with hostility." A noted scholar of Indian law and philosopher, Felix Cohen, was quoted several decades ago as saying: "Like the miner's canary the Indian marks the shifts from fresh air to poison gas in our political atmosphere; and our treatment of Indians, even more than our treatment of other minorities, reflects the rise and fall in our democratic faith " Cohen's words become even more prophetic after the Court's decision in "Smith." The "Smith" decision may perhaps portend even greater persecution for other forms of Indian religious expression. Examples which come to mind include: the wearing of long hair by Indian students in public schools, and by Indian prisoners in federal and state prisons; missing school on a regular basis for cultural/rel- igious ceremonial purposes; the taking of game by Indians out season, when not otherwise protected by treaty; burning wood to heat rocks for sweat- lodge ceremonies, when burning is otherwise outlawed by local ordinance during times of high pollution; and body piercing as part of the Sun Dance ceremony. If these forms of religious expression are otherwise prohibited by general criminal laws, the First Amendment no longer provides a basis from which to claim protection from religious infringement. As with peyote use, reservation boundaries will provide a buffer from the application of state law, except where Public Law 280 legitimizes intrusion. As a result of "Smith," minority religions, in Justice Scalia's opinion, may be at a disadvantage in the political arena. But that is, in his estimation, "an unavoidable consequence of democratic govern- ment," preferable to "a system in which each conscience is a law unto itself." Justice Scalia had to strain to defend his decision, citing the need to prevent "anarchy" in our democratic society. Indian people simply want to be left alone in our society to worship the god of their choice. Is that asking too much? The Court's decision in "Smith" strips Indians of their pride and integrity, and makes many of them criminals in the eyes of the law. Only history will judge the Court's decision in "Smith;" but for now the remote specter of anarchy may very well have been the preferred choice. 1735 Statement From Pacific Northwest Church Leaders Who Support Indian Religious Rights Re: Employment Division, State of Oregon v. Al Smith, Galen Black, 88-1213 ----------------- The recentU.S. Supreme Court decisionregarding the sacramental use of peyote in Native American religious rites is unfortunate and deeply disappointing. We support the right of Native Americans to practice their religion as they have for centuries. We concur with Justice Harry Blackmun, who writing for the dissent, called the decision a "wholesale overturning of settled law concerning the religious clauses of our Constitution." The decision jeopardizes the fundamental right of all citizens to exercise freedom of religion free from government restraint. We will continue to work with Native Americans to help them protect their religious rights. The Most Rev. Raymond G. Huthausen Archbishop of Seattle Roman Cath- olic Archdiocese of Seattle The Right Rev. Vincent W. Warner, Bishop Episcopal Diocese of Olympia The Most Rev. Thomas Murphy, Coadjutor Archbishop Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle The Rev. John Boonstra, Executive Minister Washington Association of Churches The Rev. Calvin D. McConnell, Bishop United Methodist Church Pacific NW Conference The Rev. W. James Halfaker, Conference Minister Washington-Idaho Conference United Church of Christ The Rev. Lowell Knutson, Bishop NW Washington Synod Evangelical Lutheran Church In America The Rev. Dr. William B. Cate, President Director Church Council of Greater Seattle The Rev. Gaylord Hasselblad, Executive Minister American Baptist Churches of the Northwest These church leaders issued an apology to Indians that was carried in the Winter 1988 NAF Legal Review 1736 Channeling For Fun And Prophet Farrell J. McGovern Channelling is one of the more popular parts of what is call the "New Age". It is also one of the most controversial aspects of this movement. To properly channelsomeone, be itMarylin Monroe, AliesterCrowley (I have been told this doesn't work well...) or Devine, one must know something of this person. The easiest way is by reading about this person. Autobiographies are the best, of course, but biographies, news reports, or even old photos are almost as good. You need some connec- tion... InPagandom, and Wicca, popular beingsfor channelling are various aspects of the God and the Goddess. Again, one must know as much as possible about the Lady or Lord that you are going to bring into yourself for the enjoyment, edification and education of the others in the Circle with you. The most popular source of information on Gods and Goddesses is again in books. Since there are many aspects of deities, there is a great deal of literature about these beings. Most of this literature that is over a couple of hundred of years old is usually in the form of Fables or Epics, which have more literary content than reality. One could easily call these works Docu-dramas, but they are still fiction. "But..." I hear you ask,"How can they channel these beingsif all they know about them is fictional?" Well, there seems to be enough consensus on certain deities, but not on all. But these rituals work, as anyone who has attended the beautiful "Drawing Down the Moon" ritual of Wicca. So it seems to me that the idea of a "consensual reality" is created from the energies that all these people put into their concept of whatever God or Goddess they believe in. There are hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions of people who believe in Cerwdwin, Eris, Hecate, Cherenous, and others. But...are there not also millions of people who believe in Captain James T. Kirk? Arthur Dnt? Catwoman? Batman? Smurfs?.....or even Peewee Herman? Imaginesome Circle performing the DrawingDown The Moon ceremony, and due to a lack of concentration by the priestess, she channels, not Athena, but Marry Tyler-Moore?!?!?!? Or the priest channeling PeeWee Herman?!?!?! Weshall leave the furtherexploration of thisto some experimental coven...but please! If you manage to channel Papa Smurf....we DON'T want to hear about it! 1737 Bibliography Of Magick In Science Fiction Magenta Griffith Abbey, Lynn Daughter Of The Bright Moon The Guardians Anderson, Poul Operation Chaos Mermaid's Children Blish, James Black Easter Bradley, Marion Z Darkover series, especially The Forbidden Tower Crowley, Aleister Diary of a Drug Fiend Moonchild DeCamp, L. Sprague & The Complete Enchanter, Wall of Serpents Fletcher Pratt DeLint, Charles Moonheart Eddings, David Pawn of Prophecy Queen of Sorcery Magician's Gambit Castle of Wizardry Enchanter's Endgame Farrar, Stewart Omega Fortune, Dion Sea Priestess Moon Magic Winged Bull The Goat Foot God Garrett, Randall Too Many Magicians Murder and Magic Lord D'Arcy Investigates Heinlein, Robert A Stranger in a Strange Land Waldo & Magic Inc. Kurtz, Katherine Deryni Rising Deryni Checkmate High Deryni Lammas Night LeGuin, Ursula K A Wizard of Earthsea Lovecraft, H. P. The Shadow out of Time At the Mountains of Madness The Strange Case of Charles Dexter Ward Miesel, Sandra Dreamrider Norton, Andre Witch World Series Paxton, Diana Brisingamen 1738 Bibliography Of Magick In Science Fiction (cont.) Magenta Griffith Sky, Kathleen Witchdame Tolkien, J.R.R The Hobbit Lord of the Rings Walton, Evangeline Island of the Mighty Song of Rhiannon Prince of Annwn The Children Of Lyr Wilson, Robert Anton & Illuminatus! Trilogy Robert Shea Zelazny, Roger Chronicles of Amber 1739 Modified Assyrian Protection Spell Ban! Ban! Barier That None Can Pass, Barrier Of The Gods, That None May Break, Barrier Of Heaven and Earth That None Can Change, Which No God May Annul, Nor God Nor Man Can Loose, A Snare Without Escape, Set for Evil, A Net Whence None Can Issue Forth, Spread for Evil, Whether It Be evil Spirit, or evil Fiend, or Hag-Demon, or Ghoul, or Robber-Sprite, Or Phantom, or Night-Wraith, or Handmaid of the Phantom, Or Evil Plague, or Fever-Sickness, or Unclean Disease, Or That Which May Do Harm in Any Form or Fashion Which Hath Attacked the Shining Waters of Ea, May the Snare of Ea Catch It; Or Which Hath Assailed the Meal of Nisaba, May the Net of Nisaba Entrap It; Or Which Hath Broken The Barrier Let Not the Barrier of the Gods, The Barrier of Heaven and Earth, Let It Go Free; Or Which Reverenceth Not the Great Gods, May the Great Gods Entrap It, May the Great Gods Curse It; Or Which Attacketh the House, Into a Closed Dwelling May They Cause It To Enter; Or Which Circleth Round About, Into a Place Without Escape May They Bring It; Or Which is Shut In By the House Door, Into a House Without Exit May They Cause It To Enter; With Door and Bolt, a Bar Immovable, May They Withhold It; Or Which Bloweth In at the Threshhold and Hinge, Or Which Forceth a Way Through Bar and Latch, Like Water May They Pour It Out, Like a Goblet May They Dash It to Pieces, Like a Tile May They Break It; Or Which Passeth Over The Wall, Its Wing May They Cut Off; Or Which Lieth in a Chamber, Its Throat May They Cut; Or Which Looketh In at a Side Chamber, Its Face May They Smite; Or Which Muttereth In a Chamber, Its Mouth May They Shut; Or Which Roameth Loose In an Upper Chamber, With a Basin Without Opening May They Cover It; Or Which at Dawn is Darkened, At Dawn To a Place of Sunrise May They Take It. Out With You! Spirits of Fear, Spirits of Death! Give Way to the Sun and the Moon! For This is a Place Made Safe! Bright Blessings and Peace Upon Us! And All Who Reside Here, Let None Enter Here Unbidden, Keep Harm and Fear Far from This Place, May God and Goddess Bless Us! So Mote It So! So Mote It Be! 1740 "This should be performedon the night of the full moon, and is a very intricate spell. All portals and doorways should be open, includ- ing closet doors and windows, Then, as you start, close every closet and cabinet door, making the sign of the banishing pentacle with your wand, your athame, or your hand (a stick of patchoili incense may be substituted). Music should be light. Use a goodly amount of commanding incense as well as patchouli and sandalwood. Once you have done the closets and cabinets, go from window to window outlining the banishing pentagram on each one, and close AND LATCH each window. Remember to close and latch your fireplace, as well, perhaps burning some incense there. Once the windows are secured, do inside doors, then when you reach the entry ways, state the last ten lines. If performed correct- ly, you will notice the difference in atmospheres from the outside compared to the inside, the moment you walk into the house or apart- ment." --Avon, Sysop, Sanctuary BBS Okay, that's how I got it. Here's what happened when we performed it. I had pulled one of my partners intothis with me, and we did itthe night after the full moon, being as how we didn't get home in time the night OF the full moon (being across town and having to stay the night as our friends were very tired). We also didn't use patchouli incense, as I dislike it, opting for sandalwood instead with the commanding incense. Several times, though I had talked to said partner about what to do when I was speaking, I still had to pause in the recitation to tell him what to do. So, there were breaks in concentration. WITH ALL THIS, we still got an apartment that feels much happier. This buil- ding, just since we moved in a year and a half ago, has seen an axe murder on the lower floor, a shooting on the upper floor where we are, two police break-ins on drug raids, several shootings in the back alley, and two stabbings on the sidewalk near the building. Bad vibes. Now it's better. Here's the downfalls--if you can call them that. This is supposedto, at least how I interpretit, clear out EVERYTH- ING in your house to start fresh. We had a ghost cat before. We still have her now. Also, we now have two dark brown, heavily fanged...THIN- GS...hovering in my kitchen, worshipping my fridge. You think I'm kidding. I'm not. Scared the hell out of me when I first noticed them; eventually, I broke down and went into the kitchen. When they didn't attack, I moved near the fridge. "It's a refrigerator," I said. They gave back a sort of sub-vocal "Wow..." I opened said fridge. "It's still a fridge," I said. They looked in; seemed even more impressed. I have NO idea why. Also, once I looked down from my computer, feeling watched, and noticed another dark brown thing, all rags and big feet and big eyes. His whole being radiated shock and surprise when I looked down; again, I caught a sort of sub-vocal "WHAT??!!??", and he vanished. Poof. That's been it, but it's interesting. Did these slip in due to the changes or due to the lack of concentration? No harmful thing is in this apartment now; of that I'm sure. So how are these new residents explained? Anyway, that's it. Hope you have fun with it... :> 1741 Rosicrucianism Julia Phillips Esoteric Legend: the Rosicrucians were founded by Pharoah Thothmes III in the fifteenth century BC. The Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne was said to have founded a Rosicrucian lodge at Toulouse in the 9th century AD, and in 898 AD a second lodge was founded. Around 1000 AD a group of heretical Catholic monks established the first Rosicrucian college which flourished until the 16th century. It has also been claimed that the Brotherhood of the Rose Cross was founded by Templars after their order was disbanded by Pope Clement. Historical story: The Fama Fraternitatis appeared in 1614 (written in 1610), describing the foundation and purpose of the Society (Broth- erhood) of the Rose Cross. This related that a Father CRC, born in 1378, a German, poor but from a rich and noble family, made a pilgrim- age to Jerusalem. He remained at Damascus through ill-health, and studied there. He later travelled to Damcar, where he was trained by the Arabs, and translated the book "M" into the Latin tongue. He then travelled to Fez, and after two years to Spain, where meeting with ridicule, he returned to Germany. After five years he calledthree of his bretheren to him,bound them by an oath, and then founded the "Fraternity of the Rose Cross". They later initiated another four members, and decided to spread the word to other countries. Their by-laws were that they should heal the sick without charge; wear the clothes of the country they visited; every year upon a certain date should meet, or be represented, in the "House of the Holy Spirit"; each should search for a worthy replacement for when he dies; that the letters R.C. would be their mark; that the Order would remain secret for 100 years. It was later also decided that burial places would be kept a secret. It is known thatJohann Valentin Andreae, a Germantheologian, wrote at least one of the so-called Rosicrucian documents, but how much can be laid at his door is not known. It is also an esoteric legend (with some grounds in fact) that whilst an historical character called Andraea did in fact exist, that the Rosicrucian writings attributed to that person were in fact the work of Sir Francis Bacon. The three major objects of the Rosicrucian Fraternity are: 1) The abolition of all monarchical forms of government and the substitution therefor of the rulership of the philosophic elect. (This demonstrates that the Rociscrucians are, in fact, Platonic, despite their proclaiming themselves Christians.) 2) The reformation of science,philosophy and ethics. (Materialarts and sciences are shadows of the divine wisdom; only by penetrating the mysteries of nature can man attain reality and understanding.) 3) The discovery of the Universal Medicine, or panacea, for all forms of disease. In 1646 Elias Ashmoleand astrologer William Lilly foundeda Rosicr- ucian lodge in London based upon a utopian ideal of the creation of a new Atlantis. 1742 SPRING EQUINOX 1990 Circle cast by the HP Old God: HP Young God: Priest Earth: Priest Air: Priest Fire: Priestess Water: Priestess Everyone else may choose to take the role of an animal of their choice. Young God is blindfolded and bound (three cords), and stands in the middle of the circle. Everyone else holds hands, and circles around deosil chanting: Io Pan! Io Pan! Io Pan Pan Pan! until HPS changes the chant to the Ekos; finish arms up. HPS and Priestess make an archway, which everyone else passes through, moving as their chosen animal, chanting, "chop, chop, chop, chop etc." Every so often, HPS and Priestess drop their arms around one person, and whenever they "capture" one of the four elements, they hold them and the chanting stops. A riddle is then asked by each of the elements: Air: What is whispered on the wind? Fire: What is the kiss of fire? Water: What is the secret of the serpent? Earth: What lies at the centre of the labyrinth? If Young God answers satisfactorily, a cord is removed. The blindfold is removed last. When the blindfold has at last been removed, HP will step forward to present the wand to arm the Young God. HP says: "You are now come to your manhood, and must be armed. Will you accept the wand, this symbol of your power?" Young God: "I will" HP: "Then you must take it from me!" And so saying, runs away. Young God catches him, and they fight for the wand. Young God wins, and holds the wand aloft in triumph. Young God and HPS then perform cakes and wine. 1743 BELTANE 1987 Coven of the Serpent's Eye Declamation: Rufus Harrington Invocation of the Young God: Prudence Jones Invocation of the May Queen: Rufus Harrington Responses to the invocations: Paul Greenslade and Jacky Salter The Blessing of Love: H. Rider Haggard The Union of God and Goddess: Rufus Harrington and Julia Phillips The Beltane Charge: Julia Phillips Temple set up as follows: Altar set up, and ritual weapons as usual One extra sword One extra chalice of wine and dish of cakes Candles and incense Maypole in the centre of the Temple Green Cord Roles: HPS#1 Blessing the Union HPS#2 Invocation to the God PS#1 The May Queen PS#2 Swordbearer PS#3 Swordbearer PS#4 Handmaiden HP#1 Declamation, invocation to the May Queen and  Blessing the Union HP#2 The Young God Casting the Circle: All present will be purified and consecrated, and the circle will  be cast by the HPS and HP. The HPS and HP will ask everyone to assist in the invocation to  the quarters. Those who have athames should collect them from the  altar at this point. After the Northern Quarter has been invoked,  the group should all face centre while the HPS performs the  invocation to Spirit. This completes the casting of the circle. 1744 THE RITUAL The ritual will commence with a meeting dance. Everyone should  link hands (male/female as far as possible), and move slowly in a  deosil motion following the chants initiated by the HP and HPS. When she feels the time is right, the HPS will break the circle,  and lead everyone in a meeting dance, where each man and woman kiss as they pass. When everyone has greeted one another, the  circle will be re-formed by the HPS, and finish with the EKO  chant. HP#2 and PS#1 will stand at the maypole, facing the altar. HPS#2 will stand at the altar facing them, and the rest of the  group will seat themselves around the maypole in a horseshoe  shape, with the end nearest the altar left "open". HP#1 will read  the declamation: Deep within the dream of silence Blood and passions born beyond, Gather at the serpent's calling, Echo to its siren song. For deep within the cauldron's darkness Two hearts ache to join as one, Must answer to the serpent's laughter; Dance within its spiral song. For blood is called, and passions gather: Drum beat rhythms call the blood To dance the paths of passion's power, To sing for joy, for life, for love. Within the shadows of a clearing Deep within the silent green, Revealed through a veil of moonlight, Caught beside a crystal stream. A woman from the land of beauty Dances in the silver light, Entranced within a web of silver Woven by the serpent's light. The serpent's laughter, song of shadows, Echoes through the spinning web, Weaving dreams with songs of silver, Calling sacred fires long dead. Within her body, flames awaken Beauty and her passions need Power and a desperate yearning, Calling to the serpent's seed. 1745 Within the ancient forest shadows, Roots and boughs that weave and dream, re-echo to the serpent's laughter, Weaving webs of dancing green. The serpent's song now calls the Hunter; Beast Lord, Master of the Woods. Calls the Stag Lord from the shadows, Woodland's Master, Lord of Love. She dances now, her passions spiral, Calls her love into the night; He flies upon the wings of laughter, Led on by her silver light. Flesh and sinew, man and muscle, Loins that ache now hear her call. She hears the Hunter's horn of power, Hears his cry and hunting call. The Stag Lord stalks within the clearing, She turns to flee, but cannot run. Transformed she spreads herself for passion, Calling with her silver song. Both their bodies rage with passions, Beasts now dance within their blood. Their eyes now flash with love's own lightning As flesh now kindles warm for love. Her thighs remember mothers' movements, Moments from her mother's birth, Cries of silver golden laughter Plough within the fertile earth. Their song and cry a single moment, Pain, and yet a single joy, As Earth unites a single sunlight Lust fulfilled, reborn as joy. HPS#2 will now perform invocation to the Young God: God of the meadow, God of the hill, God of the sap and of our true will: Thee I invoke as Spring awakes, Thee I invoke as the blossom breaks. Come young God, come come with the fire, Lissome and leaping, alive with desire. Come with the pipe and come with the drum, With the heartbeat's pounding, come God come! 1746 O seeker of joy, O hunter of pleasure, Come enter the ring, tread the pagan measure. Be here in Thy servants, be here in Thy Priests, Be here in the flesh, and join in the feast! Io Pan, Io Pan, Io Pan Pan Pan, etc. Young God responds: "Response" HP#1 will now perform the invocation to the Goddess as May Queen: "Invocation to Goddess" May Queen Goddess responds: I who am the fragrant spring air, And the soft breeze that refreshes the earth; The cool spring rain, the sudden shower That nourishes the earth. The source of all joy and love, The Goddess of all new beginnings, Answer your call, And once more I walk upon the earth. Seek for me; I am all around you. HPS#2 will now acknowledge the arrival of the God and Goddess: Spring has sprung! The God has made the world seem young again. The blossom blows, The Goddess lets the world know joy again. May Queen now breaks away from the God, and he must chase and capture her. (Anything spoken at this point should be spontaneous). The group should form a spiral from the maypole, going out to a circle, leaving a space between each person for the May Queen and Young God to pass in and out in their "love chase". While this goes on, the group should play tambourine, bodrhun, bells and Abo sticks in a lively rhythym. The God should event- ually capture the Goddess through his realisation that hunting is not the way to her heart!ŠThey should embrace and kiss, and then kneel to receive their crowns: PS#2 and PS#3 will collect these from the altar, and place the crown of flowers on the Goddess' head, and the crown of leaves upon the God's head. PS#2 and PS#3 should then collect the swords from the altar, and stand either side of the altar holding the blades of the swords down. PS#4 should collect a bouquet of flowers, and present these to the Goddess. The God and Goddess should now lead PS#4 and the rest of the group around the Temple in a simulation of their journey to the Blessing of their Union. At a given signal, PS#2 and PS#3 will stand in the North, and make an archway with their swords through which the God, Goddess and Handmaiden will pass. As they do so, HP#1 says: 1747 Hail to our King and Queen! For love fulfills an ancient law, Born before the Gods and Men, Decreed of old when all was still. HPS#1 and HP#1 will be standing at the altar, and the God and Goddess will kneel to receive the blessings of their predecessors (ie, the God and Goddess of the previous cycle). The Goddess will hand her bouquet to the Handmaiden, who will replace it upon the altar. HPS#1 reads the Blessing of Love: Love is like a flower in the desert. It is like the aloe of Arabia that blooms but once and dies; It blooms in the salt emptiness of life, and the brightness of its beauty is set upon the waste as a star is set upon a storm. It hath the sun above that is the spirit, and about it blows the air of its divinity. There is only perfect flower in the wilderness of Life: That flower is love! There is only one fixed light in the mists of our wanderings: That light is love! There is only one hope in our despairing night: That hope is love! All else is false. All else is shadow moving upon water. All else is wind and vanity. Who shall say what is the weight or measure of love? It is born of the flesh, it dwelleth in the spirit. From each doth it draw its comfort. For beauty it is as a star. Many are its shapes but all are beautiful, and none know whence that star rose, or the horizon where it shall set. And I say unto you, that every man and woman is a star, and therefore, every man and woman is love. 1748 HP#1 and HPS#1 perform the Blessing of the Union. HP#1 says: Dancers to the Gods of Love, We bless you in these sacred signs: [Perform blessings, loosely bind hands with cord] Spread your blessing on the land, Fulfill with love the ancient law: Fruit and corn for man and beast, And love for evermore. [remove cord] HP#1 and HPS#1 assist the God and Goddess to rise with a kiss. PS#2 and PS#3 replace their swords upon the altar, and pick up a dish of cakes and a chalice of wine. They hand the wine to the God, and the cakes to the Goddess, saying: Please bless this food and wine into our bodies, bestowing health, wealth, love and compassion, and that deep joy which is the knowledge of Thee. They step back while the God and Goddess bless the wine and cakes. The "Io Evohe" chant is initiated by HPS#1 and HP#1, and everyone else joins in. (Note: this is a joyful celebration of the good things of the Earth which the God and Goddess provide for us, so the chant should be lively.) The Handmaiden then steps forward to receive a cake, and a sip of wine. She is followed by PS#2 and PS#3, and then the rest of the group ending with HPS#1 and HP#1, who take the wine and cakes, and offer them to the God  and Goddess, then replace them upon the altar. The God and Goddess now embrace around the maypole, and everyone  takes a ribbon (male/white, female/red) to dance around. Minstrel  now plays the maypole dance, and everyone begins: men go in a  widdershins direction, female in a deosil one. The dancers go  under the first person, over the next, under the next, and so on  until the ribbons are used up. The dancers must then unwind the  maypole, so everything is reversed (tip: keep watching your own  ribbon!) 1749 After the dance has ended, Young God and May Queen are released from the Maypole (!), and they read the Beltane Charge: YG I am the burning flame of inspiration Bringing light and life to the world: MQ I am the burning flame of love Which creates light and life in the world: YG I am the rushing stream, sweeping all before me: MQ I am the deepest ocean, taking all within me: YG I am the swiftest wind that carries the seed: MQ I am the gentlest breez which kisses the land: YG I am the mighty mountain which caresses the stars: MQ I am the smallest leaf which falls in the forest glade: YG I am He! The Lord of Life and Death; The Keeper of the Gates, the Hunter and the hunted: MQ I am She! Queen of the darkness and the light; Guardian of the Veil, the Mystery of Creation: YG/MQ Together we stand, and in the power of our love shall the wheel turn. They now perform Cakes and Wine - servers step forward to assist. The Feast TO END THE RITUAL HPS#1 READS THE BLESSING PRAYER All take their athames, and support the HP and HPS as they thank, and bid farewell to the Quarter Guardians. Formal Grounding of the Power. All present make their farewells to each other, and leave the Temple. 1750 C A N D L E M A S 1 9 8 7 Coven of the Serpent's Eye Declamation: Rufus Harrington Invocation of the Mother: Paul Greenslade Response of the Mother: Adapted by Prudence Jones from an original by Vivianne Crowley Invocation to the Crone: Rufus Harrington Response of the Crone: Julia Phillips Welcome to Spring: Mike Pinder Welcome to the Virgin: Prudence Jones Dance of the Elements: Prudence Jones and Julia Phillips Initiate's Ceremony of Adapted by Julia Phillips from Illumination: traditional Gardnerian source Charge of Brigid's Fire: Adapted by Rufus Harrington Temple set up as follows: Veil across northern quarter Altar set up, and ritual weapons as usual Candles and incense Cauldron in centre of Temple Brighid Doll Sistrum White silk veil for Virgin Wrist and ankle bells for each Priestess Large white candle, placed in cauldron Symbols of the elements: One athame (or dagger) } One wand } These should be placed ready One chalice } upon a small altar, One pentacle } adjacent to the main altar One black egg } 1751 Roles: HPS-1 Goddess - Crone Aspect HPS-2 Goddess - Mother Aspect PS-1 Goddess - Virgin Aspect HPS-3 Spirit HP-1 Declamation and Invocation to Crone HP-2 Invocation to Mother PS-2 Eastern Quarter (Air) PS-3 Southern Quarter (Fire) PS-4 Western Quarter (Water) PS-5 Northern Quarter (Earth) (Note: it is essential that the first six roles be taken by experienced initiates only) Casting the circle: All present will be purified and consecrated, and the circle will be cast by the HPS. The HPS will ask everyone to assist in the invocation to the quarters. Those who have athames should collect them from the altar at this point. After the Northern Quarter has been invoked, the group should all face centre, while the HPS performs the invocation to Spirit. This completes the casting of the circle. THE RITUAL PS-1 will go behind the veil, and put on the white silk veil. HPS-1 and HPS-2 will stand side by side in the centre of the Temple. PS-2, 3, 4, and 5 will take up their positions at the cardinal points of the Temple, and the Priests will stand between the Priestesses, ensuring polarity. HPS-3 will stand in front of the main altar. HP-1 will read the declamation: Child of the Spinning Serpent, Daughter of the morning star; Startled from the depths of silence Wakens vision's Silver Star. Starting cold from depths of nightmare, Shadows passing on the land; Tears of silver, iced and shining These she sheds upon the land. 1752 For deep within the night of vision There the coiled serpent stirs, Calling from the cauldron's darkness, Singing with the song of stars. For there she sees a frozen river, There beholds a land of ice, And sees an ancient mother mourning, Tears that quickly turn to ice. And sees herself, the youthful virgin, Reach that river; frozen, cold, Shining in the crystal moonlight Seeming like a silver road. Across the waters, there the mother; Ancient Queen of the Shining Night; Standing in the silver darkness Lit by icy crystal light. Reaching out across the darkness, Silver arms across the ice, Two hands touch above the waters, Reach across the frozen night. But now the serpent song of starlight Calls across the cauldron's night; Their hands a bridge across the silence, Darkness shatters into light. As sunlight calls across the waters Rising from the shining east, Cries of joy that echo terror Crack as silent ice release. Now hear the cry of mourning mothers; Hear the joy of pain released: Dull ache deep within the waters Calling to the stirring beast. For now behold the icy rivers Touched by sunlight, turned to blood; See the waters flowing freely Through the gates of land and love. 1753 HP-2 will move forward, and perform the invocation to the Mother aspect of the Goddess upon HPS-2: I call to you, Mother of all, Queen of our most secret dreams. From dark and starlit heavens, And deep within the fertile earth: Come to us crowned in glory - Come! I invoke you, and call upon you; By the fertile earth and pregnant moon: Come! Descend upon the body of Thy Priestess. HPS-2 responds: I am thy Goddess: Before the beginning of time was I. I made the mountains into peaks, And laid with soft green grass the valleys and the meadows. Mine was the first foot which trod upon the earth, And where I walked there sprang forth flowers. Mine was the voice which gave rise to the first song, And the birds listened, and heard, and made return. In the beginning of time I taught the sea its song, And mine were the tears That gave forth the first rains. Listen and hear Me! For it was I who gave birth to you, And in the depths of my earth You will find rest and rebirth. I will spring you forth anew, A fresh shoot to greenness. Fear Me; Love Me; Adore Me! Lose yourself in Me. For I am the cup of the wine of life: I stir the senses; I am the power. 1754 HP-1 will now perform the invocation to the Crone aspect of the Goddess upon HPS-1: Ancient Mother born of silence, Silver Queen of spiral ice; Hear the serpent's song of starlight Call across the cauldron's night. A name, a call, a key of shadows; An ancient song from an ancient dream Echoes deep within the darkness, Calls Thee from the depths unseen. For now I see Thy crystal spiral, Now I see the crystal web, Shining in the cauldron's darkness, Bringing life and bringing death. And now I call upon Thee, Ancient Mother, To descend upon this the body of Thy servant and Priestess. HP-1 bows down before HPS-1 HPS-1 responds: Who calls to the Queen of the Night? (HP: "A worshipper") Who calls to the cutter of the thread? (HP: "The Spinning Serpent") Who calls to the Mother of the Serpent? (HP: "A lover") Who calls to the Mistress of the Spiral Castle? (HP: "Life itself") If that man has not fear in his heart, let him stand and face me now. (HP rises) You have called, and I have answered, and now I shall teach thee a mystery: That if that which thou seekest, thou findest not within thee, thou wilt never find it without thee. For behold, I have been with thee from the beginning, and I shall be with thee at the end. Blessed Be. 1755 HP-1 returns to his place in the Temple. The Mother and Crone will now "arm" each of the female guardians with the relevant elemental weapon: The Crone will take an athame from the altar, hand it to the Mother, who will present it to the Eastern guardian. The wand will be given to the Southern guardian, the chalice to the Western guardian, the pentacle to the Northern guardian, and the black egg to Spirit. Crone and Mother will now approach the veil: the Crone will part the veil, and say: As the white eagle of the north is flying overhead, And the browns, reds and golds of autumn lie in the gutter, dead. Remember then that summer birds with wings of fire flaying, Came to witness spring's new hope, born of leaves decaying. As new life will come from death, love will come at leisure: Love of love, love of life, and giving without measure Gives in return a wondrous yearn of a promise almost seen. Live hand in hand, and together we'll stand On the threshold of a dream. During this, the Mother leads the Virgin to the centre of the circle, and on the last line, all three stand hand in hand. Then the Mother unveils the Virgin saying: Welcome Virgin to Life! Welcome Virgin to Spring! Let life spring from thine heart, And out thine eyes. Let joy behold the dawn. The Crone now instructs the Priests to turn away, as they may not witness this stage of the female mysteries. The Priestesses start to slowly circle deosil about the circle in The Dance of the Elements. While this is going on, the Mother and Crone will explain to the Virgin the significance and power of each of the elements. 1755Note:1755 This is an integral part of the ritual, but cannot be written as it is performed spontaneously by the Mother and Crone. The format is basically as follows: Mother: I give you the power of your intellect Crone: I give you the power of beginnings Mother: I give you the power of decision Crone: I give you the freedom of air and so on, remaining with each element as long as desired. 1756 On command from the Crone, the Dance will cease, and each Priestess will return to her respective position. Now, the Mother will take the Virgin to each Priestess in turn, starting with the East, where she will be presented with the elemental weapons. (ie, armed with her potential). After each presentation, the Virgin will replace the weapon on the altar, to signify her understanding and acceptance of this knowledge. Both Virgin and Mother will return to the cauldron, where the Crone will present the Virgin with the Bride Doll, which she will accept, and place upon the altar. She then returns to the centre, and looks into the cauldron, where she now finds a sistrum, which she picks up and shakes joyfully shouting "Bride is Come, Bride is Welcome!" This is the cue for the Priests to face centre once more. HP-1 starts playing the Bodrhun, and HPS-3 leads the dance. The Mother and Crone link hands around the Virgin in a symbol of protection. Everyone chants 1756"Bride is Come, Bride is Welcome"1756 as the dance increases in tempo, and then HPS-3 will initiate the Witches' Rune when she feels the time is right. The dance will finish with arms held aloft, and then the Virgin will break out from between the Mother and Crone, and take the cauldron candle to the altar, where she will light it from one of the altar candles. She will turn to face the group while HPS-3 leads the Initiate's Ceremony of Illumination. The virgin now returns to the East, where she reads The Charge of Brigid's Fire. I am She of the golden hair, Queen of the white hills, Rider of the white swan, and now stand at the threshold of my glory. I bring with me three gifts of fire: the first is the flame of Inspiration that is kindled within the heart of the seeker. The second is the flame of purification; the cleansing flame of truth. The third is the flame born of the fires of love that brings the seed of hope to all life. Virgin now performs cakes and wine with a Priest of her choice. The feast. TO END THE RITUAL All take their athames, and support HPS-1 as she thanks, and bids farewell to the Quarter Guardians. Formal grounding of the power. All present make their farewells to each other, and leave the Temple. 1757 IMBOLG 1992 JULIA PHILLIPS Temple in darkness, apart from the Yule log in the centre. Brigid in her bed on the small altar. Lots of unlit candles in sand pots around the room. All enter as usual, and the Circle is cast in the normal manner. After the central invocations, HP says: Awake O Earth from your slumbers! Awake O Sun and restore the Earth! Mother - we are in darkness. HPS picks up a jug of water, and pours it into the cauldron saying: The waters are broken. The ice melting towards Candletime. Blood has been along the track, but now the ways are clear of death. Old and grey I was, but here in the mystery of the waters I am renewed. For I am the one you sought, but could not find. For I was singing to my child unseen, beneath the hills of birch and rowan. HPS takes the asperge, and all circle around her chanting the Witches Rune. She asperges each person as they pass, and on the last round, hands each person a white candle. When everyone has a candle, the circling stops, and HPS lights the main candles and says: The darkness of winter is passing: the Earth awakens once more from its slumbers; the Virgin walks among us again, and brings Her blessings upon the land and upon our lives. Priest and Priestess step forward and remove the cover from Brigid's bed, revealing the Virgin. Everyone shouts: Brigid is Come! Brigid is Welcome! 1758 HPS takes a light from the Yule log and says: Let the inner light bear fruit in our own lives, even as the Earth bears the first flowers. I am Brigid: She of the Golden Hair; Queen of the White Hills, and rider of the White Swan. I bring three gifts of fire. The first is the flame of creation; of the poet and artist; of the lovers' passion for union with the beloved. The second is the flame of purification and testing, the flame of truth. With this flame all dross and weakness are made clear and cleansed from thee, so thou become like a true and tested sword. The third is the greatest of all, for it is the healing flame born out of the love that gives all, the maker of peace and harmony. But I do not give these gifts one by one; I give them as a whole in the form of the growing Sun. Everyone then lights their candle from the Yule log, and starts to circle deosil, lighting the candles around the room as they go, chanting: Thus we banish winter, thus we welcome spring; Say farewell to what is dead, and greet each living thing. When all the candles are lit, everyone places their candle in a sand pot, and the chanting ceases. HPs and HP bless cakes and wine. 1759 S A M H A I N 1 9 8 6 Coven of the Serpent's Eye Declamation written by Rufus Harrington Invocation to Horned God written by Doreen Valiente Response of the Horned God written by Paul Greenslade Consecration of the seeds written by Jim Kitson Temple set up as follows: Veil in northern quarter Cauldron in centre, with charcoal blocks ready lit Stereo ready with taped music A dish of corn seeds on the altar One pot of earth for each person Pomegranate on altar Candles, incense and ritual weapons as usual Floor tom-tom drum Roles: HPS The Goddess HP The Horned God Priest To consecrate the seeds P or PS Ritual drumming Casting the circle: The Circle will be cast by the HPS The HPS will invoke the quarters: while she does so, each person  should face the quarter being invoked, and direct power to the  quarter with their athame (or other if they have no athame). The  group should all face centre, forming a circle after the  invocation to the northern quarter, and hold both arms aloft  while the HPS calls upon the Lord and Lady to join with the  celebrations. This completes the casting of the circle. .paŠ The Ritual: HPS wearing black silk robe and veil stands at the altar,  facing the group, who are seated. 1759The HP reads the declamation:1759 Iced legions of the damned Call and dance the songs of madness; Hollow hills re-echo to the silent cries of night, For dancing flames now turn to shadows, Winds and madness call the night, And just a single light in darkness Stands before the veil to fight. 1760 And so the Goddess stood in darkness, Tear stained cheeks lashed by rain, Turned to face the veil of darkness, Turned to face the world of pain. Alone, an outcast, branded traitor; She it was who killed the land. To save the land from age and darkness, To save the land from fear and death, For love of life she sought to conquer, Sought to stay the hand of death. But in her love and in her madness She summoned death into the land; Summoned death to fight the darkness, Thus it was destroyed the land. Cracked silver lightning; shattering darkness, Revealing eyes, and visions born beyond. Iced visions of light, Echoes of dying laughter chill and cool the blood. Storm clouds tearing sky and screaming, Battles fought at heaven's gate, Fly upon the winds of madness, Seek the silver key of fate. HPS: SILENCE! An end must be made! For there are three great events in the life of man: Love, Death and resurrection in the new body, and magic controls them all. For to fulfil 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 so is formed the spiral of creation, and this is all the magics. The group now stand, and when everyone is facing the HPS, she assumes pentagram position. The ritual drummer takes his position, and the Priest who is taking the role of the Horned God switches on the music tape, blows out the northern quarter candle and moves behind the veil. Silence while the tape of "The making of Bloduedd" is played, as this is the invocation the the Goddess in her transformation aspect. (Note: the tape is allowed to continue playing, as this is the only item on the tape, the remainder being blank.) The HPS turns to face the altar, and holds aloft the sword. As she does so, the drummer plays a steady rhythm. The HPS moves to the centre of the circle, facing the veil; the group arrange themselves behind her, all facing the veil. The HPS points the sword at the veil, and the group hold aloft their arms for the invocation to the Horned God. 1761 HPS says: By the flame that burneth bright O Horned One, We call Thy name into the night, O Ancient One! Thee we invoke by the moon led sea, By the standing stone, and the twisted tree. Thee we invoke where gather Thine own, By nameless shrine, forgotten and lone. Come where the round of the dance is trod, Horn and hoof of the goat foot God! By moonlit meadow and dusky hill, When haunted wood is hushed and still, Come to the charm of the chanted prayer, As the moon bewitches the midnight air. Evoke Thy powers that potent bide, In shining stream and secret tide, In fiery flame and starlight pale, In shadowy hosts that ride the gale. And by the fern brakes, fairy haunted, Of forests wild and woods enchanted; Come O come to the heart beats drum, Come to us who gather below, When the pale white moon is climbing slow, Through the stars to the heavens height, We hear Thy hooves on the wings of night! As black tree branches shake and sigh, By joy and terror we know Thee nigh. We speak the spell Thy power unlocks, At solstice, sabbat and equinox. Word of virtue, the veil to rend, From primal dawn to the wide world's end! (As the invocation proceeds, the drummer speeds his rhythm to suggest the sound of hoofbeats, and after the final line of the invocation, he suddenly reverts to a simple, slow four beats for the entrance of the Horned God.) P#1 responds from behind the veil: I am the Dread Lord of the Shadows: God of life and giver of life. I open wide the veil through which all must pass. The gate is open between the worlds And all who would enter on this night are welcome. Come spirits; departed ones; brethren from our past and present Join us in the hunt tonight. During his response, he parts the veil, and then fastens it open in some way, as the veil between the worlds remains open until closed by the Horned God at the end of the ritual. 1762 As he finishes speaking, he enters the Temple, and proceeds to move in a widdershins direction, and the drummer plays a rhythm according to the speed and movement of the Horned God. The Horned God then takes the hand of one of the group (female), and she takes the hand of the next male, and so on until all the group except for the HPS and drummer are dancing with the Horned God. This represents the Wild Hunt, and the drumming and dancing should reflect the feeling of this. At a prompt from the Horned God, the group will stop dancing, and seat themselves on the floor facing inwards around the cauldron. The drummer will join them, and the HPS will bring a pot of incense, from which she will take a handful and throw it into the cauldron. she will then pass the incense to the HP, who will also throw some into the cauldron, and will pass it to his neighbour, and so on around the circle until each person has thrown some incense into the cauldron. There is now a period of meditation, where everyone thinks about the past year, and those who may have passed over during that time. It is also a time for joining with our loved ones who have gone beyond, and who we invite to return to us for the night. When the HPS feels that long enough has been spent on this part of the ritual, she will signal that everyone should end their meditation. P#2 shall now rise (also PS#1 if designated), and approach the altar where he/they will perform the consecration of the sacred seed. P#2 says: Bounded by a shell then? Secure in the vice of the earth, a unity waiting. And outside? Cold, wet loneliness, the comfort of death. And above? The agony of birth and growth, total struggle in total night. O Gaia! Smile upon your children, set free the seed of life and joy. So Mote It Be! When this has been completed, P#2 takes some of the seeds, and energises them with his own hopes and desires for the coming year, and then plants them in one of the prepared pots. The rest of the group do likewise, commencing with 1762PS#11762 if designated, and following male/female if possible. The Horned God and Goddess do not plant seeds at the altar. When the last person has planted their seeds, and all are seated again, the 1762Horned God1762 approaches the altar, and slices the pomegranite in half, and holds both halves in one hand. He picks up some seeds and charges them with his hopes and desires for the coming year, but does not plant them at the altar. He holds them in his hand, and then he calls to all the spirits who followed him through from beyond the veil to return with him now, and moving in a deosil direction, circles around the Temple finally ending up beyond the veil again. He calls to the Goddess to join with him once more, and she has such love for him that she willingly leaves her life this side of the veil, and of her own free will joins once more with her consort. She rises, and goes to the altar to collect and charge her own seeds, which she then carries with her as she moves around the Temple, finally joining the Horned God behind the veil. He closes the veil between the worlds once more, and to symbolise her willing descent to the Otherworld, the Goddess eats one half of the pomegranate. She and the Horned God then plant their seeds. The northern quarter candle is relit by the person nearest to it. 1763 At this point, 1763PS#1 and P#21763 approach the altar, and perform the consecration of cakes and wine, in which all participate bar the HPS and P#1 behind the veil, as they are "no longer of this world". After cakes and wine, 1763HPS and P#11763 rejoin the circle for the feast, no longer "Horned God and Goddess". TO END THE RITUAL: Each quarter is thanked and bidden to depart by HPS All present make their farewells to each other, and leave the Temple. The Rite is ended. 1764 Y U L E 1984 Julia Phillips Circle is cast and Quarters erected. HPS: We now stand at the turning of the year. Dark Lord: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, All fades and passes, day to night. Dark Lord extinguishes candles leaving only altar candles alight. HPS: Let us dance for the long year's end, for the sun sets quickly in the West, and we begin the long night of hope. Coven do Wheel or Cord dance widdershins about the cauldron chanting: Time and Death, Life and Seasons, All must pass, All must change. Star Child now leaves the circle, and stands behind the veil in the North. HPS stands at the cauldron in the centre, wearing a black veil. HPS: I am the Hag who engendered you all; I am the Three and the One who is here; I am the log that is ripe for burning; In my end is your hope of beginning. HPS now lifts the cauldron aloft and presents it to each quarter. She returns to the centre, and lights the cauldron candle, from which she lights a quarter candle for each member of the coven. The quarter candles are placed in their respective quarters. Narrator: This is the night of the Solstice; the Mother Night. Now darkness triumphs, and yet gives way and changes to light. Time stops, and all wait while the cauldron of the Dark King is transformed into the infant Light. We watch for the dawn when the Mother again gives birth to the sun, who is the bringer of hope and the promise of summer. Holly gives way to Oak, the Wren to the Robin, Old to New. Narrator: We stand now in the long night, we pray for the sun's return. In darkness and shadows the Great Mother groans. The Mother labours to bring forth the sun from her pain. From her cries of labour comes forth our cries of welcome; from her toil and anguish our hope is reborn. Let us now call forth the Great Mother, and the Lord of Life, her husband and son. The Star Child emerges from behind the veil, and lays at the feet of the HPS. The HPS points to the Star Child and proclaims: Behold the Child! Here lies our king! 1765 The HPS crowns the Star Child with a crown of misteltoe. She removes her veil and announces: I am the Mother who brought forth the child; I am the inspiration, and I am the rebirth. Narrator: You are the ecstasy of the blessed You are the light of the sun's beams You are the lordly door of welcome You are the guiding star Yours is the step of the roe on the hill Yours is the step of the white-faced mare Yours is the grace of the swimming swan You are the jewel in each mystery Coven now do Wheel or Cord dance deosil about the cauldron chanting: Power of soil and power of air, Power of fire and power of water, Power that spins the wheel of birth, Spins the wheel of joy and mirth, Spins the wheel of sun and moon, Push, push, push, Open the gate. Power of spell and magic free, Eternal power that binds the sea, Weaves the web of infinity, Light of dark and light of day, Speed the spokes fast on their way, Push push push - ah ah Open the gate, So Mote It Be! HPS now invokes the Lord of Misrule into the circle. He is challenged upon entry by the Dark Lord, and must explain who he is, and why he is there. The Lord of Misrule is now in charge of the circle, and may behave as he sees fit. At some point, he must take the burdens of the coven for the previous twelve moons and pack them in his bag. Cakes and Wine. The Lord of Misrule must be ritually hunted as a wren to bring about his downfall. The coven mime hunting the wren chanting, "Burn the bush, hunt the wren" When he is discovered, the coven point their athames at his neck to symbolise his death. Close ritual. 1766 "LEGITIMACY" IN THE CRAFT, a conversation --------------------------------------------------------------------- (117) Sun 25 Apr 93 11:16 By: Khaled To: Lana Re: things St: ---------------------------------------------------------------------- L> What rituals do you think I would have to do to become "letigimate" L> ....(do I have to be "initiated" in other words... )! That rather depends on who you want to recognise you as legitimate. There's a wide variance of opinion as to what makes a witch, a Witch or a Wiccan. If you open your heart to the Lady and commune (speak with your heart, not necessarily in words) with her often, she will eventually adopt her as one of her special Children (the "inner", or Lady's, initiation). Her adoption will cause changes to your spirit and way of looking at things that will be obvious to those of us who share it, as its presence in others will become obvious to you after you've awakened to her touch (unfortunately, it's one of those things that doesn't make much sense until you've *been there*). Most of us here accept the Lady's initiation as the mark of a true Witch (capitalised to denote the priest/ess, as opposed to the folk mage or witch). I gather that the majority of those posting here think of Wiccans and Witches as one and the same, though many of us think of Wicca as a particular subset of Witches (i.e. all Wiccans are Witches, but not all Witches are, or even wish to be, Wiccan). 1767 For those of us who see them as different (I'm one of them), you will need to be formally adopted into a Wiccan clan to be a *Wiccan* Witch. Some traditions permit self-adoption into their clans, some (Gardnerians and their near kin in particular) recognise you as Wiccan only if you've been adopted by an authorised Elder of the clan in question. Then again,there's a few diehards who don't recognise anyone but members of their own clan as Wiccan. Which brings us back to square one -- it depends on whose recognition you're looking for. Most will accept your legitimacy *as a Witch* based on the quality of your rapport with the Lady. And the way to develop that is to spend a lot of time in her company, whether with like-minded others in a coven or quietly by yourself. A large minority will accept you *as a Wiccan* based on whether or not you have passed through a human rite of passage (confusingly, also called initiation) adopting you into a Wiccan clan. Be sure you know the family that wishes to adopt you before accepting: this time you get to *choose* your relatives . Those who insist that only *they* have the Truth, and therefore only they are legitimate aren't really worth wasting your time worrying about, IMHO. 1768 L> I was wondering if you HAD to belong to a coven in order to L> practice, or to be "letigimate", so to speak. As Ayesha mentioned, what matters is that you spend time in the Lady's company, and "listen" to what she has to say, "feel" what she has to show. Even amongst crusty old Gardnerians such as myself, there's no need to be a member of a coven to practice your Craft, nor does resigning from a coven invalidate your initiation(s). We prefer to work in covens, because we generally prefer the company of our brethren in Circle, but there's no law that says we *have to* if we feel like being alone, or have no choice in the matter. Gardnerian *initiations* are done by a coven, and one normally has to be a candidate for membership in that coven in order to be initiated (by us). This is by no means invariable, but initiating someone you don't want in your coven is considered tasteless at best, a betrayal of your sacred trust at worst. So, no, you don't HAVE to be a member of a coven to be seen as legitimate. And since my own opinion is that the weakest link in a coven is its weakest solitary, I'd encourage you to continue to do some solo work, even if you DO join a coven. But what would I know, I'm just a 3rd . Blessings on your path, whichever way you choose to go... K 1769 The Meaning of Witchcraft Gerald B. Gardner P.265 Appendix I THE MAGICAL LEGEND OF THE WITCHES. Now, G. (the Witch Goddess) had never loved, but she would solve all the Mysteries, even the Mystery of Death; and so she journeyed to the Nether Lands. The Guardians of the Portals challenged her, "Strip off thy garments, lay aside thy jewels; for naught may ye bring with ye into this our land." So she laid down her garments and her jewels, and was bound, as are all who enter the Realms of Death the Mighty One. (Note: There was a Celtic custom of binding corpses. The cord which had bound a corpse was useful in learning the "second sight.") 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 hands 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, "tis 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, "I love thee not." Then said Death, "An thou received not my had 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 Magics. For there are three great events in the life of man; Love, Death, and Resurrection in a new body; and Magic controls them all. For to fulfil 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 new body; and to die you must be born; and without love you may not be born. And these be all the Magics. 1770 The Spiral Dance 1979; Starhawk p 159 The Goddess In The Kingdom Of Death In this world, the Goddess is seen in the moon, the light that shines in darkness, the rain bringer, mover of the tides, Mistress of mysteries. And as the moon waxes and wanes, and walks three nights of its cycle in darkness, so, it is said, the Goddess once spent three nights in the Kingdom of Death. For in love She ever seeks Her other Self, and once, in the winter of the year, when He had disappeared from the green earth, She followed Him and came at last to the gates beyond which the living do not go. The Guardian of the Gate challenged Her, and She stripped Herself of Her clothing and jewels, for nothing may be brought into that land. For love, She was bound as all who enter there must be and brought before Death Himself. He loved Her, and knelt at Her feet, laying before Her His sword and crown, and gave Her the fivefold kiss, and said, "Do not return to the living world, but stay here with Me, and have peace and rest and comfort." But She answered, "Why do you cause all things I love and delight in to die and wither away?" "Lady," He said, "It is the fate of all that lives to die. Everything passes; all fades away. I bring comfort and consolation to those who pass the gates, that they may grow young again. But You are My heart's desire -- return not, but stay here with Me." And She remained with Him three days and three nights, and at the end of the third night She took up His crown, and it became a circlet that She placed around Her neck, saying: "Here is the circle of rebirth. Through You all passes out of life, but through Me all may be born again. Everything passess; everything changes. Even death is not eternal. Mine is the mystery of the womb, that is the cauldron of rebirth. Enter into Me and know Me, and You will be free of all fear. For as life is but a journey into death, so death is but a passage back to life, and in Me the circle is ever turning." In love, He entered into Her, and so was reborn into life. Yet is He known as Lord of Shadows, the comforter and consoler, opener of the gates, King of the Land of Youth, the giver of peace and rest. But She is the gracious mother of all life; from Her all things proceed and to Her they return again. In Her are the mysteries of death and birth; in Her is the fulfillment of all love. *Traditional Craft Myth 1771 A TRUE HISTORY OF WITCHCRAFT updated through January 3, 1992. copyright (c) 1992 by Allen Greenfield. All rights reserved.] "The fact is that the instincts of ignorant people invariably find expression in some form of witchcraft. It matters little what the metaphysician or the moralist may inculcate; the animal sticks to his subconscious ideas..." Aleister Crowley The Confessions "As attunement to psychic (occult) reality has grown in America, one often misunderstood and secretive branch of it has begun to flourish also -- magical religion..." J. Gordon Melton Institute for the Study of American Religion, Green Egg, 1975 "Curse them! Curse them! Curse them! With my Hawk's head I peck at the eyes of Jesus as he hangs upon the cross I flap my wings in the face of Mohammed & blind him With my claws I tear out the flesh of the Indian and the Buddhist, Mongol and Din..." Liber Al Vel Legis 3:50 - 53 "If you are on the Path, and see the Buddha walking towards you, kill him." Zen saying, paraphrased slightly "Previously I never thought of doubting that there were many witches in the world; now, however, when I examine the public record, I find myself believing that there are hardly any..." Father Friedrich von Spee, S.J. , Cautio Criminalis, 1631 Having spent the day musing over the origins of the modern witchcraft, I had a vivid dream. It seemed to be a cold January afternoon, and Aleister Crowley was having Gerald Gardner over to tea. It was 1945, and talk of an early end to the war was in the air. An atmosphere of optimism prevailed in the "free world" , but the wheezing old magus was having none of it. "Nobody is interested in magick any more!" Crowley ejaculated. "My friends on the Continent are dead or in exile, or grown old; the movement in America is in shambles. I've seen my best candidates turn against me....Achad, Regardie -- even that gentleman out in California, what's - his - name, AMORC, the one that made all the money.." 1772 "O, bosh, Crowley," Gardner waved his hand impatiently, "all things considered, you've done pretty well for yourself. Why, you've been called the `wickedest man in the world' and by more than a few. And you've not, if you'll pardon the impertinence, done too badly with the ladies." Crowley coughed, tugged on his pipe reflectively. "You know" he finally ventured, "it's like I've been trying to tell this fellow Grant. A restrictive Order is not enough. If I had it all to do over again, I would've built a religion for the unwashed masses instead of just a secret society. Why, the opportunities! The women!" Gardner smiled. "Precisely. And that is what I have come to propose to you. Take your BOOK OF THE LAW, your GNOSTIC MASS. Add a little razzle-dazzle for the country folk. Why I know these occultists who call themselves `witches'. They dance around fires naked, get drunk, have a good time. Rosicrucians, I think. Proper English country squires and dames, mostly; I think they read a lot of Frazier and Margaret Murray. If I could persuade you to draw on your long experience and talents, in no time at all we could invent a popular cult that would have beautiful ladies clamoring to let us strip them naked, tie them up and spank their behinds! If, Mr. Crowley, you'll excuse my explicitness." For all his infirmity, Aleister Crowley almost sprang to his feet, a little of the old energy flashing through his loins. "By George, Gardner, you've got something there, I should think! I could license you to initiate people into the O.T.O. today, and you could form the nucleus of such a group!" He paced in agitation. "Yes, yes," he mused, half to Gardner, half to himself. "The Book. The Mass. I could write some rituals. An `ancient book' of magick. A `book of shadows'. Priest- esses, naked girls. Yes. By Jove, yes!" Great story, but merely a dream , created out of bits and pieces of rumor, history and imagination. Don't be surprised, though, if a year or five years from now you read it as "gospel" (which is an ironic synonym for `truth') in some new learned text on the fabled history of Wicca. Such is the way all mythologies come into being. Please don't misunderstand me here; I use the word `mythology' in this context in its aboriginal meaning, and with considerable respect. History is more metaphor than factual accounting at best, and there are myths by which we live and others by which we die. Myths are the dreams and visions which parallel objective history. This entire work is, in fact, an attempt to approximate history. To arrive at some perspective on what the modern mythos called, variously, "Wicca", the "Old Religion", "Witchcraft" and "Neopaganism" is, we must firstly make a firm distinction; "witchcraft" in the popular informally defined sense may have little to do with the modern religion that goes by the same name. It has been argued by defenders of and formal apologists for modern Wicca that it is a direct lineal descendent of an ancient, indeed, prehistoric worldwide folk religion. 1773 Some proponents hedge their claims, calling Wicca a "revival" rather than a continuation of an ancient cult. Oddly enough, there may never have been any such cult! The first time I met someone who thought she was a "witch," she started going on about being a "blue of the cloak." I should've been warned right then and there. In fact, as time has passed and the religion has spread, the claims of lineal continuity have tended to be hedged more and more. Thus, we find Dr. Gardner himself, in 1954, stating unambiguously that some witches are descendants "... of a line of priests and priestesses of an old and probably Stone Age religion, who have been initiated in a certain way (received into the circle) and become the recipients of certain ancient learning." (Gardner, WITCHCRAFT TODAY, pp 33-34.) Stated in its most extreme form, Wicca may be defined as an ancient pagan religious system of beliefs and practices, with a form of apostolic succession (that is, with knowledge and ordination handed on lineally from generation to generation), a more or less consistent set of rites and myths, and even a secret holy book of considerable antiquity (The Book of Shadows). More recent writers, as we have noted, have hedged a good deal on these claims, particularly the latter. Thus we find Stewart Farrar in 1971 musing on the purported ancient text thusly: "Whether, therefore, the whole of the Book of Shadows is post-1897 is anyone's guess. Mine is that, like the Bible, it is a patchwork of periods and sources, and that since it is copied and re-copied by hand, it includes amendments, additions, and stylistic alterations according to the taste of a succession of copiers...Parts of it I sense to be genuinely old; other parts suggest modern interpolation..." (Farrar, WHAT WITCHES DO, pp 34-35.)As we shall discover presently, there appear to be no genuinely old copies of the Book of Shadows. Still, as to the mythos, Farrar informs us that the "two personifications of witchcraft are the Horned God and the Mother Goddess..." (ibid, p 29) and that the "Horned God is not the Devil, and never has been. If today `Satanist' covens do exist, they are not witches but a sick fringe, delayed-reaction victims of a centuries-old Church propaganda in which even intelligent Christians no longer believe." (ibid, p 32). One could protest:, "Very well, some case might be made for the Horned God being mistaken for the Christian Devil (or should that be the other way around?), but what record, prior to the advent 50 years ago of modern Wicca via Gerald Gardner, do we have of the survival of a mother goddess image from ancient times?" Wiccan apologists frequently refer to the (apparently isolated) tenth century church document which states that "some wicked women, perverted by the Devil, seduced by the illusions and phantasms of demons, believe and profess themselves in the hours of the night to ride upon certain beasts with Diana, the goddess of pagans, or with Herodias, and an innumerable multitude of women, and in the silence of the dead of night to traverse great spaces of earth, and to obey her commands as of their mistress, and to be summoned to her service on certain nights." (Quoted in Valiente, WITCHCRAFT FOR TOMORROW, Hale, 1978, p 32.) I do not doubt that bits of pagan folklore survived on the Continent through the first millenium -- Northern Europe remained overtly pagan until the High Middle Ages. But what has this to do with Wicca? Farrar, for his part, explains the lack of references to a goddess in the testimony at the infamous witch trials by asserting that "the judges ignored the Goddess, being preoccupied with the Satan-image of the God.." (WHAT WITCHES DO, p 33). But it is the evidence of that reign of terror which lasted from roughly 1484 to 1692 which brings the whole idea of a surviving religious cult into question. It is now the conventional wisdom on the witchburning mania which swept like a 1774 plague over much of Europe during the transition from medieval world to modern that it was JUST that; a mania, a delusion in the minds of Christian clergymen and state authorities; that is, there were no witches, only the innocent victims of the witch hunt. Further, this humanist argument goes, the `witchcraft' of Satanic worship, broomstick riding, of Sabbats and Devil-marks, was a rather late invention, borrowing but little from remaining memories of actual preChristian paganism. We have seen a resurrection of this mania in the 1980s flurry over `Satanic sacrificial' cults, with as little evidence. "The concept of the heresy of witchcraft was frankly regarded as a new invention, both by the theologians and by the public," writes Dr. Rossell Hope Robbins in THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF WITCHCRAFT & DEMONOLOGY, (Crown, 1959, p.9)"Having to hurdle an early church law, the Canon Episcopi, which said in effect that belief in witchcraft was superstitious and heretical, the inquisitors cavilled by arguing that the witchcraft of the Canon Episcopi and the witchcraft of the Inquisition were different..." The evidence extracted under the most gruesome and repeated tortures resemble the Wiccan religion of today in only the most cursory fashion. Though Wicca may have been framed with the "confessions" extracted by victims of the inquisitors in mind, those "confessions" --- which are more than suspect, to begin with, bespeak a cult of devil worshipers dedicated to evil. One need only read a few of the accounts of the time to realize that, had there been at the time a religion of the Goddess and God, of seasonal circles and The Book of Shadows, such would likely have been blurted out by the victims, and more than once. The agonies of the accused were, almost literally, beyond the imagination of those of us who have been fortunate enough to escape them. The witch mania went perhaps unequaled in the annals of crimes against humanity en masse until the Hitlerian brutality of our own century. But, no such confessions were forthcoming, though the wretches accused, before the torture was done, would also be compelled to condemn their own parents, spouses, loved ones, even children. They confessed, and to anything the inquisitors wished, anything to stop or reduce the pain. A Priest, probably at risk to his own life, recorded testimony in the 1600s that reflected the reality underlying the forced "confessions" of "witches". Rev. Michael Stapirius records, for example, this comment from one "confessed witch": "I never dreamed that by means of the torture a person could be brought to the point of telling such lies as I have told. I am not a witch, and I have never seen the devil, and still I had to plead guilty myself and denounce others...." All but one copy of Father Stapirius' book were destroyed, and little wonder. A letter smuggled from a German burgomaster, Johannes Junius, to his daughter in 1628, is as telling as it is painful even to read. His hands had been virtually destroyed in the torture, and he wrote only with great agony and no hope. "When at last the executioner led me back to the cell, he said to me, `Sir, I beg you, for God's sake, confess something, whether it be true or not. Invent something, for you cannot endure the torture which you will be put to; and, even if you bear it all, yet you will not escape, not even if you were an earl, but one torture will follow another until you say you are a witch. Not before that,' he said, `will they let you go, as you may see by all their trials, for one is just like another...' " (ibid, pp 12-13) For the graspers at straws, we may find an occasional line in a "confession" which is intriguing, as in the notations on the "confession" of one woman from Germany dated in late 1637. After days of unspeakable torment, wherein the woman 1775 confesses under pain, recants when the pain is removed, only to be moved by more pain to confess again, she is asked: "How did she influence the weather? She does not know what to say and can only whisper, Oh, Heavenly Queen, protect me!" Was the victim calling upon "the goddess"? Or, as seems more likely, upon that aforementioned transfiguration of all ancient goddesses in Christian mythology, the Virgin Mary. One more quote from Dr. Robbins, and I will cease to parade late medieval history before you. It comes from yet another priest, Father Cornelius Loos, who observed, in 1592 that "Wretched creatures are compelled by the severity of the torture to confess things they have never done, and so by cruel butchery innocent lives are taken....." (ibid, p 16). The "evidence" of the witch trials indicates, on the whole, neither the Satanism the church and state would have us believe, nor the pagan survivals now claimed by modern Wicca; rather, they suggest only fear, greed, human brutality carried out to bizarre extremes that have few parallels in all of history. But, the brutality is not that of `witches' nor even of `Satanists' but rather that of the Christian Church, and the government. What, then, are we to make of modern Wicca? It must, of course, be observed as an aside that in a sense witchcraft or "wisecraft" has, indeed, been with us from the dawn of time, not as a coherent religion or set of practices and beliefs, but as the folk magic and medicine that stretches back to early, possibly paleolithic tribal shamans on to modern China's so-called "barefoot doctors". In another sense, we can also say that ceremonial magick, as I have previously noted, has had a place in history for a very long time, and both these ancient systems of belief and practice have intermingled in the lore of modern Wicca, as apologists are quick to claim. 1776 But, to an extent, this misses the point and skirts an essential question anyone has the right to ask about modern Wicca -- namely, did Wicca exist as a coherent creed, a distinct form of spiritual expression, prior to the 1940s; that is, prior to the meeting of minds between the old magus and venerable prophet of the occult world Aleister Crowley, and the first popularizer, if not outright inventor of modern Wicca, Gerald Brosseau Gardner? There is certainly no doubt that bits and pieces of ancient paganism survived into modern times in folklore and, for that matter, in the very practices and beliefs of Christianity. Further, there appears to be some evidence that `Old George' Pickingill and others were practicing some form of folk magick as early as the latter part of the last century, though even this has recently been brought into question. Wiccan writers have made much of this in the past, but just what `Old George' was into is subject to much debate. Doreen Valiente, an astute Wiccan writer and one-time intimate of the late Dr. Gardner (and, in fact, the author of some rituals now thought by others to be of "ancient origin"), says of Pickingill that so "fierce was `Old George's dislike of Christianity that he would even collaborate with avowed Satanists..." (TOMORROW, p 20). What George Pickingill was doing is simply not clear. He is said to have had some interaction with a host of figures in the occult revival of the late nineteenth century, including perhaps even Crowley and his friend Bennett. It seems possible that Gardner, about the time of meeting Crowley, had some involvement with groups stemming from Pickingill's earlier activities, but it is only AFTER Crowley and Gardner meet that we begin to see anything resembling the modern spiritual communion that has become known as Wicca. "Witches," wrote Gardner in 1954, "are consummate leg-pullers; they are taught it as part of their stock-in-trade." (WITCHCRAFT TODAY, p. 27) Modern apologists both for Aleister Crowley AND Gerald Gardner have taken on such serious tones as well aspretensions that they may be missing places where tongues are firmly jutting against cheeks. Both men were believers in fleshly fulfillment, not only as an end in itself but, as in the Tantric Yoga of the East, as a means of spiritual attainment. A certain prudishness has crept into the practices of postGardnarian Wiccans, especially in America since the 1960s, along with a certain feminist revisionism. This has succeeded to a considerable extent in converting a libertine sex cult into a rather staid neopuritanism. The original Gardnarian current is still well enough known and widely enough in vogue (in Britain and Ireland especially) that one can venture to assert that what Gardnerian Wicca is all about is the same thing Crowley was attempting with a more narrow, more intellectual constituency in the magickal orders under his direct influence. These Orders had flourished for some time, but by the time Crowley ` officially' met Gardner in the 1940s, much of the former's lifelong efforts had, if not totally disintegrated, at least were then operating at a diminished and diminishing level. Through his long and fascinating career as magus and organizer, there is some reason to believe that Crowley periodically may have wished for, or even attempted to create a more populist expression of magickal religion. The Gnostic Mass, which 1777 Crowley wrote fairly early-on, had come since his death to somewhat fill this function through the OTO-connected Gnostic Catholic Church (EGC). As we shall see momentarily, one of Crowley's key followers was publishing manifestos forecasting the revival of witchcraft at the same time Gardner was being chartered by Crowley to organize an OTO encampment. The OTO itself, since Crowley's time, has taken on a more popular image, and is more targeted towards interna- tional organizational efforts, thanks largely to the work under the Caliphate of the late Grady McMurtry. This contrasts sharply with the very internalized OTO that barely survived during the McCarthy Era, when the late Karl Germer was in charge, and the OTO turned inward for two decades. The famous Ancient and Mystic Order of the Rose Cross (AMORC), the highly successful mail-order spiritual fellowship, was an OTO offspring in Crowley's time. It has been claimed that Kenneth Grant and Aleister Crowley were discussing relatively radical changes in the Ordo Templi Orientis at approximately the same time that Gardner and Crowley were interactive. Though Wiccan writers give some lip service (and, no doubt, some sincere credence) to the notion that the validity of Wiccan ideas depends not upon its lineage, but rather upon its workability, the suggestion that Wicca is -- or, at least, started out to be, essentially a late attempt at popularizing the secrets of ritual and sexual magick Crowley promulgated through the OTO and his writings, seems to evoke nervousness, if not hostility. We hear from wiccan writer and leader Raymond Buckland that one "of the suggestions made is that Aleister Crowley wrote the rituals...but no convincing evidence has been presented to back this assertion and, to my mind, it seems extremely unlikely..." (Gardner, ibid, introduction) The Wiccan rituals I have seen DO have much of Crowley in them. Yet, as we shall observe presently, the explanation that `Crowley wrote the rituals for Gardner' turns out to be somewhat in error. But it is on the right track. Doreen Valiente attempts to invoke Crowley's alleged infirmity at the time of his acquaintance with Gardner: "It has been stated by Francis King in his RITUAL MAGIC IN ENGLAND that Aleister Crowley was paid by Gerald Gardner to write the rituals of Gardner's new witch cult...Now, Gerald Gardner never met Aleister Crowley until the very last years of the latter's life, when he was a feeble old man living at a private hotel in Hastings, being kept alive by injections of drugs... If, therefore, Crowley really invented these rituals in their entirety, they must be about the last thing he ever wrote. Was this enfeebled and practically dying man really capable of such a tour de force?" The answer, as Dr. Israel Regardie's introduction to the posthumous collection of Crowley's late letters, MAGICK WITHOUT TEARS, implies, would seem to be yes. Crowley continued to produce extraordinary material almost to the end of his life, and much of what I have seen of the "Wiccan Crowley" is, in any case, of earlier origin. Gerald Gardner is himself not altogether silent on the subject. In WITCHCRAFT TODAY (p 47), Gardner asks himself, with what degree of irony one can only guess at, who, in modern times, could have invented the Wiccan rituals. "The only man I can think of who could have invented the rites," he offers, "was the late Aleister Crowley....possibly he borrowed things from the cult writings, or more likely someone may have borrowed expressions from him...." A few legs may be being pulled here, and perhaps more than a few. As a prophet ahead of his time, as a poet and dreamer, Crowley is one of the outstanding figures of the twentieth (or any) century. As an organizer, he was almost as much of a disaster as he was at 1778 managing his own finances...and personal life. As I understand the liberatory nature of the magical path, one would do well to see the difference between Crowley the prophet of Thelema and Crowley the insolvent and inept administrator. Crowley very much lacked the common touch; Gardner was above all things a popularizer. Both men have been reviled as lecherous "dirty old men" -- Crowley, as a seducer of women and a homosexual, a drug addict and `satanist' rolled together. Gardner was, they would have it, a voyeur, exhibitionist and bondage freak with a `penchant for ritual' to borrow a line from THE STORY OF O. Both were, in reality, spiritual libertines, ceremonial magicians who did not shy away from the awesome force of human sexuality and its potential for spiritual transformation as well as physical gratification. I will not say with finality at this point whether Wicca is an outright invention of these two divine con-men. If so, more power to them, and to those who truly follow in their path. I do know that, around 1945, Crowley chartered Gardner, an initiate of the Ordo Templi Orientis, giving him license to organize an OTO encampment. Shortly thereafter, the public face of Wicca came into view, and that is what I know of the matter: I presently have in my possession Gardner's certificate of license to organize said OTO camp, signed and sealed by Aleister Crowley. The certificate and its import are examined in connection with my personal search for the original Book of Shadows in the next section of this narrative. For now, though, let us note in the years since Crowley licensed Gardner to organize a magical encampment, Wicca has both grown in popularity and become, to my mind, something far less REAL than either Gardner or Crowley could have wanted or foreseen. Wherever they came from, the rites and practices which came from or through Gerald Gardner were strong, and tapped into that archetypal reality, that level of consciousness beneath the mask of polite society and conventional wisdom which is the function of True Magick. At a popular level, this was the Tantric sex magick of the West. Whether this primordial access has been lost to us will depend on the awareness, the awakening or lack thereof among practitioners of the near to middle-near future. Carried to its end Gardnerian practices, like Crowley's magick, are not merely exotic; they are, in the truest sense, subversive. 1779 Practices that WORK are of value, whether they are two years old or two thousand. Practices, myths, institutions and obligations which, on the other hand, may be infinitely ancient are of no value at all UNLESS they work. The Devil, you say Before we move on, though, in light of the furor over real and imagined "Satanism" that has overtaken parts of the popular press in recent years, I would feel a bit remiss in this account if I did not take momentary note of that other strain of left-handed occult mythology, Satanism. Wiccans are correct when they say that modern Wicca is not Satanic, that Satanism is "reverse Christianity" whereas Wicca is a separate, nonChristian religion. Still, it should be noted, so much of our society has been grounded in the repressiveness and authoritarian moralism of Christianity that a liberal dose of "counterChristianity" is to be expected. The Pat Robertsons of the world make possible the Anton LeVays. In the long history of repressive religion, a certain fable of Satanism has arisen. It constitutes a mythos of its own. No doubt, misguided `copycat' fanatics have sometimes misused this mythos, in much the same way that Charles Manson misused the music and culture of the 1960s. True occult initiates have always regarded the Ultimate Reality as beyong all names and description. Named `deities' are, therefore, largely symbols. "Isis" is a symbol of the long-denied female component of deity to some occultists. "Pan" or "The Horned God" or "Set" or even "Satan" are symbols of unconscious, repressed sexuality. To the occultist, there is no Devil, no "god of evil." There is, ultimately, only the Ain Sof Aur of the Cabbalah; the limitless light of which we are but a frozen spark. Evil, in this system, is the mere absence of light. All else is illusion. The goal of the occult path of initiation is BALANCE. In Freemasonry and High Magick, the symbols of the White Pillar and Black Pillar represent this balance between conscious and unconscious forces. In Gardnarian Wicca, the Goddess and Horned God - and the Priestess and Priest, represent that balance. There is nothing, nothing of pacts with the "Devil" or the worship of evil in any of this; that belongs to misguided exChristians who have been given the absurd fundamentalist Sunday school notion that one must choose the Christian version of God, or choose the Devil. Islam, Judaism and even Catholicism have at one time or another been thought "satanic," and occultists have merely played on this bigoted symbolism, not subscribed to it. As we have seen, Wicca since Gardner's time has been watered down in many of its expressions into a kind of mushy white-light `new age' religion, with far less of the strong sexuality characteristic of Gardnerianism, though, also, sometimes with less pretense as well. In any event, Satanism has popped up now and again through much of the history of the Christian Church. The medieval witches were not likely to have been Satanists, as the Church would have it, but, as we have seen, neither were they likely to have been "witches" in the Wiccan sense, either. The Hellfire Clubs of the eighteenth century were Satanic, and groups like the Process Church of the Final Judgement do, indeed, have Satanic elements in their (one should remember) essentially Christian theology. Aleister Crowley, ever theatrical, was prone to use Satanic symbolism in much the same way, tongue jutting in cheek, as he was given to saying that he " sacrificed millions of children each year, " that is, that he masturbated. Crowley once 1780 called a press conference at the foot of the Statue of Liberty, where he announced that he was burning his British Passport to protest Britain's involvement in World War One. He tossed an empty envelope into the water. He was dead serious, though, about the "Satanism" of Miltonian eternal rebellion, and the "Satanism" of fundamentalism's dark fear of sexuality. The Devil, however; the Satanic "god of evil" was an absurdity to him, as to all thinking people, and he freely said so. The most popular form of "counterChristianity" to emerge in modern times, though, was Anton Szandor LaVey's San Francisco-based Church of Satan, founded April 30, 1966. LaVey's Church enjoyed an initial burst of press interest, grew to a substantial size, and appeared to maintain itself during the cultural drought of the 1970s. But LaVey's books, THE SATANIC BIBLE and THE SATANIC RITUALS, have remained in print for many years, and his ideas seem to be enjoying a renewal of interest, especially among younger people, punks and heavy metal fans with a death-wish mostly, beginning in the middle years of the 1980s. By that time the Church of Satan had been largely succeeded by the Temple of Set. This is pure theatre; more in the nature of psychotherapy than religion. It is interesting to note Francis King's observation that before the Church of Satan began LaVey was involved in an occult group which included, among others, underground film maker Kenneth Anger, a person well known in Crowlean circles. Of the rites of the Church of Satan, King states that "...most of its teachings and magical techniques were somewhat vulgarized versions of those of Aleister Crowley's Ordo Templi Orientis." (MAN MYTH AND MAGIC, p 3204.) To which we might add that, as with the OTO, the rites of the Church of Satan are manifestly potent, but hardly criminal or murderous. LaVey, like Gardner and unlike Crowley, appears to have "the common touch" -- perhaps rather more so than Gardner. I determined to trace the Wiccan rumor to its source. As we shall see, in the very year I "fell" into being a gnostic bishop, I also fell into the original charters, rituals and paraphernalia of Wicca. 1781 THE CHARTER AND THE BOOK Being A Radical Revisionist History of the Origins of the Modern Witch Cult and The Book of Shadows. "It was one of the secret doctrines of paganism that the Sun was the source, not only of light, but of life...The invasion of classical beliefs by the religions of Syria and Egypt which were principally solar, gradually affected the conception of Apollo, and there is a certain later identification of him with the suffering God of Christianity, Free - masonry and similar cults..." Aleister Crowley in Astrology, 1974 "...if GBG and Crowley only knew each other for a short year or two, do you think that would be long enough for them to become such good friends that gifts of personal value would be exchanged several times, and that GBG would have been able to aquire the vast majority of Crowley's effects after his death?" Merlin the Enchanter, personal letter, 1986 "...On the floor before the altar, he remembers a sword with a flat cruciform brass hilt, and a well-worn manuscript book of rituals - the hereditary Book of Shadows, which he will have to copy out for himself in the days to come..." Stewart Farrar in What Witches Do, 1971 "Actually I did write a scholarly book about the Craft; its title was Inventing Witchcraft. . . But I spent most of the last fifteen years failing to persuade Carl Weschcke of Llewellyn or any other publisher that there was a market for it." Aidan A. Kelly, Gnosis, Winter, 1992 "...the Gardnerian Book of Shadows is one of the key factors in what has become a far bigger and more significant movement than Gardner can have envisaged; so historical interest alone would be enough reason for defining it while first-hand evidence is still available..." Janet and Stewart Farrar in The Witches' Way, 1984 "It has been alleged that a Book of Shadows in Crowley's handwriting was formerly exhibited in Gerald's Museum of Witchcraft on the Isle of Man. I can only say I never saw this on either of the two occasions when I stayed with Gerald and Donna Gardner on the island. The large, handwritten book depicted in Witchcraft Today is not in Crowley's handwriting, but Gerald's..." Doreen Valiente in Witchcraft for Tomorrow, 1978 1782 "Aidan Kelly...labels the entire Wiccan revival `Gardnerian Witchcraft....' The reasoning and speculation in Aidan's book are intricate. Briefly, his main argument depends on his discovery of one of Gardner's working notebooks, Ye Book of Ye Art Magical, which is in possession of Ripley International, Ltd...." Margot Adler in Drawing Down the Moon, 1979 PART ONE WAITING FOR THE MAN FROM CANADA I was, for the third time in four years, waiting a bit nervously for the Canadian executive with the original Book of Shadows in the ramshackle office of Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum. "They're at the jail," a smiling secretary-type explained, "but we've called them and they should be back over here to see you in just a few minutes." The jail? Ah, St. Augustine, Florida. "The Old Jail," was the `nation's oldest city's' second most tasteless tourist trap, complete with cage-type cells and a mock gallows. For a moment I allowed myself to play in my head with the vision of Norm Deska, Ripley Operations Vice President and John Turner, the General Manager of Ripley's local operation and the guy who'd bought the Gerald Gardner collection from Gardner's niece, Monique Wilson, sitting in the slammer. But no, Turner apparently had just been showing Deska the town. I straightened my suit for the fiftieth time, and suppressed the comment. We were talking BIG history here, and big bucks, too. I gulped. The original Book of Shadows. Maybe. It had started years before. One of the last people in America to be a fan of carnival sideshows, I was anxious to take another opportunity to go through the almost archetypally seedy old home that housed the original Ripley's Museum. I had known that Ripley had, in the nineteen seventies, acquired the Gardner stuff, but as far as I knew it was all located at their Tennessee resort museum. I think I'd heard they'd closed it down. By then, the social liberalism of the early seventies was over, and witchcraft and sorcery were no longer in keeping with a `family style' museum. It featured a man with a candle in his head, a Tantric skull drinking cup and freak show stuff like that, but, I mean, witchcraft is sacrile- gious, as we all know. So, I was a bit surprised, when I discovered some of the Gardner stuff - including an important historical document, for sale in the gift shop, in a case just opposite the little alligators that have "St.Augustine, Florida - America's Oldest City" stickered on their plastic bellies for the folks back home to use as a paper-weight. The pricetags on the occult stuff, however, were way out of my range. 1783 Back again, three years later, and I decided, what the hell, so I asked the cashier about the stuff still gathering dust in the glass case, and it was like I'd pushed some kind of button. Out comes Mr. Turner, the manager, who whisks us off to a store room which is filled, FILLED, I tell you, with parts of the Gardner collection, much of it, if not "for sale" as such, at least available for negotiation. Turner told us about acquiring the collection when he was manager of Ripley's Blackpool operation, how it had gone over well in the U.S. at first, but had lost popularity and was now relegated for the most part to storage status. Visions of sugarplums danced in my head. There were many treasures here, but the biggest plum of all, I thought, was not surprisingly, not to be seen. I'd heard all kinds of rumors about the Book of Shadows over the years, many of them conflicting, all of them intriguing. Rumor #1, of course, is that which accompanied the birth (or, depending on how one looked at it, the revival) of modern Wicca, the contemporary successor of ancient fertility cults. It revolved around elemental rituals, secret rites of passage and a mythos of goddess and god that seemed attractive to me as a psychologically valid alternative to the austere, antisexual moralism of Christianity. The Book of Shadows, in this context, was the `holy book' of Wicca, copied out by hand by new initiates of the cult with a history stretching back at least to the era of witchburnings. Rumor number #2, which I had tended to credit, had it that Gerald Gardner, the `father of modern Wicca' had paid Aleister Crowley in his final years to write the Book of Shadows, perhaps whole cloth. The rumor's chief exponent was the respected historian of the occult, Francis King. Rumor #3 had it that Gardner had written the Book himself, which others had since copied and/or stolen. To the contrary, said rumor #4, Gardner's Museum had contained an old, even ancient copy of the Book of Shadows, proving its antiquity. In more recent years modern Wiccans have tended to put some distance between themselves and Gardner, just as Gardner, for complex reasons, tended to distance himself in the early years of Wicca (circa 1944-1954) from the blatant sexual magick of Aleister Crowley, "the wickedest man in the world" by some accounts, and from Crowley's organization, the Ordo Templi Orientis. Why Gardner chose to do this is speculative, but I've got some idea. But, I'm getting ahead of myself. While Turner showed me a blasphemous cross shaped from the body of two nude women (created for the 18th century infamous "Hellfire Clubs" in England and depicted in the MAN MYTH AND MAGIC encyclopedia; I bought it, of course) and a statue of Beelzebub from the dusty Garderian archives, a thought occurred to me. " You know," I suggested, "if you ever, in all this stuff, happen across a copy of The Book of Shadows in the handwriting of Aleister Crowley, it would be of considerable historical value." I understated the case. It would be like finding The Book of Mormon in Joseph Smith's hand, or finding the original Ten Commandments written not by God Himself, but by Moses, pure and simple. (Better still, eleven commandments, with a margin note, "first draft.") I didn't really expect anything to come of it, and in the months ahead, it didn't. 1784 In the meantime, I had managed to acquire the interesting document I first mistook for Gerald Gardner's (long acknowledged) initiation certificate into Crowley's Thelemic magickal Ordo Templi Orientis. To my eventual surprise, I discovered that, not only was this not a simple initiation certificate for the Minerval (probationary-lowest) degree, but, to the contrary, was a license for Gardner to begin his own chapter of the O.T.O., and to initiate members into the O.T.O. In the document, furthermore, Gardner is referred to as "Prince of Jerusalem," that is, he is acknowledged to be a Fourth Degree Perfect Initiate in the Order. This, needless to say would usually imply years of dedicated training. Though Gardner had claimed Fourth Degree O.T.O. status as early as publication of High Magic's Aid,(and claimed even higher status in one edition) this runs somewhat contrary to both generally held Wiccan and contemporary O.T.O. orthodox understandings that the O.T.O. was then fallow in England. At the time the document was written, most maintained, Gardner could have known Crowley for only a brief period, and was not himself deeply involved in the O.T.O. The document is undated but probably was drawn up around 1945. As I said, it is understood that no viable chapter of the O.T.O. was supposed to exist in England at that time; the sole active chapter was in California, and is the direct antecedent of the contemporary authentic Ordo Templi Orientis. Karl Germer, Crowley's immediate successor, had barely escaped death in a Concentartion Camp during the War, his mere association with Crowley being tantamount to a death sentence. The German OTO had been largely destroyed by the Nazis, along with other freemasonic organizations, and Crowley himself was in declining health and power, the English OTO virtually dead. The Charter also displayed other irregularities of a revealing nature. Though the signature and seals are certainly those of Crowley, the text is in the decorative hand of Gerald Gardner! The complete text reads as follows: Do what thou wilt shall be the law. We Baphomet X Degree Ordo Templi Orientis Sovereign Grand Master General of All English speaking countries of the Earth do hereby authorise our Beloved Son Scire (Dr.G,B,Gardner,) Prince of Jerusalem to constitute a camp of the Ordo Templi Orientis, in the degree Minerval. Love is the Law, Love under will. o Witness my hand and seal Baphomet X Leaving aside the misquotation from The Book of the Law, which got by me for some months and probably got by Crowley when it was presented to him for signature, the document is probably authentic. It hung for some time in Gardner's museum, possibly giving rise, as we shall see, to the rumor that Crowley wrote the Book of Shadows for Gardner. According to Doreen Valiente,and to Col. Lawrence as well, the museum's descriptive pamphlet says of this document: "The collection includes a Charter granted by Aleister Crowley to G.B. Gardner (the Director of this Museum) to operate a Lodge of Crowley's fraternity, the Ordo Templi Orientis. (The Director would like to point out, however, that he has never 1785 used this Charter and has no intention of doing so, although to the best of his belief he is the only person in Britain possessing such a Charter from Crowley himself; Crowley was a personal friend of his, and gave him the Charter because he liked him." Col. Lawrence ("Merlin the Enchanter"), in a letter to me dated 6 December, 1986, adds that this appeared in Gardner's booklet, The Museum of Magic and Witchcraft. The explanation for the curious wording of the text, taking, as Dr. Gardner does, great pains to distance himself from Crowley and the OTO, may be hinted at in that the booklet suggests that this display in the "new upper gallery" (page 24) was put out at a relatively late date when, as we shall discover, Gardner was making himself answerable to the demands of the new witch cult and not the long-dead Crowley and (then) relatively moribund OTO. Now, the "my friend Aleister" ploy might explain the whole thing. Perhaps, as some including Ms. Valiente believe, Aleister Crowley was desperate in his last years to hand on what he saw as his legacy to someone. He recklessly handed out his literary estate, perhaps gave contradictory instruction to various of his remaining few devotees (e.g. Kenneth Grant, Grady McMurtry, Karl Germer), and may have given Gardner an "accelerated advancement" in his order. Ms. Valiente, a devoted Wiccan who is also a dedicated seeker after the historical truth, mentions also the claim made by the late Gerald Yorke to her that Gardner had paid Crowley a substantial sum for the document. In a letter to me dated 28th August, 1986, Ms. Valiente tells of a meeting with Yorke "...in London many years ago and mentioned Gerald's O.T.O. Charter to him, whereon he told me, `Well, you know, Gerald Gardner paid old Crowley about ($1500) or so for that...' This may or may not be correct..." Money or friendship may explain the Charter. Still, one wonders. I have a Thelemic acquaintance who, having advanced well along the path of Kenneth Grant's version of the OTO, went back to square one with the unquestionably authentic Grady McMurtry OTO. Over a period of years of substantial effort, he made his way to the IVo `plus' status implied by Gardner's "Prince of Jerusalem" designation in the charter, and has since gone beyond. I am, myself, a Vo member of the OTO, as well as a chartered initiator, and can tell you from experience that becoming a Companion of the Royal Arch of Enoch, Perfect Initiate, Prince of Jerusalem and Chartered Initiator is a long and arduous task. Gardner was in the habit, after the public career of Wicca emerged in the 1950s, of downgrading any Crowleyite associations out of his past, and, as Janet and Stewart Farrar reveal in The Witches' Way (1984, p3) there are three distinct versions of the Book of Shadows in Gerald Gardner's handwriting which incorporate successively less material from Crowley's writings, though the last (termed "Text C" and cowritten with Doreen Valiente after 1953) is still heavily influenced by Crowley and the OTO. Ms. Valiente has recently uncovered a copy of an old occult magazine contemporary with High Magic's Aid and from the same publisher, which discusses an ancient Indian document called "The Book of Shadows" but apparently totally unrelated to the Wiccan book of the same name. Valiente acknowledges that the earliest text by Gardner known to her was untitled, though she refers to it as a "Book of Shadows." It seems suspicious timing; did Gardner take the title from his publisher's magazine? Ms. Valiente observed to me that the "...eastern Book of Shadows does not seem to have anything to do with witch-craft at all....is this where old Gerald first found the expression "The Book of Shadows" and adopted it as a more poetical 1786 name for a magical manuscript than, say `The Grimoire' or `The Black Book'....I don't profess to know the answer; but I doubt if this is mere coincidence...." The claim is frequently made by those who wish to `salvage' a preGardnarian source of Wiccan materials that there is a `core' of `authentic' materials. But, as the Farrars' recently asserted, the portions of the Book of Shadows "..which changed least between Texts A, B and C were naturally the three initiation rituals; because these, above all, would be the traditional elements which would have been carefully preserved, probably for centuries...." (emphasis added) But what does one mean by "traditional materials?" The three initiation rites, now much-described in print, all smack heavily of the crypto-freemasonic ritual of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the OTO, and the various esoteric neorosicruci- an groups that abounded in Britain from about 1885 on, and which were, it is widely known, the fountainhead of much that is associated with Gardner's friend Crowley. The Third Degree ritual, perhaps Wicca's ultimate rite, is, essentially, a nonsymbolic Gnostic Mass, that beautiful, evocative, erotic and esoteric ritual written and published by Crowley in the Equinox, after attending a Russian Orthodox Mass in the early part of this century. The Gnostic Mass has had far-reaching influence, and it would appear that the Wiccan Third Degree is one of the most blatant examples of that influence. Take, for example, this excerpt from what is perhaps the most intimate, most secret and most sublime moment in the entire repertoire of Wicca rituals, the nonsymbolic (that is, overtly sexual) Great Rite of the Third Degree initiation, as related by Janet and Stewart Farrar in The Witches' Way (p.34): 1787 The Priest continues: `O Secret of Secrets, That art hidden in the being of all lives, Not thee do we adore, For that which adoreth is also thou. Thou art That, and That am I. [Kiss] I am the flame that burns in the heart of every man, And in the core of every star. I am life, and the giver of life. Yet therefore is the knowledge of me the knowledge of death. I am alone, the Lord within ourselves, Whose name is Mystery of Mysteries.' Let us be unambiguous as to the importance in Wicca of this ritual; as the Farrars'put it (p.31) "Third degree initiation elevates a witch to the highest of the three grades of the Craft. In a sense,a third-degree witch is fully independent, answerable only to the Gods and his or her own conscience..." In short, in a manner of speaking this is all that Wicca can offer a devotee. With this in mind, observe the following, from Aleister Crowley's Gnostic Mass, first published in The Equinox about 80 years ago and routinely performed (albeit ,usually in symbolic form) by me and by many other Bishops, Priests, Priestesses and Deacons in the OTO and Ecclesia Gnostica (EGC) today. The following is excerpted from Gems From the Equinox, p. 372, but is widely available in published form: The Priest. O secret of secrets that art hidden in the being of all that lives, not Thee do we adore, for that which adoreth is also Thou. Thou art That, and That am I. I am the flame that burns in every heart of man, and in the core of every star. I am Life, and the giver of Life; yet therefore is the knowledge of me the knowledge of death. I am alone; there is no God where I am. So, then, where, apart from the Thelemic tradition of Crowley and the OTO, is the "traditional material" some Wiccan writers seem to seek with near desperation? I am not trying to be sarcastic in the least, but even commonplace self - references used among Wiccans today, such as "the Craft" or the refrain "so mote it be"are lifted straight out of Freemasonry (see, for example, Duncan's Ritual of Freemasonry). And, as Doreen Valiente notes in her letter to me mentioned before, "...of course old Gerald was also a member of the Co-Masons, and an ordinary Freemason..." as well as an OTO member. PART TWO THE REAL ORIGIN OF WICCA We must dismiss with some respect the assertion, put forth by Margot Adler and others, that "Wicca no longer adheres to the orthodox mythos of the Book of Shadows." Many, if not most of those who have been drawn to Wicca in the last three decades came to it under the spell (if I may so term it) of the legend of ancient Wicca. If that legend is false, then while reformists and revisionist apologists (particularly the peculiar hybrid spawned in the late sixties under the name "feminist Wicca") may seek other valid grounds for their practices, we at least owe it to those who have operated under a misapprehension to explain the truth, and let the chips fall where they may. 1788 I believe there is a core of valid experience falling under the Wiccan-neopagan heading, but that that core is the same essential core that lies at the truths exposed by the dreaded boogy-man Aleister Crowley and the` wicked' pansexualism of Crowley's Law of Thelema. That such roots would be not just uncomfortable, but intolerable to the orthodox traditionalists among the Wiccans, but even more so among the hybrid feminist "wiccans" may indeed be an understatement. Neopaganism, in a now archaic "hippie" misreading of ecology, mistakes responsible stewardship of nature for nature worship. Ancient pagans did not `worship' nature; to a large extent they were afraid of it, as has been pointed out to me by folk practioners. Their "nature rites" were to propitiate the caprice of the gods, not necessarily to honor them. The first neopagan revivalists, Gardner, Crowley and Dr. Murray, well understood this. Neopagan wiccans usually do not. In introducing a "goddess element" into their theology, Crowley and Gardner both understood the yin/yang, male/female fundamental polarity of the universe. Radical feminist neopagans have taken this balance and altered it, however unintentionally, into a political feminist agenda, centered around a near-monotheistic worship of the female principle, in a bizarre caricature of patriarchal Christianity. Bigotry, I submit, cuts both ways. I do not say these things lightly; I have seen it happen in my own time. IF this be truth, let truth name its own price. I was not sure, until Norm and John got back from the Old Jail. A couple of months earlier, scant days after hearing that I was to become a gnostic bishop and thus an heir to a corner of Crowley's legacy, I had punched on my answering machine, and there was the unexpected voice of John Turner saying that he had located what seemed to be the original Book of Shadows in an inventory list, locating it at Ripley's office in Toronto. He said he didn't think they would sell it as an individual item, but he gave me the name of a top official in the Ripley organization, who I promptly contacted. I eventually made a substantial offer for the book, sight unseen, figuring there was (at the least) a likelihood I'd be able to turn the story into a book and get my money back out of it, to say nothing of the historical import. But, as I researched the matter, I became more wary, and confused; Gardner's texts "A" "B" and "C" all seemed to be accounted for. Possibly, I began to suspect, this was either a duplicate of the "deThelemized" post1954 version with segments written by Gardner and Valiente and copied and recopied (as well as distorted) from hand to hand since by Wiccans the world over. Maybe, I mused, Valiente had one copy and Gardner another, the latter sold to Ripley with the Collection. Or, perhaps it was the curious notebook discovered by Aidan Kelly in the Ripley files called Ye Book of Ye Art Magical, the meaning of which was unclear. While I was chatting with Ms.Deska, Norm returned from his mission, we introduced in best businesslike fashion, and he told me he'd get the book, whatever it might be, from the vault. The vault?! I sat there thinking god knows what . Recently, I'd gotten a call from Toronto, and it seems the Ripley folks wanted me to take a look at what they had. I had made a considerable offer, and at that point I figured I'd had at least a nibble. As it so happened Norm would be visiting on a routine inspection visit, so it was arranged he would bring the manuscript with him. 1789 Almost from the minute he placed it in front of me, things began to make some kind of sense. Clearly, this was Ye Book of Ye Art Magical. Just as clearly, it was an unusual piece, written largely in the same hand as the Crowley Charter- that is, the hand of Gerald Gardner. Of this I became certain, because I had handwriting samples of Gardner, Valiente and Crowley in my possession. Ms. Valiente had been mindful of this when she wrote me, on August 8th, 1986: I have deliberately chosen to write you in longhand, rather than send a typewritten reply, so that you will have something by which to judge the validity of the claim you tell me is being made by the Ripley organisation to have a copy of a "Book of Shadows" in Gerald Gardner's handwriting and mine. If this is..."Ye Book of Ye Art Magical," ....this is definitely in Gerald Gardner's handwriting. Old Gerald, however, had several styles of handwriting....I think it is probable that the whole MS. was in fact written by Gerald, and no other person was involved; but of course I may be wrong.... At first glance it appeared to be a very old book, and it suggested to me where the rumors that a very old, possibly medieval Book of Shadows had once been on display in Gardner's Museum had emerged from. Any casual onlooker might see Ye Book in this light, for the cover was indeed that of an old volume, with the original title scratched out crudely on the side and a new title tooled into the leather cover. The original was some mundane volume, on Asian knives or something, but the inside pages had been removed, and a kind of notebook -- almost a journal -- had been substituted. As far as I could see, no dates appear anywhere in the book. It is written in several different handwriting styles, although, as noted above, Doreen Valiente assured me that Gardner was apt to use several styles. I had the distinct impression this "notebook" had been written over a considerable period of time, perhaps years, perhaps even decades. It may, indeed, date from his days in the 1930s when he linked up with a neorosicrucuian grouping that could have included among its members the legendary Dorothy Clutterbuck, who set Gardner on the path which led to Wicca. Thinking on it, what emerges from Ye Book of Ye Art Magical is a developmental set of ideas. Much of it is straight out of Crowley, but it is clearly the published Crowley, the old magus of the Golden Dawn, the A.A., and the O.T.O. 1790 Somewhere along the line it hit me that I was not exactly looking at the "original Book of Shadows" but, perhaps, the outline Gardner prepared over a long period of time, apparently in secret (since Valiente, a relatively early initiate of Gardner's, never heard of it nor saw it, according to her own account, until recent years, about the time Aidan Kelly unearthed it in the Ripley collection long after Gardner's death). Dr. Gardner kept many odd notebooks and scrapbooks that perhaps would reveal much about his character and motivations. Turner showed me a Gardner scrapbook in Ripley's store room which was mostly cheesecake magazine photographs and articles about actresses. Probably none are so evocative as Ye Book of Ye Art Magical, discovered,it has been intimated,hidden away in the back of an old sofa. I have the impression it was essentially unknown in and after Gardner's lifetime, and that by the Summer of 1986 few had seen inside it; I knew of only Kelly and my own party. Perhaps the cover had been seen by some along the line, accounting for the rumor of a "very old Book of Shadows" in Gardner's Museum. If someone had seen the charter signed by Crowley ("Baphomet") but written by Gerald Gardner, and had gotten a look, as well, at Ye Book, they might well have concluded that Crowley had written BOTH, an honest error, but maybe the source of that long-standing accusation. There is even a notation in the Ripley catalog attributing the manuscript to Crowley on someone's say-so, but I have no indica- tion Ripley has any other such book. Finally, if the notebook is a sourcebook of any religious system, it is not that of medieval witchcraft, but the twentieth century madness or sanity or both of the infamous magus Aleister Crowley and the Thelemic/Gnostic creed of The Book of the Law. As I sat there I read aloud familiar quotations or paraphrases from published material in the Crowley-Thelemic canon. This is not the "ancient religion of the Wise" but the modern sayings of " the Beast 666 " as Crowley was wont to style himself. But, does any of this invalidate Wicca as an expression of human spirituality? It depends on where one is coming from. Certainly, the foundations of feminist Wicca and the modern cult of the goddess are challenged with the fact that the goddess in question may be Nuit, her manifestation the sworn whore, Our Lady Babalon, the Scarlet Woman. Transform what you will shall be the whole of history, but THIS makes what Marx did to Hegel look like slavish devotion. What Crowley himself said of this kind of witchcraft is not merely instructive, but an afront to the conceits of an era. "The belief in witchcraft," he observed, " was not all superstition; its psychological roots were sound. Women who are thwarted in their natural instincts turn inevitably to all kinds of malignant mischief, from slander to domestic destruction..." 1791 For the rest of us, those who neither worship nor are disdainful of the man who made sexuality a god or, at least, acknowledged it as such, experience must be its own teacher. If Wicca is a sort of errant Minerval Camp of the OTO, gone far astray and far afield since the days Crowley gave Gardner a charter he "didn't use" but seemed to value, and a whole range of rituals and imagery that assault the senses at their most literally fundamental level; if this is true or sort of true, maybe its time history be owned up to. Mythos has its place and role, but so, too, does reality. PART THREE WICCA AS AN OTO ENCAMPMENT The question of intent looms large in the background of this inquiry. If I had to guess, I would venture that Gerald Gardner did, in fact, invent Wicca more or less whole cloth, to be a popularized version of the OTO. Crowley, or his successor Karl Germer, who also knew Dr. Gardner, likely set "old Gerald" on what they intended to be a Thelemic path, aimed at reestablishing at least a basic OTO encampment in England. Aiden Kelly's research work on all this is most impressive, but at rock bottom I can't help feeling he still wants to salvage something original in Wicca. In a way, there is some justification for this; the Wicca of Gerald Gardner, OTO initiate and advocate of sexual magick produced a folksy, easier version of the OTO, but by the middle nineteen fifties some of his early "followers" not only created a revisionist Wicca with relatively little of the Thelemic original intact, but convinced Gardner to go along with the changes. It is also possible, but yet unproven, that, upon expelling Kenneth Grant from the OTO in England, Germer, in the early 1950s, summoned Gardner to America to interview him as a candidate for leading the British OTO. Gardner, it is confirmed, came to America, but by then Wicca, and Dr. Gardner had begun to take their own, watered-down course. Today most Wiccans have no idea of their origins. Let me close this section by quoting two interesting tidbits for your consider- ation. First consider Doreen Valiente's observation to me concerning "the Parsons connection". I quote from her letter abovementioned, one of several she was kind enough to send me in 1986 in connection with my research into this matter. 1792 ...I did know about the existence of the O.T.O. Chapter in California at the time of Crowley's death, because I believe his ashes were sent over to them. He was cremated here in Brighton, you know, much to the scandal of the local authorities, who objected to the `pagan funeral service.' If you are referring to the group of which Jack Parsons was a member (along with the egregious Mr. L. Ron Hubbard), then there is another curious little point to which I must draw your attention. I have a remarkable little book by Jack Parsons called MAGICK, GNOSTICISM AND THE WITCHCRAFT. It is unfortunately undated, but Parsons died in 1952. The section on witchcraft is particularly interesting because it looks forward to a revival of witchcraft as the Old Religion....I find this very thought provoking. Did Parsons write this around the time that Crowley was getting together with Gardner and perhaps communicated with the California group to tell them about it? We must remember that Ms. Valiente was a close associate of Gardner and is a dedicated and active Wiccan. She, of course, has her own interpretation of these matters. The OTO recently reprinted the Parsons "witchcraft" essays in Freedom is a Two Edged Sword , a postumous collection of his writings. It does indeed seem that Gardner and Parsons were both on the same wave-length at about the same time. The other matter of note is the question of the length of Gardner's association with the OTO and with Crowley personally. My informant Col. Lawrence, tells me that he has in his possession a cigarette case which once belonged to Aleister Crowley. Inside is a note in Crowley's hand that says simply: `gift of GBG, 1936, A. Crowley'." (Personal letter, 6 December, 1986) The inscription could be a mistake, it could mean 1946, the period of the Charter. But, as Ms. Valiente put it in a letter to me of 8th December, 1986: If your friend is right, then it would mean that old Gerald actually went through a charade of pretending to Arnold Crowther that Arnold was introducing him to Crowley for the first time - a charade which Crowley for some reason was willing to go along with. Why? I can't see the point of such a pretence; but then occultists sometimes do devious things... Crowley may have played out a similar scene with G.I. Gurdjieff, the other enlightened merry prankster of the first half of the twentieth century. Gnosticism and Wicca, the subjects of Jack Parsons' essays, republished by the OTO and Falcon Press in 1990, are the two most successful expressions to date of Crowley's dream of a popular solar-phallic religion. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think Aleister and Gerald may have cooked Wicca up. If Wicca is the OTO's prodigal daughter in fact, authorized directly by Crowley, how should Wiccans now relate to this? How should Crowley's successors and heirs in the OTO deal with it? 1793 Then too, what are we to make of and infer about all this business of a popular Thelemic-Gnostic religion? Were Crowley, Parsons, Gardner and others trying to do something of note with regard to actualizing a New Aeon here which bears scrutiny? Or is this mere speculation, and of little significance for the Great Work today? If the Charter Crowley issued Gardner is, indeed, the authority upon which Wicca has been built for half a century, then it is perhaps no coincidence that I acquired that Charter in the same year I was consecrated a Bishop of the Gnostic Catholic Church. Further, it was literally days after my long search for the original of Gardner's BOOK OF SHADOWS ended in success that the Holy Synod of T Michael Bertiaux's Gnostic Church unanimously elected me a Missionary Bishop, on August 29, 1986. Sometimes, I muse, the Inner Order revoked Wicca's charter in 1986,placing it in my hands. Since I hold it in trust for the OTO, perhaps Wicca has, in symbolic form, returned home at last. It remains for the Wiccans to, literally (since the charter hangs in my temple space), to read the handwriting on the wall. " Witchcraft always has a hard time, until it becomes established and changes its name." - Charles Fort 1794 Paganism at the Crossroads by Skytoucher These are tricky and dangerous times. Paganism has grown in size to the point where we no longer enjoy the luxury of obscurity. We now face a choice that all initiatory paths face at some time in their development; whether to remain a viable initiatory path, and if so under what circumstances; or to devolve into a mere religion. I'd better backtrack some readers may not understand what an initiatory path is or how it differs from a religion. Others may think paganism is a religion already, and wonder what I mean by suggesting it is or could be something else. A defense often used against fundamentalist Christians and others who attack paganism on a religious basis is to say "We are not like you, only different in a few not so important ways. We are a religion, like you, another belief system, harmless, ordinary. We worship the Earth, the Goddess, the same way you worship your abstract God. You should extend tolerance to us for the same reason you extend it to Muslims or Buddhists or Catholics or Jews. When you single us out as something weird, you are exhibiting hysterical paranoia." It's an effective defense, but somewhat disingenuous. We are different. We aren't just a religion. We are at present, and in my view should try to remain, a path of initiation. It may be inevitable that a religion grow up around us. It may even be desirable to employ such a religion as a cloak, or a doorway, to both. But a Pagan religion is also a threat to the Pagan path of initiation. We need to ensure that the growth, if it occurs, is that of a tree from a seed, not of a pearl from a grain of sand. A tree produces more seeds. A pearl only hide the sand to save the oyster from discomfort. What is an initiatory path? And what, then, is initiation? We touch here upon a word badly misunderstood by many Pagans. Initiation is one thing; an initiation ritual is another. A person is not an initiate, in the sense I mean here,just because he or she has passed through an initiation ritual. Initiation is a personal experience in which one becomes aware of mysteries; realities that were previously hidden and which cannot be communicated by one person to another in words or symbols, but must be experienced directly, firsthand. This last point is crucial. One finds "mysteries" communicated in coven initiations or even at festivals, but these are only hidden meanings of symbols and tools used in the Craft, or of stories told about the Gods. The fact that they can be communicated makes them not true mysteries, only secrets. A body of teaching, practice, and ritual which facilitates initiation is an initiatory path. Most religions start out as paths of initiation. 1795 Religion tends to be conservative. Initiation, however, is always revolution- ary...-....It forms a person's life, bringing inner peace, greater insight into the workings of fate, and awareness of the connections linking all things, as well as magical power. If it were a commonplace event, if people went through initiation as surely as they go through puberty, we would have a far different and better world. Even if the circle of initiates included a significant minority of the population, the magical effect of such a number of altered minds on the world would be profound and positive. Of course, this very fact means that initiatory paths will be opposed by those interests, both human and non human, that are opposed to positive change. The opposition is not really a conspiracy; it seems more than an automatic reaction, a law of nature. Initiation is not an instantaneous event, but one that occurs through years of effort and devotion. It seems likely that there is no end to the process, and that the idea of there "fully enlightened being" is a peculiar Oriental fantasy. There are times, it is true, when revelation comes in a flash like lightning, but such moments are exclamation marks punctuating a story that unfolds chapter by chapter. Many tools and methods for achieving initiation have evolved over the ages. Some are intellectual, aiming to expand consciousness through thought: Vedanta and the Caballah come to mind as among the most impressive. Others are ritual or devotional; Bakhti Yoga, chanting the names of the Gods, drawing down the Moon, the meditations of the monastics. Some are also physical: Hatha Yoga, Sufi dancing, some forms of martial art. Some aim at expanding consciousness directly by stretching it to its limits; meditation, Raja Yoga, guided visualizations, vision quest. Then there are sex magic, drugs, drumming, austerities,use of talismans, self discipline, and so on. Most of these techniques evolved outside a pagan context, but they are amendable to incorporation in a pagan framework. Initiation rituals, of course, are another method, but they are seldom sufficient by themselves. Initiates can be found into the context of any religion,including those least similar to Neopaganism. St. Francis of Assisi was an initiate, and many a Sufi and Caballist, Buddhist and Yogi, Taoist and shaman. A modern Neopagan initiate has far more in common with them than with an illiterate, superstitious pagan of the Roman Empire, gobbling the flesh of sacrificed animals while contemplating how to backstab his competitors. All initiates of all paths have a common heart; it is religions, which circle the periphery of the sacred, that differ. But, while Christian, Jewish and Muslim initiates do exist,the established religions don't make it easy. For every illuminated Catholic saint, there are hundreds of burned heretics. Indeed, many post Constantinian saints escaped burning themselves only by miracles greater than those for which they were canonized. Burning is passe nowadays but condemnation for heresy is not, and thrives as well in most Protestant denominations. So bound about with the fetters of faith is the Christian that initiation is virtually impossible, except for minds. 1796 This is no accident. The tragedy of Christianity is that it began so well and decayed so quickly into such a parody of its beginnings. This is a recurring phenomenon. Again and again, the initiatory message has presented itself in some new form and met with some success,only to be hidden in a maze of illusions, and crusted over with barriers and restrictions. There are always counterattacks from outside the new path, from established religions, but the truly effective counterattacks come from within, so that what began as a bright new hope becomes a mere religion. The priests, the figures in authority, forge an instrument for the furtherance of their own authority, to which genuine initiation is a serious threat. The initiatory impulse is carefully bled off into harmless channels, and all magic outside those channels is ruthlessly suppressed. There is a great deal of magic in Christian monastic orders,and more still in Hindu and Buddhist ashrams, or wielded by wandering saddhus. But these illuminated souls, both Western and Eastern, are sworn to poverty, chastity, humility. Many do not reproduce, ensuring that, if there is a genetic component to magic, it will be weakened by removing its best practitioners from the gene pool. Too, in renouncing the world, they ensure that their spiritual insight will play a small role shaping events. In contrast, a few secret initiatory paths remain active and true to their original mission. These paths, which include Hermeticism, the Caballah, surviving shamanic traditions, and a few branches of Sufism, have made themselves non threatening in a different way. They continue to live in the world and to learn and teach practical as well as spiritual magic, but in such tiny numbers and in so furtive a fashion that they hold little promise of genuine large scale transformation. There is not really anything wrong with this; such secret orders have acted over the centuries to preserve the Mysteries, not to spread them. Without them, efforts to break the chains on a large scale would be to no avail. But Paganism is different. Neopaganism is unique at this time, though not historically in that it is a genuine initiatory path that has grown large. Moreover, in its diversity and flexibility, its protean and progressive nature, it promises to incorporate all of the virtues of the other surviving paths. It may not be the most advanced, the most powerful, or the most aesthetically refined,but these characteristics can all be absorbed from the smaller paths which possess them, for Paganism is an all gobbling magical amoeba, sucking up the mythos, methods, and knowledge of every other path in existence. Once again, an initiatory path threatens to break out and make some changes in reality. On schedule, opposition has begun to arise. As always, some of the opposition is from the outside, but I don't think we need to be concerned about that. A strain of paranoia is built into our origin myths and traditions, and is always a greater danger than the persecution we fear. The external opposition has seldom been very effective against any relatively genteel sort, mostly involving propaganda. However, propaganda is legitimate (they have a right to express their opinions about what we do, as we have the right to speak in counterpoint.) There may be more serious difficulties, even occasional violence, but the Burning Times are gone for good, barring a complete collapse of civilization. We have more important things to worry about within our own ranks. The rapid increase in our numbers in the last few decades means there are many newcomers. Newcomers are ripe for exploitation, both monetary and political, and 1797 both have begun to occur. The first fills me with amusement and outrage. The second is more alarming. There seems to be a growing desire in some quarters to commercialize Neopaganism and profit from it. That's only natural, but when crystal athames go for $1,400 and classes are taught in return for a pledge of a percentage of the students' income in perpetuity, somebody is getting fleeced. This is bad enough, but not nearly as bad as what might happen in reaction. Better a crowd of poorer and wiser novices, the hucksters filling the role of the Dweller on the Threshold, than a Paganism reduced from a path of initiation to a mere religion, its bright promise gone dull, as have so many others. The seeds of this development lie chiefly in individuals we might call Pagan politicians, and in our response to them. They may not be high initiates or powerful magicians, but they are skillful at organizing, they like to strike poses in public, and they know how to work the media. Sometimes they appear on television to say "This is what Paganism is. This is what Witchcraft is," self appointed spokespersons for the entire Pagan community. Their power over the Craft may be small, but it could easily grow as the Craft grows, as they sink their hooks into more and more beginners. An experienced initiate is unlikely to be moved by a picture on television, or a story in the newspaper. It is otherwise for a novice. When first appraising something, it is the surface one sees. And there are two dangers in this trend; First, that insightful, intuitive, independent people, the kind who would make good Witches, maybe turned off by the media spectacle (analogy: What is your reaction to the words "New Age?".) Secondly, that those who are not repelled may develop a kind of mundane "Neopaganism," a mere religion, based as other religions are on faith, dogma, and prescribed observances, conservative (in the sense of resisting progress, not of voting Republican) and anti initiatory. There may be points in common between it and us (such as an environmental ethic or "worship" (how I despise that word!) of a Goddess), as a baboon might wear a tuxedo, but the heart and soul would be gone. Anyone who sought initiation would have to pass the gauntlet of this other paganism first and then unlearn this religion to approach the new path. Few could be expected to do so. It is important to recognize these politicos for what they are. They are our would be clergy who, like Christian priests,Muslim mullah and Jewish rabbis, would be religious leaders but,with rare exceptions, no initiates. Their authority would derive from accepted doctrines and from political acumen, rather than spiritual awareness. Pagan pontiff pretenders are not necessarily malevolent, but they do not comprehend the purpose of initiation or the fundamental ways in which Paganism differs, not just from this or that religion, from all religions. Consequently, they do not understand that priests, ministers,rabbis, and so forth are not good role models for Pagan spiritual leaders, even if allowances are made for differing value systems. Paganism, as currently practiced, is not simply a different religion, but a different category of thing altogether. Not only does it not suffer without an organization comparable to that of established religions, but creating such an organization may bury us. The bishops who created the Catholic Church were not particularly evil men. But they were misguided, and the result of their labor was disastrous. Yet some movement on this road is inevitable. It is the fruit of growth, a sign that a path of initiation has matured into a serious threat to the status quo. It represents a counterattack by the forces of inertia. Let's not be unduly alarmist. We are not in immediate danger, but the clouds can be seen on the horizon, and we need to prepare ourselves, and consider whether 1798 anything can be done to avoid the usual fate of an initiatory path at the crossroads. All our predecessors, on reaching this juncture, have taken the wrong turning. But we have ;advantages former initiatory paths lacked. That no one has succeeded up to now is not so imposing an obstacle as it might seem. One of our advantages is the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and similar provisions, in fact and tradition if not law, guaranteeing religious liberty in all Western democracies. It is literally impossible for a Pagan Catholic Church, even if one comes into existence, to exile or execute dissident Pagans, as was done to dissident Christians after the Council of Nicaea. It is unlikely that any Pagan organization,or that of any other religion, could get a modern Western government do its dirty work to any significant degree. Overt persecution is reduced from a terror to a nuisance. That's no small achievement. Another advantage is modern information technology. Communication of ideas is now so easy, and suppression of them so difficult, that to contain or channel or eliminate the initiatory message will be harder than ever before, and may be impossible. Of course, the downside of this development is the proliferation of blatant nonsense. But I think that is an acceptable price. Better the truth be heard whispering through shouted lies and bellowed folly than that it not be heard at all. The third, subtlest and possibly the greatest advantage we have over our predecessors is science. By science I do not mean any particular bit of knowledge which has been uncovered by scientists, although all that is useful as well. I mean the attitudes of science. I mean the methods of science. Above all, I mean the vision of science. Thanks to science, we no longer think of all knowledge as being only in its sacred and spiritual and aesthetic dimensions though these are certainly important but in its technical dimensions as well, as seek the laws and principles that underpin magic, analogous to the laws of physics that underpin technology. Best of all: Thanks to science, we are not limited to what we know today. We understand that even our best picture of reality is only an approximation, that we will have a better picture tomorrow. This gift promises to upset the creeping authoritarianism that has ruined so many paths of initiation and created so many religions. 1799 These are potent advantages. I believe they allow us the possibility of success. But not the certainty. As we approach the crossroads, there are a number of things that need doing. Some of these steps are simply a matter of keeping our attitudes in the right places. Others involve research, development, and artistic creation. Others still involve magical tasks. We need to understand that modern Paganism, though built on the past, is not limited by it, that we are capable of improving on our ancestor's wisdom even to the extent that their wisdom is not a product of our own romantic imagination, which is large measure it is. We need to recognize, once and for all, and say so, that our origin myths are just that: Wicca is not a survival from the pre Christian past, but an eclectic/creative construct meant to imitate what such a survival should ideally be. Its resemblance, and that of Neopaganism in general, to ancient paganism in any of its multitude of forms is slight and ultimately besides the point. We need to do these things because they will allow us to take the next step, which is to expand Paganism, as a path of initiation, to its potential. We cannot do that so long as we are locked into an old model real or romanticized. The initiatory paths of the past have failed. Therefore, we need something better than what has gone before. We can take the essentials of Neopaganism, the broad strokes of its mythology and ritual, as a starting point, but we must go beyond that start. First, we need to penetrate beneath the level of religious symbolism to what might be called the physics of magic, the nuts and bolts and laws of nature that account for what magic does and is. Next to the initiatory experience itself, which can never be communicated or replaced by anything that point cannot be emphasized too much or too often the physics of magic would be the deepest level of understanding, accounting for all forms of symbolic knowledge. I have developed on system of laws which I believe to be workable. (An account of those laws will appear in an upcoming issue of Enchante.) It is the duty of every scientifically minded reader to rip them apart as best as possible, to test them, and improve on them. Secondly, we need to improve our tool chest of spiritual methods. Much of the work has already been done by initiates outside Paganism. All we have to do is translate it and incorporate it within our own framework. At the same time, an ex- panded and improved body of poetic ritual would be useful. A recognition of both the possibility and the need would be a valid step. We must acknowledge that Yoga can meditate us into a corner, that the Caballah theorizes rings around us, and that any good shamanic lineage works magic to put us to shame. We must also insist that Paganism has advantages over these that should not be surrendered, and work to incorporate what other paths can teach us into our own framework. These accomplishments would serve to strengthen and fortify the initiatory path of Paganism. It will need all the strength it can get if it is to resist turning into a religion. But there are other things that need doing as well, on both the communicative and magical fronts. 1800 Those of us with active pens must communicate the idea of an initiatory path that lies within the mythical and ritual structure of the Pagan religion, as it out to and once did lie within all religions. There is, at present, no established Pagan doctrine or dogma, no established pagan clergy, and no established Pagan pantheon, and this also must be made clear. The magical side of the battle may be the most important one. Here, the guiding principle should be a clear visualization of what we want Paganism to be. Should exoteric Pagan religions grow up around the initiatory core, then, ideally, we would want the priest/esse/s of this religion to be initiates. But this may not be practicable. First, many of us are unsuited for or uninterested in the role of ministering to those who are unready for initiation. Second, there may be too many newcomers to Paganism (by some estimates the fastest growing religion in North America) and too few initiates. I believe we could agree on two goals; a viable and visible initiatory tradition must be maintained within the religion and no exoteric priesthood must be allowed to gain preeminence over the path. To those ends, then, the following magical workings are suggested. Weave the Net. There is a tenuous telepathic link among all initiates. This can be invoked as part of the opening of any major magical work, which will strengthen both the work and the net. Some covens and individuals already do this. Reach out the heart's fiery hand and feel the love of one another, both within the coven and beyond it, setting aside the quarrels of the mind, poles of a tipi each supporting each, moving faster, faster,circles made of love. In this way, a synergistic entity, a collective consciousness, may be generated, incorporating all our diversity yet stronger than any of us alone. This consciousness can be invoked like any deity, and can be a guide and empowerment. We can give it names; there will be private names known to individual covens or solitaries, but among us all the name is Love. Shine like a Beacon. Another working, which I feel is appropriate to a Full Moon ritual, is one to avoid the light under a bushel syndrome, to illuminate all minds equipped w ith eyes to see. The metaphor of a lighthouse beacon seems appropriate; we can visualize this light shining brightly, overpowering any attempt to hide it, so that truth cannot be any [who want] to understand it, initiation cannot be denies to those capable of attaining it. Let a Hundred Flowers Bloom; or, Divide and Rule. Assume that a mundane Paganism must arise; above all we must not allow any one sect or denomination of the Pagan religion to achieve preeminence over the others. It doesn't matter how much we like or dislike what the leaders of this or that sect are saying. Any Pagan doctrine will always be wrong, even if it's right, because initiation cannot be conveyed in words or symbols. We can,through our magic, encourage diversity and creativity in the ranks of newcomers and noninitiate leaders, preferring chaos to conformity, and subtly bend the path of discourse so that it leads toward initiation rather than away from it. We must avoid the temptation to encourage a unified, strong Paganism, and that temptation will arise! A fractious, splintered, disorganized, and confusingly multi headed Paganism may be somewhat embarrassing when it appears on network news or in Time magazine. But if the initiatory tradition is clearly visible within, we will be far better served by chaos than by an order which serves its own purposes, not ours. I believe certainly I hope that these steps can preserve the Neopagan path of initiation, prevent its burial under the mantle of religion, and permit what has never before happened: genuine, large scale, beyond the point of no return breakout of the Mysteries, leading to the transformation of human culture and this planet assuming, of course, that civilization survives the crisis of the coming years.
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