Chapter Current Variations in Wiccan Ritual Structure

Or a variety of historical reasons, wf jm most of them having to do with i f & SWn (1) the secrecy of which Wiccans are so fond, (2) the seemingly constant necessity to invent new variations to convince students that one is not really stealing Gardner's and Valiente's material, and (3) Wicca's evolution as a typically decentralized post-modern collection of faiths, there is no universal pattern for Wiccan ritual, although the general shape is similar from group to group. Different Traditions...

Mesopagan Witchcraft the Seeds

The Golden Bough, by James Frazer (I prefer the Third Edition). One of the earliest and most influential works in the field of comparative mythology, at least as far as the English-speaking world was concerned. By the 1930s, most of his theories and interpretations were no longer accepted by social scientists, yet many of his core ideas became and remain a part, not just of Neo-pagan Witchcraft, but also of Western culture as a whole during the early part of the twentieth century. The White...

Chapter Using Music and Poetry in Wiccan Rites

Usic and poetry are two of the most important arts for religious rituals of almost any kind, and Wiccan rituals are no exception to this ancient rule. Melodies, songs, chants, and recitations not only generate emotional responses in the participants, and thus increase the mana in the circle, but they also focus that mana both polytheologically (by reinforcing shared beliefs) and magically (by creating the shared images within which the group's mana will flow and be shaped). Even if the members...

Etymological Notes

Inguistic clues must be treated cautiously, since words are slippery, slithery things. Often the ft uS S same word will be used for different concepts that are not always closely connected, and most languages have concepts that are referred to by several different words, depending upon the emphasis desired. Even within a single tongue, both the spellings and the meanings of words change drastically with time. New words are invented and old ones forgotten war and trade bring in slang and loan...

Appendix Reconciling With the Moon

I asked Ashleen if I could include her review of Hutton's work in this edition of Witchcraft A Concise Guide, not only because I agree with almost everything she says, but also because much of what she says about the need for Wiccans to accept and take pride in our true history applies to my research as well. Words in square brackets are mine. iTS onald Hutton, a Professor of His-JFSM tory at the University of Bristol, has written a book called The Triumph of the Moon A History of Modern Pagan...

Appendix Principles of Wiccan Belief

Adopted by the Council of American Witches, April 1974 This is the document mentioned in Chapter 9 as having been the first attempt to synthesize a common set of beliefs for American Wiccans. While the organization behind it lasted only a few years, this statement has served as a Touchstone for many Wiccans ever since. e are not bound by traditions from other times and other cultures, and owe no allegiance to any person or power greater than the Divinity manifest through our own being. As...

Call and Response

Call and response can be thought of as formalized conversation, usually between the leaders of a ritual and the other participants, in which they mutually reinforce their beliefs and intentions. Here's an example of how call and response can be used at the beginning of a ritual (in Step 1) 1989, 2001 words & music by IB) HPS Sisters, tell us why we're here Wmn We're here to worship the Goddess. HP Brothers, tell us why we're here Men We're here to worship the God. HPS We're here to worship...

Chapter Gerald Gardner Creates Wicca

J 8ra i n 1938, a retired British civil servant, amateur anthropologist, E yrl and Freemason named Gerald Gardner met the members of the R o si crucian Fellowship of Cro-tona and their Rosicrucian Theatre. The Fellowship had started as a Co-Masonic lodge from the mixed gender form of Freemasonry founded in the 1920s by Annie Besant, well known as an early Theosophical leader. But inside the Fellowship there supposedly existed an inner circle, this one calling itself the New Forest Coven and...

Neopagan Witchcraft Reference Books and Anthologies

The Modern Craft Movement (Witchcraft Today, Book 1), Modern Rites of Passage (Book 2), Shamanism and Witchcraft (Book 3), and Living Between Two Worlds Challenges of the Modern Witch (Book 4) All edited by Chas Clifton. This series of anthologies is excellent, containing essays by both Pagans and non-Pagans of widely varied scholarship. Witchcraft, Satanism & Occult Crime Who's Who & What's What, a Manual of Reference Materials for the Professional Investigator, by the Church of All...

Neopagan Witchcraft Some Flo Wers

Deepening Witchcraft Advancing Skills and Knowledge, by Grey Cat. It's difficult to know what category to put this one in An experienced Witch, Druid, and all-around troublemaker, Grey Cat provides a workbook study guide history for those Wiccan priests and priestesses ready to get serious about professionalism and competency in their Craft. When you don't know where to go to get the skills you need to serve your community, dig out this book, but be prepared like my own writing, Grey Cat's is...

Appendix On and Offline Wiccan Resources

IpfJEIhe Witches' Voice can be found on the Net at > . It has the world's largest existing database of Wiccan and other Neopa-gan contacts, as well as a huge library of articles and essays about Neopagan Witchcraft and other Pagan paths, plus a section designed for the needs of professional journalists. America Online < www.aol.com> has a very lively and active Neopagan community (many of whom are Wiccans), with chat rooms, libraries of text and graphics files, and message boards. Use the...

Chapter What Wiccans Beliebe

Mwm hile this i d . not the f , for a M jlgV Ti full-scale discussion of Wiccan Jjgris& l duotheology, this chapter will give you the highlights and r r i make the subsequent chapters more meaningful. Because Wiccans are Neopagans, whether all of them are willing to admit it or not, much of this is taken from my essay What Neopagans Believe, which I have rewritten many times over the years. A significantly expanded version of that material will be found in Neopaganism A Concise Guide. As I...

Neopagan Witchcraft the Twigs

The Tree the Complete Book of Saxon Witchcraft, by Raymond Buckland. The book in which the author invented Seax-Wicca, the first tradition of Wicca in which self-initiation was explicitly approved. The Truth about Witchcraft and Wicca A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner, by Scott Cunningham. The first book is an excellent brief introduction to general Wicca, suitable for giving to worried friends and family. The second was the first widely distributed text on Wicca aimed at readers who had no...

What Does the Word Witch Mean

Where did they come from Maybe your Great-great-grandmother was one F ll ll his is one of those easy ques-Wn Jsj M tions that require complex an-rHi swers, since during the 1,200+ years that the word has been known, hardly anyone seems to have agreed with anyone else on a proper definition. Even those who call themselves witches today, or who point to others as being such, differ widely as to their interpretation of the term. Is a witch someone who does magic, or who reads fortunes Is a witch...

Neopagan Witchcraft the NeW Seeds

Celebrating the Great Mother A Handbook of Earth-Honoring Activities for Parents and Children, by Cait Johnson and Maura D. Shaw. Great ideas for sharing your reverence for the Earth with your children. Pagan Kids' Activity Book, by Amber K. A coloring book for kids from 4 to 8, showing pictures of Pagan deities and worshipers. Pagan Parenting Spiritual, Magical & Emotional Development of the Child, by Kristin Madden. Shows how even the simplest of activities can bring magic to a child's...

Witchcraft in the postModern World

O, what do we have in the way of modern witches at the dawn of the twenty-first century There are those I've called Neoclassic Witches, who are herbalists and tarot card readers, and sometimes mid-wives, patterning themselves, consciously or unconsciously, after the Classic Witches. Unfortunately, we also have Neogothic Witches, dressing in black robes and frightening the locals, attempting to fulfill Catholic and Fundamentalist expectations and annoying most other modern Satanists (who are far...

Neopagan Witchcraft the Rite Stuff

Real Magic An Introductory Treatise on the Basic Principles of Yellow Magic, by Isaac Bonewits. Though somewhat dated, this is the book that thousands of Wiccan teachers have used to train their students for thirty years. The Healing Craft Healing Practices for Witches and Pagans, by Janet and Stuart Farrar and Gavin Bone. The first Wiccan book I've seen specifically focused on the techniques and theories of healing body, mind and spirit. An excellent resource. The Witch's Magical Handbook and...

Chapter Varieties of Wiccan Ritual

Cholars in the field of religious studies often call Wicca and other varieties of Neopaganism magical religions. By this they mean to indicate faiths in which the participants are encouraged and expected to actively perform their own magical or miraculous deeds, rather than passively waiting for some spiritual force to do it for them. Down through the ages the core meaning of witch has been someone who could do magic. Yet what exactly do we mean by that Defining magic (or magick as those who...

Mesopagan Witchcraft the Buds

A Goddess Arrives, and High Magic's Aid, by Gerald Gardner. The first one is a (bad) novel, in which Gardner first explored ideas of reincarnation and goddess worship. The second is another novel in which he reveals much of his thinking during the years he was first creating Wicca. Both are now available in reprint editions from the Church & School of Wicca at < www.wicca.org> or from other online dealers. Witchcraft Today and The Meaning of Witchcraft, by Gerald Gardner. The...

Gonna Take a Shamanistic Journey

Ost Westerners became aware of shamans and their beliefs and practices when Mircea Eliade published his classic Shamanism Archaic Techniques of Ec stasy in 1951 (first in French, then in English in 1964). As he described it, shamanism was a complex but clear cluster of phenomena. (2) hunter-gatherer cultures who (3) were usually reluctant recruits who (4) underwent a harrowing death and rebirth experience that (5) enabled them leave their bodies at will while (6) deities or other spirits...

Gothic Witches and the Burning Times

IfljS y the eleventh century any remaining Classic Witches who might have been worshipping Pagan deities in the Church's territory had pretty much died out or gone far underground. Most of the Paleopagan cultures of western and central Europe had been destroyed, and pacification programs had been instituted against any remaining objectors. Having slain all available competition outside of the Church, the Christians proceeded to slay each other. The Inquisition was founded and Crusades mounted...

Paleopagan Europe the Soil

The Destiny of a King, The Plight of a Sorcerer, The Stakes of the Warrior, Archaic Roman Religion, Mitra-Varuna, and others by Georges Dum zil. All worth reading if you want to know what pre-Christian European Paganism was really like. Shamanism Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy, by Mircea Eliade. This is the classic text on the topic, the one that made the term shaman well known before Carlos Castaneda, Michael Harner, and Lynne Andrews blurred it into uselessness. Why put it here Because many...

Mesopagan Witchcraft the Manure

The Inquisition The Hammer of Heresy, by Edward Burman. An historical overview of seven centuries of activity by the Unholy Office of the Inquisition. The author attempts to steer a middle path between various scholarly controversies. Remarkably, the gentle Franciscans get the blame they deserve, rather than just the Dominicans and the Jesuits. Thinking With Demons The Idea of Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe, by Stuart Clark. A detailed analysis of how Christian Dualism promoted the ideas...

Appendix Classifying Witchcrafts

F S3l l ff s with the words artist, doctor, scientist, or diviner, the word witch is almost meaningless without some sort of quali-Igy s fying adjective in front of it. Here is a brief review, in alphabetical order, of the classification system I have created to distinguish the various European and American sorts of witches from one another. Anything an anthropologist calls witchcraft, usually referring to 1 the practices of independent real or supposed magic users who are suspected of at least...

The First Neopagan Heretics

Henever mind-altering drugs become common in a culture or subculture, one of the common social repercussions is a renewed interest in matters magical and mystical. I'm speaking of opiates and hallucinogens here, not alcohol, tobacco, caffeine or refined sugar, which most Americans pretend are not really drugs . Drugs of all these varieties are used in many tribal cultures to help train young magicians clergy, because they give the trainee a direct appreciation of the magical Law of Infinite...

Appendix A Micro Glossary

Hese terms appear quite a bit in this work, so the following pages may prove helpful to the reader unfamiliar with how the meanings of these words have evolved over the centuries, and how modern Pagans may tend to use them. Paganism past usage The term Pagan comes originally from the Latin paganus, which appears to have had such meanings as villager, country dweller, or hick. The Roman army used it to refer to civilians and we know how fond career military men are of civilians . Polytheistic as...