The Spirit of the Divine is present in all people, places, creatures and things.
The Earth and all of Nature are Divine, and must be treated with reverence and respect.
The All manifests as both masculine and feminine; the Goddess and God are equal, and equally important.
We evolve spiritually over the course of many lifetimes.
We as Witches have a powerful influence over ourselves and our environment through our attitudes, our actions, and our magick. It is our responsibility to practice the Craft for positive and ethical purposes only. Our magick is used only for those who request help, and never to harm.
Our ritual cycle is designed to follow the progression of the seasons and the phases of the Moon.
Individuals have full access to Deity, and do not need an intermediary. Every Initiate is a Priest or Priestess in their own right, capable of accessing the Divine.
Our central ethic is the Wiccan Rede. This is reinforced through the Threefold Law, and various sacred texts.
We share responsibility for the growth and nurturance of this Tradition. The contribution of every individual is important.
We show great respect for our Elders, and those who came before us, and yet we do not make a virtue of authority. We treat one another as respected equals in spite of our formal structure.
We support the rights of individual members to walk their own paths, in accordance with the Rede. We achieve harmony through accepting that each person has his/her own truth, beliefs and practices. Therefore, we often utilize customs and myths of many cultures in our primarily eclectic system. We constantly seek knowledge from available sources, including other paths, but especially from Nature.
We work to insure that our rituals reflect energy, vitality, will, and purpose, and are in keeping with the Rede.
We are inclusive, with no discrimination toward race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or physical challenge. Age is not an issue, provided a person has attained the age of 18.
We recognize that ours is not the only valid spiritual path, and some who come to learn from us will choose another path or religion that best fits their needs.
Q: What is Wicca?
Wicca is a modern-day recontructionist faith that is based on Indo-European mythology. Also known as “White Witchcraft”, it is heavily influenced by nature spirituality, and has seen a rise in popularity in recent years.
There are several different forms of Wicca, mostly based on cultral backgrounds and personal philosophy.
Q: Is there a central Wiccan group that everyone belongs to?
No. Wicca is probably the most de-centralized religion in the world. There are a number of Wiccan organizations, but there is no central eccelsiastical heiarchy. People practice as members of covens, while others, like myself, practice as “Solitary Wiccans”.
Q: What do Wiccans Worship?
Wiccans traditionally worship two dieities in the form of the Goddess and God. Since Wicca has it’s origins in ancient fertility religions, it is not surprising to have these symbols in modern interpretations.
The Goddess is representative of the feminine aspect of life. The God (often portrayed as a Horned God), sometimes referred to as the Goddess’ consort, is the male aspect.
Various traditions depict them in various forms, except for Feminist Wicca, which worships only a Goddess.
Q: Why is the Horned God often depicted as goat-like?
Wicca’s roots are deep in ancient fertility religions, and the masculine God was often depicted as a goat or stag.
Q: Do Wiccans believe in the God and Goddess as literal dieties, or only as archetypes?
Some do one, some do the other. I, myself hold them as archetyes, but sometimes during intense rituals, I often feel a great presence…so it’s hard to tell where archetypes and dieites seperate.
Q: How old is the Wiccan religion?
While it has influences from ancient religions, Wicca, as it is practiced today, can be traced to the 1950’s in England. There were ancient anti-witchcraft laws that were still on the books, but the “Fraudulent Mediums Act”, which was meant to crack down on con-artists who pretended to be fortune tellers, had a clause that exempted those who simply claimed to have psychic powers, but were not working or posing as fortune tellers, from suspicion. This inadvertantly nullified the anti-witchcraft laws, and Wicca, as we know it today, gained promemance in England, with people boldly coming out to the media and proclaiming themselves as witches.
Q: Is Wicca officially considered a religion in the USA?
Yes, despite what many on the radio talk-show circuit may say. Wicca is recognized as a valid and legitimate religious faith by the U.S. Government. Wiccan religious organizations are eligible for the same tax-exempt status as mainstream Christian churches. Wicca is even recognized by the U.S. Department of Defense, and the Chaplain’s manual includes information about Wicca.
Q: Do male Wiccans call themselves Warlocks?
No. The term “warlock” is Old English for traitor. During the Dark Ages, rulers were often recognized to rule by “divine right”. That is, they rule because God chose them to rule in His infinate wisdom. To practice a faith other than that of the king’s, such as one of the “old religions”, was considered an act of treason, and a person who practiced a different faith was considered a trator (warlock). Through this, the term “warlock” was incorrectly associated with witchcraft. It is no longer in use.
The television show “Bewitched” used the term “warlock” for male witches, and it’s probably through the show’s popularity that this misinterpretation flourished.
Q: Do Wiccans worship the moon?
No. Wiccans practice rites during phases of the moon, mostly during the full moon, but the moon is not venerated or worshipped. It is often held as a symbol of the Goddess, but is not held as a dieity.
Q: Do Wiccans worship Satan?
No. Satan, Lucifer, the Devil, et al., is an adversarial figure from Judaism, Christanity and Islam, not Wicca. Wiccans do not believe in the existance of a devil, and therefore, don’t worship it.
Also, Satanists (as least the ones I’ve encountered) prefer not to associate with Wiccans. I’ve heard the term “tree-hugger” used demeaningly towards Wiccans.
Q: Do Wiccans practice evil?
No. Wiccans believe in a three-fold law of retribution. That is, what you “send out”, good or ill, returns to you three times as much. So, doing deliberate evil acts will only invite disaster.
Q: Do Wiccans practice animal sacrifice?
No. Wicca is a life-affirming faith. Blood sacrifice goes against that. Wiccans do not perform any kind of sacrificial rituals.
Q: What is Wicca’s stand on abortion?
It varies on the individual. Some are adamantly pro-life, others are pro-choice. The general concensus is that most Wiccans are pro-choice, citing the libertarian concepts of freedom of choice, and taking responcibility for one’s actions. In general, the belief is that the decision rests between the woman, her husband (if there is one), her doctor, and her conscience.
Q: Are homosexuals and bisexuals welcome in Wicca?
Yes. In fact there is a strong historical connection between witchcraft and homosexuality. When those found guilty of witchcraft were burned at the stake in England, often someone who had been found guilty of sodomy would be bound hand and foot, and thrown upon the pyres with the firewood. The term for a bundle of sticks used for firewood, “faggot”, would become a slur towards homosexuals.
Q: Is there any mainstream religious organization that accepts Wiccans?
Yes. The Unitarian-Universalist Association has openly accepted Wiccans through the Covenant of Unitarian-Universalist Pagans (CUUPS). I, myself belong to a U-U congregation in Las Vegas, as well as CUUPS-Las Vegas.
If there is no U-U congregation near you, consider the Church of the Larger Fellowship.
Q: Are Wiccans hostile to Christianity?
Some have converted to Wicca from Christianity for various personal reasons (I, myself, am a former Lutheran, as well as a fomer “Born Again”). A few may hold some personal gripes towards some dogma or have had experienced a bad event from the clergy or members of a particular Christian sect. But Wicca in itself is not hostile towards Christianity, nor any other religion. It is meant to be a compassionate, life-affirming faith.
Q: What is the difference between Wicca and Paganism?
“Wicca” is an Old English word for “wise”. “Pagan” comes from the Latin word “Paganus”, the equivilent of “hick” or “rube”. It literally meant one who was not subject to the civilizing aspects of a city. The term “Pagan” has been used to describe the followers of pre-Christian religions. Wicca is often included in a field of religions called “Neo-Paganism”.
So, while a “Wiccan” can be a “Pagan”, a “Pagan” isn’t always a “Wiccan”.
Also, the term “Heathen” is often used in this context. The word literally means “one who lives in the heathes”, or a dweller of the backwoods.
Q: Why don’t Wiccans call themselves “Witches” that often?
The word “witch” has been given very negative meanings in the popular press. Everything from children’s fairy tales to ultra-conservatives referrng to Hillary Clinton as “the Wicked Witch of Washington”. Also, the term “witch” is often used towards women, and there are many men who practice Wicca. So, the non-offensive, gender neutral terms “Wicca” and “Wiccan” are commonly used.
Wicca is a Earth, natured based relgion based on ancient Pagan and ome Celtic beliefs and practices It incooperates witchcraft and spirituality. Although ,uch of Gardners practice was also borrowed from the Golden Dawn
Wicca is under the umbrella of Paganism with many versions or traditions.
Wiccans have a deep appreciation and awe in watching the sunrise or sunset, the forest in the light of a glowing moon, a meadow enchanted by the first light of day. It is the morning dew on the petals of a beautiful flower, the gentle caress of a warm summer breeze upon your skin, or the warmth of the summer sun on your face
Wicca is a belief system and way of life based upon the reconstruction of pre-Christian traditions originating in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. While much of the information of how our ancestors lived, worshiped and believed has been lost due to the efforts of the medieval church to wipe our existence from history, we try to reconstruct those beliefs to the best of our ability with the information that is available.
Thanks to archaeological discoveries, we now have basis to believe that the origins of our belief system can be traced even further back to the Paleolithic peoples who worshipped a Hunter God and a Fertility Goddess. With the discovery of these cave paintings, estimated to be around 30,000 years old, depicting a man with the head of a stag, and a pregnant woman standing in a circle with eleven other people, it can reasonably be assumed that Witchcraft is one of the oldest belief systems known in the world toady. These archetypes are clearly recognized by Wiccan as our view of the Goddess and God aspect of the supreme creative force and predate Christianity by roughly 28,000 years making it a mere toddler in the spectrum of time as we know it.
Witchcraft in ancient history was known as “The Craft of the Wise” because most who followed the path were in tune with the forces of nature, had a knowledge of Herbs and medicines, gave council and were valuable parts of the village and community as Shamanic healers and leaders. They understood that mankind is not superior to nature, the earth and its creatures but instead we are simply one of the many parts, both seen and unseen that combine to make the whole. As Chief Seattle said; “We do not own the earth, we are part of it.” These wise people understood that what we take or use, we must return in kind to maintain balance and equilibrium. Clearly, modern man with all his applied learning and technology has forgotten this. Subsequently, we currently face ecological disaster and eventual extinction because of our hunger for power and a few pieces of gold.
For the past several hundred years, the image of the Witch has been mistakenly associated with evil, heathenism, and unrighteousness. In my humble opinion, these misconceptions have their origin in a couple of different places.
To begin, the medieval church of the 15th through 18th centuries created these myths to convert the followers of the old nature based religions to the churches way of thinking. By making the Witch into a diabolical character and turning the old religious deities into devils and demons, the missionaries were able to attach fear to these beliefs which aided in the conversion process. Secondly, as medical science began to surface, the men who were engaged in these initial studies had a very poor understanding of female physiology, especially in the area of a women’s monthly cycles. The unknowns in this area played very well with the early churches agenda lending credence to the Witch Hunters claims and authority. The fledgling medical professions also stood to benefit greatly from this because it took the power of the women healers away giving it to the male physicians transferring the respect and power to them.
Unfortunately these misinformed fears and superstitions have carried forward through the centuries and remain to this day. This is why many who follow these nature oriented beliefs have adopted the name of Wicca over its true name of Witchcraft to escape the persecution, harassment and misinformation associated with the name of Witchcraft and Witch not to mention the bad publicity the press and Hollywood has given us simply to generate a profit.
What Wicca and Witchcraft is not
They are not the same as it is traditionaly taught I will go mote into this laterWitchcraft is not a religion Wicca isVut as is been taught me and handed down …
Witchcraft or Wicca is not a cult. We do not proclaim ourselves to be spokespersons for the divine or try to get others to follow us as their leaders.
We do not worship Satan or consort with Demons. Satan is a Christian creation and they can keep him. We do not need a paranoid creation of supreme evil and eternal damnation to scare us into doing the right thing and helping others. We choose to do the right thing and love our brothers and sisters because it IS the right thing and it feels good to do it. I suppose it is a maturity thing.
We do not sacrifice animals or humans because that would violate our basic tenant of “Harm None.” Anyone who does and claims to be a Wiccan or a Witch is lying.
We have no need to steal or control the life force of another to achieve mystical or supernatural powers. We draw our energy from within, our personal relationship with the divine and nature.
We do not use the forces of nature or the universe to hex or cast spells on others. Again, “Harm None” is the whole of the law.
Witches have a very strict belief in the Law of Three which states that whatever we send out into our world shall return to us three fold either good or bane. With this in mind, a “True Witch” would hesitate in doing magick to harm or manipulate another because that boomerang we throw will eventually come back to us much larger and harder then when we threw it.
This is not to say that Witches are perfect, we are human too just like everyone else and make mistakes and errors in judgment. Just as there are parents who love and nurture their children, there are parents who abuse their children. As there are many who devote their lives to giving and helping mankind, likewise there are those who devote their lives to taking advantage of and using people for their own gain. Unfortunately the same flaws in human nature applies to witches too.
13 Principles of Wiccan Belief
The following 13 Principles of Wiccan Belief were written in 1974.
1. We practice rites to attune ourselves with the natural rhythm of life forces marked by the phases of the moon and the seasonal quarters and cross quarters.
2. We recognize that our intelligence gives us a unique responsibility toward our environment. We seek to live in harmony with nature and ecological balance offering fulfillment to life and consciousness within an evolutionary concept.
3. We acknowledge a depth of power far greater than that apparent to the average person. Because it is far greater than ordinary it is sometimes called “supernatural” but we see it as lying within that which is naturally potential to all.
4. We conceive of the creative power in the universe as manifesting through polarity as masculine and feminine, and that this same creative power lies in all people and functions through the interaction of the masculine and the feminine. We value neither above the other, knowing each to be supportive of each other. We value sexuality as pleasure as the symbol and embodiment of life, and as one of the sources of energy used in magical practice and religious worship.
5. We recognize both outer worlds and inner, or psychological worlds sometimes known as the spiritual world, the collective unconsciousness, the inner planes etc., and we see in the interaction of these two dimensions the basis for paranormal phenomena and Magickal exercises. We neglect neither dimension for the other, seeing both as necessary for our fulfillment.
6. We do not recognize any authoritarian hierarchy, but do honor those who teach, respect those who share their greater knowledge and wisdom, and acknowledge those who have courageously given of themselves in leadership.
7. We see religion, Magick and wisdom in living as being united in the way one views the world and lives within it, a world view and philosophy of life which we identify as Witchcraft, the Wiccan way.
8. Calling oneself “Witch” does not make a Witch, but neither does heredity itself, nor the collecting of titles, degrees and initiations. A Witch seeks to control the forces within her/himself that make life possible in order to live wisely and without harm to others and in harmony with Nature.
9. We believe in the affirmation and fulfillment of life in a continuation of evolution and development of consciousness giving meaning to the universe we know and to our personal role within it.
10. Our only animosity towards Christianity, or towards any other religion or philosophy of life, is to the extent that its institutions have claimed to be “the only true way” and have sought to deny freedom to others and to suppress other ways of religious practice and belief.
11. As American Witches, we are not threatened by debates on the history of the Craft, the origins of various terms, or the legitimacy of various aspects of different traditions. We are concerned with our present and our future
12. We do not accept the concept of absolute evil, nor do we worship any entity known as “Satan or the devil” as defined by Christian tradition. We do not seek power through the suffering of others, nor accept that personal benefit can only be derived by denial to another.
13. We seek within nature that which is contributory to our health and well being.
Founder of Wicca
Gerald Brousseau Gardner, an English hereditary Witch and allegedly responsible for reviving Witchcraft in the modern Western world, was born in Blundellands, near Liverpool, England, on June 13, 1884. His father served as a justice of the peace, being a member of a family in the timber trade business. The family was of Scottish descent, tracing its roots to a woman named Grissell Gardner who had been burned as a Witch in 1610 at Newburgh. Gardner’s grandfather marred a woman who was supposedly a Witch and some of his distant relatives assumedly possessed psychical abilities. Gardner’s family tree included as well mayors of Liverpool, and Alan Gardner, a naval commander and later vice admiral and peer, who later earned distinction as the commander-in-chief of the Channel Fleet who helped to prevent the invasion of Napoleon in 1807.
Gerald was the second of three sons, and suffered severely with asthma when young. To alleviate his condition his nurse Josephine “Com” McCombie convinced his parents to permit him to travel with her in Europe during the winter. During this time young Gerald found much time for reading since he was often by himself while Com roamed Europe. She eventually married a man in Ceylon and took Gerald with her. There he worked on a tea plantation. Later he worked in Borneo and Malaysia.
While in the Far East Gardner became acquainted with the natives and familiar with their spiritual beliefs, which influenced him more than Christianity. He was fascinated by the ritual daggers and knives, especially the Malaysian kris; a wavy blade dagger, and wrote Kris and Other Malay Weapons, which was published in Singapore in 1939. The book established Gardner as the world authority on the kris. It remains the standard on the subject, and was reprinted posthumously in 1973.
Between 1923 and 1936 Gardner was employed by the British government in the Far East as a rubber plantation inspector, customs official and inspector of opium establishments. He made considerable money in rubber which allowed him to dabble in his great interest of archaeology. He claimed to have discovered the site of the ancient city of Singapura.
In 1927 he married an Englishwoman Donna who returned to England with him upon his retirement from working for the government in 1936. Then much of Gardner’s time was spent on archaeological trips throughout Europe and Asia Minor. It was in Cyprus that he saw things which he had previously dreamed about which convinced him that he had previously lived there in another life. (see Reincarnation)
This was the background for his second book, A Goddess Arrives (1939). The novel is set in Cyprus and is concerned with the worship of The Goddess as Aphrodite in the year 1450 BC.
In England, before World War II, Gardner met people who introduced him into Witchcraft. He and his wife lived in the New Forest region, where Gardner was involved with the Fellowship of Crotona, an occult group of Co-Masons, a Masonic order established by Mrs. Besant Scott, daughter of the Theosophist Annie Besant (see Theosophical Society).This group had established “The First Rosicrucian Theater in England,” which presented plays having occult themes. In this group Gardner met a member who claimed they had been together in a previous life in Cyprus and described a site that Gardner had envisioned when dreaming.
Within the Fellowship of Crotona was another, secret group, which took Gardner into its confidence. Members in this group claimed to be hereditary Witches, whose family members had practiced a craft for centuries, and such practice had not been interrupted by the witch hunts of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. This group met in the New Forest, and just days before World War II began in 1i939, Gardner was nitiated into the coven by the high priestess Old Dorothy Clutterbuck.
The coven, including Gardner, joined with other Witches in southern England on July 31 (Lummas Eve), 1940, to perform a ritual to prevent Hitler’s forces from invading England.(see Cone of power). Five members of the coven died shortly afterwards. Their deaths were blamed on the power drained from them during the ritual. Gardner, himself, felt his health had been adversely affected.
Through the introduction of Arnold Crowther Gardner met Aleister Crowley in 1946. Crowley made Gardner a honorary member of the Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO), a magical order of which at one time Crowley held leadership. Crowley had once practiced Witchcraft, presumably in one of the Old George Pickingill’s covens. There is speculation that Gardner asked Crowley information about Craft rituals, which he might incorporate into his own. According to Patricia C.Crowther, wife of Crowther, it is known that Gardner admired and was influenced by Crowley, but there is no evidence suggesting that Crowley gave him any specific Craft material.
Gardner desired to, but was kept from publicly writing about the survival of Witchcraft, because at the time Witchcraft was still against English law. So his novel High Magic’s Aid concerning Witchcraft was published in 1949, under the pseudonym Scire. The work included rituals which he had learned from his coven, and the worship of the Horned God, but the Goddess was not mentioned.
When the law against witchcraft was repealed in 1951 Gardner broke from the New Forest coven to form his own coven. In the same year he traveled to the Isle of Man, on which was a Museum of Magic and Witchcraft which had been established by Cecil Williamson and housed in a 400-year-old Craft farmhouse. Williamson had originally named it the Folklore Centre and intended it to become a center for currently practicing Witches. Gardner became the “resident Witch” and added his personal substantial collection of ritual tools and artifacts. Gardner purchased the museum from Williamson.
It was in 1953 that Gardner initiated Doreen Valiente into his coven. The coven’s rituals were virtually identical to those that Gardner described in High Magic’s Aid. In his coven Gardner reworked his material since the material which he inherited from his first coven was only fragmentary. He freshen rituals with his own work, adding quotations and extracts from Crowley’s work. Valiente somewhat discouraged this, advising Gardner that Growley’s material was inappropriate because it was “too modern,” thus most of Crowley’s work was subsequently deleted through rewriting of the material. Gardner and Valiente collaborated through the years of 1954 to 1957 on writing ritual and nonritual material. The body or work, or Book of Shadows, became the authority for what is currently known as the Gardnerian tradition.
In 1954 Gardener published his first nonfiction book about Witchcraft, Witchcraft Today. The book supports the theory of the British anthropologist Margaret A. Murray, that modern Witchcraft is the surviving remnant of organized Pagan religion which existed during the witch hunts. Murray wrote the introduction to the book.
The book’s immediate success gave emphasis for new covens rising up throughout England. Gardner suddenly found himself in the spotlight. Due to his numerous media appearances the press referred to him as “Britain’s Chief Witch,” a title he did not seek. He was not interested in exploiting his fame for money and personal glory. In 1959 he published his final book, The Meaning of Witchcraft.
In 1960, at a Buckingham Palace garden party Gardner was recognized for his distinguished civil service work in the Far East. During the same year his wife died, and he began suffering from asthma. In the winter of 1963 he met Raymond Buckland, an Englishman who had moved to America. This was shortly before Gardner was to leave for Lebanon. Buckland was initiated into the Craft by Gardner’s high priestess Monique Wilson (Lady Olwen). It would be Buckland who would introduce the Gardnerian tradition to America.
Gardner died aboard ship when returning from Lebanon on the morning of February 12, 1964.His burial was in Tunis, February 13.
In his will, Gardner bequeathed the museum, his ritual tools and objects, notebooks and the copyrights to his books to Wilson. Other beneficiaries of his estate were Patricia C. Crowther and Jack L. Bracelin, who authored an authoritative biography of Gardner, Gerald Gardner: Witch (1960). Wilson and her husband kept the museum opened for a short time while holding weekly coven meetings in Gardner’s cottage. Eventually the museum was closed and most of its contents were sold to the Ripley organization, which dispersed the objects to various museums.
Doreen Valiente described Gardner as a man “utterly without malice,” who was generous to a fault and who possessed some real, but not exceptional, magical powers. Those in the Craft knowing him called him “G. B. G.”
One of his missions, Gardner felt, was to attract young people to the Old Religion. He felt Witchcraft was primarily to older people who when dying would let the Craft die with them. In Witchcraft Today he said science was replacing reliance on the old ways
http://clubs.psu.edu/up/silverc/witchcrafttoday.pdf You may download free
Written and compiled by George Knowles.Raymond Buckland, Englishman, prolific Author and Witch. He is probably best known as an agent of Gerald B. Gardner. It was Buckland who was responsible for introducing Gardnerian Witchcraft into America in 1964. He is also the founder of his own tradition of Witchcraft called Seax-Wica, and for a time operated his own Museum of Witchcraft in America. He has been a leading spokesman for the Craft in America for more than three decades.
Buckland was born in London, England, on the 31st August 1934. His parents were Stanley Thomas Buckland and his wife Eileen Lizzie Wells. Stanley his father was a full-blood Romany Gypsy, and a highly regarded Executive Officer in the British Ministry of Health. In his spare time he freelanced as a writer of plays, short stories, poetry and music, a talent he encouraged his son to work on. In 1939 with the outbreak of war, the family moved to Nottingham to escape the bombing raids on London, and Buckland was sent to the Nottingham Boys High School to start his early education.
As a child Buckland was brought up in the Church of England, but had no particular interest in religion. When he was 12 years old his father’s brother “uncle” George, a practising Spiritualist, introduced him to Spiritualism and sparked his life long interest in all things occult. By this time Buckland was already an avid reader, and started to read all he could find on alternative religions and such related subjects as: Ghosts, ESP, Magick, Voodoo and witchcraft. After the war had passed, Buckland became interested in acting and soon became involved with the theatre. He regularly performed at the People’s Theatre in Nottingham and the Nottingham Repertory Theatre. In 1951 the family moved back to London, where Buckland studied first at King’s College School in Wimbledon, before gaining a doctorate degree in anthropology from Brantridge Forest College, in Sussex.
After leaving college he worked as a draftsman for an engineering firm, and in 1955 met and married his first wife Rosemary Moss. Together they had two sons Robert and Regnauld. In 1957 he joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) but only served a short term leaving in 1959. After leaving the RAF, he worked for two years as a retail manager in a London publishing firm, during which time he taught himself to play the trombone and joined a Dixieland-style jazz band called “Count Rudolph’s Syncopated Jazz Men”. In their spare time during evening and weekends, they played regularly at the Piccadilly Jazz Club, the Baker Street Jazz Club and other like venues.
Buckland and Rosemary
In February of 1962, Buckland with his family immigrated to the United States and settled in Brentwood, Long Island, New York. For the next ten years he worked for British Airways (then known as BOAC), which enabled him to travel extensively. Buckland’s interest in Spiritualism and the occult had continued to this time, but he was still without a religion and felt there was something missing. Shortly after his arrival in the States two books came into his possession that would greatly influence his life and beliefs, The Witch-Cult In Western Europe by Margaret A. Murray (1921), and Witchcraft Today by Gerald B. Gardner (1954).
Until reading these two books, Buckland had never looked upon Witchcraft as a religion, but now he realized he had found what he felt was missing, an old but new religion that appealed to his own beliefs and sense of history, “Wicca”. For more information about Wicca, he contacted Gerald Gardner in the Isle of Man, and soon began a long-distance mail and telephone friendship with him. As their friendship matured Buckland became Gardner’s spokesman in the United States, and whenever Gardner received a query from the U.S., it was forwarded to and answered by Buckland.
In 1963 Buckland and his wife Rosemary flew back to the UK to be initiated and raised in Perth, Scotland by Gardner’s main High Priestess ‘Monique Wilson’. Gardner joined them for the initiation ceremony, during which Buckland was given a craft name “Robat” and Rosemary named “Lady Rowen”. This was the first and only physical meeting between Buckland and Gardner, for shortly after Gardner left the UK to vacation the winter months in the Lebanon. On the 12th February 1964 while returning on board The Scottish Prince, Gardner suffered a fatal heart attack and was buried on shore in Tunis the following day.
In America interest in Witchcraft was catching on quickly, but Buckland built his coven slowly and with caution. There were many that wanted to become Gardnerian Witches who felt that Buckland was being over cautious, those who didn’t want to wait for initiation simply went away and started their own covens. Buckland persisted; he wanted only those with a genuine interest in the craft as a religion. Initially Buckland was secretive, and kept his name and address from the press, but eventually it was published by journalist Lisa Hoffman in the New York Sunday News, which focused attention on him as a leading authority and spokesman of the craft. On the other hand it also led to a deal of negative persecution on himself, his wife and two children.
In imitation of Gardner’s Museum of Witchcraft and Magic in the Isle of Man and perhaps inspired by it, Buckland began to collect artifacts and pieces for his own museum. He called it the First Museum of Witchcraft and Magic in the United States, and was formally opened to view (by appointment only) in 1968. His collection started in a bookcase, and then as it grew it took over the basement of their house, eventually it grew so large in 1973 it was moved into an old Victorian house in Bay Shore. The museum proved a popular success and was featured in numerous national magazine and newspaper articles; it was also the subject of a television documentary. At various other times a selection of artifacts was loaned to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and to other museums.
Buckland had started to write about witchcraft in 1968, and in 1969 published his first book A Pocket Guide to the Supernatural. He followed this in 1970 with Witchcraft Ancient and Modern and Practical Candleburning Rituals. That same year he wrote his first novel Mu Revealed under the pseudonym “Tony Earll”, an anagram for – not really. Writing became a passion for Buckland and he wanted more time to devote to it. By 1973 when his collection of artifacts had grown large enough for him to occupy a rented building in Bay Shore. He quit his job with BOAC and opened the museum proper, running it himself while at the same time writing. Since then Buckland has managed an average of one book a year.
That same year his marriage to Rosemary broke up and they handed the leadership of their Long Island coven over to “Theos and Phoenix”, who became the High Priest and Priestess of the first and original Gardnerian coven in America. Since its inception in 1964 other covens had hived off the original and slowly but surely began to spread the Gardnerian tradition of Witchcraft all across America. As other traditions began to appear with their own varying styles of practice, so the craft became a viable alternative religion in America with legal status.
After the break up of his marriage, Buckland moved to Weirs Beach in New Hampshire, reopened his museum in a new building and continued with his writing. In the following year 1974, he remarried to Joan Helen Taylor. At about this time he decided to leave the Gardnerian tradition altogether feeling it no longer met his religious needs, he was also fed-up with the egotism and power trips exhibited by others within the craft. To fill the gap he developed and founded a new tradition called Seax-Wica, which he based on a Saxon theme. Leaving behind the degree system of Gardnerian witchcraft, he made Seax-Wica more open and democratic, and published its rituals in: The Tree: Complete Book of Saxon Witchcraft (1974). Today the Seax-Wica tradition is practiced worldwide.
He moved again in 1978, this time to Virginia Beach in Virginia where he became the Educational Director of the Poseidia Institute, but sadly without suitable premises to house the museum, he was forced to place all his artifacts into storage. While still in Virginia, Buckland started a Seax-Wica correspondence course, which soon grew to over 1,000 students worldwide. Initially they had plans to build a campus for it and turn it into a physical school, but these fell flat due to a lack of sufficient funds.
Into the early 1980’s he and his second wife Joan began to drift apart and were divorced in 1982. Just a year later he married again to his third and current wife Tara Cochran of Cleveland. They lived for a couple of years in Charlottesville, Virginia, before moving to San Diego, California. There they re-established the correspondence course and also set up a publishing company called “Taray Publications” using it to published the Seax-Wica Voys, a Wiccan magazine. Eventually running the correspondence course took to much time away from his writing, so Buckland decided to close it down and phased it out. By this time however the Seax-Wica tradition was well established worldwide.
Over the next few years while he continued to write, Buckland rekindled his teenage passion for acting and theatre, and went to work for a theatrical and film casting company in San Diego. During this period he became a close friend of the character actor John Carradine, and worked with him through the last few years of his life. He also worked with Orson Welles, as the Technical Consultant on his film “Necromancy”, and the director of such hit movies as: “The French Connection” and “The Exorcist”, William Friedkin. As well as meeting with some of the movie industries elite director and actors, Buckland played some minor character parts, such like the crazy psychiatrist in the cult movie Mutants in Paradise.
In 1992 after more than a quarter of a century working in and leading the craft in America, Buckland decided to retire from active participation. He moved his family to a small farmstead in north central Ohio. There except for occasional public appearances, lectures, workshops and book signings, he is content to concentrate on his writing and work with his wife Tara as solitaries. His leisure interests include flying ultra-light aircraft and building unusual automobiles.
Buckland was a much sort-after authority on the occult, magic and the supernatural. He was a prolific and diverse writer, covering such subjects as mystery and fantasy fiction, screenplays, divination systems, spiritualism and metaphysical nonfiction. He has averaged more than one book a year over the last thirty years. He has also written numerous magazine and newspaper articles, television scripts for the ITV’s The Army Game, a pilot script Sly Digs, for the BBC, and for a short time was the personal scriptwriter for the English comedian “Ted Lane”.
As well as writing Buckland his appeared in public promoting the craft all across America, he has been seen on BBC-TV in England, the RAI-TV in Italy, and the CBC-TV in Canada. He has also appeared extensively on stage in England as an actor, and played small role character parts in moves in America. As a distinguished teacher on craft and occult subjects, he has taught courses at New York State University, Hofstra University, New Hampshire Technical Collage and for Hampton, Virginia City Council.
The Buckland Museum
Buckland’s contribution to the revival of Witchcraft in America is perhaps without equal, but: “What happened to his Museum of Witchcraft and Magic”??? The last I heard it was to be moved and relocated in New Orleans at 523 Dumaine St., situated in the French Quarter (before the floods). In 2001 I personally visited New Orleans in search of it, but was told he had ran out of funds and it wouldn’t be opening?? Disappointed and curious, I wondered what had become of it?? Further research has revealed what happened:
Unable to take timeout from his busy writing schedule, and as book promotions and lectures increasingly demanded more of his time, rather than allow his collection to languish forever unseen in storage, Buckland sold the collection to a Gardnerian High Priest and Priestess in Houma, near New Orleans in April 1999. Monte Plaisance and his wife Tolia-Ann are founders of the “Church of Thessaly” (a Graeco-Roman Coven) and organizers of a “WitchFest”, an annual gathering of witches in New Orleans. Together they own and run a metaphysical store called “Crossroads”, which now serves as “The Buckland Museum”, as well as the base for their Church of Thessaly.
The “Buckland Collection,” which is comprised of over 500 artefacts from broomsticks to torture devices, is said to demonstrate the growth of Ceremonial Magic as well as the History of Witchcraft. Among the items on view are a 200-year-old mandrake root used in magic to bring wealth, love and fertility, a broom (circa 1850) used to sweep away misfortune and bad luck, a herb collection and many aged bottles said to be used by witches for the making of spells. The past fear and hatred of witches is evident in some of the European torture devices on view, such as nail pullers, thumbscrews and tongue extractors, used to force confessions out of witches. Historical documentation also sheds light on the “burning times” when women were burned at the stake for being suspected of witchcraft. The collection also includes items affiliated with Christianity, an ivory-covered Bible from the mid-1800s, a travelling communion kit and a vial of incense said to be from a monk in France. These are just a few of the mysterious items to be found.
Monte Plaisance has been educating people about witchcraft for years, his own interest arising from a near-death experience as a small child. Over the years he has met with many of the leading major figures in witchcraft today, and is no stranger controversy. After feature articles on his Crossroads store and the Museum appeared in The Courier and The Times in Picayune, he started having problems with the public, but “we try to be low-key and very friendly with our neighbors” he says, “and we’ve also had a significant response from people who are interested in us, so the museum will stay and continue”.
A Pocket Guide to the Supernatural (Ace Books, NY 1969)
Practical Candleburning Rituals (Llewellyn Publications, MN 1970)
Witchcraft Ancient and Modern (House of Collectibles, NY 1970)
Mu Revealed – using the pseudonym Tony Earll (Warner Paperback Library, NY 1970)
Witchcraft from the Inside (Llewellyn, MN 1971)
Amazing Secrets of the Psychic World – with Hereward Carrington (Parker/Prentice Hall, NJ 1975)
The Elements and Elementals
FIRE…AIR…WATER….EARTHWiccan Magick is based on the four elements…Fire, Air, Water and Earth.
These four Elements correspond to the four directions of our physical world, the four quarters of the universe, the four winds, and most importantly the four quarters of the magical circle. Fire and Air are considered male energies….Water and Earth female. The four Elements are forces and energies that make up the universe and everything in it. They also possess form as well as force. In Wiccan Magick each Element is associated with a color. Modern day Wiccans use the following colors: east – yellow; south – red; west – blue; north – green.
Fire represents passion, enthusiasm, desire and courage, force, lust, fertility and virility, initiative and rejuvenation. It represents both light and heat. The light of intelligence and the courage to follow it. A low fire person is usually cold, slow to act, without enthusiasm for life or himself. A high fire person is bold, dramatic and passionate in all areas within himself, however this person must be careful as fire can destroy everything in it’s path. Fire magick can bring on the new, bring on courage and passion and destroy the old.
It’s feelings are hot and dry, it’s season is Summer and direction is South/Energy. It’s symbol is the Athame/Sword, Candle and the Burner; it’s colors are Reds, Oranges and Golds. The moon phase is the second quarter and it’s time is high Noon.
The different types of Fire Magick are Bonfire Magick, which usually involves burning something such as an herb or flower, or a piece of paper or petition on which you have written your desire. It is used for banishing, ridding or destroying negative influences in your life.
Another is Candle Magick, a simple, easy and useful method in bringing about your desires. A color for the candle is chosen and can also include the correct scent in relation to your desire and lit sometimes for up to seven days. This type of Fire Magick is usually for any type of desire.
Another is Sun Magick. Using the Sun in our desires is a beautiful way in which to enhance new beginnings in love, health, work and home, awaken subtle powers and aid in attraction desires.
Fire is the element of change, will and passion. In a sense it contains withing it all forms of magick, since magick is the process of change. Fire magick can be frightening. The results manifest quickly and spectacularly. It is not an element for the faint-hearted. However, it is the most primal and for this reason is much used. This is the realm of sexuality and passion. It is not only the “sacred fire” of sex, it is also the spark of divinity which shines within us and all living things. It is at once the most physical and spiritual of the elements.
Direction – The place of greatest heat. Name – South, Wind – Notus.
Energy – Projective & masculine.
Signs – Ares, Leo & Sagittarius.
Ritual Work – Energy, spirit, heat, flame, blood, sap, life, will, healing & destroying, purification, bonfires, hearth fires, candle flames, sun, eruptions, explosions, freedom, change, sight, perception, vision, illumination, learning, love, passions, sexuality, authority, destruction, change, will, the will to dare, creativity, loyalty, force, transformation, protection, courage, strength, higher self, success, refinement, the arts, evolutions, faith, physical exercise, body awareness, work, nurturance, vitality, self knowledge & power.
Colors – Red, the color of flames, gold, crimson, orange & white.
Ritual Forms – Burning, fuming or smoldering of an image, herb or other object, candles or small blazes.
Basic Nature – Purifying, destruction, cleansing, energetic, sexual, forceful. Heat is a manifestation of the element.
Types of Magick Ruled – Candle, storm, time and star.
Time – Noon.
Season – Summer, the time of heat.
Magickal Tools – Dagger, censer, lamp or candles, burned herbs or requests on paper, knife.
Sense – Sight.
Stones & Jewels – fire Opal, red or fiery as in jasper, volcanic as in lave, clear as in quartz crystals, carnelian, rhodochrosite & agates.
Metals – Gold & brass.
Incense – Olibanum, copal, cinnamon, juniper.
Plants & Trees – Garlic, hibiscus, mustard, nettle, onion & red peppers, cinnamon, red poppies, stinging, thorny or hot plants such as thistle, chile pappers and bouganvillea, desert-dwelling cacti, coffee beans, seeds of the almond tree in flower.
Attracted By – Candles, lamps, incense & fire.
Musical Instruments – Guitar and all stringed instruments.
Symbols – Lighting, volcanoes, rainbow, sun, stars, lava any heat object.
Air represents mental activity, thoughts, reason and intellect, memory, knowledge, persuasion, birth and friendship, freedom, clarification and expression. A low Air person seems without any direction and unable to define or visualize any future and can not reason out the alternatives and objectives. A high Air person is at ease in complex situations and can sit and think things through, and can carry through with decisions.
It’s feelings are moist heat, it’s season is Spring, it’s direction is East/Mental, the symbol is the Wand, Athame, or the smoke of the incense. It’s colors are White, Lt Blues, Yellows and Green. Moon phase is the first quarter and it’s time is Dawn.
Different types of Air Magick include Visualizations. An important tool in any magick work, it makes the events happen. For this type, it is important that all the other factors such as color, time, the moon phase, winds, etc. are all in balance. And to have the other tools working such as incense and candle burning, or even the right tea or wine to drink in the background. This is because you need to “fix” or “ground” the images or ideas you are using in your visualization.
As our thoughts are extremely powerful, as are our Words. Words can be put together in such a way as to form spells, or used in channeling your power. Words give rise to our desires and can be released upon the winds for attainment. Created and repeated with intensity and concentration the spoken word is a powerful magick in itself. You do not have to be an accomplished linguist, just a simple sentence will do. It creates an atmosphere of concentrated awareness and strength. Words can be used in moments of stress and fear, and will create the magick itself. It does not have to be said aloud, say them to yourself if need or want be.
Another Air Magick is Mirror Magick. It can help in overcoming inner problems and also help with difficult personal decisions. It uses both the Word and Visualization forms and can also aid in being able to visualize a future event. Sometimes, used as a Scrying Tool, in which you are able to “see” possible future events.
Air is the element of the intellect; it is the realm of thought, which is the first stop toward creations. Magicakally speaking, Air is the clear, unclutters, pure visualization which is a powerful tool for change. It is also the movement, the impetus that sends the visualization out toward manifestation. It rules spells and rituals involving travel, instruction, freedom, obtaining knowledge, discovering lost items, uncovering lies and so on. It can also be used to develop the psychic faculties. Spells involving air usually include the act of placing an object in the air or dropping something off the side of a mountain or other high places so theat the object actually connects physically with the element. Air is masculine, being dry, expansive and active. It is the element that excels in places of learning, and which is at work while we theorize, think and ponder. Air rules because this is the direction of the greatest light, and the lift of wisdom and consciousness. Its color is yellow, the yellow fo the Sun and the sky at dawn. Air governs the magick of the four winds, most divination, concentration and visualization magick.
Direction – Place of sunrise Name-East Wind-Eurus
Energy – Projective
Signs – Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
Ritual work – The mind, all mental, intuitive and psychic work, knowledge, abstract learning, wind & breath, inspiration, hearing, harmony, herbal knowledge, plant growth, intellect thought and growth, travel, freedom, revealing the truth, finding lost things, psychic abilities, instruction, telepathy, memory, to contact the angels, the ability to know and understand, to unlock the secrets of the dead, zen meditation, brainstorms, beginnings, illuminations.
Colors – White, bright yellow, crimson, light blue pastels.
Ritual Forms – Tossing objects into the air, suspending tools in high places, fanning light objects, visualization, positive thinking.
Basic nature – Floating, movement, fresh, intelligent, suspending. Sound is a manifestation of this element.
Types of magick Ruled – Divination, concentration, visualization, wind magick, prophecy, karma & speed.
Time – Dawn
Season – Spring, the time of freshness.
Magickal Tools – Athame, sword, censer, creative visualization and wand.
Stones & Jewels – light stones, such as pumice. Transparent such as mica. Yellow flourite, crystals, amethyst, alexandrite, yellow or blue stones, rainbow stones.
Metals – Tin and copper.
Incense – Galbanum & frankincense.
Plants & Trees – Frankincense, myrrh, pansy,primrose, vervain, violet, yarrow, pungent, dill, airy, finely veined or windswept; generally leaves. Also lavender and aspen.
Musical instruments – Flute and all winded instruments.
Symbols – Sky, wind, breezes, clouds, breath, vibrations, plants, herbs, flowers & trees.
Ah water, the symbol of our emotions. Water imbibes all life forms and in us we flow with the “tide” of our feelings. It involves intuition, insight, conception and pregnancy, fertility, the womb, health, beauty and divination. A low water person would appear as a cold calculating one, one who is indifferemt and unresponsive. On the other hand, a high water person may seem as though at the slightest touch the well is opened and can be over emotional and over dramatic in all areas of life. A good balance of water here is needed to keep the flow running smoothly.
Its feelings are cold moisture, its season is Fall, direction is West/ Emotion and its colors are Blue, Light Grays, Sea Greens and Whites.The symbols are the cup or chalice. The Moon phase is the Full Moon and its time is Dusk.
Some Water Magick can involve the use of the beach and its sand, shells, animals and seawater. Especially good for love spells and too, when you need to “get a grip” or clarify your own emotions. The use of shells in the practice is widely used. These can hold appropriate herbs or be used as a symbol of Water Magick.
One old tradition is using that of well water. A lot of gems and stones are exposed to this for a period of time and used at night, in full moon or the waxing phases, for Water Magick. Be careful though to know your stones, as some do not react well in water for long periods of time. This type of magick can give you insights to how others think of you, what others are doing and how well they are and to find the truth within yourself. Be careful when using this type also, if there is an intent of maliciousness or control of another, all you will get is a reflection back unto yourself.
Water spells can involve the use of Scrying bowls. This is a bowl of clear or colored water in which you are able to “see” the future and future events or get a clear direction on decisions. Widely used in certain meditations and visualizations.
Water is the element of purification, the subconscious mind, love and the emotions. Just as water is fluid, constantly changing, flowing, from one level to another, so too are our emotions in a constant state of flux. Water is the element of absorption and germination. The subsconscious symbolized by this element because it is rolling, alway moving, like the sea which rests neither night or day.
Direction – The place of the setting sun. Name-West Wind-Zephyrus.
Energy – Receptive & feminine.
Signs – Cancer, Scorpio & Pisces.
Ritual Work – Emotions, feelings, love, courage, daring, sorrow, intuition, the unconscious mind, the womb, generation, fertility, plants, healing, smell, absorbing, communication with the spiritual, purification, pleasure, friendship, marriage, happiness, sleep, dreams, the psychic, the inner self, sympathy love, reflection, dreams & dreamtime, currents and tides of life, the power to dare and cleanse all things, inner knowing, vision quests, self-healing, inner vision, security & journeys.
Colors – Blue (the color of deep water), blue-green, green, grey, indigo and black.
Ritual forms – Dilution, placing into water, washing away & bathing.
Basic Nature – Flowing, purifying, healing, soothing, loving & movement.
Types of Magick Ruled – Sea, ice, snow, fog, mirror, magnet & rain.
Season – Autumn, the time of harvest when rain showers the earth.
Magickal Tools – Cup, cauldron, goblet, mirrors and the Sea.
Sense – Taste.
Stones & Jewels – Aquamarine, transparentor translucent, amethyst, blue tourmaline, pearl, coral, blue topaz, blue flourite, lapis lazuli & sodalite.
Metals – Mercury (quicksilver), silver and copper.
Incense – myrrh & chamomile.
Plants & Trees – Ferns, lotus, mosses, bushes, seaweeds, water lillies, all water plants, lettuce rose, gardneia, and flowering willow tree.
Attracted By – Water, washes and solutions.
Symbols – Oceans, lakes, rivers, wells, springs, pools, rains, mist, fog, a shell, and a cup of water.
Finally we come to the Element of Earth. The source and provider of all our needs. Represents sensations, decay, patience, stability, strength, health, warmth and comfort, animals and animal instincts, farming and physical labor.
Its feeling is dry and cold, its season is Winter, its colors are Browns, Blacks, Purples and some Greens. Its symbol is the Pentacle or Rice, Salt or grain in a brass or terra cotta bowl or a Stone. Its Moon phase is the Fourth Quarter and its favored time is Midnight. A high Earth person seems a practical sort and quite “down to earth”. A hard worker, stable and a good provider. Can be a little too stubborn sometimes however. A low Earth person can seem confused, insecure and alone, unable to feel wanted and the work may be affected.
Earth Magick can involve the use of herbs and plants. Using the correct herb to attain your desire along with the other tools can be very effective. Burying something and making some offerings to the Earth such as planting trees is a form of Earth Magick. Using your gems or crystals and burying them in the Earth under the appropriate tree while making your wish is also effective.
Another type which is considered Earth Magick is any type of routine magick. Anything you do on a routine basis can be used as a magickal vehicle. While performing something you do at the same time everyday, prepare yourself and use this period for clarity on a subject, figure the best course of action in a situation or to find just where you are in the course of your life.
Earth is the element we are closest to home with, since it is our home. Earth doesn’t necessarily represent the physical earth, but that part of it which is stable, solid and dependable. Earth is the realm of abundance, prosperity and wealth. While it is the most physical of the elements this is not negative, for it is upon earth that the other three rest. Withouth earth, life as we know it could not exist.
Direction – The place of greatest darkness. Name – north. Wind-Boreas, Ophion.
Energy – Receptive & feminine.
Signs – Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn.
Ritual Work – The body, growth, nature sustenance, material gain, money, creativity, birth, death, silence, rocks, standing stones, crystals, jewels, metal, bones, structure, night, riches, treasures, surrendering self-will, touch, empathy, grounding, mystery, industry, possessions, conservative, incorporation, business, prosperity, employment, stability, success, fertility, birth, healing, combined forces of nature and it’s buonty, material abundance, wisdom, runes, strength, practical wisdom, teaching & symbols.
Colors – Black, brown, green (from the color of living plants and fields), and white.
Ritual forms – Burying, plan aque (as in coal), green as in emeralds and peridot, onyx, jasper, azurite, amethyest, royal azute, tourmaline, tourmalanted quartz or rutiled.
Metals – Iron & lead.
Incense – Storax & benzoin.
Plants & Trees – Comfrey, ivy, grains, oats, rice, rye, wheat, patchouly, vetivert, mosses, lichens & nuts, dry & stiff plants, heavy low growing plants & oak.
Attracted by – Salts & powders.
Musical Instruments – Drums, all percussion instruments.
Symbols – Rocks, gemstones, mountains, plains, fields, soil, caves and mines.
Is normally invisible to the untrained eye
Has some sort of thinking process attributed to it
Is considered a spirit that represents an element
Does not normally belong to the human plane of existence
Is comprised entirely of the element it represents
Elementals are seen many different ways — they will not look the same to everyone. Some may see the elementals as vapor colored to represent the element (ex: a yellow-iridescent vapor representing the element air.) Others see them as having some sort of human-like appearance, but not quite. Some people do not see them, but feel them as waves of energy.
When you see an elemental, you must be very quick. Often elementals are just barely caught in a glance. Remember, in the Craft things differ from person to person. What I see you may see differently. What is right for me may be completly wrong for you.There is an arguement about the thinking process of the elemental.
Most working Witches feel that they have more of an animal mentality — meaning that they are not mean nor good, nor could they plot a fantastic, page-turning novel. At least, not on their own. However, this does no imply that they are powerless — far from it. Elementals are attributed to an element and therefore a direction.
In the witches’ view of the universe, all things are made up of four elements: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. All animals, plants, stones, emotions, inanimate objects, and energies are combinations of these elements..as, of course, are we.
Everything has its own unique blend of the four elements in it: everything that has substance has earth in it; everything that has energy in it has fire; everything that flows and/or has feelings has water; and everything that involves sound, thinking, or communication has air in it. We call upon the elements when we do magic, offer healing, undertake a project, cook a meal…anything where we would like to have the elements come together in perfect balance for a specified purpose.
This isn’t praying so much as inviting the energies of the elements to come into our space and offer their own unique gifts to the project we are working on. Many people work with “elementals.” These are creatures whose being is totally of one element. They embody that element and can help or hinder us as we work with it. Generally, they like people who embody the best features of their element, and can make trouble for those who feel uncomfortable with it…but it is possible to befriend all of them. Most of us have more of one element than the others in our makeup…or perhaps have one or two that are lacking in comparison.
One way to get an impression about this is to have your birth chart drawn by an astrologer and count how many planets you have in each element. Another is to read about the elements and their correspondences and see which ones you are most comfortable with. Most people start out by establishing working relationships with the elements they resonate with easily, and then work toward those which are more elusive for them. To be most successful as a magician, and to have a well balanced personality and energy system, one should try for reasonable balance between all four, but there will always be some you’ll find easier to work with.
In these pages, I offer information about the correspondences of the elements. I also offer a number of suggestions for short meditative or experiential activities that can help you get in touch with the feel/energy/meaning of each of the elements. I suggest the types of things that would honor each element on an altar, and ways that one might try to befriend the elementals. Goddess knows I’m still working on all of this myself, (especially with Fire) so if you have any suggestions for something I haven’t mentioned, please let me know.
Please note that while things like herbs and stones are primarily of Earth and music is primarily of Air, etc, different representatives of each of these groups will have more energy of one element or another than the others might. This is how we can say that light and leafy herbs, or those with penetrating, clear scents might be of Air, and those that are hot and spicy might be of Fire, even as we acknowledge that all herbs are Earthy beings.
Similarly, candles are magical tools of Fire….but we can light candles of various colours or scents to honour the other elements. If you live in the country and can spend time with some of the other animal friends mentioned, please enrich your experience by doing so. Watch them, talk to them in non-threatening ways. (note…I’ve learned that birds really don’t like to be smiled at…they don’t seem to realise that this way of showing teeth is meant to be friendly)
Offer or leave food, healing energy, or anything else you are inspired to give. Observe their behaviour and learn from it. You can have learning experiences no less profound, even if you can’t physically change into animals, if you open yourself to thinking like them. Of course, please remember that wild animals are wild and may hurt you if you look like food or if they are cornered or threatened.
One final note…I offer many classical correspondences and some that are relevant for me. As you become familiar with the energies involved, you may find other correspondences make more sense to you. Just as it makes sense to celebrate the Sabbats according to the actual season in the southern hemisphere, so it makes sense to place Earth nearest your polar ice cap and Fire where you see the tropics.
Elementals range in size from smaller than an electron to vaster than galactic space. Like the angels, elemental beings begin their evolution small in size and increase their size as they evolve. The elementals serving on planet Earth materialize whatever they pick up from the thoughts and feelings of mankind. This relationship was intended to facilitate the remanifestation of “heaven on Earth.” They take their orders from the devas. They do not remain individualized as humans are. These beings are animated by the thought power of the lower angels and so are thought forms of sorts. They may be etheric thoughts forms, yet they have etheric flesh, blood, and bones. They live, propagate off spring, eat, talk, act, and sleep. They cannot be destroyed be frosser material elements such as fire, air, earth, and water because they are etheric in nature. they are not immortal. When their work is finished they are absorbed back into the ocean of spirit. They do live a very long time–300 to 1,000 years. They have the power to change their size and appearance almost at will. They cannot, however, change elements.
Elementals are the creators of form, or the “form builders.”As an example, consider the process that occurs when a seed sprouts, grows and becomes a Ponderosa Pine tree. Consider the difference in appearance between a small seed from a pine cone, and the end result of that seed – a towering adult tree. The elementals are the intelligent sparks of consciousness who worked with the energy of the seed, eventually forming it into a tree. All living things take their form through the activities of an elemental, and not all elementals are part of the plant kingdom. A deva is an intelligent energy that works in conjunction with the elementals, but more in a overseeing capacity. The devas do not create form, but are responsible for the activities of the form builders. Where an elemental may have responsibility over a pine seed, the overseeing deva may have responsibility for the entire Pine forest. With this understanding, we can see the great ability and knowledge that nature spirits possess of their given environment. We also know that they can literally “build into” that environment certain elements or qualities.
When working with elementals it is wise to cleanse your space both before and after your operation. Always thank them for attending and look for signs of imbalance in your working. I have seen many circles when the water was spilled, candles tipped, salt spilled and incense clouding the room far more rapidly than it should. These are signs that something is out of balance and you should work with that element to find the imbalance and correct it. Elementals are generally friendly, but love to play pranks, especially the Earth elementals. You may find missing objects, especially jewelry and metallic objects. They often will turn up months or even years later. Don’t let this frighten you, I have never seen any one harmed by their pranks. This is by no means an exhaustive work on the elementals. You could easily fill volumes with information that is out there. Work with
The Charge of the Goddess
Listen to the words of the Great Mother; she who of old was also called among men Artemis, Astarte, Athene, Dione, Melusine, Aphrodite, Cerridwen, Cybele, Arianrhod, Isis, Dana, Bride and by many other names. At her altars the youth of Lacedaemon in Sparta made due sacrifice.
Whenever ye have need of anything, once in the month, and better it be when the moon is full, then shall ye assemble in some secret place and adore the spirit of me, who am Queen of all the witcheries. There shall ye assemble, ye who are fain to learn all sorcery, yet have not won its deepest secrets; to these will I teach things that are yet unknown. And ye shall be free from slavery; and as a sign that ye be really free, ye shall be naked in your rites; and ye shall dance, sing, feast, make music and love, all in my praise. For mine is the ecstasy of the spirit, and mine also is joy on earth; for my law is love unto all beings. Keep pure your highest ideal; strive ever towards it; let naught stop you or turn you aside. For mine is the secret door which opens upon the Land of Youth, and mine is the cup of the wine of life, and the Cauldron of Cerridwen, which is the Holy Grail of immortality. I am the Gracious Goddess, who gives the gift of joy unto the heart of man. Upon earth, I give the knowledge of the spirit eternal; and beyond death, I give peace and freedom and reunion with those who have gone before. Nor do I demand aught in sacrifice; for behold, I am the Mother of all living, and my love is poured out upon the earth.
Hear ye the words of the Star Goddess; she in the dust of whose feet are the hosts of heaven, and whose body encircles the Universe.
I who am the beauty of the green earth, and the white Moon among the stars, and the mystery of the waters, and the desire of the heart of man, call unto thy soul. Arise, and come unto me. For I am the soul of nature, who gives life to the universe. From me all things proceed, and unto me all things must return; and before my face, beloved of Gods and of men, let thine innermost divine self be enfolded in the rapture of the infinite. Let my worship be within the heart that rejoiceth; for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals. And therefore let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honour and humility, mirth and reverence within you. And thou who thinkest to seek for me, know thy seeking and yearning shall avail thee not unless thou knowest the mystery; that if that which thou seekest thee findest not within thee, thou wilt never find it without thee. For behold, I have been with thee from the beginning; and I am that which is attained at the end of desire.
The Verse version of the “Charge of the Goddess” is certainly a beautiful rendition of the same thing….
All ye assembled in my sight,
Bow before my spirit bright.
Lover of the Horned God,Mighty Queen of Witchery and night.
Morgan, Etoine, Nisene,
Diana, Bridgid, Melusine,
Am I named of old by men.
Artemis and Cerridwen,
Hell’s dark mistress, Heaven’s Queen.
Ye who would ask of me a rune,
Or who would ask of me a boon,
Meet me in some secret glade,
Dance my round in greenwood shade,
By the light of the full moon.
In a place wild and lone,
Dance about mine altar stone;
Work my holy mystery.
Ye who are feign to sorcery,
I bring ye secrets yet unknown.
No more shall ye know slavery,
Who give true worship unto me.
Ye who tread my round on Sabbat night,
Come ye all naked to the rite,
In token that ye be really free.
I teach ye the mystery of rebirth,
Work ye my mysteries in mirth.
Heart joined to heart and lip to lip,
Five are the points of fellowship,
That bring ye ecstasy on earth,
For I am the circle of rebirth.
I ask no sacrifice, but do bow,
No other Law but love I know,
By naught but love may I be known.
All things living are mine own,
From me they come, to me they go
them regularly and you will see dramatic results in your life.