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Thursday, 28 December 2006

The Devil Mark And Witch Prickers Of Scotland

The Devil Mark And Witch Prickers Of Scotland Cover

Book: The Devil Mark And Witch Prickers Of Scotland by John Mcdonald

Search for the Devil's or witch's marks formed an important part of the examination of suspected witches in the 17th century. These skin marks were insensitive to piercing by a needle and did not bleed. Ideas about them varied between countries. In England and America, the mark was regarded as an extra nipple where the witch's familiar suckled1, similar to the concept that vampires gain control of their victims' souls by sucking their blood. In Scotland, the mark signified a covenant between the witch and the Devil. Bell2 wrote, 'Tis but rational to think that the devil, aping God, should imprint a sacrament of his covenant . . .'. The beliefs of Scottish legal authorities were influenced by Disquisitionum Magicarum by Martin del Rio, a Jesuit priest. New witches were believed to be given the marks by the Devil either individually or at a sabbat.

Devil's marks are described by several educated Scotsmen of the period-Reverend John Bell, minister of Gladsmuir; Reverend Robert Kirk, minister of Aberfoyle; and two eminent lawyers, Sir John Lauder of Fountainhall and Sir George Mackenzie.

Download John Mcdonald's eBook: The Devil Mark And Witch Prickers Of Scotland

Free eBooks (Can Be Downloaded):

Solomonic Grimoires - The Grand Grimorie With The Great Clavicle Of Solomon
Thomas Forbes - Witch Milk And Witches Marks
John Mcdonald - The Devil Mark And Witch Prickers Of Scotland

Saturday, 9 December 2006

Can I Be A Christian Or A Jew Or A Muslim Or Other Religious Affiliation And Still Be A Witch

Can I Be A Christian Or A Jew Or A Muslim Or Other Religious Affiliation And Still Be A Witch Cover Witchcraft is a religion all unto its own. Witchcraft is an Earth based religion. It is a re-linking with the life force of nature, both on this planet and in the stars and space beyond. Witches are women and men who gather on the new and full moons and at festival times to join energy and bring themselves in tune with these natural forces. They honor the old Goddesses and Gods, including the Triple Goddess of the Moon and the Horned God of the Sun and the spirits of the animals as visualizations of transcendent nature.

Books in PDF format to read:

Joanne Pearson - Wicca And The Christian Heritage Ritual Sex And Magic
William Lilly - Anima Astrologiae Or A Guide For Astrologers
Michael Ford - Luciferian Sorcery Luciferian And Sethanic Magick
Kenaz Filan - Pagans In Prison Our Brothers And Sisters Behind Bars

Monday, 27 November 2006

How Is Witchcraft Related To Paganism

How Is Witchcraft Related To Paganism Cover The term Paganism is used in contemporary times to refer to nature oriented Religions which recognize the male and female duality which is found within nature. Paganism is an umbrella concept which encompasses many religions from some sects of Buddhism, to Neo-Druidism, to Wicca, and even to some forms of Christianity. witchcraft is one of the many religions which fits under the umbrella of Paganism.

Some of the older Europeans who would be considered to be "Pagan" in religious practice do not refer to themselves as such. The reason for this is that in some cultures the term Pagan refers to an unenlightened one. Instead, they will often refer themselves as Heathens.

Free eBooks (Can Be Downloaded):

John Seymour - Irish Witchcraft And Demonology
Archmage Bob Andrews - Old Witchcraft Secrets
Anonymous - Witchcraft A Guide To Magic

Sunday, 19 November 2006

What Witchcraft And A Tradition Are Not

What Witchcraft And A Tradition Are Not Cover Kitchen Witch

This label pops up every now and then. More closely related to the Hereditary sect, these witches are practicing healing and ceremonies based on family tradition. "Old wives tales", Grandma's healing concoctions and special family Traditions all make up this sect of the craft.. However, since these beliefs are often handed down from generation to generation, the label Heredity is more appropriate. But there is a nice warm feeling about calling your grandma a "kitchen witch" and referring to her old remedies that helped you feel better when you got a bad cold.


A mis-labeled sect, based in South Central Pennsylvania. It is based on a 400 year old German magik system and has deteriorated into a a simple faith healing. The mis-use of the term maybe offensive to the original practioners of a true Pow-Wow, the Native American nations. It is advised that this term remain connected to the originators and not to this adopted society. Even at 400 years old, the Pennsylvania/German system is new in comparison to the Native American beliefs. See "Similarities in Beliefs" for a further discussion of this topic.

Devil Worship

An important NOT!
Craft practioners do not worship "the devil", because Pagan Witches do not belief in the devil. The misconception was mainly created by the Christian Church as a means to destroy Craft beliefs which were often perceived to be at odds with what the "Church" wanted spread across the world. Many detractors of the Christian faith often site this type of propaganda as an example of the "Churches'" attempt to gain control over the people.


An other important NOT!
Craft practioners are not Satanists. Satanism is also a pre-Christian pagan religion, however there are significant differences between these two faiths. Many people often confuse Satan with the Christian devil. Again, this is due to Christian propaganda. Satan is the translated name of the Egyptian God Set, who was the deity of ego and confidence. These traits when taken to extremes are similar to Lucifer and thus the association stuck. Satanists however, do not believe in the existence of the devil, and do not worship that being. They see themselves as the God force and practice a faith of eye for an eye. If you'd like to learn more, I strongly suggest you visit the University Of Virginia's Religious Freedoms site and review their study on Satanism.

Books in PDF format to read:

Michael Ford - Luciferian Witchcraft An Introduction
Charles Wentworth Upham - Salem Witchcraft And Cotton Mather A Reply
Anonymous - Witchcraft Dictionary
Jaroslav Nemec - Witchcraft And Medicine

Wednesday, 15 November 2006

A Confirmation And Discovery Of Witchcraft

A Confirmation And Discovery Of Witchcraft Cover

Book: A Confirmation And Discovery Of Witchcraft by John Stearne

John Stearne was an associate of Matthew Hopkins the Witchfinder General. He was known at various times as the witch–hunter,and "witch pricker", John Stearne, a family man and land owner from Lawshall near Bury St Edmunds, was 10 years older than Hopkins. He maintained a house in Manningtree which is where he met Hopkins following Stearne's accusations against witches. In fact the first accusations were made by John Stearne and Hopkins was appointed as his assistant. As a result of the accusations, a trial was held in Chelmsford in July 1645 with 29 names accused of witchcraft and sorcery. Of these 4 had died in prison prior to the trial, and 15 or 16 hanged the following day, Friday 18th July 1645. 9 who had been convicted of conjouring spirits were reprieved.

Within a year of the death of Matthew Hopkins, John Stearne retired to his farm and wrote A Confirmation and Discovery of Witchcraft.

Download John Stearne's eBook: A Confirmation And Discovery Of Witchcraft

Free eBooks (Can Be Downloaded):

Allen Greenfield - A True History Of Witchcraft
Alexander Roberts - A Treatise Of Witchcraft
Reginald Scot - The Discoverie Of Witchcraft
John Stearne - A Confirmation And Discovery Of Witchcraft Ocr Version
John Stearne - A Confirmation And Discovery Of Witchcraft

Wednesday, 8 November 2006

Luciferian Sorcery Luciferian And Sethanic Magick

Luciferian Sorcery Luciferian And Sethanic Magick Cover

Book: Luciferian Sorcery Luciferian And Sethanic Magick by Michael Ford

Sorcery has gone through an awakening in the past 30 years which allows for new experimentations and developments. The significance in the last 30 years is the beginnings and critical stage of what became Wicca and Witchcraft. The systems originally intend produced an exciting aspect to Magick and Sorcery can be, explorative and in many ways continually innovative. The work of The Order of Phosphorus as within the The Witches Sabbat Current deals with the direct linage of spiritual communion by each individual who seeks. Thus, the only hereditary aspects are only conceptual in their need. One must not be a hereditary or linage based Witch to proceed with the Great Work. This is significant only as an added bonus. The individual must however, have the inner drive and calling to the blood, the vein of the Witch Moon which feeds our dreams of Witches Sabbat communion.

Buy Michael Ford's book: Luciferian Sorcery Luciferian And Sethanic Magick

Free eBooks (Can Be Downloaded):

Aleister Crowley - Liber 124 Of Eden And The Sacred Oak
Michael Ford - Luciferian Sorcery And Set Typhon
Michael Ford - Luciferian Sorcery Luciferian And Sethanic Magick

Friday, 3 November 2006

Witchcraft In Salem Village In 1692 Together With Some Account Of Other Witchcraft Prosecutions

Witchcraft In Salem Village In 1692 Together With Some Account Of Other Witchcraft Prosecutions Cover

Book: Witchcraft In Salem Village In 1692 Together With Some Account Of Other Witchcraft Prosecutions by Winfield Nevins

MY design in writing this book has been to tell the story of the witchcraft delusion of 1692 in such a way as to convey a faithful picture to the reader. In order to do this it seemed advisable to give some account of the settlement of Salem and the neighboring villages, and their growth from 1626 to 1692, that the reader might understand the character of the people who lived there during the period covered by this history. Following this, will be found a chapter descriptive of the court that tried the accused persons, and a brief summary of its several sittings. A chapter devoted to some account of earlier witchcraft cases, in this country and in Europe, seemed also advisable, that we might the better understand that witchcraft was not new to the world in 1692, and that " Salem Witchcraft," so-called, differed from other witchcraft only in the details.

In succeeding chapters I have dealt with each of the individuals tried and executed, according to the interest in the case or the fullness of the documentary records that have come down to us. In addition to these, such mention is made of other cases, where the accused were not executed, as the circumstances connected with them seemed to demand. No chronological order is observed in this portion of the work. The aim has been in giving the evidence, to quote the exact language so far as space would permit, otherwise it has been abridged with strict regard to conveying the true meaning of the witness.

I make no claim to originality of material. Possibly a few documents and a few facts of interest may here be brought within the range of the reading public for the first time. If my view of the witchcraft delusion of 1692 and the responsibility therefor, differs somewhat
from that entertained by most of those writers, I believe it is the one now generally accepted among historical students, and the one which the judgment of the future will pronounce correct. The mistake which, it seems to me, the majority of the writers on this chapter of our history have made, is that they did not put themselves in the places of the men and women of 1692, but judged by the standard of the latter half of the nineteenth century. I have tried to avoid this. Whether I have succeeded, the verdict of the reader alone will tell.

I have not deemed it necessary to give my authority for statements made when that authority was the records of the trials now on file in the court house in Salem. In all other cases where important statements are made on the authority of others, the reference is given. In the case of certain publications, like Calef's " More Wonders," and Mather's " Wonders of the Invisible World," the reference is usually to some recent edition, because the early editions of these works are not always accessible. (WINFIELD S. NEVINS)

Download Winfield Nevins's eBook: Witchcraft In Salem Village In 1692 Together With Some Account Of Other Witchcraft Prosecutions

Suggested free e-books to read:

Caroline Upham - Salem Witchcraft In Outline The Story Without The Tedious Detail
Winfield Nevins - Witchcraft In Salem Village In 1692 Together With A Review Of The Opinions Of Modern Writers
Winfield Nevins - Witchcraft In Salem Village In 1692 Together With Some Account Of Other Witchcraft Prosecutions

Saturday, 21 October 2006

The Earth Path Grounding Your Spirit In The Rhythms Of Nature

The Earth Path Grounding Your Spirit In The Rhythms Of Nature Cover

Book: The Earth Path Grounding Your Spirit In The Rhythms Of Nature by Starhawk

Fans and followers of Starhawk (The Spiral Dance; etc.), a founding member of the Reclaiming Tradition of Witchcraft, will welcome her latest offering. Well organized, each chapter contains reminiscences of personal and group experiences, exercises and suggestions for prayer and ritual. Many of her tenets apply not only to those interested in the practice of Wicca but to readers seeking a better understanding of the world around them: "Once we have learned to hear, then we can begin to understand. And only after we understand do we begin to speak, to intervene." Yet she astutely cautions: "To change a drum rhythm in a group of drummers, you first have to match it and join with it. But when you are within a system, part of the whole, that system is also changing you. It is difficult to maintain your own rhythm and not simply become part of what you are trying to change." Starhawk presents an array of exercises and practices for sharpening observation and listening skills. She engages readers' spirits and minds through her illustrative storytelling, offering ways to communicate more fully with the world and suggesting ways to act. While those unfamiliar with her passion for protest may find themselves distracted by the all-too-frequent appearance of her political soapbox, they will appreciate her tools for connecting with nature.

This book represents Starhawk's return to that idea, resurrecting the feeling of living in harmony with the Earth and respecting Our Mother as we should. With this book, Starhawk wants to show us that we need to be more than just "aware".

The book looks at our connection with magic, the four elements we work with and how it relates to our beliefs and to the earth and its ecology. The book is filled with stories of her recent workings. It discusses how we connect with each of the elements in nature and provides meditations on the earth, the elements and finding our own place of balance in this world. And all of this is deeply rooted in Goddess Spirituality.

This is a book on personal responsibility to protecting the earth's delicate ecology. This is a book on earth based spirituality. This book is about magic. This is a book about Starhawk and how she has been dealing with all these issues. This is a book about finding where you fit into this whole equation.

As I read through this book, I found myself agreeing with some of the material that Starhawk was discussing. I also found myself disagreeing on some points. This books intention is to raise personal response. As you read the material that Starhawk provides for the mediations and then work through the meditations, the idea is to reflect on your own connections to these ideas, and the workings are meant to provoke personal response. Each person's response will be different, though the material provided for meditation is meant to focus you on specific ideas.

There are many personal stories told by Starhawk about her recent involvement in political actions. Each of these stories, be it the fire protection ritual she is involved with in the opening of the book, or her research about genetically engineered seeds and the World Trade Organization, we see Starhawk's view on personal responsibility carried to many different levels. While there is much here that should be reviewed and her resources for the information provided is extensive (her Select Bibliography is impressive as well) it is up to the individual as to how this affects each of us and how involved we want to be with the processes that Starhawk discusses.

This is a book that combines Starhawk's personal path of spirituality with her own personal path of ecological responsibility. Those who are not familiar with these issues will find that this book can be used as a handbook for personal exploration. It is a book of awareness of the kinds of issues that many of us should at least be familiar. There are many issues addressed here that makes this a good book of information, even though it may seem a bit extreme at times. If you remember how passionate Starhawk is about her chosen path, you can then understand the extremities. This book does allow for you to find your own small part in how all this plays out; you need not be as involved as Starhawk, but you may also find yourself provoked to action by the information provided.

This book is one that should be carefully read, openly discussed, and as you meditate upon the information provided, you will need to know the scope of your own abilities and how deeply your personal responsibility for the issues flows. This book may help you find this.

This is a very good look at Starhawk's recent path of earth based spirituality and responsibility for the earth, and one that every follower of Starhawk's path will want to read.

Find Starhawk's book in amazon.com:
The Earth Path Grounding Your Spirit In The Rhythms Of Nature

Labels: salem maide story  tools craft  gendered gender  bibliographical witchcraft literature  enchanted feminism francisco  witchcraft documentary record  king alex  encyclopedia witches witchcraft  rabba holy  midnight azothoz adversary  liber   magick potions easy  reconsidered magicians clergy  sketches magic  

Wednesday, 18 October 2006

Witchcraft A History Of The Black Art

Witchcraft A History Of The Black Art Cover

Book: Witchcraft A History Of The Black Art by Walter Gibson

Walter Brown Gibson (September 12, 1897 – December 6, 1985) was an American author and professional magician, best known for his work on the pulp fiction character The Shadow. Gibson, under the pen-name Maxwell Grant, wrote "more than 300 novel-length" Shadow stories, Writing up to "10,000 words a day" to satisfy public demand during the character's golden age in the 1930s and 1940s. He also authored several novels in the Biff Brewster juvenile series of the 1960s. He was married to Litzka R. Gibson, also a writer, and the couple lived in New York state.

Download Walter Gibson's eBook: Witchcraft A History Of The Black Art


Arthur Edward Waite - The Real History Of The Rosicrucians Part I
Alan Macfarlane - Witchcraft In History Of The English Speaking Peoples
Walter Gibson - Witchcraft A History Of The Black Art

Sunday, 3 September 2006

The Witch And The Demoniac In Tudor And Stuart England

The Witch And The Demoniac In Tudor And Stuart England Cover

Book: The Witch And The Demoniac In Tudor And Stuart England by Stephanie Du Barry

This analysis will argue that that very few of the accused witches in Tudor and Stuart England were in fact insane but that the accusers, whether possessed or otherwise "bewitched" were far more likely to be suffering from some form of mental disorder. witchcraft beliefs in Tudor and Stuart England were seldom employed to attack the mentally ill, instead they were used to explain mental illness in many cases1. Contrary to many psychological textbooks, such as the works of Gregory Zilboorg, very few accused witches were insane by contemporary standards nor by our own standards.

Zilboorg, along with other nineteenth and twentieth century psychologist/writers, confused the witch with the demoniac (possessed) and proclaims that both were suffering from a variety of mental disorders. Alexander and Selesnick in their history of Psychiatry also fail to make a distinction between the witch and the possessed when they stated "Psychotic women with little control of their sexual fantasies and sacrilegious feelings were the clearest examples of demoniacal possession and in turning against them the church increased an already mounting fear of the mentally deranged". The church never turned against the possessed., it turned against the witch - who it saw as a person committing the utmost treason against mankind - trafficking with the Prince of Evil. These psychiatric historians are not simply reiterating the facts of psychiatry's past. They are fashioning only one of many possible views of the past based on their own biased assumptions concerning human nature. At least one modern historian of the witchcraft phenomenon, however, sees the works of Zilboorg et al as an oversimplification to see necessary connections between witchcraft and antisocial behaviour. The psychologists were making a profession out of propagating the medical model of abnormal behaviour but their interpretation proves inadequate when studying the complex history of witchcraft.

Download Stephanie Du Barry's eBook: The Witch And The Demoniac In Tudor And Stuart England

Free eBooks (Can Be Downloaded):

Elizabeth Reis - The Devil The Body And The Feminine Soul In Puritan New England
Alan Macfarlane - Witchcraft In Tudor And Stuart Essex
Stephanie Du Barry - The Witch And The Demoniac In Tudor And Stuart England

Wednesday, 30 August 2006

Witchcraft Coverns History

Witchcraft Coverns History Cover People have been gathering together for centuries. Wither by practical purpose to survive in the harsh world of the time, or for simple kinship. As within society today, people also gathered together in smaller groups for common purpose. This is true of early pagans around the ancient world.

Covens have been referenced in literature as early as the 12th century. In the Polycraticus, John of Salisbury describes organized groups of witches who carry on at wild sabbats. A story popular in the Middle Ages concerns an event with St. Germain (390-448), in which he encounters villagers preparing a dinner for the "good women who walk about at night" dancing with the spirits.

During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance the existence of covens was taken more seriously. The judges of the inquisition tortured witches into confessions of being part of 13 member covens, and forced them into providing the names of the other participants. The Church believed this would allow them to throw a wide net around these 'criminals'.

The earliest known documented reference (outside of literature) to a coven is from a 1324 witch trial in Kilkenny, Ireland. Dame Alice Kyteler was accused of being part of a 13-member group and was being forced to reveal the other members. Dame Alice refused and was executed for her insolence and being a witch. By the 1700s, the concept of a coven was firmly established in society. But many quickly went under ground and became secret to avoid the persecution of the Church.

Some witches of today claim to be members of covens that date back generations. Sybil Leek's New Forest coven claims to be 800 years old. Some covens may indeed be old, but there is little practical or accepted evidence to indicate that these covens have existed in unbroken lines throughout the centuries. That doesn't mean it's not true, just hard to prove beyond reasonable doubt.

European witches were and are not, the only pagans to gather in groups. The earliest known records of the Druids come from the 3rd century BC and describe Druid Groves. Formal organizations were also known as Bangors. Both of these were groups of Druid Priests who became teachers, leaders and even judges when necessary of their local communities.

In addition to the Druids, and some say prior to their formalization, there were the Irish Clans. Family groups usually, who were lead by a warrior leader and a spiritual Shaman. This is the basic concept of Celtic Shamanism which is slightly different than the Druidic Order. In these groups, Shamans gathered Together With the Clan for ritual work. At times their workings required them to meet alone without the laymen of the Clan. In these cases, the gathers would consist of at least 3 members if possible. But many Shamans of a Clan worked alone. During special events, Shamans from neighboring Clans would also gather together for spiritual workings.

Across the waters, the Norse also had/have their own coven versions called Kindreds. These groups are formed with members, who the existing practioners would want to be in their own family and extended family. This is how many Kindreds are formed today in Vinland. Today the Asatru Alliance promotes the founding and growth of Kindreds, and that through the pages of their publication, Vor Tru, they reach out to many of the Folk, or people of the Kindreds.

For further details about each of these groups, I'll be adding postings to each section listed on the Witchcraft & Shamanism menu. Stay tuned.

Free eBooks (Can Be Downloaded):

Walter Gibson - Witchcraft A History Of The Black Art
Isaac Bonewits - Witchcraft A Concise Guide
Fransis Bragge - Witchcraft Farther Displayd
Gerald Gardner - Witchcraft Today
Anonymous - Witchcraft Dictionary

Friday, 18 August 2006

The Witches Clan Of Tubal Cain

The Witches Clan Of Tubal Cain Cover The Clan of Tubal Cain was Cochrane’s coven which was active in the 1960s and still exists in a different incarnation within two different lines today. The name came from Bowers’ time as a blacksmith, the practice of which is steeped with folklore. He named his coven after Tubal Cain, the first blacksmith, who is also a masonic deity. They were a robed tradition, practicing rituals mainly outdoors. They observed the Sabbats and Esbats and worshipped the Goddess and God as the ancient powers of nature. Cochrane was enamored with Graves The White Goddess as well as the concept of the Divine King. He was known to his coven members for his love of riddles and mystification of teachings. The tradition usually used a stang instead of an altar; a forked ash staff with an iron nail hammered into the base, decorated with wreaths and crossed arrows for the sabbats. His rituals were unique and effective and have been adapted by many modern traditional witchcraft covens along with his coven’s other practices.

The Birth of 1734

The unique thing about Bowers is that unlike the other witchcraft personalities of the time, he never wrote a single book nor had more than the one coven. He became famous from his letters of correspondence with a young american, Joe Wilson, in the year before his death. From the teachings and religious philosophy within Bowers’ letters and articles, Wilson founded the 1734 Tradition in the United States supplemented with knowledge from both his first craft teacher and Ruth Wynn-Owen of Y Plant Bran. 1734 was founded by Joseph Wilson, and is a separate tradition from Bowers’ own Clan of Tubal Cain. 1734 is a riddle of Cochrane’s, in solving the riddle of the number you will find the name of the Goddess.

Later in his life Wilson started to moved away from 1734 and focused on forming a group, the Toteg Tribe, based on shamanic teachings. Wilson died in August of 2004 and is much missed by the community. The 1734 tradition was continued by Joe’s students and Dave and Ann Finnin who founded The Ancient Keltic Church in California and who travelled to England to meet Evan John Jones.

Suggested free e-books to read:

Michael Ford - The Witch Cult Of Zos Vel Thanatos
Friedrich Adler - The Witchcraft Trial In Moscow

Sunday, 13 August 2006

The Encyclopedia Of Witches Witchcraft And Wicca

The Encyclopedia Of Witches Witchcraft And Wicca Cover

Book: The Encyclopedia Of Witches Witchcraft And Wicca by Rosemary Ellen Guiley

This edition retains the balanced tone and thorough research of the previous two (The Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft, 1989 and 1999). In more than 480 entries, Paranormal expert Guiley covers both historical witchcraft, such as the Salem witches,Santa Fe witches, and Stamford witches of the seventeenth century, and contemporary issues and concerns. Topics such as different types of witchcraft, fairies, folk magic, the occult, pagan practices, voodoo or vodun, spells, demons, charms, and magic circles are clearly defined. Descriptions of beliefs, and rituals connected to witchcraft, and biographies of individuals, both historical and fictional, living and dead (for example, Aleister Crowley, Morgan le Fay, Margaret Alice Murray, and Starhawk), are included. In addition to updates of contemporary biographies, this edition contains new Wicca-related material, as indicated by the addition of the word Wicca to the title. Short lists of further reading, a number of them updated, follow many of the entries. The lengthy bibliography has been expanded and updated as well. Offering a broader Perspective than many arcane resources on this popular subject, this volume is suited to casual readers and researchers. --Susan Awe --

Buy Rosemary Ellen Guiley's book: The Encyclopedia Of Witches Witchcraft And Wicca

Books in PDF format to read:

John Mitchell - The Philosophy Of Witchcraft
Lawton Winslade - Teen Witches Wiccans And Wanna Blessed Be
George Miller Beard - The Psychology Of The Salem Witchcraft Excitement Of 1692
Robert Ellwood - The Encyclopedia Of World Religions
Rosemary Ellen Guiley - The Encyclopedia Of Witches Witchcraft And Wicca

Saturday, 15 July 2006

Reclaiming The Pagan Worldview The Heart Of Mysticism

Reclaiming The Pagan Worldview The Heart Of Mysticism Cover

Book: Reclaiming The Pagan Worldview The Heart Of Mysticism by Robin Artisson

The more I study mythology and folklore, the more I come to the same conclusion that people from every age of this world have come to: myths are the most precious treasures bequeathed to us by generations long past. It has become very fashionable to look down on mythology and other narratives that feature elements that are seen as “supernatural” or which border on the “irrational” as though they represent failings of human reason in the face of the unknown, but it is my opinion that the true "failing” is found in people who cannot think multi-dimensionally about the things they experience.

Download Robin Artisson's eBook: Reclaiming The Pagan Worldview The Heart Of Mysticism

Suggested free e-books to read:

George Robert Stowe Mead - Echoes From The Gnosis Vol Iv The Hymn Of Jesus
Robin Artisson - Reclaiming The Pagan Worldview The Heart Of Mysticism

Monday, 10 July 2006

Gendered Alter Wiccan Concepts Of Gender And Ritual Objects

Gendered Alter Wiccan Concepts Of Gender And Ritual Objects Cover

Book: Gendered Alter Wiccan Concepts Of Gender And Ritual Objects by Jesse Daniel Sloan

Many ethnographic accounts within the annals of anthropological literature describe the religious beliefs and magical rituals of peoples throughout the world. Fewer scholars have focused on the relatively young Neo-Pagan religious movement. “Neo-Pagan,” explains Helen Berger in Voices from the Pagan Census (2003), “is an umbrella term covering sects of a new religious movement, the largest and most important form of which is…Wicca” (Berger et al. 2003: 1). This thesis examines the relationship between practice and ideology by analyzing the material culture of Wiccan altars as used by Wiccans in Central Florida, USA. Particular attention is paid to beliefs concerning concepts of gender associated with ritual objects, and concepts of gender and sexuality as understood by practitioners. Many Wiccans see divinity as manifested in two complementary beings: the Goddess and the God. The fertility that these divine beings achieve through sexual union is the subject of an elaborate ritual called the Great Rite. A pair of Wiccans, often a masculine High Priest and a feminine High Priestess, conduct this ritual by manipulating specific objects, which are believed to be strongly gendered. I argue that Wiccan rituals reflect, construct, and reinforce the Wiccan precept of a gender-balanced cosmos through the interaction of these primary ritual actors and the gendered objects they manipulate. As a practicing Wiccan, my theoretical approach is aligned with that of the native scholar. The native scholar faces challenges distancing her or himself from research, but gains opportunities from insider knowledge. Wiccan ideology stands in contrast to heteronormative conventions of gender and sexuality. However, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Wiccans may need to actively negotiate for representation in this movement, where fertility is stressed. Wiccans continuously reinvent established practices in an attempt to create a more satisfying religious community.

This thesis is dedicated to Scott Stearns, Abraham Kooiman, James W. Price, Patrick Stewart, Jerome Birnbaum, Gary Combs, Jan Deanna O’Rourke, A. Douglas Wilkey, John P. Graff, Stephen P. Snowberger III, Jason A. Schumann, Tiffany Stone, Casey Trapani and the over 1,800 self-identifying Wiccans who have served and currently serve in the Armed Forces of these United States. Dedication also extends to their spouses, family, friends and dutiful clergy, who led the effort to have the Pentacle added to the official registry of religious emblems that may be engraved on government-issued memorial markers. May Liberty’s torch shine on us all.

Download Jesse Daniel Sloan's eBook: Gendered Alter Wiccan Concepts Of Gender And Ritual Objects

Suggested free e-books to read:

Pat Holliday - Miracle Deliverance Power Of Pagan Names And Christian Names
Jesse Daniel Sloan - Gendered Alter Wiccan Concepts Of Gender And Ritual Objects

Thursday, 22 June 2006

Civility And The Decline Of Magic

Civility And The Decline Of Magic Cover

Book: Civility And The Decline Of Magic by Keith Thomas

One of the most puzzling aspects of the emergence of a new kind of world in the last few centuries in the West is the development of what we now call 'science'. The shift from a magical and religious dominated cosmology to a mechanistic and secular one, though far from complete and far from confined to the period roughly between 1550 and 1850, is in general undisputable. Until that time it had not happened in other civilizations such as China, Japan or the Islamic world, which had much earlier reached a higher level of craft knowledge than anything then current in Europe. So why did it happen where it did, when it did, and why did it happen at all? A number of historians, for example Thomas Kuhn and Michel Foucault, have drawn attention to the 'paradigmatic' or 'epistemic' shift manifested in the work of Galileo, Descartes and others. Yet while providing examples of the shift, neither has been able to put forward any plausible explanation of why the shift occurred. Indeed they both specifically state that they leave it to others to explain why. More recently we have been given an excellent, revised, picture of the earlier magic cosmology and its continuity with the later 'scientific' one by Stuart Clark. Yet once again, the author explicitly states that he is not attempting to provide any explanation of why the cosmologies changed over time. Some of the most stimulating suggestions concerning the reasons for the change have, in fact, come from anthropologists, who draw attention to the importance of literacy, the 'trade-travel' complex, Protestantism, the clash of cultures and other factors in the movement to the 'Open society' of modern science and technology.

Download Keith Thomas's eBook: Civility And The Decline Of Magic

Free eBooks (Can Be Downloaded):

Rabbi Michael Laitman - Kabbalah Science And The Meaning Of Life
Hippolyte Taine - Witchcraft And The Suspicion Of Witchery
Belle Wagner - Within The Temple Of Isis
Israel Regardie - The Art And Meaning Of Magic
Keith Thomas - Civility And The Decline Of Magic

Monday, 19 June 2006

Altars And Altar Setup

Altars And Altar Setup Cover
Your altar does not have to be elaborate. It can be a small table, a mantelpiece, windowsill, a shelf in a bookcase, or what ever else is handy in the house. It can be round, to represent the Goddess, square, symbolic of the elements, rectangular or oval. It may be a small area of ground in a field or wood.

You may decorate it with crystals, talismans, herbs, flowers, or my favorite, feathers. Anything that has special meaning to you. It is a reflection of the person who puts it together.

It is considered best to place the altar facing north. This direction symbolizes the power flow from darkness to light. It is associated with the Earth. Some face the south with their altars to honor the sun as it rises.

The altar is usually stands in the center of the circle.

We do not believe the Goddess or God actually "inhabit" the altar. It is a place of power. We are not "idol worshipers". These are manifestations of the creative forces found in nature everywhere.

It may be set up permanently or dismantled after use.

Altar Setup

The Goddess is associated with the left side of the altar. The Goddess may be represent by a white, silver, or green candle. A sculpture or some sort of figure may be used. Tools that are associated with the Goddess are the Cup, Pentacle, Bell, crystals and Cauldron. If the Cauldron is large, it is usually placed on the floor to the left.

The God is associated with the right side. A sculpture or a figure of some sort may be used to represent the God. A red, yellow or gold candle is appropriate. Tools associated with the God are, the Censer, Wand, Athame, and Boline.

The Censer and Cauldron are sometimes set in the middle for offerings to both Goddess and God.

The Pentacle is sometimes set in front of the censer. It marks the Directions and/or Elements.

Many Wiccans mark North, South, East and West with candles on the altar, space permitting.

Unless you have a very large altar, you will need a stand for the Book of Shadows, or place it on the floor where you will not step on it.

As you can see, it is up to you to find what is pleasing.

Altar cloths are sometimes used. The color changes for the holidays or ritual.

Free e-books (can be downloaded):

Aleister Crowley - Alice An Adultery
Aleister Crowley - Ahab And Other Poems
Aleister Crowley - The Star And The Garter

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Tuesday, 30 May 2006

Pagans In Prison Our Brothers And Sisters Behind Bars

Pagans In Prison Our Brothers And Sisters Behind Bars Cover

Book: Pagans In Prison Our Brothers And Sisters Behind Bars by Kenaz Filan

Today many inmates are finding spiritual solace through Wicca and Neopaganism. Some were Witches before their incarceration: others come to the Craft during their time Behind Bars. Whatever combination of misbehavior and misfortune led to their imprisonment, these Pagan prisoners serve the Goddess and follow their faith despite frequent hostility of their fellow convicts and prison administrators.

Used with writed permissions of Kenaz Filan.

Buy Kenaz Filan's book: Pagans In Prison Our Brothers And Sisters Behind Bars

Books in PDF format to read:

Shanddaramon - Self Initiation For The Solitary Witch
Robin Artisson - Path Of Initiation The Fivefold Pattern Of The Witching Way
Wouter Hanegraaff - Dictionary Of Gnosis And Western Esotericism
John Ronald Tolkien - Introduction To The Elder Edda
Kenaz Filan - Pagans In Prison Our Brothers And Sisters Behind Bars

Sunday, 21 May 2006

Teutonic Magic The Magical And Spiritual Practices Of The Germanic Peoples

Teutonic Magic The Magical And Spiritual Practices Of The Germanic Peoples Cover

Book: Teutonic Magic The Magical And Spiritual Practices Of The Germanic Peoples by Kveldulf Gundarsson

This is not a dry academic book. Gundarssons' writing flows like the sagas themselves, covering subjects such as norse deities and rituals. It describes the structure of the spiritual realms in which the Norse Magician would walk. It is no wonder that this book is considered the classic text book of anyone who would study runes or the Northern tradition.

Download Kveldulf Gundarsson's eBook: Teutonic Magic The Magical And Spiritual Practices Of The Germanic Peoples

Books in PDF format to read:

Eliphas Levi - The Magic Ritual Of The Sanctum Regnum
Richard Alan Miller - The Magical And Ritual Use Of Herbs
Medieval Grimoires - Arbatel Of Magic Or The Spiritual Wisdom Of The Ancients
Kveldulf Gundarsson - Teutonic Magic The Magical And Spiritual Practices Of The Germanic Peoples

Saturday, 6 May 2006

To Be Wiccan Is To Be A Free

To Be Wiccan Is To Be A Free Cover Religion is one of the freedoms. People are born with here. It was one of the reasons the Puritans traveled from Britain to America in the 1600’s. Historically, the Puritans did not want to convert to Roman Catholicism. During that time, they were discriminated against for their beliefs, however, it is no different from today. Presently, many people are still criticized for their beliefs, and the religion most criticized is Wicca, mostly by the Christian and Roman Catholic religions. Studying both religions briefly, both, in general, are similar. In the United States, there are about 135,000 people who identified themselves as Wiccan, according to American religious Identification Survey.

Sometimes referred to as the Old Religion, Wicca was popularized in the 1950’s by Gerald Gardner, hence the Garnerian Wicca tradition. Other traditions with specific rituals and practices include Eclectic Wicca, Traditional Wicca, and Green Wicca.

Like the Ten Commandments within the Christian religion, Wiccans have their own text as well, called The Wiccan Rede. In addition, they have a book full of religious texts called The Book of Shadows, as well as the Holy Bible for Christians.

Many believe that the Wiccan Religion comprises of only spells, incantations, and rituals. Most Wiccans communicate with nature spiritually on a daily basis as part of their daily ritual. It does not exactly mean Wiccans brew potions or casts spells during the late hours of night. Like the Christian Christmas holiday, Wiccans celebrate Yule, in which they feast and exchange gifts as well. Also like Christians, Wiccans also have a church to worship their divinities, and recite texts from their Book of Shadows.

The basic concept of Wicca is duotheistic: One God and one Goddess. Some Wiccans being monotheistic, they keep constant contact with their divinities through meditation or any other form of divination. With every Sabbat and full-moon Esbats, they have certain rituals they tend to that correspond to that certain Sabbat or Esbat. There are eight Sabbats: Yule, Imbolc, Ostara (Easter), Beltane, Litha, Lughnassadh, Mabon, and Samhain (Halloween).

Judging from texts, sabbats, and certain ritualistic procedures, Wicca is no different from any other religion that exist here in the United States. With a more open mind, more people will be able to accept others for their religious beliefs. If not, then history will become the present, only more discreetly. (by Felecia S. Ewald)

Suggested free e-books to read:

Kaatryn Macmorgan Douglas - All One Wicca Book 2 A Grimoire
Charles Wentworth Upham - Salem Witchcraft And Cotton Mather A Reply
Aj Drew - A Wiccan Bible

Thursday, 27 April 2006

The Threefold Law

The Threefold Law Cover
Whereas the Wiccan Rede represents the foundation upon which our ethics are constructed, the Threefold Law represents the consequences of not adhering to the Rede. The Three-Fold Law states that both the good and bad that you create in thought, word, and deed will be returned to you threefold. In other words, good deeds are magnified in like form back to the doer, and so are ill deeds. The Three-Fold Law is therefore seen as a pragmatic reason for ethical behavior and compliance with the Wiccan Rede.

Free e-books (can be downloaded):

Morwyn - The Golden Dawn
Howard Phillips Lovecraft - The Terrible Old Man

Keywords: gendered wiccan concepts  heathen ethics values  astrologo herbs nation  2009 imbolc lughnassadh  merry spring equinox  

Evolutionary Witchcraft

Evolutionary Witchcraft Cover

Book: Evolutionary Witchcraft by Thorn Coyle

This is not your average Wicca 101 book. (In fact, there are good reasons why Feri Witchcraft should not be called Wicca, but that's another story.) There are no spells here, no tables of correspondences, no pre-made rituals for solar or lunar holidays. Instead, there are meditations or practices that work with the breath, with posture, with movement and dance, with the magical tools of blade and cup, and with stories, deities, and concepts specific to Feri Tradition such as the Peacock God and the Iron and Pearl Pentacles. Thorn's writing is clear, powerful, and poetic without being forced; in reading this book, I found myself remembering how breathtaking The Spiral Dance was when I first read in 1979, the year of its publication, how Starhawk's words swept me away into a world of new possibilities. I believe Evolutionary Witchcraft will do the same for a new generation of people who want to deepen their connection to spirit, to the earth, and to their best selves.

First, a word about what this book is thankfully not. Although it has plenty of information and exercises that will be useful to beginners, it is not an introductory book on witchcraft. The program of training presented here is a challenging one, with a serious focus on personal growth and development. Those who are accustomed to the relatively shallow, sweetness-and-light approach of New Age personal development books will find themselves in much deeper waters here.

Secondly, this book is not yet another reframing of common-knowledge neopagan models and techniques. Coyle is working out of a unique pagan tradition, one that has its own specific spiritual technology and models of approaching magick. Although practitioners of other traditions are sure to find resonances with their systems, tools such as the Iron Pentacle are unique to the Feri and Reclaiming traditions. More importantly, however, these tools make sense outside a Feri context, and practitioners of other paths will find them to be important additions to their magickal repetoires. No one in Western society is free of the cultural baggage that hangs on Sex, Pride, Self, Power, or Passion, and Coyle provides meditations and exercises that effectively break down the personal and cultural barriers that keep these important energies bound.

Thorn Coyle is a Witch, an initiate of the Feri Tradition in which Starhawk (author of The Spiral Dance) was trained, and an initiate also of Reclaiming, the political collective and Craft tradition of which Starhawk is the best-known founder. Evolutionary Witchcraft is a logical successor to The Spiral Dance: a manual of Feri Witchcraft, a compendium of training derived from her own teaching experience, designed to give people who may not want to or have the opportunity to be directly initiated into Feri a chance to use its basic tools to improve their lives.

Finally, a few words about what 'Evolutionary Witchcraft' is. EW is a well-written, down-to-earth, extremely coherent book on Feri witchcraft that is yet designed to be accessible to practitioners of any magickal path. It is packed with practical exercises without entirely ignoring theory, and it structures its training program within a unique and exciting Feri aesthetic. As a former student of Victor and Cora Anderson, the poetic and eclectic founders of the Feri tradition, Thorn Coyle gives us her own evolutionary, socially-aware twist on the Feri line while remaining close to the richness of the source.

Find Thorn Coyle's book in amazon.com:
Evolutionary Witchcraft

Suggested free e-books to read:

Ann Moura - Green Witchcraft
Michael Bailey - Historical Dictionary Of Witchcraft

Wednesday, 26 April 2006

An Introduction Into Wand Making

An Introduction Into Wand Making Cover
I was introduced to Wand Making at a fun workshop that was organised by myself and some wonderful spiritual friends. Wand making is not only great fun but rewarding that you have your very own wand created with your energy. The wands above are some of the wands made at the workshop.

- A length of copper tub/pipe about 10 - 12 inches (half inch in diameter)
- A Quartz point crystal, just over half inch in diameter (so it will fit into, but drop through the copper pipe) and at least 2 - 3 inches long.
- A small polished tumble stone that will fit into the end of the copper pipe. Something like Red Jasper or Amethyst etc...
- A length of bias cut ribbon - long enough to be wound around the copper pipe. (A yard/metre is more than enough).
- Oddments of narrow ribbon to decorate the wand.


- Make four small cuts into one end of the copper pipe, about an inch in length, using a small hack saw.
- Gently prise these "claws" open with a pair of pliers, before you insert the quartz point, you can pack the pipe with kitchen paper etc... so that the crystal will not drop down into the pipe. Using the pliers close the "claws" around the crystal to ensure a tight fit, so that the crystal will not fall out.
- Thread the bias cut ribbon around the claws and start to bind the copper tightly, overlapping the ribbon as you go, ensuring that no copper is visible.
- When you reach the other end of the copper pipe, cut off the ribbon, leaving enough to tuck up inside the pipe.
- Now insert the tumble stone into the end, ensuring a tight fit - to secure the ribbon in place.
- Decorate the wand to your own taste and requirements, using oddments of ribbon etc...
- You can use glue to fix the crystals in place, but I feel that it is better not to if a secure fix can be achieved without it.

"Top Tip" is to use a rolled up piece of kitchen roll and stuff it down inside the copper pipe, this is secured in place with glue and then the crystal can be "bedded down" onto the paper tissue to prevent it dropping down inside the pipe. You can use crystal points at both ends if you want to. I have made wands using Amethyst and Citrine points at both ends, with good results. Happy wand-making!

Free e-books (can be downloaded):

Anonymous - Introduction To The Old Religion Lesson 8
William Wynn Westcott - An Introduction To The Study Of The Kabalah

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Saturday, 8 April 2006

Ae Waite Book Of Black Magic And Pacts

Ae Waite Book Of Black Magic And Pacts Cover Arthur Edward Waite was a mystic writer from the early 20th century who was a big part of the Golden Age of occultism. Waite, as it is claimed by some, was biased against occultism though he was deeply involved in magical groups. His preference ran toward more mystical experience of the mysteries and his writings on Ceremonial Magic often reflect that bias, but he was also a first rate and conscientious scholar so his perspective is unusual and often refreshing.

Thus his Book of black magic (also know as Book of Ceremonial Magic and The book of spells and Rituals) straddles the academic and the mystical in presenting portions and reviews of some of the most popular grimoires that have been circulating the occult community for centuries. This book translates some hard to find material and is a great reference book for the Ceremonialist that lays out the facts about the material you’ll be immersed in.

Free eBooks (Can Be Downloaded):

Ea Wallis Budge - The Book Of Am Tuat
Aleister Crowley - Book 4 Part Iii Magick In Theory And Practice
Michael Ford - Book Of Wamphyri And Shadows
Opus Majus - The Book Of The Black Serpent

Sunday, 12 March 2006

A Brief Explanation Of Ancient And Recent History Of Witchcraft

A Brief Explanation Of Ancient And Recent History Of Witchcraft Cover Ancient History

You’ve probably seen movies or read books on witches and only found ugly women with warts, making potions and voodoo dolls over a boiling cauldron; but the truth is witches (actually meaning “Wise Ones”), were healers, pagan clergy, and medicine people. They worshipped nature and celebrated the seasons. However, the newly founded Christian church was always in competition with the pagans. What better way to make pagans convert than by torture, threats of being hanged or burned at the stake, or convincing them that their religion was evil? The church also took many of their customs and holidays, as you will see later. Witchcraft has never fully been destroyed; there was, is, and always will be individuals that will stand up for their religion and not be converted by force.

Recent History

• Before the 1950s, Witches had to practice in secret covens usually in a deserted wood, meadow, beach, or in one of their houses.
• In the mid-50’s a man named Gerald Gardner joined a coven and broke the seal of secrecy in fear that the Wiccan Religion would be lost.
• There have been many sects of Wicca since then that emphasize different aspects…the most famous being Alexandrian, Gardnerian, Celtic, Caledonii, Dianic, Eclectic, Hereditary, Pictish, Seax, Stregeria, and Welsh.


• Every person, animal, rock, fish, tree, insect, bird, and plant is part of one great life force, which animates the universe.
• Existence of magick (spelled differently to differentiate from stage magic)-often described as the bending and forming of natural energy to create will.
• All energy should be used wisely and in order to help the world as a whole and not for individual gain.
• The soul is eternal…constantly expanding its spiritual knowledge through reincarnation until it has achieved perfection, upon which it enters a heaven-like realm.
• Wiccans DO NOT believe in Satan or Hell, for both of them are Christian concepts that give evil form and therefore give it power.
• Wiccans DO NOT believe in hexes and curses.
• Wiccans believe that no one religion is right and therefore, they do not try to convert others unless they come willingly by their own knowledge.

Free eBooks (Can Be Downloaded):

Anonymous - A True Relation Of The Araignment Of Thirty Witches
John Stearne - A Confirmation And Discovery Of Witchcraft
George Lincoln Burr - New England Place In The History Of Witchcraft

Monday, 27 February 2006

European Paganism The Realities Of Cult From Antiquity To The Middle Ages

European Paganism The Realities Of Cult From Antiquity To The Middle Ages Cover

Book: European Paganism The Realities Of Cult From Antiquity To The Middle Ages by Ken Dowden

This book has grown out of that experience in datacompression. I have always believed that smaller areas were best understood in larger contexts and in many ways the whole question of paganism in Europe requires the largest of views. The largest of views, however, takes more room and more time than one would ever imagine, and what started in the mind’s eye as a short book giving a good representative sample of the range of pagan phenomena has grown into a larger book which still seems to leave so much out. I would like a lifetime to write the real, encyclopaedic version of this book. But it might stretch to a volume or two...

My aim was not to write a history of pagan Europe—that has been done with real commitment by Jones and Pennick (1995) —nor to write a history of the decline and fall of paganism to Christianity, which is just as well as Fletcher has now written a glorious book (1997) on just that subject. Rather, I wanted to show paganism in action, see what it looked and felt like, let the reader see the evidence and listen to the authors, even boring old Caesarius of Arles and grumpy Maximus of Turin.

I have tried to focus on living paganism and the witness of the written word, I have been less interested but not uninterested in the deductions to be made from archaeology. I have cited archaeological material where it helps the picture under discussion but not gone back to prehistory. This has also dictated the time period that I have allowed. Wherever there is a written account of some aspect of paganism, I have wanted to be able to include it.

I hope that this book for all its shortcomings and omissions will give readers access to much more information and a much fuller view than they ever had before.

Download Ken Dowden's eBook: European Paganism The Realities Of Cult From Antiquity To The Middle Ages

Suggested free e-books to read:

Anonymous - Beltane Pagan Ritual Of Interest To Neo Pagans
Ken Dowden - European Paganism The Realities Of Cult From Antiquity To The Middle Ages

Thursday, 23 February 2006

If You Do Decide To Seek A Coven

If You Do Decide To Seek A Coven Cover If you do decide to seek a coven, there are some extra warnings you should keep in mind.

* Practioners of Witchcraft do not believe in Satan or satanic worship. We don't even believe in the existence of such an evil creature. But many "satanic cults" are structured like a coven. So be very careful and cautious as you search for a group to join.
* Witchcraft practioners believe in the sanctity of all life. Which means we do not believe in animal or human sacrifices of any kind. That includes torture, abuse or any other harmful act.
* The practices of Witchcraft are with positive intent and purpose, respecting all things. Which means you should never be asked to do something you don't want to do, or that 'feels' wrong to you. A priest or priestess who requires sexual interaction in order for you to attain a new level of spiritual enlightenment is a false spiritual teacher. This is not respect, it is harassment and abuse of power in my view. The GreatSpirits do not need us for physical gratification. There are covens who include an aspect of sexual interaction as a Representation of the joining of the God/Goddess. But in my humble view, this isn't needed.
* Trust is a very important part of a coven or even the Participation of a small group. 2 or more gathered together can accomplish just as much as a formal coven. No one should feel as though they are in danger, that your morals are going to be compromised or your principles will be condemned in any way.

Thankfully the 'burning' days are over and society is beginning to recognize that the craft in what ever form is of a positive nature and not something to fear or condemn. Because of this, many covens are forming or coming out of the shadows all over the world. You can start by doing a little research on your own through the web, or local spiritual stores in your area to find a coven or even just a group of people who meet for tea and coffee.

Choose your path with thought and reverence, with positive intent and with a open heart and mind. May the light of the Divine be shown upon your path as you find your road to travel.

Free eBooks (Can Be Downloaded):

Keith Thomas - Civility And The Decline Of Magic
Anonymous - Witchcraft A Guide To Magic
Isaac Bonewits - An Open Letter To Selena Fox

Tuesday, 14 February 2006

Monday, 13 February 2006

Witches Wives And Mothers

Witches Wives And Mothers Cover

Book: Witches Wives And Mothers by Louise Jackson

Witches, Wives and Mothers: witchcraft persecution and women’s confessions in seventeenth-century England by LOUISE JACKSON.

The confessions made by the Suffolk women charged With Witchcraft in 1645 indicate that, in many cases, accused women were contextualising their own Experiences within a wider Demonological framework. Often they were judging themselves in their roles as wives and mothers – the witch, after all, was the behavioural opposite of the stereotypical role model of the ‘good wife’. There are noticeable references to infanticide, suicide and possible abuse. It could well be that women who possessed no other language to describe certain traumatic experiences took on the conceptual framework of demonology as a way of explaining events. Witch-hunting was a method of behavioural control in which women as victims (in many senses of the word) were themselves participating because they had no other framework of reference.

Download Louise Jackson's eBook: Witches Wives And Mothers

Free eBooks (Can Be Downloaded):

Kathryn Paulsen - Witches Potions And Spells
Edward Hare - Bewitched And Bothered
Louise Jackson - Witches Wives And Mothers

Wednesday, 1 February 2006

The Witchcraft Sourcebook

The Witchcraft Sourcebook Cover

Book: The Witchcraft Sourcebook by Brian Levack

If you are considering Levack's Sourcebook, then chances are you already know something about witchcraft. This collection of documents ranges from classical antiquity to the twentieth century, although most documents fall in the Early Modern period and the great age of witch hunts. The documents are well chosen and edited.

The Witchcraft Sourcebook will benefit both undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in the study of Western religion and history. It will also serve as an excellent supplemental reader in most general survey courses in Western Civilization. The topic is one that often enthralls students, and it will help them to understand pivotal cultural phenomena that transcended political and religious boundaries.

This is good stuff, and Levack hits the highlights such as the Canon Episcopi, Nider, Kramer, Weyer and Spee. If those names mean something to you, then I would highly recommend this book, as it is an excellent collection of relevant documents. If they don't, then you might want to start somewhere else that would put these things in more context (although he does have a small Introduction to each document in the book).

Buy Brian Levack's book: The Witchcraft Sourcebook

Free eBooks (Can Be Downloaded):

Friedrich Adler - The Witchcraft Trial In Moscow
Tarostar - The Witchs Spellcraft Revised
Archmage Bob Andrews - Old Witchcraft Secrets

Friday, 20 January 2006

Tool Time

Tool Time Cover
I met one of my online friends because of a message she posted on a board regarding tools. She asked if it was necessary to have every tool in order to be a Wiccan and if it was necessary to spend a lot of money on them because someone told her both things were true. I posted a reply explaining that she did not have to have every tool upfront, paying more for them did not make them better and when all was said and done, the magick was in her and the tools were just props. We are still in contact and she has returned the favor by giving me advice at a difficult time in my life.

It has been said that it is possible to practice magick without any tools but yourself and I have found that to be true. I have conducted rituals and raised power strictly in my head, but I prefer it with tools and find it more fulfilling that way. Seeing tools, especially on an altar, sets the mood and tells your subconscious that it is time for ritual and all the emotions and focus involved in it. I have participated in a group ritual only once and there was an altar and tools as well as a candle for each participant. I imagine that it would be quite difficult to have an effective group ritual without tools because it would not be likely that everyone could have the same focus and imagination that it takes to perform a ritual without tools.

Each tool and other items on your altar serve as a visual/physical representation of an element and/or purpose. Besides, it can be fun to find and use them and you don’t even have to grunt, “more power.” It is easier to focus on calling the elements to your circle when you are looking at and touching objects that represent them. Many Wiccans purify the ritual area with the elements at the start of ritual and in my experience it is more effective to have an object at hand, such as a broom to sweep negativity out of the area, than to just visualize it. Candles definitely add to the mood of a ritual and can be used for candle magick. There are items that may not be considered tools in the strict sense, but are quite useful in magick. It would be impossible to work cord magick without a piece of cord or yarn or to use crystals and herbs without having them in front of you. Traditionally, we have images or representations of the Lady and Lord and it is easier to connect with a particular god or goddess when you have an image of them. There could also be items related to a type of magick you practice such as scales for justice or a hex sign for Braucherei.

While it is fun to shop for tools at a metaphysical shop or online, especially if you can afford the fancy, pretty ones, it is not necessary and spending more does not make them one bit more effective. I agree with the statement that when you make something you use in ritual, it is embedded with your own personal power, making for a stronger link. While it is not practical to make your own athame unless you are a blacksmith, it is easy to make your own wand and depending on your skill, you could make your own chalice (ceramic or wood) or pentacle altar tile out of wood, wax or ceramic. If you are skilled at sewing, you could also make your own ritual gown. I paid at total of about $65 for all the tools on my altar and spent about eleven years accumulating them. My altar cloth is 3/4 of a yard of a fabric with a moon and stars pattern that appealed to me. My broom is a cinnamon broom that is commonly used for decorative purposes and my wand is a stick from a maple tree in the front yard of a house where I lived at the time that I whittled. The chalice is a green glass goblet with a gold rim that I bought at a fast food restaurant one Yule for 99 cents and my athame is a bone letter opener purchased at a Native American pow-wow. I found my brass cauldron at a yard sale and the glass candle holders I favor can be found at any store for about a dollar each. The images of the Lady and Lord that are placed on my altar are small prints purchased for about $10 each from a Pagan artist. There are things that cost me nothing such as a black raven feather representing air but also a gift from the goddess Morrighan which fell at my feet as I was mowing the yard and a rock I found that represents earth.

The important thing when you are acquiring tools is that they appeal to you, mean something to you and fit your magickal practice. I did not purchase a traditional steel bladed athame because I like to work with the fae and iron negatively affects their energy. Two years ago, I was at a local pow-wow where Native American craftspeople were selling their wares and spotted a bone letter opener. I picked it up and held it as I would an athame and it felt right, so I bought it. If you follow a Native American influenced path you will probably want to focus on tools with that theme, but if you are Celtic or Norse, your tools will likely reflect that in some way. If you can’t afford a tool, pass on it and maybe you will have the money another day or something else will come along that you will like better.

It is not necessary to have a complete collection of tools to call yourself Wiccan. Until I found the right athame, I used my hand by curling back my ring finger, little finger and thumb like the Boy Scout salute and never had a problem casting a circle. You can use a cup you already have until you find one you want to set aside as a chalice and you could use two candles (which are cheap) to represent the Lady and Lord. I found the process of finding the right tools to be an adventure and learning experience, not to be rushed. You may find over time that your selection of tools changes. My first wand was also a stick from a tree in my yard, but I carved characters in it and stained it. I just didn’t like the way it turned out and it did not feel right in my hand, so I whittled another stick and left it plain, which suited me much better. At one time, I had a Barbie doll in a witch outfit that I used to represent our witchy “ancestors”, but I decided that the image of Barbie was not appropriate. Someone to whom I delivered mail gave me a pewter miniature of a wizard, probably from a Dungeons and Dragons game, which served the same purpose and I felt much better about using it in that manner.

Lets briefly review the purpose of the common tools. The broom or besom is used to sweep away negativity and is a symbol closely associated with witches. The athame is used to direct power, particularly in casting and taking down the circle, as well as cutting a door in the circle when necessary. It is not used for cutting anything physical. The wand is used as an instrument of communication, particularly when calling or speaking to entities. The cauldron is an instrument of transformation as well as a place where things come together to make something new. Candles provide illumination as well as having a magick of their own. Incense also sets the mood as well as representing air in the circle. The important thing to remember about tools is that they are a means to magick and a representation of something in ritual. The real magick is in each of us and we channel energy through us and our tools to accomplish our ends. If you think of ritual as a play, our tools are props in that they make it easier to perform the play and make it more meaningful, but they are not the play. Happy hunting in seeking out your tools and may it be as rewarding and educational an experience for you as it was for me.

Free e-books (can be downloaded):

Howard Phillips Lovecraft - The Temple
Aleister Crowley - To Man
Howard Phillips Lovecraft - Cool Air

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