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Monday, 23 July 2007

What Is Tradition And Witchcraft

What Is Tradition And Witchcraft Cover Traditional witchcraft is not Wicca, Neo-Pagan or associated with New Age thought. So what is it? Well, in order to come to a clear understanding, let us look at our Understanding of the words, “Traditional” and “Witchcraft.”

Well, a Tradition, or Trad, is a set of beliefs, practices, and customs that is established and possibly long established and thus inherited into modern times. What does “long established” mean? Some people think that it is an proper Tradition once a student of the Tradition has taught their own student (in other words three generations.) Others are not so sure about this, some think it must be much older. I prefer to think that it is a Tradition when the origin has obscured into history and become myth in a sense. I also like to think that most Traditions do not have a single creator, but rather a combination of innovators that have kept core beliefs alive over many years.

So assuming this is our idea of what a “Tradition” is now we must define Witchcraft. A dictionary might define witchcraft as “the practices of a witch; sorcery; magic” Let us look at the last definition, that pertaining to magic. Magic is at the core of Witchcraft and there are many definitions of magic. But my favorite is “any Extraordinary or mystical influence, a charm, power, etc.” So let us put this all together: “Traditional Witchcraft in Britain is made up of Trads, or Traditions, each one with its own set of strong spiritual beliefs, magical practices, rituals, and customs. Magic is the use of mystical influences in order to produce a desired effect. While a Trad can be contemporary, it is believed that the core beliefs and practices are long established and inherited.

Now that I have defined what a Tradition is let us discuss some of the other names you may encounter when discussing Traditional Witchcraft. The older names are sometimes still used and have their place in conversation, among these are: The Nameless Arte, The Elder Craft, and The Crooked Path. However as language evolves new names begin to be used more, these include: Traditionalism, and The Traditional Craft, the Trad Craft, and even the Craft.

Free eBooks (Can Be Downloaded):

Swain Wodening - Anglo Saxon Witchcraft
Walter Scott - Demonology And Witchcraft
John Stearne - A Confirmation And Discovery Of Witchcraft
Michael Bailey - Historical Dictionary Of Witchcraft
Alexander Roberts - A Treatise Of Witchcraft

Sunday, 22 July 2007

Black Witchcraft Foundations Of The Luciferian Path

Black Witchcraft Foundations Of The Luciferian Path Cover

Book: Black Witchcraft Foundations Of The Luciferian Path by Michael Ford

Black Witchcraft as defined within the aforementioned grimoires is about self-deification but also the further expansion of consciousness, transforming the mundane into the divine, thus the antinomian and Satanic symbolism. But herein is cipher and clue to the essence of the Luciferian path, it is both commitment and the possession of the lower and higher aspects of Daemonic identification which empowers the Godforms found in the forbidden and black grimoires of such as ADAMU, VOX SABBATUM, LIBER HVHI and Luciferian Witchcraft. There is no mere psychodrama and within the circle of the wise does the magician seek a higher spirit outside of his or her being; they seek it within and the choreography and instruments of ritual are merely self-empowered tools to aide in the process of Becoming. 'Skir-hand' Witchcraft within has been inspired from the family lines of Nathaniel Harris and family, 'Skir' meaning "left hand" or "sinister".

The nature of Black Witchcraft in the ancient and modern world is of anti-nature, or rather the word “Antinomian” is a Greek form meaning “against the law”. This word makes reference to rebellion from a structure or spiritual design of the masses, the majority and whatever the current ideological mainstream may be at that time. Witchcraft, no matter for what intent or form, has always stood outside any conventional acceptance within society – either by the religious hierarchy (even though it keeps their organizations called Church together and making money) or even governmental ones. To provide a distinct understanding of Luciferian Witchcraft From which I am an initiate of, I must write directly of experience and the vision which all initiates, past, present or secret, have brought to the current and how it manifests today. No longer should those of Luciferian nature be forced to denounce the darkness inherent within us all; witchcraft as with the human or daemonic spirit is both dual natured, light and shadow, bestial and angelic, ad infinitum.

Download Michael Ford's eBook: Black Witchcraft Foundations Of The Luciferian Path

Books in PDF format to read:

Melita Denning - The Foundations Of High Magick
John Linwood Pitts - Witchcraft And Devil Lore In The Channel Islands
Walter Gibson - Witchcraft A History Of The Black Art
Athena Gardner - Witchcraft Dictionary Of Craft Terms
Michael Ford - Black Witchcraft Foundations Of The Luciferian Path

Saturday, 21 July 2007

The Evolution Of Witchcraft Labels

The Evolution Of Witchcraft Labels Cover Before we can discuss how Witchcraft came to be, we need to come to a common Perspective of the labels and titles used in this article.

This evolution in language is what etymology is all about. Etymology is the study of or branch of linguistics dealing with word origin and development. Where a word was created or formed and it's Development through history. Words evolve, that's a given. Proof of this can be found in the twenty-volume Oxford English Dictionary (O.E.D.), which is known by scholars as the definitive resource for word origin and definition. A word that had definition 1 in 1492 will still hold that meaning; but it will also evolve into a new version or use of that meaning, creating definition 2. Both meanings are correct and the application of the definition of the word will depend on it's usage in conversation or context.

When it comes to using a word as a label, we have to think about how the word was used when it originated and not just how it's perceived today. Warlock is a good example of this. It's origination was to define a liar, a traitor or "an oath breaker". But today many non-pagans use it as the title for a male witch. Which most witches don't care for.

So let's first define a common Understanding of some of the labels used in the pagan community.

Old Latin (OL)
Low Latin (LL)
Latin (L)
Old English (OE)
Middle English (ME)
Modern English (E)
Classical Greek (CG)

The latin language used before 75 BC
Nonclassical Latin, esp. in the medieval period 600 - 1500 AD
Modern Latin, used since 1500 AD
Anglo-Saxon English used primarily between 400 - 1100 AD
English language used between 1100 - 1500 AD
English language used since the 1500 AD
Greek language used between 700 - 300 BC

From LL - the Saxon wicca/wicce
1. Old English: An old Saxon noun with a masculine ending, pronounced "witch'-ah" (not "wick'-ah"). 1a. The feminine form "wicce", pronounced "witch'-eh".
2. Modern English: A modern label for the pagan tradition of Wicca, established by Gerald Gardner.

From OE wiccecraeft, ME wicchecrafte
1. Old English: the power or practices of witches; black magik. The craft of the wise.
2. Middle English: A neopagan religious practice that strives to live in balance with nature and natural forces.

From LL paganus, L pagus
1. A person who is not a Christian, Muslim, or Jew; (Any Abrahamic origin belief system)
2. Heathen: formerly, sometimes applied specifically. to a non-Christian by Christians
From CG neos, L paganus
1. Any group of pagan religions that define their beliefs as nature based.

From the old world, using wicca/wicce and witch interchangeably is incorrect. In our society today; the creation of Gerald Gardner's Wiccan tradition clouds the use of these words. In common conversation, when someone mentions Wicca they're rarely referring to witch; and more often referring to the traditional practice of Gerald Gardner.

In the old world, Witchcraft was a practice, more often known as the craft of magik. The word was used in this context during 1100-1200 AD. Today it is a label used to define a religious practice specific to a set of neo-pagan beliefs. This is not a new concept; it actually started during the 13th century and is thanks to the early Christian Church. But we'll get into that later on.

Over time, the category of traditions (or denominations) under Witchcraft has slowly returned to their own roots. In part due to the neopagan revivals and increased acceptance. In addition, there has become a clarifying divide between other pagan religions and Witchcraft. For instance, Satanism isn't considered to be part of Witchcraft. They stand on their own as a pagan religion, merely because they do not follow the doctrine set forth by Abrahamic religions. But this can also be said for Hindu, Buddhist and other non-Abrahamic religions. By definition they too fall into the category of pagan religions. Society however does not think of these other religions as pagan.

Free eBooks (Can Be Downloaded):

George Lyman Kittredge - Notes On Witchcraft
Walter Rowe - Mysterious Delusions Witchcraft In Salem
Reginald Scot - The Discoverie Of Witchcraft
Michael Harrison - The Roots Of Witchcraft

Sunday, 15 July 2007

Modern Cochrane Based Witchcraft Traditions

Modern Cochrane Based Witchcraft Traditions Cover Because Cochrane did not leave any books or set tradition structure behind when he died, many people and groups have used his letters and writings to create traditions of their own based on his philosophy. Some of these incarnations include Joe Wilson’s 1734, the Ancient Keltic Church, 1734 Wicca, (which is a bit of an oxymoron because Cochrane was a very vocal opposer to Wicca), Briar Rose, as well as the traditions written about by authors strongly influenced by Cochrane including: Nigel Jackson, William Gray, Robin Artisson, and Peter Paddon. With the renewed interest in Cochrane in the United States, Evan John Jones published a series of articles in the UK periodical The Cauldron run by Mike Howard. More recently he also published a few books: two anthologies with Howard being The Roebuck in the Thicket (an anthology of Cochrane and Jones’ articles from The Cauldron and The Pentagram) and The Robert Cochrane Letters, Witchcraft: A Tradition Renewed (with an Introduction by Valiente), and Sacred Mask, Sacred Dance. These books and others with the same influences form the basis of many Traditional Witchcraft practices today and, as said in the disambiguation of the traditional witchcraft lesson, some people may be led to think that this is the only tradition within traditional witchcraft. While Cochrane’s legacy is certainly one of the strongest influences, it is not the only one.

Free eBooks (Can Be Downloaded):

Walter Scott - Demonology And Witchcraft
Gordon Ireland - Faq On Wicca And Witchcraft And More
Michael Ford - Luciferian Witchcraft An Introduction

The Moon Magic

The Moon Magic Cover The moon, along with its phases and energies and symbols, possess a strong Influence over all rites of magick in witchcraft, from times of old to present day. To perform successful magick, it is somewhat important to always work in harmony with the moon and her different phases.

New Moon: The new moon is a time for healing and growth. This is a great time for new projects and ideas. It appears as a crescent moon.

Waxing Moon: This is when the moon is growing from the crescent moon to the full moon, this phase lasts for 14 days and is symbolic of all new things. New beginnings in love, work, school, health and ideas. The waxing moon corresponds to the Maiden (also warrior and virgin) aspect of the Triple Goddess, and is the proper time for performing rituals in honor of her. It is also the appropriate time to perform spells and rituals involving all forms of growth, strengthening, and the increasing of things such as love, good luck, money, health, etc...

Full Moon: This phase lasts for 6 days, 3 days before the full moon and 3 days after the full moon. The energy of a full moon increases a witch's psychic powers, so therefore the full moon is said to be the most favorable time of all to perform Divinations as well as spells and rituals that can increase psychic abilities and induce dreams that can tell the future and the unknown.
The full moon corresponds to the Mother aspect of the Triple Goddess, making it a very powerful phase for working with all forms of fertility magick. The moon has been associated with female fertility since the earliest of times and it was once believed that if a woman desired children, she could simply sleep under the silvery white light of a full moon and become magickally impregnated by a moonbeam. Full moons also enhance the power of spells that involve sensuality, creativity and nurturing.

Waning Moon: This is when the moon is shrinking from full to new, this phase lasts for 14 days. The waxing moon corresponds to the Crone aspect of the Triple Goddess and is the proper lunar phase in which to honor her. This is also the correct time to reverse spells, decrease, banish and destroy things such as diseases, addictions and bad luck.
Crone honoring rites are traditionally performed at this time as this is the time of the month when the powers are at their greatest. The Crone represents maturity of wisdom, spiritual peace, a time of endings that are leading to new beginnings and death that brings forth new life.

Dark Moon: The Dark Moon occurs three days before the New moon. It is not visible in the sky, hence its name. Traditionally, no magick is performed at this time.

Free e-books (can be downloaded):

Melita Denning - The Foundations Of High Magick
Joseph Ennemoser - The History Of Magic Vol 2
Arthur Edward Waite - The Book Of Ceremonial Magic
Daniel Defoe - A System Of Magic

Saturday, 14 July 2007

Luciferian Witchcraft An Introduction

Luciferian Witchcraft An Introduction Cover

Book: Luciferian Witchcraft An Introduction by Michael Ford

The union of Some Aspects of Middle Eastern practices such as Sufism and the various parallel witch ways of tribes of the Deserts are essential productive and beneficial for the Advancement in human thinking. There is much to be learnt from other cultures, however the heart of such always emanates within a focus of folk magic or witchcraft.

Download Michael Ford's eBook: Luciferian Witchcraft An Introduction

Books in PDF format to read:

Richard Spence - Secret Agent 666 Introduction
John Seymour - Irish Witchcraft And Demonology
Kaatryn Macmorgan Douglas - All One Wicca Book 1 Introduction
Michael Ford - Luciferian Witchcraft An Introduction

Preparing The Ritual Area And Yourself

Preparing The Ritual Area And Yourself Cover

Book: Preparing The Ritual Area And Yourself by Nevrom Ydal

This article describes how to prepare your Ritual Area before a ritual. Before I begin theh article, though, let me issue a few disclaimers. The first one is that I do not, in any way, mean to imply that what I set forth here is the only way to do things. It is one way, and it's worked for me, and if you think my methods seem reasonable and fit within your framework of Wicca, then use them, if not, ignore them.

The second disclaimer is actually just a clarification of my background. I was trained in traditional (small 'T', as in Alexandrian, Gardnerian, and so on) Wicca. My methods might seem a little too Ceremonial for some of the more Eclectic Wiccans, and might seem totally unnecessary by the more spontaneous type of ritual participation. Fine. Then don't use them!

Download Nevrom Ydal's eBook: Preparing The Ritual Area And Yourself

Free eBooks (Can Be Downloaded):

Jantina Helena Looijenga - Runes Around The North Sea And On The Continent
Kathryn Rountree - Embracing The Witch And The Goddess
Ethel Thompson - Primitive African Medical Lore And Witchcraft
Andrew Lang - Myth Ritual And Religion
Nevrom Ydal - Preparing The Ritual Area And Yourself

Sunday, 8 July 2007

Beginning Witchcraft After Finding Your Path

Beginning Witchcraft After Finding Your Path Cover In some ways, deciding on a Spiritual Path is like working on a project; an idea or compulsion sparks research into it and its feasibility. Quite often, this research opens up several avenues to look further into.

After research, you are left with options -- but which to pursue further?

There are many views and options on how to follow a spiritual path, once you have chosen the one you feel for the most. Many are dependent on personal preference, some on accessibility or sheer ease. With Paganism/Wicca/Witchcraft, there are several options:

Books: In this age of computer technology, these may not be the most popular choice for all. The first book you pick up is not likely to answer all your questions or give you all the Information you need. There are also many books in publication today that can be said to be "riding the popularity wave". It is a recorded fact that interest in Paganism and its branches has increased over the past decade, with the help of the media. But due to this media effect, there are some books that take a rather "fluffy" or archetypal approach. “How To Turn Your Boyfriend Into A Toad And Other Spells” was one I came across in my local bookstore. If research has been done, then it would be known that this book seems to be going by stereotypes rather than more factual information.

Internet: The Internet, both a blessing and a curse. It is only thanks to the Internet that you are reading this -- but, as with books, there is a large amount of inaccurate, unreliable or speculative information to be found by typing "Witchcraft" into a search engine. Again, research can help -- if there are any terms or points that grab your attention, search for them in particular rather than "witchcraft" in general. An example: my early research highlighted the Pagan festivals of the year, and I was interested in the origins of the names. I searched for "Oestara" online, and was given a link to (amongst others) The Pagan Federation. Very few of my results from that search seemed irrelevant or the result of media hype. Common sense and careful wording can find a wealth of useful information on the World Wide Web.

With both these sources, it is always prudent to remember that information may be opinion or belief only for that author. It would be unwise to take the first thing you read as the gospel truth. Collating information on the same subject from different sources is far more likely to give you an idea of the depth of the subject, and the range of views on it.

Other practitioners: A resource not always accessible. I was lucky enough to be introduced to Wicca by a good friend of mine, who I was able to go to with my queries and ideas. Over the years, I have also been lucky enough to meet other Wiccans, who I have been able to share ideas and Experiences with. It is an enlightening way to share and develop ideas, as well as finding new friends that share an interest. However -- once again, I must suggest caution. Announcing to the world that you are a Pagan/Wiccan/Witch etc looking for another Pagan/Wiccan/Witch etc to share ideas with may bring in unwanted attention. Many books have lists of useful contacts in the index, as do many reputable websites.

If information is taken with a pinch of salt and a dose of common sense, then it is more than possible to find answers to questions and interesting facts, history and useful knowledge.

Books in PDF format to read:

John Seymour - Irish Witchcraft And Demonology
Michael Ford - Luciferian Witchcraft An Introduction
Elizabeth Reis - Revelation Witchcraft And The Danger Of Knowing God Secrets

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

The Pentacle 2

The Pentacle 2 Cover
"In magic, a pentacle is a mandala or focal point for the work it encompasses." This statement was taken from a "WICCA 101" Course Outline currently in use by several California Covens of the Faerie Tradition. This would almost indicate to me the use of the Pentacle as and "Altar upon the Altar". Is this really "proper use" of the Pentacle?

"In most traditions of the craft, the pentacle is an Earth pentacle incorporating the symbols that are meaningful to the members of the tradition. It is the centerpiece of the altar, on which objects are consecrated; the water and salt bowls are placed upon it for blessing." This would almost seem superfluous, unless one were using the principle of contagion to give the blessing a little extra "kick"; and even then I wouldn't feel it really necessary if the Altar were properly consecrated in the first place. Why the special identification with Earth? Is it simply because there are other tools on the Altar that are essentially tools of Air, Fire, and Water? The Chalice, Athame, and Censer are all "active" tools in a normal circle ritual, why is the Pentacle "passive" in its use?

"Some traditions call it a Moon Pentacle, and the symbols, while basically the same, are carved into a silver disc. The idea being that consecration and blessing is performed in direct contact with the Goddess. The silver metal of the pentacle providing the link necessary for contagion." OK, this seems to indicate that though the Pentacle is a "working tool", it is also very much a part of the Altar too. I feel this is further born out when the outline goes on to say: " When the pentacle is an Earth pentacle, it is usually made of a metal such as copper. It is normally round, and 5-6 inches in diameter."

Now that I have illustrated the quotations from the outline that have caused a little confusion in my mind, I wonder about the possibilities of expanding these narrow (at least implied) definitions. How about making an inset cut-out place in the center of the Altar top that would accept a removable pentacle (or perhaps a couple of different ones)? One could also do a permanent inlay. The only problem I could see would be for those (like myself) who have special Altar Cloths that they like to use.

As to the material for this tool, how about starting out with a disk of copper (good Earth metal), and fashioning either a gold or silver pentagram upon it, and using gold or silver (which ever was not used for the pentagram) for the other symbols? This is where I got the idea for perhaps having more than one for specific use, depending on the focus of a particular ceremony. It would seem to me that if this tool is to be used for the centerpiece of the altar, it should be so constructed as to reflect all FOUR Elements, as well as links to God and Goddess.

Suggested ebooks:

Howard Phillips Lovecraft - The Unnamable
Howard Phillips Lovecraft - The Festival

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