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 Witchcraft  

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Witches were and still are everywhere. They were and are priests, doctors, lawyers, healers, shamans, nurses, midwives, masters and mistresses, beautiful and ugly, gifted and not so gifted. Witches are alleged to have every kind of power and ability, always supernormal. People have said that Witches can kill with a glance, curse the fertility of the land and then sit back and watch it become sterile. They can heal too. Witches heal plants, animals and people with the technique of lying on of hands, with herbal drugs and with prayers.

Within the community of present day American Witches you will find the same type of people. Witches come from all races. They come in all sizes and shapes. They come in all sexes of people from all times of humanity.

There is a definite mystique about Witches. Stop and think of what you hold to be a Witch. Is it a Witch as those found on television? The housewife-Witch, the nature loving Witch who plays in the nude through the valleys of America's abundant forests? Or, is it the devil serving Witch with his accompanying nasty female Coven?

So what is my definition of a Witch? Someone who picks up a Book of Lights and Shadows with the intention of learning from it and praying from and with it.

The Witches of the Serpentine Grove have a desire to share their abilities. They feel that they cannot keep their powers unless they share them. We hold that if you don't use a muscle it will atrophy. The same holds true for psychic abilities. It is up to you to choose which powers to develop, how you'll develop them and what you'll do with them.

In some societies a Witch is expected to be able to find items. Some Witches do develop this ability. They do so because they think a Witch is required to. Others read minds, or Tarot cards, or Astrology or prophecy the future or read the past.

The High Priestess
The High Priestess ©
Dorothy Simpson Krause

What do you choose?

These Witchy powers are now scientifically classified: 

  1. Clairsentience is a term meaning extrasensory awareness in a general sense.  Clairvoyance is the visual mode. Clairaudience is the auditory mode, etc.

  2. Extrasensory Perception (ESP) is the experience of, or response to, an external event, object, state, or influence without contact through the known  senses.

  3. Precognition: Prediction, or knowledge of future events that can't be known from present knowledge.

  4. Primary Perception is a hypothetical sensory system or perception existing in the cell life. It allows plants and animals low on the evolutionary scale to monitor their environment and communicate with other organisms,  including humans. It also allows humans to be aware of their surroundings on all levels.

  5. Psychokinesis (PK) or telekinesis, is the direct influence of mind on matter without hands or tools.

  6. Psychometry is object reading or the paranormal ability of some sensitives to obtain facts about the history of people and events through touching or handling an object.

  7. Super-ESP is a new theory that holds there is an ESP power beyond (super) anything ever observed in a laboratory. This power enables a medium to go anywhere in the world and gather information from peoples minds. It allows the medium to computerize the data, then dramatize it in the form of the previously dead person's speech. The medium thus combines peoples memories of the deceased.

  8. Telepathy: ESP of another person's thoughts or mental state.

  9. Trance: An induced or spontaneous altered state of consciousness that gives access to many ordinarily inhibited capacities of the mind-body system.  They include imageries, accelerated mental processes, creative automatism, enhanced concentration and perception and other important phenomena.  There are a variety and levels of trance states.

 

Miriamne
Miriamne Leaving the Judgment Seat of Herod
by John William Waterhouse

When you choose something, you choose all the stuff that goes with it. For example, if you were to choose to learn to dance, you would also choose to take the physical work. You would dedicate yourself to a course of discipline that will allow you to get up and really dance as you have dreamed of dancing. Dancing would be your meditation.

Your work should be your play. Your play should be your work also. How else can you be really good at what you do? How else can you have fun?

You must push your physical body at the same rate as you push your mind. Exercise must be part of your study. Pick an exercise and an occupation that you love. They don't have to be of the same mode. Both must balance each other though. Go after it 100% to get full use of that 10% of brain power that science says that we have available. If you wish to be a Priestess, be a Priestess and exercise. Play and play some more. Putting your house, your life, in order will follow naturally with no effort when you are happy. When all of your systems are working together, your psychic abilities will be at their best and the success of your magick will follow quite naturally.

Witchcraft is a religion and a system of magick combined. Within the system of Witchcraft is magick. Witchcraft has a specific system of working and a specific system to work within. There is morality within the system. Witches may get together for some major work occasionally. If we look at the common basis of magick, we will find two types. One: Like produces like and that an effect resembles its cause (the Law of Similarity). The worker implies that she can produce an effect by imitating it. Two, things once in contact remain in contact and continue to act on the owner at a distance (Law of Contact). The worker infers that she can affect an individual because the object has been in contact with an individual.

In American Witchcraft, we use both of these theories, otherwise our magick would have no premise for working. Witches, Witchcraft, and our beliefs in a Goddess would otherwise have no basis of existence. We as Women hold that the Goddess looks like us and acts like us.

There is no connection between Witchcraft and Satanism. A person must be Judeo-Christian to believe in the Judeo-Christian Devil. Witches are Pagans and not Judeo-Christian. I hope the above statement sticks. It seems so hard sometimes to get people to understand that Witches are not devil worshipers but are worshipers of life.

Witchcraft has been around in every society throughout all times. Modern Witchcraft, as defined by various scholars, is the dregs of an old folk religion; a fertility cult that was prevalent in Europe before Christianity. This dying fertility cult continued along with Christianity until the Christians, because of their political holdings, propagandized the gods of the old religions as devils. There should not be any undo alarm that Witches exist. We flourish in every country on this planet, and we serve a special need of society.

The Witches of America practice magick and worship the Goddess of their research set to a common alterable ritual. The Priestess and Kore of each Coven research the Goddess of Modern Witchcraft. They search their own family line for evidence of Witchcraft and incorporate their findings within the rituals. The rituals have a basic form and the Witches of the Coven change it at will.

The search of the Priestess begins with her own chosen name. Use it at her Third Degree Initiation. The name has a herstory attached. Every name does somewhere in some culture. The research is easier if you choose an established Goddess name because they have their own established herstory, attributes and vortex of vibrations from their past devotees.

The new High Priestess finds the colors that go with her new name by finding the colors of the Goddess that held her name in the past. She will also search out and find the flowers, foods, clothing, tools and everything else that will please the Goddess whom she emulates. She must also please herself.

The new High Priestess then unites with others of like mind to form her own Coven. Those Witches with names will join theirs with hers during the liturgy of the Coven. Another name is chosen for the overall worship; a name that will please all the newly formed Coven.

It is an old superstition that if your enemy knew your name, then that enemy would have control over you on every plane of existence imaginable. This particular superstition has been in existence for many centuries and was the underlying reason for a middle name. Only your closest relations used it and only in a safe place. At any rate, it adds unity to the Coven, which may be the very reason that this superstition has held ground for so many years. The other reason may be that it really does afford your enemy with a foothold on your personality. So the Coven chooses a name for the public liturgy so as not to draw the power away from the Coven.

The Coven will find all the similarities of the Goddess names that they've chosen and then combine them. They will research through libraries and through their own families for traditions, superstitions and religious ideals. Then they will combine them to create new traditions. Throughout the life of the Coven, they will continue to call distant cousins and aunts for more information about their family. They will again combine what they have found out.

The Coven as a whole will chose what they like and disregard all that they don't. When they feel complete, they apply their research to a foundation of Witchcraft Theology.

  empress
Empress © 1996, 1997, 1998
Jennifer Elizabeth Moore

When you choose the name of the Ultimate Being that you will emulate, you also choose its sexuality to match yours. The Goddess and God, the two extremes of sexuality, are representative only. There are many planes between the two points of hard-core male and female. "Male and female" are symbols of two of the categories. It is easier to classify with two (Woman and man) or three (homosexuality, bi-sexuality, heterosexuality) categories than with a dozen.

Of course, your Ultimate Being may be of any form that you choose. As an example of other choices considers Siva of the Hindu's who is one of his representative personalities is Ardha-Nari. Siva is the third member of the Hindu Trimurti or triad. Consider also that triads appear almost everywhere. They appear in religions as well as in every family that has three people in it. They appear in groups with two authority figures and someone to exert authority over. Two people together with an idea that creates, because they got together, a greater third idea is another example of the triad at work. The family in this case means community or society. The other two Gods of the triad are Brahma "the Creator", in the first position, and Vishnu "the Preserver", in the second.

Look at your life and choose your own Ultimate Reality.

Blessed be all, both great and small, and have you a hug full day.