02/06/2015   Hit Counter

 

WITCHCRAFT:  THE FACTS

by Norm Vogel

 

Witchcraft means "Craft of the Wise Ones" and is also known as the "Old Religion".

Its practices can be traced to Neolithic "Stone Age") cave paintings.

 In early times, the Witch was the local lawyer, psychiatrist, and doctor.

The field of modern medicine can trace its origins to the herbal medicines of the Witch.

Witchcraft is a nature religion, not unlike the shamanism of the Native Americans.

 As the concepts of male and female exist through-out life --indeed, are necessary to create it --

Most Witches perceive Deity as male and female: the Goddess and the God.

Like the concept of the Trinity, these aren't "many" Gods; they are aspects of the ONE Creator.

The Goddess is seen as Mother Earth and Mother Nature, and is represented by the Moon.

 She is seen in the fertility of the plant, animal, and human kingdoms.

Her power is at a peak in the "fertile half" of the year, from May until October.

The God is seen in the woodlands, the Sun, grain, & the hunt.

 Because most of the animals that prehistoric humans hunted had horns, He is usually depicted as the "Horned One".

 His power is at a peak in the "dark half" of the year, from October to May.

Witches don't do evil. They believe in the Wiccan Rede, which is "If It Harms None, Do What You Will".

 (In other words, "Do whatever you want; just as long as it doesn't harm anyone -- including yourself" ). 

Witches also believe in the "Three-Fold Law", which states that whatever you do

 -- be it good or evil -- comes back to you three times over, so (obviously) there is no incentive to do evil.

W itches do NOT believe in or worship Satan, and do not perform any sort of human or animal sacrifices.

Satan is a relatively new concept that originated with Christianity.

Witches put the responsibility for our own actions squarely on whom it belongs: ourselves.

Witchcraft teaches us to be responsible people who take responsibility for our own actions.

When the Christian Church decided to obliterate religions that were a threat to its power (including Witchcraft),

 they decided that their "Satan" had horns and that Witches were actually worshipping the Devil.

This became the death warrant for millions of innocent people.

The Pentagram (a five-pointed star in an upright, one-point-up position) is the symbol of our religion.

The top point symbolizes Spirit (the Creator) being 'above', or ruling,

 the Four Elements of Life -- Air, Fire, Water, & Earth -- which are the four lower points.

The Circle, being without beginning or end, symbolizes the Deity.

 It is completely encompassing the Star within it

 (which represents the out-stretched human body, reaching out in search of its connection with Spirit).

 Together, they represent the Creator's Protection & Wisdom.

Inverting the Pentagram, as is done by Satanists, symbolizes that the Elements (the "material world") are superior to the Creator.

 Unfortunately, through misunderstandings that have been repeated by the media, the Pentagram

 -- in whatever position -- has become wrongly equated with Satanism.

(Please note, though, that in England, there are several traditions that use the inverted pentagram as a symbol for a second degree

-- which obviously has nothing to do with Satanism).

A male Witch is not a "Warlock". This is a Scottish term,

meaning "traitor", or "oathbreaker". (A male Witch is a "Witch").

Witchcraft is a legal religion protected under the First and Fourteenth amendments.

 We are non-proselytizing; we don't seek to convert anyone.  We feel that all religions are equally valid,

 and that you should be free to choose the one with which you are most comfortable.

No religion has the monopoly of God (despite what some may claim).

 As long as it doesn't infringe on the rights of others, we all have a right to our own method of worshipping the Deity.

 

     

Thirteen Goals of a Witch

1. Know yourself.
2. Know your Craft.
3. Learn.
4. Apply knowledge with wisdom.
5. Achieve balance in your life.
6. Keep your words in good order.
7. Keep your thoughts in good order.
8. Celebrate life!
9. Attune with the cycles of the Earth.
10. Breathe and eat correctly.
11. Exercise the body.
12. Meditate.
13. Honor the Goddess and God.

 

 

     

Ritual Tools of The Witch or The Magician
 

ATHAME

 Witches knife, the most used & basic tool. Black handled/ white handled, may be personalized with your symbols or  words, possibly ancient symbols representing the spirits associated with it. Usually double-edged, never used to cut anything but to cut the air. Never used to draw blood. It represents the male - the phallus.

 

SCOURGE

A flail that was used by the Egyptians to beat the grain. 3 to 4 " long, the handle is 2ft. with 8 cords attached with 5 knots. The 8 cords are the Sabbats, the 5 knots are the elements. Symbol of purification, also the drive to learn & defend the knowledge they acquire. It is also used in initiations to strike the past away from the initiate. Customary in some traditions. The Circle of Ancient Path Coven and Church Do Not Use this Item

 

SWORD

The same thing as the Athame, only bigger as the Athame. Used outside & in large areas.

 

 

BOLINE

Working knife, white handled possibly, may be made of white oak in tradition, but can be made of anything today. Used for harvesting herbs, any general cutting, no blood.

 

PENTACLE OR PATENT

Made of bronze, copper, silver, wood or wax. Anywhere from 5 to 9" wide. It is circular, flat.French root "Pend" means suspend, held up; usually having hexagram or pentagram with a Greater Key of Solomon on it, sometimes the Tree of Life. Also personal or coven symbols may be inscribed Usually placed in the center or on the North side. The Athame sits upon it. Represents the 5 elements, and gives protection.

 

BROOMSTICK

Originally used for riding (rode in the fields for crop growth) & dancing pole, disguised as an ordinary household tool. It is a masculine symbol to jump over in a hand fasting ritual. Symbolical of sweeping the circle to remove any negative energy.

CENSER

Incense burner, sometimes a cauldron; a fire proof container. Should be able to move around when consecrating the elements of fire & air (the fire being the south & the incense being the east). Represents the woman's womb.

 

CANDLES

Usually 2 to represent the female Goddess (silver, black, white, sometimes red), the God (gold, brown, white, green). The Goddess candle is lit first (left direction), God candle is lit from Goddess candle (right direction). All candles are lit from Goddess candle thereafter. All altar candles may be reused. Pinch the candles out or snuff, never spit or blow them out.

CHALICE

A drinking vessel of some kind, contains the element of water (west), which represents the womb (life's blood).

 

WANDS

Place them in the East; should be 18" long plus or minus. Made possibly from the Sacred Trees. May be decorated any way you want. It is an extension of energy. It is a phallic symbol, represents fire or air; south or east governs its' use. Also substitutes as an athame.

CORD

In some traditions, this tool is essential; it symbolizes being bound together by oaths, the God & Goddess, and each other. Its use is to measure the Circle, which should be 18" across. The cord then is 9 ft. long. Sometimes representing levels of degrees (in coven work). For Solitary, it represents the colors of the Triple Goddess (b,w,r). This can represent the 3 aspects of the deity, which is (b,g,s). In some traditions it is used to bind initiates.

  CAULDRON

Used for scrying and an actual working tool. Small one placed on the altar or large one placed on the floor. Represents the womb of the Mother.

BOOK OF SHADOWS

Also called a Grimoire. Active record of everything magickal - redes, philosophies, rituals, magick, formulas, traditions go into it. Each individual has one. Coven has one - info. taken by the Scribe to record all workings of the group. Working tool. Generally kept secret. May be handed down at one point.

 

BELL

Symbol of the Goddess, speaking to us through sweet sounds. Also used when calling quarters, watchtowers, elements, elementals.

     
SALVERS

Also called dishes, plates, bowls, for water, salt, cakes, etc.

 

   

The Age of Aquarius

We are going into this now; time frame for an Age is 2,150 and it goes from Spring to the Vernal point. At this point in time we are in the cusp of Pisces and Aquarius, We are moving from the teckno age to the age of the Spirit.

The issues are social consciousness, universal realities & it applies to communications throughout technology.

Aquarius is a fixed air symbol, it surrounds us in a circulating motion that is vital, vibrant and cool. It is like a refreshing breeze, sometimes radical & consciously shocking. The symbol is the waterbearer pouring down from the pitcher.

It symbolizes life, spirituality & rebirth. Inspires and aspires us to levels of higher consciousness. Rules the heart center, which is our personal love for ourselves & others (YOU MUST LOVE YOURSELF BEFORE YOU CAN TRULY LOVE OTHERS).

Feeding and changing the world, cultivating higher consciousness of spirituality, humanitarian efforts. We are involved and united in this whether we want this or not, because this is the next phase of evolution.

 

     

 

What is Wicca?

It is the craft, the old religion, ancient religion of love, life & nature.

It respects the great forces of nature, celebrates the cycles and seasons, & of the moon.

We see the Divine as the moon (Goddess) and the sun (God). They are a part of nature and embody the aspects of the Earth & Sky, man & woman, animal & plant.

To Wiccans, everything in nature is the Goddess & God and are the true aspects of their energy. In most cases, there is a triple Goddess of the moon (Maiden, Mother, Crone) and Horned God (represents nature itself).

It began in Paolithic times i.e. 6,000 B.C.E. In the early hundreds, our faith went underground to be practiced in small, secret groups called Covens. ADDRESS THE CONCEPT OF "UNDER THE ROSE".

This practice of faith today is celebrated on nights of the full moon, and the 8 Sabbats of the year. We may practice alone or with family members, or with a Coven. Generally there is an aspect of HPs/HP that take position and are the leaders of the group/also teachers.

Wicca itself was invented by Gerald Gardner & others, around 1939 at the Autumn Equinox (speculative). He based it upon his research of Margaret Murray's books (The Witch Cult of Western Europe & the God of Witches). Gardner applied the dual symbolism using the aspects of male & female sexual energies from his work with the OTO i.e. Golden Dawn. In 1953, Doreen Valiente was initiated by Gardner & rewrote the Book of Shadows that was compiled of info. from the White Goddess by Robert Graves. From that we have Wicca today.

There are 2 traditional teachings of Wicca - Elder & Neo. The Elder is based in historical findings that date back thousands of years. Neo is the aspects of modern knowledge applied to these old findings.

The basics concepts are based on the fertility Goddess & the God. They are nature spirits such as elementals. They are called the Watchers. They guard the ritual portals called the Watchtowers. The female aspect is called the Goddess of Wicca, the Great Goddess, the Mother of Wicca. She is assoc. with the Moon, hence the name Queen of Heaven . The Horned God is the nature God. Assoc. with the Sun. He is the aspect of our Father God, or Lord of Heavens.

Studying the ways of nature gives us a look at the old ways and pagan customs; such as the seasons (representing reincarnation), the laws of cause & effect (Karma - is the misuse of the earth's land, air, resources and living creatures). Birth is an entrance to the soul of the world, and the concept of "as above, so below". Our heaven is our concept of the Summerland, or land of Luna (land of the Moon). It is represented by lakes and forests, always summer, and is the Pagan paradise.

     

Tenents of Wiccan Belief

Reincarnation is the belief that the soul is reborn again. This applies to Buddhism, Hinduism, and various other cultures; such as Greek "Palingenesis" - to originate again, the Druids; passed into Gwyndvyd if they were positive, if negative they would go to Abred, being incarnated as an animal. The aspects of the Summerland, which is the Afterlife, the Celts called it "Tir nan og" (mean the land of undying youth).

In Arthurian tradition, Arthur encountered the (Isle of Appletrees), (Appleland), this place was called Avalon. The Druids called this the Isle of Sein or the Island of Seven Sleeps (Enez Sizun); these all represent the Wiccan Summerland. In Southern European Witchcraft, it is called Luna

 

 

     

 

God and Goddess

This would be the source of all things, the Great Spirit, the Wiccan belief that all things are a balance within nature, both masculine & feminine. The Great Mother, seen as the triple Goddess, the God is the Horned One (God of the forest) and the fertility aspects of both.

 

     

As Above, So Below

The concept is the physical dimension as an image of the higher non-physical self.In Egyptian mysteries, "that which is below, is like that which is above and that which is above, is like that which is below". (Creation is the nature of the creator). The laws of physics/the laws of nature. Nature is viewed as the great teacher & why Wicca focuses on the reverence & preservation of nature.

 

 

     

 

Occult Dimensions

This consists of 7 plains of energy that make up our existence. * The Ultimate * The Divine The Spiritual * The Mental * The Astral * The Elemental  * The Physical   These concepts apply to various systems of symbols i.e. chakra system, tree of life - the 7 unseen energy points within the body.

 

     

Cause & Effect - The Threefold Law

Associated with Karma, the aspects of action./reaction applied to physics. Central ethic code, "and harm none, do as ye will". The aspect is whatever energy you send out is threefold the amount that it was originally sent. So it is wise to be kind to others in spirit and magick.

• 3 to the third power The Goddess assoc. w/ Karma is Wyrd (Celt)

• 9 to the ninth power

• 81 to the 81st power = 6561 return of energy

The concept of Magick is the ability to cause changes

in conjunction with our personal will and desire.

All Wiccans are not necessarily Witches, and all Witches are not necessarily Wiccans.

 This is because all who practice Wicca as a religion do not practice in magick.

However, the trend is that they do.

 

 

     

 

Ethics

The basic rule is live & let live. We are non violent, we are to be tolerant of all beliefs and lifestyles of others.  We are the peacemakers, trying to coexist with the diversity around us.

Focus on ourselves and our personal needs.

A person can do anything they wish as long as no one is hurt/harmed by their actions, whether magickal or physical, emotional. Therefore, we feel that we are free from any Karmetic debt. This actually is incorrect, and it means to find our purpose, true will and to fulfill it, harming none as we do.

Keep in mind, we must rise above the desire & needs of our physical being and detach to discover our true will & purpose. i.e. free of greed, envy, jealousy.....

 

     

Ritual

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The word means "worship" and communicating to the Deities or Spirits. How we gain access to the world of the Spirit. It is our connection & realization that the Deities are within us at the point of our "circle". Connects us with the energies with the seasons, solstices and equinoxes.

 

 

     

 

Herbalism

The energy that lives within all living things; this is called "mana" or the "numan"; as well as stones, trees & all inanimate objects. Collective energy within a setting where we get a peaceful feeling when we are in nature. Nature Spirits dwell within meadows and woods, called Gnomes (Earth), Sylphs (Air), Salamanders (Fire), and Undines (Water). They fall under the family of fairies & other supernatural creatures. Certain herbs can only be gathered under a full moon. Within Wicca, herbs are used during ritual , during magick, they are used as essential ingredients to perform the spell. i.e. incense, oils, salves, salts, teas, smudge wands, etc.

 

     

Familiars

They are the psychic communication between human & animal spirits, or spiritual entities. Concept dates back to Shamonic times, to animal totems assoc. with Clans.  Aspect of wearing feathers or animal pelts to empower the person & awaken the animal spirit within. They are used to create a psychic link with the living creature.

 

 

     

 

Divination

Aspects of the future seen through our psychic eyes, applied to the aspects of free will.  Tools of Divination are tarot, runes, astrology, psychometry, crystal working, and techniques of palmistry & phrenology are psychometric practices.

 

     

Personal Power Within

Personal zones of energy - the Chakra system

Crown - 1st - center meeting place between the Divine & human consciousness

Third Eye - 2nd - forehead pineal gland, applied to the 6th sense; psychism, perception

Throat - 3rd - throat tones & vibrations energy patterns of communication

Heart - 4th - heart feeling of energy patterns w/in self according to places & situations

Solar Plexus - 5th - stomach place that the soul derives nourishment

Navel - 6th - navel personal power center (gut feeling)

Root - 7th - genital raw energy, energy in pure form

The rate in which these centers vibrate is the harmony existing between them & creates aura.  When we get "gut feelings", we are reacting to the energy within our Chakras applied to our aura, which is the instant like or dislike for any situation.

 

 

     

 

What is Witchcraft?broomagick_left.jpg (17585 bytes)

The old practiced religion (indo-European culture) with the same principles of Wicca. The practice of magick & spell crafting to rituals, and rites of religious practices. 

Combination of magick and religion.

The aspects of the magick circle, purpose & symbols of the belief, the 5 elements, ritual tools, meditation, visualization, mantras, chants, dance, banishing & charging, forms of God & Goddess, aspects of initiation.

 

     

Religious Backgrounds

The oldest known European Mystery Traditions came from Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece and Italy. This is where the Wiccan religion originated from the Neolithic Great Goddess culture (old Europe). {Neolithic is forms made of stone}.

• Europe encompassed Italy, Greece, Czechoslovakia, southern Poland, western Ukraine, between 7000 & 3500 B.C.E. the Goddess and her consort and Horned God was born relating to matrilinear agricultural peaceful & sedentary people.

• Old Europe had spread west from southern Europe around 4500 B.C. producing icons in Spain & France.

• By 3000 B.C., Meditation, England & Spain settled in the hills in southern England.

• Around 600 to 500 B.C., the Celts invaded England & adapted to the Cult of the Dead from the Mediterranean. The Celts first feared it and called it Sidhe (Fairies - Spirits of the dead).

• Around 1000 B.C., the Etruscans from northern Italy, believed in a Fairy race "Lasa"; also the dead. Known by the Romans as the "Lare". This is all proven by burial customs, starting around 2000 B.C. The "Cult of the Dead" was the official faith, and absorbed all other cultural customs, principles and theology, grafting them together to create Druidism.

• The Druids became the priesthood of the ancient Britannic islands, holding traditions and ancient customs and creating the new Celtic religion. The Celts had no temples prior to the Roman gallow period. The Druids "meaning the oak tree" or "finding the oak tree". They were unknown prior to the first thousand years to the Mediterranean world, and were considered barbarians by the 4th century by the Greeks, Persians, & Scythians.

• There are relics of the Celtic Tribes dating back to the Bronze Age (1200 B.C.)

The Celts then migrated 7 & 6th centuries thru France, British Islands, eastward from central Europe and also entered Italy, Romania, Thryce, Macedonia, where they attacked the Etruscans, Romans & Greek territories. Then they were driven back to the Alpin foothills by the Roman legions.

 

     

 

The Theory of the Old Religion

The image of the Deity is the Crescent Crown Goddess and the Horned God. These are found in southern Europe. Diana & Pan, Artemis & Dionysus, Moon Goddess & Horned God. Celtic Moon Goddess Cerridwen was the wife of Tegid & not Cerrnonous (Celtic Horned God), due to the icons or statues at archeological sites.

The Great Goddess and God have always existed to appearance of humankind. These are archetypes and the eogories are their children - here is where we consider these origins.

The aspects of the God - initiate level; the God has 3 aspects - the Horned One - God of the Forest (untained nature), 2nd - the Hooded One - the Lord of the Harvest - Green Man (cultivated nature & agricultural development), and 3rd the Old One - common wisdom and human experience (concept of civilization, building of cities and villages).

In Celtic Mythology, the trinity is Teutates, Esus, Taranis (no common thread in today's Wiccan religion).

•Teutates - he is the most oldest & sinister form, associated with blood sacrifice.

•Esus - was assoc. with the bull, and eventually evolved into Cerrunous. His aspect was the sacrifice of hanging humans from trees. Later became the God of the Underworld.

Taranis - he was the sky God, the powers of thunder and lightning. His sacrifice was human within ritual fires. He later became Lugh, and the aspects of the Wickerman.

     

The Horned God

Neolithic God paintings & carvings appeared in caves around 4300 B.C. These figures were horned figures, human like in appearance. Oldest image was the Horned God, with stag horns, representing the Lord of the forests. His first appearance was the Alps, in southern old Europe. When people started to settle and cultivate crops, the stag horn God/Hunter/Gather became the Goat horned God of the farming communities. At this point he took on human understanding. He still remained the wild nature of the stag as seen in the God Pan, however, he had more rationality.  Originally, he was the Horned One. In Latin, Cornuno (Cornu - means horn; uno means one), the basis for the name Cernunnous. When the Celtic merged with the Romans, he was known as Danius (Latin Divanus - Divine One), and as Dionysus (Divine One of Nysea). The Celts called him Myrddin or Suibhe Geilt, Cernowen or Hu Gadarn.

Dionysus "Goat/Bull Horned God" originated in Thrace, symbolizing renewal and abundance of virility. The bull horns (serpents) connection with the lunar rites of Old Europe. His role, divine son, incestuous lover. Horns also represented the crescent moons (female symbols). This symbology is the union of male & female. Dionysus was consort to Artemis (forest nature). He married Ariadne in classical mythology. Artemis being the woodland Goddess assoc. w/ forest animals. The bull is pastoral hence Dionysus. The Greek cult of Dionysus spread to Italy, then creating Baccus. Roman - Etruscan God Fuflunus, which then was adapted into Dianus. Agriculture societies focusing on vineyards, Romans portrayed him as Satyrs. The senate of Rome outlawed this cult in 186 B.C., but it survived as a secret society.

New Mystery Religion - first century a.d. Priests of Baccus, the imagery, was then changed to leaves and vines with budding horns. In 63 B.C. to 19 A.D. , the Greek historians thought that the Druidesses were devotees of Baccus.

Druids assoc. Celtic horned God, thought as more commonly Hu Gadarn (Cernounnous). This was adapted to the Cauldron mysteries where we find the connection with 9 maidens, attendants of the fire, beneath Cerridwen's cauldron. They are also the 9 muses of Greek myth.

400 B.C., in wall paintings the stag horned God or man held crescent like objects linking him to lunar rites. He held the torc - military symbols of authority, accompanied by the snake (phallic symbol). This all signifies his power over the animal kingdom and the forest life in general, becoming master of the animals & goats. The Celts associated him with the Syrinx (Pan Pipes), shepherd's crook & a pine twig. In modern days, we have a gold charm, the Italian horn, known as Corno, the origin of the hunter/warrior cult, courage & virility. Also fertility, representing the phallus.

 

 

     

 

Lord of the Harvest, "The Green Man"

Agriculture developed 11,000 years ago in the Mid-East. Around 3000 B.C. it reached Egypt, & development within the Greek cultures was not far off. The assoc. of God and plant life as abundant, developed throughout Europe. Dionysus has aged to a bearded with a crown of ivy/a feminine youth wearing skins crowned with laurel & ivy. Another aspect would be skin of a panther &/or a black robe. In later times, he is portrayed with long curly hair, crowned with vines & grapes, holding a wand (thyrsus - fennel stalk capped w/ pinecone) which is the forest nature and the agricultural nature also holding chalice (womb of great mother). He is now the Divine child, and the child of promise. It is offering of his Divine nature, his liquid essence (semen). This is the first time that he is depicted of Wiccan ritual tools together with their symbols - about 30 B.C.

Wand representing phallus, chalice representing womb.

The child aspect, the son (lover to be) of the Goddess, the product of magick. He then becomes the Lord of Harvest and then the Green Man. Born around 5th century B.C.

The intro. to hallucinogenic plants in European Witch cults, w/ a combination of grapes & grains, and beer & wine. They reflect the transforming nature of the God Spirit or God Nature of the plant. In ritual, to consume these things were to take on his spirit or to become one with him. In Greece his name was Linos, in Lithuania, Vaizgantas; in Scotland, the Barleycorn.

The Orphic tradition, Dionysus included resurrection & recomposition of the bones after death, combining him with Hades, where he becomes God of the Underworld, or the Lord of Shadows, giving him assoc. with the Labaryth of the Minetar & Dionysus & Ariadne (Homer - the Odyssey, the Iliad).

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Concepts of the Goddess

She is the most ancient concept of the Deity, the Great Mother Goddess. First appearing in statues in 6500 B.C. to 3500 B.C. in southeastern Europe, western Europe 4500 to 2500 B.C. is the concept of the three fold Goddess (Maiden, Mother & Crone). The old religion was a lunar cult, the 4 aspects of the moon were recognized - waxing, as it appeared, was the Maiden, full - Mother, waning - Crone, unseen moon - the Enchantress/Temptress. The unseen moon also may be assoc. with anytime the moon is not visible. We have the Mother Goddess, Moon Goddess, and the Triple Goddess of fate, later in Greek myth. as the 3 fates.

Mother Goddess - most powerful & the most enduring. Attributed with fertility. Her oldest title is the Lady of the Beasts. Also known as the Terrible Mother - generator of life and in death took it back into herself. She had the power over death & destruction. Worshipped in grottos, in Christian belief she is assoc. with Mary, the mother of God. Pagan symbolize her with large breasts/buttocks, symbols of abundance, fertility, growth, etc.

Neolithic, Great Goddess of life, death & regeneration, assoc. with the bee & butterfly. The butterfly being the symbol of regeneration as it is transformed into the double axed symbol (Minoan). The bee is assoc. with honey (life's food). She is also assoc. with the animal kingdom, the bear, hedgehog, dog, toad, turtle, deer. Bear in mind, all of the animals are male for impregnation.

The Roman period of the Celts, the aspect of the triple Mother Iunones (pregnant Goddess, nursing Mother, and the attendant). Two early male forms assoc. with the Mother Goddess are the Divine Child or Child of Promise or the Year God (lover of the Goddess and her consort). The cycle begins with the birth of the Divine Child, symbolically the emerging crops/vegetation. The Year God is also known as the Sorrowful God, assoc. with the phallus (mushroom) & was depicted as the Horned God. The ancient year icons, young male figures with large erect phallus', the older ones with flassed genitalia, which is the waxing power of nature & the waning power depending on age of the figure.

The Celts embraced the Great Goddess thru the Greeks, Etruscans & Romans. Artio (Celtic Goddess) is the Mediterranean Goddess Artemis; her symbols are the bear and the symbols of the Mother. She is assoc. with Cernounnous, Artemis was assoc. with Dionysus. Her title was Artemis- Kalliste. Artos means bear; Arctus is the same in Latin - 233 a.d. to 304 a.d. Hence her assoc. with the bee & honey, w/ the name Melissa. She is the Goddess of Old Europe (non Greek & non Indo-European). Her other names were Enodia, Hecate, Diana, Diktynna, Calisto. Greek/Roman consorts were the deer and the dog. She was present at births, called the opener of the womb, Romans called her Diana. The Diana/Artemis assoc. as the Great Mother Goddess became linked to the moon. Hecate was Artemis on Earth & she ruled over the 3 great mysteries - birth, life & death. No one at this time knew the science of birth.

 

 

     

 

The Moon Goddess

The link between the swelling moon and the waning moon were then assoc. with the changes in the woman's body during pregnancy, therefore growth & time itself. From this point, the moon was linked w/ fertility; also associated with fate.

The 4 phases of the moon: new, waxing, full & waning. Enchantress, Maiden, Mother & Crone. Like before, the Enchantress is the unseen moon for 3 nights, also rules when the moon is not visible. Does not follow an order as does the Maiden, Mother, Crone. She weaves in & out as she pleases. The Maiden is the alluring & enchanting & tempting. The Mother & her aspects of her sexuality, the Crone can be enchanting & tempting, also knowledgeable & experienced. This is why the Enchantress is also called the Temptress. Keep in mind that we do not assoc. negative aspects and we merely mean being pulled away from one's original path.

The Moon Goddess is assoc. with virgin births, life & death, visions & lunacy (virginity meant unmarried). She is the Goddess of sexual love, not assoc. with marriage. She rules over her own nature & does not compromise. She controls a son (sometimes brother), who grows up to be her lover, and then he dies. She controls time. Also known as Queen of the Fairies for mortal time and fairy time are not the same. Bringer of life & death, sends rain, storms & floods, moves tides of the ocean, because the water she gives is in order for life to exist; and the water in storms removes life. The menstrual cycle, provide for life and then abruptly deny it. Assoc. to all fluids. Also known as Dewy One - the life giving fertile qualities. {Fertility spell - for a woman to become pregnant would lie nude upon her back beneath the Full Moon until sunrise, she would then become covered with dew, considered to be a powerful potion for fertility, which is then assoc. to Isis and Osiris}. Associated with the giver of psychic visions or insanity when she pleased. Thus giving her the power of light & dark, waxing & waning, teacher of the Dark Mysteries, Anthea (underworld Queen), the sender of nocturnal visions, Hecate-triformis (Greek - powers of the Moon's darkness).

The light of the moon was assoc. with torches in the hands of Hecate, Diana-Lucifera, displaying the power they wheeled. The first connection of candles, torches & bonfires in lunar ceremonies. They were designed to encourage the light of the Moon/Sun to grace the newly planted fields at night. In Greece, they placed torches around a freshly sowed field around a circle, Italian witches would use incantations around this time to bring on occult knowledge in their dreams. In Italy, the festival of Diana (Aug. 19) a multitude of torches were lighted to honor her, to protect the harvest. Candlemas (Feb 2), torches were lit for Brigid, or Brigentis as they had been earlier in Greece.

     

The Triple Goddess

The Goddess of fate. First founded in Greece, then in the Germanic tribes with almost identical myths.

In Greece, the 3 sisters of fate were Moerae, in Germanic people, it was Norns (the wyrd sisters). The Greeks called them Klotho, Lachesis, Atropos. Germans Yerd, Verdandi, Skuld, a.k.a. Wyrd, Werthende & Skould. Moerae - streams & fountains, Norns - fountain of Wyrd, the source of life, the great ash tree of Yggdrasill drew it's strength. The sisters spun the threads of life then cut it, bringing the person's time to an end. In Greek, Klotho (the youngest) put the wool on the spindle, Lachesis (middle sister) spun it, and Atropos (eldest) cut it off. In Germanic lore, Skuld (youngest) cut the thread, Yerd (eldest) wrapped the wood, and Verdandi (middle) spun it. These traditions of weaving, planting, knotting are governed by women under the power of the fates. Moerae - are assoc. with birth, life & death, past, present & future, beginning, middle & end. They are the Moon; waxing, full & waning. In Rome they are known as the Fata or Parcae, German are the Norns, Baltic are the Laima, within the Celts, it is Brigid. They hold power over the highest of Gods. The Celts applied this around 700 B.C. Thru the Mediterranean we get bird deities, the bird Goddess symbol always with 3 lines above or below. Within Egyptian culture, the Gods & Goddesses would have animal & bird heads. The vulture was most common. In Greek, Athena would change into a dove, assoc. with an owl. The Celtic in Ireland, would be the Badh (crow).

Within the Greek, Sirens & Harpies are female forms & birds of prey. Have human heads, feet of the vulture, and appear in groups of 3. Lure through song & bring death. They are known as the Kears (fates of death).

Neolithic Goddesses often appear in folktales as birds.

They are the bird Goddesses, life giving of fate or fairy,

 also bring luck & wealth as a duck, swan or ram.

 As a cuckoo, she brings prophecies, as the primeval mother,

she comes as the supernatural deer or bear, assoc. with Diana. Hera - dove,

Baltic Goddess of fate, Laima - also the cuckoo or a dove.

Being the Goddesses of fate, they now are assoc. with omens

 &

signs when certain birds are around us.

 

 

     

 

CIVILIZATION TIMELINE,  DATES & EVENTS

6500 B.C. Early Neolithic period in southern Italy

6000 B.C. Early Neolithic period in Iberia

5300 B.C. Early Neolithic period in central Europe

5000 B.C. Early Neolithic period in northern Italy

4500 B.C. Early Neolithic period in Britain

4000 B.C. Long Barrows

3500 B.C. Sumerian Civilization

3000 B.C. Egyptian Civilization

2500 B.C. Minoan Civilization

2000 B.C. Greek Civilization

1000 B.C. Etruscan Civilization

753 B.C. Roman Civilization (Founding of Rome)

700 B.C. Appearance of the Celts

600 B.C. Greek colonies in Italy influence Etruscans

500 B.C. Celts invade Britain

400 B.C. Celts invade northern Italy

300 B.C. Celts invade Greece

100 B.C. Etruscans absorbed by Rome. Celts driven out of Italy

50 B.C. Roman Invasion of Gaul

43 A.D. Roman Invasion of Britain

150 A.D. Celts conquered by the Romans. Britain & Gaul under Roman rule

410 A.D. Roman withdrawal from Britain

     

Solstices & Equinoxes

Imbolc (Feb. 2)

Ostara / Spring Equinox (March 21)

Beltane (May 1st)

Summer Solstice (June 22)

Lughnasadh   (August 1)

Mabon / Autumn Equinox (Sept. 21)

Samhain (Oct. 31)

Yule / Winter Solstice (Dec. 22)

 

 

If You Would Like to Join Us In Any Of Our Public Events Please Join Our Face Book Group Page

 

 

Circle of Ancient Paths Church & Coven

 

The Circle of Ancient Paths, formed in 1994, is a faith based spiritual group rooted in SYNCRETISM (the combination of different forms of belief or practice).

We are connected by common caring and bonded by the true spirit of friendship, love, healing, inspiration and higher spirituality.

Our ceremonies and classes are rooted in Cabala, with the tree of life at its spiritual core.

We welcome and celebrate difference and discussion, and are not bounded by definitions, but open to all types of spirituality.

Our worship incorporates influences from many belief systems, both religious and spiritual in ancient historical practice.

We are Wiccan in nature but consider our tradition Multi-Pantheistic, combining High Magick and more common forms of Craft Practice.

The Circle of Ancient Paths was formed to empower and reawaken individuals spiritually, and to open a path of self-discovery.

Honoring the divine within through the exploration of many cultures and faiths.

We Celebrate the seasons in ceremonies that utilize historical practice from around the world based on extensive research.

Through education, healing, worship and meditation, our members empower their sense of self in order to project positive energy and help those that cross their path.

The Circle of Ancient Paths also provide services to community that include healing and volunteer services to local community agencies.

Some are The Coalition to House the Homeless and Lifeties.org other organizations, hospices, nursing homes, and assisted livings, to name a few.

 

All Donations will Be Used in the 501c3 application, legal fees, as well as Space rentals for Church Services

https://www.facebook.com/groups/176493685863732/ 

 

 

 

     

 

celtstar.gif (2938 bytes)

What is a Pagan?

A Pagan is a person who believes that Divinity is "immanent" (right here in the world where we live) rather than "transcendent" (apart from the world or only affecting certain parts of it). To a Pagan, a dog or a lake is just as holy as an ancient site of worship. Most Pagans view the Divine nature of the universe as embodied by the Goddess and the God, who may have innumerable names and "aspects" or individual personalities, and who are alive in every bit of the world and in everyone who lives here. Pagans often say to one another, "Thou art Goddess" or "Thou art God," acknowledging the divinity within each other, the respect it deserves, and the responsibility that it entails.

 

     
What different kinds of Pagans are there?

Pagans are very diverse. There are Pagans whose worldviews are shaped by various ancient traditions (for example, Norse, Yoruban, Celtic, or Native American). Some Pagans, called Dianic Pagans, acknowledge only the Goddess. Some Pagans view the universe as Divine without bothering to personify it at all. And many base their actions on Divine inspiration as it happens to come along, looking to the Lady and Lord as mother and father, wise teachers, challenging companions, and beautiful lovers.
 

Races of Mankind depicting 39 different ethnicities/ races of the world.

Wearing their native costumes and headgear

 

     

 

  What is a Witch?   

A Witch is a person, male or female, who holds Pagan beliefs, and who also participates in the Divinity of the world by working magic. This can be done in many ways, from simple affirmations and visualizations to the performance of elaborate scripted rituals.
 
     
What else do Witches believe?

Witches' beliefs are as diverse as their traditions, but there are some principles on which a large number of Witches agree:  Everyone is responsible for his/her own actions.

Witches don't have a personification of evil to blame for "tempting" them into doing foolish or unkind things, nor do they believe that they will be punished by the Goddess if they act thoughtlessly. Rather, they have their understanding of the world as a Divine whole and their place in it as an integral part of the pattern to remind them that, if they harm one of their fellow beings, in a very real sense they are hurting themselves.
 

     

 

  The Threefold Law

Many Witches believe that one's actions return three times over. Thus, a Witch who commits a harmful act can expect three times as much harm as his/her action caused; and if he/she commits an act of kindness, he/she can expect three times as much kindness as a result. This is viewed as a law of the Universe, much like gravity or the conservation of energy.   There are no "victimless crimes."

Witches consider no act immoral unless it is harmful. "As long as you harm no one, do as you will" is another popular quote among Witches. Witches have no specific taboos against speaking any particular words, consensual sexual acts among individuals capable of rational consent, or breaking laws they know to be unjust. The "acid test" of Craft morality is simply, "Could this action hurt someone?" and also applies to those actions consisting of willful ignorance or neglect
.
     
Do Witches have any special powers or abilities?

Witches have the same abilities as other humans in the same varying degrees. They do, however, allow and indeed encourage the development of unquantifiable talents (such as spiritual healing and psychic abilities) which are seldom valued outside of the Craft community.

Is there anything special I should do or not do, say or not say, around a Witch?

While some Craft traditions include secrets that can not be told to non-members, it's not considered impolite to ask. Most Witches are very happy to explain their traditions, holidays, and beliefs to anyone who is curious. There are no specific behaviors other than blatant rudeness or outright harm that particularly bother Witches. Ask whatever you want and show common courtesy, and you won't offend a Witch.
 

 

     

 

THE PENTAGRAM

The Pentagram represents, to the majority, and their ignorance, the sign of the Devil or Satan. We know of course that this is misconstrued information and it actually represents:

Gnosticism, (possible Persian connection - Zoroastrian) it was called the Blazing Star, with an unknown usage.

In Christianity, it was a protective symbol denoting the 5 wounds of Christ, and it was similarly used as a Solomon's Seal or the Star of David.

Christian Hermetic is the same usage.

Free Masonary - it is an elemental interpretation, as well as the above mentioned.

Eliphas Levi (Roman Catholic Deacon) elemental aspects and was the originator of the goat head interpretation of the inverted pentagram, representing evil.

Pythagora put 5 alphas together, signifying the multiplicity of nature.

Golden Dawn/Crowley is the elemental interpretation.(listed below)

Gerald Gardner - elemental interpretation.(listed below)

Wicca - the elemental interpretation as well as the symbol for modern Paganism.(listed below)

Within every woman, it has been said there is a star. The pentagram is the Higher mind, ruling over the elements. It is our instinct. It is beyond the physical and beyond our senses.

It has been used by the pre Babylonians till this present day, and hopefully into the future.

In the times of Moses, it was a symbol of his 5 books.

In the middle ages, used by ceremonial magicians (male-permitted by law women were put to death), it was the strongest and most protective symbol; more so than the cross, evil had no power where these were displayed.

In Wiccan tradition, the pentagram is used within our sacred circle, representing the infinity of togetherness, perfection and the next world of eternity. It represents:

 

     

 

Spirit (top of star and the totality of the ritual circle) both male and female aspects of the God and Goddess

Earth (left) - North element - fertility, abundance, growth

Fire (right) - South element - passion, strength, aggression

Water (upper right) - West element - life, emotions, protection

Air (upper left) - East element - communication, ideas, thoughts, dreams

The Colors used above are the symbols of the elements and together they represent the 5 components of life.

In ritual practice, it is used as a focal point to draw in and use these energies only to be sent out to the Higher Powers with focus and direction for the positive outcome of all humanity.