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The duties of a second-degree witch include learning to teach magical skills, assisting the leaders of the coven, and learning the process of initiation to first or second degree. A second-degree initiate may have personal or family knowledge that interests the coven. For example, a student of eastern European ancestry might give the coven a class on traditional techniques and designs for dying pysanky, Slavic Easter eggs. Another may pursue research into home-brewing methods for making ritual ales or wines or meads, and share successful recipes in ritual. A working geologist may introduce the group to practical uses of natural minerals, including how to find the crystal that works—in contrast to the one that just looks pretty.
A second-degree practitioner may be given responsibilities beyond that of every coven member. Underworld journeying, shamanic studies, divinatory methods beyond any yet used, Craft history, the second degree calls the witch to live the Wiccan path as much as study it. Inevitably, bumps and bruises, missteps and mistakes occur along the way.
Often, coven leaders are called upon to assist with mistakes, correct missteps, cluck over the bumps, and salve the bruises… or not, as seems good to them. During second-degree studies, practitioners determine or discover any Craft specialties. They may have healing talent, and learn ways to use it within Craft as well as without. They may find they develop undiscovered psychic skills, or even the ability to teach them. A second-degree witch may choose a wider audience, presenting open rituals for the local pagan community, offering classes in herbs, stones, divination, or dance.
Nothing in the tradition forbids such public teaching, and nothing in the tradition demands it. Second degree also requires practitioners to step out of their comfort zone, another form of journeying. They may be adept at tarot but ignorant of astrology, talented at rhymed spells but unable to keep a steady beat on drum or rattle. Learning unfamiliar skills, stretching into tasks and techniques that are unfamiliar or outright alien, these challenges broaden practitioners while adding more tools to their witchy toolbox.
Unlike the first degree, once one has progressed to the second degree, one is expected to work to achieve the third degree. First degrees are practitioners, plain and simple, with but responsibility to their gods, their coven, and themselves. Second degree engenders a deeper change, imbuing a sense of having begun something which is less than complete… and an awareness of challenges to come.
Similarly, once a candidate is brought to second or third degree, a period of further learning follows, no matter how well-prepared and how apt the candidate may be. At the same time, every BTW coven is autonomous—independent, a law unto itself. This autonomy means that the newly minted third degree witch—theoretically—springs forth fully formed with lore and wisdom at the ready.
Once the ritual that creates a third-degree witch is complete, that witch may move into leadership of her coven. She may remain in a supportive role to her coven leaders; for instance, she may be especially skilled in a magical ability, and talented in the teaching of it. In such a case, any third-degree witch can found a coven from scratch, a time-consuming labor of love. All Wiccan covens are led by a third-degree priestess,  called in BTW the High Priestess, and assisted by the priest of her choosing, usually also third degree, the High Priest.
As with guilds and mastery, achieving the third degree moves a witch into some kind of a leadership role. Some of the lore and practice of the higher degrees are unsuited to less-experienced witches. For this reason, written, oral, and ritual practices are usually passed by coven leaders to first, second, and third degrees separately, most often individually. For example, a new initiate may never have experienced the intense combination of spiritual and physical energies that often occur during a magical working in coven. Thus, coven leaders must ensure that when initiates do encounter such, they recover successfully with any needed assistance.
Further, coven leaders teach their initiates how to recognize and care for their own needs if working magic alone, as well as in coven, a common practice for many witches. Any elder may choose to share written, oral, and ritual practice with any initiate as it seems needed, so that a first-degree or second-degree coven member might come to have some lore and material usually restricted to a third-degree witch. Those coven leaders chose to summon arcane aid to back up the mundane legal actions already taken—a restraining order, police charges filed, action for damages, and so on.
Such is one of many duties of leadership, to ensure both the continuation and safe practice of our Craft, just as the master in a guild workshop both taught and oversaw safe practice of his craft. The Wicca do not proselytize; however, our elders find that a fair number of individuals seek out the Wicca hoping to learn magic, join a coven, work love spells, gain power, break hexes, acquire status, and so on. A very few of those seekers discover that the more they learn about British Traditional Wicca, the greater the sense of coming home, of returning to a spirituality and deities they never knew they missed.
Gardner, Example: one full week, counted inclusively, is 8 days Sunday through Sunday. The same effect arises in music, where an octave meaning eight higher is seven half-tones up from the original pitch. Initiations into such a maiden coven are performed by the second-degree leaders… whose authority to perform the initiations are granted by their elder third degrees. These two methods represent the ends of a spectrum along which any coven may operate—if true in practice at one time, that practice has altered in most locations.
In other parts of the world, both second and third-degree witches are coven leaders, and as noted before, British and European covens are often led by second-degree practitioners. In either system, third-degree coven leaders become autonomous and independent. Psyanky eggs. Wiccan Rede is powered by donations and volunteers only. So feel free to donate a little something to keep us online! Powered by WordPress , Hybrid , and Leviathan. Wiccan Rede.
Yule, Morgana, For this reason, the lunar esbat rituals become familiar to the new initiate much more quickly. Journeyman Journeymen artisans were expected to do just that, journey. How did this degree turn take place? The road from sorcery to spirituality is a colorful one, full of secrets, twists, rituals and compelling personalities. Witchcraft has taken its place in the ecumenical religious theater.
Traditionally, witchcraft—with a small w—is a form of sorcery, concerned with spells and divination. The magical witch, the sorcerer witch, was not practicing a religion of witchcraft, but was practicing a magical art, passed down through families or taught by adepts. Witches have never enjoyed a good reputation. Almost universally since ancient times, witchcraft has been associated with malevolence and evil. Witches are thought to be up to no good, interested in wreaking havoc and bringing misery to others.
A witch hysteria mounted in Europe, Britain and even the American colonies and was seized upon by the church as xi. Witchcraft as a religion was born in Britain after World War II and came out of the closet when the anti-witchcraft laws there were repealed in It is argued that Gerald B. Gardner, the man who more or less invented the religion, should have chosen another term besides witchcraft for the mix of pagan, ceremonial magic and occult material he assembled.
Perhaps witchcraft sounded secretive, exotic and forbidden. It certainly struck the right chord with the public, who suddenly could not get enough of witches. Gardner may not have envisioned a worldwide religious movement, but that is what unfolded, first with the export of Witchcraft to the United States, Canada and Europe, and then around the world. A spiritual tradition that reinvented pagan deities and rituals, combined with folk magic and ceremonial magic, proved to be what many people wanted.
Alienated by the dry, crusty rituals and somber dogma of patriarchal mainstream Christianity and Judaism, people were hungry for a spirituality that was fresh and creative. Witchcraft—as well as reborn Paganism, reconstructions of pre-Christian and non-Christian traditions—offered just that, along with independence, autonomy, a connection to Nature and direct contact with the Divine. No need for meddling priests, ministers and clergy to guard the gates to the Godhead—or the afterlife. Another appeal was the top billing given to the feminine aspect of deity—the Goddess. And, sensuality was honored and celebrated, not punished.
Witchcraft the religion, along with its Pagan cousins, flourished in the blooming New Age counterculture of the s and s and then took hold on the edges of mainstream society. In the years since its birth, Witchcraft has solidified some in uniform codes, values and core beliefs. But at heart it remains fluid, constantly evolving in practice and interpretation. Practitioners find Witchcraft empowering and believe it provides a powerful spiritual path on a par with all other mystical, spiritual and religious paths. Dozens and dozens of Witchcraft and Pagan traditions exist, and new ones are born all the time.
Witchcraft and Paganism have survived the first tests of time. The movements took hold in the baby boom generation. Now, the children and grandchildren of those people are growing up Wiccan and Pagan, and new young people are attracted to the fold in increasing numbers. But there remains that pesky word witchcraft, which still evokes Satan, evil and black magic to many outsiders. Some have adopted the terms Wicca and Wiccan to describe themselves and their religion and also to distinguish who they are and what they do from folk magic.
Today, most Witches stand firm by the terms Witch and Witchcraft, believing that the public can and should be reeducated about both. First, there is witchcraft the magical art, which deals with sorcery, spell-casting for good or ill, healing and divination. Then there is the Inquisition witchcraft, the alleged Devil worship. And then there is Witchcraft the religion. All three overlap, and all three are covered in this volume. Most of the topics deal with the history and evolution of witchcraft in the West, though there are entries of crosscultural interest.
I have used a lower-case w to describe folk and Inquisition witches and witchcraft, and a capital W to refer to the modern religion. I have also used the terms Wicca and Wiccan for the modern religion. Likewise, a lowercase p in pagan and paganism are used for pre- and non-Christian references, while a capital P refers to modern religious traditions. Witchcraft the modern religion is considered a form of Paganism, but there are many forms of Paganism that are not Witchcraft.
Topics include folklore, historical cases and events, biographies, descriptions of beliefs, rites and practices and related topics. For the third edition, I have added entries in all categories and have updated entries to reflect changes and developments. Students of the Salem witch hysteria will find individual biographies on the key victims. Witchcraft is a topic of enduring interest and study. In one respect, it peeks into a shadow side of the occult and the dark underbelly of human nature.
In another respect, it opens into a realm of spiritual light. The church may never officially apologize for the Inquisition, which destroyed many people other than accused witches. Perhaps the success of Witchcraft the religion is karmic payback for a campaign of terror in the name of religion. The word is inscribed on an amulet see amulets or written out on paper in a magical inverted triangle, in which one letter of the word is dropped in each succeeding line, until nothing is left.
The evil is supposed to fade away just as the word does. The diminishing word technique is used in many other spells for the same purposes. In medieval times, abracadabra was believed to ward off the plague. The triangle was written on a piece of paper, which was tied around the neck with flax and worn for nine days, then tossed backwards over the shoulder into a stream of water running toward the east. It is said by some to have been invented around by Quintus Serenus Sammonicus, physician to the Roman emperor Severus, as a cure for fever.
Some hold that Sammonicus merely borrowed a formula that was much older. Another possibility is that it is the name of some long-forgotten demon. Aleister Crowley, on the other hand, said it is a. See charms. Further reading: Farrar, Janet, and Stewart Farrar. A Witches Bible Compleat. New York: Magickal Childe, An expert on the Kabbalah, Abramelin said he learned his magical knowledge from angels, who told him how to conjure and tame demons into personal servants and workers, and how to raise storms see storm raising.
He said that all things in the world were created by demons, who worked under the direction of angels, and that each individual had an angel and a demon as familiars. The basis for his system of magic, he said, may be found in the Kabbalah. According to lore, Abramelin created 2, spirit cavalrymen for Frederick, elector of Saxony.
The magic of Abramelin allegedly is contained in a manuscript, The Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage, actually a collection of three books. It was translated into English around the turn of the 20th century by S. Crowley borrowed from the book for his own rituals to master demons, and Gerald B. Gardner used it as a source for his book of shadows.
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Abramelin magic is similar to that found in The Key of Solomon, considered the leading magical grimoire see grimoires. It is based on the power of numbers and sacred names and involves the construction of numerous magical squares for such purposes as invisibility, flying, commanding spirits, necromancy, shape shifting see metamorphosis and scores of other feats.
Rituals for conjuring spirits, creating magic squares and making seals and sigils are elaborate and must be followed exactly in accordance with astrological observances. Further reading: MacGregor-Mathers, S. Wellingborough, England: The Aquarian Press, The results of her research, Drawing Down the Moon ; ; , make up a meticulous landmark study of a highly complex and diversified religious movement. Born April 16, , in Little Rock, Arkansas, she grew up in New York City as the only child in a nonreligious household: her father was an atheist and her mother a Jewish agnostic.
Psychiatry was a significant influence: her father and an aunt are psychiatrists; her grandfather was renowned psychiatrist Alfred Adler. Her mother was a radical educator. At age 12, Adler became acquainted at grammar school with the pantheon of ancient Greek deities. She was particularly drawn to Artemis and Athena for their images of strength and power.
While a student at the High School of Music and Art, Adler made a religious search, visiting different churches. She was attracted to the Quakers and their practice of speaking from the heart, and to the moving, ritual splendor of Catholic Mass in Latin. Religion then took a back seat to politics for a few years.
She participated in the Free Speech Movement and was jailed for demonstrating. She helped to register black voters in civil rights activities in Mississippi in She was an activist against the Vietnam War, and demonstrated at the Democratic convention in Chicago in In Washington, politics and religion came together for Adler. She devoted extensive coverage to environmental issues, which stimulated her interest in nature writers such as Thoreau.
In contrast, Paganism and animistic religions viewed humankind as a part of nature equal with all other creatures and parts. On a trip to England, Adler investigated the history of the Druids, and in the process discovered numerous Pagan organizations. She subscribed to The Waxing Moon, which led to her introduction to witchcraft and Wicca. She received a letter from two Witches in Essex, England, who were selling tapes of rituals to Waxing Moon subscribers.
At first, the idea of Witchcraft rituals on tape struck Adler as a joke. She replied that she might air them on her radio program. It evoked childhood memories of beautiful Greek goddesses, and in a powerful moment, Adler realized that the idea of becoming the Goddess as an empowering image was not only permissible but was being done by others. She began to search for such people.
In the early s, contemporary Witchcraft was rapidly gaining adherents in the United States. Gardner, the Craft was modified by numerous American covens. Another group hived off from that coven to observe the Gardnerian tradition, and Adler followed. She was initiated as a first degree Gardnerian priestess in Adler stayed in the coven about three years, then moved off in new directions. She formed a Pagan Way grove in Manhattan, which became an informal recruiting center for persons interested in Witchcraft and Paganism.
She spent three years researching and writing Drawing Down the Moon. Originally, she intended to include Britain in her survey, but British groups and individuals proved reluctant to participate. To her surprise, Adler discovered that the Pagan movement is not what she had imagined: an integrated spiritual movement with environmental concerns.
Some segments did fit that image, while others were radically different. A decade later, the movement had become much more integrated and concerned with ecological issues, in part, perhaps, due to the influence of books by Adler and Starhawk. In later editions of Drawing Down the Moon, she chronicled the growing number of Pagans who entered the Unitarian Universalist churches. For some Though she acknowledges that she is a Witch in the Wiccan religion, Adler prefers to call herself a Pagan. She feels the term Witch has so many negative associations that it may never be reclaimed as a term of female power and independence.
She was priestess of a Gardnerian coven for five years until , when she was awarded a prestigious one-year Neiman fellowship to Harvard University. On June 19, , Adler married her longtime companion, Dr. Selena Fox officiated at the legal ceremony, conducted within a magic circle made of flowers and greens. Adler and Gliedman then jumped the broom, according to tradition. A reception followed. The wedding was the first Wiccan handfasting to be written up in the society pages of the New York Times. A son, Alexander Gliedman-Adler, was born in Adler sees that period more as a ferment of ideas and ideals and of creative risk-taking rather than as an indulgent drug-and-sex party portrayed by most media.
She is a correspondent for All Things Considered and Morning Edition and hosts Justice Talking, a national show on constitutional issues. She has especially emphasized the importance of ritual, not only as part of worship and rites of passage, but as an important way for the human soul to commune with and understand creation. There is a fairly universal belief in a supreme God, who manifests himself in light and brightness: a shining, snowcapped mountain, or the light streaming through a. But such a God is remote, accessible only to the priests or elders. God inspires great awe in his people, causing them to fear and avoid his symbols, such as thunder and lightning.
They are always about, participating in daily living, evident in the rustling of leaves, dust spirals in the earth, currents in the river. Southern Africans divide the shades into two categories: the deceased relatives of any particular family and the founding heroes, male or female, who define a community, chiefdom or region. To keep the ancestors happy, living relatives offer food, drink and animal sacrifice. Family members air and resolve any quarrels before the offering, since Africans believe that festering, unspoken anger is the root of witchcraft.
For the tribal African, the power of evil is everywhere, abetted by witches and their familiars but brought on by anger, hate, jealousy, envy, lust and greed—all the vices men observe in themselves and their neighbors. It can even be brought on by laziness, as certain evil persons raise the dead to do their work for them see zombie. Evil does not come from the shades, nor do the shades possess a living person. Both are outside influences caused by witchcraft. Others depict witchcraft as a baboon, and members of the Xhosa tribes see it as a fantastic hairy beast with exaggerated sexual organs.
People accused of witchcraft within a tribe often confess, attributing their evil to quarrels with wives, children or co-workers. In his groundbreaking studies of the Azande tribes in the late s, Professor E. Evans-Pritchard found that the Azande believe witchcraft, or mangu, is a hereditary trait found in the stomach of a witch. Such an abdominal condition results in an oval, blackish swelling or sac containing small objects located near the bile tract.
The Azande admit not seeing this sac while a person is alive but claim to have extracted it in autopsy. Professor EvansPritchard speculated that the Azande were describing the gall-bladder. Nevertheless, the Azande attribute any misfortune, however, small, to mangu. Nightmares are considered witch attacks. Sons of male witches inherit the condition from their fathers, while daughters receive mangu from their mothers. The Azande attribute little witchcraft activity to sorcery. A particularly successful supernatural killing may be celebrated by feasting on the revived body of the victim.
Their familiars, both animal and human, accompany them and goad them on to greater evil. The names of possible suspects are placed before the iwa, and the oracle selects the culprit and his or her accomplices. At that point, a wing from the unlucky chicken is cut off and attached to a stick like a fan. If not, the procedure is repeated. Their discretion in the affair appeals to the pride and honor of the suspected witch, and he may stop the spell in appreciation. Members of the Tswana peoples deny the possibility of an uncontrollable mangu; for them, all witchcraft involves malice aforethought.
Night witches, or baloi ba bosigo, are mainly elderly women who gather at night in small groups and then travel about the countryside bewitching the unfortunate. Instead of wearing clothes, they smear their bodies with white ashes or the blood of the dead. Admission is open to anyone, but the applicant must profess her zeal by causing the death of a close relative, usually a firstborn child.
Initiates receive an ointment that allows them to wake instantly and join their colleagues when called. Among their alleged activities is the exhumation of newly buried corpses, which the night witches accomplish by using a special magic that makes the body float to the surface. The witches then take whatever body parts they need for their spells and medicines. Members of the BaKgatla tribe say that the witches make their own hyenas from porridge and then activate them with special medicines.
Although beliefs in night witches are widely held, many Africans take such stories lightly, acknowledging that no one has seen baloi ba bosigo at work. But most accounts describe true poison, acting so slowly that suspicions are not aroused until the victim is seriously ill or dying, and making identification and indictment of the poisoner very difficult. Further reading: Evans-Pritchard, E. Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic Among the Azande abridged. Oxford: Clarendon Press, Mair, Lucy. Middleton, John, ed. Austin: University of Texas Press, Parrinder, Geoffrey.
Witchcraft European and African. The aiguillette also served to bind couples in illicit amatory relationships. The phobia of the ligature, or fear of satanic castration, was widespread in 16th-century France. It was believed. If the coin disappeared, which all believed to mean that the Devil took it and kept it until Judgment Day, the couple was destined for unhappiness, sterility and adultery. Couples living in Languedoc were so fearful of satanic castration that not 10 weddings in were performed publicly in church.
Instead, the priest, the couple and their parents went off in secret to celebrate the sacrament. Only then could the newlyweds enter their home, enjoy the feasting and go to bed. At least one physician, Thomas Platter, concluded that the panic was so bad that there was a local danger of depopulation. See also maleficia. This case was one of the first in France to produce a conviction based on the testimony of a possessed demoniac.
Nevertheless, Father Gaufridi was convicted by his own confession following torture and the accusations of two nuns: Sister Madeleine Demandolx de la Palud and Sister Louise Capel. Sister Madeleine also recited her pact, renouncing God and the saints and even any prayers ever said for her. Gaufridi was burned alive, and the two nuns were banished from the convent. Two years later, in , the possession epidemic at Aix spread to nearby Lille, where three nuns accused Sister Marie de Sains of bewitching them.
Sunday, apparently, was their day off. Further reading: Baroja, Julio Caro. The World of the Witches. Reprint, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, Such actions also once were seen as illusions or spells caused by witches or as attempts at suicide by the mentally deranged. The objects vomited by the victim could be anything from live animals, such as toads, snakes, worms or butterflies, to pieces of iron, nails, small files, pins, needles, feathers, stones, cloth, shards of glass, hair, seaweed or foam. Simon Goulart, a 15th-century historian, tells of a young girl whose abdomen continually swelled as if she were pregnant.
Upon receiving drugs, the girl began vomiting a huge mass of hair, food, wax, long iron nails and brass needles. William claimed that the Devil had placed the items in his throat. Finally, Goulart relates the case of 30 children in Amsterdam in who became frenzied, vomiting pins, needles, thimbles, bits of cloth and pieces of broken jugs and glass. Efforts by doctors, exorcists and sorcerers had no effect, and the children suffered recurrent attacks.
As late as the 19th century in some rural areas, they were personified by small statues, which were kept in the home, clothed and made offerings of food and drink. It was believed that the Alrunes could divine the future by responding to questions with motions of the head.
If the statues were not properly cared for, they. The altar has ancient associations with the Goddess and Mother Earth, who rule the wheel of birthdeath-rebirth. In Wicca and Paganism, the altar is placed within a magic circle. It usually faces either east or north, depending on the tradition and practices of the coven. There are no set rules in the Craft for the construction of the altar.
If the ceremonies take place out of doors, rocks or tree stumps may be used. Indoors, the altar may be a table, a wooden box or a board placed on boxes or bricks.
Witchery: Embrace the Witch Within
Since many covens meet in homes or apartments where space is at a premium, the altar may not be permanent but erected only during ceremonies. The objects of ritual and worship placed on the altar vary, depending upon the practices of the coven and the rituals to be performed. If a broom and cauldron are needed in rituals, they are placed on either side of the altar. The altar is never used for blood sacrifice, which is prohibited in Wicca and Paganism.
In the Great R ite, which is actual or symbolic ritual sex, the body of the high priestess is considered an altar of the sacred forces of life, which echoes back to the ancient connection of altar to the Mother Goddess. The morsel was impregnated already with the savour of her burning flesh. Further reading: Buckland, Raymond. Paul: Llewellyn Publications, Crowley, Vivianne. Revised ed. Farrar, Stewart. Custer, Wash. Only the pearl is older than amber in use as jewelry and amulets. Amber was heavily traded by the Phoenicians.
The ancient Romans used it to cure headaches and throat infections, and considered a phallus made of amber to be the ultimate protection against the evil eye. Amber also is considered a bringer of good luck and a protector of health. It is believed to help women in labor, to keep a person cool in the hot sun and to remedy failing eyesight, earaches and a host of intestinal and kidney ailments. Jet, or black amber, has similar properties. In Iceland, jet serves as a protective amulet. In medieval Europe, jet was burned to drive away evil spirits.
Amulets are universal and are answers to age-old needs: to be healthy; to be virile and fertile; to be powerful and successful; to have good fortune. To ancient humans, these needs were controlled by the invisible forces of good and evil. Early amulets were natural objects whose unusual shapes or colors attracted attention. The magical properties of such objects were presumed to be inherent.
As civilization advanced, amulets became more diverse. They were fashioned into animal shapes, symbols, rings, seals and plaques, and were imbued with magical power with inscriptions or spells see abracadabra. Within these three general categories are many subdivisions, for no one amulet is broadly multipurpose. Amulets with inscriptions are also called charms. An amulet typically is worn on the body—usually hung around the neck—but some amulets guard tombs, homes and buildings. The Egyptians used them everywhere. The frog protected. Some Egyptian amulets are huge: a stone beetle mounted on a pedestal at Karnak now at the British Museum measures five feet long by three feet wide, and weighs more than two tons.
The Assyrians and Babylonians used cylinder seals that were imbedded with semiprecious and precious stones, each stone having its own unique magical powers see stones. Various animal shapes served as amulets; for example, the ram for virility, and the bull for virility and strength. The Arabs gathered dust from tombs and carried it in little sacks as protection against evil. The natives of the west coast of Africa carry amulets which Western explorers named fetishes see fetish. Natives believe that the fetish also contains a god or spirit who will help the wearer of the fetish obtain his or her desire.
Two amuletic symbols that are nearly universal throughout history are eyes and phallic symbols. Eyes protect against evil spirits and are found on many tombs and walls, and on utensils and jewelry. The phallic symbol, as represented by horns and hands, protects against the evil eye. The names of God and gods, and magical words and numbers, have provided amuletic protection since antiquity; they were particularly popular from the Renaissance to the early 19th century, when the grimoires, books of magical instruction, were written.
In magic, using the name of a deity taps into divine power. Some magical words and numbers are arranged in patterns of squares. Although numerous attempts have been made to translate the Sator square into something that makes sense, it remains nonsensical. Holy books such as the Koran, Torah and Bible are considered to have protective powers. Bits of parchment with scripture quotes, carried in leather pouches or silver boxes, are amulets in various religions.
Ancient pagans wore figurines of their gods as amulets. This custom was absorbed into the Catholic Church. In Wicca, the most powerful amulet is the silver pentacle, the religious symbol of the Craft see pentacle and pentagram. The sign of the pentacle, called a pentagram, is traced in the air in rituals done to protect sacred sites, homes and other places. Other amulets are made from herbs and various ingredients, which are placed in a charm bag also called a gris-gris. Further reading: Budge, E.
Amulets and Superstitions. Reprint, New York: Dover Publications, Lockhart, J. Curses, Lucks and Talismans. Reprint, Detroit: Single Tree Press, Thomas, Keith. Religion and the Decline of Magic. Victor H. Anderson was born on May 21, , in Clayton, New Mexico. When he was a young child, his family moved to Bend, Oregon. An uncorrected condition or ailment left him nearly blind for life. In Oregon, Anderson met and was initiated at about age nine into the Craft by Witches who called themselves faeries.
He came upon a small, old woman sitting naked in the center of a circle alongside brass bowls filled with herbs see magic circle. She told him he was a Witch. Instinctively, he took off his clothes and was sexually initiated. He experienced a vision, which he could see clearly despite his nearblindness, in which he floated in black space, holding on to the woman who became the Goddess , until he suddenly found himself in a junglelike setting under a vast sky filled with stars and a green moon.
Coming toward him was the Horned God, a beautiful and powerful man, yet effeminate, with an erect phallus. His head was horned, and from his head came a blue flame. After some communications with the deities, the vision vanished and Anderson returned to the present.
He sat in the circle with the old woman and was taught the ritual use of the herbs and teas in the brass bowls. She washed him in butter, oil and Salt. He dressed and returned home. Anderson worked in a coven; most of the coveners hailed from the American South and practiced a type of. In , Anderson married a northern Alabama woman, Cora, who came from a family of Christians who practiced folk magic. The two had meetings on the astral plane for several years before meeting in the physical. In the s the Andersons broke up a fistfight between their only son and a neighbor boy.
The boy, who years later changed his name to Gwydion Pendderwen, became a good friend of the family and was initiated into Witchcraft by the Andersons. The publication of Gerald B. He and Pendderwen cofounded and wrote most of the rituals for the Faery Tradition, named after the Faery Witches Anderson worked with as a child. Anderson lived with his wife in the Bay Area of California. He authored a book of Craft poems, Thorns of the Blood Rose. Anderson initiated Starhawk into the Craft. He also was a Kahuna and a bokor shaman.
He earned his living as a musician, playing the accordion and singing. URL: http:www. Downloaded October 17, Wiccans and Pagans wear it as an amulet against negativity and as a talisman for good fortune and benevolent forces. It also represents the union of the male principle the staff and the female principle the closed loop.
Egyptian art shows the ankh being carried as a scepter in the right hand of deities and being applied to the nostrils of the dead in order to bring them back to life. Ankh amulets were made of faience, semiprecious and precious stones, wax, metal and wood. Tutankhamen had a hand mirror in the shape of an ankh. Egyptians who converted to Christianity from the first century on used both the ankh and the Christian cross as their signs.
Magic apple lands, whose fruit gave eterb. In Iroquois myth, the apple is the central tree of heaven. In Christianity, the apple offered Eve by the serpent is the fruit of life but becomes equated with sin. A surviving custom is the dunking for apples on this night. Magical fermented cider may have been used in other pagan rites.
Apples and apple peel are used in divination methods common in the British Isles. In English lore, the apple tree is synonymous with enchantment and associated with figures in the Arthurian legends. Queen Guinevere gave an apple to St. Patrick, who died; she was accused of witchcraft and condemned to burn at the stake, but was rescued by Lancelot. Witches who wished to bewitch or poison others were often said to use apples, as in the folktale of Snow White, who was put to sleep by the poisoned apple of the black witch-queen. In Richard Jones, a year-old boy in Shepton Mallet in the county of Somerset in England, was said to be bewitched by a girl who gave him an apple.
Jones suffered fits, and neighbors said they saw him fly over his garden wall. The girl, Jane Brooks, was charged with witchcraft, convicted and hanged on March 26, According to English folklore, it is bad luck to pick all the apples in a harvest: some must be left for the fairies. The apple is a love charm in Vodun, and in English, Danish and German folklore.
See possession. Further reading: Leach, Maria, ed. Opie, Iona, and Moira Tatem. A Dictionary of Superstitions. New York: Oxford University Press, David is Archpriest and Deborah K.
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Hudson is Archpriestess. Membership is open. In , he relocated to the Seattle area and established the Tab based on English Traditional Wicca. The Tab grew in size, attracting Wiccans and Pagans from diverse traditions. In , a Moonstone Circle of tall standing menhirs was constructed and dedicated for the Tab.
Liturgy was formalized the following year. Tax status as a church was obtained in The role of the church has expanded, and it has been involved in gaining acceptance for Wicca as a religion in Washington prisons; coordinating Wiccan and Pagan interests in the Interfaith Council of Washington State Davis has served as president ; establishing SpiralScouts for youth; and establishing the Woolston-Steen Seminary for the training of clergy. The church was a leader in the Pentacle Quest campaign to allow Wiccan and Pagan veterans to put symbols of their faith on their headstones.
Downloaded October 12, Leland said the legend had been passed on to him by a hereditary Etruscan witch named Maddalena. Godfrey said the name Aradia is a corruption of Herodias, or Queen Herodias, the wife of Herod, with whom Diana came to be identified by the 11th century. Leland went to Tuscany in northern Italy in the s. In , he heard about a manuscript that supposedly set down the old tenets of witchcraft. He told Maddelana to find it. A year later, she gave him a document in her own handwriting, an alleged copy of this manuscript.
Leland translated it into English and published it as Aradia, or the Gospel of the Witches. He was struck by the references to Diana and Lucifer, and offered it as evidence of witchcraft as an old religion. In his preface, he. He never produced Maddalena or any documentation to verify her existence. Diana is created first among all beings and divides herself into light and darkness. She falls in love with him and seduces him by changing herself into a cat.
And when a priest shall do you injury By his benedictions, ye shall do to him Double the harm, and do it in the name Of me, Diana, Queen of witches all! Such requests include success in love, and the power to bless friends and curse enemies, as well as: To converse with spirits. To find hidden treasures in ancient ruins. To conjure the spirits of priests who died leaving treasures. To understand the voice of the wind. To change water into wine. To divine with cards. To know the secrets of the hand [palmistry].
To cure diseases. To make those who are ugly beautiful. To tame wild beasts. The invocation for Aradia is given as follows: Thus do I seek Aradia! At midnight, at midnight I go into a field, and with me I bear water, wine, and salt, I bear water, wine, and salt, and my talisman—my talisman, my talisman, and a red small bag which I ever hold in my hand—con dentro, con dentro, sale, with salt in it, in it.
With water and wine I bless myself, I bless myself with devotion to implore a favor from Aradia, Aradia. The truth about the origins of Aradia may never be known. Some skeptics believe that Leland fabricated the entire story, or that he was duped by Maddalena, who made it up. A more likely scenario, put forward by scholar Ronald Hutton, is that Maddalena, pressed to deliver, collected some authentic bits of lore and embellished them. Leland, who is known to have embellished his other folklore accounts, probably added his own flourishes.
Contemporary folklore scholars do not accept Aradia as authentic.
Aradia had little impact on contemporary European Witchcraft, but enjoyed more prominence in America. In contemporary Witchcraft, Aradia is one of the most often used names for the Goddess. Further reading: Adler, Margot. Drawing Down the Moon. New York: Viking, Clifton, Chas S. Farrar, Janet, and Stewart Farrar. Leland, Charles G.
Aradia: Gospel of the Witches. She is associated with the constellation Corona Borealis, which is also known as Caer Arianrod. It was founded in by p. Bonewits served as Archdruid for 10 years and remains active in the organization. In an open letter in , Bonewits outlined his vision for creating a modern, Neopagan Druidic religion.
ADF integrates religion with alternate healing arts, ecology-consciousness, psychic development and artistic expression. It is organized in groves, many of them named after trees. The oak tree is sacred, as it was to the ancient Druids. The groves observe eight seasonal High Days that coincide with the sabbats observed in Wicca and conduct regular study and discussion groups and a wide range of artistic activities. The idea of the circle structure was borrowed from the Church of All Worlds.
Worship and rituals usually are conducted outdoors. ADF is polytheistic, and recognition of various deities depends on the individual grove and the purpose of the rites. The one deity who is worshiped at every ritual is the Earth-Mother Mother Nature. The Waters of Life, passed or asperged in rites, represent the spark of immanent deity.
Liturgy and rituals are based upon scholarly research of old Indo-European religious, folk magic, art and social customs. The research is ongoing and involves translation of numerous foreign and archaic language texts. Bonewits identified five phases of liturgical design common in the religions of related Indo-European cultures: 1.
ADF rituals are not conducted within barriers such as a magic circle, and participants can come and go while rituals are in progress. Sacrifices made to the deities include tree branches, fruits, flowers and vegetables. Although animal, even human, sacrifices were performed in most paleo-Pagan religions, they are strictly forbidden in ADF rituals, as well as in neo-Paganism in general. Clergy wear long white robes; members of the congregation are encouraged to dress in paleo-Pagan garb.
Bonewits introduced the white beret as a signature of ADF; the berets and any headcoverings are removed upon entrance to a ritual site, except during very hot weather. The sigil may have been taken from the shape of a foundation of an old Roman-Celtic temple. The logo, a branch sprouting from an oak tree stump, is a Celtic rendition inspired by the badge of the Scottish MacEwen clan.
The Archdruid does not have all the answers and can make mistakes. Accessed July 15, Bonewits, Isaac. Available online. Downloaded August 14, Born in Washington, D. Army Security Agency. He moved to Canada after his discharge. He began practicing Witchcraft as a solitary in the late s, intuiting rituals and sensing innately that he had always been a Witch. He later was initiated in several traditions. In Canada, Arnold became involved in the Wiccan Church of Canada for about two and a half years, serving on its board of directors and as secretary-treasurer.
He left that organization in to found the Spendweik Coven, of which he later was named Elder. He resigned from that to help found and serve as executive director of Wicca Communitas, a nonprofit support and network organization for Wiccans and Pagans in southern Ontario. Wicca Communitas oversees the Temple of the Elder Faiths, a public organization of which Arnold was high priest until The Temple of the Elder Faiths was founded in as a non-initiatory public temple whose rituals and services are based largely on the Pagan Way.
Its priesthood come from diverse traditions, including the well-established Gardnerian and Alexandrian traditions. In , Arnold undertook legal measures to have Wicca decriminalized by the Canadian government. The issue revolved around the granting of paid leave for two religious holidays, Beltane April 30 and Samhain October Arnold had been denied paid leave by his employer, Humber College of Applied Arts and Technology in Toronto, where he worked as a secretary in the Equine Center.
The process was long, contentious and stressful. The case went to the Ministry of Labor for arbitration. Arnold was backed by his union, and also received support from a Christian minister, Rev. Donald Evans of the United Church of Canada. Arnold was called upon to refute commonly held misconceptions about Satanism, Devil-worship and animal or human sacrifice.
He testified about the Goddess, the Horned God, the fundamentals of Wicca and its holidays, and his own involvement in the religion. His pastoral responsibilities, he told the arbitrators, were similar to those of a pastor or priest in any other religion, including planning and conducting worship services, teaching and counseling. We are of the view that it would be unreasonable for the employer to con-. At the same time, Arnold pursued another legal quest in applying to the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations for a license to perform marriages.
That was turned down on March 15, , on the grounds that the application did not satisfy criteria of the Marriage Act: the denomination or tradition of the applicant must have been in existence for at least 25 years. Years later, the province revised its rules for obtaining the license to marry, and Wiccans and Pagans may now qualify. The legal issues took a heavy toll on Arnold, who had to contend with criticism from inside his own spiritual community that he had taken on these battles for personal publicity.
By , he had resigned from all offices and positions he held in various organizations across North America and withdrew to a more private life. By the late s, Arnold resumed public speaking and activism work within the Wiccan-Pagan community. Arnold moved to Perth Amboy, New Jersey. He has served as national coordinator of the Pagan Veterans Headstone Campaign, to gain the right of Wiccans and Pagans in the military to have symbols of their faiths on their tombstones, and as chairman of the United Pagan Temples of America. Further reading: Bradley, Jeff.
Downloaded September 14, Downloaded October 1, The accused were brutally tortured and promised their lives, then burned at the stake. The incident roused the ire of the duke of Burgundy, and eventually those executed were posthumously exonerated. The witch hunt was one of the earliest in the region.
Inquisitors used charges of witchcraft against heretics such as the Waldenses, or Vaudois, a religious sect under persecution. The Arras affair began at Langres in , when a hermit, who may have been suspected of being one of the Vaudois, was arrested. Under torture, he admitted attending a sabbat the Vaudois were said to hold nocturnal revelries in worship of the Devil and named a prostitute and an elderly poet of Arras as his companions.
The hermit was burned at the stake, and the inquisitors arrested and tortured his accomplices. They, in turn, confessed and named others. A widening pool of accusations, arrests, tortures and confessions spread through Arras, including not only poor and feebleminded women but persons of importance.
The inquisitor of Arras was spurred on by his zealous superiors, two Dominican monks. The Dominicans believed that one-third of the population of Europe were secret witches, including numerous bishops and cardinals in the church. Anyone who was against burning witches was also a witch. The accused were put on the rack and tortured. The soles of their feet were put into flames, and they were made to swallow vinegar and oil. They confessed to whatever the judges wanted, specifically, to attending the sabbat, where they bowed to the Devil and kissed his backside see kiss of shame , and then indulged in a sexual orgy.
The inquisitors lied to them, promising that in exchange for their confessions, they would be spared their lives and given only the mild punishment of a short pilgrimage. Instead they were sent to the stake, where they were publicly denounced and burned alive. As they died, some of them shrieked out to the onlookers, protesting their innocence and how they had been framed, but to no avail. Some of the richer prisoners bribed their way out, but most were not so lucky. Their estates and possessions were seized. Eventually, the witch hunt took a severe toll on the commerce of the city.
Arras was a trading and manufacturing center, and many ceased doing business there, out of fear that the merchants they dealt with would be arrested and have their monies seized. At the end of , Philip the Good, the duke of Burgundy, intervened, and the arrests stopped.
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In the Parlement of Paris demanded the release of some of those imprisoned; the remainder were freed by the bishop of Arras, who had been absent during the hysteria. Thirty years later, in , the Parlement of Paris condemned the cruelty of the tortures and said the Inquisition had acted without due process. See Inquisition. Further reading: Parrinder, Geoffrey. Robbins, Rossell Hope. New York: Bonanza Books, Summers, Montague.
The Geography of Witchcraft. She is the counterpart to the Babylonian goddess Ishtar and is one of the oldest Middle Eastern aspects of the Goddess, dating to the Neolithic and Bronze Ages. According to myth, Astarte descended to earth as a fiery star, landing near Byblos in a lake at Alphaca, the site where the original Tammuz is said to have died. The Phoenicians portrayed Astarte with cow horns, representing fertility. Ancient Assyrians and Babylonians portrayed her caressing a child. She was associated with the moon and called the Mother of the Universe, giver of all life on Earth.
She was ruler of all spirits of the dead, who lived in heaven in bodies of light and were visible on earth as stars. The goddess was worshiped with sexual rituals that were condemned by the prophets of the Old Testament.
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Sacrifices made to her included firstborn children and newborn animals. Christians turned Astarte into a male demon, Astaroth. When Metis was pregnant, Zeus was afraid that she would bear a son who would be greater than he, so he swallowed Metis. Inside him, she began to hammer out a. The hammering gave him a headache. His son Hephaestus, god of thunder and the forge, split his skull open, and out came a fully grown and clothed Athena.
Avebury is said to be the largest henge in the world, covering The site may have served Neolithic Goddess worship and is considered a center of Earth and psychic power by Wiccans, pagans and others. The original purpose of the stones is shrouded in mystery. Site and layout. The henge is surrounded on three sides by the Marlborough chalk downs and consists of a 15foot-high bank, 1, feet in diameter, encircling an outer ditch. The bank is intersected by four roads, three of which, and possibly the fourth, are thought to have been causeways to provide access to and from the henge.
From the air, Avebury looks like a Celtic, or circled, cross. Within the large outer circle stand the ruins of two and perhaps three smaller circles. The outer Great Stone Circle once contained about upright sarsen stones which are hard, sandstone rocks found in the downs. Only 27 remain, due to massive destruction by the Puritans in the 17th and 18th centuries. The largest of these weigh about 60 tons and stand around 25 feet tall.
The circle to the north is known as the Central Circle and was composed of about 30 stones, four of which still stand. The Cove may have been used for funeral rites for bodies that were buried elsewhere. Standing alone between the main circle and the South Circle at the other end is a stone with a natural hole. The South Circle has two large stones still upright at its entrance. Originally there were about 32 stones, five of which remain, and there are markings where others once stood.
Some theorists believe that this inner circle was the site of fertility ceremonies during which human bones were used. A large stone, called the Obelisk, stands in the center with smaller stones, called Z stones, surrounding it. The Obelisk may have been the site for an ancestor cult, for human bones were found at its base. At this end are also some tall standing stones and smaller stones in triangle or diamond shapes, perhaps depicting the male and female forms. Originally, the avenue comprised about standing stones set in pairs and was the link between the Great Stone Circle and another small circle known as the Sanctuary, one mile away on Overton Hill.
One researcher, Alexander Keiller, excavated the site in and found burials at the bases of four of the large stones. Keiller also learned that the avenue was crossed by early Iron Age and Roman field boundaries. The Sanctuary might have been built on the site where wooden rings stood and where corpses were stored until the flesh decayed. The dead may have been carried along the avenue to this circle. At the western entrance of the henge once stood Beckhampton Avenue. It was destroyed by the Puritans and now only two stones, known as Adam and Eve or the Longstones, stand.
No one knows where the avenue ended, but it is thought to have extended a mile and a half.