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Pagans live by a different set of rules than “mere mortals.” Seriously though, we do have our own ethics, morals and family values. There are many lists of these guidelines available. In fact, just about anyone who’s ever written a book about magic or Witchcraft has given a list of “rules to live by.” That’s great, the more we have, the more we have to choose from because, let’s face it, we don’t all agree on everything. We have our sects just like any other religion. Some of us feel better with very specific, detailed rules while others chafe under such a system. Most of us, regardless of other differences, cite the “Witches Rede” as our guiding principle. I guess that’s a good starting place:
“Three words the Wiccan Rede fulfill; ‘an it harm none, do what ye will.”
I believe that is an abbreviated version of Doreen Valiente’s lovely little poem. She also mentions the “Law of Three”: “… unless in thy self-defense it be, ever mind the Rule of Three.” Yes, a very good place to start, indeed. But I have a few other rules that I try to live by.
am hereby officially tendering my resignation as an adult, in order to accept the responsibilities of a 6-year-old. The tax base is lower.
want to be six again.
want to go to McDonald’s and think it’s the best place in the world to eat.
want to sail sticks across a fresh mud puddle and make waves with rocks.
want to think M&Ms are better than money, because you can eat them.
want to play kickball during recess and stay up on Christmas Eve waiting to hear Santa and Rudolph on the roof.
long for the days when life was simple. When all you knew were your colors, the addition tables, and simple nursery rhymes, but it didn’t bother you, because you didn’t know what you didn’t know, and you didn’t care.
want to go to school and have snack time, recess, gym and field trips.
want to be happy, because I don’t know what should make me upset.
want to think the world is fair and everyone in it is honest and good.
want to believe that anything is possible.
(Note from Daven: Okay, everyone else seems to have a version of the Wiccan Rede on their site, so I figure I need to have one too. Here it is, and a better one I challenge anyone to find. LOL Take special care to look at the last line. That is the true Rede, the one everyone speaks of when talking about the Rede. Keep it in mind, and you probably won’t go too far wrong.)
THE WICCAN REDE
Lady Gwen Thompson
From the Samhain 1995 Issue of Witch’s Brew
(Note from Daven: Blacksun has a formidable reputation in the Pagan community, almost as good as Searles O’Dubhain, Mike Nichols, and Isaac Bonewits. I respect his opinion and his thoughts. I have read this article in it’s entirety, and can’t find anything to criticize. I hope it helps you in your seeking.)
Find a teacher; join a coven…Simple, right?
If you are new to the Pagan community, or if you are thinking about working with others, please read this. This writing is directed toward the ever growing number of people who are anxious or “desperate” to join in to the Pagan community but who also might make foolish choices about with whom they choose to be affiliated.
There is a great deal of activity in the Pagan scene these days. Everywhere one turns, there are this and that “grove,” “coven,” “circle,” or whatever, offering all kinds of inducements and seductions to those who are attracted to our religion and sub-culture. But many times, at public gatherings or just in private talk, I am asked why it is so difficult to get admitted into a traditional coven (grove, circle, whatever… I’ll just use the word, “coven” from now on) or why it’s so hard to find a good “teacher.” Or the person will say something like, “I’m desperate! Could you tell me who’s accepting students right now?” These questions make me wince inside. What I would say to people who ask them follows.
- Sword (doesn’t matter if sword is just for decor)
- candles (1 for each element +1 black candle)
- incense (preferably a dark colored incense any flavor)
- strip of leather (length of sword)
- bowl full of water (cauldron works)
Begin by cleansing your materials. Give any opening offerings to the Gods of your choice (preferably war Gods). Plot the land where you will work (mandatory outdoor ritual). Light the black candle and keep it burning throughout the ritual. Cast a circle using the sword by drawing the circle around you. Put sword in center of circle. Light the candle that represents Water and say:
In the element of Water I bless this sword to my name (your name here) .
Stretch out the leather and lay it across the sword. Let a few drops of the candle wax drop on the leather. Extinguish the candle. Light the candle for Earth and say:
In the name of the God (God’s name here) I bless this sword of the Earth.
Let some wax drip on the leather. Extinguish the candle. Light the candle for Air and the incense and say:
Collected by HalfWolfie; she who throws away nothing.
Seven Celtic blessings for your home. They are in original form, so adapt them as you see fit – like replacing Goddess for God or your favorite diety.
Blessing for a New Home
A blessing upon your new home,
A blessing upon your new hearth,
A blessing upon your new dwelling,
Upon your newly kindled fire.
A blessing upon your tallest grass,
A blessing upon your fruitful partner,
A blessing upon your growing son/s,
Upon your growing daughter/s.
A blessing upon the household’s helpers,
A blessing upon children yet unborn,
A blessing upon the wise parents,
Upon your occupation.
A blessing upon your goods and income,
A blessing upon your kith and kin,
A blessing upon you in light or darkness,
Each day and night of your lives.
- Carmina Gadelica
Blessing of the Three
The sacred three,
My fortress be,
Come and be round,
My hearth, my home.
Fend Thou my kin,
And every sleeping thing within,
From scathe, from sin,
Thy care our peace,
Though mid of night,
To light’s release.
- MacLean, The Little Book of Celtic Blessings, trans. C. Matthews
(Note from Daven: I have no idea where this particular list came from, but I remember how hard it was for me to find good books for our daughter to listen to. To preserve the integrity of this document, I will not list my book selection here, but rather in the Bibliography section. I hope this helps someone.)
Books for Neo-Pagan Children
These are just a few suggestions of books I think would be appropriate for Neo-Pagan kids. They reflect a reverence for nature, encourage environmental exploration, discuss myths and legends, and/or encourage creativity and fantasy.
The Stranger by Chris Van Allsburg, Houghton Mifflin, 1986. Farmer Bailey takes in a mysterious stranger who has amnesia and Autumn doesn’t seem to come. One day the stranger blows on a leaf and it turns bright red.
Whisper From the Woods by Victoria Worth, Green Tiger Press, 1991.In the dark forest a seedling grows among its siblings. In winter their roots hold hands underground, in summer they murmur together. A heavy storm blows their mother tree over, they cover her with leaves, seed falls, and the cycle begins again.
By Andrea E. Feeser
*Note: This file may be distributed freely, so long as it remains intact and credit is given to the author.
*The Full Moon of the Mother ritual is pending publishing in Circle Network News, as of 1994.
*(C) Copyright 1995 Andrea E. Feeser
*Comments welcome: firstname.lastname@example.org
DIVINATIONS FOR THE CHILD
If you wish to do a divination for the child, it is best if you already feel mentally and spiritually connected to him/her.
Prepare as you usually do for divination, laying out the tools you will use. Now, relax and center. Open your mind to that connection. You should feel an opening of the Third Eye charka. Visualize a stream of light connecting your Third Eye with your awareness of the child in the center of your body.
When you feel you have made this connection, proceed with your divination while maintaining this altered mental state.
Here is a birthing sachet I devised. It should be held during meditations of peaceful childbirth. You should also have it with you during the actual childbirth, so that the associations with a peaceful and easy childbirth are awakened in your sub-conscious.
(Note from Daven: This document, which had no accompanying explanation, seems mainly to deal with Celtic Mythology. And it’s not the original texts either, but “modernized” stories, designed to grab your attention. I only include them here for those of you who wish to persue just the basic mythology of the Celts. For more scholarly works, I recommend the “Bibliography” on the navigation applet to the right.)
STORIES from Ireland, Scotland, and Wales
The Stone of Victory, and Other Tales. By Padraic Colum (McGraw). The great Irish storyteller’s choice of his favorites from his many stories. Illustrated by Judith Gwyn Brown.
Celtic Folk and Fairy Tales Edited by Joseph Jacobs (Putnam). These retellings are faithful to the spirit of Celtic stories.
Heather and Broom. Thistle and Thyme. Sea-Spell and Moor-Magic. Western Isles. By Loch and by Lin. Twelve Black Cats and Other Eerie Scottish Tales. By Sorche Nic Leodhas (Holt). Flavorful stories from Scottish folklore delightfully retold.
Donegal Fairy Stories. Collected and told by Seumas MacManus (Dover). Humorous and carefree Irish folktales skillfully retold by a master storyteller. With illustrations by Frank Verbeck.
(Note from Daven: I was a member of the Texas Pagan Community when this document began circulating around that community. I know (from rumors mostly) some of what went on to prompt this document, but not enough to make any sweeping statements as to what happened. I have had one person step up and claim credit for being the author of this document, and I humbly thank him for writing this.)
The Seeker’s Bill of Rights
High Priest Charles Mars
Seekers of the Pagan path are in an extremely vulnerable position. In their quest for teaching and fellowship, thy risk encountering those who use our faith to prey on others. Since paganism is still struggling for public acceptance, there is little sympathy from authorities. Neither can the elders of our community effectively address this issue. The most they can do is denounce these predators, and are usually accused of starting a “Witch War” when they do.
The answer to this dilemma is to empower those most vulnerable, the seekers. To this end, a Seeker’s Bill of Rights has been drafted. This tool will help to alert Seekers of a problem if a group or teacher violates any of the ten rights described. It will also serve to remind Seekers that while they do not have “degrees”, they are still human beings with rights and dignity.