Archive for June, 2005

The 13 Principles of Wiccan Belief

In America during 1973–74, an attempt was made to uniform and define the many differing beliefs across the many paths and traditions prevalent at that time. A short-lived alliance of contemporary witches was formed under the aegis of the ‘Council of American Witches’ spearheaded by Carl Llewellyn Weschcke.

Weschcke believed that a common set of principles and definitions encompassing the many paths and traditions in America, would ultimately help to dispel many of the myths about Witchcraft, and distinguish it from Satanism and other misconceptions in the eyes of the general public, and such as proliferated though the general press media.

As happened, some 73 or so representatives from the many paths and traditions convened in Minneapolis during the autumn of 1973. They formed the ‘Council of American Witches’ and Weschcke was nominated as chairman. Through his publishing company Weschcke published a newsletter called ‘Touchstone’ which the council used to collate information about their many differing beliefs.

After many difficulties and altercations, by April ’74 the council was able to unify a general set of principles loosely acceptable across the many traditions operating in America. Based on this, Weschcke then wrote and defined ‘The 13 Principles of Wiccan Belief’.

Due to Weschcke’s efforts these principles were later incorporated into the army’s ‘Chaplains handbook’ for use in the U.S. Army. Shortly after this achievement the Council of American Witches disbanded, this due mainly to the difficulties inherent in reconciling differences among its many member traditions. The 13 Principles of Wiccan Belief lived on however, and today many American Witches continue to endorse it.

The 13 Principles of Wiccan Belief:

1. We practice rites to attune ourselves with the natural rhythm of life forces marked by the phases of the Moon and the seasonal Quarters and Cross Quarters.

2. We recognize that our intelligence gives us a unique responsibility toward our environment. We seek to live in harmony with nature in ecological balance offering fulfillment to life and consciousness within an evolutionary concept.

3. We acknowledge a depth of power far greater than that apparent to the average person. Because it is far greater than ordinary it is sometimes called ‘supernatural’, but we see it as lying within that which is naturally potential to all.

4. We conceive of the Creative Power in the universe as manifesting through polarity – as masculine and feminine – and that this same Creative Power lies in all people and functions through the interaction of the masculine and the feminine. We value neither above the other knowing each to be supportive of the other. We value sex as pleasure as the symbol and embodiment of life, and as one of the sources of energy used in magical practice and religious worship.

5. We recognize both outer worlds and inner, or psychological worlds sometimes known as the Spiritual World, the Collective Unconsciousness, the Inner Planes etc – and we see in the interaction of these two dimensions the basis for paranormal phenomena and magical exercises. We neglect neither dimension for the other, seeing both as necessary for our fulfillment.

6. We do not recognize any authoritarian hierarchy, but do honor those who teach, respect those who share their greater knowledge and wisdom, and acknowledge those who have courageously given of themselves in leadership.

7. We see religion, magick and wisdom in living as being united in the way one views the world and lives within it – a world view and philosophy of life which we identify as Witchcraft – the Wiccan Way.

8. Calling oneself ‘Witch’ does not make a Witch – but neither does heredity itself, nor the collecting of titles, degrees and initiations. A Witch seek to control the forces within her/himself that make life possible in order to live wisely and without harm to others and in harmony with nature.

9. We believe in the affirmation and fulfillment of life in a continuation of evolution and development of consciousness giving meaning to the Universe we know and our personal role within it.

10.Our only animosity towards Christianity, or towards any other religion or philosophy of life, is to the extent that its institutions have claimed to be ‘the only way’ and have sought to deny freedom to others and to suppress other ways of religious practice and belief.

11. As American Witches, we are not threatened by debates on the history of the craft, the origins of various terms, the legitimacy of various aspects of different traditions. We are concerned with our present and our future.

12.We do not accept the concept of absolute evil, nor do we worship any entity known as ‘Satan’ or ‘the Devil’ as defined by Christian tradition. We do not seek power through the suffering of others, nor accept that personal benefit can be derived only by denial to another.

13.We believe that we should seek within Nature that which is contributory to our health and well-being.

Sources

The Witch Book Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca and & Neo-Paganism – by Raymond Buckland

Wiccan Rede

~ Wiccan Rede ~Bide these wiccan laws ye must,
With perfect love and perfect trust;

Live ye must and let to live,
Fairly take and fairly give.

Cast the circle thrice about,
To keep unwelcome spirits out.

To bind the magick every time,
let the spell be spoke in rhyme

Soft of eye and light of touch,
Speak ye little, listen much.

Honor the Old Ones in deed and name,
Let love and light be our guides again.

Deosil go by the waxing Moon,
Chanting out the joyful tune.

Widdershins go by the waning Moon,
Chanting out the baneful rune.

When the Lady’s moon is new,
kiss thy hands to her, times two.

When the moon rides at her peak,
then your heart’s desire seek.

Heed the North wind’s mighty gale,
Lock the door and trim the sail.

When the wind blows from the East,
Expect the new and set the feast.

When the wind comes from the south,
Love will kiss thee on the mouth.

When it whispers from the West,
Aching hearts find peace and rest.

Nine woods in the cauldron go,
burn them fast and burn them slow.

Birch into the fire goes
In sign of what the Lady knows.

Oak in the forest towers with might,
In the fire brings the Gods in sight.

Rowan is a tree of power,
Causing life and magic to flower.

Willows which by water stand
Ease us to the Summerland.

Hawthorn is burned to purify,
And to draw Faerie to your eye.

Hazel, the tree of wisdom and learning,
Adds its strength to the bright fire burning.

White are the flowers of apple tree,
That brings us fruits of fertility.

Grapes which grow upon the vine,
Give to us both joy and wine.

Fir tree bough are evergreen
Immortal life in them is seen.

Elder wood, the Lady’s tree
burn it not, or cursed be.

Four times the Major Sabbats mark,
Twice in light and twice in dark.

In death the spark of life is born
At Samhain when the veil is torn.

When the time for Imbolg shows,
Watch for flowers through the snows.

When the Wheel begins to turn,
Soon the Beltaine fires will burn.

As the wheel turns to Lugh’s night,
Power is brought to magic rite.

Four times the Minor Sabbats fall,
Use the Sun to mark them all.

When the Wheel has turned to Yule,
Light the log, the Horned One rules.

In the Spring, night equals day,
Time for Ostara to come our way.

When the Sun has reached its height,
Time for Oak and Holly to fight.

Harvesting comes home for all
When the Autumn Equinox does fall.

Learning flower, bush, and tree;
by the Lady, blessed be.

Where the rippling waters go,
cast the stone and truth you’ll know.

When ye have and hold a need,
hearken not to others’ greed.

With a fool no seasons spend,
Lest ye be counted as his friend.

Merry meet and merry part;
bright the cheeks and warm the heart.

Mind the Threefold Law ye should:
Three times bad and three times good.

When misfortune is enow,
Wear the blue Star on thy brow.

True in love thou must ever be,
lest thy love prove false to thee.

Eight words the Witches’ Rede fulfill,
An’ it harm none, do what thou will.

Forms of Divination

This is by no means a complete list. It is more of a work in progress because there are just so many different forms. My goal will be to list as many as I can find in my research and provide an external link to more information on each one. Please bare with me this could take some time!

Blessed Be,
July Moon

Please click on a form below to learn more.

WARNING: links below are to sources outside of this blog. It is possible that information found on these pages could be inaccurate. I ask that you please not hold me personally responsible. Thank you.

What is Divination?

Aeromancy – divination from the air and sky, particularly concentrating on cloud shapes, comets, and other phenomena not normally visible in the heavens.

Ailuromancy – by the behaviour of felines; also know as Felidomancy

Alectryomancy – a bird picks corn grains from a circle of letters.

Alomancy – using table salt.

Astrology – refers to any of several systems, traditions or beliefs in which knowledge of the relative positions of celestial bodies and related information is held to be useful in understanding, interpreting and organizing knowledge about personality, human affairs and terrestrial events.

Austromancy – studying of the winds.

Axiomancy – the observation of how an ax or hatchet quivers or points when driven into post.

Belomancy – performed by tossing or balancing arrows.

Bibliomancy – by book, frequently but not always a religious text

Botanomancy – burning tree branches and leaves.

Capnomancy – the study of smoke rising from a fire.

Cartomancy – by cards, e.g., playing cards, tarot cards, and non-tarot oracle cards.

Catoptromancy – an early form of crystal gazing with a mirror turned to the moon to catch its light.

Causimomancy – the behavior of objects placed in a fire.

Cephalomancy – using the skull or head of a donkey or goat.

Ceraunoscopy – draw omens from the study of thunder and lightning.

Ceromancy – melted lead was is poured into cold water.

Cheiromancy – by palms; also known as Chiromancy, Palmistry.

Chirognomy – the study of the general hand formation.

Cleromancy – casting lots, similar to using dice but with more natural objects such as pebbles or sea shells.

Cleidomancy – using a dangling key.

Critomancy – the study of barley cakes.

Cromniomancy – using onion sprouts.

Crystallomancy – by crystals or other reflecting objects

Cyclomancy – finding omens from a turning wheel.

Dactylomancy – using a dangling ring.

Daphnomancy – listening to laurel branches crackling and spitting in an open fire.

Dendromancy – using either oak or mistletoe.

Gastromancy – Got any strange markings on your stomach? Or does your stomach have a great talent for rumbling? A gastromantic expert would be able to tell you what these signs and strange noises mean.

Geta-uranai – A method of predicting the weather. A geta, or Japanese wooden sandal, is kicked into the air. The way it falls predicts how the weather will be.

Geomancy – the study of figures on the ground and the influence of the Earth’s movements.

Gyromancy – a person walks in a circle marked with letters until they become dizzy and stumble at different points, thus spelling out a prophesy.

Haruspication – inspecting the entrails of animals, popular with the priests in ancient Rome.

Hippomancy – the stamping and neighing of horses.

Hydromancy – with water including the color, ebb and flow, or ripples produced by pebbles dropped in a pool.

I Ching – is regarded by some as simply a system of divination; many believe it expresses the wisdom and philosophy of ancient China.

Ichthyomancy – using fish.

Libanomancy – the study of incense and its smoke.

Lithomancy – using precious stones of various colors

Mammomancy (Also known as Mastomancy)This form of body reading concentrates on the shape and size of the breasts in order to divine the romantic and sexual personality of the woman.

Margaritomancy – using bouncing pearls.

Molybdomancy – the hissing of molten lead.

Myomancy – the study of the prophetic meaning of behavior of rats and mice.

Numerology – by numbers

Pegomancy – spring water and bubbling fountains.

Phyllorhodomancy – slapping a rose petal against ones hand and finding an omen by the sound.
Pyromancy – any form of divination with fire or flame, often assisted by substances thrown onto the flames.

Radiesthesia – using a dangling tool such as a bob or pendulum.

Rhapsodomancy – using a book of poetry whereby the book is opened at random and a passage read.

Runecasting / Runic divination (by Runes) – use of stones with the Runic Alphabet.

Scrying – Scrying is an auto-deepening trance process that progresses in stages using a crystal ball, or other medium.

Sideromancy – burning of straws with hot metal, the resulting burn marks having divinatory properties.

Spodomancy – using cinders or soot.

Stichomancy – throwing open any book and selecting a random passage.

Taromancy – by specially designed cards: also known as Tarot; see also Cartomancy

Tephramancy – using tree bark ashes.

Tiromancy – using cheese; also spelled Tyromancy