Principles of Witchcraft
The Elements of Spells
From early times god
and goddess magick was called upon to bless the fertility of the
earth and the safety of farm crops and animals. Ritual dances
were created to harness this energy, by leaping and jumping in
the manner depicted in an ancient hymn dedicated to Zeus, which
entreated him to leap for the well-being of the herds, crops, and
communities of Crete.
Witchcraft has always
been regarded as essentially feminine magick aligned with lunar
energy, stemming from the days when it was women’s work to
grow and harvest plants and herbs, while the men did the more
manual labor and hunted. Women learned how the potency of
plants responded to the phases of the moon, the time of day or
night, and the seasons of the year. They also learned to
create powerful and highly effective spells, perfumes,
poisons, and potions to entice, destroy, manipulate, defeat,
challenge, fascinate, and confuse. Because she possessed
enigmatic knowledge and abstruse healing powers, the witch that
is from rural areas in general began over time to be regarded as
a threat to the very foundation of male dominance.
1258 Pope Alexander IV issued the first Papal letter to empower
the Inquisition to deal with witchcraft, but only when
witchcraft was “manifestly savored on heresy.” In doing so,
he laid the basis for the persecution of any woman who dared
step out of line, especially those who were healers or possessed
scientific knowledge that might be regarded as a threat to male
supremacy. The Church was pretty intolerant of females who
educated themselves, or embraced any other religious belief,
such as paganism or witchcraft.
persecution of witches continued over the next 700 years, with
hundreds of thousands killed in the name of religion. It is
salutary to remember that most of these victims of religious
piety were simply misunderstood wise women, healers, herbalists,
and midwives, or were people of a different religious persuasion
and those who owned their own properties, upon which the
authorities cast a greedy eye.
decline of witch-hunting came about not because witchcraft was
stamped out, but because adverse public opinion made the
“establishment” reconsider its actions and finally turned
against witch-hunts for fear of losing the support of the
witches are, first and foremost, healers and protectors of
ancient secrets and old lore’s of nature. They celebrate the
alchemical marriage of earth, air, fire, and water and use the
magickal and healing properties of herbs, plants, trees,
crystals, stones, and astrological energies to enhance their
work. You don’t have to go tramping the forest at night,
take part in rituals on sabbats, join covens, attend high
priestesses in temples, or wear strange ceremonial garb to
change your life!
can be performed most effectively, and quite safely, in the
comfort of your own home just by learning a few golden rules and
by understanding the basic Laws of spell-casting.
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.
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
of life and consciousness within an evolutionary concept.
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.
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 energies used
in magickal practice and religious worship.
We recognize both outer worlds and inner, or psychological
worlds, sometimes known as the Spiritual World, the Collective
Unconsciousness or Inner Planes. We see in the
inter-action of these two dimensions the basis for paranormal
phenomena, and magickal exercises. We neglect neither dimension
for the other, seeing both as necessary for our fulfillment.
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.
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
Calling oneself "witch" does not make a witch - but
neither does heredity itself, nor the collecting of titles,
degrees and initiations. A witch seeks to control the forces
within her/himself that makes life possible in order to live
wisely and well without harm to others and in harmony with
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
Our only animosity towards Christianity, or towards any other
religion or philosophy of life, is to the extent that its
institutions have claims to the "the only way," and
have sought to deny freedom to others and to suppress other ways
of religious practice and belief.
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.
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.
We believe that we should seek within Nature that which is
contributory to our health and well-being.
feel that it is important to re-emphasize that Pagans do not
worship "Satan" or the "Devil" as there is
no such being in our traditions. Also, Pagans do not require the
sacrificing of any living creature, be it human or animal. I am
saddened that there are still individuals who believe these
things about us. There are many different Pagan paths as
it is a religion that appreciates diversity and individual
one thing that is shared by all Pagans is that we are a peaceful
people and we harm no one. We value the diversity of all
religions and philosophies and we harbor no intolerance for
those who have differing opinions and beliefs.
is the manipulation of natural forces and psychic energy to
bring about desired changes. It is the alchemical marriage of
earth, air, fire, and water and use the magickal and healing
properties of herbs, plants, trees, crystals, colors, stones,
and astrological energies to enhance and empower.
the average person, the thought of "spells" invokes
the image of hags, around a cauldron throwing entrails into the
“evil" brew. This is so far removed from the truth that
it makes most Pagans chuckle at the thought! We do not always
chuckle, however, because many innocent people were killed
simply because they used herbs, were healers, midwives and the
list goes on and on. With education and love, we hope to restore
our good name, our birthright, our traditions and our faith. A
spell is a way in which to focus ones' energy to affect a
specific goal. It may be as simple as wishing for a plentiful
harvest, to sending your positive energy to one who's sick, in
the hopes that they might be healed. Prayers are very similar to
spells as they draw energies from within to provide strength,
insight and truth. Pagans do not do "evil" or
"black" magic & spells, as we believe that what we
send forth comes back to us three-fold.
Elements of Spells
perform a Spell effectively, you must call upon energies from
around you. These energies emanate from the Elements known as
Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. If called upon correctly,
these Elements represent portals through which energy is brought
to you during the Spell. Properly harnessed, these energies will
allow you to perform the Spell and achieve the desired results.
Each Element is described by unique properties:
The Element "Earth" is solid. It is stability,
security, safety, unyielding, nature, substance, body,
endurance, survival, practicality, the mother, green, midnight,
Winter, dark, weight, excessive, stubborn, passive, contentment,
thought, grounding, physical. In the Spells, the Element of
"Earth" will lend this "stability" to create
the desired result.
The Element "Air" is gas. It is the carrier,
breath, life, wandering, knowledge, new beginning, movement,
yellow, the dawn, Spring, light, joy, sensual, intellect,
intuition, new outlook, clarity, freshness, winds of change; a
reminder that there is no death, only change. In the Spells, the
Element of "Air" will become the "carrier"
to achieve the desired change.
The Element "Fire" is energy. It is flame,
purification, active, cleansing, transformation, passion, heat,
red, noon, Summer, sun, hot, brilliant, determination, drive,
will power, success, solar, sexual, primal, raw, power. In the
Spells, the Element of "Fire" will provide the
"drive" to achieve the desired result.
The Element "Water" is liquid. It is emotions,
love, truth, compassion, sensitivity, reflective, deep,
dissolving, surging, nurturing, sensual, blue, dusk, twilight,
Autumn, calm, dream, the beginning and the end. In the Spells,
the Element of "Water" will lend its
"compassion" to achieve the desired results.