Craft of the Wise

Ancient knowledge for today's times

_BASIC_PRINCIPLES_OF_THE_CRAFT_

_BASIC_PRINCIPLES_OF_THE_CRAFT_

1.   The first principle is that of love, and it is expressed in the ethic,
          “DO AS YOU WILL, SO LONG AS YOU HARM NONE”
     a) love is not emotional in it’s essence, but is an attribute of the
        individual as expressed in relation to other beings;
     b) harming others can be by thought, word, or deed;
     c> it is to be understood the “none” includes oneself;
     d) the harm which is to be regarded as unethical is gratuitous harm; war,
        in general, is gratuitous harm, although it is ethical to defend
        oneself and one’s liberty when threatened by real and present danger,
        such as defense against invasion.

2.   The Witch must recognize and harmonize with the forces of the universe, in
     accord with the Law of Polarity: everything is dual; everything has two
     poles; everything has it’s opposite; for every action there is a reaction;
     all can be categorized as either active or reactive in relation to other
     things.
     a) Godhead is one unique and transcendant wholeness, beyond any
        limitations or expressions; thus, it is beyond our human capacity to
        understand and identify with this principle of Cosmic Oneness, except
        as It is revealed to us in terms of It’s attributes and operation.
     b) The most basic and meaningful attribute of the One that we, as humans,
        can relate to and understand, is that of polarity, of action and reac-
        tion; therefore Witches recognize the Oneness of the Divinity, but
        worship and relate to the Divine as the archetypal polarity of God and
        Goddess, the All-Father and the Great Mother of the universe.  The
        Beings are as near as we can approach to the One within our human
        limitations of understanding and expression, though it is possible to
        experience the divine Oneness through the practices of the Mysteries.
     c) Harmony does not consist of the pretty and the nice, but the balanced,
        dynamic, poised co-operation and co-relation.

3.   The Witch must recognize, and operate within the framework of the Law of
     Cause and Effect; every action has it’s reaction, and every effect has
     it’s cause.  All things occur according to this law; nothing in the
     universe can occur outside this law, though we may not always appreciate
     the relation between a given effect and it’s cause. Subsidiary to this is
     the Law of Three, which states that whatever goes forth must return
     threefold, whether of good or ill; for our actions affect more than people
     generally realize, and the resulting reactions are also part of the
     harvest.

4.   As Above, So Below.  That which exists in the Macrocosm exists, on a
     smaller scale and to a lesser degree, in the Microcosm. The powers of the
     universe exist also in the human, though in general instance they lie
     dormant. The powers and abilities can be awakened and used if the proper
     techniques are practiced, and this is why initiates of the Mysteries are
     sworn to guard the secrets from the unworthy:  Much harm can be done by
     those who have power without responsibility, both to others and to
     themselves according to the Laws of Cause and Effect and of Threefold
     Return.
     a) Since our philosophy teaches that the universe is the physical
        manifestation of the Divine, there can be nothing in the universe which
        does not partake of the nature of the Divine; hence, the powers and
        attributes of the Divine exist also in the manifest, though to much
        smaller degree.
     b) These powers can be awakened through the various techniques of the
        Mysteries, and, although they are only capable of small effects in and
        of themselves, it is possible to use them in order to draw upon the
        forces of the universe. Thus humanity can be the wielders of the power
        of the Gods, a channel for Godhead to act within It’s own
        manifestation.  This, then, is further reason for the oath of secrecy.
     c) Since the universe is the body of the One, possessing the same
        attributes as the One, it’s Laws must be the principles through and by
        which the One operates.  By reasoning from the known to the unknown,
        one can learn of the Divine, and thus of oneself. Thus the Craft is a
        natural religion, seeing in Nature the expression and revelation of
        Divinity.

5.   We know that everything in the universe is in movement or vibration and is
     a function of that vibration.  Everything vibrates; all things rise and
     fall in a tidal system that reflects the motion inherent in the universe
     and also in the atom.  Matter and energy are but two poles of one
     continuous phenomenon.  Therefore the Witch celebrates, harmonizes with,
     and makes use of the tides of the universe and of life as expressed
     through the cycle of the seasons and the motion of the solar system.
     These ritual observances are the eight great Festivals of the Year,
     referred to as the Wheel of the Year.  Further, the Witch works with the
     forces and tides of the Moon, for this body is the mediator of much energy
     to our planet Earth and thus to ourselves.

6.   Nothing is dead matter in the universe.  All things exist, therefore all
     things live, though perhaps in a different manner from that which we are
     used to calling life.  In view of this, the Witch knows that there is no
     true death, only change from one condition to another.  The universe is
     the body of Godhead, and therefore possesses one transcendant
     consciousness; all things partake of the consciousness, in varying levels
     of trance/awareness.
     a) Because of this principle, all things are sacred to the Witch, for all
        partake of the one Life.
     b) Therefore the Witch is a natural ecologist, for Nature is part of us as
        we are a part of Nature.

7.   Astrology can be useful in marking and interpreting the flow and ebb of
     the tides of our solar system, and thus of making use of those tides;
     astrology should not be debased into mere fortune-telling.

8.   Throughout the development of the human race, civilizations have seen and
     worshipped many and various attributes of the Divine.  These universal
     forces have been clothed in forms which were expressive to the worshipper
     of the attribute of the Godhead which they expressed.  Use of these
     symbolic representations of the natural and divine forces of the universe,
     or godforms, is a potent method for contacting and utilizing the forces
     they represent.  Thus the Gods are both natural and truely divine, and
     man-made in that the forms with which they are clothed are products of
     humanity’s striving to know the Godhead.
     a) In keeping with the Law of Polarity, these god-forms are brought into
        harmony by the one great Law which states: All Gods are one God.  All
        Goddesses are one Goddess.  There is one Initiator.  This law is an
        expression of our understanding that all of the forces of the universe,
        by whatever ethnic god-form is chosen to clothe and relate to whichever
        force, can be resolved into the fundamental polarity of the Godhead,
        the Great Mother and the All-Father.
     b) It is the use of differing godforms, of differing ethnic sources or
        periods, which is the basis of many of the differences between the
        various Traditions of the Craft.  Each Tradition uses the forms, and
        thus the names, which to that Tradition best express and awaken an
        understanding of the force represented, according to the areas of
        emphasis of the Tradition.
     c) Because we know that differing names or representations are but
        expressions of the same divine principles and forces, we require our
        members to swear that they will never mock the names by which another
        honors the Divine, even though those names be different from and
        seemingly less expressive than the names and godforms used by our
        Tradition (for to the members of another Tradition, using it’s names,
        ours may easily seem equally less expressive).

9.   A Witch refuses to allow her/himself to be corrupted by the great guilt
     neuroses which have been foisted on humanity in the name of the Divine,
     thus freeing the self of the slavery of the mind.  The Witch expresses
     responsibility for her/his actions, and accepts the consequences of them;
     guilt is rejected as inhibiting to one’s self-actualization, and replaced
     by the efforts of the Witch to obey the teachings of harmlessness,
     responsibility for the consequences of one’s actions, and the goal of
     actualizing the full powers of the individual.
     a) We refuse to believe that a human being is born innately sinful, and
        recognize the the concepts of sin and guilt are tremendously inhibiting
        to the human potential; the consequences of the Law of Cause and
        Effect, called karma by some, are not punishment, but the recurrences
        of situations and their effects because the individual as not gained
        the Wisdom needed to handle or avoid such situations.
     b) There is no heaven except that which we ourselves make of our life on
        Earth, and likewise there is no hell except the effects of our unwise
        actions.  Death is not followed by punishment or reward, but by life
        and the continuing evolution of the human potential.
     c) One cannot damn the divine in oneself; one can, however, cut oneself
        off from it through the rejection of wisdom and a refusal to strive for
        self-realization. This cutting off does not lead to personal suffering
        in “hell”, for there is no Self to suffer if the tie to one’s own
        divinity has been severed; what remains is merely an empty shell, a
        “personality” or thought-form devoid of it’s ensouling Spark of the
        Divine Fire.

10.  We know of the existence of the life-force which ensouls all living
     things, that is, all that exists.  We know that a spark of this Divine
     Fire is within each and every thing that exists, and that it does not
     die; only the form of it’s existence changes.  We know that this spark of
     the life-force returns to manifestation again and again in order to fully
     realize and actualize it’s potential, evolving finally to the peak and
     essence of existence which is pure be-ing.  In this process of
     reincarnation each form returns in the same type of form, though it’s
     ever-increasing actualization may lead to higher levels of existence of
     that form.  Man returns as man, cat as feline, mineral as mineral, each
     class of form evolving as the individual forms of that class evolve.

11.  This process of evolution through successive incarnations in manifest form
     works through the utilizations of wisdom gained, the essence of the
     life-experience.  This essence of experience, or Wisdom, is an attribute
     of the spark of life itself, one and inseparable (see 9a).

12.  We must care for the body, for it is the vehicle of the spark of life, the
     form by which we attain. Thus we must heal the body of it’s ills and keep
     it a tuned and perfected tool; so must we heal others (both physicaly and
     psychologically) as far as it is within our power to do so.  However, we
     cannot interfere with the life of another, even to heal, except at their
     request or with their express permission; unless such non-interference
     would be inhibiting to our own, ethical existence and development — and
     even then the responsibilities and consequences must be understood and
     accepted.  This, then, is one of the important reasons for the communal
     life the Witches under the guidance of the Priesthood: That the group may
     be guided by wisdom and experience, with the aid and support of one’s
     peers; and that one’s actions may be guided by the influence of the
     ethical life of the group as a whole.

13.  Harmony with, and utilization of, the great natural forces of the universe
     is called magick. By magick we speak, not of the supernatural, but of the
     superbly natural, but whose laws and applications are not as yet
     recognized by the scientific establishment.  The Witch must strive to
     recognize these forces, learn their laws, attune her/himself to them, and
     make use of them.  The Witch must also be aware that power corrupts when
     used _only_ for the gains of the self, and therefore must strive to serve
     humanity: Either through the service in the Priesthood, or by example and
     effects of his/her life on others. The choice must be made in accord with
     the true nature of the Witch.

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October 17, 2010 - Posted by | Beliefs of the Witch

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