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Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Covens And Witches

Covens And Witches Cover The Coven
By Lady Selene

Greetings All!

This article was written by me several years ago, but I thought it might be of
interest here, as it discusses several issues relevant to modern Witches. Any
thought or feedback is most welcome! Please remember, that although the
historical stuff is pretty general, the other parts of the article are my own
ideas, and not necessarily applicable outside of my own tradition :)
In 1662, Isobel Gowdie of Auldearne made four separate confessions of being a
Witch, and in the process, gave the word "Coven" to the world.

Although there is no other historical evidence for this word, it has proven to
be one of the most lasting facets of Witchcraft - ask anyone today what Witches
do, and the answer will almost certainly include the fact that they meet in
groups, called "Covens".

So given that a number of modern Witches do, in fact, either run, or belong to,
a Coven - just what is its purpose in 20th (and 21st) century Western
Civilization? Why has this word of such dubious historical veracity survived
over three hundred years? Is there a place in our modern world for a social
group which, as far as we know, occurred only in 17th century Scotland?

The very fact of its survival for over three hundred years argues that there is
a place for such a group. In my own case, I have been a member of, and run,
Covens of Witches for a number of years, and it is a social model which fits
extremely well within modern society.

The structure of a coven varies, but generally has one or two leaders, and a
number of members of varying levels of experience. In a sense, the modern Coven
has replaced the tribal family, and its members often fulfill familial roles,
which are no longer available to them in the family in which they were born.

Some researchers have commented that many modern Witches come from a background
which was disrupted; i.e., did not provide a safe family environment during
their formative years. As I know a great many Witches for whom this was not the
case, I think this is only a partial reason, and only for some people.

Humanity itself seems to be inherently tribal; any common bond between people
will generally result in the creation cults or sub-cultures, where those of a
like-mind will bond together. They will evolve their own social order (generally
hierarchical), have their own common language, and often are identifiable by
their demeanor and appearance.

Witches gather together in Covens for very much the same sorts of reasons; we
are apart from general society by virtue of our beliefs and practices. Meeting
with others who think and feel similarly to ourselves gives us the opportunity
to share ideas and skills, as well as being able to practice our Craft.

A modern Coven provides a family-style environment, where the "Elders" can, by
virtue of their experience, give encouragement, support, and advice to those
seeking to learn about Witchcraft. As with all families, Covens have very unique
and individual ways of approaching this. Just as no two families are the same,
neither are any two Covens.

Some Covens are run by people with an academic bent, and as would be the case in
any family, this characterizes the way in which their "children" are brought up.
Other groups are oriented towards a more simple approach, and the oral
traditions play an important role in the way in which the Coven is structured.
Some combine these two approaches, and the variations upon the basic themes are

For any "family" to exist harmoniously, everyone within the group must feel a
part of the group, and wish to learn and grow within that group environment.
With a path such as Witchcraft, with its emphasis upon personal growth and
development, it is likely that individuals who may at one time have been happy
within their family group, will change, and wish to move away. This is a
perfectly natural process, and the wise coven leaders will send those people off
with their love and blessing. Trying to keep them would be like trying to keep
your sons and daughters tied to your apron strings forever!

Ultimately, and despite the popularity of the word "coven", I do believe that
most Witches are solitary in nature, and will generally spend at least part of
their lives without being a member of, or running, a coven. I think the inward
exploration during these periods is vital to self-development, just as we
believe it is important to encourage social-awareness in children. However, I
also believe that at some stage it is important to learn the practices of
Witchcraft from another person; to be an apprentice, if you will; because the
act of passing knowledge from one person to another cannot be replicated by
books, correspondence courses, or be self-taught. This may seem an almost
impossible task to some people, but as all the magical traditions teach: when
the student is ready, the teacher will appear! What's more, it's true!

Books in PDF format to read:

Michael Magee - Robin Hood And The Witches
Phil Hine - Oven Ready Chaos
Thomas Potts - Discovery Of Witches

Tags: oberon zell  detection driftes three  psychic defense  revival britain 1880  soul lore  heathen gods  anges heptarchia french  

Thursday, 17 May 2007

Making Talismans Living Entities Of Power

Making Talismans Living Entities Of Power Cover

Book: Making Talismans Living Entities Of Power by Nick Farrell

This is a great book. While it is quite in depth, it is also great for beginners. I started out trying to gather bits and pieces of information about the actual making of Talisman and found that many of the writers simply wrote very short sections without indepth detail as to how and why Talisman are made the way they are. The author thoroughly explains in this book how to create a Talisman from start to finish and how to 'charge' them. Great book on 'Making Talismans.'

Talismans and How They Work A talisman, amulet, or charm is any physical object that stores and radiates a magical energy to create change. A metallic disk, stone, wand, sword, pen, paper, or television remote control can be a talisman provided that it is dedicated toward a "magical purpose. The definition of magic, however, has successfully eluded occultists for centuries.

Aleister Crowley, a Golden Dawn adept, devised the most widely accepted definition of magic. He argued that magic is "the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with will, but this is too wide a definition to be of much use. Crowley, himself, admitted that this definition implies that any willed act is magical. While turning on a light switch may be perceived as magical to someone who has not seen electricity, most would not define it as a magical act.

Another definition of magic, touted by more than one magical school of which I have been a member, is "the art of causing meaningful coincidences at will." This is equally unsatisfactory, though, since magical work does not always create coincidences that can be seen on the material plane.

While it is not entirely satisfactory either, my definition of magic is " the art and science of becoming a co-creator with a Supreme God. This is not to say that we can be co-equal with the Most High, but rather that we merge into Divinity and its purpose. occultism teaches that everyone has unlimited potential. We stop becoming successful only when we forget that we are part of an infinite creator. This divine creator aspect of us is like a divine secret self; Jung called it the Higher Self. As this self is realized, we become more in tune with the Divine and have access to more of its powers.

The author not only gives the reader a plethora of different ideas to create Talisman, but goes on to teach the reader exactly what is needed so that the user can use the knowledge gained from this book to use outside sources to create other Talisman.

Great Book, highly recommended!

Nick Farrell (United Kingdom) has been a ceremonial magician since he was 17. Born in England and raised in New Zealand, he was initiated into Builders of the Adytum (BOTA), and is currently an initiate of the Esoteric Order of the Golden Dawn and one of its branch orders, the Order of the Table Round. He now runs a temple in the tradition of Esoteric Order of the Golden Dawn, lectures and runs workshops throughout the world. He has contributed to Quest, Liongate, and Round Merlin's Table magazines and Chic and Tabatha Cicero's Hermetic Journal. He is currently working on books on magical psychology, earth magic and ritual magic. Nick has a career in news journalism and magazine writing. After more than 15 years working for daily and local newspapers, he is now a full time writer and editor, working for many UK computing and Internet magazines he also advises companies on media relations.

Buy Nick Farrell's book: Making Talismans Living Entities Of Power

Free eBooks (Can Be Downloaded):

Solomonic Grimoires - The Emerald Tablets Of Hermes
Tupman Tracy Ward - Theatre Magick Aleister Crowley And Rites Of Eleusis
Richard Alan Miller - The Magical And Ritual Use Of Herbs
Prentiss Tucker - In The Land Of The Living Dead
Abram Herbert Lewis - Paganism Surviving In Christianity Ver 1

Thursday, 10 May 2007

Beginning Witchcraft Even More Very Basics

Beginning Witchcraft Even More Very Basics Cover Questions:

1. Who first practiced witchcraft, is there a certain group?
2.Can witches actually read minds, or is there a trick, and can they tell the future?
3.Can witches make objects fly, or is that another one of them make believe fairy tales?
4. I hear that witches have certain names. Is that for a certain reason?
5. Can you do a spell to make yourself a better person? How about to have someone like you, or get money, etc.
6. How does the Three Fold Law work? If you pick on someone youll have it back on you three times? Or does it only work for spells?
7. I have practiced witchcraft before, now you said that that makes you a witch. What if that spell doesnt work? How do you know if a spell did?
8. Youve probably answered this but not in those wordsCan you be born into witchcraft?


1) Nobody really knows. It is believed by many scholars that forms of Paganism were amongst the first religions ever practiced. Though those Pagans are quite a bit different than those of today. Wicca, on the other hand, is a fairly new religion originating with Gerald Gardner in 1939.

2) Can witches read minds or tell the future... That is an interesting question. People claim that I can read minds. I think it has more to do with understanding how people in general think (applied psychology) than anything else. As for telling the future, I have been told I am very good with a Tarot deck, and I've predicted events. Someone examining the events very closely may put it up to coincidence or educated guesses, but I've been correct too often to get that lucky.

3) Make things fly? In my experience, that's a tale. Some people will tell you differently.

4) Often witches go by a second name. For some, it is a way to feel more magickal, or to get into a specific mood. Just like many people use different names on the Internet. In many cases, a second name is also used to protect their legal name if they are afraid to give out their real name.

5) Yes. We'll need to go into the concepts behind how spells work. Some you can expect to work better than others. Spells for things like self-improvement are almost always the strongest.

6) The three-fold law is based on how you treat others, and your intent when working magick. This could also use some further discussion. But if you try to emotionally hurt someone, than you're very likely to get hurt even worse. Of course, the opposite is true. If you help someone, it's likely that you'll get help in return. (Yes, this is one of the reasons why Pagans and Wiccans like doing nice things!) In my experience, Pagan or not, the rule of three applies in the world.

7) The real question is, do you consider yourself a Witch? How do you know if it worked? Depends on the spell!

8) Can you be born into Witchcraft? Just as much as you can be born into Christianity or Judaism. Any religion or practice requires some teaching. However, some people are more likely to accept one set of beliefs over another regardless of what their parents brought them up as.

Bright Blessings

Suggested ebooks:

Hesketh Bell - Obeah Witchcraft In The West Indies
John Drelincourt Seymour - Irish Witchcraft And Demonology Ocr Version
George Lyman Kittredge - Notes On Witchcraft Ocr Version