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Friday, 30 March 2007

New England Place In The History Of Witchcraft

New England Place In The History Of Witchcraft Cover

Book: New England Place In The History Of Witchcraft by George Lincoln Burr

George Lincoln Burr (January 30, 1857 – 1938) was a U.S. historian, diplomat, author, and educator, best known as a Professor of History and Librarian at Cornell University, and as the closest collaborator of Andrew Dickson White, the first President of Cornell.

Burr was born in Albany, New York and entered the Cortland Academy in 1869, where he first met Andrew Dickson White, who was guest speaker for its 50th anniversary. The financial Panic of 1873 wreaked havoc on his family’s finances, and he was forced to leave school and seek employment at age 16. After a brief stint as a schoolmaster, he apprenticed as a printer of The Standard at Cortland. After 4 years, he had saved $200, sufficient for him to matriculate at Cornell in 1877. As a sophomore, Burr audited a course for seniors taught by White on the historical development of criminal law, and received permission to sit for the exam. Prof. White was so impressed by Burr’s exam answers that he secretly appointed Burr as his examiner (i.e., grader) in history. White writes in his Autobiography, "Of course this was kept entirely secret; for had the Seniors known that I had entrusted their papers to the tender mercies of a Sophomore, they would probably have mobbed me."

After his graduation in 1881, Burr accepted White’s offer to serve as an instructor and examiner in modern history, and also as White’s private secretary. This was the beginning of a literary partnership that lasted until White’s death in 1918. Under White’s tutelage, Burr developed into a scholar of medieval history. After traveling and studying in Switzerland, France, and Germany, Burr was appointed to the Cornell faculty in 1888 and made Professor of Medieval History in 1892. In 1919, he was elected John Stambaugh Professor of History.

Download George Lincoln Burr's eBook: New England Place In The History Of Witchcraft

Suggested ebooks:

Allen Greenfield - A True History Of Witchcraft
George Lincoln Burr - New England Place In The History Of Witchcraft

Sunday, 18 March 2007

Wiccaning Ritual

Wiccaning Ritual Cover
A Wiccaning is comparable to a 'christening' in the Christian Tradition. During a Wiccaning the child is formally named, and presented to the world. If possible, all members of the family, or at least the immediate family, should be in attendance with various branches of the family tree represented as well.

In addition, anyone who will love or care for the child should also be invited. Guests are allowed to bring small gifts which are symbolic of their wishes for the child, for example a rose, for beauty; stock certificates, for wealth; a book, for intelligence, etc

Before the age of modern medical care, the community would wait until they were sure they child was going to survive before performing any form of Wiccaning. For this reason, there is no specific timeframe for this ritual to be performed. However, below are a few guidelines:

* At the first Full Moon Esbat after the child is born.
* At the first Sabbat after the child is born.
* A year and a day after conception.
* Three Days to Three Months after birth.

Obviously the time that you choose to perform the ritual is entirely up to you. The only requirement is that both the parents and the child have recovered enough from the birthing experience and have adjusted enough to the changes that a new child brings into a household. The day of the ritual all participants, including the child should be well rested.

The Ritual

Place a small basin of water on top of a flat stone. Flank the basin with a pink candle on the left and a blue candle on the right, and before this burn incense.

Light the candles and incense. Cast the Circle

Invoke Deity

Mother& Father of us all,
we ask that you now hear our call;
we invite you into this sacred space
to help us bring this child to grace.

Invoke the Ancestors

I now call forth from space & time,
honorable spirits of our bloodline;
to join with us who’ve gathered here
and help us bless this child so dear

HP addresses the crowd:

“We are gathered here today to welcome the next generation into our family. Today we will point this child down the path of his destiny, and give him not only our name, which is his legacy by birthright, but his own name and his own identity. He will be blessed by our Lord and Lady, shielded by the elements, and loved by us all.

As witches, we know that to name a thing is to have power over that thing. Therefore, in accordance with our tradition, the parents of this child have given him/her two names. The first will be the name by which the world will know him in this life. The second, known only by his Mother and Father, will be his true name.

What name have you given your son/daughter?

Parents: We have named him/her _______________.

Parents hold child facing North. HP moves to the North and Sprinkles some salt on the child saying:

I call the powers of earth and creation
to bless (N) & give him a foundation
built upon strength and health,
growth, stability, and of wealth.

Parents hold the child facing East. HP moves to the East and censes the child with the incense saying:

I call the powers of air and mind
to bless (N) that he may find;
patience, wit, intelligence,
discretion and eloquence.

Parents hold the child facing South. HP moves to the South and passes the fire candle over the child saying:

I call the powers of fire and soul,
to bless (N) & make him whole;
Grant him a spirit untamed & free,
bless him with passion and bravery.

Parents hold the child facing West. HP moves to the West and sprinkles the child with water saying:

I call the powers of water and heart,
to now bless (N) and impart;
unto him compassion & love,
& all of the blessings thereof.

The HP and Parents Return to the Altar. HP says,

“Family and friends, I present to you (N). S/he is born of our flesh and of our spirit; and because of that we vow to be his strength when he is weak, to guide him/her when s/he is lost, to feed his/her mind when s/he is curious, to nurture his/her body when s/he is hungry, to lift him up when s/he is downtrodden, to exercise patience as we journey together from child to adult and beyond, and finally to love and respect him/her always. So Mote it Be!

Everyone in attendance repeats: So Mote it Be!

HP: Welcome into the family (name of child).

The child is then passed around to be greeted, blessed and kissed.

Free e-books (can be downloaded):

George Robert Stowe Mead - A Mithraic Ritual
Anton Szandor Lavey - The Satanic Rituals

Tags: calling quarters  tools craft  sleep circle  covern join  roots practices  brief history  witchcraft persecutions  practical magic spells  egyptian light  history  uncle setnakt ritual  salem witch trials deaths  choice aphorisms segments  

Thursday, 15 March 2007

How Do I Form A Coven

How Do I Form A Coven Cover Just as you shouldn't be in a big rush to find a teacher, you probably shouldn't
set right out to form a coven. Most Witches believe the coven bond to be a very
intense and serious one, one that applies on the Karmic as well as mundane
levels. Think of it as getting married -- you wouldn't marry the first person
you met who are interested in getting married too, would you?

Forming a circle, or a magical study group, is perhaps a better first step. It
can be on a relatively informal basis, and you and the other participants can
get to know each other while learning about the Craft together (as a matter of
fact, many covens are formed from study groups). The fun of this is that you
can meet more people who are interested in what you're interested in, and you
can all learn together, and maybe even develop a Tradition from the results of
your studies. (You can do this as a solitary, of course, but some people do
take more enjoyment in working with others. Once again, do what's right for

The steps for Contacting people to form a coven are much the same as finding
other pagans and Witches in your area. A word of advice, though: You may want
to leave your last name off, or get a P.O. box. Don't give out your number
(unless you have an answering machine). Advertising Yourself as being
interested in this sort of thing might attract, shall we say, undesirables.
Try writing such a notice so that those who are probably interested in similar
ideals will know what you're talking about without attracting the attention of
people who aren't. Even though *we* know that we're perfectly ethical and
legitimate, not everyone else does.

Downloadable books (free):

Austin Osman Spare - The Book Of Pleasure Or Self Love
Ona - The Dark Forces
Aleister Crowley - Snowdrops From A Curate Garden

Saturday, 3 March 2007

Survival Of The Pagan Gods

Survival Of The Pagan Gods Cover

Book: Survival Of The Pagan Gods by Jean Seznec

The gods of Olympus died with the advent of Christianity--or so we have been taught to believe. But how are we to account for their tremendous popularity during the Renaissance? This illustrated book, now reprinted in a new, larger paperback format, offers the general reader first a discussion of mythology in late antiquity and the Middle Ages, and then a multifaceted look at the far-reaching role played by mythology in Renaissance? Intellectual and emotional life.

Here is a book . . . that tells us what became of the gods after the fall of Rome, in what strange disguises they lived on, and how they emerged in the Quattrocento with odd attributes and symbols the ancients never knew. . . . It is a formidable task, demanding vast learning in many fields; and it is brilliantly performed. -- Review

Download Jean Seznec's eBook: Survival Of The Pagan Gods

Downloadable books (free):

Aleister Crowley - The Soul Of The Desert
Arlo Bates - The Pagans
Ea Wallis Budge - Legends Of The Gods
Benjamin Rowe - A Ritual Of The Heptagram
Jean Seznec - Survival Of The Pagan Gods

The Hammer Of Witches A Complete Translation Of The Malleus Maleficarum

The Hammer Of Witches A Complete Translation Of The Malleus Maleficarum Cover

Book: The Hammer Of Witches A Complete Translation Of The Malleus Maleficarum by Christopher Mackay

The Malleus Maleficarum (Latin for "The Hammer of Witches", or "Der Hexenhammer" in German) is a famous treatise on witches, written in 1486 by Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger, two Inquisitors of the Catholic Church, and was first published in Germany in 1487. The main purpose of the Malleus was to attempt to systematically refute arguments claiming that witchcraft does not exist, discredit those who expressed skepticism about its reality, to claim that witches were more often women than men, and to educate magistrates on the procedures that could find them out and convict them.

The Malleus Maleficarum was published in 1487 by Heinrich Kramer (Latinized Institoris) and James Sprenger (also known as Jacob or Jakob Sprenger ). Scholars have debated how much Sprenger contributed to the work. Some say his role was minor while others say there is little evidence for this claim.

In 1484 Kramer made one of the first attempts at a systematic persecution of witches in the region of Tyrol. It was not a success, Kramer was thrown out of the territory, and dismissed by the local bishop as a "senile old man". According to Diarmaid MacCulloch, writing the book was Kramer’s act of self-justification and revenge. Some scholars have suggested that following the failed efforts in Tyrol, Kramer and Sprenger requested and received a papal bull Summis desiderantes affectibus in 1484. It allegedly gave full papal approval for the Inquisition to prosecute witchcraft in general and for Kramer and Sprenger specifically. Malleus Maleficarum was written in 1484 or 1485 and the papal bull was included as part of the preface. The preface also includes an approbation from the University of Cologne’s Faculty of Theology. The authenticity of the Cologne endorsement was first questioned by Joseph Hansen but Christopher S. Mackay rejects his theory as a misunderstanding. The Malleus Maleficarum drew on earlier sources like the Johannes Nider's treatise Formicarius, written 1435/37.

The book became the handbook for witch-hunters and Inquisitors throughout Late Medieval Europe. Between the years 1487 and 1520, the work was published thirteen times. It was again published between the years of 1574 to 1669 a total of sixteen times. Regardless of the authenticity of the papal bull and endorsements which appear at the beginning of the book, its presence contributed to the popularity of the work.

Ancient pre-Christian beliefs in reality of witchcraft had been denied by the church in earlier centuries; the first Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne had specifically outlawed the old practice of witch burning "in the manner of the pagans". By the 15th century belief in witches was once again openly accepted in European society, but they typically suffered penalties no more harsh than public penances such as a day in the stocks Persecution of witches became more brutal following the publication of the Malleus, with witchcraft being accepted as a real and dangerous phenomenon.

The Malleus Maleficarum asserts that three elements are necessary for witchcraft: the evil-intentioned witch, the help of the Devil, and the Permission of God. The treatise is divided up into three sections. The first section tries to refute critics who deny the reality of witchcraft, thereby hindering its prosecution. The second section describes the actual forms of witchcraft and its remedies. The third section is to assist judges confronting and combating witchcraft. However, each of these three sections has the prevailing themes of what is witchcraft and who is a witch. The Malleus Maleficarum can hardly be called an original text, for it heavily relies upon earlier works such as Visconti and, most famously, Johannes Nider's Formicarius (1435).

Between 1487 and 1520, twenty editions of the Malleus were published, and another sixteen editions were published between 1574 to 1669. Popular accounts suggest that the extensive publishing of the Malleus Maleficarum in 1487 launched centuries of witch-hunts in Europe. Estimations of deaths have varied widely. According to MacCulloch, the Malleus was one of several key causes of the witch craze, along with popular superstition, jealously of witches' knowledge from humanist scholars, and tensions created by the Reformation. However, as some researchers have noted, the fact that the Malleus was popular does not imply that it accurately reflected or influenced actual practice; one researcher compared it to confusing a "television docu-drama" with "actual court proceedings." Estimates about the effect of the Malleus should thus be weighed accordingly.

Buy Christopher Mackay's book: The Hammer Of Witches A Complete Translation Of The Malleus Maleficarum

Free eBooks (Can Be Downloaded):

Moses Gaster - The Sword Of Moses An Ancient Hebrew Aramaic Book Of Magic
Tereza Burns - The Little Book Of Black Venus And The Three Fold Transformation Of Hermetic Astrology
Conrad Hermann Josten - Excerpts From A Translation Of John Dee Monas Hieroglyphica
Christopher Mackay - The Hammer Of Witches A Complete Translation Of The Malleus Maleficarum