One of the oldest known writings in Pagan circles echoing the Rede-concept is likely The Old Laws. First proffered by Gerald Gardner around 1953, and attributed by Gardner to the New Forest Coven, The Old Laws are a unique mix of theology, advice, and coven security procedures. Some of Gardner's original Ardanes are not politically correct today, so revisions were revised in the 1980s. This revised version is used by ATC and The People of the Woods. There are several other versions floating around the Internet. Do not be confused with Alister Crowley's Book of the Law which is used by his followers.
A NEW WICCAN BOOK OF THE LAW
A manual for the Guidance of Groves, Covens, & Individuals
Compiled and edited by Lady Galadriel
[sources: The Book of The Law, The Old Laws for the Old Religion, The Great Book of the Law, The Dragon Law]
Preface: In my years of teaching and running a group, I have always had a dissatisfaction with the popular "Book of the Law" available to most Seekers. I felt it to be too archaic in its wording and perspective – and while it was valuable in the Burning Times, it simply does not deal with the concerns and needs of "modern-day" Witches. Over the years I became familiar with several other sets of Laws. Each of these had many good points, yet they also had their disadvantages as well.
Recently, I decided to do something daring - I took the four different versions of the Laws which I had, and combined and reworked them. I deleted what was no longer pertinent or meaningful, rewording others to make them clearer and more understandable, as well as throwing in a few new ones which I felt had been lacking.
I believe that what has evolved out of this work is a set of Laws which are readable, usable, and most importantly, pertinent to the needs of today's Witches and Neo-Pagans. It is with these thoughts and hopes that I would like to share them with you. If you should find merit or worth in them, then I will feel as though I have accomplished something. The material in this booklet has not been copyrighted, so you may reproduce the Laws for students or friends, or reprint them in your publication. It is my sincere hope that the New Book of the Law will be of use to the Craft Community.
Blessed Be, Lady GaladrielPART ONE
HERE ENDS A NEW WICCAN BOOK OF THE LAW.
- The Laws were created to give our lives form and order, that all might be balanced throughout all of the planes. In truth there are two sets of laws which govern us - one sets forth the ways of the Wiccan, and the other the ways of the Universe. Both are important, both should be observed with respect and treated with honor. The Laws were shaped and molded to teach us, to advise us, and to counsel us in our time of mortal life on earth.
- Honor the Gods, for They are the channels and the manifestation of the Source. Honor yourself, for this force also lies within you. Love the Gods as They love you, and by loving yourself and your brothers and sisters, so the Gods shall honor you. As the love and joy of a man and a woman [or "lover and beloved" -- LAH] flowers and grows when nurtured with respect, and cultivated with understanding and honor, so should you love the Gods
- The Goddess is the Great Mother, and the God is the Great Father, and we are Their children; and we shall worship Them, for They are the rulers of the Universe, and all that is therein. Therefore, O Children of the Gods, try Them not, nor attempt to test Them, for They shall show you that he Ways of the Craft are not to be belittled or mocked.
- Let the Power of the Craft flow from you only in love - or not at all. For it has always been known that the energy webs which we weave and maintain shall eventually return to encircle their creator. Thus our works become either the net which entangles and binds us, or the web of light by which we find the Gods.
- Let the Rites of the Wicca be a way for the children of the Gods to be as One - for Power only flows when unified. Always should you revere the Earth, and heal and tend Her, for She is our life, our Mothership, on which we navigate the dark currents of space.
- When you reap the harvests of your lands, then you shall not reap one corner of the field, nor glean the herb gardens, or the fallen fruits of the orchards. These you shall offer to the Earth Mother, in direct return, or through offerings made to your Circle, or to sustain its Priests and Priestesses.
- Always be proud to be of the Wicca, but do not allow your pride to become vanity - for those who are conceited are a stumbling block at the door of the Temple, and they shall be cast adrift, to swim within their own vanity.
- Observe and listen, reserving your judgment, for until all the silver is weighed, who can know the worth thereof?
- As like breeds like, even more so does good beget love and joy. Your life will be full of love and joy if you are joyful and happy.
- Your teachers are the servants of the Gods, and they shall plant the seeds of knowledge within the minds of their students, and they shall use their power for the good of the Wicca. Yet it is each individual's duty to tend the seeds which are planted, and to make the final harvest. Those who misuse the power and the trust of the teacher's position shall have to answer to the Lords of Karma, and adjust the balance accordingly.
- The Temples of the Gods, which are Their abode on Earth, shall belong to all Their children, and each Circle shall be as a special family. Do naught against any Temple or any family of the Wicca, lest you do that thing unto the Gods, and against yourself.
- You must not be a teller of tales amongst the children of the Goddess, and you must hold no malice or evil thoughts towards others of the Wicca.
- You should not lie, nor give false testimony before your Elders, or those who are of the Wicca - for liars are fools, and a menace unto themselves, and to the Wicca. Be truthful in all your works and deeds, especially within the Circle, for what you say within the presence of the Gods becomes manifest.
- You must not put stumbling blocks in the way of those who do not follow the Path of the Wicca. You must make no unrighteous judgments of their ways, and you should aid them with an attitude of love when it is asked for. Yet ever should you keep the Counsel of the Elders, and reveal naught to others of where our Circles may be, nor may you reveal our ways without the consent of the Priestess.
- When you make a vow to the Lord or the Lady, or you swear an oath to another of the Wicca, then you must do all that has come forth from your mouth, for a covenant with the Gods, or with the Wicca, is your Honor, and woe to those who care not for the fetters they attach to their souls by not keeping their word.
- The Great Mother and Father would not have their children suffer the indignities of oppressors for their sake, for what is within the hearts of Their children is dear and true to Them. The Ancient and Mighty Ones shall cause the balance to be made for those who desecrate the Lord and Lady, Their temples, or Their creations.
- Never shall you use Magick, nor the Craft, to cause harm, for this is misuse of the Power, and it is not to be condoned. To cause the death of another through the Craft is to require the death of the Self in sacrifice.
- Never betray any of the brethren, nor the lore of our people, for you are all servants of the Gods, and must live by the virtues of love, honor and wisdom. Let truth, loyalty and honor be your creed. Let them be your guides, tempered by love and wisdom.
- The Order of the Gods shall you keep, and within Their Circles shall you walk. You should not say "I believe" when you doubt, nor claim to obey the Lord and Lady's word when you never enter into the Temple. You must not profess with your lips that which is not in your heart.
- Do not use the names of the Gods in negative or evil ways, for They love and cherish Their children above all others. All others They love, even those who know them not. Yet those who hate and curse in Their name shall have the Mighty Ones take the measure of their worth.
- In any disputes between the children of the Goddess, no one may invoke any laws but those of the Craft, or any tribunal but that of Priestess, Priest, and Elders.
- No one of the Wicca may do anything which will endanger the Craft, nor bring any of the Wicca into conflict with the Law of the Land, or with any of our persecutors.
- Your magickal tools are channels to that which is most precious and pure within you. Do not cheapen them by haggling their price when you acquire them.
- Never accept money for the use of the Power. It is sorcerers and charlatans who accept money for their spells and prayers. If you accept no money, you will be free from the temptation to use the Craft for evil or unworthy causes.
- You shall never take unduly from any human, animal or elemental that which is not yours to take - for if you steal from another, in the end you will have to sacrifice something dearer to you in order to attain the balance.
- Show honor to all people, that they may look up to you, and respect you, and their eyes shall become a mirror for your soul.
- Those who are of the Wicca shall not own slaves, for one person may not own the spirit of another, for only the Great Mother and Father own our souls. Nor shall you take as a pledge any person's life, for to do so is to take upon yourself both a mill and a millstone.
- If a stranger sojourns with you, you shall do them no wrong; they shall be as one of the Circle, born amongst ye, and you shall deal with them as you would yourself.
- Just weights and just balances shall be given by you, and just value shall you give, and thereby receive threefold.
- Your altars shall be kept clean, pure and holy, and all that is brought into the Temple or the Circle shall be cleansed and blessed, for the joy of the Gods, and of the Wicca.
- A clean mind should have a clean body. You should keep your body, your clothes, and your house clean, in honor of the Mother, who gives these things to you.
- Let none die without honor, without love, without respect, unless their actions have decreed otherwise.
- You should not couple together if it shall cause pain, jealousy or deprivation to another by doing so. Union for malice or evil reasons suchas these upsets the balance, and the Lords of the Universe shall make adjustments accordingly.
- Let those who would love, and would be as one, and bear child, be handfasted. For the sharing of love in this manner is beauteous, and love's union in the energy of the Gods, and the heritage of the child. It is important for children to know and to identify with those who brought them here.
- The Law of the Goddess is that none of the Wicca shall take and wed someone who they do not love, whether it is to harm another, or for some form of material gain.
- Remember that your children are Goddess-spawned, and are free spirits. You do not own nor control them. They are your brethren, come to visit for a while, that they may share in the vision of your love and wisdom. Let each parent realize that although they may teach and guide with love, the child shall also teach the parent, and aid them in their growth and lesson
END OF PART ONE
- The etheric web and energy vortexes of the earth are in constant flux and motion to adjust to the needs of the planet. The sacred trust of the Wicca is to create and to maintain centers of light and knowledge, using the magick of the divine spark within us to focus and channel the forces of the Universal fire. And these are the channels established between the worlds of the stars and the realms of the earth, bringing in and regulating the spirit flames which energize and activate all life forms. Thus we tend and guard the threads of creation, and we weave the patterns of life and manifestation in an ever-evolving tapestry.
- Never use your heritage or position for self-glorification or gain. Respect your magick and our ways. We must always recognize that while others may look to us to lead them, they too are our guides.
- Keep your body strong, your mind keen, and your purpose pure, for within your being you shall channel the Power, and it needs to be strong and pure. And these are the keys to the path of Oneness, and to communication with the Gods. Yet first you must learn to speak to Them in such a manner as They can comprehend you. For the children of the Wicca must aid the Gods, and work with Them, otherwise the Gods cannot aid and work with you. Ever remember that the Priest and Priestess are the living representatives of the God and Goddess Forces, and likewise that all humans carry these forces within them, though they may lie dormant and unawakened.
- As the Great Mother and Father come unto one another and create with the pure vibration of Love-Wisdom, so should you strive to make your Temple pure in vibration, and thus a fitting place wherein you may invite the Gods. Thus, your Circle should always be duly purified and cast, and likewise, those who would use the gateways and travel the Circle between the earth and other realms should also be duly prepared and purified.
- The Goddess hath said, "I shall not carry thee, yet neither shall I hinder thee, nor keep thee from having the same opportunities as all of my children. Thou art free, yet thou shalt not be coddled like babes in the storm. If thou hast true devotion within thee, then all obstacles may be overcome."
- The laggard is but half a person - and though half is better than none, the whole is twice as good as the half. Those who do not work, or who lack the will and desire to learn the ways of the Gods, unto them is said, "The Ancient and Mighty Ones shall not keep thee within their house, if ye learneth not."
- A sanctuary you shall make unto the Gods, that They may dwell amongst you. And you shall fashion it to the best of your ability, according to all that your Elders shall show you, and pure energy shall you place therein.
- An altar shall you make to unto the Lady, and you shall make due reverence unto Her, for every place where She is exalted, She will come to you and bless you. And you shall fashion your altar out of wood or stone, and burn incense and candles thereon, at the proper times, in observance of her ways.
- You should set aside at least one day during each moon unto the Goddess, and on these days you shall do Her work; and on those days She shall renew Her children and bless them.
- Learn to build your own Temple, and to craft your own sacred Circle, and all the tools that are used therein - for to be a person of the Craft is to be a person of consequence.
- Let each of you inscribe your own record of our ways and teachings. For the course of each Wiccan should be charted, that the patterns of their life-web may be made known and utilized. Let each Wiccan start their Book of Light with the teachings and lore of their tradition, yet let it also contain the rites and ways of each individual, which are the harvest of each child of the Wicca, to use the wisdom of their heritage as the seeds of their own wisdom. Thus shall our lore and knowledge continue to grow and unfold, like a beautiful flower.
- It is right to study and to understand the sigils, statues and stories of the Gods, for they shall guide your thoughts to Them, and They shall hear them. Yet you must ever remember that you worship not the sign nor the statue, but the Gods which inspired them.
- If your Circle owns any land, let all guard it, and help to keep it clean. Let all justly guard all monies of the Circle, as well as the rights and property of all members of the Circle.
- If any Wiccan truly labors, then it is right that they should have their just pay. This is not considered the taking of money for the Art, but good and honest work. Yet if any Wiccan works willingly for the good of the Craft, or for their brothers and sisters without pay, then it is to their greatest honor.
- If any Wiccan should deny themselves some pleasure or material indulgence in order to do service in the Circle, this person shall be blessed and remembered. For those who give for the greater good of all shall have their spirit uplifted.
- Know also that if you gift the Lady's Priests and Priestesses, or Her Circles, this is an offering made unto the Mother Herself, for a true Priest or Priestess strives always to do Her work, and to be of service to Her children, so to honor and respect them is to honor and respect the Queen of All.
- And the offerings which are considered the most pleasing to the Gods are these:
the fruits of the orchards,
the scents of the trees and herbs,
the metals of the earth,
the waters of the earth,
the flowers of the meadows,
and the milk of all mothers.
Yet offerings of labor or money are honest too, and these will also be accepted - moreso if you work with love in your heart, for always there is work to be done for the Gods, and service to be given to the children of the Wicca.
- If your offerings are made to restore the balance, it must by of a nature that it not offensive to the Gods. It must be of value, yet given with a free heart. Thus shall the harmony be restored. If your offerings are given with a heart filled with love and devotion, or are of service to the Gods, or to the Craft, then shall you receive blessings manifold.
- And when you make an offering unto the Gods, you should offer it thru the most proper medium, at the proper times, and in such a manner as to make it acceptable. Any and all remains of the rituals shall be consumed in the fire, or buried within the Earth, as a way of returning to the Source all that we use in the observance of our ways, thus ensuring the continuity of the cycle.
- All may use the Craft to help and aid them, or for the advantage of their Circle, or the Craft - yet only if you are sure that you harm none. Let each Wiccan and Circle always debate these matters at length. Only if all be satisfied that none be harmed in any way, may the Art then be used. If it is not possible to achieve your ends one way, then perhaps the goal may be achieved by acting in a different way, so as to harm none.
- Throughout the world it has been many a year since Wiccans have been burned. Yet misuse of the Power might raise the persecutions once again. So never break the Laws, however much you might be tempted, and never consent to their being broken. And if you know they are being broken, then you must work strongly against it.
- In days of old it was decided by the Mighty Ones who came before us that the Art might be used to restrain others from harming the Craft or its children, yet only after great consultation with all members of the Circle, and only then to deflect or to constrain them.
- And such were the ways of the Lady that She brought us forth in joy, and such were the Ways of the Lord that His reign gave all life pleasure. Offer love in your worship and all shall be joyous in beauty.
END OF PART TWO
- In the dimly remembered dawn of ages past, the Wicca were truly free. Then, in Atlantis came the Age of the Misuse of Power, followed by the Ages of Persecution and Suffering. Thus the people of the Wicca hid themselves and cloaked their knowledge, and wove veils of secrecy and silence. And this is how the Ways of the Wicca have been preserved through the time of darkness. Yet much of the ways of our people were lost to the ignorance of others.
- Yet the cycle spirals ever on - and the Age of the Earth Mother once again draws nigh. We must be strong - one with our birthright, and one with our Gods, if we are to bring forth the balance. Those who would harm us, or attempt to enslave us, we must overcome - yet only through light and love, and never through violence or the evil of chaos. And through our efforts the time of our people will come into being once more. In the times which lie ahead, there lies much work to be done, so that once more the cycles of life are drawn to the path of light, and the balance achieved through the power of love.
- In order to bring the ways of Light and Love and Life to the peoples of the Earth, our secrets are slowly becoming secrets no more, and it is good that this is so - for the age of shadow and secrecy is passing. Yet the sharing of our ways needs always to be guided by wisdom and by love. Let our rites and our mysteries be kept sacred. Let no one defile our worship or our heritage. For the defilement of our ways is an honor loss to self, and for the Craft.
- Let each High Priestess govern her Circle with justice and Love, and with the help and advice of the Elders and the High Priest, always heeding the messages of the Gods when they come.
- Ever remember that although the Priest is the force with which the Circle is built, the Priestess is the ruler therein - for it is through her that the Goddess created the world, and all things therein.
- The High Priestess will heed all complaints of all Pagans and Wiccans, and strive to settle any differences between them with reason and with justice.
- Let each Circle of Light decide how it shall be known - whether by earthly name or magickal one. For each child of the Wicca knows best the safety or dangers of their homeland.
- Let each Circle or Temple maintain and dedicate unto the Goddess and the God all the things that are required for Their rituals, for what is blessed in the name of the Gods rightly belongs to Them, and the Priest and Priestess shall be the caretakers thereof.
- Anyone of the circle who is of sufficient rank, and wishes to form a new Circle, shall tell the High Priestess and the Elders of their intentions. Members of the old Circle may join the new Circle when it is formed, but if they do so they must leave the other Circle, unless otherwise instructed. For it is the Old Law that each Wiccan may join the Circle of their choice, yet their energy should not be divided between two or more Temples.
- The Elders of the old and new Circles shall meet in peace and with respect, to decide the level of interaction and connection between the Circles. Yet it is known that the splitting of a Circle often means strife. So only if it is truly in a spirit of peace and harmony should the Circles meet for the celebration of the Great Festivals.
- None shall enter the Circle that have a sickness or an ailment which may be passed on to the Lady's other children - for to do so causes harm to yourself, as well as to the others of the Circle. Rather should the Healers go unto the sick one, that through the love of the Gods they shall be made well and whole once more.
- It has been judged lawful that if any of the Craft need a house, or land, and none will sell, to incline someone's mind so as to be willing to sell, providing it harms none and the full price is paid without haggling.
- In the matter of quarrels or disputes between the members of the Circle, the High Priestess shall convene the Council, and inquire into the matter. The Council shall hear each person privately, and then both together. And they shall decide justly, not favoring one side nor the other.
- If an agreeable resolution cannot be reached, then that Wiccan must leave the Circle, for a Circle of Light cannot be properly formed where there is disagreement and discord. And when a Circle is not properly formed, the energy within is either dissipated, or turns ugly, festering like a hidden sore. So let them leave, but only with love in their hearts and yours, for even though your paths may diverge, you are still all children of the Wicca, and there must be no violence between us. Bear no grudges, hold no thoughts of vengeance, for this will rot away the foundation of your power.
- It has ever been recognized that there are some people who can never agree to work under any others. At the same time there are also people who cannot rule justly. To those who must ever be chief there is but one answer: "Void this Circle, and seek another one, or if ye be of sufficient rank, then form a Circle of your own." To those who cannot rule justly, the answer shall be "Those who cannot bear your rule will leave you." For none may come to Circle with those with whom they are at variance, for to do so angers the Gods, and hinders the Craft.
- Those that do wrong without knowledge shall be held innocent; those that do wrong through carelessness shall be judged lacking in wisdom, and dealt with according to the nature of the transgression. Those who do wrong with deliberation and forethought shall be thrice punished, and the Lords of Karma shall lay low their pride.
- Each person must make a balance for their words and actions, and the judgments of the Elders should incline to try to make good come from the injustice or wrong-doing. Many are the ways to restore the balance, so let the judgments of the Elders and the Priestess be in keeping with this.
- Do not turn aside those who seek the ways of the Wicca for the want of an offering or the lack of a robe. You are the servants of the Gods, and the servants of Their people, and those that seek for the Gods you must aid in their quest.
- Of those who would inquire as to the ways of the Goddess, or who wish to become of the Wicca, ye shall search their hearts, and even into their spirits you shall look, as you are able. For the Wicca do not look to acquire mere numbers. Let none be turned away if their hearts are true, and their desire earnest.
- The hidden children are like the strings of a harp: each one may give a clear note, and when gathered together in sympathy and accord, they shall give rise to a beautiful symphony. Yet when struck without reason or thought, these notes may cause discord or disharmony. Therefore the Gods decree to Their Teachers and Priests that all must be taught to master their harp, and to pluck their strings with care, that they cause no discord or imbalance.
- Choose the Priests and Teachers of the Wicca with diligence and with care. The qualities that you should search for within them are Faith, Belief, Knowledge, Ability, Patience, Leadership, Humility, and a loving nature - for they must lead and teach the children of the Goddess, and will thereby have the power to do great good, or to cause great imbalance.
- In practice it should be that the greatest of the Priests and Priestesses should guide the rituals within each of the Temples of the Old Gods, and truly you should be content with the advice and guidance given by them. Yet ever it should be given so that it is clear and understandable, for within the Temple each of the Wicca is free, and thus they should be able to recognize and to understand our ways and their implications. And those who cannot explain the inner workings, or give just cause and reason for their decisions, may be questioned, or the wisdom of the advice weighed.
- Let the Priestess and Priest lead as long as they are able, and their leadership be wise and strong, and to the benefit of the Wicca. Yet if their health is ill-favored, or if the next generation needs to try their hand, then let them have the vision and the wisdom to step away from their position, and pass the duties of the Circle to another. Let them not become overly attached to the office, nor too fond of the power.
- If a Priestess or a Priest should tire of their duties and charges, then they may step down, but only after having trained and acknowledged a successor. If a Priest or Priestess deserts their Circle, then they have lost the right to ever lead again within this life, so great a trust they have broken. If they should return to the Circle within one turn of the Wheel, and are judged to have true atonement in their hearts, new insight and growth, then they may be forgiven, and allowed to return to the Circle, yet they shall worship only, and hold no office or title. Leadership is a sacred commitment and an honor, and they have shown that they cannot be trusted with such responsibility.
- Any Priestess, Priest, or Elder who consents to a breach of the Laws regarding the use of the Craft to cause harm to others must immediately be relieved of their office, for it is the lives of the children of the Goddess which they endanger, as well as the honor of the Craft.
- The High Priestess may take a Sabbatical from her Circle, if her personal life and duties require it, for up to a year and a day. During that time, the Maiden shall act as High Priestess. If the High Priestess does not return at the end of a year and a day, then the Initiates of the Circle shall name a new Priestess. Unless there is good reason to the contrary, the person who has done the work of the Priestess should reap the reward. If someone else is named, then the Maiden should continue in that office.
- Each Priestess and Priest shall choose their own consorts, yet let them be wise in the learning of our people, and thus others shall abide by the wisdom of their choice. Yet if the Circle feels the decision is ill-advised, or that they cannot abide and work in honor and trust with that consort, then they may request a gathering of all concerned to meet and to talk, and to resolve the balance with love and honor. For only those who are pure and strong, keen and wise, patient and loving, can effectively and properly carry out the duties of a Keeper of the Circle.
- Those of the Priesthood shall not neglect their mates, or their children, or their house, nor anything which is in their possession; nor shall the sick and the needy be neglected for the sake of the Circle. Therefore let them adjust the one thing against the other, that neither should suffer, and that which is given by the Gods is treated with love and respect.
- Long ago, at the time of Creation, it was deemed that the female should hold the power of life-giving. And such was the male force drawn to the love and beauty of the Creation of life, that he surrenders unto her keeping the force of his powers in the furtherance of life. Yet the Priestess must always remember that the fuel of the flames which light the fires within her Temple comes from the Priest. Thus she must use the force wisely, and only with love, and she must honor and respect he who is the activator of the Life Force.
Blessed Be !
A New Wiccan Book of the Law is reproduced here to educate new seekers of Witchcraft.
The People of the Woods strongly suggests that each Wiccan obtain a hard copy of this publication.
Published by: White Light Pentacles/Sacred Spirit Products. PO Box 8163, Salem, MA 01971. www.wlpssp.com Try their e-mail White Light Pentaclese-mail
Here are Gerald Gardner's Ardanes from 1957
I want to talk more about The People of the Woods Church in Cheney, WA
- The Law was made and Ardane of old. The law was made for the Wicca, to advise and help in their troubles.
- The Wicca should give due worship to the Gods & obey their will which they Ardane, for it was made for the good of the Wicca. As the Wicca's worship is good for the Gods.
- For the Gods love the Wicca, as a man loveth a woman by mastering her. So the Wicca should love the Gods, by being mastered by them. And it is necessary that the Circle, which is the Temple of the Gods, should be truly cast and purified, that it may be a fit place for the Gods to enter.
- And the Wicca should be properly prepared and purified, to enter into the presence of the Gods. With love and worship in their hearts they shall raise power from their bodies to give power to the Gods, as has been taught us of old.
- For in this way only may man have communion with the Gods, for the Gods cannot help man without the help of men.
- And the High Priestess shall rule her Coven as representative of the Goddess, and the High Priest shall support her as the representative of the God. And the High Priestess shall choose whom she will, if he have sufficient rank, to be her High Priest.
- For the God himself, kissed her feet in the 5-fold salute, laying his power at the feet of the Goddess. because of her youth & beauty, her sweetness & kindness, her wisdom & Justice, her humility & generosity, So he resigned his lordship to her, But the Priestess should ever mind that all power comes from him. It is only lent when it is used wisely and justly. And the greatest virtue of a High Priestess is that she recognizes that youth is necessary to the representative of the Goddess, so that she will retire gracefully in favor of a younger woman, Should the Coven so decide in Council. For the true High Priestess realizes that gracefully surrendering pride of place is one of the greatest of virtues, and that thereby she will return to that pride of place in another life, with greater power beauty.
- ln the days when Witchdom extended far, we were free and worshiped in all the Greatest Temples. But, in these unhappy times we must hold our sacred mysteries in secret.
- So it be Ardane, that none but the Wicca may see our mysteries. for our enemies are many, and torture looseth the tongues of many. lt be ardane that each Coven shall not know where the next Coven bide, or who its members are. save the Priest and Priestess. That there shall be no communication between them. save by the Messenger of the Gods. or the Summoner. Only if it be safe, may the Covens meet, in some safe place. For the great festivals and while there, none shall say whence they come, or give their true names.
- To the end that if any are tortured, in their agony, they can not tell if they know not.
- So it be Ardane that no one may tell any not of the Craft who be of the Wicca. nor give any names, or where they Byde, or in any way tell anything which can betray any to our foes. Nor may they tell where the Covenstead be. or where is the Covendom. or where be the meetings. or that there have been meetings. And if any break these laws, even under torture, The Curse of the Goddess shall be upon them, so they never be reborn on earth, And may the remain where they belong, in the Hell of the Christians.
- Let each High Priestess govern her Coven with Justice and love. with the help of the advice of the elders. Always heading the advice of the Messenger of the Gods. If he cometh.
- She will heed all complaints of brothers, and strive to settle all differences among them. But it must be recognized that there be people who will ever strive to force others to do as they will.
- They are not necessarily evil. & they often do have good ideas. and such ideas should be talked over in council. And if they will not agree with their brothers, or if they say, I will not work under this High Priestess, lt hath always been the old law, to be convenient for the brethren, and to void disputes, Any of the Third may claim to found a new Coven because they live over a league from the Covenstead, or that they are about to do so. Anyone living within the Covendom wishing to form a new Coven, to avoid strife, shall tell the Elders of his intention And on the instant void his dwelling and remove to the new Covendom. Members of the old Coven may join the New one when it be formed, but if they do, must utterly void the old Coven. The Elders of the New and the Old Covens should meet in peace and brotherly love, to decide the new boundaries.
- Those of the Craft who dwell outside both Covendoms may join either indifferent, but not both. Though all may, if the Elders agree, meet for the Great Festivals, if it be truly in peace and brotherly love. But splitting the Coven oft means strife. So for this reason these laws were made of old. And may the curse of the GODDESS be on any who disregard them. So be it Ardane.
- If you would keep a book, let it be in your own hand of write, let brothers and sisters copy what they will, but never let the book out of your hands, and never keep the writings of another, for if it be found in their hard of write, they well may be taken and Engined.
- Each should guard his own writings & destroy it whenever danger threatens. Learn as much as you may by heart, & when danger is past, rewrite your book, an it be safe. For this reason, if any die, destroy their book if they have not been able to. For an it be found, tis clear proof against them, And, our oppressors well know, "Ye may not be a witch alone" So all their kin & friends be in danger of torture. So ever destroy anything not necessary. If your book be found on you. tis clear proof against you alone. You may be engined. Keep all thoughts of the Craft from your mind. Say you had bad dreams, a devil caused you to write it without your knowledge. Think to yourself. I know, nothing. I remember nothing. I have forgotten everything. Drive this into your mind.
- If the torture be too great to bear. Say, I will confess. I cannot bear this torture, What do you want me to say? I will say it. if they try to make you speak of the brotherhood, Do NOT. But if they try to make you speak of impossibilities such as flying through the air, Consorting with the Christian Devil, or sacrificing children, or eating men's flesh. To obtain relief from torture. say. I had an evil dream, I was not myself. I was crazed.
- Not all Magistrates are bad, if there be an excuse they may show mercy. If you have confessed aught, deny it afterwards, say you babbled under torture. You knew not what you said. If you are condemned, fear not. The Brotherhood is powerful. They may help you to escape, if you stand steadfast.
- If you betray aught. There is no hope for you, ln this life, or in that which is to come. Be sure. if steadfast you go to the pyre, drugs will reach you, you will feel naught. You go but to death and what lies beyond. The ecstasy of the Goddess.
- Tis probable that before you are engined, drugs will reach you. Always remember that Christians fear much that any die under torture. At the first sign of swoon, they cause it to be stopped, and blame the tormenters, for that reason, the tormenters themselves are apt to feign to torment, but do not, so it is best not to die at first.
- If drugs reaches you, tis a sign that you have a friend somewhere. you may be helped to escape, so despair not. If the worst comes, and you go to the pyre. wait till the flames and smoke spring up, bend your head over, & breath in with long breaths, you choke & die swiftly. & wake in the arms of the Goddess.
- To void discovery, Let the working tools be as ordinary things that any may have in their houses. Let the Pentacles be of wax, so they may be broken at once. Have no sword unless your rank allows you one. Have no names or signs on anything.
- Write the names and signs on them in ink before consecrating them and wash it off immediately after. Do not engrave them. lest they cause discovery. Let the color of the hilts tell which is which. Ever remember, ye are the Hidden Children of the Gods. So never do anything to disgrace them.
- Never boast, Never threaten, Never say you would wish Ill to anyone. If you or any, not in the Circle, speak of the craft, say, "Speak not to me of such, it frightens me. tis evil luck to speak of it" For this reason. The Christians have spies everywhere. These speak as if they were well affected, as if they would come to Meetings, saying "My mother used to go, to worship, the Old Ones. I would that I could go myself." To these ever deny all knowledge.
- But, to others ever say, tis foolish, men talk of witches flying through the air, to do so, they must be light as thistledown. and. Men say that witches all be bleared eyed old crones, so what pleasure can there be in witch meetings? such as folk talk on? Say, Many wise men now say there be no such creatures. Ever make it a jest, and in some future time, perhaps the persecution will die. and we may worship safely again. let us all pray for that happy day.
- May the blessings of the Goddess and the God be on all who keep their Ardane.
- If the Craft hath any Appendage, let all brothers guard it, and help to keep it clear and good for the Craft, & let all justly guard all monies of the Craft. But if some brothers truly wrought it, Tis right that they have their pay, an it be just. And this be not taking money for the use of the Art. but for good and honest work. And even the Christians say "A laborer is worthy of his hire." But if any brothers work willingly for the good of the craft without pay, tis but to their greater honor. So it be Ardane.
- If there be any disputes or quarrels among the brethren, The High Priestess shall straight Convene the Elders & inquire into the matter, and they shall hear both sides. first alone. then together. And they shall decide justly, not favoring the one side or the other.
- Ever recognizing that there be people who can never agree to work under others. but at the same time there be some people who cannot rule justly. To those who ever must be chief, there is one answer, Void the Coven & seek another, or, make a Coven of your own, taking with you those who will to go, To those who cannot rule justly. The answer be. those who cannot bear your rule will leave you, For none may come to meetings with those with whom they are at variance. So an either cannot agree. get hence. For the Craft must ever survive. So it be Ardane.
- In the olden days when we had power, we could use our Arts against any who ill-treated any of the Brotherhood. But in these Evil Times, we may not do so, For our enemies have devised a burning pit of everlasting fire, into which they say their God casteth all the people who worship him, except it be the very few who are released by their priests spells and Masses. and this be chiefly by giving money and rich gifts to receive his favor, for their Alther Greatest God is ever in need of Money.
- But as our Gods need our aid to make fertility for men and crops. So the God of the Christians is ever in need of mans help to search out and destroy us. Their priests tell them that any who get our help or our cures are damned to this Hell forever, so men be mad for the terror of it,. But they make men believe that they may escape this hell if they give victims to the tormenters. So for this reason. All be forever spying, thinking an I can but catch one of the Wicca I will escape this fiery pit.
- But we have our hidels, and men searching long and not finding say, "there be none, or If they be, they be in a far country." But, when one of our oppressors die. or, even be sick, ever is the cry "This be Witches Malice." and the hunt is up again. and though they slay ten of their people, to one of ours, still. they care not, they have many thousands, while we are few indeed.
- So it is Ardane, that none shall use the Art in any way to do ill to any. however much they have injured us. And for long we have obeyed this law. "Harm none" and now times, many believe we exist not. So it be Ardane that this law shall still continue to help us in our plight. "No one, however great an injury or injustice they receive, may use the Art in any to do ill or harm any."
- But, they may, after great consolations with all, use the Art to prevent or restrain Christians from harming us and others. but only to let or constrain them and never to punish. To this end. Men say, "Such an one is a mighty searcher our and persecutor of Old Women whom he deemeth to be Witches. and none hath done him Skith. so this be proof they cannot, or more truly, that there be none." For all know full well, that so many folk have died because someone had a grudge against them, or were persecuted because they had money or goods to seize. or because they had none to bribe the searchers. And many have died because they were scolding old women. So much so, that men now say that only Old Women are witches. And this be to our advantage, and turns suspicion away from us. In England tis now many it year since a witch hath died the death. but any misuse of the power might raise the Persecution again. So never break this law, however much you are tempted. and never consent to its being broken, If you know it is being broken in the least, you must work strongly against it, And any High Priestess or High Priest who consents to it must be immediately deposed. For tis the Blood of the Brethren they endanger. Do good, an it be safe, and only if it be safe, for any talk may endanger us. And strictly keep to the Old Law, never accept money for the use of the Art, for money ever smears the taker, Tis Carcerors and Conjurers and Priests of Christ who ever accept money for the use of their Arts. and they sell Dwale and evil love spells and pardons to let men escape from their sins. Be not as these. "Be not as these" If you accept not money, you will be free of temptation to use the Art for evil causes. All may use the Art for your own advantage, or for the advantage of the Craft, only if you be sure you harm none. But ever let the Coven debate the matter at length, only if all are satisfied that none may be harmed may the Art be used. If it is not possible to achieve your ends one way without harming any, pervhance the aim may be achieved by acting in a different way, so as to harm none. May the Curse of the Goddes, be on any who breach this law. So It be ardane.
- Tis adjudged lawful an anyone need a house or land, an none will sell. to incline the owners mind to be willing to sell, provided it harmeth him not in any way, & that the full worth is paid, without haggling. Never bargain or cheapen anything which you buy by the Art.
So it be Ardane.
- lt is the Old Law and the most important of all Laws, That no one may do or say anything which will endanger any of the Craft, or bring them in contact with the law of the land. or the Law of the Church or any of our persecutors. ln any disputes between the brethren, no one may invoke any laws but those of the Craft. or any Tribunal but that of the Priestess and the Priest and the Elders. And mat the Curse of the Goddess be on any who so do.
So it be Ardane.
- lt is not forbidden to say as Christians do. "There be Witchcraft in the Land" Because out oppressors of old made it Heresy not to believe in Witchcraft, & so a crime to deny it. which thereby put you under suspicion. But ever say I know not of it here, perchance they may be, but afar off. I know not where. but ever speak so you cause others to doubt they be as they are Always speak of them as Old Crones, consorting with the Devil and riding through the air. But ever say, but how may men ride through the air an they be not as light as Thistle Down? But the Curse of the Goddess be on any who cast any suspicion on any of the Brotherhood. or speaks of any real meeting place. or where any byde. So it be Ardane.
- Let the Craft keep books with the names of all Herbs which are good for man. and all cures, that all may learn. But keep another book with all the Banes & Apies. & let only the Elders and trustworthy people have this knowledge. So it be Ardane.
- And may the Blessings of the Gods be on all who keep these. Laws and the Curses of both God and Goddess be on all who break them. So it be Ardane.