"A caped dark figure moves through the trees into a clearing in the wood. She stops in front of an altar prepared in readiness for her arrival and lights the three votive candles on its surface. When the third candle is lit, torches as if by magick, are lit at the edge of the clearing and more hooded figures enter the circle of light. She turns to look at them, where they are now standing quietly in the circle waiting. She lifts back her hood and loosens the cape, allowing it to fall her feet. In the flickering light the sickle moon on her forehead is clearly visible. The pentacle around her neck glistens as she gracefully walks to the centre. She is a teenage witch - high priestess of her coven." Lady Sirius.
Is it this drama and intrigue capturing your imagination? Is it the glamour and the mystery? Or is it simply the desire to get that amazingly sexy quarterback in the football team to fall in love you?
Admittedly, witchcraft is quite glamorous and also rather mysterious. I suppose the introduction you just read is a bit of an exaggeration and NOT the essence of witchcraft in the very least. The Craft is not about hexes and curses, it is not about being a member of a coven nor is it about wearing glamorous clothing. On the contrary, becoming a witch is about "clean" living, respect, doing the right things only and yes, sticking to the rules of the Craft. In this article, I am going to explain to you, Teenage Seeker, what the Craft really stands for.
I am hoping to satisfy some of your curiosity and to point you on your way to becoming a real witch. To achieve this, I will explain to you what Wicca is and what the principles of Wicca are. I am also going to explain to you how to get started and point out some of the ethics around spell work. This will be the foundation on which you can build in the years to come.
So, what is Wicca?
The Craft is a nature based, life celebrating, self empowering religion practiced in accordance with a definite code of ethics and morals.
The Wiccan Principles of Belief
These principles are basically the Craft Law (put into my own words) as set out by the American Council of Witches.
1. We celebrate the forces of nature and the rhythm of life by means of rituals. These rituals correspond to the moon phases and the seasons.
2. Being intelligent beings, we have a responsibility towards Mother Earth and all living things thereon. As witches, we take this responsibility seriously and strive to be ecologically conscious all of the time.
3. As witches we develop our "supernatural" or "psychic" abilities. This does not make us superior to non-witches. We recognize that all people are inherently and latently psychic. All beings are equal.
4. We recognize both our mundane and spiritual aspects. We respect both equally and do not neglect either. We also acknowledge that there is a collective unconscious which links all things (people, insects, trees, animals etc.) to one another and to Spirit. As a result, we take care of what we think because we realize that our thoughts can become a reality.
5. The Wiccan religion is not a structured religion. In other words, we do not have a "Leader" and a pecking order. Instead, we respect and honor our teachers because of their wisdom and we abide to the rules laid down by our respective organizations, covens, groups and so forth.
6. Witches believe in a God which is both male and female. Both are respected equally. We do not frown upon sexuality and view sexuality as the embodiment of life, but we do feel that all sexual acts carry a heavy responsibility.
7. Religion, magick, faith, wisdom and the mind are inseparable. This united point of view determines our experience of the world around us.
8. Being a witch goes beyond initiations, heredity and titles. Being a witch means that you control the forces inside you, that you live life wisely and in harmony with nature, harming none.
9. We respect all life.
10. We do not "recruit witches". We acknowledge that each human being has the right to find and follow his or her own unique spiritual path. We do not criticize and judge other religions either.
11. The Craft is what you make of it. There is no specific way of practicing it. Use this freedom wisely and in Love and Light.
12. We do not worship anything negative. As such we do not believe in what Christians call the Devil or Satan. We do not acknowledge any negative force, because in doing so, we empower it. We call the hurting, killing or threatening of someone evil.
13. Witches work with nature to heal and we do so with respect. We do not teach fools and exclude those who have negative intentions.