January/February 2017 Issue
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The Craft of the Witches
This article was written by Raven Grimassi
posted under Pagan
The vision of the old village Witch tending her garden in the day and weaving magic at night is a powerful image. Her craft was a timeless art and her ways were an ancient faith. The Old Religion of the Witches' Craft had itself been passed to her through countless generations. To understand the Old Religion of Witchcraft, we must understand the mentality of our ancient ancestors.
Mystery of the Moon
Picture a time when people did not know what the Moon was, how it changed shape, or why it disappeared for three days every month. The Moon was a complete mystery, a glowing sphere seemingly rising from beneath the Earth. The Moon drifted across the heavens and returned from whence it came. Over the course of its daily journey it would change shapes, growing larger and then smaller in an endless cycle.
Today we know that the Moon is a physical object orbiting around our planet, and because of this knowledge we have lost some of the magic. But we can recapture the old magic when we gaze upon the full Moon and realize that we are seeing the very same Moon upon which every witch who ever lived has looked upon. It is there in that one moment of this realization, beneath the Full Moon, that the past and present come together and touch in a sphere of light.
Early witches perceived the world around them with the beautiful simplicity of the Pagan view of life and Nature. For the Witch, the world was filled with spirits that animated Nature. In another World just beyond this one was a place of renewed life for the dead in which they awaited rebirth. Everything good or bad that took place in the world of the living was due to the influence of a spirit. Therefore, the witch knew that it was necessary to possess the knowledge of how to work effectively with these entities. A very common theme in European folklore is the kindred relationship between the faery and the witch.
The Village Witch
According to oral tradition, the village Witch was sought after for cures both magical and medicinal. Her knowledge of herbs and her rapport with the spirit world was both respected and feared by the villagers. The village Witch grew her own herbs, made her own charms, and perfected the art of the Witches' Craft through adherence to the ways handed down from generation to generation. The art of Witchcraft was also taught "on the voice of the wind," which reflects the teaching that spirits convey the old ways to those they deem worthy. Such individuals are "spirit taught" but often believe they are acting upon intuition alone.
Being prepared for any eventuality is the hallmark of the experienced Witch. This includes having oils, potions, incense, charms, and other items readily on hand. In my book, The Witches' Craft, I explore how to put together everything you are likely to need in case of an emergency. In addition you will learn how to create protections for the home, and how to establish an astral temple for magical and spiritual work.
The techniques discussed in The Witches' Craft are drawn from authentic folk magic beliefs found in ancient Witchlore. Here you will discover techniques for creating and using spells, charms, and talismans. The book also includes more involved techniques and spells that employ advanced concepts and methods that reflect an older authentic form of witchcraft predating popular modern material.
Magical and psychic work tends to attract and draw spirits, both in this world and the next. From time to time, there are also other practitioners of the art that may send negative energy your way, for whatever purposes. This requires taking measures to protect yourself and to either negate or return what is sent to you.
Become the Village Witch
The Witches' Craft provides a list of herbs that will enable you to serve as the local "village Witch" of your own community. It is the way of things that, as you grow in the knowledge and wisdom of the Witches' Craft, people will come to you for aid and advice. Without having a "stock of energy" on supply, you can too easily become depleted by meeting the needs of others on a constant basis. To avoid being drained of your energy by others, you should set up a supply of charged herbs and oils to have on hand.
Everything you need to get started on this Path is waiting for you in the pages of The Witches' Craft.
Raven Grimassi is a Neo-Pagan scholar and award-winning author of more than eighteen books on Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-Paganism. He has been devoted to the study and practice of witchcraft for over forty years. Raven is co-founder and co-director of the... Read more
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