Here are some questions and answers about my life and beleifs as a witch, about traditional witchcraft, and traditional Wicca. I would be interested in answering more. Leave a comment at the bottom if you have a question.
1. Are you a witch? 
6. What do you do for a living? 
10. What does a traditional witch do? 
12. What do Traditional Witches believe? 
15. What are Witches Sabbaths? 
22. What does Hallowe’en mean to you? 
24. What is a “Witches Familiar”? 
1. Are you a witch?
That depends on what you mean by “witch.” If you mean, a neopagan then no, I am not. If you mean, a new-age self-studied, and self-proclaimed witch, then no, I am not.
If you mean, a follower of a religion called Wicca, as invented by Gerald Gardner around 1950, then again, no I am not.
If you mean someone who practices a family tradition of superstitious beliefs and practices, calling that witchcraft, then again, no I am not.
If you mean some version of satanist or devil worshipper, calling myself a witch, then no I am not.
If you mean:
- an initiated follower of an ancient wisdom tradition,
- a tradition handed down through generations from person to person,
- a tradition translated into different languages and cultures over the millenia,
- a tradition known lately in English as “Traditional Wicca,”
then yes, I am a male witch.
2. How long have you been a witch?
I began my training on Hallowe’en, 1973. After one year of study and practice, I became a witch with my initiation in 1974. I began my real training as a witch then.
My training continues today as it is a never-ending commitment, and the more I learn, the less I realize I know.
3. What made you interested in becoming a witch?
To be honest, at first I wasn’t interested in becoming a witch. I have always been a firm believer in science and scientific method and thought everything else, including all forms of religion were superstitious, uneducated past-times of low intelligence. At a young age I developed a theory about how the mind works, which I later realized was very similar to the teachings of Carl Jung regarding the collective unconscious. Through experiments with hypnosis I discovered that if you cast your attention into the unconscious regions of your mind, you are actually exploring the unconscious minds of everyone else. I discovered that if you continued, you could read the minds of others, see through their eyes, and feel their experiences personally. I discovered that it is possible to cast one’s attention back into one’s own unconscious mind, eventually arriving in inanimate objects and other forms of existence as well, discovering that they too are alive and aware in their own ways. I realized that everything we see is what our own unconscious mind looks like. Building on this, I decided that maybe psychics and people who call themselves shamans and witches had some superstitious approach to the mind that survived the ages, maybe because they were repeatedly proven true, and that applying scientific method and experimentation to their superstition, I could build a system of mind technology. So I became interested in learning this superstition, for scientific reasons, with no interest in becoming a practitioner or believer myself.
Then I met my teacher. He turned out to be more scientific in his beliefs, approach, and explanations than any scientist I have ever met. Superstitious is the last thing anyone could call him. I quickly realized that the scientific work I wanted to do had already been done by countless others before me, in all ages and cultures. I wanted to join these ranks of people who had found wisdom and understanding in an ancient tradition that I had no idea even existed. So I asked for initiation and acceptance for training into this tradition, and in so doing, a year later I became a witch.
4. Do you belong to a coven of witches?
There are two types of traditional witches covens. There are training covens, where people regularly meet with a holder of the tradition, where that ancient tradition is once again handed down to another generation (possibly to a different language or culture). There are also “working” covens, where witches who have completed their training agree to meet regularly for a set period of time for some specific purpose.
I was trained for 10 years in a traditional training coven. Since my training with that coven was completed, I now practice on my own, not belonging to any working coven.
5. Do you have a family? What do they think of your being a witch?
I have a wife and we have a 15-year old son. My wife is not a witch, though she is an accomplished student of Vajrayana Buddhism. She has studied and trained in some of the same things and in all the same philosophical ideas. We therefore have much to talk about, seeing things similarly, but expressing those our perceptions in slightly different ways. After 16 years together, our perspectives are always fascinating to one another, and we find equal fascination in what the other brings to our shared activities and experiences.
Our son, growing up in this atmosphere, naturally assumes our perspectives and takes them as obvious. We did however, teach him to recognize certain ideas and conversations as “secret stuff,” (one meaning of the word occult) so he wouldn’t get into misunderstandings at school and with his friends. Because he has never known a time without knowledge of our philosophy and perspective on life, magic, the unseen, etc., he finds our practices (Wiccan and Buddhist) superfluous and eccentric. This is because where we learned these things through training, he gained them by growing up in it. He values the Ancient Wisdom as something that is self-evident and an integral part of his world. Our discussions and practices reflect the training he never needed. Like my own teacher did at the same age, he doesn’t want to be part of any “ism” or be called anything in particular. He just wants to be known for himself, as he naturally is. Perhaps that will change when he leaves the nest, and finds himself suddenly without the constant presence of magic, spirituality, and philosophy in his life.
6. What do you do for a living?
When I met my teacher of this ancient tradition, I was by force a homeless teenager, spending most of my time in a university computing center playing with computers, and had a habit of using mild “recreational drugs”. I had just started trying to make sense of my life and the world by reading occult literature, thinking there must be some secret behind it all that would help me build a successful life. After demanding that I stop using any form of nonprescription drug, my teacher altered reality for me (cast some spells), and provided me with unbelievably “lucky” opportunities time and again through my life. Some of these were opportunities by which I could make a successful career out of playing with computers even though I didn’t have the choice to finish grade 10 in high school.
For almost two decades I had a successful software company of my own, where I had designed, written, marketed, sold, trained customers in, and provided support for some office management software. Today work for a company as a successful senior consultant, specializing in a particular business enterprise management software, working mostly from my home but sometimes traveling around North America to teach others how to use this software.
Traditional witches learn not to try to make a living from witchcraft. The purpose of witchcraft and the traditional teachings is to help oneself and others in times of need. Charging for that help is considered immoral, and calls to question whether the focus is really on bringing help. There is another less known, and more dangerous reason for never charging for practice of the Craft. When a witch does practice the Craft, they are putting a great deal of their life energy into what they do. Because everything you do comes back to you, this effort creates a temporary imbalance in life energy because you have put out more than you got back so far. If you then accept money for your effort, the imbalance is set right, and you will not get back the life energy you put out. As a result, people who charge for the Craft (tarot readings, psychic readings, divinations, spell casting, teaching witchcraft), if doing this for years, eventually fall weak, a gray pallor coming over their skin, they fall prey to mental imbalance and far younger than usual, find it more and more difficult to recover from sickness. By contrast, people who use the Craft for the sole purpose of helping oneself and others, without regard for what they get back, get healthier, stronger, more vibrant and “luckier” in everything they do. This is the secret of making your spells work: put out more as much as you sincerely can, and pay no attention to getting anything back, even if you know the exchange will always even out in the long-run.
7. Do other members of the company you work for know that you are a witch?
One of my co-workers knows I am a witch, but I made sure long before I told him this, that he first understood me and what I believe. No one else among my co-workers knows this, unless that one person has said something. A few people I work with know I hold deeply considered philosophies, understand astrology and can read palms, presumably for entertainment purposes.
8. Witchcraft is often associated with the term “Wicca”. What is “Wicca”?
- It is a modern English term, coined by Gerald Gardner around 1950.
- The term is used in two ways: neopagan Wicca, and Traditional Wicca.
- Neo-pagan as the name infers, is new paganism, typically made up and invented by the leader of each group, as by Gerald Gardner, or by solitary witches on their own. This is done without following any set tradition handed down from generation to generation. Followers of this type of Wicca often call themselves witches and being without a definite tradition, believe in and practice a random variety of different pagan ideas.
- Traditional Wicca is a very recent, modern English term for a specific and definite set of beliefs and practices, handed down from generation to generation and translated into different languages and cultures around the world. While followers of Traditional Wicca are known as witches in English, they also have been known by other names long before the word Wicca was invented. As you can see in the following list, both male and female witches are recognized:
- In Spanish “Bruja” (pronounced BRU-ha) means female witch, “Brujo” means male witch, brujeria (pronounced bru-heh-REE-ah) means witchcraft.
- In Italian, “Strega” (pronounced STRAY-gah) means female witch, “Stregone” (pronounced stray-go-nay) means male witch. Since ancient times, Italian witches have met in covens called Boschetto (pronounced boss-ket-oh).
- In Russian, it is pronounced ved-ma, meaning “one who knows”
- In German it is the word “hexenmeister” (spellmaster).
- In Turkish, the word for witch is “cadi”
- In Persian, “jadugar”
- In Greek it is “pharmakis” (meaning herbalist, from which we derive the words pharmacy and pharmacist).
- In French, the word is “sorcier” for a male, and “sorciere” for a female
- In Chinese it is pronounced “uyu-wu”
- In Hindi it is the word “Daayan” or “chudail”,
- There are many different words for witch in Croatian and Japanese, depending on the context.
Nearly every language and culture though history has a word for witch.
- The modern English term, “Traditional Wicca” refers to an ancient, initiated, body of teachings and practices that have been handed down through the generations, person to person, for centuries. These practices and beliefs constitute something similar to what is known in India as Hindu or Buddhist tantra, and could be described as “the tantra of the West.” Contrary to public misconception, tantra does not refer to sexual practices. The meanings of the word tantra aptly describe Traditional Wicca. Literally the word means: a loom, specifically, the warp or weaving. It also means: the leading principal essential part, main point, or characteristic feature of anything. It also means: a model, prototype, system, framework, doctrine, rule, or theory. Also: a chapter or part thereof, or a class of works teaching magical and mystical formulae.
- As is the case with Eastern tantra, Traditional Wicca is a systematic approach to studying, learning and practicing, all for discovering who and what you really are, and how to behave like That.
- The premise is that we are all manifestations of a Single Being, a Single Consciousness that pervades time and space, and the infinity of the universe. As such, we are all incredibly powerful magicians, engaged in the on-going creation of our experiences, and as such, the Universe creates its infinite Self, and experiences itself through our very eyes.
- As these incredibly powerful Authors of the Universe, we are much more than human, and have no need to behave as we typically do. We have no need to worry, no need to struggle or fight, and no need to impose our will or beliefs on others. We have in fact, the power to experience anything we choose, and be anything we want. We have the power to help ourselves and anyone we encounter.
- We also have direct access to understanding why things are the way they are, and to the wisdom of when to interfere and when to leave things as they are.
- Traditional Wicca, like the tantras of the East is a systematic approach to discovering these things for oneself, proving them for oneself, and learning to behave like Wise Ones (the meaning of the word “Wicca”).
- As I mentioned, this ancient tradition has been translated into many languages and cultures. Its recent translation into English involved incorporating prayers, meditations, rituals, and spells that have been written by Gerald Gardner and other witches of our time. But the beliefs, practices, philosophy and goals of the tradition have not themselves changed at all. Those are based on personal experience, not handed-down tomes. The core nature of our being does not change with new languages or cultures, new prayers, rituals, or spells. Because we all have access to that same universal and personal experience of the core nature of our being, no matter what time or culture we live in, that experience remains unchanged because it is independent of language and culture. It is because of its basis in this core experience that what we today in English call Traditional Wicca spread through the world, through the ages, and through all cultures always unchanged in essence.
9. Is there some organization behind Wicca
There are some Wiccan organizations, such as “The Wiccan Church of Canada” for example. Traditional witches normally have nothing to do with any organizations beyond their own coven of 13 or so members. The idea of some organizing body beyond that is foreign and incompatible with the basic tenets of traditional Wicca. This is because, due to human nature, imposing of will, beliefs and policies on others inevitably gets involved. There is an inherent unification among traditional witches in their core beliefs that come not from any particular prayers or teachings, but from personal experience of who and what we are, and the nature of reality. That personal experience unifies without sharing policies, language, culture, place or time. That personal experience is what traditional Wicca is all about, and political organization of witches is not relevant to that core meaning, it is not relevant to the meaning and purpose of traditional Wicca. As a result, traditional witches have a lot more useful ways to spend their time and energy than by creating and maintaining some organization, so they just don’t bother.
10. What does a traditional witch do?
As Traditional Witches, we do not practice just any prayers, meditations, rituals and spells. We practice ones that are selected and designed or altered by accomplished witches before us, appropriate to our time and culture. They are designed or altered with the specific goal of bringing to our attention the personal experience of whom and what we really are, and methods by which to behave like That. We learn prayers to watch how we use our minds. We practice meditations and rituals to explore what it is that we are really doing, and what it is that we really are. We practice spells to recognize that we are always casting spells and exactly how we are always doing this, whether or not we’ve ever heard of doing such a thing, and whether or not we know we’re doing it. We do all of these things, so we can help ourselves and others when the need arises.
11. What’s the purpose or goal in being a witch, in practicing witchcraft?
The most important personal experience I’m talking about here, about whom and what we really are, is this: we are all this One Universal Consciousness, and we can find That and identify with That, in our own most intimate experience. There are powerful immediate effects that come from recognizing this about ourselves. Because we can experience firsthand that we are not separate from anything we can be aware of, out of the instinct of self-preservation, it becomes impossible for us to want to do anything to harm another. We would be harming ourselves! At the same time, any pain or suffering we become aware of, we experience as our own, and again, out of the instinct of self-preservation, it is impossible not to want to help heal that pain or suffering. Abhorrence for any kind of harm or deprivation, and a drive to help others are inherent in the core experience of Existence itself. These are the effects of learning to be a witch in the traditional sense.
12. What do Traditional Witches believe?
Our beliefs include a core mythology and a cosmology.
The core mythology involves a human who by virtue of accumulated experience through countless incarnations became immortal, but saw all of her children and everyone she loved wither, grow sick and old, and die while she always remained behind. After thousands of years of this torture, she eventually began to study magic, in the hope of staving off death. Unable to do so, one Hallowe’en evening, using all of her learned magical skill, she descended into the Underworld to confront Death Himself, to demand a reason for the tyrannical inevitability of suffering and death of all creatures. She returned the following May Eve, to share with all who would listen, what she learned from Him, having become the Great Mother Goddess, and taught her “secret children,” the traditional witches of all times and cultures.
For cosmology, we believe that all things, from rocks and plants, to spirits and angels, archangels, humans and gods, they are all Alive and Aware in their own way, and that all share in that very same Life and Awareness. We believe that all things are the children of the Horned God and the Great Mother Goddess, the Creators, Authors of the Universe. The Horned God and Great Mother Goddess are for us, the principles of the Awareness (the Horned God) and Life (the Mother Goddess) I just mentioned. As living, powerful beings who are the embodiments of the Awareness and Life from which all things have derived, the God and Goddess are the Awareness and Life that all things inherit.
We believe the God and Goddess are two aspects of the same One Being, One Consciousness, vast and ineffable. As children and heirs of their union, we believe that we can find in our own experience, that same One Being, that same One Consciousness. We find it within ourselves as what we refer to when we can say: “I Am, I Exist”.
Because it is the union of the God and Goddess that creates the entire universe, traditional witches place great value in a balance between the two of them and in the equality between the sexes. One can no more have one without the other, than one can have day without night, here without there, or up without down.
Our daily practice then, is to learn to recognize these truths within us and around us, in every moment, and everything we do. We have prayers, meditations, rituals, and spells for our own language, culture and time that we use as continuing, constant celebrations of those truths. They offer us ever new ways of experiencing those universal truths in every new day, in every new face we meet. We use those things (prayers, meditations, rituals, and spells) to try to reduce the harm we see around us, because we can feel it happening to ourselves, not being separate from anything. We use those things to try to help those who are suffering, again because we can feel the suffering happening to ourselves, not being separate from anything.
13. What is the greatest secret in witchcraft?
Traditional witches are encouraged not place any reliance on Faith, nor on the word of their own teachers. They are encouraged to prove everything they are taught through their own personal practice, experience, and repeatable observations. This is because of a great secret, the great mystery in traditional Wicca.
There is a great secret inherent in personally experiencing, testing, and observing what one is taught in traditional Wicca. This secret cannot be “leaked” to anyone. It cannot be shown to anyone. It is not a secret because we are not supposed to say. I am devoted to trying to say it in as many ways as I can, in the hope that people will take the opportunity to go and see for themselves. I will tell you the secret in the next paragraph. It is not even a secret that is unique to Wicca, but also shared by many other religions, sciences, and belief systems. But it is absolutely secret because it cannot be believed or understood merely by being told. In this sense, it is truly and utterly occult (in the absolute sense of the word). Impossible to be told or shown, this secret can only be seen for oneself, when one truly sees for oneself. In this sense, Traditional Wicca is a true Western Mystery Tradition.
This secret which cannot be believed or understood when we are merely told, is this: The whole of the Universe, and every experience in it, is all a colossal illusion. We are all, like the God and the Goddess, dreaming a huge dream. It is because everything is an illusion that we can dream that we are changing that dream, making it better, making it less horrible for those that don’t know it’s only a dream. This gives us the confidence and peace in the eye of the storm of that dream, that we are not overwhelmed by the needs of those all around us, from whom we are not separate. We know that every one of them participates in this same dream just was we do, even if they don’t know it’s only a dream. This gives us strength in the face of adversity, because we don’t take adversity seriously, being only an illusion. This gives us selflessness in the face of the needs of others, because we don’t take ourselves seriously, being only illusions too. The occult secret to casting spells is to know that what we call “reality” is only a dream, and as such can be directly affected, before our very eyes, by imagination. After all, it is imagination that has and is creating this reality all the while.
So traditional Wicca, like other systems that share this mystery, is devoted to techniques by which a person might find for themselves, their own personal experience of exactly what is meant when I say that the universe is an illusion, and how this illusion is constantly maintained.
14. What’s an example of a ritual in the daily life of a Traditional Witch?
First thing in the morning, we pay homage (pay attention to)
- the Gods of Creation
- the Gods of Destruction (as in renewal, which is the secret of “healing”), and
- the Gods of Preservation.
We go to a sink, use a special cup acquired for this purpose and this purpose alone, fill it with water and then pour that water in libation, once for each of the above three.
In doing so, we start each day aware of the on-going living dream that we are immersed in. This is a very simple and ancient ritual, shared by many cultures through many ages.
15. What are Witches Sabbaths?
They are eight festivals each year: four festivals of fire (including Hallowe’en), and four festivals of the Sun (solstice and equinox). In the year, defined as one complete revolution around the sun, we see nature go through an entire cycle, and then repeat. This cycle is for us a huge Reminder and Celebration of our own cycles of Awareness. This cycle is reflected for us every day (each daily cycle of the sun) starting with deep dreamless sleep, through dreaming, then a crystallization of that dreaming into a waking dream. This is followed by the height of our day, the afternoon, then the evening where we start to get tired of the dream. Then comes the late evening when we withdraw from the dream to more personal activities. Finally falling asleep into our own personal dream again, and having had enough of dreaming for one day, back to a deep dreamless sleep again.
This cycle is the cycle of birth, death, and re-birth, as traditional witches firmly believe in reincarnation.
This cycle is also the story of the evolution of Awareness Itself. First it manifests as space itself, then as gas and stars and rocks. Next it evolves into plants, evolves further into animals, then human beings, and then evolves into gods. As the ultimate god, Awareness itself, pervading all of infinity, it evolves further back to infinite space itself again.
We use the cycle of the sun to remind us of who and what we really are in this cyclic journey: Awareness Itself. In the Sabbaths we celebrate and remember that journey, and the cyclic nature of the universal dream.
As celebrations of Awareness itself, the Sabbaths are sacred to the Horned God.
16. Why do Witches meet at the Full Moon?
There are 13 full moons in each year. The moon, and in particular, the Full Moon, when it is in a position in the sky exactly opposite the sun, has huge influence over life, the production of life, and what we experience in life. Certainly there are other factors in life, but the Moon is a colossal example of the cycles of life, and the influence that life has on our experience, or as our experience. We therefore choose these 13 times per year as opportunities, not to celebrate or Remember Awareness specifically, but to celebrate life itself, to remember that what Awareness (the God) experiences is a huge Dream (the Goddess). He (Awareness) has eyes only for Her (the Dream).
On the full moon, we remember the nature of the Dream, and we celebrate the fullness of experience in that the Dream, by celebrating along with the fullness of the Moon. It is therefore a time of spell-casting, of dancing and chanting, and all the good and wonderful things that the fullness of life has to offer. We remember the words of the Goddess (here translated into modern English for our current culture) “All acts of love and all acts of pleasure are My rituals.” “My ecstasy is in yours, My joy is to see your joy.”
While the Sabbaths are sacred to the Horned God, being celebrations of Awareness, the Full Moons are sacred to the Great Mother Goddess, being celebrations of Life.
17. What do witches believe about sin and the devil:
We have no concept of sin. We also do not believe in any absurd concepts such as the devil, nor of hell. These are all relatively new and manipulative concepts of the Sons of Abraham which are Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
Instead of the idea of sin, we have a more ancient idea, something very similar to the Indian concept of Karma: we believe that what you do comes back to you (because it’s all You in the ultimate sense anyway).
Instead of the idea of the devil, we have the idea of ignorance and ill-intent, which are everywhere we look, but certainly not as an organized force or single mythical entity like a devil.
Instead of hell, we have the idea of self-created “bad dreams” that we can experience right here, right now, depending on what we are dreaming. We deliberately go to “hell” by immersing ourselves in a hospital of needy people, or by visiting a battle field. We can make our own lives into a living hell by making poor choices of behavior. It is certainly not everlasting though, as by simply shifting our attention, we can focus on the fact that it is only a dream, and not take it seriously, or we can dream something better by simply seeing things differently. By changing our habits and behavior, we can decide not to visit that hell again, or deliberately return to help others out of it.
18. What do witches believe about Evil or Black Magic, Black witchcraft:
As we know from science, too much of anything, or too little of things we need, can be harmful. This applies to behavior and perspective as much as it applies to diet or chemistry.
Too little knowledge of whom and what we really are, and how we affect the world and those around us, can make everything we do harmful, out of sheer ignorance, no matter how well-meaning our intentions may be. Ignorance is the most common cause or foundation of all so-called evil, black magic or black witchcraft.
Likewise though, too much of anything can also be harmful. Obsession with anything can affect all of our behavior, twisting everything we do, slanting it all askew, and hurting those around us just the same, no matter how well-meaning our intentions might be. Obsession is the second most common cause or foundation of all evil, black magic or black witchcraft. Sooner or later though (sometimes it seems like later) we all realize that we are one with everything around us and that everything we do we are doing to ourselves. As a result, no case of ignorance or obsession lasts forever, but the One Universal Organism, the One Pure Consciousness has always been and is endless.
Traditional witches cannot knowingly practice evil, black magic, or black witchcraft because of the knowledge that everything one does comes right back. Traditional witches believe that any form of imposing one’s own will or opinion on another is a form of black magic. For this reason, traditional witches learn to never argue religion, politics or philosophy with others. They never try to recruit or convince others of their beliefs. For these reasons, when political forces seek to impose their will or beliefs on others, to persecute and eradicate the beliefs of others, traditional witches end up hiding instead of openly arguing or fighting, not wishing to participate in all that black magic. Instead, they work quietly in their meditations, prayers and in their magic circle, arranging opportunities for people to see the evil in their actions, even if it takes centuries for them to accept these opportunities.
19. Do you make blood offerings of sacrifice living things?
Certainly not. First, it would be imposing my will, purpose, believes, or intentions on another: on the poor creature whose blood or life is being sacrificed, and this is abhorrent to traditional witches. It is abhorrent because, feeling at one with everything, the traditional witch would him/herself feel the terror, the pain, and the loss of the poor thing being treated this way. There is also no need whatsoever for doing such a thing. Traditional witches believe that attention is nourishes all things. Blood offerings and sacrifice work because of the enormous concentration of attention being dedicated to the purpose at hand. There are other more beautiful and far more effective ways to concentrate enormous amounts of attention to the operation, that in no way impose on any other being or creature.
20. What is magic and how and why do witches practice it?
By studying the nature of the “dream” (metaphysics), we can learn how the dream works, and about patterns and tendencies in that dream. We can thereby learn to take part in those patterns and tendencies, and work with the nature of the dream. Ultimately, we do this in order to become aware, from our own experience, of the fact that we are constantly performing magic, and constantly casting spells, with every hope, expectation, application of cause-and-effect, and every single deliberate act we take. The ultimate witch, after considerable practice and evolution, learns to cast irresistible spells by simply casting attention. For this kind of witch, simply becoming aware of a need is itself automatically an act of causing that need to be fulfilled. It is, however, not as simple as I have described, because I have not said what is meant by “need” here. What are the conditions of suffering that define “need”? Let me explain with these two examples:
Recently I cast a spell on someone, to arrange for her to immediately reap the results of how she was treating others. This was done with the hope that this person would take notice of her behavior and then either make the effort to change or leave. This worked so well, I was amazed. It worked because this person had a good heart, and though deeply shocked and terribly hurt by what they suddenly saw about themselves, they immediately took steps to change, and have never looked back.
Also recently, I cast a spell on someone to make sure they found a job (just as my teacher did for me), and that they ended their loneliness by finding a lover. This spell failed miserably, because when offered opportunities for both, several times, this person failed to recognize and make use of the opportunities that were offered. (It was like the joke: a man’s boat has sunk, and he is treading water, waiting to be rescued. Another boat approaches and offers help but the man in the water turns the help away, saying, ‘No thanks, God will provide.’ This happens 3 times, and the man tires and drowns. Later, in heaven, talking to God, the man asks ‘Why didn’t you save me?’ God replies, ‘I tried. I sent you three boats with people who wanted to help you, but you turned them all away.’) One can cast spells to change reality, but remember, we are all very powerful magicians. If someone else’s magic is deliberately (even unconsciously) creating their own conditions for suffering, who are you to over-power the intentions of another? Who among us is more holy or more right than another? Imposing one’s will over another is black magic. The best I could offer was not stronger magic, but instead to love them and be there for them as they suffer, hoping that at some point they will snap out of it, and let you help then.
21.Have you ever done something like make rain?
Once our coven saw our teacher cast a spell, making a torrent of rain fall out of a clear sky at the exact instant that he held his magic sword to the sky. Years later, he taught me exactly how he did that. When I tried the first time, it didn’t rain at all. Instead we watched as 5 lightning bolts struck the same spot, in quick succession, all within the span of about one second. Subsequently, I practiced more, and tried again a few months later. This time it did rain, well there was a slight drizzle out of a clear blue sky, but I was so overwhelmed by the implications of changing the reality that others share, I never tried it again.
22. What does Hallowe’en mean to you?
Of the 8 Sabbaths that traditional witches celebrate each year, this one in particular is called the “Grand Sabbath”, being the most important of all to a traditional witch. Mythological, this is the day that our goddess descended into the underworld seeking the Great Mystery, and it is a day when we witches do the same. At this time, the “veil between the worlds” reaches its thinnest point in the fluctuations through the year. It is comparatively easy to contact the dead, and for the dead to contact us. Likewise, with the veil between the worlds being so thin, we can be aware of all kinds of nonhuman living entities, and they can be aware of us. Such entities might include any from the whole spectrum of life: all kinds of spirits, angels, gods, ghosts, etc. Our “Grand Sabbath” is held at this particular time because it is a time when our Awareness of so many things occult can be so easily opened. The most occult of all experiences though, the one that is most important to the traditional witch, the Great Mystery, which is the Awareness of exactly who and what we all really are. On this night, realizing our oneness with all things, with all creatures and spirits, etc, we are offered a chance to really dive deep into the deepest meaning of what it means to be One with All. We are offered the opportunity to be One with the Horned God and the Mother Goddess (to find them in oneself, from one’s own personal intimate experience). We are offered the opportunity to recognize That One Pure Consciousness that is at the very core of our being, of existence itself in all of its incredibly varied forms. We are offered the opportunity to see for ourselves the Great Mystery: the illusory nature of this dream of separate times, places, beings and experiences.
If you wish, you can read more on this topic by clicking here .
23. What do Fairies and Spirits, Ghosts, Gobblins and demon servitors mean to you?
By spending so much time examining how the dream of life actually works, we end up becoming aware of whole modes of existence, planes and worlds that do not appear in the same way as this physical plane does for us. We therefore inevitably become aware of the creatures that live in these other modes of existence, planes and worlds. Most of these creatures do not necessarily speak English, and may not even know of the existence of humans, or a physical world at all. Most do not even have specific shapes or forms. Over the ages, witches and psychics have encountered some of these creatures and, when trying to describe them have made for them names and ideological forms. Stories about encounters with them all vary greatly through the ages and different cultures, with each individual attempt to describe them and encounters with them.
Some witches study them the way a zoologist studies animals. Some of these creatures are intelligent enough to communicate, while others are not so much. Some are actually spiritually evolved, and because of being aware of the Ultimate Being, we sometimes call these “messengers of God,” which is the meaning of the word “angel”.
Some of these beings we call gods, and like everything else, we tend to describe them with reference to our own culture. The Greek mystics, for example, upon meeting a particular one of these gods, described him as being like their typical male father model (a womanizer, authoritarian, demanding and enforcing order in the family) and called him Zeus. The Romans adapted that same description with their own ideals of the male father model, and called him Jupiter, creating all kinds of rituals, beliefs and practices. These survive to this day in the college of Cardinals in Rome (the funny hats, the amethyst rings, the red robes, the rituals they practice, and even the temple where they practice are what is today left of the cult and temple of Jupiter in Rome).
Some spirits, angels, and gods are friendly, especially if you make offerings of nourishment (as with people, any form of sincere attention will do), and especially if you have the kind of character they have reason to respect and like. If you are this kind of person, which traditional witches are always learning to be more like, it is possible that these beings might help you with your endeavors, just as any human friend might.
Traditional witches would no more try to force a spirit, angel or god into doing something, than any good person would try to force their friends to do something either. Imposing ones will on any other being is considered black magic, and because everything we do comes back, leads to having others will being imposed on oneself. So eventually, for traditional witches, a close bond of friendship can develop with unseen creatures of all kinds, just as any person might make friends at work or school. A close friend of the spirit realm who might like helping you out, as just as you like helping it out, might be called a “demon servitor” even it has nothing to do with the normal evil concept of “demon”.
24. What is a “Witches Familiar”?
As part of our training, to experience for ourselves the dream-like nature of reality, and the relationship of imagination to that, we are taught how to move and live and work outside of our bodies for brief periods of time. Think of the way that you can develop a close bond with a husband or wife for instance, close enough at times that you sometimes feel like you can see through their eyes, or tell what they’re thinking. A traditional witch can learn to deliberately build such a relationship with a loved pet, say a cat or dog, raven, or owl. There are techniques for becoming close enough to your pet that you can actually move out of your body and share the body of your pet, seeing through its eyes, walking or flying with its legs or wings. The purpose for being taught such a thing is to see for yourself, at firsthand experience, that you really do share the same Consciousness that all other beings have. You see for yourself what is absolutely occult, what cannot be believed or accepted, even when you are told: that you are One with every creature in the most absolutely concrete sense. You also realize that your own human body is just exactly a witches familiar: it is an animal that you share consciousness with, and you walk with its legs, talk with its mouth, but you are not human. So you get a firsthand experience that you are, and always have been something far beyond human.
25. Do you use Tarot Cards, Crystal Balls, Palmistry and Astrology?
Yes, a traditional witch is trained in the use of all of these. These things all work the same way, tapping in to the fact that our own unconscious is actually the unconscious mind of everyone and everything else. These are techniques for tricking yourself into casting our attention into the collective memory, or collective unconscious, which may be the past, present, or future of anyone or any event. Once you understand the fact that you are tricking yourself, you don’t need these things anymore to be just plain psychic. But the real reason we learn divination is to see and prove for ourselves a surprising and painful point: there are some things that are better left unknown, particularly things that haven’t happened yet. This is because the future is plastic, and knowing what is likely could influence you by creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. This is because the future is plastic, and knowing what is likely could influence you by creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.
26. What Do you Believe of Fate or Free Will?
I believe that the future holds infinite possibilities, a tiny few of which become actualized. The further into the future one looks, the more possibilities there are that could be actualized. The further into the future we look, the faster the curve of possibilities rises. Normally, the choice of which possibilities get actualized is based on influence from the past. What has already happened narrows down what is more immediately likely. Habit (the past) causes us to make choices that narrow down what is likely for us. It’s like we’re on the Nile, steering a boat through experience. Where we will be in the next second is easy to see: right in front of the bow. Where we might be in 5 minutes holds more possibilities, because we might veer our steering. Where we’ve been makes it extremely unlikely that we’ll be 100 miles downstream in the next 5 minutes. Our past actions, and our habits (like karma) strongly influence which possibilities are most likely to be actualized. In this way, through actualization of possibilities, the universe is constantly being constructed as it happens. It is possible to “see the future” only so much as it is possible to read and understand the past, and only so long as habit and karma hold sway. Tarot cards, crystal balls, etc. are actually ways of reading the past, and what it implies about the future. When a person makes a change of habit, they change the course of their future, and their destiny. When a person realizes and sees directly exactly how experience is being constantly constructed out of infinite future possibilities, and learns to be utterly free of influence from the past, it becomes possible to reconstruct reality in the present moment in any way imaginable. For such a rare person, it is possible for the boat on the Nile to suddenly be in Chicago instead. But owing to powerful habits and a typical fixation on the past, we usually decide our futures without even knowing we’re doing it.
27. Don’t you think magic is just self-fulfilling prophecy?
Yes, I do. Absolutely I do. I believe magic is the deliberate and purposeful employment of self-fulfilling prophecy. The spells, incantations, incense, robes, magical tools, magic circle… everything, all of it are ways of convincing ourselves, that is I mean, our True Selves, that something is going to happen. Because we are Truly Authors of the Universe, by virtue of our participation in this colossal dream, as with self-fulfilling prophecy, if we absolutely believe something is going to happen, we will make it happen, consciously or unconsciously. The deliberate use of self-fulfilling prophecy is one of the ways we are taught to see for ourselves, to experiment, test, observe, and prove repeatedly who and what we really are. It is one of the ways we see for ourselves the entire experience of reality is a huge dream created by our collective imagination. Again, when you figure out for yourself how with magic you’ve been tricking yourself into action as one of the Authors of the Universe, you don’t need to trick yourself anymore and you don’t need magic anymore. You just think it, and it is so. This too is occult, as it cannot be believed or understood by merely being told. To learn this occult secret one must experience the fact for oneself as a direct personal experience, tested, observed, and proven several times in several ways.
28. Do you use drugs, sex and alcohol in your practices?
We do not use drugs for our practices at all. We are taught to see for ourselves that these things actually hinder the sharpness, the clarity, and the objectivity our brains naturally have. These qualities of the brain are extremely valuable to us and we depend on these qualities for effectiveness in our work. We would not deliberately hinder or damage these qualities. There are some psychic effects to be had from the use of drugs, but we are taught how to accomplish those same things without the use of drugs, and without the price one pays for using drugs.
Excessive alcohol (more than one drink) is considered a drug, as described above. We do, however, in certain rituals, take a sip of consecrated wine.
Sex is used in some of our practices, but only privately between two people: oneself and a committed partner such as one’s husband or wife or boyfriend or girlfriend. Hurting someone else through sexual practice is as abhorrent to a traditional witch as any other way of hurting others.
29. What do you believe about gay marriage, abortion, and stem-cell research?
We have a single, simple law of morality: An it Harm None, Do What Ye Will.
Most traditional witches don’t believe gay relationships hurt anyone, and that imposing one’s will on another with regard to sexuality is a form of evil, as any form of imposing on others is.
Each traditional witch has his/her own ideas about whether abortion is harming anyone. There is also consideration on a case by case basis, such as whether the harm is worse for the fetus in the abortion, or for the unwilling mother who has to carry the results of a violent rape, for example. From what I have learned personally about how life begins, I believe it is a far greater evil to impose one’s own beliefs on other people. I cannot speak for all traditional witches, but I am personally pro-choice.
As for stem-cell research, because traditional witches believe that hurting or imposing on anything for one’s own purpose is a bad thing. So people will do what they may, but owing to the fantastic possibilities for reducing suffering in the world, a traditional witch would probably try to find sources for stem cells that impose on others as little as possible.
30. Do you eat meat? You impose on others to stay alive. How do you reconcile this?
It is true that I cannot live without imposing on others. With every breath I take, and every step I take upon the earth, I kill millions of micro-organisms, not to mention the job I have that someone else could have had, or the sources of my food, including meat.
Owing to this inevitability, I try to dedicate my life, and anything that comes from my imposing on others, so that it is all helping others more than it helps me. I daily beg forgiveness from the Earth for my imposing, and I try to return the benefit I receive for my life, by trying to bring benefit to others.
31. Where can one apply for training and initiation as a traditional witch?
I don’t know the answer to this one. Traditional witches are by nature not organized into any kind of organization or school. They are secretly present in every culture on the earth, in almost every country. The training is very intimate and personal, typically between a teacher and up to 12 students in a training coven. These training covens last only for a time, until the students complete their training. I am not telling you these things in order to recruit trainees, nor to promote any training coven, nor to promote myself as a teacher (I do not teach witchcraft). My purpose in telling these things is only to say that there is more to witches and witchcraft than the self-proclaimed, invented, dreamed-up versions that are so popular today. By comparison, almost nobody is talking about the fact that there does exist a true ancient, initiated Western Mystery Tradition called Traditional Witchcraft. Traditional witches normally have no reason or interest in talking about themselves. I’m talking about it here because when I was searching for answers, I had never even heard of the existence of a living, initiated and ancient tradition of witchcraft. I would never have learned what I have about myself and about life if I hadn’t stumbled on it by accident. I’m trying to “pay it forward,” my unbelievable good fortune, so that hopefully someone might not give up the search, knowing that a real wisdom tradition is out there somewhere, hidden all around us.
32. Do you do a traditional Chrstmas holiday?
I celebrate it, not as a Christian holiday, but as a cultural holiday, since I live in the North-American culture. Normally, I call it Yule, but as in this culture everyone calls it Christmas, I end up using that word too sometimes, particularly with Christian family members such as in-laws. As for the meaning of what I’m celebrating, for me it has nothing whatsoever to do with Christ, but rather, the rebirth of the sun as the Winter Solstice occurs just days before Christmas. Of course, it’s a rebirth of the sun in the sense that, since the Solstice is the shortest day of the year, the hours of sunlight in the day have started to increase again by Christmas. Now the Sun itself and the length of the days itself is only symbolic of a cycle more immediately relevant to a practitioner of Traditional Wicca. The cycle of the sun through the year represents the cycle that consciousness repeats in each day/night, birth and reincarnation, and through the journey from spiritual ignorance to enlightenment. The Winter Solstice, or Yule reminds one of, and allows one to celebrate that part of the cycle that corresponds to midnight, the deepest sleep between death and reincarnation, and in the journey to enlightenment it corresponds with a trance-like state of resting in the bare nature of Mind, of Consciousness Itself, from which emanates all other aspects of the esoteric Mind.
We give presents just as the gift of enlightenment arises from this resting in the bare nature of the Mind does. We give presents just as the gift of a new day, and a new reincarnation arises from this same corresponding point in the cycle of the day/night, and the cycle of death and reincarnation. We decorate a tree with lights and gifts just as the pre-Christian people did, the lights representing the gift of light (enlightenment) that arises from this point in the cycle of life and consciousness. An evergreen tree (as opposed to a deciduous tree) is used because, it is one of the few things that stays green even through the winter. It is therefore, among wild plants, a perfect symbol of the ever present and undying Consciousness which is at the heart of all beings, shared by all things, is that in every one of us which is the Creator of the Universe, is That which re-incarnates, and That which the Traditional Witch in reaching enlightenment, strives to identify with (instead of identifying with being a simple human being that dies at the end of each lifetime). Yule and the tree are therefore reminders and celebrations of the undying, on-going nature of that One Pure Consciousness which is, as I mentioned, the Creator or the Universe in every one of us.