A Traditional Witch is someone who has dedicated herself1 to the service and worship of Our Lady and the Great Mother Goddess of Many Names and Many Forms, and of the Great Horned One, Her Consort.
Among other things this involves the cultivation of certain attitudes and a particular approach to Life, in a style reflected by the Natures of the Goddess and the God themselves. These attitudes are clearly depicted in the Ancient Legend of the Goddess in her descent into the Underworld.
The Legend tells of how, being immortal, without beginning and without end, eternally delighting in the joys and beauties of Life, She always out-lives her companions to see them wither and suffer and pass away. In spite of Her great powers and abilities, the time comes when She can no longer enjoy life with the ever-present knowledge of its inevitable end, so out of Love and sorrow and unbearable compassion for all Her Creatures, She descends into the forgotten depths of the Underworld to search out Death Himself, to find the root and cause of all this suffering.
Our perfect example is the goddess Herself and unless you have Her motivation, you have no business in Wicca, or calling yourself a Witch or “Wise One.” Thus She instructs Her children each month: “No other Law but Love I know, by naught by Love may I be known, for all things living are Mine Own, from Me they come, to Me they go.” Although the legend of the Goddess could be called “merely mythological,” in a very practical sense it is more real than any story of a historical figure, because it represents the Eternal Quest of Man and the eternal Spirit of Love and Goodness for the Benefit of all.
There are four things or qualities that make a Witch: a sense of wonder, unquenchable curiosity, undaunted courage and boundless love born of the feeling of Oneness with all things.2 Hence the mottoes so often heard in Wiccan circles: “Rush in where angels fear to tread: the Gods are with you!” “As a man thinketh, so is He.” “If you think small, you become small.” “Remember the Passwords: Perfect Love and Perfect Trust, so trust the Universe and be at Home everywhere.” “If you imagine and fear ‘I will get trapped,’ of course you will get trapped. Fear not, and you won’t.”
Trust the Ultimate Power, which is everywhere, always with you and which in fact is you. Feel its Presence everywhere, always surrounding you in every atom, in every cell, beneath your feet, on the ground you step on, in the wind kissing your cheek, in the sky above you, in the millions of creatures of its Universe – it is this certainty, this awareness of the Ancient Presence, that will give you the courage and the Joy to go everywhere without fear and without troubles. It is this knowledge which is the secret of the Craft’s survival through the Ages and through the “Burning Time.”
“YOU ARE NEVER LESS ALONE THAN WHEN YOU THINK YOU ARE ALONE.”
“FEAR NOT, FOR FEAR IS FAILURE AND THE FORRUNNER OF FAILURE.”
The Higher teachings of Wicca are for the serious student, who above all, desires to know and search for the Mystery of her own Being and to know that she is one with the All-Being, the Divinity immanent within all. She thus searches to awaken latent spiritual powers that exist within herself as the God Incarnate which she is. This will change her whole life, for she will then dedicate her knowledge and abilities to the Welfare of all Beings. This Knowledge is the natural heritage of all people.
Wicca is not magic, though magic is one if its manifestations, nor is it a religion per se but a philosophy that can be found at the root of all Religions and Philosophies as the Science of Life.
Wicca is not acquisition of Powers either psychic or intellectual, though both are its tools and its servants. Neither is it the hedonistic pursuit of happiness as a man usually understands the word; for the first step is sacrifice and self-analysis, the second, the renunciation of the Lower Self for the Higher Self.
The aware Wicca does not reject the world from fear of it. She holds it firmly in her grasp and wrests from it its secrets. Then finally escaping from the unconscious drifting and compulsions of a humanity which has not yet realized itself, she is then the Illuminated Mistress (or Master) of Herself, whether developing all her powers, or transcending all Creation and remaining magnificently aloof at her will.
In short, it is the Art of Living as a Divine God — Life HERE and NOW in the MORTAL body. It is simply the Art of living in a very natural joyful manner.
1The use of a particular gender anywhere in this book is neither intended to exclude nor emphasize one or other sex. Also the word “witch,” meaning “wise,” implies no gender at all and can apply to both women and men.
2An illustration of these qualities is expressed throughout “Love” by Leo Buscaglia. Fawcett Crest Books (1972).