What Is a Mystery Religion?

Modern witchcraft and also Wicca are often referred to as mystery religions. The term is paradoxical in a sense because neither witchcraft nor Wicca are religions. I talked a bit about this in one of my previous posts, but just to refresh your memories, this is because a religion is defined as "an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods". Also, in religions, the "officials" (priests, bishops, or whatever rank or name they carry) are simply subordinates of the God/gods. In addition to this, every religion has a moral codex and fixed ceremonial laws. Witchcraft and Wicca are quite flexible when it comes to this. For example, many denominations of Wicca exist, each with their own rules, many individuals (i.e. Solitaries) create their own moral framework, while still keeping to some general moral codes (which actually stem from common sense rather than religious doctrine), many covens create their own practice which is adapted to the members' needs and so on. It can be said that Wicca, as is the case with most Pagan faiths, is a spiritual path, while witchcraft is a practice which can be completely unrelated to any religion or spiritual path.

Nevertheless, "mystery religions" has practically become a fixed expression in the Pagan community even though many people who have heard it aren't quite sure what it means. The obscurity of the phrase is mostly due to the "mystery" part of the expression which I will try to clarify in this post. :)

Defining the "Mystery" in "Mystery Religions"

In ancient times, especially in ancient Greece, mystery religions were known only to their initiates. Anyone who was not initiated did not know what they were about, what rites were included, how the practices looked like and they possibly didn't even know they existed. So "mystery" used to mean "secret". But mind you, those wishing to be initiated had to really work to achieve this; they underwent training and other preparations before they were allowed into the religion itself.

The most famous example of the ancient mystery religions are surely the Eleusinian mysteries but there, of course, were others such as the mysteries at Agrae, the mystery cults of Attis, Orpheus, Cybele, Isis and others. They were largely dispersed throughout Greece in its later period but also early imperial Rome. Although, these mysteries differed from those in Eleusis which can be thought of as the "original" mystery religion; not in the sense of its chronological predating, but rather its importance for and influence on other mystery religions.

Nowadays, these mystery religions have lost quite a bit of their mystery. We know a lot about their history and a fair amount of their practices which demystifies them in a sense. In the case of the Eleusinian mystery, this is due to their abating restrictions regarding secrecy. That is to say, up to the 5th century (the Greek Classical period), these mysteries were restricted solely to Athenians, but this changed in the second half of this century when they were opened to all Greeks and later on to almost anyone. Some converted Pagans also spoke about the rituals of Eleusis, but then again, some rituals were open to the public. The myth of the rape/kidnapping of Persephone (in which her mother Demeter rescues her in a way) was at the center of the mysteries. But I don't want to go into further detail because Eleusis is a different topic and deserves much more attention than just one paragraph. For those of you that are not familiar with the myth, you can read about it in great detail here and if you are interested in the ritualistic details of the mysteries, I recommend you have a look at Lindsey Jones' Encyclopedia of Religion vol. 4 ("Eleusinian mysteries", pp. 2751-2752).

As Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone point out in Progressive Witchcraft, "the mystery practices of modern Wicca seem to have been drawn from the Mediterranean, specifically the Greek and Egyptian cultures and their established Priesthoods, rather than any form of Northern or Western European village or tribal magical practice whose mystery practices would have surely been more Shamanically inclined".

Rosicrucianism and Co-Masonry, and Freemasonry even more so are thought to be the direct descendants of these mysteries. Garald Gardner, the "founder" of Wicca, was connected to both, so it is not unusual that one finds this ancient aspect in modern Wicca.

Obviously, "mystery" no longer necessarily means "secret" because we know some details regarding these ancient mystery religions and more importantly because they were known even when these religions were at their peak.

But to return to the main topic, the main part of all of these religions is the initiation. Without being initiated, one could not be taught the mysteries which that specific path held. There were usually several parts to the initiation, some of which are mirrored in Wicca:

  1. catharsis - a purification process which is necessary to take the next step into initiation because initiation in itself is seen as beginning a new chapter in one's life or perhaps an entirely new life and of course everyone wants to enter this new life clean, calm and unburdened.
  2. palingenesis - a symbolic death and rebirth during which new knowledge is given to the initiate
  3. hieros gamos - a sacred wedding referring to the unity of the initiate and the god/goddess/gods where the initiate truly understands the deity/deities at hand
  4. orgia - no, this is NOT an orgy. An orgia is an ecstatic emotional feeling that the initiate may experience during the hieros gamos which then leads to the last step of the initiation
  5. ekstasis - the actual ecstasy itself, or rather the "getting out of oneself", going beyond limited perceptions, going beyond existence. This is where true spiritual knowledge is obtained.
The hieros gamos is the main aspect of this type of initiation. To elaborate, through palingenesis, the initiate symbolically dies (he leaves fears behind, overcomes certain issues, faces him/herself, is given trials or tasks to perform, similar to those of a specific deity, in order to prove him/herself and so on) and is reincarnated into a deity through identifying him/herself with it during the initiation process. Lindsey Jones explains this wonderfully in her Encyclopedia of Religion: "The Dionysian mysteries made a Bacchus of the initiate; the consecration of the initiate by means of the winnowing basket and the phallus regenerated him by immunizing him against death and infernal demons. Dionysos was held to have returned from the nether regions along with his mother Semele, and to have been “reborn.” His myth provided a model for the rebirth of any initiate, to whom the same immortality was promised. (...) The initiate was seen as undergoing the same trials of initiation that had turned Dionysos into a true Bacchus". The point of this initiatory aspect was to become one with a deity and thus fully understand it and the mysteries it conveys.

Unification with a/the Deity

Even though mystery religions have become demystified by information regarding their rituals leaking out, they can still be seen as mysterious in a sense. This aspect has been preserved precisely through the hieros gamos. Due to my personal experience, I can best explain this on the example of Wicca.

Wicca used to be quite "underground" in the 50s and 60s but it soon spread due to Gardner's love of the press and the Witchcraft Act of 1735 being repealed in 1951 thus enabling witches to slightly more freely practice their beliefs. More and more books started being published on the topic and then the Internet came. So much for mysteries and secrets...

But Wicca has retained some of its mysteriousness in this sense by staying distant to all those who do not wish to actually work. It is necessary to work hard and learn in order to be initiated. With regard to this, initiation does not always refer to the official process of a priest/priestess introducing the initiate to the path itself. Initiation can occur, at least from the viewpoint of some Wiccans (including myself), through direct contact with the God/Goddess in which they bless the initiate themselves and lead them onto this path. Also, most Wiccan groups tend to work in small numbers and be quite reserved. And then there is the tendency of working in secluded areas or private spaces where one will be able to work undisturbed or "in secret". 

But more importantly, Wicca has maintained its mysteriousness through its unification with deities. The focus of most Wiccan rituals is the moment when the God/Goddess/both manifest themselves. This may be done through evocation (i.e. not in the body of the priest/priestess but rather in food or drink) or through invocation (when they are joined with the priest's /priestess' body and spirit). In both ways, the other participants also come into contact with the deity either through enjoying the food/drink which hold the deity's energy and essence or through communicating with the priest/priestess in which the deities reside. Then there is also the idea that all the participants share in the energy of the ritual space. This enables everyone to feel the energy of the deity which is evoked/invoked. This system differs from that of "non-mystery-religion" practices where even the religious officials don't directly communicate with God and are even more rarely unified with him (do not take offence at the apparent sexism; this was not my intention).

In short, the whole point of the mystery aspect of mystery religions is directly receiving the knowledge of that specific path, or deity, or even general life mysteries through contact and unification with a deity. 

Hopefully this post clarified certain things. But if you have a different opinion on the subject, I would, as always, be very happy to hear it. Feel free to leave a comment or contact me. :)

Until next time. Yours,
Witch's Cat


Biškoti od meda i lavande

Lavanda, med  i naranča - tri prekrasna sastojka u ovim kolačićima kojih se može naći na pretek ljeti. Upravo su zato i prikladna za Lithu! :D A svaki daje svoju posebnu notu. Naranča daje svježinu, med slatkoću, a lavanda ono nešto posebno što se ne može naći u svakom kolaču. :) 

Ovi biškoti me zapravo jako podsjećaju na pandolette jer su oboje prilično suhi kolači čiji je glavni sastojak brašno. Također, oba imaju kora od voća u sebi samo što se u ove biškote stavlja lavanda umjesto badema. Čak je i slični način pripreme! Pandolette su vam sigurno radile mame, ili bake pa ako bude problema s kolačem, možete njih pitati. Makar se nemojte mene ustručavati pitati.

Potrebno je:

  • 3 čaše brašna
  • 1 žličica praška za pecivo
  • 1/2 žličice sode bikarbone
  • 1/4 žličice soli
  • 2/3 čaše šećera
  • 3 jaja
  • 3 žlice meda
  • 1/2 žličice vanilijinog ekstrakta
  • 2 žlice narančine kore
  • 1 žlica osušene lavande (cvijet)


  1. Ugrijte pećnicu na 175°C (malo manje ako vam je jača).
  2. Obložite jednu tepsiju papirom za pečenje.
  3. U jednoj manjoj zdjeli izmiješajte brašno, prašak za pecivo, sodu bikarbonu i sol.
  4. U velikoj zdjeli izmiješajte šećer i jaja mikserom, dodajte med, vanilijin ekstrakt, naribanu narančinu koru i osušene cvjetove lavande.
  5. Dodajte suhu smjesu u smjesu s jajima i miješajte kuhačom dok smjesa ne postane kompaktna. Dodajte još malo brašna ako vidite da je smjesa i dalje previše ljepljiva (iako treba biti malo ljepljiva).
  6. Pobrašnite radnu površinu i na njoj oblikujte tijesto u kobasice (širina i duljina ovisi o veličini vaše tepsije i pećnice te o tome koliko želite da vam biškoti budu veliki).
  7. Posložite kobasice na tepsiju (ili više tepsija ako imate više kobasica) i stavite peći.
  8. Pecite 10 minuta pa onda izvadite tepsiju i okrenite je za 180°. Nastavite peći još 10 minuta na istu temperaturu (sve skupa 20 minuta pečenja).
Napomena: tijesto ne bi smjelo puno promijeniti boju tijekom pečenja! Na donjoj strani će možda uhvatiti nešto više boje ako vam je jača pećnica kao meni, ali s gornje strane treba ostati gotovo iste boje kao kada ste ga stavili peći. Provjerite čačkalicom nakon otprilike 15 minuta je li vam kolač gotov (ako je ljepljiv onda nije), ali bi trebao biti idealan nakon 20 minuta.
  1. Izvadite tijesto i pustite ga da se ohladi nekoliko minuta.
  2. Smanjite temperaturu na nešto iznad 125°C.
  3. Dok je tijesto još toplo, izrežite ga na ploške debljine otprilike 2-2,5cm. 
  4. Posložite ploške polegnuto na tepsiju ostavljajući dovoljno prostora među njima da vrući zrak može kolati. 
  5. Vratite tako posložene ploške u pećnicu i pecite još cca. 10 minuta (možda će trebati 7, a možda 15 minuta ovisno o jačini pećnice i o tome koliko je dobro zagrijana pa provjerajite redovito). 
  6. Izvadite biškote iz pećnice, pustite ih da se u potpunosti ohlade i spremite u hermetičku posudu jer će tako moći trajati i nekoliko tjedana.

Ako po prvi put pečete ovakvu vrstu kolača, trebate zapamtiti da se biškoti stvrdnu kada se ohlade pa im ne smijete dozvoliti da previše porumene u pečenju. Ako vidite da su još previše svijetli, ili mekani iznutra kada razrežete kobasice, onda će sigurno trebati još onih posljednjih 10ak minuta pečenja, ali sami procijenite hoće li taj korak uopće biti potreban (meni je bio za one deblje dijelove kobasica). Na fotografiji najbolje vidite kakve trebaju biti teksture i boje i uočite koliko je donji dio biškota tamniji od gornjega. 

Nadam se da će ove napomene pomoći. :) Zaista je jednostavan kolač, ali je potrebno malo prakse, ili iskustva s ovom vrstom kolača kako bi tempiranje bilo savršeno. Javite kako su vam ispali i uživajte! 

Do sljedećeg posta,
vaša Witch's Cat

Honey-Lavender Biscotti

Lavender, honey and oranges - three wonderful ingredients in this recipe that you can find in abundance during summer. This is precisely why they are so appropriate for Litha! :D And each gives their own special note. The orange zest gives freshness, the honey gives sweetness and the lavender gives that special something that you just can't find in every cake. :)

These biscotti actually remind me a lot of pandoletti. These pandoletti are a traditional recipe in Croatia and most mothers and grandmothers know how to prepare them. They are essentially a dry cake, just like these biscotti, because their main ingredient is flour. Another similarity they have to biscotti is that they also have orange/lemon zest as an important ingredient, except they have almonds in stead of lavender. They are even prepared similarly! In any case, feel free to contact me if you have any problems with the recipe; it can be tricky if you're trying it for the first time. 

You Will Need:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon dried lavender blossoms

How To Prepare:

  1. Heat up your oven to 175°C (a little bit less if your oven is strong).
  2. Cover one baking pan with baking paper.
  3. In a smaller bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. In a large bowl, mix sugar and eggs with an electric mixer then add honey, vanilla extract, orange zest and lavender. 
  5. Pour the dry ingredients into the egg mix and mix together with a wooden spoon until the mixture becomes compact. Add a bit more flour if the mixture is still too sticky (although it should be slightly sticky).
  6. Flour your working area and shape the dough into a log (the length and width depend on the size of your baking pan and your oven, but mostly on how big you want your biscotti to be).
  7. Put the log(s) onto your baking pan and into your oven.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes and then take out the baking pan, turn it around for 180° and put it back in. Leave to bake for another 10 minutes (that makes 20 minutes of baking altogether).
Note: the dough should not change color while baking! It may become golden-brown on the bottom if your oven is a bit stronger like mine, but the color should remain almost unchanged on the top. After about 15 minutes of baking, start checking the dough with a toothpick (if its still sticky, then it's not done yet), but it should be ideal after 20 minutes.
  1. Set the cake aside to cool a few minutes.
  2. Lower the oven temperature to a little above 125°C.
  3. While the cake is still warm, cut it into slices about 2-2.5cm in thickness.
  4. Place the slices on the baking sheet lying flat but take care to leave enough room between them for the hot air to circulate.
  5. Bake on the lowered temperature for about another 10 minutes (it may take 7, or even 15 minutes depending on the strength of your oven and how well heated up it is but do check the biscotti often enough so they don't get too crisp).
  6. Take the biscotti out of the oven, set them aside to cool down completely and store them in an airtight container. This way they will be good for a few weeks.

If this is your first time baking a cake such as this one, you have to remember that the biscotti harden once they have cooled down. This is why you should not let them get too crisp and golden-brown while baking. If you see that they are still too light or soft after you have cut the log into slices, then steps 12 and 13 will be necessary (only the "fattest" pieces of my log needed extra baking). But you will see in the picture what their texture should be like, what color they should be and so on. Oh, and notice how my biscotti are a bit more brownish on the bottom than on the top; that's normal if you have a stronger oven.

In any case, I hope these tips helped. :) This really is a simple cake, but you need a bit of practice or experience to get the timing just right. Be sure to tell me how your biscotti turned out! 

Until next time. Yours,
Witch's Cat


Zakoni Umijeća

Nikada nisam mislila da će me zanimati zakoni ikoje vrste, ali valjda postoji prvi put za sve. Naravno, ovo nisu tipični zakoni; u ovom postu se radi o "zakonima" vještičjeg umijeća tj. wicce, što ih meni čini dovoljno zanimljivima da mi privuku pozornost. No vrijedi naglasiti da iako ih se naziva zakonima, mnogo wiccana (i vještica) ih ne poznaje dobro, ili pak nikada nije ni čulo za njih. O ovome ću reći nešto više kasnije. Zbog ovoga se mogu činiti nevažnima, ali zaista jesu važni za povijest wicce i mogu postaviti kvalitetne temelje za svaku tradicionalnu vješticu.

Protagonisti ove priče su Gerald Gardner i Doreen Valiente. Sve je počelo s popularizacijom wicce koju je u osnovi pokrenuo Gardner. Kada je bio iniciran u New Forest koven, položio je zakletvu tajnosti kao što je i bilo koja druga vještica u to doba. Ipak, svoju je zakletvu prekršio mnogo puta, počevši s izdavanjem svog "romana" High Magic's Aid (slob. prev. Pomoć Visoke magije). U ovom je djelu iznio mnoge tajne svog kovena, ali pod krinkom romana za kojeg nitko nije mogao posumnjati da je i te kako inspiriran stvarnim zbivanjima i praksama. I tako se izvukao ovaj put. Ali kada je Zakon o vješticama povučen 1951. godine, objavio je još dvije knjige s kojima je u potpunosti prekršio zakletvu. Ali nije stao tu. Dapače, nešto bi novo dao u javnost svaki put kada bi mu novinari pokucali na vrata. U to vrijeme je vodio Bricket Wood koven zajedno s Doreen Valiente tako da su njegova djela imali jak utjecaj na nju i ostatak skupine. Nisu ni malo odobravali njegovo ponašanje i smatrali su da ih ono ugrožava pa su oni (tj. Doreen) napisali niz pravila kojeg su naslovili The Provisional Rules of the Craft (slob. prev. Privremena pravila Umijeća). Izgleda da su ova pravila bila potrebna kako bi Gardner zadržao svoju privatnost, ali i privatnost svih drugih članova kovena. Ovo je nekima bilo od velike važnost jer, iako je Zakon o vještičarstvu već bio povučen, vještice i wiccani su se i dalje smatrali nečim negativnim, i dalje ih se osuđivalo pa čak i zlostavljalo zbog njihove vjere. Jednostavno rečeno, nisu svi htjeli objaviti svoju vjeru na sva zvona. 

Gerald Gardner
Doreen Valiente
Napomena: nisam uspjela naći originalna Privremena pravila, ali ih možete naći u knjizi Crafting the Art of Magic, Book I: A History of Modern Witchcraft od Aidena Kellya (str. 103-105). Ako kojim slučajem imate ovu knjigu kod kuće, bila bih vam vrlo zahvalna kada biste mogli skenirati ove stranice i poslati mi ih. :) hvala!

Svakako, Gardneru se nisu sviđala ova pravila pa je 1957. godine odlučio napisati svoja vlastita. Ova su pravila danas poznata kao Zakoni Umijeća (eng. Laws of the Craft). Iste godine je Doreen Valiente napustila njegov koven zajedno s još nekolicinom članova jer nisu više mogli trpiti njegovo zapovijedanje (makar postoje i drugi faktori).

Doreenina Privremena pravila su izvorno bila napisana da zadrže privatnost kovena i da uspostave određeni red. Iako je Gardner isto bio donekle zainteresiran za praktičnost svojih pravila, njemu je ipak bilo važnije da ona zvuče dobro. Naravno, trebala su zvučati arhaično kako bi dobili na težini i istinitosti. U procesu je Gardner naprosto uzeo riječi iz staroengleskog jezika i upotrijebio ih kako je znao, ali to znanje je na žalost bilo krivo pa je na kraju samo dobio iskrivljeni staroengleski. Ali barem su mu pravila zvučala otmjeno.

Najdetaljnija i najpoznatija verzija ovih "pravila" se sastoji od sve skupa 161 točke i može se naći u Aleksandrijskoj Knjizi sjenki. Prema Stewartu Farraru, samo pravila 51-80 su postojala u Gardnerovoj Knjizi sjenki, a ostala su dodana s vremenom. Do 1961. godine je broj ovih pravila dosegnuo postojećih 161. Smatra se da je Alex Sanders dobio ova dodatna pravila od Pat Kopinsky koja je bila inicirana u gardnerovsku wiccu od strane Patricie Crowther (Gardnerove Visoke svećenice). Ovi zakoni nisu bili poznato javnosti dok Alex Sanders nije pristao na njihovu objavu u svojoj biografiji Alex Sanders: the King of the Witches koju je napisala June Johns 1969. godine.

Ovi zakoni daju svojevrsni pregled strukture kovena (uključujući sistem stupnjeva), kodeks ponašanja tijekom rituala ili svakodnevnog života (ako je potrebno da se zaštiti privatnost i/ili sigurnost kovena) i tako dalje.

Aleksandrijska Knjiga sjenki predstavlja Zakone u nekoliko kategorija koje su jako praktično naslovljene. Ispisala sam Zakone upravo prema ovom rasporedu pa ako vam se ne da preuzimati pdf-ove poviše navedenih knjiga, možete sve Zakone pročitati u ovom postu. Ali prije nego krenem s popisom Zakona (jer ne postoji drugi način da ih se u potpunosti prezentira), voljela bih pojasniti zašto se u pojam "zakon" treba posumnjati u ovom kontekstu.

Mnogi wiccani vjeruju isključivo u Vještičju pouku i u Trostruko pravilo koje je integrirano u nju. Mnogi ni ne znaju za ove Zakone, ali vjerujem da je to jer su namijenjeni kovenima. Pošto mnogi koveni danas pišu svoje vlastite zakone (koji mogu/ne moraju biti bazirani na ovima), a većina samotnjaka slijedi samo pouku i Trostruko pravilo, rijetko tko više ima potrebe za svim ovim Zakonima. Bez obzira na ovom, neka su pravila potrebna da se uskladi rad kovena, da vlada ravnopravnost i da bi se izbjegla totalna anarhija. Na kraju krajeva, koven je uglavnom vrlo organizirana struktura u kojoj je potrebno da svatko zna što treba raditi i kada to treba napraviti. Naravno, postoje drugi sistemi organizacije koji su mnogo fluidniji kako tijekom rituala, tako i u svakodnevnom životu.

Mnoge vještice, uključujući Farrarovce i Gavina Bonea misle da su ova pravila staromodna. I zaista, sam Alex Sanders je pristao da uklanjanje određenih zakona upravo iz ovog razloga (npr. Zakon 25; Alex se također zalagao za micanje Zakona 82, ali oko ovoga postoje polemike). Ako pomno pročitate ove zakone, vjerojatno ćete ih moći zamisliti ispisane na starom iskidanom pergamentu te srednjovjekovne vještice kako se okupljaju oko njega i pokušavaju memorizirati i provoditi u praksu njegov sadržaj kako bi zaštitile koven. Barem su se u meni ovakve slike probudile. Osobno vjerujem da su ovi Zakoni zastarjeli u smislu da su neka tradicionalna pravila Umijeća već izmijenjena kako bi se cijela praksa prilagodila 21. stoljeću, kako bi se olakšao život i kovenski rad, ali i zbog brojnih drugih razloga. Također, nema više potrebe držati se strogih prisega tajnosti u modernog doba kada je toliko knjiga objavljeno na ovu temu i kada se na internetu može naći sve što poželite. Naravno, ostaje na pojedincu da odabere hoće li svoju vjeru držati tajnom, ali iz kojeg god kuta pogledali situaciju, barem onu globalnu, ljudi više nisu toliko zagrijani za progone vještica kao što su bili u srednjem vijeku.

Usprkos svemu ovome, vjerujem da bi svaki wiccan trebao pročitati ove Zakone jer pružaju sažeti uvod u Umijeće; spominju wiccanske prakse koje su prisutne u kovenskom radu, govore o etici, wiccanskim stavovima prema bogovima i o brojnim drugim zanimljivim temama. Naravno, ne treba ih svatko slijepo slušati, ali neko osnovno znanje o njima može praktičaru samo donijeti dobroga. :)

Stoga, ako ste voljni i imate nešto slobodnog vremena, zaista preporučam da pročitate sve ove Zakone. Slobodno napravite svoje vlastite zakone na temelju njih; ne biste bili prvi koji su to napravili. Zapravo, možete uzeti zakone Janet Farrar i Gavina Bonea iz knjige Progressive Witchcraft (str. 46-47) za šablonu. Možete ukloniti ono što smatrate irelevantnim za vaš način života, vaše prakse ili moderni mentalitet općenito, možete ih parafrazirati da zvuče moderno, ili ih pak ostaviti takve kakvi jesu. Najvažnije od svega je ipak da budete kritični. Samo zato što su ove Zakone napisali Gardner, Valiente ili Sanders (zapravo su sve troje pridonijeli na svoj način) ne znači da su ovo jedini mogući zakoni, ili da su važni, ili uopće istiniti. Ono što obožavam kod wicce jest da vam pruža mogućnost modificiranja nekih aspekata vjere vlastiti potrebama, pogotovo ako ste samotnjak. Predlažem da ovo iskoristite.

Stoga pročitajte Zakone, naučite ih, kopirajte, prepišite, filtrirajte ih ili u potpunosti odstranite...učinite ono što osjećate da je potrebno za poboljšavanje vaše prakse. :)

Do sljedećeg puta,
vaša Witch's Cat

Napomene: tekst koji slijedi je moj prijevod teksta iz Aleksandrijske Knjige sjenki (u kojoj možete naći originalne Zakone na engleskom jeziku). Zbog jednostavnosti sam pisala u ženskom rodu kada se referiram na wiccane (tj. wicce) naprosto jer je "wicca" u ženskom rodu, no podrazumijeva se da se i muškarci i žene ubrajaju u ovu skupinu. Uz to sam ponegdje pisala u muškom rodu (npr. kada se spominje Bratstvo zbog engleske imenice Brotherhood), ali se i u ovim trenucima također podrazumijeva da skupina uključuje i žene. Također, "VSa" je kratica za titulu "Visoka svećenica" (eng. HPS - High Priestess), a "VS" je kratica za titulu "Visoki svećenik" (eng. HP - High Priest).


  1. Zakon je bio napisan i dosuđen od davnog vremena.
  2. Zakon je napisan za wicce, kako bi ih savjetovao i pomagao im u njihovim brigama.
  3. Wicce bi trebale iskazati dužno obožavanje bogovima i obavljati njihovu volju, koju oni naređuju, jer tako je napravljeno za dobrobit wicce pošto obožavanje wicce je dobro za bogove. Jer bogovi vole braću wicce.
  4. Kao što muškarac voli ženu tako što njome ovladava,
  5. Tako bi wicca trebala voljeti bogove tako da bude ovladana njima.
  6. I potrebno je da krug koji je hram bogova bude istinski otvoren i pročišćen. Time može biti prikladno mjesto za ulazak bogova.
  7. I wicce će biti dolično pripremljene i pročišćene za ulazak u prisutnost bogova.
  8. S ljubavlju i štovanjem u njihovim srcima, one će dići energiju iz svojih tijela kako bi dale moć bogovima.
  9. Tako je predano od davnina.
  10. Jer jedino na ovaj način ljudi mogu postići zajedništvo s bogovima, jer bogovima ne mogu pomoći čovjeku bez čovjekove pomoći.


  1. I Visoka svećenica će vladati svojim kovenom kao predstavnica Božice.
  2. I Visoki svećenik će je podržavati kao predstavnik Boga.
  3. I Visoka svećenica će odabrati koga hoće da bude njezin Visoki svećenik sve dok je dostatnog ranga.
  4. Jer kao što je sam Bog poljubio Njezina stopala u peterostrukom pozdravu, polažući Svoju moć pred Božičine noge zbog Njezine mladosti i ljepote, Njezine slatkoće i dobrote. Njezine mudrosti i pravednosti, Njezine poniznosti i velikodušnosti.
  5. Tako je On predao svu Svoju moć Njoj.
  6. Ali Visoka svećenica bi uvijek trebala znati da moć dolazi od Njega.
  7. Ona je samo posuđena kako bi ju se koristilo mudro i pravedno.
  8. I najveća vrlina Visoke svećenice jest da ona prepozna mladost kao neophodnu za predstavnicu Božice.
  9. Zbog toga će ona otmjeno ustupiti mjesto mlađoj ženi ako koven tako odluči u vijeću.
  10. Jer istinska Visoka svećenica shvaća da otmjeno ustupanje ponosa položaja je jedno od najvećih vrlina.
  11. Te da će se ona time vratiti u ponos ovog položaja u drugom životu, s još većom moći i ljepotom.


  1. U stara vremena, kada je vještičarstvo sezalo daleko, bili smo slobodni i štovali u svim većim hramovima.
  2. Ali u ovim tužnim vremenima moramo slaviti naše svete misterije u tajnosti.
  3. Neka bude određeno da nitko osim wicca smije vidjeti naše misterije, jer naših neprijatelja ima mnogo, a mučenje odrješuje čovjekov jezik.
  4. Neka bude određeno da nijedan koven neće znati gdje se drugi koven nalazi.
  5. Ili tko su njegovi članovi, izuzev svećenika, svećenice i glasnika.
  6. I neće postojati nikakva komunikacija među njima, izuzev preko glasnika bogova, ili pozivača.
  7. I samo ako je sigurno se mogu koveni sastati na nekom sigurnom mjestu za velike praznike.
  8. I dok su tu, nitko neće reći otkud dolazi niti odati svoje pravo ime.
  9. Na ovaj način, ako su mučeni, u svojoj agoniji ne mogu odati ako ne znaju.
  10. Neka bude određeno da nitko neće reći nikome tko nije iz Umijeća tko je među wiccom, niti odati ikoja imena ili gdje oni obitavaju, niti na ikoji način reći išta što može odati ikoga od nas našim neprijateljima.
  11. Niti smije reći gdje se dom kovena nalazi.
  12. Ili nalazište kovena.
  13. Ili gdje se sastanci održavaju.
  14. I ako itko prekrši ove Zakone, čak i pod mučenjem, PROKLETSTVO BOŽICE ĆE PASTI NA NJIH, kako se nikada ne bi ponovno rodili na Zemlji i kako bi zauvijek ostali tamo gdje im je mjesto, u paklu kršćana.


  1. Neka svaka Visoka svećenica upravlja svojim kovenom pravdom i ljubavlju, uz pomoć i savjete Visokog svećenika i Starješina, uvijek slušajući savjete Glasnika bogova ako on dođe.
  2. Slušati će sve prigovore sve Braće i težiti podmirivanju svih nesuglasica među njima.
  3. Ali mora se poznati da će uvijek postojati ljudi koji će uvijek nastojati prisiliti druge da rade po njihovoj volji.
  4. Oni nisu nužno zli.
  5. I oni često imaju dobre ideje i o takvim bi se idejama trebalo raspravljati na skupštini.
  6. Ali ako se oni neće složiti sa svojom Braćom, ili ako kažu
  7. "Ja neću raditi pod Visokom svećenicom,"
  8. Oduvijek bijaše Drevni Zakon da se pogoduje Braći i da se izbjegava svađe.


  1. Bilo tko iz trećega [stupnja] može zahtijevati da utemelji novi koven jer žive/će otići živjeti preko jedne lige udaljenosti od nalazišta kovena.
  2. Bilo tko tko živi unutar prostora sastajanja kovena i želi formirati novi koven će obavijestiti Starješine o svojoj namjeri i istog trenutka prestati s boravkom tu i preseliti se u novi prostor sastajališta.
  3. Članovi starog kovena se mogu pridružiti novome kada je formiran. Ali ako to učine, moraju u potpunosti izbjegavati stari koven.
  4. Starješine starog i novog kovena se trebaju sastati u miru i bratskoj ljubavi kako bi odlučili nove granice.
  5. Oni pripadnici Umijeća koji žive van obaju područja sastajališta kovena se mogu pridružiti bilo kojemu, ali ne obojici.
  6. No svi se mogu sastati za velike blagdane ako je to učinjeno u miru i bratskoj ljubavi i ako se Starješine slože.
  7. No razdvajanje kovena često nosi svađe pa su iz ovog razloga ovi Zakoni doneseni od davnina i neka PROKLETSTVO BOŽICE ZADESI BILO KOGA TKO IH ZANEMARI. Neka tako bude određeno.


  1. Ako ćete zadržati knjigu, neka ona bude u vašem vlastitom rukopisu. Dozvolite braći i sestrama da kopiraju što žele, ali nikada ne ispustite knjigu iz vaših ruku i nikada ne držite tuđe spise.
  2. Jer ako ih se pronađe u njihovom rukopisu, moglo bi ih se izvesti pred sud.
  3. Neka svatko čuva vlastite spise i uništi ih kad god opasnost zaprijeti.
  4. Naučite koliko god možete napamet i, kada je opasnost prošla, ponovno napišite svoju knjigu o biti će sigurno.
  5. Iz ovog razloga, ako itko umre, uništite njihovu knjigu ako oni nisu bili u mogućnosti.
  6. Jer je dokazano da je ona očiti dokaz protiv njih.
  7. I naši ugnjetavači dobro znaju da se "ne može biti vještica sam".
  8. Stoga je cijela njihova rodbina i svi prijatelji u opasnosti od mučenja.
  9. Stoga uništite sve što je bespotrebno.
  10. Ako se vaša knjiga pronađe kod vas, ona je dokaz samo protiv vas pa se vas može izvesti pred sud.


  1. Držite se misli o Umijeću dalje od vašeg uma.
  2. Ako je mučenje preveliko za vas i ako ga ne možete snositi, recite: "Priznati ću. Ne mogu snositi ovo mučenje. Što želite da kažem?"
  3. Ako vas pokušaju natjerati da govorite o Bratstvu, nemojte.
  4. Ali ako vas pokušaju natjerati da govorite o nemogućem poput letenja kroz zrak, općenja s kršćanskim Vragom, žrtvovanja djece ili jedenja ljudskog mesa,
  5. Kako bi vas se prestalo mučiti, recite: "Imao/Imala sam zli san, bio/bila sam van sebe, bio/bila sam poludio/poludjela."
  6. Nisu svi suci loši, ako postoji izgovor, možda pokažu samilost.
  7. Ako ste išta priznali, porecite to kasnije, recite da ste buncali zbog mučenja, recite da niste znali što govorite.
  8. Ako budete osuđeni, ne bojte se.
  9. Bratstvo je moćno i pomoći će vam da pobjegnete ako se držite čvrsto, ali ako išta izdate, nema spasa za vas ni u ovom životu ni u onom sljedećem.
  10. Budite sigurni, ako čvrsti odete na lomaču, droga će doći do vas i nećete ništa osjetiti. Odete ka smrti i ono što vas čeka s druge strane jest ekstaza božice.


  1. Kako biste izbjegli da vam itko otkrije radno oruđe, neka ono bude poput običnih stvari koje svatko može imati u svojoj kući.
  2. Neka pentakli budu od voska kako bi ih se mogla smjesta razbiti, ili rastopiti.
  3. Nemojte imati mač osim ako vam rang to ne dopušta.
  4. Nemate imena, znakove ili išta.
  5. Ispisujte imena i znakove na njih u tinti prije posvećivanja i isperite odmah nakon.
  6. Neka boje drški odrede što je što.
  7. Nemojte ništa gravirati u njih da vas se ne bi otkrilo.


  1. Uvijek pamtite da ste skrivena djeca Božice stoga nemojte nikada napraviti nešto čime biste osramotili njih, ili Nju.
  2. Nikada se nemojte hvalisati, prijetiti, nikada nemojte reći da biste ikome htjeli zlo.
  3. Ako ikoja osoba koja nije unutar kruga nešto kaže o Umijeću, recite: "Ne govorite mi o tome, to me plaši. Zla sreća je govoriti o tome."
  4. Iz ovog razloga kršćani imaju svugdje špijune. Govore kao da simpatiziraju s nama, kao da bi nam se pridružili na sastancima zboreći: "Moja je majka nekoć štovala Stare bogove. Volio bih/Voljela bih da mogu i sam/a otići."
  5. Ljudima poput ovih uvijek porecite bilo kakvo znanje.
  6. Ali drugima uvijek recite: "Samo budale govore o vješticama koje lete kroz zrak. Da bi to mogle raditi bi trebale biti lagane poput čkalja. I ljudi kažu da su vještice stare slijepe babe stoga koje se može zadovoljstvo pronaći u vještičjim sastancima o kojima ljudi toliko pričaju?"
  7. I recite: "Mnogi mudri ljudi danas kažu da ne postoje takva stvorenja."
  8. Uvijek se pokušajte našaliti i možda će u nekoj budućnosti progoni zamrijeti i mi ćemo moći opet štovati svoje bogove u sigurnosti.
  9. Pomolimo se svi za taj sretan dan.
  10. Neka blagoslovi Boga i Božice budu na svima koji poštuju ove Zakone koji su određeni.


  1. Ako Umijeće ima ikakve dohotke, neka ih svi čuvaju i pomažu da bude čisto i dobro za Umijeće.
  2. I neka svi pravedno brane sve novce Umijeća.
  3. I ako ih je ijedan Brat zaista iskovao, ispravno je da budu plaćeni i da to bude pravedno. I ovo ne znači uzimanje novca za Umijeće već za dobar i pošten rad.
  4. Čak i kršćani kažu: "Radnik je vrijedan svoga zapošljenja," ali ako ikoji Brat svojevoljno radi za dobrobit Umijeća bez plaće, to je samo na njihovu veću čast. Neka tako bude određeno.


  1. Ako postoji ikakva rasprava, ili svađa među Braćom, Visoka svećenica će izravno sazvati Starješine i istražiti situaciju i oni će čuti obje strane, prvo zasebno a potom svi zajedno.
  2. I oni će odlučiti pravedno, bez naklonosti ikojoj strani.
  3. Uvijek poznavajući da postoje ljudi koji nikada neće pristati raditi pod drugima.
  4. Ali istovremeno postoje neki ljudi koji ne mogu vladati pravedno.
  5. Onima koji uvijek moraju biti vođe, postoji jedan odgovor.
  6. "Napusti koven ili pronađi neki drugi, ili stvori vlastiti koven vodeći sa sobom one koji žele otići."
  7. Za one koji ne mogu vladati pravedno, odgovor je: "Oni koji ne mogu podnijeti vašu vladavinu će vas napustiti."
  8. Jer nitko ne može dolaziti na sastanke s onima s kojima su u nesuglasici.
  9. Stoga, ako se nijedno ne može složiti, neka otiđe odatle jer Umijeće mora uvijek preživjeti. Neka tako bude određeno.


  1. U stare dane kada smo imali moć, mogli smo koristiti vještinu protiv bilo koga tko je loše postupao prema Bratstvu. Ali u ovim zlim danima ne smijemo tako. Jer naši neprijatelji su smislili goruću jamu vječne vatre unutar koje kažu da njihov bog baca sve ljude koji ga štuju izuzev one vrlo male količine koji su oslobođeni od strane čarolija i misa svojih svećenika. I ovo biva uglavnom dajući novac ili vrijedne darove kako bi pridobili njihovu naklonost jer njihov moćni bog uvijek ima potrebu za novcem.
  2. Ali pošto naši bogovi trebaju našu pomoć kako bi učinili čovjeka i zemlju plodnima, tako je kršćanskom bogu uvijek potrebna čovjekova pomoć kako bi nas pronašao i uništio. Njihovi svećenici im uvijek govore da itko tko primi našu pomoć će zauvijek biti osuđen na ovaj pakao, pa ljudi bivaju mahniti zbog svog straha.
  3. Ali oni natjeraju ljude da misle da mogu izbjeći ovaj pakao ako pridonose žrtve mučiteljima. Pa zbog ovoga svi uvijek špijuniraju misleći: "Ako budem mogao uhvatiti barem jednog od ove wicce, pobjeći ću od ove vatrene jame."
  4. Iz ovog razloga mi imamo svoja skrovišta i ljudi koji dugo tragaju, ali ne nalaze kažu: "Ne postoje, ili ako ima se nalaze u dalekoj zemlji."
  5. Ali kada netko od naših tiranina umre, ili pak oboli, uvijek se plače: "Ovo je vještičja podlost", i ponovno kreće lov. Pa iako ubiju desetoro svojih na svakog jednog našeg, i dalje ih nije briga. Oni imaju bezbrojne tisuće.
  6. Dok je nas zaista malo. Neka tako bude određeno.
  7. Da nitko neće upotrijebiti vještinu na bilo koji način kako bi učinio zlo ikome.
  8. Bez obzira koliko nas oni ozlijedili, ne naudi nikome. I danas mnogi vjeruju da mi ne postojimo.
  9. Neka nam ovaj Zakon uvijek nastavi pomagati u našim neprilikama, nitko, bez obzira koliko veliku ozljedu ili nepravdu pretrpio, smije koristiti vještinu na ikoji način kako bi nanio zlo ili naudio ikome. Ali smiju, nakon mnogih konzultacija sa svima, iskoristiti vještinu kako bi spriječili kršćane da naude nama Braći, ali samo za sprječavanje i nikada za kažnjavanje.
  10. Na ovo će ljudi reći: "Takav je moćni tragač, i progonitelj starih žena za koje smatraju da su vještice, i nitko mu nije naudio pa je ovo stoga dokaz da oni ne mogu ili još vjerojatnije da ne postoje."
  11. Jer svi znaju jako dobro da je toliko ljudi umrlo jer je netko bio kivan na njih, ili je bio progonjen jer ima novca, ili dobara koje se može zaplijeniti, ili jer nisu imali novca s kojim bi podmitili tragače. I mnogi su umrli jer su grdili stare žene. Toliko da ljudi sada govore da su samo stare žene vještice.
  12. I ovo je u našu korist i skreće sumnje od nas.
  13. U Engleskoj i Škotskoj je prošlo mnogo godina otkada je vještica umrla takvom smrću. Ali bilo kakva zloupotreba moći može ponovno pokrenuti progone.
  14. Stoga nikada nemojte prekršiti ove Zakone, bez obzira koliko bili u iskušenju, i nikada nemojte pristati da ga  itko prekrši ni u najmanjoj mjeri.
  15. Ako znate ga se krši, morate jako djelovati protiv toga.
  16. I bilo koja Visoka svećenica ili Visoki svećenik koji pristane na njihovo kršenje mora smjesta biti svrgnut jer upravo krv Braće ugrožava.
  17. Činite dobro ako je sigurno, i samo ako je sigurno.
  18. I strogo se držite Drevnog Zakona.


  1. Nikada nemojte prihvatiti novac za korištenje vještine jer novac uvijek uprlja primaoca. Samo čarobnjaci, mađioničari i kršćanski svećenici prihvaćaju novac za upotrebnu svojih vještina. I prodaju oproste kako bi dopustili čovjeku da pobjegne od svojih grijeha.
  2. Ne budite poput njih. Ako ne prihvatite ikoji novac, biti ćete oslobođeni od iskušenja da koristite umijeće za zle svrhe.
  3. Svi mogu koristiti vještine za svoju vlastitu prednost, ili za prednost Umijeća samo ako su sigurni da nikome neće nauditi.
  4. Ali uvijek dozvolite da koven o ovome opširno raspravi. Samo ako su svi zadovoljni da se nikome neće nauditi se može vještina iskoristiti.
  5. Ako nije mogući ostvariti vaše ciljeve na jedan način, možda se oni mogu postići na neki drugi način kojim se nikome neće nauditi. NEKA PROKLETSTVO BOŽICE ZADESI BILO KOGA TKO PREKRŠI OVAJ ZAKON. Neka tako bude određeno.
  6. U slučaju da itko iz Umijeća treba kuću, ili zemlju i nitko ne želi prodati, smatra se zakonitim potaknuti prodavačev um da bude voljan prodati, pod uvjetom da se time njemu ne šteti na ikoji način te da puna cijena bude plaćena bez cjenkanja.
  7. Nikada se nemojte cjenkati, ili pojeftiniti nešto dok kupujete uz pomoć vještine. Neka tako bude određeno.


  1. "To je Drevni Zakon i najvažniji od svih zakona, da nitko ne smije napraviti ništa što će ugroziti ikojeg pripadnika Umijeća, ili ih dovesti u kontakt sa zakonom zemlje ili ikojim progoniteljem."
  2. U ikojoj prepirci među Braćom, nitko se ne smije opozvati na ikoje zakone izuzev onih Umijeća.
  3. Ni ikoji sud izuzev onoga Svećenice, Svećenika i Starješina.


  1. Nije zabranjeno reći kao što kršćani kažu da "Postoji vještičarstva u ovoj zemlji" jer naši ugnjetavači od davnina smatraju ne vjerovanje u vještičarstvo herezom te osporavanje vještičarstva zločinom. Time postajete osumnjičeni.
  2. Ali uvijek recite: "Ne znam za njegovo postojanje ovdje, možda postoji ali daleko odavde, ne znam gdje."
  3. Ali uvijek govorite o njima kao o starim babama koje se druže s Vragom jašući kroz zrak.
  4. I uvijek recite. "Ali koliko ih može letjeti kroz zrak osim ako nisu lagane poput čkalja."
  5. Ali neka prokletstvo Božice zadesi bilo koga tko od ikoga iz Bratstva stvori osumnjičenika.
  6. Ili tko spomene ikoje stvarno sastajalište, ili mjesto boravka.


  1. Umijeće čuva knjige s imenima svih biljaka koje su dobre i svim lijekovima tako da ih svi mogu naučiti.
  2. Ali držite još jednu knjigu sa svim otrovima i opijatima i dozvolite samo Starješinama i drugim pouzdanim ljudima da imaju ova znanja. Neka tako bude određeno.
  3. I neka blagoslovi bogova budu na svima koji se drže ovih Zakona, a prokletstva i Boga i Božice na svome tko ih prekrši.


  1. Zapamtite da je vještina tajna bogova i da ga se može koristiti samo ozbiljno i nikada kako biste se pravili važni, ili hvalisali.
  2. Magičari i kršćani nam se mogu rugati govoreći: "Vi nemate moći. Pokažite nam svoje moći. Izvedite magiju pred našim očima, tek tada ćemo povjerovati." time tražeći od nas da izdamo vještinu pred njima.
  3. Ne slušajte ih jer je vještina sveta i može se koristiti samo po potrebi, i neka prokletstvo bogova zadesi bilo koga tko prekrši ovaj Zakon.


  1. Uvijek tako biva sa ženama, ali također i s muškarcima da svagda traže novu ljubav.
  2. Niti bismo ih trebali koriti zbog ovoga.
  3. Ali bi se ovo moglo pokazati kao nepogodnost za Umijeće.
  4. I toliko se puta dogodilo da su Visoki svećenik ili Visoka svećenica potaknuti ljubavlju otišli sa svojom ljubavlju. To jest, napustili su koven.
  5. Stoga ako Visoka svećenica želi dati ostavku, ona to može učiniti pred cijelim kovenom.
  6. I ova je ostavka punovažeća.
  7. Ali ako pobjegnu bez da daju ostavku, tko može reći da se neće vratiti za nekoliko mjeseci?
  8. Stoga je Zakon, ako Visoka svećenica napusti svoj koven, nju će se vratiti i sve će biti kao što je nekoć bilo.
  9. Međutim, ako ona ima zamjenicu, ona će djelovati kao Visoka svećenica dok je god Visoka svećenica odsutna.
  10. Ako se ona ne vrati nakon godine i jednog dana, onda će koven izabrati novu Visoku svećenicu.
  11. Osim ako ne postoji dobar razlog za suprotno.
  12. Osoba koje je radila bi trebala požnjeti korist nagrade. Ako je netko drugi izabran, zamjenica preuzima ulogu djeve i zamjenice Visoke svećenice.


  1. Ustanovljeno je da prakticiranje Umijeća uzrokuje naklonost između aspiranta i učitelja i ako je tako može prouzrokovati bolje rezultate.
  2. I ako je ovo iz ikojeg razloga nepoželjno, može se lako izbjeći tako da oboje od početka čvrsto odluče biti u umu poput brata i sestre, ili roditelja i djeteta.
  3. I zbog ovog razloga muškarca može podučavati samo žena i ženu samo muškarac te žena i žena ne bi smjele pokušati ove prakse zajedno. Neka tako bude određeno.


  1. Red i disciplina se trebaju održavati.
  2. Visoki svećenik i Visoka svećenica mogu i trebali bi kazniti sve greške.
  3. U tu svrhu svi iz Umijeća trebaju drage volje prihvatiti ispravak.
  4. Kada su svi dolično pripremljeni, krivcu koji kleči se treba izreći njegove greške i presuditi mu.
  5. Kazna treba biti popraćena nečim zabavnim.
  6. Krivac treba priznati pravednost kazne ljubeći ruku nakon što mu se presudilo i ponovno se zahvalivši za dobivenu kaznu. Neka tako bude određeno.


    Laws of the Craft

    I never thought I would be interested in laws of any kind but I guess there's a first time for everything. Of course, these aren't your typical laws; they are the "laws" of Wicca, which makes them interesting enough to catch my eye. But it is worth noting that even though they are called laws, many Wiccans (and witches) do not know them and many have not even heard of them. I shall say more about this later on. This may make them seem insignificant, but they are important for the history of Wicca and can serve as a good foundation for any traditional witch. 

    The protagonists of this story are Gerald Gardner and Doreen Valiente. It all began with the popularization of Wicca which was essentially started by Gardner. When he was initiated into the New Forest coven, he took an oath of secrecy as did every witch at the time. Yet he broke it on many occasions, beginning with the publication of his so called novel High Magic's Aid. This work gave out many of the coven's secrets but under pretense of a fictional work which nobody thought of as reflecting reality. So he got away with this one. But when the Witchcraft Act was repealed in 1951, he published two more books and completely broke his oath. He continued to do so every time the press contacted him. At the time, he was leading the Bricket Wood coven with Doreen Valiente so his actions influenced them also. They were displeased with his behavior and though it endangered them, so they (or rather Doreen) wrote out The Provisional Rules of the Craft. It seems that these rules were needed to keep both Gardner's privacy and the privacy of the whole coven because even though the Witchcraft Act was repealed, witches and Wiccans were still frowned upon, judged and even abused because of their faith. Simply put, not many people wanted to get "out of the closed".

    Gerald Gardner
    Doreen Valiente
    Note: I was unable to find Doreen's Provisional Rules, but they can be found in Aiden Kelly's book Crafting the Art of Magic, Book I: A History of Modern Witchcraft (pp. 103-105). If you happen to have this book at home, I would be very grateful for a scan of these pages. :) thank you!

    Gardner did not like these rules at all and in 1957 decided to make his own set in response. These rules are now known as the Laws of the Craft. This same year, Doreen Valiente left Gardner's coven, as did a number of other members, because she could not put up with him or his overbearingness any longer (although there were other factors too). 

    Doreen's Provisional Rules were essentially made to keep the coven's privacy and to establish a certain order. Gardner on the other hand, although also partially interested in practicality, was more concerned with how these rules would sound. Of course, they had to sound archaic to give them that certain weight and verity. In the process, Gardner ended up simply misusing old English forms of words...but at least the rules sound fancy.

    The most detailed, well-known version of these laws consists of 161 "laws" and can be found in the Alexandrian Book of Shadows. According to Stewart Farrar, only laws 51-80 existed in Gardner's Book of Shadows and the rest were added over time. By 1961, the number of laws had reached the known 161. It is thought that these added rules were given to Alex Sanders by Pat Kopinsky who was initiated into Gardnerian Wicca by Gardner's High Priestess Patricia Crowther. These laws were not known to the wider public until Alex Sanders agreed to publish them in his biography Alex Sanders: the King of the Witches which was written by June Johns in 1969. 

    What these laws give is a sort of layout of the coven's structure (including its degree system), a code of conduct during ritual or in everyday life (if necessary for the security and/or privacy of the coven) and so on. 

    The Alexandrian Book of Shadows presents the laws by categories which they refer to. I copied them out so if you don't feel like downloading any of the above books, you can simply read the laws here. But before I go on listing all of these laws (because there really is no other way to fully present them), I would like to say a few more words on why the term "law" can only be loosely applied to them.

    May Wiccans believe only in the Wiccan Rede and in the Threefold Law which integrated into it. Many do not even know about these laws, but I believe this is because they are meant for covens. Since most covens today make their own sets of rules (some based on these and some not), and most individuals only abide by the Wiccan Rede and Threefold Law, they have no need for the "original" 161 laws. Nevertheless, some rules are needed to harmonize the members of a coven, they are needed for fair treatment and equality and to evade anarchy. After all, a coven is usually a very well organized structure in which it is necessary for everyone to know what they should do and when they should do it. Of course, there are other group systems which allow more fluidity both during rituals and outside the circle.

    Many witches, including the Farrars and Gavin Bone believe that these laws are old-fashioned. Indeed, even Alex Sanders agreed to remove some of the laws precisely because of this (e.g. law 25; Alex also denied law 82, but there have been many disputes regarding this). If you read through them carefully, you will probably be able to imagine them written on an old piece of parchment and medieval witches memorizing them and following them in order to protect the coven. This was what I envisioned at least. Personally, I believe them to be old-fashioned in the sense that many traditional rules of the craft have been modified to suite the 21st century, to make life and coven work a bit easier and for many other reasons. Also, there is no need to stick to strict rules of secrecy nowadays when so many books have been published on this topic. And not to mention the Internet! Of course, it is up to the individual to choose whether they want to keep their faith a secret, but whichever way you look at it, globally speaking, people are not as prone to witch hunting as they where in the Middle Ages.

    Despite all of this, I believe every Wiccan should read these laws because they provide a concise introduction to the Craft itself; they mention Wiccan practices that are very common in coven work, they speak about ethics, the Wiccan attitude towards the gods and of many other interesting topics. Not everyone has to follow them blindly, of course, but a basic knowledge of them can only do the practitioner some good. :)

    So if you are willing and have some time on your hands, I sincerely recommend you read these laws. Feel free to make your own set of laws based on them; you wouldn't be the first ones to do so. In fact, you can take Janet Farrar's and Gavin Bone's set of rules from Progressive Witchcraft (pp. 46-47) as template. You can remove what you find irrelevant to you lifestyle, practices or modern mentality, you can rephrase to make the whole structure less archaic, but most importantly, be critical. Just because these laws were written by Gardner, or Valiente or Sanders (each of them contributed actually) does not mean that they are the only possible rules, or that they are all important or even valid. What I love about Wicca is that it enables you to mold certain aspects of the faith to you own needs, especially if you are a Solitary. I suggest you use this to your advantage.

    So read the laws, learn them, copy them out, rewrite them, filter them or simply discard them altogether...do what you feel is necessary to make your practice better. :)

    Until next time. Yours,
    Witch's Cat


    1. The Law was made and ordained of old.
    2. The Law was made for the Wicca, to advise and help in their troubles.
    3. The Wicca should give due worship to the gods and obey their will, which they ordain, for it was made for the good of Wicca as the worship of the Wicca is good for the gods. For the gods love the brethren of Wicca.
    4. As a man loveth a woman by mastering her,
    5. So should the Wicca love the gods by being mastered by them.
    6. And it is necessary that the Circle which is the temple of the gods, should be truly cast and purified. And that it may be a fit place for the gods to enter.
    7. And the Wicca shall be properly prepared and purified to enter into the presence of the gods.
    8. With love and worship in their hearts, they shall raise power from their bodies to give power to the gods.
    9. As has been taught of old.
    10. For in this way only may men have communion with the gods, for the gods cannot help man without the help of man.

    HPS & HP

    1. And the High Priestess shall rule her coven as the representative of the Goddess.
    2. And the High Priest shall support her as the representative of the God.
    3. And the High Priestess shall choose whom she will, be he of sufficient rank, to be her High Priest.
    4. For, as the God Himself kissed Her feet in the five-fold salute, laying His power at the feet of the Goddess because of Her youth and beauty, Her sweetness and kindness, Her wisdom and justice, Her humility and generosity,
    5. So He resigned all His power to Her.
    6. But the High Priestess should ever mind that the power comes from Him.
    7. It is only lent, to be used wisely and justly.
    8. And the greatest virtue of a High Priestess be that she recognize that youth is necessary to the representative of the Goddess.
    9. So she will gracefully retire in favour of a younger woman should the Coven so decide in council.
    10. For a true High Priestess realizes that gracefully surrendering pride of place is one of the greatest virtues.
    11. And that thereby she will return to that pride of place in another life, with greater power and beauty.


    1. In the old days, when witchdom extended far, we were free and worshipped in all the greater temples.
    2. But in these unhappy times we must celebrate our sacred mysteries in secret.
    3. So be it ordained that none but the Wicca may see our mysteries, for our enemies are many and torture loosens the tongue of man.
    4. So be it ordained that no Coven shall know where the next Coven bide.
    5. Or who its members be, save only the Priest and Priestess and messenger.
    6. And there shall be no communication between them, save by the messenger of the gods, or the summoner.
    7. And only if it be safe may the Covens meet in some safe place for the great festivals.
    8. And while there, none shall say whence they came nor give their true names.
    9. To this end, that if any be tortured, in their agony, they may not tell if they do not know.
    10. So be it ordained that no one shall tell anyone not of the craft who be of the Wicca, nor give any names or where they bide, or in any way tell anything which can betray any of us to our foes.
    11. Nor may he tell where the Covendom be.
    12. Or the Covenstead.
    13. Or where the meetings be.
    14. And if any break these Laws, even under torture, THE CURSE OF THE GODDESS SHALL BE UPON THEM, so they may never be reborn on earth and may remain where they belong, in the hell of the Christians.


    1. Let each High Priestess govern her Coven with justice and love, with the help and advice of the High Priest and the Elders, always heeding the advice of the Messenger of the Gods if he cometh.
    2. She will heed all complaints of all Brothers and strive to settle all differences among them.
    3. But it must be recognized that there will always be people who will ever strive to force others to do as they will.
    4. These are not necessarily evil.
    5. And they oft have good ideas and such ideas should be talked over in council.
    6. But if they will not agree with their Brothers, or if they say,
    7. "I will not work under this High Priestess,"
    8. It hath ever been the Old Law to be convenient to the Brethren and to avoid disputes.


    1. Any of the third may claim to found a new Coven because they live over a league away from the Covenstead or are about to do so.
    2. Anyone living within the Covendom and wishing to form a new Coven, shall tell the Elders of their intention, and on the instant avoid their dwelling and remove to the new Covendom.
    3. Members of the old Coven may join the new one when it is formed. But if they do, they must utterly avoid the old Coven.
    4. The Elders of the new and old Covens should meet in peace and brotherly love to decide the new boundaries.
    5. Those of the craft who dwell outside both Covendoms may join either but not both.
    6. Though all may, if the Elders agree, meet for the great festivals if it be truly in peace and brotherly love,
    7. 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 ordained.


    1. 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.
    2. For if it be found in their hand of write, they may be taken and arraigned.
    3. Let each guard his own writings and destroy them whenever danger threatens.
    4. Learn as much as you may by heart and, when danger is past, rewrite your book, an it be safe.
    5. For this reason, if any die, destroy their book an they have not been able to.
    6. For, an it be found, 'tis clear proof against them.
    7. And our oppressors know well "Ye may not be a witch alone".
    8. So all their kin and friends be in danger of torture,
    9. So destroy everything not necessary.
    10. If your book be found on you, 'tis clear proof against you alone, you may be arraigned.


    1. Keep all thoughts of the craft from your mind.
    2. If the torture be too great to bear, say "I will confess. I cannot bear this torture. What do you want me to say?"
    3. If they try to make you speak of the Brotherhood, do not.
    4. But if they try to make you speak of impossibilities such as flying through the air, consorting with a Christian devil or sacrificing children, or eating men's flesh,
    5. To obtain relief from torture say "I had an evil dream, I was beside myself, I was crazed."
    6. Not all magistrates are bad, if there be an excuse, they may show mercy.
    7. If you have confessed aught, deny it afterwards, say you babbled under torture, say you knew not what you said.
    8. If you are condemned, fear not.
    9. The Brotherhood is powerful and will help you to escape if you stand steadfast, but if you betray aught there is no hope for you in this life or in that to come.
    10. Be sure, if steadfast you go to the pyre, drugs will reach you, you will feel naught. You go to death and what lies beyond, the ecstasy of the goddess.


    1. To avoid discovery, let the working tools be as ordinary things that any may have in their houses.
    2. Let the pentacles be of wax so that they may be broken at once or melted.
    3. Have no sword unless your rank allows it.
    4. Have no names or signs on anything.
    5. Write the names and signs on them in ink before consecrating them and wash it off immediately afterwards.
    6. Let the colours of the hilts tell which is which.
    7. Do not engrave them lest they cause discovery.


    1. Ever remember ye are the hidden children of the Goddess so never do anything to disgrace them or Her.
    2. Never boast, never threaten, never say you would wish ill of anyone.
    3. If any person 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."
    4. For this reason, the Christians have their spies everywhere. These speak as if they were well affected to us, as if they would come to our meetings, saying, "My mother used to worship the Old Ones. I would I could go myself."
    5. To such as these, ever deny all knowledge.
    6. But to others, ever say, "'Tis foolish men talk of witches flying through the air. To do so they must be as light as thistledown. And men say that witches all be blear-eyed old crones, so what pleasure can there be at a witch meeting such as folks talk on ?"
    7. And say, "Many wise men now say there be no such creatures."
    8. Ever make it jest) and in some future time perhaps, the persecution may die and we may worship our gods in safety again.
    9. Let us all pray for that happy day.
    10. May the blessings of the Goddess and God be on all who keep these Laws which are ordained.


    1. If the craft hath any appanage, let all guard it and help to keep it clear and good for the craft.
    2. And let all justly guard all monies of the craft.
    3. And if any Brother truly wrought it, 'tis right they have their pay, an it be just. An this be not taking money for the art, but for good and honest work.
    4. And even the Christians say, "The labourer is worthy of his hire," but if any Brother work willingly for the good of the craft without pay, 'tis but to their greater honour. So be it ordained.


    1. If there be any dispute or quarrel among the Brethren, the High Priestess shall straightly convene the Elders and inquire into the matter, and they shall hear both sides, first alone and then together.
    2. And they shall decide justly, not favouring one side or the other.
    3. Ever recognising there be people who can never agree to work under others.
    4. But at the same time, there be some people who cannot rule justly.
    5. To those who must ever be chief, there is one answer.
    6. "'Void the Coven or seek another one, or make a Coven of your own, taking with you those who will go."
    7. To those who cannot rule justly, the answer be, "Those who cannot bear your rule will leave you."
    8. For none may come to meetings with those with whom they are at variance.
    9. So, an either cannot agree, get hence, for the craft must ever survive. So be it ordained.


    1. In the olden days when we had power, we could use the art against any who ill-treated the Brotherhood. But in these evil days we must 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 priest's spells and masses. And this be chiefly by giving monies and rich gifts to receive his favour for their great god is ever in need of money.
    2. But as our gods need our aid to make fertility for man and crops, so is the god of the Christians ever in need of man's help to search out and destroy us. Their priests ever tell them that any who get our help are damned to this hell forever, so men be mad with the terror of it.
    3. But they make men believe that they may escape this hell if they give victims to the tormentors. So for this reason all be forever spying, thinking, "An I can catch but one of these Wicca, I will escape from this fiery pit."
    4. So for this reason we have our hidels, and men searching long and not finding, say, "There be none, or if there be, they be in a far country."
    5. 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 own to one of ours, still they care not. They have countless thousands.
    6. While we are few indeed. So be it ordained.
    7. That none shall use the art in any way to do ill to any.
    8. However much they may injure us, harm none. And nowtimes many believe we exist not.
    9. That this Law shall ever continue to help us in our plight, no one, however great an injury or injustice they receive, may use the art in any way to do ill, or harm any. But they may, after great consultations with all, use the art to restrain Christians from harming us Brothers, but only to constrain them and never to punish.
    10. To this end men will say, "Such a one is a mighty searcher out, and a persecutor of old women whom they deemeth to be witches, and none hath done him harm, so it be proof that they cannot or more truly there be none."
    11. 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 sieze, or because they had none to bribe the searchers. And many have died because they were scolding old women. So much that men now say that only old women are witches.
    12. And this be to our advantage and turns suspicion away from us.
    13. In England and Scotland 'tis now many a year since a witch hath died the death. But any misuse of the power might raise the persecution again.
    14. So never break this Law, however much you are tempted, and never consent to its being broken in the least.
    15. If you know it is being broken, you must work strongly against it.
    16. And any High Priestess or High Priest who consents to its breach must immediately be deposed for 'tis the blood of the Brethren they endanger.
    17. Do good, an it be safe, and only if it be safe.
    18. And keep strictly to the Old Law.


    1. Never accept money for the use of the art, for money ever smeareth the taker. 'Tis sorcerors and conjurers and the priests of the Christians who ever accept money for the use of their arts. And they sell pardons to let men ascape from their sins.
    2. Be not as these. If you accept no money, you will be free from temptation to use the art for evil causes.
    3. All may use the art for their own advantage or for the advantage of the craft only if you are sure you harm none.
    4. But ever let the Coven debate this at length. Only if all are satisfied that none may be harmed, may the art be used.
    5. If it is not possible to achieve your ends one way, perchance the aim may be achieved by acting in a different way so as to harm none. MAY THE CURSE OF THE GODDESS BE ON ANY WHO BREAKETH THIS LAW. So be it ordained.
    6. 'Tis judged lawful if ever any of the craft need a house or land and none will sell, to incline the owner's mind so as to be willing to sell, provided it harmeth him not in any way and the full price is paid without haggling.
    7. Never bargain or cheapen anything whilst you buy by the art. So be it ordained.


    1. "Tis the Old Law and the most important of all laws, that no one may do anything which will endanger any of the craft, or bring them into contact with the law of the land or any persecutors.
    2. In any dispute between Brethren, no one may invoke any laws but those of the craft.
    3. Or any tribunal but that of the Priestess, Priest and Elders.


    1. It is not forbidden to say as Christians do, "There be witchcraft in the land," because our oppressors of old make it a heresy not to believe in witchcraft and so a crime to deny it which thereby puts you under suspicion.
    2. But ever say, "I know not of it here, perchance there may be but afar off, I know not where."
    3. But ever speak of them as old crones, consorting with the devil and riding through the air.
    4. And ever say, "But how may many ride the air if they be not as light as thistledown."
    5. But the curse of the Goddess be on any who cast suspicion on any of the Brotherhood.
    6. Or who speak of any real meeting-place or where they bide.


    1. The craft keep books with the names of all herbs which are good, and all cures so all may learn.
    2. But keep another book with all the Bales and Apies and let only the Elders and other trustworthy people have this knowledge. So be it ordained.
    3. And may the blessings of the gods be on all who keep these Laws, and the curses of both the God and the Goddess be on all who break them.


    1. Remember the art is the secret of the gods and may only be used in earnest and never for show or vainglory.
    2. Magicians and Christians may taunt us saying, "You have no power, show us your power. Do magic before our eyes, then only will we believe," seeking to cause us to betray the art before them.
    3. Heed them not, for the art is holy and may only be used in need, and the curse of the gods be on any who break this Law.


      1. It ever be the way with women and with men also, that they ever seek new love.
      2. Nor should we reprove them for this.
      3. But it may be found a disadvantage to the craft.
      4. And so many a time it has happened that a High Priest or a High Priestess, impelled by love, hath departed with their love. That is, they left the Coven.
      5. Now if the High Priestess wishes to resign, she may do so in full Coven.
      6. And this resignation is valid.
      7. But if they should run off without resigning, who may know if they may not return in a few months?
      8. So the Law is, if a High Priestess leaves her Coven, she be taken back and all be as before.
      9. Meanwhile, if she has a deputy, that deputy shall act as High Priestess for as long as the High Priestess is away.
      10. If she returns not at the end of a year and a day, then shall the Coven elect a new High Priestess,
      11. Unless there is a good reason to the contrary.
      12. The person who has done the work should reap the benefit of the reward. If somebody else is elected, the deputy is made maiden and deputy of the High Priestess.


      1. It has been found that practicing the art doth cause a fondness between aspirant and tutor, and it is the cause of better results if this be so.
      2. And if for any reason this be undesireable, it can easily be avoided by both persons from the outset firmly resolving in their minds to be as brother and sister or parent and child.
      3. And it is for this reason that a man may be taught only by a woman and a woman by a man, and women and women should not attempt these practices together. So be it ordained.


      1. Order and discipline must be kept.
      2. A High Priestess or a High Priest may, and should, punish all faults.
      3. To this end all the craft must receive correction willingly.
      4. All properly prepared, the culprit kneeling should be told his fault and his sentence pronounced.
      5. Punishment should be followed by something amusing.
      6. The culprit must acknowledge the justice of the punishment by kissing the hand on receiving sentence and again thanking for punishment received. So be it ordained.