[Yes, this is the third and last part, for now.]
9. You must not betray the secrets that cannot be told.
This Law addresses the Arrheta. Insofar as Craft Laws are simply observations of how psychic reality works (and it is for that, really, that we should value them), then they are “self-enforcing” like any other statement of fact. So what this law means is:
(a) Never give anyone power of life and death over you;
(b) Don’t violate your own sense of your self-integrity; you know what you must not do;
(d) If you stick your finger in a flame, you’ll get burned.
10. All power in the Craft is from the Goddess.
The energy that is raised in the circle comes not from any other person, nor from all the persons in the coven as individuals, but from somewhere else: from the Goddess or from however you choose to conceptualize the Divine. Such energy, like all psychic energy, comes through you, not from you; it is not your personal property. You are merely a channel for it, a custodian of it. You do “own” your body and your individual personality, and you are entitled to the fruits of your labors, but the energy is not yours to exploit for your own benefit, for any human being could (potentially) learn to do anything you can do. Therefore, although you have a right to earn a living, the Craft is free to all, being a gift of the Goddess.
This law also means that the only genuine initiations in the Craft are those worked (though not necessarily directly) by the Goddess Herself. That is, if you have the power from the Goddess, credentials from other people are unnecessary, and if you don’t have any power from the Goddess, credentials from other people are useless. Hence there can be no authority in the Craft outside each coven.
Further, any power that comes from the Goddess could be part of the Craft; so any poet who has experienced the reality of the Muse is, to that extent, a Witch. Conversely, any energy that cannot be conceptualized as coming from the Goddess (and there may be such forms of the energy) is definitely not part of the Craft.
11. You may not charge anyone even a penny to learn the Arts of the Craft in the circle or to be initiated into the Craft.
Of course, you should insist on having your actual expenses covered; the Craft Laws do not require you to operate at a loss or to coddle freeloaders. But you may not make money from practicing the Craft as a religion, and if you try, you will lose all access to the power.
[This law has done a good job of preventing the Craft from being exploited by the greedy, as unfortunately much of the New Age movement has been. There are a few Traditions that do charge money anyway, but they are pretty well shunned by most other Witches.]
No matter what the provocation, trying to harm another will only create bad karma for yourself. So, although you have an absolute right to protect yourself, you must not retaliate. As is said in K’ung Fu, “Solve the problem, no less, no more,” The coven must discuss the situation and agree on the workings for two reasons:
(1) to allow cooler minds to prevail; when one acts on impulse, out of anger, one is most likely to overstep the line between self-defense and aggression;
(2) because those in the coven, having taken an oath to help one another and being linked by the generation of the group psychic field, will all share to some extent in any bad karma generated by any member’s misuse of the arts.
If you are one who can learn only the hard way, say, by sticking your finger into a flame, you are of course free to burn your own fingers—but not if you are holding someone else’s hand, which is exactly the situation if you belong to a coven. For its own self-preservation, a coven must therefore retain the right, as a last resort, to expel (and cut loose from the karma of) any member who persists in interfering in other people’s lives without their permission or, of course, who attempts even blacker workings.
13. Always remember that all mankind and all creatures are equally children of the Goddess; therefore never boast or threaten, or do anything that might disgrace Her or your brothers and sisters in the Craft.
To blather thoughtlessly about the Craft, especially to persons who have no business knowing about your coven’s affairs, not only drains your own energy and that of your coven, but also is a form of boasting, of using the Craft for self-aggrandizement. More obviously, threatening to “hex” someone, even though you think you have no intention of doing so, is playing games with the Lady, who just might decide to act on the threat, Then, because you are using the Craft (especially if you are known to be a Witch) to influence another against his or her will in order to get your own way, making such a threat reinforces the false impression most people have of the Craft and so disgraces the Goddess. Again, since anyone could learn to do anything you can do, being a Witch doesn’t make you any better than anyone else; put on airs, and the Lady will deflate you. Here’s a good rule of thumb: once you’re convinced that someone’s interest is sincere, then answer questions, fully and freely; but don’t just volunteer information that has in no way been asked for, else you risk burdening that person with more information that he or she is able to cope with.