Wisdom & Wisecracks of the Old Ones

“No Greek sacrifices an elephant or a camel to the Gods—because Greece does not produce camels or elephants.” That’s Porphyry, quoting someone much smarter than himself. It explains a great deal about religion in general. Once someone asked Victor Anderson why he used a red tablecloth on the altar. He replied, “Because I had a red tablecloth.” “Beware lest these teachings be divulged to uneducated people. For dew teachings sound more ridiculous to the ignorant  . . . or more … [Read more...]

The Queen Who Is Hidden in the Gospels, Part II

At the end of Part I, I asked, Would the people in Jesus’ time have known who the Queen of Heaven was? Yes, they certainly would have, but to see why, we must look at how the state religion of the Kingdom of Judah (which therefore came to be called Judaism) was founded and at the career of the prophet Jeremiah. The full history of the founding of Judaism can become a very long story, which I will save for another time. Here I want to touch upon only the details relevant for answering that … [Read more...]

On Gnosticism, the Book of Shadows, and Sex

I received a few days ago my monthly statistical report from Patheos on how many hits I received last month, total, per day, per blog, etc. My total has been running just under 5,000. If I get up to 12,500, I start getting paid (hint, hint). It was interesting to see that the greatest number of hits were on two blogs: “On Jesus as a Gnostic” and “Some New Pages for the Book of Shadows.” I suppose I might garner some more hits if I expand upon those particular topics. I also see I’ve … [Read more...]

Why the Gods Are Infinite

A dialog about whether the Gods are infinite or not often begins with “Gerald Gardner wrote that the Gods of the Wica are ‘little gods.’” Yes, he did, but he was not very interested in abstract theology. I don’t think he was asserting that, if the Abrahamic God is infinite, then our Pagan Gods must be finite. Rather, his point was that, whereas (many) Christians believe in a God who is distant, arbitrary, angry, vengeful, and punishing, Witches believe in Gods who are nearby, kind, … [Read more...]

Aporrheton5: The Laws of Magic (Revised), Part III

[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 … [Read more...]

Aporrheton 5: The Laws of Magic (Revised), Part II

[This continues yesterday's blog, updating my thoughts on magic and psychic talents--since I am unfortunately thought to have some expertise about such matters. Sheesh!] 3. You cannot use the arts of the Craft to win fame, fortune, power, or any other sort of material or social advantage. This is how all the psychic arts work, not just those of the Craft.  Why they work thus is another question—that they do work thus is well-known.  Perhaps the simplest explana­tion is that if your … [Read more...]

Aporrheton 5: The Laws of Magic (Revised), Part I

In the early 1970s I wrote a series of “Flying Scrolls” (as they were called in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn) for internal use in the New Reformed Orthodox Order of the Golden Dawn. I chose to call them Aporrhetons, because the Greeks separated the secrets of the Eleusinian Mysteries into two classes: the Arrheta “inexpressible,” which could be known only by experiencing them and which therefore needed no protection by a mere human law; and the Aporrheta, the “not to be … [Read more...]

Some New Pages for the Book of Shadows

These are some pages of original materials that I wrote for the NROOGD Book of Shadows back in the early 1970s. Seems like it might be neighborly to share them.  A Daily Litany for the Lady.  This was written at the request of Mathonwy and Idris in May 1971, to give a couple a way to use the Craft daily, aside from working a shortened version of our basic ritual. [Notice that this litany uses the original NROOGD correspondences.] 1.  To be said at sunrise, or on rising in the morning.  … [Read more...]

A History of the Craft in America: California and Councils, VII: A Church for Witches

After the second Pagan Ecumenical Council meeting in June 1974, Gwydion and I continued to discuss the problem of how to organize a "church" for Witches, now that we had a reason not to have to include Pagans in general. In a way, it was like trying to set up an organization for anarchists—so that one could be the Anarch. There were already organizations whose members were individual Witches, but these were not meeting the need. Most Witches at that time clearly believed that one normally … [Read more...]

A History of the Craft in America: California and Councils, VI, The Second PEC

In discussing the first Pagan Ecumenical Council meeting afterward, Gwydion, Alison, I and several others realized that we had not arrived at a specific proposal for an organizational structure because, in fact, the Pagan groups represented at the meeting did not have enough common ground to define any goals or structures. The PEC had focused on Pagan religions, excluding the magical lodges, political associations, and metaphysical churches, yet we still differed on what we did, how we worked, … [Read more...]