The Law The Law was made and ordained of old. The Law was made for the Wicca, to advise an
The Law was made and ordained of old.
The Law was made for the Wicca, to advise and help them in their
The Wicca should give due worship to the Gods and obey Their Will,
which They ordain, for it was made for the good of the Wicca as the
worship of the Wicca is good for the Gods. For the Gods love the
Brethren of the Wicca.
As a man loveth a woman by mastering her,
So the Wicca should love the Gods by being mastered by Them.
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.
And the Wicca should be properly prepared and purified to enter
into the Presence of the Gods.
With love and worship in their hearts, they shall raise Power from
their bodies to give Power to the Gods.
As has been taught of old.
For in this way only may men have communion with the Gods, for the
Gods cannot help man without the help of man.
And the High Priestess shall rule her Coven as the representative
of the Goddess.
And the High Priest shall support her as the representative of the
And the High Priestess shall choose whom she will, if he be of
sufficient rank, to be her High Priest.
For, as the God Himself kissed Her feet in the Fivefold 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,
So He resigned all His Power to Her.
But the High Priestess should ever mind that all Power comes from
It is only lent to be used wisely and justly.
And the greatest virtue of a High Priestess be that she recognizes
that youth is necessary to the representative of the Goddess.
So will she gracefully retire in favor of a younger woman should
the Coven so decide in council.
For the true High Priestess realizes that gracefully surrendering
the pride of place is one of the greatest virtues.
And that thereby she will return to that pride of place in another
life, with greater Power and beauty.
In the old days, when Witchdom extended far, we were free and
worshipped in all the great Temples.
But in these unhappy times, we must celebrate our Sacred Mysteries
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.
So be it ordained: that no Coven shall know where the next Coven
Or who its members be, save only the Priestess and Priest and the
And there shall be no communication between them, save only by the
Messenger of the Gods, or the Summoner.
And only if it be safe may the Covens meet in some safe place for
the Great Festivals.
And while there, none shall say whence they come, nor give their
To this end: that if any be tortured, in their agony they may not
tell what they do not know.
So be it ordained: that no one shall tell anyone, not of the Craft,
who be of the Wicca, or give any names, or where they bide, or
in any way tell anything which may betray any of us to our foes.
Nor may he tell where the Covendom be.
Or the Covenstead.
Or where the Meetings be.
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.
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.
She will heed all complaints of all Brothers and strive to settle
all differences among them.
But it must be recognized that there will always be people who will
ever strive to force others to do as they will.
These are not necessarily evil.
And they oft have good ideas, and such ideas should be talked over
But if they will not agree with their Brothers, or if they say, "I
will not work under this High Priestess,"
It hath ever been the Old Law, to be convenient to the Brethren and
to avoid disputes.
Any of the Third may claim to found a new Coven because they live
over a league from the Covenstead or are about to do so.
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 a new Covendom.
Members of the old Coven may join the new one when it is formed,
but if they do so they must utterly avoid the old Coven.
The Elders of the old and new Covens should meet in peace and
brotherly love to decide the new boundaries.
Those of the Craft who live outside both Covens may join either
indifferent, but not both.
Though all may, if the Elders agree, meet for the Great Festivals,
if it be truly in peace and brotherly love.
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.
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.
For an it be found in their hand of write, they may be taken and
Let each guard his own writings, and destroy them whenever danger
Learn as much as you may by heart and, when danger is past, rewrite
your Book, an it be safe.
For this reason, if any die, destroy their Book, an they have not
been able to.
For, an it be found, 'tis clear proof against them.
And our oppressors know well, "Ye may not be a Witch alone."
So all their kin and friends be in danger of torture.
So destroy everything not necessary.
If your Book be found on you, 'tis clear proof against you alone,
you may be taken and tortured.
If you are taken, keep all thoughts of the Craft from your mind.
If the torture be too great to bear, say, "I will confess. I
cannot bear this torture. What do you want me to say? Tell me and
I will say it."
If they try to make you talk of the Brotherhood, do not!
But if they try to make you speak of impossibilities such as flying
through the air, consorting with the Christian Devil, or
sacrificing children, or eating men's flesh,
To obtain relief from the torture say, "I had an evil dream, I was
beside myself, I was crazed."
Not all magistrates are bad; if there be any excuse, they may show
If you have confessed aught, deny it afterwards, say you babbled
under the torture, say you knew not what you did or said.
If you are condemned, fear not; 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 which is to come.
Be sure, if steadfast you go to the pyre, drugs will reach you, and
you will feel naught. You will but go to death and what lies
beyond: the Ecstasy of the Goddess.
To avoid discovery, let the Working Tools be as ordinary things
that any may have in their houses.
Let the Pentacles be of wax so that they may be broken at once or
Have no sword unless your rank allows you one.
Have no names or signs on anything.
Write the names and signs on them in ink immediately before
consecrating them, and wash it off immediately afterwards.
Let the color of the hilts tell which is which.
Do not bigrave them lest they cause discovery.
Ever remember, ye are the Hidden Children of the Goddess, so never
do anything to disgrace them or Her.
Never boast, never threaten, never say you would wish ill of
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
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."
To such as these, ever deny all knowledge.
But to others, ever say, "'Tis foolish talk of Witches flying
through the air. To do so they must be as light as thistledown.
And men say that Witches all be such blear-eyed old crones, so what
pleasure can there be at a Witch Meeting such as folks talk on?"
And say, "Many wise men now say there be no such creatures."
Ever make it a jest, and in some future time, perhaps, the
Persecution may die and we may worship our Gods in safety again.
Let us all pray for that happy day.
May the blessings of the Goddess and God be on all who keep these
Laws which are ordained.
If the Craft have any appanage, let all guard it and help to keep
it clear and good for the Craft.
And let all justly guard all monies of the Craft.
But if any Brother truly wrought it, 'tis right they have their
pay, an it be just. And this be not taking money for the Art, but
for good and honest work.
And even the Christians say, "The laborer is worthy of his hire,"
but if any work willingly for the good of the Craft without pay,
'tis but to their greater honor. So be it ordained.
If there be any quarrels or disputes among the Brethren, the High
Priestess shall straightly convene the Elders and inquire into the
matter, and they shall hear both sides, first alone then together.
And they shall decide justly, not favoring one side or the other.
Ever recognizing there be people who can never agree to work under
But at the same time, there be some people who cannot rule justly.
To those who must ever be chief, there is one answer.
Void the Coven, and seek another one, or make a Coven of your own,
taking with you those who will go.
To those who cannot rule justly the answer be, "Those who cannot
bear your rule will leave you."
For none may come to Meetings with those with whom they are at
So, an either cannot agree, get hence, for the Craft must ever
survive. So be it ordained.
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 favor, for their great God is
ever in need of money.
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 us 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.
But they make men believe that they may escape this hell if they
give Witches to the tormentors. So for this reason all be forever
spying, thinking, "An I catch but one of the Wicca, I will escape
this fiery pit."
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
But when one of our oppressors dies, 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.
While we are few indeed.
So be it ordained: that none shall use the Art in any way to do ill
However much they injure us, harm none. And nowtimes many believe
we exist not.
So be it ordained: 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.
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."
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 seize, 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.
And this be to our advantage and turns suspicion away from us.
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
So never break this Law, however much you are tempted, and never
consent to its being broken in the least.
If you know it is being broken, you must work strongly against it.
And any High Priestess or High Priest who consents to its breach
must immediately be deposed, for 'tis the blood of the Brethren
Do good, an it be safe, and only if it be safe.
And strictly keep to the Old Law.
Never accept money for the use of the Art, for money ever smeareth
the taker. 'Tis sorcerers 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 escape from their sins.
Be not as these. If you accept no money, you will be free from
temptation to use the Art for evil causes.
All may use the Art for their own advantage, or for the advantage
of the Craft, only if you are sure you harm none.
But ever let the Coven debate this at length. Only if all are
satisfied that none may be harmed may the Art be used.
If it is not possible to achieve your ends one way, perchance the
aim may be achieved by acting in a way which is different, so as to
harm none. May the Curse of the Goddess be on any who breaketh
this Law. So be it ordained.
'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.
Never bargain or cheapen anything whilst you buy by the Art. So be
'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.
In any disputes between the Brethren, no one may invoke any laws
but those of the Craft.
Or any tribunal but that of the Priestess, Priest, and Elders. And
may the Curse of the Goddess be on any who do so. So be it
It is not forbidden to say, as Christians do, "There be Witchcraft
in the land," because our oppressors of old make it heresy not to
believe in Witchcraft, and so a crime to deny it, which thereby
puts you under suspicion.
But ever say, "I know not of it here, perchance there may be, but
afar off, I know not where."
But ever speak of those as old crones, consorting with the Devil
and riding through the air.
And ever say, "But how may men ride through the air an they be not
light as thistledown?"
But the Curse of the Goddess be on any who cast suspicion on any of
Or who speak of any real meeting place or where they bide. So be
Let the Craft keep books with the names of all herbs which are
good, and all cures, so all may learn.
But keep another book with all the Bales and Apies, and let only
the Elders and other trustworthy people have the knowledge. So be
Remember the Art is the Secret of the Gods, and may only be used in
earnest and never for show or vainglory.
Magicians and Christians may taunt us, saying, "You have no Power,
show us your Power. Do Magick before our eyes, then only will we
believe," seeking to cause us to betray the Art before them.
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. So be it
It ever be the way with women, and with men also, that they ever
seek new love.
Nor should we reprove them for this.
But it may be found a disadvantage to the Craft.
As so many a time it has happened that a High Priestess or a High
Priest, impelled by love, hath departed with their love. That is,
they have left the Coven.
Now if the High Priestess wishes to resign, she may do so in full
And this resignation is valid.
But if they should run off without resigning, who may know if they
may not return within a few months?
So the Law is, if a High Priestess leaves her Coven, but returns
within the space of a Year and a Day, then she shall be taken back
and all shall be as before.
Meanwhile, if she has a deputy, that deputy shall act as High
Priestess for as long as the High Priestess is away.
If she returns not at the end of a Year and a Day, then shall the
Coven elect a new High Priestess.
Unless there be good reason to the contrary, the person who has
done the work shall reap the benefit of the reward: the Maiden and
deputy of the High Priestess.
If somebody else is elected, the deputy is made Maiden and deputy
of the High Priestess. So be it ordained.
It hath 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.
And if for any reason this be undesirable, it can easily be avoided
by both persons from the outset firmly resolving in their minds
that if any such ensue, it shall be that of brother and sister, or
parent and child.
And it is for this reason that a man may be taught only by a woman
and a woman by a man, and that woman and woman and man and man
should never attempt these practices together.
And may all the Curses of the MIghty Ones be on any who make such
an attempt. So be it ordained.
Order and discipline must be kept.
A High Priestess or a High Priest may, and should, punish all
To this end, all the Craft must receive correction willingly.
All properly prepared, the culprit kneeling should be told his
fault and his sentence pronounced.
Punishment should be the Scourge, followed by something amusing
such as several Kisses, or something of this nature.
The culprit must acknowledge the justice of the punishment by
kissing the hand of the Priestess and by kissing the Scourge on
receiving sentence; and again thanking for punishment received. So
be it ordained.
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank