The Law The Law was made and ordained of old. The Law was made for the Wicca, that it migh
The Law was made and ordained of old.
The Law was made for the Wicca, that it might advise and
help them in following the Path of Light and of Initiation.
The Wicca should give due worship to the Gods and obey Their
Will, for the Gods love the Brethren of the Wicca, and the
Will of the Gods is the True Will of the Initiate.
As two people love each other by living together and loving
So the Wicca should love the Gods by living always in Their
Sight, and joining Them in Spirit and in Body.
And it is necessary that the Circle, which is the true Holy
Temple of the Gods, should be truly purified and cast, that
it may be a fit Place for 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, and channel Power from the
Universe, to give Power to the Gods and help to humankind,
As has been taught of old.
For in this way only may folk have Communion with the Gods,
and use the Power for Aid, and Growth, and Wisdom, for the
Gods cannot help humankind without the help of humankind.
And the High Priestess shall rule the Coven as the
representative of the Goddess.
And the High Priest shall rule the Coven as the
representative of the God.
And the High Priestess shall choose whom she will, be they
of sufficient rank, to be the Maiden, the deputy of the High
Priestess; and the High Priest shall choose whom he will, be
they of sufficient rank, to be the Guardian, the Summoner,
the deputy of the High Priest.
And they shall rule the Coven jointly and equally; yet the
High Priestess shall have charge within the Circle, and the
High Priest shall support her.
For, as the God Himself kissed Her Feet in the Fivefold
Salute, laying His Power at the Feet of the Goddess because
She is the Source of All Life and Being and He draws His
Life and Being and Power from Her as Her First-Begotten Son
So He resigned all His Power unto Her, and received it back
But the High Priestess and the High Priest should ever mind
that all Power comes from the Gods.
It is only lent to be used wisely and justly.
And the greatest virtue of a High Priestess or High Priest
be that he or she recognizes that spiritual growth is
necessary to the Life of the Coven.
So will he or she gracefully retire in favor of another
should it be necessary for the Life of the Coven.
For the true High Priestess or High Priest realizes that
gracefully surrendering pride of place is one of the
And that thereby he or she will return to that pride of
place in another life, with greater Power and Wisdom.
In the old days, when Witchdom extended far, we were free
and worshipped in all the great Temples.
But then came unhappy times, when our Sacred Mysteries were
celebrated in secret.
And it was ordained that none but the Wicca might see our
Mysteries, for our enemies were many and torture loosens the
tongue of man.
And it was ordained that no Coven should know where the next
Or who its members were, save only the Priest and Priestess
and the Messenger.
And there should be no communication between them, save only
by the Messenger of the Gods, or the Summoner.
And only if it were safe might the Covens meet in some safe
place for the Great Festivals.
And while there, none should say whence they came, nor give
their true names.
To this end: that if any were tortured, in their agony they
could not tell what they did not know.
Now we may meet freely again to practice our Mysteries, and
worship the Gods in safety; but let all be wary, for
prejudices still live.
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, without their consent and permission; or in any way
tell anything which may betray any of us to our foes.
Nor may they tell where the Covendom be.
Or the Covenstead.
Or where the Meetings be.
Save with the consent of the members of the Coven, and the
permission of the High Priestess and the High Priest.
And if any break these Laws, even under torture, may the
Curse of the Goddess be upon them, so that they may never be
reborn on Earth nor pass beyond Earth's Boundaries; and may
they remain where they belong, in the hell of the
Let each High Priestess and High Priest govern their Coven
with justice and love, with the help and advice of the
Elders, always heeding the advice of the Messenger of the
Gods if such cometh.
They will heed all complaints of all Brothers and Sisters
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 in Council.
But if they will not agree with their Brothers and Sisters,
or if they say, "I will not work under this High Priest" or
"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 too far from the Covenstead, or they are about to do
so, or because of the size of the Coven, or for other good
and sufficient reason.
Anyone working within the Coven and wishing to form a new
Coven shall tell the Elders of their Intention, and on the
instant avoid the old Coven and establish a new Covenstead.
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
The Elders of the old and new Covens should meet in peace
and brotherly love to decide the new boundaries and resolve
any differences between them.
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 if it be found in their hand of write, they may be taken
Let each guard their own writings, and destroy them whenever
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 arraigned.
If you are taken, keep all thoughts of the Craft from your
If the torture be too great to bear, say, "I will confess.
I cannot bear this torture. What do you want me to say?"
If they try to make you tell of the Brethren, 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 an excuse they may
If you have confessed aught, deny it afterwards, say you
babbled under the torture, say you knew not what you said.
If you are condemned, fear not.
The Brethren are 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, 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 melted.
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 before consecrating
them and wash it off immediately afterwards.
Let the color of the hilts tell which is which.
Do not engrave 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
Should the Persecutions come again, then do as was done in
the Burning Times:
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."
For this reason, the Christians had their spies everywhere.
These spoke 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 again, and we may worship our Gods
openly 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 or Sister 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 Brother or Sister 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 and the High Priest shall straightly convene
the Elders and inquire into the matter, and they shall hear
both sides, first alone and then together.
And they shall decide justly, not favoring one side or the
Ever recognizing there be people who can never agree to work
But at the same time, there be some people who cannot rule
To those who must ever be chief, there is one answer.
Void the Coven, seek another one or make a Coven of your
own, taking with you those who would 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
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 Brethren; but in the evil
days we learned that we must not do so! For our enemies
devised a burning pit of everlasting fire, into which they
said their God cast all the people who worship Him, except
it be the very few who were released by their priests'
spells and masses. And this were chiefly by giving monies
and rich gifts to receive His favor, for their great God was
ever in need of money.
But as our Gods need our aid to make fertility for humans,
herds, and crops, so was the God of the Christians ever in
need of man's help to search us out and destroy us. Their
priests ever told them that any who got our help were damned
to this hell forever, so they were mad with the terror of
But they made men believe they might escape this hell if
they gave Witches to the tormentors. So for this reason all
were forever spying, thinking, "An I catch but one of the
Wicca, I will escape this fiery pit."
So for this reason we had our hidels, and men searching long
and not finding said, "There be none, or if there be, they
be in a far country."
But when one of our oppressors died, or even became sick,
ever was the cry, "This be Witches' malice," and the hunt
was up again. And though they slew ten of their own to one
of ours, still they cared not. They have countless
While we are few indeed.
So be it ordained: that none shall use the Art in any way to
do ill to any.
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 our enemies from harming us Brothers and
Sisters or hurting others, but only to constrain them and
never to punish.
To this end: men would 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 knew full well that so many folk had 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 had died because
they were scolding old women. So much that men now say that
only old women are Witches.
And this was to our advantage and turned suspicion away from
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.
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
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.
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
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 it ordained.
'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
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 ordained.
Should the Persecutions come again, 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 the Brethren.
Or who speak of any real meeting place or where they bide.
So be it ordained.
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 Banes and Bales, and let
only the Elders and other trustworthy people have the
knowledge. So be it ordained.
Remember the Art is the Secret of the Gods, and may only be
used in earnest and never for show or vainglory.
Unbelievers 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 ordained.
It ever be the way with women, and with men also, that they
ever seek for 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 or the High Priest wishes to
resign, he or she may do so in full Coven.
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 or a High Priest leaves
his or her Coven for a time with the consent of the Elders,
but returns within the space of a Year and a Day, then he or
she shall be taken back and all shall be as before.
Meanwhile, if he or she has a deputy, that deputy shall act
as High Priestess or High Priest for as long as the High
Priestess or High Priest is away.
If he or she returns not at the end of a Year and a Day,
then shall the Coven elect a new High Priestess or High
Unless there be good reason to the contrary, the person who
has done the work shall reap the benefit of the reward: the
Maiden or the Guardian, the deputy of the High Priestess or
the High Priest.
If somebody else is elected, the deputy is made deputy of
the new High Priestess or High Priest. 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, or of children of
the same Mother.
And it is for this reason that it hath been said 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; but this hath come from the repression
of the Christians and is a taint that should be rejected.
And may all the Curses of the Mighty Ones be on any who
attempt these practices with another with the Intent of
arousing the desire of the other, and thereby profane the
Art. So be it ordained.
Order and discipline must be kept.
A High Priestess or a High Priest may, and should, punish
To this end, all the Craft must receive correction
All properly prepared, the culprit kneeling should be told
his fault and his sentence pronounced.
Punishment should be the setting of a corrective task; or
something symbolic such as the Scourge; or something amusing
such as several Kisses, or something of this nature, as a
forfeit; but if the fault be truly severe, then let the
punsihment be banishment of the culprit for a Year and a
The culprit must acknowledge the justice of the punishment
by kissing the hand of the Priestess or the Priest, who
shall be holding the Scourge in that hand, on receiving
sentence. So be it ordained.
Likewise should the High Priestess and High Priest justly
reward all merit and praise all worthy efforts. So be it
May the Blessings of the Goddess and the God, and the
Blessings of all the Mighty Ones, be on all who keep these
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank