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                               THE ANCIENT ART 
      Once upon a time, a long time ago, there were people who believed 
      in laughter,  joy and love.   They believed in many deities,  but 
      the most important to them was their Great Mother Goddess.   They 
      believed in and lived with the powers of Nature.  They reveled in 
      the Wind,  the Rain, the Snow and the Sunlight.  They marveled at 
      and  revered  the changing of the seasons and saw  therein  great 
      excitement  and  wisdom to be gained.   They knew  that  if  they 
      tended,  cared  for  and  loved the Earth,  in return  She  would 
      provide for,  care for and love them.   They saw that all  around 
      them  the  world was filled with Life,  much as their own but  in 
      many  different and wonderful forms.   They felt the life of  the 
      flowers,  plants  and  trees  and respected them  for  that  life 
      essence.   They  looked about and observed all the many types  of 
      animals  and saw that they were kindred to them and  loved  them.  
      They  felt  and observed the great Love of the Goddess all  about 
      them  and knew kinship with the Moon.   They were practioners  of 
      The Old Religion, worshipers of The Great Mother.
      Witch!   The  very word instantly invokes visions for each of us, 
      visions which vary greatly from individual to  individual.   Many 
      of these visions, however, are quite false, brought about by many 
      centuries of severe persecutions,  misrepresentations, prejudice 
      and,  in recent years, lack of knowledge. Witchcraft!  What is it 
      Witchcraft  is the oldest,  most irrepressible religion  in  the 
      world  because it stimulates the intellect,  promotes a  simple, 
      practical  way  of life and,  most importantly,  is  emotionally 
      satisfying.  Its roots lie in the ancient Matriarchal systems of 
      Goddess  worship.   A  religion of Nature in which  the  primary 
      deity  is female (The Essence of Femininity,  The Earth  Mother, 
      The Great Mother, etc.).
      It  was  easy for the Wise Ones to look at the world around  them 
      and see the great importance of Feminine Principle.   The  female 
      was,  indeed,  the  one  who  bore the young,  perhaps  the  most 
      magickal of all events to ancient man.   Then,  she played by far 
      the  most  important role in rearing  the  young,  being  totally 
      responsible  for feeding,  for without her milk there was no life 
      past birth.   She was responsible for the teaching and early care 
      of the young.   In all youths the greatest comfort and  nurturing 
      love  were  connected  with the mother.   These  revelations  and 
      experiences could hardly lead to any other choice than the  total 
      reverence and deification of the female.
      Although  The Great Mother is the most important  deity,  Witches 
      do,  generally,  recognize  many Goddesses and/or Gods and  are, 
      therefore,  polytheistic.   The tenets of Witchcraft are few  but 
      all-encompassing,  for  with three simple Universal  Observations
      all of life can be explained and understood:
                      1)  Reincarnation  - Mortality
                      2)  Cause & Effect - Magick
                      3)  Retribution    - Morality
      Reincarnation  enlightens the Witch to the fact that,  as we come 
      to  this  material world over and over in a  series  of  learning 
      periods,  or lifetimes, we will eventually have to experience all 
      things,  be  all things,  understand all things.   This creates a 
      great tolerance for other viewpoints in the Witch.
      Cause & Effect,  and an understanding of it,  allows the Witch to 
      see  what makes the world work and how to live most  efficiently.  
      It  gives them a great advantage in that it explains the  working 
      of Magick.
      Retribution shows the Witch, in graphic terms, that every thought 
      one might have,  every action one may take,  is returned in  like 
      kind.   This realization forms the basis of the Moral Code of the 
      The  Patriarchal  Societies which evolved in later times  had  no 
      tolerance for the Goddess religions and systematically set out to 
      destroy the material vestiges,  kill or convert the adherents and 
      wipe  out all knowledge of them.  They destroyed the temples  and 
      other  places  of  worship,  desecrated  the  sacred  groves  and 
      magickal places,  attempted to pervert the old deities, mutilated 
      and totally suppressed sacred art, tore down libraries and burned 
      books,   tortured  and  killed  the  practitioners  of  the   Old 
      Religions,  demeaned,  persecuted  and oppressed women in general 
      and  passed  strictly enforced laws which made theirs  the  State 
      Religion and forbade all other viewpoints.  
      Despite  the  centuries  of  insidious  persecution,   deliberate 
      destruction  and  perversions  at  the  hands  of  the  Christian 
      Conspirators, Witchcraft has survived.
                              COMMON INQUIRIES
      I've  heard the terms 'White Witch' and 'Black Witch'.   Can  you 
      In  this connotation,  white is referring to Positive,  Black  is 
      referring to Negative.   A White Witch then is someone who  tries 
      to do Positive or Good things.   Black Witch could be a term used 
      to describe someone who deliberately does Negative or Bad things.  
      A  True Witch believes in the Law of Retribution and would  never 
      deliberately  harm anyone or anything or participate in  Negative 
      or Destructive acts.
      Is  it  possible  for  me to practice  Witchcraft  and  remain  a 
      No.    The   Christian  Doctrine  states,   unequivocally,   that 
      Christians  shall  have no other Gods before the  Christian  God.  
      Christian  Doctrine  says to believe in any other deities  or  to 
      practice  any  other  religion is not only  evil  but  should  be 
      punished by death, specifically naming Witchcraft.  The Christian 
      Doctrine  also denies Reincarnation and prescribes punishment for 
      those who practice Magick.
      Devil worship?
      Witches   do  not  worship  the   Devil.    Witchcraft   predates 
      Christianity  and does not incorporate a belief in the  Christian 
      The  Wise Ones did deify the Masculine Principle and quite  often 
      He  was depicted as The Great Horned God;   Pan,  Cernunnos,  the 
      Great  Stag,  The Green Man.   To the  Traditional  Witch,  the 
      Masculine Deity (the Goddess' Consort) is very important, revered 
      and loved.   He is the perfect Father,  the Lord Protector.   The 
      Horned God of the Witches is loving, kind and good.
      Don't men have difficulty with a supreme female deity?  There are 
      some  groups  which  give equal status to  the  female  and  male 
      Neo-Pagans are,  by definition,  people who attempt to live  with 
      the Old Country Ways in a new,  modern day manner.  And while, in 
      this modern era,  equal status for the deities may be popular, as 
      it   relates   to  Witchcraft  it  is   historically   incorrect.  
      Therefore,  a  group  which  does not recognize  the  Goddess  as 
      primary  deity is not practicing The Ancient Art.  Indeed,  they, 
      generally,  know  very  little about  Witchcraft,  despite  their 
      claims.   Traditional  Dualistic  Witches  do  most  emphatically 
      believe  that  women  and  men are equal,  but  have  no  trouble 
      relating to the Goddess.   The Male Witch finds great comfort and 
      solace in his Great Mother.
      Do I have to join a Coven?
      No.   It  is not necessary nor is it desirable for a  great  many 
      people.   Some people enjoy the support and companionship a Coven 
      provides,  others enjoy solitary worship.  The Coven, which is an 
      extremely close knit worship group,  may not be possible for some 
      because of location, family climate, availability, etc. 
      Why is Witchcraft secretive?
      The horror of the 'Burning Time' is still very real to the Witch.  
      The  past persecutions were severe.   Even so,  in today's  more 
      enlightened  society the need for complete secrecy  has  lessened 
      and  many  are  able to share their beliefs  openly.   Very  few, 
      however,  are  willing to expose their very personal and  private 
      religious expressions to others who may not understand.
      What do I have to do to become a Witch?
      The  answer to this question is very simple.   To become a  Witch 
      one must follow the religion of Witchcraft.   To do this one must 
      believe  in  the Goddess as primary deity and  follow  the  three 
      basic  tenets.   How  simple!   How  uncomplicated!   How  Pagan!  
      Everything  else  concerning witchcraft is simply minor  details.  
      Details  that  vary from Aspect to Aspect,  Coven  to  Coven  and 
      individual  to individual.   The details are relatively personal.  
      They should not become more important than the basic tenets.   If 
      you do not understand,  believe and practice Witchcraft,  you are 
      not a Witch.   No one can make you a Witch.  Reading about it can 
      not  make you a Witch.   An Initiation can not make you a  Witch.  
      Saying you are a Witch, one thousand and fifty two times, can not 
      make you a Witch.
      In  the search for your individual path beware of those who would 
      take  advantage  of you.   Do not fall prey to  the  unscrupulous 
      charlatans who would swindle you in a monetary sense  (mail-order 
      courses,  charges  for teaching or initiations,  vows of poverty, 
      etc.),  exploit  you  sexually or manipulate you  for  their  own 
      personal ego-trips.

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