“Out is the great heart of nature all things proceed, and all things lead back there at last; all worlds and systems of worlds, from the great central sun to the smallest particle in space, must thrill responsive to the pulsation of that infinite heart of compassion. The Great Mother reaches forth to receive her own.”
-Katherine Tingley, quote from 1922 (1)
The beautiful thing about the Eight Tenets of Witchcraft (2) is that while there are simply only eight of them, they can provide an infinite amount of thoughts to contemplate upon. Since these tenets provide a practical philosophy to witchcraft that we constantly strive towards, you find that various ones visit you during your routine contemplation or even during those little moments you find yourself working on something and a moment of awareness washes over you. These moments of awareness is the way in which the tenets work themselves out into your life. They are not a list to parrot in any particular order.
I feel at this time the Tenet of Harmony wishes to make itself known a bit more right now. Much is happening all around us in the world right now and many people are finding it hard to stay confident and focus on onward progression. Just take a moment to glance down your Facebook news-feed where everyone is constantly commenting on how they are mad or angry about the next thing that someone says. Even more micro than that, every time someone stubs a toe or has a cold, Facebook is then filled with the latest update and opinion on it – spreading even further their upset and shared sympathy, like a mental virus upon a friend’s list.
The crossroads and crux of the matter is not that people’s feelings are unwelcome, the problem seems to be found in the methods and employ of expression in these comments and opinions. A good quote that I have found from the book, Theosophy, by Katherine Tingley is:
“The very fact that you find stumbling blocks in your way should give you an influx of courage, a positive joy, because of the opportunity thus presented to you to cast them away forever. Self-conquest! Is that not what you are here for?”
-Katherine Tingley (1)
We have truly entered a new world of negative thought-forms that can be projected to the masses at such greater quantity than ever before – and when not careful, can be sucked into the pattern of spreading the upset and negative to everyone in sight of us: all from looking at a simple post on Facebook that didn’t really add to the progressive evolution that we all aim for when we study another tenet of witchcraft: The Tenet of Reincarnation. (But we will need to leave that Tenet for another time)
So what else is a witch to do?
Well, after you read such an interesting and thought provoking quote as above by Tingley, we come face to face with the fact of how one negative comment, post or even just how one “Negative Nelly” can just spread the toxicity to many. They add to the overall uneasiness and general anxiety felt. We must face the facts and begin to create ourselves something more evolved when the struggles present themselves, as they do to all of us. No one is immune from the cosmic laws of balance in the universe. \
For the higher ideals to come to form, we must become expressions of those ideals. This all starts from the inside and works its way out into other areas of your life.
We are constantly under the distraction of our desires. Every advertisement, every form of social media, television, magazines; all provide an outlet to pull you into more and more desire-thoughts.
Desire is not negative as that is what keeps us going and growing. Our inward Higher Soul (Higher Manas) yearns very strongly for the desire to be reunited back into the Divine Monad, The Supreme Being; walking upward on the steps of consciousness. Our bodies desire for our own life to be sustained, hence, our urges for hunger and intimacy with others which are tools of the main terrestrial desire of our bodies: Survival.
Those that follow the path of Esoteric Buddhism call this cycle of death and rebirth Samsara. They equate this to suffering and concern their spiritual practice around the work of escaping the suffering of Samsara and entering Nirvana. They are aiming for something very similar that we aim for. The Ancient Wisdom Traditions all seem to lead to the same path, just masked in their own individual cultural expressions – which is why we can find something to appreciate in the many different paths that abound.
As the witch begins to tend to things on all levels, starting firstly on the terrestrial plane, such as taking care of physical needs such as health and wellness, they can then begin at some point in their advancement to channel some of their desires into the advancement of the soul – the elevation of consciousness where you begin to find and explore what your purpose in life may be.
Ask yourself, “Who am I?” Ask anyone willing to participate with you in this experiment, “Who are you?” Many times, we find that we ourselves and those we ask will define themselves only by what they do in terms of earning a living or career. Sometimes they may define themselves as a parent (mother/father) or an extension of their life-partner. All of these things are not bad, but it doesn’t get down to the question of “Who are you?” You are more than just a Mother, brother sister. You are more than just a teacher, accountant, technician. These are but the things we must do to which teach us, but it is not who we are.
When someone is ready to find out who or whom they might be, the first thing you can do is find some activity to help others. This is not just one way to discover who we are and take us out of the personal ego-bubble we shroud ourselves in, but is a start to learning another one of the Tenets of Witchcraft, The Tenet of Humility.
By now, you can see these tenets are not just things we think about and contemplate, they are something we do, strive for and struggle with.
Bringing us back to the Tenet of Harmony, this particular Tenet is one key in traveling the path of the occult adept. We all know what something un-harmonious sounds like or mis-matched un-harmonious items look like; so this tells us that not only do our physical terrestrial senses strive to seek out Harmony in all things, but that our Higher Soul seeks out a spiritual Harmony as well in which that everything has its own time and place and space.
Numbers, sound, color are but some of the outward senses in which you begin to see what harmonizes and what doesn’t. Thoughts leading to progressive evolution lead to Harmony, telling us that some thoughts and steps can bring about Harmony as well.
Even within the occult, it is possible to meet some that revel within the transgressive. They look constantly for ways in which they can break all the rules, which they feel do not apply to them, and revel in the imagery of black magic. As time goes on, some grow out of that before it is too late. For as we know, nothing within the physical plane is outside the natural laws. Even higher planes of existence have their own set of rules and laws that must be followed.
So why would someone want to purposefully become transgressive? What I have found is that a tremendous amount of effort is expelled in doing so which brings on what is termed “Astral intoxication.” This is an over-stimulation of the Astral Body itself which gives folks in the occult what they might describe as a “ritual high.” Sometimes this can lead to what a fellow witch friend of mine described as a “magical hangover.”
As we know, the Astral Plane is but the place where all things which must come into the physical (earth) must first pass through the Astral (lunar/moon). The astral plane is a world of illusion and delusion. It has its function and place, but it is a realm of illusion. The Astral Plane is not a “Mystical Realm” and you have not reached nirvana or a mystical state by the simple experience of Astral intoxication, in which any powerful witch worth his or her own salt is able to induce on themselves and anyone else when needed. Though, many beginner occultists feel they are all powerful when experiencing Astral Intoxication/Ritual High. This is a gate we must all pass through when we first learn to separate what is illusion and what is reality.
Separating illusion from reality can be really difficult. This can be a tricky thing for a great number of witches, as most witches I know are all very nostalgic people, including myself. We all look back with fond memories with nostalgia on memories past. So tell me this – if we are all honest: “When you started out in witchcraft, did you want terribly and desperately to buy one of those super expensive blank grimoires or ‘Book of Shadows’ from various makers?” Be honest! I bet almost every one of you did! Probably many of you even spent the hundreds of dollars that they cost in order to buy one or have one made. Though, maybe you were on a limited budget and didn’t have the opportunity to get one, but I bet most had worked their hardest to either hand-make themselves a blank grimoire to look as old and “ye arte olde” as possible? (Don’t worry, I did the same thing too! We all do.)
So what were we attracted to here with the fancy blank grimoires? We were attracted to the glamour. Glamour is but illusion, which was drawn upon our very witch-nature to be very nostalgic.
You see this today with many modern spell-books being published in very expensive and limited qualities that cost anywhere between $100-$600 per copy because they are beautifully produced.
The desire for these beautifully produced books are not a bad thing in the least. You may prefer beautiful produced books with nice coverings that will hopefully last a very long time. Though, you must be honest with yourself, would you have bought this book if it was published in the cheaper booklet form like the old Anna Riva booklets, or did you purchase it strictly because of the aesthetic quality of the cover?
Funny thing is, my old little paperback copy of Anna Riva’s book The Modern Witchcraft Spellbook is simply a great little practical grimoire! Above is my copy printed back when it first came out in 1972 (I think?) that has held up well and receives good use which has great practical charms and spells in it. When I bought this originally, I think I paid $4.00 or $5.00. I fondly remember the first spell I cast using this book in which I made a Protection charm by hollowing out an egg by making two little holes in each end and blowing out the contents and stuffing with five finger grass herb and dealing with wax and painting the eggs. The finished products were displayed on little metal egg stands and were used for protection from all harm that could be done with the five hands. And, it was funny watching others try to blow the yolks out of the eggs without laughing. Omelets for everyone! (4)
Speaking of books, I recently finished a new book by Lynne McTaggart called The Power of Eight (5) that was recommended to me by a friend, as she had always been interested in McTaggart’s writing and her work:
I was able to finish the book and it surprised me on how much I enjoyed reading it and I came to the conclusion that it would make a most excellent book for people just starting to learn about Wicca. Even though the book mentions the word Wicca only twice, many of the ideals in her “Intention groups of no less than eight people” really seems like a beginner-Wicca group.
What McTaggart does in this book is form small intention groups of no less than eight people to focus and concentrate on problems that need healing or solutions. She does so with the assistance of many universities and researchers in order to collect the data needed to justify her theories. For the skeptic who wants to see the data, this could be an excellent book that just might make you believe there is more to all of this than you think.
She also mentions other groups and people that do similar type of work such as Christian Science, Rosicrucian and even Jesus and his disciples. In fact, she has a theory that the Biblical accounts of Jesus show that he actively encouraged people to pray together in a certain way for the same thing.
To the Occultist, no new ground is broken here, but what is interesting is reading the results of her research experiments into her intention groups.
People involved in the New Thought Movement, Theosophy and various types of Occultism have been doing this work for many, many years and writing about the phenomenon since the 1800s, but not a great deal of them put it through research experiments in the same way as McTaggart.
A personal theory of mine I’ve always had the theory that Wicca’s idea of a “Cone of Power” can be traced back to some of the Theosophical ideas on thought radiation. Just change the term “Cone of Power” with “Long Distance Group Thought Projection” and we seem to be talking about the same concept, just performed in various unique ways. Discussion and talk of “Long Distance Hypnotism” also seem to apply here in this discussion. (The idea of a Cone of Power is but one of the many, many tools used by the witch in his/her work.)
Reading the book by McTaggart, I wasn’t disappointed that Wicca wasn’t mentioned more than what it was even though Wicca has been doing the same thing for a longer time now because I get the idea that the author is trying to have a very wide appeal to many people of diverse backgrounds and audiences – to help those who are of any spiritual background or those who are not part of any spiritual background and just want to improve their lives and the lives of people around them.
For those who are interested in Wicca or beginning their study into Wicca, I do recommend The Power of Eight book as a possible one to introduce a seeker to learn about how to work in sympathy with others on issues that might be tackled together in a group. It also gives examples of successes and failures and will help a seeker think of ways to make course-correction should what they be working for not materialize. The book will give you ideas for anyone of any spiritual variety; be it Witch, Christian, Buddhist or even Agnostic! This is a principle of the Ancient Wisdom Tradition that is found universally and would be not out of step with a Witch than it is for a Christian. Teaching people how to pray is hard. Teaching people how to pray in groups is but another challenge. This may help ease that challenge a bit.
Even down to her experiments on impregnating liquids with thoughts that McTaggart’s participants attempted in the footsteps of Dr. Masaru Emoto of Japan who passed away in 2014 did when he studied how human consciousness could effect water molecules; sounds like the magical practice of the use of “fluid condensers” that witches of our coven carry out on a regular basis as another tool within the toolkit.
I know that when Dr. Masaru Emoto’s work with crystalline structures of water when frozen came out that many witches I know watched with anticipation and excitement on the work that he was doing. One thing that you will find is that witches are always interested in science and respect the scientific process. To us, science and witchcraft are not mutually exclusive. You can be a witch and a scientist with no conflict.
Emerson once said, “Power to him who power exerts.”
“Don’t waste your mental powers in wishes. Don’t dissipate your energies by trying to satisfy every whim. Concentrate on doing something really worth while. The man who sticks to something is not the man who fails.” (6)
-Theron Q. Dumont, 1918
Bibliography & Works Cited:
- Tingley, Katherine; Theosophy: The Path of the Mystic. Print.
- Leek, Sybil; The Complete Art of Witchcraft. Print.
- Amos, Tori; 2017 Native Invader Tour Book. Print.
- Riva, Anna; The Modern Witchcraft Spellbook. Print.
- McTaggert, Lynne; The Power of Eight. Print.
- Dumont, Theron Q.; The Power of Concentration. Print.