A Wiccan Bible: Exploring the Mysteries of the Craft from Birth to Summerland

A Wiccan Bible: Exploring the Mysteries of the Craft from Birth to Summerland

by A.J. Drew

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781564146663
Publisher: Red Wheel/Weiser
Publication date: 08/15/2003
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 125,739
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x (d)

About the Author


A.J. Drew is the author of Wicca Spellcraft for Men and Wicca for Couples. He is the host of the annual Real Witches Ball, one of the single largest Pagan gatherings in the United States. He is also the host of pagannation.com, which serves as a successful hub for the entire Pagan community. He is the owner of Salem West, one of the largest Wicca/Pagan shops in the Midwest.

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CHAPTER 1

SECTION ONE

The Beauty of the World

Dedicated to our Lady and Lord as Maiden and Master

Section Introduction

This is the first of the Three-fold Path of Wicca.

Wicca is a personal religion. The exact format of the religion will change from one Wiccan to the next. The names used to call our Lord and Lady will change from group to group, coven to coven, and household to household.

Wicca is a mystery religion. Although a relatively clear structure has risen from about 150,000 years of human experience, the religion is more experiential than educational. The basics are provided, the references are pointed to, but what develops within you is what the religion is, not what you read in books.

Wicca is an initiatory religion. If you have heard anything about Wicca, you have probably heard about a degree system. I am not a fan of the way this degree system is used as a rank structure. But the degree system does serve to mark rites of passage, of which there are three. This section contains those first passages, the Rites of Name. It also contains the information on which that Rite of Passage is based. As all Wiccan rituals follow the same format, here too is the basic format for Wiccan ritual, the what (ritual) in the first chapter and the why (explanation) in the other chapters of this first section. Even if you are a long time member of Wicca, you would do very well to read on and learn the many things that have not been mentioned in other books. You see, Wicca is not a Path that has an end. It is a process of learning and relearning which continues throughout one's life.

Even if you are a second generation Wiccan, having received the Rite of Wiccaning when you were young, this section is most applicable as it examines Wiccan ritual from a view that I do not believe has ever made it to print. Even if you have already performed a Self-Dedication Rite, I think this section is important. Although you may have gone through the motions listed in previous books, you may not have given much thought to what was behind those rites. Why do we do these things? What are they based on?

Now, let me humble myself for just a moment. I do not say this because I think I have vastly more education than you. I say this because I was there. I was self-dedicated, coven initiated, and yet I did not understand the application of my own religion. I did not consider the message behind the rituals. I had not experienced that portion of the mystery that I now relate. Yes, you will discover it on your own but the Path of that discovery is dangerous. Although I am often called an alarmist for saying this, it has taken at least one life and years earlier it nearly took mine. Wicca is a very dangerous religion in many ways. Consider just one of those dangers to understand why I say this.

The Wiccan religion teaches that all acts of love and pleasure are our rituals. What about sexually transmitted disease? What about the carnage that infidelity can bring to a monogamous relationship? Other religions say, flatly, that sex prior to marriage is wrong and that sex outside of marriage is wrong. If both members of a marriage listen to these commandments, both members are safe from sexually transmitted disease as well as the results of infidelity. Wicca, on the other hand, has no set standard for the sexual conduct of consenting adults. Instead, Wicca insists that you decide what is right for you and what is not. You can see how a bad decision (cause) will lead to unpleasant effects.

So if Wicca is so dangerous, then why follow it? Those of us who are Wiccan do so because we have no choice. Our souls scream to us, so our minds create a structure in which that soul can be tempered with mind such that our Spirit does sing more than it does cry. The structure or Path of that tempering is the religion Wicca.

Liber ab Nomen

(Book of Name)

The Path to the Inner Circle of Wicca

This is the Book of Name. Here we see two Rites of Passage in which a new name is given. In the first rite, the Wiccaning, a name is given to the, for lack of a better term, initiate. I say 'for lack of a better term' because although the Wiccaning is indeed a rite of initiation, it is not one in which the initiate is being initiated. It is a rite in which the community is initiated to the initiate. The second Rite of Passage discussed here is the Rite of Self-Dedication. This rite is just as the name implies; it is the rite of an individual's dedication not only to Wicca but also to the Wiccan community. As such, it is often conducted first in private and later in public. To understand why this is so, talk to someone who is gay or lesbian who has come out of the closet. Often there is first a step where one comes out of the closet only to oneself, followed by a time when one comes out to the community. So know right now that in my view of Wicca, there are no solitary practitioners and, at the very same time, everyone is a solitary practitioner.

Know also that these Rites of Wiccaning and Self-Dedication are not finite. They can be repeated when necessary. Such might be the case if a community feels it has strayed from one of its members. If that is the case, a second Wiccaning might be performed to apologize to the member and to reaffirm the community's commitment. Likewise, should a member of the community feel he or she has strayed, that person might want to perform another Self-Dedication rite to tell oneself that they have strayed but reaffirm their original commitment to the ways of Wicca.

There are other instances where the Rite of Wiccaning and Dedication can be conducted for the purpose of Rededication. Consider the effects of rape. I am sorry to say that in the greater community, the victim is sometimes blamed and treated as if dirty. A Wiccaning might be performed such that the immediate community can tell the victim that we do not accept the ways of the greater community. That our eyes are open to the horror and that we support that person in our community now more than ever, because that person probably needs the immediate community now more than ever.

On the Rite of Self-Dedication, consider the Wiccan who strays not only from his or her religion but from the nature of one's soul discovered in the mysteries that are found in the path of Wicca. Now and then, we all do incredibly mindless things, things we would rather forget. But in forgetting them, we cannot learn by them. So the Rite of Self-Dedication is sometimes performed again to reaffirm one's dedication to the principles of one's own heart.

The Rite of Wiccaning

Born with that beat

The trembling voice

Listen to that beat

You have no choice

Contrary to popular opinion, Wiccans are not made. Nor are they born. Born with potential and born with a Wiccan soul, yes, but neither made nor born Wiccan. Instead, Wiccans are discovered, and that discovery is the process by which the Wiccan discovers his- or herself, as well as the process by which the greater community discovers him or her and also that process by which he or she discovers the community. The Wiccan is born with that beat, that trembling voice, and no matter how one tries to deny it, one eventually has no choice but to listen to it.

It is the cycle, the power, and the energy (for lack of better words) of the very world in which we live. I say for lack of better words because if I told you it was a pattern you might not understand the depth of what I mean. It is the rhythm of all that lives, all that has lived and all that ever will live, a voice that beckons the Wiccan soul and while it pains me to say it, a voice that beckons none other. This does not mean that none other than Wiccans hear this voice, but none without the potential of becoming Wiccan can hear the voice, and those who do have that potential have no choice but to listen to it.

For this reason, the Wiccan community is charged with making itself available to the seeker. Not because I say this here, but those who are truly Wiccan will remember what it felt like when they heard that voice and did not know there were others who heard it, too. The Wiccan community is charged with making itself available to the seeker because we have compassion for the seeker, we know what that seeker must be feeling. We know that being lost in a dark place feeling utterly alone is horrific and we wish it on no living thing.

Naming a seeker is the first Rite of Initiation, better known as the Wiccaning. It was the first rite of Llew Llaw Gyffes who was initially denied a name by his mother but whose mother was later tricked into giving him one (see Book of Humanity). Having been separated from his mother for some time, raised instead by his mother's brother Gwydion, his mother did not recognize him when she saw him hunting one day. He fell a bird with a single stone and she proclaimed that he was a 'Bright lion with a sure hand,' and thus was he named Llew Llaw Gyffes. This naming is the acceptance of one's responsibility for all life that appears on this planet, a matter we will discuss in the following chapter. It is in so much as to say to our Mother Earth that we know we have been undeserving of a name, but here we demonstrate our worthiness.

The Rite of Wiccaning is both something a Wiccan couple might do for its child as well as something the community should perform for anyone of good report. As such, I believe that any public Wiccan organization that desires to be known of good report should offer such rites once in a month. After all, this rite is simply the affirmation that the community is present and available to the seeker. If an organization is not willing to do that much, just what does it do for the public?

The rite need not be formal. But performing it formally will better educate an adult seeker in the case of this rite being performed by a public group. In the case of parents Wiccaning their child, the formality of this rite goes a long way towards educating the participants, the friends and family, in the nature of the Wiccan religion. As the family and friends of the parents might not be Wiccan, the rite is an excellent way to further understandings.

Know first that should the seeker desire Wiccaning but not be of legal age, that not only should a parent's written and notarized permission be secured ahead of time, but that a consent-giving parent or legal guardian should be present just as if the seeker were an infant. While there is no hard rule that a body of Wicca not interact with someone under the legal age, Wicca insists that all rituals be conducted with the full consent of all who are involved. As we live in a society that chooses to protect its children by stipulating a legal age of adulthood, should one be below that legal age he or she cannot offer consent.

The Rite of Self-Dedication

Self-Dedication to Wicca does not make one Wiccan. If you already have a Wiccan soul, then you are already Wiccan. Although discovering that you are not alone might feel as if you are blessed, do not think for a moment that having such a soul is a blessing alone. It is also a curse. History has shown that those born with such a soul will be persecuted simply because they are different. Think about your life and the way you have felt about the world in which you live. Have you always felt different? Like no one understands you or like you think in a way that others do not?

When your friends talk about casual sex, do you dream about falling in love? Do you somehow know that racism is contrary to the nature of humanity? Have you always suspected that there is not much of a difference between the world's races, even though the greater community seems hell- bent on destroying the world over race? If you are white, have you noticed that you do not really fit the stereotype for being white? If you are black, have you noticed that you do not really fit the stereotype for being black? If you are one of the many shades between white and black, have you noticed that you do not really fit whatever the stereotype is for being whatever shade that is?

Have you always suspected that there is not much of a difference between the world's religions even though the greater community seems hell bent on destroying the world over religion? If you are already involved in the Wiccan community, have you noticed that you do not really fit in with the stereotype of being Wiccan? If this is you, then you have a Wiccan soul. I know, because so do I.

If this is not you, then you do not have a Wiccan soul. Although you might like the Wiccan community that you have met, there is no reason to dedicate yourself to something you do not honestly believe. Now this does not mean that your soul might not change or maybe that your understanding of that soul will grow, but embracing a religion that does not offer you the support you need would be like using an automobile repair manual to fix your VCR. It just won't work and it might cause you to harm your VCR. As that VCR is your soul, it would be a good idea to find the right repair manual before taking the lid off.

Basic Wiccan Ritual Formula

In discussing the aspects of Wiccan ritual, I have included examples of words that might be spoken at those points in ritual. Chances are there are many words you will not recognize. For this reason I say please know first that the words should come from your own heart. Given here are only examples. Know also that you should read Section One prior to conducting any ritual here. Without an understanding of the rite, it will serve no purpose to perform it. On some aspects of Wiccan ritual I will be very long winded, and on others I will be very brief. This is because the story that follows this explanation, the many chapters that follow this one, explain that which is briefly touched on here in greater detail. In my last book, Wicca for Couples, I explained that although Wiccans have no central bible, they do have a common ritual format and that ritual format is our bible. So in continuing through this bible, what you will see is basically the one Wiccan ritual format. That format starts with the lustral bath.

The Lustral Bath: All Life on Earth Came from One Initial Source

If you have ever worked with the general public, you might have noticed that perhaps personal hygiene should be better promoted. In my view of Wicca, every ritual and event in which one will interact with others requires first the lustral bath as a matter of personal hygiene and a whole lot more. In other cultures, group bathing does not have much of a stigma. But those cultures are in the minority. Not only does group bathing promote a sense of uneasiness among folk raised in the greater community, it can be down right painful if you happen to be the one who has to sit with your back to the faucet. So in addressing the lustral bath prior to public ritual, the best method I have found is to make a gift of bath salts to the guests you know will be attending.

Should a person arrive at the monthly meeting of a public organization and ask for the Rite of Wiccaning, by all means welcome the person, but ask them to return to the following month's meeting after having first followed certain instructions. Give to them those instructions along with the bath salts of Initiation, instruction as to their use, and a parental consent form should the person be under legal age. Those instructions should be clear in why the lustral bath is important so the seeker does not think he or she smells bad (even if he or she does indeed smell bad).

So why is the lustral bath so important? Because Wicca is a religion that embraces both creation and evolution. Although one might think the two are mutually exclusive, Wicca is a fertility religion, so it sees the creation of humanity as similar to the creation of a child. A child is not conceived in finished human form. Instead, a child begins his or her life as a cell, then two cells, then four, then eight, then 16 ... All of which took place in the womb of that child's mother.

Wiccans view the ocean as the womb of our Mother Earth, not just because it is nicely poetic, but because science tells us that the ocean is the womb in which all life on this planet started. Per common scientific convention, the primordial oceans of the Earth were once filled with the building blocks of life (the ovum) but it remained without life until gradually the conditions became such that the relationship between the Earth and the sky built potential between the two. With the Earth's rotation and the churning of the sky, that potential became greater and greater, the way rubbing a cat produces static electricity. When the potential became too great for the separate poles to contain, that electricity (sperm) was released. Like human conception, the first orgasms probably did not result in life, but as the ocean was joined with lightning over and over again, the chances increased until those building blocks of life (simple proteins/ ovum) were eventually moved in such a way that they became amino acids. Eventually those amino acids joined in such a way to form the very first string of viable DNA for the first life. Those simple strings of DNA became the first single celled life — fertilized ovum — which in turn grew into the plethora that we now see, the beauty of all life. Thus, the lustral bath reminds us that plants, animals, and humans may have distinct differences, but they are all in the same order of Life itself. Thus, they are all sacred in a religion that praises Life.

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "A Wiccan Bible"
by .
Copyright © 2003 A.J. Drew.
Excerpted by permission of Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Title Page,
Copyright Page,
Dedication,
Acknowledgements,
Preface,
Introduction,
SECTION ONE - The Beauty of the World,
SECTION TWO - The Paragon of Animals,
SECTION THREE - In Apprehension How Like a God,
A Final Word,
Endnotes,
Bibliography,

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Wiccan Bible: Exploring the Mysteries of the Craft from Birth to Summerland 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
CynthiaSueLarson More than 1 year ago
A WICCAN BIBLE provides readers with a means to fully appreciate the many sacred aspects of Wicca. All eight Wiccan solar holidays, or Sabbats, are described in detail, as are the principles of Wiccan belief. Author A.J. Drew weaves ancient myths and stories together with modern science, giving A WICCAN BIBLE a feeling of being simultaneously old and new. Never before has a Wiccan book presented such a crystal-clear overview of the religion that it can provide readers with sufficient information and inspiration to immediately begin practicing the Wiccan faith. I love the way A WICCAN BIBLE provides questions that help readers decide for themselves whether or not this religion is best suited for them, while never pushing religious dogma or routine. Wicca, after all, is a very personal religion. I especially enjoyed the way Drew discusses the importance of knowing the difference between kith and kin for both our human and animal companions, since much confusion can be avoided when we recognize the importance of those we share our energy with every day. We can appreciate the energies of those we live with every day differently than the way we work with the energies of those we love who do not live with us, such as spirits and animal totems. A WICCAN BIBLE ought to be required reading for anyone seeking a better understanding of Wicca, as well as all those Wiccans who would appreciate seeing one person's very thorough personal interpretation of the Wiccan faith.
onyx13 More than 1 year ago
This book was just about as hard to read as the Christian Bible is!
But like it I read this. It was ok, and give you alot of information, but this isn't something for someone who is just courious to the craft. No it's more like for a Witch who knows what she is reading.
Good book though.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Andrew has written yet another basic introductory book. You'd think after the other three entry level Wicca books he's written he'd have advanced somewhat. Unfortunately this does not seem to be the same. There is nothing new or profound in this book, and unless you have forgotten the wheel of the year (information which is available in hundreds of other books and online), there is no real reason to buy this book. Unless of course you are a complete novice to Wicca and you're unable to find a much better intro book such as Scott Cunningham's books. It's sad A.J.'s books haven't grown and have stayed so basic and introductory as Wicca continues to mature. The same basic introduction to Wicca that is in this book is in his other intro books. Maybe he doesn't like reaearching for new material?
Cherrywood More than 1 year ago
BEST BIBLE IN TOWN GOOD FOR GETTING THE TRUTH ABOUT THE WICCIAN WAY JUST HAD TO HAVE THIS BIBLE THANK YOU BARNES and NOBLE!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book nearly scared me away from wicca 5 year's ago, but silver ravenwolf and scott Cunningham reignited my interest after I got rid of this nightmare. it was written poorly, rambled on and bored me, I was only able to focus when I'd realized the author had strayed off. I'm glad I got rid of this book, as a Wiccan of 5 yrs, please don't waste your time and money!!! Go read Silver ravenwolf,Phyllis Curot, Scott Cunningham, or my all time favorite Christopher Penczak!!!!
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THe book is a good introduction into the spirituality. It does ramble off and sometimes gets lost in places. But it als focuses on main parts of the different sabbats and clearly explains them. I recommend this to anyone beginning or curious.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This guy is no longer a wiccan and changed his name so he is not associated with his earlier works I wouldn't waste the money on something the author doesn't believe in. Also I didn't like what little I did read.