ReligiousSocietyofWitches@yahoo.com

Frequently Asked Questions

Select a question below to find the answer

What is Witchcraft?

The variety of personal and cultural attributions towards the terms “Witchcraft”and “Magic” (or “Magick”) have resulted in a range of interpretations and applications of these labels. In addition, self identification and selection of practitioners with certain self-identified labels including concepts such as “shamanism” has resulted in the possibility that contemporary practitioners may self identify in any way they feel appropriate, however, many “Traditions” of practice have more precise and specific definitions to these words and terms, and may take offense to interpretations that do not conform to their own meanings.

The Religious Society of Witches believe each person is free to take on any label they believe best suits their own self identification, or refuse to associate with any “label”, but the Society collectively uses the term “Witches” encompassing those who practice the “Craft of the Wise”, meaning the “Work of those with Wisdom” or “the ability to think and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense and insight”. In as much as some believe it important to concisely explain how the Society defines “Witchcraft” it as as follows:

Witchcraft is the use of magical faculties, most commonly for religious, divinatory or medicinal purposes.

Are Witches evil?

No.

Witchcraft is a spiritual path of the Divine, or Perfect Light, and as such, has nothing what so ever to do with evil. In fact, the study of the Perfect Light, and our roles as individual participants in the context of the life experience in the Perfect Light, is more about our choices as individuals than about following someone or a specific list of rules.

The Society is certainly aware of the hurtful and harmful things that some choose to do in the name of religion or in the name of the Divine, but we, as free thinkers, can choose to rise above base and ego driven behavior and seek a spiritual, and more aspirant expression of the self.

Witchcraft, which is also informally known as the “Craft of the Wise” is in fact Thalamic, meaning it is a religion based on a philosophical law of the same name.

The law of Thelema is “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Love is the law, love under will.”

The law of Thelema was developed in the early 1900s by Aleister Crowley, an English writer and ceremonial magician who believed himself to be the prophet of a new age, the Æon of Horus, based upon a spiritual experience that he and his wife, Rose Edith, had in Egypt in 1904.

While Crowley’s life experiences, such as his being born to a wealthy Plymouth Brethren family in Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, afforded him some privileges, he rejected this faith to pursue an interest in Western esotericism, poetry, and mountaineering. In addition, he was educated at the University of Cambridge. A libertine lifestyle led to denunciations in the British press and he gained widespread notoriety during his lifetime for being a recreational drug experimenter, bisexual and an individualist social critic.

In many ways, Crowley’s life made manifest the personal complexities the ideals of the a Renaissance and the philosophical explorations of the Age of Enlightenment set into motion. In our own time, those who are open to the idea that the 20th century marked the beginning of the Aeon of Horus, in which a new ethical code would be followed; “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law”, collectively embrace the possibilities that adherents or believers should seek out and follow their own true path in life, known as their True Will (their calling or “purpose” in life), rather than their egotistic desires. This philosophy of a personalized, but unselfish spirituality also emphasizes the ritual practice of Magick.

Those who are curious to embrace and explore the “Craft of the Wise” are reaching well beyond the comfort level of those who need a spiritual framework filled with a list of codified do’s and don’ts, and operate in a system that recognizes the importance of Virtue in personal character and of Magickal practice.

The Society believes that Prudence, Justice, Temperance, Courage with Piety are the essential aspirant characteristics of Witches, and these Virtues are the constitutional framework through which the life experience and practice of magic are measured on the physical and astral planes.

Witchcraft and Magick are a useful and enjoyable spiritual path for those who reject or do not agree with many aspects of a more conformist, organized religion, and for those open to consider possibilities beyond the physical plane.

Love is the law, love under will.

Do Witches worship Satan?

No.

Witches do not worship Satan. Witches do not have a Satan or Devil deity in our spiritual pantheon.

The Society recognizes that many spiritual paths draw distinctions between “Good” and “Evil”. Witches recognize a comparable range of values and behaviors.  However we attribute such disparity in character to choices made by individuals. We believe each person must choose their own destiny whether to follow a path of Light or to remain in darkness.

Witchcraft is a Religion that understands and respects the Perfect or Divine Light, made manifest in many ways, and underscored by polarity, but recognizing the principle of cause and effect.

What do Witches call themselves?

Many practitioners of Witchcraft simply refer to themselves as Witches, irrespective of gender. Some prefer or use other terms, such as Magician. The Society believes each person is free to call themselves whatever they wish; some opt to make up a new name or identity for themselves, while others simply use their own given names and reject any title or label.

Those who practice the virtuous use of “Magick” are sometimes referred to as “Practitioners of the Craft”, or simply “of the Craft”.

What truly matters is what is in the heart, not a label or title, and to live a life of exemplary behavior. demonstrating to the best of one’s own abilities, the thoughts, deeds and actions of the “Craft of the Wise”.

Why do some witches wear black? Is it necessary to dress in black to be a Witch?

Some Witches do wear black clothing and robes because the color black is the culmination of all vibration rates of light on the material plane. Black absorbs light information and helps some Witches be more receptive to psychic impressions and energies. Wearing black also helps some focus their spiritual intentions for magickal activities or ritual. Witches do wear clothing of other colors and styles, not just black, and some practitioners avoid black all together. The choice of clothing color and style is a personal matter, and the Society suggests that people dress in ways they believe appropriate and fitting for them.

It is unnecessary to dress as a “Witch” or to call attention to oneself or put on a costume to be noticed, obtain special tattoos or wear certain jewelry. The power of Witchcraft is the Spiritual nature of the practice of Magick, as well as the journey and growth process of a lifetime. Every day is sacred and no day is more sacred than another. Respect for oneself and respect for others is much more important than one’s clothing.

Why was the Religious Society of Witches established?

The Society was formed to promote an intellectual and spiritual discourse on the practical and theoretical application of Magick in the 21st Century, and to offer those interested in the exploration of ideas that draw from Ancient, Renaissance, Enlightenment, Reformation, 19th and 20th Century explorations in new and profound ways, and in more open and less conformist settings.

We welcome those from all Religious paths and backgrounds to explore with us, and do not require or recommend the denouncement or putting away of any spiritual practice or ideas important to those interested in the Society, so long as those ideas are not harmful to oneself or to others.

We do challenge those curious to ask themselves questions such as “Is my life or my actions helping to make the world a better place?”

Do Witches Cast Spells?

Witches can and do use spells. A spell involves a thought, projection, meditation and a ritual to produce the intended result. When a Witch does a spell is does not necessarily imply doing evil or harm to others.

Do Witches use Wands?

Witches do use wands, they are used in healing and most importantly, in the projection or directing of thought energy and sometimes, in casting Magick Circles.

Why do Witches wear Pentacles (a five pointed star surrounded by a circle)?

Some Witches do wear Pentacles, and many view the Pentacle as a sacred symbol of the Witch, while others see it as a symbol for Universal Wisdom, and an amulet for protection. It is also associated with Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Spirit.

Witches know that the Earth and all living things share the same life force, and they are all composed of patterns of intelligence of knowledge and of the divine

Popularized as a fashion accessory in the 1980’s and 1990’s as part of an explosion of interest in paganism, the Pentacle is now closely associated with public perception of the practice of Witchcraft, and is recognized as a legitimate religious symbol by the Government of the United States, and suitable for gravestone markers of deceased military personnel in military cemeteries.

However Witches have a variety of other symbols or jewelry that they may or may not choose to wear, and it is completely unnecessary to wear any jewelry as a part of spiritual practice, and as with clothing, or makeup, this is a personal choice.

No aspect of physical adornment outweighs or supersedes the important mental and spiritual aspects of practice, as the interactions of a person on the Physical and Astral planes are the foundation of Magick and of Witchcraft, not costuming or selection or making of a particular “counter cultural” fashion statement. We each carry energy within us, and we are part of larger systems. We make choices on how we interact with others and these energies.

Why do witches have Sabbats, or Rituals?

Sabbats or Rituals are often held in conjunction or in sequence with the energies and flow associated with significant and important events in the celestial calendar, such as the Winter and a Summer Solstices, which are the darkest and lightest days on the planet, or the Vernal and Autumnal Equinoxes, which are the days of perfect balance between day and night during the year. Some also choose to mark or note the four cross points between these four major solar events in the year with certain mythological or spiritual ideas that link the attributes of the beginning or passing of the seasons with the larger planetary or personal life experiences.

Many religions or spiritual paths celebrate important holidays (known by many names) on dates approximate to these four significant celestial events, as well as the cross points on the yearly calendar, and it isn’t a coincidence they have chosen to do so. In fact, the mutual recognition of such events and dates is something that crosses many cultures, and is likely a result of the historical observance of the inevitable link between the biological and ecological importance of sunlight and the passing of the seasons as a part of the life cycle that was the origin of festivities and placement or recognition of what some religions see as holy days.

Witches see these eight points on the calendar for what they are, namely, the passage of time and making of changes in the position of the earth to the sun, related to the change of seasons and the larger cycle of life, and may choose to mark or celebrate them as such, and may also choose to draw or infer mythological meaning or association with spiritual reflection in conjunction with the biological and ecological associations these points in the turning of the wheel of the year make, though the choice to do so is a personal one.

Ritual, in regards to the a Society, may be seen as a sequence of activities or a Rites involving gestures, words, and objects, performed in a sequestered place or in public, and may be performed according to a set sequence or particular or specific order of action, the purpose of which is intention or Will.

Witches may choose to note the passage of the phases of the moon and attribute the state of the moon relative to the earth as having certain energies or properties, for example, as the moon diminishes or fades in the sky it is called a waining influence or as it grows in the sky it is called a waxing moon. Ultimately it reaches the brightest or Full Moon state, and inevitably fades to total darkness or Dark of the Moon status. There is a long and rich history of the practice of Magick that is linked to the phases of the moon and the energies and effects of these phases in human behavior and the larger biological constructs as a part of society.

In addition, Witchcraft and Magick share an interest in what is known or called the Seven a Sacred Planets, which are the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. The archetypes of energies and the attributes of these planetary associations are also of use to the practitioners of Magick and Witchcraft, and have both broad and specific connotations and implications in intellectual and personal spiritual discourse, in addition to the historical and mythological associations, including but not limited to color, behavioral and life cycle and emotional linkage.

No one day is any more special or holy than any other day, because the suggestion of such an idea warrants we should be different or more special or more holy on certain days, and live differently on the other days. In fact, we see ourselves as part of a larger continuum of energy, and we may choose to live or treat treat each day as special, or we may also choose to be indifferent towards the distinction of any day, recognizing we are only one person and we matter little in the context of humanity, the planet and the larger universe. This choice of self respect and personal valuation is one’s own.

 

Are there special requirements to be a Witch or to be a part of the Religious Society of Witches?

Witches come from every economic, ethnic and educational background. Some Witches are professionals and hold positions of responsibility in society such as Doctors, Nurses and Teachers, to name just a few.

As a spiritual practice, Witchcraft does not discriminate against race or ethic origin, gender, age, or sexual orientation, Witchcraft does view everything and everyone as worthy of respect and a recipient of the benefits and responsibilities of liberty and equality.

The “Craft of the Wise”, as Witchcraft is known, is a journey of self discovery, reflection, passivity, receptivity, conviction and purpose, and a willingness to participate in making making the physical and astral planes better places than which one found them in the context of the life cycle.

Witches use their knowledge and “Magick” in harmony with the Universe and Nature around them.

The Society welcomes all who come in peace.

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.