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The Witch's Crede

The Witches Guidelines of Life
The Witches credo acknowledges the right of all people to practice their own path of spirituality. As long as that path does not bring harm or injury to any living being. The term rede is derived from the Old English term roedan "to guide or direct". But don't confused the witches credo with the Wiccan Rede & Credo. The Witches Credo provides the same guidelines, but it's purpose is broader for many varying traditions of magik, including the solitary practioner.
Historians debate the origins of the Wiccan Rede, which is simply:
    "Eight words the Wiccan Rede fulfill, An' it harm none, do what ye will"
       An' is old English for And.
In general it is believed the Rede originated during the mid-to-late 18th century. The Credo, which is very similar to the witches credo, holds it's origins in modern times of the 1910's during the mystical revivals of the Gilded Age and into the 1940's and 50's. The reasoning behind the credos, according to spiritual scholars, was to add acceptance of modern witchcraft for the general public.
However, a broader study of both the Wiccan Credo and the Witches Credo may lead a researcher back to ancient myths, legends and pagan traditions of the 7th and 8th centuries. Even in it's varying forms, the practice of witchcraft and it's underlying spiritual beliefs have been utilized all over the world for thousands of years. All of which can be seen and often documented through the study and research of mythology. Within each mythical legend of Celtic, Greek or even Asian origin, resides a structure of do's and don'ts for the magikal practioners of the day. Within each of these structures, are the references to free will, karma and choice; the laws of magikal practices so to speak. The modern Credo's adhered to today, regardless of their original dates of creation, reside in the frame work of these ancient structures.
Many spiritualists today have a deep respect for the sanctity of free will within all living creatures. This is especially true for the modern neo-pagan. To use one's spiritual talents and gifts to interfere in that free will is unethical and violates the essence of living in balance and harmony with the universe. To violate that balance would bring a karmic boomerang of negative energies and events back to the sender.
The Witches Credo is therefore a guideline of direction, not only for one's spiritual practices in magik, but in all aspects of life. The credo is first instilled into a pagan's life during their 'Coming Of Age' ceremony. Many traditions believe in making a rededication of faith with the Credo during the Witches new year celebration of Samhain as a means of reconfirming their spiritual belief and practices.
The Witches Credo
Hear now the word of the Witch,
the secrets once hid in the night,
When darkness was for protection,
We now bring forth in the light.
Mysteries of the Water and Fire,
The Earth and the wide-ranging Air,
By hidden Quintessence we know them,
and we bring honor in silence and fair.
The birth and rebirth of all Nature,
the passing of Winter and Spring,
We share with the life Universal,
rejoicing in the never-ending Ring
Four times in the year we give homage,
come forth the Witches are seen,
At Lammas and Candelas we're dancing,
so too on May Eve and old Halloween
When daytime and nighttime are equal,
when sun is at it's greatest and least,
The four lesser Sabbats are summoned,
again the Witches gather in feast.
Thirteen silver moons in a year,
thirteen to be the magikal array,
Thirteen times at Esbat we make merry,
for the work of the night and the day.
The knowledge has passed down the ages,
each time between woman and man
Each century unto the other,
old times since the ages began.
When drawn in the Magikal circle,
by sword or athame of light,
It's compass between two worlds opens,
in honor and love for this night.
Our world has no right to know it,
and the world beyond will tell naught,
The oldest of Gods are invoked there,
the great work of light's Magik is wrought.
For two are the mystical pillars,
that stand at the gate of the shrine,
And two are the powers of Nature,
the forms and the forces divine.
Do what thou wilt be the challenge,
so be it in love that harms none,
For this is the only commandment,
By wisdom of faith so let it be done.

Source: 1, c3, c4, c8, c13, s1, s2, s4, s5, s6, s7, s11, s14
Created: 04.08.1999        Updated: 09.29.2004