Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Tabor Meditation Formula

Please sit in a comfortable position, wearing loose clothing. Find somewhere for your hands to rest comfortably - you must sit still. Aromatherapy or candles may help calm or relax you into a better state for practice.

Stage One - Simple Breathing

Lower your gaze, fixing it upon your navel. Breathe in an even, gentle manner, with medium sized breaths. Try to focus on your breathing only. (The mind is said to wander every 10 seconds, practice the first stage until you have it down).

Stage Two - Awareness Of Light

Entering into the second stage of the meditation, on an in-breath be aware of a nebulous radiation of golden light, which is also radiation of love, from just below your sturnum, forming a cloud midway between your navel & your chin. Be aware of the light, of it being illuminated, & let be with you. If your attention is still straying, use the same technique as above, focus on your breathing.

Stage Three - Silent Utterance

Retaining awareness of your breathing & of the light, silently utter mantrams - phrases or single words which you feel to be suited to your meditation. Formulate each single word in your mind, with no vocalization or moment of the mouth. You will need two mantrams to use together. One for the in-breath, & one for the out-breath. Their purpose is to express in brief compass, something of your essential relationship with the Cosmos.




"We are not evil. We don't harm or seduce people. We are not dangerous. We are ordinary people like you. We have families, jobs, hopes, and dreams. We are not a cult. This religion is not a joke. We are not what you think we are from looking at T.V. We are real. We laugh, we cry. We are serious. We have a sense of humor. You don't have to be afraid of us. We don't want to convert you. And please don't try to convert us. Just give us the same right we give you--to live in peace. We are much more similar to you than you think."Margot Adler

"If you take [a copy of] the Christian Bible and put it out in the wind and the rain, soon the paper on which the words are printed will disintegrate and the words will be gone. Our bible IS the wind and the rain." Herbalist Carol McGrath as told to her by a Native-American woman.

"I don't think witchcraft is a religion. I would hope the military officials would take a second look at the decision they made." G.W. Bush (R), as Governor of Texas. Interviewed on ABC's Good Morning America, 1999-JUN-24. He disapproved of Wiccan soldiers being given the same religious rights as others in the military.

"We should educate people that 'Witch' is not evil but ancient and positive. The first time I called myself a 'Witch' was the most magical moment of my life." Margot Adler.

"When one defines oneself as Pagan, it means she or he follows an earth or nature religion, one that sees the divine manifest in all creation. The cycles of nature are our holy days, the earth is our temple, its plants and creatures our partners and teachers. We worship a deity that is both male and female, a mother Goddess and father God, who together created all that is, was, or will be. We respect life, cherish the free will of sentient beings, and accept the sacredness of all creation." Edain McCoy

Satanism vs. Neo-Pagan Witchcraft

"Satanism vs. Neo-Pagan Witchcraft: Confusions and Distinctions"by Otter and Morning Glory Zell Editors, GREEN EGG magazine
It seems to be necessary to preface every discussion of Witchcraft with an explanation that, no, Neo-Pagan Witches aren't Satanists. The Christian anti-God, Satan, has no place in Pagan pantheons, either mythologically or theologically. Plainly and simply, to non-Christians, Satanism is the dark side of Christianity. Even today, Witchcraft is frequently misrepresented by being confused with Satanism. Often the word Witchcraft is used to represent two wholly opposite phenomena the survival of ancient Paganism in one instance, and the inversion of Christianity in another. Let us make it clear: a Satanist is a renegade Christian, who, in his rebellion against the authority of the church, worships Satan rather than Christ. Such people are at times called witches and warlocks in popular books and movies but they have little to do with Pagan Witches. Satanists, for one thing, accept the Christian duality between good and evil; Pagans do not. Satanists may choose to worship evil rather than good but they have utterly bought the Christian world view."
The word Pagan derives from the Latin paganus, meaning "peasant" or country dweller. It is correctly applied to indigenous (native) pantheistic folk religions and peoples. The term "Neo-Paganism" is applied to the modern re-emergence of ancient Pagan religious values, including the sacredness of all Life and the worship of Nature. Contemporary Witchcraft has been a major component of the Neo-Pagan resurgence since England repealed its anti-Witchcraft laws in 1951.

The Goddess and the God of Witchcraft

The many traditions of Neo-Pagan Witchcraft have few universal theological precepts, but one of them is certainly the veneration of the Moon Goddess, known most commonly by her Roman name, Diana. She is perceived as manifesting in triple form: as Maiden, Mother and Crone. These triple aspects are identified respectively with the waxing, full, and waning moons. Witches gather at esbats every full moon, to sing and dance in Her moonlight, share cakes and wine, and work magic to heal each other, their friends, and the Earth. Many modern Witches expand the concept of the Goddess considerably, and see Her also as Mother Earth and Mother Nature.P Most traditions of Neo-Pagan Witchcraft also honor the Consort of the Goddess in the form of the Horned God, who is seen as Lord of Animals as well as seasonal ruler of the Underworld. The most familiar version of the Horned God is the Greek Pan, goat-horned and goat-hoofed, playing His panpipes, guzzling wine from his freely-flowing wineskin, and seducing nymphs in the woods. He is regarded as lusty and jovial, epitomizing masculine attributes of ideal father, brother or lover. As the Goddess of Witchcraft is closely identified with the Moon, so the God is identified with the Sun. In this way he may been seen mythologically as the lover both of the Moon and of the Earth, and another of His many epithets is Lord of Light.
Every light casts its shadows, and the Lord of Shadows is the other face of the Lord of Light. The Lord of the Underworld is the title of the God in Winter when He goes underground with the animals to hibernate. Some traditions had Him alternate with His brother as husband to the eternal Goddess. Others, as in the Greek Hades, had a year-round God of the Shadows.

The Devil You Say!

It is essential to clarify the historic relationship of Pan and the Devil, as Christianity has tended to confuse the two, giving rise to the accusation that Pagans are Devil- worshippers because some Pagan gods have horns. Once and for all, the Christian Devil is not the God of the Witches! The genesis of the Devil comes from a merging of two concepts: Satan and Lucifer. The original meaning of the word satan is adversary, and his inclusion in the Bible represents an attempt by later apologists of the Old Testament to justify the more negative actions of a benevolent God (such as the persecution of Job) by attributing the actual dirty work to a testing spirit; the original "devil's advocate." This entity was not considered evil until after the Persian conquest of the Hebrews introduced them to the Zoroastrian dualism of Ahura-Mazda (the good God) vs. Ahriman (the evil God). This later manifested in Christianity as Manichean dualism. The Maintain equation was brutally simple: God=Good; Devil=Evil. But it was not until the year 447 CE that the Council of Toledo declared the legal existence of the Devil as an actual entity, though he was still not thought of as necessarily manifesting in human form.P The Lucifer story is a mish-mashed retelling of the Canaanite myth about the overthrow of Baal by Mot and the usurpation of Baal's throne by Athar, the God of the morning star. The original Hebrew name for Lucifer was helel ben shahar meaning "son of the day star" (the planet Venus). The name Lucifer ("light bearer"), a Romano- Etruscan title of the Sun God, was erroneously used when the Bible was first translated into Latin. Various Shadow Gods or Divine Adversaries contributed to the creation of the Devil, including the Canaanite Moloch or Mot, the Egyptian Set or Suteck and the Roman Saturn. The final touch was that they placed all Pagan gods and goddesses in an adversary position to Yahweh, the God of Israel. This is because Yahweh, as a monotheistic deity, considers jealousy to be a virtue rather than a vice. This is a profound cultural difference from Pagan pantheons and polytheistic peoples who co-existed together, whether or not in harmony. Also since unbridled sexuality, especially for females, was defined by Judeo- Christianity as evil, Pagan gods and goddesses who were especially sexual or sensual garnered the new sect's especial hatred. Pan and Dionysos were by no stretch of the imagination evil, adversary or even shadowy deities, but because of their riotous celebrations the Devil acquired Pan's horns and hooves and Dionysos' bibulous nature. This final equation of the Pagan Horned God with Satan was not established, however, until the year 1486, when the Dominicans Kramer and Sprenger published the Malleus Malificarum, or "Hammer of the Witches," wherein they gave the first physical description of the Devil as he is commonly depicted today, declaring that this was the God worshipped by those they wanted to call "Witches," and thereby justifying the centuries of terrible persecution inflicted on those who clung to the worship of the elder gods.P The Devil is quite a modern patchwork quilt of other people's ancient gods and spirits, but Christian apologists put the cart before the horse when they try to explain that all other Gods are just their Devil in disguise. This is a very erroneous and intolerant attitude. No less an authority than Jesus said: "By their fruits you shall know them." Pan is a noble and worthy god even if He is a bit wild and woolly; whatever else He is, He is not now nor ever was, the Devil.2

Witchcraft and Shamanism

Witches were the shamans, or medicine men and women, of the tribal Celtic peoples of Europe, and they functioned in precisely the same fashion as shamans of any other tribal culture, be it American Indians, Africans, or Australian Aborigines. In fact, and in time-honored tradition, shamans are still commonly referred to as "Witch Doctors." All shamans are specialists in herbal lore, and the Witches of Pagan Europe were no exception. Usually, but not exclusively, women, they practiced herbal medicine, midwifery, augury, spell casting, and counseling. Often dwelling alone out in the woods, Witches lived close to Nature, and attuned to Her cycles. Their gardens grew not only food, but also many kinds of herbs, including those valued for their medicinal, anesthetic and hallucinogenic properties. In a period of time when good Christian folk maintained only those domestic animals that could be considered "livestock" (i.e. useful to humans), Witches frequently kept wild animal pets: foxes, weasels, owls, ravens; and of course, the ubiquitous cats. Such became known, appropriately enough, as familiars. When Witches came to be persecuted, so did these familiar animals, and the brutal capture, torture and burning of millions of cats that accompanied the Witch burnings begat the horrible Black Plague that devastated Europe in the 14th century. For the cats had kept the rat populations under control, and it was rat fleas that were the carrier of the bubonic plague bacillus, pasteurella pestis.

Satanism: The Dark Side of Christianity

Satanism was not originally a religion itself, of course, as Satan exists only in the theology of Judeo-Christianity (and in Islam, too, as Shaitan), and there only as an opponent of Yahweh, the supreme God. According to Judeo-Christian mythology, Satan I(originally known as Lucifer, the light-bearer, greatest of the angels)/I had led a rebellion of a third of the angels against Yahweh, challenging Him for the Throne of Heaven. Lucifer was defeated, and was cast down with his followers into the underworld, where they all became demons and devils, their white-feathered wings and golden halos becoming bat-wings and horns. Not to mention the forked dragon tails. The underworld, according to Christianity, became a place of fiery torment for doomed souls, presided over by Satan, now the supreme Devil. Even the largely erroneous material circulated by File 18 and the Cult Crime Impact Network specifies the relationship of Christianity and

Satanism as thesis/antithesis:

"Christianity and Satanism are the two inseparable parts of the whole. You cannot believe in the existence of one without believing in the existence of the other. Satanists are not Anti-Believers in Christianity they are counter-believers. The cult of Satan was developed on the basis of the dualistic conception of Christianity. It is a collective protest movement with one-sided and exaggerated features which are the cause of its distorted and usually destructive behavior. At the same time, it can also be a creative force. It is a combination of the creativity and destructive behavior that is so appealing to followers. The drawing factor, over Christianity, is that 'anything goes.' There are no constraints in Satanism."

Contemporary Satanism has grown from such roots of rebellion and has put out many shoots. If you tell an adolescent child that the normal sexual urges of puberty are the inspiration of Satan, or indeed, that anything else you strongly disapprove of is "of the Devil," then you can hardly be surprised if normal adolescent hormonal rebellion takes a Satanic overtone. Anton LeVey of the Church of Satan and later Michael Aquino of the Temple of Set have basically capitalized on the idea that human nature will emerge and if this is defined as Evil then so be it. The '60s and '70s saw numerous Satanic splinter groups such as The Process Church emerge with a similar message.

Periodic reports of isolated Satanic groups can be more of a danger. Most seem to be groups of teenagers who were experimenting with the occult and, lacking any instruction or connections with the more harmless public groups, created their own brand of homegrown Satanism out of various books on black magic practices available from bookstores. This variety of Satanism is fueled by the powerful adrenaline rush of Heavy Metal music, liberally laced with sado-masochistic sex and heavy drug use. Their modern mythology and primary source of inspiration comes from the overwhelming flood of mass media horror movies of the genre of "Rosemary's Baby" and "The Exorcist." Recent titles like "The Cult," "The Believers," "Omen," "Damian," "Bride of Satan," etc, are readily available from any video store in the country.

This variety of Satanist becomes known to authorities usually when they are caught desecrating graveyards or churches, or from complaints lodged by parents of members. These kinds of groups have actually been prosecuted and convicted for criminal activities up to and including rape and murder. Though they are not connected geographically they do have a common set of symbols such as inverted crosses, inverted pentagrams, the number 666 and so on. This is simply because most of their imagery is an amalgam of readily available mass media sensationalism composed of Heavy Metal subculture from groups like Motley Crue and Black Sabbath and the ubiquitous "Devil Cult" movies. When major established religions preach that the end of the world from a nuclear holocaust is part of God's plan for salvation, it should not be surprising that the resulting fear and sense of despair of "Youth deprived of a Future" should occasionally take on such a twisted form of "eat, drink and make merry..." Similar attitudes gave birth to Satanism originally during the time of the Dark Ages with the onset of the Black Death and the resultant economic chaos in Europe. What we need to understand about this phenomenon is that such "... small ephemeral Satanic groups, most consisting primarily of young adults and/or teenagers, some led by psychopaths and/or sociopaths continue to come and go. While they pose no threat to the larger society, they do pose an immediate danger to those involved in them and are frequently involved in criminal activity, from dealing in drugs to rape and murder."

Adult Survivors

"However, beginning in the 1980's, a new and different set of reports on Satanism began to appear. Possibly the first to receive any public notice was that of Michelle Smith which appeared in a book [Michelle Remembers, Congdon Lattes, NY, 1980] written by Michelle and her psychiatrist, Dr. Lawrence Pazder. Michelle Smith had gone to Dr. Pazder seeking help with her continued emotional distress following a miscarriage and a recurrent nightmare. In the course of these sessions she gradually told a story of her having been involved in a Satanic cult in Vancouver, B.C., as a five-year-old child in 1954-55. The events described were not a part of her conscious memory prior to the sessions with Dr. Pazder. As the story unfolded she told of her mother being forced to surrender her for a ritual, the Feast of the Beast, and of her forced participation in the group for over a year, during which time the group tried unsuccessfully to convert her to their beliefs and practices. Though attempts were made to uncover independent evidence of the existence of the group, none could be found." Soon after Michelle's book appeared, The National Enquirer published a questionable account of a woman who also claimed to have been raised in a devil cult and prepared for marriage to Satan. The account took all the elements from the Michelle story including the ritual calendar. Since that time, similar accounts have popped up all over the country. Perhaps there are such cruel underground generational Satanists; child abuse is clearly a reality and often twisted religious beliefs do play a part in it. But it is the abuse that we should focus our attention on, not the legitimate practice of any religion, regardless of its orthodoxy.

Satanism and Non-Christians

It should be clear from the above that people who have no belief in Christianity (i.e., Pagans, Buddhists, Hindus, etc.) cannot be Satanists, since the two faiths, Satanism and Christianity, are inseparable mirror images of each other, each dependent on the other for its justification and existence. Thus Satanists use the inverted cross to symbolize their complete reversal of everything Christianity stands for. Interestingly, many contemporary Satanists also use the inverted pentagram, symbolizing as well their complete reversal of everything Witches stand for, as the right-side-up pentagram is the universal symbol of Neo-Pagan Witchcraft.
Nor are Neo-Pagans the least bit interested in the Christian or Islamic Satan / Shaitan figure with whom the fundamentalists are so obsessed. One has to be a Christian or a Moslem to believe in this "God of Evil," and frankly, the whole concept seems silly to the average Neo- Pagan. Genuine Satanists fall into four overlapping categories: fundamentalist Christians and Moslems themselves, who are constantly talking about "Satan's" power and influence; Conservative Orthodox Satanists, who are right-wing racists looking for metaphysical excuses to behave the way they would anyway; Liberal Heterodox or Punk Satanists, who are kids doing it to annoy their parents; and what journalist Paul Sulin calls "the Sincere Sociopaths:" folks who are crazy to begin with, believe that they are evil (often as a result of growing up in abusive families), and who then latch onto the prime Western image of Evil and proceed to enact the sick fantasies that the fundamentalists have created. All of these people are stuck in the standard dualism of conservative monotheism.
Neo-Pagans are interested in worshipping Nature and the gods and goddesses of the "Old Religions" not the tired, old abortion of monotheistic dualism. The Pagan deities were ancient long before the monotheistic religions were even founded; the Horned God of the Wildwood was worshipped by our Pagan ancestors for tens of thousands of years before the Christian church invented "The Devil." Christians are welcome to their creation; Pagans will stick with Mother Nature's.

The Burning Times

It is truly ironic that, though it is the practitioners of Witchcraft who have historically suffered real abuse and persecution, the Witch has somehow continued to be misrepresented as the villain. Christianity did not become the world's dominant religion by peaceful conversion, but by the sword and stake. As the legions of Caesar had forged the Roman Empire over the dead bodies of countless tribal peoples of Europe, so did its heir, the Holy Roman Empire, continue the tradition. Declaring them "heresies," agents of the Holy Inquisition hunted out and ruthlessly exterminated every religion, sect or tradition that would not convert to "The One True Right And Only Way." Witches, however, lived outside of any organized religious structure, and were largely ignored until the 13th century, when the Church had finally gained enough power to deal with grass-roots Paganism.

"In the 13th century the Church opened its long-drawn- out conflict with Paganism in Europe by declaring 'Witchcraft' to be a 'sect' and heretical. It was not until the 14th century that the two religions came to grips... In 1324 the bishop of Ossory tried Dame Alice Kyteler in his ecclesiastical court for the crime of worshipping a deity other than the Christian God...
"The 15th century marks the first great victories of the Church. Beginning with the trials in Lorraine in 1408 the Church moved triumphantly against Joan of Arc and her followers in 1431, against Gilles de Rais and his coven in 1440, against the Witches of Brescia in 1457. Towards the end of the century the Christian power was so well- established that the Church felt the time had come for an organized attack, and in 1484 pope Innocent VIII published his Bull against 'Witches.' All through the 16th and 17th centuries the battle raged. The Pagans fought a gallant, though losing, fight against a remorseless and unscrupulous enemy; every inch of the field was disputed, but the Christian policy of obtaining influence over the rulers and law-givers was irresistible. Vae victis [Woe to the conquered] was also the policy of the Christians, and we see the priests of the Papacy gloating over the thousands they had consigned to the flames while the ministers of the Reformed Churches hounded on the administrators of the law to condemn the 'devil worshippers.' What can have been the feelings with which those unhappy victims regarded the vaunted God of Love, the Prince of Peace, whose votaries condemned them to torture and death? What wonder that they clung to their old faith, and died in agony unspeakable rather than deny their God."

It should also be pointed out that the court recorders at the Witch trials were specifically instructed that, whatever gods or goddesses the accused actually claimed to worship, what went into the record was "Satan," or "The Devil." And what wonder if some of those who had come to believe the Biblical history taught them by the missionaries, monks and priests of the conquering faith, concluded that the story must have gotten it wrong somehow? That if there had indeed been a rebellion in heaven, it was clearly evident that the winner had not been the God of love and peace, as his propagandists claimed, but rather a God of cruelty and evil; of war and violence, wrath and jealousy. (This had, in fact, been an old Gnostic tradition.) The clear implication was that the defeated Lucifer must have been the good guy, and surely many must have swarmed to his allegiance in this belief. While, of course, true adherents of the Old Religions certainly knew better, and continued their faith entirely distinct from Christianity, there were surely, then as now, many ignorant people who were simply too unsophisticated or too illiterate to question the Christian paradigm once it became established. And thus did Satanism as a belief and a practice come into being, spawned by the Church, and forever to be locked together with it in a fatal embrace of mutual antagonism. Whether or not the persecuted peasantry who came to side with Satan against their oppressors thought of themselves as "Witches," the Church and the authorities of the Holy Inquisition certainly identified them as such:
"The heart and center of the persecution of Witches was that they were Satanists, that they had rejected the rightful God and given their allegiance to his arch- opponent, and that in their 'sabbaths' or meetings they worshipped the ruler of evil, carnality and filth. Some of those accused as Witches do seem to have taken the Devil for their god, worshipping him as an equal opponent of the Christian God, over whom he would eventually triumph. They looked to Satan for power and pleasure in this world and for a happy future in the next, and they vilified Christ as a traitor and a cheat, who had made promises which he did not keep, and who had gone away to live in heaven while Satan remained with his faithful on earth."
"The Witches and sorcerers of early times were a widely spread class who had retained the beliefs and traditions of heathenism with all its license and romance and charm of the forbidden. . . in their ranks every one who was oppressed or injured either by the nobility or the church. They were treated with indescribable cruelty, in most cases worse than beasts of burden, for they were outraged in all their feelings, not at intervals for punishment, but habitually by custom, and they revenged themselves by secret orgies and fancied devil-worship, and occult ties, and stupendous sins, or what they fancied were such. I can seriously conceive what no writer seems to have considered that there must have been an immense satisfaction in selling or giving one's self to the devil, or to any power which was at war with their oppressors. So they went by night, at the full moon, and sacrificed to Diana, or 'later on' to Satan, and they danced and rebelled. It is very well worth noting that we have all our accounts of sorcerers and heretics from Catholic priests, who had every earthly reason for misrepresenting them, and did so. In the vast amount of ancient Witchcraft still surviving in Italy, there is not much anti-Christianity, but a great deal of early heathenism. Diana, not Satan, is still the real head of the Witches."

The Baby-Stealers Myth

The public justifications for these persecutions were based on a most remarkable myth, pervasive throughout European history from the second century CE. The myth, or fantasy as historian Norman Cohn labels it, postulated the existence, somewhere in the midst of the larger society, of "another society, small and clandestine, which not only threatened the existence of the great society, but was also addicted to practices which were felt to be wholly abominable, in the liter sense of anti-human." 9

J. Gordon Melton of the Institute for the Study of American Religion explains that "though the myth first appeared in the second century as a polemic against the Christians, it had its antecedents in earlier anti-Jewish polemics. Jews were accused of worshipping a donkey- headed god and of keeping gentiles prisoner in the temple in Jerusalem for the purpose of sacrifice. However, in the second century, the Christians were accused not only of worshipping a donkey's head, but of revering the genitals of their priests, sacrificing and devouring the blood of babies, and a wide variety of perverted sexuality. "The existence of this myth, which had its last major appearance in Nazi Germany, where it was used against the Jews, provides a framework for a discussion of the most recent accusations concerning contemporary Satanism." 10
One wonders what would be the commonly held "facts" about Judaism if Hitler had been as successful in his efforts against the Jews as the Medieval Church was in its eradication of Pagan Witchcraft. But you don't have to have lived in Nazi Germany to have heard the vicious propaganda that Jews kidnap unbaptized Christian babies and grind them up into Matzoh balls. And before the Jews, it was the Gypsies who were the purported child-stealers. During the Witch-hunting hysteria previously mentioned, these same accusations were leveled at Witches. Today, continues Melton, "as currently hypothesized by the advocates of the theories on contemporary Satanism, there exists a network, national, if not international in scope, of small groups of Satanists. These Satanists, financed by wealthy sexual perverts and sociopaths, practice the most barbaric and inhumane rituals which involve widespread torture, murder, the sexual abuse of children, the mutilation of animals, and even cannibalism." 11
The myth that an easily-targeted group of relatively defenseless people are engaged in the stealing, torture, ritual sacrifice and cannibalism of innocent children has proven throughout history to be quite sufficient to engender public support for a campaign of extermination directed against the accused. In the case of this current Witch-hunt, extensive police investigation over the past decade has failed to corroborate the existence of an actual Satanic conspiracy. In those cases of ritual child abuse that have actually come to court, the vast majority have involved Christian clergy: "Hundreds of children molested by Catholic priests in the United States during the past five years have suffered severe emotional trauma, say parents, psychologists, police officers and attorneys involved in the cases." 12
"The Roman Catholic Church in the United States has been forced to pay millions of dollars in damages to families who contend that their children have been sexually abused by priests. In spite of that, the problem has grown so severe that many lawyers and victims say the church ignores and covers up such cases." 13

The few cases of child abuse involving "Satanic elements" that have been tried have not revealed any organized Satanic cult, but rather a handful of sick and demented individuals claiming they committed their crimes because "the Devil made me do it." If such a conspiracy exists, it will remain to be uncovered by the police; hopefully in cooperation with the people who have come forward as spokespersons for the survivors of actual cases of Satanic Ritual Abuse.
The actual Satanic abuse statistics, however, do not support the requirements of the new Witch-hunters, who, in order to whip up the kind of public hysteria that can give them power and credibility, must point their fingers at an identifiable and accessible scapegoat. Thus they have chosen, once again, to lay their myth of child-stealing and ritual human sacrifice at the feet of the Witches. By continually identifying Witchcraft with Satanism, these current Inquisitors hope to justify and validate their cause. For there are well over 100,000 practicing Neo-Pagan Witches in America today, according to such genuine authorities as Margot Adler. 14
Many Witches are highly visible in their communities: they publish books, magazines and directories; operate stores; conduct public rituals; give classes, workshops, interviews and lectures; and appear on local radio and television programs. Since Witchcraft is still little understood by the general public, who are frequently unable or unwilling to look deeper than the vast smoke screen of misinformation promulgated by churches, movies and popular fiction, Witches are easy and visible targets for persecution. It must be remembered that, in the previous episodes of Witchcraft persecution hysteria, it was the Witches who were the victims, not the Christians.

Witches, and those conveniently accused of being Witches, died by the millions during the terrible centuries of the holocaust they remember as "The Burning Times." They have no wish to repeat that experience today. The Aquarian Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1973 with the motto: "Never Again the Burning!"

Notes and References:
It is not the purpose of this article to determine the validity or extent of actual ritual child abuse or contemporary Satanism. The interested reader is referred to the quoted 13-page paper by J. Gordon Melton, which covers these topics in depth.
1. Jong, Erica, Witches (New American Library, New York, 1981) p. 52
2. Zell, Morning Glory, "The Lord of Light," Green Egg, Vol. XXI, No. 82; Aug. 1, 1988 (POB 1542, Ukiah, CA 95482) p. 12
3. "Dynamics of Counter Religions" (The Cult Crime Impact Network, 222 N. Latah St., Boise, ID 83706, 1985)
4. Melton, J. Gordon, "The Evidence of Satan in Contemporary America: A Survey;" a paper presented at the meeting of the Pacific Division of the American Philosophical Association, Los Angeles, March 27-29, 1986. (Available from the Institute for the Study of American Religion, POB 90709, Santa Barbara, CA 93190) pp. 7-8
5. Ibid. p. 11
6. Murray, Margaret, The God of the Witches (Oxford University Press, New York, 1931) pp. 21-22
7. Cavendish, Richard, "Satanism," Encyclopedia of Man, Myth and Magic, Vol. 18 (Marshall Cavendish, New York, 1970) p. 2479
8. Leland, Charles Godfrey, Legends of Florence, (David Nutt, London, 1896)
9. Cohn, Norman, Europe's Inner Demons, (Meridian, New York, 1977) p. xiii
10. Melton, ref. cit., p. 1
11. Ibid.
12. Akron Beacon Journal, Jan. 3, 1988
13. The Miami Herald, Jan. 3, 1988. See also Shadowcraft, Ammond, "Molesting Ministers and Pedophiliac Priests: Child Sexual Abuse by Christian Clergy," Green Egg, vol. XXI, no. 84; Feb. 1, 1988, pp. 18- 20 ($5 postpaid from POB 1542, Ukiah, CA 95482)
14. Adler, Margot, Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers and Other Pagans in America Today, revised and expanded edition (Beacon Press, Boston, 1986) p. 418
Copyright © 1995, Church of All WorldsThis Article was last updated on 21 December, 1995

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sacred Space and the Circle

Sacred Space and the Circle

If you enter the heart of the teachings of witchcraft, at the core you will find the power
of sacred space. When I started, “sacred space” was just words in a ritual. No one really
explained the true meaning of that term to me. “Sacred space” was just a buzzword.
But as I kept saying it as a part of the rituals, I learned. Eventually, the layers of the mystery
were revealed to me. I finally understood what sacred space was all about.

Looking back on it, it seems so obvious, but the teachings I initially received didn't
emphasize the sacred aspects of the craft. Everyone around me was so afraid of using
the word “religion” or “spirituality”; so much was kept to the technical and philosophical.
And at the time, that's what I needed. My emphasis wasn't on the sacred. Now, in
my own teachings, I have a hard time divorcing myself from talking about the spiritual
path of witchcraft, because it is all part of what led me to my spiritual path. At the moment,
if you are like I was, you might not appreciate this. In fact, I can describe it at
length and with my own personal stories and meanings, but until you seek spirituality
out and start to experience it yourself, my words are meaningless.

I've contemplated not sharing these things, but letting my students figure it out for
themselves, as I did. I decided not to for one simple reason. For many people, the craft
of the witch becomes so focused on spellwork or memorizing rituals that even the
concept of the greater meanings and mysteries never cross their minds. The possibility
is not contemplated and explored because, for so many, it is unknown. Students will
still have to figure it out on their own, truly, because it must experienced.

All I hope to do is plant a small seed of awareness, and give you the means to be
your own gardener, the means to care for and nurture that seed. You can always
choose to grow something else. You can save the seed of truly understanding sacred
space for a later time, like I did. Or, you can grow it and make it flourish right now.
The choice is up to you.

Perfect Love and Perfect Trust
Sacred space is simply honoring the sacredness, the divinity, found in all things everywhere.
Through the ritual of the witch's circle, we mark a territory, a circle that can be
out in nature or in our bedroom, and recognize its sacredness. We acknowledge that
this space exists not only in the physical, but also in all worlds, and opens the doorway
between the worlds, to be in conscious communion with the sacredness on all levels of
reality. Our temple is said to stand not in any one world, but between the worlds, and
in all worlds. In our sacred space, there is no separation. Through it we partner with all
that is seen and unseen, through perfect love and perfect trust.

“Perfect love and perfect trust” were other buzzwords I heard in circle. Some traditions
used them. Others didn't. But no one really explained to me what these important
words meant, other than saying “sacred space” or “love and trust.” I knew the
“perfect” was a big key to this mystery, but at the time, I was focused on the Moon,
and picking the right time to do my spells, rather than really understanding what I was
saying. I was told to say “perfect love and perfect trust,” so I did, but didn't know why
and didn't really dwell on it.

Only once I ventured out of my safe world of Wicca did I really come to understand
these five important words. I developed a very eclectic view of the witch, looking
to all traditions, not just Celtic. I studied shamanism, energy healing, Kabalah,
yoga, reiki, flower essences, and herbs, purposely looking outside the pagan view.
Witchcraft became a vast umbrella for all these disciplines, since its philosophies gave
me a great grounding that I noticed many in the “New Age” world didn't have. As the
craft of the wise, I saw all these disciplines as part of witchcraft, though I soon found
out many did not.

Through this exploration of new techniques and philosophies, I found a common
thread: unconditional love. I wasn't big on the word “love.” I thought it misused. So
many people say the word “love” but never really back it up with any meaning or intent.
As a songwriter, I thought of all the trite songs using the word “love,” and how it
has lost its value. So I avoided the word in my creative work. Even in my Witchcraft I
class experience, I thought of self-love as self-confidence, assurance, and esteem. But
here the word “love” kept on popping up. I thought these New Age practices a holdover
from the 1960s, with vague concepts of free love and spiritual love, and started to question
if I was learning anything of real value. Then I felt the love.

Through various meditation workshops, one in particular about awakening the
heart chakra to unconditional love, I really felt it. I really awakened it. Like all things, I
entered a skeptic, but from the first moment, I felt heaviness in my chest. As the day
went on, it melted away and I left the weekend course dazzling, light, and with an
open heart. Not only did I feel this nebulous unconditional love coursing through me,
I had a sense that I am the love, too. Everyone is.

While reflecting on that experience in my Book of Shadows journal, I skimmed
through my notes and realized that the first time I felt this type of love was in the
witch's circle. It wasn't the same because I was not taught to really focus on it as a
witch. In the workshop, that was the purpose of the entire weekend. But it was present
in the first magickal circle, even if I had my eyes closed to it. I traced the teaching
of this unconditional love back, and the start of my personal thread was in witchcraft
classes, through perfect love and perfect trust.

Slowly on the intellectual level, I began to distinguish the difference between what
my society had been calling love, what I would later call personal love, and what the
mystics call unconditional love. Witches call it perfect love. Unconditional love is just
that: perfect, unattached, without limits and restraints. This love simply is, and to me
it is the binding force of the universe. In the ITOW, we covered the Hermetic principle
called the Principle of Mentalism, stating “We are all thoughts in the divine mind,”
meaning we are all part of a greater whole. I wish there was another principle stating
we are all pulses within the divine heart, because it is through this heart we truly feel
the unity, even though the mind can intellectually know it. With unconditional love,
you are loved simply because you exist. You are love.

With personal love, that is our relationship love, be it familial, romantic, or friendship.
There are often conditions to it and it sometimes seems to come with a struggle.
The dichotomy between unconditional love and personal love, what mainstream society
simply refers to both as love, pushed me to avoid the concept altogether. Unfortunately,
English often lacks the subtleties of other languages, particularly on the spiritual
concepts. Many other languages have separate words for differing kinds of love.
Perfect trust is a divine sense of knowing and security with the creative spirit, the
Goddess and God. We work actively to partner with the divine ones, through our magick
and meditations, realizing that we are all part of that divine mind. But when things
seem confusing, when our guidance isn't clear, when our magick isn't working as we
planned, and when we are suffering tragedy, we have a trust in the divine through our
knowing of being unconditionally loved. It isn't logical or rational, but when we truly
experience and know it, no personal challenge will ever be viewed the same way again.
Perfect trust runs both ways. As we have it through this unconditional love for the
divine, we know the Goddess and God have it for us. They trust us to fulfill our parts
of the pattern. We have infinite choices and freedom as to how we serve the large pattern
and fulfill our parts, but we trust that all actions can serve the greater spiraling
pattern of the universe.

Through practicing the rituals of perfect love and perfect trust, through creating
sacred space, we grow in our sense of connection and love. Even if we don't initially
feel it, it is there, growing and expanding in our awareness, until we are ready. We best
manifest our desires, our magick, through truly feeling our connection to the Goddess,
the God, and all the universe. We connect and create sacred space through the perfect
love and perfect trust the divine has for us, and we have for them. If everything is sacred,
all the time, and we simply do our rituals to open the door to a partnership with
the sacred, everything is therefore filled with this unconditional love, this perfect love
and perfect trust. All we have to do is open our eyes to it, in and out of our rituals.
The challenge we have, as those walking the spiritual path of witchcraft, is to inject
more and more perfect love and perfect trust, or sacredness, to all thoughts and actions
in our life, bringing it to every relationship and exchange. No small feat to accomplish,
but this is the path of enlightenment, taken one step at a time. As overused as the say-
ing may be, it truly is the journey, and not the destination, when walking the witch's

The most important lesson I've learned in applying perfect love and perfect trust to
the world is that unconditional love doesn't mean unconditional relationships. You can
hold a sacred love for someone in your heart, and honor that person as a living being,
as a spiritual soul, but you can draw a boundary for your own health and well-being.
Unconditional love doesn't mean you encourage others to walk all over you and hurt
you. As the witch's circle casts a boundary of sacred space, I think it is an important reminder
that we, too, while in the physical plane, have appropriate boundaries of our
own space, health, and well-being.

Return to the Inner Temple
Before we go forward in our work, we should reflect on the inner temple. In ITOW,
the lessons focused on finding a sacred space within yourself, on the inner planes of reality.
Only through finding the sacredness on the unseen planes can you truly open the
doorways between worlds and create a temple of sacred space intersecting with the
physical world through the rituals of witchcraft.

A key lesson of this previous work was to gain the discipline to enter a meditative
state, a level of altered consciousness where you can perceive energy more easily and direct
it with your will. In the ritual state, you will not go as deep as in meditative, but understanding
how to enter both levels of consciousness, easily at anytime, is a measure of
a truly well-trained witch. Laurie Cabot used to say to my class that you should be able
to enter alpha state while riding a crowded subway train. I don't recommend it, since
that might blind you to the dangers of urban travel, but in theory, you should be able to
do it.

The discipline aspect bothers some students. Feeling witchcraft is light, spacy, and
free, they don't understand the need for discipline. Discipline is one aspect of the craft,
but an important one. It is the earthy foundation upon which all other free and ecstatic
practices are built. It is easy to get distracted, physically or magickally, and proper
discipline lets us keep our focus clear regardless of distractions or surprises.
When in the sacred space, all thoughts become thoughts of creation. Without
mental discipline, you might create something you don't want. There are all sorts of
precautions built into the rituals for this reason, but the best precaution is self-awareness.
When I first started in Wicca, I was untrained in my first circle. Although it was
a very magickal experience on all levels, I couldn't help but have distracting thoughts:
“Is this real? I feel silly wearing a robe. Wow, the Moon came out from behind the
clouds when she called it.”

I even had thoughts from my previous years of Catholicism, thinking, “Uh oh, perhaps
I was wrong about this witchcraft thing. Perhaps God is mad at me for this and
we are going to Hell.” Not the best thoughts to be having in a sacred space, but perfectly
understandable. I had them flash in my mind, and hear many first-time witches
feel the same thing, but feel embarrassed to admit it. Thankfully none of us created
from those thoughts, but the circle space can intensify all feelings. Some people feel
overwhelmed in the sacred space. They are usually people who are undisciplined or
ungrounded in themselves and their own self-image and self-esteem. Such energy can
be overwhelming even to one fully aware, depending on the ritual.

The key to fully integrate into the sacred space and be open to the most magickal
of experiences is the ability to clear the mind, enter an altered state, and tune into the
sacred energies within you and the circle, to bring balance and harmony. Some people
can do it naturally without any training, but the best way I've found to teach it to others
is to learn the discipline of meditation.

Altered States
To work magick and meditation, you must be able to enter an altered state, often
called gnosis. In magick, an altered state is any level of brain activity that is different
from normal waking activity that helps you process energy, will, and intuition.
Our states of consciousness are based on brain wave activity. The four states we are
more concerned about are beta, alpha, theta, and delta. Beta is normal waking consciousness,
at thirteen to sixteen hertz, or cycles, per second. Alpha is the magickal
state most people talk about, a light meditative state clocking in at eight to thirteen cycles
per second. When we visualize creatively, daydream, meditate, and enter a light
hypnotic state, we are in alpha. Theta is a deeper state, ranging from four to eight
hertz. The lowest state is delta, at four or less hertz.

Alpha is the state we are most involved in for this book. Light states of alpha are
called ritual consciousness. You must be open and aware to energy and intuition, but
not so deep that you are immobile. During rituals you still need to speak, light candles,
read spells, and perform other actions. In group rituals, you need to be aware of silent
cues and group dynamics while still maintaining your magickal awareness. On the
deeper levels of alpha, moving toward theta, we enter a more immobile, deeper awareness,
tuning into the inner planes. Some totally block out the physical world, while others
are true walkers between the worlds, aware of both the inner reality and outer
world simultaneously. I've had both experiences, depending on my own times of personal
power and awareness. Neither is better than the other, as long as it works for you.
Learn this technique to enter a meditative state. Use only the first countdown
when needing to enter ritual consciousness. Do the complete countdown for deeper
meditation and journeying.


Entering an Altered State
1. Get into a comfortable position. If you are going into an inner meditative
experience, make sure you are sitting comfortably, either feet flat on the
floor, or cross-legged on the floor. If you are getting into ritual consciousness,
simply stand with feet apart to give you balance and support.

2. Take a few deep breaths and relax your body. Bring your awareness to the
top of your body, starting at the head, and give yourself permission to
relax. As you breathe, release the tension. Move from your head and neck
into the shoulders and arms. Relax and feel all the tension melt away. Relax
your chest and back. Feel waves of relaxation move down your spine. Relax
your abdomen, lower back, and hips. Relax your legs down to your ankles
and feet. Feel the waves of relaxation sweep all that doesn't serve your
highest good out through your fingers and toes, grounding and neutralizing
this unwanted energy into the Earth, transforming it like the earth
turns fallen leaves into new soil.

3. Relax your mind. Release any unwanted thoughts and worries as you exhale.
Relax your heart and open it to the love of the Goddess and God.
Relax your soul and follow your inner light, guidance, and protection.

4. Visualize a giant screen before you, like a blackboard or movie screen. This
is the screen of your mind, or what is called your mind's eye. Whenever you
visualize or recall anything, remember a person's face or anything else, you
project it onto this screen. Anything you desire will appear on the screen.

5. On the screen of your mind, visualize a series of numbers, counting down
from 12 to 1. With each number, you get into a deeper meditative state.

The numbers can be any color you desire, drawn as if writing them, or appearing

Now visualize 12, see the number 12 on your screen, 12.
11, see the number 11 on your screen, 11.
10, see the number 10 on your screen, 10.
9, see the number 9 on your screen, 9.
8, see the number 8 on your screen, 8.
7, see the number 7 on your screen, 7.
6, see the number 6 on your screen, 6.
5, see the number 5 on your screen, 5.
4, see the number 4 on your screen, 4.
3, see the number 3 on your screen, 3.
2, see the number 2 on your screen, 2.
1, see the number 1 on your screen, 1.

6. You are at your ritual consciousness. Everything done at this level is for
your highest good, harming none.

7. You are now counting down to a deeper, more focused meditative state.
Count backward from 13 to 1, but do not visualize the numbers this time.
Let the numbers gently take you down. 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

You are now at your deepest meditative state, your magickal mindset, in
complete control of your magickal abilities. Say to yourself,
“I ask the Goddess and God to protect and guide me in this meditation.”

8. From this point, you can continue on to other exercises and experiences, or
meditate at this level for a bit and bring yourself up, counting from 1 to 13
and then 1 to 12. Gently start to wiggle your fingers and toes, and slowly
move to bring your awareness back to the physical.

9. Take both hands and raise them up over your head, palms facing your
crown. Slowly bring them down over your forehead, face, throat, chest, abdomen,
and then groin, and “push out” with your palms facing away from
you. This gives you clearance and balance, releasing any harmful or unwanted
energies you might pick up during your magickal experiences. Tell

“I give myself clearance and balance. I am in balance with myself. I am in
balance with the universe. I release all that does not serve me.”

10. Ground yourself as needed. You can ground yourself back into the physical
state by pressing your hands down onto the floor and releasing excess energy
to the Earth. You can also visualize your feet and toes as roots digging
deep into the earth. When all else fails, activate your digestive system by
drinking a full glass of water or eating something can bring your energy
back to your body.

The following meditation is the most important experience from ITOW. Called the
Inner Temple meditation, it is to help a witch find the sacred within her- or himself. If
you have already experienced this or a similar meditation, try it again. Visiting your
own inner sacred space regularly is an important part of the practice of witchcraft.

The Inner Temple

1. Start Exercise 1: Entering an Altered State to get into your meditative mindstate.

2. In your mind's eye, visualize the great World Tree, a gigantic tree reaching up
to the heavens and deep below the earth, larger than any tree you have ever
seen. It is a sacred tree and you may recognize it as oak, ash, pine, willow, or
any other tree that has meaning for you. If you don't visualize anything, sense
the tree with your other psychic senses. Hear the wind through its branches.
Smell the earth where its roots dig in. Feel the texture of the bark. Simply
know the tree is there and it will be. The tree is ever present and everywhere.

3. Imagine the screen of your mind's eye is like a window or doorway, a portal
you can easily pass through. Step through the screen and stand before the
World Tree. Look up and feel its power. Touch the tree and place in it the intention
of visiting your inner temple.

4. Look around the base of the giant tree, in the roots, and search for a passageway.
It may be a hole or tunnel, or even a pool of water that gives you
entry into the tree. As you enter, you find yourself in a tunnel, winding and
spiraling to your inner temple.

5. At the end of the tunnel you see a light, and you move toward that light and
step out into your inner temple. Look around. Take stock of all you see. Notice
all the fine details of your sacred space. Let the images come to you.
The inner temple can be a place you have visited in the physical world, or an
amalgam of sacred sites and shrines from your deepest inner knowing.

6. Explore your inner temple. You will find a variety of sacred objects for your
use. Usually there is a reflective surface, such as a mirror or pool of water for
gazing. Gardens, plants, altars, crystals, and a variety of tools will be found.
Gateways leading to other energies and levels of consciousness can also be
found. Your inner temple is like your launching pad for deeper journeys.

7. If there is anything about your temple you do not like, you can change it
now by doing some inner spiritual decorating. Your temple will reflect your
own inner being. Usually it responds to your will, and reflects your state of
inner awareness. If something will not change, it is usually a message that
you need to change something in your physical life to make the inner
change a reality.

Excerpt from the Book Outer Temple of Witchcraft by Christopher penczak

Ask a Witch

Ask a Witch

What is a witch? What is witchcraft? These two questions don?t have easy answers. The word witch is a very emotionally charged word, bringing up conflicting images across the centuries. It is hard to understand which image, if any, is correct.

For most of the Western world, the word witch evokes the villain of many fairy tales. We watch the old hag giving the poisoned apple, brewing harmful potions, eating children, and casting curses. At Halloween, stores sell decorations of witches, old ugly women with green faces and pointed hats riding around on broomsticks. Although these are familiar portraits, they are not the first. Because of humanity?s fear of that which is different and mysterious, the witch was resigned to the world of children?s stories, to make the folk stories of witchcraft impotent from the realm of make-believe. If only children believed in witches, then the power of the witch would no longer be a reality, but a fantasy. Unfortunately, fictionalizing witchcraft was not the only way humankind dealt with its fear.

If you turn back a few hundred years, you can see the word witch all across the records of one of Europe?s greatest holocausts, the witch trials. Men and women were persecuted and killed for being different. Some call it the Burning Times, because many were put to death by fire, burnt at the stake. Typically, history books gloss over this particular bit of history, but it is every bit a part of us, as relevant to our modern cultures as wars of conquest.

At the top of the list of victims were those accused of practicing witchcraft. The ruling powers of the time had their own ideas about witchcraft, spreading stories of black masses, sacrifice, and contracts in blood signing souls over to the Devil. These stories are the roots of the children?s fairy tales. The vast majority of the condemned were not practicing ?true? witchcraft. Some held the teachings of the wise women and cunning men of the tribes, a knowledge of healing herbs, remedies, midwiving, and simple charms. We call such skills old wives? tales, but they have endured because there is truth to them. We don?t know how many of the accused and condemned were actually practicing what is now called the Old Religion, the way of the witch.

If you turn back even further, to cultures whose histories were not often written down, you find a different kind of witch. This witch was not shrouded in the darkness of fear and fairy tales, but in the darkness and light of the Goddess. This witch was revered as a healer, teacher, leader, and wise one. The image of the witch inspired the same reverence that a priest or minister does now in modern culture, for the ancestors of modern witchcraft were the priestesses and priests, the seers and advisors living a spiritual life by tuning into the forces of nature, the tides of the seasons, and the cycles of the Moon. They held a kinship with the plants and animals and, in essence, all life. Their teaching and histories were kept in the oral tradition, holding the myths and magick of the culture.

Modern witches focus on this particular root in the witchcraft tree. Those claiming the name and title of witch are truly reclaiming and building on the image of the witch from these ancient days. If you really want to know what the words witch and witchcraft mean as we move into the next century, look at the growing movement of modern witches.

If you ask a witch what he or she means by the word, you will get as many definitions as there are witches. And yes, witches can be both women and men. I?m a man and identify myself as a witch. Male witches are not called warlocks. The word warlock can be traced from Scottish, Old English, Germanic, and Indo-European roots and is now generally regarded to mean ?deceiver? or ?oath breaker? to those involved in the craft. Such a title was probably associated with witchcraft by those who wanted to defame the practice.

When I began my journey into this wonderful world, I was taught that the root of the word wic, or wicca, means ?wise,? for witches were the keepers of the wisdom, evolving into the images of wise women and wizardly men. Another definition was ?to bend and shape,? meaning those who practiced witchcraft could bend and shape the natural forces to do their bidding, to make magick. The word witch is actually considered to be Anglo-Saxon in origin, and some feel that only those who are practicing European traditions, or more specifically Celtic, Saxon, or Germanic traditions, have the right to claim the title witch. The entomology of the word can possibly be traced back to Sanskrit and the earliest Indo-European languages, although this could be a popular folk entomology used by many modern witches. The Middle English word wicche is traced back to the Old English wiccan, meaning ?to practice witchcraft.? Male and female witches were distinguished through the words wicca and wicce, respectively. In Middle High German, wicken means ?to bewitch or divine the future.? In Old German, the word is traced to wih, meaning ?holy.? From the Old German to Old Norman, we have the word ve, meaning ?temple.? Notice an interesting shift from the W sound to the V sound, but notice the similar shape of the letters. The letter double U actually looks more like double V in our alphabet. In French, the letter is called doublevay. The further back you go, the further away you get from the stereotypical witch and to a word of sacredness and spirituality. Now you are getting to the true meaning of witch.

In modern English, witch is used to refer to both men and women. Wicca refers to the modern revival of witchcraft. After the witch trials and persecutions, what remained of the teaching went underground. Other teachings were lost forever, but the practices were revived and the surviving traditions came to light in the twentieth century. In several modern traditions, witchcraft refers to the practice and art of the craft, such as spells, while the religion is known as Wicca. Though you can make a strong distinction between the definitions of witch and Wiccan, or Witchcraft and Wicca, most practitioners accept both words and identities. If you are not sure what to call someone, ask them or see how they refer to themselves.

The Science

One of the first definitions I learned from my early teachers, trained in the Cabot tradition, was ?Witchcraft is an art, science, and religion.? A witch is one who ?lives the art, science, and religion of witchcraft.? You might find this definition strange, as did I, because it brings together some seemingly conflicting ideas. This definition shocked me, because I considered myself a man of science. I was studying chemistry and probably would have pursued it if my experience with magick hadn?t inspired me to pursue my more creative side. At the time, I was very much a ?prove it to me? kind of guy, giving no one an inch unless they could back up their statements. And I found in my witchy friend someone who could. She explained to me the theories behind spells and psychic powers. I wasn?t sure I agreed, but it did intrigue me enough to not dismiss it as ?New Age kookiness.? Then my friend introduced me to one of the most advanced scientific ideas I had encountered at the time, quantum physics. I didn?t understand how physics and witchcraft were related until she drew corollaries between ancient philosophies and modern, cutting-edge science. From her viewpoint, she was waiting for modern science to catch up to the ancient truths. The more I learn, the more I am inclined to agree.

For the longest time, I ignored the other facets of the definition of witchcraft, namely art and religion. I focused on the science of the craft. I looked at witchcraft as an experiment. The experiment yielded wonderful results, but I resisted the other meanings of the tradition. Regardless, they led me to explore myself and my spirituality.

The Art

Witchcraft is an art. It is a system based on the cycles of life. Life is change, plain and simple. Change encourages new expressions of the same patterns and energies. Change encourages creativity. Even though two witches can say the same exact words of a spell, each does it differently, each brings his or her own personal nuances, intentions, and inflections. More often than not, witches would probably write their own spells, creating a personal tradition. Each witch works with the same principles based on the science of witchcraft, but they express it quite differently, elevating the craft to a very beautiful art form. The poetry of magick can bring a tear to the eye and evoke our highest emotions. Song, chant, drumming, instruments, poetry, and drama are used in ritual. Whatever the creative expression, no one can doubt that witchcraft is a form of art once they experience it.

The Spirituality

Lastly in our threefold definition, witchcraft is a religion. In fact, it is called the Old Religion, for many trace their tradition?s roots back to the early Mother Earth goddess cults of the Paleolithic era. Since I have been teaching witchcraft I felt the need to change the definition slightly to ?science, art, and spirituality.? The word religion can conjure up some discomfort in those who are seeking witchcraft as an alternative to the more dogmatic religions. Spirituality, to me, carries a gentler connotation to the original meaning of religion. When I say witchcraft is a spirituality, I mean it is a spiritual path. You walk it for nourishment of the soul, to commune with the life force of the universe, and to thereby better know your own life. Misunderstandings surround those new to the path because of television, movies, and other stories. People do not realize that witchcraft is a daily commitment to renew yourself in the cycles of the Earth, to synchronize yourself with the powers of life. It is a path to enlightenment. Living life as a witch is no easy task.

Certain spiritual aspects of witchcraft set it apart from other traditions. First, it is a nature-based spiritual practice. Divinity in all things is recognized, from the land, water, and sky, to plants, animals, and people. All material things are seen as an expression of life, as the divine. Witches are often involved in environmental reforms and animal-rights groups because of this belief.

Witches are polytheistic, meaning we worship more than one deity. We recognize the spirit of life running through all things, but believe it expresses itself through a multitude of faces. I like to think of it as looking at a giant, brilliantly cut diamond with many facets shining, each an expression of the one diamond.

Witches focus on divinity in the form of male and female energies, gods and goddesses. The prime focus of many traditions is the Great Mother, the primal creative goddess as embodied by the planet Earth. The Goddess is also seen in the Moon, the night, and the oceans. She is portrayed in the modern craft as the Triple Goddess, one who is three in her aspects of Maiden, Mother, and Crone. These faces correspond with the changes in the Moon and seasons. The Goddess? energy is vast, portrayed as loving, kind, and life giving at certain times, while dark, warrior-like, and vengeful at others.

Her consort, the God and Good Father, has been depicted as the sky, the Sun, and vegetation, or as the animal lord. Like the Goddess, the male aspect of divinity has many faces. He is warrior and protector, king and judge. The God can reveal the secrets of magick and illumination or surround you with darkness to force you to face yourself. The God is usually dual in nature, in the form of the Lord of Light and the Lord of Darkness, though some of his images cannot be put into these categories. He presides over the year as the life giver in the fertile months and the life taker in the waning year.

From these two beings spring all the deities of myth. Groups of goddesses and gods from a particular culture, called pantheons, were created. The pantheon we are most familiar with in the West is the Greek, taught in classical mythology classes and found in many modern reinterpretations. The Greek and the later Roman pantheons were not the only ones, nor the first. The ancient Egyptians, Sumerians, Celts, Norse, Africans, and Hindus all had their own pantheons. Each had some type of mother goddess and father god. Then the subtle differences became more distinct. Each had deities to preside over different realms of the earthly domain. One was for the oceans, and another for the sky. Gods and goddesses would rule the Underworld, the sky kingdom, agriculture, animals, healing, the Moon, the Sun, stars, travel, poetry, and divination.

In psychological terms, we call these common visions archetypes. Archetypes are primal images that can be found across many different cultures. They exist in our collective consciousness. Psychologist Carl Jung popularized the term archetype, but they existed far before his identification. Each culture had individual names for an archetype, as represented by a different goddess or god. Each culture wove stories and myths involving this being, but the basic concept is the same. To those who work with the archetypes, they are living, conscious energies, beings of great power. Modern witches understand the concept of archetypes, but know these powers through personal, spiritual experiences. The common belief is that archetypes are primal beings of an almost unknowable nature, but they express themselves through god forms, the individual descriptions and personalities of the gods of myth. The god forms act like a mask. The primal mother archetype exists without borders, but she expresses herself as Gaia in the Greek tradition, Danu in the Celtic tradition, Isis to the Egyptians, and Pachamama to the Incans.

Most mainstream religions, particularly the Judeo-Christian traditions, are monotheistic, acknowledging only one god: theirs. Some feel these traditions focused on the masculine vibration of the divine and saw it as the one and only source of life. In our diamond analogy, they are looking at the brilliance of the whole diamond, but are blinded to look at the individual facets. Or they are fascinated by one facet of the diamond, one god, and exclude all else. The spiritual ancestors of modern witches were in a position that seems unique to us today. Because of their polytheistic nature, they could recognize the gods of another tribe, land, or culture as different expressions of their own gods. They could see the diamond as a whole as well as the individual facets. As we look to the Great Spirit at the center of the diamond, witches remember that we, too, are facets of the diamond. Like the trees, oceans, and animals, we are expressions of the divine, the Goddess, God, and Great Spirit.

The Healer

Another great definition of witch is ?healer.? In the ancient cultures, people went to the priestesses and priests for healing. At the time, healing encompassed much more than our modern medical profession. Modern medicine is wonderful in many ways, but in these ancient times, healing was a process involving the mind, emotions, and spirit as well as the body. In short, healing was an energetic process. We are now coming full circle with the rise in popularity of holistic and alternative treatments. A healer was one to counsel, advise, and minister to the spiritual balance of the individual or tribe, as well as do ritual, divination, and hands-on healing. You will probably find many witches now involved in the healing arts, traditional or otherwise, because helping others is such an important part of the practice of witchcraft.

The Walker

The last definition of the word witch that I will present to you goes hand in hand with the healing arts. It is also my favorite identity. A witch is ?a walker between the worlds.? This was the first hint I got at the rich shamanic tradition found within the teachings of witchcraft.

Due to a revival of interest in Native American practices, many people associate the word shaman with the medicine man of a tribal people. That is true. Shamans are spiritual leaders, but that is not the entire picture. The term originated in Siberia, but has been applied to native practices throughout the Americas and more loosely to practices across the world. The shaman believes in nonphysical, spiritual realms and learns to send his or her spirit to such realms. In these worlds, one can retrieve information and healing energy, and commune with spirits. The shaman ministers to his or her people through this ability, to effect healing of the mind, body, and spirit.

Witches, too, believe in nonphysical realms. They believe in the physical and a multitude of spiritual dimensions. Witches hone their abilities to pierce the veil and travel to these dimensions, where they speak with goddesses, gods, and spirits. Like the shamans, they are expected to remain grounded in the material world with responsibilities to their people, yet keep one foot ever ready to enter the spiritual world. They are bridges between the worlds, seeking to bring their people into greater partnership with the divine. The native people in Siberia and the Americas remained more tribal and retained a certain amount of reverence for these shamans, even in the modern era. As the European people became less tribal, they stamped out their very own shamanic traditions, the practices of the witch. That fear of spiritual power, of the unknown, of mysteries in a culture with a growing patriarchy, turned the image of the witch from a priestess and healer into a monster of the night.

The Weaver

To me, the words witch and witchcraft are wonderfully all-encompassing terms. They evoke a sense of humanity?s mystical past and a hope for the future. Whenever someone, as an individual or as a culture, sought to understand spirit through the cycles of life, honored the divine as being both masculine and feminine, recognized the Earth and sky, quieted themselves enough to hear the soft inner whisper, and took an active partnership with nature, they were practicing witchcraft. Not everyone would agree with that; many tribal traditions would not ever call themselves witches, but it is my personal feeling that such traditions are all practicing the same craft, regardless of the name, place, or time. It is only through an unfortunate period of history that the words witch and witchcraft became maligned. Without this slander, I think the word witch would be translated into more languages as ?healer,? ?teacher,? ?shaman,? and ?wise one,? rather than ?curse bringer.? Witches weave all these threads together in the modern traditions.
The most important aspect of this tradition is the individual?s sovereignty. Each practitioner is his or her own priest or priestess. Teachers, elders, and healers are respected and can help you on the path, but ultimately witchcraft is about your own personal, individual relationship with the divine. Through such training you have the ability to perform your own spiritual rituals and seek guidance. To my friends still in the world of Catholicism, I explain that we are not only our own priests, but also our own popes. We have the last word on what is correct and good for us, as well as the responsibility of living with those decisions.

I had lunch with a student and friend who told me she was ?finally okay with the W word.? She was drawn to take my classes, cast spells and circles, and basically perform all the rites of a witch, but always had difficulty with that word. She is a great healer, using conventional massage therapy with both reiki and shamanism. She had been giving psychic readings before she had any formal training in the area. She didn?t claim the word witch as her own, and that was fine with me. It?s not for everybody. But she seemed so bothered by the fact, and she didn?t know why. We speculated about past-life persecution for being a witch, but she didn?t explore it further. She came to the conclusion that she didn?t want to be limited by the word witch. There are so many things to do and explore that she did not want to settle for being ?just a witch? when she could try everything. I could understand her sentiment, but I never thought of myself as ?just a witch.?

Almost a year later, we had lunch and she told me she was coming to terms with the word witch and, in my opinion, the true meaning of the word. Even if we learn all these definitions, sometimes our own preconceived notions and prejudices and those of society do not allow the real meaning to absorb into our psyche. In some ways she saw the role of witch as something that could pigeonhole her into an expected role and tradition, without any freedom or change to it. There is a stereotype even in the pagan world that a witch has to wear black all the time, love dark gothic music, and take things very seriously. Hopefully that stereotype is dissolving away, with all the others. To me, witchcraft has given me a frame of reference to experience the world by being open to all possibilities. It has also taught me to look at things practically, to remain grounded in timeless philosophy while still open to modern interpretations. The eclectic witch borrows from many cultures. These cultures do not necessarily have to be Celtic or even European to be a part of the modern craft, even though some traditionalists feel that witchcraft is exclusively Celtic. We come from a tradition filled with the mysteries of the past, but now witchcraft generally encourages one to find the path that works for the individual. All our other ?hats??healer, therapist, herbalist, shaman, mother, brother, priest, priestess, environmentalist, counselor, researcher, writer, psychic, and teacher?all fit nicely under the ?hat? of witch, for witches are all these things, too. Nothing is prevented or forbidden. The path of the witch is truly the path of knowledge and, more importantly, wisdom. It changes and adapts as new information is discovered. Witchcraft is a living religion.

As you can see, the witch has many faces and wears many hats, both woman and man, old and young. The witch is a symbol of darkness and fear to many still, but is really a patron of wisdom and magick. Each practitioner in turn has a personal meaning. If this is all brand new to you and you feel the call of the art, science, and spirituality of the Goddess and God, you will be called on to answer these questions: What is witchcraft? What is a witch? And most importantly, what does it mean to become a witch? If you want to explore the foundations of the inner temple, you are already walking the path of the witch, so ask yourself how you would define the word witch.

copyrighted... Christopher Penczak

Excerpt from the book Practical Guide to Psychic Powers

A Search in Two Worlds

1. Dowsing, like other psychic abilities, is inborn in every person, and—like other psychic abilities—operates at the emotional-instinctual level.
a. The dowsing ability is released into activity by an absorption of the attention that inhibits the monitoring function of the rational mind.
b. The equipment used in dowsing, as that used in most other psychic work, provides a necessary focal point for the attention and a means to magnify and show the orientation of inward movement.

2. The key to dowsing is at the astral levels of the psyche and the external universe.
a. The forces that the dowser encounters, and which lead to his or her goal, are of the astral world. This is why the dowser may encounter "remanence"—the astral impressions of something no longer existing on the material plane, likewise, the astral world also holds impressions of "the shape of things to come" which can confuse the dowser.

b. In all cases, it is the astral "counterpart" that is encountered by the dowser—that of presently existing material objects, as also the astral phantasms of past objects and the foreshadowings of future objects.
3. The movement of the dowsing instrument is produced by a form of telekinesis that is directed by the unconscious mind of the operator.
a. The instrument must be held in some particular manner.
b. It is preferable to make your own instrument, choosing the materials carefully and shaping them lovingly and with pride so that the imagination can work along with the instrument as an expression of inward powers. Various instruments, and their easy construction, are described fully in the text—as is their proper usage.

4. To begin developing your dowsing ability, it is important to communicate your desire to your emotional-instinctual astral self, recognizing it as the source of this psychic ability.
a. Your meditation exercises, your diet and lifestyle changes, your contacts with the worlds of nature, humanity, and your inner self should all be continued.

5. Actual dowsing involves:
a. The "directive"—a small sample or token of what you are seeking.
b. "Self-programming": holding the directive in your hand, focus your mind and emotions on the full reality of that which you are seeking—seeing it in your mind and feeling the good that will come from it. Then take up the dowsing instrument and "talk" to it—telling it how you value it and what it is you are seeking and why. Make it come "alive" for you: it is your partner, and it will guide you to your goal.
c. Carry the directive in a convenient pocket while you are actually dowsing so that its subtle vibrations establish an affinity with the object you are searching for.
d. "Listen" to the dowsing instrument as you work with it—it is the representative of your own astral being communicating with you by means of a sign language. You will need to discover the "code" of the movements that express its meaning.
e. Focusing your attention on your instrument, holding it in the particular way required, and "listening" to it—all work to induce a special altered state of consciousness during which the ordinary consciousness that is closely linked to the material world is lulled, and the astral being—with its link to the astral world—comes to the surface. The astral level of the psyche can experience the astral level of whatever concerns it; that is why we use the directive.

6. Just as we used the directive to represent the object being sought, so can we substitute a map for the actual area to be dowsed, and with a pendulum as the instrument locate objects or persons sought.
a. In a similar fashion, a doll or picture can represent an actual person, and with the pendulum we can locate an injury or disease center in that person.

7. As with the other psychic abilities, practice is important, and the games described in the text are good starting points for developing the basic sensitivities that are part of dowsing.
• • •

Dowsing certainly is a most valuable ability and it often gives results whose accuracy and scope astonish the newcomer, but it is not "incredible" nor "supernatural" nor any of the other epithets that have been allotted to it by the skeptics. Dowsing is, as a fact, one of the most "natural" things a human being can do, belonging to the vital levels of our subrational existence.

Most usually a person seeking for water, minerals, or anything else by this method will use either a rod or a pendulum as an indicator, but these things, like the hands of a clock, are useful only to magnify and to show the orientation of the inward

There are a certain number of dowsers who, even without any such indicators, experience almost convulsive bodily movements when detecting whatever the object of their search may be. More experience tingling or burning sensations in different parts of the body; nor are any of these reactions triggered by the conscious awareness of the presence of the object, for many examples show unmistakably that the reaction precedes its interpretation.

James A., for instance, a man personally known to the authors, had never thought of himself as a water-finder. Such a possibility would not greatly have interested him, and he had no reason to imagine it until some painful circumstances led to his talent being discovered for him.

To begin with, he had a violent fall and cracked a couple of his lower ribs. These were set and healed normally, and he returned to his ordinary occupations. Inevitably, as with any fractured bones, he suffered, and expected at first to suffer, a certain amount of discomfort; what troubled him more and more was the fact that as he moved around at home he experienced now and then most violent twinges of pain from the mended ribs, and this particular experience seemed not to lessen as time went by.

Back he went for reexamination, but no medical cause for his affliction showed up. In the end, when he explained that apart from an occasional twinge when traveling his sufferings were all produced by walking from front to back of his house or vice versa, he was referred for psychiatric examination.

Now it was his psyche that was inspected inside and out, although with no immediate result. The psychiatrist however was an up-to-date intelligent man who mentally cross-referenced every fact that came his way, and at last by this method he found himself a clue.

Among the mass of wildly various details he'd collected from James in the hope one of them might prove fertile, somewhere was a statement that James always had his worst moments of pain when passing a certain crack in the wall of his hallway. Once again the evidence was sifted for negative associations to cracks in walls, but there was nothing much. So the psychiatrist looked at it another way. James A.'s ribs hurting and the crack in the wall were related. How?

Why was the crack there? he asked James.

Because the house had settled in the middle.

Why had the house settled that way?

Directed to put in some research on this, James discovered the existence of an underground stream he'd never known about. So, his lower ribs shifted each time he crossed that hidden water; and, because they had been fractured, they hurt badly. And so, he was a born water-finder and hadn't known about that either.

In reality, like every other psychic talent, the ability to dowse is inborn in every person to some extent, even though, again like the other abilities, some individuals have it in an already more developed state than others do. Such experiences as that of James A., however, naturally lead people to inquire what this mysterious ability called dowsing really consists in, and which of its characteristics enable us to identify its nature and the means by which it can be cultivated.

A favorite hypothesis with those who wish to seem scientific without examining the evidence for themselves, and one that tends to be applied to a number of subjects including dowsing, is that of "unconscious muscular movement." The idea is that the unconscious mind of the operator determines (by whatever means) the answer to the question, or the direction of the object of the search, and transmits through the nerves a series of extremely subtle impulses to the muscles, as a result of which they produce the appropriate movements. Aside from the fact that James A. (for example) wasn't searching for anything and wasn't asking any questions, it is not at first easy to fault that hypothesis, however, we shall find that the true cause of the movements of the body and/or the instrument in dowsing is quite other.

The keys to dowsing are to be found in the astral level of the psyche and of the external universe:

Dowsing is a faculty of the emotional-instinctual (astral) level of the psyche, released into activity by a complete absorption of attention that inhibits the monitoring function of the rational mind. This is certainly an altered state of consciousness, although not generally recognized as such.

What name is given to that state does not matter. Try, for instance, speaking to a person occupied in some creative skill, or to a mathematician or physicist pondering some abstract problem, or to a child building a castle with toy blocks, or to a pair of young lovers daydreaming about their future. You probably can't get through to any of these people, and even if they answer you sensibly they may remember nothing of it later, like people who have been spoken to while aroused temporarily from sleep. The dowsing state is very close to that, and the equipment helps in achieving that state by providing a necessary focal point for the attention.

Dowsing is dependent on the astral world for the impressions that lead the dowser to his or her goal. Although the dowser's quest is most often for something in the material world, the forces that are encountered, and which indicate the direction of that goal, are not of the material world (as the influence of the magnetic north upon a compass is, for instance) but of the astral world. This is demonstrated by some peculiarities in the mode of operation of those forces.

A good dowser has a high score of accurate findings, and so long as this accuracy is maintained we have no way of showing where the information comes from, but everyone slips up sometimes, and many of the mistakes made by dowsers are very instructive for that reason.


One type of error comes up so often that dowsers have coined a word for its cause: remanence. In simple terms, this means "the tendency of conditions to remain." Dowsers tend to pick up impressions of bygone objects as if those objects were still there; a dowser seeking a building, for instance, might easily locate a site where such a building had stood long before. The dowsing instrument could react so as to give not only the plan of the foundations (which could still be physically present, if only as a disturbance in the ground) but also the height and particulars of the elevation.

Now, that building just isn't there to be measured in the material world. All its "remaining," which can give through dowsing the same reactions as a solidly existing building, is in the astral world.

Besides the shapes of things past, the astral world holds also "the shape of things to come," and on occasion these images too can confuse the scene for the dowser; at first they are no more recognizable for what they are than the vestiges of the past.

Why is the dowser not able to distinguish those astral phantasms from the material objects that he is searching out? Because in the astral world, along with those lingering traces of the past and foreshadowings of the future, there is also the astral counterpart of everything presently existing in the material world; and it is that counterpart, not the material world itself that the dowser's emotional-instinctual nature is aware of. This area of the psyche, being our astral level within, perceives its kindred world just as our physical senses perceive theirs. By some psychic techniques, the astral perception is brought through into consciousness; in dowsing, it is instead signaled in movements. But these signals are apt, on occasion, to be triggered by the astral images of the past or future, exactly as they normally are by the astral counterparts of present material objects.

Dowsing is dependent on the astral level of the psyche for the movement imparted to the instrument not through the muscles, but directly.

This movement is produced by a form of telekinesis; telekinesis directed by the unconscious mind of the operator and not, as in the case of ordinary telekinesis, by the conscious mind.

The hypothesis of "unconscious muscular movement," previously mentioned, doesn't stand up to the facts; here are some it completely ignores:

People who use a dowsing instrument of the form of a loop or fork (these will be described in the next section of this chapter) have been known to have their fingers and palms blistered and even lacerated in some circumstances when the instrument moves violently and they are trying to keep it under control. At that time the instrument is clearly moving against their muscles, not with them. Nor is it an example of hand working against hand, for when the fork or loop twists around it moves in the same direction against each hand, besides, when the dowser uses "angle rods" each hand holds a separate rod so no interaction of the hands would then be possible, yet the violence of the movement is sometimes just as great.

So as to guard against hand injury, which could be particularly unpleasant with metal rods, people who use that type of equipment frequently fit them with "sleeves," in which the rods turn almost freely. No movement of the rods except for a weak swing to this side or that could in those circumstances be produced by a less-than-conspicuous movement of the hands, whether conscious or otherwise.

Furthermore, as pointed out in chapter 3, telekinetic force is characterized by the fact that distance makes an appreciable difference to its action. This, too, is a conspicuous feature of dowsing.


Some seekers for water or for metals use no equipment at all. The influences that guide them to what they seek are felt in their physical body, either as a movement of the bones—as James A. discovered—or as a sensation of heat in the numberless tiny nerve-endings in soles or palms.

These people have never had, or have managed to shed, the tendency of the rational consciousness to prevent the emotional-instinctual nature from physically signalling its findings. They are able to act almost as spontaneously as does a thirsty animal (or even a plant) moving toward the life-sustaining fluid. For most civilized folk, however, the instrumentality of dowsing equipment is an important factor in success. It gives to the consciousness a necessary focal point.

No matter what kind of equipment you use in dowsing, you have to hold it in a particular way, in a stressed or at least careful manner; and you have to keep your attention upon it, moment by moment, for the way it may be moving or for what it may indicate.

Types of Dowsing Equipment

The importance of your dowsing equipment doesn't mean it has to be costly or elaborate. There is an old saying that a bad workman blames his tools; it is also true that the good workman won't start in on a job without tools he can take pride in—even if it is pride in being able to use such primitive gear skillfully and effectively! So make your own dowsing equipment. Choose your materials carefully and shape them lovingly, and above all have something that your imagination can work along with, a means of expression to your inward powers.

Possible forms of dowsing equipment, other than the pendulum, include angle rods, a loop of stout rattan or flexible cane, the traditional fork of wood, and V- or Y-shaped pieces made from synthetic materials (of which nylon, being both flexible and tough, is still probably best). Remember James A.'s experience with his own ribs!—something of that nature, thin, pliant, partly free and partly fixed, is what you are seeking.*

angle rods are easy to make. You need two pieces of wire (mild steel or other suitable metal), thick enough to keep its form and flexible enough to be bent without cracking; each piece some fifteen inches long. Bend each wire to a right angle at about one third the distance along its length, so one leg of the angle is five inches long and the other ten inches. The exact dimensions don't matter, but it does matter that the two finished rods should be as nearly identical as you can make them. Make sure the two five-inch legs are entirely smooth and free from snags, sharp points, or edges, because this is the part that will be twisting around in your grip when you use the rods. If you wish, you can fit them with "sleeves" that will to a great extent obviate this problem, but even so, you still need to ensure the rods will rotate smoothly in the sleeves.

These sleeves are simply tubes of cardboard or plastic, just slightly shorter than the five-inch legs over which they have to fit, and wide enough to allow free movement to the rods while being convenient to grip. The end of the leg should be flattened, turned over, or enlarged by some other means to keep the sleeve from becoming detached.

The cane or rattan loop is made from a piece of tough, whippy vegetable stem about twenty-seven inches long; it needs to be bound securely with thin cord or strong synthetic string, in two stages as shown below. The loop and the two ends alike will need to be held steady by human or mechanical agency, while the loop is bound securely (as shown above left) and tied off, then bound (as illustrated above right) and securely tied off once more.

The traditional dowsing fork presents an initial difficulty, that of finding a suitable small branch to cut. Hazel, willow, and the fruitwoods are all good for keeping their resilience, not drying out and becoming brittle too soon after cutting, but hazel and willow also are conspicuous for growing twigs with a sufficiency of straight length between outgrowths that is not always the case with the fruitwoods. You need your fork to have at least ten inches of straight, clear wood about one-half inch in diameter, dividing into a symmetrical fork that you can trim into two equal prongs about five to eight inches long.

In preparing your branch as a dowsing fork, make the short ends as smooth and clean as you can, since in use they are likely to twist around in your hands. But don't strip off the bark, or the wood will quickly become dry, rigid, and unresponsive. When you have trimmed the fork to your requirements, melt some candle ends in a can, and, while keeping the wax at a high enough temperature, dip each in turn of the three cut ends of the fork into the melted wax. Leave it there long enough for the adjacent wood to soak up the wax, then remove. When the absorbed wax sets, it will seal the end and so help the fork retain its moisture and flexibility. If you can't for any reason use the melted wax, use corn oil, olive, or (best of all) linseed oil, warmed, to soak and seal the ends of the fork.

The next type of dowsing instrument that must be mentioned is the fork of man-made materials. (Wooden lath can be included here, too.) Any straight lengths of tough, lightweight, flexible material are worth trying, and some are excellent. Two plastic pointers, for instance, will serve the purpose well.

With many types of rod or strip, there is no need to form a V- or Y-shape; you may have to cut convenient lengths—about twenty inches, less or more according to general bulk and proportion—but no further shaping is required. Place them side by side, and, starting at one end, cement, and/or bind them together through about two-thirds or three-quarters of their length, as you may choose. Even if the pieces are glued together securely, it is still a good idea to use a few turns of strong thread or wire to bind them at what will be the point of greatest stress: that is, at the juncture of the glued section with the free ends. Then, to use the instrument, you simply take the free ends one in each hand, as will be described below, and pull them apart.

The remaining rod-type instrument for dowsing to be included here is, somewhat surprisingly, a minority choice: the single wand. This can be of any material—wood, metal, synthetic—if it be long, straight, slender, flexible, and of moderate weight. A lecturer's pointer, an antenna for television or radio, a slender bamboo, or, again, a curtain rod, but this time of round cross-section, all make acceptable "wands." Don't pass up a chance to make or adapt for yourself a dowsing instrument of this probably most ancient form. You may be one of those people for whom it becomes the favorite!

All the dowsing instruments described above work best in the conditions for which they were developed, that is, you should be walking about in the open air. Practice in other conditions can be disappointing and therefore discouraging, but there is no reason why you shouldn't "go through the motions" indoors if you wish, for practice in holding the instrument.

Go outdoors however, and preferably into the open country, to practice properly as soon as you can. If you can go in the company of an experienced dowser, so much the better!

The method of using the angle rods is illustrated on page 158. In holding them, the thumb rests upon the top joints of the forefinger, and beside the top of the sleeve; the fingers grip only the sleeve, so that the angle rod will rotate within this almost free from friction.

The loop, and the various types of fork, are all held in one way: with one of the fork ends in each hand and the loop or rod pointing upwards. This should involve a certain amount of tension in the instrument (whether the instrument be natural or man-made) as the free ends are pulled away from the central axis, but you should experiment with it and discover what is best for you.

The simple wand has its own peculiarities. You hold it forward horizontally in one hand, usually your stronger hand but some people get better results with the other. The interesting thing is that if your wand tapers to one end, you should hold it by the more slender end, not by the thicker one. That gives it more stress and "whippiness."

Beginning Dowsing

Help from the unconscious

When you want to begin developing the faculty of dowsing, your first concern should be to convey effectively to your emotional-instinctual nature that this skill is necessary.

An excellent way to do this is to take a time when you feel quiet and meditative; sit down then and talk—talk aloud, in all seriousness—to your astral being. Give it a warm greeting, tell it how gladly you recognize its presence, how much you cherish it and value its assistance at all times; then go over the reasons why learning to dowse is necessary to your happiness and lifestyle. Give an assurance, too, that this new ability is one in which your astral being will take a vital part, and will gain the means to communicate much of its hitherto mute knowledge and perceptions. Align yourself with all that you say as positively as you can, dwelling especially upon every emotional aspect of it. Speak gently, kindly, but with authority; be confident, so as to avoid both anxiety and casualness, and express yourself in simple words because your astral being is in some respects very childlike.

This address should be repeated from time to time, as you feel moved. As you begin to have success in developing the faculty and you acknowledge in this way the part played by your astral being, your recognition will encourage its further and more effective cooperation.

It is important, if you want to dowse competently, to keep up your regular meditations, keep up your good diet and simple lifestyle, keep up your contacts with the world of nature, the human world, and the world within. These are important factors in all psychic development, but they have a special relevance to the powers we are discussing in this chapter.

Before setting out

When you have made your first piece of dowsing equipment, be it loop, fork, wand, or pair of angle rods, all you can do with it in or around the house to get the feel of handling it, how this particular kind of instrument is to be gripped and carried when in use. For real practice in dowsing, however, you should go out into the right place, into the open country. (If that is impossible for you, at least at present, you have other options: later in this chapter there is a section on pendulum dowsing that can open most exciting dimensions without crossing your threshold, and also some games to help you develop, and have different kinds of fun with, some of the same faculties that are used in dowsing.)

Before you set out on a dowsing expedition, there are some preparations to make. Whether you are a beginner or experienced dowser, you will need a directive, and you will need to program yourself.

The directive. A directive is a small sample, or token, of what you are going to search for: a little bottle of water for instance, a chip of whatever mineral, a sample coin or artifact, a few leaves if you seek a particular plant, or, no matter what may be your quest, its name in bold lettering on a piece of card. These are only a few example of possible directives; there is no end to their variety, and dowsers exercise great ingenuity sometimes in devising tokens to represent successfully something of which no sample can be had.

Programming yourself. As shortly as possible before setting out on a dowsing expedition, you should spend some time alone with the directive and your dowsing instrument.

Hold the directive in your hand while you focus your mind, and especially your emotions, upon the full reality of that which you will be seeking, and upon the need for finding it. Let your imagination dwell upon various aspects of the object of your search, so as to make it as vividly present to you as possible. Conjure up in your imagination not only all the good qualities of the object of your search, but also all the good that you can expect from its finding. Remember, your astral being, for which you are creating this image, is not attracted to abstract ideas but to simple, direct pictures and sense impressions, and the simplest and most direct of emotions.

When you feel you have given sufficient time to this, lay down the directive and gently let the image or impressions you have built up fade from your consciousness, then take up your dowsing instrument.

Hold this, sometimes as you would while dowsing, sometimes in a tender, caressing manner, while you talk softly to it. Tell it how much you prize it, tell it of what you are going to seek and of the great importance, the necessity of finding it. Regard your dowsing instrument as a living entity with which you have an understanding, an affinity. You and it are partners; while you carry it, it will guide you. Speak to it of these matters, and while you do so, begin to walk about with it until you feel the bond between it and yourself is fully activated, and the instrument is "awake."

On setting out

If you can go, at least for your first few ventures in dowsing, with a friend who has a working ability in it, that will be the greatest help you could have.

With dowsing as with some other psychic powers, the more experienced and skilled in it is the person you set out with, the better you are likely to fare. At the same time, never forget the whole potential of dowsing is within you, and whatever the circumstances, you can, with perseverance, cultivate it.

Besides your dowsing instrument and your directive, you should in any case have with you the following: a map of the area, a pen and notebook so you can locate at least roughly any interesting spot on your route, make notes, and enable yourself to keep a record, besides being able to collect, dig, measure, or photograph as may be suited to your quest.

Carry your directive in a convenient pocket. During the time you are actually dowsing, you will be intent upon watching your instrument. But your directive will be there with you all the time, maintaining its subtle vibrations of affinity with what you are looking for and conditioning your activity accordingly. You don't have to keep consciously remembering that your directive is there; your astral being knows it is. Whenever you take a rest from dowsing, however, you should use the opportunity to take out your directive, look at it, and handle it.

Having arrived at your starting-point, don't set off in a rush. Take time to look over the landscape and to review mentally what you are going to do. If you feel any traces of tension, close your eyes and draw a few deep breaths, right in and right out, slowly; then you should be ready to begin. Take the dowsing grip on the instrument, and begin walking.

(When you are experienced, you may get an initial indication from the instrument about the direction. At first, the starting choice of direction is likely to be yours, or an experienced dowser's if there is one present.)

The first signals

As you walk along, at first you may not find it easy to settle into the serenity of mind that is right for dowsing. To a great extent, any unsettled feeling is likely to be due to an initial self-consciousness that will soon disappear, but another cause is likely to be that you don't quite know what your dowsing instrument is going to do, or when. Trust it, talk to it, attune yourself to it, and it to you. You will know the first dowsing signal when it comes!

Until it comes, you will not be sure whether any slight movement of the instrument might be a signal, or whether it might be caused by uneven ground, a gust of wind, a nerve jumping in your arm, or pure imagination. But when a real response occurs, it will be unmistakable.

It will feel as though an invisible person had taken hold of the instrument and is trying to point it in a new direction, even to twist it out of your hands; or it may just give one sudden jerk. The distinctive thing is the feeling of "another person" causing the movement deliberately. At the same time, or just before the pull, you may get an "electric" tingling, or hot or creeping sensations somewhere in your body: arms, spine, and feet are the likeliest areas.

Your next question will be: what does this signal mean?

If you are using angle rods, for instance, the long arms may twist outwards simultaneously. If you have a loop or a fork, it may insist on turning down or to one side. Or the free end of a wand may circle at frantic speed.

Does it say, "You are on the right track" or "Stop here"? Is it, "Turn"—perhaps "Turn around"—or "Dig"? The first time you receive a particular signal, your best plan is to go back a little way, then come up to the spot again, more slowly. This may result in your receiving the same signal, or a different one.

If no light is shed on the meaning by the new occurrence, you can again approach the spot but from a different angle, or you can ask the instrument whether the same meaning can be expressed by a different signal, or you can try doing what the signal looks to you as though it means.

In such a situation, realize that the dowsing instrument has become the representative of your own astral being; and the intention of your astral being is not to set puzzles for you (however it may seem) but to use the dowsing instrument as a means to establish a code for speaking to you by sign language. You need, therefore, to find out in quiet reflection what is the most simple and natural meaning, to your astral being, of this particular movement of the instrument. This is best done at the time, if possible; your early experiments in dowsing will gain more value from settling a few points of this kind, than from mere mileage.

One complication is, however, possible. If your early expeditions are made in the company of an experienced dowser, it is likely that this friend will be able to tell you the meaning of every signal you receive from the instrument. A complete "code" may be given you in this way—the same one that exists between your friend and his or her dowsing instrument. Afterwards, when you go out dowsing alone, you will be likely to find that the "code" changes in some particulars. Soon it will become your own code, the one that is to be permanently established between your dowsing instrument and you.

The interpersonal aspect

Here is another well-known fact: many people, who, from one cause or another, had real difficulty in finding and developing their dowsing ability, have experienced a complete change in the situation when they were helped by an established dowser, who placed his or her hands upon their arms while they held the fork. On approaching the sought-for objective they felt the fork turn in their palms, sometimes violently.

Usually this procedure was repeated two or three times, then the learners were able to continue unaided.

That fact, and the one mentioned above, of the astral being of the learner temporarily adopting the "code" of the established dowser, is not very surprising when you realize how interrelated human beings are at the astral level, especially when they share an avocation or other great interest. With regard to dowsing, fortunately there is everything to gain from this, because dowsing is one of the most readily "contagious" of psychic powers; if an able dowser is helping you, you should rapidly get beyond the dependent stage and be able to discover your own direction. And "your own direction" applies to more than the code with your dowsing instrument.

Most dowsers, whatever their general standard of achievement, have one particular subject of search for which they are more successful than for any other. It may be missing persons, or oil, or fossils, or herbs—almost anything the world harbors! Nobody but you can discover your particular flair, and it may take time. Initially, you will probably go along with your friend's speciality, or the needs of your district, or the fashion of the day (for there are fashions in dowsing as in other matters.) However, when you find yourself there will be no doubt about your particular "idiom" of dowsing, your personal matter and manner of search. In general, dowsing is not a conspicuously sociable activity. While dowsing, each person is necessarily limited to communication with the dowsing instrument, the representative of his or her astral being. If your group takes up dowsing, and if when members reach a degree of proficiency an expedition is organized to some specially interesting area of country (to dowse for archeological remains for instance, or for fossils or minerals, or to trace an underground watercourse or ore vein, or to find useful plants) social fun must be limited to the period of rest and refreshment when dowsing is over. The expedition will, however, have the high exhilaration of a shared outdoor activity that brings mutually enhanced psychic power to all the participants.

Exploration by pendulum

The pendulum can be used outdoors, suspended from the fingers, for the same purposes as a large-scale dowsing instrument. It is not recommended to be used in this way, only because in a wide landscape it may be less precise as a direction-finder than are the larger and more rigid instruments, and because a breeze might interfere with its working. Despite these disadvantages, it has been used in the open air with notable success, both alone and as an auxiliary to other instruments. It is in indoor work, however, that the pendulum really comes into its own; and this distinctive form of dowsing, besides being a valuable psychic technique in its own right, also throws more light on the nature of dowsing in general.

Whether indoors or out, if we use the pendulum as a dowsing instrument, a great deal of the earlier part of this chapter will apply to it. We need means to associate ourselves with the intended matter of exploration, and the "directive" (or "witness") method is highly effective. Whether dowsing by pendulum or other means, to have with us something representative of what is sought, and to advert to it from time to time as convenient, is a truly powerful means of getting our astral being, via the dowsing instrument, to lead us to our goal.

The level at which such directives "work" indicates that although in some respects we are operating very close to the material level, the faculty that is being employed is in fact a psychic one and not a physical one, however subtle.

For instance, supposing we are seeking a missing person. We can use as a directive a garment or other article belonging to that person. A bloodhound setting out to track someone would likewise be given a garment or other article to sniff at. So, are we in our fashion using some ultra-refined and attenuated form of the sense of smell, or some related physical sense, in our dowsing?

No! Instead of a garment, we can be given a photo-graph of the missing person, and this may be a print straight from processing, that the person has never touched or even seen. But the likeness is emotionally and psychically as potent a directive to guide us in our dowsing as any garment could be.

Much the same principles apply to a stretch of country, or to a building, about which you mean to do some dowsing. A visit is not always possible; in such cases the pendulum dowser can operate by means of photographs and a map.

Thus, pendulum dowsing in particular has some major characteristics that can only be understood in terms of the essential interaction with the astral world in dowsing. If it is usual—as we consistently see it to be—for a dowser to go into a mildly altered state of consciousness through keeping the attention for long periods on the instrument, even more strongly and positively is such a state likely to be induced by focusing attention upon the silent rhythm of a pendulum. The ordinary consciousness, with its powerful link with the material world, is effectively lulled, so that the quiet and less aggressive activity of our astral being has more freedom to surface and to bring into effect its own natural link with the astral world.

And, because of the particular nature of the astral world, a link with it is a link with the whole of it, so that even without "astral projection" strictly so called, the astral level of the psyche can experience the astral level of whatever concerns it. Theoretically, at any rate, there is no limit to this possibility.

This last is a principle we see operating over and over in pendulum dowsing. People boggle and stumble over how pendulum dowsing gets at unknown facts, to such an extent that they very often find it more comfortable to deny the very occurrence of it; but the real trouble is that they are trying to see how the pendulum works in terms of the material world, when it is an astral-world function operating at its own level of cause and effect.

Thus, if you say a paper doll temporarily represents a given person's anatomy, and you get your astral being to accept this, then your pendulum, when you hold it over the paper doll, should indicate where that person hurts, and it will, if you have a flair for diagnosis. Or if you are seeking buried treasure and you have a map of a likely island, then your pendulum will indicate (again, if you have a flair for treasure-finding) as clearly on the map where the treasure is, as your dowsing fork would indicate it if you were physically to visit the island.

These things happen. Numberless dowsers could tell their true histories of incidents along these lines. Their astral being is able by means of a symbol—the directive—to reach out to the reality and to contact it. Sometimes the dowser has a sense of making this contact, and sometimes there is no perception of it, but, either way, the pendulum registers the direction and locality found by the astral being.

The only limitation upon possibilities of this kind is our astral being's conception of what concerns it. That is why, if we want our range of inquiry to extend beyond our immediate and spontaneous interests, a strong degree of communication with our astral being is essential.

The initial data. If you are planning some work at a distance, by pendulum, you should obtain maps, photographs, diagrams, as well as verbal descriptions. Ask questions to fill any gaps you can think of, particularly gaps in your visual impressions. Don't worry about things you can't find out; this is not an attempt on the part of your rational mind to do your astral being's work for it. You simply want to begin your explorations with the clearest possible data for your imagination.

Seeking a missing person. If it is a person you seek, therefore, you want a vivid mental image of that person; not only a photograph, but also a clear idea of the personality, voice, interests, everything to make that person "present" to you. You need to associate those qualities strongly with the photograph or other directive.

You also need a large-scale map of the area from which the person disappeared. You may also need a map of some other area if there is a strong presumption the person may have gone there, but otherwise you will do best in most cases to stay with the one map unless and until you get an indication on the direction of further search. Spread the first map out flat on a large table and have your directive and any other photographs or possessions of the person on hand, preferably on a smaller table.

Before you begin dowsing, program yourself. Look at the map and note its main features; use your imagination to see it as an actual expanse of country as viewed from an airplane or helicopter. (You will use that concept again while dowsing, so accustom yourself to it now as much as you can.)

Take up your directive, gently turning your attention away from the map and give it to building up your sense of the person. Dwell on the reality of the person; imagine you see him or her in front of you. This person smiles, moves, speaks; you hear the sound of the voice. Don't begrudge the time building up this image of the person; you will not be able to do it to the same extent while you are dowsing, and you need to keep the "feel" of that person associated as strongly as possible with the directive.

When you have spent sufficient time with the directive, put it aside, and take up your pendulum. Caress it, warm it in your hands, speak to it with a few words of friendly greeting, and then suspend it from your fingers. (It is best to place your directive close to the hand you will not be using for the pendulum.) Talk to the pendulum about the missing person and why it is necessary to find this person. Remember to give the emotional reasons rather than the rational reasons, and at some point lay your free hand on the directive while you are softly talking to the pendulum.

Then, gently and without haste, carry the pendulum across the map so that it hangs right above the place the person disappeared from. (If there is any doubt about the details, choose the person's home as your starting point.)

Suspended thus, your pendulum will, perhaps at once, perhaps after a pause, take up a directional swing. (You don't, of course, visualize the pendulum swinging.) As there are two ends—turning-points—to the swing, you may have to check which direction is meant by this. If you don't have a technique for testing this point, try the following.

Smoothly and evenly, carry the pendulum to a point over one end of its former swing, and wait. If that is the correct direction to move in, the pendulum should continue swinging. If, however, you have taken it in the direction opposite to that of the person's travel, it should stop dead. Carry it back to the starting point, wait until it takes up its former swing, then, slowly and gently, take it along the way it has indicated, until it changes direction.

Verify the exact point on the map where the change of direction takes place (this may be indicated by the pendulum circling when you hold it above the right spot), wait for resumption of the normal swing, and then gently take it along in its new direction.

Sometimes the pendulum can react quite violently; it may circle violently over a place where the person stayed or now is, or it can swing violently in a particular direction, trying to get off the limits of this particular map altogether. The implications will be clear to you.

If at any time the movement falters or stops in an indeterminate manner, keep it suspended where it is while you renew your contact with the directive and renew your mental image of the person. At any stage of the procedure, talk softly to the pendulum about the search, about the places passed over—this will help keep the landscape real to you—and about the person sought for. The more completely you can imagine yourself out of the material world of map, chair, and table, the more rapidly and decisively your pendulum is likely to tell its story.

Dowsing—in Conclusion

The example above should give at least an idea of the scope and possibilities of pendulum dowsing. Not only every dowser, but every individual venture in dowsing will produce distinctive variations in the requirements and in ways of meeting them. Once you have your basic "code" established, dowsing is as much an art of continual improvisation as is any dialogue. In any sphere of human inquiry, the possibilities are limitless, but the principles involved remain the same, and are very clearly intelligible, once the essential relationships of the dowsing instrument with the astral being, and of the astral being with the astral world, are accepted.

Pull, Glow, and Swing
Astral Power Games for the Group

On first reading through this chapter, you may very likely decide you want to begin experimenting with instruments and getting into dowsing at once. Or the time of year may be wrong for a beginning of fieldwork, or there may be some other reason why you can't, or don't want to, make a start just now.

In that case, if you have a group, the games that follow offer at least a means of meeting with, and getting into practice with, some of the powers that are used in dowsing. If however you do begin to practice dowsing at once (which, if the conditions are at all right, is a good idea while the impulse is fresh and clear to you), these games again can be very interesting and helpful.

Thus you can use them in your group as an introduction, to get the feeling of these powers and forces before you take up dowsing, or you can use them to provide some variety in approach, and to keep up the united group spirit when people are already into dowsing. They are, besides, good social fun at any time, the first two in particular being fine to "warm up" group energy for various occasions.

The first game, "Magnets," is an old high school favorite although most people who have played it will probably not have thought much about what can be learned from it. Try it, and find out how it feels to be a dowsing rod!


(Best for four, five, or six players.) All the players except one form a circle; the remaining player—the "pin"—stands in the center, blindfolded or with hands over eyes.

The players in the circle silently agree to one of their number as the "magnet." Then each of them, the "magnet" included, lays the tip of a finger lightly upon the "pin." (No prodding, please!) The fingers may touch bare or clothed skin, it makes no difference.

Now each person in the circle thinks about the "magnet," or about the "pin" moving toward the "magnet"; the "magnet" will find the latter idea easier. The "pin" doesn't have to think, and will do best not to speculate as to the direction of the "magnet."

A few minutes may pass while the circle "warms up." Then the "pin" will begin to sway out of vertical, to tilt in one direction or another; then will lean over further, will try to regain a balance, and at last will go conclusively over to the "magnet," who may have to lend a supporting arm!

Let two or three people in the circle try being "magnets," then let someone else have a turn at being "pin." This may bring out some new aspects of interrelationships within the group:

all do equally well as "magnets"?

Or as "pins"?

Do some pairs do exceptionally well when one is "magnet" and the other "pin"?

Do people's results tally with their degree of friendship with each other?

You may have one or two instances of reverse effect: people who, when they are "pins," don't simply get it wrong but almost always move in just the opposite direction from the "magnet."

This peculiarity has much the same significance as getting a "lower than hazard" average with the ESP cards. There is distinctly a good degree of psychism in evidence, but it is being psychologically negated; either the situation, or some personal aspect of it, is uncongenial, or else this person at some level doesn't want to be psychic—but is developing all the same! You may never know the underlying facts, but all such things contribute to the human reality of your group.

After the initial game of "Magnets," have the players talk over their experiences, especially their experiences as "pins." (They will describe in their own ways how they were not pushed but, in fact, "magnetized"; it was not the pressure of the fingers that directed them, but some force that seemed to be working upon and through their whole body.)

In general, we can say that what happens to the "pin" is the same sort of action that occurs with a dowsing-rod!

By way of further experiment and added interest, you might try this variation too.

This game is organized just as in the original version, except that the "pin" is not touched by the other players; each extends a finger toward him or her, but the fingertips remain about two inches away.

This requires some watchful moving with the "pin," so as to remain near but not to make contact. Many players find the effect exactly the same as with contact, the "pin" moving unerringly toward the "magnet," but some "pins" have said they felt more conscious of the tension of force when the game is played this way.

The purpose in the next game is to test whether persons who don't know which of many objects has been touched, can identify the right one by touching it themselves. This is very good experience for the aspiring dowser as well as for the budding psychometrist, giving an opportunity to know, rather than just to believe in, the reality of nonmaterial influences.

Hot trail

(For any number of players.) You know the way children ask, "Hot or cold?" in a treasure hunt. You have to tell them they are "hot," or "getting warmer," when they are in the region of the treasure, "cold" when they move away from it.

In this game, nobody tells anyone if they are "hot or cold"; the player who is doing the hunting has to find out by ESP.

Draw lots, or by some agreed method, decide who's to go out of the room. In that player's absence the remaining players decide, silently, on an object in the room. Each person in the room then touches that object for a moment, not thinking anything in particular; and all return to their places. The object has been "charged."

The player outside is re-admitted, and is at liberty to move around the room, touching various objects at will until the right one is discovered. Nobody is allowed to give any clues; the object has to be identified by the one player unaided.

Occasionally the game "shorts"; the player from outside will come right in and state, "The object is that picture," or, "That pen," or whatever it is, thus scoring an easy point. Generally, however, after some experimenting, the player will find the sensitivity of fingertips that gives an awareness of the chosen and handled thing, and so will locate and name it.

Some people, on touching the right object, experience a sensation of heat; sometimes with this, or instead of it, there can be a magnetic pull. Having discovered the object, the "hunting" player scores a point, and remains as one of the company in the room while someone else takes a turn outside.

It is possible the "hunter" may guess wrong and may say, "It is this!" when it is not. Wrong guesses are dealt with according to the number of players and the time available for the game; several mistakes, perhaps two or four, being allowed before the player is "out" on the next one. A player who is "out," having either guessed wrong at the final attempt or having exhausted his or her allotted time, rejoins the company without scoring.

The winner is the player with most points when everyone has had the same number of turns. If two or more players have the same score, judgment should be made in favor of the one out of those players who made the least number of wrong guesses.

Details of organization for this game are quite elastic, and can be decided in any group to suit its own needs; the above outline is a general guide.

This is a good game to come back to from time to time. Your group might introduce it at a party, too, after a little practice!

Now we have two pendulum games. There is a likeness between them, certainly, but there is also an important difference.

Whose? A pendulum game

(For any number of players.) Fit a fabric cover to a box or basket, so each person in turn can slip a hand under the cover to deposit two or three small objects that have been kept concealed.

Such objects can be quite trivial items: a small pencil, a pack of gum, a ring, a pocketknife, matches, a pebble, even a small coin if the owner is quite sure of recognizing it again. (Someone else might put in one of the same kind!) Members of the group can have been asked beforehand to bring such items with them, and not to show them or name them to any other person present. Watches are generally found unsatisfactory, both for this and for psychometry practice; it may be because they have such an intense "life" of their own.

These items having been collected undercover, the players draw lots for their turns as pendulum operator. The first pendulum operator extracts an object at random from the box (if it happens to be one of the operator's own, it can be put back without comment and another one taken) and places it on the upturned palm of the nearest other player. That player remains with the object on the extended palm, so the operator can suspend the pendulum over it.

Now the question, spoken or silent, is, "Does this item belong to this person?" The pendulum should, before too long, react according to its established code for answering "yes" or "no." After it has settled down to one of these two movements, the person holding the item is asked if he/she is the owner.

If the pendulum's response is "no" and the person confirms this, the same item is tried on the next person, and so on. If it is "yes" from both pendulum and person, the owner removes the item from the game but personally remains a participant. At this point, however, the pendulum operator takes another item from the box, places it upon the palm of the next person, and proceeds as before.

If the pendulum signals "no" when the true answer is "yes," this too puts the item out of the game—its ownership has had to be stated—and the owner remains as a participant; but the pendulum operator relinquishes office and hands over to the next in order of lot, who takes a fresh item from the box and continues. If the pendulum gives "yes" when the true answer is "no," then the ownership of the item remains unknown and it is tested upon another person's hand, but—as in the other case of error—the pendulum operator is changed. If a new operator chances to be the owner of the object then in circulation, he or she simply removes it from the game and take another item from the box.

Play continues until there are no more items left, or until every player has had a turn with the pendulum.

(Another version of this game follows that is well worth using as people become more advanced; it calls for somewhat more preparation beforehand.)

Whose name?

Each player writes his or her name, in the form that is most often used. All the written names are collected and are taken, with the covered box described in the previous game, to a helper who is not a member of the group and does not know most of the members.

All the names are then copied out (preferably typed) by this helper, on a sheet of paper that is afterwards cut into small slips, a name upon each. Each slip of paper is then enclosed in a "case" made of two little squares of card taped together on opposite sides, so the slips can easily be removed but can't easily fall out by accident. These encased slips are then put by the helper into the covered box. Each name can be used on two or three slips, and there can also be some blanks.

The game is then played in almost the same way as "Whose?" but the player on whose palm one of the encased slips is laid has, of course, no means of knowing whether the name inside is his or her own or not. The question asked by the operator, on suspending the pendulum over the case, is, "Does this name belong to this person?" When the pendulum has responded, the player who is holding the slip takes it out and shows it to see if the response was correct. (Blanks always count as "no.") In any event, that slip is then removed from the game. A fresh item is then drawn from the box to be placed on the palm of the next player. As in "Whose?" the pendulum operator remains "in office" until his or her pendulum gives a wrong response, then the next operator in order of lot takes over. The game continues until every player has had a turn as operator.

As the players have not seen or touched the slips bearing their names before the game, and each slip is withdrawn after being looked at, this game is a strict trial of the players' dowsing ability. It is not a "test," not being geared for each operator to use a standard number of slips, but it is an interesting challenge for those of some degree of proficiency, and is a proportionately good energizer.

In the above games, only the essentials are given; each group can decide the finer points for itself


In view of James A.'s experience, related earlier in this chapter, it may be asked why mended fractures generally do not produce such symptoms. Certainly the flexibility of the "floating" ribs is involved, and a special aptitude for dowsing on the part of James A. is probably involved also; but another, and important, factor is the proximity of the lower ribs to the solar plexus.

The solar plexus is highly "astro-sensitive." (We remark on this in Llewellyn's Practical Guide to Astral Projection, and employ it accordingly.) Simon Tamenec, head of Aurum Solis in France, has designed a dowsing device that enables him to touch his solar plexus while holding it; he is thus able to measure psychic influences very accurately. Significantly, too, Dr. Zaboj V. Harvalik, at Lorton, Virginia, has made exact tests that likewise show supreme astro-sensitivity in the solar plexus. (Harvalik, Z. V., "A Biophysical Magnetometer-Gradio Meter" in The Virginia Journal of Science vol. 21, no. 2, 1970: also P. Tompkins and C. Bird, The Secret Life of Plants, Harper & Row, 1973.)