1. The Law was made and ardane of old by those whom art called, The Old Ones.
2. The Law was made for the Wicce, to advise and help comfort in their troubles.
The Wicca should give due worship to the Gods and obey Their will,
which they ardane, for it was made for
the good of Wicce, as the worship of the Wicce is good for the gods. For the Gods love the brethren
of the Wicce, and it is from this love that cometh the Power.
4. As a man loveth a woman by mastering her,
5. So should the Wicce love the Gods by mastering them.
And it is necessary that the Magick Circle, which is the temple of
the Gods, should be duly cast and purified that
it may be a fit place for the Gods to enter and dwell.
7. And the Wicce should be properly purified and prepared in heart to enter into the presence of the Gods.
With love and worship in their hearts, they shall raise power from
their bodies to give power to the Gods. And
in so doing the complete Circle is formed.
9. As has been taught of old.
10. For in this way only may man have communication with the Gods, for the gods cannot help men without the help of man.
12. And the High Priest shall support and protect Her as the representative of the God.
13. And the High Priestess shall choose whom She will, if he have sufficient rank, to be Her High Priest.
For, as the God Himself kissed Her feet in the Five-fold salute, laying
His power at the feet of the Goddess,
because of Her youth and beauty, Her sweetness and kindness, Her wisdom and Her justice, Her humility
and gentleness and generosity,
15. So He resigned all His power to Her.
16. But the High Priestess should ever mind that the power comes from Him.
17. It is only lent, to be used wisely and justly.
And the greatest virtue of a High Priestess be that She recognizes that
youth is necessary
to the representative of the eternal Goddess.
19. So she will gracefully retire in favour of a younger woman should the Coven so decide in council.
20. For the true High Priestess realizes that gracefully and humbly surrendering pride of place is one of the greatest virtues.
21. And it shal be that She thereby return to that pride of place in another life, with greater power and beauty.
23. But, in these unhappy times of woe, we must celebrate our Sacred Mysteries in secret.
So be it ardane, that none but the Wicce may see our Mysteries, for our
many and torture loosens the tongue of men.
25. So be it ardane, that no Coven may know where the next Coven bide.
26. Or who its members be, save only the Priest and Priestess and Messenger.
27. And there shall be no communication between them, save only by the Messenger of the Gods, or the Summoner.
28. And only if it be safe may the Covens meet in some safe and secret place for the Great Festivals.
29. And while there, none shall say whence they came, nor give their true names.
30. To this end, that if any be tortured, in their agony, they may not tell if they do not know.
So be it ardane, that no one shall tell anyone, not of the Craft, who be
of the Wicce, nor give any names, or where
any abide, or in any way tell anything which can betray any of us to our foes.
32. Nor may he tell where the Covendom be.
33. Nor the Covenstead.
34. Nor where the meetings be.
And if any break these Laws, without express permission, even under torture,
the curse of the Goddess shall be
upon them, so they may never be reborn on earth, and may remain where they belong, in the hell of the christians.
37. She will heed all complaints of all Brothers and strive to settle all differences among them in reason and justice.
38. But it must be recognized that there will always be people who will ever strive to force others to do as they will.
39. These are not necessarily evil.
40. And they oft have good ideas, and such ideas should be talked over and decided in council.
41. But, if they will not agree with their Brothers, or if they say,
42. "I will not work under this High Priestess,"
43. It hath ever been the Old Law, to be convenient to the Brethren, and to avoid disputes.
Any of the third may claim to found a new Coven, because they live
over a league away from the Covenstead or are
about to do so.
Anyone living within the Covendom and wishing to form a new Coven shall
tell the Elders of their intentions and on the
instant avoid their dwelling and remove to the new Covendom.
Members of the old Coven may join the new one when it is formed,
but if they do so, they must utterly, unless otherwise
so bidden, avoid the old Coven.
47. The Elders of the new and old Covens shall meet in peace and brotherly love to decide the new boundaries.
48. Those of the craft who live outside both Covens may join either indifferently, but certainly not both.
49. Though all may, if the Elders be in agreement, meet for the Great Festivals, if it be truly in peace and brotherly love,
But it is known that the splitting the Coven often means strife, so for
this reason these Laws were made of old, and
may the Curse of the Goddess be on any who disregard or take these Laws lightly!!
52. For if it be found in their hand of write, they may be taken and engained.
53. And let each guard his own writings, and destroy them whenever danger threatens.
54. Learn as much as you may by heart, and when danger is past, rewrite your book an it be safe.
55. For this reason, if any die, destroy their book, an they have not been able to.
56. For an it be found, 'tis clear proof against them.
57. And our oppressors know well "Ye may not be a Witch alone".
58. So all their kin and friends be in danger of torture.
59. So destroy everything not necessary.
60. If your book be found on you, 'tis clear proof against you alone. You may be engained.
62. If the torture be too great to bear, say "I will confess. I cannot bear this torture. What would you have me to say?"
63. If they try to make you talk of the Brotherhood, do not.
But if they try to make you speak of impossibilities such as flying
through the air, consorting with the christian devil, or
sacrificing children or eating men's flesh,
65. To obtain relief from the torture, say, "I hold an evil dream, I was beside myself, I was crazed."
66. Not all the magistrates are cruel; if there be any excuse, they may show mercy.
67. If you have confessed ought, deny it afterwards. Say you babbled under the torture, say you know not what you said.
68. If you are condemned, fear not.
69.Fear not, the Brotherhood is powerful, they will help you to escape if you, but stand steadfast in trust.
70. But if you betray any Secrets, and Bretheren, there is no hope for you in this life or any that is to come.
Be sure, if steadfast you go to the pyre, drugs will reach you, you
will feel naught. You go but to death and
that peace which lies beyond.
73. Let the Pentacles be of wax so that they may be broken at once or melted should danger threaten.
74. Have no sword, unless your rank allows you one.
75. Have no names or signs on anything.
Write the names or signs on them in ink immediately before consecrating
them and wash it off immediately after all
rites have ended.
77. Do not engrave them lest they cause discovery.
78. Let the color of the hilts tell which is which.
79. Ever remember, ye are the "Hidden Children of the Goddess", so never do anything to disgrace them or Her.
80. Never threaten, never boast, never say you would wish ill of anyone.
If any person, not in the Magick Circle, speak of the Craft, say, "Speak
not to me of such, it frightens me. 'Tis
evil luck speak of it."
83. To such as these, ever deny all knowledge.
But to any others, ever say, "'Tis foolish talk of Witches flying through
the air. To do so they must be light as
thistle-down. And men say that Witches all be so blear-eyed, old crones, so what pleasure can there be at a Witch
meeting such as folks talk on ?"
85. And say, "Many wise men now say there be no such creatures."
Ever make it a jest and in some future time, perhaps the persecution may
die and we may worship our Gods in peace
and safety again.
87. Let us all pray for that happy day.
88. May the blessings of the Goddess and God be on all those who keep these Laws which are ardane.
89. If the craft have any Appenage, let all guard it, and help to keep it clear and good for the Craft.
90. And let all justly guard all monies of the Craft.
But if any Brother truly wrought it, 'tis right they have their pay, and
it be just. And this be not taking of monies
for the Art, but for good and honest work. For money cheapens the Arts.
And even the christians say, "The laborer is worthy of his hire," but if
any Brother work willingly for the good of the Craft
without pay, 'tis to their greatest honor.
94. And they shall decide justly, not favouring the one side or the other.
95. Ever recognizing there be always people who can never agree to work under any others.
96. But at the same time, there be some people who cannot rule justly.
97. To those who ever must be chief, there is but one answer.
"'Void the Coven, or seek another one, or make a Coven of your own, if
ye be of the third, taking with you those
who will go."
99. To those who cannot rule justly, the answer shall be, "Those who cannot bear your rule will leave you."
For none may come to meetings with those with whom they are at variance.
For to so so angers the Gods and
hinders the Brotherhood.
101. So, an either cannot agree, "Both get hence, for the Craft must ever survive."
But as our Gods need our aid to make fertility for man and crops, so it
is the God of the christians that is ever in
need of man's help to search out and destroy us. Their priests ever tell them that any who get our help are damned to
this hell forever, so men be mad with the terror of it.
But they make men believe that they may escape this hell if they give up
Witches to the tormentors. So for
this reason, all be forever spying, thinking, "An I catch but one of the Wicce, I will escape this fiery pit."
So for this reason, we have our hidels, and men searching long and not
finding us say: "There be none, or if
there be, they be in a far country."
But when one of our oppressors dies, or even be sick, ever is the cry,
"This be Witches' malice", and the hunt is
up again and though they slay ten of their own to one of ours, still they care not. They have countless thousands.
While we are few indeed.
SO BE IT ARDANE
109. However much they may injure us, HARM NONE and now times there are many that believe we exist not.
To this end, men will say: "Such an one is a mighty searcher out and a
persecutor of old women whom they
deemeth to be Witches, and none hath done him skith, so they be proof that they cannot, or more truly where be none."
For all know full well that so many folk have died because someone had
a grudge against them, or were persecuted
because they had money or goods to sieze or because they had none to bribe the searchers. And many have died
because they were scolding old women. So much that men say "only old women are Witches."
113. And this be to our advantage, and turns suspicions away from us.
In England and Scotland, 'tis now many a year since a Witch hath
died the death. But misuse of the power
might raise the persecution again.
115. So never break this Law, however much you are tempted, and never consent to it being broken in the least.
116. If you know it is being broken, you must work strongly against it.
And any High Priestess who consents to its breach must immediately be deposed.
"For 'tis the
blood of the Brethren they endanger."
118. Do good, an it be safe, and only if it be safe.
119. And strictly keep to the Old Law.
121. Be not as these. If you accept no money, you will be free from temptation to use the Art for evil causes.