It is not sufficient to say you are a "witch" or to practice magick. You must also live as a witch.
**I comment on this because this is something I believe whole-heartedly. But then the question is...what does it mean to live as a witch? It means knowing yourself, knowing others, and taking responsibility for your actions. Period. Yes, random acts of strangeity (new word *grins*) do occur...but...when you sit down and think about it, pretty much everything that happens to you stems from your reaction/action to something else.**
Do not look for excuses for why you cannot follow the path. Accept responsibility for your failures as well as your successes.
**Exactly. If you choose to follow the path...FOLLOW IT. If it comes naturally, more power to you. But I'm honestly tired of the wannabes who claim to follow a "path" when all they're doing is looking for attention. Responsibility is natural... it's unselfish...it's looking at the world through adult eyes and realizing that not everyone is out to get you, damnit.**
Celebrate the phases of the Moon and the changing of seasons. Do so not because it is part of a ritual calendar, but rather because these acts keep you in tune with Nature and Spirit.
**I cannot stress this enough. I follow the cycle of the Moon because it's in my blood. Do I celebrate every Sabbat? No. In fact, the last year (starting with Samhain 2001) was the first year I actually attempted to follow the Sabbats. I found that I have done this naturally for most of my life. You need to have a connection with Spirit...you really do. And anyone who doesn't, needs to sit down and make that connection or move on to a new path.**
Honor Spirit or the Goddess, but recognize that the spirits of all entities in the Universe are equal.
**All Gods are of the same stuff. *shrugs* Divinity is divinity. Who are we to question what is truly divine? Who are we to say that one God/Goddess is better than the others?**
All life is sacred; all acts are ritual. Your actions should reflect your own divinity and that of all beings.
**Slight point of disagreeance with this one... If you prove that you do not value the sacred nature of human life...sorry, I don't consider your life worth anything. I.E. Murderers do not gain a sympathy vote from me because of unfortunate circumstances. As with everything, there are exceptions to the rule (self defense) but overall...the Bible did have a point in its "Eye for an eye" mentality. As for the life of other creatures... I honestly know that spiders and sugar ants play an important part in the ecology....but....if they make it into my house, they've gotta go. Period...*heh* **
Achieving balance with the Earth is essential for a magickal life.
Responsibility toward the environment and the Earth's inhabitants should be evident in the activities of your daily life.
Do not take more from the Earth than you need to live. We are mere visitors here; the Earth is eternal.
Wealth and fame are not necessary ingredients for a magickal life.
**Sure...wealth makes certain things easier...but... it isn't exactly necessary to exist.**
Know that the joy of life is a gift. Know it as a cat knows it, in his bones and blood.
**Translation? Purr.. roll... sleep in... eat well... and love.**
Power is a sacred gift and must be used wisely and with humility. Pride in ones power will ultimately cause failure.
**Another good one that newbies should look at. Some of your most powerful elders are the ones you would never in your life think of as a Witch...or a Pagan...or following any path other than the standard "Christianity". The most powerful people do not flaunt it.**
Power should never be used to prove your ability or in any form of competition with others.
Power should be used to create happiness, not sorrow.
**And if you use it to create sorrow...be damned sure that you're not doing it out of revenge. Your intentions are everything.**
Be certain of your intentions when performing any act of magick. Magick is neither good nor evil, positive nor negative. The intentions of the magician determine the path it will take.
**Blessed Be. Magick is magick is magick. Intentions determine the outcome.**
Act always with honor and accept responsibility for your actions. It is honorable to protect your loved ones, but be willing to accept the consequences of your actions with honor as well.
**Again with that responsibility deal. With power comes responsibility. Use both wisely and well.**
Words are sacred, use them wisely.
**There is such power in words that you may never fully comprehend. How much damage can be done by speaking words in anger, for they cannot ever truly be taken back. The same goes with words of love. "I love you" is the most overused phrase in the english language. Say it when you mean it...not when it's convenient for you.**
There is honor in truth.
Your word is sacred. Others must know that they can depend on you absolutely.
Learn to forgive yourself and others.
**Probably one of the hardest lessons. I'm still working on this one.**
Knowledge is the foundation of the Craft. Never believe that you know enough.
**And never stop learning.**
Teach those who truly wish to learn, but take care that you do not teach those who only wish to serve themselves or harm others.
**I'm sure many of us have already met people like this....some of them you can tell a mile away.**
Teach the Craft with pride, but not to enhance your own pride.
**Humility. Teaching. Love.**
Recognize that even the least knowledgeable of students may offer you lessons you need.
Live your life in a way that is above reproach to the rest of the world. In doing so, you will bring honor to all witches.
**Very difficult to do in this day and age. My recommendation? Live life as it makes you happy. Live for yourself, but do not forget others. Love yourself and you will be able to love another. There will always be people ready with stones to throw at your misfortunes. We only learn through mistakes...whether they be ours, or those of others.**
Do not be drawn into the feelings of hate and anger expressed by others.
**A toughie for empaths. But remember...be in control of yourself and your emotions and you won't fall prey to delusions or things you can't take back.**
Be able to look into a mirror and be truly unafraid.
**Know yourself. It is only in knowing yourself that you can know the Divine. Love yourself...and you will be able to love others.**
I hope everyone had a blessed Thanksgiving:)