book notes

Witchcraft Today: Chapter 3

Notes made while reading “Witchcraft Today” by G.B.G

Reincarnation and the God

  • Horned God as god of death and resurrection, reincarnation, the next world, comforter & consoler
  • Next world, god’s realm, follows life and acts as a place of rest for the soul until it’s next incarnation, thus is realm of beloved dead/spirits
  • This idea is expressed through myth of the goddess, similar to but also different from Ishtar descending into hell, or stories of Siva, Hindu god of death and resurrection.
  • GBG proposes Celtic origin for myth à la Lords of the Underworld

The Goddess

  • Goddess of witch cult is Great Mother, giver of life, love incarnate, rules over spring pleasure, feasting & has affinity with the moon.
  • Identifies Charge of the Goddess as possibly Roman in origin, but doesn’t outright identify Leland’s Aradia as source. Suggests that a similar charge was part of ancient mysteries, without identifying the recent nature of this actual piece of prose.

Admission to the cult

  • accept the rule of the Goddess
  • admission into Circle
  • introduced to the Mighty Dead
  • intro’d to cult members
  • small ‘frightening’
  • an ‘ordeal’
  • an ‘oath’
  • shown certain things & receive instruction

Denying Christianity

  • denies that repudiation of Christian religion required by witches
  • but suggests if it happened, it might be a test for strangers to make sure they were not spies during persecution times
  • witch trial testimony of such is suspect due to fear and pain endured

Forgotten beliefs

  • much about the god is unknown, barring rites and prayers
  • origin of the cult not known by GBG’s initiators
  • possibly GBG puts this down to persecution forcing cult members underground?

Delicious tidbits

  • the priestess strapping on a sword to take the place of a missing man
  • man can never take woman’s place
  • mention of ‘The Devil’ as visiting priest… Man in Black? possible Druid chief?
  • identifies Magic Circle as coming from pre-Druid people who built Stonehenge & Avebury, or prehistoric cave magic, or from the East (via Druids/mystery traditions?)

The Myth Of The Goddess

Now G. had never loved, but she would solve all mysteries, even the mystery of Death, and so she journeyed to the nether lands. The guardians of the portals challenged her. ‘Strip off thy garments, lay aside thy jewels, for nought may ye bring with you into this our land.’ So she laid down her garments and her jewels and was bound as are all who enter the realms of Death, the mighty one.

Such was her beauty that Death himself knelt and kissed her feet, saying: ‘Blessed be thy feet that have brought thee in these ways. Abide with me, but let me place my cold hand on thy heart.’ And she replied: ‘I love thee not. Why doest thou cause all things that I love and take delight in to fade and die?’ ‘Lady,’ replied Death, ‘ ’tis age and fate, against which I am helpless. Age causes all things to wither; but when men die at the end of time, I give them rest and peace and strength so that they may return. But you, you are lovely. Return not; abide with me.’ But she answered: ‘I love thee not.’ Then said Death: ‘As you receive not my hand on your heart, you must receive Death’s scourge.’ ‘It is fate, better so,’ she said, and she knelt. Death scourged her and she cried: ‘I know the pangs of love.’ And Death said: ‘Blessed be,’ and gave her the fivefold kiss, saying: ‘Thus only may you attain to joy and knowledge.’

And he taught her all the mysteries, and they loved and were one; and he taught her all the magic’s. For there are three great events in the life of man – love, death and resurrection in the new body – and magic controls them all. To fulfil love you must return again at the same time and place as the loved ones, and you must remember and love her or him again. But to be reborn you must die and be ready for a new body; to die you must be born; without love you may not be born, and this is all the magic.’

Beginning of the Charge of the Goddess

Listen to the words of the Great Mother, who of old was also called among men Artemis, Astarte, Dione, Melusine, Aphrodite and many other names. At mine altars the youth of Lacedaemon made due sacrifice. Once in the month, and better it be when the moon is full, meet in some secret place and adore me, who am queen of all the magics…

For I am a gracious goddess, I give joy on earth, certainty, not faith, while in life; and upon death, peace unutterable, rest and the ecstasy of the goddess. Nor do I demand aught in sacrifice…

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