I copied this list from a Website or a book, hard to remember exactly. I can list several sources for it, Scott Cunningham "Wicca: A guide for a Solitary Practitioner", www.paganlibrary.com, www.workingwithch.com, probably www.witchvox.com as well. I will explain each as I understand them.
Know thy self - sounds simple? Yeah, it's not. I find it to often be the hardest one to follow. Though I have lived with me for 34 years, and I know what I have experienced, it doesn't mean I know myself. I don't understand why I react to certain things the way I do. I have an intense reaction to the word 'rape' I don't like to discuss the topic. I become angered, scared, and physically ill when discussions of rape take place. I have to leave them. Why? I have no idea. I have never been raped and have never experienced someone I know being raped.
Knowing thy self is more than just knowing where you come from, what you like, what you don't, and what you believe. You need to know why you think the way you do, why you speak the way you do, what is the reason behind every action and word. You need to know why you want the things you do. Magic is the art of bring about specific change in accordance with your will. To Know thy self is required to understand your will.
Know thy Craft - Learn your basics. Read, not just on your path, but on other paths as well. Read things on why the craft is wrong to practice. We need to understand what others think of us. We need to understand we are capable of. Education is important on the path. Without it you don't know why spells work and why they don't. You can't set a positive example of the Craft if you don't understand it. We are all spokesmen and women for the craft, if we come off as lunatics to the general population, they will see all witches as lunatics that need mental help. Each person you come in contact with will base their judgment of other witches off their experience with you.
Learn - Educate yourself. Learn all that you can, not just on the path, but in other areas as well. Learn about your family history, learn about your community, your country, the world. Education will increase understanding, understanding combats hate. We could all do with less hate. Learn history, science, math, psychology, physics, and cooking. Learn anything you are interested in. No I don't expect you to get a masters in every field. You can learn about that. Become well rounded as an individual. Learn to change your own oil in your car, how to fix a flat tire, learn to plant a garden, paint a sunset. The list of things to learn is astronomical. Have a dictionary, thesaurus, and an encyclopedia (you can find those on line and book mark the page for quick reference).
Learning is not just reading. Experience new things as often as you can. Visit towns you normally drive by, talk to new people, eat new foods, and listen to different music. It all amounts to learning. Step out of your comfort zone and see what the world has to offer. So many people are bored. Boredom, to me, is a luxury and a frivolous one at that. You can change boredom to activity if you choose.
Apply knowledge with wisdom - Reading and understanding a book gives you knowledge. Life teaches us everyday. We learn things on a regular basis even when we don't realize it. Practicing what you learn adds to your knowledge. Applying what you learn to your life and your path are the best ways to increase knowledge. Wisdom, now that is harder. Wisdom can't be taught to you by others. It is a process that you go through as you live. All that you have learned, practiced, done, experienced and felt gives you wisdom. It can't be acquired or given, it must be earned. Good choices, bad choices, and the consequences of both are where wisdom is found. Sometimes it takes repitition for us to earn our wisdom. Some, perhaps, miss it completely. We all have wisdom, often specific to certain things in our lives. As we experience and learn more we will, eventually, gain more knowledge. Wisdom does not come to those who sit on the couch or stay stuck in a book, it comes to those who go out and experience life in all it's splendor.
Achieve balance - Not as easy as 1 hour study 1 hour with family. Balance is harder than giving equal attention to two areas. You must find balance in learning and practice, in knowledge and wisdom, in magic and the mundane, family and work or friends. Balance is more than this as well. How do you balance the emotions that run through you? How do you balance energy? We are pulled in so many directions of our lives. Finding balance is necessary so that you don't burn yourself out. Do you need to be at every family function or every coven event? If the book you just read taught you something in the three days that you read it does that mean three days of practice is sufficent to know the subject? Not likely. Some subjects take years to fully understand, others may be fairly simple for you to integrate into your practice and life. Always remember to balance practice and life. Read more than just magic books, have friends with different interests. In short, stay as well rounded as you can.
Keep thy words in order - I have seen this one pan out in the most ridiculous ways. Our words can be weapons or blessings depending on how we use them. They can cause conflict or end it. "I'd like to kill him." "Why won't she just die?" "She was asking for it." "You're an idiot." Though none of us want to hear those statements about us, we are more than willing to make them about others. We are all guilty of it. So your boss annoys you. You want him to die. What happens when he does? What happens to those that love him and depend on him? Would you tell them your glad he's dead? Would you throw a party? Most likely not. We often say things we don't mean as a way to vent frustration at a situation we feel we can't control or change. We don't always remember that we make an impact on those around us by what we say. Your entitled to your opinion on an issue, but so is the person you disagree with. Does your opinion come from knowledge of the issue or just a view based on limited understanding? Sure that guy that cut you off is 'an idiot' but could it also be that he is a father rushing to the emergency room because his child is dying? Could he be a volunteer firefighter rushing to your relatives house or car accident? You don't know his motive, just the actions. Our words can effect people in ways we may never see. Perhaps that cashier you just said 'Hello' to is having a rough day. Your pleasant hello and smile may have made her feel better. Perhaps the gentlemen you just told to sod off is suffering from troubles in his personal life that leave him feeling suicide is the answer. Your careless remark may be the one that tips the balance from thinking to doing.
Keep thy thoughts in good order - We jump to conclusions based on limited facts and personal bias. Our thoughts lead us in our lives. Think you are ugly? You will act ugly and get treated that way. Think you know everything? Someone will make it their mission to prove you wrong. Arrogance is not a way to lead your life. It sets you up for problems across every portion of your life. Feel that you are worthless and can't do anything right? That is what you will end up. Thoughts shape our understanding of ourselves, our lives, our family, our portion of the world. They can take on a life of their own if allowed to run. No person is better than another. No one's cause is more just. We all have as much right as another yet we do things that tell others we don't think they matter.
Celebrate life - Enjoy life. Experience Life. Celebrate the tiny victories. Smile. Dance and sing for the love of it. Life is precious. Share in the celebration of life every chance you get. Spend time with those you love. Celebrate the miracles that are around us everyday. Sure the sun rises everyday, however we are not guaranteed to see it. Enjoy it when you do. Learn happiness. Find the good in all things. Yes Hurricane Isaac sucked for the Gulf Coast. Celebrate not being effected by sending aid to those who were. Celebrate being effected by hugging those around you who also survived. Celebrate the lives of those that didn't. Celebrate the lives of those who have come and gone from your life. Death is not an end, it is a change. Celebrate the change.
Attune with the cycles of the Earth - Go outside. How can we enjoy the bounty and beauty of nature sitting in the house? Magic is using the energies. Go outside and experience the energy of nature. Experience the heat and humidity, the feel right before a thunderstorm, and after it. Experience the bit of a cold winter's night. Feel the coolness of a spring rain. Garden, enjoy the feel and smell of fresh earth, the beauty of sprouting flowers, the sound of bees pollinating plants. Grow your own food. You'll know it's history, and will be a part of taking care of your family. Wake with the sun and sleep with the moon. Hike in a national forest, understand the importance of the local water shed. Feel the rush of water as the waves strike the beach. Feel the chill of mountain air in the Autumn. Understanding our planet and it's resources will make us all mindful of the waste we create.
Breathe and eat correctly - Health. Important to us all. Did you know that improper breathing forces your heart to work harder to get oxygen to your muscles? Breathing is something we all do, we take it for granted. Most of us don?t breathe properly. Some of us don't take the time to just sit and breathe. We feel that we must be doing something. Our stress levels are higher and that causes health issues across the board. Take the time to breathe.
Eat fruits and vegetables instead of chips and candy bars. Have an apple before you eat a snickers. Drink plenty of water. Learn about portions and eat the correct portions of different food groups. Our bodies require a vast array of nutrients to help maintain proper functions. Many of the common illnesses people have can be corrected or at least minimized by proper eating.
Exercise the body - In the United States we have reached a point of gross obesity. I don't recommend skin and bones as beauty, but having rolls and rolls of fat is just horrible. We need to exercise our bodies. Tone our muscles. Healthy is good for everyone. Park farther from the store. Use the stairs. Going to the neighbors? Walk or ride your bike. Take the kids for a hike in nature. Garden. Going down town to run errands? Park in a central spot and walk to the shops. There are many videos one can purchase to help them get in shape. Love to dance? Try Zumba. Learn to kick box. Karate and many of the martial arts encourage health and teach you self defense. Yoga is good for those who are starting out. Do your Yoga routine outside. Ride bikes with the kids. Walk the dog. Move your body while doing dishes, I dance at the sink. Swim. There are so many things to do that are not difficult. Talk to your doctor about what they recommend. Mine recommends walking 10 miles a day, now that isn't a 10 mile walk on top of what you do every day, but 10 miles total. Get a pedometer you will be surprised how much you do already.
Meditate - Meditate twice a day at least. In the morning and before bed are good times. They are not the only times. Meditate when you feel it is a good time for you. There are many methods of meditation, explore them to find one that is best for you.
Meditation is a valuable part of the craft. It helps you to find clearity in an issue by settling your mind. If you are frustrated by events and things that must get done all at the same time, take a moment to meditate. You may find some insight on how to handle it all or you may see that some of it is not as important as you thought. Stress and anxiety run rampant in our culture. We have access to instant news from anywhere. Constant or nearly constant contact with everyone we know is not always a good thing. It can cause us to miss the silence that we need to rejuvinate ourselves. Meditation will help you to do that. It can open new ways to commune with the Goddess and God. It can also help to restore your energy on a busy day. Meditation has far more benefits than I can list. They are easy to find and worth the work it takes to learn to meditate.
Honor the Goddess and the God - It is from them that all things come. We should pay them respect. They are Deity and they are worthy of respect. We are a part of them. All that we have comes to us from them. With out them our magic would not work. With out the spark of them in each of us we wouldn't know what magic is. We should honor them for our gifts. We can do this in many ways. One way is to honor one another as parts of the Goddess and God. Honoring their children brings honor to them. Many of us pay lip service to the Goddess and God. I am guilty of it from time to time. We say we love them and honor them but we turn our back on those around us that are in need. If you view each person as part of the Goddess and God you can only do honor to the Goddess and God by treating people with respect and compassion. A few bucks to a homeless person? Won't really hurt you, but it could do wonders for them. Old clothes you don't want? Give them to the local charity who will, hopefully, give them to people that can't afford clothes. We don't need to kneel in supplication to the Goddess and God, we can stand on our own two feet and honor them with our words and deeds. We can be the best that we are capable of as a gift to them. We can show the world what and who witches are respectable, honest, hardworking, dedicated, considerate and loving people who honor the Goddess and God not just a few days a year, but every single day in every deed and word.
I have learned over the years that the 13 Goals of a Witch is far more extensive than I thought when first reading them. All the goals lead into each other in many ways. Being a Witch is not something that we do on certain occasions. It is who we are all the time. Our path should blend into our life giving it greater depth and meaning. They are a guideline to living a full and magical life. They should not be read and forgotten, but followed everyday. It is not an easy task and will take a lot of work to get it all. This is a good thing, our lives must progress and change. If they don't we will lose more than we can afford. I am not one for dogma. I believe in free thinking individuals that can adapt to new things. Use the goals as a template for growth. Refer to them from time to time. You will be surprised at how much you will grow, even in a short time.
Re: 13 Goals of a Witch By: Harris19 / Novice Sep 02, 2012
Post # 2
Firsty, I have to say that today is a "good" day for our forums! Lots of very good and inspiring posts! I'm very happy for that. Let's hope more posts like that will follow up in the future. All these goals are wonderful to follow, and live your life by. Each and every one of them can help you grow fully and become a well-rounded person and practitioner. As far as I'm concerned that's the most important goal at least in my life. It might be hard and may be daunting to follow these goals at first but isn't that the best part? That it's something hard, challenging... you name it? There wouldn't be any "fun" if it was something easy. For me magick is transformation, you constantly grow and change, like a caterpillar which becomes a beautiful butterfly. It's a journey, a tricky journey. I can't help but relate this whole thing with Tarot. I'm a big fan of the tarot so don't blame me for that. We're all born like fools in this planet, and we have a journey ahead of us. We have a path to follow...or rather lots of paths. Are we the ones who choose our path? Or it's just a matter of destiny? We don't really know, we can't really know so what you believe is totally up to you.
As I see it, it's like you have a small boat and two paddles, you're in the sea...and the current is pushing you. But you're the one who controls it, you're the one with the paddles, you go wherever you want to, but sometimes life ...takes you to places you should be. Anyway, let's get back to the fool's journey, or should I say...our journey? You're just a part of the puzzle. Does that make you inferior? Sure not! We should acknowledge the fact that we are not wise, that we are not knowledgeable, that in actuality we know absolutely nothing about life, because that's simply the way it is. You might have been through a lot and I respect that fully but does that make one wise? The question we should ask yourself is ,what *can* make you wise? And would you admit you're wise even if you were? Would that make you less wise? Ok ok, I'm giving you a headache so let's move on but think about these questions. I don't know the answers to them, I know we can follow some advice ,experience situations and get there but who can really draw this line, who can really tell us whether someone is wise or not? Knowledgeable or not? We see, that too, is a matter of perception.
Usually I ask people why do you like magick? Why do you practice it? What interests you the most about magick and why? These are questions I ask myself, actually quite often and I always come up with an answer. Most answers I get from the people I ask are ... a) for enlightenment, b) to better myself, c) for power d) because I can, e) to control people and situations, f) to become wise, etc. All these answers are good, although they're all different but I respect that fully. Magick starts from within, or without? In my point of view , it starts from within. You practice magick, simply put, to create change. Isn't it so? Change what exactly? Inwards, or outwards? I for one, believe that if we want to change something outwards we must start from within, and when I say within I mean, our true Self, our deepest, "darkest" side of ourself.
You want to become enlightened, to be a better person, a wise person but how do you go about doing that? You start from within. Meditation is a great way to learn about...yourself. You might think you know everything about yourself but are you totally sure about that? I mean think about it. Take that challenge and write down your dreams for 10 days. Then see through them , try to decode them. You act in ways you truly don't know why you did that, or why you had that dream with a new boyfriend or girlfriend despite the fact you're married and you try to convince yourself that you're happy with your marriage. Our dreams are signs ;Most of the times, we're not fully aware of our very own desires and our dreams can show that. All in all, being able to remember, write them down and decode them or at least attempting to do that is of great importance for me anyway. Point being? You don't truly know yourself, you know just a little tiny part of yourself and that's it. That's just the surface, if you want to go further ,you have to work for it. Don't lie to yourself.
Be honest with yourself. You might not be satisfied with your job, you might want to have more money, to be more wealthy, to have a better job, a better husband, a better... anything. Instead of lying to yourself that everything is peachy be honest, be blunt with yourself and acknowledge that. You're a human being, of course you want more ,more and more, that's how we've been conditioned. Nothing wrong with that, but you definitely need to realise that and acknowledge it. Ok, you want all that, I get that, but you already have a wonderful family, you're healthy , you might be talented in something, you have good friends.
Appreciate what you already have, sit down and list everything you appreciate and love about your life. Instead of focusing on what you don't have, focus on what you do have. Let's say you get that better job, then what? You're happy for a while, probably and then you want something else. That's normal, that's perfectly normal, we have so many desires, desires we're aware of , and desires we're not aware of. Accepting yourself as it is , is the first step for enlightenment. You are who you are, be proud of it! Accept your uniqueness and embrace it, love it, acknowledge it.
This is your life... You're the one and only decides... See what matters in your life... no matter what other people think. It's your life. Nobody else's.
Excellent post , pagan. I like posts like that, they make you think and contemplate...about your life, your goals, your development, where you are at, where you're going to, etc. Bravo :)
Re: 13 Goals of a Witch By: Artindark Moderator / Knowledgeable Sep 02, 2012
Post # 3
I am so glad to see that people start to awaken from the rigidness and from the blind sticking for estabilished methods .When practicioners of all kind use them as solid base and add their own personal imput and experience and that is what makes witchcraft something of living nature ,someting that inspires rather than commands for certain actions .The craft requires state of being that you reach ,something that requires constant movement and inspiration rather than just doing things and sticking for them just for the heck of it .I have felt recently that in public chat the atmosphere had hit the rock bottom .When the newbies will ask same questions on and on and we will repeat the same answers on and on .If feels like walking in circles till everyone just get depressed and discouraged to study and to teach .We need more threads like this when original and creative approaches from more personal and not so rigid nature are applied to inspire people to actually learn something that they can actually apply in their lifes to improve them and by improving your life you improve your craft too .That should be the main goal of all witches and all practicioners of all kind .Get inspired instead of repetitive ,put your knowledge out there add to it personal touch to avoid the lifeless dogma of endless repetions in which nobody get to learn or actually teach something .I am so glad that few practicioners had felt the same idea and the same need to actually come forward and create something that actually can work for almost everyone here .We are representatives of the craft and we speak about if with our actions and the way we express ourselves .Lets make this craft living thing that develops and grows in new direction each time that practicioner step forward to share his personal view on it not just the dogma .Understanding is something that we develop i am far from the idea that we will teach people autoimaticly everything but it is enough to inspire them to keep thier persuit for knowledge and follow their journey .