The pentagram has long been associated with mystery and magic. It is the simplest form of star that can be drawn unicursally - with a single line - hence it is sometimes called the Endless Knot. Other names are the Goblin's Cross, the Pentalpha, the Witch's Foot, the Devil's Star and the Seal of Solomon (more correctly attributed to the hexagram).
It has long been believed to be a potent protection against evil and demons, hence a symbol of safety, and was sometimes worn as an amulet for happy homecoming. The old folk song : "Green Grow the Rushes, O!" refers to the use of the pentagram above doors and windows in the line : " Five is the symbol at your door."
The potency and associations of the pentagram have evolved throughout
history. Today it is an ubiquitous symbol of neo-pagans with much depth
of magickal and symbolic meaning
The Old Religion is...
The word "Witchcraft" dates back many hundreds of years and means literally "The craft of the wise". This is because the Witches of old were the wise ones of their village, knowledgeable in the art of healing, legal matters, and spiritual fulfillment. A Witch had to not only be a religious leader, but also the doctor, lawyer and psychologist of the village.
Today, people have reclaimed this word in their pursuit of the old religion. A Witch is an initiate of The Old , one who has earned the right to call themselves Priest, or Priestess, through study, self evaluation, and spiritual living. The Old Religion itself, is an attempt to re-create European (mostly) Shamanistic Nature Religion and adapting it to fit our modern lives.
Witches are worshipers of the Earth and it's many cycles. We believe that deity is found not only outside of our realm, or plane of existence, but that it is found within every living thing and all that supports it. Therefore, we attempt to live in harmony with the Earth, and each of it's creatures. Witches tend to involve themselves with ecological pursuits Witches observe the holidays of Pagan Europe: Eight festivals spaced evenly about the wheel of the year, at the quarters (equinox's and solstices) and the cross quarters (midpoints between the equinox's and solstices). They are called: Yule (Dec 21) ,Imbolc (Feb. 2), Lady Day (March 21), Beltaine (May 1), Midsummer (June 21), Lughnassad (Aug. 1), Mabon (Sept. 21) these dates vary from year to year, as they are based upon actual celestial events. Many Witches also celebrate the Full Moon, ( and/or New moon )of which we have 13 per year.
The basis for a witches moral conduct is found in the statement;
"An Ye Harm None, Do What Thou Wilt." This is
a mock archaic phrase, suggesting that any behavior that harms none, is morally acceptable. Harm is here defined by anything that takes away, or works against an individual's free will. It is, of course, impossible to exist, or even cease to exist, without causing harm, so Witches look to fulfill this as closely as possible. A Witch attempts to make choices based on what will cause the least harm and promote the greatest overall positive effect.
Witchcraft teaches self discipline, personal responsibility
,kinship with our planet and its creatures, open mindedness
and the virtues of diversity. Witches do not proselytize, as we believe that each must find the path that is right for them, and that all religions are different paths to the same truths. We draw our beliefs and practices from our own experiences, and that of others, understanding that age does not make a religion any more valid, nor does political support, numbers of followers, or material holdings of it's temple. Religion is a very personal thing, one which can only be validated by the experiences of the individual. The Old Religion provides a link for those who follow similar paths to share their experiences.
Question and Answer
Q. Do Witches worship many Gods?
A. No. Witches believe in one supreme creator that has appeared with many different faces.
Q Do Witches worship the devil?
A. No. The devil is a Christian concept and does not appear in the beliefs of the Old Religion, though we do recognize that the creator inhis infinite wisdom sometimes can teach us valuable lessons by using the power of adversity.
Q. Do Witches practice sacrifice?
A. not in the sense that a life (Human or animal) would ever be taken( or blood spilt or pain inflicted ) but we do believe in the personal sacrifice that an individual will make of his time and love in the service of light. In the old days a portion of the crops or a portion heard would be offered as a way of showing appreciation to nature (GOD) for providing humanity with the resources needed to continue life.
Q. Do Witches believe in reincarnation?
A. for this one there is no cut and dry answer, some witches believe in reincarnation and some do not, just as in the
Christian faith there is a variation of interpretation and beliefs this range exists in the old religion. Weather an
individual believes in reincarnation or not one thing we all have in common is the beliefs that God( in whatever face you see him with) is ultimately kind and forgiving, and will give the individual soul as many chances as it needs to learn the lessons that God has decreed that it learn. Weather reincarnation exists or not is immaterial, this is the life we where given, and it is our duty to God and to ourselves to make the most of it. And not to ignore that life by focusing on what may or may not have happened in your “last life”.
Q. Do Witches believe in Hell?
A. No. Hell in the classic sense is a Christian concept. We believe that the Creator is ultimately forgiving. That is not to say that Witches do not believe in consequence to there actions, quite the contrary most Witches are very aware that there actions ( and thoughts) have repercussions, and having no Devil to hold accountable for our bad thoughts and our misfortune we believe that the creator has placed that heavy responsibility on the shoulders of every one of us.
Q. Don't Witches worship a Goddess?
A. Witches believe that God created man (as a race) in it's image and man is a race of male and female so following that logic God must be a combination of Male and female energies. God is both, but yet much more than either.