About Craft Dogma
When anything is made, be it a home-made radio or a work of art, it takes on the imprint of its maker. Thus it is possible to hear some music or see picture and,without having previous knowledge of that particular work, identify the composer or artist. This then is our first law:
All things contain within themselves something of the nature of their creator.
This fact has two important consequences for those in the Craft:-
1. It justifies the use by the Craft of the world around as an intermediary in the worship of the Creator, just as the Church uses Christ and the saints for the same purpose.
2. Some groups hold that all ritual instruments such as wands, knives, chalices and the like are, as far as possible, home made by the witch who is going to use them, so that they may be, in essence, extensions of him or herself.
Can you think of any other applications?
Here then is part of the instruction given in the first initiation:
"The implements, words, symbols and spells are your working tools and must be guided by the Gods who dwell in the mind and body and in the worlds, seen and unseen. For we were taught of old in the Ancient Mysteries that we are children of earth and the starry heaven and there is no part of us that is not of the Gods"
Thus man is thought of as the habitation of all the Craft Deities, these shining forth into the world around him through the stained glass window of the mind and body. Some stained glass windows are more muddy than others. Thus the Craft answer to those who ask whether Christ was God incarnate is, "Sure he was, but then, who isn't?"
It was very obvious to early man, when confronted by the turning of the year, that all things move in cycles with perhaps a slower, continuous change superimposed on them, forming some sort of spiral. Thus just as he saw life withdrawing as the hand of winter fell on the land, only to return in the spring refreshed, renewed and vibrant, so the concept of reincarnation came into the dogma of the Craft. This idea draws much additional support from two other sources. First, as mentioned above, the Craft views man as the embodiment of the entire pantheon, and the Gods have quite a reputation for immortality. Secondly, it explains, with justice, how it is that one man may be born with talents that are denied others, by pointing out that such a man has previously developed them by study and practice. There are in the Craft those who have what they call 'far memory', in other words, memory of previous lives. Some time ago, one of these mentioned, against the then current opinion, that snake-worship was practised in the temples in a certain part of the ancient world. When told of various reasons why that could not have been, she replied that she was sorry but that she had been there at the time and that was how it was. Later, archaeologists dug up the temple in question and found all she had described it with the skeletons of the snakes where she had said they would be.
Because of this idea,the God, in his death aspect, is referred to time and time again in Craft writings as the Comforter of the weary or as the One who refreshes.
There are various techniques which can help to induce far memory, but for most it comes as a feeling of familiarity in things or situations or in the form of vivid dreams. Once such a lead is obtained, (in the case of a dream, it is important to fix as much of it as possible in the memory so that the rest can be drawn back.), the best thing to do is to let your mind drift around it without forcing it at all, and in this way, related memory may come to the surface. Can you find anything like this? If so, let us know what it is.
A further develpoment of the concept of reincarnation is the idea that the consequences of one's actions follow one from life to life. This follows naturally from the observation that certain people are drawn into the same kind of situation over and over again. This continues, over many lives if necessary, until one learns to cope with that class of situation. Then a definite change occurs in ones nature and a different type of situation arises. Thus it is said in the Craft that to learn it is necessary to suffer.
Divine justice is therefore a very natural thing, consisting, as it does,of giving each person exactly what he or she wants and all the consequences thereof. It is said that the last desire of a man as death takes him, is usually that he shall live: so be it - this is justice. The only trouble is that most people have a mass of desires that conflict both in themselves and in their consequences, so that nothing much happens one way or another. This is the truth behind the countless stories of men being offered one, two or three wishes which are granted with, at times,some exceedingly undesirable side-effects; but any further wishes have the effect of nullifying the whole thing.
It is therefore the view of the Craft that you are here simply because you wished it and a close enough study of any man's life reveals that there is commonly one very simple desire that runs right through it and sent him forth to live in the first place.
Over the gate of the Ancient Mysteries referred to earlier was the inscription, "Man, know thyself", and thus our final question in this part is one which all men must answer for themselves sooner or later:
"What was the desire that lead you to this life?"