Sacred Texts  Index  Previous  Next 



                                   MY CRAFT ETHICS  
      
                        Copyright by James T. Crowley III 1986 
      
                      This article may be reproduced for personal 
                      use as long as it is complete and un edited 
      
                     There aredoubtlesslyreaders ofthisarticle thatbelieveI have
           no ethics.  Those readers are entitled to there opinion however  
             shallow I may feel that opinion is. 
      
                     Iam theHigh Priestof CovenantOfThe Doves,the commentsI make
                   hereare necessarilymy personalethicsand viewpointand notthat 
           of my High Priestess or members of the Coven.  Even as a leader  
             of a coven, I have no right or power to speak for another   
             person.  They do however necessarily govern my actions as a High  
             Priest. 
      
             The only way I know to state my ethical viewpoint is by a  
                     annotated recitationof theLawsof theCraft ofthe Wiseasthey 
           pertain to ethics and have been revealed to me by my teachers,  
                     thewritings ofothers andthatwhich theLord andLady havemade 
           clear to me through their visions and actions. 
      
             I bear the mundane name Crowley that has a certain significance  
             in the craft community beyond my personal contributions.  Yes, I  
                     amprovedof thelegacy ofthat nameas membersof myfamily have 
           played important parts in history.  Aleister Crowley was by no  
             means the most important of them nor the least.   
      
             Aleister Crowley, the Current Lord Crowley and myself all bear  
                     common ancestorstoSir AmbroseCrowley,Lord MayorofLondon (at
           the time of Cromwell) and author of the 'Law Book of the Crowley  
             Iron Works' which is considered to be the bases of British  
             statutory law.  This, I hope  will clear up confusion about my  
             relationship to Aleister Crowley. 
      
             The name Hearth Witch is far more dear to me than Crowley, as it  
             represents a true understanding of what the WICCA is.  When an  
             astronaut looks out of the window of his space capsule and sees  
             the body of our Lady looking back at him.  The astronaut knows,  
             in that moment that technology, and the centuries of mans' labor  
             that put him there, are pale when compared to the wonders of our  
             Lady.  
      


                                                                             752

                   MY CRAFT ETHICS BY JAMES CROWLEY III 12/19/86 
      
      
             I feel that it is necessary to explain some of the structure of  
             the Covenant of the Doves.  We say that we have one degree but  
             that is not strictly true. There are 4 things that happen to a  
             person on the pathway.  We cannot call them degrees as they do  
             not happen in the same order to each person. 
      
                  1.   Dedication to the coven. 
      
                  2.   Initiation by the God and Goddess 
      
                  3.   Worldly recognition of their Initiation by the Gods 
                       and their ability to act as a Priest or Priestess 
      
                  4.   Birth or Adoption into the family which is as permanent  
                       and unrevokable as the Initiation of the Lord and Lady. 
      
             THE WITCH 'LAW' 
      
                      Do not what you desire - 
                         do what is necessary. 
                      Take all you are given - 
                         give all of yourself. 
                      "What I have - - - I hold." 
                      When all else is lost, and not until then, 
                         prepare to die with dignity.  
      
             There are two kinds of law, Law of Tribe and the Law of Goddess  
             (ie: natural law).  The Law of Tribe requires the services of a  
             Priesthood.  The Law of the Goddess require no Priesthood as they  
             are self-enforcing.  If you see an apparent violation of the law  
             of the Goddess, there are only two possible explanations.   The  
             law is not of the Goddess but of man, or you do not understand  
             that law of the Goddess.  If you see a ball fall up, either  
             someone is deceiving you, or you are in a spacecraft or similar  
             artificial  environment that is manifesting some of the "fine  
             print" in the law of the Goddess.  This partial telling of the  
             laws contain both the law of the tribe and that of the Goddess.   
             It is left to the wisdom of the student to learn which is which.  
      
             THE LEADERSHIP OF THE COVEN 
      
             The High Priestess must be an ordained Nymph or a Crone. 
             The High Priest must be an ordained Magician. 
      
             The High Priestess is the final word on the quality of Worship as  
             the High Priest is the final word on the quality of Magick within  
             the WICCA Circles. 
      
             The High Priest's relationship is:  Father, Brother, and Lover. 
      
             The Priestess's relationship is: Mother, Sister, and Lover. 


                                                                             753

      
             THE PRIEST AND PRIESTESS ARE THE LEADERS OF THE COVEN IN THE  
             MUNDANE WORLD, NOT IT'S DICTATORS. MEMBERS MUST BE GIVEN A VOICE  
             IN THE ACTIONS OF THE COVEN. 
             The Covenant of the Doves is necessarily a theocracy not a  
             democracy.  Meetings are opened to all who are dedicated and  
             sometimes to concerned outsiders.  Whatever the business, it is  
             open to discussion by all.  There are no votes taken because when  
             it is all said and done, there are only two people in the coven  
             that bear the responsibility for the actions of this coven, the  
             High Priestess and the High Priest.  So, the final decision is  
             theirs ALONE.   
      
             When the Circle is cast by The Priest and Priestess, they are  
             necessarily the ABSOLUTE RULERS OF THE COVEN.  No witch shall  
             enter the Circle with out PERFECT LOVE AND PERFECT TRUST in all  
             members of the Circle.  The only question of the order of the  
             Priest or Priestess is: if told to jump, it is permissible to ask  
             how high -- on the way up.   
      
                     IFONEDISAGREES WITHTHE DECISIONOF THELEADERSOF ANYCOVEN OR 
                 CIRCLE. IT IS THERERIGHT AND DUTYTO LEAVE THECOVEN.  THEREIS   
         NO OTHER LAWFUL RECOURSE. 
      
             LEADERS MUST BE EVER MINDFUL THAT MEMBERS WILL SOON LEAVE AN  
             UNJUST LEADER. 
      
             THE LAW OF THE COVEN 
      
             THE CIRCLE IS A PLACE THAT IS NOT A PLACE, BETWEEN THE WORLDS.   
      
             A COVEN IS A FULLY AUTONOMOUS UNIT ANSWERABLE TO NO POWER BEYOND  
             ITS OWN, SAVE THE LORD AND LADY. 
      
             IN ANY DISPUTE WITHIN THE FAMILY (COVEN) OR TRIBE, NO ONE MAY  
             INVOKE ANY LAW BUT THOSE OF THE FAMILY AND TRIBE. 
      
             It being known that the Circle is a "place that is not a place,  
             between the worlds", and that what is between the Worlds does not  
             concern the World.  Discussion of actions taking place within a  
             consecrated circle is appropriate for discussion only within that  
             Circle, or by Elders of the Craft in a Council of Elders Convened  
             by the High Priest and High Priestess of the coven involved as  
             only Elders can or should have any direct knowledge of actions  
             that take place within the Circle of another Coven.   
      
             With the fragmentation of the WICCA since the burning times, the  
             identification of Elders of the Craft is at best ambiguous.  The  
             only working definition that I can feel comfortable with is:   
             Those members of the WICCA community that the High Priest and  
             High Priestess of the Coven recognize as their peers regardless  
             of what rank they hold in other circles. 


                                                                             754


             THE WORD OF A WITCH NEED NO BOND OR CONTRACT.  IT IS NECESSARILY  
             TRUE AND FREE OF EQUIVOCATION. 
      
             We make it clear to all around us that we do not tolerate lying.   
             If it is on the part of a friend or an acquaintance, we will  
             cease contact with them, if necessary.  If it is a member of the  
             craft, we do not willingly stand in the same circle with them.   
             If they are a student, this is one of the few areas that we will  
             invoke banishment as a punishment (or, if there are extenuating  
                     circumstancesand thepersonis ofextremevalue tothe covenand 
           the Craft, we will consider corporal punishment or an equivalent  
             alternative proposed by the student to balance the wrong done to  
             the Coven, in lieu of banishment).  If they are an Initiate, it  
             is necessarily more harmful to the family, and therefore, more  
             serious.  
      
                     PERFECT LOVEANDPERFECT TRUST(my fingerswantedto typelove is
           the law) 
      
             Perfect love and perfect trust are not words spoken in blind  
             faith. They do not mean a blanket trust.  Perfect love and  
             perfect trust are what was in the hearts of the few, and most  
             dear, that when they heard rumors, first came to us and said  
             "what are these rumors about...".  These people knew that as  
             fallible as we are, these rumors were not a reflection of our  
             will.  These people sought to know what happened, not to satisfy  
             any of their own devices or to judge us, but to share our pain  
             and the load.  These people are of different traditions and  
             levels of worldly Craft learning, but these people will always  
             hold a place in my heart second only to my brothers and sisters  
             that are literally of the My Family. 
      
             THERE ARE THREE KINDS OF SECRETS IN THE WICCA CIRCLE AND ALL ARE  
             INVIOLATE EXCEPT IN AN ELDER CIRCLE, AND THEN ONLY TO THE EXTENT  
             THAT THEY ARE RELATIVE TO CRAFT BUSINESS AND HELD IN THAT ELDER  
             CIRCLE. 
      
             1.   Secrets that are within the Circles that are private  
                  to the members of that coven. 
               
                  (ie: when Charlie has a few drinks he..... 
               
             2.   The secret held by the High Priestess and High Priest of  
                  the inside and outside Circle affairs of the coven members,  
                  due to their office. 
      
             3.   The social and magick practices of the Craft that cannot be 
                  talked of outside of the Wicca without being taken out of  
                  context and sensationalized. 


                                                                             755

      
             THERE ARE AS MANY WAYS TO LOVE THE GODDESS AS SHE HAS NAMES.  
               
             All ways of loving the Goddess are correct.  None are Wrong as  
             long as they are based in love. 
      
             Say not "they are wrong" say "they are a different path from  
             mine". 
      
             Until you know in your heart that you have found your path, do  
             not deny any wicca path that you have not walked.   
               
             When you find your path, still walk other paths with your  
             brothers and sisters in joy and love. 
      
             "THE WICCA SHALL BE NAKED IN THERE RITE" 
      
             All mankind is naked before God and Goddess. 
      
             NO STRANGER NOT BORN IN THE FAMILY SHALL LEAD THE FAMILY OR A  
             TOTEM OF THE FAMILY. 
      
             NO ONE WHO RALLIES AGAINST HIS FAMILY OR TRIBE SHALL BE KEPT IN  
             BANISHMENT PAST 14 YEARS AFTER THE EVENT, IF THAT UNDO THE HARM  
             CAUSED. 
      
             NO ONE WHO EXTENDED THEMSELVES IN THE SUPPORT OF THEIR FAMILY OR  
             TRIBE SHALL BE BANISHED FOR OLD AGE OR THE ACTIONS OF INFIRMITY. 
      
             IT IS NECESSARY THAT SCRYING, VISIONS, ASPECTING AND ALL OTHER  
             APPARENT VISIONS OF OUR LORD AND LADY BE QUESTIONED.  IT IS  
             ESSENTIAL TO OUR REBIRTH THAT WE KNOW THAT THEY ARE NOT OUR OWN  
             WISHFUL THINKING OR PRIDE, IF THERE BE THE LEAST DOUBT, THE  
             VISION MUST BE DENIED.   
      
             If a true vision is denied by the initiated, the Lady will  
             underline the truth in the vision in an unquestionable form.  If  
             this underlining comes as a punishment, it is still a small price  
             to pay when compared to the consequences of a false vision. 
      
                     IFEVER ANYOF THETRIBE NEEDA HOUSEOR LANDAND NONEWILL SELL, 
                 THEN CRAFTMAY BEUSED TO INCLINETHE OWNERS TOSELL, PROVIDEDIT   
         HARMETH HIM NOT, AND THE FULL PRICE IS PAID WITHOUT HAGGLING. 
      
             NEVER BARGAIN OR CHEAPEN ANYTHING YOU BUY BY THE ART. 
      
                     NOMAN,WOMAN, HIGHPRIESTESS,OR HIGHPRIEST CANSAYWHAT "HARMS 
           NONE". 
      
             The answer to this is for the Gods, not man.  A just action may  
             well harm someone in some way in the mundane world (every action  
             has an equal and opposite reaction).  It is always best to give  
             the action and the power to the Goddess, and abide by her will.   
             If it cannot be given to her after due consideration, then one  
                     must actin themostjust formthat ispossible, freelytakingon 
           to our selves all adverse reaction of an error in judgment. 


                                                                             756

      
             NO ONE MAY DO ANYTHING WHICH WILL ENDANGER ANY OF THE TRIBE OR  
             BRING THEM INTO CONTACT WITH THE LAW OF THE LAND. 
      
             THE ART MAY ONLY BE USED IN ERNEST AND NEVER FOR SHOW OR VAIN  
             GLORY. 
      
             NO PERSON MAY BE WARNED OF HIS FATE MORE THAN THREE TIMES. 
      
             MAIDEN: (Youngsters still new to the Craft, or older ones who do  
             ritual work and do not mind publicity.) Young people oriented to  
             cope with, and the ability to handle publicity.  Some knowledge  
             of occult and the Craft both in its practical and religious  
             aspects is necessary.  Childless women, virgins;  Warm friendly  
             people with good powers of projection. 
      
             NYMPHS - (Do the bulk of ritual work, young adults.) Creative  
             people, artists, dancers, singers, etc.  Very mature, rational  
             and responsible.  Intuitive and uninhibited.  Knowledge of Craft  
             and occultism, etc. necessary.  Dislikes publicity. 
      
             CRONES: (executive branch - teachers of neophytes, makes judg-  
             ments, etc.) Must be sober and serious, but with a sense of  
             humor, very mature in most all ways, intuitive of the true nature  
             and inner working of things. Older folks, intellectual, Masters  
             of there Craft, and dislike publicity. 
      
             No woman shall be a Maiden who has not been in her courses. 
      
             No woman shall be ordained unless she has passed her 17th year,  
             nor shall she have her ordination recognized until that time. 
      
             No woman shall have her ordination recognized unless she is in  
             her courses, has ten fingers, ten toes, two eyes, two ears, a  
             nose.  Her generative organs and breasts must be complete.  The  
             honorable loss of limbs or the effects of torture following  
             ordination shall not invalidate the ordination. 
      
             No woman shall be a Nymph who has not coupled. 
      
             No woman shall be a Crone who has not given birth. 
      
             No man shall be a Magician who has not healed. 
      
             No man shall be ordained unless he has passed his 33rd year, nor  
             shall he have his ordination recognized until that time. 
      
             No man shall have his ordination recognized unless he is the  
             father of a living child, has ten fingers and ten toes, two eyes,  
             two ears and a nose and generative organs complete.  The  
             honorable loss of limbs or the effects of torture following  
             ordination shall not invalidate the ordination. 
      
             In their youth, let those who cannot swing the axe till the  
             field.  Those who cannot till the field carry water.  Those who  
             cannot carry water, nor till the field, nor chase, nor battle,  
             nor be of service to their family or tribe, let them leave it. 
      


                                                                             757

             None shall be kept as a child forever.  Better that they be  
             banished if they cannot grow in mind. 
      
             INITIATION 
      
             NO PERSON MAY BE CALLED TO INITIATION MORE THAN THREE TIMES. 
      
             NO PERSON MAY BE INITIATED WHO HAS LESS THAN 20 YEARS OF LIFE  
             LEFT TO THEM AT THE TIME OF INITIATION. 
      
             No High Priestess or High Priest of the WICCA can cause an  
                     initiationto takeplace. Initiation isinthe handsof theLord 
                 and Lady. The teachercan only providethe environmentthat will  
         aide in the initiation if the God and Goddess so will it. 
      
             If one questions the validity of their own initiation, there can  
             be but one answer, the initiation did not take place.  An  
             initiation by the Gods will be remembered. 
      
                     Letyour judgmenton matterswhich youmake befit tothesize of 
           the case, not to your feelings.  Let your heart not rule your  
             mind, nor mind your heart, but bear a balance as has been taught  
             you. 
      
             Not all are chosen for the tribe, nor are all in the tribe of one  
             family, nor are all in the family to be initiated, nor are all  
             the initiated to be ordained.  Your yoke is to be as strong as  
             you can bear, but no stronger.   
      
      
                            James Crowley 
                            P. O. Box 16025 
                            North Hollywood, CA  
                            91615-6025 


                                                                             758


Next: Computer Blessing (Zahai Stewart)