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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
PERFECT LOVEANDPERFECT TRUST(my fingerswantedto typelove is
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
None shall be kept as a child forever. Better that they be
banished if they cannot grow in mind.
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
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.
P. O. Box 16025
North Hollywood, CA
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