The Tabernacle Ordains: Book I
Book 1 – The Seeker Ordains
In order to bring the ways of Light, Love and Life to all the peoples of the Earth, our secrets, once so closely guarded out of dire necessity, are slowly becoming secrets no more. This is inevitable, and at the same time it is good, for it is a clear message from our Gods that the age of secrecy and shadow is passing. “Guard the Mysteries; constantly reveal them,” said the Pagan poet, Lew Welsh. Doreen Valiente, Gerald Gardner’s High Priestess and author of so many seminal Wiccan writings has said “…Little sympathy [can be given to] …secrecy that only serves to keep occult knowledge as the privilege of a chosen few.” It must not be used as a tool for the manipulation of others. The late Alex Sanders, founder of the Alexandrian Tradition, has said, “You could tell it all, and give nothing away.”
Yet the sharing of our ways must always be guided by wisdom and love. Let always our rites and our mysteries be kept sacred. Let no one defile our heritage or our worship, for defiling our ways is a loss of honor to the self and all the Wicca, and above all else, to our Gods and our fellow humans who would know the truth and judge us fairly. “An’ ye harm none, …”
And in that regard, all shall ever follow this ancient law: “Cast no spell for good nor ill, for or against, on or about another living person without that person’s knowledgeable approval, for it shall bear heavily on the heads of any not an Elder who does such an irresponsible deed.”
For all Seekers to follow:
1:1. These laws were drawn from the old traditional laws of the Craft, adapted to the needs of modern times. Know that these laws are time-honored concepts and give them their due. They were made for the Wicca to advise and guide our lives in our relations with our brothers and sisters, as well as those of other paths. These are the laws which shall govern all who follow our Tradition.
1:2. Give due worship to the Gods and obey their will as it is revealed to you. True worship is good for both the Wicca and the Gods. The Gods love the Wicca, and through Their worship shall we better know Them and our inner-selves.
1:3. Know that in both giving and receiving are the forces of life multiplied: with love and worship in our hearts, we shall raise the energy from our bodies to give honor and power to the Gods.
1:4. Gathered in Circle for celebration, each of us brings to it our unique portion of the spectrum of life, adding beauty and value to the Circle as a whole. But without unity in the Circle, its value will be less than that of any one individual member. For that reason, no one who feels strong discomfort with the presence of another on the Circle may rightly remain, though the decision to leave or stay be theirs alone, and none may deny another attendance on that account, save the High Priestess and High Priest of the Circle who must remain to lead.
1:5. The Wicca aspire to physical, mental, and spiritual health. Thus it is our duty to consciously seek improvement in the mental and spiritual realms in order to improve the physical, as all three are necessary to make a person whole.
1:6. All seekers shall be properly prepared and purified to enter into the presence of the Gods, be they committed dedicates or simply sincere seekers.
1:7. The Old Law teaches us to care for our bodies, minds, and spirits; to live life in love and to our fullest capacity, for in this way only may we truly communicate with the Gods. And know that we must not place total reliance on the help of the Gods, for the Gods cannot help those who will not help themselves.
1:8. The High Priestess and the High Priest shall conduct their Circle as the representatives of the Goddess and the God. They shall serve as lawgivers, counselors, and servants of the Gods, and shall remain ever mindful of that awesome responsibility and rule with justice, honor, love and compassion with the help and counsel of the Council of Elders.
Order and discipline are essential for the smooth functioning of any community, and to avoid subjective treatment of any disputes, this etiquette is hereby established:
1:9. One’s word shall not be lightly given to any, be they of the Wicca or not, for once given, all shall be committed to fulfillment of their promise as though it were the Law unto them. For all shall be known and judged by others by how they themselves value their own promises and commitments.
1:10. The Old Law has always admonished us to avoid disputes, but not by concealing our true feelings. None may come to Circle with those with whom they are at variance, for it is fruitless to enter upon the Circle without Perfect Love and Perfect Trust. It shall be the responsibility of each to deal directly with and resolve any such frictions without involving others whenever possible.
1:11. Know that the High Priest hears all concerns of the sisters and the High Priestess hears all concerns of the brothers, and will strive to mediate settlement of any differences. Know that together they shall counsel the differences between brother and sister.
1:12. Know that this counsel may be ended at their discretion if the words of the High Priestess or High Priest are carelessly taken or remain unheeded.
In the days gone by when the mysteries were open to all and our faith was known well and far, the Wicca were free to worship in all the stone circles across the land, and later, in the greater temples. Since the Burning Times we have celebrated our sacred rites and mysteries in secret. But the Burning Times are now long past, yet not forgotten. And in the enlightened democracies of the world of the twentieth century, such as our own United States of America, freedom of belief is guaranteed by governmental charter.
Those governments are no longer our persecutors, but our defenders. Occasionally, because it is made up of individuals, the government may not always be a willing defender, but it is compelled to be our defender none the less, and resort to the laws of the land will secure us the same rights as are afforded other faiths. We must no longer hide in the shadows and conceal unduly our beliefs.
Remember always, legal rights are most often only secured by those who stand up and demand them. We must demand what is our rightful due, no more and no less, for if we continue to be secretive and act as though we are ashamed of our beliefs, we will only serve to reinforce the lies and accusations our detractors use to discredit our Gods and subjugate the Wicca.
1:13. As Wicca, we are charged with the ultimate challenge to personal growth: to be responsible; knowing that each of us is the cause in the matter of our own life. Respect the physical, psychological and spiritual rights of others. Refrain from aggressive or predatory behavior. Say “No!” to things that do not support your well being. Neither disadvantage another, nor allow them to disadvantage you. Share your feelings in a meaningful way, but be discreet and do not gossip. Remember your physical body is a temple; respect and care for it. Seek help whenever you want it. Be ever mindful of the responsibility To Know, To Will, To Dare, To Keep Silent.
1:14. As Wicca, show by your deeds that you will not do any ill by your art; show rather that you are dedicated to personal and mutual growth. It is to our advantage to be known for what we really are, and this turns fear and wrath away from the Wicca. Do good always and we shall become truly known and accepted. To this end, ever follow this ancient caveat: cast no spell for good nor ill, for nor against, on nor about another living person without that person’s knowledgeable approval, for it be an irresponsible deed and shall bear heavy consequences on the doer and on all of our Craft.
1:15. Open worship Circles, Festivals and gatherings should be held so that seekers may congregate, worship and have social interaction with others and learn more of our faith. Seekers should be ever mindful of these laws and of any rules concerning the operation of such gatherings and adhere to them for the betterment and protection of all so gathered.
1:16. All who attend any rites shall attend as participants, and no one shall be present solely as an observer, for observers serve as a distraction to the participants and interfere with the focus and the raising of energy. Persons with physical disabilities which would limit certain participation shall be excused and may stand aside, still within the Circle.
1:17. Everyone has an innate right to privacy in their beliefs, and because there still may exist some valid reasons not to casually reveal someone’s chosen path to a third party, we must remain ever mindful of the need for discretion at open gatherings. The right to reveal one’s name or path rests solely with each individual, and their presence at a public gathering does not imply license to disclose someone’s path to another. Reveal what of yourself you will, but neither imply nor reveal anything of another. Do not speak to anyone not known to you to be of the Wicca, about who may be Wiccan, their names, where they may live, where closed groups may meet, or divulge anyone in any way without first having obtained their clear and specific permission to do so.
1:18. Perform your art as a daily celebration and honoring of the Goddess and the Gods; do not profane Wicca through a show of pride or vanity, and practice with care not to give the appearance of a show of power or an attempt to impress others, as the effect will always result in the opposite. By your deeds and actions will you be best known and honored. Your art is sacred, even if some cannot or will not see. Remember that in time, the Gods show themselves to all, even though only the earnest may notice. Allow no one to detract from or denigrate your sacred beliefs. Avoid the futility of defending your beliefs through the attack of the beliefs of others. Use your heart and your straightest talk to politely yet firmly correct such inaccuracies and slights as you may experience, keeping an orderly mind and avoiding passion and excitement which may lead to indiscretion.
1:19. Never speak nor wish ill of anyone, be they of the Wicca or not, no matter their doings or trespasses. The Goddess, and only the Goddess gives judgment and punishment.
1:20. Always remember, be you known as Wiccan or not, you are the children of the Gods. Never disgrace the Goddess, the Gods, nor the Wicca by word or deed.
1:21. Be mindful that there is but One God/dess or Divine Presence. Be tolerant always of the manifestations that others not of our path may believe in and worship. Know that all positive paths are true paths to the divine. Do not condemn all the followers of a different path because of the intolerance of but a few of their number. Condemn bigotry where you may find it, but condemn not the sincere beliefs of another who may differ with you. Be ever tolerant, knowing our right to believe as we will is directly dependent upon that same right existing for all others as well.
1:22. Remember that there is no “grace” and there is no “guilt.” Remember too, “An’ it harm none, do as thou will.” Personal growth comes with individual responsibility; we are destined to repeat our mistakes until we master them, no matter how long it may take. Strive to be responsible. Be not blind to your error but learn from it.
1:23. True Initiation comes from within to those who live by these laws and etiquettes. Live these laws of love in your heart, and no one may say you are not of the Wicca.
|This is the whole of the Seeker Ordains, the public portion of the traditional Ordains of the Aquarian Tabernacle Church. The remaining sections of the Ordains relate to church administration and succession, the Council of Elders (the church Judicatory), and the tradition’s recognized initiated or ordained clergy, and are not generally available to the public.|