I received your second letter, just as I was going to post the first. I
am very glad you had your wife have come to an understanding - since domestic
sorrow is a very big price to pay in order to belong to the Faith. There
is no necessity that ones beloved should also belong - since one of the
basic tenants of wisdom is that of tolerance. The people have had and experienced
many centuries of intolerance, persecution and pain - therefore we make
no attempt to convert - but instead we are just content to belong, that
being enough in its own right. Your wife probably felt insecure in the
face of a belief that inevitably obsesses its male followers - and to many
people who have as yet to see the Goddess triumphant, the Faith is a strange
and alien belief, intertwined with childhood memories of wicked witches,
and later sensationalism from the gutter press. To a young girl looking
in from the outside, it must seem frightening, since to her she must have
seen the man she loves, subtly change and a side to his character appear
that she does not understand - and although this character is not malignant
in any way - it is alien to what normally passes as 'normal' in this world.
You no doubt have discovered that a whole new philosophy, a new morality,
a new personality has begun to awaken in yourself and subtly alter your
life - yet in spite of the excitement of the chase, and the desire to know
that drives all 'witches', you must try to think of the effect this has
upon someone who has not as yet kindled the flame. This is a frightening
experience, and one that brings a sensation of tremendous insecurity, especially
to a girl with a child in her womb. A piece of advice if I may be allowed
to give it; is that no philosophy, no creed, no God is worth more than
the love that one human being may give and receive in their life time -
this is what I meant by being 'involved'. It doesn't really matter how
wise or knowledgeable one is - providing one can love and be loved in return
- in this way the Christian ethos of 'loving ones neighbor' is very true
all one needs after that is the witch 'Law':
Do not do 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.
These may sound like peculiar laws, but they are wise and based upon experience - the first is perhaps one of the most difficult criterions to live by - since there is no room for illusion - the second allows you little time for yourself - the third is the keystone of wisdom and the fourth is the basic key to the "witch" personality.
Now how can I teach your wife - Shall I tell her that the Faith is the Mother of all Gods and Goddess's - that Christianity is only a part of the ancient faith, and not the whole, that the People are the direct descendants of the ancient shamans, priests, and priestesses of the Mysteries? Or shall I tell her that the Faith is basically feminine - and in it she will find her deepest self reflected? It has been the repository for centuries of the deep feminine wisdom, the protector of the dispossed female - in that it recognises her for what she is, man's total and absolute equal - and the Goddess's representative upon earth. That the Gods created the world, and to man they gave Earth, Air and Fire - and to Woman they gave Earth, Air and Water - and that it was decreed that these elements would be worthless until they were brought together in male and female - therefore the Faith believes that both men and women play their separate and united roles in the comedy we call life - Still this is poetic and to a young mother sounds like a strange language - so I will put into the language of logic and rational thought, something of the Mysteries.
The Faith is made of three parts - of which I know two. The first part is the masculine mysteries - in which is enshrined the search for the Holy Graal - and is the basis of the Arthurian legends. This is the order of the Sun - the Clan of Tubal Cain. Under it come learning, teaching, skill, bravery, and truthfulness. In the distant past, the male clan was lead by a woman who was their priestess and chieftan. This is the origin of the legend of Robin Hood - and surprisingly enough began the Old Testament, and later, Christianity since both Jesus and Moses alike preached a version of the Masculine mysteries - Mithriasm was also a development of this - and the tradition was followed through into the middle Ages when the Plantaganet Kings were officers of the masculine aspect of the Faith (The name 'Plantaganet' means 'The Devil's Clan'). The effect of the masculine mysteries upon the world can hardly be under emphasized - since a very considerable portion of civilization owes its origin to them. To name but a few - Commerce, Lawmaking, Law- giving, Parliament, The early forms of universities and craftsmen's guilds - which lead to knowledge being contained and taught, surveying, all sciences such as metallurgy, astronomy and so on ad infinitum. The masculine mysteries were the direct creators of modern civilization as we know it now. It must also be remembered that originally the Mystery was conducted by a woman - and that she was the presiding genius behind many of the fundamental discoveries that created civilization. These mysteries are depicted as a javelin, a cockerel upon a pillar, a ladder, a flail, a twelve-rayed sun and a ladder of eight rungs and a sword or battle ax. Basically they have to do with control over three of four elements, especially that of Fire.
The feminine Mysteries are the deeper - connected with the slow tides of creation and destruction, of the cycle of life and death. they are best expressed in the pentagram - Life/Birth, Love, Maternity, Wisdom, Death/Resurrection. They are connected with all things that grow - all creatures of flesh - fertility and sterility - the mystery of the woman who is Virgin/Mother/Hag in one person. They are in essence the cycle of life, and the universality of life - and they express themselves in deep intuition and feelings - in other world terms they control the unconscious, as the male controls the conscious. That is they are what the Jews describe as the second emanation of the Sephiroth - emotion, sensation, imagery, empathy and intuition. They are expressed in symbols as a broom, a flask, a cup, a glove, a distaff and a shift - all of which have a symbolic meaning in the Faith. The clan of Women is lead by a man, who acts as a priest, and teaches the feminine mysteries. Each one of these symbols has a value in wisdom, and I will teach you both what I know about them in forthcoming letters. Today, since there are so very few, the old system has broken down and the families teach their children both mysteries, so that the tradition will not be forgotten entirely. In the past the male and female clans were separated except for the nine Rites or 'Knots' of the Year - when they came together and worshipped Godhead. Also, a great deal of traditional rite has been lost - but it will be recovered again one day, since things and thoughts alike do not die, they only change.
It was common for the People to meet once a week - like a service or a teaching session., or even to work some particularly difficult piece of magic. As the persecution grew harsher, the meetings became more secretive, and for security's sake the Clans divided and knew nothing of each other. The mysteries were also united so that nothing would be forgotten, yet I personally think it is better that they now divide since there is a mystery in sexual difference, and some things may only apply to men and some things only to women. No man may ever fully understand the mystery of menstruation or birth - and how it affects not only the female body but mind and emotion. No woman may fully understand the male passion for knowledge or craft etc., since it is a part of the male mind in which most women have difficulty in understanding. Yet the Faith teaches wisdom that has to do with both of these aspects of male and female and when it was taught properly as it was in the past it produced some really remarkable people. One of the deepest and most appealing images in the Faith is that of the Virgin and Child - whom the Catholics stole from us as late as the twelfth century - yet the approach of a man and the approach of a woman are very different to this one Image.
I have enclosed a leaf out of a book which has the photograph of a French Menhir upon it - I helped the woman who wrote this book, and explained something of the menhir to her - but she is a fool, and her book is a shame to read since it is only interested in the sensational, and not in wisdom. However, the menhir contains all 'Witch' theology and belief - and if it is studied, it will answer many questions for you. The carvings date from the 17th century, the menhir is at least 2,000 years old. Archeologists believe it to be a depiction of the Passion of Christ, which shows how little they know. You will see upon it both male and female mysteries - with the bottom line reading as the third part - that of the Priest/Magician. Understand it, and you will have the basic groundwork of the Faith. Ask me questions about it, and I will explain them to the best of my ability.
You will be coming to Britain within one year, when you do, come to us when you have free time (or maybe it is me going to America).